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Friday, October 21, 2016

CrossFit Kids Trial Lesson @ Innervate CrossFit

The boy and I have been attending CrossFit regularly for about a year... he goes in about 3-4 times a week, while I go about once a week if we can manage. A few months ago, we even went for our CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certificate course... and passed it too! #thankGod

Lil Pumpkin usually goes to our CrossFit box, CrossFit Mobilus, whenever hubby and I are there. After all, we have no helper haha.. If I'm there & not working out I will supervise her but she is disciplined enough to stay at the chill-out area and take care of herself too if hubby & I are both are at the exercise area. We've taught and emphasised to her time and time again to never touch the weights / equipment and to not disturb the adults when they are working out. 

At the box she will usually eat, do her homework / revision or just chat with the other folks there. Somehow, people who do CrossFit are usually pretty friendly and chatty, and since Lil Pumpkin is so outgoing and lovable {if I may say so myself haha}, the big sisters and brothers enjoy talking and playing with her too.

Lil Pumpkin is still taking her gymnastics and swimming classes, but is really interested to learn CrossFit as well!! I guess since she's at the box so often... I know some people might be concerned about kids starting on weightlifting young as they are worried that if kids began weightlifting, they would cause trauma to their joints through the strain of lifting heavy weights and cause growth damage.

However, there's also a lot of people that support kids doing weight-lifting, or rather strength-training, in the right conditions. Yup, when done right, kids can use strength training to increase bone, tendon & ligament strength, all of which serve to improve sports performance and better prepare young athletes for the demands of practice and competition.

Kids don't just become stronger physically, but mentally as well. They learn about focus, discipline, endurance, overcoming defeat & failure, and determination to complete a course of action despite difficulty or consequences - to never quit, period.

It really is very, very important that the kids train in the right program and conditions though. Not just for safety, but also to make sure the kids enjoy it enough to want to have a lifelong love for fitness and health.

Since the boy and I do CrossFit, we think that CrossFit Kids is a good place to start Lil Pumpkin on strength-training since it is a pretty established program already for kids aged 4 & above, and they teach in a fun way to cover a wide range of techniques and exercises to help her mature as an athlete in whatever sports she wishes to do.

CrossFit Kids is definitely not as intense as CrossFit for adults. You cannot simply scale an adult workout for kids.

CrossFit Kids has a policy of using “body weight exercises and free weights to build strength, improve muscle tone and enhance performance. We do not endorse max effort lifts for kids. We believe in using the smallest stimulus possible to achieve the training effect desired, whether young or old. Due to their still developing neuromuscular systems, kids receive a training effect from sub maximal efforts.”

Young kids like Lil Pumpkin will usually start with just bodyweight exercises, which for anyone that does push-ups or pull-ups would know, is already pretty tough!! (*^▽^*) This type of training can help the body become accustomed to the stresses of resistance work and help to teach technique. Once they get the foundation techniques and movements right, light weight training can be introduced.

There are not many places in Singapore that teach CrossFit Kids.. mainly because if you wish to be a trainer, you have to pass the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certificate AND another CrossFit Kids Specialty Course to teach CrossFit Kids classes. The CrossFit Kids Specialty Course is usually not held in Singapore though so not many people wish to pursue this.

The boy and I would like to take up the CrossFit Kids Specialty Course though and maybe train kids in CrossFit as a hobby haha.. but mostly to be able to coach Lil Pumpkin effectively and safely.

Anyway on Tuesday, we brought Lil Pumpkin to Innervate CrossFit where we took our CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certificate Course. It's a well-equipped, spacious box at an industrial estate at Bendemeer Road. They have CrossFit Kids classes 5x/week and the 1-hour trial lesson is free.

When we told Lil Pumpkin that she was going for CrossFit, she was sooooooo excited! Finally! She could work out in a box just like Daddy and Mummy! hahaha.. too bad our own box does not have CrossFit Kids classes yet. Oh well, maybe after the boy and I take our CrossFit Kids Course we can train kids there (*≧▽≦)

Unlike CrossFit for adults where beginners need to go for a fundamentals class, there's no such requirements for kids and they can go straight for a trial lesson.

For her trial lesson, it's held during a regular lesson and there were 4-5 kids in her class {including Lil Pumpkin}. The trainer was Coach Lionel.

They warmed up with shuttle run, then practiced push presses and air squats. After that, they did a simple 10min AMRAP WOD of 5 x push press, 5 x overhead squats and sprint in teams of 2. Finally, they cooled down with another game of short sprints before they were each given a random badge as a reward for completing the class. 

Overall, we're pretty happy with how the class was run as the trainer was patient with the kids, and scaled the correct workout intensity for each kid. Lil Pumpkin definitely took to CrossFit like a fish to water and one of our friends who saw her workout video even said that her mobility was pretty good. Thanks to her gymnastics classes I guess! heh

She enjoyed her experience... especially the fun games and friendly competition part haha. I bet she didn't even realise she was getting a good workout from the 1-hour session!

