Bellydance combinations

Combine the basic moves you learned in the technique section to create fun combinations that you can use in any choreography

Fun workouts: cardio bellydance, ab workouts and more

Join Tiazza for fun long cardio belly dance workouts and creative ab workouts for lean abs and a strong core to improve your dance practice.

Bellydance technique: beginner, advanced, veil, Saidi, ...

Learn the step by step technique of several moves for beginners and advanced. Also, learn the technique for veil, Saidi, turns, sword dancing, floor work and more

Fun contests ... win prizes!

Enter fun contests to win bellydance items. These contests are open to anyone no matter where you are located in the world and meant to encourage you to further your practice and challenge you

Fun choreographies

Learn complete fun choreographies and their combinations step by step. Then, dance with Tiazza to fun songs from Modern Egyptian and Lebanese styles to powerful drum solos, veil dances and more.

Reviews: CDs, DVDs and more

Are you thinking about buying a new album or a DVD and not sure if you will like it or be worth your money? Check out this section for reviews first.

My belly dance story by Nadya Sabina


by Nadya Sabina  

I grew up in a small village in Sweden and my life was great until I started school. It took only one day and then most of the other girls in my class started to bully me. Since it's a small village most of the other girls were related to each other, but my family had moved there 5 years prior to me starting school and therefor I didn't really have that much backup.  I did get a few friends, but most were in different classes than mine.  


 Flashing forward a few years, I had terrible self-esteem and self-confidence. I had anorexia and was scared of meeting other people because of what they might think of me and how I look. But then I found a couple of videos  online of bellydancers and was amazed by what they can do with their bodies and that was the beginning of something that would change my entire life and how I view myself.

   I started dancing on my own in the comfort of my home with the guidance of online video classes, but then I saw an ad in a paper about local bellydance classes. I was reluctant at first since I was afraid to let other people see me and talking to strangers was not something I was comfortable with at the time. But then I thought of how much I really wanted to learn this art so I applied and it was the best decision I have ever made! I came out a braver person, more comfortable with talking to strangers, I have no eating disorder left and now  I have a career doing what I love the most: bellydancing!  

Belly Diet: Moroccan lentil soup



Here is another recipe from Recettes de Mamans in 3 languages: Arabic, French and English.

I am loving this simple You Tube channel which I encourage you to subscribe to. This is a great way to learn new recipes and learn a different language. Leila who creates these simple yet to the point videos is determined to start posting healthy recipe videos only so we have some awesome ethnic healthy recipes to look forward to

Lentils are by far my favorite source of fiber and protein. I eat lentils regularly and could eat them for days! It's a great way to stay full, get plenty of nutrients and keep that belly dancer's belly bloat free :)

Enjoy!

Recipe details here >>>


Here is the recipe video ...



Belly Diet: Beet and Orange Salad



Check out this awesome video with this simple yet tasty and beautiful beet and orange salad. The video will show the directions in 3 languages! How awesome is that ?

Enjoy it and hope you share!

For list of ingredients and directions and step by step photos, go to Recettes des Mamans blog 

Here is the video ...

The simple math of weight loss



Drop 10 pounds in two months with simple math!

1- Multiply the pounds you want to lose by the number of calories in a pound of fat: 10 x 3,500 = 35,000


3500 (calories) x 10 (pounds) = 35,000


2- Divide the total by the days you'll diet: 35,000 / 60 = 583



35,000 (calories) / 60 (days) = 583


3- Calculate how many calories you need to burn through exercise + how many calories to cut out of your diet to create a deficit equal to your number from step 2.

For examples:

  • 100 sit ups 
  • 200 treadmill 
  • 283 white rice and soda 
Total: 583



So if you can do 100 sit ups a day and burn 200 on a treadmill and avoid eating rice and drinking soda every day for 60 days, you should be able to lose the 10lbs in 2 months. 

Of course the activities you chose to do and the foods you decide to cut will be your personal choice but the math is simple. However, there are other factors that could make this process difficult. If the foods you are trying to cut to create the deficit are comfort foods you tend to reach out for as a stress response, then you need to create substitutes in case of a stressful day or you should try to cut the foods that you do not consume as a stress response

 Also, commitment is key to make sure you do the right physical activity that will create the deficit you need. This also become harder what stress enters the equation. So having a set time scheduled for your physical activity is key and working out before your stressful work day starts would help tremendously. Also, having a drive and a challenge or even a bet is extra motivation that could help create the consistency you need so the goal is reached in the 60 days time frame. 

