Five Things Friday: Floor Barre, Idris Elba, Apple Strudels, Vegan Jobs, and A&W’s Beyond Burger

Hi there! I am back with the second instalment of Five Things Friday. This is a great way to do a weekly recap of five things on my radar that I think might also interest my readers.

Floor Barre: // My favourite ever ballerina, and the only dancer I follow on Instagram, posted a series of short videos demonstrating some floor barre (or ballet-lying-down) exercises here, here, here (and don’t forget to swipe on this and the next for more), and here. Evgenia Obraztsova is the prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Ballet, and thanks to her newly also-in-English captions, I now know about floor barre. Floor barre is a lot like pilates, or a lot like ballet lying down.

I personally love pilates, and I even love doing the Ballet Beautiful workout on days I want a really tough sculpting workout. What you need to know about floor barre is that it’s a lot of hip work, but it’s also a lot more reasonable in terms of difficulty (compared with ballet beautiful).If you want to get a taste, start with Evgenia’s exercise demonstrations or try this short video from the New York City Ballet workout (Youtube video below). What is great about this five minute introduction to floor barre is that the movements are synchronized to music, which makes it truly feel like you’re dancing while lying down.

Three more free online floor barre workouts to keep on your radar are this fitness workout from the Scottish Ballet company, fitness trainer Caroline Jordan’s no impact floor barre routine, and Lazy Dancer Tips’ floor barre workout. Each of these are about 30 minutes in length, and I have listed them in order of difficulty.After completing all three of them, I would say my favourite is the one from the Scottish Ballet. It begins with some easy warmup exercises and moves on to some more difficult moves that require good muscle control, but they also definitely emphasize flexibility work. I found I could do everything.

Caroline Jordan’s video is a little more challenging and is definitely focused on sculpting a little more than dynamic stretching. If you’re looking for a reasonable toning workout, this should do.

Lazy Dancer Tips, on the other hand, is a Youtube channel by Alessia, a dancer/trainer, and I definitely felt her floor barre routine would have been more appropriate for someone with more hip flexibility, like a dancer. Several of the floor-facing exercises would have been easier to do if I’d had a lot more turnout available to me in my hips. I didn’t, so I had to modify some moves. But I love her channel and even this workout was good when modified, so I wanted to bring her to your attention.

A&W’s Beyond Burger: // On July 9, A&W added a plant-based burger to their menu. Last Wednesday, I finally decided to try it. I’d been resisting until then because I honestly am not a fan of fast food—at all. But I really wanted to try the Beyond Burger to find out what the hype is about. Well, guess what? They were sold out. Their drive thru had a sign telling me they would restock in two weeks. I turns out they’ve been selling out elsewhere, too.

I think it’s such good news that people are willing to give non-meat alternatives a try!

Idris Elba as James Bond: // Rumours of Idris Elba being cast as James Bond again have resurfaced. This has sparked a Twitter shouting match between people, and this is the first time I really feel the negative effects of scrutinizing things so closely from an identity perspective, or what is usually negatively referred to as identity politics. Of course, we live in a world where your skin colour unfortunately matters at this point; so it’s not a bad thing overall.

Many, including entertainment journalist Dana Schwartz, are equating people’s negative opinion on the potential pick with racism.

This accusation was a huge slap in the face for me… I’m not racist. But my first thought when reading about Idris Elba being cast for the next Bond film was, “Isn’t he too old?” As Dana points out in other tweets, he’s actually younger than some previous Bond picks. But Idris has a very prominently grey beard, and somehow I just don’t think he makes a good James Bond. Would it make me racist if I also admitted that I think 95% of white actors also wouldn’t make a good James Bond? Is it a male actor’s birthright to get cast as James Bond?

Before finding out about the controversy, I actually thought about other black actors that would make really great Bond picks. So who do I think would make the perfect James Bond? Djimon Hounsou! Thoughts?

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Tim Horton’s Vegan Mini Apple Strudels: // The Tim Horton’s near my home offers soy milk, which means that whenever I grab a coffee to go (which is seldom), I now choose Tim’s over Starbucks. I recently also found out that they have a few other vegan options, including these mini apple strudels and their caramel apple bagel—I haven’t tried the bagel yet. How cute are these? They were a little crumbly and dry, but I’m not too picky with apple-flavoured sweet treats, so I still liked them.

On the other hand, I don’t know how I feel about these ingredients for the apple filling:  apples (sulphites), water, glucose-fructose, sugar, modified corn starch, salt, cinnamon, malic acid, guar gum, artificial flavours, spice, sodium citrate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, sulphiting agent, xanthan gum, locust bean gum, caramel colour, artificial colour.

Yep, that’s just the apple filling! I guess if you’re in a pinch.

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VeganJobs.com: // I tend to keep my job hunting to Linkedin and Indeed, but recently, I’ve started checking out this website called veganjobs.com. On the other job boards, I encounter quite a few postings that I wouldn’t feel comfortable applying to, often because a large portion of the company’s revenue comes from the sale of animal products.

So VeganJobs.com has been a great job board to keep on my radar. There aren’t too many jobs posted as one might expect, but of the ones that are, quite a few are remote, so you don’t have to be in a specific location, and many are from independent or small companies that aren’t posting everywhere else. I thought some of you might want to know about it, too!

That’s all from me! If you wanna read my last Five Things Friday, click here. In that one, I talk about a book, writing prompts and more.

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