Last Summer Saving – Nutrition School

It has just been brought to my attention that The Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) are offering the best savings on tuition fees that I have seen all year….and the last discount before prices go up this fall.

If you can find someone to share your IIN journey with, there are some amazing deals available for you and a friend for the next 02 Days : 23 hours only. To find out more information on this exclusive bonus click here.

Whether you want to become a Health Coach or just improve the quality of your own health and lifestyle, I encourage you to catch the wave now, you won’t regret it! It’s the best decision I have made and the inspiration towards many more to follow!

If you can’t find anyone to team up with right now and feel you are ready to fly solo, you can also take advantage of USD$1000 saving from the usual cost of enrollment, up until Wednesday August 21.

This is one of your last chances to join the IIN family before tuition goes up this fall, so if there’s a part of you that thinks this school might be right for you, I encourage you to take the leap. I’m so glad I did! Give them a call on +1 (877) 733-1520 right away because appointments fill up fast. Don’t forget to tell them that I sent you, to take advantage of the discount.

Healthfully Yours,

Linda Vantaggiato



Beautiful advice from a divorced man after 16 years of marriage

As holistic health focuses on various aspects and one of the most important primary foods being relationships, I thought I would share this great advice from a divorced man, reflecting on things he would have done differently if given a second chance.

This is a great read for men wondering what women want and need in a relationship and for women to highlight areas that may be lacking and could be worked through together to fine tune the love they already have.

To nurture your relationships with attention and appreciation, please read on….

Beautiful advice from a divorced man after 16 years of marriage.

My 30 Day August Fitness Challenge – Catching up on the past 6 days

Wow, has it really been almost a week since I last checked in?! It seems like just yesterday I was at Bickram yoga, on the eve on my trip to New York City. It is definitely true that time flies when you are having fun!

It is approaching Day 13 of my 30 day fitness challenge, almost the half way mark and although at times I have not had the stamina for a high intensity workout, I have definitely stayed committed to leaving the sedentary position for at least 30 minutes each day. The main point of deviation since we were last in touch is that I have been flying. This has really had an impact on my energy and motivation levels. For the first six days I was all gung ho. Being able to make exercise a priority in my day and manage my time to coordinate with my get up and go attitude made a big difference. Put me on a 13 hour flight, followed by a never ending bus ride to our Manhattan hotel, and you have not much more than a gym bunny wannabe.

This is a picture of how the next few days panned out….

Day 7

Post 13 hour flight, I could only muster up the energy to walk to Lululemon on 75th and Broadway. That’s a good 30mins there and back, my minimum target achieved. Hardly the most impressive effort, however normally at that point of the day I would have been heading straight to zzzzzz land.

Lululemon Athletica - New York City

Lululemon Athletica – New York City

Whilst there I picked up a new yoga mat. I justified the purchase of my second yoga mat by the desire to have one at my place and one at Nic’s. That way I don’t have to cart one back and forth from place to place and I don’t have the excuse of not having my mat handy as a reason not to partake in a daily yoga practice.

I have been eyeing off this particular mat (the towel mat) for a while as it has some great motivational quotes written on it. It also has the added bonus of being super absorbent (good for Bickram or outdoor yoga in the heat) and can be thrown in the washing machine, should it get a little grimy.

The towel mat at Lululemon

The towel mat at Lululemon

Day 8

My workout for today started with a hotel room “Sun Salutation For Wellness” class that I have mentioned in my previous posts. This is approximately 18mins, start to finish.
A long day of walking about the city followed, including a 15 minute walk from the Hotel to a second hand bookstore, weighed down with two shopping bags full of books and a 20 or so minute stroll along the Hudson River, starting at Chelsea Market and ending at Pier 40. There I had the opportunity to check out a trapeze lesson at TSNY and find some new yoga gear from Green Apple Active. Some of the boasted benefits of their threads made from vegan, organic, bamboo include a natural anti- bacterial and deodorisation effect, breathability and thermal control (to keep you warm in winter and cool in the warmer months), UVA protection and a host of environmental pluses to boot. It was a great find as next month I am heading to the Pervian Amazon for vacation and it will be perfect for covering up to keep the mosquitos at bay, without having to roast in the heat and humidity.

