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  • Six Secrets of the Fantastically Fit

    Six Secrets of the Fantastically Fit

    Admit it, we all browse through pictures on pinterest, instagram, or even magazines that we don’t want to read at the supermarket checkout, and we look at these super fit people with rockin’ bodies and think, “I wonder what they are doing to look like that…”

     

    They are our fitspiration.

     

    It’s easy to get discouraged or assume they have some sort of miracle vitamin then write it off as such. It’s simply an unattainable goal that we should just scratch before we ever give it a shot, yeah? A level of health and fitness that we just weren’t meant to achieve, correct? To that I say- NOPE!  

     

    I’m here as your friendly neighborhood private fitness instructor to let you in on a few secrets of what the incredibly fit are doing that the rest of us maybe aren’t. People who are awe-inspiringly fit are working just as hard as anyone to get where they are and continue to work to maintain it. Here are a few secrets practiced by the fantastically fit and and how they achieve such flaunt-worthy physiques:

     

    1. Make it a DATE!

    By loosely telling yourself you will make it to that yoga class later, you are in a way already giving yourself an out. You will go IF you aren’t too tired, or maybe you should get home to start dinner, actually come to think of it, maybe your hamstring is a bit too sore…? Better to just pass the exit and keep driving home. Sound familiar? Thought so. Before the week begins, make your workout schedule and make reasons why you must commit- call a friend and arrange to meet them there. Trying a fun fitness class, going on a walk around the neighborhood or a sunset bike ride are just some simple ways to maximize getting friend time in as well as ensuring you go get your workout in.

     

    2. Eat Seasonal Food

    Healthy people make a point to eat the fruits and vegetables that are in season. Go to your local farmers market and see what looks tasty. There are also a plethora of produce delivery services that will leave fresh fruits and veggies on your doorstep. (My favorite is www.summerlandla.com). There are many benefits to eating what’s in season, but here are a few: It tastes better! The produce is not shipped from far away or grown in a hothouse. By being freshly harvested, they maintain much more of the flavor and nutrients. Getting produce that tastes great will make you more inclined to eat more of it. Finding new produce that you are less familiar with also encourages you to cook more creatively and get a range of vitamins and nutrients, not just the few you are used to regularly cooking. Healthy people can be easily spotted in their yoga pants and sneakers walking around the farmers markets with big baskets busting at the seams with fruits and veggies! That’s not a coincidence, this is a healthy habit they have created that is adding to their fit physiques.

     

    3. Find what makes you MOVE

    Not everyone has the same interests in fitness styles- I for one have never been much for running. I know I run improperly because I always feel it in my knee and I just flat out don’t enjoy it. If I decided to run as my form of fitness (based on the fact that other people do it), I’d never be able to stick with it. Healthy people have investigated the world of fitness- yoga, running, gym memberships, bootcamp classes, Pilates, dance, swimming, etc. and figured out what they actually enjoy doing. This will be a major player in your longevity. At the end of the day, consistency is key so find something you will want to stick with.

     

    4. Find what makes you GROOVE

    Make a playlist of songs that make you move and groove. That’s right, I mean the songs that come on the radio in the car and you begin doing dance moves to while driving. The moves that are purely organic and would never be displayed if someone was sitting shotgun. Those are the songs you need to fill your iPod with and put on while you get outside for a walk, hitting the gym, going for a run, etc. Music creates endorphins which make you happy and will connect you emotionally to your workout.

     

    5. Drink Water

    Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard that. Well guess what? As someone who privately trains clients all day I can tell you I regularly, I’m talking at LEAST once a day, hear someone say they forgot to drink water that day. You MUST drink water. It is essential for the nourishment of your body and mind. Here are a few reasons why: It increases energy (allowing you to not flake on your workout), relieves fatigue, promotes regularity, flushes out toxins, promotes weight loss, improves skin complexion, puts you in a good mood, helps sleep, boosts your immune system, and more. So yeah, drinking a good ¾ gallon of water a day could absolutely change your body, emotional state and happiness.

