Five Reasons Why I’m Joyful

Whew..! Today is the first day following the three days in Bangkok at Asia Fitness Conference and Expo 2015.

My iPhone is filled with new sports photos and videos that I’d watch again and again. Several dozen new people show up in my Facebook friends feed. My muscles are aching after hours of physical activity, and my head is overflowing with information, as well as my heart is full of joy and gratitude. This makes life worth living.

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Ten different classrooms, three of which held a few hundred people, 2,000 participants from 30 countries, dozens of fitness celebrities and coaches (mainly from Canada and the U.S.), 60 various sessions daily. This is how big the event was. Thirty-minute breaks between sessions passed as if they were just five minutes: ask the coach some questions, take some photos, talk to the old and new friends, check out new equipment, eat an apple or banana, and remember what session is up next. This makes it worth to learn and know English.

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The feeling that I’m in the right place, doing what I truly love, didn’t leave me for all three days. During this time in Bangkok, the only places I’ve visited were the airport, the hotel, and that building where AFC2015 was held. And only on the last evening I visited a Japanese cafe. This makes it worth to do things you love.

There are the list of my classes: fitness dance, plyometric jumps, crazy core, boot camp workouts, Power Plate & ViPR, TRX dance, TRX Mobility, TRX Partner Fusion, headstands, kettlebells, vocal athlete, coaching, Latin dance, Bulgarian bag workout, yoga flow with African music and moves. And I must have a Thai massage with a huge layer of warming ointment on the last day. This makes it worth to train your body.

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As always, the best things about all this were the people. The people who are open, kind, intelligent, and full of joy doing their thing. Each one of more than two thousand was ready to chat. It was safe and easy to leave your backpack near the wall in a large room and enjoy your workout! This makes it worth to trust the Universe.

Learning from this experience is up next. Dealing with theses, handouts and exercises. Understanding why, with whom, and how to use them. I promise that in November, I will finish preparing a program of mix training, which will include the best of what I’ve learned during this weekend.

Continuous improvement

Today, the hero of my blog is Artem Ismagilov. He wasn’t known to have any prior professional swimming experience, however, on the 8th day of the 8th month of 2015 (2+0+1+5 also equals 8) he managed to swim eight kilometers in open water in several hours!

Artem encourages everyone with his improvement and way of life. I watched him become a sports snowboarder from a professional one, and then he moved to stock photography. Both times were vastly successful. At the same time, Artem came third in the Russian Wakeboarding Championship, met his beautiful wife and became a father of two lovely kids. He chose to quit photography, started shooting video and again succeeded as an art-director of the company’s new direction as a video studio.

This year he tried something new – the first in his life swim in open water from shore to shore. Artem accepted this challenge thrown down by his friend Andrei Shishkin. Andrei is also an athlete, who thoroughly prepares for sports events with professional coaches using all the latest technologies. He was sure that it’s impossible to swim 8 kilometers across the lake without the help of a coach. Artem decided to prove that motivation and self-preparation are more important. They had a bet. Andrei has put his fancy sports bike at stake, and Artem has promised to get a tattoo if he loses.

Eight is the lucky number for the entire project: besides being the symbol of infinity, and the fact that the swim happened on the 8th day of the 8th month, even a bicycle is similar to number 8 in shape.

Artem had six months to get prepared. The task was to swim 8 kilometers in open water. In fact, the active phase of his preparation began three months before the event. His job and errands caused the delay. However, the time came when Artem realized that if he doesn’t start now, he won’t succeed. And so he began.

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Eight rules for his preparation:

  1. Perform the most difficult swim for the first time to check your capabilities and set a starting point;
  2. Look through thematic forums and talk with people who did long swims in open water before. Define the goal based on the test swim and draw up the training program;
  3. Draw up a weekly training schedule: one training session in the pool, 2-3 workouts in open water for a few hours each (the lakes are 100 km away) as well as running, skipping rope, and stretching;
  4. Continually estimate your time limits of being in open water and work to increase them (interval endurance swims, alternating rhythm and speed);
  5. Perform strength swims (swim with the same rhythm and speed as long as possible);
  6. A buoy attached to you should contain a running uniform, a phone for navigation and training tracking, as well as Isostar sports nutrition;
  7. Listen to your body and adjust the training on the go;
  8. Watch your breath and learn to breathe correctly.

