These are a few of my favorite things...

As a small business owner, I understand the impact that buying local can have on my community.  More money staying in the local community means more employment in that area.  More employment generates more tax revenue to use to improve schools, roads and parks.  The environmental impact is also huge.  Buying local lessens transportation requirements, reducing fuel consumption which translates to less air pollution and fewer toxic chemicals being released into our air, water and land.  If each of us commits to spending $10 a month at a local business rather than a big chain retailer, imagine what the cumulative effect would be to our local economy and environment. 

Here are some of my favorite local small businesses that I am happy to support because of the way they are doing business:

Fitness Physiques by Nico G is a wellness studio that offers clients innovative ways to cross train for results that leave the body feeling good.  Pilates and Bodhi Suspension training offer great options to build strength in a very functional way.  CoreAlign & Cycle is really 2 classes in one.  Cycle drills to improve cardiovascular performance followed by strengthening the core on a moving surface with the CoreAlign.  MELT Method techniques and Yoga are taught to help keep the body and nervous system in balance,   and Line Dancing classes are there for the fun factor.  You are sure to find something to inspire you to improve your fitness level here!

Rooted Juicery + Kitchen is a restaurant in Oakley that offers real, organic, plant based foods that are locally sourced and prepared from scratch.  They also offer juices and grab and go options great for lunches and dinners.  The food is always fresh and delicious, the staff is extremely helpful, and they are a model for sustainability.  There are so many options, sometimes it’s hard to decide what to order J

Sleepy Bee Café offers an eclectic gathering space as well as menu including healthy versions of comfort foods.  They specialize in breakfast and lunch, using locally sourced fresh ingredients.  The owners are the epitome of entrepreneurs working to make the world a better place and the Sleepy Bee Café is only one of the ways they are contributing to Cincinnati.

Celebrate Local is a retail store in the Liberty Center and Easton Malls that offer items from over 300 local small businesses and farms.  These items range from local honey, jerky, and treats to jewelry, wall art, and paintings.  If you are looking for a unique holiday gift, this is a place to try.  

What is your favorite local, small business to support?

Introducing my Seasonal Eating Meal Plan

Fall brings us a bounty of foods to enjoy after the harvest.  These foods are rich in color, texture, flavor, and nutrients.  Choosing foods that are freshly picked and locally grown allows us to get the most nourishment and taste from our food.  A fresh, crisp apple on a bright fall day; a warm bowl of butternut squash soup on a chilly fall night as the days become shorter; salads filled with colorful vegetables such as beets, carrots, and pumpkin seeds all lightly dressed with oil and vinegar with fresh herbs call to mind some of the flavors of fall.  I love to search for recipes that include the freshest tastes of the season and incorporate them into a healthy meal plan to help me and my family maintain optimal levels of wellness, while enjoying delicious, satisfying meals. 

 

I am excited to offer this same service to you!  My meal planning service is now based on a program of seasonal eating which will include weekly meal plans based on the foods that are currently in season, complete with recipes and a grocery list.  Make ahead food prep plans and tips will also be included.  These will be delivered to you via email and available on an app on your phone so that you have your grocery list available wherever you are.  Let me plan fresh, flavorful breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for you and your family and take the stress of meal planning off of your plate. 

 

Get Started Today

Creating Healthy Habits Can Be Easier Than You Think

What is the best habit to initiate first when starting a wellness journey?  That depends on where you are starting and where you want to go.  The main thing is to start.  Trying to overhaul your eating and exercise routines all at once can be overwhelming.  Picture your enthusiasm to “get healthy” on January 1st.  We often make a grand, although vague proclamation at the beginning of the year that we are going to eat right and exercise but slip back into our regular routines, often before the month is over.  We know that we will feel better, sleep better, and think more clearly if we eat well and move more.  We even have general guidelines to follow to get us started.  So what’s missing from our plan to get healthy? 

