Fitgirl or Foodie? Why not BOTH?!

 

As if life isn’t already hard enough on it’s own, why must I have to choose between Abs and actually enjoying food? It’s really not fair….but I have to admit, food wins every single time, food makes me HAPPY! Anyways , I have come to accept the fact that I will never have a six pack and that’s ok! They say abs are made in the kitchen and this is largely true, you can workout seven days a week, but if you have a poor diet , you won’t see the results that you want. Unfortunately for me,  I love food too much, as evidenced by my post on my strategy on tackling a buffet, if you haven’t already checked it out, you can do so here…

Eat , Win or Lose – Buffet Strat 101

I find it daunting and honestly way too much effort to do this whole meal prep thing,  not to mention eating the same thing for 5 days straight….to all those people who actually do this , kudos to you, I wish I had that amount of dedication and commitment . I am not the kind of person to sacrifice enjoying my meals just so that I can look great in a bikini, in my humble opinion, you only live once, so make it count, eat that cake! drink that smoothie, CHOCOLATE!!

In an attempt to be able to enjoy what I eat and still be happy with how I look I decided to start following the motto of “Everything in moderation” . This means trying to balance my meals and only “cheat” maybe twice a week. It is more important to be healthy and happy than to look like a fitness model. Here are some simple tips to help you out if you find it difficult to maintain that balance:

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  • Healthier food options – For instance, if I am feeling for a burger for lunch , instead of a beef patty I might have a grilled chicken sandwich , and instead of fries, I may have a salad as the side. Simple swaps like this can save you a lot of carbs and fat. I also decreased my intake of fast foods tremendously, that means no KFC, Wendy’s , McDonalds etc etc. The most I might have these are maybe twice a month. Always try to keep your lunch or dinner options balanced with one lean protein e.g grilled chicken breast a side(s) of vegetables (my favorites are salads like quinoa salad, tabouli or cous cous salad) and maybe a healthy carb like sweet potatoes or whole grain pasta. A great healthy alternative is ice cream is frozen yogurt! The taste is exactly the same as ice cream but with more than 6 times less the fat!

You can check out my post on healthy breakfast options here : Breakfast Battles

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  • Limit sugar intake –  When I started making healthier food decisions I stopped drinking “soda” and juice , these products are so loaded with sugar that they are really terrible for your health. On the odd occasion I might have some natural fruit juice , because I actually love fresh squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice (extra points for all the vitamin C) , but I tend to stay away from all the commercial brands unless they contain at least 80% fruit juice. The one thing that is my absolute weakness is DESSERTS, I love, love love desserts!! Or as they say I have a “Weakness for Sweetness”. I don’t think there’s any such thing as a healthy dessert (or at least not that I would consider a REAL dessert) so instead I try to limit my dessert intake to twice a week.

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  • Weights, weights , weights – I cannot stress enough how important it is to incorporate weights into your workout routine ; not only will you look better because weights help to tone your body and give definition , but you will also be alot stronger. Lifting will NOT make you bulky!! For all the ladies out there that think that lifting will make you bulky,  please note that we simply do not have enough testosterone in our bodies for this to happen , what you will get are muscles, definition and some killer curves! Honestly, my workout is usually 10% cardio and 90% weights, lifting weights gives you that total badass feeling  and it feels AWESOME! Another fantastic reason to lift is that when you build muscle, your body is able to burn fat alot quicker , in fact, you can actually be burning calories 24 hours a day , muscles burn more calories .

For some ideas on how to switch up your workout routine , you can check out my              post on the equipment that carry with me to the gym :What’s in your gym bag?

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  • Portion Control – This one sounds like a no brainer but sometimes our emotions and greediness) get the better of us. Up to a few years ago , I ate like a horse, I mean I could literally challenge most of the guys that I know. To put it bluntly , my nickname was “the vortex” , because they believed that my stomach was a never ending hole which is why I was able to eat so much…..Anyways, I have since changed my unhealthy ways and as a result I don’t , in fact I can’t, eat as much as I used to, although I have to admit I still do eat more than the average girl. However, due to getting “old” my metabolism isn’t what it used to be and therefore sacrifices had to be made , quality over quantity. When trying to figure out how much you should eat, always keep in mind exactly WHAT you are eating , if you are eating dishes that are high in fats and carbs , keep the quantity to a minimum , for example, if you are eating pizza, try to stick to two slices , unless of course it’s thin crust, then you’re allowed up to 4 =) . When it comes to desserts the same applies , if you are eating ice cream, resist the urge to get an entire sundae, instead opt for one scoop in a cup instead of a cone. The only time I allow myself to really “let go” is at a buffet , I mean, it’s unlimited food…..enough said.

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  • Lastly and most importantly , do what makes you happy, you only have one life to live, life is about experiences, and that includes experiencing all the delicious, amazing food that this diverse world has to offer . Once you are healthy , that is all that matters, do not feel like you need to fit into what you feel is society’s idea of what is “beautiful” or “sexy” , you know what is sexy? being confident in your skin and being proud of who you are . Life is too short to deny yourself simple pleasures like tiramisu or cheesy fries! JUST DO ITTTTTT!!! then go to the gym or take a jog the next day, it’s really not rocket science. Every time someone asks me why I go to the gym I say “So I can eat what I want” , and this is 100% true , its important to remember that everything comes with a price and honestly, once you start working out it becomes almost like an addiction, but a good one .

 

I cannot and will NEVER be a “clean” eater and that’s OK, I follow all the rules above and I’m happy with who I am, as I write this I am craving a dessert so you know what means, Cake shall be had! Sometimes you just have to say “F#%k it! Treat Yo Self!!” 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gym Clothes and where to find them

Everyone that knows me knows that I am obsessed with shoes, I’m a self confessed shoeaholic…..I have shoes I haven’t even worn yet and yet continue to buy…

Anyways, after shoes , the other item that I have way too much of , but yet I still keep buying, is gym clothes!! As I write this, I am waiting on a shipment of a VSX gym tights, sports bra and gym towel (in my defense , Victoria’s Secret had a special promo on with a tights, sports bra and towel for $55 plus Free Shipping! It would have been a crime to NOT get this purchase!) .

