Ultimate Squad Goals: Nike Features Indian Female Athletes

nike-ad-indian-women-athletes

I was extremely happy and even giddy while watching Nike India’s latest ad “Da Da Ding”. The three minute commercial features well known personalities in India, like Deepika Padukone, and some not as well known (but equally bad-ass) women.

I love how the advertisement shows the intensity and determination that athletes require. These women are strong, fierce, and not afraid to push or shove a little. You know what’s also refreshing? Not all of these women athletes have chiseled abs or six packs. Women don’t have to fit this ideal body type to be fit or athletic.

This is the kind of propaganda India needs. Not the kind where women are wearing skimpy clothing dancing to the latest Bollywood hit (like this, ugh).

These are just some of the women featured in Nike’s video:

Field hockey player Rani Rampal, cricketeer Harpreet Kaur, surfer Ishita Malaviya, former professional badminton player Deepika Padukone, sprinter Shweta Hakke, soccer player Jyoti Ann Burrett, and many more.

Have you guys seen it? If you haven’t, watch it for yourself and let me know what you think.

How I Learned to Love Group Fitness

Group-fitness-blog

I had a hard time deciding what I wanted my next post to be about after writing my more personal “health story.” I thought about sharing a recipe or something but it didn’t feel like it flowed…so I’m sharing a little more about me again:

A few years back, I picked up some bad habits, gained some weight and then ultimately, realized I needed to live a healthier lifestyle. During my first attempt at being more fit, I started working out more and tried different fitness classes to find something I liked, but after trying multiple different classes, I would always find excuses to skip out. Barre & pilates weren’t right for me because I wasn’t flexible. Spin classes were a hassle with clipless shoes and uncomfortable seats. Even running with a group of people was intimidating because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up.

Convinced that group fitness classes were not right for me, I isolated myself to going to the gym alone. I would spend thirty minutes on a cardio machine, play around with a few weights, stretch, and then call it day. A few friends would ask me to go to a class with them but I was adamant in doing my workouts on my own time. Eventually, I fell into a monotonous routine which had left me uninspired, unmotivated, and discouraged.

But the truth is I dreaded group fitness classes because I lacked self-confidence. There I was, a short Indian girl trying to lose a few extra pounds, surrounded by other girls who were toned, tall & confident. I felt out of place and judged, though in reality the only person judging me was myself.

I wish I had a light-bulb flash at me when I realized my approach was completely wrong. I wish I had realized earlier that I was focusing too much energy on others.

It took me time to find self-love & confidence and it took some encouragement from friends for me to face my nagging fear. Over the course of three to four years I have finally come to a place of acceptance and love for myself. These days you can find me at spin, pilates, and even hip-hop ( though I’m pretty sure I’m one of the least-coordinated people!). I look forward to my classes now because they keep my workouts interesting and fun.

If you’re just beginning your health journey, realize that no one is an expert from the start. We have all felt uncomfortable at some point. Reject negative thoughts and doubt. Embrace what you have instead of longing for what you don’t. Your body can do amazing things <3.

Why We Should Celebrate Mindy Kaling’s Mile Time

mindy-kaling

mindy-kaling

I love seeing updates on social media from my homegirl Mindy because I know they are going to be real and down to earth. And most of the time pretty damn funny.

My little runner heart skipped a few beats when I saw her Instagram post today – it was about running!! She shared that she ran a 9.5 minute mile and it’s something that’s been trying to accomplish for 8 years. Wow that’s dedication!

Now some of you may be thinking “A 9:30 mile? I could do that in my sleep!” Well my friend, I’m happy to hear your faster than the average runner but you’re missing the point.

Running isn’t about your speed, your weight, or experience. It’s about the motivation & determination it takes to tie your shoes and get out the door. It’s the consistency and focus that’s admirable, not your mile-time.

Even as a passionate runner myself, I still often lack the motivation to run and I know how hard it is to continuously get better.

So Mindy, congrats on your mile-time! That’s a huge accomplishment and I’m sure you’ve inspired thousands of people today to go out and run.

Raw Turmeric Latte (Vegan)

Hi friends!

It feels good to finally get back to the blog! I took a long hiatus while traveling these past couple of weeks and I’m so ready to be back. Today, I’ll be sharing a a raw turmeric milk recipe :D.

raw-turmeric-milk-vegan

I originally shared this recipe on Brown Girl Magazine but I also want to share a version of the same recipe here under a different name.

This raw turmeric milk tastes just like thandai (a traditional indian beverage) but it’s way more healthy! I was inspired to create this recipe after trying the turmeric milk at Project Juice. I was obsessed with it immediately but I knew I could recreate it at a much lower cost (FYI I talk about my thoughts on the turmeric milk trend here).

