Superfoods: Quinoa

Eating well is vital for playing any sport and protein is essential to any athlete’s diet. I think it’s very important to enjoy food while also eating a balanced diet that makes you feel good and there are lots of ways to achieve both.


Eating quinoa is a great way to add more protein to your diet and it is easy to factor into many delicious vegtarian, vegan or meat-based recipes. Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. The nutrient composition is very favourably compared with wheat, rice or oats and it can be used as a more nutritious substitute for these foods. Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, fibre,phosphorus, magnesium and iron and its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Quinoa is also gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

Here is a tasty high protein recipe made with Quinoa that makes a great pre or post training meal. It can be made vegan by substituting the feta cheese with tofu:

Superfoods Salad (serves 2 or 1 very hungry person!)

30g Quinoa

200g brocoli

120g peas

100g cucumber (cut into batons)

100g feta cheese (crumbled)

20g alfalfa

20g mixed toasted seeds (sesame, sunflower, flax and pumpkin)

50g avocado (cut into chunks)

A handful of fresh parsley, mint and coriander (chopped)

4 desertspoons olive oil

2 desertspoons of lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Put the quinoa in a small pan and cover with cold water plus about an inch. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until the water is gone. Leave to cool at room temperature.

Boil some salted water in a pan and drop in the broccoli and peas. Cover and cook for 4 minutes then rinse under cold water until cool.

Build your salad in layers starting with the first ingredient on the list and finishing with the chopped herbs.

Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and serve.


SlutWalk London

This is something I feel pretty strongly about. Thousands of people have been taking part in SlutWalk marches across the US and Canada. The movement started after police constable Michael Sanguinetti, who had been giving a talk to a group of students in Toronto, made the following comment:

“I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.”

The SlutWalk protest movement was sparked by this Canadian police officer’s comment and about 3,000 people took part in the first SlutWalk in Toronto last month and 2,000 people took part in a SlutWalk in Boston. The protest is now coming to England. The SlutWalk march in London, starting in Trafalgar Square, is planned for 11 June. Organisers say the aim is to highlight a culture in which the victim, rather than rapist or abuser, is blamed. The march in London has been organised by student Anastasia Richardson, 17,  who explains why the movement clearly relates to people in Britain.

She said: “I think the reaction shows how relevant it is, especially in Britain where only 6.5% of rape cases end in convictions – and that’s the ones we know about.”

The SlutWalk London website said it wants to end a culture of fear and victimisation:

“Let’s raise our voices and tell the world that rape is never, ever OK,”

“Not if she was wearing a miniskirt. Not if she was naked. Not if she was your wife, girlfriend or friend. Not if she was a prostitute. Not if she was drunk. Not if you thought she wanted to.”

Animal Fashion

As you may have noticed from my blog page, I LOVE animal print and there are some great animal pieces out there at the moment. Leopard print is the all-time favourite of mine both on and off the track so here are some of my favourite leopard print items around at the moment. Of course, second hand is always preferable for green minded people out there, and often more interesting or creative. However, the high street can be good too if you don’t have time to go trawling through the charity shops.

All over London I see people wearing fabulous leopard print scarves. I think this one from ASOS is pretty good. A bit of animal can just brighten up an otherwise totally boring outfit.

Another great shop for all things animal that I have discovered lately is Collectif.

It specialises in vintage and rockabilly clothing and has some excellent leopard print items at the moment. I think this leopard-trimmed bolero is lovely.

They also do some great leopard trousers in either traditional or snow leopard

Leopard Trousers

This leopard trimmed dress is fabulous too

My favourite on-track leopard item right now is this pair of pink leopard hotpants from True derby style: they’re grrrrrrrrreat!

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First Bout

Last week our recreational league had its first internal bout. The white team took on the black team in their first ever battle on the flat track. There were team t-shirts, there was music, there were referees and score-keepers, and even spectators. It was so much fun!