     

    6. Get sleep

    Healthy people have been aware of this for eons. Without sleep, everything goes down the drain. If you are tired, your body becomes lethargic. You eat less healthy food because it is what your exhausted brain craves. You drink less water because you are unaware of the essential basic necessities when less mentally. You flake on your workout because it’s the last thing you want to do, and you are more likely to sit on the couch. Attempt to stop working and communicating with the outside world by 10pm. Give your brain a cut off time and force it to wind down and turn off. Go out and enjoy a glass of wine or dinner with a friend, but make sure you are home in time to give your brain that same cut off of turning off time. Creating a healthy sleep habit will in turn affect the productivity of the rest of your day and be the leading factor for you creating healthy habits. Do those healthy fit people look exhausted? Do they look like the skipped a workout? Nope, because they got their sleep, woke up and showed the day who’s boss.

  • Tilapia-Thon: Recipe!

    Tilapia-Thon: Recipe!

    Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

    Ingredients:

    2 lemons- juiced

    Zest of 1 lemon

    1/2 C dry white wine

    1 shallot thinly sliced

    1/4 C heavy cream

    1 stick unsalted butter

    salt and pepper to taste

    4 tilapia fillets

    3 tbsp. olive oil

    1/2 C orzo

    1/4 C chopped parsely

    1/4 C capers

    garlic salt

    Directions:

    Make the butter ahead of time: Simmer the lemon zest, lemon juice, white wine and shallot in a small saucepan until halfway reduced. Take off heat and let cool almost completely. Add cream and butter in and whisk until combined. Leave in fridge for around 30 minutes.

    Heat grill pan. Brush tilapia with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill in pan 3-4 minutes per side. Meanwhile, cook orzo for 9 minutes in boiling water. Add a cup of cold water to stop cooking and drain thoroughly. Add 2 tbsp. of the butter mixture to the orzo and give it a hefty sprinkling of garlic salt and pepper. Plate the orzo and place the tilapia fillets on top. Drizzle the entire top of the fish with the butter mixture, top with chopped parsley and capers. Squeeze some lemon on top and option to add a bit more salt and pepper to taste. 

    Enjoy, it's delish, inexpensive and a family favorite in my house!

  • Turkey Burgers Fo' Real!

    Turkey Burgers Fo' Real!

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients:

    1 1/3 lb. ground turkey

    4 slices turkey bacon

    1 shallot- finely chopped

    2 cloves garlic- finely minced

    2 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme

    2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro

    1/2 chopped green bell pepper

    2 tsp. ground cumin

    1 tsp. garlic salt

    1 tsp. paprikia

    olive oil for drizzling

    sliced jack cheese

    red leaf lettuce

    1/2 sliced avocado

    1 yellow onion- thinly sliced

    salt and pepper to taste

    optional: butter

    ketchup/mustard

    Directions:

    In a skillet, place 1 tbsp. olive oil or butter and sliced onions. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper on onions and slowly cook for 15-20 minutes to carmelize. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, shallot, garlic, thyme, cilantro, bell pepper, cumin, garlic salt, and paprika. Mix it all up, then cut into fourths and separate. Create 4 patties, drizzle with olive oil. Add a bit more olive oil to a skillet and place the patties in the pan. Cook for about 7 minutes, then flip. Cover with 1 slice of jack cheese. In the meantime, place the turkey bacon in a separate pan. Cook for 5 minutes per side. 

    Place large lettuce leaves on a plate. Place a booked turkey burger patty on top, cheese side up. Cover with carmelized onions, turkey bacon, sliced avocado. Squirt some ketchup and mustard on and top with another lettuce leaf. Enjoy!

  • Birthday Wishes

    Birthday Wishes

    Well, this week was my 31st birthday. This birthday seemed to have a bit less appeal than the big bang of turning 30..hmmm, go figure..

    Every year my birthday sneaks up on me. I know I’ve lived an entire year and experienced much growth and excitement and highs and lows, but there is always that moment where I say out loud,

    “I can’t believe my birthday is next week!”

    Today I was talking to a client of mine who is in her late 80’s. Her mother died unexpectedly from cancer at the age of 54. My client is one of the most adventurous, risk taking LIFE LIVERS I’ve ever met. She has traveled to almost every country, speaks 3 languages, has a PHD that she obtained in her 60’s, and the list goes on and on. She told me that experiencing her mother pass away at such a young age scared her to her core. She was convinced she would die in her 50’s as well from the same cancer and swore an oath so herself to live the next 30 years of her life to the fullest.

