What's A Mala Anyways?

Mala’s have become very popular lately. They look gorgeous but they also can serve a function.

 

What are the made from?

Many different materials are used in the making of mala’s. I’ve seen beads made from animal bone, different stones and rocks.

Mine here is from  Mala and Me  made from black onyx. "  Black Onyx   assists with challenges in life, especially those caused by a drain of energy. This stone can help you to feel comfortable within yourself and in your surroundings.  Black Onyx is said to promote self-control helping the wearer to keep excessive emotions and passions under control, while keeping you protected."

Mine here is from Mala and Me made from black onyx. "Black Onyx  assists with challenges in life, especially those caused by a drain of energy. This stone can help you to feel comfortable within yourself and in your surroundings. Black Onyx is said to promote self-control helping the wearer to keep excessive emotions and passions under control, while keeping you protected."

What are they used for?

They can be worn with the intention of the stones/gems they are made from protecting/helping you. Traditionally malas have been used in helping meditation. Using the beads on the necklace to help repeat an intention or a point of focus in meditation. 

I had surgery on Monday and since I have been spending time meditating on healing. With each bead I repeat to myself over and over "I am healing and healthy".
 

mala.jpg

Why 108 beads?

I've heard many reasons behind the 108 beads. The number 108 comes up in many ways, including even the fact that the suns diameter is exactly 108 times the size of the earth's.

My super sweet bracelete from  Eliasz and Ella

My super sweet bracelete from Eliasz and Ella

What about the bracelets? 

I also love bracelets. I think they look pretty stacked on wrists with different colours, but I use them for quick little reminders. While I'm waiting in the car to pick up my daughters from school or while I'm teaching and people are laying in Savanasa. A moments to align with my intentions for myself and my day. Sometimes I use no mantra and just use it to count a few deep breaths.

The mystery of the mala solved. 

Love

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

The Chopped Leaf Beet Bowl

Recently The Chopped Leaf launched the new Beet Bowl. Now I will let you in on a secret. I hate Beets. *gasp* Okay I should say I USED to hate beets. I tried. I really tried to like them, but I've never found a way I like them. They are super good for you. They are high in vitamin c (good for immunity) and fiber (good for nutrient absorbtion) and other essential minerals.

From an Ayurvedic standpoint they are good for all constitution types and are known as a powerful blood builder and treater of ailments because of it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

So last week I went into try the new Beet Bowl for lunch. It came in this pretty bowl. And we all know we eat with our eyes first right? The colorful bowl certainly makes a pretty display.

This bowl is packed full of nutrients and deliciousness. The blueberries create this nice sweetness, and the smooth feta adds a bit of saltiness getting that sweet and salty taste just right. The pecans add a wonderful crunch with the crisp lettuce, and the brown basmati rice adds a heartiness to the dish, leaving you feeling satisfied. Add the beets and top with the honey dijon dressing and perfecto! The sweet, salty and slightly sour from the honey dijon make a trifecta of tastes. In Ayurveda these three tastes are even known to be the three of comfort. 

One bite has all this

One bite has all this

I topped my bowl with smoked tofu since I'm a vegetarian, but they have other protein options or eat it on it own! At just 190 calories for the starter size this bowl is super satisfying and easily added to most's eating plans. 

Make sure you check out The Chopped Leaf giveaway and enter to win prizes they are giving away weekly!

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

Fitness Gear Review - MY Zone Heart Rate Monitor

I've been teaching yoga at the RVX gym all summer and they have all their athletes wear these heart rate monitors. There is a big t.v up on the wall so the trainers can see their efforts in real time. Pretty cool. I enjoyed watching the heart rates go up and slow way down from the yoga I was teaching them. 

I was so intrigued that I just had to get myself one of these My Zone Heart Rate Monitors. I have to admit, I'm a little obsessed with it. 

Since it goes around the torso, rather then the wrist as in a watch there is constant contact getting the results of monitoring to be %99.4 accurate. 

It's easy to wear and you can't even see it under a shirt. 

It shows you on an app on your phone your effort. Showing where your heart rate is in different "zones". Where I am assuming where they get their name from. 

The brilliant thing about these zones is that you are rewarded points or as they call it MEP's for every minute you are in a different zone. The harder you work the more points per minute you get. Hence their slogan "Effort Rewarded". These points can be added up for challenges, personal goals or competing against friends. You can add your friends and see where they are at with their workouts. You can help motivate them by a little friendly competition. Not that I know about this or anything........ Oh and they just added an update where you can post a photo to your feed with your workout!

Since you also plug in all your personal info, including your age and weight etc it tracks your caloric burn during a workout. It's fascinating to see the difference from what the cardio machine at the gym is telling you and your actual amount. 

