Tuesday, July 20, 2010

O Canada!

Today is a pretty momentous occasion for me and my family.  We came to Canada 7 years ago and have fallen in love with the country and its people.

My family currently consists of:
1 Scot
1 English
1 American and
1 true Canadian

By lunchtime tomorrow we will all have taken the oath and will become Canadians.  Its a pretty exciting time for us all (plus when I get my passport I can go shopping in Target at Buffalo!)

From that time forward I will have to start being extra nice to people and ending all sentences with the word 'eh!'.

Here are some interesting facts about Canada:
  • The Ice Hotel in Quebec, known as Hotel de Glace is created every year using 400 tons of ice and 12,000 tons of snow. It melts away every summer and is recreated every winter.
  • Canada is the world's second largest country area wise (including its waters), and fourth largest in land area.
  • It also has the longest coastline in the world, about 243,000 kms in length.
  • Canada is also the largest producer of a refreshingly sweet dessert wine called Icewine.
  • Canada's city of Montreal, sometimes called The City of Churches, is that it has more churches than houses!
  • Canada is also home to the world's smallest jail, located in Ontario. It is only 270 square feet. (I've been to it and unsuccessfully tried to lock the kids in it)
  • Toronto dwellers hold more university degrees than any other big city in the world.
  • it has the fourth lowest population density in the world, with only three people living per square kilometer! Almost half of the population in Canada were born in other countries. 
  • Alert, in Nunavut territory, is the northernmost permanent settlement in the world
  • Canadians consume more macaroni and cheese than any other nation on earth!
  • Canadian James Naismith invented basketball to give his physical education students at the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, an indoor team sport to play during the long winters.

(these facts are randomly grabbed from the internet, so I won't stand by any of these claims!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Todays Inspiration - age is just a number

How many times to you hear people complaining that they are too old to start exercising? 

People my age complain that things don't work right and they don't have the energy to eat well and exercise consistently. 

Well take just one minute to check out this AMAZING lady.

Erestine Shepherd decided when she was in her 50's, trying on a swim-suit and not being happy with the image she saw in the mirror, to do something about it.

Twenty years later at the age of 74, YES I SAID 74!! Ernestine has ran 8 marathons, can bench press 150 lbs and has become the oldest every competitor to win a body-building competition! Read all about it here.

WOW!! - take that smack of inspiration and do some POSITIVE!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mango Lime Lassi

I love love love Mangoes and recently tried this delicious drink, it was so refreshing and a great post-workout shake!

  • 2 cups (500 ml) Frozen Mango Chunks
  • 1 tub (750g) Non-Fat Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Water (you could use skim milk or fresh OJ if you want)
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) Honey (yummy my fav!)
  • 1 scoop Whey Protein Powder
  • 4 tsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • Lime Slices
  • Mint Sprigs (mine came from my garden)

Buzz this in your blender, will serve 6 people. Garnish with lime slices and mint sprigs.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wanted: Athletic, Beautiful REAL People

You are needed for a photo shoot!! - see this message from my friend Paola

I am casting/producing a shoot for the Dairy Farmers of Canada
(nutritional brochures).

We are looking for real "athletic" people for a print shoot.
Shoot Dates: Tuesday, August 17 and Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Casting Dates for Selects Only: Thursday, July 15 and Friday, July 16,
2010 from 10am - 4 pm

Pay: $800.00 for 6 hour of work per model/ per day or $400.00
per 3 hour/per model/day (we will hire approx. 15 models total)

** must sign a model release as the images are part of a photo library
being created for the Dairy Farmers of Canada

Models Interested must submit a photo electronically to
paola@mmphotos.com by Thursday, July 8 10am.