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Uvildy lake in Chelyabinsk region has been chosen for the swim. The swimmer could stay in the water as long as he wanted, have a rest and eat. The swimmer loses if he grabs the buoy, touches the boat or admits that he lost.

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Eight rules for the swim:

  1. Form a support team in the boat and on the shore near the finish line;
  2. Attach the same sports nutrition to the buoy that was used during the training;
  3. Create a playlist with favorite music, which gives an emotional charge during the swim;
  4. Find the right rhythm and get into it, which helps to move with ease for a long time;
  5. Be mentally and physically prepared for different weather: head tide and waves;
  6. Be familiar with the lake for the swim (Artem admitted that he made a mistake not having a single training session in Uvildy lake);
  7. The buoy should contain only an essential number of items and food to avoid its weight collecting seaweed and creating unneeded obstacles for the swim;
  8. Always remember the goal: to feel the shore and land underfoot. This helps to swim up to the very end.

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This summer wasn’t particularly hot. Artem trained 4-5 times a week, regularly traveling to the lakes in any weather. His wetsuit, movement, family and friends’ support helped to not get cold. Dedication helped, too. Three months of training have passed quickly. The big day has come. Artem puts on his wetsuit, hat and goes into the water. He swam longer than he expected. There was one time when Artem was swimming but he wasn’t moving towards the shore for nearly an hour. As soon as he realized this, he immediately changed his technique, and began to approach the finish line again. The last two kilometers were the most difficult. He was ready to quit several times, to get out and get a tattoo. But he didn’t give up. Artem swam for four and a half hours to cover more than eight kilometers and won the bet. When he reached the shore, people applauded him, while he hardly remembered his name. He could barely speak. But he did it!

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“It’s hard to imagine that I started with one kilometer three months ago!” – Artem says, looking back at that day. “I’ve done what matters most – I’ve changed myself. Although, I must say that when you freak out in the water for several hours straight, all the tattoos, bikes, and all the numbers, including eight, become insignificant. I distinctly remember that the best thing for me that day was to feel solid ground under my feet.”

Everything happens for a reason

Natalia and I studied together. We were both television journalism students with prior TV work experience. You might expect something interesting with such a background, right? Natalia, now 29 years old, first worked as a translator and then as a PR-manager in a foreign company before eventually ending up as a yoga instructor.

In Natalia’s words, everything in her life has flowed naturally: twice living and working in the USA, a second higher education degree at the Department of Oriental Studies, teaching yoga, studying Japanese in Tokyo for three years and working in a show business. But I don’t think people’s lives are determined by luck. Natalia knows how to dream, and perhaps more importantly, how to make her dreams a reality.

Me: Why did you go to the East, to the origins of yoga?

It had always been my dream. After living in America I could speak English pretty well at the age of 22 and I decided that one foreign language was not enough for me. I had always wanted to visit Japan that is why I chose Japanese. This language is interesting and pretty hard to learn. Plus, three years of living in Japan is a fantastic experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve experienced and compared European, American and Asian ways of thinking. And it’s been fascinating in speaking of our perceptions of the world.

The photo is a personal archive of Natalia. Model's work in Tokyo
The photo is a personal archive of Natalia. Model’s work in Tokyo

Me: Did yoga change you?

Yes, it did. Nothing would have happened without it; I couldn’t have earned enough money for my education and I wouldn’t have had the strength to change my life so radically.  I feel it gave me the belief that no matter what I chose to do everything would be fine.

Me: So how did it happen?

My plan was to learn Japanese and to get to know the country but sometimes things do not go according to a plan. So I first worked as a translator, then as a model, and then finally found my place in show business. I met many famous people and went to the gigs of rock bands that I’d been listening to since I was a teenager. I never thought I would see them perform live!

Natalia and Paul Stanly in Tokyo
Natalia and Paul Stanly in Tokyo

Me: Wow, how do you combine yoga and rock music?

