A Little Late But…I’m Back…And Happy New Year!!

Hey there guys!

Before I get anywhere…HAPPY NEW YEAR!! May 2014 be a wonderful, fun, fit, healthy and beautiful year filled with prosperity, love and success! Cheers to that!

Okay…now I know it’s been¬†so long since I last posted… *hides* APOLOGIES!! Yikes. This is not good at all! But I am back and ready to start posting, posting and posting some more! I see that you all have still been checking out my blog and that you’ve been reading previous posts! Thank you…thank you…thank you! I cannot say it enough! Amazing. Now time for me to hold up my end of the deal, right?ūüôā

Watch out for my fruit post soon! Yes…fruit post. Some yummy fruits straight from nature and so delicious! Yummy healthy grapes, pears (the size of my two hands!!), peaches and figs!

Until the next post…stay well!ūüôā

 

Current Workout Routine and Update on 30 Day Challenges

Hi, hi!

I know it’s been a long while. Been so busy and, I’ll admit, a little lazy. But here I am and ready to share with you some fitness updates.

First of all, I have completed the 30 Day Squat and Crunch Challenges. It was a long thirty days but I honestly enjoyed doing both challenges. After thirty days I had completed a total of 3750 squats and 2040 crunches!! I know. I was also like “Whaaaat!?!” I couldn’t believe I had actually done all those squats! I¬†wasn’t so psyched about the number of crunches I did. If you remember in a previous post, I don’t really like doing crunches and prefer to¬†tone and tighten my tummy by engaging my core in EVERY exercise I do. I find that way to be more effective and better results, in my case, are guaranteed.

See picture below. This is post the 30 Day Crunch Challenge.

Results of my 30 Day Crunch Challenge

Results of my 30 Day Crunch Challenge

So, left is the picture!! I am happy with the results. But the journey is far from over. Now that the challenge is the thing of the past, I am on the hunt for another challenge I could do. Perhaps something from BidyRock.tv? Let me know if you have any awesome and challenging challenges I could try for a month.

So while I look for something, I came up with an exercise routine for myself for the next thirty days. It may not seem so difficult at face value. But after two, nearly three weeks of following this routine, man is it challenging. Especially the forty minute BodyRock.tv exercise scheduled for Wednesday! Those are REAL.

And I have also gone up a kilogram in terms of the weight of my dumbbells, medicine ball, kettle bell and sandbag, so my strength sessions are super challenging. No pain, no gain right? I have also increased the number of strength sessions I do in a week and make sure to complete an hour for each workout.

Warm up and cool down sessions are a very important part of my workout routine although I have not included them in the table below. I still do ten minutes of warming up before my main workout routine. And I spend ten minutes on my cool down before spending another five to ten minute stretching. And obviously most important is nourishing the body properly before and after a workout.

DAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

CARDIO

Rest Day NONE BodyRock.tv WORKOUT40 Minutes4 routines at 10 minutes each + Tabata ¬† Shuffle 10 Minutes ‚Äď Tabata Shuffle

  • Step
NONE 1 Hour morning run 1 Hour morning run

STRENGTH

Rest Day TABATA1 Hour ‚Äď weights

  • Pushups
  • Tricep ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Dips
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Glider ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Crunches
  • Back ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Lifts (Superman)
TABATA20 Minutes ‚Äď weights

  • Tricep ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† dips
  • Bicep ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Curls
  • Shoulder ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Press
  • Shoulder ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Lifts
CORE STRENGTH50 Minutes: Tabata ‚Äď weights

  • Plank
  • Pushups
  • Sliding ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Pike (Glider)
  • Side ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Plank R
  • Bridge
  • Side ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Plank L
  • Lunge ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† with twist
TABATA1 Hour ‚Äď weights

  • Pushups
  • Tricep ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Dips
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Bicep ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Curls
  • Shoulder ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Press
  • Shoulder ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Lifts
NONE NONE

So there you have my updated workout routine for the month. I like to switch things up quite a lot because I don’t want my body to become accustomed to my workout routine. That’s why I like doing a different challenge each month. I try new types of exercises. Some I have loved so much that I continue to do them somewhere within my new routine or¬†on my day off on Monday (I know…what’s the point of a rest day then huh?)¬†– like pilates, zumba, Fierce or BodyRock.tv. They are so much fun I don’t see them as a workout anyway. But for the most part, I like to keep chopping and changing my routine…put my body through a different exercise experience. And it works for me. I enjoy it and always, ALWAYS feel SO good after every single workout.

