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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Engage your core



If you tried Yoga, Pilates, Spinning or weight training with an Instructor, I guarantee that you will hear those three words often. When I was new to all of these fitness lingo, I was like "WTF does engage your core mean? How can I engage my core?"

First, we need to find the answer to the question: Where can we find these famous core muscles?

In simple terms, core muscles are the muscles that surround our spine. They are responsible for your posture and protecting your spine. The deepest part of your core, Transversus abdominis,  hugs your spine. Crunches will have little effect to this part when you do not know how to engage or to suck in your stomach.

Second, How can we engage the core?

A friend of mine asked me to engage my core by pretending that I'm trying to fit my stomach into a small pair of jeans. Here's a great video from VCNFitness that shows how to engage the core properly:

Third, How can this help my fitness journey?

Knowing how to properly engage the core can help a lot. You'll find that it is easier to lift weights, you'll be less wobbly in Yoga, those climb intervals during Spinning seems lighter on the legs, and you can finally reach your toes when you bend.

I wanna share with you my flexibility progress after I learned how to engage my core properly.

My method before was just to reach using my hand, see the bottom part of the video where I seem to be stuck and very unflexible? I've done that for years, not knowing there is a better way to stretch.

The top part of the video was taken after a few days of learning how to engage my core, I became a bit more flexible by practicing everyday and by following all the instructions I learned from my friend.

Shout out to my Personal Trainer friend Lanel Hosomi for helping me become more flexible. Check her Instagram, Lanel Hosomi Fitness, she has videos for your Pilates home practice.

Now get up and ENGAGE YOUR CORE!

You can google this for a more detailed and elaborate explanation. I found a couple of great sites for this, just check out the links below. 

Fitness reminder:
Always consult with your doctor before trying any workout routine. 


Monday, February 6, 2017

Juicing with Chia seeds


Thank you Liz for including Chia Seeds in your healthy juice. 

There you go folks, adding chia seeds in your diet is really easy.

Here's a couple of smoothie recipes with chia seeds you can try.

Smoothie Romaine Cilantro Avocado Watermelon 
Nectarine Strawberry Chia Lime Juice

3.5-4c water
232g or 1 bunch Romaine lettuce, chopped a bit to fit blender
250-300g watermelon or 1/4 of a lg cantaloupe-sized melon
75g strawberries or about 10 medium
170g or 1 avocado
130g or 1 nectarine
8g cilantro or sm. handful
60g or juice of 1 lime
6g or about 1 teaspoon chia seed

Fruit on hand and that I had to use. I use a VitaMix to blend ingredients for about 2 mins. Water first, add the lettuce and blend. Add remaining ingredients and pulse. Thick and shake-like consistency, and not bitter-green tasting.

Melon Green Juice with Chia Seeds

1 cucumber
Big handful of spinach (2/3 bunch)
Handful of mint (3 to 4 leaves)—optional
1/2 cup cubed cantaloupe
1/2 cup cubed watermelon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup chia seeds, soaked overnight in filtered water, then drained (optional)

1) Wash the cucumber, spinach, and mint. 
2) Run all ingredients except salt and seeds through your juicer and scrape off foam (if desired).
3) Sprinkle in the salt and chia seeds (optional), stir, and enjoy!

Have a healthy day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Peaches and Cream with Chia seeds


Yummy and healthy dessert for my sweet tooth.

4 tbsp Heavy Cream
4 slices Peaches
1/2 tsp Chia Seeds

Everyone knows that I ALWAYS crave sweets, in fact, I can eat a 200 gram chocolate bar in minutes!

My family has a medical history of almost all the elderly having diabetes, so since I am already in my thirties I have to seriously limit my sugar intake if I do not want to be included in the diabetic list. Hence, why I am into fitness despite my unbelievably busy schedule and incorporating more healthy food into my diet.

Lately, I have been feeling weird because after eating a whole satisfying balanced meal, lunch or dinner, then eating a serving of fruit as dessert, I feel hungry in a matter of minutes. Upon talking with my friend who is Personal Trainer and a Pilates instructor, we figured that my body must be responding differently to sugar, causing my insulin levels to spike and crash in minutes, which causes my stomach to signal my brain that I am hungry even though I just ate a whole balanced meal.

Good thing I stumbled upon the Low Carb, High Fat diet (LCHF). It's the type of healthy eating pattern where one limits their sugar and carbs intake. I found some helpful sites online about this type of eating pattern and more recipes to follow as well. Basically, these diet will tell your body to burn excess fat, fat that are usually stored around your liver for energy instead of relying on glucose from carbs.

I am no strict on my diet but I try to limit my carb & sugar intake to fruits and vegetables. Mixing heavy cream and chia seeds with the fruit is the best way I can enjoy eating fruit without feeling hungry after five minutes.

I'll share more Chia Seed recipes on my next posts.

If you have recipes with Chia seeds on your blog please feel free to comment them below.

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