Tag Archives: lifestyle

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 

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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 

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

ViPR exercises for your abdominal muscles

The ViPR portable equipment uses principles of loaded movement, nose to toes training and functional mobility moves to make you stronger and burn more calories than other types of training.

Sometimes, at the end of my class, before the cool down I’ll do ViPR for abs moves.

Here are examples of some:

ViPR for abs

They may look easy but they’re challenging and definitely make your abdominal muscles stronger. Benefits of this include supporting your back muscles and reducing belly fat.

Do you do exercises for your abdominal muscles?

xxSerena

Why are some people eating scuttlebutt and what is it?

Apparently scuttlebutt is in season right now. What is it you ask? It’s a delicious sandwich of course!

  
Here is what one half of the scuttlebutt looks like:

 

One half of scuttlebutt. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Not long after it’ll look like a crazy mess in your hands. But from what I have heard, and they are good sources, all is good in scuttlebutt heaven. 

 

Someone is now getting into the scuttlebutt. Photography and eating by Rizwan Alvi
 
In fact, I am surprised I got these pictures at all. You know how it is sometimes โ€“ so busy eating don’t have the energy to take a picture.

 

Inhalation of the scuttlebutt. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
One final picture of messy but delicious scuttlebutt:

 

Polishing off the scuttlebutt. Photography by Rizwan Alvi

 
Have you ever tried scuttlebutt? Have you ever heard of it? Would you like to try one day?

xxSerena 

15 minute standing abs workout you can do with dumbbells

I did one of these for a portion of my hiit class last Sunday. I like these exercises because they are simple and build total body strength. 

Remember to mind your posture throughout all of these exercises. Ground your feet equally on left and right, roll your shoulders into the back of your body, keep your chest open and keep your core strong.

 

 In class, I chose to bring in number three, the bow extension exercise.
Have you done these exercises before? How many minutes a week do you dedicate to building your strength with strength training exercises?

xxSerena 

Total body strength workout exercises

These are total body exercises that focus on strength training. You can choose to do your cardio before or after these. Train now so that you are ready for swimsuit season!

  
These are some of the strength training exercises I do in my Sunday morning tried and shred class at the gym.

Do you do muscle conditioning exercises at home or at the gym or at all?

xxSerena

A beautiful and nutritiousย yogurt bowl

Food should look as good as it is nutritious for your body. Choosing the beautiful ripe fruit to add to your yogurt bowl can help make breakfast, snack or any meal more enjoyable.

Yogurt is nutritious on it’s own:

  
Think about eating a rainbow of colors.

 

Eat the rainbow for breakfast. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Choose fruit instead of simple white sugar.

 

Yogurt bowl with fruit. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
The more colorful the more antioxidants, the more nutritious. And consequently, the more delicious.

 

Kiwi fruit. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
How do you make your favorite yogurt bowl?

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

Healthy benefits of various starches

Starches are great for your body. Throughout the world, in for the past centuries, human beings have lived off of starch. Today many starches are over processed, removing the most healthy part of the food.

 

Plaintain at dinner. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Here is a helpful chart to illustrate the healthy benefits of  starches:

Item Carbohydrate g per 100g serving Fiber g per 100g serving Carbohydrate g per 1cup serving Portion Size Notes Other Notable Nutrients
cassava 38 2 78 1c= 206g Vitamin C, Thiamin, Folate, Potassium, Manganese
taro root 35 5 46 1c= 132g Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, potassium, manganese
plantains 31 2 48 1c= 154g (slices) Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium
yam 27 4 37 1c= 136g (cubed) Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Manganese, Potassium
white potato, peeled 22 1 27 1c= 122g Not much very high, some Vitamin C
sweet potato 21 3 58 1c= 328g (mashed) Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron (non-heme), Vitamin E
parsnips 17 4 27 1c= 178g (sliced) Vitamin C, Manganese.
lotus root 16 3 19 1c= 120g (sliced) Vitamin C.
acorn squash 15 4 31 1c= 205g Vitamin C.
onion 10 1 21 1c= 210g (chopped) Vitamin C, Potassium.
beets 10 2 17 1c= 170g (sliced) Folate, Manganese.
carrots 10 3 13 1c= 128g (chopped) Vitamin A, Vitamin K,
butternut squash 10  โ€“ 22 1c= 205g Vitamin A, Vitamin C
jicama (raw) 9 5 12 1c= 130g (slices) Vitamin C.
kohlrabi 7 1 12 1c = 165g Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper, Manganese
spaghetti squash 6 1 9 1c= 155g Not very many. 

This table can help you eat a variety of starches. Use it to give you ideas on healthy ways to incorporate starch in your diet. It’s good for your body, fills you up and is delicious!

 

Peeled butternut squash. Photography by Serena Alibhai

 
Sweet potatoes. Photography by Rizwan Alvi

How often do you incorporate starches from this list into your diet? How do you eat them?

xxSerena