Sunday, February 28, 2010

FAT is not a swear word!!

(image from

It always makes me laugh how people are scared to say the word 'FAT' in case they may offend somebody.  Regardless of whether it is offensive or not, fat exists and in some cases we have maybe a little more of it than we really want!

I personally think its all about putting things into perspective, there is no ideal body shape or size, we are all unique, but knowing whether you are considered to be in the healthy fat range I think is important.

There are a number of ways of measuring your bodyfat, here are a few sites to help you out:

Body Fat Calculator calculates your body fat % using calipers or tape measure.
BMI Calculator which is a measurement of body fat against your height and weight.
Here's one thats new to me, the US Navy Circumference method.

here is a guide to your ideal %

A living persons body fat % cannot be exactly determined, but there are other techniques which can be used to estimate it accurately which include near-infrared interactance, dual energy x-ray absorptiomerty and expansions!!! 

Friday, February 26, 2010

The weeks round-up: would you like roast tarantulas with that?

(image from

How has your week been? I have been pretty busy juggling my graphic design work, looking after the kids and working-out, of course.  But it hasn't stopped me collecting a few gems for you to enjoy, so put the kettle on, grab a cuppa and read on.......

The tarantula header-line is not a joke, enjoy the World's most outrageous guest requests from hotels.

I have had some nice emails this week from people telling me how this blog is inspiring them to lead more healthier, active lives.  That was one of the main purposes of this blog, so that makes me happy!! Another inspiration at the moment must be the Olympics!! I just love the energy and excitement.  One of my readers, Cheryl found this link to be an inspiration for her and I can see why.

But it appears that not everybody is impressed with the Olympics!!  Moving on from speed sports on ice, how about speed-plating-dating?  is this just another fitness trend I wonder?  Meanwhile, the American College of Sports Medicine has released its survey of the Predicted 2010 Fitness Trends.

A fan of the Biggest Loser? Looks like Jillian Michaels has found herself in a spot of trouble.

And finally some food for thought - an interesting article about the diet from the rationing years of WW2 - it seems some basics principles from that time should still hold true today.

Right off to make my boys some good old-fashioned rice pud for dinner! Have a great weekend 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tabata ideas

(image from

I found out this week, by sneakily reading a friends facebook page, Gymboss (the wee little gadget that I just LOVE) has its own iPhone app.  My hubby has downloaded it for his gym sessions. I still think the small clip-on version is better than taking your iPhone to the gym, but its somewhere to start.

There are loads of ways to use the Gymboss, but I thought I might post some Tabata ideas to help you along the way. Remember that Tabata is about flat-out rock-hard work. You may not be able to finish all 8 rounds - AND you should try to perform as many reps as possible in the 20 secs work set. And yes making funny grunting noises is permitted!

Bodyweight squats  although when I do the squats rather than walk around for 10 seconds, I hold the squat in the down position, your legs will just burn.
Sprints  I forgot just how hard it is to sprint - it seemed so easy when I was at school!
Try these exercises too, burpees, squat jumps, lunge jumps, dumbbell or kettlebell swings, exercise bike (for some reason this one just kills me! - I keep the cadence about 120 rpm with high resistance)

My friend Jane over at has a great article on Tabata thats worth checking out too! And I believe is bringing Tabata to Toronto! I might just head over and try one of those classes!

Whats your favourite Tabata exercise?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Did you know?

this photo is from the purely brilliant book Bent Objects by Terry Border. 
This photo is entitled 'Banana Chainsaw Massacre'.
Check out Bent Objects here.

Sweaty Bananas -  A banana has high potassium content, so peeling one is a quick and effective solution to that nagging stitch.  It will also help replace losses through sweat and help you with fluid absorption.  Packed to the hilt with energizing carbs - each banana has approx 400 mg of potassium and 29g of carbs!

And I am sure this won't help you fight the sweat, but there is nothing really as yummy as a good banana bread. Its just a shame I won't be eating any with you, giving up sweet stuff for Lent is a pain!