We definitely are keen to start her on regular CrossFit Kids classes but our schedule is pretty full at the moment. We'll try to work something out and maybe she can start once a week during the school holidays or next year. I'm really, really excited to see her progress and look forward to all of us doing CrossFit WODs together as a family haha

Innervate CrossFit 
994 Bendemeer Road, #01-04, B Central
Tel: 97887859
CF Kids Cost: S$80/month {1x/week}, S$150/month {3x/week} or S$400/quarter {3x/week}
Website: http://www.innervatecrossfit.com/

*Note: This is not a sponsored or paid post. All opinions are my own.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Our Family Picture 2016 ♥

It's been a crazy few months and we've postponed our annual photo shoot with Alwyn {see our shoot with him at Marina Barrage, Botanic Garden, and Chinese Garden} a few times. I like taking annual family photo shoots to see how we've grown and changed over the past year.. especially for Lil Pumpkin. It's really amazing how fast kids grow up and kind of change their features!!

I really hope we can get it done before 2016 passes us by but then with all the festivities and year-end gatherings, not to mention monsoon rain... it might be a bit difficult to organise too haha.

We were at our CrossFit box {yeah we bring her along whenever we can.. next week she's going for a trial CrossFit Kids class!} and Lil Pumpkin drew this on the whiteboard. She loves to doodle!!

She coloured and tried to follow the details of our outfits that day. Not bad given her limited marker resources haha. Even wrote everything herself too.. said it was our "family picture". Aww sweet! ♥

I guess if we don't manage to take our family photos professionally this year it is ok too. I'm very happy with this one drawn by Lil Pumpkin ☆ (⌒▽⌒)☆ 

I'll try to get her to draw another bigger one on paper so that I can frame it up too heh.

P.S. If you haven't taken part yet, check out my current giveaway for Cetaphil RESTORADERM Skin Restoring Body Wash and Body Moisturizer Set {worth S$79.80}!! As part of a 2-step daily regime, it soothes, replenishes and protects itchy, very dry and eczema-prone skin for long-lasting relief. Suitable for all ages, including babies as young as 3 months old.

3 winners, ends this Sun 16 Oct 2016.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Cetaphil RESTORADERM Stop the "Itch-Scratch" Cycle + {Giveaway}

Lil Pumpkin has been suffering from eczema since she was a wee little bub. Sometimes it disrupts her sleep with all the scratching, and sometimes she scratches until her skin bleeds..

As a mum, it really pains me when she does that.

I still remember that even when she was barely 2 months old, we had to bring her to see a dermatologist at the National Skin Centre because she had such a bad flare-up that caused her face to be so swollen!!! Oh my..

Eczema could be caused by genetics and Lil Pumpkin may have it since I suffer from eczema too #sorrydear However, I read that eczema could also be caused by a combination of other factors like abnormal function of the immune system, environment, activities that may cause skin to be more sensitive and defects in the skin barrier that allow too much moisture out and irritants in.

It is pretty common I reckon, especially with kids. So many of my mummy friends complain about their kids having this skin condition and we've spent many hours sharing tips on how we deal with the problem heh.

So far, hubby & I have managed to keep Lil Pumpkin's eczema under good control with diet, medication, luke-warm showers, educating her to understand her condition & have self-control, and lots and lots of moisturising.. Yes, moisturising plays a key part!

Eczema-prone skin genetically lacks filaggrin {protein that is vital for skin cells to mature properly to form the outermost protective layer of our skin } and natural moisturising factors {NMFs}; this predisposes a person to skin inflammation and constant itching. Scratching in turn worsens the skin inflammation and causes more itching, hence kick-starting the “Itch-Scratch” cycle.

Using a good moisturiser can help to alleviate this problem we find. My parents used Cetaphil on me as a kid to deal with my eczema so when Lil Pumpkin showed signs of hers, I started using that on her too. Last year, I had a sudden flare-up of eczema on my whole body & my dermatologist introduced me to their new range, Cetaphil RESTORADERM.

Cetaphil RESTORADERM is specially formulated for those with itchy, very dry and eczema-prone skin. Gentle, fragrance- and preservative-free, the range includes a Skin Restoring Body Wash and Body Moisturizer that work together to increase and retain moisture content by supplementing the natural moisturising factors of the skin while strengthening the damaged skin barrier.

It worked pretty well for me so now Lil Pumpkin is using the wash for her showers and as much as possible, we try to moisturise Lil Pumpkin with the Body Moisturizer twice a day - once in the morning and after her night bath. With her skin properly moisturised and protected, her skin is less dry and irritated.

If I remember correctly, she has not had a flare-up since she started using Cetaphil RESTORADERM #yay And yes, we even bring the Body Moisturizer along when we travel, especially when the weather is cold and dry haha..

Cetaphil RESTORADERM used to be available only at clinics, hospital pharmacies and polyclinics. It now comes with a new look and from this month onwards, it will be readily available at all leading retail pharmacies like Guardian, Watsons and Unity. So much more convenient to purchase!!

This is something we use ourselves on a regular basis, and I highly recommend it to anyone I know that has eczema problems. Eczema is a chronic life-long condition, and while we don't expect it to go away completely, if we manage it properly with a gentle cleanser and daily moisturising, it should improve.

