Tuesday, May 3, 2011

DVD review: Element Ballet Conditioning

if you're looking to add a new workout to your training schedule, one that is unlike what you are currently doing, i highly recommend Element Ballet Conditioning. this ballet workout is seamless, easy to follow and gorgeously led by instructor Elise Gulan.

i have been incorporating this workout dvd into my own schedule twice a week for the last 8 weeks and it has given me fabulous results (not to mention is a perfect compliment to my yoga and pilates practices}.

even if you already train your lower body with weights, you're still going to find this workout challenging. it's because of the fact that you have to use the smaller, stabilizing, supporting muscles rather than the larger muscles, like quads and hamstrings (though you will still have to use them in this workout). it's these muscles that tend to be undertrained. by making them work, the body is forced to change.

that's what happened for me!

Ballet Conditioning includes pliés and tondues, port de bras and rond de jambes, as well as other easy-to-follow sequences that incorporate subtle variations (tempo changes, movement progressions, pulses and holds-- yikes, those were tough at first!). a short cardio segment toward the end is a series of fast-moving kicks, jumps and plyo-pliés, and the workout ends with pilates core work and a fabulous stretch.

in addition to shrinking thighs, Ballet Conditioning has brought a refreshing joy to my fitness lifestyle. i have always had a love for ballet (i never took classes, but was obsessed with it as a child), so now being able to do it for fitness couldn't be more fun!

find Element Ballet Conditioning at amazon.com

pic taken by me:)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

fit girl recipe: Orange Bran Flax Muffins

i made these last friday, substituting the golden raisins with dried cranberries (you can also use regular raisins, cherries, or any dried fruit-- cut in small pieces-- that you love). i enjoyed one with scrambled egg whites for breakfast on saturday and again with greek yogurt as a snack on sunday afternoon. yum!

Orange Bran Flax Muffins

1 1/2 c. oat bran
1 c. flour
1 c. flaxseed, ground
1 c. wheat bran
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 oranges, quartered and seeded, skin removed
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. canola oil
2 eggs
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 c. golden raisins

in large bowl, combine brans, flour, flaxseed, baking powder and salt.

combine oranges, brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs and baking soda in blender or food processor and blend well. pour into dry ingredients and mix till well blended. stir in raisins.

divide batter among 24 sprayed or paper lined muffin cups (a little less than 1/3 cup per muffin liner). bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

nutrition facts per muffin: 186 calories, 4 g. protein, 30 g. carb, 8 g. fat, 3 g. fiber, 18 mg. chol., 140 mg. sodium



Monday, February 28, 2011

5 foods to eat for healthy, glowing skin

while many a skincare products really do provide fabulous benefits, as well as visible results, relying on them solely won't always give you the skin you want. in fact, the best looking skin comes from maintaining a healthy diet.

you know this, and even i need to be reminded sometimes, but what you eat has a lot to do with how your skin looks!

i received some fun info from Dr. David Bank, president of the New York State Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, regarding this topic so you, my fabulous readers, could give your skin (and bodies) the nurturing it deserves!

not only are these foods good for you, they are delish, too-- take a look at how you can incorporate them into your beauty routine with each recipe suggestion...

grapefruit: a great source of daily vitamin c-- yes, an antioxidant-- to fight skin damage and wrinkles. vitamin c also plays a crucial role in the production of collagen, which is structural protein in your skin. recipe: squeeze yourself a glass of fresh grapefruit juice and give yourself a refreshing start to your day!

mangoes: did you know these tropical beauties contain more than 80% of a person's daily vitamin A requirements? this nutrient is essential for maintaining and repairing skin cells. skin that's deficient in vitamin A is dry and flaky. recipe: avocado, tomato, mango salad. give your skin an antioxidant boost! these three ingredients will make you beautiful from the inside out. drizzle some low-fat balsamic vinaigrette to top it off-- yum!

mushrooms: packed with riboflavin to aid in tissue maintenance and repair. it also improves skin blemishes caused by rosacea. recipe: marinate mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, oregano, basil and salt into a pan and cook. makes a great side dish to any meal.

avocadoes: this creamy and delicious fruit is abundant in essential oils and b-complex vitamins that nourish your skin and also contain a lot of niacin (vitamin b3), which acts as an anti-inflammatory, soothing irritated or red/blotchy skin. recipe: cut an avocado in half and pour some red-wine vinegar in the middle. this is a favorite of europeans and surprisingly delicious.

flaxseed oil: flaxseed oil is one of the best sources of essential fatty acid. one teaspoon of flaxseed oil provides 2.5 grams of omega 3s, which hydrates the skin. essential fatty acids also dilute sebum and unclog pores that lead to acne. recipe: pour 2.5 grams (1/2 teaspoon) of flaxseed oil in your morning juice to kick start the day.
yum! here's to your beautiful skin!