 

Creating sustainable habits that will lead us to our goals.  Charles Duhigg talks about this in “The Power of Habit.  He describes a habit loop as containing three parts – a cue, a behavior, and a reward.  A habit begins with a cue, something that reminds us to initiate a certain behavior.  For example, we don’t have to think about brushing our teeth every day because we have made it a habit by associating it with a time of day or activity.  I brush my teeth after breakfast and dinner each day.  The cue is eating the meal.  The behavior is brushing my teeth, and the reward is minty, fresh breath.  This habit is so ingrained in me that I do not have to use any willpower to make myself complete this task each day, I just do it. 

 

 

 

 

 

Cues can include time of day, location, people, objects, or events.  If you want to start running in the morning, a cue might be to set out your running shoes and clothes somewhere that you will see them when you get up.  Putting those on and going for a run, even just for a few minutes will initiate the behavior portion of the loop.  Even a five minute walk or run in the morning will reward you with feeling more awake and energized for the rest of the day.  If you continue to set out the cue to run every day, before you know it you will have instilled this as a habit and won’t need any willpower to make you do it on the days that it seems challenging.  It has become a habit.  This habit can lead to other healthier lifestyle choices, like moving more throughout the day or making better food choices.

 

So what habit will you work to implement first that will have the biggest impact on your health?  Will it be drinking more water and less soda each day?  Can you eliminate one sugary beverage a day and replace it with a glass of water?  Perhaps your lunchtime soda so it is at the same time each day.  Or maybe you could try adding another serving of vegetables to your dinner meal each day.  Protein helps us to maintain more lean muscle mass, which helps to keep us leaner overall.  How about having a hard boiled egg in the morning to increase your protein consumption?  These are just some suggestions, but ultimately you have to create that habits that are right for you. 

 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

New habits should seem laughably easy to do.  If it seems too difficult to do, start with a smaller, easier version and work up to the new habit.

Make it a game.  Approach it with a sense of adventure and celebrate the days that you achieve your goal.  Perhaps a gold star for that day :-)

New habits should be added one at a time and not before the previous one has become a habit that you don’t have to think about. 

If accountability works well for you, ask a supportive family member of friend to help you with your new behavior or join a group that will help to facilitate this new habit.

 

Remember, once your behavior becomes a habit, you don’t have to spend any energy or willpower deciding whether or not to do it.  It becomes a natural part of your life.  So what is the first healthy new habit you intend to create?

A Nutrition and Fitness Coach is born!

Being in the fitness industry for more than 10 years has given me so much joy.  I am thrilled when I can make a difference in someone's life by helping them to look and feel better in theri body.  I know that nutrition plays a huge role in feeling better, so I decided to add nurtition coaching to my repertoire.  I am proud to say that I have completed the Precision Nutrition Coaching Level 1 certification and I am ready to add this area to my practice.  I love Precison Nutrition's approach. It isn't just about a meal plan, or counting calories or grams of food.  Their philosophy is about learning to eat for your body in a way that is sustainable for a life time.  Nutrition coaching is about helping you to create strong habits for a healthy life that create vitality and not a feeling of deprivation.  I am so excited to bring these strategies to my clients.  

 

Be sure to check out my new website for tips and insights to help make your health the best it can be!

http://www.nutritionandfitnesscoach.com

New Year’s Resolution or Creating a New Habit?

As this year comes to a close and we are ready to begin the New Year, most of us vow to make major changes in the coming weeks.  We attempt to live a healthier life, without taking the time to reflect on what that “healthier life” will look and feel like.  We think we need to change everything at once, but the fact is this is not realistic and we find our willpower depleted after a few weeks and give up. 

This year, rather than make a New Year’s Resolution, I plan to create habits that will be in line with what I want my healthier life to feel like.  Rather than vowing to reduce stress in my life, I plan to implement the habit of daily meditation.  In order for me to create this habit, I must commit to it 100% and it must be completely doable.  I plan to start small, with 1 minute a day in the morning to center myself before I greet the world and 1 minute in the mid afternoon when I feel my energy plummet.  I’m sure I can find 2 minutes a day to feel more calm, alert and mindful through the rest of the day.  What new habits will you create to be your best self this year?