I really like this recipe from Whole Foods.

(nutrition info from Womens Health)

Go Judy!! Go Judy!!!

(image from

Judy is now into week 5 of her personal challenge to lose the last of her baby weight and regain a feeling a confidence in her appearance.
I met with Judy on Tuesday morning to go through her new workout  (which is pretty intense) and to do measurements with the tape measure, scales and calipers.  She has had a rough couple of weeks personally, but despite this has made huge leaps forward, here are her numbers;

tape measure -  a total loss of 10.5cm.  6 cm of which were from her waist.  I think this is awesome, I am really impressed with this. She has totally lost her muffin top and I could barely pinch her stomach to do the skin fold test.

calipers - I wish we had done this at the beginning of the process as I know there will have been a huge drop in body fat.  Her numbers yesterday stood at 21.86%!! again really impressive.

weight - to date Judy has lost 6.5 lbs.  She really wants to see big numbers on the scales, where I am more impressed with the previous numbers.

read below to hear what Judy has to say.

Hi Amanda,
Just an update on how things are going.  Everything was going well up untill the first week in February when a very close friend of mine passed away.  Things went down hill.  My eating habits changed as I had little or no appetite.  Sleep.  What sleep? My workouts suffered drastically since I had no energy in me. All in all I felt really crappy. Things definately slowed down.
So as of yesterday I'm back on track.  I felt pain like I had just started excersing all over again.  But I like that pain because it makes me feel like I've worked my muscles.  However, something that I would really like to work on is this embarressing problem I have with peeing myself whenever I do certain excersies.  Sounds gross!  Ever since I had my two children, doing things like jumping jacks or skipping rope would leave me soaking wet.  You could bet I was always wearing black to the gym which made it less noticable and this way I could stay for the rest of my workout.  Do other people have this problem and is there a way to fix this?
I'm kind of down on myself because I haven't reached my final goal yet like I wanted to by this point.  But I'm still making progress.  I know I've lost inches and my clothes are fitting better and better.  But I think to help speed things up, I have to get my daughter off my boob that she still wants every night.  I heard that my body will retain body fat inorder to produce the milk that's in demand.
I'm going to do this!!!!! 

Its interesting that she talks about peeing during particular exercises.  Its a common problem for women after child-birth.  I have read loads of articles of the subject and the results are always different.  Kegels definitely help the problem, but it some cases it appears that stress incontinence is something that can only be fixed by surgery, depending on the severity of the problem.  Has anybody else any thoughts on this?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Short on time

Today I literally had 20 minutes to workout and I still need to adapt my workout for my broken toe. This is the workout I came up with and I loved it!!! Why not try it and let me know what you think.

After a 5 minute bodyweight warm-up, I went to the smith machine where I basically did 10 x 10 squats with some fun exercises inbetween with no rest, here's how it looked:

10 squats (145lbs)
2 mins straight-arm plank
10 squats
1:30 mins side-plank right side
10 squats
1:30 mins side-plank left side
10 squats
8 chin-ups on Smith machine
10 squats
10 squats
35 tricep dips on bench
10 squats
2 mins straight-arm plank
10 squats
8 chin-ups on Smith machine
10 squats
25 incline push-ups with feet on bench
10 squats
1:30 mins cross-body mountain climbers

then I collapsed on the floor in a heap - it was good!!

now I know there are going to be people (or purists) out there who are shouting at me to get off the smith machine and I totally get their argument.  The natural movement of a squat is not linear, it has up and down movements as well as forward and back, the smith machine inhibits this somewhat. BUT at my gym there is no squat rack and I had a fun, effective workout regardless. If you are interested read this discussion group for more info on the problems with smith machines.

100 push-ups

I recall watching an episode of Mad Men, where Don Draper was doing his daily 100 push-ups before he hit the hay. I loved it, I seem to remember myself doing something similar with sit-ups as a teenager.  Then I remembered an email my brother sent to me, challenging me to see if I could do 100 push ups,  I started the challenge, but I think he forgot to commence!!