We Require: Mix ethnicities and body types with a focus on ''real''
Mid to Late 20's males and females
Early 30's females/males
Mid-Late 30's males/females
40's male/females
50's male only
60's females/males

The project runs over 2 days: models will be slotted for specific times
on those 2 days - either a 6 or 3 hour time slot
Shoot will take place in a gym setting/kitchen/outdoor space all in the
downtown Toronto area
Sweating/Working out/Training but not posed-very candid shots
No novices ..regular gym users
Must be willing to engage in physical activity-aerobic like exercise,
treadmills, cyclefit, weight training, free weights, boot camp, running,
No swimming in this shoot
Will be wearing gym attire and/or outdoor activity attire
Paola Giavedoni-Casting and Producing for Michael Mahovlich

Women and Blogs

Since I started blogging I have found so many useful sites dedicated to women, their lifestyles, careers, family life, health and well-being and so much more.

Knowing where to look for the best blogs is a challenge - I often link to my favorites, but more often than not these are fitness related sites.  The financial post has done the donkey work for us, posting their Top 100 websites for women (I am not sure why I am not on this list.....) but check it out and see if anything peaks your interest.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Envirosax Helps Oil Spill Relief

I love these reusable bags - here in Ontario we are taxed 5c for every plastic bag we use.  Most people agree with the charge and it also encourages us to be prepared with reusable bags.  I had one of these Envirosax bought as a gift for me and now I buy them for all my friends. They come in some really cute designs and are only $8.50 US.  Here are some facts about the product.

Envirosax® designer reusable bags are spreading the eco-friendly message with style!
Chic, inexpensive and compact, Envirosax® carry the message of re-use to a world ready for a brighter ecological future.

  • Tested for strength & safety
  • Super strong, holds 44lbs
  • Fully washable - won't fade
  • Super convenient & water-resistant
  • Fashionable & fun - a great gift idea!
  • Solution to one-use plastic bags
And during the month of July, for every bag purchased,  Envirosax are donating $1 to the Gulf Oil relief fund.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Friday Treat

This recipe was sent to me by a fellow foody friend.  If you really like cake (I really like cake) you will love this recipe.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Playground Workouts - The Sequel

So Jane and I did round 2 of the playground workout with the Mums from my local school.  I decided to change the session totally from the week before, just to arm them with some extra ammunition when it came to their summer workouts.

Here is the workout we took the ladies through.  I gleaned my ideas from a number of sources, I am not really that original, so check out Turbulence Training and Alwyn Cosgrove if you like what you see here.

I also introduced a new made up exercise by my friend Natasha.  I don't have any photographs of the 'Natasha push-up', but it is basically this;
- perform 1 full push-up and come back to plank position
- in plank position, take right knee to outside right elbow, then repeat on the left side (this is called spiderman)
and TA-DAHHHH  you have just done a Natasha push-up, and you will do 20 of these in total.

Enjoy the workout!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Healthy Cocktails?

Summer is here - well that is when it isn't raining!  But regardless, the good weather makes most of us want to head for the nearest patio and knock back a few cold beers or maybe cocktails.  And I found this great recipe for a yummy cocktail, bursting with anti-oxidants and flavour -  to show you that drinking can actually be healthy(ish).

Berry Batida by Paul Abercrombie 
Makes: 1 serving
What To Buy:
1 ounce Cuca Fresca Premium Cachaca
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce simply syrup
8 organic raspberries
4 organic blackberries
2 healthy dashes Urban Moonshine Orange Bitters

How To Make It:
Muddle the berries in the shaker, then add all the other ingredients and shake well with ice. Fine strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with berries and a straw for stirring.

Check out the website for more great ideas.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fat British Kids

Would you let your kids eat 850 Mars Bars each year?  Its a pretty disgusting thought isn't it? But apparently that is what is happening in the UK.  On average kids there are spending £372 ($150) on sweets, crisps and cakes (translated for my North American friends thats candy and chips).

More than one in three British children aged five to 13 are already overweight or obese. 

I blame lazy parents for this, there is just no need for this to happen. Come on parents, cut out the ready meals, stop feeding your kids crap food every day - cook them a decent meal, buy them some fruit, educate them - guess what?  the kids will thank you for it.