Turns Out You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

I have spent my entire teaching career focusing on Pilates and mindful movement.  I love the depth and breadth of this work.  I feel energized when I see a client feel the work deeply for the first time and understand that to be truly present in their exercise sessions brings about great change.  I recently had the opportunity to take a Spinning certification course.  I was very nervous walking into this class for several reasons.  For starters, this form of exercise was out of my comfort zone.  I teach slow, controlled, precise movements; not spinning!  While not slow, spinning is also about control and precision as well as being present in your body during your ride to make the most of your experience.  I have personally always enjoyed the exhilaration of cardio exercise, but never saw myself as teaching it, possibly due to my difficulty in staying on beat :-)

 

I have found the best of both worlds in Spinning and Pilates.  The thrill and energy that you get from cardio and the strenght and body awareness that is gained from mindul movement.  I am pleased to begin teaching a class that combines both aspects of exercise that I love.  I am happy to add CoreAlign & Cycle to my teaching schedule beginning in January.  Check out the schedule here.

 

Wishing you the happiest and healthiest of new years!

Creating Habits for Change: Top 3 Tips to Make Lifestyle Changes Achievable

Most of us want to live a healthier lifestyle, but the thought of making the necessary changes can seem overwhelming.  Here are the top 3 tips to make lifestyle changes achievable:

Aim to create one behavior change at a time

Trying to change everything at once is usually not the best way to create new and lasting habits.  We must focus on changing one behavior at a time.  Committing to one new behavior will not over exert the need for will power.  We have all experienced the failed New Year’s Resolution.  We vow to make big changes in our lives without identifying the behaviors that need to be changed in order to be successful.  How can we make goal setting more productive?

Identify the outcome goal

Rather than simply saying “I want to be healthier”, choose a goal that states what that means for you.  For example, “I want to walk 30 minutes per day within 12 weeks” will allow you to accurately assess whether you have reached your goal.  Knowing why you want to achieve this goal also makes success more likely.

Identify the behavior goal

 Once the outcome goal is established, we must look at the behaviors that will make the goal possible.  Behavior goals are those things that you must do in order to achieve the established outcome goal.  These are behaviors that you have control over. 

Let’s look at the goal of adding 30 minutes of walking a day to our schedule:

 

Changes should be small

Big changes evoke stress. 

Choose a new habit that you are 90-100% certain you can achieve on a daily basis. 

This new habit should feel ridiculously easy to implement. 

If I want to walk 30 minutes per day, I must commit to this in my schedule.  But that time commitment may seem overwhelming in the beginning.  What if I commit to walking for 5 minutes per day for 2 weeks to establish the habit and begin to feel successful.  Once I have established the habit of walking and begin to feel the benefits, I can gradually add more time until I reach my ultimate goal.

 

Prepare for success

Preparation and pre-planning are key to success when building new habits. 

Having walking shoes by the door to take with you if you plan to walk on your lunchbreak will be a visual reminder of your commitment.  Laying out appropriate clothes the night before if you intend to walk first thing in the morning will be a make you much more likely to keep your commitment.  Involving a friend or family member in your new behavior will make that commitment even stronger.  Make it easy to accomplish your behavior goal even on the worst possible day. 

Pilates as a Metaphor for Life

Pilates is a method of exercise that is synonymous with core strengthening, but is that all that is really involved?  Joseph Pilates originally intended for his method to become a way of life.  Let’s take a look at what makes a Pilates session different from most other forms of exercise and how this can carry over into our daily life.

Breathing

The attention to breath in Pilates helps to connect the mind and body and allows us to be fully present in our body during the workout.  Focusing on breath helps to calm and clear the mind, and mindful movement is a more natural movement.  This can be a tremendous stress relieving break in the day.