TSNY - Trapeze School New York

TSNY – Trapeze School New York

I forgot to mention that I had lunch with my friend Gaby at Google head office. What an awesome opportunity to see what goes on behind google doors. Highlights were the juice/smoothie bar where I picked up a green juice and the Rawr salad bar selection. It was like being at a brunch buffet, without the booze and hefty price tag. All the employees have the opportunity to utilise this perk for free and as Gaby’s guest, I was also included on their comp list. Lunch was enjoyed outside with the backdrop of New York City’s concrete skyline, happy days!

Day 9

Three words….lost in transit!

Day 10

My motivation slipping a little, feeling a bit jet lagged and sad to report my efforts today were minimal. 30 minute round trip to and from the Metro station. I somehow feel this doesn’t quite cut it. Directly after an ultra long range flight I can justify this slackening off, however I had a full nights sleep prior to the commencement of Day 10. Grrrr

Day 11

Back in full swing. Today I met with Michelle my personal trainer for an intense session of ‎Rip:60™, broken up with a hefty inclusion of spiderman push ups thrown in. I also got to debut my new weight training gloves, as well purchased in New York City.

My new weight training gloves

My new weight training gloves

Day 12

Here I am in Rome. Post flight I showered and immediately donned my gym get up and began moving. I started with a ten minute dynamic warm up, followed with 10 minutes of ab workouts, 10 minutes of butt exercises and 15 minutes of yoga to wind down. This was once again all performed with the guidance of my trusty iPad and the multitude of fitness apps I have to guarantee boredom is kept at bay.

To ensure Day 13 is greeted with as much as enthusiasm as the past two, I must say good night now so I can start my day ready to rock and roll before heading into enjoy the inner city gems and my friends in Roma.

I am going to leave you with one of my favourite lululemon quotes and a big high five to everyone that has been keeping up the pace on our 30 day fitness challenge together.

Lululemon

Lululemon

Ciao for now,

Linda :-)

30 Day Fitness Challenge – Day 4-5-6

For anyone wondering where I have been for the past few days and if all’s good in the hood….I am happy to report that I am still going strong with the fitness challenge and feeling great. A little muscle ache, but nothing that requires a special assistance team to get me to an from the aircraft.

Although I have committed to 30 consecutive days of participating in a minimum of 30 minutes exercise per day, reporting back to you with the same level of frequency is not something I can guarantee. Sometimes things like, health, travel, love and living a balanced life, will take priority over my fitness rants.

Day 4

When I spoke to you last I mentioned I had a personal training session the next day, which I am pleased to say, was completed as schedule. As Michelle wanted me to get as much bang for my buck (and butt) as we could into our half hour session together, she requested I get started by myself with a ten minute warm up. Here is a copy of the pre-work out sequence she suggested. If you aren’t sure what some of these moves are, I suggest you have a quick search on YouTube for a demo, like I do.

Michelle's pre-workout warm up.

Michelle’s pre-workout warm up.

That day I was feeling particularly active and decided to do a 30 minute cycling session too.

Day 5

Yesterday I started my day with an 18 minute “Sun Salutation For Wellness” class, from the All-In Yoga app I mentioned in my previous post. I don’t want to get in the habit of only doing yoga each day, as I want to keep things interesting and keep my body and muscles guessing. I feel that this basic yoga practice is something that I’d like to do to compliment my other workout choices on the days when I don’t participate in a longer yoga session. I also did 20 minutes of walking yesterday and my own 35 minute circuit routine in the comfort of my own lounge room. The equipments I have to assist me with circuit training are a 6kg kettle bell (which is starting to feel like a feather), a stability ball, skipping rope and my dining room chair. Next time I will document specifically what I do, for sharing purposes. The audio pleasure of one of my favourite music sets found me having a little click and shimmy before each change, which also seemed to make the time pass rather quickly. Day 5 was a struggle as I had quite a busy day of lunch and girlfriend duties, however I had a word with myself to remind me that this is now my priority and that I would see Nic, once I had finished with my fitness regime. In the scheme of things, what is 30 minutes anyway?

