Friday, February 25, 2011

Fitness Fridays


Well Mes Amis

The weekend is finally here! Time to catch up on some lost sleep, cook, clean and do that laundry that’s been piling up - yes you know its true! Before the weekend officially starts, I wanted to start a weekly “column” about fitness. Hence Fitness Fridays. As much as we want to kick back relax and have that beer, treat Friday night as a weekday. Don’t forget to get in your workout, particularly if you know you will be splurging on treats over the weekend. Continue to remember that everything in moderation is ok. So having a few drinks wont kill you, but drinking to excess where you’re feeling like death the next morning isn’t going to help.

Become a “Weekend Warrior” put on that game face and get outside. Whether it’s a quick jog or a workout at the gym, do something to stay active. It’s important to let both our mind and body let loose, have fun, but stay in shape. It’s easy to plop ourselves down on the sofa and have a Big Bang Theory Marathon, but take time to come out of your sugar and food coma long enough to get your heart pumping. Did you know that if you get in a good cardio workout, you can still burn an additional 35 to 40 calories after your workout? This is because your already elevating the levels in which your heart is working. Give yourself that love because at the end of the day if you don’t take care of that fabulous-self, no one else will!


The weekends also gives you the flexibility to get in a workout mid afternoon (where you energy levels may be more elevated) compared to a late evening or early AM workout. One last but very important component of your fitness program that you shouldn’t overlook is stretching. You can do this between sets you’re working out. Stretching is essential in preventing injuries and keep you from getting too sore. You can also do it after your cardio session when your muscles are good and warm! Be sure to stretch every muscle and hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds without bouncing or straining.


One last option (but not the least!) is to supplement your weekend workouts with yoga or pilates. These days you don’t need to spend a large amount on classes, just pop in a DVD and take it from there. You can find some great ones out there!

So remember its the weekend, get out there and get motivated!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beauty of Burnt Orange

Well Fashonistas

I am back after yet another bit of a hiatus. The Fine Balance has been feeling slightly under the weather the past few days, but she has not forgotten her lovely readers and vows to post on the regular!

Today I was feeling more fall-like than winter or spring and felt the desire to wear something that was reflective of crisp fall afternoons, clear blue skies coupled with hues of red, yellow and burn orange leaves crunching beneath a pair of knee high boots. Clearly the world outside is very different - ice cold, grey, and just plain awful. That is not stopping me from expressing my love for the Beauty of Burnt Orange and its possibilities to make my Tuesday a little more bearable.


What I am wearing:
Top: H&M
Skirt: BCBG
Jewelery: bangle (I got it from my mama!)

- it’s a half shot as i took it of myself….

I have also decided that Fridays will also feature a new section on Fitness! So keep on reading friends, it will be a new addition to the blogging currently underway. Today I am meeting with a nutritionist-who is also a three time Serbian bodybuilding champion along with placing 15th in World Bodybuilding Championships. We are planning on discussing a Metabolic Typing Diet. In essence it teaches dieters how to first assess their own metabolism and then to choose a diet that fits their own body type. Working with a professional is important for them to assess and monitor your food intake and see what exactly forks for your body and what doesn’t. An easy way of understanding this is green light, yellow light and red light foods. Those on the “green” list are foods to be eaten all the time, Yellow light - foods to be eaten in moderation, and red light - foods to be avoided in general. According to the metabolic typing diet, there are 6 metabolic types. Unlike other diets that recommend the same plan for everyone, the metabolic typing diet recognizes that everyone is different and has their own special needs. Sine our metabolisms differ, our diets need to be reflective of this as well.

Hope you all have had a happy Tuesday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Twilight Thursday

So friends, I SWEAR there has to be a full moon out tonight, or something wrong with the drinking water in Ontario and Quebec or some sort of cosmic shift in the universe to make it become one of the most bizzaro days to throw not only my bangs of balance, but the equilibrium within me! While most of my days have been set to juggle and balance my many responsibilities and my way of life and my fitness frenzy, I have been thrown into a world of helter skelter twilightness!