So, how many push ups can you do?  Do you want to take up the challenge to do 100 push ups? This program here takes you through a progressive program over 6 weeks.  Let me know how you get on!!

And there is even an iPhone app for it!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Where is my 6 pack?

And I am not talking about your beer! I think wanting a set of 6 pack abs is a dream for most people. Craig Ballantyne of Turbulence Training has just posted what he considers to be the 7 top problems we have for not having that awesome 6 pack.

He covers the following: belly fat covering your abs, lower belly pooch, no lower abs, struggling to get sexy abs, unable to keep a tight tummy, having no obliques and finally you just don't have abs!

click here to see the full article

Things I love: AND I REALLY LOVE THIS!!!

I am a curry fiend.  It is simply my most favourite food - EVER!  I spent a few months in India eating the delicious food there and growing up in the UK makes it pretty impossible for me to not like a good Rogan Josh!

Over time I have become a bit of a curry snob and decided that if I was going to eat curry then I would just make my own.  Anybody who has ever done this knows that it is a laborious job, which is definitely worth all the effort, but not many people have the time or inclination to undertake the task.

BUT NOW YOU DON'T HAVE TO!! Shopping in my local supermarket last week I found this amazing new product called Kitchen Guru.  The creators of this product have come up with an brilliant idea.  Each package contains all the pre-measured, sealed herbs and spices you need to re-create an authentic Indian dish.

You then simply add all the other additional ingredients, cook for an hour and HEY PRESTO! you have a healthy, nutritious and great tasting curry. All with a prep time of approx. 10 mins.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Something for the weekend Sir?

I wonder did that expression really start in a barbers shop? Still it makes me chuckle.

Here are a few interesting snippets for you to enjoy!!

Lack of sleep really does make us fat!

Check out these fun apps for your iPhone. (I wish I had one!!)

Ever hang out with people who claim to have food allergies, but have never been tested? Its apparently quite common for people to exaggerate their food intolerances and may be causing their bodies more harm than good.

Remember Brian Jacks from Superstars?  Then you will  love this video from the 70's. I feel like we have come full-circle with our exercises and when you see these guys pumping out the dips and squat thrusts you will see why. Remember that Brian Jacks was an Olympian, but that pretty much was forgotten because he was so famous from this show.

I wonder if Brian Jacks would be able to do Flying Squirrel push-ups?  (I tried them yesterday to show off to the kids and ended up re-breaking my nearly healed toe!!)

Calm in a can: Red Bull meet Slow Cow.  (I'll stick with beer thanks!)

When I was a kid my Mam bought me a blood orange and it freaked me out!  I thought she had killed the orange and was making me eat it raw!  (yes I know thats crazy!)

I do these in the gym and they add an extra kick to your push-up!

Pistol Squats - are pretty intense at the best of time, you won't believe what this guy is doing. DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME :)


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Urban Warrior Workshops

Have you ever wanted to workout in one of those beautiful boutique style gyms? Where you get exclusive attention from highly motivated professionals, totally committed to fitness as a career?  Well such a gym exists, right here in Toronto, Urbanfitt Studio, which is run by the exercise guru Jane Clapp. Jane works to reduce stress, awaken dormant muscles, increase energy, and generally make the body smarter. 

Urbanfitt have created an amazing program, Urban Warrior Workshops.  This is where personal training meets group classes.  All classes are kept very small, so everybody gets very personal attention.  If you can't afford personal training every week, and are looking for a positive, supportive environment to tackle your fitness - then this could be the perfect class for you! see details below:

'Failure' and How to Cope

My broken toe is causing me a bit of frustration.  I can't do my normal workout and watching my training partners have great workout sessions is driving me nuts.  Despite this I made adaptations and had a great workout today, but seriously I am having to play mind-games with myself to stay motivated.  See I am only human too.  Todays article is from Kyle Byron, who is going through something similar himself and shares with you some inspirational thoughts.  Over to you Kyle.........

