Eggsellent food!


Sibo and eggs

I was reading interesting stuff about eggs the other day and thought I had to share it.

For starters, eggs are an excellent source of nutrients. One egg contains some healthy unsaturated fats and 6 grams of protein. Eggs are also a good source of zeaxanthin, lutein and choline – all things that your body needs. For example, lutein and zeaxanthin can protect you against losing your eyesight and choline has been associated with preserving memory – just what we need for school exams!

Even more interesting, studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast can help you shed body weight. Not that kids should be worried about weight, but this might be useful information for our parental agents.

The colour of an egg shell does not say anything about the nutritional value of an egg. It tells you about the breed of the chicken that laid it. Hens with red feathers produce brown eggs and hens with white feathers produce white eggs.

The colour of the egg yolk (that’s the yellow bit of the egg) is determined by what the hen eats. If you break open your egg and find its dark yellow, the chicken was maybe fed green vegetables. A light-yellow yolk would indicate a diet of barley and wheat and a medium-yellow yolk would show that the hen ate alfalfa and corn.

Eggs contain high levels of healthy fats and protein. Healthy fats help your tummy feel full and satisfied. Protein helps you build muscle. Eggs also contain antioxidants that help decrease the effects of aging and fight cancer – definitely something you should share with your folks.

And… there really is an Easter Egg Chicken… it’s called the Araucana Chicken because it produces brown, pink, green and naturally blue eggs. Imagine that.

You can make yourself scrambled egg really easily in the microwave. Just break an egg into a cup. Moosh it up with a fork. Pop it into the micro with a bit of kitchen towel over the top of the cup (to stop it exploding all over the oven) and cook it for ~50 seconds. You can add a dash of milk, some herbs or grated cheese to make it even tastier. Yum.

Have a great week.


Cool word for the week: Alacrity

Meaning: quick and cheerful readiness / willingness or eagerness

Example: When mum discovered eggs were good for weight loss she dashed off to the shop with alacrity to stock up.

Meanie Mozzies

Sibo taking a pill

Hi Everybody.

It’s cool to have no school for a couple of weeks? Have you all been to the library to get some books to read? If you are not a member already – it’s easy to join. Pop in and find out what you need to do to become a member.  Sometimes they have interesting programmes running during the holidays too – you don’t want to miss out.

I’m super excited because we’re going to visit my family in Limpopo for a few days.  We always have such fun. Only problem is… they live in a malaria area. The mozzies are mean there. It’s not so bad when it is winter but still, my mum is a bit neurotic about us getting sick, so we take the anti-malaria pills anyway. Malaria is an extremely nasty disease. It’s responsible for killing lots and lots of people every year, especially babies.

Apparently it feels a bit like getting flu – you have a fever, headache, get the chills, feel like throwing up and have achy bones.

That sounds just nasty.

There are other things you can do to not get bitten by that sneaky Anopheles mosquito – and it really is only that particular species of mozzie that gives people (and animals) malaria.

You can sleep under a mozzie net. That’s really cool. Last time we visited I slept under one and felt just like a princess. I would not mind having one at home. You can also make sure you wear long sleeved shirts and long pants at night time – it’s good to wear socks too. That makes it even more difficult for the little biters to get to your skin.

They breed in puddles of water that is not moving – so it’s a good idea to make sure that there are no tires or tins hanging around the house that have smelly old water in them.

If you get bitten by a normal mozzie in a non-malaria area – here are some tips on how to stop the bite from itching. I’m not sure if they all work or not, but some people swear by them…

A dab of vanilla essence, Vicks, spit (yes, really), tee tree oil, clear nail polish, calamine lotion, aloe vera and you can rub a peeled clove of garlic on the bite – except then you smell like pizza!

Have fun in the holidays – remember you can visit my website and download stuff to do –


PS – I’ve got a book called Sibo Fights Malaria that was sponsored by the University of Pretoria Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control and The Department of Health – go have a look.

Stop Malaria 4


Bare bones

Sibo 5

Seeing as we’ve chatted about skin and hair, I figured maybe we should finish off this body stuff with some info about bones.

We all take our bones for granted too. Unless we break one that is – then we realise that they are quite useful things. I’ve never broken a bone before – but I know a friend who did and he said it was not only sore – but wearing the plaster of Paris cast was a real pain in the butt.

Imagine if we did not have any bones – we’d be a puddle of skin, hair and guts flopping around on the floor. Seriously gross hey!

We are born with around 300 bones, but some of them fuse together as we grow and by the time we are all grown up we have 206 bones. Our bones keep growing until we are in our 20’s and by the time we hit our 30’s our bones have reached maximum density.

The longest bone in our bodies is the thigh bone – this is called the femur. The smallest bone is found in the middle ear. The staples (or stirrup) bone is only 2.8 millimetres long. That’s pretty small. Good job it’s attached to other bones and it can’t get lost!

Every single one of those 206 bones has a name too. Just imagine… if you wanted to study orthopaedics you’d have to learn all of them. Eish!

Like our skin, the human body’s bones are also constantly worn down and re-made, to the point where every 7 years we essentially have a new bone.

Hah! That’s an interesting fact. Next time my Gogo tells me I make her old bones tired – I can tell her that her bones are not so old after all!

Calcium is very important to keep our bones healthy. This means we need to drink milk and eat stuff like cheese, yoghurt and buttermilk. Believe it or not broccoli, kale, bok choy, almonds, figs, oranges and white beans are also great sources of calcium.

There’s a cool worksheet on how to make a skeleton out of paper on my website. If you are bored in the holidays – go check it out .