Stretching before the game

Team black got off to a shaky start with team white quickly in the lead due to a few power jam situations (no thanks to me…). Team black then managed to get ahead and their score climbed until half time. In the second half, team black started off in the lead but lost their advantage as team white broke even and eventually got ahead. Team white were all set to win when in the final 2 minutes, team black reclaimed their lead and won the game by 8 points. The final score was 78-70 to team black- so close!

 Team White

The pack

Black jammer takes the lead

I think everyone that participated had an awesome time and learned a lot. For me,  it was great to be given the opportunity to jam and I loved every minute of it, and though I did manage to score a few points, I spent far too much time in the penalty box. I can’t wait for the next one but I think I’ll have to do some serious studying of the rule book, and train my feet to stay on the track…

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Roller Derby in the Movies

In order to celebrate a new film Derby Baby due for release in Autumn 2011, I have decided to make roller derby and film the topic of this blog post.  This exciting new addition to the list of roller derby movies covers the recent explosion in popularity of the revival of roller derby and asks questions about the future of the sport.

Check out Derby Baby here:

Roller derby has been the subject of many visual delights over the years. Here are a few to check out:

In 1949, Roller Derby Girl, a 10-minute short film produced and directed by Justin Herman was released as part of Paramount‘s Pacemaker series.

In 1971, the documentary film Derby (titled Roller Derby in the United Kingdom) was released. Directed by Robert Kaylor and produced by Jerry Seltzer’s own company, the film follows skater Mike Snell as he becomes immersed in the world of 1970s professional Roller Derby, and provides competition footage as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of several Roller Derby pros.

In 1986, the 57-minute documentary Roller Derby Mania was released direct to video (NTSC VHS) in North America. It features the L.A. T-Birds roller games team, and includes archival footage of the game’s previous incarnations.

Roller Derby Wars was released direct to video (NTSC VHS) in North America. It was released on video in the UK in 1993

In 2004, the 32nd episode of the sports documentary series Woodie’s World aired on ESPN and contained a segment on a 1971 roller derby revival.

Demon of the Derby: The Ann Calvello Story tells the story of one of derby’s all-time greats Ann Calvello (2001)

The Fireball is the story of a boy, played by Mickey Rooney, who runs away to join the roller derby

Unholy Rollers: The Leader of the Pack. A tale of a woman who quits her job to start a new life as a rollergirl. (1972)

Kansas City Bomber starring the fabulous Raquel Welch as a derby girl rising to fame

Jam is a film about the lives of derby skaters and promoters in Texas  released in 2006.

High Heels on Wheels. A film  featuring several former professional skaters reminiscing about their roles as female athletes and “out” lesbians in the roller derby community. (2006)

Rollergirls is a series of 13 hour long reality-style episodes about roller derby in Texas. (2006)

Hell-on-Wheels: The True Tale of All-Girl Roller Derby, Texas Style. A documentary about the beginnings of women’s roller derby in Texas (2007)

Blood on the Flat Track. A documentary about the formation of Seattle’s Rat City Rollergirls, premiered at the 2007 Seattle International Film Festival

Roller Derby Revival. A short feature about the roller derby revival. (2008)

Roller Derby Dolls. A short documentary about the recent revival of Roller Derby in Australia. (2008)

Roller Warriors is a 7-part documentary series covering the 2008 Kansas City Roller Warriors season

Speed Queen The ‘Speed Queen’ is Ulrike Kubatta, video artist and a former motorcycle courier, who briefly swapped the hazardous streets of central London for the fast and frenzied world of the American sport of Roller Derby. (2009)

The 9th episode of the sports documentary series Timeless aired on ESPN and spotlighted the Los Angeles Derby Dolls. (2009)

Brutal Beauty: Tales of the Rose City Rollers is a documentary about a Portland (Oregon) league, which premiered in 2010

Whip It  An adaptation of former La Derby Doll Shauna Cross’s novel starring Ellen Page (“Juno”) as Bliss Cavendar, an indie-rock loving misfit, a combat-boot-wearin’ square peg in the very round hole of Bodeen, Texas, where football and beauty pageants are the guiding lights, yet she finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery by discovering a roller derby league in nearby Austin. (2009)

Also coming in late 2011 is Star Cross’d Jammers. A romantic comedy blended with roller derby action. It combines a modern day sport with a classic Shakespearian tale. A Romeo and Juliet style feud between two roller derby leagues that despise one another is fuelled when the star jammers from each league fall in love.

