Category Archives: Self-help

Making dryer balls

I heard so many good things about dryer balls. The first time I heard about them was on a blog. I thought dryer balls would be perfect for me because I wanted to get away from using Bounce sheets.

I read about the benefits of using a wool felted dryer ball in your wash instead of a chemical fabric softener: left irritants for your skin, dries your clothes faster so no waste of energy, remove static cling and makes your clothes softer.

So to make dryer balls, first I learned how to roll wool into a ball from watching YouTube. 

Then I bought the 100% wool. It has to be 100%.

I put small folded old socks in the middle of the ball to make the balls bigger. 


Then I got some old pantyhose so the balls would stay round as they felted in the first three washes. 


So now I am happy to say I won’t be buying Bounce sheets anymore but will be using wool dryer balls! 

Have you heard of dryer balls? If you have any questions leave them in the comment section!

xxSerena 

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Strengthen and save your shoulders 

Shoulders are so important. They help to create good posture and as the anterior front body muscles get strong fast this isn’t necessarily true for our backs. Strong shoulders can prevent back pain. 


Do you workout or exercise your shoulders? 

xxSerena 

Flat abs in 5! 

I like this sequence since it’s short and effective. But remember – consistency is key. So this is not a workout to do one time for five minutes.

Try adding this onto your regular work out every day or do this every day for five minutes and feel yourself get stronger as you move through the week!


Will you be trying this today?

xxSerena 

How to lose your love handles fast!

There’s no such thing a spot training-training one part of your body to lose fat in a particular area. But you can strengthen certain muscles. 

So in addition to regular cardio exercise and flexibility training, here are some great muscle conditioning exercises to target your midsection, namely your love handles!


Have you tried these exercises before ? 

xxSerena 

Communication is listening, hearing and talking, both ways.

Let me break it down. You have a negative opinion of something. Someone else thinks the opposite! They think that working out with pink leg warmers and a thong is hot! You think it takes away from the discipline of working out.

LOL> funny example, I know.

It’s hard to hear when someone disagrees with you. They may think it’s judgmental and don’t like you passing judgment on something you thought was kind of fun or not that serious.

Do you have a pink leg warmers and thong issue with someone?

In the end does it really matter?

I think listening and sharing ideas is important. Maybe you’re assuming that the person in the thong or the person appreciating it doesn’t have appreciation for the discipline needed to work out.

Maybe they’re assuming you’re a hard head and can’t have fun.

But in a calmer time, maybe success looks like both parties listening and trying to understand what’s important to each of them.

In conclusion, understanding takes action two ways. It’s listening to what the other person thinks, it’s not assuming. Because when you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME (wink, wink!)

communication

 

xxSerena

 

 

3 Day Juice Cleanse: what, why and results!

After a two of decadent vacations in NYC and Montreal, fiancé and I both felt we needed to give our digestive systems a break.

So we had our fill of black-and-white cookies, donuts, ice cream, poutine, Burgers and fries after midnight, donairs, chips, milkshakes, the odd salad here and there, bottles of wine in the park and desserts galore.

But after it was all said and done, summer officially wrapped up, the leaves started turning yellow, we both decided on a three day juice cleanse each.

Perfect way to start the fall season!

I decided to try the three day juice cleanse at Freshii, because I’m Canadian, and there was a convenient location on the way to work.

Here are some things that I had going for me before the juice cleanse that I recommend:

1. I had a partner to do it with. This helps with morale, motivation and understanding for both of you! It’s a great advantage.

2. I did some research about different juice cleanses in my area.

3. I researched what others had gone through on their cleanses.

So I called the Freshii located on the way to work the day before I wanted to pick up my juices. So exciting!

This cleanse is comprised of four juices, which you drink about 2 to 3 hours apart, water in between and then finally a metaboost salad.

