Happy Brand New You!!!

2017

OMG 15 days have passed since we have welcomed 2017 and yes, It has been ages since my last post, I am well aware…since March last year to be more precise (WOWWW)…. However…However… this is not without good reason. And in this instance that reason takes the unmistakable shape of Relocation with pretty much brand new everything! Brand new location, brand new flat, brand new routines, schools for the girls, brand new community, new friendships, new neighbours and everything else you can imagine. After five years of living in our beloved Apartment in Taipa and after counting endless months (more than a handle ;)) in Macau, we upped sticks to the sticks…. well to not that far…to our dear neighbour –> Hong Kong… But more about that later, Now we focus on keep going into 2017 right, we focus on keep rolling with the Resolutions, we focus on keep going recharged, rejuvenated and absolutely ready to embrace this brand new chapter of 365 pages.

The new year is the perfect time for a clean start and a new outlook on what you want to achieve this year. Whether is boosting your endurance, getting into shape or simply make more time for yourself, consider this a chance to make your brightest dreams a reality. It’s  an opportunity to reflect on the past and to challenge yourself to new begginings. This is the time to Dream Big – and start the change NOW – and you don’t need to relocate like I did.

Want to clean up your diet and choose healthy foods that will also help you to drop the unwanted kgs? Conquer the clutter; over scheduling (yep, I know!!), and other unwanted obstacles that often stand in your way? Whatever your hopes and wishes are for the coming year, use the turning of the calendar to put them into action.

It all starts with you and Don’t wait for a Monday or the 1st of the Next Month. Start Now!!!

If you are new to fitness or coming back after a long layoff – it happens to all of us – turn to my special “Beginners Fitness guide for Women” which includes comprehensive workouts and an easy and affordable diet plan that you can follow. You will also find easy and yummy pre-post/post-workout snacks in our recipe menu and don’t forget to share/tag your New-Year New-You goals and accomplishments with our brand new #thebodybymari on Instagram.

Happy and Healthy New Year Everyone

XX

 

 

 

 

Good news Healthonistas !!!

Haaa a few new words for your vocabulary! Healthonista and Healthonism…have you ever heard about it?If not, find out the meaning of these perfect words below and start applying it to your daily healthy lifestyle.

The latest trend for combining health and hedonism is BOOMINGGG in Australia and Europe, specially in the U.K…

Gym or happy hour?Yoga class or clubbing?Mojitos or green juice? Yes, we do know it a though choice sometimes but thanks to the rise of healthonism = health + hedonism – you don’t have to be torn much longer.

The latest trend for mindful partying blends a healthy fitness routine with a healthy social life. Exercise merging with excess has been a growing theme over the past few years – while events such as Colour Run or Nike’s We Own the Night have helped turn fitness into a fun event you sign up to do with your bestie. But in the past year, the idea has shifted to a whole new level….into workouts combined with  proper after-party….

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Today, healthonism events are a regular feature in the fitness calendar. Not in Macau tho, but Hong Kong is slowly getting there. For a pure healthonism experience, you will have to look up in your country.

Cold Pressing for the perfect Cocktails! Healthy drinking is a core element of healthonism. Some Juice brands have unveiled a range of cold-pressed juices that create body-boosting cocktails when mixed with vodka for example. Others, developed a whole range of cocktails with ingredients you’d normally find in healthy stores like Maca or Spirulina.

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While the usual advice is to avoid alcohol if you are serious about fitness, there’s actually some evidence that healthonistas might have got it right. A study reveals that people tend to exercise more on the same days they drink more – sounds paradox – but it seems we are inclined to push ourselves much harder during a workout when we can reward ourselves afterwards with a few drinks with out fitness buddies.

Signs you’re a Healthonista

  • Your morning after routine involves yoga and coconut water instead of coffee and Nurofen
  • If it’s not bright enough to be seen at a fitness rave, it doesn’t  make it into your workout wardrobe
  • You’ve seen a sunrise twice in a week. Once getting home and once going for a run
  • Your kitchen shelves are groaning with coconut oil and almond butter, along with artisan vodka and organic wine
  • Your ideal holiday is two weeks in Ibiza = 1 week partying and the other 1 detoxing
  • Your instagram feed is a mix of workout shots, sunsets, sunrises, palm tree, juicy burgers or cake

The veredict: Can healthonism be actually healthy for you? Like everything in life, if you can keep both parts of that lifestyle going…as long as you do it with moderation. But how long can you keep it up for? As long as you get older, it takes your body a lot longer to recover, whether it’s from a night out or from doing a tough workout. The key to a truly healthonistic lifestyle : Enjoy both, without doing either to excess.