Day 6

Today I had good intentions, alarm set for 08:30 for a 09:30 Pilates Reformer class….cue SNOOZE button. Plan B, alarm set for 10:00 for Yoga class at 11:00, the SNOOZE button making another cameo. Come 15:00 I was at Nic’s house, in my gym gear, with no particular plan. Out of nowhere I received a message from Kristina – my fellow hot, holistic, hostie friend asking if I’d like to join her for Bickram at Rawr Yoga. It’s been about three years since I last attended a Bickram class, but I thought why not, at least it was a clear plan for the evening. In the first set of breathing exercises I was wondering what the hell I’d been thinking when I agreed to this?? Thanks to a very motivating teacher, I soldiered on and can confirm that I made it through the long 1 1/2 hour ordeal, not without a few strained looks on my face and a thick film of glisten all over my exhausted body. In between all that I forgot to mention that I made a brief appearance in the MMA gym at Tecom to have a little sticky beak at the Rip:60™ class that guarantees a total-body transformation. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle a whole hour of this, deciding to have a looksie prior to committing. Whilst at the gym, I jumped on the treadmill for a 24 min, 2.25km walk. What the heck, when in Rome…..

Below I have included a few pics from my yoga outing for you to peruse.

Kristina signing into class

Kristina signing into class

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A fancy looking mock coconut. Ingredients 100% pure coconut water, although nothing compares to the real deal.

A fancy looking mock coconut. Ingredients 100% pure coconut water, although nothing compares to the real deal.

How’s everyone else going with their own version of the 30 day challenge? If anyone would like to share their stories, I’d love to hear from you and feature your story on my page. You can contact me here, or feel free to post your comment below.

It’s time for me to love you and leave you, another late one. New York City is calling me, so I must rest now. I want to be rested enough to enjoy myself and keep moving upon my arrival in the city that never sleeps.

Goodnight world!! Remember, if you are reading this, you are on the right track!

Linda :-)

Yogavational teaching for today….

When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world. B.K.S. Iyengar

My Friend Passport – Interview With Mia Uren

If you are travelling to, laying over, or residing in the beautiful city of Sydney – please keep reading. Sydney is known as the Harbour City. It is the largest, oldest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia with an enviable reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful and liveable cities. Even after residing and travelling abroad for the last ten years, I would have to agree it’s harbour is one of the stunning I have seen.

For all things health, travel and beauty in the city that enjoys over 300 sunny days each year – I interview a young, glamorous, health savvy local, to give you her up to the minute guide and tips on how to enjoy your time spent, in her hometown.

Introducing….

Mia, otherwise known as “Chia Mia“, is a respected fellow health coach, blogger, my classmate and gorgeous green juice goddess. Mia loves nothing more than spending hours in her kitchen creating delicious recipes to share with friends, family and her tribe.

Friend Stamp – Mia Uren

The beautiful Mia Uren - aka Chia Mia

The beautiful Mia Uren – aka Chia Mia

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are from and why living a healthy lifestyle is important to you?
I am a qualified health and wellness coach (just a few weeks until the course is finished) from Sydney Australia. I grew up in the Inner West of Sydney and have always lived either there or in the Inner Eastern Suburbs.

Living a healthy lifestyle is important to me because I always like to feel and look my best. In my early twenties all I cared about was partying and as a result I did not take good care of my body and I always felt tired and worn out. Once I started to improve my health I noticed a huge positive shift in my energy, mood, skin and general outlook on life.

Your favourite holiday destination to calm the mind body and soul?
Definitely Byron Bay; I love how chilled and relaxed the locals are there, it has a real hippy vibe which I love. I also love that they have a wide selection of health food stores and cafes and lots of healthy produce. My ultimate goal is to be able to work from home in Byron Bay and have my own organic garden and chickens, so I can have fresh eggs every day.

