Bon jour Paris!

Monday, February 25, 2013

In less than a week, I take the Eurostar over to Paris for my first race of the season- the Paris 1/2 Marathon.  40,000 people will take to the streets and enjoy the sites.  I am looking forward to returning to Paris as I haven't been there since 2006 for a friend's wedding.  Unfortunately, I only have a day to sight-see and I won't be able to eat too many pain au chocolat (but you can be sure I will bring a big bag back to London with me).

If you are joining me in Paris, check out my friend Becca's suggestions on how to prepare for a race.  I am taking her advice and getting a sports massage on Tuesday (will let you know how that goes).

This is only my second half marathon.  The first was Run to the Beat in October, which took me through Greenwich.  That course had several hills, and looks like Paris does too.  I am hoping to beat my time of 2:03:46.  Would you like to help me do this?

One year ago, my nephew Jacob was taken up to Heaven after a still-born birth.  He had Down syndrome too, which we were all ready for but to lose him broke our hearts.

Part of my grieving process has been getting to know Brady Murray in Idaho.  He founded Rod's Racing, which raises money for orphans with Down Syndrome.  He has a son with Downs and couldn't believe how many children were put up for adoption with this condition around the world.

Meet Elvis!
The money we raise helps offset the adoption fees (often $20,000+) for families looking to open their homes to a child.  As a Rod's team member, I am committed to raising $1000 (£645) in 2013. Right now, the money goes towards Elvis' adoption fund (which has $10,000 of the $20,000 already raised).  My commitment to Elvis is to complete at least 4 races in 4 countries this year (2 half-marathons, a sprint triathlon, a 5K).  I have already started adding more events to my list.

Please send me an email or comment below with an amount you would like to donate if I beat my PB.  I haven't trained as much for this race with my longest run only 8 miles (halves are 13.1).  I will really push myself and ignore any negative thoughts if I know Elvis is depending on my race time.

Of course, you can donate regardless as it is a very worthy cause.  If every one of my daily viewers gave $10, we could raise so much money to help Elvis into a loving home.

Please support me here.

My races (to be updated as I add more)
March 2013    Paris 1/2 Marathon
April 2013       Energizer 10K Run (London)
May 2013       *Sri Chinmoy Auckland Domain Series 1/2 Marathon (New Zealand)
June 2013       Human Race 100 km bike ride 
July 2013       London Sprint Triathlon
August 2013    Ride London (100 mile bike ride)
August 2013   5K run in USA 

Quickie Workout #44

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (

Today's workout can be done outdoors with some space for the runs.  Please dress in layers and have skin covered as it has been cold outside lately.

Warm up-  Jog/slow run for 3 min (don't skip this bit! warming up prepares the body and helps you avoid injury)
4 min-  30 second intervals of running a little faster and then slowing down to a steady pace for 30 seconds.  Repeat 4 times.
5 min- 30 second intervals of running as fast and as far as you can.  Run at a slower recovery pace back to where you started. This can take up to 60 sec.  Repeat 3 times.
1 min-  Squats
1 min-  Walking lunges

Be sure you cool down properly if your heart is still pacing after the lunges.  Try a slow jog or walk for a bit.  Gradually lowering your heart rate avoids blood pooling in your legs and light-headedness.  Intervals help strengthen your heart and lungs, as well as improve your speed.

Weekend Challenge

Friday, February 22, 2013

We are to go back to basics this weekend.  Your challenge is to drink 1.9L (64 ounces) of water on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  At first it may seem overwhelming, but you can do this.  One fantastic idea is to mark your water bottle as seen on Eve Was (Partially) Right blog.

This will set small-term goals towards your larger one.  If you feel a pang of hunger, try drinking a glass of water instead.  Water is good for you, making up 45-75% of your body (depending on age, immune system function, and body weight).  It contains ZERO calories, allowing you to enjoy more solid food over the course of the day.

If you are worried about your bladder adjusting, be patient.  It will happen if you are able to keep up with the water consumption.

Still apprehensive?  Look at all the good things water does for your body.

What suggestions and tips do you have for people out there who don't 'like' water?

