Thursday, December 23, 2010

SH’BAM™ Masterclass

I'm always in search of continuing education to ensure that I'm kept up to date with the latest developments. The thing is that I would take more courses / workshops / programs / conventions if I could really afford money and time but alas and thus, only select programs get into my schedule after much consideration.

Picture above with Master Trainer Tracy Minnoch, me and Jorge Jimenez - Group instructor at Pure Fitness taken today at the 2nd masterclass this evening.

Latest masterclass, I fully enjoyed attending was Les Mills New dance fitness program. SH’BAM™. As with all Les Mills programs, SH’BAM™ is probably the closest parallel that I could move on to expand my repertoire with my current fitness dance training. After completing 2 master classes at Pure Fitness (Knightsbridge, Orchard) by world renowned group master trainer, Tracy Minnoch. I can safely say that I could quite confidently execute the program and have enjoy it at the same time too!

Now, to look out and wait for the upcoming Instructor training for this LM program which I hear may be around Feb 2011 and I would be set to go!

In picture, Tracy's friend & team teach instructor, my very gorgeous GF (who guested me into Pure Fitness but will remain anonymous), me and Tracy Minnoch.

Featuring simple but seriously hot dance moves, SH’BAM™ is the perfect way to shape up and let out your inner star – even if you’re dance challenged. Set to a soundtrack of chart-topping popular hits, dance music that is heard in the hottest nightclubs around the world, familiar classics remixed and modernized Latin beats, SH’BAM™ is the ultimate fun and sociable way to exercise. Each 45-minute SH’BAM™ class is vibrant, unique and varied – and like all the LES MILLS™ programs, a new SH’BAM™ release is produced every three months with new music and choreography.

Personally however since we are still in the infancy of this program and I forsee much resistance from hardcore Zumba fanatics (yeah, I'm one of them) to having a seemingly Zumba styled/inspired kind of fitness dance programs. There isn't alot of variation with the class yet as this is literally Release no. 1 with the first set of choreography to be released in the world.

As with all other LM programs, this would be a parallel of pre-choreographed classes (while Zumba Fitness would be considered more freestyle in that sense with more available music/variation/moves to mix and match a class with and ZF does have new release every 3-4 months too but they're not as strict to sticking to the choreography as a LM program).

For Les Mills Body Jam fans or people who wanted to join a BJ class and was concerned about its more intermediate/advanced moves, a SH’BAM™ class would probably be considered a good stepping stone up for beginners to catch on some easy snazzy dance moves and make it look good before progressing into a faster, technically heavier fitness dance class like Body Jam.

Anyone want to try SH’BAM™?

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Dance Class & Potluck!

Its been more than 9 months that I've been with my RTC Danza class and we've seen a whole group of regulars, many people who have come in and out through our doors taking single classes and several guest instructors gracing our classes with their sharing... last Saturday, 18th Dec. marked the last Saturday class for 2010 and we had our Christmas themed class where most came either in Red or Green. Everyone brought a dish for the potluck and a gift for a gift exchange!

Above picture from Left to Right with many people missing in the shot (either came late, couldn't make it that day or was just loitering outside before our class started).

Me, Patricia, Ee San, Angie, Judy, May, Meng Jee, Angie, Pek Gan, Terence, (Sorry but I forgot her name - will check it out n update), Terence's Gf, Margaret, Christine, Shirley and Selina.

It has been an absolute pleasure to have seen everyone week on week and dancing with all of you.. Merry Christmas all! See everyone again in January!!

Terence charted our dance class burn with his polar and we clocked in at 900+ calories burnt for my 60 minute dance class! Whooot!! Worked hard so that we could all Eat hard too!!
Picture below.. our table overflowing with food, not seen in pictures, cookies, the 2 gorgeous log cakes, the chendol agar agar and the cups of deliciously sinful Pinnacotta desserts...