We've all heard that there is no such thing as failure, only gaining experience. You know...'you learn from your mistakes' or 'that's why pencils have erasers'.

Results-oriented people (most of my clients and myself) don't get a lot of solace from these philosophies.

I can list several recent experiences where I've '
lost'.  Like my last tournament, whilst  training for it I got injured, then afterwards I had some major binge episodes. Now I've got a diagnosis of adrenal fatigue and I'm unmotivated.

I tell you these things because I want you to know I can relate to you and your struggles. I want to show you how much I value coaching.

I went to my coaches. Here are some quotes from them:

"It's really easy to tell a client to stay positive, but you can't do it yourself!"

"Kb you are too hard on yourself"

"Be compassionate with yourself, and you can reconcile all beings in the world.”

"We often apply different rules to ourselves."

(I also watched Rocky III and Rocky VI for inspiration)

So my goal is to 
maintain a positive perspective. An old goal, but good to revisit it. It will improve my training and nutrition goals.

My injury is going away fast due to 100% compliance to my rehab. My eating already returned to normal as my coach predicted. And in a few weeks, I'll be back up to setting personal bests and I'll feel great again.

One last quote I'll leave you with. 

"You have to change something to progress. Change causes stress. Stress causes adaptation."

The stress part...that's what coaches are for (to make it and help you deal with it).

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

Become a fan of Kyle Byron Nutrition on Facebook - free info!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Did you know?

Pain Reducing Avocados:  A cholesterol lowering monounsaturated fat food that helps keep your body strong and pain free.  University of Buffalo researchers found that competitive women runners who ate less than 20% fat were more likely to suffer injuries than those who consumed at least 31%. Extreme low-fat diets are known to weaken muscles and joints.

Try this Avocado Dip recipe which I found on, where you will find loads of yummy dishes.

Avocado Dip recipe
1 large avocado
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped.
1 green chili, chopped.
2 ½ oz of unflavored fromage frais.
3 tablespoons of fresh coriander leaves.
1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
½ teaspoon of salt.
¼ teaspoon of ground cumin.

Slice avocado into two lengthways and remove the stone. Scoop out the flesh and put into a food processor with all other ingredients except the cumin. Blend well.

Move the dip into to its serving dish and sprinkle the cumin over top.

(Photo from
info sourced from Women's Health Journal

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pancake Tuesday

Probably most of my British readers will relate to the tradition of Pankcake (Shrove) Tuesday.  Every year on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, you will find most households tossing up pancakes in the air, trying to make them land back in the frying pan, rather than on the floor or in their hair.

Its loads of fun and I didn't want to stop the tradition just because I wasn't living in the UK anymore. I especially love doing it with the kids.  The pancakes tend to be more like crepes, rather than the North American variety and are served with lemon and sugar (and sometimes golden syrup - yummy)

What is Shrove Tuesday?
Well the word ‘Shrove' comes from the old English word ‘shrive' which means to confess ones sins. The tradition of Shrove Tuesday began when Christians had to clear out their pantry before Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent. Today many people give up just one thing for Lent, however hundreds of years ago all meats, eggs, milk and other rich foods were given up for 40 days to remember when Jesus went into the desert and fasted  for 40 days and 40 nights. The idea was that instead of throwing out the fats and eggs; they should be used to make pancakes as a final feast before the fasting period began.

Each year I always give up something for Lent (its nearly always chocolate).  And I do this for 2 reasons;

  1. its a test of my will power and determination, 40 days seems like a long time.
  2. My Mam always buys me a chocolate Galaxy Ripple Easter Egg as a reward!! :)
This year I am giving up sweet stuff, and I have categorised this as, chocolate, biscuits (cookies) and cakes!! Wish me luck.  Are you giving up anything this year? Why not try, we can do the challenge together!!