So you can definitely sign put for that Glow with the Flow Class with cocktail – just make sure it’s not the only way you exercise this year 😉

glow in the dark yoga for festival Melanie McNiell , Rose Lamont and Kelly Clayden.

Circuit Training 101

My Fitness Obsession uncovered!!!

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Circuit training is basically a combination of resistance training alongside high intensity aerobic work. The aim is to move between one exercise to the next – often referred to as “stations” – with little or no rest in between. At the end of all the exercises within the circuit you would take a short rest and then start again from the beginning. Circuits are often made up of around 8-12 exercises spending around 40 seconds-1 minute on each one and the entire circuit would normally be completed 3 times through although this can be changed to suit the individuals needs and fitness levels. Below are my top 6 reasons for including circuit training into your routine.

I was first introduced to this kind of training a few years ago…maybe 3 or 4 years ago. But couldn’t really put a name in it until Circuit training became a hit. I just knew i felt great after it and wanted to keep going with it. Last year..around this time.. hubby pushed a few videos in youtube and we would challenge each other in our living room…(yesss every other day we turn our living room into a yoga room or into a gym class room with the appropriate props and music..for 90min we work our asses out…If Girls are not sleeping, they are cheering for us super excited ). From there, i have watched a few circuit training sequences for women and i got immediately hooked with it. Gossip it works so well for me.

It was not before our trip to Mauritius (May 2015), where i got my first ever, PT – Boot Camp sessions that i got this freaky bug going on…Since then…every trip i make, is not about cardio apparels at the gym anymore but my own fitness routines, alternating with yoga…

I love it and works very well for me and my Body. There is definitely NO EXCUSE!!!You can do anywhere at Any given Time…just paired with the right Diet for you and you are ready to rock that health forever!!!

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I start the training with a Dynamic Warm-Up for maybe 10-15 minutes.

Around 10 years ago, dynamic warm-ups started gaining popularity in the sports world as an effective method for athletes to prep before an event. Today, dynamic warm-ups are a standard routine for athletes ranging from amateurs to professionals.

A dynamic warm-up uses stretches that are “dynamic,” meaning you are moving as you stretch.

Dynamic stretching is ideal as the core of a warm-up routine for several reasons:

1.It activates muscles you will use during your workout. For example, a lunge with a twist is a dynamic stretching exercise that engages your hips, legs, and core muscles. Whether you are doing weighted lunges in the gym, the muscles involved have already been engaged during your warm-up.
2. Dynamic stretching improves range of motion . So if you feel like you can barely bend over to tie your shoes after a long day at work, a dynamic warm-up routine can help you feel more limber.
3. Dynamic stretches improve body awareness. If you don’t warm-up, it may take a while for your body to perform optimally. Moving as you stretch challenges your balance and coordination; skills that could help your performance.
4. Warming up in motion enhances muscular performance and power. Studies reveal dynamic stretching before a workout can help you lift more weight and increase overall athletic performance compared to no stretching or static stretching . If you are trying to get stronger, build more muscle, or simply perform better, a dynamic warm-up routine is likely your best bet.

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1: It does not take long.

Many people still feel that they need to be in the gym for at least an hour especially if they are doing cardio and resistance training alongside each other, 20-30 minutes of aerobic training and then at least the same amount of time doing weights. Because circuit training combines the 2 together and is performed with little or no rest, you can complete an effective session in as little as 30 minutes including warm up and cool down.

2: You do not need much equipment.

You can have a very effective training session using minimal kit and even with just your own body weight. This means you can do it at home or at the gym during peak time when a lot of the equipment will be taken.

3: It can help to keep you interested.

When it comes to cardio training many people will spend 30 minutes or so plodding away on a piece of equipment such as the cycle or cross-trainer for example. After a few weeks of doing this boredom can easily set in which is one of the main reasons people give up the gym/exercise (also this form of exercise is not always the best way to reduce body fat but that’s for another post!). With circuit training you are continuously changing exercises and only spending a minute or so on each one. You can also mix up your circuit from session to session by simply changing the order of exercises or using different exercises altogether.

