Thursday, 31 October 2013

Killer Do-It-At-Home Sculpting

You know I love Tracey Mallett. Why? She's challenging, but the exercises can be done safely even if you can't do every repetition. Great instructions and hell, the woman looks heavenly in lycra. Surely that's the inspiration to keep going you need!
So, here's an abdominals workout to love:

Pilates Super Sculpt:

What you need:

  • Yoga mat
  • Semi-soft ball ($3 pool toy ball from Kmart, Target, $2 stores does the trick!)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Gym Bunny Hair - Bobby Pins Mania!

As an instructor and a gym bunny, as much as I'd love to let my hair down, literally, it just isn't practical. So! I admit the messy up-knot is my staple. Bobby pins, snag-free elastics and a headband seal the deal.
I have noticed that constantly tying my hair back has weakened the hair around my face so I'm conscious of using a headband that doesn't pull on the hair. I'm also putting my faith in the products Liv Tyler swears by (have you seen her hair? You will too!):L'Oreal Volume Expand. Speaks for itself!

Products I have tried and rated: LOVE!
Lady Jayne Vibrant Monochrome Headband (flexible so it doesn't pull!), Snag free elastics, Vibrant Monochrome Bobby Pins, Bun Style and ponytail cuffs

Terax Shine Leave-In Conditioner (NO stickiness, just glossiness!)

Lady Jayne available at Priceline. Terax available here.

L'Oreal Serie Volum Expand available via Hairhouse Warehouse, Petra and salons.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Disco Balls and Perfect Pink

First of all, I am ALL for combining disco with fitness. I can't promise anything, but down the track...a studio with disco balls and a great sound system for Ballet Sculpt is on my bucket list!
Maybe we could make do with some silver balloons in the meantime? Any ideas most welcome. I'll run it by the Powers That Be at Kew Recreation Centre!

On another note, I am testing the limits of etiquette when it comes to manicures. Is it ever okay to take your OWN nailpolish? I have found the perfect Ballet Sculpt approved pink (Essie Fiji) and I'm just not prepared to compromise! Wrong? Right? Help!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Save your Skin AND your Dollars!

Two beautiful women recently admitted they use expensive skincare and asked me what I use because those premium brands are
a) difficult to find
b) super expensive

Here's the truth. I use affordable, easily available, everyday brands that I know are:

  • gentle on the skin
  • non-comedogenic (no blackheads and breakouts)
  • come in squeeze tubes rather than tubs (less chance of contamination)
  • smell good
  • genuinely going to improve my skin appearance and feel
I recommend weaning yourself off the luxe stuff and saving the extra dollars for massages, holidays and sportswear! 
Here's what I use and recommend:

Neutrogena Mulberry Foam Cleanser
Neutrogena naturals range
Smells divine, cleanses thoroughly and the moisturisers are light and easily absorbed. Plus the packaging is gorgeous. It matters!

BB Creams - Garnier, Sanctuary Spa and Rimmel
Perfect coverage, just like a foundation, but NO blackheads and pimples because the formula actively fights blemishes and uneven skin tone. Plus there's SPF 15+ - essential!

Essie Illamasqua & philosophy

The little extras! You all know I'm Illamasqua obsessed. The colours and the intensity are unbeatable - I challenge you to try it and not go back. Loving Essie nailpolish because there are an insane range of colours and it's so affordable! And why Philosophy? Shower/Shampoo in the one big bottle and there are scents including Coconut Frosting, Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon Buns, Chocolate will want to stay in the shower forever!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Pilates Pedi Ready!

As you know, Ballet Sculpters, Pilates, Yoga and dancers, you spend a lot of time looking at your tootsies during practice! So it might not make your downward dog or your forward fold any deeper, but it will be a helluva lot prettier if you paint your nails a beautiful colour.
Pilates Double Leg Lift:
Stack hips, knees, ankles
Rest cheek on extended lower arm
Upper hand on the floor for balance
Brace abdominals and raise both legs
Hold for a count of 5 then lower

Also, let's be honest. A dancer and gym bunny's feet are taking a lot of sneaker action so any quick, affordable, do-it-at-home pedicure is top priority. I have been scrubbing my tired little feet with Sally Hansen Pumice Polish. It smells like lavender and works like an exfoliator. So my feet smell like a lavender garden and they're all soft and smooth.

Finish off with either a deep, dark colour like my new pick, Essie "Carry On" (deep purple) or pick from one of the many beautiful pastel shades (Loving "Fiji" and "Sugar Daddy")
Check out Sally Hansen and Essie's whole range at Priceline

Thursday, 24 October 2013

How often should I work out?

