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Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays (and everyday)

The New Year is still a few days away, but with the all the holiday treats and eats you’ve been up against since October, you may feel like you need to jump-start those New Year’s Resolutions.
 
It’s time for some diet damage control! Although there still are more parties and soirees to attend, we’ve got are a few simple guidelines to see you through January 1 and which guarantee a more healthy New Year.
 
 
Eat before you party 
Nosh on something healthy before you head to your holiday bash (and any soiree that includes cocktails). While this tip will mitigate the damage of any would-be hangovers, it also prevents you from making irrational “hangry” decisions. (like 20 handfuls of tortilla chips and guac!)
 
 
Don’t deprive yourself
If you really want a piece of chocolate, have it. Abstaining altogether will only lead to an all-out binge, but a bite or two of something rich will satisfy your craving with...
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Ho-Ho-Ho-Holidays!

I love this time of year! There is a certain excitement in the air – everyone seems to be rushing around with a sense of purpose, an urgency to get things done in time for the holidays when they can finally sit down and relax with family and friends.

 

I love the aromas associated with this time of year – especially cinnamon and apple spice! I love the sense of accomplishment felt when the tree is up and decorated. And the relief when all the presents are bought, wrapped and placed under the tree.

 

This hustle and bustle can however elevate out stress levels and make us more absent-minded. Caught up in this whirlwind of things to do, places to go, people to see, we might inadvertently become complacent.

 

Rushing around doing errands, we are less mindful of our surroundings. Have you noticed that there are more car accidents and petty thefts during this time of year? Be smart, be safe. Pay more attention when you drive, pay more attention to your personal...

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Pilates and Multiple Sclerosis

This past week I found out that the son of someone dear to me was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). 

After the initial shock and sadness passed, my immediate response was, “He should take Pilates!”  I’ve had the opportunity to do Pilates-based Physical Therapy with a number of people with neurological conditions, MS being one of them.  Upon doing a bit of background research, I felt both excited and validated to find a number of articles supporting Pilates as having significant benefits for people with MS.  MS is a bit enigmatic to both the common population and doctors alike.  We don’t know what causes it, what makes the disease progress or how to cure it.  However, what we are starting to discover is how to manage the disease and improve quality of life for those that have it.

 

Let’s start off with the WHAT.  MS is a degenerative neurological disease which affects the myelin sheath of the central nervous...

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Know Yourself, To Better Know Others

I can definitely see why Joseph Pilates said “It’s the mind itself which shapes the body.”

As a Physical Therapist and Pilates instructor, I’ve observed how people’s thought processes can affect developing their health goals, their physical performance, and their approach to movement and rehabilitation.

 

As a Pilates instructor, I’ve seen the mindfulness and awareness that Pilates is able to bring to people. When we are practicing Pilates instructors and participants, we are given a new way to feel ourselves move, a fresh way to imagine the movement, a challenge for our minds and bodies, and a generally increased awareness of our bodies.

 

As participants of such mindfulness-based exercise practices for our bodies, it seems only fitting that we would remain pretty mindful about our personalities, strengths, thought processes, and communication styles as well. We already take time to feed ourselves, to exercise, to work hard, and to...

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Choose An Attitude of Gratitude

A few weeks ago I posted a message on my instagram about being grateful and trying to see the positive in every situation.
I received such an overwhelming response that I want to share it with you all on my blog.
 
 
I want to recognize my dad for going above and beyond for me today. Yesterday, I went to a new church and the message was about finding calm in the storm. I prayed for patience and the ability to keep a positive attitude in life’s many challenges. Ask and you shall receive.. After church, when I was pulling out of my parking spot, I drove over an old piece of a stop sign in the grass, which put a huge slash in my tire. Here was my chance to find my zen in this storm. I had to wait for AAA, spend two hours on the phone calling tire stores and knew I would have to find time to get it changed and pay for a new tire during my already busy week. That is the glass half empty version…
 
 
I chose instead to be grateful this was my biggest...
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Put the BALANCE back in Balanced Body

Have you ever read the side of the reformers in our class? The say Balanced Body.
The physical therapist in me is about to project the name of our reformers onto a soapbox on which I frequently stand (if you’ve ever taken one of my classes- you’ve probably heard me talk about balance and/or fall prevention).  Balance and fall prevention is one of my (many…) major topics in class.  It comes up consistently for a reason though – let me explain!
 
 
Ask yourself the following questions – during a Pilates class can you do lunges and scooter standing on the reformer? Or do you stand on the ground? Do you have to hold on to the footbar? Have you ever fallen? Have you ever been scared of falling? Now ask yourself this – how much of your day do you spend standing on one leg?
 
 
Let me answer that for you- 40% of a normal walking pattern happens on one leg, going up and down the stairs occurs predominately on one leg,...
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Fit and Fabulous for the Big Day

Planning for the Big Day is a Big deal.

And for the most part we want everything to be BIG…. A Big Cake, A Big Centerpiece, A Big Guest List, a Big Party… but what we can do without is looking BIG on our BIG Day.  Here are some great tips on how to trim down in time for your upcoming nuptials:

 

  1. Start early…most brides begin wedding planning at least 6-12 months out so you should start your fitness plan then as well. Waiting until the month before the wedding and cutting out all carbs in the hopes of shedding last minute pounds will usually work against you. Beginning an exercise program early will help you lose weight in a safe and healthy manner. It will usually help you keep the weight off as well even after the wedding. Healthy and sustainable weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week.

 

  1. Find something new and fun…. The easiest way to stick to an exercise routine is if you love to do it. Try out a new class with some friends or even better...
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Falling in Love with Florida Fall

Hurricane season is OVER and Florida Fall has officially begun. 

While the rest of the country is busy donning scarves and beanies, this is my favorite time of the year in Miami because it has finally cooled off enough to open the windows and let that fresh ocean breeze flow into the house.  With the gorgeous weather we’ve had lately, I was inspired to share some of my favorite outdoor activities to do in the area.

 

1. Go for a long bike ride! Some of my favorite spots include Black Point Marina, Key Biscayne, and if you really want to go far, you could join the early Saturday crew as they trek all the way to Florida City. If road biking isn’t your thing, then try out mountain biking at Virginia Key.

 

2. Go scuba diving or snorkeling! A really close and beautiful option is the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea beach.  They have shops close by for you to rent anything needed and you don’t even have to reserve a boat… just shore dive right in.

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Service with a Smile

“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.”

Blaise Pascal, Mathematician, physicist and inventor

 

Lately, I’ve been thinking about and hearing much talk about “service with a smile”. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind to others, to take into consideration that someone else may be having a bad day, have some pain or discomfort or simply be going through trying times. Service-based industry is dependent on customer satisfaction and how better to achieve that than to provide service with a smile.

 

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

At Pilates in the Grove, we strive to provide “service with a smile”. By that, I don’t mean that your Pilates instructor should be cheesily grinning throughout your class but that they should be considerate and...

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Control

I am going to be honest, I am a control freak.

I really don’t do well when I am not in control of almost all things in my life (which, is something I believe I inherited from my mother).

 

Regardless, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and how it relates to Pilates. As most of you know, Pilates was originally called Contrology (base word CONTROL) and it is one of the main principles. Pilates created his method based around muscle control which, may be part of the reason I relate to it so much.

 

My husband and I have recently gone through a bunch of life changes that were completely out of my control and causing me to freak out. And I mean really freak out, as in lose my sh** for lack of better words.

 

I had to force myself to take a step back and be reminded that you cannot control everything that happens to you. As my wise mother always says, “you can only control how you react to it.”

 

It’s truly amazing the difference...

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