take a deep breath

February 18th 2010

one of my many barks lines in class is “take a big gulp of air.”

i want you guys breathing from your bellies, down deep in your diaphragm. this low abdominal breath is not only core activating (think flat stomachs), but it also creates negative pressure, improving the vein flow of blood back up into the chest. heart disease is undermined, and athletic ability is invigorated.

for me though, the bottomless belly breath is all about relaxation. it’s amazing how i can have my own mini, thirty-second, spa day in xanadu with just a few inhales and exhales.

here’s a video to actually teach you how to properly “low belly breathe”.

what happens though if you suffer from allergies? or worse asthma, when you have no breath? a reader asked about asthma and exercise. an asthma attack can be triggered by allergens, food, pollution, extreme weather, and also lack of physical exercise. it is vital for asthmatics to maintain physical fitness.

cold and or extremely hot and smoggy weather is not favorable for sufferers. intensity does not need to be excessive either. going “all out, 100%” isn’t preferable. keeping a relaxed, rhythmic breath is critical. thus, learning to breath in the lower abdomen is crucial. also, diet is thought to play a fundamental role in asthma attacks. foods such as chili, garlic, onions, and hot mustard are thought to trigger watery fluids in the lungs, mouth and throat. we all should be taking our omega 3’s, but they’re believed to alleviate some asthma symptoms as well.

try to take two moments today and just breathe quietly. even if it’s just for a minute or so. exhale as much stress and toxic air out. do you feel better?

tea update

February 17th 2010

i. miss. coffee.

very. sleepy.

will. trek. on.

time for tea

February 16th 2010

yes, i’m afraid tis time my friends.

time for me to cut back a little on my coffee crack pipe, and slowly steep into the healthier, prettier, and (apparently) happier world of tea.

those of you who know me intimately are well aware of my adoration for all things black, hot {focus people} and caffeinated. i could drink coffee all day long. i love all aspects: the taste, the smell, the morning ritual of my french press, the in and out of the coffee shops all day long, the after dinner cup, the bathtub cup, the bikini wax cup…….you get the idea.

but i know i’m getting a little too compulsive with my intake. i don’t drink nearly enough water as it is, and since coffee depletes the body of water, i can tell my body is in a constant state of dehydration. even with all that damn coffee, i am exhausted 24/7.

every time i speak with a nutritionist or another professional in the health field they always “tsk tsk” me for my coffee intake. i fight back that i am constantly freezing, and the hot cup of coffee keeps me awake AND warm. even on the hottest day in august a steaming starbucks is sometimes the only thing i crave.

i’m always hearing “drink tea, more green tea, more white tea, tea!! tea!! tea.”  i honestly don’t know why i don’t drink more tea. i like flavored teas tremendously. the health benefits of drinking green tea reads like a miracle worker:

Green Tea Benefits
In Women In Men
23% lower risk of dying from any cause 12% lower risk of dying from any cause
31% lower risk of dying from CVD 22% lower risk of dying from CVD
62% lower risk of dying from stroke 42% lower risk of dying from stroke

so on my last visit up north i paid a visit to my favorite tea house, lupicia, for some much needed guidance and stock.

lupicia is the willy wonka store for tea. everything is packaged prettily…..bewitching one into tea fanaticism (if only they could do this with beets).

i explained my issues to the token tea guru behind the counter. i told him of my addiction to all things java. i also asked if maybe he had a tea concoction that could help the “meth-face” that seemed to be lingering around my chin and jaw-line (i’d been told green tea did wonders for the complexion???)

well, here i am with…four bags of tea later.

c’est parfait: a wellness blend with the likes of rooibos, honeybush and chamomile. c’est parfait is crafted carefully to promote health, vigor, and acuity. this particular tea contains hibiscus, rose hip and cassis and was promised to soothe me and my jumpy druthers.

happiness: a blend of green tea and green rooibos tea flavored with fresh fruits and flower petals.

jasmine mandarin: a chinese green tea described as scented with jasmine flowers which have sweet aroma like spring breeze.

sakurambo cherry: a black tea with a tart, eye squinting cherry flavor. this was the daily sample at the store. i know i wanted mostly green teas, but this was so delicious i had to buy a (small) bag.

pineapple oolong. i’ve already placed a second order. this tastes like maui to me. thank goodness this is served hot, or i’d suck this thing down too quickly. i smile as i sip this tropical green tea trip.

so wish me luck. i will keep you updated on my new tea adventure. they say it takes 8 weeks for something to become a habit.

now don’t get me wrong, i am NOT giving up my french roast boyfriend. coffee and i are still dating. we’re just seeing other people now.

if anyone has any tea recommendations let me know.



i really, really, really wanted to…..BUT

February 15th 2010


they’re everywhere these days. people love them  (or so they SAY they love them.. i’m very  suspicious). how can you love something that tastes like a wet matchbox?

is it a half japanese thing that makes the beet in my mouth taste differently in your mouth? what is it that i’m missing that the rest of america is tasting? are you all slyly whispering a password to the waiter when you order your beet salad so that yours tastes magical?

“i’ll have the beet and –alpha corkscrewgoat cheese salad” please.

and the moans and eye rolls back into the head when you eat said secret service salad, just boggles my mind. i DON’T taste that?!

i can appreciate the lure of the pretty colors. i must say that’s what finally drew me in to my beet dish. the magenta and ruby-ness was just too much for this girl to resist. i’m a sucker for ANYTHING pink.

but here i am again, just like i was 25 years ago. eating something because it’s pink, and then wanting to gag. before it was white marshmallow and shredded coconut; today: beets.

i understand the dietary and health benefits. they’re high in fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and folate, and because of their pigment beets are touted as great colon cancer fighters. wonderful! but, can’t we cover them in frosting to make up for the taste?

i know i’m alone in this community of beet misanthropes. why else would beets be showing up in my salads, pastas, and ice cream?

does anyone else share my aversion?

on another, more positive note, the winner of the fitbook is Steph!!!!! congratulations!!! you are on your way to a fun 12-weeks. i will get that to you ASAP!!!

if you didn’t win, you can still buy your own here.

happy monday everyone!!


Development by Brandi Bernoskie