About Services Compliments Contact BOOK A CLASS PITG University

All Natural? Organic? Fair Trade? A Primer for Your Healthy Lifestyle

We’re all trying to be good moms, dads, children and citizens of the planet. 

We strive to eat well, make healthy lifestyle decisions and care for our Mother Earth.  So what’s all this talk about “organic,” “fair trade,” and “all natural”?  These are just a few of the latest buzzwords swarming around everything we’re eating, drinking, wearing and breathing. But what do these terms really mean?


With “all-natural” cigarettes and “organic” cheeseburgers on the market, does that mean you can smoke and eat fatty foods without any adverse health effects? Of course not!  There are many products labeled with words that sound good for you, but the products themselves sometimes aren’t (good for you, that is!).  Read on for a quick primer on the most popular eco-sounding terms you’ll find on store shelves and racks and discover how these words might be misleading....

Continue Reading...

Get Up. Stand Up.

In an article posted on theactivetimes.com, Diana Gerstacker quoted Dr. James Levine saying “sitting is the new smoking” and listed seven ways (from cancer, to muscle problems) as to why this is the case – I couldn’t agree more. 

But why?  As most of my readers know, I am kind of obsessed with FASCIA – so I’m going to explain the biological and fascial reasons why sitting is so bad for us.


Let me first start by introducing you to Homo Sapien, your ancient grand parent… and where we all came from.  This original human was thought to have evolved into a biped (two legged walker) for numerous reasons, of which I would like to highlight: reaching and carrying food, saved energy during locomotion, ability to run, and enhanced field of vision.  Please keep in mind that we have not significantly skeletally evolved from this ancient ancestor of ours – we have roughly the same spines, pelvises, legs, arms,...

Continue Reading...

9 Nutritional Myths: Find Out What is Fact or Fiction

As a Nutritionist, I have heard all sorts of crazy things clients believe will help them lose weight. Here are a few of the most common weight loss myths.


1. Carbohydrates are fattening—limit them.


No matter what food group you choose, if you cut out the items from that group, you will reduce your caloric intake and lose weight. The problem is that you will also reduce your nutrient intake, unless you choose what to eliminate carefully. It is not necessary or desirable to cut carbohydrates from your diet completely. Instead, choose wisely, the best choices are always unrefined, whole-grain carbohydrates.


2.  Some foods make you burn calories.


Celery, grapefruit, etc will not help you burn calories and lose more weight. “Negative” foods (foods that cause you to burn off more calories than the calories you get from eating the food) simply do not exist.  If is it sounds too good to be true it probably is not true.


3. ...

Continue Reading...

Work Out Smarter Not Harder

(In case you didn’t get a chance to pick up your own copy of The Florida Villager, below is the feature on Pilates in the Grove found in the February 2016 and May 2016 Editions.)


Work Out Smarter Not Harder

By: Andrea Carniero


Pilates in the Grove brings their unique brand of healing to South Miami


For many, the idea of a Pilates studio conjures up images of long, lithe women stretching themselves into seemingly impossible positions as they maneuver within a series of weights and pulleys. They would be wrong.


In reality, says Pilates in the Grove owner Christa Gurka, students are more likely to find an atmosphere of support and healing, with many regulars working to alleviate everything from back pain to sports injuries in addition to getting fit. “Our studio is very different,” says Gurka, who opened her newest studio in South Miami last month. “We’re all about bringing [Pilates] to the general population. It’s a...

Continue Reading...

Pilates for the Mind, Body and Spirit

Last week, one of my Pilates clients invited me to her 50th birthday bash!  I was honored to be included and when I told her that, she said that I was an important person in her life as Pilates had helped her not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.  A few months ago, she went through some major health issues and all through that trying time, she continued to attend her regular Pilates classes.  While practicing Pilates, she was able to take her focus away from her stressful situation and thus managed to go through the surgery and recovery with her mind and body strong.


“The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calm, and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors if there be any such so fortunate living among us today.  However, it is the ideal to strive for, and in our opinion, it is only through Contrology that this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind, and spirit can ever be...

Continue Reading...

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Brownies (Gluten-Free)

Yes, I am a Pilates instructor and I am supposed to love healthy food. 

