Angelic Inspiration

So apparently the VS show happened a week or so ago. Of course, now that I’m in Siberia, I tend to forget about all the panty hype since I’m covered in 10 layers of clothing. Still, there was much to be inspired by (fitness wise) from the ladies, or at least judging by some of the pics I saw. I do have to say that some of the new girls look way too thin, not exactly my ideal. Of course it’s not fair to say that they are unhealthy; you could be really skinny and not have an eating disorder (this I know firsthand), but why some of them were chosen to do a lingerie show is not something I understand. The angels, though, looked great as always. 

Some highlights:

Miranda Kerr - Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012

Miranda Kerr. She’s my fave VS model. Looking this good after having a kid? WOW.

Doutzen Kroes looks amazing.

Those are some ridiculous legs–and wings!!

So here are some tips from the supermodels:

Miranda Kerr (taken from an article here:


The Miranda Kerr workout

The rules

Exercise 3 to 4 times a week for 1 hour and 15 minutes each time.

Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of stretching.

Target all aspects of your body: 30 minutes on your legs, 30 minutes on core, arms and balance and 15 minutes of stretching.

Running is essential

“I make sure all my models run; whether they’re lean, fit and skinny or overweight as the cardiovascular system helps them stay lean and fit,” says Gelbrand.

Kerr runs between two and three miles (three and five km), once or twice a week. “Miranda and I then go to a running track and run for one-and-a-half miles (about two-and-a-half km). At the end, we walk it out, then we take a one minute rest and run back.”

Mix things up
Most supermodels are concerned about their butt, hips and thighs, Gelbrand reveals. “I have devised a circuit class that is based on all the different body parts. I also like to shake it up and do different things every workout, which is why the models like me as well: They never know what they’ll be doing.”

Work on your legs
Kerr does leg extensions, leg presses and calf raises. “She’ll do 20 leg kicks each side, and then balance on one foot holding a ball or weight for 30 seconds. She’ll do three sets on each leg,” says Gelbrand.

Work your butt

“Lay on the ground on your back, put your legs up on a stability ball, lift your hips up and down; do three sets of 15 reps. If you want to make it harder, lift from your hips and lift your right leg up, and put your leg back down. “Lying flat on the floor, come up on your hips with one leg bent. Take your right or left leg and push up from your heels toward the ceiling. Do a set of 15 reps.”

Boost your breasts
“Using three-pound weights; start from the hip and squeeze it to the chest. I also put the girls on the decline bench and give them a stability bar. They do two sets of 15 reps.”

The Supermodel diet

Gelbrand doesn’t have a specific diet plan, but his advice to his clients is to follow a balanced diet.

“The best thing is to combine food, nutrition and exercise together. Because a lot of models don’t eat – and live on sugar – I advise them to look at how they consume sugar, differently,” he explains.

“I don’t mind if they get the sugars from fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries and pomegranate juice because they all contain antioxidants. Eating more fruits, and incorporating more exercise into their routines doesn’t make them feel a necessity to live on sweets.”

Gelbrand lets his clients eat the right types of sugar, but he forbids salt. “When my clients go to restaurants, I advise them to stick to the boiled, steamed and grilled dishes; like fish, salads and vegetables,” he adds.


What to eat

Breakfast: “I encourage them to go to the supermarket and buy old-fashioned oatmeal for breakfast, egg whites, vegetables, cottage cheese and fruit, granola and yoghurt. Everyone needs to eat a good breakfast with carbohydrate. Especially models, as they are often at all-day castings.”

LUNCH: “For lunch, salad with chicken and fish and a side of fruit, is the best.”

DINNER: “When it is dinner time, you can’t look past sashimi with brown rice, but you need to stay away from soy. Chicken, fish, turkey and vegetables are also great items to consider.”

DESSERT: “iI’s everyone’s indulgence. Believe it or not, I advise my clients to eat a little bit of dark chocolate or ice-cream twice a week, to ensure they don’t splurge and start living with these indulgences everyday.

“You should eat medium portion sizes and eat so you’re semi-full, but not totally full. I advise my clients to monitor their caloric intake.

“If exercising, the count should regularly to be between 1300-1500 calories, but due to some model’s metabolisms, some can consume up to 1600.”

It’s no surprise Miranda Kerr’s slender and toned look is the fruitful result of long hours at the gym and a very careful diet – a challenge in itself for someone who travels the globe – criss-crossing from catwalk-to-catwalk – and works on an obscure time clock.