Let loose in Sydney for 24 hrs only, what would be on your list of must do and see?
I would probably start by doing the Bondi to Coogee walk first thing in the morning then stop off at one of the cafes along the water for breakfast. I would then head to Mosman, hire a kayak and kayak around the national park there and eat a pre-packed lunch on one of the little secluded beaches there. For dinner I would probably head to a restaurant at The Rocks like Sake, then finish off with a cocktail at Palmer and Co in the city.

When travelling, what staple items are in your carry on luggage?
I haven’t done a whole lot of travelling since I started on this health journey but I will be travelling to London in a few weeks. I will be taking some protein balls, salads, herbal teas, nut butter, coconut water to stay hydrated (I am assuming that’s allowed on the plane), face mist, a pro-biotic that travels well, some books and my laptop on board with me.

Where are your favourite places to shop in Sydney for healthy, organic wholefoods and supplements?
I love ‘The Source Bulk Food store’ in Balmain . It’s my idea of heaven and I always end up coming out of there with way more than I intended on getting. They have massive tubs of things like nuts, maca, grains, coconut oil, natural shampoo and natural cleaning products. You just get as little or as much as you want and it always ends up being so much cheaper than buying it from other organic stores. I also love About Life in Balmain (also located in Bondi Junction and Cammeray) for things like Kombucha, beauty products and co-yo (my all time favourite food). They also have a café attached to it that does a lot of organic meals, smoothies and hot drinks with almond milk.

In Sydney, where do you frequent for healthy café culture?
Bondi Beach and just the Eastern Suburbs in general are great for healthy cafés. There are so many great organic and healthy options to choose from, however, I don’t get there very often now as I have moved to the Inner West. Balmain is starting to open up a few great healthy cafes, including About Life as I mentioned above, so I have found myself eating around there a lot recently.

Are there any fitness classes or places to enjoy training outdoors that you would consider unique to Sydney?
When I was living in the Eastern Suburbs I used to do a boot camp with ‘Bottoms up’ at Centennial Park every Saturday morning which I loved. They also do classes in Bronte and on Bondi Beach. The girls who run it are so lovely and the workouts are so much fun. I used to go for runs in Centennial Park a lot; it’s such a beautiful place with all the trees and lakes, it’s hard to believe it is right in the centre of the city and is surrounded by a busy road. Since I have moved back to Putney I like to go for runs around there as there are lots of nice parks and areas that run along the water. The Botanical Gardens is also a really scenic place to exercise.

Do you have a recipe to share that we could prepare and transport onboard for a healthy mid-flight meal or snack?
These ‘Protein Balls’ are perfect for that; you don’t need a blender to make them either so they are the perfect thing to whip up in your hotel room.

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Mia’s Protein Balls

Ingredients
4 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp almond butter
½ mashed banana
4 tbsp LSA or almond meal
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp goji berries
For rolling the balls in: chia seeds, cacao, LSA or coconut (optional)

Method
Mix tahini, almond butter and banana in a bowl until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients until a dough is formed. If you find the mixture is still quite wet add in some more LSA.

Take small pieces of the dough and roll them into balls. If you wish, roll the balls in some chia seeds, cacao, LSA or coconut. Store in the fridge or freezer.

What tips do you have for people trying to eat healthy – on the go?
Preparation is key!

Mia's portable green smoothie

Mia’s portable green smoothie

Make lunch and breakfast the night before so that you have one less thing to do in the morning. Smoothies are always a great option when you are on the go: either blend it up the night before and store it in the fridge in a portable jar or bottle so you can grab it before you walk out the door, or just have all your smoothie ingredients chopped up and ready the night before so you can throw it straight into the blender in the morning. I find for lunches just bringing leftovers from dinner the night before is always a great time saver. Also on you weekends or days that you have free, whip up some snacks like protein bars, bliss balls, healthy dips or trail mixes so you can keep them in your bag throughout the week whenever you are feeling peckish.