What else was brought? Fried bee hoon, Mini baos, Satay with the works, Various Mini Steamed Kueys, Shepards Pie, Ham and Egg Salad, Carrot Cake, Fishballs, Cuttlefish balls, Crab claw nuggets, Spring Rolls, Fresh Salad, Stuffed Roasted Chicken, Mini Fried Chicken Wings and Home-made Scottish Shortbread... *slurps*....everything topped up with a gorgeous pile of presents for the Gift Exchange.. and guess what I received? A weighing scale... Wahahahah! *Good timing since my scale at home had decided to go bonkers on me... * Thank you all again!!!



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Videos Don't Lie... 100kg Pam

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Pictures can be edited with photoshop to make it look almost immaculate but a video, not within my control so it shows everything in full unadulterated flubbery. Some people have exclaimed "you couldn't have been that big!.. did you make your pictures look fatter?" No... but to prove that there was such a time... heres a video which the hubster found buried in his hard drive.

We played it on the mac the other day and when we saw when I walked out of the room to my cake in our old residence in this video, we were all in shock and screamed "oh my god!!!" So yeah.. that was me.. when I was 100kg. Yeah.. believe it now? What falls in my control now at least, I will never make myself grow back to that level of obesity. That blue pants were a size 48 stretchable. Equivalent to a 5XL.

Why feel bad about myself and look unhealthy when I can stay the way I am now or smaller? :) Click on the pictures below to check out each respective picture sets taken by C. En Yung. I think I'm due to have a phootshoot soon... must think of location in Singapore or theme.. Suggestions anyone?

Monday, December 06, 2010

How to do a Liver Detox...

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When I first heard and read about a liver detox, I had my reservations not about its effectiveness but more to why I would want to do that to myself so I got CJ to agree to be my guinea pig! *sniggers* He blogged about his experience on his blog too... whaahaha!

I'm not a kind of person who would go through fasts or eat all organic food
just because its good for me. I love my nitrates aka hams/sausages/luncheon meats... and I don't see the need to purchase a carrot at $3 instead of the usual 60 cents... something in that drift if you know what I mean. The only holistic thing I can appreciate would be massage therapy but leave my hotdogs alone. *smacks lips* But since we've started our new weightloss cycle, I thought that perhaps clearing out our insides a little would certainly help in the absorption of the very select nutrients and supplements that we would be taking in the coming weeks.

Thus the first detox experiment. The Liver Detox. A procedure that has been practiced with great success for untold generations. I did some research online to how to do it and I will adapt it here. While there are recommended timings to fulfill each part of the detox, I have broken it down to the timeslots that can work for almost any similar timing.

IMPORTANT: The rest of this post can be somewhat gross. Don't say I didn't warn you. If you're easily queasy about bodily excretions, skip this post and exit now.

I have adapted the content from this website but compiled it here for easier reference according to what we did. So this info below is not something I thought about randomly or created. I compared several sites on this and this one was sufficiently informative to help me get the procedure together at home. I was very methodical about all of it too y'know! :) However, please use common sense should you attempt this detox and I disclaim all liability towards any and all possible negative reactions you might have to this after reading this post if you do the detox.

Please DO NOT do this if you have doubts about doing it - have not done other research or if you are not feeling well, if you have existing health conditions -better to check with your doctor before proceeding and/or if you are pregnant.

Introduction to the Standard Liver Cleanse:

This is a natural way to effectively and painlessly remove from the gallbladder and liver, most stones, gravel, crystals, debris and residues that hinder your body's detoxification and healing. It cleanses the liver bile ducts and eventually purifies the blood stream by making the liver cleaner and more efficient. This is a procedure you can do at home, over one weekend, using ingredients from a local supermarket and pharmacy - for a little more than $10.00. In addition, it is non-toxic, fast acting, has no side-effects, promotes increased well-being, raises the level of available energy and can provide freedom from most allergies.