Why you may ask, well today started off with my hair deciding it was going to do its own thing. Hard as I tried my hair had a mind of its own and felt the need to “express itself” - cause for celebration? I think not! I also had the pleasure of having a repair man come to my home to fix my shower and my heater (both have been acting up something weird) to have him tell me that I look better than in my pictures? A) where has he seen these pictures? B) I must have heard wrong right? and C) I should have known it was all down-hill from there. So Doug the repair man cleared up the “misunderstanding” he said he had seen my pictures the last item he was in my home fixing things oh about 3 months ago when I had stepped out to talk to some of the other workers about doing a paint job in the apartment. Needless to say I felt very uneasy at the meeting.

As for the rest of Thursday, I wont get into the details of day, but lets say I was offered “herbal” tea, given life histories (more than just about the kids)? , put in awkward situations and have felt completely out of my skin - by persons in positions of authority in the office. Work aside, my personal life is as some would say hanging by a thread. Its as if someone has painted a huge target on my back that says “Pick Me!”

Ok enough ranting and raving, Today’s outfit, like the day, is a mismatched patterned dress (to match my mismatched surreal mood) with a light grey cardi to keep me warm from the troubling winds that seem to have stirred up from the warmer weather!


What I am wearing
Dress: Buffalo by David Bitton
Sweater: BCBG (4-5 years ago)
Jewellery: ring (Aldo) bangle (Gifted)
Shoes: Flats BCBG
Belt: Club Monaco

Hopefully Tomorrow does not turn out to be Freaky Friday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Leather, Ladies, Lucien

Today was one of those perfect days where I had two great workouts (my abs are sore for the first time in months), I finished a writing a report at work, had lunch with an inspirational woman, and after all that, was able to meet up with my girls (ladies) at Chez Lucien - a favourite place of mine to share the Frieda and Diego Burger (was slightly disappointed today…), good company and conversation (neither of which was disappointing).

While the conversation flowed, way past the time we all planned to go home, we talked about my new pet project - the blog and my competition!

As you know I am preparing for a fitness competition My first - SAF (Serious About Fitness) which will be on July 16th starting at 11 am…little twist though. There is also an evening show IDFA (International Drug Free Athletics) at the same venue. I have been thinking, WHY NOT DO BOTH?!!! Since I am already going to be in peak physical condition and it really doesn’t require me to move around that much, what am I waiting for! Just do it, right? That way I can have a few supporters for both come out (and I hope you lovely people will!) and I get to re-use my outfit and all the hard work in one shot! Am I being slightly crazy? Maybe! But Some of my new found figure competition friends are telling me to go for it!

So while I may be exhausted, I think it would be great to put myself in a very vulnerable position and prove to myself I CAN DO IT…

Before I get ahead of myself, back to “the outfit”…

AND YES…my eyes are closed….can’t have a great shot everyday, and can I say yet again how picture taking is not my strong suit…

What I am Wearing

Jacket: BCBG

Tank: Aritzia

Skirt: Leather - Club C (Vintage - 30 years old - “lifted” from my aunt’s closet)

Shoes: DKNYC - Great find in New York!

Pearls: Champs Elysee - Montreal

Have a wonderful night…its officially past my bed time and need to wake up early for training.

xoxo

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rouge Red

Happy Heart day everyone! This morning I was not really in the mood to celebrate, but as the day went on, things got brighter :) Lovely people remembered me today and sent candy-grams to my work. Not to mention a co-worker baked cookies on the lower end of the GI (glycemic index) scale so I could enjoy along with the others. How an Oatmeal spiced cookie and a little heart that says “Marry Me Today” can turn the lovey feelings on in full force! So all you couples out there. I hope you embrace this day to show someone you care just how important they are.



To my single ladies! Well what can I say? This weekend I had the pleasure of spending a night with two amazing single gals. It was a gastronomic experience! Delicious food (Lasagne to die for!) and Desserts to make your mouth water. In addition to lovely dinner, The conversation was abundant, the wine was flowing as was the eye candy so carefully selected for our viewing pleasure (for those of you who enjoy some dark chocolate - pick up Love Jones). And, I was also introduced to “the Perfect Man” - How can you go wrong with that?



