Too Many Balls…

Let’s face it – I’m an over achiever.

Wait. Not that awesome type of over-achiever who actually gets to be a NASA scientist, Michelin Star chef, acclaimed romance novelist, mum of four and accomplished accordion player. I’m just the type who pushes herself to do MORE. All. Of. The. Time.

I mostly think this is a great idea. To feel challenged and constantly reaching up. But on a mock resume the other day I had to write up a list of my commitments.

  • I am a mum of two children under 7.
  • Married to a shift worker who often travels away.
  • Works near-full-time at a Community Centre in children’s health and wellness
  • Is a personal trainer with a full roster of clients
  • Is a competing bikini division member of the INBA
  • Runs http://www.catchthebouquet.com.au – a small label of in-house custom bridal and formal wear.
  • Is an Isagenix fan and therefore am often asked about the products and how I use them to ‘live lean’ which was the goal for this year.

And I realised I’m tired.

People often ask me what I’m going to give up and my answer is always – anything that I don’t love.

I love it all.

Some is blood. I’d give it all for my children.

Some is passion.

Some is responsibility. And I don’t shy away from that.

It’s a lot of balls to have in the air at once.

Advice?
SV

All the dumb stuff I’ve done….

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As I sit here typing with a big burn on the side of my neck caused by a lack of due care and attention while in charge of a hair straightener – I started to ponder all of the dumb sh*t I’ve done over the years because of how I feel about how I look.

Crappy diets that starved me, diet pills that made me shake, creams to reduce the size of my thighs that made my skin burn and gave me hard-to-explain rashes.

Waxing my eyebrows thin, growing them out bold, tanning myself chocolate, avoiding all sun like an albino Alaskan because it looks so good on Nicole Kidman.

Going blonde.

Boob padding, clothes-layering and fat tummy/fat thighs/ fat bum compression until I felt like a sausage that might burst open and explode on a BBQ causing a fat-fire of shame.

It’s a long bloody list.

But why? I freely admit to being vain. I like to like how I look. But I’m a bit fascinated with HOW I come to the conclusion of what I like. I don’t read fashion magazines. I very rarely watch TV shows or movies where the focus of the female characters is on being attractive. Is it really the beauty industry so subtly surrounding me that the pressure to look a certain way to feel pretty just ‘is’.

An unavoidable fact of modern life?

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I don’t actually know the answer. But I’d love to. For now – tell me the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in the pursuit of beauty!

Love,

SV

Stuff I Tried this Week – Isagenix Ionix

This week I tried….

ionix

ISAGENIX IONIX SUPREME

(Not a free product or sponsored post! I did become an Isagenix member after buying my products but am still buying all of my supplements myself, joining just let me get them for the lowest price)

What is it?

Funny story. This stuff had been raved about by a few of my friends. I mean really raved about. To the point where I freaked out and though IT’S A CULT. A cult that stole their BRAINS. And then I went back to my same old vitamins and supplements. But then, I was running low on my usuals, still struggling with energy so I drank the Kool-Aid bought some Ionix from a friend.

But what the hell is it? Essentially it’s an old-school tonic. Lots of brewed nutrients and clever stuff designed to help the body deal with stress and energy while also helping physical and mental performance and recovery. Considering I was feeling a bit ‘meh’ on all of those fronts, it was worth a try.

As far as ingredients go, while I didn’t understand the suggested benefits of most of them, I was pretty wrapt that there are no stimulants which a lot of products designed to help with energy have. It does contain some natural sugars but as they are a small amount and fit well into my macros that was no issue at all to me. :) To give you an idea of the nutritional breakdown, here is the panel from the Ionix Supreme liquid I tried:

ionix2

What did I get? And what did I do with it?

I’ve actually bought the Ionix twice now, once in the powder form and most recently in the liquid. The powder comes with a tiny little scoop and each scoop is a single serve mixed with water. With the liquid, each serve is 30ml straight from the bottle.

After I’d bought the powder Ionix, my friends (even the Isa-converts!) told me that it was pretty gross and they much prefer the liquid so I had set the bar pretty low as far as what I was expecting taste-wise. But it’s not that bad. It’s a very strong taste, and I think reminds me of those laxative fruit bars that I was fed once as a kid (Nu-lax or something?) Sweet in a weird plant-y way. I actually don’t mind it.

After discussion and google-searching, I decided that to help address both my lack of energy and problems sleeping I would have 2 serves a day. My morning serve, I put into a protein powder. This sounds a bit odd but mixed with the sweetness of a vanilla protein powder the fruitiness of the Ionix is actually pretty decent! To help with sleeping, I was told to have a serve of Ionix literally just before heading to bed and I have been mixing that one with plain water. Not delicious but not at all disgusting.

When I started to run low on the powder I re-ordered but in the liquid. It does taste slightly different and the consistency is better and you don’t have potential issues with clumps. But I would be happy with either and probably find the small canisters of the powder easier to store than the bigger bottle of liquid. But if you gross out more easily than I do, I would lean towards the liquid as you can just take your 30ml shot of it and be done :)

So whaddya think?