    Man, did she live up to that commitment.

    Hearing her talk about her life and the adventures she took not only inspired me, but shook me up. I wouldn’t say I let my days slip mindlessly by, but there are so many things I want to do every year and I don’t. We get stuck in this rut of “what does my day look like” then next thing you know the day is over. Next thing you know, the year is over. I’ve been saying I will start singing again with a voice couch, taking French classes, and visit one of the countries on my list. I let myself get so distracted with life that I forget that what I have are literally days, weeks, months and years. All of which are times to just DO. Make my adventures and live a life that at the end of my life I can look back on and say, “Damn, I made each year count.”

    So my commitment to myself on my birthday this year was to live each day as if it is a birthday of sorts. I will not look at each day as a means to get through some set schedule in my calendar, but as a day to find something that makes me laugh. Make days that are filled with things that scare me, inspire me and teach me. Things that are not in my usual day to day.

    I know what is in my life now, but I don’t know what could be. The only way to know is to go out and do new things and see parts of the world and life which are currently out of my realm of existence. That being said, I’m excited for my birthday- instead of cringing at the time passed, I am giddy with the thoughts of the unknown future.

  • Living A Double Life

    Living A Double Life

    When I hear that someone was “living a double life,” my mind immediately jumps to an Oprah episode where she discussed men who have two families. These men had wives and children in different towns who didn’t know the other existed. To that I say, “Whaaaa??!” Beyond the obvious craziness and issues there, how do they have time?! I sometimes find it difficult to get my errands done after work and still have time to spend quality time my boyfriend, friends, cook the meals I want, etc.

    aving passions that are totally unrelated to work should not be a fleeting thought-they should be a necessity! Loving what you do for work is spectacular. To that I say, well done on following your dreams!

    Immersing yourself in things you love that are unrelated to your career can actually re-inspire you and make you better at your job. Spark your creativity. Invigorate yourself. Remind yourself that your attention and love can be in multiple places at once. This will allow your brain a moment of release from thinking over the same issues, problems, and focal points of your job.

    By making your brain re-focus on those things that make the little kid in you light up and grin that goofy grin, you are making yourself happier and more apt to dishing that happiness out in life. It can and will increase your passion in your love life and make you a better friend.

    Go to your kickboxing class and live it up as if your job is as a UFC fighter. Go to the farmers market and grab fresh produce to whip up your special someone a dinner as if you are a chef and the future of the food network relies on you. What other job could there be? Oh that office job you have? No that doesn’t exist on Sunday night, you’re just a super famous chef!

    The easiest thing is to get stuck in your day to day routine. By making our LIFE our full time job, we suddenly have the ability to enjoy every day and every moment that much more. Split our focus and not just be the one person you are day in and day out at work. Summon the time, energy and true commitment to your life. Be the ‘double life husbands’ Oprah discussed! (minus the ‘double life husbands’ part of course…).

  • The Pilates Fix DVD: Trim, Tighten and Tone

    The wellness company I co-founded with Kristen Matthews just released it's first DVD! It's called Trim, Tighten and Tone and it's available now on Amazon.com as well as www.pilatesfixonline.com. 

    The DVD consists of 4 workout routines- two 10 minute segments: one for stretching to increase flexibility which can be done before or after a workout and one segment which consists of high intensity cardio. This segment can be done before or after any of the other segments to blast any extra weight. There are also two 20 minute segments. One for upper body and one for lower body. The routines are based on classical Pilates with a bit of a modern twist to incorporate variations that make the routines especially effective. 

    Now go get your Pilates body movin'!

  • Raw Milk Chocolate Pudding Recipe

    Raw Milk Chocolate Pudding Recipe

    One of my all time favorite splurges is CHOCOLATE PUDDING! In an effort to be able to enjoy the little things in life without sacrificing my diet, I've searched for the best healthy substitutions for my favorite comfort foods. Here is a delicious recipe for raw milk chocolate pudding based on a recipe by chef Matthew Kenny. It is full of good fats and zero saturated fats. Enjoy!