According to Gelbrand, when he first began working in modeling, it was all about “smoking, drinking coffee, taking drugs, not eating and eating sugar” – all just to look as thin as possible. “The past few years have also seen an epidemic in anorexia and bulimia, so I really wanted to change all of that through being fit and healthy,” he adds, with a glint of anger.


The Doutzen Plan (taken from here-

Supermodel Doetzen Kroes is known for her amazing figure, but the Victoria’s Secret Angel admits to having a major weakness when it comes to a certain food. “French fries,” Kroes told us at last night’s CFDA Awards. “I really like the ones at Shake Shack. That’s the thing with french fries, and potato chips too. You have one, and you can’t stop. But I always try not to eat the whole bucket that they give you, because I think that’s the trick. Everything in moderation; you can’t force yourself to eat none of the good stuff. I wouldn’t be a happy person if I only ate salads. I love salads — but salads with fries.”

So how does the 27-year-old Dutch stunner stay in such great shape? Well, being a mother certainly seems to help. “I have a son so I’m always running after him,” Kroes explained. “He’s started walking and so that’s lots of work. And my priority is really towards him, so I cook for him and then I just munch a little bit and I don’t sit down to eat until later.”

Of course, the supermodel also admits to a very strenuous exercise routine: “I box, I jump rope, and I do lots of leg work, you know, to keep the butt up. So, it’s lots of things. I have an amazing trainer and I’m really fortunate to have that, you know? But it’s also my job. You can’t compare my life to somebody who goes to work everyday; I have to look this way.”

A look back at some of Kroes’s most recent red-carpet looks — including her breathtaking Sophie Theallet look from last night’s CFDA Awards — in the slideshow.


Lindsay’s Secrets (taken from article here

Victoria’s Secret model Lindsay Ellingson may be the newest of the Angels bunch but her sizzle factor is anything but rookie.

To keep her body bikini-ready the 23-year-old Angel uses dancing to stay in fit.

“I studied jazz and ballet for 10 years,” she says. “But now I’m having more fun with it and doing lots of hip-hop and modern jazz.”

Adding, “My body is my instrument when I’m dancing. Just like a painter uses his paint brush. So I can stretch and bend and turn and leap and do all these things with my body, which is really fun!”

Ellingson was part of Victoria’s Secret’s “new class” joining the crew in August of 2009 along with model Emanuela de Paula.

Ellingson, reaching 5-foot-11 in height, has done work with Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino and has been working the runway since 2005.

“I love my body because it’s really my creative outlet,” she says in the new Victoria’s Secret Body by Victoriapromo ads. “It lets me express myself in totally unique ways. I don’t even have to say a word. My body speaks for me,” she says.



Believe it. Affirm it. Live it.

Life is moving right along. The days are getting shorter; the temperature outside is getting colder. Or maybe it just feels like it. Mom and I take Boss for our daily morning hikes and have noticed his rather bad behavior. He’s still a puppy and quite playful. In an effort to cure his bouts of mischief, Mom went into the city a few days ago to get him some chew toys, treats, and a new leash. What he really needs is a muzzle; seriously, the dog can bite, even if he’s just trying to be playful. Most people in the village are quite apathetic about their dogs. They keep them on chains all day long to guard the property or allow the dogs to run around freely without any regard towards traffic. We keep Boss on a long chain but walk and play with him several times per day. He’s such a cutie and tends to cry if we ignore him for more than  few hours :).

Today we walked to Z’s house to see how Boss’s doghouse is shaping up. It turned out to be quite large and beautiful. We have to have it carted home by horse because it’s too heavy to be carried for 2 km. Life in the village is so quaint; some people still use horses. V, Z’s wife with whom we’ve become friends, is quick to voice her disapproval over the “lavish” doghouse, not understanding why we chose to spend more money on it than necessary. Mom has always believed in spending money on what brings happiness and thinking positively in order to attract money. She’s passed on this mentality to me.

We prefer to think positively regarding all aspects of our lives, whether it be health, wealth, or happiness. Having recently listened to Joel O’steen’s sermon Thank God in Advance,  I wholeheartedly agree that we have to thank God continually for what we’ve been given and for what is surely coming to us. Health, wealth, and happiness is a CHOICE. We have to choose who we want to be and what we want out of life. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should just sit around and do nothing, praying for things to happen. Rather, you should go towards whatever your goal is, choosing to focus on the positive aspects and believing 100% in being successful.