Concentration

With the mind calm and free of distraction, we can fully pay attention to the task at hand.  Joseph Pilates said “it is better to do five repetitions perfectly, than 20 without paying attention”.  This is true both during your workout as well as in your everyday life.

Control

To be in control requires using the mind to control the movements and effort of the body; to be in control of the equipment being used; and to be in proper form and alignment.  Practicing control during Pilates sessions can help us to strengthen this skill and improve our will power.

Centering

Pilates movements begin from the center and radiate outward.  This builds a strong, stable and flexible core which is essential for a balanced body.  The habit of working on our core values first can help us to be more centered and lead to a more balanced life.

Precision

Precision is the act of performing a task with optimum form and the exact amount of effort required.  Expecting precision, rather than perfection can lead to much more success in all that we do.

Balanced muscle development

The Pilates repertoire includes exercises that work to balance the muscles around all of our joints, creating movement that feels more effortless. A body that moves with more ease will want to move more, which is beneficial for not only our body; but our mind and our spirit as well.

Rhythm and flow

Pilates encourages a sense of rhythm and flow in its classes to help create smooth, flowing movements that decrease stress on the joints and create beneficial movement patterns which allow us to move with grace.  When we feel the ease of movement that rhythm and flow provides in the body, we may strive to find a good rhythm and flow to our day that will allow us to move through the day with more ease and a sense of well-being.

Relaxation

Pilates teaches us to use the right amount of effort during a movement and find a sense of ease and relaxation through the rest of the body.  Finding time to relax between periods of work can make us more effective in our day and restore our energy so that we do not end our day depleted; but with a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

What Went Well Today?

Listening to a podcast today from Optimize with Brian Johnson about the power of positive thinking, I was reminded of a simple practice that can change your outlook quickly and easily.  By asking the simple question; what went well today, I am training my brain to look for the good even in the small things that happen throughout the day.  Thinking this way immediately made me feel happier.  The universe gave me a subtle reminder to take a moment to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, something I need to do more often.  So, my list of what went well today...I

have a husband who works hard to allow me the freedom to do what makes me happy.  Thank you love.

began my day with my daughter, whom I cherish

took a Bodhi Suspension training class which gave me energy to give to others

shared knowledge with my clients that helped them to move and feel better in their bodies

had fun working with a client who often teaches me as much as I teach her

received myofascial release work from an amazing healer

All in all, a good day.   Thanks to all who shared in my good day.  I can’t wait to see what goes well tomorrow.

What went well for you today?

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

I was recently asked to do something that is completley outside of my comfort zone.  My initial reaction was NO, I can't possibly do that!  Then I took a deep breath and thought, why not?  It will take a lot of effort but it really sounds like something you would enjoy.  So I went for it.  

 

I was right.  It was a lot of work, but I learned so much about myself it was very worthwhile.  The first thing I learned was that  I had to let go of my perfectionist tendencies as this was a new endeavor for me and it was not going to be perfect.  If you let the fear of not being perfect at something the first time you try it stop you from even trying, then you have failed.  Once I let go of the need to be perfect, or even close; I began to enjoy the process of creating.  As I created, I also had to let go of how others may do this and be true to myself.  That can be really empowering.  Play to your strengths and applaud your accomplishments.  Celebrate your successes in life, big and small.  

 

Revel in the joy of the moment when you try something new.  This quote was a great inspiration to me during this process: "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

What new thing will you try this week?  Learning a new language, trying a new recipe, adding mediation to your daily practice, a new way to move your body?  I am adding a new dimension to my teaching.  I will be adding a Bodhi Suspension System class to my schedule begininig September 1st.  This system trains the body out of alignment with gravity to really get the core muscles engaged.  Classes will include elements of standing, balalnce and stability, strength, and cardio while using functional movements.  This class is a great compliment to Pilates and Personal Training.  

 

Register today at https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/admhome?studioid=31340

 

For the full list of options visit http://www.fitnessphysiques.net