Day one:

  • I drank my juice is in the order that I was supposed to. She had each juice numbered. I didn’t like any of the juices so I drink them quickly, rinsed out the glass with filtered water, drink that quickly and just kept peeing the whole day!
  • After my third juice my head started throbbing, I was getting irritated, hungry, a little slow, and experienced a foggy brain.
  • I drank as much water as I could, went shopping with a supportive girlfriend, and ate my first metaboost salad while she ordered a delicious beef udon soup from the food court!
  • She felt bad, but I told her not to! I knew what I was getting into, and I agreed to do this!
  • I really enjoyed the salad. It had field greens, kale, edamame, mango, goat cheese, almonds, carrots and a balsamic vinegrette.
  • I went to sleep fully hydrated but kind of hungry, wondering what I had gotten myself into.
drink juices every 2 1/2 to 3 hours apart in this order: green energy, carrots zinger, mighty detox, then red power. Photography by Serena Alibhai
approximately 600 cal, spinach, kale and field greens, goat cheese, mango, almonds, carrots, edamame, balsamic vinaigrette
Yes I used ALL the dressing! Salad was very good. Also it satisfied my hunger! 


Day two: 

  • I didn’t wake up feeling hungry. That was odd I thought. I sipped some water and waited a little longer to drink my first juice.
  • I was peeing more today. A lot. Like every two hours for sure. Maybe every hour and a half.
  • I continue to supplement my juices with a cool filtered water immediately after.
  • And then the miracle happens. My eyes become clear. I feel happy. There is extra energy in my step. The words come easy. No more brain fog. No more headaches.
  • The juices are tasting better now. Not like day one, where they were gross.
  • I eat the salad that evening with vigor. I love it.
I didn’t enjoy the juices enough to sip. I gulped them down! 
After drinking each juice, I filled up each container with cold filtered water, gave it a swish and drank that too! 


Day three:

  • I was very impressed with the way my waist looked and felt this morning!
  • I’m dreaming about what I’m going to eat tomorrow. I’m imagining vegetables in a clear broth with rice noodles.
  • For the third night in a row, I’ve had very vivid dreams, complex storylines, a lot of color, vibrancy, and I wake up feeling refreshed. My dreams are interesting movies that I even remember after I wake up!
  • At night I dream about cheating. I dream about eating real food. But instead, I drink water.

Final conclusions and realizations: 

  • Again? Yes, I would do this again. My body felt lighter, clean, better than before.
  • Vivid dreams? First, two days after, explained that one of the symptoms of a juice cleanse is a detoxification of the penial gland, deep inside the brain. This results in vivid clear dreams.
  • Weight loss? I lost five pounds, and so did my fiancée, on a different juice cleanse. But I don’t expect to keep that weight loss. What I loved though: I kept two pounds off a week later.
  • Cost? Was it worth it? This juice cleanse cost $80 for three days. Totally worth it. Convenient. Simple. Worked for me.

Feel free to ask questions you guys!!

xxSerena

Flat belly work out

It’s combination of strength training, flexibility and cardio that will flatten your belly.
That’s why I like this workout. It combines strength and cardio with flexibility movements.

  
Have you done any of these exercises? Which ones are your favorite or least favorite?

xxSerena 

And illustrated guide on how to get healthier skin

Healthy glowing skin is a thing of beauty. And it’s not what you pile on top of your skin, hiding it, that makes it glow. Beauty does radiate from the insides.

Here are some tips:

  
What are your favorite tips for healthy skin?

xxSerena 

The benefits of eating a green salad every day

Salad greens provide fiber, vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain optimal health. 

Think of these simple green leaves as vitamins grown directly from the earth, up through the soil, made for humans and animals to eat.

You can dress it up or go the more plain route… But it is so good for your body if you eat a salad every day.

 

Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
 
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
  
Photography by Serena Alibhai
 
For those of you who prefer more quantitative benefits here is a chart:

  
Do you eat a salad every day? What are your favourite kinds of salads?

xxSerena 

Warm-up exercises for functional mobility

Warming up your muscles and creating mobility slowly in your muscles prepares your body for a strenuous workout. 

Warming up prepares the body for exercise and helps to prevent injury.

But what are some good exercises to do? There are so many options. Choose what is right for you and your body today. Remember to listen to your body. What was good for you yesterday may not necessarily be correct for you today.

Here are some ideas:

   
   
Do you warm up before you workout?

xxSerena