Give the Gift of Zumba

December 19th, 2011

Are you still Christmas shopping? (Don’t feel bad – I haven’t even started.) Why not give the gift of Zumba?!?

For the athlete… You already know she (or he) likes to exercise. Why not help them mix up their workout with Zumba?

For the dancer… You already know she (or he) loves to dance. Why not give them the gift of a workout they’re going to love?

For the couch potato… OK, she (or he) says she doesn’t like to exercise. She says she doesn’t dance. Zumba is the perfect gift for that couch potato of any age you’d like to start exercising. All she has to do is follow along. There are no rules. There is no right or wrong. Just keep moving and pretty soon, she’s dancing and exercising!

How can you give the gift of Zumba?

DVD’s: Two sets of Zumba DVD’s are available through the Zumba shop or Zumba DVD’s let you start doing Zumba right in the comfort (and privacy) of your own home.

Video Game: Two Zumba video games are available for Wii, Playstation, and XBox Kinect. These are video games that will make you sweat, again, in the comfort (and privacy) of your own home,

Live Class: Pick up a punch card or gift certificate to a gym or group fitness studio near your loved one that offers Zumba classes. Some Curves locations now offer Zumba in the Circuit. There are Zumbatomic classes for kids and Zumba Gold classes for beginners, deconditioned exercisers, or older adults. Ask your favorite Zumba instructor for recommendations!

Happy holidays!

Zumba Gift Packs

December 15th, 2011

Just in time for Christmas, Zumba now has gift packs available in the Zumba Shop!

The gift packs contain a variety of Zumba items. The gift packs currently available are:

  • “Show Your Charm” Zumba charm bracelet variety gift pack,
  • “Funky Flavor” Zumba gift pack of 49 popular Zumba rubber bracelets,
  • “Gear Up” Zumba gift pack with Zumba-branded bags and towels,
  • “On-The-Go” Zumba gift pack with Zumba-branded bags and towels,
  • “All-In-One” Zumba gift pack with a little of everything: Zumba hats, balloons, key chains, and socks,
  • Finally, the “Hair Today, Party Tomorrow” Zumba gift pack of Zumba-branded hats (like Beto’s fedora) and hair accessories.

Prices rang from $12 to $35 USD. These Zumba gift packs are amazingly affordable and will not last long in the Zumba Shop. If you’re looking for a gift for a special Zumba lover in your life, buy now. These gift packs would work great as giveaways at Zumba classes and events, so Zumba instructors: Buy now!

Zumba Variety Gift Pack

DIY Crunch Pak Apple Snackers – Apple Slices, Cheese Cubes, and Pretzels

December 8th, 2011

As a vegetarian, I find it very hard to find a convenient healthy snack I can grab in a pinch. That’s why I think the Crunch Pak Apple Snackers are genius: Apple slices, cheese cubes, and pretzels to go! There is also a pack available with raisins instead of cheese or grapes instead of pretzels.

apple pretzel cheese snackapple pretzel cheese snack nutritionMy local grocery store sells a Crunch Pak Apple Snacker for $2.99 (4.75 oz. package), which is not a terrible price, but I wondered how much it would cost if I assembled a similar snack myself at home. I substituted Wheat Thins Honey Wheat Stix because I like them better than pretzels.

Pack a Pak  Mixed Apple Slices
14 oz. bag/about 3 servings per bag
$2.99/3 servings = $1 per serving
(You could make this even less if you slice an apple yourself and don’t mind if your apple slices turn brown. Or if you could just eat an apple whole.

Sharp Cheddar Cheese (1 lb)
16-1 oz. servings per pound
$3.99/16 1 oz. servings = $0.25 per 1 oz. serving

Wheat Thins Honey Wheat Stix
8 oz. box/8 servings per box
$3.50/8 servings = $0.44 per 14 stix serving

Total = $1.79 (6 oz.)

So what does my $1.79 version of the snack get you nutritionally?
My snack (vs. Crunch Pak snack)
6 oz. (4.75 oz.)
Calories 320 (240)
Carbs 44g (29g)
Fat 13g (10g)
Protein 9g (8g)

I think I’ll stick to making my own apple, cheese, Wheat Thins Stix snack, unless I’m in a pinch. I’m always looking for easy, inexpensive, healthy vegetarian snacks. If you have one, please share!

