Tag Archives: blogging

Using ViPR as a Fascia Training Tool

I love the ViPR, for training others and myself. I’ve been taking ViPR for almost three years and have been teaching for almost two years.

I like this video, where Haley Holland explains how to use the ViPR as a fascia training tool:

 

Have you used this portable equipment for your training?

 

xxSerena

Five ways to increase the humidity in your home without a humidifier

It’s very dry where I live and especially during the winter season! Through discussions with my coworkers I’m not the only one who’s suffering from sinus congestion, hangnails, dry skin, dry mouth, chapped lips and bloody noses. Every winter I notice more people with static cling, and an increased need for lip balm and thick moisturizer. Skin gets itchy when it’s dry and lips crack up.

 

Moisturize well so that skin remains soft, especially in the winter. Photography by Serena Alibhai
Why does this happen?

Well, it’s winter where I live and that means that the air around my environment is stripped from moisture. The cold has frozen any puddles, rain turns to snow and leaves on trees are gone. Also, there is no transpiration at night. Usually green grass, leaves, vegetation in general gives off moisture at night, we see this during the summer with morning dew and higher humidity levels.

During the winter, the grass dies and lies under, dormant, a thick layer of ice or snow. So this is why our poor nasal passages, fingers, skin and hair suffers.

I’m actually going to invest in a humidifier this week, but in the meantime, here are my top tips for increasing humidity in your home without a humidifier:

1. Add a houseplant

Plants breathe at night and purify the air by releasing oxygen and using the carbon dioxide we exhale. They also create moisture and release it into the air. When the plant is watered, it releases moisture through its roots to the leaves pores, which will consequently release moisture to the room.

   

Photography by Serena Alibhai
   
Photography by Serena Alibhai
   
2. Dry clothes indoors

As your clothes evaporate, the moisture will release into the surroundings. Also, drying your clothes on a hanger, clothes line or door knob in your laundry room will reduce wear and tear on your delicates, making them last longer.

 

Photography by Rizwan Alvi
3. Use the shower

When you take a shower, if you allow your door to open immediately after, the steam will escape the bathroom and moisture levels in nearby areas will increase considerably.

 

Photography by Rizwan Alvi

4. Boil water

Boil a couple of liters of water with eucalyptus essential oil or tea tree for a pleasant humidifying moisture boost. The oils will also help to guard against colds and is helpful in killing airborne germs.


5. Place water near heat source

A radiator heat in your room can also be used to improve the moisture content in your room. Place a pot or water container near the source of your radiator heat for the water to evaporate; this becomes humidity and effectively moistens the air. Alternatively, try placing a pan containing water on the radiator. Note that you do not have to place the dish of water directly on the heat for the evaporation to occur.

 

Water near a radiator can help to increase humidity. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
Do you have problems with a dry environment where you live?

xxSerena

Did you know? The darker the banana the better…? 

Ripe bananas have some pretty powerful nutritional benefits. 

  
So ripe bananas not only taste better but as the banana ripens it gets more and more healthy. Are you one of those people who can’t eat a banana if there are any spots on it?

Or are you like me, where the darker the banana the sweeter and softer it is in the more you enjoy it?

Enjoy your bananas!

xxSerena 

More exercises for your strength training workout

High intensity intervals are great but if you don’t have a personal trainer or a class, you need ideas! 

Here are some. Just for you:

   
   
Good luck out there. Be strong, be safe and maintain good posture throughout. 

May the force be with you! Have you tried any of these exercises?

xxSerena 

Intermittent fasting help: “I’m too hungry to fast at night!”

Just a reminder about what intermittent fasting is: you aren’t cutting calories. You’ve already calculated your BMI and BMI so you know how many calories you need to eat every day to achieve your goal of either losing weight, maintaining it or gaining weight.

You don’t cut calories when you are doing intermittent fasting! You are simply eating your daily calories within an 8-hour window of time.

For example, if you start eating at 12 noon, you stop eating at 7 p.m. You don’t eat after 7 p.m. and when I started this was my personal schedule. I would work out at about 11 a.m., eat at noon or one and stop eating (begin my “fast”) between 7 or 8 p.m.

So for those of you who are used to late night snaking this poses a problem! What if you get WAY too hungry at night to stick to the intermittent fasting eating window and fasting times?

Here are some of my personal tips and hints to curb the appetite late at night:

  1. Drink water.

Now I know some of you will scoff at this. But try this first. Hunger is often disguised as thirst and remember, you are allowed to drink water, in fact encouraged to drink water during intermittent fasting periods.

 

Make sure you drink enough water. It’s a good idea to carry around a handy-dandy water bottle. Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

2.  Eat nutrient dense foods during the day.

These are foods that pack a nutritional punch and fill you up. They are foods like vegetables, oatmeal, whole grains, fruit. Vegetables and fruit have skin which contains vitamins and fibre that keep the body healthy and full. Same with fruit. Whole grains contain the husk, which contains vitamins and also more fibre. This will help curb your appetite at night.