I used to go to a big, fancy gym in Richmond that had a multi-coloured disco ball in the spin room. Good times.
This is where I met Kevin. He informed me that he worked his upper body in the morning, went home for lunch, then returned to work his lower body and do his cardio in the afternoon. Presumably, he then had dinner and filled out his exercise journal for fun.
Unless you want to end up as creaky and dull as an old treadmill, do NOT be a Kevin. 
Here's what you need to know:

  • Don't work the same muscle group to fatigue within 48 hours - let the muscles repair after resistance training!
  • Combine resistance (weight training) with cardio throughout the week
  • Three to four times a week is ideal and do things you enjoy even if they're tough!
  • Your workout should last between 45 to 90 minutes including warm-up and cool-down
  • Your fitness and ability to burn off calories depends on how much incidental activity you do - not just your workout (ie. walking, fidgeting, taking the stairs...)
  • How often and how intensely you exercise is dependent on your goals and your current health and fitness
  • If you are experiencing injuries or illness on a regular basis, your exercise program needs reviewing! A skilled personal trainer can assess your routine and work with you to make sure your time and effort is paying off
  • Change it up. Roughly every 6 weeks, try changing your routine - whether it's a new set of weights exercises or a new class, this is essential for optimum physical benefits and for the mental challenge
  • Never, never, never go to the gym more than once a day. If you are, there is more at issue than your fitness. You need to consider why you are spending so much time in the gym because it's not necessary, or healthy*! *Unless you are an elite athlete with a program of fitness and nutrition that enables you to exercise safely and effectively with adequate recovery periods

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Good Morning Yoga

Dior Dolce Vita
I have a new summer scent (Dior Dolce Vita!) A new pair of sunnies and I'm ready for the good weather. It seems Melbourne hasn't caught up with me!
"Dolce Vita, the fragrance of happiness recalls the carefree, heart-lifting nostalgia of driving a convertible along the Italian Riviera..."

I also just bought an armful of fancy crop tops from Cotton On Activewear - and let us be honest...showing off a blue, shivery belly is not flattering.

This is what we're going to do - every morning we are going to do Kathryn Budig's Good Morning Yoga sequence. Three times. The sun must surely appear if we all unite!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Colour Crazy - Hair Prep

As you all know, or most of you, I love colour. Must have been those teenage years of all black that makes me realise how much fun it is to experiment and embrace colour combos.
To that end, I am planning a few bright colours in my hair and my beautiful friend Nat is going to professionally handle the bleaching process (love you Miss!)
Prior to the bleaching process, I'm going to try to nurture my locks so that they don't frizzle and fall out. Here's the plan:
  • Stop straightening for a week (oohhh that's gonna be tough)
  • Use Terax conditioner generously (the celebrities swear by it so of course it is the BEST)
  • Resist overwashing
My pick for the Terax conditioner is Crema+Keratin for the ultimate strengthening boost. And as we all know, Italians Do It Better, so now seems a good time to mention Terax is Italian. And not many Italians have sad hair (ignore Donatella Versace!) You can buy it at
or call (free) 1800 137 480

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Post Workout Nutrition

 So the last post addressed what to eat and when.
Now, what to eat for optimum recovery and energy post workout.

First priority is re-hydration. Water, water, water. How much?
If you have a serious sweat session, you can weigh yourself prior to working out and again afterwards. This is the formula
(Pre-workout weight) - (post-workout weight) x 100
Pre-workout weight

So, if you are 70kg and you weigh 68kg post workout, the equation is:
(70 - 68) x 100
70                                          = 2.85% body weight loss

You need to replace more than the fluid loss because you will continue to lose fluid after your workout is over. For athletes, a 1% reduction in bodyweight through fluid loss equals an extra 17 seconds to race time in sprints. For the above example, this person would need to drink roughly 2 litres of water in the hours following their workout. 
Always BEGIN your workoutwell hydrated and avoid sugar-based drinks as they empty very slowly from the stomach. That's right, avoid the Red Bull or Coke!

Dietary Goals After Exercise

  • Adequate fluids, electrolytes, energy and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen
  • Protein for amino acids to build and repair muscle tissue
Carbohydrate intake (depending on your body size, workout intensity and duration): 1 - 1.5g carbohydrate per 1kg body weight in the first 30 minutes post workout and again every 2 hours for 4 hours.
Studies have proven that rather than relying purely on high-carbohydrate intake for recovery, a combination of 160g carbohydrate and 50g protein results in optimum glycogen storage.

  • Rice with chicken/beef/fish
  • Low-salt and high-fibre muesli/breakfast bar
  • Greek yoghurt and chicken/beef/fish sandwich on wholegrain bread
  • Pasta with tomato-based mince sauce (no creamy/cheesy sauces!)
  • Chocolate milk and 2 slices raisin bread + light coating of honey
Want to know more? Download and print this Recovery Nutrition Fact Sheet from Sports Dietitians Australia.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Eating Before You Work Out: What and When?