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Roller Derby Fashion

Fashion has always been a big part of roller derby as it is a medium of self expression. How many other sports can you name that feature players  decked out in fishnet tights and miniskirts, knee high socks and gold hotpants as well as a showcase of tattoos? Roller derby is a sport, but it has also has its roots firmly planted in performance and the look is part of the whole package. And, as with athletic experience, there is room for all styles from pin-up and vintage looks to punk, goth, athletic sportswear, to nu-rave neon and though team mates are often unified by an overall uniform design or colour scheme, there is plenty of room for individual style and interpretation.

Georgia W. Tush, Montreal New Skids on the Block

From the very origins of the sport, fashion always had its place and the original roller derby stars such as Ann Calvello used personal style to express themselves as larger than life characters on the track. In her derby memoir Rollergirl, Melissa Joulwan describes Calvello’s style: ‘Ann, a proud Leo, decked herself out with lions-on the rings she always wore, her eyeglasses, her eight tattoos…When the management gave her a new jersey, she’d attack the neckline with scissors, all the better to show off her assets…Her hair was a rainbow of colours: Wendy O. Williams platinum blonde, green for St. Patrick’s Day, lavender, fire engine red, blue, hot pink, even polka dots. She wore a scarf around her slender neck, and it fluttered in the wind she generated as she sped around the track, her black pivot’s helmet tipped at a rakish angle on her head.’

Ann Calvello

With the rapid growth of the sport over the last few years, derby fashion is getting more and more attention from the media. It seems everyone wants a piece of the action- In 2009 Sophie Kercher wrote an article for the LA Times detailing how the sport and its wiley fashions are infiltrating mainstream culture and large high street brands and retailers. Kercher writes: ‘Search keyword “derby” on and you’ll find look-at-me silver hot pants. Do the same at Hot Topic and you’ll come up with a ruffled plaid mini; skate-shaped charms; a black wristband emblazoned with the phrase “talk derby to me”; and knockoff Derby Dolls tees. Even the more staid Nordstrom offers derby-inspired fashion. Our favorite is a Jean Paul Gaultier velvet pencil skirt with a provocative fishnet inset that looks like a naughty window to the thigh.’

She’s not the only one to comment on this in the mainstream media either. Marie Claire also jumped on the derby fashion bandwagon in 2009 featuring cover girls Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page, stars of the first feature length film on roller derby: Whip It to accompany an interview by Jessica Henderson- they even put together a series of outfits inspired by the sport. Many independent clothing lines such as Wicked Skatewear, Pivot Star, Dolled Up Derby and Derby Skinz have been launched to cater to skaters’ needs and ensure they can play in maximum style and custom hotpants are now readily available from a whole host of different sources.

Some people seem to be of the opinion that fishnets and the like are on the way out because they detract from the seriousness of the sport and take the focus away from its athleticism but i think there is plenty of room for fashion and sport to coexist and be taken seriously. I say keep rockin’ those hotpants!

Training for the Bout

It’s less than a week to go untill our first internal bout which means exciting times for the rookie rollergirls of London. The tactics have been discussed, the skate-out song has been chosen and the hotpants have been ordered. Now all I need to do is get training and prepare myself as much as possible in the next 6 days. It’s not long but I think every little helps.

This is a great workout for strength and agility:

10 squat jumps

20 spider man push ups

20 jumping lunges

1 min plank

20 walking lunges

20 low backward walks

20 1 leg squats (10 on each leg)

20 static crossovers

Repeat x 4

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