 Here is the full article.

I also found this article about helping children understand the importance of healthy eating without nagging them or making them diet. Giving opportunities to kids to exercise and make good choices.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BOO!! I'm back.

Did you miss me?
Yes I took a week off from blogging and thoroughly enjoyed myself - spending it trying out some new recipes, cooking up some old favourites from the Motherland (that are not particularly healthy, but very tasty), also trying out some great workouts, check out the blog thoroughout the week for details.

A big bang(ers) favourite meal in my home.  My Mam would make this for me as a kid and I loved it, so the other day I whipped up a batch for the family and it was an instant hit.

Basically it is just breakfast sausages baked in the oven with yorkshire pudding mix.  Then served up with gravy and a huge heap of veggies.

Here is the recipe I used from Jamie Oliver.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Low Cholesterol Rocks!!

So I am not one to blow my own trumpet (ever!) and I am certainly not modest, but I am feeling pretty smug with myself at the moment and thought I would boast a little on my blog.

I had my annual physical at the docs this week and had the results of my cholesterol back. The doc claimed he had never seen such low numbers and said to continue doing whatever it is I am doing, because I pretty much couldn't get much better.

Phew!!! - now that I have exhausted my shameless praising of myself, I thought that I would do a little research and find out exactly what it is that I am doing that works!

Some enlightenment:

exercise: can raise the HDL and lower the LDL - which is the direction you need both to move in.
diet: the 2 main things that can effect your cholesterol levels are saturated fats and cholesterol from food (ie from animals).  One of the main causes of heart attacks in the USA are from over consumption of these two elements.  I know that I only eat a little meat, chicken and occasionally pork, and the only saturated fats I think I consume come from butter (I refuse to give that up). I also eat lots of good fats, omega 3, which are known to raise the HDL (good cholesterol) and reduce triglycerides.
stress levels: Stress over the long term has been shown in several studies to raise blood cholesterol levels. One way that stress may do this is by affecting your habits. For example, when some people are under stress, they console themselves by eating fatty foods.
genes:  it seems there is a form of genetic high cholesterol out there, but even if this doesn't exist in you, your genes can still influence your LDL (bad) levels. 
other influences: alcohol level, age and sex.

to summarise: eating well + exercising + staying relaxed = longevity and lower cholesterol!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Singing Sue's Cancer Battle

“I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days or great days.” Lance Armstrong

I think all of us at some stage in our lives have been affected by cancer, being a survivor or having lost loved ones. I know my family has experienced tragedy at the hands of this disease and I was recently reunited with an 'old friend' (hee hee - we are both heading for the naughty 40's) via facebook, who I discovered had been battling with breast cancer.

Sue and I were firstly next door neighbours and best friends, then by marriage she became my cousin-in-law (I probably made that up) then over the years we lost touch and have recently caught up via the social media network.  It was great to reconnect with her, to find out she now has twin boys and newly married to boot - and also to find out her hard struggle with the disease.

Anybody who knows Sue, instantly loves her, she is just so bloody funny and has an amazing zest for life. She is now thankfully on the other side of the battle and definitely enjoys life to the fullest.

To raise awareness, Sue was interviewed by the local paper in the UK, and has given me the thumbs up to post her story here. She is truly inspiration and I am very proud to know her. Click here to read the full interview.

For more information on Breast Cancer in the UK visit breakthrough.org.uk, in Canada www.cbcf.org and in the USA www.nationalbreastcancer.org

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Free Fabulous Food!!

Do you live in the downtown core of Toronto?
Do you like free food? 
Do you need some help getting the nutritional balance in your diet?

Well Ta-Dah!! here is the solution. Kyle Byron Nutrition has partnered up with a Red Seal chef to provide deliveries to your home.

If you would like to have 2 meals delivered to your home for 2 days - so yes 4 meals in total (I can see your mouth watering already) then simply leave me a comment telling me why you think you should win this prize.

Kyle will pick the winner from the comments on Sunday 20th June.