There are all sorts of theories about what you should eat and when. There's one that persists - working out on an empty stomach burns more fat. This CAN be true, but the consensus from
fitness industry professionals is that if you want a better workout that burns more calories overall, you need a glucose fix to maintain energy and perform at your best. If you work out at the break of day, it's much easier to knock back an espresso and go, but otherwise, working on an empty stomach just isn't realistic.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Choose complex carbs for glucose and lasting energy
  • Bananas have magnesium and potassium - this is a great combo when you're getting sweaty because you lose potassium through sweating and magnesium is essential for healthy nerve function and muscle repair
  • Avoid fats - even the healthy ones! Why? Fats take longer to empty from the stomach, so blood is diverting away from you muscles to your digestive system to break the fats down
  • Combining protein and carbs after your workout is the ideal way to rebalance your glucose levels and start the repair process. Studies have proven that instead of fuelling on carbs alone, the combination of protein and carbs is just as effective for restoration! 10 - 20g
    protein is DEFINITELY enough
  • HYDRATE! Water. If you are working out OVER 90 minutes or really high intensity, sports drinks are ok (select carefully - these are high in sugar and salt)
  • Hydrate well before you workout because it takes 20 minutes for the water you ingest to be absorbed so that water stop halfway through aerobics? You'll be stretching by the time it hits your system. You will feel thirsty ONLY AFTER you are already dehydrated
  • Roughly 600ml to 1 litre of water in the two hours prior to your workout is recommended
  • Caffeine is a stimulant - an espresso before you start is a great idea. Several afterwards? Not so much!

Greek Yoghurt 200 - 250g (preferably not sweetened/flavoured) +

Oatmeal with fresh fruit or handful sultanas

Wholegrain cereal with milk

Wholewheat bread with sliced banana and cinnamon or honey

English muffin with jam or almond butter

Water. Water water water.

Raisin/fruit toast with almond butter or honey

Strawberry, banana smoothie

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Ah, purple...

I have strayed, but I'm back. It feels right. I love you Purple. (Essie nailpolish in Bahama Mama and Merino Cool) - so many little willpower to resist.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Alternatives to Soft Drink

Guilty admission - when I was working in a media role a few years ago I had a boss who had her own little refrigerator loaded with Coke Zero. I had to know what the attraction was and ended up drinking 3 600ml bottles daily!
There are a litany of reasons why soft drinks, and diet soft drinks, are toxic. They are full of artificial additives, flavours, concoctions of chemicals and often, high in sodium. They will rot your teeth and here's the thing: they DON'T even satisfy you!
So, this is for me a few years ago and for my personal training client, Miss M, who wants an alternative to Coke.

Juice: go for vegetable-based juices because pure fruit juice is all the natural sugar of fruit without the fibre! A mix of both is great

Smoothies: Even BETTER than juice because you get the fibre too. Again, vegetable based juices are ideal. Throw in some ginger and mint for extra flavour

Iced tea: Licorice root tea is super-sweet and tastes fantastic iced. So does mint tea! There's plenty of flavours to choose from. Add mint, lemon juice or stevia to flavour (my favourite is T2 Tummy Time)

Skim milk: High in protein and calcium - this is satisfying AND nutritious!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Chocolate Balls Sugar Free (Plus...WIN!)

Chocolate lovers, this is for you. I bring you an addictive SUGAR FREE chocolate recipe that makes for a healthy treat for you, a blackmail tool for colleagues and friends, and a have-to-hide-from-the-kids goodie!
The recipe comes from Naturopath Mona Hecke, a Queenslander passionate about fresh, nutritious food. Her fabulous book, The Lunchbox Revolution, is packed with recipes for salads, snacks, dips and pestos and an easy-to-read guide to nutrition, deciphering food labels and catering to food intolerances. You can order your copy here for $10.95 postage included.

Some ingredients easily found at healthfood/organic stores!

Chocolate Balls
250g Medjool Dates (pitted)
2 tablespoons Raw Cacao (choc powder)
1 cup Almond Meal
2 tablespoons Agave Syrup
Schredded Coconut for rolling
Tahini if required

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until well combined.
Roll into approx 22 heavenly chocolate balls, tossing in coconut or raw cacao before refrigerating

While I must recommend you flex your Moderation Muscle in regards to the chocolate balls, you can go hell-for-chocolate with these cocoa cosmetics. Dark, luscious and gorgeous on all skin tones.
Clarins Lipliner Pencil in 04 Chocolate I want it!
Clarins Gloss Prodige in 01 Chocolate I want it!
Essie Nail Polish in Little Brown Dress I want it!
Rimmel Nail Polish 60 Seconds in At Ease I want it!
Sally Hansen Nail Polish in Bittersweet I want it!

To WIN two Rimmel ScandalEyes ShadowSticks, go to Facebook and SHARE this post with your friends! Winners announced on Facebook.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

October kicks off like this

Fabulous first of October. I dropped by my parents' place to take Buckley for a morning stroll.
THEN yours truly received a fabulous package in the post! Fashion Addict has ensured I'm spring-ready with a flower-fresh ring, glittery mermaid eye shades and a long-lasting liquid liner pen. Sweat, rain and gale force winds but my cat's eye flicks will stay in place!
I also discovered the best coffee I've had in years at Thomson St Foodstore and Cafe in Fairfield, Melbourne. Plenty of newspapers and little pots of herbs outside - the perfect local hangout.

Denise Payne: Fearlessness And Mercy

In the 1970s, as a teenager, Denise Payne was introduced to Kundalini Yoga by her teacher Sat Jiwan Singh. It became more than “a life...