What it means in modern times?
Most people I know, regardless or not of religion celebrate Pancake Tuesday.  It is really just another fun day that everybody seems to enjoy.  There are even pancake races!! Apparently this tradition is thought to have began in Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1445 when a woman was making pancakes and she forgot the time. Suddenly she heard the church bells ringing to signal the start of the service and in her haste she ran out of the house and to the church still holding the frying pan with the pancake inside.  Its really fun to see all the crazy stories of people running up and down their local villages with a frying pan, tossing pancakes like it is a very normal thing to do! 

If you want to try this tradition tonight, see recipe after the jump.

(image from

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekly roundup

There has been a lot of Winter Games watching at my house this weekend.  The athletes are so inspiring and watching them has me pumped about working out.

Here are a few interesting links I found this week:

Did you have a nice valentine's day?  Keep the love on fire:  couples who play together, stay together.

Yet another reason to exercise.

But having trouble falling in love with a workout?  Here's how.

And after that workout, treat yourself to one of these.

Twenty things you didn't know about digestion.

Strange but true health tips.

Tip of the week: avoid boredom.

I'm a housewife - can I get lean while I clean?

Ladies, get your coats on.  We're going to the pub...

...and when we're older, we can head to the playground.

(image from BC Living Games Guide)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

(image from

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gymboss Winner!

Congratulations to Michele who has won herself a cute pink Gymboss!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Do you want ice cream with that?

brown bread ice-cream. 
Don't turn your nose up at it until you have tried it! 
(plus it has booze in it)

I had a terrible workout at the gym today, my broken toe is making it so difficult to really get into my stride, plus I had a few drinks and a late night yesterday, definitely not on top form.  Eventually my workout ended up as a 10 min nap in the sauna!!

Still moving on, looking forward to the weekend. Its Family Day here in Ontario, so a long weekend for the family, plus of course its Valentines Day, so definitely time to make room for some chocolate treats!! Which got me thinking that one of the easiest deserts I have made is homemade ice cream, and you don't even need an ice-cream maker. It would be a wonderful compliment to a chocolate desert.

Years ago when I was visiting a small pub near Loch Lomond, Scotland, I was served some bread bread ice cream, it was thoroughly delicious, even though it sounds strange.  Here is the basic recipe for making vanilla ice cream with a few alternative flavours to try. Click after the jump for full recipe.

Kyle Bryon Nutrition - Post Training Immune System

Kyle is producing a series of videos, which will soon be on, but for the moment you can access them via his facebook fan page.

Today's video is on Post Training Immune System - click here to view.

There are still some spaces available for Kyles Group Weight Loss 10 week program, meeting on a Wed night at 7pm-8pm@ 366 Adelaide West, Suite 403, Toronto.

It's $330 plus gst - that's like 70% off the 1 on 1 session cost for the same info and more support!

Each week we cover a science based weight loss topic, measure up, and talk about the barriers to eating healthy, in an open and supportive environment.

It will likely be all female. age range late twenty to 40s or 50s.

If you are interested or have any questions, please let me know.

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

** Don't forget to enter my competition to win a Gymboss - ends at midnight today**

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Did You Know?

Brainiac Eggheads: Don't skip the yolk. One egg supplies 215 mg of cholesterol, which is under the 300 mg recommended limit. Plus, the yolk is a good source of iron, its loaded with lecithin, which is critical for brain power!

click here to see how to cook the perfect hard boiled egg.

*****Don't forget to enter to win a Gymboss!  Contest ends tomorrow at midnight*****

info sourced from Women's Health Journal

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I *heart* Tabata!!!

My ideal type of workout goes something like this: a 5 min warm-up; followed by supersets of functional exercises with weights; mixed up with tabata, sprints and/or countdowns with burpees; some chin-ups; and finally runs up and down the four flights of stairs at my local gym.