Are there any organic beauty potions that you particularly recommend for the glamouset to stay looking gorgeous throughout our journey? Where in Sydney can we get our paws on some?
As I was telling Linda the other day, I am very excited as after trying many different types of natural deodorant I have finally found one that works by Fresca Natural. I buy it from Organics On A Budget.
For a good face mist to keep your skin fresh and moisturised, I like KORA organics Rose Mist. KORA also has a good tinted moisturiser and lip balm which you can get from David Jones and About Life in Sydney.
I have also found a coconut oil based concealer by RMS beauty which I love as well.

Thank-you Mia!

One thing I have never discussed with Mia is that I also would love to be able to work from home in Byron Bay and have my own organic garden someday. After travelling half way around the world and still not back, it’s amazing to realise that I was lucky enough to be raised in paradise (I grew up very close to Byron) and have that strong desire to return to my roots. I look forward to the possibilty of being neighbours, sometime in our future :-)

To get in touch with Mia, you can follow her via:
Chia Mia Blog
Facebook
Twitter

Day 3 – 30 Day – 30 minute – Fitness Challenge

Day 3 and so far so good, I am still on track. After a late goodnight, getting out of bed for my workout prior to my midday standby was a struggle. Knowing that I have made a commitment to myself and to you and the uncertainty surrounding the rest of my day, I knew it had to be done, that it could be a case of now or never. The toughest lift of my day was getting my butt out of bed!

The plan for today was to step things up a notch. Although I didn’t complete the circuit training workout I had mentally prepared for, I did increase the duration of my yoga workout.

Sometimes I like to go to classes and other days I have my iPad on standby for situations where time is of the essence, or I am limited to the surrounds of my Hotel. As I delayed crawling out of bed and starting my yoga practice until the last minute, 11:15 am to be precise, it was modern technology to the rescue. I didn’t want to run much later than the start of my standby, just incase I had to interrupt my class with a quick call to the airport.

Yesterday I downloaded a new app, I have quite a few as I like a bit of variety. The app is called Yoga: 300 Poses and Yoga classes. It was one of the more expensive apps I have purchased (AED 22.28) but I believe worth it for the 45 different classes it provides with different areas of focus…everything from headache relief to better eyesight. You can choose from Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Guru, or Universal. Be warned though, the Thorough Relaxation class I took last night is labelled “Universal”. Thinking it would be light and fluffy, I was shocked that it worked it’s way up to various forms of headstands – at this point I am not that advanced. It also has a calendar feature to track your progress and a choice of languages.

Todays yoga lesson lasted for 53 minutes. It was called “Beginners Yoga For Back and Abs”, a strengthening set benefiting the back and abdominal muscles. My goal achieved, plus a little more. If there is any lesson that I have learnt from this mornings experience is to practice yoga on an empty stomach. This is the best time for yoga practice, and it is a good idea to allow the digestion of a meal to be done before practicing yoga, so leave 2-4 hours between your meal and yoga practice. Yoga before breakfast is an ideal option, not so great on a full stomach.

Tomorrow I am locked into my personal training session, the start of what will become an intense 30min weekly visit as opposed to an hour fortnightly. I’ll let you know how that goes then…if I can still type ;-)

I am going to leave you tonight with a snapshot of this evenings dinner and a quote inspired by todays yoga teaching.

Quinoa, black bean, kale, snow pea, avocado and pepita salad. Tossed in olive oil and lemon juice. Tasty!

Quinoa, adzuki bean, kale, snow pea, avocado and pepita salad. Tossed in olive oil and lemon juice. Tasty!

Yoga has a sly, clever way of short circuiting the mental patterns that cause anxiety. Baxter Bob

For those of you who have decided to get on-board and travel with me on this journey, send me a postcard to share your story or feel free to chat about your personal triumphs or setbacks in the comment section below.

Namaste

30 Day – 30 Minute – August Fitness Challenge

Four months back when I started this blog, you may have read my post about gifting myself with Hot Cross Buns for Easter. It was subsequently followed by the story about my fears around exercising and the list of excuses I had come up with to stay within the boundaries of my comfort zone.