I have found affirmations to be extremely effective. I used to do affirmations in my head while lying down but after doing some research online am now reaping the benefits of saying them out loud. It may sound silly to say things to yourself out loud, especially if you don’t believe in them at first. That’s OK. That’s exactly how I felt at first. The key is to say them over and over again with as much confidence as you can muster. As your perception of yourself begins to change, the world will shift to fit your perception. What we see in our lives at this moment is what we’ve had in the works for years. Our life right now is a reflection of what we’ve thought and done in the past.

The time to change for the better is now. Begin affirming out loud today, preferably while looking in the mirror. This trick will magnify your efforts and will help you believe in what you’re saying faster.

Some health affirmations to try:

  • Every day in every way, I’m feeling better and better.
  • I am totally, 100% healthy.
  • I become happier and healthier with each passing day.
  • I am strong.
  • I am radiant.
  • I can do everything I put my mind to. 

Song of Siberia

I wake up not as quite early I used to (around 7 a.m.) to a thicker blanket of snow. There’s no doubt it’s been snowing overnight again. Maybe it is because this is my first Siberian winter, but the beauty outside never ceases to astound me. I hear this beauty will last until April ;). We will see whether I feel the same about snow after living half a year surrounded by it. I’ve decided to take it easy and allow myself to sleep in until 7 instead of the customary 5-5:30 break of dawn. The temperature outside drops to -30C at night which makes getting out of a warm bed to face a wintry day rather challenging. Also, I’ve been detoxing more intensely lately, adding milk thistle oil, raw quail eggs and Russian black radish to my already long list of detox foods, so I feel like I need the extra rest. I’ve been having more vivid, kind of scary dreams this past week as I began the detox. This is quite common when cleansing the liver, or so I’ve read.

I have an English lesson at 11 so I try to get in a good walk with mom and Boss beforehand. Z, our neighbor who happens to be an extremely talented carpenter, comes over and we sketch plans for Boss’s doghouse. So far he’s been sleeping in the entrance way but now it looks like he will have to face the winter outside since he’s been chewing up some floor boards and mom’s afraid our landlady will notice. I was worried about this but a thorough googling session revealed that dogs such as Boss who grow up in this tough climate adapt well to the harsh winter season. Nonetheless, mom is sparing no expense to get Boss a nice, cozy, insulated and quite stylish doghouse built as soon as possible. 🙂

After we settle on the doghouse and also a chair and office desk for me, mom and I set out with Boss in hand. This morning the temperature has dropped to -20C and I can readily feel the bitter wind nip at my face. I cover my face as best I can with a huge scarf, looking very much like a woman out of Saudi Arabia. Boss acts worse than usual, playfully biting at his chain nonstop (he has to be walked on a chain since he chewed through his leash). After about a mile or so of his shenanigans, we drop him off at home and set out in the other direction to get milk. Acquiring raw milk during the cold season is a bit of a problem for many reasons. Stores are always stocked with pasteurized milk but rarely have the good stuff. The nearest market (indoor at this time) is many miles away and it will be a whole day affair to get there and back. Also, cows tend to fall pregnant during this time of the year and the number of cows in this village is scarce anyway. After doing some diligent asking around, mom and I hear of a family selling milk a couple of miles away. We head in that direction. Even a brisk walk is not enough to keep me warm despite numerous layers so we jog as best we can, me with my empty 3 liter jug in my backpack.  Eventually we find the people and get the prized raw milk. I don’t actually drink milk, only in my tea. I have lactose problems and so we make kefir out of milk. We also make cottage cheese and raw whey protein. I’ve found that these 3 are the only types of dairy I can tolerate at this time. On the way back, we stop at a store to get some bones for Boss and hurry back as fast as we can. I thank the heavens I am wise enough to wear 3 pairs of thick socks instead of the customary two as the wind becomes rougher and my boots sink through the snow. Finally we make it home and enjoy a well deserved chicory drink with homemade corn tortillas piled with raw honey. The whole time the milk ordeal takes place, I find myself strangely contented by these so called inconveniences. I encounter the same feeling when I wash my clothes by hand and when I help mom lug the firewood to heat the banya. It feels good to feel so close to the land and to do things on my own; I feel grounded. Gone are the days of driving to the nearest store, putting my milk carton in the shopping cart and wheeling the shopping cart to my car, then driving back home. Gone are the days of washing machines, dishwashers, television, and guaranteed electricity. Here in Siberia, you never know what inconveniences you might encounter from day to day. Sometimes (or rather several times per week), the power goes out because it rained and the water froze the power lines. Other times mean, homeless village dogs bark and bare their teeth at you, making you shuffle out of their way. Maybe Boss will pull so hard you lose your footing on the icy road and fall face first into the snow. Water may stop running for some reason. The firewood could be wet and you can’t heat the banya. Boss may chew through your best jacket and you don’t know where in the world to go shop for something that is not the crappiest export out of China (by the way, Russia is full of crappy exports from China, so much so that when a product malfunctions, there is a phrase to describe it “Kitaeskoe”-or “Chinese made.”) Basically, you never know where the road will lead you. So what if the road you’re walking on is frozen and you have to dodge drunk drivers along the way? You’re still going somewhere, doing something. And life becomes meaningful again. 