This is one of my favorite TED Talks that really makes the weight loss math seem too simple and yes it is but also be aware that emotional ups and down could be the biggest road block you can encounter. 



The psychology of eating




Too often we forget that we are emotional beings. Yes we do!
In a world where we glorify buziness, we forget that the long to do lists are making us unhealthy and fat!

How often do we really eat because we are hungry? The expression"I am starving" is used loosly these days. No one really starves between breakfast and lunch! The words we use have a huge power on what we do.

When we convince ourselves that we are "starving" and "earned" this meal or "deserve to splurge" .... etc, we not only set ourselves for failure but we are also blind ourselves from the truth. The truth that most of our eating is driven by our happiness and sadness, by anxiety and stress, pleasure and deprivation ...

So let's face the facts instead of numbing the feelings with food and calling it something else.

I just finished reading the book "The Psychology of eating" by Jane Ogden and I could not agree more with several of her major points that I would like to share here with you:



YES! Stress can put weight on 

It’s fascinating how stress, fear, anxiety, anger, judgment, and even negative self-talk can literally create a  physiologic stress response in the body. This means that we generate more cortisol and insulin, two hormones that have the unwanted effect of signaling the body to store weight, store fat, and stop building muscle. Strange as it may sound, we quite literally change our calorie burning capacity when we’re stressed. What’s more incredible though, is that as we learn to smile more, ease into life, and breathe more deeply, the body enters a physiologic relaxation response. So, you could be following the best weight loss diet in the world, but if you’re an anxious mess, the power of your mind is limiting the weight loss of your body. Far too many people adopt stressful weight loss strategies – impossible to follow diets, overly intense exercise programs, tasteless food, and extremely low calorie meal plans – all of which can create the kind of stress chemistry that ensures our weight will stay put. It’s time to relax into weight loss.


Happiness is the best digestive aid

Can you recall what happens when you eat during anxiety or stress? Many people report such symptoms as heartburn, cramping, gas, and digestive upset. During stress, the body automatically shifts into the classic fight-or-flight response. This feature of the nervous system evolved over millions of years as a brilliant safety mechanism to support us during life-threatening events. In the moment the stress response is activated, something very interesting happens – the digestive system shuts down. It makes perfect sense that when you’re fending off an angry gorilla, you don’t need to waste energy digesting your breakfast. All the body’s metabolic energy is directed towards survival. So, you could be eating the healthiest food in the universe, but if you aren’t eating under the optimum state of digestion and assimilation – which happens to be relaxation – you literally and metabolically are not receiving the full nutritional value of your meal.


Overeating is not about willpower failure 

Most people think they overeat because they have a willpower problem. “If only I could control my appetite, then I would stop being such a willpower weakling and start losing weight.” Well, here’s the good news – you don’t have a willpower problem. The problem for a majority of over eaters is that they don’t actually “eat” when they eat. What I’m suggesting is that we aren't always fully present to the meal, aware of its taste, eating it slowly, or simply feeling nourished by the food. When this happens, the brain, which requires taste and satisfaction, misses out on a key phase of the nutritional experience. The brain literally thinks it didn't eat, or didn't eat enough. And it simply screams back at us – “Hungry!” So, you can dramatically decrease your overeating by increasing your awareness and presence at every meal.


Slower eating means faster metabolism

One of my favorite nutritional questions to ask a client or student is “Are you a fast eater, moderate eater, or slow eater?” If the answer is “fast”, then it’s time for an overhaul. That’s because the act of eating fast is considered a stressor by the body. Humans are simply not biologically wired for high speed eating. So when we do eat fast, the body once again enters the physiologic stress response, which results in decreased digestion, decreased nutrient assimilation, increased nutrient excretion, lowered calorie burning rate, and a bigger appetite. The bottom line is that you can literally empower your nutritional metabolism simply by slowing down. What’s fascinating is that for many fast eaters, slowing down is quite a challenge. But try this – don’t just eat slow – eat sensuously, feel nourished by your food, and take in all the sensations of your meal.


Make sure you have enough Vitamin P – Pleasure!

