Sunday, 30 March 2014

Beyonce - Learn The Dances

If Justin Timberlake can do "Single Ladies", I think any of us can give it a whirl. My lovely friend Gen is one of the Bey Dancers - we're lucky in Melbourne to have a schedule of dance classes dedicated to Beyonce routines. Open to beginners and experienced dancers, the moves are built up in each class. That's right - nobody expects you to turn in Beyonce in one session.
Here's the timetable. Questions and to book, contact Liz by email
Need some more Beyonce inspiration? See

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Frizz-Free Gym Hair Ideas

I naturally have curly, frizzy hair. Every day, I workout. do I avoid being attacked by Feral Frizz?
By following these steps:

  1. Using really good shampoo and conditioner (Kerastase!)
  2. Heat Protect Spray $24
  3. ghd straighteners on SMALL sections of clean, dry hair (Step-By-Step Guide here!)
  4. Tying hair up to avoid sweating into it during a workout with snag-free ties
Once you're super smooth, you can plait it, knot it, twist and pin it. Working out and looking chic CAN happen together!

Stella McCartney x Adidas

Oh, how I wish money grew on trees so that I could own a luxury villa in Byron Bay and stock up on Stella McCartney's fashion-forward designs for Adidas. The best part? They are not only incredibly flattering and original, the fabrics, cuts and shapes are specifically engineered for optimum performance, even if it's just a jog to the corner coffee store. Since I am going to be a bit more budget-friendly, I'm going for these instead - love them?
adidas Women

My picks:

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Free YMCA Passes and Fitness Discounts in April

I know that it can be a drain on the budget to keep fit - gym costs, sneakers, the latest Nike outfit... so hallelujah for the Premier's Active April initiative.
It's 100% free and easy to sign up and when you do, you get sent fitness and health ideas as often as you want.

A list of events you can participate in...Events

You also receive a card that entitles you to

  • 10 Free YMCA Passes (participating clubs listed)
  • 15% discount at Rebel Sport
  • Free Fitness Events
  • Prizes and Special Offers
This is a Victorian Government project to promote health and fitness - get on board.

Monday, 24 March 2014

BodyPump 89 Tracklisting

Yes, I thought I was over BodyPump, but like a gorgeous and charming ex who makes your biceps look fantastic, I'm hooked again.
I am not teaching a regular class at the moment but I am having hip surgery in September and this new high-tech, amazing new hip is going to allow me to dance, jump, run and Pump again pain- and injury-free.

For those who are curious, this is the tracklisting for BodyPump 89. Even if you don't do Pump, it's a reliably good list of workout music.

As always, I LOVE the triceps track. Lady Gaga Applause - tricep dips and overhead plate extensions....over and over again. Sure, it's hard. But it will make you stronger and, yes, it will tighten up and sculpt the back of your arms. Come and share your thoughts on the latest Pump on my Facebook page and Twitter.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Eating and Exercise - Don't Link Them!

This is a topic that is so rarely given the attention it requires. In fact, most thought on the matter probably goes against me.
There's an awful lot of health and fitness magazines and articles that list the calorie value of foods and the number of calories certain exercises can burn per hour. If the link is not blatantly stated as "Do This, Eat That" then it is definitely implied.
If you run for 20 minutes, that's an extra 2 smarties for you!

The danger is, you can end up creating a Food As Reward relationship to exercise whereby you are motivated to do it only as a means to eat what you want. This takes the enjoyment out of both food AND exercise.

The ugly face of dieting is that it has a psychological impact that primes us for inevitable failure. Whether or not you are meeting your caloric requirements, if you are restricting certain foods or quantities, you will feel deprived. While not for everyone, it is common for dieters to end up binge eating the very foods they have "banned".

I have walked out of Spin classes or stepped off the treadmill only to hear the person next to me announce "I just burned 280 calories!"
First of all, the machine is only estimating you burned that amount based on some mysterious average Joe burning that amount. It can't know your exact weight, how muscular you are (because muscle burns more calories), how fit you are or whether you run every day or once every 3 weeks. All these things make a difference. You could be burning anything from half the estimate to double it.

Trying to then base your diet decisions around this magical number is, obviously, destined to be a mess. You can't accurately predict, from machines or even your super-high-tech heart rate monitor/calorie counter, exactly how many calories your body is using. You can establish a rough guide and this is the best you've got.

Rather than obsessively reading food labels and whipping out your calculator, the nutritionists and dietitians I've worked with have recommended having a "rough" idea of the calorie value of food. Ultimately, the focus should be on the quality of what you're eating as measured by how nutritious it is, how satisfying, how enjoyable and how you feel during and after eating. If you're sadly nibbling on a rice cracker with a smidge of vegemite, chances are that 5kg you'll lose in 2 weeks from not eating a sandwich instead won't feel like such a victory with a raging appetite at 4pm and thoughts of fluffy, fresh baguette clouding your brain.

