Chemical Free, Me.

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Chemical Free, Me.

You would not believe how difficult it is to find beauty products that don’t contain nasty chemicals.

After seeing a report on 3 News about the cancer causing potential of Cocamide DEA and its prevalence as a foaming agent; I took to my bathroom cabinet and threw out about 60% of its contents upon reading the ingredients.

Then, I spent a few weeks without using a cleanser or exfoliator (not pretty) until I found the Ren range. Their products are free from potentially harmful chemicals, making it one of the few skin care brands safe for use during pregnancy, if you’re that way inclined. I’ve been using the cleanser pictured and also the Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm, both feel great on my skin and do their job well. So, if you’re having an anxiety attack about what might be in your skin care, I say give this stuff a go.

If you’d like to read the 3 News article in more detail, here it is. http://www.3news.co.nz/Common-shampoo-ingredient-deemed-dangerous/tabid/423/articleID/313301/Default.aspx#.UnGX9yTM1gI

Also, The Skin Deep Database is a really good site to check how harmful different products can be. They might be a little bit too militant in their approach but, their reviews seem pretty sound and easy to follow. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Today’s Workout

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Today's Workout

Here’s my workout from this morning. It was really nice to use the TRX for a change even for some stretching at the end. Enjoy.

TRX Lateral Lunges http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvbovc5RBQ0
Sumo Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kiXid7pm6I
TRX Squat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsVgieSOQ3k
Squat Thrusters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ljnk8OS3M
TRX Chest Press http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vPgHzuRI7I
TRX Rows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg_diBcqnnI
Stationary / Upright Rows with DB http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax7qUOeDBt4
TRX Backward / Reverse Lunges http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn68JwtRWzQ
Hip Thrusts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH4A1DkTleg
TRX Squat Jump http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX9vDMs8Z-s
Iron Cross http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiVbKEkWbI8

Today’s Workout

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Today's Workout

An easy one today. I’ve just started on the Les Mills – Look Better Naked course with three other girls that I train with regularly. There are also three new girls in the group who have just started the programme. I think they were in a bit of shock from their first session on Monday so this should stop them getting scared off. For me the tough part is the diet. It seems like it’s not restrictive but it really is. Each day I have to consume 2ltrs water minimum, no more than 2 servings of fruit, 4 servings of carbs, 5 servings of protein, 2 fats and as many veges as I like (5+ recommended) provided they are not carrots, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, corn, parsnip etc. One serving is 1/2 cup in size for carbs and veges, 1 serving of protein is 100gm and 1 serving of fat is 1/4 avocado or 1/2 tbsp olive oil or 2 egg yolks or 10 nuts for example. I find it tricky to stay within 2 fats per day so, I don’t add any oil to salads or vegetables. Salt, pepper and lemon juice are ok though. I’ve also decided I’m going to have a cucumber, celery, kale, parsley, lemon, green apple, cos lettuce and spinach juice in the afternoons to prevent snacking. I guess we’ll have to see how that goes…..

Here are some demos for you:
Medicine Ball Slams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWghPf9dso0
Thrusters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ljnk8OS3M
Stationary Lunges https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCpu8IhLvBg
Hip Thrusts (This video is kind of hilarious. But at least you can see what the exercise is.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH4A1DkTleg
Box Jumps (I use a step and make it about 4 levels high) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc65Gdd2Omg
Calf Raises http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwLzBJYoWlI
Ice Skaters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnZtEoYNs1A
Walking Lunges (Sorry about the music on this one, the technique is good though.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qoYbW34tFU
Burpees http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burpee_%28exercise%29
Squat Jumps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVaEhXotL7M
Hover http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRXKg21pE-4
Side Plank https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iyr6ETMJT0M
Back Extensions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrS8vOLpVfc

Bringing a “plate” to my friend’s BBQ.

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My friend Kim hosted the second BBQ of the season on Sunday. She’s always a great host but has no confidence in the kitchen and can barely work her own oven, let alone sharpen a knife. Bearing this in mind, I was all too happy to bring a couple of salads along when she asked and took the opportunity to cook things that might be a bit higher in fat than I’d usually make. I made myself feel better about this with the knowledge that they were going to be shared around so, Alex and I wouldn’t be finishing them by ourselves.