I am really open that I had big reservations about buying ANY of the Isagenix products. It is sold through multi-level marketing which was an instant turn-off for me. Not so much the buying online part (if I could buy everything online I’d be a happy camper!) but that there is the weirdness of ‘are people recommending it because it’s good or because they are trying to recruit me’? Blergh.

But however it happened, I bit the bullet and bought the Ionix and a few other things to try (will review those at a later date!). There are lots of science-y things in the Ionix Supreme that sound made-up to me. Things like ‘adaptogens’ which sound like a chemical weapon in a comic book but are apparently are:

ionix3

 

 

Apparently it’s a real thing. I looked it up on wiki and everything :)

But at the end of the day… this stuff is working. In the couple of weeks that I’ve been using it I HAVE actually been feeling better during the day. Less stressed about things and just generally feeling more “well”. On the nights where I’ve taken it like I’m supposed to before bed I’ve been sleeping well and waking up feeling great and not groggy or weird like I do with any other sleeping tablet (even natural ones make me feel gross in the morning).

Would I buy it again?

I will. For something that so easily slots into my eating plan (14g of carbs, 0 fat, 0 protein for both of my serves) I really am feeling a lot of benefit from it. It’s not expensive for a supplement of this type at $45.

There is LOTS of info about for this one that explains what it does far more eloquently than I can.

Here is an info page

Here is some pricing info and full ingredients list.

Talk soon and have a fabulously healthy weekend,

SV

Tag – You’re Sh*t.

Let’s get this clear right out of the box.

I used to own a business that had multiple offices and many staff.

I ALSO used to weigh closer to 300lbs than I ever would have admitted.

I trained in a gym for A LONG TIME before my body looked like someone who trains in a gym.

Today doing the rounds of the interwebz is a screen-shot of a bitchy nothing taking a snarky stab at people in this weight bracket who chose to go to a gym to train. Huh, what a mole?!

tag you're shit block

So, this creature thinks women (or is it just one woman?) over 300lb are disturbing. Well, I think bullying is disturbing. And don’t get me started on bad grammar.

But she TAGGED herself at the gym where she was clearly training and those same 300lb people that she so clearly wishes to not see exercising also were.

She’s rude, wrong and way out of line. But for me, I keep coming back to the fact that a business (whose entire basis for operating is improving the health and fitness of the widest possible market share it can get it’s hands on) has been implicated in this mental peanut’s crappy behavior.

Is it right for them to be copping the flack from such a comment going viral? Probably not.

Fairly or unfairly, a business reputation is built on not only what you say and do but what those associated to you say and do. In this age of social media, that web gets cast pretty darn wide and is bound to catch some turds. Would you allow your own business and living to be marred because someone does something stupid while aligning themselves with you?

Is it a fantastic opportunity for them to show support to the majority of gym-goers who AREN’T the poster children (yet) of fitness but who are in there paying fees and slogging it out anyway? – HECK YES IT IS.

Stand up SnapFitnessCaloundra and be good enough to show your members that they are valued, regardless of where they are right now and that you won’t tolerate bullies in your gym.

Maybe you want to pop over to their facebook page and shoot them a message to encourage them to stand up for ALL of their members and developing a happier, safer and all-round more awesome training ground for everyone.

And if I was that judgmental pelican’s SEXXAAAY personal trainer – I’d be very happily down one client from today. Bullies are way not sexxaaay.

Peace out,

SV

Well played Universe…Well Played.

I’ve posted a bit on social media of the last few days about coming to terms with the fact that I don’t want to keep fighting my body. I became aware that while I do love competing and pushing my body through a competition preparation in order to be lean enough to get up on stage and REALLY celebrate the work that I put in to my fitness - I want to be gentle to myself too.

What this means is that while I am still preparing to compete during 2014, I’m doing so being more mindful of my health, balance and my happiness. I’ve moved to a way of eating that is more flexible and family friendly (IIFYM) so that I can eat more meals with my family and live like a real person. I’ve moved my supplements to a more wholesome and beneficial range so that I’m not loading myself up with more chemicals than I need. I’m trying to be more chilled out about my expectations of myself really.

It’s nice. I woke up this morning pumped and full of energy, had my breakfast, had my supps, went to the gym to train a PT client and then had a training session with Coach Corey. I felt awesome. Good deadlifts, good back and shoulders – feeling strong, feeling like I’m where I want to be.

It’s nice, this sense of peace and lack of urgency.

Then the doorbell rings.

It’s the Fed-Ex man with a small parcel containing three of the most beautiful stage bikinis ever.

I try them on.

They fit.

If I kicked my own ass they’d look great on stage sometime soon.

But I’d need to kick my own ass to do it in time.

This is me shaking my fist at the Universe. Well played Universe, very well played.

SV

Stuff I’ve Tried – Mana

*Disclaimer – the lovely owners of Mana Blend DID send me a container of their product to try and provide my feedback on. It’s exactly that, MY feedback. Always feel free to ask me questions and call shenanigans if you think I’m being shady :p

Anyway!! This month I’ve been trying….

