Looks Delish! Cinnamon

Cinnamon

 

Cinnamon. A spice. Often described (in songs anyway) as sweet..but it isn’t really is it? Be that as it may, there are some pretty sweet health benefits of cinnamon:

1. It regulates blood sugar. It has a 3-5% effect on blood sugar, similar to what older generation diabetes drugs had, making it helpful for pre-diabetics.

2. Reduces pain linked to arthritis.  I have also read that because of its natural warming capabilities, it is mixed with oil used in massage therapy.

3. Research has shown that it may reduce the proliferation on colon cancer cells (!). Who knew?

4.  Cinnamon can effectively reduce menstrual pain. It has cinnamaldehydes (Wow! Scientists had to stretch to come up with that one, huh?) that could help balance hormonal levels.

5. It helps put a temporary end to the cruel, cruel winter (or as we know it here in Chicago spring) as a mood enhancer. Ancient wisdom says that the smell of cinnamon helps to ward the winter blues away. A study out of West Virginia showed that the scent of cinnamon reduced driver irritability. I’m sure there are many city drivers that will test that theory by keeping several rolled bundles of cinnamon in their car-maybe it will help curb road rage during construction seas..er..Chicago summer.

Lets Get it On! V-Neck Spaghetti Strap Gown

 

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As seen in Brides magazine, this spaghetti strap gown from Casablanca Bridal features a V-neck in the front and a deep V plunge, with beautiful exposure of the back.  Now, some of the important body features of this dress-shoulders, biceps, triceps back and waist.  Here is a quick home workout to help sculpt those areas using bodyweight:

 

  • 15 pushups (full or modified/knee)
  • 15 chair tricep dips
  • 15 opposite arm/leg supermans (each side-just count to 30)
  • 15 hip ups (each side)
  • 30 seconds plank
  • 30 reverse plank

Repeat 3 times.  More Lets Get It On! Workouts to come, If you are interested in a custom Lets Get it On! Workout check me out on fiverr.com where I offer a quick, custom workout video for occasion dresses for just $5. Stay Fitty!

 

 

 

Let’s Get It On! Tips for the Bride Getting Into Her Dress

wedding dresses

 

It’s May y’all! I know that this is the beginning of wedding season and while some brides already have a leg up on their fitness regimen for their big day, I know that there can never be too much advice on looking for best for one of the most exciting, stress inducing and joyous days of your life!

  1. Start your day with a good breakfast. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard it a million times but it is essential! Have a smoothie with greek yogurt and fruit (add protein powder if you like) or have one of my favorites: steel cut oatmeal.
  2. Have goals. Write them down-the earlier the better! Do you want to lose weight or sculpt what you are working with already? Do you need to pay attention to your diet or do you need to..
  3. Hit the weights! Most people go to the old stand-by (or at least what they believe) of weight loss exercising-cardio. Now I love cardio, but the keys to maintaining a healthy weight lie in 1. A clean diet 2. Strength training 3. Cardio. In that order.
  4.  Visualize how you want to look in your dress. Of course you have a picture of your dress in your desk, purse and gym bag. But also know the silhouette of the dress. Is it backless? Its it a short dress? Does it show off your waist? Tailor your workouts to accentuate what you have naturally as well as what you develop while training. You also want to increase your endurance levels! Wedding planning is no joke-lots of running around, making decisions, and late nights. You are going to need energy for that so again, a good diet, appropriate rest and a good cardio regimen will help out with that. Plus dontcha wanna dance all night at the reception?
  5. Meditatation. Yoga. Long (or short) Walks.  Whatever that can help you stay in the present space and not looking toward the future with that naturally occurring bridal anxiety.  Taking some quiet time-even 15 minutes a day will help you stay ready for your wedding day.

Stay tuned for more bridal tips! Got questions? Just ask!

The EnLIGHTenment of Yoga: A Black Female Yogi’s Perspective

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Namaste, y’all.  Not sure if you are aware but I am a yoga instructor. I love yoga. I took yoga occasionally throughout the years and then really started practicing through some tough times in my life and it helped tremendously. I was focused, felt strong and flexible and I fell in love with it. And since I am not a selfish lovah, I wished to share this with others. I am not (yet) a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) but have been certified in Yoga Fit and will continue on until I become a RYT.

But today, something caught my eye. A piece written in XO Jane (see it here if you are interested in reading), by a self proclaimed “skinny white girl”, stating how a fellow student, new to yoga made her quite aware of her “whiteness” and made her cry or something. The new yogi happened to be a “heavyset black woman”.  Now, I get it, the author doesn’t see a lot of black people in yoga class. The new yogi was heavyset. She couldn’t the poses. It made the skinny white girl cry (Girl… BYE!). The author’s account of her ordeal, her hardship through downward dog and other extraness offended a lot of people (see here and…here) including me. And while I found it offensive and need her to have several seats, it wasn’t for the reasons people may think.

First off, yoga is about inclusiveness. So, if you see a fellow, especially new,  student struggling near you, HELP. THEM. Share your experience instead of running to a corner to cry. Show them Child’s Pose. Pull you mat next to them. Do something!

Second, who said that yoga cannot accommodate someones body type? Anybody can do yoga. Anybody. You might not do Scorpion, or Crow or stuff like that, but uh,I have a question: Do you like to sit in silence? Yoga has a pose for that. Can you lay on your back and do nothing (one of my favorites!) ? Yoga has a pose for that. See? Everyone can do yoga.

But most important, her essay highlights a fact. Black women are minimized in the world of fitness. I think the author makes a great point. Yoga, the world of fitness in general is displayed as being very white. I mean, of course she was hyper-aware because every, single fitness publication she, and everyone sees, has a plethora of “skinny white girls”, and swole white men and a few black men. I get equipment catalogues all the time and very rarely see a black female inside of them. If that is all I see and I am actually LOOKING for black women, what does she see?

Yoga and fitness has been there for me through difficult times, made good days better and provided an plethora of challenges for me to enhance my overall wellbeing. It is a gift and I love to share it with any and everyone who wants it. I know many dedicated, fit, black women, I am a part of some awesome Facebook fitness and motivational groups that highlight black female accomplishments in fitness, even if it is a slow mile or a healthy breakfast (I’m looking at you Fit Girlz Clique and Black Girl Run!). Black women do work out! We do exist!

But I digress. To the yogi who wrote that essay, I say think about why you love yoga and practice it so much. Think of those you can help and share this gift with, no matter the perceived ability, weight or race of the person. Remember that it takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and try something new and its nice to have support when doing it in a judgement free zone. So practice some deep, cleansing breaths, do a few sun salutations and know that the spirit of yoga, self love and overall wellness is capable to be within all of us.

Namaste.