Beauty secrets: how to remove cellulite

Cottage cheese thighs out and smooth toned skin in! There are many ways to avoid cellulite. I’ll talk about beauty secrets, home remedies and exercises you can do. 

Remember that fat is formed in globules and those fat molecules stick together in clumps. But if your muscle is eating (metabolizing) that fat, if you aim for strong not skinny, the cellulite will slowly shrink.

Some of us are more predisposed genetically to hang onto it, but there are actions you can take!

Firstly, work out. A balance of flexibility training, cardio and muscle conditioning will help. Here are six muscle conditioning exercises you can do:

  

 By working out the muscles in those six exercises you create small tears in those muscles. To repair those tears, the muscles will look to the surrounding fat for energy. If there is no available glucose or carbohydrate, the muscles will start to use that fat to repair and build. This is another reason why intermittent fasting works for me.

There are also other things you can do to prevent or reduce your cellulite:

  

Here is a recipe for a coffee body treatment scrub, remember to massage from the bottom of your legs upwards using circular motions:

  

Have you tried any of these remedies? Have you had any luck? Let me know your experiences. Leave me a comment! Have a great day :))

xxSerena

Intermittent fasting & Oolong tea

If you are practicing intermittent fasting, then before your workout or before your first meal of the day you don’t eat or drink anything with calories. One such drink is Oolong tea.

Water, tea or coffee with no sugar or cream will keep your body in a fasted state so it can metabolize fat for energy, give the digestive system a rest and provide your body the opportunity for other metabolic processes like cell renewal.

I had loose Oolong leaves:

Oolong tea is used to sharpen thinking skills and improve mental alertness. It is also used to prevent cancer, tooth decay, osteoporosis and heart disease.

Some people use it to treat obesity, diabetes, hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol and skin allergies such as eczema; and to boost the immune system.

According to Web M.D., Oolong is mostly effective for mental alertness. It is possibly effective to prevent ovarian cancer, however. Women who regularly drink tea, including black tea, green tea or Oolong tea, appear to have a significantly lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. One study found that drinking two or more cups of tea deal he seems to cut ovarian cancer risk by almost half.

I brew the tea leaves in my nice individual Bodem cups:

    

I put the tea leaves in, cover them with boiling water, put a lid on the filter to brew, and wait 2 and a half minutes (Thank you Anthony for testing this!).

Once it’s done you can compost the tea leaves, wash the filter, sip slowly and enjoy with someone wonderful.

Do you drink tea? What is your ritual before you break your fast? All questions and comments are welcome, tell me what you do!

xxSerena

Chakras

What are chakras? You may hear about these in a yoga class or in books about yoga philosophy.

There is a lot of detailed information about chakras and their importance. There are seven major chakras, and each of them corresponds with a different color spectrum of light.

There are said to be 21 minor chakras which are reflected off of the major ones.

Seven major chakras:

  1. The root chakra represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded. It is located at the base of the spine, the tailbone. Emotional issues located in this chakra include financial independence, money and food.
  2. The sacral chakra contains our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences. It is located in the lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches in. Emotional issues associated with the sacral chakra are a sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure and sexuality.
  3. The solar plexus chakra I is our ability to be confident and in control of our lives. It is located at the upper abdomen in the stomach. Emotional issues residing here are self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem.
  4. The heart chakra motivates our ability to love. It is located at the center of the chest just above the heart. Emotional issues connected to this area are love, joy and inner peace.
  5. The throat chakra contains our ability to communicate. Emotional issues connected to this area are communication, self expression of feelings and the truth.
  6. The third eye chakra is our ability to focus on and see the big picture. It is located on the forehead between the eyes. Emotional issues in this area are intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to Think and make decisions.
  7. Crown chakra is the highest chakra and represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually. It is located at the very top of the head. Emotional issues include inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality and pure bliss.

Here is an infographic on chakras you might be interested in:

 

What do you know about chakras? Have you had any experiences worth sharing? Leave a comment or question. I would love to learn more.

:))

3-Ingredient Meals

Some days, I like to keep meals simple. Too many ingredients can cause stomach upset, take too much time, and cause overeating. 

