Kids Dance Fitness: Feel Better When I’m Dancing

I know, I know. It’s been a LONG time since I shared any dance videos. I swear sine I got sick back on October 30th, it’s just been one thing after another and I’ve been left chasing my tail for what seems like forever! But I’m happy to say that I am getting pretty close to getting caught up enough to get back on schedule so Fitness Friday has returned! Today I’m sharing a kids dance fitness routine to “Feel Better When I’m Dancing” which was on Zumba Mega Mix 51. When I realized it was from The Peanuts soundtrack I knew it would make a good kids routine. It’s always nice when I can tie a song into a movie many of them have seen. They seem more interested in learning them then.

Kids Dance Fitness/Zuma ROutine to Feel Better When I'm Dancing - great for getting kids active and having fun!

As usual, when it come to kids I keep things pretty simple. When I taught this in my after school program one of the girls sang, “dancey, dance, dance” every time we came to the “I Feel Better When I’m Dancing…” part which was super cute.

If you try it out I hope your kids enjoy it as much as my after school class did!

I’m hoping to have a productive (but relaxing weekend) this weekend, and am starting off with a Valentine’s Day Potluck, a hair cut and a movie date all today! Then hopefully celebrating Valentine’s Day sometime this weekend. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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7 Days of Healthy Recipes & Lifestyle Tips + #OnMyPath Giveaway

Happy Wednesday Bloggies!

Here we are a third of the way through February. How are those New Year’s goals going?

Are you still eating healthy, or having found yourself stumbling a little more than you’d like? Maybe you haven’t quite found your way to healthy eating but want to? Well today’s post is for YOU!

Nature’s Path is one of my absolute favourite cereal and snack food companies (because let’s be real, 90% of the time I’m eating cereal, it’s for a snack). And while most cereal can’t be considered much more than junk food, Nature’s Path takes great care to make your morning meal as healthy and delicious as possible. With an assortment of organic and non-GMO granolas packed with healthy foods like whole-grain rolled oats, omega-rich chia seeds, and coconut flakes this isn’t your standard cereal aisle granola.

If that wasn’t enough, each serving is packed with 6 grams of plant protein and 5 grams of fibre making it a great way to start your day (or help you get through the day 😉 for all us mid-day cereal snackers!).

My friends at Nature’s Path know how hard it is to make healthy lifestyle changes, so wanted to help you all with some delicious recipes like this Coconut Chia Tropical Smoothie Bowl

Nature's Path makes healthy eating fun with their 7 Days of Healthy Recipes & Life Style Tips (free download!)

and this Arugula Salad with Pumpkin Flax Clusters,

Nature's Path makes healthy eating fun with their 7 Days of Healthy Recipes & Life Style Tips (free download!)

both recipes that are available in the Nature’s Path 7 Days of Healthy Recipes & Lifestyle Tips e-book!

Nature's Path makes healthy eating fun with their 7 Days of Healthy Recipes & Life Style Tips (free download!)

And guess what? They want you to have their all new e-book for free! Download your copy here!

But wait – it gets even better! In order to really help you stay (or get back on) track, one of you will win an amazing Nature’s Path giveaway!

Nature's Path makes healthy eating fun with their 7 Days of Healthy Recipes & Life Style Tips (free download!)

The Giveaway

One winner will receive:

If you like granola, you’ll LOVE Nature’s Path granola. It’s delicious!

To enter please fill out the rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US.

BUT WAIT! THERE IS MORE!!

There is a grand prize: WIN ORGANIC GRANOLA FOR A YEAR*

o   How to enter: Getting back on a healthy path? Running your first marathon? Trying a plant-based diet? We want to know! Tell Nature’s Path what’s on your path for 2016 by posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using both hashtags: #OnMyPath and #GranolaForAYear.

o   Prize includes everything you need to get back on a healthy path including:

*This prize is open to all blogs participating and their audiences. There will be one grand prize total.

Good luck to you on both my giveaway and the grand prize giveaway!

Disclosure: This is a compensated post on behalf of Nature’s Path (I was compensated with a pile of granola! 😀 ), all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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Shop Yes Wellness and Save Time and Money

Living in rural Nova Scotia has it’s perks, but it also has it’s drawbacks, and shopping is most definitely one of them. Thankfully it’s become easier to find specialty food and natural products than it was even 5 years ago, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. That’s why I am so thankful to have the ability for online shopping. I can go online and order whatever I need and have it delivered to my door, often in a matter of days. Not only does it save me time, but since I can shop around from the comfort of my home, I also have the opportunity to save money by price comparing. Yes Wellness is one of the online stores I find myself checking and ordering from when it comes to stock up on items.

They carry an array of products, everything from essential oils (like this kit I recently received),

Yes Wellness is your one stop healthy living, fitness, and natural remedy shop in Canada. Great prices and fantastic selection.

protein powders and bars, vitamins, supplements, and even have their products searchable based on what condition you are trying to treat <— an invaluable resource for people who are looking for a solution to a specific condition or illness.