To view the menu and for more information about Kyles meal delivery service, click after the break.

image www.laughingdogfarm.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hierarchy Of Fat Loss

I am posting this link because I think that everybody who exercises or is interesting in starting an exercise program MUST READ IT.

Alwyn Cosgrove is a sort Demigod to me and many others who incorporate resistance and metabolic training into their workouts.  After many years of experience training the average Joe Bloggs to top athletes, Alwyn has seen proven results in fat loss exercise programs and has detailed this in his brilliant article.

For those of you who are new to exercise and want to get started, please DO NOT start a running program and think this is how you are going to see quick results.  Instead of getting injured and seeing no improvement in your fat loss - read this article and then adopt the following hierarchy as the way you must always workout. Then and only then will you see the results you want in your body.

Alywns 5 Factors For Fat Loss Training:
1. Metabolic Resistance Training:  3 of my favourite words and my favourite way to exercise. I love it. And so does everybody else who I introduce this to.  This is how AC describes this type of workout:
"Our goal is to work every muscle group hard, frequently, and with an intensity that creates a massive “metabolic disturbance” or “afterburn” that leaves the metabolism elevated for several hours post-workout."

2. High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training: Otherwise known to many of us as Hiits (High Intensity Interval Training)  why go for a 1 hour low intensity run, when  you can do a Hiit workout in 20 mins!   AC  "It burns more calories than steady state and elevates metabolism significantly more than other forms of cardio. The downside is that it flat-out sucks to do it!"
3. High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training: "essentially a lower intensity interval method where we use aerobic intervals."
4. Steady State High Intensity Aerobic Training: "Tool number four is just hard cardio work. This time we’re burning calories — we aren’t working hard enough to increase EPOC significantly or to do anything beyond the session itself. But calories do count. Burning another 300 or so calories per day will add up."
5. Steady State Low Intensity Aerobic Training: "There isn’t very much research showing that low intensity aerobic training actually results in very much additional fat loss, but you’re going to have to really work to convince me that moving more is going to hurt you when you’re in fat attack mode."

He then goes on to detail how to make this work within your time frame so that you get the BEST RESULTS for fat loss.

Enjoy this read, you won't regret it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Playground Workouts

A few of the Mums from my sons school have been asking me how they can workout in the summer, when going to the gym will be difficult.  So myself and fitness goddess Jane, took the ladies through a workout which they can do anywhere.  I wanted to give them enough information that they feel they can do a quick session at home, in the hotel or on holiday.

We hung out in the playground after school, with all the kids too.  Jane and I did a general conditioning class, based on a circuit training format.  The only props we brought along were battling ropes and a resistance band for chin-ups, all the other exercises were using done using body-weight.

We had so much fun, the kids even joined in occasionally.  And it was really cool to see these women working their butts off - I think they surprised themselves at how hard they could work and how empowering some of the exercises were.

The workout ended with the kids doing a tug-of-war and the parents doing a tabata session.

Click here for copy of the workout. Print it out and use it whenever you know you can't make it to the gym.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Are you upset? There might be a movie for you!

Cheaper than therapy.

Can't get over your X?
Plot - guy moves away to make it big and his GF back home disses him.
Turnaround - guy keeps getting out there and eventually gets Heather Graham
Moral - be yourself but still try some new things. Dance lessons come in handy.
You will feel - super confident

You feel unfulfilled?
Dirty Dancing
Plot - loser girl becomes the star and gets a cool BF
Turnaround - girl is in the right place at the right time. Free dance lessons with Patrick.
Moral - take a risk when you've got an expert helping you. Also don't put baby in the corner.
You will feel - like trying something outrageous

You feel defeated?
Rocky III
Plot - boxer makes a comeback
Turnaround - admits his fears and reinvents himself thanks to his wife and old rival Apollo Creed
Moral - A man can change. once again dancing is key.
You will feel - compelled to exercise