Easily! I’ve loved rock music since I was 14 years old. This is one of the reasons why I was so lucky to be able to work with rock musicians in Japan. When you’re able to tell Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit: “Hey dude, I was listening to your songs when I was a teen, thank you for your music!”,  you can understand each other pretty well. By the way, there is a popular American yoga instructor with black eyeliner and leather bracelets whose motto is, “Rock your pose! Rock your body!”

Me: Does she practice with rock music?

No (laughing). I’m also true to my temperament and I prefer dynamic yoga – ashtanga vinyasa. This yoga is for energetic people; it suits better to people with western cost of mind. Madonna, Sting and many other successful people do practice it. Yoga helps them to balance their eventful life and prevents them from getting bored during practice.

The photo is a personal archive of Natalia
The photo is a personal archive of Natalia

Me: When you just getting started, which way is better – to practice yoga with instructor or to do it by yourself?

I recommend to practice with professional instructor for the first months. As soon as you get the basics and learn how to feel your body you can try to do it by yourself. Goes without saying that practice with instructor cannot be compared to practice with videotape.

Me: Some beginners have health problems after yoga. What do you think about that?

It happens, and it is quite normal. When you are doing yoga all your muscles are working really hard. Some of them cannot actually be trained on any gym machines. So when you touch some previously stabilized old problems you can feel some pain. Your old injuries can “wake up”. You can even feel something than have never bothered you before. Do not panic. Just tell your instructor about it and he or she will help you to deal with it. You should not endure the pain or give up doing yoga. Your task is to find your optimal load. After that the pain will be gone and will never disturb you again. It applies to musculoskeletal system. But if you have some problems with your blood pressure or headaches, it is better to see a doctor and find a cause.

Me: Who comes to practice yoga?

Yoga is intellectual training. It is usually the choice of educated and successful people. Some people are doing yoga for muscle stretching or because of health problems and they are getting more than expected. Yoga means strength and flexibility of your body, balance and calmness of your mind. If your spine is healthy, you are healthy. Many people cannot live without final shavasana relaxation. It is an ideal asana for having rest after a workday.

Me: That’s right! I’m ready to see my Vietnamese instructor anytime only because of shavasana with stroking and head massage!

Yeah, I use this technique too. And I learnt it in Asia. It is not actually “stroking” (laughing). It is the way your instructor can help you to relax and take more comfortable position. Sometimes you cannot lie down comfortably by yourself, and it is very important. And also an energetic aspect should not be excepted.

Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio
Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio

Me: Can yoga be combined with gym workouts?

Yes, but not at the same day. You should not underestimate the exercise stress of yoga. If you combine them, you will just be tired. It is really cool to do yoga with run or any other cardio exercises.

Me: What about your nutrition?

My basic principle is to listen to the body. If you want to eat some cake: find a reason why. And then let yourself to eat this cake easily and with pleasure. If you want to eat cakes every day, you should definitely find a reason. Maybe it is lack of glucose. You should check it with a dietician. Do not eat something that makes you feel heaviness; eat the food, which you are enjoying to eat. My diet is based on a principle of inverted pyramid: I eat most of the food in the morning and noon. In the afternoon I eat less, proteins prevail, and I exclude carbohydrates and floury food.

Me: Do you eat meat?

I used to eat a lot of meat. In the last six months I eat only white meat and it is not because any ethical issues. I realized that red meat makes my body heavier. Sometimes I have up to 5 workouts a day so I need proteins. That is why I prefer to eat fish and chicken. My only weakness is Korean cuisine.

Me: How did you come to love Korean cuisine while living in Japan?

It happened accidentally. My language school was in a Korean district of Tokyo.

Me: What is the conception of your life?

I like yoga principles in respect to modern life. In every period of life things should happen when they are supposed to be happening. You should not give up your youth for enlightenment. If you like to drink with your friends, do it even if you practice yoga. Do stupid things, gain some life experience. There are many limitations in our life, don’t make more. Practice yoga and try to feel your body. Do no harm. Give more than you take. Don’t wait for anything in return. “Practice yoga and you’ll have everything”. I am the best example of this saying.

Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio
Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio

Me: What is your ideal of beauty?

It is when everything is real and natural. You have to do a lot to look naturally beautiful. I mean sport and healthy nutrition. It is much easier to do make up.

Me: What is the freedom?

In my opinion, freedom is wrong idea. What kind of happiness can be found in the freedom? For example, it is so good to be depending on your beloved person! Or find your place in society. Friends and job are limiting our freedom but give us a lot more instead

Me: Why did you come back to Russia?

I decided that it was time to progress in yoga. Neon lights of Tokyo led me a bit away from my main goal. I have just passed through selection into international fitness holding company “Citrus” fitness-club. So now intensive training is in process. Now I’m on the way that I’m going to be on for all my life. I had to change something. It is always a regress without a progress.

Me: What’s next? What are your plans for the future?

I’m going to go to California soon to have a 200-hours class of yoga instructor and get an international level certificate. In my greater plans I’m going to create my own unique approach of yoga practice.

That is so awesome! Will you come to our production studio for some pictures and videos before you go?

Yes, with pleasure!

The sport takes place in all weathers

We can find many reasons to postpone our sport activities: with children and job we have no time for sport, not enough money to buy a gym membership, can’t go to workout alone and so on. But there are many people among us who can’t find any reason to refuse to have healthy lifestyle. Andrey has a wife, a daughter, a job and many additional projects. He doesn’t spend a single ruble to a gym membership because for more than a year he works out outdoors in all weathers. Yes, that’s right! He’s outdoors even in the severe Russian winter!

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Schoolboy in a gym

Andrey’s first sports motivation was Alexey Serebryakov, the son of his mother’s friend. Alexey is Powerlifting Junior World Champion; record holder of Russia in squats and holder of the Guinness record in pulling trains and a TU-134. Ninth grader Andrey wanted to be such strong and big too. He began his workouts in a school gym, and then continued in university. Alexey and other experienced guys were helping him answering numerous questions. Sports magazines were informational source for workout programs.

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Family, couch and TV-set

The adult life has begun: family, home, a child. There were no free of charge school or university gym anymore. But there were a couch and a TV-set, and even an alcohol. And also cookies, waffles and a computer chair in the office. So in a year Andrey’s weight increased from 83 to 110 kg. He still remembers his reflection and the moment when he said to himself: “I am never going to be fat again!”

Reappearance

Five workouts a week for 40 minutes each did the job. Andrey has lost 20 kg in six months! It was usual isolated workouts for different muscle groups plus qualitative nutrition and 20 km on the bike every day.

For the last two years Andrey is having workouts only on city training areas (street workout). He is doing it in the morning before going to work, when there’s nobody to interrupt, he is in the forest and birds are singing. By the way, this training area is considered to be the biggest street workout area in the world (750 square meters in Chelyabinsk city, Russia). Andrey still uses his bike every day and gets home faster than his wife driving a car during a rush hour.

Andrey uses training programs of two teams: madbars.com and barstarzz.com. You can find many motivating factors in street workout: studying different elements on a horizontal bar, combining them and forming a program with some cool music. Per se, it is a self-expression.

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Street workouts during winter

Last winter Andrey had workouts every day despite weather. He decided to use planning thinking so he had goals with specific time frames. One of his goals was to workout hundred days without a break. He was doing static exercises and planks instead of having rest. They say that a person needs 21 days to form a habit. Andrey did it in 35 days. On the next day he realized that he just was ready to get up and have a workout. His record is 20-minute training when it was -37 degrees Celsius outside! That moment when you are awesome just because you walked to the training area :). It turned out he was not the only awesome person that day as Andrey has met a man on a bike (!) and skiers in the forest!

Andrey had full one-hour workouts when it was -20-25 degrees of Russian winter in Ural. He doesn’t like to have workouts at home. Because it is some kind of ritual when you go somewhere out. And home is a place for having rest.