The Very First Nightingale’s Song

December 8th, 2011

Even though I cry every time I hear it, one of my favorite Christmas songs is “The Gift.” The song is about a girl named Maria who finds and injured bird. She nurses it back to health and gives it as a offering at church on Christmas. It flies to the rafters and sings “the very first nightingale’s song.” The song is actually called “The Gift.” I first heard the Garth Brooks version.

“The Gift” was written by Montana singer/songwriter, Stephanie Davis. It appeared on Garth Brooks’ 1992 holiday album, Beyond the Season. A young Canadian pop and Celtic music singer, Aselin Debison also recorded and released “The Gift” on Sweet is the Melody in 2002. Enjoy!

The Gift
Stephanie Davis

A poor orphan girl named Maria
Was walking to market one day
She stopped for a rest by the roadside
Where a bird with a broken wing lay
A few moments passed till she saw it
For its feathers were covered with sand
But soon clean and wrapped it was traveling
In the warmth of Maria’s small hand

She happily gave her last peso
On a cage made of rushes and twine
She fed it loose corn from the market
And watched it grow stronger with time

Now the Christmas Eve service was coming
And the church shone with tinsel and light
And all of the townfolks brought presents
To lay by the manger that night
There were diamonds and incense and perfumes
In packages fit for a king
But for one ragged bird in a small cage
Maria had nothing to bring

She waited till just before midnight
So no one would see her go in
And crying she knelt by the manger
For her gift was unworthy of Him

Then a voice spoke to her through the darkness
Maria, what brings you to me?
If the bird in the cage is your offering
Open the door and let me see
Though she trembled, she did as He asked her
And out of the cage the bird flew
Soaring up into the rafters
On a wing that had healed good as new

Just then the midnight bells rang out
And the little bird started to sing
A song that no words could recapture
Whose beauty was fit for a king

Now Maria felt blessed just to listen
To that cascade of notes sweet and long
As her offerings was lifted to Heaven
By the very first nightingale’s song

Christmas Gifts for Zumba Lovers

December 6th, 2011

Do you have a Zumba lover in your life? Want to give them a Christmas gift they’re going to love? Here are some Christmas gift ideas from a Zumba lover for Zumba lovers:

Zumba Wear
Some people wear their everyday gym clothes to Zumba, but Zumba wear is different than gym clothes. It’s a cross between street wear and dance wear. Zumba wear is available from the Zumba online shop and will cost you anywhere from $14.95 for a pair of Zumba flip flops to $94.95 for a pair of Zumba athletic dance shoes. A safe bet for any Zumba lover is a top to wear to class. A Zumba wear top will cost you anywhere form $14.95 to $39.95 + shipping. Shop now if you want it to arrive by Christmas!

Zumba Go Red Tank

Zumba DVDs
The gift that keeps on giving – a Zumba class right in your very own home! There are two authetic Zumba DVD sets available: the Total Body Transformation System (as seen on TV) or the Zumba Exhilarate DVD Experience. There is even a set of Zumba DVD’s for children called Zumbatomic. The DVD sets are expensive ($89.95 for Exhilarate on, $49.95 for TBTS on, but contain five DVDs including a live workout and choreography to tone the arms, abs, buns, and thighs. Shop for DVDs on or

Zumba Video Game
I was lucky enough to participate in the Best Buy release of the original Zumba Fitness video game for Kinect on the XBox 360 at the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota last year and let me tell you, it is amazing! The Zumba Fitness video game is available for Wii and Playstation and WILL give you a workout. This year, the Zumba Fitness 2 video game is also available for Wii. Shop for DVDs on or

Here are some other ideas for Zumba lovers:

Zumba lovers, do you have any other suggestions?

Zumba at Prince’s Paisley Park Studios – January 2012

December 5th, 2011

Minnesota has the BEST Zumba parties!

Join the 90-minute Zumba Master Class with Columbia-native Wally Diaz at Minnesota-native Prince’s Paisley Park Studios!


Master Class: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Cost: $30 + $1.50 (transaction fee) + canned good item
(This master class is for everyone. You don’t have to be an instructor to attend!)

Master Class Address:
7801 Audubon Road
Chanhassen, MN 55317

More information at