Far too many people are taught to believe that pleasure is something frivolous. Well, it’s actually required by our biology. All organisms on planet earth, be they lion, lizard, amoeba, or human, are programmed at the most primitive level of the nervous system to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Well, if you’re eating and not paying attention, the brain will drive you to seek more pleasure via overeating. What’s worse, if you’re stressed while eating, the excess cortisol in your system actually de-sensitizes us to pleasure – so you’ll need to eat more food in order to get the pleasure we are seeking. The bottom line is this: If you want more pleasure from food, you don’t need to eat more of the ice cream. Simply breathe, relax, de-stress, enjoy, and pay attention and the body will naturally experience the pleasure it seeks. And the great news is, since pleasure catalyzes a relaxation response, it actually fuels digestion and assimilation


Emotional eating – it’s not the enemy

At our core, we are emotional beings – rich, complex, juicy, unpredictable, feeling-filled creatures. We love, we celebrate, we laugh, cry, we break down, we rise up… So how could we NOT be emotional eaters? We love food. We love our favorite restaurant. We love how food makes us feel good. Some of us love cooking for others. Some of us are passionate about nutrition. It’s time to get over it – if you’re human, you will bring emotionality to the table. Once we embrace the reality that we’re genetically hard-wired for emotional expression we can relax a little more.  Underneath the quest to eradicate emotional eating from one’s life is often found a hidden desire to eliminate uncomfortable feelings. We strive for an impossible to attain goal that constantly leaves us frustrated and in failure. Yes, this thing called emotional eating can be very painful. But it’s not the actual problem – it’s a symptom that’s pointing to something deeper. It’s an alert mechanism from body wisdom that’s calling us to check in, and follow the flow of emotions within us to see where our soul is calling for more awareness and insight.


Get rid of toxic nutritional beliefs

Finally, many of us have absorbed toxic nutritional beliefs that are as harmful and debilitating as any of the toxins in our food. Here’s what I mean: it’s surprisingly common for people to believe that “food is the enemy”, or “food makes me fat”, or “fat in food will become fat on my body” or “my appetite is the enemy” or “as soon as I have the perfect body, then I’ll finally be happy”. Such beliefs may seem harmless, yet they can create a relationship with food and self that’s filled with tremendous suffering and pain. Think about it – if “food is the enemy”, then we are constantly in a fight or flight stress response whenever we eat, or even think about food. Such a powerful stressor can cause all the problems of stress-induced digestive shutdown, decreased calorie burning capacity, and an inner life that’s seldom at peace. The question is: Is your relationship with food nourishing, or punishing?



Hopefully, you’ve noticed that there’s way more to good nutrition than simply the food itself. We bring all of ourselves to the table – our hopes, fears, thoughts, feelings, dramas, and dreams. And the more we include a well rounded nutritional profile – Vitamin R – relaxation, Vitamin P – pleasure, Vitamin S – slow, and Vitamin L – love – the more we can literally nourish ourselves on every level.

Healthy and light Valentine's dinner menu

In the spirit of the weight loss challenge we are currently doing and to keep our meals light even when we are celebrating, here is a menu inspiration to keep those calories in control and enjoy the celebration.

Here are some inspiration recipes to get you in the mood :)

Enjoy!




ROASTED BEETS SALAD 

Add other roasted veggies such as onions and carrots, parsnip, rutabaga ... 



GREEN SALAD 

Decorate it with some heart shaped beets




You can also decorate the salad with some rosy eggs. 

See below how to make these eggs ...





To make these colored eggs, use the water left after cooking your beets, add some vinegar and soak the eggs in it over night. 

Et Voila! 





For desert, try a

Frozen berry bowl


Things to consider before you start a weight loss program

Starting a weight loss program is never a goal in itself. It is merely a way to start establishing new habits that will become part of a lifestyle.

Making this habit building process easier takes a village sometimes and that is why it's a good idea to do it as a community. Find a group of friend to support you, challenge you and hold your hand along the way until the month long changes become part of a healthy lifestyle is a great idea!

And this is why we are doing this community weight loss challenge.

But before you start, there are few things to make sure you do to make this process easier:

1- Get rid of unhealthy foods in your home


Clean out your kitchen and get rid of unhealthy foods, trigger foods, addictive foods... etc. Just because a food is healthy does not mean it will not sabotage your weight loss goal. Nuts, dried figs, dates, ... are all high calorie foods that could easily be be addictive and trigger the endless snacking frenzy. So make sure to give those away to friends or food banks... just make sure they are not anywhere to be seen in your home


2- Let everyone know you are on a weight loss challenge


Letting your friends and family members know that you are trying to build some healthy habits and finally get rid of those last few lbs that are making you sluggish is always a great idea! There is nothing better than making your goals public and having the support of your loved ones. This might help them join your challenge for themselves and will help build these healthy habits together which is a double win.