Motivation of the life

I asked Andrey about his life concept and he answered: “Life is a project with no specified time frames, but it is limited. All people have something in common. This is a death. Everybody lives how he or she wants to. You can drink or do something else. It is up to you. The point is that every day the time frames of your life project are decreasing. I want my daughter to have positive image of the father. That is why I quit smoking and drinking. My child sees me eating healthy food and having regular workouts, riding a bike, thinking of something new. That is my motivation”.

A healthy dinner in 20 minutes!

Most people think that you have to spend a lot of time to cook a healthy food. But this is not true. I usually spend 20-30 minutes to cook dinner. Of course, sometimes you have to do some preparations but it is not the reason to eat something unhealthy.

For example, sometimes I boil beet and keep it in a fridge till next day. While the beet is boiling you can do some housework if you want. Also I always have some defrosted ready-to-cook fish in my fridge.

So yesterday I cooked salmon steak. I used multi-cooker and added some olive oil. As for spices, I used some salt, dried mint, a little bit of rosemary and juice of fresh lemon. Because of multi-cooker I cooked it really fast – in 10 minutes. You can also stew the fish in a frying pan with an olive oil and some water for 15 minutes.

I also cooked vegetable salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, fresh cucumber and sweet pepper. As for dressing, I used my favorite balsamic vinegar, some olive oil and black pepper. To diversify my meal I grated some beet and added olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some sesame.

Bon appetite! 🙂

Sports family

I finally arrived in Russia! I always spend first two days recovering from the effects of jet lag and acclimatizing. That’s why I don’t do any weightlifting or cardio exercises. These days I did yoga at home on an empty stomach.

On third day (it was a day-off) I went to neighboring city to visit my brother Dima and his wife Alyona. We had a cottage cheese and banana cake for breakfast, and went to a gym an hour after. That day I started muscle-strengthening exercises again and trained my legs and buttocks. My brother had been doing exercises for the back and arms and Alyona went to aerobic session.

with bro :)
with bro 🙂

In 20 minutes after training I always eat a fruit. The point is to stop muscle damage after the training when adrenaline and cortisol levels are increasing. Alyona and I don’t want to increase muscle bulk (we want to lose weight) so we ate apples. My brother is gaining weight, so he ate two bananas. On the way home we bought frozen seafood and then had lunch – buckwheat noodles with vegetables and seafood. Very delicious!

Delicious latter with hazelnut in a chocolate in a cheating Saturday :)
Delicious latter with hazelnut in a chocolate in a cheating Saturday 🙂

So I spent excellent family day off: relatives, delicious and healthy food, training and walking through the city. I also had a hot latte with hazelnut in chocolate as a snack! Saturday is the only day when I can allow myself to eat some sweets.

Miss my bro! :) Didn't see each other for almost a year
Miss my bro! 🙂 Didn’t see each other for almost a year

 

How a programmer from Seattle became the manager of a fitness club

27-years-old Tony is a fitness manager in one of the most prestigious clubs of 10-millionth Ho Chi Minh City – California Centuryon. He was born in the same American city as Bill Gates, Bruce Lee, companies Boeing and Amazon. Here in Seattle he grown up, was educated and began his fitness career. He is a kind and sympathetic person and always helps me with professional sports information.

Recently I have interviewed him and found out some details of his professional activities. I also asked him about life principles which directly influence the results of person who is keen on fitness.

— How did you come to sport and fitness?
— I had been studying computer science in one of the colleges in Seattle. I had been sitting in front of the computer round the clock drinking lots of coffee and eating chips and burgers. I was fat. Then I found part-time job as a sales manager in a fitness club. I got carried away by fitness and completed the course of personal trainer. At the same time I worked in the club as assistant of fitness manager. When the previous manager has left, I was offered a promotion. Thus I became Seattle fitness club manager when I was 21.

— Why did you move to Saigon? Many Russians dream of living in Seattle!
— I have a friend from Seattle, he is a trainer and fitness manager and he lives and works in Vietnam for several years. Two years ago he offered me a job in Saigon. I agreed because I want to get life experience in other countries. In the next 20 years I’m not going to return to America. I would like to live in some other countries during that time.

— Who are you now?
— I’m a businessman who helps fitness club clients to enjoy fitness.