Research into diets has shown that it matters VERY little the composition of carbohydrates, protein and fat in various weight loss diets when it comes to success in the long term. The ONLY key to success is whether an eating plan can be adhered to over time. Things like Lemon Detox, No-Carbs after 3pm, Juice-Cleanses and High-Protein diets naturally rob the body of the full range of vitamins and nutrients it requires. They will also leave you feeling deprived and distracted by thoughts of all the foods you're not "allowed".

The fabulous "The Conversation" invited academics from Melbourne universities to discuss weight loss based on research and facts. I highly recommend you look at "The science behind weight loss". Rather than telling you to eat less and exercise more, it actually delves into theories on why obesity is such a growing problem, why dieting is so often doomed to failure and what methods and mindsets are most valuable to succeeding in maintaining a healthy weight.

I love dance, I love pilates, yoga and step. These are highly social, creative and challenging ways to be active AND have fun. While you might prefer boxing or running, make sure it's something you're not dreading beforehand and struggling to find the motivation for.
I genuinely enjoy teaching Ballet Sculpt too - it's a fun way to get a workout while embracing your inner dancer and spending time with plenty of friendly, welcoming men and women!

Here's what you need to know in a nutshell:

  • Choose exercises you enjoy and feel challenged by 
  • Eat foods that you enjoy and that you know are good for your body and soul - if that means chocolate now and again, or hot chips at the football, don't feel guilty for it
  • Don't take the calorie count given on heart rate monitors and machines as the gospel truth
  • Don't try to make up for overeating or binge eating with compensatory exercise
  • If you are vulnerable to dieting/body image messages, avoid women's magazines and "fitness" magazines - if you need advice, seek a personal trainer who understands your vulnerabilities and has enough experience to give you good, inspirational advice
  • Accept that your friends and workmates might love jumping on the diet bandwagon - it doesn't mean you have to join them! 

Les Mills Dance-A-Palooza @ Melbourne Exhibition Centre April 4 - 6

The Butterfly Foundation (free support service if you're concerned about your eating/exercise habits or those of a friend/family member)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Dame Viv Talks Vegetarianism, Saving Water....In The Shower

I love Vivienne Westwood. She opened the cult punk clothing store "SEX" that lead to the meeting between McLaren and Johnny Rotten and resulted in the Sex Pistols, for better or worse!
In recent times, as well as putting out AMAZING fashion ranges and scents, she has been very outspoken on political and ethical matters.
As well as keeping my showers short, I'll be reminding myself of Viv's world-awareness when wearing "Naughty Alice" like the true perfume addict I am. I also love "Boudoir" - even if the scent doesn't rock your world, the bottles are collector's items!

I suggest signing up to Meat Free Mondays on Facebook for a weekly reminder, fabulous recipes and info on meat-free proteins and health info.

This video sees Dame Viv jumping in the shower while discussing vegetarianism, saving water and just generally, being a conscientious human being. You'll feel better for watching it!

Naughty Alice @ Myer Online
Meat Free Mondays Australia

Monday, 17 March 2014

Naturally Good Skincare

With so many skin and beauty brands on shelf and online, how do you choose a new product? Let me help you narrow your choices.
Go with natural and organic products where possible.
What you put on your skin is absorbed by the body - if you read through the ingredients and you can't pronounce most of the ingredients, let alone know what they are, do you really want to layer it all over your skin?
Antipodes has no artificial colours or fragrances, no mineral oils, no petrochemicals, and they don't test on animals. Natural ingredients in their products include New Zealand’s world-famous manuka, totara, kowhai and mamaku black fern, avocado oil, deeply moisturising Australian macadamia nut oil and China's Reishi mushroom of immortality. I use their Grace Gentle Cleanser and Rejoice Light Day cream (smells like sweet almond, delicious!)
Antipodes Website
Antipodes Facebook

The Jojoba Company use 100% natural Australian jojoba oil, in addition to Quandong and Kakadu plum extracts to nourish and moisturise skin. Like Antipodes, their products are gentle, naturally derived and smell divine. The Jojoba Company was founded in 2008 by Ian Turner, who planted his first crop of jojoba on the family estate in New­ South Wales.
I added to my haul of BB and CC creams with the latest Jojoba Company cleansing product, The EE Cream (a jojoba oil-based exfoliant that isn't harsh and drying!)
The Jojoba Company Website
The Jojoba Company Facebook

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Brazil does it Better - pilates butt, thighs and abs workout

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will know that I am a nail-polish-aholic. I can claim it as work-related though! There is much finger and toenail looking throughout Ballet Sculpt. The planks, the reaching, the balance work. Looking at chipped, flaky nails would just be depressing!
This post is inspired by OPI's Brazil Collection. And the beautiful Brazilian body. I haven't been, mind you, but it's common knowledge that the Brazilian bikini is the skimpiest outfit there is and while a perfectly taut torso isn't required, a whole lot of confidence in what you have IS.
Here's your checklist for what really matters:
  • Do you know roughly how much protein you require daily and do you meet it?
  • Can you touch your toes?
  • Can you exercise moderately at least 3 times a week?
  • Do you vary your activities?
  • Do you do some form of weight/resistance training (using bands, dumbbells, bars or cables)?
  • Could you run 50 metres to catch a bus without being out of breath?
If you answered no to any of these questions, that's your challenge for the coming two weeks. Make exercise a priority. Think of where your weaknesses are and try to challenge them through your training choices.