    1 Ripe Banana

    2 Avocados, peeled and pitted

    1 C. Vanilla Almond Milk

    3/4 C. Maple Syrup

    3/4 C. Cocoa Powder

    1 tsp. Bourbon Vanilla Extract

    1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

    Pinch of salt

    Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix it up! Finish by spooning into a bowl and sprinkling with some dark chocolate chips.

  • What's In My Fridge?

    What's In My Fridge?

    A lot of times, I get asked what's in a Pilates instructors fridge. I sat down with one of my clients recently and let her ask me some questions for her blog on what was going on in my fridge and what I eat. Figuring out what to stock a fridge with is something that is definitely important, but also really fun! I wanted to share my answers to the interview questions.

    Q: I see a lot of fruit and veggies filling the drawers, what do you generally make with those?

    A: I'm obsessed with fruits and veggies! I always stock up on whatever is seasonal. The farmers market is one of my happy places. Fruit and veggies are so easy to snack on, and generally inexpensive to buy. I like eating as many whole foods as I can. Right now,  I've got asparagus on hand to toss in some olive oil, sea salt and pepper and throw in my grill pan. I've got some chicken to grill as well, and that makes an easy meal during the week. Apples are a common snack of mine at work to give me a boost of energy and fiber, and bananas are one of my favorite on-the-go breakfasts. Avocados are HANDS DOWN my favorite food- I mash them up and put them on top of toast, crack some pepper on top and BOOM-healthy snack. Generally I like to make soups, so the brocolli, potatos and onion will be going into my brocolli soup this week.

    Q: Sounds delicious! What are those Bio K things at the top?

    A: Those are probiotic shots. Right now, it's flu season, and I want to up my body's immune system and give my digestive system some help. The Bio K shots are the brand used my hospitals to get people strong and healthy, so I like to keep those around if I'm feeling weak or tired.

    Q: Is that champagne I see???

    A: You know it!!! I always have a nice bottle of champagne or white wine in my fridge. You never know when there might be a special occassion, or even just a Friday night, when you desserve to crack open a bottle and enjoy yourself. Life is meant to be enjoyed!

    Q: I see almond milk and nonfat greek yogurt. I take it you are not lactose intolerant?

    A: Nope, I just prefer the taste of vanilla almond milk. I use it in my smoothies and it's delicious. I also love nonfat Greek yogurt. I either eat that plain, with blueberries, or in smoothies.

    Q: Coconut Water?

    A: Coconut water is so refreshing and tasty! I especially love the pineapple flavor. I drink water throughout the day, but sometimes when I want something else this hits the spot.

    Q: What's that bread in there?

    A: Whole Wheat sprouted Ezekial bread. I was told by a nutritionist that if you are going to eat any bread, it should be this one. It's made with freshly sprouted live grains and no flour. It's the best version of bread you could get. It makes great toast, but the downside is that it is so organic it doesn't have much of a shelf life. 

    Q: What's that container in the left hand corner?

    A: Cranberry tuna salad! This is one of my standby's from Whole Foods. I get it in the salad section and it is so easy for me to throw on a handful of spinach for an instant salad, or throw on a piece of toasted Ezekial. So good, so easy.

    Q: Eggs?

    A: Always! I grew up with chickens, so I am used to constantly eating fresh eggs. Although I don't wake up to crowing anymore (thank goodness), I do still love me some eggs. Scrambled egg whites are common place in my diet, and usually on the weekends I'll do fried eggs or throw as much as I can into my scrambles!

  • Mango Detox Smoothie

    Mango Detox Smoothie

    Yep, that's right, eating fat can help you lose your extra belly weight. It sounds too good to be true, but by eating a controlled amount of the good fats (ie: avocado, salmon, almonds) we can actually help shed fat from the tricky belly zone. Basically, the good fats help let our bodies know they can release the control they have on to the fats that tend to cling to and rest in that area.

    Here is one of my favorite recipes for a detox smoothie filled with healthy fats and superfoods. I keep it in my diet to help me maintain optimal health!

     

    • 1/4 cup mango cubes
    • 1/4 cup avocado
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice

    Blend it up and let the yum begin.