Honestly not planned, but the easiest thing to throw on this AM, I ended up looking more festive than planned


What I am wearing:
Sweater Dress: Simons - Twik
Jewellery: Necklace - Coach Miranda Collection
Bangles - Borrowed indefinitely.
Shoes: Coach

I am not 21 weeks out from competition date. I have solicited the advice of a nutritionist to help me plan my meals to ensure my body will be in the best shape EVER for July 16. I have 2 weeks left of mini splurges on food before the major clean up of the diet comes (4 weeks of it), followed by strict 16 week competition dieting. Hope all you lovely ladies will be there to support me! My tip for today is that its NEVER too late to get in shape. I love food as much as the next person if not more, but its all about moderation. As I was telling a client today. Think of your nutrition and eating habits as a job. Monday to Friday your are on a stricter regimen. When the weekend hits go ahead and splurge on that piece of cake or scoop of ice cream - its ok! But during the week try to ensure you are able to eat as healthy as possible. Save the sweets and treats!

Till next time : )

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Floral Express

So as many of you have ascertained its been a while since my last post. And while I am not showcasing my daily outfit today, I decided to provide you with some snapshots of a few outfits I wore over the weekend. In particular, I decided I was going to embrace winter like it never existed and think of spring as a stones throw away. Hence this weekend’s outing were filled with springtime tops - i.e. showcasing flowers! As Eckhart Tolle said: “Humans feel such fascination for and affinity with flowers’ ethereal qualities. They have provided inspiration to countless artists, poets, and mystics.”

I must say I feel the same way. A bouquet of lilies, a single tulip, a rose in bloom can provide such jubilation and can be such a powerful awakening to the senses.


What I am Wearing

Top: Aritzia

Clutch: Rudsak

What I am wearing:

Top: Floral and Jacket - Urban Behaiour

Jewelery: Necklace - F21

Jeggings: 7 For all Mankind

Knee High Boots: Rudsak

As wonderful as flowers may be, so are friends who provide similar comforts. I had the absolute pleasure of having good friends come over last night to make me the most amazing Chicken Curry possible. The recipe below has been modified slightly to include a few things that I also put in my chicken curry.

1 lb. boneless chicken, cut in to 1” cubes.
Mustard seed - one pinch
Fenugreek seed - one pinch
Cumin seed - one pinch
3-4 Curry leaves
1-2 whole, fresh green Chilli
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp. red chilli powder
½ tsp. ginger paste
½ tsp. garlic paste
1 medium sized Onions diced
½ Cup Crushed tomatoes
1 tsp Tomato Paste
1 tbsp. chopped Cilantro ( I usually put more as I love the taste of fresh cilantro)
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
½ Cup water

(your welcome to add potatoes as well)
Heat 1 Tsp. of oil in a pan. Add diced onions; stir until they are golden in color. Add ginger and garlic, fry for ½ minute. Add tomatoes, water, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder and cook for a minute or two.
1 Tsp. oil in a fry pan. Add mustard seed, fenugreek seed, cumin seed, then fry until the mustard seeds start popping. Add whole chills and stir until it is a darker color. Add curry leaves. When the leaves become soft, take them out. Add chicken and let simmer Mix all of the ingredients together with a ladle. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Skirting the Situation

So a reader of mine (wow I cant believe I get to say I have readers) asked me a question yesterday. How is it that I wear skirts and dresses to work everyday and not freeze to death?

