2 Highly Effective Ab Exercises

Here are two really effective abdominal exercises for spot toning. You can't spot reduce (lose fat in just one area) but you can definitely spot tone.

1. My favorite oblique (love-handle) movement. Not only does it give me a stretch it also helps keep my obliques defined. Tennis players love this one because this helps you stretch and strengthen the muscles you need for an explosive serve. 

Take a weighted bar, not dumbbells, a bar over your head and stretch your hands up. Slowly lean to one side keeping your body as straight as possible. Lean as far as you can with control and slowly come back up. 

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2. Swiss ball abs crunches are intense and target the front six pack. You can do these any way you please. The important thing is to remember to life your chin to the ceiling not your neck. Doing about 100-200 reps define my abs without a doubt. 

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10 Things that Cheer Me Up When I'm Down

1. Listening to this song because it's so stupid and cacthy I just have to sing and dance to it. It also reminds me of a really fun night dancing in Mumbai with my sister, Shikha.

2. Making a cup of green tea. I'm not a tea/coffee drinker but making a cup green tea makes me feel like Im pampering myself. Pampering myself forces me to be kind to myself and have kind thoughts towards myself.

3. Trying on sexy clothes. I like no, love shopping. If I can, I'll go in to a store I like and try on sexy things. It lifts my mood. 

4. Slowing down my whole day. When I know I'm low, its going go hard to accomplish things at my usual pace and quality. I push half my to do list for a better day so i can focus on the 2-3 important tasks. Slowing down helps me feel less helpless. I usually have too much on my plate anyway. 

5. Calling a good friend. When I'm down I don't feel like talking to anybody. I'd like to crawl in to privacg and stay there til I'm myself again. Speaking to or listening to a trusted friend forces me to turn thoughts away from myself and my mood without pressure or formality. 

6. Napping. If I can, Il take a nap. When I wake up I'm almost always in a better mood even if its just slightly better. 

7. Making sure I eat well. When I get down so does my appetite. But I have a tendency to get hangry (anger caused by hunger) and I'm borderline hypoglycemic. If I want to get out of my funk, Ive got to be well fed. 

8. Watching funny vine compilations or funny videos on youtube. I love to laugh. Watching people do silly things may just make me laugh so loud that I scare away my depressed mood.  

9. Writing down what is bothering me or what I think is making me feel low. Usually I don't understand why I'm having a low day but as I write it usually becomes clear to me.

10. Painting my nails. This is so silly but adding color to my nails lifts my mood. Painting my nails also slows my thoughts down and forces me to concentrate on one thing (finger nail) at a time.

What are some things that you do to cheer yourself up? 

White Pants

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I found the best fitting ankle pants for my shape with Sloan Fit from Banana Republic. I'm wearing these white ones a lot this summer so I thought I'd show you two looks I wore this week.

The thing with white is I'm always so concerned about getting them dirty, especially when cooking. Guess, I should stop wiping my hands on myself and use a towel.  

I am in the midst of heating up a bowl of Chole, the Indian chickpeas my mom makes so well. Remembering how I used to run a bowl of it over to my neighbor’s house because Uncle loved them. We always got the bowl back filled with toothbrushes, bandaids or candy. A gesture I treasure and try to copy. What a classy habit.  

I wonder if I will ever be able to make good Chole and think about people the way my mother does. I do notice myself fussing after my friends when they come home. Getting offended when they don’t stuff themselves to the brim with my cooking. My cooking is getting marginally better now that I’m not in a crappy New York apartment.  I wonder if I’ll ever be able to cook well. Isn’t that a silly thought? I bet men don’t ever have that thought.  

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Top: Flower H&M (similar) & Black from Guess (similar) | Pants: | Shoes: Cole Haan