P.O.W # 13 Acro Yoga, Activated Charcoal, Cacao Ceremonies

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health

PHYSICAL: Acro Yoga 

This Past week Brit and I taught our beloved PULSE PUMP PRANA workout in Negril, Jamaica at the TMRW TDAY Culture fest. It was an amazing week filled with yoga, fitness, meditation, health talks, music, dancing, food and beautiful Jamaican sunshine. One of our highlights was learning Acro Yoga from The Acro Buddahs (Miranda and Ryan from Toronto). Not surprisingly, Arco Yoga combines acrobatics and yoga. Brit and I both had our significant others accompany us on the trip which was something we all looked forward to. After our first session with the Acro Buddhas, we were hooked and continued our practice on the beach each day. We learned a lot from helping each other as couples while spotting and were pushed to take our trust as partners to a new level. The “Base” (the person on the bottom) has to keep the “Flyer” in alignment and feeling safe. Sometimes we get turned around, up side down and maneuvered all over so it’s immensely important to keep communication up all the times. If not.. you may fall but we sometimes need to fall to find our boundaries and limitations. The frustration that comes along with many failed attempts can have you and your partner feeling impatient and annoyed (so hilarious looking at the bickering in some of our video footage!) However, when you achieve a flow with your partner it feels so incredible and harmonious, as if you’re talking through your bodies on another plane. The sense of accomplishment as a couple is extremely rewarding.  You feel you can achieve anything together.  You learn how to communicate better, without playing the blame game since this practice is never solely one persons issue/fault alone.

Miranda and Ryan were fantastic teachers and their passion for teaching this practice together and spreading the knowledge they have to others was clear. Even on their “off time” they were helping us out and teaching us more! One thing we will for sure take from this practice as a couple (among many, many other take-aways ) is a question Miranda and Ryan advised us to ask our partner during our practice which was “What Can I Give You?” What a powerful question. It diverts your potential frustration and veers one away from saying “you’re not doing this, you’re not doing that” or  “I need this, I feel that”  to “How Can I make this better/easier for you?” If both partners ask and respond to this question you make so much progress. Understanding that we both need different things to be successful but also need each others support 100% . These are not just Acro Yoga lessons, these are relationship and life lessons! The bonding, trust, communication and exhilaration all wrapped up into one beautiful and present yoga practice. Together as one. They say Yoga comes from the word “Unity” and I think this yoga practice unifies a couple together more than anything I’ve seen.

Thank you Acro Buddha’s!

 They will be having a Acro Yoga Work shops on the following dates at:

LULULEMON – THE ATTIC
318 Queen Street West, Toronto

May 25th 5:30pm – 7:00pm
June 24th 12:30pm – 2:30pm
June25th 11:00am – 2:00pm

and join them at the EMERGE FESTIVAL in Laurentian Valley, Ontario from

Friendship and trust bonding exercise
 Miranda and Ryan teaching
Miranda and Ryan shooting with the sunset
Our daily practice!

POTIONS: Activated Charcoal

Also, while in Jamaica we had the pleasure of listening to a few talks held by David Wolfe. David is nutritionist from a family of medical doctors who focuses on super foods, raw foods and the worlds most powerful supplements coming from nature. He gives many talks at events, retreats, expos and schools around the world. He was also a guest lecturer during our studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) , where brit and I studied in 2014.  One key take-away from David was that Activated Charcoal is likely the most important supplement there is and should be taken daily!

 

Dr.Axe writes “Activated charcoal is a potent natural treatment used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them. It’s made from a variety of sources, but when used for natural healing, it’s important to select activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources.

