I love Blueberries

Freshly picked blueberries in wooden bowl. Juicy and fresh blueb

Blueberries are among my favorite foods. One of those ‘Superfoods’ you hear about, and yes they truly are a nutrient powerhouse, in a little burst of sweet sunshine.

1 Cup packs 19% of your RDA Vitamin C 32% RDA Vitamin K and 14% of your RDA of fiber. Full of energy fueling carbohydrates and other essential nutrients including Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, and for those calorie counters…is only going to tick off a mere 84 calories (true energy calories) in your food log.

But probably my favorite thing about blueberries is that they are on the higher end of antioxidant capacity of all the most commonly eaten fruits and veggies! Helping to increase antioxidant levels in the body, neutralize free radicals, reducing DNA damage.

I could go on and on about how awesome they are, but you get the picture. Eat blueberries! Try my Blueberry Muffins!

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Legs Up the Wall

If you attend Pilates Mat on Tuesday evening at The Pilates Studio, Then you’re very familiar with Legs Up the Wall. This posture is calming and grounding especially at times when you’re feeling overwhelmed, or just plain tired.

What is it?

To put it simply, this inverted action reverses the forward motions of doing, acting, and accomplishing, allowing your brain and body to settle into a state of pure being. This then conditions the mind for deeper meditation, serenity, and self-awareness.

Do it!

Sitting with your left side against the wall, gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shift your weight.

Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.

Shift your weight from side-to-side and scoot your buttocks close to the wall. Let your arms rest open at your sides, palms facing up.

Let the heads of your thigh bones (the part of the bone that connects in the hip socket) release and relax, dropping toward the back of your pelvis.

Close your eyes. Relax into the pose for 5-10 minutes, breathing with awareness.

When you’re done, pull your knees into your chest and turn to your side.

Benefits

  • It reduces edema in the legs and feet.
  • It relieves tired leg muscles.
  • It gives you all the benefits of inversion, without the effort.
  • It is super calming for the nervous system.
  • It helps quiet the mind.
  • It can help with Anxiety, Headaches, Insomnia and Mild depression
  • Improves Digestion

Yogi’s say that 5 minutes is equivalent to a 20-30 minute cat nap! Give it a try and see if it doesn’t help you rejuvenate.

Pilates is Addictive – 5 Reasons why You Should be doing Pilates

PilatesAddictionWhen I started practicing Pilates over 16 years ago, I was not a person who liked to exercise, I was the person who knew you should, but hated it. Yep! I tried everything. Going it on my own at the weight bench, hiring a personal trainer, taking classes, nothing seemed to stick for very long. I was hopelessly uncoordinated when it came to fast moving choreographed exercise (kickboxing or step classes), Boot camps left me feeling too sore for days and my discipline wavered when left to my own devices (weight machines etc.) I didn’t feel at home anywhere, then I unknowingly walked into a Pilates Mat class and I was stunned. I could do it. I could follow along without feeling clumsy. I felt a good sore in all the right places, and there was no intimidation. I found my exercise. I was no longer the girl who was bored easily and felt lost in a gym. I was home. If you’re on the fence about whether or not Pilates is for you, here’s 5 reasons why Pilates is for everyone serious about not only their strength but there overall health:

