Saturday, 31 May 2014

Primal Movement - The New Class!

The inclusion of "primal moves" into strength and cardio training isn't new. But there are very few dedicated classes and trainers who offer a specific program based on primal movement.
What is it?
Using the sorts of moves you engaged in while learning to move as a child, the movement patterns and styles of wild animals and really tuning in to your alignment, range of movement and ability to balance and sustain load under pressure.
Think of a lion stalking its prey, or a scorpion rising its tail...there is purpose and grace in these movements. They look effortless because they are deeply ingrained in daily behaviour. Primal movement takes the most natural patterns of movement and challenges us to identify our weak spots while honing areas we're strong in. For example, having a tough set of abs allows you to do a plank, but if you don't have flexibility through the hips, you'll struggle to bring your knee towards your elbow and maintain a one-legged hold.
Yoga and pilates already include elements of primal moves - elongating the limbs while engaging through the stabilising abdominal, back, glutes and hips are an essential basis for all the moves in these classes.
Downward dog, crow pose, cobra pose...all fantastic for strength and flexibility and great moves to include in a primal movement workout!
PMF is a 45 minute class developed by Gray Cook and Lee Burton.
In Sydney's Brookvale, Primal Movement focus on more than just movement, to include breathing, rest, nutrition and thought patterns into a healthy and mindful lifestyle. Find more info here

Try this move to engage through your core, stretching and strengthening the hamstrings, gluteal muscles and back. Ensure that you keep your shoulders back and down, your neck long and press down through the heels as you rise.
Of all the functional moves, this is the "Bend" action:

See examples of each of the functional moves at Dara Mazzie Fitness.

Keep checking the blog for further news on the class I'm designing to complement Ballet Sculpt...Primal Sculpt!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Awesome Rawsome Vegan - Cook or Let the Good Freakin Girls Deliver!

Let me say firstly, I am not a vegan. I don't eat much meat at all - mostly because it just isn't that appealing to me on a flavour basis.
I have come across some really appealing healthy meals and recipes lately and it just so happens, they are vegan. There's just so many flavours and ways to prepare and serve vegies, fruit, grains and legumes. No need to fully embrace a vegan lifestyle - but do be tempted by the amazing variety and healthy options on offer!

For some sweet indulgence (ice cream made from frozen banana!) I highly recommend Rawsome Vegan Baking ($20.82 AU) by Emily von Euw. Emily's blog This Rawsome Vegan Life is a treasure trove of incredible food offerings. I am in seventh heaven over this one...

raw vegan rolls
fresh summer rolls with basil, avocado, kale + spicy garlic peanut sauce:serves 2-4

Peanut sauce:
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 tablespoon chunk of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons each of tamari, maple syrup, and lime juice
Chili powder, to taste 
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup water (more or less as needed) 

1 cup cooked vermicelli (AKA rice noodles) 
5-8 rice paper sheets
1 carrot
1 avocado
1/3 cucumber
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup cilantro
5-8 kale leaves
1/2 red pepper

To make the peanut sauce: blend or mix together all the ingredients until smooth. If you like, sautee the garlic and ginger first to bring out more flavour. Set aside in a bowl. 

To make the wraps: cut all the veggies into thin strips. Dip your rice paper sheets in warm water so they soften and become pliable (do this one at a time), then arrange your fillings in the middle. Fold over two ends, then wrap it up like a burrito, making it as tight as possible. It might take a few tries to get it perfect. Serve with the sauce and enjoy nature's elegant beauty. 

If you're less inclined to get into the kitchen and you want to discover some vegan yumminess delivered to your home or workplace, I can't recommend GOOD FREAKIN' FOOD enough! Run from Abbotsford, in Melbourne's inner north, Jacq and Rosie create market-fresh and seasonally inspired salads, soups, lunches, dinners and juices.
Get your dinner delivered for around $15? Hell, yes!
For queries and orders, mail – or phone – 0417 055 122

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

#lazygirl Beauty - Win!

Big thankyou to Vaseline Spray & Go for making moisturising super fast and goo-free! I have a couple to give away - all you need to do is head to Facebook and tell me what your lazy beauty habit is: Core Integrity With Cat Facebook

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Kick Out The Blues

Cold days and the early dark call for some emergency "pamper me happy!" action. Never fear. I've got it covered for you.
Here's your action plan

Light a candle (Pigeon & Weasel Chai Latte) for a spicy, uplifting olfactory hit of bliss. Pigeon & Weasel is a NSW candle creator using recycled beer bottles and original scents to outwit their competition.

Roll out your yoga mat. Sure, it's easy to skip the gym and the outdoor training when it's cold outside, but you're going to feel 100% better for getting at least 30 minutes of heart-rate boosting activity in daily. Not only will it benefit your body, exercise is a mood booster. Kick those wintery blues out!