One of the most popular activated charcoal uses is for the safe and effective treatment of poisoning and drug overdoses. It’s used in emergency trauma centres across the world. In addition, it’s used to reduce bloating and gas, lower cholesterol, treat bile flow problems safely during pregnancy, and even prevent hangovers.” Read more 

We like to make a charcoal lemonade after or in-between alcoholic drinks, when we have stomach/digestive issues (cheat weekend anyone?) or when we feel we need more detoxification due to walking or biking around in a big, air-polluted city ( still love you Toronto!). We also like making a mask or peel with charcoal.  Mix with bentonite clay for a mask or gelatin for a peel to pull out toxins and impurities from the skin!

Charcoal lemonade recipe:

Serves 2

  1. 2 lemons squeezed
  2. 2 cups of filtered water or chilled black/green or rooibos tea
  3. 2 tea spoons of activated coconut charcoal
  4. 2 table spoons of sweetener = honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar. If using stevia just 1 teaspoon since it’s hyper sweet! 🙂
  5. Pinch of himalayan salt
  6. Blend and enjoy!

 

POSTIVE THOUGHT: Setting Intentions 

Another event we attended at TMRW TDAY was a Cacao Ceremony. If you’ve never heard of one of these, listen up! It includes loads of hot chocolate, great music and friendly vibes.. Need we say more? Not to mention setting an intention with each sip or bite of the wondrous cultivated bean.

An article by the-numinous.com writes :

WHAT IS A CACAO CEREMONY, AND WHEN DO PEOPLE SEEK THIS MEDICINE OUT? 
“A cacao ceremony is an opportunity to connect to yourself and open your heart. Because of cacao’s ability to increase your connection to your inner self and your heart chakra, it aids in any transformational shift you are working towards, whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of who you are, release old patterns and traumas, or move into a more self-confident space. Whatever your path, the intention is yours to set, and the cacao allows you to the insight and awareness to move towards that goal.”

CACAO IS ASSOCIATED WITH UNIVERSAL LOVE – WHY IS THIS? IS THIS WHY WE GIFT CHOCOLATE TO OUR LOVERS?
Due to certain active ingredients that help release ‘feel good’ emotions, cacao is considered a heart opener. Creating feelings of emotional intimacy and pleasure, it has long been considered a luxurious delicacy, especially with the addition of sugar and spices to suit modern palates. Without realizing, we still get to enjoy a small fraction of it’s potential when we eat cacao in a regular chocolate bar. And yes, this is why it has become associated with romantic gestures and pleasurable indulgence! ” Read more here!

 As we sat and learned a bit about the history of the cacao plant, cacao fruits and the bean, we drank a delicious mix of raw cacao, coconut milk. lucuma ( a natural sweetener) and sea salt. We then set our intentions for the night, for the week or even the year. Eating or drinking cacao has some energizing effects so these ceremonies are done without any alcohol or stimulants involved, but you’d be surprised how much fun you can still have without them which is in it’s self, another powerful lesson. After, we danced to live music, watched a beautiful performance by the Acro Buddahs and laughed with old and new friends.  
We don’t know about you but we freaking love chocolate.. and the darker, the better.  The darker you eat, the more minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, healthy fats and less sugar it will contain. We started at 50 0r 60% then worked our way up and now that seems too sweet! Brit and I are big fans of 90% Swiss chocolate and sometimes we dip them in nut butters for the most delectable snack. Now we’ll surely set an intention each time we have our beloved chocolate, which by the way is already a daily ritual! 
Ways to add more cacao love into your life:
  • Add 100% Cacao powder to your morning coffees for a homemade mocha
  • Sprinkle Cacao Nibs ( crushed cocoa beans) on to your yogurt/ smoothie bowls
  • Make energy balls or or trail mix with nuts and cut up dark chocolate/nibs
or make this 1 min mug cake!
Serves 1
  1. Using one standard coffee mug:
  2. Melt 2 pieces of dark chocolate (20 grams) or 1 table spoon of cacao 
  3. add 1 table spoon of butter or coconut oil
  4. 1 table spoon of maple syrup
  5. 1 table spoon of nut butter 
  6. mix that well 
  7. add 1 egg
  8. stir well 
  9. then Microwave for 1 min 20 seconds
  10. Set your intentions and enjoy! 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