You've always got something to prove?
Top Gun
Plot - cocky pilot digs a hole for himself but then saves the day and gets the girl
Turnaround - forgives himself for killing his best friend AND for not being as good as his dad!
Moral - Don't worry about your family's rep. Being cocky isn't the answer (unless it's in a bar). Also stay fit in case a volleyball game breaks out.
You will feel - like asking out the next hot person you see

You hate everyone?
Remember the Titans
Plot - forced integrated football team in the 60's overcomes racism to win it all
Turnaround - a bit of success and locker-room speeches gels the team
Moral - don't judge a book by its cover. Put your best attributes on offense and defence. Blitz all night!
You will feel - like having a barbeque with the neighbours

The world is against you?
The Pursuit of Happiness
Plot - other than getting an internship, the world craps all over this guy
Turnaround - no turnaround. Day after day this guy works his ass off and nothing goes right, until the end of course.
Moral - work your ass off every day for a year and the world will bend to your will.
You will feel - sad remembering all the shit you've been through but then motivated

You are too cocky?
Terry or the 1980's original
Plot - true story of 22 year old Terry Fox who dies while trying to cure cancer by running across Canada with one leg and a malfunctioning prosthetic.
Turnaround - He inspires over $500 million in donations
Moral - one person can make a difference.
You will feel - like you've done very little with your life, but there's still time

You don't fit in and no one loves you?
Million Dollar Baby
Plot - white trash girl has a dream to be a fighter despite zero support from anyone and abuse from her family
Turnaround - crotchety boxing coach hesitant to see another fighter get hurt, takes her on as a student
Moral - Do what you love and you'll find love (of yourself, for yourself and for hitting people). Also protect yourself at all times.
You will feel - like joining a new gym and maybe forgiving someone.

Check back next week for an amazing giveaway from Kyle Byron Nutrition that will get your taste-buds tingling!

Kyle Byron

BSc Human Nutrition (Hons.)
Certified Personal Trainer
BA (Hons.)
Expertise and support make results easy

image http://c.photoshelter.com

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Women are the future - so invest in them!

And that comes straight from the UN top dog Ban ki-Moon.  The Secretary General thinks that investing our money in the health and welfare of women and children is imperative for our futures. He is calling on all governments to make this happen by 2015.

What does this mean? Relatively simple practices and technologies save lives, he said. Blood tests, consultation with a doctor and qualified help at the birth, basic antibiotics, blood transfusions and a safe operating room can almost eliminate the risk of death.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will spend $1.5 billion over five years to support maternal and child health projects such as family planning, nutrition and health care for pregnant women, newborns and children in India, Ethiopia and other countries. 

The topic will also be discussed at the forthcoming G8 Summit, where Prime Minister Harper has said there will be a focus on global maternal and reproductive health.

read here for the full article

image http://spokanepublishing.files.wordpress.com

Friday, June 4, 2010

Do Do Do The Dukan Diet

or maybe don't do it!!
You need to decide for yourself.  Again as usual I give a big sigh and think, not another fad diet, why don't people just eat healthy, real food - I could start promoting Michael Pollen again right now! 

The Dukan Diet seems to be taking over as the next big thing since Atkins. As with most new diets this too has a celebrity following, namley J-Lo and Gisele Bundchen. The diet is broken down into 4 stages;

THE ATTACK PHASE: An initial attack phase led by the "pure protein diet" that creates a stunning kick-start, almost as quickly as fasting or powdered protein diets but without their drawbacks.

THE CRUISE PHASE: A cruise phase led by an "alternating protein" diet, which allows you to reach your chosen weight non-stop in one go. 

THE CONSOLIDATION PHASE: A consolidation phase when the weight you have achieved is consolidated, a phase designed to prevent the rebound effect that occurs after any rapid weight-loss. This is a period of high vulnerability when the body has a tendency to very easily regain those lost pounds. It has a very precise time-scale: 5 days for every pound lost.