I am supposed to set a good example for my clients…right? Actually, I do love healthy food. I eat healthy and exercise every day. I eat all vegetables, fruits, nuts, wild salmon, free range chicken and eggs. I really try to stay away from bread and pasta because they make me feel weighed down and tired. But the reality is, I am human. I do crave sweets, not all the time, just some times. And when I do, it’s chocolate. And I like brownies, the ooey gooey fudge kind. So I would like to share a healthier version of my favorite treat. They are made with all healthy ingredients and are gluten free. So if you are a chocolate lover like me and you want to try something healthy, these brownies are the way to go. Enjoy!


Almond butter chocolate chunk brownies (gluten-free)




  • 1 cup roasted almond butter. Try to get organic, free of extra oils. (I roasted raw almonds...
Continue Reading...

Meet the Team: Lauren Travis

interviews pilates Apr 18, 2016

Favorite thing to eat for breakfast

Egg on a bed of spinach and veggies with sliced avocado on top.  Grapefruit on the side. Black coffee.


I don’t leave home without???

My phone and a cross-body purse.


What qualities do you admire in a teacher?

I admire teachers who really see their clients, who recognize no two clients are the same and who can seamlessly cater to all types of bodies.  I also love teachers who are constantly learning more, expanding their craft and bringing new information to their classes. I think guiding a client’s wellness journey is one of the most awesome jobs, I admire teachers who are grateful everyday they get to teach.


Top 3 places you have traveled? Top 3 places you would like to travel?

Top 3 places I have traveled – Key Largo, Nashville, Miami (which is why I moved here!)

Top 3 places I would like to travel – Spain, Brazil, Greece


How would you describe your fashion style?


Continue Reading...

10 Daily Habits for Happiness

Remember that song, “Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend”?

After a long week packed with work, errands, appointments, etc. the weekend offers a much needed physical and mental break. On the weekend I find time to do some of the simple things that make me happy. I sit down to drink my morning cup of coffee, usually outside where I can listen to the birds and breathe in some fresh air, I read a book, organize my house, exercise, meet up with friends and family, and journal my ideas and goals. These simple things feed my soul and bring me a sense of peace and happiness.  Then I realized, I don’t want to go through life workin’ for the weekend, especially since those weekend days are few and far between. I wanted each day to be enjoyable, so I came up with some daily habits for happiness. It has made such a difference in my life and I want to share it with you in hopes that it will do the same for you. Here are my simple daily habits for...

Continue Reading...

Alternative Exercises for People with Achy Joints

Millions of Americans suffer from “achy joints” with causes ranging from arthritis, degeneration, injuries or just plain old age.

Exercise is a great way to help protect those achy joints and keep them as healthy as possible but what you do and how you do it are critically important to avoid flare-ups. Strengthening muscles around our joints will help decrease stress on the joint itself, which can reduce pain and stiffness.


Here are some general tips for clients with achy joints:


  •  Slow and Steady wins the race. Make sure you movements are smooth and not jerky. This will allow improved joint mechanics and prevent shearing forces that often happen with quick and uncontrolled movements.


  • Lift weights that are light enough to perform 10-12 repetitions.


  • Alternate between arm exercises and leg exercises to avoid overworking one body part or joint within your exercise routine. For example you can do bicep curls followed by lunges followed...
Continue Reading...

Meet the Team: Kelsey Garcia

interviews pilates Mar 28, 2016

Favorite thing to eat for breakfast

I’m from Texas…so breakfast burritos have always been a staple in my diet

I don’t leave home without???

Burt’s beeswax chapstick


If Joseph Pilates were alive today what would you ask him or have him teach you?

How to do the most insane Pilates exercise ever-the Squirrel on the Trapeze table


What qualities do you admire in a teacher?

Innovation, precision, and making the client both smile and sweat throughout their workout


Top 3 places you have traveled?

Patagonia (the Chilean side), Morocco, and hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.


Top 3 places you would like to travel?

I would LOVE to go to Thailand, India and New Zealand!


How would you describe your fashion style?

Ideally? Boho chic…realistically? Colorful and comfy


3 things you would grab in a fire?

Passport, wedding photo album, and my vinyls


Top 3 things on your bucket list?

Travel to every continent...

Continue Reading...

Book a Private Session

Leave your full name and contact information below and someone from our team will contact you within 24 hours to confirm your booking.