I try to go to the gym four times a week and I have a gym color scheme , yes I know it sounds corny , but it’s true. All of my gym clothes , my gym bag, my gym equipment and my sneakers are either black, pink, white , grey or a mix of all those colors , sometimes I throw in a hint of orange to make it exciting .

When I first started the gym about 11 years ago, I didn’t really care what I wore to the gym, it was just clothes to exercise in , so I wore regular “baby tees” and cotton tights…..now it’s totally different, there are a couple things that I look for when buying gym clothes .

  1. Functionality – Gym clothes must be comfortable , you definitely don’t want clothes that restrict your movement, especially for movements like squats or deadlifts etc. or even cardio. You need to look for something that won’t “get in your way” or limit your range of motion when doing certain movements. Gym wear should also be “breathable” , that is , they should enable you to feel cool during your workout , of course it’s impossible to not sweat, but at the same time you should not feel like you are working out in an oven.
  2. Aesthetics – Gym wear should make you feel and look your best, nothing is wrong with wanting to look cute in the gym especially if you are working out like a beast. Please note that I do not condone dressing up and for the gym and looking like a model , only to reach the gym and walk on the treadmill for an hour while snap chatting your friends…There are so many options for gym clothes that are fashionable nowadays , they have become such a huge fashion empire that many brands have jumped on the bandwagon and started their own active line. General rules for active wear that make you look your best :                                                                                – Compression wear is the shiznit , it holds in all the extra folds and                                 ripples that you may have and smoothes everything out,                                                   especially high waisted compression tights, nothing makes your                                     tummy look flatter and waist smaller than high waisted tights.                                       This tip is specifically for women by the way, NO man should be                                     wearing compression tights unless they are built like a Greek God                                – Racerback tanks make your shoulders and back look awesome ,                                      the shape of the racerback makes your shoulders look broader ,                                      thereby making your waist look smaller. Not to mention that if                                        you have toned arms, tanks are the best way to show them off!                                       – Jackets , if you are self conscious about your body , you can                                            always opt for a zip up jacket or hoodie, not only do these cover                                      any flaws you might have but they make you look super athletic                                    and honestly when I wear my hoodie in the gym I feel like a total                                    Badass
  3. Economical – This for me is the most important factor when choosing gym clothes , and most times it is THE deciding factor . I am always looking for super deals and I have been told I have a nose for finding the best deals at the best prices.  I am not willing to spend tons of money on gym wear (or any wear for that reason but especially gym wear) , reason being that you can literally get fashionable, durable , functional gym wear for a fraction of the cost of Lululemons . No offence to those who purchase Lululemons , I just can’t see myself spending $100US on a pair of tights when I can purchase one that is just as good in terms of quality for $40US !

I have zero loyalty to brands , my gym wear is from at least 10 different brands, wherever has a sale on at the time is where I will purchase my active wear. Here is my list of the best places to purchase active wear online at decent prices:

  • Victoria’s Secret – No longer is VS only known for their lingerie , but they have grown quite popular in the active wear category . I am waiting on my first VS sports bra to be delivered but I have two of their Knockout gym tights and one more on the way . They offer sports bras for light, medium and heavy impact workouts and they are super trendy and cute .The Knockout tights are AMAZINGGGGGGG!!!!!! I got them on sale for $35 and it is one of the best investments I have ever made , the regular price is $70 , which is why I wait till they are on sale to purchase. These tights are so soft and fit like a glove, they have the fit of a compression but much more comfortable, it features 4 way stretch material and body wick technology so you stay cool and dry. It also has a small inside pocket on the waistband to hold small items like a key. These tights come in 3 different rises(?) – low, medium and high , 3 different cuts – crop, capri and full and 3 different lengths – short , regular and long. For someone like me who is barely 5ft tall , the fact that VS makes tights that come in a short length is the best news since sliced bread, in fact it’s better than sliced bread. Not only do these tights come in a large variety of colors and patterns but they make your butt and legs look AWESOMESAUCE . They make your legs look longer, slimmer and toned and makes your butt look bigger , trust me, buy these and you would not regret it! Note that I read some reviews saying that they started making the knockout tights with a slightly different material so please read the reviews before purchasing.

 

