Exercise- it’s not a 4 letter word

I’ll start tomorrow, I’ll start Monday. I’ll start next week when I have another excuse that will arise. So what can you do to really get your exercise game on? First thing is, rethink the word and even the practice.

Exercise can be a million things, it’s up to you to define it. For some, it can mean running for miles on end, lifting weights, dancing and for still others it might be mountain biking, kitesurfing, snorkeling or simply walking. 
 If it means endorphins are being set off, there’s some heart rate activity for intermittent periods and potentially a little sweat paired with a post-feel good feeling it can be categorized as “exercise” Yes, this also means being intimate with another person (wink, wink)

So how do you create goals to make exercise less painful?

Create goals that are fun-oriented- The goal isn’t to do a million squats, though that can be a goal.

Count how many jumping jacks you can do in a minute, then beat that number next time around.- That can be a goal.

Jump rope without stopping for 5 minutes. This sounds easy but it isn’t and these can be goals.

Invite a friend or your spouse to join in while you do this to make it a group activity if you prefer to work out with someone. Both of you will benefit, feeling good is contagious and the added motivation can be really helpful.

Just remember, the goal is to feel good about what you’re doing so that you continue to do it happily. Activity is the way that you can reach your ultimate highs and maintain a healthy happy life. So go out and explore what makes you feel good and then do it as often as you can.

Eat Well. Sweat Often

Scratch the Diet

Forget Weight As a Measurement!

Often I have clients who say, “I want to lose weight.  My ideal weight is 140 lbs.”  This makes me shudder a little.

Women, especially, are so hard on themselves. I see these beautiful faces staring at me and think, “You are lovely.” And by the time we finish working together, I want them to feel that way too. These aren’t women with low self-confidence or self esteem, these are powerhouses that are managing companies and taking major risks each day. Yet, when we’re naked, staring at the scale, this number sums us up someway.

The main thing we need to understand is the scale is not the answer. It’s time to take another look around, understand shapes and sizes as well as what can you achieve with your body, your unique body.

before and after weight

Both of these women weigh 150 lbs.

weight in

What do they all have in common? They “weigh” the same but look differently.

Your body is yours alone. If you’re curvy and want to be more muscular, if you’re big boned and want to appear leaner, or if you just want to fit into a pair of jeans that have been hanging in your closet, work with a trainer to figure out what is realistic and what is achievable. Have no doubt, there is work required, but as you train keep in mind you will grow stronger in more ways than one.

I do promise something, re-evaluating your diet, activity and/or lifting weights will reshape the way you look in the mirror. Most importantly based on the activity and the nutrients, your serotonin levels will be shooting up through the roof.

Side effect: Happy

At the end of the day, it’s not the number on the scale that matters but how you feel best.

When asked what’s the overall point of this path? Why be healthy? What will change?

Running, jogging, biking, dancing, walking in the park are cardiovascular exercises. Anything that has your body moving is a plus. Simply put, they are designed to make your heart pump a little better, stronger, efficiently.

Side effects: You might lose some “weight”. Your core will get stronger. Your legs may lean up. Your arms may lean up. Your cheeks will flush. You will run further each time. Your endurance will grow as will your stamina. The time you spend running may clear your mind and improve focus. This may serve as meditation.

Weightlifting, crossfit, HITT training will give you a great strength training, core development workout.

Side effects: It will tone you up, lean you out, improve your focus and consequently strengthen you. It may be your “me time”, your social hour or your way to diffuse stress. Your lean body mass may increase and at the same time decrease your body fat levels. You might notice yourself flexing all the time and observing weekly dates like Flex Friday.

Healthy eating will provide a reprieve from sugar cravings, from stress, from mood swings and from health issues such as diabetes 2 and obesity. You might lose a few pounds too.

Side effects: You might long for green juices, you might feel great after eating a bowl of kale with salmon and almonds, when people say, I tried a juice cleanse, you’ll have your own recipes.

Eat Well. Sweat Often.

Scratch the Diet.

Meditate- Choose your thoughts wisely

At first, I thought there was no way I could meditate. My mind is rich with thoughts at all hours oftentimes into the night. However much I read about the practice and even engaged in it during yoga I couldn’t quite get the equation. Until finally, determined to give it a try I decided to make it part of my morning ritual.

I bought a little sitting pillow, grabbed a lavender candle and created my meditation area, a space which permitted only my meditation. It wasn’t for anything else. The first morning I timed 15 minutes and made myself sit there. My mind wasn’t quiet, it was actually pretty difficult but I sat there encouraging my mind with positive affirmations about my life and my day.

