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The Scent of Roses Inhaling / Bдыхая Pозы Aромат

14 Dec

Herbal tea with mint, camomile and rose buds

I am a hard-core tea drinker. I sip my green or oolong tea all through the day.  At night I drink herbal teas since there’s no caffeine in them.  I favour fruity floral mixes as they help to curb my cravings for something sweet and they really hit the spot.  They are sometimes my desert 🙂 I usually get my teas from the specialty tea stores, The Tea Emporium or Teavana.  All their teas are of highest quality but they do come with a hefty price tag.

I recently discovered that my local Asian supermarket sells dried rose buds.  I paid $1.99  CDN for the whole package – what a great find! So I decided to make my own tea blend – mint, chamomile and rose buds.  I got a wonderful surprise – this tea smelled so great and it was delicious!  My room was infused with great smells too.

If you like the roses, you’ll like this tea. The rose buds added the smoothness to it.  If you want their flavor to really kick just to add more rose buds to the blend.  I suppose it would make a wonderful iced tea too.


Dried rose buds

I Like My Yoga Hot!

26 Oct

Several weeks ago my friend invited me to join her for a hot yoga class.  Since all my friends are always raving about how much they love it I decided to give it a try.

I was told that I shouldn’t eat 2-3 hours before the class and come properly hydrated.  I think I drank about 2 liters of water in less than 2 hours!

I was actually very excited when we arrived at the studio! The class had started and I thought at first that the heat wasn’t that bad.  15 minutes into the class I felt that the heat was intolerable; I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I was drenched in sweat and super irritated.  I was also getting very dizzy and nauseous.  I became so nauseous that at some point I had to leave the studio and I got sick in the bathroom.  I was advised by another instructor that I’ll benefit more if I get back and try to finish my class.  I don’t even know how I managed to get through to the end.  I felt I could hardly execute anything.  And then I got sick again when our class ended.

“This is my first and my last class” – I said to my friend.  At that point I felt I’d never want to do it ever again.

I went straight to bed when I got home.  For the next 5 hours or so I was shivering uncontrollably and fighting a horrible migraine. “And people pay money for this?” – I thought to myself.  I thought this is how it feels right before you die.

I am fairly fit but the following day my body was sore. It was that “good sore” feeling when you get after a really good session at the gym.  And here I thought that I hardly moved yesterday.  So if I were to go through the poses all out I’d probably be getting some serious workout.  My skin was “glowing”.  Hmmm…. I decided to return; I am not a quitter!

Apparently, it’s not unusual to feel light-headed and nauseous during the first few classes.  As a result of the yoga practice the body starts to cleanse itself by getting rid of the toxins that were stored in the system.  That’s what was causing my condition and here I thought I was in good health.

My second class was so much more enjoyable!  I made a decision to incorporate hot yoga into my exercise regime.  I only manage to go twice a week but I can already feel that my joint mobility and range of movement had increased.

Once I got past my initial horrible experience I grew to like hot yoga more.  I still find some of the poses quite challenging but each class is a little different.  All instructors are fun and motivating. The heat doesn’t bother me as much.  I absolutely love how I feel afterward!

I will be writing about my progress more in the later posts.

Does anyone know how many calories are burned during one hot yoga session?

How I Lost 28 Lbs

12 Oct

It has been 3 years since I’ve lost almost 30 lbs and, most importantly, kept the weight off.

For the longest time I bought almost all my clothes at Mendocino because back in the days it was the only ones that carried size 00.

Being super thin in Eastern Europe is not a good thing.  My relatives in Ukraine always tried to secretly stuff my suitcase with smoked sausages, meats and cheeses “na dorogy” (“for the road”) during my earlier visits. I repeatedly told them to take it all back as we are not allowed to bring meat and dairy products to Canada. They would nod their heads and then try to hide a package (or two) in the sleeves of the jacket that has already been folded in the suitcase. It broke my heart to surrender all those yummy homemade goods to customs agents 😦

2005 Montreal Salsa Convention, in my mid-30s, size 0

So I ate, and I ate and I ate and never gained a single pound.  In my mid-30s I became size 0, in a year or so I had to buy clothes in size 2.  Nothing to worry about…right?  People complimented me saying that now I actually looked healthy, not emaciated.  But the weight started creeping up on me.

2007 Canada Salsa Congress. Size 4 and not worried yet

In March 2008 I made a decision to stop dancing completely.  I stopped teaching, rehearsing, performing and social dancing.  It freed 20 hours of my time each week! I could finally catch up with my non-salsa friends, read and do all non-dance related activities.  However, I didn’t change any of my eating habits because I didn’t feel I should.  After all, I had been thin all my life and I thought if people had  “thin genes” they’ll stay thin.

3 months later I was in shock. I was 20lbs heavier! People were congratulating me and asking when I am expecting.  Awkward!  I had to tell them that no, I am not expecting.  It was getting more awkward when they kept insisting that I should admit I was pregnant.  Some of them offered “helpful” advice: “Try to so some sit-ups”.  I didn’t feel good about myself. I was no longer able to fit into any of my clothes. It was a nightmare to go shopping for bigger clothes and eventually I stopped going out altogether.

For the first time in my life I was desperately trying different extreme diets.  I haven’t lost a pound and was constantly hungry and irritable. By 2009 I hit my highest weight, 136.5 lbs and was wearing size 8 clothes.  I was bigger than the day I gave birth to my daughter many, many years ago.

I also started to miss the stage and wanted to get back to dancing but who would have me on their team looking like this?

2009 New York Salsa Congress. I am at my heaviest…GRRRR

I was waiting in line for pay for my groceries at Metro and randomly picked up a small Prevention Guide brochure featuring Flat Belly Foods.  “I went from size 16 to 4!” –  was written on the front page.  Yeap, right…. I didn’t believe in any diets at this point.  I checked the recipes inside, they weren’t complicated, didn’t require to slave over a hot stove for hours and promised delicious foods. I bought it on a whim and started trying recipes one by one.  The foods truly were delicious so kept making them just because I liked how they tasted. I started trying these new foods in August 2009.

The booklet included testimonials of people who lost weight on Flat Belly Diet. Some of them reported loosing up to 4 lbs in one week.  It didn’t happen to me.  For the first 4 weeks I haven’t lost anything, only my clothes somehow were fitting better.  I lost 3 lbs in maybe 6 weeks and even then I thought it was the water weight only.  However, by October 2009, just in time for the Canada Salsa Congress, I’ve lost 10 lbs and I was able to wear clothes one size down.  I finally started feeling better and became motivated to shed all extra weight.  I knew then that this diet was working and started following it more closely.

In late 2009 New Skin Dance Company was conceptualized with the 2 of my close fellow Salseras and I was back in the dance studio working on the brand new Ladies Styling  routine for 2010 Vancouver International Salsafestival.  Practicing for several hours 7 days a week for 4 weeks non-stop helped to melt extra pounds in no time.

With my fellow New Skinnies at the 2010 Vancouver International Salsafestival. I am at my lowest weight, 108 lbs, size 00 again!

2012 Med Salsa Congress, Israel

Flat Belly Diet doesn’t feel like a diet, it’s a much healthier way of eating.  Several of my friends and former coworkers tried it and it worked for them.  When we are not training with the Team I gain between 1.5 to 2 lbs, which quickly come off as soon as we go into a “crunch” time, usually 2-3 weeks before the “big performance”.

Hopefully this story will inspire anyone who’s looking to make changes in their lifestyle.  I’ll be more than happy to provide answers based on my experience.

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