a nation of complainers

Scratch that. Make it a world of complainers. A universe. A veritable galaxy. My days used to be filled with listening to so called friends complain about their lives (this was before I said f*** it and moved to Siberia). And no, I am not complaining. I am ranting. Let’s call it gingerly explaining?? my point of view. 

You see, we are so used to focusing on what we don’t have. How many times have you heard…

-I would be so happy if I had (insert what it is you wish you had here)-

Endless excuses pour from peoples’ mouths. Excuses about bad grades, excuses about poor financial decisions, excuses about being overweight, excuses about missing deadlines….Complaints about things they can’t change and things they can. 

-It’s so gloomy outside- As in, why did you just tell me that?? Your point is??


-I don’t have time to exercise. You’re so lucky you have time.- Nope, I wake up at 5 to work out-

Then I have to listen to how a) I’m so lucky I can wake up at 5 b) I’m insane to wake up at 5 c) Not everyone has this discipline and you’re just rubbing it in d) So you think you’re better than me because you can wake up at 5. Really, take your pick.

People wonder why we are devolving. Take a look around. People everywhere are sick and only getting sicker. The world is getting fatter, meaner, more blood thirsty and power hungry. The root of it is peoples’ inability or actually lack of desire because they are quite able to take responsibility for their actions and do something about their life if they don’t like where it is heading. 

Just think about what would have happened if our ancestors complained about the weather and decided not to plant their crops hundreds of years ago? We probably wouldn’t be here today to complain about our sad lives. Life takes effort. It is the ultimate game of the survival of the fittest. Complainers are bound to die out. It’s evolution time people!

Positive Quote of the Day:


Hello World!

Today was quite a glorious morning. I woke up to a white sky and a thick blanket of snow covering the already frozen roads outside. I took Boss (my “Siberian husky”) on a long trek through the lonely, frozen terrain. Honestly, the beauty was breathtaking and I only fell and twisted my leg once (thanks to Boss pulling me across the ice).

This is what it looked like outside (not my pic, promise to post mine later…but you get the  idea)

Thankfully, there were no near naked men like this:

See, there’s so much to be grateful for in this world :))

So my Siberian adventure continues. One of my friends pointed out to me that I’m living next door to a wolf. No really, I am. My neighbor (who is from Holland and doesn’t speak Russian) has a “pet wolf” who spends his days pacing his large and ramshackle cage outside. I’d say he’s about 50 feet from my cabin. Thanks for telling me this M!! At least now I know who’s been howling at the moon a few days ago. 😉

Well, I’m off to work (erm pinterest) and then to banya (which is kind of like a sauna on steroids). If you’ve never been, come to Russia ASAP. There’s nothing better than jumping into the snow after banya :)).

Stay warm y’all lol.


Health notes:
Exercise: 1 hr hike, 45 min strength training with light weights and bands


1: herbal tea w/lemon, propolis, power smoothie (aronia berries, baked pumpkin, raw whey protein), 10 apricot kernels

snack 1: chicory drink w/milk and ghee, 1 tsp. raw honey

2: big bowl of borsch w/wild game, side salad of Russian black raddish

3: brown rice w/ghee and curry, “vinigerette” salad

4: baked apples, vinigerette salad, some brown rice

snack 2: organic hot cocoa w/raw milk and raw honey


I’ve hit a new low in Siberia-15 F 😉

I finally have some good news. It looks like things are picking up on the work front. I think a long translation of some obscure economic document is in the works for me. Downside: it’s an obscure 40 page long economic document. Upside: I get paid. Yay. lol. Otherwise, things are going just fine. I took a brisk walk outside in 15 F degree weather. Nothing out of the ordinary for a Siberian morning. 🙂

Mom’s working on getting us some better internet. It’s been so stressful trying to work and teach and work on S.Iv’s book while having an awful Internet connection. Grrr. Internet has been the bane of my existence for the past 6 months. On the flipside, I think I’ve been finally cured of the tech addiction that is so prevalent among modern people today…

Today I woke up and prayed like I always do. I usually say what it is I’m grateful for but today I felt like praying for others. Even within my small sphere of influence there are so many people to pray for. My father who has ongoing health problems with his knee ( he was shot over a decade ago). N, who is facing a 6 months prison term for a stupid prank. J, who has an alcoholic mother she loves nonetheless. M, who is recovering from a suicide attempt.  There is hope. Turn to God and then do the best that you can. After all, God helps those who help themselves.

