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Cycle for your Health!

Cycle for your Health!

As a spin instructor and an avid outdoor cyclist I can’t help but love being on a bike.

It’s a great workout indoors providing a great sweat and burning hundreds of calories, and living in South Florida we have year round access to being able to cycle outside in nature. Cycling is not only a great workout, but is environmentally friendly and a great source of transportation providing better scenery than when in a car. For those of us who live in Coconut Grove we know it is a great place to bike just to get from here to there, to run errands, and to get to Pilates in the Grove. But we also have access to over 50 miles of dirt, paved, or gravel bike paths throughout Miami-Dade County. Visit Miami-Dade County’s Bike305 website to find interactive maps that you can use to explore these paths, as well as links to cycling groups and an extensive calendar of cycling events. If you’re thinking of using your bike not only for leisure but...

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Healthy Eating on a Budget

Healthy Eating on a Budget

I try to encourage my friends and family to eat healthy but I very often hear them say, “I’d like to eat healthier, but I just can’t afford it.” So, with that in mind, I created a list of my 5 favorite cheap and healthy go-to’s that can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner to prove it IS possible to eat healthfully on a budget.

1. Quinoa

- Quinoa has recently become very popular but there’s nothing new about this ancient food. Contrary to popular belief, quinoa is not a grain but a seed! When I tell people I eat mostly vegan they ask me, “but where do you get your protein!?” Plant foods can be a great source of protein but it is true that most plant foods are not complete proteins the way animal products are. The good news about quinoa is that it’s one of those plant based complete proteins. In addition, it’s also a great source of antioxidants, folate, and zinc. I love quinoa for...

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Head to Toe: Coconut Oil

Head to Toe: Coconut Oil

Coconuts are probably my favorite things on the planet – I love the smell, the taste, the texture, the water, the milk, the oil – I’m just obsessed with them!

The amazing thing is that aside from all the things I love about coconuts, they are also amazingly healthy for us – both for our insides and our outsides! The following are a few uses of coconut oil that I use daily and can’t live without. Enjoy!

#1 – Make a Body Scrub

Ingredients:

– 2 cups cane sugar

– 1 cup kosher salt

– ½ cup coconut oil, melted

– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

– 1 tablespoon almond extract

– 1 tablespoon vitamin E oil

What to do:

Mix all ingredients together and scrub away. It’s that easy!

#2 – Make a Foot Scrub

What to do:

Mix together coconut oil and sea salt, then scrub away!

#3 – Make all natural (chemical free!) sunblock/daily lotion

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup almond or olive oil...

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6 Perfectly Pumpkin Recipes for Fall!

6 Perfectly Pumpkin Recipes for Fall!

Below are some of my favorite healthy pumpkin recipes that I frequently make for fall! I don’t lead a dairy-free lifestyle (just a USDA organic one), but if you are, almond milk and other vegan “dairy” substitutes will work just fine in the recipes. I hope you enjoy these fall flavors as much as I do!

Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 24 apple slices

What to do:

  • Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended
  • Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth
  • Cover and chill 30 minutes

107 calories for 2 TBS

Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/3 cup...
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Confessions of a Skinny Fat Girl

Confessions of a Skinny Fat Girl

Since we are in full swing our Inaugural Nutritional Program Fall Training Camp, I figured I would share my story of how I made the change to healthier eating habits over a year ago and why I wanted to bring a program like this to our clients. I was probably what most people considered the effortlessly thin. You all know people like this who rarely go to the gym and whose diet consists of burgers, pizza, chili fries and soda. I will admit I used to indulge in chili fries at least once a month. But I am here to tell you that just because everything looks good on the outside…looks can be deceiving.

I had been an athlete all my life playing both in high school and college so I always considered myself “in-shape” and probably was while I was playing sports regularly. After college my sports participation was significantly cut back and so were other fitness outlets; however, I did not curb any of my eating habits. If anything my...

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Body Beautiful.