— Do you like it?
— Yes, I do. After several years of work as a personal trainer you will know all body types, how to work with them and potential results. Of course it is nice to help specific people. But I already want more global results. Now I’m helping more than 750 clients of our club.

— How much do you work?
— 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

— Do you agree with the opinion that Americans are workaholics and prefer career to family?
— Yes, and I like it.

— What does happiness mean for you?
— To win and be the first. I had always been on the top — in school, in college, in fitness club.

— What is your life philosophy?
— To enjoy and to progress.

— What is your fitness philosophy?
— Be handsome and fit. I think that the main goal in fitness for the most clients is beauty, not the health. Exactly the beauty! And I’m glad that I help my clients to be beautiful and sexy.

— What is your nutrition?
— It comes from the following: to see health and to feel healthy is completely different parameters. But everyone can see the beauty. So if you want to be handsome you have to be healthy in the first place. Reduce the amount of carbohydrates.

— What do you think about sport supplements?
— They are very important but they cannot replace the food. Your diet should be balanced.

— What are supplements for? For the health or for the beauty?
— They are for quick result.

— How long are you going to live?
— 75 years.

— Thank you for your time and for the interview!
— You are very welcome! See you in the club!

My nutrition or how to increase the immunity and loose 6 kg a month

Today I’m going to tell you about my nutrition that saved me from permanent colds and illnesses. It also helped my dad to lose six kg a month, my mom – three kg, and my boyfriend has lost four kg a month!

More than two years ago I had permanent immunity problems. It forced me to study different nutrition researches. I found out how the food influenced our health and lifetime.

Analysis of food preferences of people from different countries led scientists to impressive results. People with complex illnesses started to feel better; they got rid of symptoms and as a result had an eventful high-quality life for more than 80 years. It is not a one-time diet: first results can be seen only after 6-12 months. This is the diet for the whole life.

Having read lots of information I realized that everything we eat is potentially affecting our lifetime. I decided I love myself so much that I’m ready to stop eating cookies, chocolate, meat, mayonnaise and so on. That’s right; two years ago I’d been eating it every day!

So here is the summary of all the information that I’ve found in internet about a healthy diet. It became my healthy lifestyle program.

I harshly changed my nutrition. We discussed all the information on family council and decided to change our diet together.

First two weeks were the hardest. When we went to a supermarket we realized that at least 80% of food selling there was unhealthy. I had a headache after 30 minutes of reading lists of ingredients. During two first weeks I was hungry all the time. At such moments I’ve been eating the small amount of fruits, vegetables or nuts. But then everything has changed! I felt lightness and cheerfulness; it seemed there was more positive in my life and my brain started to work better and faster.

Later I felt terrible after eating something unhealthy (pizza, chocolate or French fries) and I didn’t ever want to eat it again.

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So here are my nutrition principles and their reasons*:
*Please, pay attention there aren’t prescriptions. This is just my personal experience. And this is your personal or your doctor responsibility to choose and/or prescribe any diet.

Principle Reason
(how I explain the reasons for myself*)
Exclusion of gluten: no wheat flour, barley or rye. It means you have to exclude bread, sweets, wheat noodles, kvass, beer, whisky, and oatmeal. Wheat, barley and rye contain gluten. It makes your intestinal walls thinner so pathogenic bacteria can penetrate into your blood. They also contain proteins, which cause cancer and autoimmune diseases.
90% exclusion of dairy products: milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and sour cream. Dairy products contain unhealthy proteins; they also contain fats, which cause different diseases and shorten your lifetime. I drink a cup of coffee with milk once a day.
Exclusion of red meat: beef, pork, and mutton. Researchers say that you can eat boiled beef or mutton once a week. Meat contains saturated fats, which increase your cholesterol level and the risk to heart disease and diabetes.
Saturated fats were replaced with unsaturated. For example, I don’t have any sunflower oil at home, but I eat more olive oil, nuts, red fish and olives.

I also reduced the amount of eggs consumption.