POW # 11 (Mindfulness, Jump Squats and Connection)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health

Firstly, thank you to Brit & Amanda for asking me to do a guest post on their blog. I absolutely love the idea of the 3 P’s and I’m so excited to be able to share three P’s that resonate with me this week. Here goes …

PRESENCE : Mindfulness

We all know how hard it is to be truly present in the moment. As a working mom, this is especially difficult, but so important. But kids or no kids, what I believe really helps is meditation. Meditation can recharge us, as well as get us back to centre. I know you might be thinking it’s crazy to try and find time to sit in silence, but start with just 5 minutes a day and work your way up each week. If you commit to even a short amount of time, you will find that meditation helps to reconnect you to your inner self and will help you be more grounded, less stressed and more PRESENT.

There are three types of meditation including guided meditation (lead by a series of vocal prompts); mantra meditation (mental or verbal repetition of a phrase or affirmation); and relaxation (imagining each area of your body relaxing and listening to your breathing). Whatever you choose, the benefits of meditation are endless and improving your presence in the moment is just one of them!

Suggested apps:

Insight Timer and Headspace

PHYSICAL : Jump Squats

Movement keeps our blood flowing and ultimately, it keeps us alive! This week I encourage you to challenge yourself to move a little more than you usually do. Try that new fitness class. Go for a run or a walk outside. Stretch. Stretch a little more. Recruit a friend. This week just MOVE.

5 Benefits To Movement

1. Improve your metabolism and control weight

2. Boost your energy levels

3. Support heart health

4. Improve your sleep

5. Better your mood

Suggested move of the week:

Jump Squats. They work your whole body and can be done just about anywhere. Here’s how you do them:

• Stand with the feet shoulder width apart.

• Squat down as if you were performing a normal squat.

• Engage your core and jump in the air explosively.

• On landing lower the body back into the squat position and that is one rep.

• Be careful to land with control and if there is any pain in knees stop immediately.

PEOPLE Awareness & Connection

If there is one ‘P’ that you should remember from this post, I hope it’s this one. With our busy schedules and the madness of social media, it can be easy to lose that human connection. Instead of walking into the gym with head down and mid text, put your phone away and get eye contact with people. Say hello and engage those around you. This real human interaction is so key to a healthy state of mind. We learn from each other that an Instagram post can never replace a face-to-face conversation. This week focus on PEOPLE – family, friends or even strangers at your local coffee shop.

Did you know?

There are studies that have shown that a lack of social connections was associated with a significantly increased risk for inflammation, becoming overweight, and even developing high blood pressure.

For more information you can find Trisha at notummymommy.com 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit

P.O.W # 8 (Box jumps, Borage oil and Anthony Cheam)

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

PHYSICAL: Box Jumps 

We absolutely love box jumps! We all need speed to bring our strength to new levels and box jumps are the quickest way to get explosive, express power and practice landing softly (sound landing mechanics take a lot of core strength, which is great because its easy to forget about keeping our core activated throughout workouts)

Things to be aware of while completing a box jump

  • Feet are flat while landing.
  • Knees stay neutral (they are not pointing out too much or buckling in)
  • Core is engaged.
  • Shoulders back and chest up.
  • When landing on the box, extend the knees and thrust the hips forward.
  • Eyes are always looking forward or up. You never want to be looking down because thats the direction you will go in.
  • Step back down off the box one foot at a time.

We know box jumps can be intimidating, so try practicing first by placing an object on the floor in front of you and jumping over it, tucking your knees in close to your chest. Once you’ve mastered this you should have no problem taking on the box jump!

              

POTION : Borage Oil (GLA oil) 

Borage oil is a natural substance that provides high levels of the fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a strong anti-inflammatory found in certain plant oils.

While gamma-linolenic acid is derived from extracts drawn from the seeds of plants like borage (Borago officinalis) and evening primrose, it’s not found in high amounts in the human diet. Therefore, taking a supplement is the way to go.