  • Old Navy – Before I discovered VS Sport (VSX) , I purchased alot of gym clothes from Old Navy , both tops and tights . Old Navy is still my go to for gym tops, more specifically, racerback tank tops, they come in a large variety of colors and patterns and some even have really cool graphics and gym memes on them . The best part is that when they are on sale, you can probably get them for around $5US – $8US each, of course, at that price don’t expect fancy sweat wicking material etc. they are basic cotton tanks but still look great, at that price you really can’t go wrong. There are tons of different styles in their active wear top line that now carry the “Go-Dry” feature made from a mix of Polyester and Spandex or Polyester alone that also sell for $15US and on sale for around $5 – $8 . The last pair of tights I bought from Old Navy was a long time ago, but it was too large for me, even though it was an XS, bear in mind that as mentioned before I’m barely 5ft and weigh roughly 111lbs so I am “petite” . However, within the last few years their active line has improved significantly , just like VS they also have different lengths and cuts and a huge variety of colors and patterns. Their tights retail between $30US – $33US and when on sale go for anywhere between $15US – $25US . The best thing about Old Navy is that they ALWAYS have a sale on, do not buy anything at the regular price because most likely within a few days, it will be on sale!! I cannot reiterate enough to read reviews before purchasing so that you do end up having to do returns or give the items away.
  • Forever 21 – Generally Forever 21 is one of my favorite places to shop, they usually have really good deals and have within the last few years really upped their game in the active wear department . I have a few sportsbras from F21 and I love them, they fit great, have the padded inserts so there’s no “show through” AND they were less than $10US!!! The sports bras from F21 come in a huge range of different styles and colors and vary in price from $10US – $15US , and are available in 3 different types –  light , medium and heavy impact workouts .They also carry a large variety of gym tops, tights and shorts. F21 is known for their very reasonable prices and the active line is no different , the most expensive items are less than $30US.  There are different cuts and styles in both tops and bottoms in their active line but their lengths are all standard (no petite or tall lengths) . Forever 21 always has a sale section, so I normally check there first when I’m shopping on their site.
  • Express – Express is also one of my favorite places to shop online , the quality of their items are fantastic but can be on the pricey side, which is why I buy from them ONLY when on sale. Many people probably would not think about checking out their activewear simply because it’s not a huge part of their business, there isn’t a large variety of styles etc. compared to the brands mentioned above , but you can always depend on their quality , their styles are relatively basic but still trendy and retail between $35US – $70US , however when on sale they can go down to $24US – $42US , or even better you can wait till they have their extra sale on clearance items  when it can go down to less than $20 per item. I own two gym tees from Express  (EXP) and they are two of my favorite gym tops, they keep you cool and dry during workouts and the way that they positioned the seaming makes you looks slimmer and gives you the “coke bottle” shape.
  • Amazon –  Everyone knows you can find anything on Amazon , well other than the brands above , but you can get all the popular sports brands like Nike, Adidas , Puma , Reebok , Under Armour etc. plus another bunch of unknown brands that got really good product reviews at really cheap prices!  I particularly like the fact that Under Armour is available on Amazon simply because Underarmour.com does not accept international credit cards and in any case Amazon usually has better prices than the website itself. The only issue with shopping for activewear on Amazon (or anything on Amazon for that matter) is the amount of pages and pages that you have to go through before you find something that you really want at the price you are willing to pay. Of course, the upside to this is that the options for brands and styles are endless and there are different sellers selling the same item at different prices. Lastly, FREE shipping over $25 is always a plus!
  • 6PM – This website is similar to Amazon at least when it comes to clothing, handbags and shoes. They carry a variety of different brands and styles , all of which are brand names at very reasonable prices and you can filter by brand, size and price. I find it easier to navigate on 6PM so what I would normally do is when I find something on 6PM that I like , I copy and paste the description into Amazon to see if they have it so I can compare prices and read reviews. The style variations are pretty conservative on this site, but they do have very good basic gym attire . 6PM also offers free shipping with 2 or more items or over $50 .

 

Hopefully I have helped in some way for when you are making your next activewear purchase , always remember you do NOT need to pay ridiculous prices for great gym wear!

What’s in your gym bag?

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I always wanted to do a post on this since the contents of each person’s gym bag is probably just as unique as the person themselves and could in fact tell you quite a bit about them!

For example, personally, I HATE cardio (everyone who knows me knows that cardio and I do not mix, I rather spend two hours lifting weights than 10 minutes running on the treadmill ) I also hate classes e.g Spin, TRX , Zumba etc.  My workout is normally 5% cardio (just to warm up) and 95% weights . As a result, I probably have a bit more equipment than the average female or person for that matter, but every single one serves a very specific purpose and I will go into further detail on each one below. Each of these are very affordably priced , maybe it’s my asian genes but I always look for the best deals and you and you can trust me when I say these are the best “bang for your buck” ,links below each item of where to purchase:

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Gloves – Pretty much EVERYONE owns a pair of gloves for the gym, gloves are the most basic gym item that everyone goes out to buy when starting the gym other than sneakers. I actually have 3 pairs of gloves on my gym bag , an old pair, my current pair and a new pair I haven’t worn yet….no idea why I keep all 3 in my bag but anyways….gloves are important, especially when you lift weights, as they protect your hands from the rough surfaces of barbells and dumbbells and allow you to have a better grip on certain machines. If you don’t wear gloves but you lift weights , you are likely to develop corns on your palms , very unflattering. However , if you wear gloves but all you really do in the gym is run on the treadmill for half hour or do a Zumba class, please do NOT wear gloves, you are not fooling anyone…

I bought my gloves on Amazon, here is the link for my current and new ones:

https://www.amazon.com/Meister-Womens-Lifting-Washable-Leather/dp/B00KHYGRQ0/ref=sr_1_3?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1497989880&sr=1-3&keywords=meister+gloves

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XQFFYIY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Lifting Straps – These are EXTREMELY important for me when I am lifting “heavy” , they give great support to your wrists and allow you to put more effort and focus into the muscle that you are training rather than in your forearm to lift the weight. The great thing about these as well, is that, the grip that is wrapped around the barbell\dumbbell really helps you have a firm hold on the weight. I normally use these on back day when doing Barbell Deadlifts (above 115lbs) Barbell Rows (above 95lbs) and one armed Dumbbell Rows (above 45lbs) and shrugs (over 95lbs). It’s important to remember to only use these lifting straps when you feel like your wrist or forearm is under alot of pressure otherwise you can learn to become too dependent on them and your wrist can actually become weaker. I have seen girls lift heavy without straps at all  in the gym, kudos to them! I definitely don’t think I can do the same (and I’ve tried) , I also have a recurring tendinitis in my forearm so the straps definitely help me out with this issue.