Find out more handy eczema skincare tips on Cetaphil Singapore's Facebook page.

For my own special friends & blog readers, I've THREE Cetaphil RESTORADERM Skin Restoring Body Wash and Body Moisturizer Set {worth S$79.80} to give away!! As part of a 2-step daily regime, it soothes, replenishes and protects itchy, very dry and eczema-prone skin for long-lasting relief. Suitable for all ages, including babies as young as 3 months old.

Giveaway Method: Random Draw

1. Be a Sakura Haruka Facebook page fan

2. Subscribe to my upcoming newsletter. Make sure the email add you used to subscribe is working as I'll be using that to contact the winner. Remember to confirm the subscription and check your junk folder in case the confirmation email goes there.

3. Like & Share this Facebook photo and tag 3 friends. Make sure your post is public!

4. Leave me a blog comment telling me how eczema affects your lives + FB name you used to like the page + name you used to subscribe to the newsletter. For those unsure of how to comment, choose "Name/URL" option then add your name and comment.

Bonus entry:
1. Follow @AiSakuraHaruka and @CetaphilSG on Instagram
2. Repost this photo on IG & tag @AiSakuraHaruka @CetaphilSG #ASHxCetaphilGiveaway #CetaphilSG + your FB name. Make sure your post is public!

THREE random winners will be chosen. Just complete all 4 simple steps + bonus entry {if you like}!

* Open to Singapore residents only.
* Ends Sunday, 16 Oct 2016 2359hrs {Singapore time} 
* Incomplete or inappropriate entries will be deemed invalid and will not be included.
* Winners will be announced by Tuesday 18 Oct 2016 on this blog post and notified via email with further instructions on how to collect prize. Winners have 1 day to reply, or the prize will be redrawn.

UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. The winners are Seline Chen, Philly SG & Michelle Ng. Stay tuned for more blog giveaways on Sakura Haruka! Check out my current readers promos too. Thanks for your support!

* Disclosure: This is an advertorial for Cetaphil Singapore.Terms and Conditions apply.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Easy Wriggly Monster Dessert Tortilla Wraps for Kids

Lil Pumpkin and I had some fun making these Wriggly Monster Nutella & Fruits Dessert Tortilla Wraps together on Monday. So simple to prepare and the little ones will surely love this delicious, sweet treat!

I love eating tortilla wraps. They are soooo easy to prepare with endless stuffing possibilities but my fave version is a healthy wrap of wild rockets, smoked salmon, capers, onions and a dash of sour cream (*^▽^*)

I was looking through our old Japan photos and craving for some of those yummy Harajuku dessert crêpes though when boom! I had this idea to use the ready-made tortilla wraps we had at home as "crêpes" and prepare our own dessert crêpes or wraps! Woohoo... no messy cooking of fresh crêpes required and can't believe I never thought of this earlier.

After I had prepared the ingredients, Lil Pumpkin helped me to put it all together. She loves helping me in the kitchen and this playful dish was definitely easy enough for her to handle.

Prep time:
20 mins

3 pieces Mission Original Wraps 8"
2-3 medium strawberries
1 giant strawberry
1 medium banana
4 tbsp Nuttella chocolate spread
1/2 cup Synder pretzel sticks
2 chocolate chips
1 Tic Tac

  1. Slice the strawberries and banana. 
  2. Break the pretzel sticks into shorter sticks {about 2cm}. 
  3. Stick 2 pretzel sticks into the giant strawberry as feelers, and arrange the chocolate chips as eyes and Tic Tac as mouth. Leave the leaves on as hair.
  4. Warm the wraps in the microwave for 20s. You can also warm them in a dry {no oil} pan over medium heat for 30s. Wraps are easier to roll after heating since they are softer and more pliable.
  5. Spread 2 tbsp of Nuttella over each wrap.
  6. Line the fruits slightly below the center of the wrap. Be careful not to add too much and overfill. 
  7. Roll the wrap by folding in the sides, then holding the sides down while bringing up the bottom and rolling it closed as tightly as you can.
  8. Cut the rolled wrap into half.
  9. Arrange on the plate with the pretzel sticks as the monster's legs and giant strawberry as the monster's head.  
  10. Serve immediately.

If you want this creative snack to be even healthier, use Go-Lo Foods Sugar Free Dark Hazelnut Spread instead of Nutella.

It is 100% sugar-free, and tastes similar to Nutella, but minus all the sugar and poor ingredients. I ran out of my Go-Lo spread when I was making this treat with Lil Pumpkin but would have definitely preferred to use it.

Have a roar-some time making the Wriggly Monster Nuttella & Fruits Dessert Tortilla Wraps with your kids over the weekend or during the Children's Day holiday next Friday! I think this will be a cute addition to any Halloween parties next month too! (ノ^∇^)

P.S. Also check out this Monster Sandwich I made for Lil Pumpkin last time!

What fillings do you like to put in your wraps? 
Anything special planned to celebrate Children's Day?