The first week was a challenge, the second it got easier and little by little I started looking forward to my morning mentions. It was my time in the morning to say thank you to the universe for all the great people in my life, my health and my abundance.

Where your mind goes, energy flows.

Slowly meditation began to make a difference. Normally quick to anger, my responses were almost sedated. Conversations that would normally spiral downward were not doing so. Instead of reacting, I thought to myself, how important is this to me? Am I being kind or am I trying to be right? What will I gain? This dampened my reactions and I thought a lot more before speaking hastily. I started focusing on everything that was right and warded off thoughts that didn’t serve me.

I learned that when I give myself time to reasonably meditate and focus on my positive affirmations, my whole day is different. At first I thought this was hokie, now I realize this was a practice I’d only wish I’d known more about.

Meditation has taught me to focus on gratitude and that my day can be determined by the attitude I adopt before I leave the house. I can ask myself before responding to someone if my agitation is warranted and really, is it necessary? Sometimes we forget that we are here to help each other not to combat one another for minor details. Is it added pressure? No, when I act from my heart I feel greater authenticity. Even when the day isn’t the best, a concentrated effort towards the positive does make it better. Love you! Love yourself.

Eat well. Sweat Often

Scratch the Diet

Balance is the heartbeat of our day

Tons of people swear balance is key, but really what are some real practices to apply?

  1. Just do it. Quit talking yourself out of the things you need the most of. Stop the excuses, the long list of other things you could do instead and most importantly stop spending time in front of the TV wasting precious hours on sitcoms when you can be sharing moments with others.
  2. Meditate always. Meditation will keep you grounded and happy. How do you meditate you might ask? It took me awhile to figure this out. For me it was a matter of focusing on affirmations that I repeated out loud. This made me remember where to keep my focus on the most important goals of my life. It also taught me to treat circumstances with love and also to disregard time.
  3. Self care. By self care, for me and many women, I mean the rituals that make you feel like a woman. Whether it’s a body scrub or a massage or getting your nails done or having a facial or a long bath. Take a dance class or do something that feels utterly feminene. These are the ways you stay in touch with your feminene energy and dispel all the masculine energy we can’t seem but to absorb in today’s world. These are all ways to self care and love yourself that every woman needs to adopt and practice daily, weekly, monthly. Loving yourself is that important because as we all know to love others, you must love yourself first.
  4. Gratitude. Every morning I am in the habit of stating 3 things I am grateful for. Within those three things would range my pilates class, my abundance, my puppy’s health, my boyfriend’s smile.

Being in balance isn’t always a 100% game. Sometimes you can only do this 60/40% of the time or 80/20 or 20/80. Just remember that you can always return to this space to attain your balance.

Personally, today I’m developing all these habits again. It hasn’t been easy to remember that these rituals require maintenance so that I feel completely balanced and in love with myself. After all, the most important relationship is the one you have with you.

Stay in balance! Wishing you much health and happiness.

Eat Well. Sweat Often.

Scratch the Diet

The benefits of water hydration

Our body consists of about 70% water which enables communication between the individual cells. Water is required to regulate our metabolism, our heart and blood circulation, our digestion, kidney function, even to lubricate our joints and help with muscle function.

A lot of ailments today are attributed to the increased consumption of caffeines and the decreased consumption of H20. Did you know for every cup of coffee you drink, you need two cups of water to offset the dehydration? Did you also know most people can calculate how many cups of water they need simply by stating their weight and removing the last digit? For example, 120 lb person would drink at least 12 cups of water daily.

Water, our lifeline, isn’t being consumed in the ways the body requires. Lack of proper hydration can compromise your health and issues such as vertigo and dizziness are sometimes triggered because of dehydration.

Reasons Water is important to your health

  • Keep your body functioning optimally. Water helps you avoid Muscle Cramps, constipation, brain fag, kidney stones, as well as improve your blood circulation.
  • Skin care. Hydration permeates on the epidermis. Healthy complexions, glistening eyes, strong hair and nails, these are all evident results of hydration.
  • Digestion. Nothing impacts your intestines like lack of water. Water is necessary to create the bile needed for proper elimination in the body. Detox your body by infusion it with H20 and enjoy the benefits of regularity. Water is required for detoxing our system, for transporting nutrients to cells, and regulating our body temperature.
  • Boost your metabolism. Drinking water with lemon and a sprinkle of cayenne can kickstart your metabolism first thing in the morning. Increased consumption will improve your skin, nail growth and even brain peer.

Want to add an extra kick to your H2o, consider alkaline water. Not only does it infuse your body with electrolytes it adds oxygenation to your blood which balances out your gut and provides you with increased energy. Click on the following links for additional information on alkalinity and gut imbalance.