I’ve written about them a few times in the past, but essential oils have been a mainstay in my first aid kit for a long, long time. More specifically peppermint, lavender and tea tree. Those are my “big three” oils that I need to have on hand at all times.

Yes Wellness is your one stop healthy living, fitness, and natural remedy shop in Canada. Great prices and fantastic selection.

I use them all for many things, but peppermint is #1 in my book. I use it mostly for headache treatment and for digestive issues, peppermint & lavender together for cramps, and tea tree for treating bug bites, disinfecting things and cleaning. Without these three I’m lost. The kit I got also came with rosemary, clove bud and oil of oregano which I know are all super powered oils so I’m looking forward to seeing how they compliment my essential oil arsenal. And fortunately for me I can look back in my aromatherapy book to find out how and when to use them.

Also, in my most recent Yes Wellness delivery I received some Vega snack bars. I very rarely buy my snack bars at the store, they cost so much more in the grocery store than they do online so when I’m getting low I order a case online and by the time I need them they are here!

Yes Wellness is your one stop healthy living, fitness, and natural remedy shop in Canada. Great prices and fantastic selection.

I really like these Vega Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Bars. They aren’t a protein bar as they only contain 5g of protein, but they make a great snack and are super tasty (I also really like the Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts & Sea Salt bars). Compared to in store, you are saving approx. $0.50/bar by buying them online, and if you are lucky and catch a sale you’ll get them for even less.

And the final item I needed re-stocking was Hemp Hearts. I use these protein rich little guys in smoothies, on cereal, in baked goods – they really are a versatile little seed.Yes Wellness is your one stop healthy living, fitness, and natural remedy shop in Canada. Great prices and fantastic selection.

I was down to my last tablespoon of hemp hearts when this stockpile arrived, so now I am good to go for quite a while!

And just like that, I easily stocked up on all the thing I was running low on, and in no time at all they were at my door with free shipping (on orders over $49.99) without me having to search 12 different stores and spend all that time driving from store to store. To top it off, I’m pretty sure the essential oil kit and the hemp hearts were on special at the time making them even more cost effective!

Easy peasy.

If making your health a priority is one of your 2016 goals, you owe it to yourself to check out Yes Wellness. Not only can you get the things you need delivered directly to your door, but if you shop the sales and keep track of what you need, you can also save substantial $$ in the process!

And to top it off, if you use coupon code SUZI216 on your purchase, you’ll get 2000 Yes Points! which you can use towards your next purchase (800 points = $1 off).  Additionally, you earn 12 points for every dollar you spend, and can earn 100 points for leaving a product review. Those can add up quickly, allowing you to save even more – score!

Be sure to “like” Yes Wellness on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop when it comes to sales and special offers, and be sure to use the coupon code above if you are ordering to get your free Yes Points!

Disclosure: I am an ambassador for Yes Wellness, and as such get special perks such as the products reviewed in the above post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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Wok-Fried LoMein Noodles of Longevity

This Monday (February 8th) is Chinese New Year! Even if celebrating Chinese New Year isn’t part of your heritage – why not start celebrating in some small way with your family? Learning about different cultures and traditions through celebrating their holidays is a fun way for you and your family to do something new together and learn all at the same time. Last year I shared a couple recipes for “fake-out take-out” for Chinese New Year, and this year I’m back to share another recipe, this time for Wok-Fried LoMein Noodles of Longevity.

At Chinese New Year food preparation is important. Chicken and fish are often served whole, with the head and tail, to symbolize a good year from beginning to end. Noodles are made and served as long as possible to represent a long and healthy life. Leafy greens such as lettuce and bok choy are considered lucky foods to have at the new year’s table as they symbolize the fulfilment of wealth for the year ahead. Leeks are also a favourite dish – cut to resemble coins, they are believed to encourage a year of wealth.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year hoilday with LoMein Noodles of Longevity

I’ve picked up some bok choy and other ingredients and plan to make another dish on Monday, but wanted to share this one now so you still have time to make a quick shopping trip so you can make it!

This is one of a number Chinese New Year’s Recipes created for Atlantic Superstore by a local chef to help us ring in the year of the monkey!

Celebrate the Chinese New Year hoilday with LoMein Noodles of Longevity

Wok-Fried LoMein Noodles of Longevity
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pcs. T&T® Dried Shiitake Mushroom
  • pkg. PC® Enoki Mushroom
  • 1 pkg. T&T® LoMein Noodles, untied and loosened
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 thinly sliced ginger, julienne finely (optional)
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup chives, cut into 2" lengths
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
Instructions
  1. Rinse and soak the dried shiitake mushroom in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Remove stems and julienne.
  2. Cut off 1.5” off to of the enoki mushroom. Loosen and separate the mushroom.
  3. Bring ½ of large pot of water to a boil, add salt and 1 tsp. oil. Add noodle.
  4. Cook the noodle for 4-5 minutes and empty pot into a strainer.
  5. Rinse well with cold water. Drain well.
  6. Heat remaining oil in a wok on high heat.
  7. Add ginger, carrots, bean sprouts, shitake and enoki mushrooms.
  8. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  9. Add noodles and chives and mix well.
  10. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.