Body Beautiful 

I spent most of my childhood in front of a mirror dancing. After hours in the studio trying to perfect everyday aspects of my technique it was easy to develop a love hate relationship with my body; the length of my legs, my extension, my arms, my neck. I could go on and on. There were days when it was great and there were days when I could not look at it. I was my own worst critique. This went on for years!

Then one day a friend of mine introduced me to mirror work. Sounds funny right? Here are a few affirmations just between you and your mirror.

Stop all criticism. Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.

  •     Stop scaring yourself. Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It’s a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you...
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10 Ways to Make Your Day More Exciting

10 Ways to Make Your Day More Exciting

I must admit I love change. I realize change frightens some people, but for me, I thrive off of it.  I love living in and traveling to new cities, trying new things, finding new hobbies, and mixing up my routine. Rarely do I shy away from a new experience or opportunity and sometimes it's challenging to stick with anything once the novelty wears off.  But we can’t always just pick up and change houses, or jobs, or go on vacation whenever we want, so I started thinking about all the ways we can make each day exciting without changing any of the big things that need to stay constant.

Here are a few things I’ve come up with:

  1. Read about a topic that’s new yet interesting to you or give yourself chances to learn something new even during your routine (and sometimes mundane) activities; whether reading a new magazine while waiting at the doctors office instead of texting, listening to an audiobook in...
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STRETCH N’ EXHALE

STRETCH N’ EXHALE

So you wake up early, tie up your sneakers and head outside for your daily run.

You spend 3 to 5 minutes stretching your hamstrings and quads. And do a few jumping jacks! WRONG! All physical activities should start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down. Why are they so important? A good warm up dilates your blood vessels, insuring that your muscles are well supplied with oxygen. It also raises your muscle temperature for optimal flexibility and efficiency by slowly raising your heart rate. The warm-up also helps minimize stress on your heart when you start your workout.

Just as critical, the cool down keeps the blood flowing throughout the body. Stopping suddenly can make you feel light headed because your heart rate and blood pressures drops rapidly. Winding down slowly allows them to fall gradually.

Here is how to do a proper warm-up and cool-down:

DYNAMIC STRETCHING

Dynamic stretching involves stretching while you are moving. It is an excellent full body...

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Pilates Stretching for Success

Pilates Stretching for Success

If you are like most people stretching probably ranks on your list of health priorities somewhere below updating a new workout playlist on your iPod and drinking that delicious kale and celery smoothie your trainer keeps suggesting you try.

Pilates stretching can be a valuable part of your health and fitness routine. Although the debate over whether to stretch or not to stretch is ongoing the research shows that the true benefits of stretching are numerous. Below is a list of my top 5 reasons why stretching should be an integral part of your exercise routine.

1. Stretching will Increase your Flexibility and Range of Motion

Improving the flexibility of your muscles actually improves not only athletic performance but also your ability to perform daily tasks. Activities such as bending to tie your shoes, lifting a bag of groceries or running to catch the train home from work all become easier and less tiring. With more flexible muscles you will also...

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It’s Raining Mangoes!

It's Raining Mangoes!

Not sure what to do with all the mangoes that are in season this time of year that seem to be endlessly falling off of the trees?

You can certainly throw them in the blender for a fruit smoothie, but one of my favorite recipes is Mango Salsa. It’s a colorful, cool, sweet, (and optionally spicy) dish to serve with grilled fish, but also delicious as an appetizer or snack just for dipping crackers or chips (baked, “healthy” chips of course!) I strongly suggest you double the recipe because it’ll go quickly!

What you’ll need: 

-1 mango – peeled, seeded, and chopped
-2 ripe peaches or nectarines -chopped
-1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
-Several cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 green onion, chopped
-1 tablespoon lime juice
-1 tablespoon lemon juice

Once everything is mixed together, cover and refrigerate for a half hour. Serve and enjoy!

Although the above is my favorite combination, there...

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