Remember to let me know if there are any challenges I can try out! Super excited to see what you guys will recommend!

Until the next post…take care!ūüôā

The Pursuit of ‘Happiness’: Chasing the “Perfect” Body

I am very much into the whole idea of Active Living, healthy eating and just leading a clean, full and happy life. And as I had said in a post before, it takes a certain degree of obsession (and I speak for myself here) to keep motivated and determined to continue living this way until it’s basically second nature. Until you don’t even have to make a conscious effort to remember to exercise, or to grill your meat rather than fry it and so on.

I am also crazy about exercise…about moving and keeping active. For me, sitting still for a period of time makes me feel like I’m wasting time. Unless of course I am watching one of my favourite TV programmes, I cannot just be still watching TV for hours on end. I have to move, play a sport, go to the gym, read a book…something to keep my body and/or my mind active. Yes, as you can see, a¬†little bit of obsession plays a role. But it’s a healthy obsession…an obsession that fuels motivation.

And then you get that type of obsession where somebody is striving for a specific goal. But that goal is rooted in achieving a certain image portrayed by society as sexy, beautiful and what a girl and/or guy should look like. There is a certain perception of what the ‘perfect’ body should be.¬† And some of these perceptions are down right scary. People are doing some crazy things like crash diets and all kinds of “miracle” cures that will give you instant desired weight loss results in a short space of time. Someone somewhere claims they have found the magic silver bullet. And hey, some of these work. For a while…in the short term. But as we all should know, in the long run, these solutions aren’t sustainable and cause more damage to your body.

So, going back to the “perfect” body. I am a follower of BodyRock.tv (heard of them? Go and check out their site. And try out some of the exercises if you dare!!). I follow their blog (The Daily¬†Hiit Blog)¬†and came across this similar discussion. This relentless desire to attain the “perfect” body.

What does it mean to be skinny?

What does it mean to be skinny? Picture courtesy of The Daily Hiit Blog

These are the five traits identified by Rachael Wright as the ultimate physical¬†characteristics many want to attain as they continue to chase the “perfect” body. Perhaps you have heard of a few of them…the thigh gap seems to be the most popular these days.

Collar Bones:¬†Is this really¬†necessary for a perfect body?¬†Apparently so. Protruding collar bones have somehow made it onto the ‘must-have’ list for a “perfect” body. Really?! Can anyone say “anorexia”?

Big Boobs: This is an old age must-have. I guess it’s a personal decision when it comes to implants and the like. But being confident, comfortable and okay in your own skin, small or big boobs…you still rock!

Flat Stomach:¬†Another that has long been an absolute must-have. I’ve actually given up on doing crunch after crunch and have found that you get better results by learning to engage your abs in every single type of exercise you do. From arm exercises, to legs and cardio. Strengthen your core…focus on whole body exercises.¬†Aim to lose belly fat.

Hip Bones: Yes. Like the collar bones, your hip bones are considered sexy if we can see them spiking out. Again, Can anyone say “anorexia”?

Thigh Gap:¬†¬†According to research that Wright conducted, it all has to do with the pelvic structure.¬†“A loose pelvis is what creates the thigh gap. If you have a tight one, not so much.” So stop trying. Just focus on health and being fit.

How can perfection equate to protruding bones and gaps in your body?

Sometimes you can be really amazed at some of the things that people will do.

Well…until the next post; keep healthy. Stay fit. Take care!ūüôā

 

Thursday Favourite: Carli Bybel on YouTube

Hi there!

