Monday, October 26, 2009

Hot Yoga is Really Hot!

What is hot yoga (also known as Bikram Yoga)?

Bikram or hot yoga is a series of yoga poses done in a very heated room, which is usually maintained at a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 40 degrees Celsius). Yoga at this temperature promotes profuse sweating, which is believed to help rid the body of toxins. It also keeps the body very warm and, therefore, more flexible.[5]

Bikram Yoga works toward wellness, restoration and rejuvenation. The heated studio facilitates deeper stretching, prevents injury, and relieves stress and tension. Bikram Yoga was designed to systematically stimulate and restore health to every muscle, joint and organ of the body. Participants are guided through a series of 26 postures during which the heart, lungs, circulation, muscles, brain activity and mental capacity are all affected. There are two descriptions of the 26 exercises and they are asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises). Both of these rely on each other to deliver positive results. According to Bikram, many people only use up to 50 percent of their lung capacity, and just like any muscle, the lungs must be stretched in order to (through practice) withstand holding more oxygen. When one is practicing the pranayama s/he will eventually be able to enhance oxygen conversion and absorption, as well as improve blood circulation. (Choudhury, 2007)

Is this class for beginners? This past weekend, I attended an all-level type hot yoga class. I must say I found it very challenging for a multi-level class. I believe it all depends on the instructor or studio/gym philosophy. If you are new to yoga, it is best to start with a beginner type class, then progress from there.

What is the controversy that sometimes accompanies this type of the class? Since the temperature of the yoga room is higher, there may be an increased chance of dizziness or fainting due to blood circulation.

Another concern is that the warmth of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments allows them to be more flexible than that at room temperature. Since this may enhance an individuals stretch, it may cause tissue damage by stretching past their safety limit.

Lastly, it has also been suggested that sweating profusely in a confined room with increased humidity may cause an increased air-bourne toxins. However, I believe there still needs to be more conclusive evidence of this.

Overall Rating of Hot Yoga - 4 out 5

I really enjoy the class because I tend to have a lot of muscles stiffness and soreness. The increased heat in the room allows my tight muscles to warm up with the stretching.

For more information on Hot Yoga classes, click here...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sick Days Are Needed

No matter how many times I try to get myself back into shape, some obstacle will always come to challenge me. Today, it is a cold. I decided to take a "sick day" to recover for the week so I can get back to my goal of "losing weight". I sometimes feel guilty for taking a sick day because of how it may affect others' lives (clients, family, etc.). However, I can't be everyone's saviour. I need to take care myself and I would extend that to everyone else I know. We can only reach our fitness goals if all aspects of our health are on track.

Like everybody else, when I don't know what else to do, I seem to go in for catching colds. ~George Jean Nathan

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Part I - OMG...Am I Still In Part I

Well, obviously, my workout/diet plan has not gone according to...plan. It is not that I haven't had the intention to get my butt in gear, it is just that my drive just doesn't seem to be there. I believe it is because I am trying to be the fit person that I was before having kids. The reality is that I do not have to same amount of time and energy to commit to the same hours as before. In addition, that was a part of my career at the time, which I have not pursued in some time. I know I need to make a change, both career and health. I really miss teaching classes and personal training. And I really want to be the healthy, vibrant person I used to be.
So I have decided to make some big changes. I have decided switched training gyms. That was a real big step for me, since I have been at the previous gym since 2003. I also hired a personal trainer to help me get started. Even though, I have personal training experience, I need some motivation at this stage of my life.
I have also decided to stick to some type of diet plan by adding more protein to my meals. In the beginning, I was trying to eliminate wheat in my diet but I don't think it was helping me lose weight. It also made me feel very constipated, which is really not a good thing.
Well...I think that is it for now. I will try to get to the gym today. Perhaps try a class or two. But first, I need to enjoy a big cup of coffee.

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day. ~Author Unknown

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekly Progress Update

Weight Lost: 4lbs.
BMI: 24.4 (last week 24.9)

I feel absolutely fantastic that I lost weight this week. I felt so stuck for so long at my certain weight and now I have finally lost some. I do think Weight Watchers On-line is such a great resource for tracking your food and activity points. It feels so great to know that I can keep within my points range and feel satisfied with the food I have eaten. Hooray!!

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
~Frank Tibolt

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Diet Plan...Or Setting-Myself-Up-For-Failure Diet Plan

I have to admit, after having 2 kids and working a couple of home businesses, I simply do not have the time to look after myself. It is so frustrating because I remember when, before kids, I was highly motivated to get to the gym and workout for a few hours. Exercise came so naturally and easy to me. If I gained a few pounds, I knew that with little effort I would be able to lose it quickly.
Now with very young kids and a busy life, I have lost all energy and drive to get to the gym. So I have decided to look into some fitness & diet plans (because you can't have one without the other) to get myself back on the wagon. I am looking into combining 2 fitness/diet plans together: The Abs Diet(book) and Weight Watchers (on-line). My plan is to follow the diet and exercise plan laid out in The Abs Diet and tracking my progress on Weight Watchers On-Line. I am desperate for some type of plan to get my butt off of the couch (and possibly get it a little smaller as well).

Check out my blog in the near future for my progress!!