Mana

MANA

(As mentioned, YES – this item was sent to me free of charge to try and provide feedback to my readers)

What is it?

Post competing last year, I felt pretty shabby. I was reacting badly to lots of foods, I’d gained more weight than I’d planned to off-season and I was just generally feeling ‘meh’. In the past I had been incorporating a ‘green smoothie’ into my daily routine whenever I started to feel like this. The only issue was, I don’t make my greens smoothies from scratch. For many reasons (mostly laziness and living on the frozen island with limited access to the rarer and more awesome vegies and greens) I was choosing to buy a greens powder. I’d tried a couple, both from big US supplement brands and they tasted pretty sweet and quite good, like strawberries or tropical fruits – which is odd considering neither of those things were listed as ingredients. Plenty of long-name chemical stuff I couldn’t hope to pronounce though :/ Hmmm.

I believe very much in the universe sometimes dropping things into your life at the right time and I was LITERALLY sitting at my desk researching for another greens smoothie that wouldn’t load me with more toxins than it was helping to flush when the owners of Mana sent me a message introducing me to their product line.

Mana is a vegan, raw and certified organic superfood.  Like, really super.  It has 11 ingredient all with crazy wonderful super powers. The magic eleven are cacao, maca, lucuma, yakon, incan spirulina, goji berry, mesquite, chlorella, camu camu, red banana & noni. Some of these I knew about previously, others were completely new to me. The guys have a great breakdown of each of them on this page - http://www.manablend.com/ingredients/ Check it out – learn stuff.

What did I get?

I got the 1 Month supply canister of Mana. It doesn’t have a scoop but the serving size is super simple. A serving is a heaped dessert spoon. Mmmmm…dessert. I did read on their site and put into practise that when you are sick or just unwell that a double dose is okay. A couple of times when I was fighting off colds I had a serve in the morning and another later in the day and did find that I was bouncing back from things a little faster.

How do you do it?

With all of the super foods in Mana, a daily dose over time will help your body absorb and utilise all of the goodness. I chose to take mine as part of the Mana Green Smoothie One Month Challenge. Which ironically, is not challenging at all – so easy! The challenge is just to have one Mana smoothie (so using your Mana powder as well as adding dark green leafies and some fruit if you like) and incorporate at least one big colourful salad every day for a month.  (I do need to admit that I cheated and had a big colourful soup some days as the Frozen Island weather sometimes makes eating a cold salad less than enticing.)

The thought behind the challenge is to give your body the best chance to be ‘refreshed’ with the increased intake of the wholefoods and time for you to feel and see the benefits.

So whaddya think?

I have to say the problem with having tried commercial ‘greens’ supplements is you get used to the idea that they can taste like cordial. Sometimes a bit of a yukky cordial, but easily sippable and fruity. Mana is not made of chemicals that make it taste like something else. It tastes like cacao and chlorella and all of the stuff that it is actually made of. And that is a good thing. Is it necessarily a delicious thing on it’s own? Um,  not exactly. It’s not gross. Not gag-worthy or horrid. It’s just not cordial. THAT SAID – I was being a purist and not blending mine with the fruits that you can do. I was drinking it straight. And it was fine. But I think an apple or orange in there would make this easily drinkable  for anyone.

Again, being non-chemical, this is not a supplement that you will take and then within the hour go “OH WOW, So much energy, ALL OF THE ENERGY, ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY!!!!!”. It will also not results in your being comatose levels of tired on the couch in two hours or potential overloading your body with stimulants. The benefits of Mana were definitely more subtle. After a week I noticed that my skin breakouts were all clearing up and my tummy was feeling less irritated after I ate. I had more energy in a very soft ‘feeling well’ way. If that sounds a bit airy-fairy, it kinda is. It’s nice.

Following the challenge was quite easy as I am used to taking shakes and already incorporate salads/soups into most days. I did miss a few days here and there while I was travelling (and not organised to take my Mana with me) but whenever I had access to a kitchen, I was set.

By the end of the month I was pretty wrapt with how my skin was looking, how I was feeling overall and just the knowledge that I was getting all of those nutrients and superfoods in each day is comforting.

As I follow an IIFYM food approach to weight loss and show preparation, I found Mana slots in quite easily to my macros as it isn’t particularly heavy in carbohydrates and has very little protein and no fat.

Would I buy it again?

Yes, I would. What I appreciated most was that the Mana is very clear about it’s ingredients and what is/isn’t in it. It is made by an Australian company,run by two Mamas passionate about health which is so lovely to be able to support.  The month long challenge made me FEEL GOOD , I can make it fit my macros and meet my nutritional goals. Which is a lot for one little product to deliver. :)

NOW – what I would really love for you to do is  find out more about them here - http://www.manablend.com/

The creators are just the most lovely passionate people, excited about everyone’s health and happiness. Follow them on facebook by finding them here - https://www.facebook.com/ManaBlend?fref=ts

And of course, if you have any questions at all about my experience, ask them here or on the Sailor Vee facebook page and I’m happy to answer them!

Talk soon and oodles of healthy wishes,

SV