  1. One of the 6 Principles of Pilates is ‘Concentration’. This has given Pilates the title of the “thinking person’s exercise.” Pilates not only challenges your body it challenges your brain.  Efficiency of movement and quality over quantity are key in your Pilates practice. You need to be 100% present to get the full benefit of your workout; tapping into muscles you didn’t even know you had. Challenging you with moves that stimulate your coordination as well as your physical body.
  2. You use Pilates in every aspect of your physical life. From putting groceries into the car to picking up your toddler, it brings a mindfulness and balance to your movement that will have you standing taller and walking straighter. Athletic activities are performed with more ease. Runners run faster, cyclists feel more endurance and balance, golfers improve their swing. Even cleaning the house feels like less effort.
  3. Pilates assists in therapeutic healing from an injury and strengthens muscles around joints to prevent injuries from happening. It’s used in Physical Therapy offices across the nation for rehab and used by professional athletes to reduce the incidents of injury.
  4. Pilates protects the back! 9 out of 10 adults experience back pain at some point in their life and 5 of those 10 experience it regularly. Pilates strengthens the core muscles surrounding the spine, protecting it from common rotation injuries. Many of the exercises are focused on articulation of the spine, lengthening the space between the vertebrae and counteracting the compression caused by sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  5. When you stop doing it, your body will miss it. I’ve stopped my Pilates practice twice over the past 16 years due to injury. Both times I was in so much pain, the mere thought of doing a simple roll-up brought tears to my eyes. During the first few weeks of rehabilitation when I couldn’t practice my Pilates, I missed it, not only mentally, but physically. When I returned to my practice after healing it was like coming home. This is a very common feeling among my clients as well. Your body will love Pilates and when you return to it, it will thank you with that Rock Star strength that only Pilates can provide.

I’ve found that fitness trends come and go, but having a common thread of Pilates throughout your life will give you strength, endurance and longevity in your body that you will not experience through other forms of trend exercise. In fact, continuing your Pilates practice along side whatever fitness craze has caught your attention will only enhance that experience as well. Love Pilates.

 

 

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Vital Nutrients – Vitamin B12

Notepad with vitamin b12 and pills.Vitamin B12 is vital for healthy nervous-system function and for the formation of DNA and red blood cells. It helps guard against anemia, a blood condition that causes fatigue and weakness and all the B group vitamins have specific effects on brain cell functions and their deficiency leads to different neurological and psychological problems such as brain fog, memory loss and dementia in the elderly.

Why B12 is important. It impacts everything from energy levels to brain function. A fatty substance called myelin is essential for the formation of the sheaths that cover and protect the nerves of the central and the peripheral nervous system. The presence of myelin allows your nerves to communicate rapidly and efficiently, while damage to your myelin results in a breakdown of nerve communication, causing diseases of the brain. The brain is still a mystery in many aspects, but research is consistently being conducted connecting B12 deficiency to the many neurological issues that we are seeing so prevalent in our population today.

How do you get it from food? It’s hard when given the choices. Going down the list of foods that are ‘high’ in B12 naturally, most of these foods are not common choices, such as Beef Liver, Mackerel and Sardines. B12 is present in egg yolks (which is why you should never go egg whites only), but it would require eating 10-20 eggs a day…not likely for most of us. Processed and Dairy foods such as cereal and milk are ‘fortified’ with B12, but these companies use the low end B12 supplement of cyanocobalamin. Most people will need to supplement their B12.

When selecting a B12 supplement, shots are best, but an oral taken under the tongue is beneficial as well. Make sure the type of B12 is either Methylcobalamin or Adenosylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is more common and is equivalent physiologically to vitamin B12 and can be used to prevent or treat pathology arising from a lack of vitamin B12. Stay away from cyanocobalamin.

Book a Free Wellness Consult with me. Let’s talk about your food and eating habits, exercise and wellbeing and what you need to do to experience more energy, vitality and reach your wellness goals!

Vital Nutrients – Phosphorus

Shallow Depth Of Field Image Of Nutrition Facts

Phosphorus is a mineral that helps your body maintain healthy bones and teeth. It is essential for life and is the second most abundant mineral in your body next to calcium. Phosphorus plays a major role in how your body uses carbohydrates and fats, repairs cells, stores energy, and works with B vitamins. A diet made up of whole healthy foods should provide you with enough phosphorus for your body to utilize as most natural foods contain some amount of phosphorus Protein rich foods offer the highest amounts of this vital nutrient, but some non-protein sources can have high levels as well. Lentils and edamame contain impressive levels, but I found nuts and seeds to be the best source of naturally occurring phosphorus, such as Cashews, Almonds,  Pistachios, Pumpkin Seeds and Sunflower Seeds.