For more information on these diet plans, check out:
The Abs Diet -
Weight Watchers On-line -

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Quote Faves: Optimism

An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.
~Irv Kupcinet

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recipe Idea: An Alternative to Sheperd's Pie

When I was younger, sheperd's pie was a staple in our family meal time. I had never been a fan of starchy potatoes (mostly because my dad insisted we had it every night). Once I moved out of the house, I had decided never to have sheperd's pie again. However, I do crave it at times probably because it reminds me of childhood.
I had tried an experiment with this recipe to make it a little less starchy and more healthy. It is also really easy and fast to make on those busy nights. I hope you enjoy it!


  • Lean Ground Beef - 1/2 lb.
  • Onion - 1/2 cup
  • Spices to season (chili powder, paprika, black pepper) - 1 - 2 tsp. each
  • Frozen Mixed Vegetables - 1 cup
  • Sweet Potatoes/Yam - 3 big or 5 to 6 small
  • Margarine - 1 tbsp.
  • Milk - 1/4 cup
  • Salt - pinch
  • Preheat oven 400F
  • Brown ground beef and onion in a large frying pan. Add spices.
  • While beef is cooking, steam frozen mixed vegetable and sweet potatoes/yams until ready.
  • Mash sweet potatoes/yams adding margarine, milk and salt.
  • Grease a casserole baking dish with non-fat spray.
  • Layer each of the following ingredients in order: ground beef mixture, mixed vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes/yams.
  • Cut margarine evenly on top of the sweet potatoes/yams
  • Place in oven for about 30 mins.
  • Take out and let cool for 5 mins.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Quote Faves: Postive Attitude

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Part I - The Struggle

I know now that everything in my life is different. From the time I get up in the morning to when I go to bed at night, it is not all about me. Everything revolves around two small children, whom have taken over my existence. I look at them every day feeling so lucky and proud to have them in my life. I would never complain that I am a mother because I have never wanted to be anything more. However, I do feel sometimes that I do not recognize myself anymore. I was accustomed to my routine of working out and keeping myself healthy. I took pride in the fact that I was very fit. Everything made sense to me. I was going to pursue my life dream of being a fitness trainer and share with others my passion for fitness. How could it have all changed? How did my life take such a turn?
I envy those mothers who have 4+ children and seem to have it all together. I can barely manage my life with two! I struggle with the concept of not being able to take proper care of myself. Some may say it is a selfish way to think. But why shouldn't I feel more inclined to do more things for myself? If it makes me fulfilled and happy, would that not be better for the family? That is something that I am struggling with every day. Trying to find that time for myself. Time to workout and do the things make me feel whole. Indeed my family are the most important people in my life. However, I need to put myself on that list as well.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Holiday Monday


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting Back on the Wagon

Workout: 20 minute run, 7 mins. abs, 5 min. stretch
Mood: Tired but feel content

Well my first week "back to it" did not go exactly as planned. Of course, family life got in the way as usual of my fitness goals. However, it was a tough week because of several birthdays and Mother's Day (Hooray for Moms!). I have realized since being a mother that life happens and not everything goes according to plan. You have to be flexible and not guilty for when your family needs you. There has to be some type of balance that everyone can agree with.
This week I am going to try to incorporate some running into my routine. Today I went out for a jog in the warm, sunny weather. I ran for about 20 minutes until my legs started to give out on me. It is hard to imagine that I used to be able to run for an hour a few years ago. I remember trying to build up to that point and, this time, it should be no different. Perhaps I can make it to 30 minutes by the end of the month.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ohhh...It's Not A Good Day

Workout: Recovery Day
Mood: Very, Very Tired and Moody (baby was up for 4 hours in the middle of the night)

Okay...I will admit that I am a little sore today not to mention exhausted because my baby thought she would have a cry fest instead of sleep. Not a great way to start a new exercise program. Good thing it is a recovery day or I would be hurtin'. Perhaps when I am feeling a bit more awake, I will explain the importance of taking a recovery when participating in intense physical activity. Until then, I will be heading to my hot, epson salts bath with a bottle of red wine.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My First Day

Workout: Bikini Boot Camp
Mood: Energized, Optimistic

I can honestly say that today was a great day in terms of feeling back on track with my fitness. Most times I think of excuses during the day to not go to my evening workouts, but today I was really looking forward to it. One of the main reasons could be that I joined a fantastic group called "Bikini Boot Camp" ( It is an 8-week twice a week class for an 1hr 15 mins. that gets your body ready for the bikini season. The workout consists of a variety of intense exercises such as cardio, strength, plyometrics, core, and others. One of the greatest thing about the class is that you get to work out with a group of 12 women every week. The only bad thing I can say is that I know my buns will be hurting tomorrow morning.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I have always wondered why it is so hard to get motivated to workout but so easy to "fall off the wagon". I guess most would say that after having your 2 children, your body has made some odd changes. In addition, having kids definitely sucks some of the energy from you.
So I made the decision to write some specific goals to help reach my fitness goals. I sat down and wrote out my SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Based) goals and here is what I came up with for this month.

S - To lose 8 lbs. (2 lbs per week)
M - 1 month
A - Yes. The healthy way to lose weight is 2lbs. per week, so I have given myself enough time.
R - Definitely. I have the support of my family (take care of the kids), resources (local gym) and my in depth knowledge in physical activity.
T - I think my time frame is appropriate considering I am a busy WAHM.

I am hoping that this will give me the motivation this week to stick with my workout plan. Hope you enjoy my first week of getting back into shape.