THE STABILIZATION PHASE: inally, and most importantly, permanent stabilization based on a simple, safety measure, that is easy to follow but indispensable if the weight loss is to be maintained: the Dukan Diet has to be followed one set day per week for the rest of your life. This rule is indeed strict and non-negotiable, but it is sufficiently specific and effective that it can be adhered to over such a long period of time.

My fellow fitness blogger over at Healthy Habits has written more on the subject if you are interested.

Has anybody tried this diet yet? Is anybody interested in trying it and telling me the results?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Say NO To Fake Meat!

A couple of my friends were making homemade sausages today - totally from scratch, mincing their own meat and making their own links. It sounds complicated and I am interested to see the results, especially as I tend to avoid sausages.  I can't stand not knowing what goes into them, especially when I come across a strange white lumpy bit that I fear might be testicle or worse!!

I then came across an interesting article directly linking (no pun intended) processed meats to increased risk of heart attacks and diabetes.  When researchers from Harvard checked out the nutrients in red meats and processed meats, they had similar saturated fat and cholesterol levels, but processed meats had on average 50% more nitrate preservatives.  Nitrates being shown to increase artery clogging and reduce glucose tolerance, both risks for these diseases.

I think I will stick to my no eating sausage and crap meat policy - and wait patiently for my sample of home-made variety. (hopefully my friends will read this blog)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Big Red

I bought a birthday card for a friend recently with the following quote from Roseanne Barr:
"Women complain about PMS, but I think of it as the ony time of the month when I can be myself".
(Not sure my husband would agree with that!!)

There are so many birth control methods out there at the moment. I personally don't like using them, I hated the effects of the synthetic hormones  - my body didn't feel natural.  One of the side effects of my old contraception was my lack of periods, I basically missed my periods for a year or two. This was nice for the practical side of life, but what was that doing to my body? My doctor reassured me this was ok, but I worried about things like osteoporsis, fertility issues and the general problems associated with having too many extra hormones swimming around inside of me.

I read recently in the Healthy Bitch Daily all about this subject and I find it interesting that some women may actually chose their birth control purely based on the premise they will lose their monthly cycle.

Mother nature now rules in my household!!

image from www.tummytrouble.co.uk

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Take The Tummy Test

Do you avoid spicy foods before bedtime to fight off nightmares? Do you chew gum to help you digest food? What about your 'number 2's - should you go everyday?

There are so many old wives tales out there its hard to know what's true anymore - check out this cool quiz from Womens Health magazine to see if you are a tummy trooper or maybe you need a gut-check-up!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Nutritional Seminar

Need a kick-start with your healthy eating? I seem to have fallen off the good eating wagon, but am starting in ernest today to be good again! I will be at this seminar to see if Kyle can motivate me to stay on track. Hope to see you there.

Hey Everyone,

I'm running a an info-packed nutrition seminar.

Next Sunday June 6th, 11 am, at Bang Fitness

It's everything you need to know to get started:
- What to eat
- When
- How much
- The key to health, energy, and weight loss
- other stuff like eating on the run
- you receive handouts of the info

This would cost you $100-$200 in session but our seminar is
ONLY $75

We're trying to make nutrition as accessible as possible to the members. This is the most economical way to provide this information.

Existing packaged clients can come for free.

Hope to see you there!
Kyle Byron

BSc Human Nutrition (Hons.)
Certified Personal Trainer
BA (Hons.)
Expertise and support make results easy

Search for Kyle Byron Nutrition on Facebook - "like" it for free info!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dirty Foods

check out this article if you want to know the 10  dirtiest foods you may be eating?

Friday, May 28, 2010

15 Seconds Of Tabata Fame!!

Click here to see the video segment of Jane and I on Global TV last night.
Bear in mind I sweat like a man - totally gross I know! I possess a healthy hydration system :)
It was so much fun to do, and hopefully it will highlight a few of the benefits of incorporating metabolic training into your resistance training schedule.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sweat and Grunting on Global TV

My fellow fitness colleague Jane Clapp from Urbanfitt, invited me to her studio last week to take part in a Tabata style class.  Along with 10 or so other victims clients we embarked on a crazy workout that left all of us ready to hit the deck in a puddle of sweat.  It was so much fun, but bloody hard work.