Now if you asked me what part I like best, I'd have to say tabata.  I just love how it hurts like hell, but only lasts four minutes.  My favourite exercises to do tabata-style are squat push/press, dumbbell swings or cycling on a stationary bike.  It's a really challenging workout so the last thing you want to do - or even can do - is try to keep time.  This is where my Gymboss comes in handy: you can set the timer on a Gymboss to do whatever duration you want for however many reps.  For tabata, this means 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, eight times, but you can use it for any kind of interval training.  It's a real must-have for the fitness fanatic like you and me.

Want to WIN your own Gymboss? Tell me your favourite type of heart-pumping exercise by leaving a comment below. Enter  by Friday, February 12th at 11:59 P.M. EST and the winner will be announced on Sunday.  Good luck!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

“No snacks, no seconds, no sweets — except on days that begin with the letter S.”

The sweet insightful words of Michael Pollan from his new book “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”. 

Its going to be on my 'to-read' list for certain.  You may have heard of the author from his other food and nutrition books; “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” Within the new book Pollan outlines 64 principles for sensible eating.

Check out this review in the New York Times.

(image from

Delicious Crab Nori Rolls

(photo from

I was at a 40th party this weekend for my friend Nicola, and we all enjoyed some wonderful food and cocktails.  My friend Mary-Margaret prepared these amazingly tasteful rolls that everybody enjoyed.  The recipe is from the G.I. Diet Cookbook, with a little input from Mary-Margaret!

This could also be a great sandwich filler -- wrap it in lettuce leaves if you are very concerned about complex carbs -- or even to have on top of a tossed spinach salad with a rice vinegar/ orange/ sesame dressing.  Click after the jump for full recipe.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekly roundup

"There are temptations which strong exercise best enables us to resist" - John Lubbock

What a weekend!  Amanda and I went to a huge birthday for our friend and exercise partner Nicola thrown by another exercise partner, Mandy, and attended by a number of other exercise partners.  (Yes, Amanda has a lot of exercise partners.  We should have t-shirts made.)  I'm still recovering but I must go to the gym to burn off birthday cake.  Wish me luck!

I'm always interested to read about other people's workouts.  This guy takes fitness pretty seriously.

Personally, I don't know how chocolate and cherry scones can be good for you - not least after a workout - but this nutritionist swears they are.  Who am I to argue?

Can you be convinced to go on the Nordic Diet?  Would you join the calorie restriction movement? and no.

If it came from a plant, eat it (and other food rules to live by).

Eight secrets to all day energy.  Do you have any to add?

I *heart* Google.  I recently stumbled upon this sweet commercial and now this?  Sigh.

Did I get enough exercise/burn enough calories/get enough sleep today?  Better check my fitbit.

Not much love for moobs, I guess.

...but there should be lots of love for man's best friend.

I can't wait to hear what Amanda thinks about this.

Repeat after me: "must not eat cake".  Still craving cake?  Listen to this.

(photo credit The Bitten Word.  Oh, and in case you are caving into temptation, find the recipe here)

are you ready to hit the slopes?

This year the ski-bug took hold of me, partially inspired by my 6 year old boy who is a much better skier than I am already and probably because I am still a bit of an adrenaline junkie.  Whilst  I am finding that physically I feel prepared to hit the slopes, I still need loads practice to sort out the technical stuff, then I will be really rocking those slopes!

I came across this great article today giving great advise about getting your body ready, it is written by Rachel Cosgrove, who is co-owner of Results Fitness and best selling author of “The Female Body Breakthrough". If you want a person to follow in the fitness industry, you can go along way by following her lead.

Happy skiing!!  And don't forget to check in on Wednesday for my first giveaway!

(photo from

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Free Kashi Cereal

I really love Kashi Go Lean for breakfast, its such a great tasting cereal and I love the fact it contains 13g of protein per cup.  If you are in Canada, go to the Kashi website  where they are offering a free box of either Honey Almond Flax or Toasted Berry Crisp.  For US readers, go to the American website where there are also free samples to snap up!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hedgehog cake anyone?