Well the answer lies in the equipment. I do a lot of online scouting for clothes trends and accessories but one thing I also avidly look at are warm, durable, boots. Here in Ottawa, where temperatures can hit a balmy -38 I am still able to make it to work in a dress because of this most amazing purchase of Australia Luxe boots. These boots are made of sheep skin (like Uggs) but the best part, the have a built in leg warmer that I can stretch all the way up to cover my thighs and keep me warm on those blisteringly cold walks. Now they may not be the most stylish thing, but they have been well worth the investment. Previous to purchasing these boots, I was wearing my uggs (which are shorter than the Australia Luxe) and wearing leg warmers underneath. This is a much better option for when Winter is starting (i.e. -15). You can purchase shorter leg warmers and long ones as well. Mine have been bought from H and M (in an array of colours).

Here they are Below.


No outfit for today, but I will post it tomorrow.

My exercise tip of the day is to break up your workout routines. When you’re in the gym concentrate on a different body part each day or every other day. For example Mondays (Arms) Tuesdays (Legs) Thursday (Chest and Back) Saturday (shoulders and Abs). By breaking up you workout you allow you body the rest time it needs to recover from the lactic acid build up. It also allows time for your muscles to build and heal rather than tear and injure. I’ll be adding some pictures for exercises and the weeks go by. Again take the time to work on yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Back in Black

While I know everyone talks about colour and incorporating colour into their wardrobe diet, some of you will begin to notice a lot of my closet consists of outfits in black paired with pops of colour i.e. shoes, jewellery, handbag, makeup etc. Basically Black outfits are my favourite. Particularly in the sombre mood I am in for about 6 months of the year, I.e. WINTER -40 weather and just plain old grey days outside.

Today, feeling a little under the weather (after the heaps of snow we received yesterday) I decided nothing would make me feel better than to wear black. So here goes again another photo shoot with my photographer Julie. Yet another embarrassing display of vanity? I think yes…this feels absolutely absurd….As you can tell the picture is yet again stiff and uncomfortable and the best picture we took came out a bit blurry :(





What I am wearing
Dress: BCBG
Shoes: Lauren by Ralph Lauren (purchased at Town Shoes)

Bag: Coach - Sophia
Jewellery: Necklace - New York some store on Broadway
Earrings - (small pearl studs) Magnolia - St. Laurent Shopping Centre
Ring - The Bay



My story for today involves me going to the 10th floor to visit a friend for coffee. Rachel was kind enough to lend me her French Press for the entire week and supplied me with the most aromatic coffee I have had the pleasure to sniff in eons! Minding my own business, I was relishing in my new spoils when at the elevator two girls who worked in the mailroom chatted me up saying how I looked really nice (what a great compliment!) because the higher up they went in floors, the better the dressing got. SO the conversation continued until I told them I worked on the THIRD floor and we all burst out laughing. I thought it was cute : )

On the topic of sharing and giving. Another phenomenal woman gave me a recipe for a chickpea sweet potato curry. I slightly modified her version so it could be part of my crazy competition dieting so here goes the recipe and a picture to prove how delish it truly was.



Coconut Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry
1 bag pearl onions
1.5 cups sweet potato (peeled and chopped) - you can now get peeled and chopped sweet potato
1.5 cups turnip squash (Peeled and chopped - ditto
1 can chickpeas (drained and washed)
1 TSP Paprika
1 TSP Cumin
1 TSP Coconut Milk Powder
Garlic
Ginger
Cilantro/Corriandre to taste
1 TBSP Pataks Spicy Curry Paste

Served with Fluffed Quinoa

C’est tout pour Moi!

N

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Divine Damask

I woke up at 4:45 A.M. this morning to a fury of white gusting snow getting ready for one of my morning training sessions and I thought, the only thing that’s going to make me feel better is to stay at home. Though that wasn’t an option I decided to take a piece of “home” with me…mon papier peint robe (i.e. my wallpaper dress). This Damask dress always makes me feel warm and cozy….though because its silk a sweater is required during the cold winter months, plus the word damask just sounds so rich, warm and inviting.