Borage oil is one of the most popular natural anti-inflammatory supplements because it has one of the highest amounts of GLA of all seed oils, a total of 23%! Whereas, Primrose only has 9% .

Benefits of using GLA Oil

  • PMS symptoms (I did notice less breast tenderness and skin breakouts but still felt cramping.)

       Bone loss and osteoporosis

  • ADHD Symptoms
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Ongoing Fatigue (I have felt less fatigued)
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Dealing with Stress
  • Managing Diabetes

I have been using Borage Oil (GLA Oil) now for three weeks and I absolutely love it. Some call it a facial in a bottle and I believe it! Stay tuned for future updates.

PERSON : Anthony Cheam (Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Motivational Speaker)

I have known Anthony since I was 14 years old, thats 14 years! When I was 18 he started to train me. However, through working with Anthony I gained so much more than just a fit body. I was inspired, motivated and driven to be a better version of myself every single day. I couldn’t wait for our sessions together because I would always leave with more knowledge than what I came with. He shaped part of the individual that I am today. He is one of the reasons why I became a personal trainer and why I wanted to work with others to help them to be better versions of themselves.

Since I’ve known Anthony he has gone on to write two books, give a TED talk, hosts numerous teaching events about how to be the best version of YOU and SO much more.

Stay tuned for a guest POW from Anthony soon!

You can find all that Anthony does at:

http://anthonycheam.com/

  (Anthonys Book)

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

P.O.W # 5 ” Inverting, Organizing and Success”

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

 

 

PHYSICAL: Handstand Drills

Lately, we’ve been loving Handstand Drills! These drills are devised to strengthen the muscles needed for solid and stable free standing handstands that we hope to one day achieve (in the near  future). We must understand that things like this take time and continuous effort, but little by little your body (and more importantly your brain) remember each attempt and learn from each session. Handstands require a lot of internal “conversations” to the rest of your body which is also called “Proprioception”.  Rather than mindlessly kicking your feet over your head you must slowly (in your mind) but quickly (in your body) recruit all the necessary muscles to feel the alignment and centre of gravity all at once. Of course, we know when we do squats we need to focus on using our glutes and quads but when we’re inverting (which can be somewhat scary at times) sometimes all we focus on is getting our legs in the air which is just one piece of a handstand but not the whole pie! In these drills we focus on strengthening shoulders, back muscles and abdominals as well as feeling better/safer and more confident while inverted.

Give these a try!

Scissor your legs one at a time off the wall to feel when your feet are over your hips.

Try 10 taps alternating each leg

 

Pike against the wall as close to 90 degrees as you can and hold for as long as you can!

 

PRACTICAL: WunderList App

A great APP that helps make lists easier, and more effective. You can share lists with friends, partners or coworkers so you can both check off what needs to get done and divide who does what . You can also make notes on each list item and reminder timers so you achieve the task by said time – no later. They have a smartphone app and a desktop version so it’s always accessible. It’s helped me daily with work, studying, and even grocery lists which my boyfriend and I can see who got which item in real time so we know when we’re out what there is left to grab. Try it out! It’s free of course so there’s no risk involved, just a more organized you!

WunderList App iTunes

 

 

POSTIVE THOUGHT:

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”

-Arnold Schwarzenegger 

You have to fail to become successful, there’s no doubt about it. No one gets into a handstand the first time they try as true as no one becomes a CEO the second they graduate. We can apply this theory to our physical goals as well as to our life and career goals. Patience is key as well as learning from our mistakes and realizing it’s only human to make them.

 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

 

P.O.W week # 4 Sunshine, Walking and Attraction”

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

 

POTION: Light 

“The idea that light is a potent healer has been hidden in plain sight for thousands of years”

All life forms ultimately derive their energy from the sun. Sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis (the process of which plants convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose for energy.) Even organisms that do not conduct photosynthesis get their energy from eating plants or from eating other animals that do so. Ultimately, all growth in the planet depends on the sun.