It’s Thursday again…already! Wow! And again I am bringing you another one of my favourite YouTube Beauty Gurus. You may have heard of her, she is quite popular. Carli Bybel all the way from New Jersey in the States. She was one of the first YouTube gurus I came to know and I just love her and her tutorials. I am also super glad that she created another channel that deals with¬†being healthy, staying fit…that type of vibe.

But in terms of her beauty channel, here are two of my favouritesūüôā

How I Contour & Highlight!

Courtesy: Carli Bybel on YouTube

Back to School Makeup, Hair & Outfit UNDER 10 Min Challenge

Courtesy: Carli Bybel on YouTube

Really awesome videos she has. Go check out her channel on YouTube and take a look at her second channel too. Super awesome.

Until the next post…take care!ūüôā

 

What Your Cravings Are Telling You

A very interesting site I discovered…Naturopathy Works. Check out the table below. I just love it. It’s going to come in handy on more than just a few occasions.

If you crave this… What you really need is… And here are healthy foods that have it:
Chocolate Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Sweets Chromium Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken
Carbon Fresh fruits
Phosphorus Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains
Sulfur Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage
Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Bread, toast Nitrogen High protein foods: fish, meat, nuts, beans
Oily snacks, fatty foods Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Coffee or tea Phosphorous Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes
Sulfur Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables
NaCl (salt) Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)
Iron Meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Alcohol, recreational drugs Protein Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts
Avenin Granola, oatmeal
Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Glutamine Supplement glutamine powder for withdrawal, raw cabbage juice
Potassium Sun-dried black olives, potato peel broth, seaweed, bitter greens
Chewing ice Iron Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
Burned food Carbon Fresh fruits
Soda and other carbonated drinks Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
Salty foods Chloride Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt
Acid foods Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
Preference for liquids rather than solids Water Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Preference for solids rather than liquids Water You have been so dehydrated for so long that you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
Cool drinks Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Pre-menstrual cravings Zinc Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables
General overeating Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables
Lack of appetite Vitamin B1 Nuts, seeds, beans, liver and other organ meats
Vitamin B3 Tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, seeds and legumes
Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
Chloride Raw goat milk, unrefined sea salt
Tobacco Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches
Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green and red fruits and vegetables
  1. Lectures, Cheryl M. Deroin, NMD, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Spring 2003 (healthy food recommendations)
  2. Benard Jenson, PhD, The Chemistry of Man B. Jensen Publisher, 1983 (deficiencies linked to specific cravings and some food recommendations)

Until the next post…keep well!ūüôā

Because It’s Summer, Now You’re Hitting The Gym…

Hi there!

Another gloomy and overcast day in Johannesburg and still no sight of rain. It’s been threatening to pour by the bucket load for days now¬†and yet zilch…well at least where I am.

Nonetheless, that has never stopped me from keeping fit and active. Just yesterday, at half-past nine in the morning, I was already out the door and on the road for my morning run – in the cruel cold wind that kept nipping at my finger tips and my nose, I still was out there. And every time, when my run or workout is over, I never have a shred of regret as to why I had woken up so early, out in the cold, and decided to go running.

Throughout the entire autumn/winter months, I was out there…running, working out, woke early to go to gym. And of course there were some who just looked at me like I was some kind of foreign species that did not understand autumn/winter meant snuggle in, eat comfort food and just do nothing.¬†That it was¬†much too cold to do anything. I did it anyway. And now that spring is here (well…despite the gloomy weather) and summer is just around the corner, they¬†are now all¬†jumping about, scurrying to¬†the gym, trying to get back into the rhythm of a ‘healthy’ diet and exercise routine¬†and stressing about the winter weight, the imminent December holidays and trying to get into shape so they can at least look good at the beach.

Pshshst! Look, the way I see it, Active Living and living a healthy lifestyle can’t be done in seasons or at certain points of the year. It’s something you do every day. It’s about consistency, dedication, determination and motivation. And above all, it certainly is not just¬†about looking your best for summer or for a special occasion (a wedding, a big birthday celebration etc.). It’s about feeling your best all the time. You do this on a daily basis, you won’t ever have to worry about that upcoming high school reunion because feeling good, looking good, living healthy, feeling confident in your own skin and¬†feeling confident about your body is something you work on every day. It’s like second nature to you. It’s not something you stress about because it is already an integrated part of your life. It’s how you live.