I bought my straps at a store locally, but you can also get them on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/SCHIEK-DELUXE-PADDED-LIFTING-STRAPS/dp/B00Q593E1W/ref=sr_1_20?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1497990018&sr=1-20&keywords=schiek+lifting+straps

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Ankle strap – This nifty little piece of equipment is great for leg day!! It is compulsory for cable Donkey Kicks or Kickbacks , cable Hamstring Curls and cable Hip Abduction . All of these exercises are great for your quads, hamstrings and glutes , the good thing about these three exercises are that they really isolate the muscles between your hips and knees and you can feel the muscles working with every rep. The gym sometimes has a “communal” ankle strap that everyone can use, but I recommend you get your own, for hygiene reasons and all =\ .  I got mine on Amazon (surprise!!) and I highly recommend it, it’s got great padding and the velcro to secure the strap is very strong , you can check out the link here:

https://www.amazon.com/FITGIRL-Fitness-Padded-Ankle-Strap/dp/B017I5282W/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1497990714&sr=1-2&keywords=fitgirl+ankle+strap

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Wrist straps – These are different to lifting straps in that their main purpose is to support your wrist during any type of movement involving your arms. Wrist straps are not padded , but they do keep your wrist in a “solid” and stiff position to help prevent injury , especially if you generally have weak wrists or are prone to injuries . I bought mine locally but they are available on Amazon as well here:

https://www.amazon.com/Line-Wrist-Wraps-Size-12/dp/B001IUN3XM/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1498078115&sr=8-3&keywords=schiek+wrist+straps

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Lifting Belt – Again, like lifting gloves, I use my lifting belt when I am going heavy on back or leg day . Lifting belts are essential for someone like me who has had previous back injuries and as a result, recurring back pain.  Lifting belts help to support your lower spine and help maintain proper form when doing exercises like Deadlifts and Squats. The lifting belt is secured tightly around your waist and kind of feels like a corset, please do  not mix this up with a waist trainer (I think waist trainers are crap but that’s just my opinion) . Not only do lifting belts help support your back , which in itself is a huge benefit , because believe me, back injuries are the freaking worst, but you also feel like a total badass when wearing one, I generally tend to wear mine once my Deadlifts go above 115lbs or my Squats go above 95lbs . I bought mine on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/Harbinger-Womens-Weightlifting-Flexible-Ultralight/dp/B009LR3JIS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1498079013&sr=8-3&keywords=lifting+belt+women

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Ankle Weights – I love these, mine are 5lb weights but they do come in a variety of different weights, I use these on every single leg day and even on ab day! There is no rocket science behind the benefits of using these, they add weight to your legs and hence make the movement that you are doing more difficult than it would normally be since it adds an element of resistance . Even with just 5lb weights you can feel a substantial difference between doing a particular with and without ankle weights. These are also great for a number of exercises that focus on the glutes such as Donkey Kicks, Fire Hydrants , Leg Raises , one legged Hip Thrusts and lateral Leg Raises . Generally, on leg day I keep my ankle weights on for all my exercises including walking lunges, step ups , side squats calf raises etc. as I find they do make my muscles work harder . Naturally everyone assumes that you only use ankle weights on leg day but you can actually use these for a very effective ab workout! The best exercises I have tried and found very effective using ankle weights for an ab workout are Leg Lifts, Leg Lifts with an added pulse up at the top of the movement, hanging Leg Raises and Russian Twists, believe me, try your ab workout with ankle weights on and you will feel a major difference! I bought mine locally but you can find them on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/Valeo-10-Pound-Adjustable-Weights-Pounds/dp/B0007IS70U/ref=sr_1_4?s=exercise-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1498080960&sr=1-4&keywords=ankle+weights

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Barbell Squat Pad – I don’t know how I survived before getting one of these, there are communal ones in the gym , but GROSS, I highly recommend you get your own! These are a MUST have for some of my favorite exercises in the gym, and by favorite I mean most effective , I actually hate doing them because they hurt so much which means they obviously work, namely Squats, Walking Lunges and Barbell Hip Thrusts . My barbell squat pad is one of my most prized possessions, it provides padding for your neck when doing squats and lunges and for your pelvis when doing hip thrusts (trust me , you need these in order to do barbell his thrusts, don’t say I didn’t warn you!) . I tend to start using the squat pad once my squats go above 65lbs, my walking lunges above 40lbs and my hip thrusts , I only do hip thrusts starting from 95lbs so I use it all the time for this. Another good exercise that I use this item for is Good Mornings , which really works your hamstrings , if you haven’t tried this one yet, do it! I bought mine locally but you can also get on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/Harbinger-NeoTek-Foam-Olympic-16-Inch/dp/B000KFV9HI/ref=sr_1_20?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1498081057&sr=1-20&keywords=neck+pad

 

 

Exercise\Yoga Mat – I only recently got one of these , Ok, to be specific , I actually had a new one for a while but refused to use it because I did not have a bag to transport it in. I really did not want to have to walk with it rolled up under my arm every time I go to the gym. However, I recently got a bag and I am so happy that I did, I no longer have to worry about hygiene issues when using the mats in the gym! It’s pretty obvious what these mats are for , any exercise or activity (like stretching) that involves any part of your body being on the floor you would need a mat. Just get one, you won’t regret it. I won’t bother to put a link for a Yoga mat here since those are extremely easy to find . I ordered my bag on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N3M8J8I/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2WRS4X4C0GMOQ

 

IPOD – Let’s put it this way, without my IPOD, that 10 minutes of cardio that I do to warm up, will seem like a LIFETIME of PAIN and SADNESS. My music keeps me sane and focused during my workout, honestly, it really gets me pumped and excited to actually be productive and get shit done in the gym! I have a special “Gym” mix on my IPOD , but I do like to switch it up sometimes depending on my mood and that can be anything from Dancehall to Soca to Pop to Latin to Dance, the list goes on…..

 

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Lastly,  my Gym Bag itself.

For me, a gym bag needs to be 3 things:

  • Durable
  • Big enough to hold everything that I need
  • Aesthetically pleasing (in my case pink and black since all my gym equipment and clothes are some combo of pink\black\grey\white)

I’ve had my current gym bag for  two years now and I LOVE it, it holds everything I need for the gym including my clothes , sneakers, ipod , toiletries and all my equipment listed above.