Quickie Workout #43

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (

Warm up-  Brisk walk or slow jog for 3 minutes (until you break into a light sweat)
1 min-  Walking lunges -forward and reverse
1 min-  Wall sit
1 min-  Push hands out to side against a door frame as if trying to make door frame wider
1 min-  Push/press ups against wall, counter, or on the ground
1 min-  Hip raise - lay on back with feet on ground.  Lift hips to create a straight line from shoulders to knees.  Drop hips 2-3 inches then squeeze bum and bring up again.
1 min-  Leg lifts
1 min-  Plank
1 min-  Crab tricep dips
1 min-  Mountain climbers
1 min-  Downward dog with forward movement into press up position.  Drive knee to opposite elbow.

Product Review: Twelve Beauty

Saturday, February 16, 2013

With my skin allergy to quaterium-15 and other formaldehyde-releasing ingredients  I struggle to find skin car products I can use.  Twelve Beauty offers amazing products deisgned for sensitive and allergy-prone skin.

The Essential Biotechnological Moisturiser has a lovely scent and is very light on the skin.  It doesn't feel greasy and blends in smooth.  I applied it in the mornings after washing my face.  One small amount provided even coverage.  I have combination skin and it worked beautifully.

Before going to bed, I would apply Complete Regeneration Night Cream.  It was my first introduction to anti-wrinkle creams.  There is hardly any scent (which my husband appreciated).  It is a bit thicker than the Biotech Moisturiser so a little goes a long way.

The Purifying Cleansing Beauty Creme can be used any time of day.  It also goes on smooth and it not greasy.  There is barely a noticeable scent, allowing application in many situations as it also helps protect and repair skin exposed to harsh conditions (such as weather or chemicals).

The Ultra Revitilising Elixir I would apply in the evening before the night creme.  I don't have much experience with elixirs so didn't know what to expect.  It feels as smooth as water (not greasy or oily).  It applied easily on to the skin and felt refreshing.

I was very pleased that my skin did not react to a any of these products.  I didn't break out with spots or my typical allergies. My skin felt clean after each application.  If you like natural products that help protect your skin (especially if you work with chemicals or outdoors), treat yourself to a little something from Twelve Beauty.

Twelve Beauty did not pay me for this review. They graciously sent me these products and all opinions are honest and my own. If you have a product you would like me to review, please contact me

Weekend Challenge

Friday, February 15, 2013

With a request to push ladies in their 50s harder, today's challenge depends on your age.

For each birthday you have celebrated, complete the following set:

Jumping jacks/Star jumps

Squats (weight in heels, get low)

Push/Press ups

Leg lifts

Wall sit (in seconds)

Time how long it takes.  Have some friends round and cheer each other on.  Repeat on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Remember to consult a doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Next #TwitFitMeetUp Thurs 21 Feb 6pm

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The next #TwitFitMeetUp will be Thursday 21 February from 6-9pm at Draft House Tower Bridge (on South Bank of river).  This one will be focused on creating training packages and one-off event for Ride London (100 mile bike ride 4 August).  If you aren't interested in Ride London, TwitFitMeetUp is still a wonderful free networking opportunity with others in the health, wellness, and fitness field.

As I am one of the lucky ones who won a spot in the ballot, I woke up on Saturday morning wondering 'what was I thinking?' Fellow trainers and other wellness professionals can use the meet up to establish 'support groups' around London. These group would help locals training for the race meet other riders, get event-specific training, and learn about other complimentary therapies (Bowen, acupuncture  massage, physio). As my husband pointed out, the century ride is like a marathon. Will the general public know how to train for it?
For example, in SE London, I might coordinate long bike rides on Sundays, boot camps on Tuesdays and then Thursdays have a different one-off class with other fitness instructors in my area (such as yoga, pilates, swim, nutrition, etc). I am open to suggestions on how we can make this work for each person involved (both organizers and riders). I was thinking of make another MeetUp group for riders to refer to because it has a forum section (to allow riders to ask questions and coordinate their own rides with friends).  We could also list PT's or studios who want clients sent their way.
Please help spread the word about the #TwitFitMeetUp and start brainstorming ideas for a local Ride London support group. Keep in mind Ride London will be occurring annually.  Having a successful set of clients this year will set you up for years to come.
Join the group on to RSVP and stay in the loop with future events.

Quickie Workout #42 - Abs R Us

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (

If your back hurts or come off the ground for leg lift exercises, modify exercise by lowering legs 45 degrees instead of 90.