4: It works everything.

Within a circuit session not only are you going to get your heart and lungs really working but with the right exercise selection you can work all your major muscle groups.

5: It is effective.

From teaching endless number of circuit classes and using circuit training within my personal training sessions and my own workouts I have seen first hand how effective this form of training is especially for stripping away body fat and improving muscle definition. By mixing cardio and resistance training together it means you will keep your heart rate elevated throughout the session. So while you are doing a resistance exercise your body is still burning away the fat.

6: It is suitable for all fitness levels.

You can tailor circuit training to any fitness level by simply changing some of the variables such as exercise selection, time or reps per exercise and changing the length of the rest periods.

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30-Day Slim Down Challenge

Just in time for your get-healthy, be-stronger, love-your-body resolutions, our Shape Slim Down Challenge has everything you need. Join us for this exclusive 30-day diet and workout challenge that will give you lasting results.

We want you to feel better than ever this year, and this Slim Down workout-and-eating plan can help you get there. You’ll repeat each exercise weekly, adding reps as you go along. Combine these mega moves with our healthy eating tips that challenge you to make small changes throughout the month, and you’ll be svelte and slim right on schedule for Valentine’s Day!!!

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Plyo Push-Up
Start on the floor in a palm plank. Push into palms to explode body off floor (feet stay planted), clapping hands if possible. Land in start position with elbows soft. Repeat.

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High-Knees Sprint
Run in place, pulling your knees toward your chest and vigorously pumping bent arms.

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Speed Skater Lunge
Standing, jump right foot to right, bending left leg and crossing it behind right to land in a deep lunge with right leg bent 90 degrees and on ball of left foot, leg slightly bent (keep butt as low as possible). Reach left arm across body to touch floor in front of right toes (to make it easier, touch right shin or just reach right). Switch sides; repeat. Continue quickly alternating sides.

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Jump-Switch Lunge
Standing, lunge forward with left foot, bending knees 90 degrees. Jump as high as you can, swinging arms overhead and switching legs in air. Land with arms by sides and right foot forward, immediately bending knees. Continue quickly alternating sides.

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Pilates Teaser
Lie faceup on floor with knees bent over hips and arms extended up with palms facing each other to start. Roll upper body up and extend legs until you’re sitting, body forming a V shape with arms parallel to legs. Pause, then slowly roll upper body back down, one vertebra at a time, keeping legs in the air. When your shoulders reach the mat, return to start position. Repeat. Continue slowly.

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Squat Jack
Standing, drop into a squat, bringing fists in front of chest with elbows bent at sides. Jump feet wide, straightening legs and swinging arms out to sides and up to meet overhead. Continue quickly.

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Burpee
From standing, crouch and plant palms on floor. Jump feet back to plank (keep abs tight), then lower chest and thighs to floor. Press up to plank, then jump feet toward hands. Lastly, jump as high as you can (make sure feet are under shoulders before you launch), clapping hands overhead. Continue quickly.

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Slim Down Your Diet

You can’t have one without the other—to see serious success this month, complete the fitness challenges simultaneously with these tips to get your diet it tip-top shape.

Day 1: Lose the Blame
Losing weight isn’t about blame or shame. So cast those feelings aside right away. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself—that only makes it harder.

Day 2: Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Goal setting is crucial to any achievement, but when it comes to weight loss you want to focus on making large goals (and mini ones within that) specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-based.

Day 3: Ditch Added Sugar
Sugar is lurking in unsuspecting places—think juices and dressings, and many people are already consuming way too much. All that extra sweetness adds up to an increased risk for heart disease—say goodbye!

Day 4: Avoid Refined Carbs
Nutritionists suggest being a little stricter with your diet in the beginning, but the truth is, refined carbs are diet disasters you’ll be happy you ditched. These quick-digesting carbs offer none of the fiber and nutrients you’d get from their unrefined cousins, and can cause blood sugar spikes and belly bloat.

Day 5: Put Down the Drink
Don’t freak out! You can slowly incorporate a glass of wine back into your diet here and there, but if you’re serious about results, it’s important to cut out alcohol completely for now—it can wreck your fitness goals.