Aside from the fact that it holds all my belongings comfortably , there is a whole separate compartment for my sneakers, that is both ventilated and keeps your shoes away from everything else in your bag. I purchased mine on Amazon and it was an extremely affordable price as well, which was a major plus, it also comes in a large variety of colors, see link below for reference:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0058V8CA6/ref=twister_B008UOFYPY

Hopefully , I have inspired someone to try at least one of these pieces of equipment next time I go to the gym or even better  actually purchase one for their own use, I use every single one and do not regret it. My motto for fitness is “Look Like a Beauty , Train Like a Beast” , just like my Coffee mug says below =)

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Buffets and Brunches

Me Asia Long Circular-

             ALL ALCOHOLIC DRINKS, buy 2 Get 1 free, and Free Chinese desserts Everyday !

Also…
Monday free wontons
Tuesday free soup
Wednesday free soft drink or juice
Thursday Order 4 items get 1 free
Friday free cocktails
Saturday free spring roll
Sunday 15% off for dinner

           They also have 10% off on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, except the              buffet on Wednesday.

Lobster buffet every Wednesday from 6:30pm – $265 per person inclusive of all                    taxes

https://www.facebook.com/MEASIA.LCM

Me Asia Dim Sum Restaurant  –Thursday night buffet 5pm-9pm – $168 + Service                                                                          Charge per person

https://www.facebook.com/MeAsiaDimSumRestaurant

 

Samurai – Wednesday buffet from 6:00pm –  includes a soup, 10 handcrafted rolls (new                         rolls every week), a dessert and a complimentary glass of wine – $180 +VAT +                       Service Charge per person

https://www.facebook.com/samuraitrinidad/

 

Jaffa at the Oval –          Monday to Friday International Buffet Lunch – 11:45am – 2:30pm –                                           $199 + VAT per person (includes a complimentary glass of wine) ,                                             Sushi and Sashimi added to the buffet on Fridays (same cost)

                                             Sunday Brunch – every Sunday 11am – 2:30pm , $275 plus VAT                                                  per person

https://www.facebook.com/jaffaattheoval

 

Chaud Restaurant –        Sunday Brunch – every Sunday 10am – 3pm

https://www.facebook.com/chaudrestaurant/

 

Krave –                                Wednesday Italian Buffet – $315 per person (inclusive of all                                                       taxes) All you can eat Soups, salads, classic Italian dishes,                                                           desserts and Pasta, Risotto and Seafood prepared your way!

                                              Saturday Breakfast Buffet  – 8am – 1pm , $200 per person , all                                                 taxes included

                                              Sunday Brunch –  11am – 3pm , $372 per person, all taxes                                                           included

https://www.facebook.com/kravetrinidad

 

Haley’s Buffet and Bar – Daily lunch buffet , 11:00am to 3:00pm –$110 per person                                                            including a non-alcoholic beverage with 1 trip                                                                                to the buffet

                                               OR

                                                $175  per person including a non-alcoholic beverage and a                                                        dessert with unlimited visits to the buffet

                                               SundayBuffet  – $200 + VAT + Service Charge per person –                                                          unlimited trips including a non-alcoholic beverage and a                                                            dessert

 

La Cantina –                        Every  Tuesday , All you can eat pizza (10 to choose from) for                                                  $99 + VAT + Service Charge per person at both Trinidad                                                               locations  , Victoria Avenue POS and C3 Centre in South .

Every Wednesday , All You Can Eat Wings! Wings buffet with 7                                                 types of wings , $99 + VAT + Service Charge per person ,                                                               4pm-10pm

Every Thursday , Taco Thursdays Taco buffet, $99 + VAT +                                                          Service Charge per person , 4pm-10pm                                                                                            (Beef , Pork, Chicken and Fish ) includes one free Carib or Stag                                                  draft

https://www.facebook.com/LaCantinaPizzeria

 

Rasam –                                 Every Friday and Saturday Dinner buffet from 7pm , $275                                                        per person , all taxes included ,   variety of Indian dishes                                                             including dessert

https://www.facebook.com/Rasam-Restaurant-627274304046816/

 

All Out –                                Daily lunch buffet , Monday –  Friday 12:00pm – 3:00pm –                                                           $100 per person all taxes included

https://www.facebook.com/allouttnt/

 

Hilton Trinidad and Conference CenterSunday Brunch 12pm – 3:30pm , $354.82 per                                                                                  person all taxes included

https://www.facebook.com/HiltonTrinidad/

 

Normandie Hotel –               Friday Fish Fry – 7:30pm – 11pm , $99 \ $139 per person VAT                                                      inclusive, your choice of 2 meats or 2 meats and seafood                                                            plus  buffet style sides and desserts

                                                   Sunday Breakfast – 8:30am – 1pm , $185 per person VAT                                                            inclusive

https://www.facebook.com/HotelNormandieTrinidad/

 

Hyatt Regency TrinidadSunday Brunch – 12:30pm – 2:30pm , $325 per person                                                                   exclusive of all tax and service charge

https://www.facebook.com/HyattRegencyTrinidad/

 

Rituals\ Vie De France –    Sunday Brunch 7am – 1pm – $150 plus VAT and Service                                                              Charge per person

https://www.facebook.com/RitualsCoffeeHouse/

 

Lighthouse Restaurant Crews InnSunday Brunch 11:30am – 3pm $199 plus VAT and Service Charge                                                                        per  person

https://www.facebook.com/crewsinn/

 

Taste Vinoteca –                Sunday Brunch – First Sunday of the month, $300 per person                                                    plus Service Charge , 11am-2pm.                                                                                                         Three course brunch – prix fix menu (shared plate                                                                          concept).                                                                                                                                                    Boozy Package (3-course + bottomless mimosa and bellinis)                                                        $525 plus Service Charge.

https://www.facebook.com/TasteVinoteca/

 

Texas de Brazil –                Sunday Brunch – 10am – 3pm , $245 per person plus VAT and                                                     Service Charge

 

Woodford Cafe  –              Sunday Brunch –  8am to 12pm – $150 per person plus VAT 

Breakfast Battles

What should I eat for breakfast?”

