Archive for the ‘Day-to-day’ Category

The most extreme way to banish cellulite

October 20, 2010

Women boxingAfter a recent sparring session, I gawked at the knotty, tangled mess that had once counted as a hair ‘style’ and reluctantly acknowledged that the luxury of looking good has been sadly absent from my life for the past few weeks. Even at the best of times it’s debatable whether I, with my amateur hair skills, can pull off trendy and tousled looks, but evidently I do dishevelment with ease.

Who needs a Halloween costume when you can go three rounds and get the look for free?

Read the full article, as published in the Vancouver Observer.

Top 10 adventures for thrill-seeking women

October 9, 2010

Liv at the shooting rangeVancouver’s fun-loving lifestyle isn’t just limited to zenning out yoga-style or sweating your stuff jogging along the beach.

For ladies seeking a little more oomph from their local adventures here’s a piece I wrote for the Vancouver Observer about ten action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled activities to satisfy even the most hardcore thrill-seekers out there.

Have you tried any of these out? What adventures make your top 10?

Is the ice cream still fat-free if you eat the whole tub?

June 12, 2010

Having been so, so good with my eating up until the point of competing the other week, I’ve now totally fallen off the wagon and am in the grip of trying to shake off constant sugar cravings! Arrgghh.

In an attempt to meet my cravings halfway (one that involved scouring the freezer sections of several local supermarkets) I finally discovered some fat-free ice cream. It’s even chocolate flavoured. But is it really too good to be true? And is it still fat-free if you devour most of the tub? Haahaah. (It’s always so hard to walk away from that last little bit!)

I’ve been trying to drown out the tiny voice that’s been telling me I should really just try and avoid sugar altogether, but I blame the sun that finally decided to shine in Vancouver today. You can’t celebrate the first sunny weekend without ice cream. Just don’t get me started on the wine that’s crying out to be uncorked!

Tales of toes

April 26, 2010

Broken FootMy foot was throbbing, I could barely hobble and I was biting my lip in an effort to hold back the tears threatening to fall while sat in the waiting room at the clinic. What a way to spend a Friday night.

24hrs earlier I’d tumbled over my own feet during training at Universal out in Richmond and, having initially thought there wasn’t much wrong, was stunned to realise I couldn’t move my big toe or put any weight on my left foot. Limping over to the side of the mats I sat on the floor waiting for the feeling to come back to my toe. It didn’t. More than the pain, all I could think about was the training I’d miss. There’s a competition in five weeks and I was about to ramp up my training not take time out.

In the doctor’s room that night he poked and prodded my foot (more pain) and shook his head saying, “Ligament damage and potential fracture,” and sent me on my way with a pair of crutches, an x-ray form and a hateful scowl from the very dark cloud hanging over me. Two months off? I don’t think so.

I’m also a truly awful patient (even when I’m the nurse too!) and ditched the crutches before I managed the four blocks home. I’d rather hobble at a decent pace than be slowed down by those things.

Spent Friday night icing and resting despite really, really wanting to head out downtown on a planned night out (Cliff, I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it. I wasn’t sure dancing on crutches was what the doctor had in mind when he suggested rest!)

Saturday morning was an early one as I negotiated the buses to the x-ray clinic and gave the crutches one last chance to redeem themselves (they’re a great accessory if you need a seat on a bus!)

There were two words I was dreading hearing that day: Fracture and Surgery. The wait for the results was sickeningly agonising but when they came back as negative I could have hugged the technician. All I have to do now is rest and ice which is, in itself, very hard if you’re the kind of person who HATES sitting still. But if it’s what I’ve got to do to get back in to action then I’m all about taking the doctor’s advice.

Four days later and I can put weight on the foot again, which makes me so happy because I can feel the anticipation of the next training session. The swelling is going down and I’m just left with a few bruises on the joints where the impact was. I’m giving myself two weeks (absolute max) and then I’m back on the mats again. Haahaah, if my trainer thought he might be in for some time off he picked the wrong girl to train!