Vitamin D is vital for so many things like a strong immune system, glowing skin, weight loss and increased energy. It also aids in the prevention of osteoporosis, many types of cancers, depression and diabetes. It has been linked to the very reason we get sick easier in the winter because we’re lacking in this essential vitamin. Many experts and specialists recommend supplementing up to 1000IU per 25lbs (11.3Kg) of body weight everyday!

Here are some articles to help guide you in finding out if you are vitamin D deficient

BulletProof Vitamin D

Vitamin D: So Much More than the Sunshine Vitamin

PHYSICAL: Walking

I’ve been doing a lot of walking lately, it all started when I got my boyfriend a Fitbit and we began challenging one another on who could get more steps. So, every chance I got I would hop on the treadmill ( I know, it sounds a little crazy!)

I forgot how amazing walking made me feel. The first 10 minutes are the toughest part but once you get going the time seems to fly by. Initially I would do 20 minutes and then I started to increase my time.

Here are some of the amazing benefits of walking

Strengthens your heart

Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. It’s great cardio exercise, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. The Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes, reducing the risk by up to 27 percent. Numerous studies show that a sedentary lifestyle is a significant risk factor not only for heart disease but also for cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative illness. 10,000 steps per day here we come!

Trims you down

Make walking part of your daily routine and you will shed the weight in no time. Watch your speed so you know that you are not slowing down. Increase the incline (or hike a steep hill)  your booty and legs will thank you for it!

Walking makes you happy! 

Exercise releases endorphins therefore, boosting your mood. Studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants (in mild to moderate cases of depression) Next time you’re angry or feeling down, walk it off!

PONDERING: Can beliefs shape outcomes? ” The Law Of Attraction” 

“The mind is everything, what you think, you become”-Buddha

Well, this all depends, do you have a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset”

If you have a fixed mindset you will always stay content with exactly where you are but if you have a growth mindset you know that simply believing change is possible, makes change possible.

If we apply this in our minds we will find both success and happiness

Start imagining your life the way you want it. Create a picture in your mind and think about that picture all day long. BELIEVE in it.

Yes, you will encounter obstacles but don’t them discourage you. If you hold your picture of the life you want consistently in your mind, you WILL create that life.

Keep at it! You’ve got this.

 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

Check back weekly for more!

xx

Amanda and Brit 

 

P. O.W week #3 Metabolism, Push-ups and Coffee

“3 P’s for Optimal Performance and Health”

 

POTIONS: Iodine

Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function and metabolism. Your thyroid is a major factor in regulating your metabolism, and if your Iodine levels are low, you run the risk of having an underactive thyroid, and therefore a sluggish metabolism. Get your Iodine levels to a good place and you could see an increase in your metabolic rate. It also enhances immune function and prevents brain damage.  Iodine deficiency is widespread, so supplementation is wise**. Physically active people are at especially high risk for deficiency because you lose iodine through sweat. You can get some iodine from seafood, but unless you’re eating it with every meal, you probably won’t get enough.

Dose: 150 mcg to 1000 mcg (1 mg) / day

We use this brand by Trophic

**It’s always best to get your levels checked before assuming supplementation is needed

 

PHYSICAL: Push Ups

A classic, fundamental exercise movement that targets the whole body! You can do them absolutely anywhere, anytime and at any fitness level. The variations are endless and so are the benefits. Wide arms target more chest and shoulders while a closer stance targets your triceps. Check out this tricep/plank variation in our how to video below! This will have you doing full push ups in no time!