That for me is the goal. I want to do things the healthy way. That is¬†where dedication plays a role.¬†The healthy way may take some time…sometimes the results your are looking for take a very long time to show up. This is where determination plays a role. But you keep at it anyway (this is where consistency plays its role) because you got your eye on the prize…on the end goal that is worth every effort and¬†every drop of sweat you produce – this is where motivation takes its place. If you can keep that cycle going in every aspect of Active and Healthy living (exercise, eating, nurturing etc.), you are well on your way.

It’s no news that the beginning is most probably the hardest part. Where do you find that motivation to keep going? In my own personal experience, starting small and slow is key. If you wan to change something that will affect the rest of your life (and we talking BIG changes here), you are going to have to wean yourself off your bad habits while learning to adopt new healthier habits to replace the old ones. For example, one of the first things I did to help me get into the groove of a healthy and balanced diet was to change the way I prepared my food. I still ate the same foods I had always eaten, I just cooked them differently. I cut out all¬†frying and instead I chose to grill my foods. I went from frying my eggs to either boiling or poaching them. I eliminated salt and instead chose to use herbs and spices such as turmeric. I cut down on sugar dramatically. I now get most of my sugar from the fruits I eat. I now take no sugar I my tea.

These changes happened over a period of time and I soon began to make bigger changes Рabsolutely no white bread or refined carbs alike. I prefer not to eat anything fried although there are much healthier options (coconut oil for example) that you may choose to utilise. I am always looking at food labels, particularly for sugars, fats and carbohydrate information. I have also familiarised myself with the different names that are used for certain foods Рfor example, sugars take on names such as glucose, fructose and galactose (simple sugars); sucrose, maltose and lactose (compound sugars) Рwith all the hidden sugars in products sold these days, I felt it important to know these kind of things.

These are changes that I know I will be able to sustain for a very long time. Most probably for the rest of my life as long as God and¬†my health allow. Changes that have now become such a part of what I do every day, they don’t even feel like I’m doing anything different. And it’s because I do them every day that they have become my way of life. It’s always difficult when you start something, you get it off the ground and somewhere along the line you quit for whatever reason. And then you find that, again for whatever reason, you need to get back on track and pick up where you had left off when you had¬†quit. It’s hard. And then you quit again because now it’s winter and the weather just doesn’t permit for that kind of lifestyle. Come mid-August, you realise spring is nearly here…and you want to pick up on the exercise and healthy eating again because soon it’ll be beach weather. It’s like¬†yo-yo dieting but with exercise.¬†How demotivating is that…!

It would drive me crazy. Maybe it takes a certain type of person to be able to pursue this lifestyle? I don’t think so. I have seen so many people who have successfully been able to lead a healthy and active lifestyle…and seeing where they had started, their journey and how much they have achieved, it makes me believe that anyone who is truly¬†consistent, dedicated, determined and motivated can achieve this goal and any of the goals they have set for themselves. It takes a certain amount of obsession. And I have people thinking I am crazy. I don’t care. I am happy and I am fit and I am healthy and I love it.

Well…now that the rant is over :-)…very much enjoyed writing this post.

Until the next post…take careūüôā

Thursday Favourite: Camila Coelho on YouTube

Thursday! One more day and we’re into the much anticipated week-end. And so this means yet another one of my favourite YouTube makeup gurus.

This week’s featured guru¬†is a very recent makeup artist that I discovered. Originally from Brazil, Camila now resides in Boston, USA. What I love most about her is her style. She loves very much the same items and styles of fashion I look for and love.

Here are two of my favourite makeup tutorial videos from her YouTube channelūüôā

Pink Lips & Small Cat Eye by Camila Coelho

“Night Out” Blue makeup!

Hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

Next week I will be featuring the last of my favourite YouTube guru…so stay posted for that!

Until the next post…take care!ūüôā