24hrs

March 5, 2010

Aeroplane to ThailandIn 24hrs we’ll be boarding  the plane to Thailand.

I can’t believe it’s here. We started counting down our time in months, which soon became weeks, then days….and now only hours remain. And I’ve still not packed! I’ve started the washing, which I guess is the first step of packing, and I have my currency and passport. So no matter what happens I’ll have clean clothes and money in my pocket, which isn’t such a bad place to start. You can do a lot in 24hrs though. I’m sure there’s still time…!?!

Tonight is my last session in the gym. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to saying those words. The gym and I have a love / hate relationship: I never regret going but dragging myself down there is such a battle sometimes, especially early mornings on the weekend when the roads are quiet and everyone else is sensibly enjoying a lie-in, followed by what I jealously imagine while pounding the treadmill are sleepy breakfasts in bed and leisurely loafing around.

But will I be able to stop going when I get back? I’m not sure. You get to a point where you’re so proud of your progress so far that you’re not quite ready to put the brakes on and slip back a couple of steps. Guess I’ll revisit that question when I return.

So it’s goodbye for a short while. I’ll try and update the site while I’m away but I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to process anything sensible after 5hrs of training a day!

Women and martial arts

March 4, 2010

Martial arts for womenI came across this post today by a female martial artist and was amazed at how well she’d articulated the reasons why martial arts and, in particular MMA, can be such a rewarding sport. For both men and women.

There are no right or wrong reasons for getting in to martial arts. Maybe you do it just to get fit, perhaps it’s to fight or maybe one day to be the proud owner of a black belt. Whatever your motivation, I’ve learned first-hand that it’s a journey and a learning experience that can change you in so many ways: Confidence, fitness, ability, flexibility and mind-set, to name just a few. And despite what you might think, age and experience are not barriers.

So if you’re open to tranforming your body, skills and confidence in a way you could never imagine I highly recommend martial arts.  Plus, there are so many different types out there there that there really is something to suit everyone.

Are you a martial artist or perhaps someone who’s thinking of taking it up? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

The science of pre- and post-workout nutrition

March 3, 2010

The science of a post- and pre-nutrition workoutIt seems that optimal nutrient gain is as much about timing as it is about composition.

According to a recent study, when you eat is just as important as what you eat.

To optimize gains in lean muscle mass and strength it’s vital to consume a combination of fast-acting carbs (those that cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly rather than slowly and steadily) and protein during your metabolic workout ‘window’.

Dr Paul Cribb from Victoria University recommends the following: mix 30-50g of high quality whey with 75-100g of high GI carbs (such as glucose, maltodextrin, etc.,) and 3-5g of creatine monohydrate. Drink half immediately before you hit the gym and the other half immediately following your workout.

Don’t think that a drink will produce results on it’s own though. You need good training and nutrition throughout the rest of the day to really make this work.

If you’re looking for an amazing nutritionist and strength coach in the Vancouver area I highly recommend you check out Cliff Harvey at Human Motion. Through his guidance I’m leaving for Thailand (on Saturday!) in the best shape I’ve ever been in.

Do you have any nutritional advice picked up during training?

Want to make your own sports drink?

March 2, 2010

Protein SourcesSometimes it’s hard to strike a balance between convenience and $. You pay more for something that saves you time…and sometimes things are just so crazy that it feels like you’ve very little choice other than to shell out.

With less than one week until Thailand life is spent dashing between work and training. So when I do finally arrive home, I’ve just about enough time to switch on the blender and gulp back a protein shake made from the bulk-buy, whey protein powder bought from the slightly intimidating body-buliding store.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I have time to make one from scratch. WOW. You can really taste the difference.