Push up

PODCAST: Dr. Bubbs Performance Podcast

Dr.Bubbs is a Canadian Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in enhancing athletic performance. He is the Sport Nutrition Lead for the Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team and Strength Coach. He was introduced to us by fellow fitness enthusiast and health/fitness blogger @Ulitmategrityyz 

This week we’re loving this episode of Dr. Bubbs Podcast as he and Nanci Guest discuss the effects of caffeine consumption, how it differs depending on your genetic make up and how it could benefit ( or inhibit ) your athletic performance. We’re also loving the “lay up” note he includes in the Podcast show notes. This episode features;

“Lay-Ups” in This Episode (quick, simple, actionable items)

1) Drink no more than 2 cups of coffee per day, before noon, to reduce your risk of CVD.

2) 50% of people are slow “caffeine metabolizers”, meaning caffeine levels in the body take 8-10 hours to drop by half. Slow metabolizers may not feel “stimulated” but the caffeine is still blocking the “calming” effect in their body.

3) For the general public, coffee before training is all you need (save your money on “pre-workout” caffeine supplements).

Caffeine “Performance Hacks” from This Episode

1) The most effective dose of caffeine is 3-4mg/kg bodyweight (there’s no additional benefit once dose is greater than 5mg/kg).

2) 10% of population are “ultra-slow” metabolizers and will have WORSE performance when they consume caffeine before training.

3) The more elite the athlete, anhydrous (i.e. supplemental) caffeine is ideal because the caffeine concentration in coffee is highly variable.

 

We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.

 

Check back weekly for more!

 

xx

Amanda and Brit 

 

P.O.W (P’s of the week) Breathing, Pulling and Vegan Brekkie

PRANAYAMA: Adham Pranayama (Abdominal breathing)

Here is a description of how to start practicing Adham Pranayama, abdominal breathing.

Sit in an upright comfortable position. Shoulders back and chest up with a nice elongated spine. Begin to breathe in through your nose feeling your belly rise and fall. Feel the movement. The diaphragm muscle move down onto the digestive organs during inhalation and back up into the chest during exhalation.When the air is expelled the diaphragm is pulled in as well, the navel being drawn in towards the spine so as to squeeze all the air out. This movement of the diaphragm muscle provides a massage for all of the organs in the lower body area, stimulating better function of those organs, improved circulation, digestion, elimination and healthier sexual functions. Many physical disorders below the rib cage can be prevented through this form of breathing. This includes all the digestive organs, down to the intestines, bowels, reproductive organs and prostate gland. Abdominal breathing also has a positive effect on the kidneys and adrenal glands.

“Oxygen is, by far, the most vital component humans need to live. We can go weeks without food, days without water, but only a few minutes without air?”- Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/deep-breathing-for-lung-cleansing/

PHYSICAL: Pull ups

Pull ups are one of our fave exercises but man, are they hard! However, we keep practicing because consistency and frequency are what help us achieve our ultimate goals, in this case, One. Freaking. Pull Up. :p

This is a great video by Charles Poliquin on how to improve your pull ups. Now, the woman in this video has been practicing pull ups for quite some time but none the less the 24-30 seconds of time under tension she is doing is great for pull up progression. Use a bench to help you grasp on to the bars and go! You could always as ask a friend to assist you as well. Happy pull up-ing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2rDdhR3ils

PLANT BASED: Vegan pancake recipe

Our obsession with meat and its low cost has led to HUGE scale factory farming around the globe in order for the industry to keep up with the demand. Now, about 70% of poultry meat, 50% of pork, 40% of beef and 60% of eggs are factory farmed. In factory farms these animals often endure dire conditions that can be detrimental to their health and wellbeing. Factory farming is currently the #1 cause of animal cruelty. So if you do choose to eat meat try to buy ethical, good quality meat (organic) and eggs that come from organic free range farms. The only way us as consumers can have an impact on this is through our choices when we shop, the market will match the demand, and if we stop buying cheap and inhumane products they will produce less of it. These less cruel products are often more expensive, so eat less of it! try having meat/eggs only once per day and have a couple of meat free days!