Get out the masks. A good face mask is always fun - you can instagram a green, gooey face to the world. I'm on a mission to thicker, more Angelina Jolie-esque hair right now and Kerastase Densifique mask promises to enhance the appearance of thick, healthy hair. Sold!

CULT ITEM ALERT! Seems hairdressers are onto something here. The Tangle Teezer is a cult item internationally. This little gem will get your wet hair out of a nasty big knot in seconds flat without ripping or damaging. Magic! It looks cute on the shower rack too. I tested to make sure. Tangle Teezer Aqua Splash.

Be inspired by Pantone Colour of the Year 2014, Radiant Orchid, and paint your lips a super bright fuschia. Hey, if it's good enough for Kate Moss, it's definitely ok be me. Rimmel Kate Moss lippie in 29.

Fool yourself and the rest of the world that you've just come back from a tropical holiday sipping cocktails by a lagoon. Pure Tan foaming self-tanner.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Keen for Quinoa - recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner

It's more hip than a bearded vegan coffee roaster in Fitzroy. That's right, quinoa. It just took me a while to get on this bandwagon!

Though it looks a bit like couscous, it's actually a plant protein that's rich in fibre and minerals (including potassium and magnesium). Because of its high protein content, it is perfect as a satisfying, healthy and versatile staple for breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.

Here's some favourite ways to use it. Remember to wash it thoroughly before you cook it as the seed has a bitter coating that is best removed prior to cooking.

Breakfast Quinoa

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flaked toasted coconut
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup sliced banana


1. Place quinoa in a fine sieve, and place the sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub the grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain quinoa. Repeat the procedure twice. Drain well. Combine quinoa, coconut milk, 2 tablespoons water, brown sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Stir mixture constantly during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
2. Place about 1/2 cup quinoa mixture in each of 4 bowls. Top each serving with 1/4 cup strawberry slices, 1/4 cup banana slices, and 1 tablespoon toasted coconut. Serve warm.

Quinoa Salads In A Jar

1/2 cup cooked quinoa 
Mason Jar cleaned and dry


1. After cooking quinoa, allow it to fully cool before adding to the jar. You can use a funnel to make this easier or spoon it in to avoid mess!
2. It is up to you whether you add the dressing and stir it in at this point. I prefer to keep dressings on the side but the original recipe recommends you add it to the quinoa first.
3. There are so many things you could add at this point, but I love the Asian Salad.
Asian Quinoa Salad
  • 3/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon PB2 powdered peanut butter; may substitute regular peanut butter
  • pinch of dried ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chia seeds (optional)
    SALAD INGREDIENTS (for 1 jar):
  • 1/4 cup snow peas cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoon roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup packed greens (optional); cut romaine lettuce, uncut arugula, uncut baby spinach, or shredded cabbage

Moroccan Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • juice from 1/2 lemon, or more to taste
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp (or more to taste) Harissa
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • salt, if needed

Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan and add the cumin, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. Stir in the quinoa (check the package to see if it needs to be rinsed in water first). Simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat when most of the liquid has been absorbed into the quinoa. Allow to cool.
Combine the lemon juice, honey and Harissa in a bowl. Stir in the cooled quinoa, shredded, carrot, currants, green onion and cilantro.

Check and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Killer abs and legs without moving - isometric exercise

Isometric exercises put the muscles under pressure without requiring movement. Iso = equal, and metric = length.

While your whole routine would not be based on isometric exercises, they are a great way to isolate and also to pre-fatigue muscles before you go into your usual routine.
For example, squatting against a wall and setting the timer for 1 minute before you go and do your barbell squats will ensure your glutes are already on fire! It also recruits your deep abdominal muscles to maintain the hold.
Here are your moves. How Long Do I Hold? As Long As You Can.
Glutes. Quadriceps. Abdominals. Slide down the wall into a squat - your knees and ankles should be in a straight line and your shoulders pressed back towards the wall (no hunching!) Keep your chin parallel to the ground and eyes ahead. Challenge yourself - set the stopwatch and try to beat your best time in a few days.
Glutes. Quadriceps. Adductors (inner thighs).What about my inner thighs, I hear you screaming. I know. Grab a lightweight ball or a yoga block that allows you to keep your knees roughly hip width and perform your squat-hold while pressing the ball between your knees. Hello hot pants!
Abdominals. Quadriceps. Hip flexors. This is a tough one. "Boat Pose" in yoga. If you want to start a little easier, bend at the knees and keep your shins parallel to the ground. You MUST keep your shoulders back and chest open. Hunching over is cheating. Check out your form in a side mirror or ask a trainer to assess your technique. 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Ombre Oh Yeah!