Warm up-  30 jumping jacks/star jumps, 30 squats, 1 min mountain climbers
1 min- Leg lifts- up, down, legs apart and back together. Repeat.  Feet do not touch floor.
1 min- Reverse curl- lift hips off ground and slowly lower back down
1 min- Toe touches- reach for toes by lifting shoulder blades off of the ground
1 min- Roll back and reach  (also featured in my So Feminine article)
1 min- Plank- keep shoulders over the elbows
1 min- Push/press ups- on knees or toes to give the tummy a rest
1 min- Swimmies- always balance muscle groups when training.  Lay on stomach with arms extended.  Lift arms and legs off floor and 'kick' arms and legs as if swimming.  Hold for 5 counts. Release and repeat.
1 min- Downward dog knee thrust- Start in downward dog position.  As you exhale, bring body forward into a press up position (shoulders over hands).  At the same time bring knee to opposite elbow.  Return to downward dog.  Repeat with other leg.
30 sec- Left side plank- feet can either be on top of one another or one in front and the other behind.  You can be on forearm or palm.  Don't let hips sag.
30 sec- Right side plank
1 min- Boat pose- Scoop out torso and sit on tailbone.  Have feet in tabletop and arms extended straight out pointing towards toes.  Keep arms stiff and strong and pulse up and down as you exhale.

Winter Workouts

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter is well underway and luckily the days are starting to get longer.  Marathon season is around the corner as well.  Although it is cold, wet, and dark out (at least in London), you should still be getting out there.  Whether you enjoy walking, running, cycling, or parkour, here are a few tips to help you with your winter workouts.

1.  Dress appropriately- Weather can change in a drop of a hat.  Dress in layers to allow regulation of body temps.  Try not to have your skin exposed when it is cold out.  If you overheat easily, use a layering system or invest in temp-regulating material (such as merino wool).  Leaving skin exposed you risk frostbite/wind burn.  Wear a pair of long pants to/from the gym to keep your muscles warm (and therefore avoid injury). And of course, have clothes that reflect when you are out running at dusk, dawn, or nighttime   You need to be seen by drivers and cyclists.

2.  Hydrate- You might not feel uber-sweaty or even have much sweat on your brow, but believe me you were working hard!  Depending on your workout, you should either sip water throughout your session or afterward.  Better yet, keep a reusable water bottle in your bag or on your desk.  Try not to drink your calories- stick to water!

3.  Warm up- As you age, warming up becomes more important.  Gentle exercise with increasing range of motion movements will raise your body's temperature and lubricate joints.  Effectively warming up prevents injuries from occurring during your workout.

4.  Cool down and stretch- Do not skip this one!  End your workout with slowing down the movement and breathing in the nose and out of your mouth.  Your heart will start to recover and slow down.  Perform static stretches that last 15-30 seconds (do not bounce).  Stretching will help your flexibility and general mobility on a daily basis.  This step will also reduce the presence of DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness).

After reading through this post, I realize these rules really apply all year round.  Keep in mind that in extreme weather conditions, your body may respond to exercise in different ways.  Always listen to your body.

And ignore the weather.  Get out there!

Weekend Challenge- Inversion

Friday, February 8, 2013

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to be able to do a handstand by the end of the year.  It was something fun I could do as a kid (before I knew to fear pain and not being in control).  As I have been working on this, I have learned to be comfortable in a tripod headstand.

Depending on your fitness level (and how much room you have in your living room), I challenge you to invert yourself- tripod headstand, normal headstand, handstand, pole dancing, trapeze  or aerial yoga.  Feel free to send a pic to of your adventures this weekend.

Big Announcement #2

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rumor has it I am developing a reputation around London- in a good way that is!  Based on my internet presence and testimonials from others in the fitness biz, I was approached last month by Carlie of Covet Girl.  Covet Girl is a new book that will feature female entrepreneurs in London.  The women will be from all different industries, showcasing their  many talents and successes.  It is an honor to be recognized for my hard work in 2012.  With the launch in autumn, 2013 should end with a bang and boom in my clientele base and services.

This is a must to have on hand if you live in the London.  Each profile will give information on how to find the business (address and web), the services offered (which will range from accounting to bakeries to interior design to ... you get the idea!), which neighborhood(s) of London the shops are located in, and a little bit about the women themselves.

A launch party will be held in the autumn after the books are printed.  Book will be sold both as traditional print or downloadable as an e-version with Amazon.  You will be able to buy the book in my shop for £11.99 once I receive the shipment.