Stay hydrated to stay healthy!

Eat well. Sweat Often.

Scratch the Diet

Love – It is a mental, physical and spiritual state

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we (love) are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?  Marianne Williamson

Sometimes it’s difficult to get past the daily stressors we live in and to take a moment to breathe, but it is necessary. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day or 5, it’s imperative to take a moment for meditation or as some prefer prayer. Turn your mind inwards for a moment and think of love. Think of this emotion and really surrender to it, let it encompass you and marinate in the frequency. It is a mental state and changes the way you perceive yourself, others and the world in general.

Stress has become such a part of our lives, people state they are stressed. No, you feel stress. There is a difference. Some people turn to yoga, others have a run and still others just go to church. There are angels or energies or the universe looking over you and it is important that you believe that whatever is hurting you today will dissolve. You are always loved, but you must begin with loving yourself and believing in that love. Surrender your worries to a higher power, worry will achieve nothing.

Adopting a mentality of trust and surrender can be a challenge but it is important to continue living with one hand fully enveloped in faith.

Take some time to identify the things that create fear for you, write them down then make a ritual of speaking them aloud and ripping them up.

Do what you need to, so that you may release all of the garbage that may be creating blocks for you.

Health is not just physical it is a spiritual and emotional sense also. Remember to keep these houses in order as well as they deserve as much attention as every other daily life choice.

Eat well. Sweat Often.

Scratch the Diet.

Stress Toxicity And How It Can Impact Your Life

Life stress will happen to everyone and not all of it is bad. Stress kicks in to supply you with critical support to make the team winning basketball shot, the quarterly presentation and speeds your response time. However too much stress begins to affect the mind, body, and behavior adversely to hurt your health and your relationships. The only way to combat stress is via meditation, healthy eating and exercise.

As we all know stress can take many shapes:


1) Physical – when you engage in physical activities that require more strength than you currently possess or which wear the body out over time. One example would be jobs such as waitressing, bartending and event coordination where the individual is always running around during work hours because they need to serve others and make sure everyone’s needs are met on an immediate basis.

2) Work Related – This is usually inherent to demanding jobs where urgency emanates your every hour due to poor planning, procrastination, a fast-paced business model that doesn’t permit for downtime. This kind of job generally doesn’t permit you to leave work ever and your up until all hours when things are still pending.

3) Environmental- this occurs especially in larger cities where everyday activities require large masses of people to use condensed transportation roadways or in some cases streets or trains.

4) Relationship – when relationships people have are not working. Siblings are not speaking to each other, parents and children have drifted apart, one family member has an illness he/she is trying to deal with or those around him are trying to be supportive. There are additional stressors when there is no family support system at all and friends are the ones that need to provide a support system for the individual from providing rides to work, money to help bills or emotional support if one is afflicted with any kind of ailment.
 
These types of stressors are detrimental to ones health. People are often exposed to both due to financial necessity or because the initial endorphin high is difficult to kick. However, with time, both can be toxic to ones’ health. What are some impacts to health commonly suffered?

stress toxicity

How do we beat stress?


Healthy eating, meditation and exercise have become the answer for today’s life stressors. Meditation or mental floss provides the mind with the ability to stay in the now. What does this mean? It strives to eliminate worry and anxiety about items that may never occur. Meditation is known to medically adjust the brain to clean out the noise we delve into.

Healthy eating is also key to peace because the foods we ingest have a domino effect on the body. Large amounts of sugars, caffeine and others stimulants trigger anxiety, enhance worry and anger even within the body. It is imperative to monitor the rate which you ingest stimulants such as these into your body.

It is also important to understand where your food originates. Foods processed locally in organic farms are not injected with the harmful substances created to increase shelf life. Within the body, those same substances wage war on your insides and chip away at vital organs, clog arteries and wreak havoc inwardly. It is recommended also to eat seasonal fruits, organic meats and lots of nuts which contain critical nutrients to fuel your body.

Exercise, lastly, is the body’s way of elimination. Exercise with cardio and weightlifting will carry you to old age in the best possible way. Strong bones and an oxygenated heart manage to keep people feeling highly energetic, less sluggish and fuel the mind also.
 
These three items are critical to diminish or combat stress. If you are trying to move away from a stress filled existence, try to adopt these into your life and you’ll immediately notice a difference.

Eat Well. Sweat Often.

Scratch the Diet

Fit- the new skinny

I was just on the Victoria’s secret website and I’ll confess, while I’m not a big girl, who can’t help but compare themselves to these waif looking women with long legs and arms that grace the website in teeny weeny clothing.