I LOVE dancing and I love yoga. I haven't been doing either for over 12 months! So my challenge looks like this:
  • Take dance classes
  • Take yoga classes
  • Paint nails "Don't Bossa Nova Me Around"
In 25 minutes, you can do this quick "Brazilian Butt" workout - you just need a mat. Great pilates techniques given at the start - watch, listen and learn!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Solow Style Ambassador

I mentioned a while back that I am an ambassador for amazing activewear brand, Solow Style. I am very fussy about the quality and cut of activewear since I wear it 99% of the time!
I do my own training - cardio and weights - plus teach Ballet Sculpt and Pump - wearing Solow gear. It is so flattering too - don't ever underestimate the power of feeling confident in how you look to actually performing at your best.

My profile is here and while you're there, check out the other ambassadors. There's some amazing women and their fitness/health websites to get inspired by.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Get The Ballet Look

It's easy. With some select products and having mastered a top knot hairdo, you'll be up, scrubbed, made up and out the door in time for a coffee pre-workout!
Loving the Digital Romance collection from Lady Jayne - pinks, bobby pins and bow-adorned hairties and headband - gorgeous!
Australis CC Cream & Highlights in Pearl
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer in #2
Manicare glameyes
Rimmel ScandalEyes liquid eyeliner pen
Lady Jayne Digital Romance hair accessories

Friday, 7 March 2014

Whittle Your Waist in an Ad-Break!

Yes, you can. The abdominal muscles should be getting a workout throughout your day just by stabilising your hips, when you twist, bend, lift or stretch. You don't need to go spending 30 - 40 minutes specifically doing abdominal exercises. Especially crunching for long periods.

The following moves will target rectus abdominus and your obliques particularly. These run in a cross-hatch pattern down the side of your torso. Shamelessly indicating this in the image to the left. Stop staring, get to work!

Focus on gentle anchoring your belly button back towards your spine - not sucking in like you'll turn blue in the face, just feeling a 'brace' so that you can sense your tummy muscles are switched on. This is your first step - THEN start moving.
Side Step: ensure your full foot steps up to the bench before you extend - this can be done without weights if you prefer - keep your hips aligned beneath your shoulders so they don't tilt to the side.

Side Plank: you can do this on your knees - think about raising your hips to the roof.

Twist: you can use a rolled up towel or elastic strap - only lean back as far as you can keep your abs braced and DO NOT HUNCH YOUR BACK!

Side Step and Lateral Extension
Side Plank


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Australis: Giveaway!

My first ever makeup was a very pale pink lipstick my mum left wrapped on my pillow when I was
10. It was labelled "Australis" and I wore it until it was just a pink speck in the tube! I have loved lipstick every since. Fortunately, just as I am still getting excited over new colours and formulas, Australis are still innovating and they have also labelled their products animal friendly. Some are vegan too.
I am proud and thrilled to celebrate the awesome Velourlips Matte Cream range by giving away four shades.

All you need to do is head to the website and pick your favourite shade. Let me know on Facebook which one you want and first in, best dressed! You MUST Like Australis on Facebook!

I'm also loving the pink/purple colours - incomparable. Not easy to make purple wearable! Loving Gangsta Rap and pale, lilac-hued Lick The Icing.

Monday, 3 March 2014

ghd Pastel Collection - get jealous over Jade!

If you are, like me, a regular gym-goer, yogi, pilates princess or runner, you will know the frustration of frizzy hair post-workout. Or FHPW.

You will also know the deep frustration of never getting your hair to be perfectly straight and smooth in the same way your hairdresser does. But I have discovered the answer! Just in time for my newly tender, blonded locks.

This is the beauty of having a friend who is a fabulous hairdresser. You must, must, must invest in a ghd straightener. They are salon-quality, perfectly and evenly heated ceramic plates and able to create straight and curled looks.

Think of it like cost-per-wear. Not to mention that you won't have to constantly cut off your fried, split ends because they won't be fried!

I have to admit, it is the ghd Pastel Collection that sold me. Lavender (pale purple), Periwinkle (pale blue) or Jade (pale green) are your options ($249). Free delivery from the website - just register!

For stockists, call 1300 443 424 or go to
You can find hair inspiration from ghd on their Pinterest and Facebook

Still lightening my stubborn locks but the goal is pastel pinky-purple. Love your tips and advice if you have achieved the pastel colour look. Get over to my Facebook and leave me your comment!
If you're keen to achieve a bright colour, I recommend Fudge Paint Box!

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...