Purpose of the Cleanse:

This cleanse is used to clean the liver and gall bladder of gall stones, gravel and sand to dramatically improve your body's health. The liver cleanse also has the ability to expel pollutants and toxins from the gallbladder and liver. You can expect your allergies to disappear more and more with each subsequent cleanse and even improve your complexion! Each liver cleanse "cures" a different set of allergies, suggesting that the liver is compartmentalized - different parts having different duties. Incidentally, a liver detox also eliminates most shoulder, upper arm and upper back pain.

Introduction:

One of the main function of the liver is to make bile, up to an estimated 1.8 litres in a day! The liver is full of tubes (biliary tubules) that deliver the bile to one large tube - the common bile duct. The gall bladder is attached to the common bile duct and acts as a storage reservoir. Eating fat or protein triggers the gall bladder to squeeze itself empty after about twenty minutes (or after ingesting the liver cleanse solution). The stored bile finishes its trip down the common bile duct to the small intestine and eventually to the colon (large intestine).

Of course the gall bladder does not hold enough bile to neutralize all of the liver cleanse solution you have ingested. The empty gallbladder then signals its master, the liver, to dump all available bile forcefully into the common bile duct as well. In this fashion, the liver turns itself practically inside out and empties all of its available bile together with stones, gravel and crystals.

Epsom salt serves to relax the tubules so that the passage of larger stones is painless and smooth. The Epsom salt also serves to evacuate the small and large intestines of feces. See benefits of Epsom Salts HERE. For many persons, including children, the biliary ducts (tubing) are choked with gallstones. Some develop allergies or hives, but some have no symptoms at all. There are over half a dozen variety of gallstones, most of which have cholesterol crystals in them. They can be black, red, white, green or tan colored. The green ones get their color from being coated with bile.

At the very center of each stone scientists found a clump of bacteria, suggesting a dead bit of parasite might have started the formation of the stone. *Shivers.GROSS!Shudders again* Perhaps it is the liver's function to encapsulate parasites to avoid getting destroyed by such an invader. That's fine for one or two, but how about thousands of such encapsulations?

With gallstones and liver stones, much less excess cholesterol leaves the body and cholesterol levels may rise. A liver cleanse will invariably result in a lowering of cholesterol levels.

How is it Done?
Choose a free weekend where you won't be going out or doing anything much to attempt this. There was a semi-fast that they ask for prior to the detox but since CJ wasn't really eating heavily this week and was already on his low carb cycle, he had chicken for lunch on Friday and spent the rest of the day plus the whole of Saturday detoxing without solids (on liquids only - water, clear juices and teas) till I returned home to administer the process.

STEP 1
The recommended semi-fast before you commence is said as this...
Drink apple juice for three days preceding the liver cleanse. For these three days, eat frugally, if you must, and then only small amounts of raw unprocessed fruit and/or vegetable salads. Every day take at least one full quart of high quality, unfiltered, preferably home-made apple juice. You should be able to see the sediments on the bottom of the container. The pectin in the apple juice helps to soften and flatten the stones in the gall bladder and liver. This will also help their passage through the bile ducts. This semi-fast also empties the intestines of their food content and makes the collection of stones less problematic.

Ingredients needed:
4 Heaping Tablespoons of Epsom Salts
(you can purchase this box for less than $5 from Guardian Pharmacy)
3/4 cup of Good Quality Olive Oil (we used Extra Virgin Olive Oil - purchased from any supermarket)
3 Fresh Grapefruits (freshly squeezed to give you at least 3/4 cups worth)
1/2 Teaspoon of Vit. C powder. We used 2 of our usual Vit. C tablets aka Redoxon dissolvables - easily purchased at any supermarket or pharmacy.

They also suggest some natural sleep supplements if you need them if you have problem sleeping usually. Ie Ornithine but these are not really necessary.