Saturated fats are increasing cholesterol level.
Exclusion of legumes: haricot, peanuts, and peas. I eat soy sauce but only with sashimi 🙂 Legumes contain unhealthy proteins, which can cause undesirable immune reactions or may be reason of cancer diseases.
Exclusion of sweets, any drinks from the shop, food with high content of sugar. They cause undesirable immune reactions; reduce intestinal flora.
Exclusion of semi-prepared foods e.g. sausages. Also mayonnaise and ketchup. Large amount of saturated fats. Plus you cannot control the production of this food and you never know what it contains.

Here is the list of my food daily plan:

  • Fish and seafood – two times a day for lunch and dinner;
  • Lots of vegetables – lunch and dinner;
  • Filleted chicken and turkey. I don’t eat it for the last year; formerly I had been alternating it with fish and seafood;
  • Rice or buckwheat crisp breads;
  • Rice or glass noodles, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa;
  • Fresh fruits;
  • Dried fruits and nuts;
  • Stevia instead of sugar just for baking;
  • Sweets of my own recipe (rice or coconut flour and stevia) – one-two times a week;
  • Eggs in the sweets or in the omelet – once or twice a week;
  • Coffee with milk without sugar – one time a day. Sugar can be replaced with stevia. You can put it into container and keep it in your bag;
  • Any amounts of greens;
  • Lots of water of room temperature.

Once a week I have a cheating day when I can eat scoop of ice cream or some cake in a cafe.

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I’m used to my nutrition and have no problems with it at all. I enjoy eating savory vegetables, fresh fruits and delicious fish and seafood!

I love cooking a healthy food and this is actually easier than to cook the food from my past life 🙂 My health has greatly improved for the last two years! I became healthier, more cheerful, more active and more creative! All the time and money I spend on healthy diet will be the best investment in the life!

How to keep fit on the vacation

I’m happy to say that I can keep the body fit even being on vacation! Right now we are staying at Edensee resort & spa in Da Lat. It is surrounded by a coniferous forest and mountains, and also there is a lake nearby.

Today we woke up at 6:30 and went to play tennis. I’m glad I’m learning how to play. So  I spent 40 minutes before breakfast with the reason!

Let me say a word about breakfast in hotels. Even in a five-star hotel you have to think and choose what to eat. Sometimes I eat eggs but not today – they used oil to fry the omelet. So I had some fresh fruits and vegetables, cup of coffee and some muesli.

Two and half hours after breakfast I decided to practice yoga and meditate outside listening to the sound of the wind and birds…

I’m sure even on vacation we all can stick to a healthy diet, keep fit and find time for fitness, sport and yoga. Namaste!

Childhood dreams come true or how I’m learning to play tennis!

В детстве я много мечтала. Например, очень хотела играть в большой теннис. Но играла только в настольный, на большой у семьи бюджета не было. Помню, даже как-то в 12 лет я сама позвонила в школу олимпийского резерва с телефонного аппарата на улице. Узнать условия приема в школу. Но мне сказали, что я уже стара для большого тенниса.

I dreamed a lot when I was a kid. One of my dreams was to play tennis. My family didn’t have enough money to pay for it so I played a table tennis. Once, when I was 12, I called Tennis Olympic Reserve Center from a telephone booth and asked if I could play. They told me I was too old. But now I’m learning to play tennis here in Saigon! First of all it is much cheaper than in Russia, and I’m especially glad to do it with my boyfriend – he shows me how to play.

We play once a week on Saturday but this Saturday we had to work, so I completely forgot about the practice. I remembered about it 10 minutes before the start. Luckily the tennis court is just 5 minutes away so I wasn’t late. I had to go alone because my boyfriend forgot about it. And had the business meeting.

I practiced to serve the ball and then asked a ball boy (a boy who supply players with new balls) to play with me. He’s pretty good player (better than I am, that’s for sure), and it was a great game! I don’t know how many calories I spent but I was sweating heavily and my face was so red that people was staring at me! The last round was long enough but I’ve lost the game.

Tennis is a perfect cardio! And we should realize our childhood dreams at any age, shouldn’t we? Once a week is enough, just do it regularly. You can master your skills and it helps to keep your body fit.

Вот так без фильтров выглядит мое лицо после супер кардио тренировки в виде тенниса :)