We can say well, not everyone is supposed to be that thin. We can say it’s in their genes. We can also say that they don’t have to do anything to look like that. In that same token, we can also lie to ourselves.

I’ll never forget when I was an event coordinator and we auditioned models for a Vera Wang clothing panel. A young girl about 5’10 tried on one of the outfits, this girl might have been 110 soaking wet and it was suggested she shouldn’t eat until the show. I decided then and there I really couldn’t continue working in that field because the chatter between the stylist and the event choreographer made me feel sick. The idea this girl might be too big was so ludicrous it made me take a second look at my own body regardless of all the self-confidence I’d been spoon fed.

Today’s world is much more difficult on women then it ever was before due to the amount of technology we are exposed to. Never before was it so easy to compare yourself OR have yourself compared with models and women whose main source of income is based on how they look. Not only is it not realistic, it’s the gateway to poor self-image and warped expectations which all lead to greater objectification.

How can we look in the mirror and feel sane again without a series of self-talk and affirmations so we feel we have value too?
 Being fit and lifting weights helped me come to terms with my body and accept myself for who I was. It was a long time struggle with weight loss, weight gain, self-image and self-examination.

I really feel the shift towards strength, largely attributed to being fit. Though I don’t cross fit I feel the sport itself has helped us reimagine strength and fitness for women.  It has really shifted the lens with which we are looking at women’s bodies and our own mirror images. I can only hope that the future holds more female depicting strength than the 0 waistlines we see today.

Juicing 101- Is it right for you?

So there’s been a lot of information about juicing, why to do it and why not to. While it is a great way to dose up on all the greens you wouldn’t normally eat, there are certain ways of juicing that might prove more fruitful than others. No pun intended.

Here are some easy tips for those of you who want to juice smartly.

Juicing tips 101

  • Grab your favorite greens and throw them in the mix- spinach is one great tasty treat!
  • Spirulina, kale and swiss chard work wonders on digestion.
  • Chia and even flax seed pair well with almost everything.
  • Turmeric and cayenne can be great anti-oxidants and aid with detox if that is the goal.
  • Use water or flaxseed milk or coconut milk. The milk additions will add nutrients you wouldn’t otherwise get.
  • Optional: add whey protein from grass fed cows. I personally find this is great for protein intake and fresh market’s vanilla brand is pretty tasty!
  • Optional: Add fruit- while this adds flavor try to keep it to simply one fruit, not more, as fruits are best eaten alone. Also try to include fruits that will not spike your insulin levels much like apple instead of banana.

There are some practices which really believe the addition of fruit confuses the body’s digestive flow. It delays the absorption of the greens which you are juicing for just that reason.

Since everyone is bio-individual it’s important to really think about your goal when your juicing and to try it to determine for yourself if it makes sense. Choose a day that isn’t high in stress or perhaps a day off just to test how your body is going to respond.

To read a little more click here for why Ayurveda and juicing don’t mix.

Good luck and please check out the Recipes section for some great Juicing mixes.

Click here redirects to: http://everydayayurveda.org/diet-for-your-dosha/3-reasons-avoid-green-smoothies

13 Tips to Happy Health

Being happy is a state of mind. While I’ve been struggling with balance and trying to figure out what are the key ingredients that make a difference in my perspective daily so that I could be happy, it dawned on me maybe its a matter of practice.

With that being said, I took a deeper dive to ask myself what are some things that make me happy on a daily basis? After much contemplation I drafted the below list hoping that this would somehow shed insight into others’ lives as well.

  • Laugh daily.
  • Being comfortable in your own skin feels right.
  • Cardio and weight lifting do give you a healthy and happier heart.
  • Meditation will change your life.
  • Organic is best, but there are alternatives.
  • Loving yourself has no correlation with your weight.
  • Nuts and seeds are your friend- find the one that tastes best to you.
  • Fostering good relationships automatically feeds your soul.
  • Everything in moderation.
  • Improvements do not happen overnight, but they do happen.
  • Giving time or money to others does have a karmic flow.
  • Abundance is a state of mind.
  • Worrying doesn’t prevent life from happening. Take it easy.

With all this being said, this list is a part of my own mantra for better living.

Of the above, meditation has been a key game changer. It has made the other items much easier to follow and made a noticeable difference in my day.

Fifteen minutes of mindfulness is normally all it takes. For those who struggle with meditation, write a list of positive affirmations and read them out loud for fifteen minutes if you prefer to kick off your practice. Once you memorize these, trust me it gets easier.

For tips on mediation, please read here. (point to the meditation article)

Eat well. Sweat Often.

Scratch the Diet