I’m sure everyone asks themselves this question Every.Single.Morning. There is a constant battle on trying to decide if to splurge and have that bagel with cream cheese or those pancakes with sausages or… dare I say it,  try to be healthy!

I know what you’re thinking,  healthy is boring,  which means your choices are either oats or cereal of some sort, but this isn’t completely true. There are many healthy AND tasty options out there that you may have never even thought of before! As you may have noticed from my previous post on how to attack a buffet , (see link below in case you haven’t):

Eat , Win or Lose – Buffet Strat 101

you would notice that I absolutely LOVE food. I am not one to sacrifice taste for my health,  ever, my motto is everything in moderation.  Therefore , I try to find a balance because although I love food,  my health does come first . Here are some ideas for some pretty healthy breakfast options that also taste fantastic, I can attest to these because I have actually had all of them myself already =).

INSTEAD OF

Fruit flavored yogurt – I know it’s so easy to convenient to pick one of these up in the grocery or from the fridge and go but they contain so much sugar that it realy isn’t that healthy.

TRY THIS

Plain Greek Yogurt with fresh fruit e.g banana, strawberries, apples etc. you can even throw in additional items like raisins, granola, chia seeds , I could go on and on, the possibilities really are endless, if natural fruit is not sweet enough for you , you can add a bit of honey, although personally,  the fruit provides enough sweetness for me. My personal favorite is plain greek yogurt with some fresh mango and some granola sprinkled on top! It’s soooooo good! seriously one of my favorite breakfast options ever! Greek Yogurt also packs a great punch of protein. A typical 6-ounce serving contains 15 to 20 grams of protein! Greek Yogurt is also very low in carbs , it has approximately half the carbs as regular yogurt.

yogurt

INSTEAD OF

Bagel with Cream Cheese – people seem to think that bagels are “healthy” , NO, they are not , bagels are an arsenal of carbs  and cream cheese is pretty substantial serving of fat, and not the good kind!

TRY THIS

Whole Grain bread with peanut butter and banana or for an even more satisfying option, whole grain bread (toasted is my preference) with chocolate peanut butter and banana. Simply toast the bread, spread with chocolate peanut butter and slice the bananas on top . This option is so quick and easy to make and tastes awesome, not to mention the added protein from the peanut butter and potassium from the banana which also makes it a great pre-gym snack!

bagel

INSTEAD OF

Pancakes with Syrup – ah yes, the typical comfort breakfast food, so nice and warm….ok here’s your reality check, a typical serving of pancake syrup has a whopping 210 Calories, 32g of Sugar and 52g of Carbohydrates!

TRY THIS

Banana pancakes – this one is super simple, basically you slice or mash bananas into your  regular pancake batter then make as normal pancakes. The banana makes the pancakes sweet enough that you don’t need any syrup. I also like to add some cinnamon for some extra flavor! I have also replaced the bananas with sliced apple before and it also works very well, any kind of berry would work here as well. A nice twist to these is to add some nuts for texture or even chocolate chips!

pancakes

*Banana pancakes image from http://www.crazyforcrust.com

INSTEAD OF

Flavored Oats – these are over laden with sugar and high in calories and carbs , with an average of 13g of sugar ad 33g of carbohydrates per serving.

TRY THIS

Overnight Oats – For people who don’t have alot of time in the morning, these are perfect for you , they are full of fibre  and are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and fat. Here’s how to make them :

Get a mason jar (a regular container with a cover can work as well) and put the following into the jar :

4-5 tablespoons of raw quick oats

1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)

Dash of cinnamon (optional)

1 tsp flaxseed (optional)

1 tsp honey wheat germ (optional)

1-2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons of granola

Close the jar and leave overnight in the fridge,  the next morning,  it’s ready to eat! The oats absorb the milk during the night and make them soft,  all the other ingredients also “melt” together overnight and make a wonderful,  healthy breakfast on the go! Oats are known to be full of fibre and so they should keep you full until lunchtime.

You would notice that most of the ingredients above are really optional and this is what makes Overnight Oats so convenient and easy. Overnight Oats are completely customisable to everyone’s person taste,  I have made it with chocolate peanut butter before and it is delicious. Here are some other ingredients you can try adding to your overnight Oats: bananas,  strawberries,  chis seeds, mango,  almonds,  honey,  peaches  even coffee!  you can literally put anything in these babies and it would taste great!

oats.jpg

INSTEAD OF

Chicken salad sandwich  – Yes I know these are “oh so good” but the mayo used to make chicken salad has no nutritional value. In comparison, chicken has more calories , fat and cholesterol than turkey .

TRY THIS 

Turkey breast deli meat on whole grain bread with lettuce and tomatoes.  Turkey is a much leaner meat than chicken as mentioned above , whole grain bread is much healthier than white bread and it’s pretty obvious why tomatoes and lettuce are a good choice.  Whole grain bread provides a number of vitamins and a healthy dose of fiber, which makes it quite filling as well .For some extra flavor,  try to resist the urge to spread mayo all over your sandwich and instead try sprinkling some dried parsley,  garlic powder and dried cayenne pepper flakes (OK, a little mayo is permissible,  I’m not that hardcore).

sandwich

This list was meant to give you some simple , quick ideas for breakfast and hopefully it inspired you to try your own person twists on these to make them your own. I am not a chef nor a nutritionist , just someone sharing what works for me in my constant between my love for food and trying to be healthy.

Feel free to share your own fun and healthy (but tasty) breakfast options in the comments! =)

Eat , Win or Lose – Buffet Strat 101

Hey guys

So as many of you may or not know, besides shoes, hair color and weights (kind of) my one TRUE love is FOOD! I can’t help it, I’m a self confessed Foodie, and by that I mean I love trying new foods , all types and fashions  (except for live animals, I draw the line there.) One of my favorite things to do when I travel is try the local cuisine, I’m also a strong believer in “street food” , it’s where you get the authentic, real experience.