If you would like to pre-order a copy, please email me at

*If you were hoping the announcement was I am getting a dog, no such luck.  If you ever hear of a pet-friendly landlord, please let me know! 

Big Announcement #1

Monday, February 4, 2013

I am very grateful to have received a blogger scholarship to Institute for Integrative Nutrition's Health Coach program.  The investment of the course is substantial (both in time and money), but I think it is the final piece to my health and wellness coaching business.

Fitness has always been my 'fun job.' Every day I wonder if I should take the plunge and go full-time.  This  training will help me increase my skill-set and earning potential.  My clients will benefit from more nutrition information, including recipes, tips on curbing cravings, maintain glucose levels to avoid energy crashes, and how to stick to portion control.  

Nutrition is so important to general mood and body shape.  People sometimes forget that what goes in their mouth affects everything.  By advising my clients on exercise and diet, they will see better results and feel great along the way.

The collaboration with IIN will also be highlighted in PT Magazine (where I am a free-lance writer) and right here on my blog.  Over the course of my studies, I will be sharing what I learn about dietary theories and the IIN concept of Bioindividuality, among other topics I think my readers would find interesting.

After six months, I will be able to start health coaching.  This program last one year, setting my graduation date in March 2014.  Please check back here for updates as I begin this amazing program.  If you are interested in health coaching with me, please email  I will email you once I am ready to being advising.

What Integrative Nutrition has to say about their Health Coach graduates after completing the course:

Health Coaches are knowledgeable advisers who provide ongoing support and guidance as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and happiness. As your Health Coach, I will listen carefully and help you to navigate the world of contradictory nutrition advice to determine what changes are necessary for you.

A client's personalized program will radically improve their health and happiness. Together, coaches and clients will explore concerns specific to you and your body and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance.
As a client of a health coaching program, you will…
  • set and accomplish goals in a way that is empowering and exciting
  • work to achieve and maintain your ideal weight
  • understand and reduce your cravings
  • increase your energy levels
  • feel great in your body
  • learn about new foods and how you can easily incorporate them
  • learn where to buy healthy food and groceries in Shanghai
  • improve your personal relationships
  • discover the confidence to create the life you want
Health coach areas of expertise are for people who want to:
  • want to lose weight
  • learn about and build healthy long term sustainable habits
  • want to learn about home cooking
  • want to expand their food skills (especially Chinese vegetables and left over transformation)
  • have digestion issues 
  • want to move towards a more alkaline diet and incorporate super foods 
  • who want to address nutrition, wellness and lifestyle holistically

Quickie Workout #41

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (

Warming up is very important, especially in colder temperatures.  Do not skip this step!  At the other end of the workout, remember to spend 5 minutes stretching out.  Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds.  Do not bounce.

Today's workout uses a small Pilates ball.  A football/soccer ball might work or a pillow.  They are not that expensive and very versatile in your training.   If you would like invest in one, have a look here.


Warm up- 5 min jog then 30 star jumps/jumping jacks
1 min- Standing twist abs                              
1 min- Tea pot abs                                        
1 min- Bent over row                         
1 min- Tricep kickback                                  
1 min- Walking lunges                      
1 min- Press up on railing, counter, wall or regular                        
1 min each leg- One legged squat                            
1 min- Leg lifts with ball                              
1 min- Boat pose                                            
1 min- Supermans                                          
1 min- Hip raise with ball                            
1 min- Press ups on knees or toes

Weekend Challenge: Pour Some Sugar

Friday, February 1, 2013

I am always surprised when I see a photo like this:

I like to think of myself as an educated consumer.  If I can't decide between 2 products in the shop, I look at the nutrition label.  My recent addiction has been jelly snakes (aka gummy worms in America).  They have 32+ grams of sugar in a 1/4 of a bag.  But who has the willpower to stop after just a few?

Now you do the math using the photo above.  Red Bull has 27.5g sugar.  I consume 4x that with one bag of jelly snakes.  That is terrible!  Why do I exercise so much and aim to tea total but poison myself in other ways?

Your challenge is to physically weigh of the sugar for your favorite snack or drink.  If it is not on the packages, go to the company's website and look for nutritional info.  Be mindful of the suggested portion size and how much you normally consume.  Are you surprised? Does it motivate you to change your ways?

Snap a photo of your results and email it I will share your discoveries here.