In my local store we didn’t seem to have any fresh chives so I swapped those for green onions since they have a similar flavour. And I’m pretty sure this was my first time cooking with authentic LoMein noodles. What fun little noodles. I love how they were pre-portioned (scroll back up to my first photo to se what I mean) and were just the right length to easily fit into my pot.

The hardest part of this recipe was fitting everything in my wok – which was actually a shallow frying pan, hahaha. All in all the most time consuming part was chopping up the ingredients so I’d put this squarely in the “easy mode” category for cooking.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year hoilday with LoMein Noodles of Longevity

Easy, but pretty impressive all the same – and not to mention tasty!

Celebrate the Chinese New Year hoilday with LoMein Noodles of Longevity

And I’ll leave you with this last little tidbit aboutChinese New Year in case you’d like to celebrate with more than just a fun meal:

The Chinese New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are all about family. On the eve, loved ones gather for Reunion Dinner, where they sit at round tables to enjoy food and quality time together. In the morning, many welcome the New Year with a respectful gesture, as the younger generation serves tea to their parents and grandparents. During Chinese New Year’s Day, grownups will give red envelopes with money inside to children as a sign of good fortune and wealth. Other gifts are also given to family and friends, especially foods such as candy, nuts and fruits which have different symbolic meanings like wealth, unity and fertility.

May the upcoming year of the monkey treat you and your family well!

Disclosure: I was provided with the ingredients to make this meal by Atlantic Superstore/President’s Choice. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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Make Your Home Workouts Fun With Giant Tiger Workout Equipment

One huge misconception about being a fitness instructor for a living, is that I get to be paid for doing my own workouts. This is sort of true when it comes to Zumba (though I’m still doing a lot more “work” while teaching than those who are participating!), but in yoga and strength classes especially – those classes are for my participants, so aside from my demo’s I spend more time coaching and adjusting than I do, doing. Even so I do get a little bit of training, so when it comes time to do my own workouts, I’m all about short, intense workouts to make sure I don’t overdo it and give my body time to recover between workouts/classes. For me that generally means body weight exercises, but it’s also fun to throw in some equipment now and again, which is why I’m taking a few minutes today to tell you how you can make your home workouts fun with Giant Tiger.

Last week I told you about some new fitness gear I picked up recently from Giant Tiger’s ACX line, and now today I’m back to tell you about some new additions to the ACX line that you won’t be wearing – fitness equipment!

Make your next fitness workout more fun with strength training equipment (including kettle bells) from Giant Tiger!

A few weeks ago they sent me some of their new equipment to play with – a slam ball, resistance band and 2 kettle bells – a 5lb and a 10lb.

Ordinary hand weights are great, but let’s face it, they are a bit boring. Resistance bands are one of my favourite pieces of equipment because they are light and provide multi-directional resistance (meaning you are working in both directions instead of just on the way up). People often scoff at resistance bands until they’ve been destroyed by one, haha. These little babies pack a powerful punch!

Now, let’s talk a bit more about the a slam ball is a crazy fun piece of equipment. It’s a ball that is weighted with sand so it doesn’t bounce. The ACX Slam Ball weighs 5lbs and is amazing for strengthening your core! As with all weighted core exercises, you need to make sure you are contracting your core muscles and being very mindful of your spinal alignment so that you don’t injure yourself.

And finally we have the kettle bells. Online I only see the 5lb option, but they do have a 10lb bell as well. If you are a seasoned kettle bell-er, these are going to be too light for you, but for beginners, or those who only swing a bell once in a while, these are a great starter. Especially if you are new to exercise and aren’t sure if you’ll be sticking to a kettle bell workout long term, they are affordable and allow you the change to decide if you want to upgrade when you grow out of these.

I’m not a slam ball or kettle bell expert by any stretch of the imagination, so I didn’t feel comfortable recording a workout video using the equipment, instead I put together this video just showing you some of the things you can do with resistance bands, slam balls and kettle bells.

 

Be sure to up the player to 1080HD for better video quality!

 

When it comes to the kettle bells and the slam ball, please make sure to bend your knees and lift them using your knees – not your back. Many people injure themselves before they even start because they hinge at the hip instead of bending at the knees and injure their back. That’s why I highly suggest seeking out a kettle bell class or workshop should to pick up one (or both) bells so you can learn proper form and execution.

You can’t improve your fitness if you are in bed with a messed up back!

And since I know you’re dying to know – yes I am wearing ACX active wear in the video! I’m seen wearing these ACX Yoga Leggings and this ACX Tank with Bra (I’m also wearing the matching ACX Sport’s Bra for additional support).

Giant Tiger not only will keep you looking cute while working out, but will help you build some serious strength with these additions to their ACX line. Be sure to check them out!

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