From hot dogs to cool finds


From hot dogs to cool finds

All the things on the Fomo sapiens radar that you need to know about this week.

  • 05 January 2024
  • Lifestyle
  • 6 min to read
  • article 16 of 21

Thought of the week

“You have to pick the place you don't walk away from." — Joan Didion

Hot dogs

New Year's resolutions are for the birds. Let's talk about dogs instead.

With summer in full swing we should take precautions when walking our dogs. Dogs are sensitive to heat and can suffer from heatstroke.

  1. Avoid walking in the heat of the day — the best times are before 8am and after 6pm.
  2. Consider a swim rather than a walk where possible.
  3. Have plenty of cool water available — dogs get thirsty at the beach as they can't drink seawater.
  4. Be careful of walking your dog over hot surfaces, which are about double the air temperature.
  5. Close curtains to cool the house.
  6. Ensure your dog can lie on cool floors, such as tiles, and allow them to rest indoors.
  7. Use a wet towel or cooling mat/collar to help cool them down.
  8. If you suspect heat stroke (excessive panting, nausea, the dog looks thirsty but won't drink, listlessness, loss of appetite), wet your dog with cool/tepid water (not ice cold) and seek veterinary attention immediately.

(Thanks to Friends of the Dog Walkers, the Kommetjie Canine College and SANParks.)

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Kitchen finds

Victorinox kitchen knives are often considered the gold standard. The good news for hikers and campers is that the classic serrated paring knife is now available in a foldable form at Yuppiechef for R529, and you can throw it in your camping box or backpack without worrying that the blade will be damaged.

And while we're hanging out in the kitchen, may we recommend a  life-changing little appliance? A mini chopper from Kenwood. It means you don't have to haul out the big food processor to chop nuts or herbs or make a small batch of pesto or a spice paste. You can choose two or four blades (hence the “quad-blade" in the name). And it has a genius insert for making mayonnaise that lets the oil drip down to the blades. Best of all, it also crushes ice like a boss. R969 at Takealot.

Silver screen

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben, on Netflix since Monday, is an eight-episode British thriller series with enough twists and turns to keep you glued to the end. The evergreen Joanna Lumley plays the matriarch of a family whose skeletons tumble out of the closet one by one. Also with Michelle Keegan and Richard Armitage.

Another Harlan Coben series on Netflix is Hold Tight. This is a suspense drama with good actors and offers an interesting overview of life and customs in Poland. It is about a woman's terrifying search for her son after his friend is found dead. The Warsawites certainly hold nothing back. This is a sequel of sorts to The Woods — it shares quite a few characters and is the sixth of Coben's books to be adapted for Netflix. Maybe not the best one, but absolutely still worth it.

Beware of…

Books editor Deborah Steinmair warns against pop psychology terms that are easily misused and thrown around:

  • I'm an empath." If you say it yourself, you completely cancel it out. It's like saying: My old little heart is so small, I'm an old softie, etc.
  • My husband is a narcissist." Okay, all of us have narcissistic traits, essential for survival. And it seems to me that it is often people who stand behind the door themselves who want to hang this label around everyone's necks.
  • I had a meltdown/panic attack/nervous breakdown.” How do you measure it? Instead, say: “I was overwhelmed."
  • I'm on the spectrum." Again, we all hover somewhere on the spectrum. Think of another excuse for your social awkwardness.
  • My child is gifted.” Really? This word has seriously lost currency. And remember: every old crow thinks hers is the blackest.
  • I suffer from ADHD/OCD/PTSD/anxiety.” Meat is full of hormones, crops are manipulated, our drinking water has been over-purified — we are all unwell, neurotic, nervous wrecks.
  • My boss is a psychopath/sociopath." We all feel that way sometimes. Withhold diagnosis.
  • I'm a technophobe." The more you say it, the more awkward you will become. Stay calm and composed and if something doesn't work, try a different approach. Don't bash the keyboard. There are paths to be built in your brain.
  • I fear I have early-onset dementia. My brain is like a sieve." You are probably 65-plus. What is early? Plus, we all have instant access to so much information that it's unnecessary to remember a bunch of facts.

We add one to Deborah's: 

  • “I'm naive." It's possibly the least naive thing to say. If you know you don't know, then you know.

Disclaimer: If you really live with one of these syndromes, respect and good luck.

Maple dressing

Here is the fomo sapiens team's favourite dressing (for now). It comes from The Complete Plant-based Cookbook by Charlie Mason. R279 at

  • 3 tsp (45ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp (15ml) sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup. (Colleague Anneliese Burgess believes maple syrup is a game changer for salad dressing.)
  • 1  or 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds

Mix everything together (we find the best way to make a dressing is to shake it like a cocktail in a glass bottle) and pour over thinly sliced ​​cucumber, any green salad leaves or shredded cabbage and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Leave for about 15 minutes to marinate.

Feel-good sauna

It's time to use that sauna at the gym. And if you hate the gym (like some of us do) and have a bundle of cash burning your pocket (like most of us don't), you could buy a nifty near-infrared light and heat therapy sauna pod you can put up in your room. The Feel Good Pod combines infrared light and heat therapy in a collapsible pod. It costs R42,000 plus R1,214 for delivery but there is a 20%-off launch special.

There is a reason why the Nordics swear by the curative wonders of the sauna.

The purported benefits include detoxification, improvement in breathing for people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, excretion of toxins, less muscle and joint pain, better skin health and cardiovascular function, decreased inflammation and improved relaxation and sleep.

But it is the new research on the prevention of Alzheimer's disease that really piqued our interest.

One of the key benefits of a sauna is its ability to combat brain fog. This is achieved through increased blood flow. Enhanced circulation helps deliver more oxygen to the brain, clearing cobwebs and improving cognitive performance. The heat is said to trigger your body to make proteins that produce neuroplasticity and proper protein folding in the brain, potentially warding off dementia.

Plus, 25 minutes in a sauna has benefits like elevating the heart rate to 150bpm, typical of light-to-moderate cardiovascular exercise.

So the good news for all you lazybones is that if you sauna for 25 minutes at a time you might experience exercise-like benefits from  intermittent heat stress alone.

♦ VWB ♦

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