In addition to bone and teeth health, phosphorus is involved with many of our body’s other natural processes such as metabolizing macronutrients, regulating energy stores, growth and repair of cells and tissue and growth and repair of DNA and RNA.

Book a Free Wellness Consult with me. Let’s talk about your food and eating habits, exercise and wellbeing and what you need to do to experience more energy, vitality and reach your wellness goals!

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Vital Nutrients – Thiamin

Shallow Depth Of Field Image Of Nutrition Facts

Thiamin is a water-soluble B vitamin that helps your cells produce energy from carbohydrates. It is essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system playing a role in conducting nerve impulses and in muscle contraction. Your body needs anywhere from 1mg – 1.4mg depending on your age, gender and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

We store thiamin primarily in the liver, but in very small amounts. The vitamin has a short half-life, so we require a continuous supply of it from our diet. Thiamin can be found in several food sources naturally, such as Black Beans, Acorn squash, sunflower seeds and corn. Also in meats such as pork, Beef steak, trout, tuna and mussels.

Breads, rice, pastas and cereals are usually ‘enriched’ with Thiamin, however, for our main sources we should always turn to naturally occurring.

Book a Free Wellness Consult with me. Let’s talk about your food and eating habits, exercise and wellbeing and what you need to do to experience more energy, vitality and reach your wellness goals!

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Vital Nutrients – Potassium

Shallow Depth Of Field Image Of Nutrition Facts

Potassium is an essential electrolyte that helps trigger your heart to squeeze blood through your body, one hundred thousand times a day. Its used to build proteins and muscle, to break down carbohydrates to energy, plays a part in your kidneys filtering your blood and it regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance in the blood and tissues.

Every cell in your body needs the right amount of potassium to function. When levels are low, your body tells you. Since the standard american diet doesn’t include enough fruits and vegetables for adequate potassium intake, there are a number of signals your body may send you to let you know to pump it up! Increasing the amount of nutrient dense vegetables and fruits could alleviate a number of symptoms including tingling and numbness in feet or hands, muscle cramps, fatigue after a workout, and constipation. Another reason to eat those veggies!

Foods high in Potassium include Sweet Potatoes, Avocados, Broccoli, Lentils, and Edamame.

Book a Free Wellness Consult with me. Let’s talk about your food and eating habits, exercise and wellbeing and what you need to do to experience more energy, vitality and reach your wellness goals!

Vital Nutrients – Iron

Shallow Depth Of Field Image Of Nutrition FactsProteins in our body use iron to transport oxygen and grow cells. Most of the body’s iron is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues all over the body. So if you’re feeling fatigued and especially and especially if you’re a woman, it may be a result of iron deficiency. Iron is also necessary to maintain healthy cells, skin,  hair, and nails. Make sure you’re eating foods with enough iron to maintain vitality and energy.

Iron is most prevalent in meat, in fact Chicken Liver contains the most of any food providing over 60% of your daily needs, but how many of you are saying at this moment “mmmm, chicken liver!”? Not many I’d gather and especially if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Good plant based sources of iron include cooked beans such as Kidney Beans or Garbanzo Beans, Pumpkin Seeds, Tofu, Broccoli and Potatoes.

Book a Free Wellness Consult with me. Let’s talk about your food and eating habits, exercise and wellbeing and what you need to do to experience more energy, vitality and reach your wellness goals!

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Vital Nutrients – Vitamin K

VN-SpinachVitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin which plays a vital role in coagulation, or blood clotting. Without it, your body would not be able to stop bleeding when you bruise or cut yourself. But did you know that it is also essential to building strong bones, preventing heart disease, and even helps to fight off cancer?

Vitamin K is found in Green, leafy vegetables. Kale, as we know, is highest in VK with 1.1 mg per cup, followed by collard greens and spinach – which is over 300% the recommended daily allowance for a 2 cup serving! It can also be found in turnip and mustard greens, and in all the other cruciferous vegetables as well. Be like Popeye and eat your Spinach.

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