Since I am a huge fan of food, it should be expected that I love buffets right? Damn right I do! Buffets are my absolute favorite (good ones of course) and for good reason ,  a wide array of dishes, all in one place at one convenient price! What’s there not to love? Buffets can be quite daunting for many people as they are faced with such a large number of options and not quite sure how to maneuver their way to get the best experience possible. Since I was a teen I developed a “buffet strategy” if you will that enables you to experience everything the buffet has to offer and get the best value for your money (leaving the buffet without feel sick is also a plus).

Here goes my lesson on Buffet Strat 101:

BEFORE 

  • Don’t go on a empty stomach, you should eat something small in the morning (if it’s brunch that your’e going to) or have a small lunch if it’s dinner . The reason for eating something before you go is so that your stomach is “expanded” and you are able to eat more , I find that if I go somewhere to eat on an empty stomach I am not able to eat as much as I would have normally.
  • Wear comfortable shoes (ladies I’m talking to you) , because you will be making multiple trips to the buffet and walking in heels when you are already stuffed is not a good idea.
  • Wear comfortable clothing, guys do not wear slim fit shirts or tight pants and ladies do not wear bodycon dresses or you will instantly regret it . I think it’s pretty obvious why I’m advising against tight clothes ….

WARTIME – I have attached a handy war map at the end which summarizes the below!

  • Generally a buffet has an average of 6 stations , these consist of  1) Bread Station\Salads 2) Soups\Appetizers 3) Live Entree Station – usually pasta or another carb like Noodles 4) Live Meat Carving station – usually large meat items and that are carved as you request it e.g baked whole turkey , roast beef , pork ribs etc. 5)Entrees\Sides – usually a mix of rice\potatoes\vegetable\meat dishes and lastly but definitely not least , my favorite 6) Desserts!
  • Drink Water as your beverage of choice, juice, soft drink or cocktails only distract and interfere with the real flavor of the food
  • The rules are pretty simple , tackle each station (except number 6! ) in the order above, one station at a time ,but be careful to only take small amounts of each dish , this enables you to taste everything you want to and choose which dishes you absolutely love and must have more of, yes I did say MORE.  N.B – do NOT try any dishes you aren’t even remotely interested in e.g if you don’t like beets , don’t try the beet salad . I know this seems like common sense but sometimes when you’re surrounded by so much food, your taste buds tell you to try everything but don’t. This only takes up precious space in your stomach for much more satisfying delicious items.
  • After you have  finished sampling from all the stations and figured out which dishes you like the most, you make one more round and ONLY choose those favorite dishes  , it’ll be like heaven on a plate.
  • Once you’ve had your fill of savory , you can then celebrate your victory with dessert! Again, the tactic above is repeated with the dessert station, try one or a very small piece of whatever looks absolutely scrumptious to you, decide which you like best , then go for round two of desserts of only those items!

That’s it! Victory is yours!

Below is an example of what I have eaten at a buffet before, I combined 2\3 station trips together so I only did 4 in total .

N.B This is what works for me, as I said before I do eat more than the average female , feel free to leave out rounds 5 and 7 if you want (I normally combine 2 rounds into one plate so I don’t have to walk back and forth too much ) . I do not take responsibility for anyone who ends up feeling sick! you should know your own capacity =\ .

WAR MAP

buffet

Enjoy and remember , life is too short to not eat what you want , always in moderation of course , being healthy always comes first.

Purple Hair Don’t Care

So let me start by saying that Purple is one of the most gorgeous colors I ever put in my hair, I will follow that comment with ,it is also the HARDEST color to maintain. The reason is simple really, according to basic color principles, purple is made from mixing red and blue together. By logic it would stand that when purple starts to fade it will fade to whichever color pigment is stronger in the particular purple that you used.

In my case when I decided to go purple I mixed two colors , Ion Brilliance Purple and Ion Brilliance Tanzanite, see colors and swatches below:

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If you are not familiar with this brand , let me be the first to tell you that their main advantage is the variety of colors that they offer, they have everything from pastels to bright vivid colors and everything in between. The other great thing about this brand is how affordable it is, I bought these on sale at Sally’s where it was buy 2 , get one free. The regular retail price was somewhere around $6US for one.

The downside of this brand is that the color is very thick and therefore hard to apply in your hair, when I say “thick” I am  not exaggerating, the texture is something similar to Pravana or peanut butter. In order for the mixture to be at a consistency which I can apply to my hair without driving myself crazy I had to mix it with conditioner (which also dilutes the color unfortunately).

 

The reason I decided to mix these two colors is that I wanted a true deep purple, something more along the lines of violet. The color result was amazing! I was self proclaimed Psylock from the X-Men .

 

The color was rich and my hair felt great, although conditioner dilutes the color, it’s fantastic for your hair, I left the color in for about 2 hours before I washed it out.  This particular shade lasted for a couple washes, but after a while started to fade to a kind of dark lavender color with some other shades of blue and green in between , which I actually loved as well…

Less than two months later I colored it again in the same exact shade of purple using the same colors , however nor more than 2 weeks later which included 3 visits to the beach and 2 pools, the purple has completely washed out and now my hair is a blue\green\grey color, which is why I say it’s the hardest to maintain (after the grey I attempted to do a while back).

IMG_20170315_111837

This particular purple faded to blue really quickly because it had more blue pigment than red. If you are trying to decide if to go purple, by all means, try it, it’s really beautiful, just be prepared for a pretty quick fade out!

I did a write up on how to maintain your hair color here – Color Upkeep Do’s and Don’ts which I would suggest you read if you want to keep your color for as long as possible!

Good Luck and Happy Coloring! 

Color Remover 2.0 – Product Review of Loreal Effasol Color Remover

Hey guys! So I got a “VAPS” last night (here in Trinidad that’s when you decide to do something on a whim without much thought of the consequences) and decided to use a color remover on my hair around 11:30 pm =\

I’ve been wanting to change my hair color to Lilac for a while now and despite my brain telling me it’s too late at night to start that process, I decided to do it anyways.