The reason for my invite was because Jane was being interviewed by Global TV Health Watch for a segment on Tabata and how it can be incorporated into your workout.

As a follow up to the workout, Global came to my house yesterday to interview myself with the kids, to demonstrate how I, as a busy parent, can manage to juggle raising the kids, working from home, doing my blog and still fit in workouts.

It was lots of fun, my kids who were nervous at first really loved the idea of being on camera, my oldest boy now thinks he is famous!!

This will be aired tonight on Global News around 6.15 - 6.45pm.  Check it out and if you miss it I will post the online version tomorrow.  I don't have cable unfortunately, so I won't see it until the following day either!!

I will be around Dewson School Friday at 4pm if anybody wants autographs :)  (snigger snigger!)

Thanks Jane for the invite - you rock!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jamie Oliver

I love Jamie Oliver, its not because he is British and convincing the rest of the world that we do eat good food in the UK. I love him because of his values and his genuine concerns for the welfare of us all, kids especially.  I have most of his cookbooks and refer to them often.  And guess what if you have an iPhone, he has a great new app for 20 Minute Meals .

Check it out, looks great!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Print a day

A non-fitness related post today, but still relevant to me as a graphic designer. After celebrating both my boys birthdays this last week, I should look to start writing up the thank you cards.  Maybe I will check out some of the free stationery on this website. The artist has some great designs to download and print, plus for those of you who are into Photoshop there are some great brush designs to download, I love this one.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Parkour with some crazy milfs and one filf

written by Jane Clapp of Urbanfitt

Last night, despite being totally exhausted and having to start work at 7am today and finish tonight at 8:30 while I should have been getting some beauty sleep for a big media interview tonight, I joined some awesome tough and fun peeps for my first parkour class at The Monkey Vault.
 What is Parkour? I didn't know exactly until last night. This is taken from Wikipedia:
 "In September 2009, American Parkour began a community effort to define parkour. They invited the entire community to post their personal definition of parkour. It was edited into the final version by a committee of American Parkour employees and people outside of American Parkour to ensure that it was truly a community effort. Their result:

Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment.
 * Parkour requires... consistent, disciplined training with an emphasis on functional strength, physical conditioning, balance, creativity, fluidity, control, precision, spatial awareness, and looking beyond the traditional use of objects.
* Parkour movements typically include... running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, balancing, and quadrupedal movement. Movements from other physical disciplines are often incorporated, but acrobatics or tricking alone do not constitute parkour.
* Parkour training focuses on... safety, longevity, personal responsibility, and self-improvement. It discourages reckless behavior, showing off, and dangerous stunts.
* Parkour practitioners value... community, humility, positive collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and the importance of play in human life, while demonstrating respect for all people, places, and spaces.
 —American Parkour Community Definition"

 First of all just let me say, I'm a big believer in finding one's MOJO however possible. If you read the description of what Monkey Vault does, it's right up the MOJO mastering alley.
 "This centre is a place for movement. Parkour, Art Du Deplacement, Freerunning, Street Acrobatics, whatever you want to call what you do, the base of each remains the same. Each requires discipline, each requires proper training. That's why this place exists. That's why the people inside it train so passionately. This place was created to inspire others to reach newer and higher levels, push people past their previous boundaries, and allow them to prove to themselves what they are made of. We all have monkeys inside us, but as we grow older this feeling, this passion for movement dies away. It shouldn`t. Come play with us, let us help you revive it."

I was freaked out as Amanda can attest to. I'm like "I don't want to break a limb. I have to be all good for tomorrow."

Last night I went to bed bruised, elated and a little tipsy after a glass of vino with the parkour mamas. We jumped, we flipped, we crawled down stairs face first and we did things we never thought we could. We LOVED it.