Peace ❤


Exercise: morning stretches, power walk, 1 hr strength/plyo combo (yay, mom worked out with me today 🙂


1: 10 apricot kernels, propolis, power smoothie (aronia berries, pumpkin, RWP, raw kefir)

snack 1: chicory drink w/raw honey

2: bowl of soup, zapekanka w/cornmeal and pumpkin

snack 2: hot cocoa w/raw milk and raw honey

3: bowl of raw cottage cheese w/persimmon, large slice of zapeknka,

4: side of dill, baked pumpkins w/curry glaze, cottage cheese

Easy, Healthy Borscht Recipe

I know what you’re thinking. What’s in the world is borscht? Or, Eww…beets. Borscht is a traditional Russian soup (originally Ukrainian) that is both delicious and nutritious when done right. I know because I’m making some today! 🙂 Here’s how:


Ingredients for Borscht: 
2 large or 3 medium potatoes, sliced into bite-sized pieces
2 large or 3 medium beets, thoroughly washed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
1/2 head of cabbage, thinly chopped (see picture)
1 can white beans with their juice
4 tablespoons oil
2 bay leaves
6 teaspoons “Organic Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base” Paste (this is equivalent to 6 cups of chicken broth. If using chicken broth, use 10 cups water and 6 cups broth)
5 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped dill

How to Make Borscht:
1. Fill a large soup pot with 16 cups of water. Add beets. Cover and boil for about 1 hour (some beats take longer, some take less time. It depends on how old the beets are).
2. Once you can smoothly pierce the beets with a butter knife, remove from the water and set aside to cool.
3. Add sliced potatoes into the same water and boil 15-20 minutes.
4. Sautée your carrots, onions and bell pepper (optional), with 4 tablespoons cooking oil. sauté until vegetables are soft (7-10 minutes). Stir in ketchup when they are almost done cooking.
5. After the potatoes are almost done cooking add sliced cabbage to the pot.
6. Peal and slice the beets into match sticks (I use my mandolin slicer). When you peel beets, use a plastic bag over your hands unless you want red fingers. Add beets back to the pot.
7. Add Bouillon paste, lemon juice, pepper, bay leaves and can of white beans (with their juice) to the pot.
8. Add sautéed carrots, onion and bell pepper to the pot.
9. Add chopped dill.
10. Cook another 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage is done.
11. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or real mayo.

Recipe posted from:

The use of beets in borscht make it a powerhouse of nutrients. Beets cleanse the liver and promote healthy digestion. They are very alkaline in nature. Red beets cleanse the blood and contain large amounts of folate. Beets are high in antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, calcium, niacin, biotin, and iron.

Enjoy! 🙂



It’s a glorious wintry day outside :))

Exercise: 30 min stretch, long walk, 1 hr strength w/plyo training


1: propolis, herbal tea, 10 apricot kernels, power smoothie (RWP, raw kefir, cocoa, ginger, aronia berries, banana) yum 🙂

2: delicious bowl of steaming hot borscht to energize during the cold weather

snack 1: 6 large slices of roasted pumpkin. beyond delicious 🙂 herbal tea w/raw honey

yummy and full of vitamins!


Early Morning Wake up Call!

Wake up and smell the roses 🙂

Exercise: 30 min stretch, 20 min plyo, 40 min pilates 🙂


1: herbal tea w/honey and lemon, 10 apricot kernels, power smoothie

2: 1 apple, large bowl of “vinaigrette” salad (apple, cabbage, beets, carrot, potatoes)

3: bowl of buckwheat w/vegetable medley

snack 1: 1 avocado w/dill and himalayan salt

snack 2: 10 hazelnuts, 1/2 persimmon

4: bowl of buckwheat w/”vinaigrette” salad

First snow!

The mystery of the morning power outage has been solved. It’s first snow here in Siberia!!

Mom: “Have you taken a look outside today?”

Me: Uh huh-what I always say when I’m ignoring people

Mom: “First snow!”

Me: “Uh huh…wait what? HOLY F***”

Yeah, haven’t seen snow in about 5 years since I’ve been in Fl….

Winter is finally here 🙂

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