Day 6: Plan One Indulgence
By planning ahead for your treat or snack of choice each week, you’ll be less likely to overindulge or binge.

Day 7: Allow Spontaneous Indulgence
Cravings happen, and while you shouldn’t give in to every one, you can cut yourself some slack to give in to temptation once a week (within reason of course).

Day 8: Keep Grains in Check
It can be tempting to fill up on whole grains because hey, they’re good for you, but there is something called too much of a good thing. Calories are calories no matter how you serve them. Limit whole-grains to three servings a day.

Day 9: Eat Only When Hungry
Sounds pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often you mindlessly munch just because you’re bored, stressed, or for no reason at all. Ask yourself if you’re actually hungry next time you reach for the bag of pretzels.

Day 10: Go for a Walk
Speaking of eating out of sheer boredom—any well-intentioned diet’s worst enemy—when you start to feel antsy and temptation sets in, head outside and take a walk around the neighborhood instead.

Day 11: Never Skip Breakfast
Start your morning with a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast. Eating a substantial meal (or at least a balanced one) will set you up for more control and limit overindulging throughout the day.

Day 12: Say No to Junk Food
Even the strongest of willpowers are no match for the greasy junk food black hole. Studies show that junk food has an addictive quality that leaves you constantly wanting more…and more.

Day 13: NOP to Processed Foods
Processed food, which is often high in saturated fat and refined starch or sugar can cause inflammation that disrupts hormones responsible for telling your brain you’re full. A.k.a., you’ll eat a lot more.

Day 14: Shop for Whole Foods
You’re wiping your diet slate clean of junk and processed foods, so fill the void with clean whole foods. Think veggies, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fats. Spend most of your time around the periphery of the grocery store where fresh produce and dairy is shelved.

Day 15: Meal Prep
Whether it’s knowing what’s on the menu from breakfast through dinner or actual prep work like cutting, chopping, and packing meals—planning ahead is your secret to success. You’ll be much less likely to make a pit stop at the vending machine or grab a burrito for lunch.

Day 16: Reorganize Your Pantry/Fridge
Don’t “store” food on the counter—put cereal boxes away and keep bread out of immediate sight. Experts say you’ll eat what you see. On the other hand, healthy snacks and fresh fruits should be kept at eye level or in plain view so they’re convenient to grab.

Day 17: Keep a Food Journal
Jotting down exactly what you eat each day has long-been known to have eye-opening effects on food decisions. It’s a great way to identify nutritional holes in your diet, as well as noticing a late-night snack session that’s setting you back from reaching your goal.

Day 18: Ramp Up Protein Intake
If you’re feeling sluggish or aren’t seeing the results you’d hoped for, take a look back at your food journal. You may be falling short in the protein department. Incorporate more lean meats like turkey and chicken as well as tofu, legumes, and leafy greens.

Day 19: Put Veggies or Fruit on Every Plate
Lacking in the produce department? Make room for veggies at every single meal—in scrambled eggs, on a sandwich, as a side dish or main course. Research says the more fruits or veggies make an appearance on your plate, the fewer calories you’ll consume overall.

Day 20: Know Your Healthy Fats
It wouldn’t be called a well-balanced diet without some healthy fats, but the key word here is healthy. Fats from olive oil, avocados, and nuts will fill you up and give you the biggest bang for your nutritional buck.

Day 21: Keep Portions in Check
You know just the right size for a grilled chicken breast, but what about less obvious items? Extra calories from salad dressings, for example, can quickly add up, so instead of thoughtlessly pouring dressing on a bed of greens, portion 1-2 tbsp. in a small bowl first.

Day 22: Track Total Calories
While it’s important to know that everyone’s required calories for weight maintenance and weight loss are different, one thing that’s true across the board if you want to drop pounds: calorie expenditure should exceed calorie intake. Around 1,500 calories a day is an average sweet spot for weight loss.

Day 23: Eat at the Table
Experts say you can easily underestimate daily calories due to forgotten snacks or meals you ate while standing. So even if you don’t have long, take a seat at the table and have a real meal—we promise you’ll enjoy your food so much more.

Day 24: Eliminate Distractions
According to research, eating when you’re distracted results in consuming a significant number of extra calories a day. Turn off the TV and leave the smartphones on silent in the other room.