Here is a tasty plant based breakfast recipe for you to try out by Angela Liddon (who is amazing and has SO many incredible, plat based recipes on her blog check her out!

http://ohsheglows.com/

Vegan & Gluten-Free Vanilla Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats (not kasha), ground into a flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium ripe banana, diced
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (optional)
  • Directions:
  • Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • In a blender, blend the buckwheat groats on high speed until a fine flour forms. Place into a large bowl. Now whisk in the rest of the dry ingredients (rice flour, cornstarch, baking powder).
  • Pour in the almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk the batter until no clumps remain.
  • Fold in the diced banana and scraped vanilla bean. If using fresh blueberries, mix them in now.
  • Lightly grease skillet. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter onto the preheated skillet. If using frozen blueberries, sprinkle on a heaping tablespoon of blueberries. Cook until many bubbles appear and then flip and cook for another couple minutes. Repeat for the other pancakes.

Hope you enjoyed the P’s of the week!

Check in next Monday for more!

FOLLOW US @pulse.pump.prana

#POW

Amanda and Brit xx

P.O.W ( P’s of the week ) 1 leg Squats, Spices and Yoga Props

Hey Y’all!

Each week we will be providing you with tips, tricks, hacks and useful knowledge all pertaining to health, fitness and wellness. This weekly list will be unique and current to what we’re testing out at the moment or to share a result of a consistent trial that has produced a profound effect on us. We hope this list will help you on your journey to better health as we sieve out the best of the best to ensure you achieve your goals in no time!

Here’s your POW!

PHYSICAL : Pistol squat

This week we’re loving the pistol squat! The Pistol squat is a one legged full range squat where you keep one leg elevated as you slowly bring your bum to your heel. It’s a great workout targeting glutes, quads, hamstrings with core and ankle stability. There’s many variations and modifications. Learn more by watching below!

 

POTIONS:  Cayenne powder.

Just a pinch added to coffee, tea, water or foods can aid in digestion, improve circulation and rev up your metabolism. Our favourite way to consume it is in our coffee with cocoa powder for a spicy mocha, in guacamole, or on chicken or tofu with coconut oil and sea salt.

Cayenne Pepper Benefits Your Gut, Heart & Beyond

 

PROPS : Yoga wheel

Similar to a foam roller this wheel can be used to roll muscles and assist in stretches. However, the biggest difference is the unique circular shape ( see below ). The wheel helps open the chest by elongating the fascia and muscles which in our modern society have become tight, short and stuck. It also allows for wider range in shoulder mobility by lengthening the serratus anterior and triceps and it safely supports the spine so the back muscles don’t over-work on your way into full extension. I find this very useful if you’re looking for better form in your wheel ( straighter arms and more flexible thoracic spine) or would just like to stretch and open up before practice. Using this daily can slowly and safely prepare your body for deeper back bends rather then pushing into such an intense posture when your body may not be ready.

We use Yoga Dev

Here’s Amanda using it before teaching a class at Whole Life Balance

Hope you enjoyed the P’s of the week!

Check in next Monday for more!

FOLLOW US @pulse.pump.prana

#POW

Amanda and Brit xx

Finding Balance and reaching our goals

Pulse Pump Prana is all about BALANCE and we truly want to live up to that this year.

It’s easy to get caught up in doing the same active thing day after day. I spend most of my days training people so when I have an extra hour to myself I hit the gym and try new workouts that I can use with my clients.

However, lately my muscles have been feeling a little stiff and I believe its my bodies way of telling me to slow down and add a little yin to my very yang lifestyle.

Both Amanda and myself have made a promise to ourselves and one another (because it’s always great to have someone other than yourself to be accountable to) that we are going to commit to more yoga and meditation this year and now we are telling you.

A fantastic way to commit to something is investing. It’s great to be emotionally invested but once you are financially invested you are more likely to achieve your goals. Sure, a yoga membership or a gym membership can get a little pricey but let us remind you that you are investing in YOU. Health is Wealth people!

It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take hard work and consistency but we know we can do it and we know YOU can do it too.

