The State House and Silver Linings. Today is a very special day. Today, I submitted a Bill at the Massachusetts State House to help prevent strokes in Women. This is something I am passionate about and something I have been working on for years. This is a bill that would ask doctors and health care providers to administer a blood test to women to see if they test positive for a blood clotting disorder, called Factor V Leiden, prior to women being put on birth control. Women who have factor V Leiden (FVL) are at a significant greater risk for a stroke when taking birth control pills. Factor V Leiden can also increase the risk of stroke during pregnancy and for a period of time post-partum. As of today, there is no existing set policy for screening women for FVL prior to giving them birth control pills. Today, with the support of Allyson Perron, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association, and Massachusetts State Representative Dan Ryan this bill is being introduced. A big thank you to Sean Getchell, Representative Ryan’s aid, for the years and years he has spent listening to me talk about this, and to Allyson Perron who has also spent years helping me but this Bill together. This Bill still has a long way to go, but it is a start.Read More
The abdominal muscles are very important when it comes to being able to move the body. The abdominal muscles are made up of many diverse fiber attachments on the front sides bottom, and back of the trunk, the mid-section and all the way down to the pelvis. Not only do these muscles flex, extend, bend and rotate the torso, the abdominal muscles can help move the pelvis, thigh, spine, head, and neck. Therefor it is important that abs muscles are strong enough to support movement and stability in the body. The abdominal muscles also play a role in breathing.Read More
One of the most successful strategies I have been using with my students and clients who are already regular exercisers, but not seeing results they want is by encouraging them to embrace more mindful approach to their exercises and fitness routines. By mindful, I don’t just mean trying to be more present, more in the moment, more breathing, but this is more about incorporating the same type of balanced approach to exercise that most people do with their eating habits. For example, most people don’t eat the same foods every Monday, every Tuesday, every Saturday etc. etc.. year after year. Yet, when I hear from many of my students, I often hear a similar story like this “I spin on Mondays and Wednesdays, boot camp Tuesdays, Barre on Fridays, and Yoga on Saturdays. This has been my cross-training schedule for 5-10 years”. The type of exercises doesn’t really matter, it is the more the emphasis on a routine that people are following month after month without getting the results they are looking for. I hear this all of the time that people find a fitness routine that fits their schedule or, or a list of favorite instructors they follow, and they will stay with this exact plan for a long time, even if they are not seeing the results that they want, and even if it is not necessarily making them feel good.Read More
Happy National Heart Month! Valentine's Day is not the only way to celebrate the heart this month! Join me for a fun girls night out to raise heart beats and awareness on February 16, 2017 at 7pm at Ink Block Boston. The night will start off with a unique class created by myself and Kick It by Eliza founder Eliza Shirazi. The awesome workout we have put together combines Barre inspired sculpting techniques with the high energy, heart pumping cardio benefits of Eliza's kickboxing routine. After the class there will be shopping for quality, sustainable second hand clothing from GoGarbaj, and organic fair-trade products from Organic Bath Company, and cold- pressed juice refrechsmens from Mother Juice. Proceeds from the evening will go to The American Heart and American Stroke Association. I am so excited for this event and so grateful to Eliza and all of the sponsors for helping to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke and to support the the American Heart and Stroke Association. Since having my stroke four years ago, I have been on a journey to spread the message that embracing a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce ones risk of heart disease and stroke. I can think of no better way to celebrate heart month and continue to spread awareness then at this heart-healthy night out. Tickets are $15, and space is limited. Purchase link.Read More
Earlier the week I shared that one of my favorite things is Turmeric Tea. Mainly because of turmerics anti-inflammatory properties and also because turmeric tea has become my go to "swap" for trying to get myself off of my afternoon coffee habit. After doing a little more research on just why turmeric is is reported to have so many health benefits, I discovered a new way to love it! You may or may not have heard of "Golden Milk" ? If you haven't, I wanted to share this recipe definitely worth trying. I became very interested in anti-inflammatory foods during my recovering from my stroke. There has been a lot of research lately linking inflammation in the body to a whole lists of disease, including an increase risk of heart disease and stroke. I now try to get in as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible.Read More
Not sure if a Spiritual and Wellness event is for you? Guess what? It is for everyone.
I used to get a little intimidated by these types of events, feeling unsure if I was "spiritual" enough to attend and/or even more to participate. What I know now, is Spirituality and Wellness is about the journey of self-improvement, and no matter where you are on that journey, there is always room for inspiration. And no previous experience is needed, just an open mind.Read More
If you have been taking my barre class, you've heard me talk about the “barre tuck” and the importance of not “over-tucking” or not exaggerating the tuck position. The term “tucking” has become as commonplace as barre socks in barre class. However, even though the term is pretty standard, the actual “tucking” has ended up having quite a few variations depending on which studio you are in. Many barre students head to their favorite class hoping to stay perfectly tucked the entire time. A lot of good intention here, however, performing the tuck out of proper alignment may be doing more harm than good. Tucking incorrectly over time can potentially cause injuries and strain to your hips, pelvis, and lower back.