Here are some samples of what we did. Check it out!

We ran right into hard objects and jumped over them. This is me.

We threw our bodies through metal ladders feet first. Here's Amanda and Ali mastering this.
We scaled walls. Here's Randy, Amanda and Ali.
We finished with an obstacle course and climbed railings and jumped into a pile of foam. Here's me and Mandy doing it.
Here's a great picture of Randy mid air.

Then we ended the night with chuckles and snacks and all agree it was hard to sleep last night after all that good clean fun. Thanks Dan. You really showed us all a good time.

Yay for Parkour!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Underground Yoga

Everything is going underground here in Toronto, it seems to be the cool new thing to not know where you will be eating until an hour before you leave the house, armed only with a password and a savage hunger.  Well it seems now that the yoga community have joined this mysterious society in the form of Yoga Happenings.

Using social media systems like Twitter and Facebook, yogis from around the city will find out just one or 2 hours in advance where the yoga class will be held.  Its aim is to target all levels from novice to advanced, hoping encourage yoga enthusiasts to lose ties with their regular instructors, schedule and venue, to try something new.

One of the creators is JP from Octopus Garden Yoga, who I have practised with on numerous occasions.  I think the idea of this society is exciting, but not sure if being spontaneous and being a yogi really work - I can imagine it being a little stressful, but hope I am proved wrong

image from dentisttx.com.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How To Keep Kids Active.

My son's are both celebrating their birthdays this week, the oldest will be 7 and the youngest 3.

For the 7 year olds party, he decided that he wanted a soccer and hockey theme. We all went to the local park and 12 kids played both sports stopping only for pizza and cake.  It was great to see the passion and excitement they all got from playing sports and it made me think how easy it really is to keep your kids active, providing you keep things light-hearted and interesting.

Here are two great articles giving ideas of how to keep kids moving, revisiting some of your old playground games, involving yourself in their activities and making things FUN!!!

10 ways to de-sissify your kids.
Revisit the Playground by Nick Grantham (who happens to be one of the best strength coaches in the UK) 

Recently The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) and ParticipACTION released new guidelines for the amount of exercise kids need each day, 90 minutes per day - Active Healthy Kids Canada suggested only 12 per cent of young Canadians actually meet the current recommendation.

image from soggyfruit.files.wordpress.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

National Bike To Work Week

Now that the good weather is upon us, its a great chance to pump up your tyres for Bike To Work Week.  We are lucky here in Toronto that there are some bike lanes (not enough though!) that make commuting through the city not to challenging.  I have a bike seat attached to mine, so I can sling my 3 year old on board and we cycle all over the place.

I have tried to get my husband to cycle to his place of work, but he comes up with so many reasons why he can't or won't, probably similar to the ones here - where you will also find answers to those poor excuses.

here is a map of Toronto's cycle paths and a link to the facebook page.

So saddle up and crank up that cadence.

Monday, May 17, 2010

short sport skirts

I love this product, my friend at the gym wears one of these skirts and they look so stylish, yet are so practical.  The Canadian Outlet, currently has a 50% sale on, so check it out for some great bargains.

The philosophy of the the company is that fitness can be fashionable, flattering and most of all functional.  The women who created the product are busy mothers, who also run marathons.  They claim these skirts are great for  5k, marathon, ultra-marathon or ironman triathlon or our own everyday "ironmom" triathlon: run, school & soccer. 

The skirts are made with a special sweat-wicking fabrics, our runner tested, high performance running skirts are very comfortable.  Unlike shorts, there is nothing to bunch between the legs.  These skirts are made without any interior seams that could cause rubbing and chaffing of your unmentionables (ouch!).  The running skirt and attached brief stays put in all the right places...the skirt doesn't flip up and the briefs don't ride up (no, your bum doesn't show).   The athletic skirt is made with compression shorts with longer inseams that stay put and don't ride up when you workout.

Nobody said you couldn't look good while you exercised :)
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