Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Beating the bloat

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos
As I mentioned in a previous entry, I'd been having some stomach issues, which was the reason why I had decided to become a flexi-vegetarian. While my tummy is better, I'm still struggling a lot with bloating and indigestion. I'd really rather not have to take any pills or antacids for it, rather just change my lifestyle to fix the problem because I feel that bloating and indigestion is symptomatic of bigger health issues, such as chronic stress.

Some of the things I've tried:
  • Giving up meat most of the week 
  • Trying to eat more slowly. This has been really hard, because at work, I get a 30 minute window to eat (work scheduling is strict... in the end, I have about 15-20 mins of meal time, which ends up being just gobble gobble gobble
  • Doing yoga asanas that focus on the digestive tract, eg. supine twists 
Things I have yet to try;
  • Seeing if I have a food allergy. I'm not even sure where I start on this... Google searches bring up tests that cost hundreds of dollars and I'm not really swimming in cash right now. 
  • Drinking Peppermint tea 
  • Giving up milk and dairy. I just love milk too much. Plus, there are days when I have milk and feel fine, so I don't think I'm lactose intolerant.  
  • Eating 5 small meals a day instead of 3 main ones.
I still believe I'm possibly not eating slowly enough. I've read suggestions that you should put your fork/spoon down in between each mouthful, but I'm always time pressed. And now that I have invisalign, putting on and removing my braces take up about 5-7 minutes of my meal breaks.

Oh, what a first world problem... any suggestions?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Trend Spotlight: Yoga Hula

A few days ago, while reading my daily dose of yoga blogs, I came across this.

Yeah. Yoga + hula hoop = yoga hula (or hoop yoga).

I was really excited. I've always loved the hula hoop and used to hula lots as a child and teenager. And as an adult, I'm growing ever so fond of my yoga practice.

A quick Google search didn't yield much results, not in Melbourne anyway. There is a Sydney yoga studio that's offering yoga hula, but disappointingly enough, that's about as much as Australia has to offer.

I did however, find this video on Youtube, which is perhaps the only proper yoga hula video I could find. AMAZEBALLS! I wish I could be half as graceful as her, my expression when I watched this (*_*)

Any yoga entrepreneurs wanting to bring this in Australia? Pretty please?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Sadie Nardini 14 Day Yoga and Empowerment Course

I'm finally getting around to reviewing this course, which I started over a month ago. I know it's meant to be completed in 14 days, but in my defense, after a week into it, I went snowboarding, and then just couldn't get back into a routine again, until recently.

Print Screen of what the frontpage of the Udemy course looks like
Sadie Nardini isn't yet a big name in Australia, but she's a huge name among the vinyasa yoga crowd in the States. When Udemy announced on Facebook that it was going to have a massive 50% sale on the Sadie Nardini course, I just had to get it. Just to give you an idea, the full price for a lifetime access to the course is USD$59, and I purchased it for USD$29.

This is apparently the program that helped Sadie lose 40 pounds! I can't imagine Sadie ever having an extra 40 pounds... and I definitely don't have 40 pounds to lose, but I definitely needed some toning.

Positives of the course: 

  • Great advice on how to detox your life in the introduction manual. Fantastic household tips, fantastic tips on how to rehaul your life.
  • Love the juice/smoothie and salad/soup recipes. My favourite was the chocolate vegan tofu smoothie. Who knew that tofu could taste so good in a smoothie! Sadie recommends replacing one meal a day with a smoothie, or salad. Nice in principle, but I kept getting hungry. 
  • A lot of core work. It's really inspiring seeing Sadie execute everything so fluidly and effortlessly. Can't say I was doing the same though! 
  • Caters for intermediate/advanced yogis and yoginis. Do take note of this... it's definitely not a beginner course. Even the restorative yoga involves moderate intensity workouts. Almost all the videos involve crane/crow pose and handstands. You have been warned. 
What could be better: 
  • It was really repetitive. Vinyasa in general is repetitive... I know, I was this close to training to becoming a vinyasa teacher. But the videos essentially have the warm up for approximately 20 mins, cool down for about another 20 minutes, and the focus sandwiched in the middle. It would have been nice to have some variation. However, if you think about it... $29 (which I paid) pays for one yoga class, and I've gotten so much more than just a yoga class, so I really have no grounds for complaint. 
  • The videos were too long for someone who works. The shortest video is an hour. I found that I didn't really have much time to complete whole videos at once, quite often I'd just skip the handstand sequences, which brings me to my next point. 
  • Too much focus on handstands and arm balances. Some of the videos involved handstands in consecutive days over 3-4 days. I could think of many other inversions that would be less strenuous on the wrists that would be equally beneficial. 
  • Too little focus on forward bends. Except in the restorative yoga video, there weren't many seated forward bends. A few wide-legged standing forward bends, but you never get enough time to hold them. 
  • Many people seem to have technical issues with the site. This is more of Udemy's problem than Sadie's. A common complaint was videos not loading, poor sound quality.. I had none of those issues from the beginning, however the fullscreen option was disappointing as it didn't really enlarge to fullscreen. 
While it may seem like I'm not recommending this course from how much more the negatives outweigh the positives... I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It's good (albeit repetitive, and in the end, slightly boring), and it's cheap. That being said, Sadie has another yoga course on the DailyOm which I believe is the same thing, but you can pay whatever you amount you wish (yes, even a dollar...). For $59 for lifetime access, you really don't have much to lose. Except some pounds, maybe :) 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Better than Black and Green

I've found a new obsession. This is perhaps one of the best things I've discovered since starting Sadie Nardini's 14-day yoga detox (which I have yet to complete... and review... but it will come :P)


It's an African red tea, with a taste similar to a black tea, but without the bitterness of the tannins in black. It's also

  • non-caffeinated 
  • high in antioxidants
  • reported to help with allergies, anxiety and digestion 
  • has cancer-fighting properties  
  • traditionally used to fight asthma and dermatological problems
Does it sound amazing... or does it sound amazing??? 

I've tried three brands of Rooibos so far. I have to say they taste pretty similar and consistent across the range, unlike say... green tea or a breakfast tea. T2 and Tealeaves both have flavoured rooibos, which I haven't tried, so if you're into flavoured teas, could be worth checking out. My personal favourite between T2 and Tealeaves would be Tealeaves. They're cheaper, and I think their other teas taste better... however their packaging is very no-frills compared to T2. 

T2 Red The first rooibos I tried. Loved it, but it was pretty expensive. 
Just Rooibos This comes in teabags. I didn't find it any different to the looseleaf teas, in fact it was easier to use if I was brewing for one. Plus, I found this at my local Coles and it was so cheap compared to T2 and Tealeaves. 
Tealeaves I haven't purchased loose leaves from them, but I did try their rooibos up in the Dandies. It was a bit weak, but I think it was because the restaurant skimped on leaves. 

Sadie's course had this GREAT smoothie using rooibos, blending mixed berries, rooibos, milk and honey. It seriously tasted like bubble tea. /drool. Unfortunately, I can't share the recipe here because it's her recipe, but it's not hard to work out the ratios *wink wink* 

Anyway, fellow tea lovers, go forth and enjoy!