What is the tuck?Read More
The best post-workout snack is the one that re-nourishes your body, so this will very based on the type, duration, and intensity of your fitness routine. For me, a typical workout includes an hour of Barre or resistance training.Read More
I get asked this question all of the time... My answer is, “barre, obviously..." No, but in all seriousness, I do feel that the type of barre classes I teach do come pretty close to hitting the three key components of fitness that I believe are necessary to being fit and healthy. The goal is also to keep people healthy in order to complete every day activities: Cardiovascular health, resistance training and flexibility. How you combine these three components may vary depending on your health and fitness goals, the time you have, and the intensity at which you workout. So after being asked this question “what is the best workout,” I decided to do more research to support my answer that barre comes pretty close. We all are always looking to find the "perfect workout” that helps us reach our goals as fast as possible. It is important in this quest that we think about how we can be exercising as “smartly” and effectively as possible, as well as staying in that balance between over-exercising and what is good for our bodies. For example, for runners, a recent finding published in an article in the Journal of Physiology showed that just three 30 minute sessions of SIT (spring interval training) were as effective as five hours worth of steady-state exercise. That is a huge time saver! However, the study also shows that doing too much SIT and too intensely, becoming over demanding on your body, can actually slow your progress. So finding the balance is key, and determining that balance can take some time - which requires the ability to pay attention to your body. My gauge for myself, is post workout. I want to feel challenged, but still energized and not depleted, and eventually want to see results (sooner rather than later). If you have a workout that you love, but seems to wipe you out, look for ways to cut down the intensity and duration, or reduce the number of times per week you do it.Read More
Happy New Year! I wanted to share a unique tip to help keep you motivated toward reaching your New Year goals....Crystals. Crystals have been used throughout history for their healing and energy capabilities and were considered sacred in many ancient civilizations. It would take the span of many books to cover crystals, the hundreds of different types, and their many uses, roles in traditions and rituals, place in healing and meditations, history, and the many different beliefs that surround their “powers,” so for simplicity I am just going to share a few of my favorites types (specifically the ones that just may help support new goals for 2016). Wearing or carrying crystals is a very simple tool for adding a little positive boost to your energy and motivation! I have had quite a few impactful experiences with crystals and now they are always around me. In the years since incorporating them into my life, I seem to continually meet many new “crystal people” and healers, and it is so fascinating what I have learned from them, specifically how differently people’s reactions can be to different stones. For example, some people will feel a heat, others will feel a coolness, vibrations, exaggerated heaviness, etc.. I even met a woman from New Zealand whose crystals shattered after they were done “doing their job” of removing negative energies. Many healers claim the crystals choose you, not the other way around. There is even a crystal for increasing fertility, like the chrysanthemum crystal (I have given this one to so many of my friends trying to get pregnant. Warning: So far, all have had babies). I have also heard this many times, crystals seem to have a way of disappearing or moving on to other people that need them.Read More
This year I am going to start in December! As of today, I am starting my plan to take it to that next level now instead of waiting for January 1st. I want to start 2015 already in-progress. For me, health and fitness these past six months (post-surgery) have been pretty up and down. I had to take some “time off” because of recovering and some health issues and have since let myself use “recovering” as excuses to let myselfease up on the routines that I know make me feel my best, eg. keeping a regular exercise schedule, trying new things here and there (which I love to do), and eating the ways that make me feel my best.Read More
Happy December!!!! A sure way to feel party ready this holiday season is to get those arms ready for any sleeve style, even a fitted long sleeve looks better with shapely triceps. The "tricep-dip" or "reverse push-up" is easy to do at home and requires no equipment. This is a foundation exercise in Barre and can be really effective if done consistently and with the correct form.
To set up:Read More
I don't usually make jam... but my kids and I picked these beach plums from my mom's house on Plum Island, MA and we figured we would give it a try:
Endless Summer Plum Jam
I posted a quick picture about the book Melt Method, by Sue Hitzmann a few months ago but now feel that it is in need of a real blog post to do it justice. Melt stands for Myofascial Energetic Length Technique. I never thought I would actually stay focused for 293 pages of a book just dedicated to a foam roller, but I sure did! And happily. I actually found this book fascinating and also truly helpful in reducing pain (and in some areas) actually resolved pain. For example, if you are someone with shin splints.. WOW, give it a try on your shins.Read More
Breakfast shakes are a staple for me. I incorporated them into my diet about 2-3 years ago when I got serious about losing the weight that I had gained during my pregnancy, and I also just wanted to feel healthier.Read More
Stretching has been proven to enhance athletic performance, reduce the risk of injury during physical activities, improve flexibility, reduce stress, and increase circulation (among other benefits.) I also personally find that stretching helps calm the mind.Read More