 

Choose nutrient dense foods like fruits and vegetables. Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

 

Fighting directly from the farmer is best. You can also buy organic fruit & vegetables in the store. Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

3.  Don’t forget to eat your calories!

No restrictions! Eat all of the calories you are allotted. If you want to gain an advantage, focus on making those calories good clean food, plant based foods, not processed, try and cook at home. There are so many healthy, inexpensive delicious meals that can be prepared in your own kitchen.

 

Eat enough calories and enjoy your food. photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto 

Remember, giving your digestive system a rest helps the body perform other important functions like muscle repair, immunity and neuron support. Allowing time for your food to digest is healthy.

What do you think? Do you eat a lot of food at night before you go to sleep?

xxSerena

Change up your home exercise routine with the gladiator work out

At home or in the gym new ideas for exercises helps keep your body challenged. 

Here are some gladiator workout moves for you to try either in the gym or at home:

  
Best of luck with these! 

And remember some safety points: maintain good posture throughout the exercises. Stop if you feel any pain. 

And also remember what challenges you, changes you.

xxSerena 

Nutrient dense foods list per calorie: Which foods give you more bang for your buck?

I talk about nutrient dense foods a lot. These are foods that are high in nutrients, usually high in fiber (so they fill you up) but are they yucky? Well no. They’re only “yucky” if you aren’t used to feeding your body natural plant-based foods high in vitamins and nutrition.

Here’s a chart:

whole-foods-nutrient-dense-chart-large

I love pizza, burgers, soda, cheese and my favourite, I’m not ashamed to admit, is poutine. If you don’t know what that is, don’t look it up. Don’t ask. Just run away. You’re better off. It’s too delicious for me to resist, and eating it isn’t exactly good for my health. Well, in small amounts, it’s perfect. It makes me happy. So it’s totally worth it.

But it’s also totally worth it to have a good working healthy body. Good sleep. Happiness. Assurance you’ll be around for those who love you. So guys – remember nutrient dense foods. The vegetables. Try and eat more. That’s all.

What are your favourite vegetables? How many vegetables do you eat in a day?

Have a great one and may the force be with you (now you know what I’ve been watching.)

xxSerena

Beginner home workout

Muscle conditioning with weights builds muscle, but so do exercises using your own body weight.

New exercises mean surprises for your body. This challenges your muscles. And what challenges you, changes you.

Here are some new exercises you can do either in the gym or at home:


Have you used any of these exercises in your workouts? What do you think; are they effective?

xxSerena

8 DIY face masks that will do wonders for your skin

I love a good face mask, especially done at home.
Facials over makeup for me, any day of the week! But even when I’m wearing makeup, a good base of healthy skin makes everything work smoother, more beautiful, more vibrant.

Here are a few homemade do-it-yourself face masks. Try the one that calms what ails you!


  
  
  

Would you ever try these at home? Have you ever tried a recipe like this?

xxSerena

Chicken split pea soup recipe

This warm winter soup recipe is great for so many reasons: health-wise it’s high in protein and low in fat. It’s even got vitamins, minerals and fiber. It’s very easy to make, if you don’t mind letting a soup simmer on the stove for a few hours while you do other things, stirring ever hour or so. It’s also so delicious. You have a great mingling of spices, spinach, butternut squash, chicken, onions and of course the star of the dish – what gives it the thick wonderful consistency of a stew – yellow split peas.

Yellow split peas are low in fat and high in fibre & protein.

Here are some basic nutritional facts for yellow split peas:


Here’s a great winter recipe that I learned from my cousin’s wife. She uses chicken on the bone. To keep mine lowfat I use rotisserie chicken breast.

Ingredients:

450 grams yellow split peas (half the bag)
2 cups diced butternut squash
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic purée
1 teaspoon ginger purée
2 cup spinach or 1/2 package frozen spinach
2 pieces rotisserie chicken breast, diced
Salt, pepper, 2 teaspoons dal spice mix (tumeric, Red chili, black pepper, cumin, coriander, brown Cardiman, green cardamom, dehydrated dill, citric acid)

Directions:

  1. Fry diced onions in olive oil with salt, pepper and dried spice mix. Cook under medium heat for about 6-8 minutes and you can smell the aroma.
  2. Add rinsed yellow split peas, garlic and ginger. Stir to mix.
  3. Add butternut squash and spinach. Stir.
  4. Add stock and cooked chicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer for four hours, stirring once an hour, until squash and lentils almost dissolve.

 

I used a mixture of diced red and yellow onion because that’s what I had. I fried the onions in the mixture of spices and olive oil. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
Add pureed ginger and garlic. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
Add the yellow split peas and stir to blend flavors. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
After adding other ingredients including water, butternut squash and spinach. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
After a few hours of simmering, about 3-4, the yellow split peas and squash will dissolve and create a very thick delicious and healthy soup. After adding other ingredients including water, butternut squash and spinach. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

It was very delicious by the way! Plus nutrient dense so a great weight loss dish.

Have you ever cooked with yellow split peas? Do you enjoy lentils?

xxSerena