Apparatus needed:
1 drinking cup
1 citrus
fruit juicer *if you don't have this just manually squeeze it. Just that grapefruits however are quite hard to squeeze without one*
1 strainer to remove the pulp
1 measuring cup for liquids
1 bottle or jar big enough to hold 3 cups of water.
1 125ml disposable bottle
1 tablespoon for measuring/stirring

STEP 2
Choose a day like Saturday for the cleanse so that you can rest the next day. Take no medicines, vitamins or other pills that you can do without. They could hinder success of the cleanse. Eat a no fat fruit breakfast and light fat-free lunch such as cooked cereals with fruit but no butter or milk. This allows the bile to build up and develop pressure in the liver. Higher pressure pushes out more stones.

2:00 PM.
Do not eat or drink after 2:00 o'clock.
If you break this rule you could feel quite uncomfortable later. Get your Epsom salts ready. At 2:00pm, mix 4 heaping tablespoons of Epsom salts in 3 cups of water, add 1/2 teaspoon of Vit C powder and pour this into a jar. This makes four servings, 3/4 cup each. Please keep in mind that the first serving begins at 6:00pm and the 2nd serving for the evening is taken at 8:00pm. The other two required servings are reserved for the following morning. Place the jar in the refrigerator to get ice cold (this is for convenience and taste only).

6:00 PM.
Mix and shake the jar. Pour and Drink one serving (3/4 cup) of the ice cold prepared Epsom salts water. You can certainly drink a few mouthfuls of water afterwards or rinse your mouth.

Reaction: CJ started feeling stirrings in his stomach. Felt a little bloatedness. He said the bitter salty solution was vile.

8:00 PM.
Repeat the above by drinking another 3/4 cup of Epsom salts water.
You have not eaten since two o'clock, but you won't feel hungry. Do something light like watch tv, read or use the computer for the balance of the evening, extremely light leisurely activity only. The timing of the actual cleanse is relatively critical to achieve success. Do not be more than 10 minutes early or late for anything that follows next.

Reaction: CJ started going to the bathroom at hourly intervals with slight watery diarrhea. Slight stomach cramps and the start of an "ass burn" where you eliminate so much that your butt starts too hurt.

9:45 PM.
Pour 3/4 cup (measured cup) of your high quality olive oil into the disposable bottle. Pour the prepared 3/4 cup of squeezed grapefruit juice into the measuring cup, adding this to the oil.
Close the bottle tightly with its lid and shake briskly until well mixed, almost watery. Only fresh squeezed juice will do this. Now visit the bathroom one or more times, even if this makes you slightly late for your ten o'clock drink. Be ready to go to bed and STAY in bed.

10:00 PM.
Take the solution to your bedside if you want, but drink it standing up. Drink the potion you have mixed. Get all of it down immediately, if possible. Very elderly, or weak persons, should space this over a period of five minutes. CJ found this the hardest to do of all the processes as it really isn't the most pleasant of drinks to chug down.

Reaction: CJ found it quite difficult to drink down the bottle of oil & grapefruit juice solution but did it at one shot. It was just THAT gross so he had a little nausea after finishing it.

Lie down immediately. The sooner you lie down, the more stones you will get out. Put your knees up to your chest in a fetal position. Lie on your right side for at least half an hour. The oil/citrus juice mixture will go to your gallbladder and liver. These organs will not know what to do with THAT much oil emulsion, so they will spasm and throw off all the available bile - plus stones, gravel and crystals.

10:30 PM.
You may turn on your back with a good thick feather pillow. Try to think about what is happening in the liver. Think loving thoughts - your liver is sensitive and responsive to feelings of resentment, vindictiveness and hate. Try to keep perfectly still for about half an hour or at least 20 minutes. Visualize the cleansing action taking place. You may feel a train of stones traveling along the bile ducts like marbles. There is little likelihood of pain because the bile duct valves are open - thanks to the Epsom salts.

Relax and go to sleep if you don't already need to go to the bathroom. Let nature do her thing. Tomorrow you will be cleaner, much cleaner, and also healthier than before.