Few of you have seen my hair OUT of a topknot! I've mastered the two second flip-it-up and pin-it-there. It keeps it out of my eyes, away from that workout "glow" and, like Dolly Parton once said, The Higher The Hair, The Closer To God.
Perhaps it just adds a little bit of height. Anyway! I have really dark hair but I get bored if I leave it all one shade, so the last 3 inches are lightened. I have just dyed them a very dark blond. If you want to achieve the ombre look too, take some inspiration from these celebrities and either trek off to the hairdresser, images in hand, OR get a friend to help you do it at home. L'Oreal have just launched the Wild Ombre range with the gloves, lightening treatment and brush you'll need all in the one kit. I recommend getting someone else to apply to ensure it is all even and thoroughly applied through the back. My shade is Wild Ombre 102: Very Dark Hair.
Since I am such a fan of the topknot, here's a step-by-step guide to the braided topknot care of the girls at Treasures and Travels.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Skin Perfecting Potions on a Budget

Ah, technology. Sure, my computer has a taste for viruses and I discovered that kicking my old television was the only way to get it working perfectly (yes, I discovered this the only way possible). Technology in the hands of cosmetics companies is, thankfully, much more evolved.

I'm not above the thrill of a Dior serum, but I'm thrilled by the genuinely skin-perfecting results of Garnier Perfect Blur. It essentially applies light-reflecting particles to the skin to even out skin tone, minimise redness and fill in minor wrinkles. It doesn't perform a full facial, but it seriously improves the look of your skin without makeup. $13.60 at Priceline.

Since I can't get enough gleam, I'm also going to let you in on my addiction to Australis Mineral Highlights.
Pearl is stunning but I'm a new convert to the Gold hue. Doesn't clog pores so you won't end up spotty. Quite subtle too so you'll look refreshed rather than ready to rave. A little on the collarbones is really flattering too. $14.95 at Priceline.
While we're on the Australis topic, I couldn't go past purpley-pink lipliner in Miss-Behave ($8.95 - bargain!).

Since you've done so well with saving on the beauty buys, you're allowed one splash-out item. Since your eyes are the first sign of tiredness and eeny-weeny lines, go for Lancome Visionnaire Eye Set. It is very similiar to the "blur" range of products that diffuse light to improve appearance. I've tried it on the morning after a sleepless night and truly, after about 10 minutes, I look less zombie, more 6-hours-of-sleep-happened-to-me. $87 at Myer

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Thomas Bradley – Sydney Dance Company

Thomas Bradley took time out of rehearsals to answer my questions on life as a professional dancer. He's currently performing in Interplay.

Thomas Bradley Photo By Peter Greig
You’ve worked with Rafael Bonachela in the premiere of 2 One Another amongst other works. Do you have similar approaches to choreography and direction?
That’s a tough question. This is my first professional job with Sydney Dance Company so I feel like my palette is not that grand at the moment. I definitely feel like Raf’s process and creation has really informed the way I think about movement. [His style is about] the pure beauty of movement, without extra layers. That’s really informed the aesthetic of my own creations and choreography.

Rehearsals, performance and recovery all require a lot of time, energy and travel. Do you pursue passions outside of dance and is this difficult?

Yeah, I’m a busy little head! I’m absolutely hopeless at being in the moment. I think that’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time! I want to have my fingers in every pie. Especially with Sydney Dance, it’s outrageous how busy we are! It’s wonderful too. I’m much better with time management skills when I’m very busy. On holiday, I don’t do anything.

3.    What sticks in your memory as a moment when you’ve felt really inspired and moved by dance?

Two moments. One moment was when I was performing in my first year at New Zealand School of Dance. It was mid performance, such a surreal experience, and I was in a show with two beautiful choreographers. There were 10 male dancers and there was a moment when I was doing a solo and I had some kind of epiphany – I just went to the next level while doing something crazy like a grand plie.
As far as watching, and realising, there was this performance of Buto that I had a film of...that really resonated. Buto is a form of oriental theatre, very slow moving and it looks like they’re not going anywhere, but it’s very much a theatrically based movement idea and it’s a thought process as much as anything.

4.    The physical demands on dancers are great – how do you recover and prevent injuries from overuse?
Injuries are inevitable and we’re lucky at SDC that we have physios at work every day. We’re really well looked after. If we have class at 9.30 until 6.30pm, you have to be doing your own conditioning and maintenance after hours, otherwise you won’t be able to move the next day. It’s a lifestyle choice rather than a career.

5.    How often do you update New Vogue Male (Tom's Tumblr Page)? There’s some incredible imagery – have you considered a career in editing and film or photography?
They’re all things I have a passion for. I’m really lucky to have so many things I’m passionate about. I definitely feel like the path that I’m on, these others passions will inform this creative monster that I’ve become. I want to be able to choreograph, direct, stage, design, costume and compose.