I’ve been using a book called Gourmet Nutrition  for most of my recipes and I can absolutely guarantee there’s a shake in there that you’ll love. Don’t be put off by the cottage cheese or cold herbal tea going in to the blender. Be brave; you’ll love what comes out. Just knowing that everything in your glass is natural will make you feel fabulously wholesome.

I also discovered a site this morning with a recipe for making your own sports drinks. I haven’t tried this one yet but, if you do, I’d love to know what you think of it.

To tap or not to tap

February 20, 2010

If it’s possible to choose between a fight or flight response, six months ago I would have opted for flight every time. Even up until six weeks ago I’d have preferred to bolt for the exit than fight back.

I can’t say that ‘flight’ is a conscious decision. It’s just that my natural response has always have been to get out of a situation before getting involved in one.

So, of course, standing my ground in a ring has been a tough mental battle with plenty of tears and frustration. But for the first time last Thursday something inside of me felt very differently about sparring. I felt what could have been aggression for the first time! (Much to my trainer’s relief, I’m sure.) Rather than counting down the seconds until the final bell, I didn’t want the round to end. Had I had the chance to get back in the ring again I would have done. To finally feel that way having wanted to feel like that for so long was amazing.

This ‘fight back’ mode seems to also be translating in to Jiu Jitsu training. Rather than opting to tap if someone has something on me, I’ll fight with every inch to get out.

I’ve been waiting to turn this corner for nine months and it feels great to have arrived. However, it has come with a downside: my reluctance to tap. As a result, in the past few weeks I’ve passed out cold from a choke (an odd, if not entirely unpleasant experience) and, frustratingly, succumbed to an old rib injury after battling to (successfully) escape an arm bar.

With only two weeks until Thailand it’s an incredibly annoying injury that’s sidelining me during a time when I want to be going all out. But I’m taking the advice of people who know better than me and laying low for a couple of days. I don’t do ‘sitting still’ very well but it’s time to get a perspective on things. For nine months I’ve trained hard to be in a position where I can step in to a ring in Thailand. That time is nearly here. If I have to take it easy for a couple of days in order to still get there then so be it.

Perhaps it’s time to watch something of those fight films I’ve had lined up for so long.

14 days to go and counting. Bring it on!

Mental preparation

February 2, 2010

I originally thought I might write an update on last week’s ‘countdown’ but, in all honesty, it’s been very similar to the previous week (aside from a bruised nose from sparring – mental note: chin down, gloves up!)

So, instead, I thought I’d write about what I’ve mostly been experiencing this week: Fear.

It was only yesterday that, while stretched out on the gym mats, the enormity of Thailand finally sunk in. For nine months, life has been about eating well and training hard. Thailand has always been so far away but now only five weeks remain. Everything I’ve trained for is only a matter of weeks away; weeks that I can count on one hand.

I sunk my forehead on the mat and took a few, very deep, breaths, trying to get a handle on the mixed emotions jostling away inside: Fear, excitement, intimidation, motivation. But among all those, the one thing that stood out was how much I really, really, REALLY want this. When I step in to the ring, I’m aiming to win and if I can knock her out all the better (for someone who doesn’t normally fight it feels kind of odd to say that, but I think my mind is beginning to finally believe the words that are coming out).

It’s both physically and mentally tough, and so, so far out of my comfort zone that my body and mind are dragging one another to a place where neither one of them are entirely at ease yet. The whole thing has been a journey and a life-changing one at that. The pivotal point is only weeks away and the seriousness just kicked in.

So here’s what I’m concentrating on to help prepare for the fight:

  • Knowing myself and my strengths so that I can be confident in my combinations
  • Stop focusing on what my opponent might do and focus on what I’m going to do
  • Build my aggression to the point where pain doesn’t matter…but not so far that I burn out
  • Believe in the victory and visualize it. Say that it is going to happen. The more I say it, the more I will believe it
  • Not be put off by my opponent’s mental game; just focus on myself

If anyone has any other tips on preparing for a fight or for competition, I’d love to hear them.