Reaction: CJ went to the bathroom again! No major stomach cramps but watery diarrhea for sure. He didn't wake up through the night after that till it was time for the next dose the next morning.

Next morning (est. 10 hours later at least, after 6:00 AM)
Upon wakening, take your third dose of prepared Epsom salt solution. If you have indigestion or nausea, wait until this is gone before drinking the Epsom salts. Do not take this before 6:00 AM. It would be best if you don't get up and have someone else give you this potion.

Reaction: This was where it got a little scary and mightily gross. He went to the bathroom to eliminate and they came shooting out fast, furious and explosive. The first sitting of the day saw little black specs floating. The 2nd to the 4th onwards after literally came at 30 minute intervals and it was shocking! It works and he's now a convert!

The toilet bowl was filled with floating mushy green lumps, foam and hard fingernail sized stony bits in the green pea like soup concoction. Sample image of a liver stone HERE. <-- these are not his stones - I found this online incase you were curious how it looks like. But you've got to check out your own eliminations if & when you do this yourself and shock yourself.

2 Hours Later
Take your fourth (the last one - Thank God!) dose of Epsom salts.
Drink 3/4 cup of the mixture. You may go back to bed if you like. After 2 more hours you may get up and take something into your empty stomach. Start with some fresh-made fruit juice. Half an hour later, eat some fruit. One hour later you may eat regular food but keep it light, uncooked and natural. By dinner time on Sunday, you should feel fully recovered and ready to slay a dragon.

What to expect?
Expect diarrhea in the morning of the second day (Sunday). Alot of it. CJ claims that he had never gone to the toilet so many times before in such a short time frame..even with food poisoning. Wahhaha! It wasn't as painful as actually having food poisoning though as there wasn't the element of bad stomach cramps or vomitting.. the only issue was the ass burn!

I doubt you would want to filter what you had eliminated. Peering into the toilet bowl would be sufficient. Look for the greenish kind, since this is proof that they are genuine gallstones and not food residue. Only bile from the liver is green. The bowel movement (if there is any) sinks, but gall and liver stones float because of the cholesterol content and it is actually VERY obvious! Eventually, you may have to eliminate up to 2,000 stones, in several sessions, over a period of a year or so, before the liver is clean enough to rid you of all allergies or upper back, or other symptoms, permanently.

Overall Reactions: A total of 16 diarrhea visits that ended around 4pm on Sunday. With a heck alot of green & black floaty stuff that came out mostly on the 2nd day within the first 5 eliminations of the day. The rest of the evening, he was back to normal feeling lighter and cleaner. Normal and very light bowel movements resumed on Monday morning. We'll probably do this again in 2-3 months time again! Liver Detoxed!!

Leaner in 8 Weeks...

Over in August this year, I wrote about having a weightloss project to lose 20kg in 3 months. From 80kg to 60kg. Read about that HERE. Yea, I know I gained weight again at the earlier part of this year so it was a good time to kick start something again to resume my weightloss resolution. So with the support of a special new supplement partner, I embarked on a new weightloss cycle.

Did I reach it? Unfortunately, nope.. what happened? From several bouts of illnesses/injuries to my trips to Hong Kong for filming to various other workshops and instructing classes, I was blindly busy and frankly, just not in the right mind frame to keep the determination to see it though. And the most important step to weightloss is your mental determination and frame of mind. This will be what sees you through to reach that goal.

I did however lose 8kg from then till now so I'm still standing at 72kg right now. For an average person, an 8kg loss would usually be more than enough in less than half a year but since we aimed for 20kg down! Its not even quite halfway there for me so its not considered a success till I've hit the actual number. *disappointed but not discouraged - I will do it!*

If you have been watching my weightloss chart on the left of my blog column. You would see the dates each time I broke each kilo loss. I maintained a range of 67.5kg to 69kg for the whole of 2009 but after that weight ceiling broke over Christmas break 2009... I'm only near to my previous maintenance again just about now. This has indeed been a chubby year for me...