Take care of your bones,



Cool interesting word for the week: Galvanize

Meaning: To shock or excite somebody into taking action.

Example: Sibo’s aunt was galvanized into eating more calcium rich food to help build up her bones after she broke her hip.

Skinny facts

Rude Sibo

The other day I fell in the garden and grated my knees. The skin was all broken and breeding. It was jolly sore and hurt like crazy when my mum cleaned them up with disinfectant.

Ooooh ouch!

So I started thinking about skin…

We all probably take our skin for granted. It’s that stretchy waterproof stuff that covers our entire body. It stops our insides from drying out. It also stops dirt and germs from getting in.

It’s tough enough to withstand most scratches and bangs and yet… it’s only 2mm thick – no matter what colour it is.

Take a ruler and measure 2mm – not very thick, is it? Yet packed into that 2mm of skin are sweat glands, hair roots, blood vessels and nerves.

Do you know there are more than 100 sweat glands for each square centimetre of skin? Every day you lose between 0.5 and 1 litre of sweat and you probably don’t even realise it.  If you are playing a sport in the sun you would lose around 1.7 litres an hour.  It’s very important that you replace that fluid by drinking, otherwise you become dehydrated.

Guess where the thickest skin is on your body?  Yup – that’s right… the skin on the soles of your feet is 3mm thick.  On the other hand, your eyelids are only 1mm thick. That’s why when you close your eyes in the sun you can still see a bright colour. Go on – try it. Put your face in the sun and close your eyes. Then face a wall and close your eyes. What’s the difference?

Lips and fingertips are the most sensitive parts of your body. Your tongue is also pretty sensitive – that’s why pieces of food stuck between your teeth seem really huge to your tongue, when actually they are tiny.

This is a bit yucky… did you know that you shed a complete layer of skin every month. New skin is forming all the time below the old skin. Most of the dust in your house is actually dead skin. Ergh gross!

All in all though – our skin is amazing, precious stuff and we should look after it.

Keep warm,



Cool word for the week: Dollop.

Meaning: A blob of something.

Example: Sibo’s dad added a dollop of tomato sauce to his cheeseburger to make it tastier.

Hairy Tales

Sibo smilingI found out some interesting stuff about hair the other day.

Sometimes we have good hair days and sometimes we have bad hair days. But often our hair is just there. We scrape it back into a pony tail or slap on an Alice band or some pretty clips and off we go.

Mostly we just take our hair for granted.

Did you know… your hair grows about 3mm a week. That is more than 15cm a year. In a lifetime, you produce about 8.5 metres of new hair, but whether you cut it or not – you’d never be able to grow it that long.

Not that you’d want to because you’d be tripping over it all the time.

And just imagine having to wash and dry so much hair.

No thank you.

You lose between 30 and 60 hairs every single day. But before you begin to panic about going bald – that still leaves you with about 100,000 hairs. Plus new hairs are growing all the time.

Each hair on your head lasts from one to six years, before the hair root withers and the hair drops out.

After about 3 or 4 months rest, the hair root starts to produce a new hair.

So you see – you never would be able to grow your hair that long, although apparently some woman in Sweden did manage to grow her hair 3.2 metres long. Eish!

Of course, hair and nails are made of dead cells. This means they are not fed by blood or nerves so you can happily cut them without it hurting.

In case you are wondering how your hair does grow – it grows from the hair root in the skin. The hair root is fed by blood and nerves, so if you pull your hair out – it certainly is going to hurt.

It’s quite funny – if you pull just one hair out, it probably hurts more than if you pull a handful of hairs. This is because the pull is spread across many different hairs.

So next time you wash and dry your hair, have a little think about the fact that it’s actually quite awesome stuff!


Cool word for the week: Follicle

Meaning: A hair follicle is a part of the skin, which grows a hair by packing old cells together.

Example: The average growth rate of healthy hair follicles on the scalp is around 12 mm a month


Wish the flu would fly away

Sibo handsYuk! I’ve been sick. Mum even made me stay home from school for a few days. She said there was no point in me going to the doctor because it was just flu. It would take seven days to get better – whether I went to the doctor or not.

Ghah! It might be just flu – but it did not feel very good.

She gave me lots of vitamin C tablets – the nice chewy ones that taste like orange and lots of orange juice to drink.

I reminded her that peppers have more vitamin C in them than oranges.

Mum gave me a skeef look and told me that I was Miss Know-it-all – even when I was sick. How would I like to drink pepper juice instead?

Hmmm…. not sure that pepper juice would be very tasty come to think of it.

Dad was busy reading his paper. He moved it a little bit so I could see his face and winked at me.

That made me feel better. Dad knows I like to learn lots of different stuff.

Mum has this rule – if I stay home from school I have to stay in bed. I pointed out that I would have much rather gone to school – even if I was sick. She said I should stay home.

So we compromised. I stayed in bed half the day and watched TV the other half. Mum said when you are sick, your body needs to rest in order to get well again. You need lots of sleep too.

Sjoe! I was so sick and tired of having a runny nose. I used up a whole box of tissues and two toilet rolls. Mum put Vicks under my nose so that I could breathe better.

After a few days I organised with my friend Lizzie to bring me all the work from school that I was missing. I thought this was a clever sneaky way of seeing my friend – but my plan backfired.

Mum would not let her into my room. She said my germs would make Lizzie sick and that would be mean. Mom talked so much argle-bargle that I closed my eyes and pretended to fall asleep.

She tip-toed out and left me in peace.

I’m better now.


Cool (long) word for the week: Discombobulated (dis-com-bob-u lated)

Meaning: to be upset or frustrated

Example: Sibo was discombobulated because she was sick and had to miss school for a few days.