Here is what we want from you – a little challenge. We would love for you to share your goals for this year with us. Share your weekly progress, monthly progress and so on… Take a photo or video and send it our way so we can repost it. You will not only be inspiring us but you will be inspiring others who are following along with this challenge.

Heres we want from you:

  • Follow us on Instagram @pulse.pump.prana
  • show us your progress and how you find balance by tagging us in your photos
  • hastag #PPPbalance

We’re in this crazy life together, so lets make 2017 the best year yet!

*Also, don’t forget to come check out our Pulse Pump Prana class at Whole Life Balance on king west!

 

Sprint for your life!

So it’s no surprise we love to sprint! But let us tell you a bit about why we love it and the benefits from it.

One of the first things you’ll discover when you do a bit of research is that sprinting is the BEST way to lose fat.  An article by www.healthfitnessrevolution.com states; ” Sprint training is one of the most efficient conditioning exercises that can create significant and notable fat loss. Compared to long and steady aerobic training, like running or jogging, sprinting enables you to lose body fat whereas in aerobic training, you are more likely to lose body mass – which includes fat, but also water weight. When wanting to lose weight and become healthier, you should aim to lose fat. You can definitely do that by doing a sprint training, where you will burn fat faster and preserve or even build muscle. In fact, a Nutrition journal study conducted in 2004 showed that fat metabolism is most effective during running at intensities between 47 and 64%, depending on athletic ability”

Sprinting is also a great way to maintain muscle mass while working on your cardiovascular health, developing endurance, and increasing the strength of your fast twitch muscle fibres.  We don’t know about you, but we’ve seen the way the olympic sprinters look compared to long distance runners.  They look lean, strong and fit as hell!

We know that after we sprint, we feel amazing!  Well, maybe more like 10 minutes after. When our heart rate returns to normal and our faces aren’t so red. The following day even our obliques are sore from the motion of our arms swimming back and forth.  Talk about a full body work out!

Sprinting is not only great at increasing your fitness/weight loss goals but also great for your metabolic health too. Primal forefather Mark Sisson writes “Sprint intervals improve insulin sensitivity in healthy young subjectsoverweight men, and overweight, sedentary women alike. In the youngsters, it improves their lipids, too.  Sprint intervals also reduce postprandial lipemia (temporary elevation of blood triglycerides after a meal), and they improve the circulatory function of obese, sedentary women. Sprinting also boosts growth hormone.  Best of all, sprinting is the best bang for your buck exercise around.  It’s over quick, you’re not in agony for hours at a time (and for more hours after the workout), and it gets the job done. One study even concluded that sprint intervals are a “time-efficient strategy to induce” similar muscular and performance benefits as endurance training.”

If you’re not already sold on sprinting, take a look at some or all of the links we have to inform yourself further!

Top 10 reasons to sprint

Pollquin group: Everyone should do sprints

Sprinting for body builders

Here are some alternatives if you have knee or back injuries!

And of course here are some of our tips for incorporating sprinting into your workout regime:

  1. Aim for 1-3x per week. It only takes 10-20 min!
  2. Start with 30 seconds on and 1 min off. Try a 100-200 metre sprint then walk back to the starting point. See how many you can do and work on beating your average weekly!
  3. Do it outside preferably. If you don’t have access to a park or track then use a stationary bicycle at the gym or lane swimming pools. We find the treadmill to not feel as good for the knees and can be dangerous to switch the controller from those speeds while running so fast. Proceed with caution!
  4. Find a sprinting buddy! Nothing more motivating than running next to one another. Plus,  you can hold each other accountable so you stick to your weekly goals.

Have fun and please let us know your progress! Tag us on Instagram of you working on your sprints @pulse.pump.prana #PPPsprintforyourlife

And here’s a quick video of Amanda on the track to give you an idea of what to do!

Amanda’s Sprints

Thanks for stopping by,

Keep up the Pulse, Pump and Prana in your everyday grind!

Amanda & Brit

amandasprint