I have found myself pushing a little harder in workouts, if not because I see my heart rate in a lower zone, but because I want more MEP's! Either way I'm motivated!

The thing that super impressed me about this monitor is that I wore it during the Spartan Super race I did, running through mud and swimming across a river and it stayed in place AND it still works! I wasn't near my phone, but it will track up to 16 hours of your workout for you and upload it when you are near your phone again. 

Overall, I'm super happy with my purchase and continue to love my new workout gear. I believe you can get them online at the My Zone website or you can buy them through a local retailer like I did at RVX Factor Gym here in Edmonton. 

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

What's That Barre About?

Every thought about trying out a barre class? Yeah that was me. A friend and I have thought about it for a while and weren't sure. I figured I would try and blog about it so you can see if it's something you wanted to try! I'll experiment on my body for you like that. We cool.

Thursday night my two friends and I went to Xtend Barre in south Edmonton and tried out a class! First of all this brand new studio is super gorgeous and the people that work there are amazingly friendly and inviting! I mean I know I have tried many different things in fitness, but always embarking on a new journey can be a little intimidating and these guys treat you like a best friend the second you walk in the door.

So we walk in and fill out our forms and get ready for class. Fist thing is we grab some equipment. Some straps, mat, ball and choose our size hand weights. Now, let me tell you a bit about my ego. There are 2, 3 and 5 lbs weights. And I'm all like, "I lift weights, where's the 15 lbs weights?" and Cheryl is all like "3 lbs is challenging and 5 lbs is like hard core". I almost grabbed the 5lbs, but last second thought, I'm a newbie I'll go 3. *Insert rolling laughter from everyone ever who has taken a barre class*.

We get all set up and start on some warm up movements. It was pretty good, I felt loosened up and got a grasp of hand placcement and footing. I had concerns about how complicated it was going to be, especially after I saw the equipment we needed, but the moves are simple and easy to follow.

After warming up we grab our weights get to some strength. Yeah so I'm a weightlifter..... I can hip thrust a whopping 270 lbs. These 3 lbs weights kicked my ass. Well shoulders, but you get the idea. I seriously part way through had to put those suckers down and do just bodyweight. Which is a wonderful option for newbies to fitness too. It's totally still a good workout. 

We got to some more bodyweight stuff......

Happy Chris doing her favorite move, tricep dips. With a pointed toe twist of course. 

Happy Chris doing her favorite move, tricep dips. With a pointed toe twist of course. 

Then we hit the bar. Where I learned, it doesn't matter how fit you are, you can ALWAYS learn something new. I'm totally proud of my capabilities to perform a very good squat with my butt back and low. But Cheryl had to keep correcting me to tuck my pelvis the other direction. Not a squat but a plie! Let's talk about using new muscles! yowza!

Then my FAVORITE, core work!!!!!

Overall we had a total blast. Chris and Melissa proclaimed to be very sore yesterday. I wasn't as sore since I taught 7 hours of yoga and stretched all day, but I can feel it still in some parts of my body!

My overall take on barre:

  • Great workout, with something available for all levels to get a challenge.
  • Very simple to follow, with easy transitions between exercises. 
  • Fun upbeat music.
  • What I liked best was it was almost like a taste of being a dancer, without the intimidation or seriousness. We were just some friends hanging out and having fun, while learning a new way of fitness. My friend Melissa was actually a dancer as a child and she said it reminded her of her dancing years and she will definitely go back. 

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Grip socks are required. This particular studio offers them for sale, but I see them all the time at Walmart or Shoppers or places like Keylime Athletic Wear.
  • Keep within your limits and rest if needed.

Overall, I'm a fan and will go back for sure! Have you tried a barre class? Will you?

Love, 

Jen

Nutrient Packed Smoothie

I'm a busy lady. As most of us are. I also love smoothies, but I sometimes despise pulling out 5 million ingredients to make a simple healthy and nutritious smoothie. 

So here is the easiest way to pack some nutrients into your day without the pain of finding and pulling out ingredients. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 - cup coconut water depending on if you like your smoothies thicker or not. If you do not have coconut water, plain ol tap water will suit you just fine. 
  • 1 scoop concentrated greens - I used the Balance Diet Spa Boost 

Blend everything together and back you go to your busy day!

I like to use this as a pick me up in the afternoon especially since I find myself liking something a little sweet mid day. If you wanted to make this more into a meal replacement I would add some protein powder and your favorite milk instead of water. 

I like using the concentrated greens since its an easy and quick way to get in a bunch of health benefits in one little drink! The pineapple is a great anti-inflammatory and the coconut water a wonderful hydrator, so drink them all summer long, staying full of energy.

Love, 

Jen