Mixed Grain Salad
100g red quinoa, rinsed
100g white quinoa, rinsed
100g French green lentils, rinsed
100g pearl barley, rinsed
30g butter
2 cloves garlic. crusned
2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
25g pumpkin seeds
25g sunflower seeds
25g chopped almonds
1/4 bunch mint
1/4 bunch parlsey
2 spring onions, sliced
Sherry dressing
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
120ml extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

For the mixed grain salad, place red and white quinoa in separate saucepans, cover with cold water to come about 1cm over quinoa. Cover and bring to the boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 – 12 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, cook lentils in a saucepan of water for 15 – 20 minutes until tender, then drain. Toast pearl barley in a dry frying pan until golden, then transfer to a saucepan and cover with cold water. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes until tender, then drain.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and when foaming add garlic, thyme, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds and cook until toasted. Remove from heat and cool. Coarsely chop mint and parsley. Combine grains, seeds and almonds in a bowl with chopped herbs.

For dressing, combine vinegar, sugar and oil in a small bowl and whisk well. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine. Garnish with spring onions.

Serves 6

Friday’s Workout

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Friday's Workout

I didn’t get a chance to upload this yesterday but, better late than never. My trainer mixed it up again which was really challenging but good. Please see the tutorials below if you need any reference. Happy training.

Box Running / Step Ups http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqlW5bq3-KQ
Squat Jumps / Thrusters with hands on bench http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNPNTz-DmMI
Burpees http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K-aaPSgZWs
TRX Squat Row http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QEfDANtMDA
TRX Backward Lunge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn68JwtRWzQ
TRX Squat Jump http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX9vDMs8Z-s
Sumo Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kiXid7pm6I
Wall Sit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XULOKw4E4P4
Sideways Walking Squat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Natkg_1asFA
Repeaters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnSzwCMXTSg
Floor Scrapers (This is the closest reference I could find. Follow what this guy is doing but you can leave the chest press out and simply hold the weight with straight arms over your chest.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWFCfD9Ld00
Sit Ups holding weight to chest http://recordsetter.com/world-record/sit-ups-while-holding-10-kilogram-weight-chest/32830#contentsection
Oblique Twist / Russian Twist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgSnIib9s5Y
Cross Fit Sit Ups http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HPfXutjB1s
Flutter Kicks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcXBNRua2eo
Bicycle Crunches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FGilxCbdz8
Hover http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRXKg21pE-4

Dinner

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Dinner

Do you think there might be tumeric in this? Dinner is Neil Perry’s Tagine of King Prawns, Chickpeas, Almonds and Cherry Tomatoes served with cous cous and green beans. Delish and if you’re trying to lose weight like me, leave the oil out of the Chermoula. It will be fine.

Today’s Workout

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Today's Workout

This was a tough one today. The “Belly Ups” were a little odd and I think all four girls who do my class found it difficult to get into a rhythm as we’d not tried them before. Maree, my trainer, said they’re a Cross-Fit exercise. She always likes to mix things up which is really good.

Here are some demos:
Alternating Backward Lunges http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUYsbhIOvFA
Alternating Sideways Lunges http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2CCEWeitog
Jump Squats with Medicine Ball (Do it faster than this lady.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDIBpp6Ubu4
Medicine Ball Slam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWghPf9dso0
Burpees http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K-aaPSgZWs
Belly Ups http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxgZIMHzCAo
Knee Ups (Use “Broad Jump” technique but do on the spot lifting knees as high as possible.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gd6Lr7mtt8&list=PL2EEC843E9DB750DD
Tricep Dips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXNHHm9c5-E
Squats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDdSZmWNYQI
Tiger Crawl (This guy calls it a Bear Crawl, same thing.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORUVgqJLHEU
Walking Lunge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mDWDlzFobQ
“C” Crunch (Hold medicine ball in your hands and touch your knees with it.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFOQADcJwss
Oblique Twists with Medicine Ball (Nike calls this a Russian twist.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of9_4EQIFlQ&list=PL2EEC843E9DB750DD

Today’s Workout

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Today's Workout

This was another challenging one this morning but, really good all the same. Thinking about my “rest” day tomorrow helped get me through the run at the end.

Here are some tutorials for you:
Squat Thrusters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ljnk8OS3M
DB Chest Press https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmB1G1K7v94
DB Shoulder Press https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-aVuyhvLHU
Sumo Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kiXid7pm6I
Burpee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf7wZvraWV0
DB Push Up with Row https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpB-ad8ezFE
Pike Crunches https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzapqRDI6cg
Oblique Twist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDTHSnoGoEc
Medicine Ball Slams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWghPf9dso0
“High 5” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RllVGQOiSLg
Push Up with Medicine Ball Throw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4jpgaiR-QY
Bicycle Crunches https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FGilxCbdz8