The last time I used a color remover was in September , which was actually very good , see my review Product Review – Beyond the Zone Radical Hair Color Remover . Since then I dyed my hair purple, which faded to blue , then to blue green….

I decided to try a new color remover since it was cheaper than the Beyond the Zone brand and it got higher reviews,  in a nut shell, it worked but the Loreal effasol was a bit harsher on my hair than the BTZ.

Here is what it looks like:

l-oreal-effasol-color-remover-1

This product is really for Professional Use only , so it is not readily available in your usual pharmacy, I actually ordered mine on Amazon.

The instructions tell you that you can either mix with water of with 20 volume creme developer, according to how much color you have in your hair, if your color is already light, you can mix with water, if it’s dark, you will need to use the developer.

My hair was medium blue mixed with teal and shades of green (pic below) but I did not have volume 20 developer, so I used a mixture of water and 30 volume developer. My exact mixture was :

2 packs of Loreal Effasol Color Remover

2.5ozs 30 volume creme developer

2.5 ozs warm water

This was the result :

effasol

Do not apply this to clean hair! you need your hair to be at least somewhat dirty so that your hair’s natural oils can protect it from some of the chemicals in this product, it’s the same idea as using bleach .I sectioned my hair into three parts and applied the mixture with a tint brush  then left in my hair for an hour and rinsed out with a gentle shampoo followed by an argon oil treatment. Check out the before and after picture below.

_20161213_174858

Overall , it worked very well, but it definitely dries out your hair, I slept overnight with a hair masque and my hair still felt “strawish” the next day and it is still a better option than bleaching the color out.

Tonight we go lilac! or we try to at least, I’ll post the results in my next entry!

Product Review – Beyond the Zone Radical Hair Color Remover

A few weeks back I visited Orlando on vacation and of course I had to make a visit to one of my favorite stores, Sally’s!

I went with the intention of getting purple hair dye since that was the next color I wanted to try but at the time my hair was blue and I would have needed to get the blue out before I put the purple in to get the true color.

I asked the girl at Sally’s to recommend a color remover and she gave me this one, Beyond The Zone Radical Hair Color Remover :

dsc_04911

Please excuse the fact that the packs are open in the picture, I forgot to take the picture before I used it.

Anyways, I used 3 packs for my hair (my hair goes down to my lower back) , there are two different ways to use this product, you can either mix each pack with 2oz of water OR 2oz of developer. You mix with water if you want a light lift, and with the developer if you want a couple levels of lift or for maximum color removal. I mixed it with vol 30 developer but that it because my hair was green by the time I was ready to use this. Always remember that the higher the volume of the peroxide , the more damaging to your hair, so depending on the health of your hair you might want to go with a volume 10 or 20 instead.

When you mix the remover with the water or developer you will get a thick creamy consistency, you then apply this on you this on your hair with a brush in sections. After applying you leave it in between 15 – 45 minutes, keep checking your hair until you see your desired level of color removal , then rinse out completely, followed by shampoo and a deep conditioner.  I left it on for about half hour after I finished applying to my hair, do NOT exceed 45 minutes.

You can see my before and after below:

photogrid_14746610337301

As you can see, this product worked really really well, it got out alot of the blue and green although I do still have patches of “olive green” still on my hair. I highly recommend this product , its easy to use and it WORKS, and my hair felt fine afterwards, just make sure and shampoo and condition.

If you live in the United States and have access to a Sally’s Beauty Supply, you are in luck as these only cost $3.99 each, however if you live outside of the US the only place I have seen it online is on Amazon for $3.94 per pack but you have to pay shipping of $5.90 .

I have not tried any of the other brands of color remover so I cannot compare it to anything else , but this worked really well for me and was inexpensive . If you go to a salon to get color removed , this process would cost alot more. I just wish I had bought more packs =( .

 

True Blue

After my red phase , my hair had faded to a copper\auburn with blond highlights, see below, which I didn’t necessarily hate, but I didn’t particularly love either..

img-20150816-wa0005

11192630_1220432814649044_893230340_n

As usual, I got fed up of this color and decided it was once again time for  a change, and what would be the perfect color to try? My favorite, of course BLUE!

I didn’t want to do a bright blue and I also wanted a blue that I know would have covered  my auburn hair, since I did not want to bleach my hair , so I decided to go with Manic Panic’s After Midnight.

sbs-484010

This particular blue is very dark, similar to a navy, but your eventual color all depends on your starting color, for me it turned out a beautiful dark blue, which looked FANTASTIC in direct sunlight.

12034419_10156108621585174_2721689415398229511_o

Darker colors tend to make your hair look healthier and as I mentioned before, Manic Panic colors actually condition your hair so I was quite happy .The blue unfortunately washed out with every shampoo, and I did a recolor a few weeks later but added in Manic Panic’s Shocking Blue , and Ultra Violet with some Jerome Russel Atlantic Blue because I wanted the blur to be a bit brighter than before.

11326106_761801270609368_537196850_n

img-20151231-wa0020

As the color faded , it faded to a gorgeous teal with shades of blue and blond lol , due to the blond underneath.

bluefade

I loved having my hair blue, it somehow made me feel like a “badass” , but word of warning, when the blue starts to fade and wash out, your hair WILL turn green! It will go from blue → teal →green → olive green , essentially your hair will start looking like sewage lol, and you will hate it, or at least I did.

P.S If you are contemplating changing your hair color to blue, note that the eventual green that your hair will become, is the hardest color to get out of hair. It took me forever to get the green out and I also was never able to get it out 100% , not to mention over processing my hair and damaging it in the process. You can check out my post on how to get fashion color out of your in the link below:

How to Fade Color

After the blue I decided I wanted to go GREY! But that’s a whole other post, that was an extremely long and tedious process, stay tuned!