I definitely like to splurge on the food front occasionally and for my husbands birthday recently I decided to combine 3 of his favourite things: Guiness, cake and Tolberone.  My 6 year old son came up with the idea for a hedgehog cake made from the Tolberone, while my 2 year old son helped make the cake and lick the spoon.

The cake was delicious, the Guiness helped make the cake lovely and moist - it lasted for days.

Chocolate Beer Cake recipe kindly stolen from the lovely Delia.  I used a different icing for my cake, simply whipped cream and cocoa powder.

Its important to indulge yourself now and again, BUT remember its a treat!!  YUMMY :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wii Your Shape game

Can the new Nintendo Wii replace a qualified professional trainer?
I have just read a really interesting and funny article in the Globe and Mail, test-running this new game.

The concept is pretty cool. The game which retails at around ($75 CDN) comes with a camera which you mount on the TV. You then enter a bunch of information, age, gender, weight etc and then the camera does 2 body scans of you. Now the fun beings......

The voice of 'Jenny McCarthy' then instructs you through a series of exercises, of which you have 480+ to chose from; you see a visual image of yourself next to this perfect blonde virtual trainer and you also get instruction from her about incorrect form and posture.

I am talking blindly about the game of course because I have never seen it and actually don't have a huge desire to try it either.  (Though I imagine it could be a fun drunken party game!!)  I think that is the key for me, it appears to be just another game. When I think of the time and effort I take to make my workouts effective, constantly changing up the weights, tempo, rest times, number of reps and number of sets - it makes me wonder just how effective Your Shape really is.

Have any of you tried this game? Have you had any positive results from it? I would interested to hear your thoughts on this.

Have a fun weekend!!!

Your kids will love ricotta cheese pancakes

I have a sick boy at home today, so needed to whip up some comfort food for him. I was talking to a fellow foody friend of mine, Ali, the other day about how delicious these pancakes are.

They make such a great change from the usual bland boring variety. These are made using wholewheat flour with only a small amount of sugar and of course the ricotta cheese. A nice mix of complex carbs and proteins for your wee ones.

Serve with berries and maple syrup, and just to show off, I will be using maple syrup made by my friend from her cottage north of Toronto. (thanks Paola!)

Here's how to make them:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More Tea Vicar?

I love my tea - I am British after all, and I really like any sort of tea!  Throughout the day I try to stay hydrated as much as possible, but sometimes, in the winter especially, I just want a cuppa instead of glass of cold water.  I try as much as possible to drink green tea - I not only find it delicious, but its also incredible beneficially for you.

Did you know?
Green tea has become a beverage superstar thanks to headlines trumpeting its health- boosting antioxidant, epigallocatechin- 3-gallate (EGCG). Emerging research suggests EGCG may improve endurance performance, reduce exercise muscle damage and increase fat burning during workouts.  Whole tea leaves that are ground into powder form, matcha green tea may contain the most EGCG. Green tea's antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer and blood clots.

Here are some other facts I found out:
  • It is used to treat multiple sclerosis.
  • It is used for treatment and prevention of cancer.
  • It is used to stop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
  • It is used to raise the metabolism and increase fat oxidation.
  • It reduces the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks by reducing the risk of trombosis.
  • It reduces the risk of esophageal cancer.
  • Drinking green tea inhibits the growth of certain cancer cells, reduces the level of cholesterol in blood, improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
  • It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases
  • It is used to treat impaired immune function. .
  • Some researches show that, drinking green tea regularly may help prevent tooth decay by killing the bacteria which causes the dental plaque.

You don't even have to drink green tea, you can use it in cooking too. I even use cold green tea for my post-workout smoothies.

I also am a bit of a cup snob.  I love my tea to be a really great mug,  I think it makes it taste better.  Check out the cool cups here.

"ALSO stay tuned next week for my very first giveaway!!" 
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