The hubster, CJ's birthday just passed just last week and he made a resolution to get motivated again to lose weight once more. The last cycle we went through in 2008, he went from 125kg to 86kg and was looking like "the younger brother I never had"... then over the months, his training stopped for personal reasons and he's been in limbo and on the fat rise for the longest time... regular exercise and sensible dietary habits are really important in maintaining your weight and fitness.

I have no doubts that when he wants to, he can and will do it all over again with the same great success as before so here it goes again! He's been blogging about his new cycle lately and stood at an estimated 122kg as of 1st December 2010.

We started on the 2nd of December with morning jogs, stretches and again.. have resumed our low carb cycles... and for me.. I still instruct daily too so I'm getting more than my usual share of activity.

So for now, with a renewed cycle of supplements* provided to me for this round, I mark this time as standing at 72kg. Only another 12 more kilos and I'm at my optimal targeted weight. (Frankly - I have a feeling I might look too small at that size but we'll see how it goes as we go along). Watch this space and look at that column on the left to see the numbers drop over the next 8 weeks. :)

You know what though? We all know that losing weight is a challenge - even if you have done it before.. its just not easy.. and it would be absolutely lovely for you reading to leave me a comment to show me your support.. and perhaps if you have a resolution of your own... share it with me... I'd love to know whats happening with you too.. even if you're leaving me a comment to say "Hi.."... please do. :)

*For those curious what those supplements are.. all I'll say now is that its all natural.. you'll find out in a couple of weeks...so keep reading. :)*

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Crispy Fish Tater Cakes...

Crispy warm on the outside, soft and tasty on the inside. Goes well with any dipping sauce as a snack or meal on its own (depending on how many you eat). A firm balance of protein from the fish and complex carbohydrates from the potatoes...not for someone trying to lose weight though... Great finger food for kids too...

We've been watching quite a number of Season 2 -Iron Chef America episodes lately and my inspired hubby, CJ decided make dinner before we re-started our weightloss program again.

Fishcakes! But I rather call them Crispy Fish Tater Cakes.. sounds nicer ya? A rather simple recipe to follow that yields 30 palm sized fried cakes.

Whats in them?
6 Russet Burbank Potatoes (Large) - Boiled, peeled and mashed with salt & black pepper.
3 Fillets of Sutchi Fish *Dory* (any alternate form of fish fillet can work too) - Boiled and mashed. - You can easily find this in the frozen section of the supermarket at only SGD$2.50-$6 (depending on promotion) per pack of 2-3 fillets.
200gms of Panko breadcrumbs.
1 cup of frying flour batter *either make your own or use store bought tempura batter*- already reconstituted with room temp. water to a creamy sauce-like consistency.

Hows it done?
When you have boiled your potatoes and fish, mash them both and season to taste with salt and pepper and form them into little golf/ping pong ball size balls.
You have an option here where you could refrigerate the balls for a while, maybe 30 minutes to let them harden a little but this is not completely necessary.

Why I suggest this is because once it goes into the batter soft, it would have a tendency to start to spread and break apart if you don't work fast. Only liquid batter just seconds before you breadcrust it if not you would end up with a dishful of unformed mush.

Dip each formed ball into the liquid batter, remove and throw into the breadcrumbs and cover completely. Flatten slightly with your fingers against the wall of the breadcrumb container against the crumbs and transfer to a deep fryer or pan filled with sufficient oil to deep fry the cakes.

Each cake takes about 3-5 minutes to brown on each side if using a pan or generally around 6-8 minutes in the deep fryer. Remove when the patty turns a golden brown on both sides. Use paper towels on your serving plate to absorb excess oil.

Additional Options: While we didn't use this this time, CJ suggests certain improvements that can be done to this recipe that might work. Adding finely chopped chives, chopped corn, and/or chopped peas.

Serve warm and crispy with your favourite dipping sauce, ie ketchup or chili sauce with mayonnaise. Enjoy! :)