3- Get a workout buddy 

If working out is part of your weight loss challenge which it should be, get a buddy! Someone who will motivate you to just GO to your workout class, your gym ... when you have one of those days!

Dieting as the only way to lose weight is possible but a crazy idea that won't lead anywhere good. You will have to starve yourself to create the right calorie deficit to lose weight which will lead you to a dark hole you don't want to end up in. Starving the body lead to serious emotional, physical and mental challenges that could take a lifetime to fix. Do yourself a favor and incorporate physical activities of any form in your lifestyle not just to create the calorie deficit you need to lose those last lbs but also to feel better, come alive and build the physical and mental strength that your body and mind will thank you for as long as you live.

4- Be nice to yourself 

There will come days when you can't workout to save your life. There will be days when you will just eat that crappy piece of cake that left you sluggish for hours ... yes life happens when we are busy making plans.

What to do? well just act like it never happened and move on! Don't blame yourself and don't quit just because you had one little bump in the road. If you run a red light first thing in the morning, you don't go through the day saying "well screw it, I am just going to run every red light today because my day is now ruined".

You are human, you are not a superhero and you will never be one. Life is not black and white (Trust me, I am a perfectionist). Know and accept the fact that failures will happen and it's not about the shortcomings in life, it's about how we handle those shortcomings that make us stronger beings.


5- Get rid of those crazy ideas that got you no where 

If you have been trying to clean up your diet for awhile without going anywhere or if you have been trying to lose those last few lbs without any success, there might be some crazy ideas in your head that should vanish for good especially before you start this challenge.


Examples of these ideas would be:


  • I workout to eat whatever I want: no you don't, you can't and you should not! 100 burpees does not burn a burger or a nachos! so think about that next time you want that greasy burger. You need to do 1000 burpees to burn it!
  • It's harder for women to lose weight: NOPE! Weight loss a simple matter of calorie deficit. If there is a deficit, you will lose weight whether you are a man, a woman or an alien (I am guessing :)
  • Night eating is the worst: again, calorie deficit is how weight loss happens. So the bottom line at the end of the day is what really matters. If you had 2000 calorie before 6 pm or if you fasted all day and consumed 2000 calorie after 10 pm will make no difference as far as weight loss is concerned. 
  • Drinking water helps with weight loss: it's not the water that helps with weight loss, it's the fact that water is filling and combined with fiber helps feel fuller longer. So you can drink all the water you want, if you don't consume real clean food, you will not lose an ounce.
  • Becoming vegan will help me lose weight: you are giving up high fat foods and that could help as long as you are not replacing those foods with other high calorie foods. There are a lot of unhealthy and even obese vegans. So the vegan route does not necessarily lead to weight loss 

So clean up your home and your mind first and the rest should be a "piece of cake"! A change of attitude could create powerful changes in your life beyond your imagination and only those who have done it know what I am talking about. But again success breeds success. Try first, have faith in the process and surround yourself with love and support and you are guaranteed the success. Once you taste that success, you will believe in the process and in yourself even more and more success will come your way! 

Let's do this! 

Hugs! 
Tiazza 

Fit belly dancers diet bet





Hello lovely belly dancers ...

I have been receiving so many emails about weight loss. The questions range from diet to toning but all focus on the trouble of losing those last few pounds. Yes they are the hardest because they simple require a greater calorie deficit to accomplish so mentally they are harder but also with few diet twists, we could reduce the calorie intake that will make a huge difference in banishing the last 5-10lbs

Therefore, a group effort and community support are crucial. So let's do this together in a fun"Diet Bet" style challenge/game. If you have not done a challenge like this before, check out the website dietbet.com to see what others have accomplished with this online game/challenge and what they thought about it.

But again, the best way to know is to try it for yourself and why not make some money doing it? Sounds fun to me and I will join the challenge with you. I have already paid for my bet and we have few on board. You can join us anytime!

The challenge begins Wednesday February 11th, 2015

So head on to our challenge page, enter the game and submit your weight and let's do this!

I will help you by submitting daily tips on the site to help everyone in this journey. Stay tuned on this site as well as the Facebook page

I also submitted a video with my weight-in! Excuse the early morning just woke up face :)

Here you go ...






Let's do this!
Hugs & shimmies
Tiazza