What I am wearing

Sweater: Forever 21
Dress: Banana Republic
Tights: Jessica (Sears)
Shoes: DKNYC
Jewelery: Coach (Miranda Collection) - Necklace, Earrings and Ring
Bangles - “Borrowed indefinitely” from my Aunt

Now a little background on the picture taking process. This is extremely difficult to do. I have asked my friend Julie (and if there are others who want to help me with this) to take pictures of me at work, because I don’t really have a good set up at home to do it. I am “tripod” less, I can barely function my camera, let alone take pictures of myself where disaster is I am sure to ensue. So today, Julie and I went down by the cafeteria - well after lunch to try and take these photos. I’m sorry if I look stiff and out of place, because well I felt stiff (due to the cold draft) and out of place. Plus I forgot my camera, so this was taken with the trusty Blackberry Camera…I am sure these awkward moments will continue so please bear with me as I try to get comfortable being in the spotlight.

Before I could even get into the dress, and ready for work it was into the workout clothes and off to the gym. Today’s workout 1 - was shoulders and back - My morning routine. I will head back to the gym this afternoon for Workout 2 - a good bought of cardio to help burn off some of that excess fat (and a little bit of muscle as well unfortunately).

My tip for today is just for everyone to get out there. We all become couch potatoes as soon as we get home so resist that temptation. You don’t need to go to a gym but just get up and out the door for a brisk walk, a tennis class, skiing…whatever is enjoyable to you. If you don’t like lifting weights or pounding the pavement, you’re not going to enjoy it AND at the end of it all, fall of the tracks. Do something that you enjoy and you will see yourself getting more and more out of it - more energy, better mood, and a sense of accomplishment. Pack your workout clothes and take them to work with you that way you wont have an excuse but to your activity of choice. Remember getting 30 minutes to 1 hour exercise daily is a must, especially for those of us who are constantly sitting for work.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Golden




TAKING A BITE OUT OF LIFE…..


There are many things I want to say in my first post. Firstly, to the phenomenal women who have come into my life in full force. You’re inspirational! This blog would not have happened if it wasn’t for one of those phenomenal women - my friend Julie who does a little blogging of her own. And to all the others who’s wisdom, words of encouragement and warmth will also be woven into my own story - which I hope some of you will read out there!

As you can tell, my blog (first ever) will be about the many things in my life that I love and am passionate about - the triple F: Fashion, Fitness, and Food. I wanted to call this blog a fine balance because I feel we all walk the tightrope of juggling many different things in our lives that are important and worth talking about. It’s a balancing act - learning how to not get totally consumed by one thing or the other. For myself, I try to take a holistic approach to life - incorporating my three favourite Loves (it was hard to choose) and creating a balance in what my friends know - is very hectic but rewarding life.

So why the triple F?

Well those of you know me know that I am inspired by clothes. I love how a great outfit can just make your day go so much better, the way a pair of comfortable pumps can put a spring in your step, or how a piece of jewellery can put that twinkle in my eye. Particularly where I work, the fashion - Gatineau-chic- as I like to call it, is at times questionable. Though there are those that still never fail to surprise!

Most of you also know I moonlight as a Personal Trainer. Before I became a Servant of the Public, I worked as a Kinesiologist and I miss my past life dearly. It’s so important to incorporate physical activity into your daily life. Personally for me, it keeps me sane, helps to relieve stress and it is addictive. So to keep up with my craft, I continue to work with clients and myself. I have decided that in order for me to give the best possible advice to my clients, I am going to enter my first Fitness competition. I am 23 weeks away from competition date, so part of the blog will discuss my ups and downs with Competition prep, (the dieting, the exercising, but most of all giving tips and inspiration to those out there to get fit!)

And last but not least - FOOD. The best conversations, happen around food, and its cultural for me. I have grown up in the kitchen surrounded by extended family, eating together, laughing together, and loving together. The same has transpired with my friends (who’re family) where most of our time spent together has been with a good bottle of wine, cheese plate or some scrumptious meal. SO why not talk about some of the best meals shared along with some recipes.

Since this is my first blog and my first post I hope I wont disappoint and I hope I will be able to deliver. I’ve decided to dust off the pieces of me that are important and share them.

As the talented Jill Scott would say, I’m living my life like it’s Golden…

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