6.    Also, you describe yourself as “anxious and temperamental” which I totally empathise with. How have you come to embrace these things?
It’s funny we’re having this conversation today! We just had a matinee school show  [SDC performs and holds workshops with school students] and I found myself in a really anxious world. It’s such a frightening thing because it makes you question what you’re doing. I know that I’ve embraced it. More people than not deal with that in the arts especially. You’re putting your own work out there and whether you feel like it or not, you have to go out there and perform. In that respect, this is a relationship and even with the person that you love the most, they’ll make you angry and they’ll make you hurt. But you don’t just throw it away and leave it.

ONZIE Yoga Wear

Onzie Yogawear
I am totally in love. As much as you can have a relationship with your yoga pants, this is for life. I discovered Onzie while window-shopping on Nordstrom thanks to a naughty recommendation from a stylish Ballet Sculpter!
The fabrics are not only super comfortable, but I haven't seen anything like the colours and patterns they use in any other activewear. I love colour. I love animal print and I love geometrics and digital design. On the Onzie website, you can find a whole gallery of yogis doing amazing things in their Onzie outfits. Get inspired. Left, my favourite new pants. Onzie Capri in 202.

Below, the links you need for all the new patterns and prints. Happy shopping.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Best Scents - Mother's Day Countdown

If you haven't prepared for Mother's Day, no drama. Here's the best fragrance picks for your mum. If you HAVE already bought her something, here's the best fragrance picks for you. You're welcome.

YSL Sharienne is crisp, citrus-infused and fabulous for day wear. 125ml @ David Jones

Kiehl's Fig Leaf & Sage is a stimulating fusion of Fig Leaf and Sage with underlying hints of bergamot, citron and thyme. 100ml @ Kiehl's

philosophy living grace is fresh, vibrant and rich with the scent of neroli to center and refresh @ philosophy

Prada Candy Eau de Parfum is playful and zesty just like Miuccia Prada herself! 50ml @ David Jones

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Love Your Lower Body - Sadie Lincoln (+ free barre3 workouts just for my readers!)

I love Sadie Lincoln - if you haven't discovered her barre3 workouts, I highly recommend her 10-minute for the time-challenged and the longer workouts when you can.

Sadie has just released "Love Your Lower Body" - a fabulous, hard-back book promising an 8-week plan to sculpt and strengthen. More than just pretty photos, there are
  • fresh, balanced recipes
  • picture guides to toning, sculpting moves
  • the science behind small movements
  • a personal journal to record your progress
  • a holistic guide to embracing a healthy body and lifestyle
While Sadie uses a "barre3 core ball" - you can pick up a similar item from Kmart or Big W from the sports or toys section. They are often with the pool toys!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Inspired - Food to Nourish Body and Inspire the Senses

So, if you've been following my blog, you'll be aware of my past battles with an eating disorder and the fact I still have battles to overcome.
I'm definitely not happy about it, but when I get anxious I tend to eat...and eat....and eat. My weight has gone up about 8 to 10kg and I'm struggling with that, but I also know that this is not about what size I am. I need to work out ways to feel anxious and know it will pass!
I also know it is really important to challenge the way I eat.
In Bali, I did power yoga and totally forgot about coffee and ate three meals a day. It sounds simple but it was new to me! I haven't felt so thrilled by nutritious, ANTI-DIET food since Bali until now.
Living and working in the inner north, I'm super lucky to be near Good Freakin Food in Abbotsford. The beautiful Jacq designs and delivers vegan meals and smoothies to individuals and workplaces. I highly recommend you subscribe to the newsletter. RAWTastic salad anyone?

Good Freakin Food Website, Twitter, Facebook

Friday, 2 May 2014

Raw Models: Sydney Dance Company x Jacopo Godani

I was thrilled to discover that contemporary dance is not all patchouli scented women trying to express their inner goddess. It's ah-mazing. I went to Sydney Dance Company's Interplay at Southbank Theatre in Melbourne lastnight and was absolutely blown away by choreographer Jacopo Godani's Raw Models. It was really tightly coordinated with atmospheric and energetic music by 48Nord. Here's what you missed - how incredible are the bodies, the costumes, the moves and the music?

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Nails: Polished, Punk, Princess?

Where have you been hiding? You KNOW if there's a rainbow of colours involved, I'm addicted to it. Nail polish - the best way to change your whole look in only minutes.
My favourites will always be OPI, Essie, Orly and Zoya.
Orly Skinny Dip
My latest Orly obsessions are
Orly Cupcake

Orly Goth

Cupcake, Skinny Dip and Goth ($18.95 each). What you need to know is they are FREE of DBP, Formaldehyde & Tolulene. And they're chip resistant.

Zoya Arielle
Zoya Perrie
Just like OPI is known for its witty colour names, Zoya's colours ($19) have each been named after a woman who inspires the colour. My favourites are Paloma Perrie Arielle Ibiza and Stacy.
Zoya Stacy
Zoya Paloma

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...