Save time, make delicious and simple meals. Here are some ideas:

  

Another reason for three ingredient meals is freshness of food. When you go shopping and you buy too many ingredients the probability of a few of those ingredients going bad is higher. Buy fresh and eat fresh. 

What are your favorite three ingredient meals? Leave me a comment!

xxSerena

Sugar

I got a question the other day about sugar. Sugar is in so many of our foods: tomato sauce, bread, crackers and juice. Do you need help finding sugar substitutes? Is maple syrup healthy because it comes from a tree? Answers to these questions and more… Keep reading!

Sometimes we crave a certain “unhealthy”  food because we may be deficient in some vitamin or mineral. I was found this chart to be helpful:

  

This chart seems quite common and many of you have probably already seen it. What do you think? Do you believe that by substituting a healthier food for one that you are craving works for you?

But let’s get back to sugar, shall we? How can we substitute it? Here are some ideas:

  

When baking I like to substitute applesauce, banana or coconut sugar for white sugar when I can.

And since I’m Canadian I can never forget the wholesome goodness that comes from our maple trees in Quebec. Here are some facts on Maple syrup:

  

What do you think about sugar? Is it something that you are consciously trying to cut down on? Leave me a comment or question. To me this is a very interesting topic. Have a sweet Friday!

xxSerena

On top of the world

I was sent a very inspiring video that I think you should watch. It’s 20 minutes long and I think it could help those who choose to watch.

Sometimes there are stories and connections with people that can change our mindsets, change our lives and realize what we already have. Sometimes we need a push to do something so great, so difficult, so out of our comfort zones. Perhaps this video can spark something in you. It did for me.

It’s your will, your heart and your mind that will take you to the top of the world. And that’s all you need.

There are subtitles and they go quick at times but watch until the end. Have tissue ready in case you need. To wipe your hands or ears, or … eyes. Just in case …

Know your heart and body: how to detect heart attack

What happens when you have a heart attack? Some people having heart attacks or strokes don’t even know what’s going on and by that time, it may be too late. I always pictured a heart attack being so obvious that you would know what was happening. There would be an obvious huge emergency and you would convulse or fall over and perhaps start shaking and your left arm would have such sharp pain you would scream out, “I’m having a heart attack! Call 911!” before collapsing and being finally saved by the ambulance.

Since I am certified in CPR/AED, I know it doesn’t always happen like that. Heart attacks may not look so obvious. Strokes may not look so obvious.

I think this is an important video to watch for people, especially women in the workforce, who encounter a lot of stress on a daily basis. Single mothers, newly married women, teenagers who can’t cope, working men and everyone should watch this video because it’s important to take care of your health. You have loved ones and we care about what happens to you:

Yes, its a spoof, but the message is real. Take care of yourselves. Be healthy and please slow down.

xxSerena

The exercise that started it all

In August 2 years ago everything changed. Before that, in June, I knew I wanted to get back into shape. I knew in January. I was disappointed and frustrated every time I would go into a change room and try on a pair of jeans. They didn’t fit me right but it wasn’t a problem with the jeans. It was a problem with my body. I was gaining weight. My clothes weren’t fitting me the way I wanted them to, not the way they used to fit.

On August 12, 2013, 80 weeks ago, I started run walk. My life improved in so many areas after I began this exercise:

That June/July 2 years ago I began working out at the gym. I would go every single day. For 30 days. I worked out anywhere from half an hour to an hour each time.

And I don’t know if it was the metabolism that had changed, or my defeatist attitude, but it just wasn’t working. Nothing was changing. The weight/fat wasn’t going away. My clothes were still not fitting. It was devastating. It was horrible. Frustrating.

And then my friend invited me on her morning run. I told her I wasn’t a runner. I couldn’t run. I didn’t like running. She said we can run/walk. So that’s what we did. We walked and then we ran. She would point to a sign and say we’re only running to that sign. She would say we’re going to run to the end of that bridge. Then she would say, now I stop here and do 20 jumping jacks. Lol! It was fun though, I worked up a sweat and my heart was pumping. I would realize later that this was the beginning of a real transformation.