Since then I have been seeing a personal trainer twice a month, tried an array of new classes in various countries such as Zumba, Five Rhythms and Nia, added to my library of exercise competencies and been introduced to equipment such as kettle bells, various weights, stability balls and most recently the TRX® Suspension Trainer™. At times I have acquired pain in places I didn’t know even existed as my muscles were being slowly woken up. I initially found difficulty sitting down or walking for a few days, post workout. One time I felt as if I actually needed a zimmerframe to leave my Hotel room….and I am not exaggerating!

I trained outdoors until the weather made it unbearable, along my journey discovering new things and places in Dubai such as a Byky station at Souk Al Bahar where you can rent bicycles for 20dhs per hour and ride around the Burj Plaza area, the pedestrian walkway between Dubai Mall station and the actual mall and a bunch of subtle signs that hinted I am on the right track.

The view from my bus stop to my destination at the  Burj Plaza park - situated right behind the worlds tallest building, The Burj Khalifa (on the left). On this particular day I went one stop too far on the bus which led me to the Metro station and the signs I have pictured below.

The view from my bus stop to my destination at the Burj Plaza park – situated right behind the worlds tallest building, The Burj Khalifa (on the left). On this particular day I went one stop too far on the bus which led me to the Metro station and the signs I have pictured below. Yes you read that correctly…I may very well be the only cabin crew who has ever set foot on the bus and I love it!

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Throughout my fitness journey I have been exercising an average of four times a week and now I feel it’s time to step up my pace and challenge myself to 30 consecutive days of training, for a minimum of 30 minutes. This is planned to go on – rain, flight, sand storm or heat wave!

The same way I committed to my 30 day smoothie challenge (these days my daily groothie is prepared on auto-pilot) I intend to make this part of my daily practice.

One of my 30 days of green love

One of my 30 days of green love

Things that have proven barriers in the past:

Time Management

Always waiting for the perfect moment…saying I’ll do it after this or that and then realising another day has passed and then it gets put on my list for mañana. On the days when I get up and workout first thing, I get hydrated early and create a positive, energised and focused mind-set for the rest of the day. Do you realise how good it feels knowing your day is free of thinking about where and when you are going to squeeze in your fitness regime, or not having to feel guilty about skipping it completely?

One particular morning I did an intense at home workout before heading off to the standby lounge. When I came home I wandered up to the local shops to purchase a few necessities and was rewarded with nearly 1000 dirhams worth of shopping vouchers. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. This was something that never would have happened if I came home thinking I must get a workout in before the day is over and I felt like it was a signal encouraging me to use my mornings to my advantage more often.

My other reasons are a side effect of time management…..missing the window of opportunity before of after a flight, frequently getting sucked into the World Wide Web or being too full to workout after a meal.

Last but not least, I sometimes get distracted by my boyfriends company – especially when he is at my place. I live in a studio apartment and I don’t feel as free to move around in the eary hours when he is there. Given that he likes to go to sleep and rise late and I like to generally wake with the sun, this can put me out of sync with my daily rituals.

The moral of the story is, most of these instances could be overcome if I just got up and got my GTY (gym, tan, yoga) on, even if Nic is still enjoying his dreamtime.

During the next 30 days I am sure there are plenty of workout suggestions I could be following that would condition me to the best version of myself. Right now, that isn’t my vision. August is about forming healthy, sustainable, exercise habits. Once the foundations are there, then I will start thinking about my bikini bod and getting noticeable results from my efforts.

  • Day 1 – a slow start which included a 15 min walk, followed by 30 mins cycling.
  • Day 2 – 35 min thorough relaxation yoga program ( via my iPad ), as I left this until late evening and didn’t want to energise myself too much before bed.

Tomorrow I plan to pick up the pace a little. Stay tuned! In saying that I must sign off now as I have standby from midday so I want to get moving by 10am at the latest.

Saying goodnight now on Day 2 of my 30 day fitness challenge. I encourage you all to join me on my quest to create a daily fitness habit. If you feel like you need a professional encourager to help you take one baby step at a time, connect with me here, I would love to help.

Ciao for now!

Linda :-)