Ingredients:

1 cup of almonds, soaked overnight
4 cups of water
5 medjool dates
2-3 cardamom pods, ground
1 tsp of turmeric powder
½ tsp of cinnamon
Dash of black pepper
Pinch of saffron

Instructions:

    1. Place your almonds in a large bowl and fill it with water. Soak them overnight to allow them to sprout. I’ve read that this helps neutralize phytic acid and helps release an enzyme that helps with digestion.
    2. The next morning add your almonds and about a cup of water to your blender and start pulsing. I like to add the water a little at a time to gauge the creaminess of the milk.
    3. Blend the rest of the ingredients while slowly adding more water.
    4. Strain the mixture using a cheese cloth or nut milk bag over a large pot or bowl.
    5. Pour the milk back into the blender to help serve.
    6. Add some ice & garnish with crushed cardamom and a pinch of saffron!

turmeric-milk-blended

You can use the leftover almond meal to make a lighter version of the thandai by adding it back to the blender with more water. Or you can use it to top off your oatmeal, add it to a dessert, or like me, eat it plain.

The turmeric milk should stay good for up to a week refrigerated! It’s so good you have to try it out!

turmeric-latte

raw turmeric latte made with homemade almond milk. Sweetened with dates

POP Pilates Instructor Training

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pop_pilates

I am so thrilled to be an instructor-in-training for POP Pilates! For the last few years I’ve had a dream about becoming a group fitness instructor. I imagined it would be when I was a bit older, with kids, and maybe at a point where I was more “comfortable” with my life.

However, when I heard about the POP Pilates training in the Bay Area I knew it was a sign for me to take this chance. What’s the point of waiting for something if it excites me now?

POP pilates is a format that takes traditional mat pilates to the next level by choreographing all moves to the beat of music. It was designed by the creator of Blogilates, Cassey Ho!

I discovered POP Pilates through Cassey’s YouTube videos about four years ago when I began my fitness journey. I remember days in my dorm room where I would be jumping around my mat and listening to Cassey’s voice to motivate me.

It used to be only Cassey & I on the mat. Now, I’m excited to bring it to a whole community of old & new POPsters.

On a serious note, it was extremely inspiring being in a room of women who love teaching fitness and who truly believe in the message of POP Pilates. The message essentially conveys that fitness is supposed to be fun, inclusive, and help both your body & mind. I met some amazing people who I know I’ll be good friends with in the future.

So what’s next? Well in the next two months I need to learn all the choreography so I can tape my video evaluation where I’ll be teaching a group of people! If I pass, I can officially start teaching. Finding a place to teach will be another challenge but luckily a lot of 24 hr fitness clubs actually have POP Pilates classes.

How am I feeling about this? Scared. Nervous. Excited. But most of all inspired! I have a new level of respect for fitness requires. The job not only requires a certain level of physical fitness and knowledge, but also it asks for genuine passion & personality.

I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on what’s next! And if you anyone want a free workout in the next couple of months let me know and we will make it happen :).

My First 5K and 10K with Sevathon

running-crissy-fields

running-crissy-fields

When I began college, I begrudgingly started running in attempt to avoid the Freshman 15. It really didn’t like it but I knew I needed to do something to stay fit.

Only when I began racing did I find my love for running.

My first race was a 5k at the Sevathon walkathon/race in July 2010. The race was hosted by the Indian Community Center to enable nonprofits in our community to deliver their message and further their causes.

My mom persuaded me to try the 5K with her and her friends to support a few of the nonprofits. I figured that if my mom could do it, I could too – right?

So there I was at a race with my mom and a bunch of aunties (whom I love dearly by the way). At this point, I had never run 3 miles straight so a 5K felt like a huge deal. I was nervous but I gave it my all and I ended up finishing first in my division!

Two years later I raced my first 10K at Sevathon. I chose Sevathon because I wanted to be in a supportive, encouraging environment for this new challenge. So there I was again with my mom, her friends, and an incredibly supportive South Asian community.

Since then I’ve raced several 5Ks, 10Ks, and half-marathon but Sevathon is where it all really started. It’s scary to think that if it weren’t for my mom and the Indian community, I may have never convinced myself to do a race at all!

Thank you Sevathon for putting on such an amazing event and for inspiring people like me to become passionate runners.

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P.S. There is still time to register for this year’s race! It’ll take place on June 26th in Downtown San Jose. If you’re interested, you can actually sign-up here! I’m planning on signing-up for the 5K :).

*This post is not sponsored. I wanted to genuinely to write about how Sevathon has positively influenced me 🙂