Then, my cousin sent me a great podcast that explained the benefits of getting back to nature and this sealed the deal. I understood why I had to change my routine and bring it Back to Nature.

And this was how run walk started.

A few weeks after that run walk with my friend, I started running outdoors near where I live. I found the perfect spot.

My single most important weight-loss activity finally had a name: run walk. That’s when my body started changing. My metabolism geared up. My heart started really pumping and these 10 factors are what made it effective in my opinion:

  1. Outdoors: Run walk has to be done outside. There should be trees and grass. There are pheromones in those plants that plug into your brain centers to trigger endorphins. These are happy hormones and I think he’s happy hormones help make this exercise more efficient and healthy somehow. Also natural terrain outside is different from a treadmill. There is wind, a variable terrain and other factors that keep you on your toes when you were outside rather than inside a gym.
  2. Shoes and socks: Get a good pair of running shoes. For my first consecutive 10 days of run walk I had a really crappy shoes. They had no support. Looking back, they served me well. I didn’t get any problems with my feet. It was fine. But then I went to Footlocker and bought a pair of Nike Rosherun shoes. It was like I was running on a cloud. Super comfortable. I also bought a pair of running shoe socks. Socks are very important. By the best running socks you can afford.
  3. Consistency: Just do it one time at first . Then try and build up a consistent routine. Consistency is key. Your body will benefit from the change and soon learn to do the exercises independently. But you have to push yourself to be consistent for that to happen first.
  4. Measure: Use a running app to time your 1st mile. Counting either your time or your distance will motivate you to beat your old record.
  5. Buddy system: running with other people will help in your consistency, happiness factor and support. Find friends who you can get addicted with.
  6. Challenge: start with one minute walk 30 seconds run. Then do one minute walk one minute run. Then alternate between running and walking, running more than you walk.
  7. Form: Roll your shoulders into the back of your body, open your chest. Mind your posture. Keep your neck along and in line with your spine in the back body. Feel you’re equal on left and right feet.
  8. Water: drink water before, during if possible, and after your run walk.
  9. Sunscreen: don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you go out in the sun! When I first started run walk I got burnt badly. Use a waterproof sunscreen and be generous.
  10. Food: listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t force yourself to eat because that is what you were trained to believe. You won’t drop dead if you don’t have massive amounts of food in your body. You would think that run walk would make you more hungry. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes your body wants to build muscle and sleep more instead of eat more. Sometimes you will want to eat more. Again, listen to your body. Eat more if you are hungry.

And there you have it. Run walk! It’s how I started my fitness journey. It made me happier, stronger, leaner and gave me more energy.

Get outside wherever you live:

xxSerena

10 easy ways to boost your self-confidence

It’s easy to lose self-confidence. Disappointments, someone looking at you funny, rejection, not doing a great job that’s something you should have or feeling unloved.

But that’s not what this blog is about.

Self-confidence is a big beauty secret. It leads to clear eyes, good skin, happy organs and a strong heart. Your boost of self-confidence can help someone else boost theirs. You could start a chain reaction.

10 easy ways you can boost your self-confidence:

  1. Put on a good song, lip-synch to it and dance in front of the mirror. Notice how hot you look.
  2. Spend time with people or a person who encourages your ideas, thinks you’re smart and believes that you can do it.
  3. Organize something small like a bookshelf, your purse or a drawer. Managing just one small part of your life can have a big impact on how in control you feel.
  4. Assume people like you. Spend a little longer talking to someone then usually would. Be positive and share common ideas.
  5. Set the timer for 10 minutes, write down what you are grateful for.
  6. Take a long walk by yourself outside where there are trees and grass. Relax your shoulders into the back of your body. Feel the power in your legs. Open your chest. Breathe deeply. Smile.
  7. Pursue a passion you have. Dedicate consistent time to pursuing it. E.g. Publishing a piece of fiction, mastering how to bake, writing a song. Persevere and don’t listen to negative feedback.
  8. Exercise for 20 minutes.
  9. Takes 5 selfies. Choose the hottest one. Put a filter on it.
  10. Put on a little make up that makes you look hot and a gorgeous outfit. Pose.

What are your tips to boost self-confidence? What do you do? Leave me a comment!

xxSerena