Our family couldn’t afford much, but when I was 12, I was lucky enough to be given my first bike.
Recovered from a local junk yard, it was all rusty with slightly crooked handle bars. I didn’t care about how it looked. I loved it and couldn’t believe I got my first bike!
I didn’t have anyone to hold me up, so I figured I would push off of a curb and hope for the best. After countless falls, I finally caught my balance and rode around the block. I did it and I was hooked!
After-school activities, lessons, sports, or summer camps were all too expensive for our family. My school friends weren’t allowed to come over to play because my neighbourhood was too rough. It didn’t leave much to do when I wasn’t in school. But I could always go for a spin.
On my bike, I could explore outside of my own environment. I discovered neighbourhoods with trees and grass…no graffiti, no police cruisers rolling through, or cars jacked up on cinder blocks…kids were actually playing in the front yard, parents were outside too….there were parks with no needles or used condoms.
Loaded Spaghetti Squash
Have you heard of a Loaded Potato? Well, let me introduce you to a distant cousin, the Loaded Spaghetti Squash. It’s so tasty and couldn’t be easier. It’s become a staple in my home and, I’m sure, will become one in your home too!
You exercise hard you, take care of your body but you are still stuck with what the heck to eat after your spin class, yoga class or strength training session. All that hard work won’t pay off if you just throw back a macchiato and an energy bar. This is not how you “get in shape”. Your results will only surface if you eat what your body actually needs and what it will thrive on after your workouts.
With an impressive Instagram following, Toronto’s Greta Epstein and Jamie Milne — the girls behind Cleaneatz — are quickly becoming the go-to source for healthy inspiration online.
For years I suffered in silence with anxiety, PMS, digestive issues and the inability to fall asleep. Blindly and without much thought I popped synthetic pills like candy to help me get through my pain and discomfort.
Long before “juicing” became a verb and health gurus with strong hashtag games took over our Insta feeds, Ruth Tal had a novel idea: create a travelling juice bar. That was back in 1990—a time when the Atkins diet was considered cool and vegans were considered extreme. But clearly Tal was onto something. Her juice-bar concept was so well received, it quickly became a Queen Street fixture, eventually evolving into a full-blown vegetarian restaurant—replete with juice bar—now called Fresh.
Remember when step classes were the workout-du-jour? “A-step! Grapevine! Around the world!” the perky instructor would yell into her mic (I’d finally get the hang of ‘basic left’ as the rest of the class cooled down). Thankfully, those torturous days are over with. We’ve seen dozens of fitness trends come and go since: Jazzercise, Zumba, Tae Bo a la Billy Blanks. And who could forget Suzanne Somers’ ThighMaster? (Oh, that Chrissy Snow.)
These days, we’re working out smarter. Gone are the days of marathon treadmill sessions. Now it’s all about science-based evidence—in other words, what gives you the most bang for your gym-membership buck. The latest buzz term on everyone’s radar? Functional fitness ((a.k.a. functional training). Think of it as exercises that mimic everyday, real-life activities such as carrying groceries or shoveling snow. Unlike some trends of yesteryear, functional fitness is here to stay. Here’s everything you need to know about the popular workout technique.
Spynga Toronto my breast cancer story part ii
Spynga is special. It’s so much more than a studio to take a yoga or spin class. Spynga is a community of people that care. I’ve learned this first hand while undergoing breast cancer treatment over the past several months. I felt like I had my very own cheering squad, pushing me through to the end of my treatments. There would be days when I would not feel great but I knew that if I could make it to a class, I would always feel better. Clients and staff would always offer words of encouragement, share personal stories and ask how I was doing. This caring community spirit helped get me through one of the most difficult periods of my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
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Diane has been committed to her weekly workouts at Spynga during her chemotherapy treatments. Diane finished her treatments in April 2016
I was in the best shape of my life when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had spent the previous two years getting “fit for 40”. My plan was to spin, sculpt and sweat my way into the next decade. My birthday came and I never felt better. I had achieved my goal! I was fit at 40!
However, a few months later my world would be turned upside down when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At my annual physical my doctor found a lump and a biopsy was done the next day. Five days later I received my diagnosis and I was in complete shock. I was scheduled for surgery and was told that I would be undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. I couldn’t understand how a fit person that has a healthy diet and feels great can be diagnosed with breast cancer. My oncologist told me that because I was younger than the average patient and because I was physically fit I would have an easier recovery.
I would soon come to realize that achieving my “fit for 40” goal would mean much more than looking good in a pair of skinny jeans. Being fit provided me with the foundation for a quick recovery from major surgery and the ability to tolerate months of cancer treatments.
Moms are heroes. Remember those pesky little things called pregnancy and labour? Remember how much reading and preparing we did for those things? Well, creating a human inside you then pushing it out through a tiny hole is just the beginning. It’s the beginning of something harder, something you can’t prepare for, something that requires on-the-job, minute by minute training. Oh, and also, it starts right after you create a human inside you and then push it out through a tiny hole. You’re freakin’ tired, your body aches, your abs are torn apart, you might have staples in places a stapler should NEVER be and it starts whether you’re ready or not. Looking back, this is the easy part. Soon they’re walking, then talking (probably talking back) and the next thing you know they want nothing to do with you, and they leave to go to a party where you’re worried they’ll get pregnant because you probably gave them self esteem issues. (Just a little glimpse in to my scary mommy brain…)