Day 25: Slow Down
Research found that women who ate lunch more attentively consumed 30 percent less when they snacked later. Tricks to keep in mind: Smell your food. Chew it slowly. Don’t put another bite on your fork until you swallow.

Day 26: Downsize Your Dinnerware
Swap serving spoons for the regular size, and research says you’ll dish out about 15 percent less. Trimming the size of your plate also helps keep portions in check—plus the same amount of food looks larger on a smaller plate.

Day 27: Bust Out the Scale
The scale doesn’t have to be scary. Weighing in every day has been shown to help people lose more weight, and keep it off long term. Aim to step on the scale at the same time each day for the most accurate results.

Day 28: Reduce Sodium
Frustrated because you still seem squished in your skinny jeans? Salt could be to blame. Sodium is bloat’s BFF, and can cause the scale to fluctuate unfairly due to water retention. Cut back, and be aware of the less obvious salt-traps like cereal and salad dressings.

Day 29: Sleep 7+ Hours
Logging less than the recommended seven hours of ZZZs can not only make you irritable and groggy, but lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals. Hormones that control hunger skyrocket, and those that tell the brain your full are suppressed. Double whammy!

Day 30: Cut 100 Calories
In the beginning, you felt lighter and the scale agreed, but now you’re standing stagnant—what gives? Battle the dreaded plateau by cutting an extra 100 calories or so a day—now that you’ve lost some weight, your body simply doesn’t need as much fuel.

Cheers to a Healthier, Fitter and Brand New you!!!There is absolutely no excuse..

Xx

Spring Clean your Diet!!

Spring Clean your Diet!!

Even if you haven’t been indulging in rich, comforting meals all winter, chances are you’ve accumulated more unhealthy foods in your freezer, fridge and cupboard than you realize. To start off the new season on the right foot, a little spring cleaning for your food supply might be in order.

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That’s what i have done today:

Declutter Your Freezer

If you throw foods in the freezer and forget about them, it’s time to clear out the old build up. Get rid of all the items with ice crystals forming on the food or the packaging. Anything with freezer burn will taste worse, but it also often means that the nutrients are lost from foods, especially produce.

Keep some uncooked protein, like lean beef and chicken; it’s good for up to nine months once frozen, and can help you skip a midweek trip to the grocery store. Fill the rest of your freezer with bags of frozen berries and peaches (to throw in smoothies, yogurt and hot cereals) and vegetables like peas, spinach and broccoli (to add to soups and increase the nutrition of takeout dishes). Want to keep a few microwavable meals on hand for times you need a quick fix? Look for options with fewer than 400 calories and 400 mg of sodium.

Lighten Up Your Fridge

Even with tons of frozen fruits and veggies in your freezer, you’ll want some fresh varieties as well. Aim for foods that will keep for several days in the fridge, such as apples, oranges, cauliflower and cabbage. Don’t cut up anything or wash produce when you bring it home from the store. To make these items more convenient for packed lunches or snacks,  prep them only the night before you’ll be consuming them.

Swap out creamy condiments like salad dressings, mayo and sour cream for mustards, Greek yogurt or olive oil with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. And always have a carton of eggs for quick-cooking protein that goes well with any meal or snack.

Clean Your Cupboard

There’s more to junk food than potato chips. Toss items packed with sugar, sodium and preservatives, such as pretzels and most granola bars and energy bars.

Trade in high-sugar cereals — and keep in mind that even healthy-seeming choices like granola and gluten-free options can fall into this category — for oatmeal flavored with cinnamon and fruit. Load up on whole grains like quinoa, brown rice and wheat pasta; low-sodium beans for a punch of protein and fiber; and cans of fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon to get those omega-3s.il_340x270.439560488_bx4z

Put Everything In Its Place

To ensure your healthy habits stick, it’s important to put some thought intothe way you store your foods. From the pantry to the fridge, place the nutrient-dense items at eye level, front and center, and put any treats in the back and make sure that everything is in the correct place to stay at its peak freshness.

Stocking your kitchen with nutritious choices is the first step to healthy eating — and arranging your storage areas in a way that encourages you to reach for them ensures the kickoff to a slim new season.

Same goes for Sienna’s foods. All her yogurts, smoothies, fruits, veggies and juices are at her eye level, so she can see and ask to have those as soon as we open the refrigerator. Like this she won’t be tempted to ask us something that she shouldn’t be eating.

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