A better life with a healthy body!

10 healthy do-it-yourself recipes!

Recently a new trend has emerged of people making foods at home from scratch due to an increased amount of bacterial contaminations being found in foods across the country over the last few years. On November 26, the FDA announced it closed a New Mexico peanut butter processing facility due to a Salmonella outbreak last September. In light of recent outbreaks, this week HuffPost Living featured an article with 10 do-it-yourself recipes that anyone can make at home! The article shares recipes for peanut butter, pickles, tofu, mustard, yogurt, whole grain bread, fruit roll-ups, oatmeal, flavored water and granola bars. All the recipes look delicious and if made safely at home will be contamination free! To check out the full article with all the yummy at home recipes click on the link below!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/29/homemade-groceries-peanut-butter-recall-homemade_n_2200480.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living#slide=1815354

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Prevention Magazine’s healthy Thanksgiving recipes!

For all our Pilates lovers who are cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, Prevention Magazine posted a recent article with some wonderful healthy dinner options that are sure to please your guests this coming Turkey day! For the Rachel Ray fans out there, the article features her Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast which Ray says the aroma of the fresh bay leaves pair well with the turkey. In addition it also has Bobby Flay’s Cranberry-Fig Relish, which is a delicious twist on the classic Thanksgiving dish! If you enjoy serving green beans with your Thanksgiving dinner, Jamie Oliver’s Best-Ever Green Beans are featured as well. Oliver describes the mix of garlic, Parmesan and lemon as a very indulgent mix that is sure to please everyone! To check out the full list of healthy Thanksgiving recipes from Prevention Magazine, be sure to click on the link below!

http://www.prevention.com/food/cook/thanksgiving-dinner-menu-delicious-easy-recipes

Pilates Breath

The most challenging thing about Pilates is getting the breathing technique down. I know that it took me about 2 years of regular Pilates classes before I had my AHA! moment when it suddenly clicked. I felt muscles in my abdomen and groin working like never before, and the soreness that followed was so deep! I can tell you that it is worth all the frustration you feel while trying to learn to breath Pilates style when you wake up one day to find that flat lower belly you have been killing yourself for all your life. So try the following exercise, it’s just breathing! Something we all do all day anyway, why not get a tight flat stomach as a result?!
As you are sitting reading this blog, take a big inhale breath through your nose for 5 seconds. Exhale through your mouth for 10 seconds, feeling your ribs sink down and your lower belly cinch in as though your hip bones are pulling towards your belly button. I find that it’s helpful to place my fingertips on each hip bone so I can feel my lower belly draw in, almost like a seatbelt made of muscle is pulling my hip bones together. Now, when you inhale, don’t let your belly fill with air. Instead, keep those abdominal muscles tight and try to breath into your back. It should feel like those ab muscles are working overtime to stay connected against the inhale breath. Exhale for 15 seconds, trying to draw the ribs down further, pull the lower belly in even deeper, and now add your kegel muscles connecting. For those of you not familiar with your kegel muscles, they are the muscles deep in your pelvis that when tightened stop you from going to the bathroom. So squeeze those kegel muscles like your life depends on it, because one day you may be stuck wearing adult depends if you don’t! Take another inhale for 10 seconds keeping your abs and kegel muscles tight, then exhale for 20 seconds, until every last bit of breath is gone, tightening those muscles even more. With each inhale the goal is to maintain the muscle contraction in the abs, and every exhale is to deepen the muscle contraction so that with each breath you feel your abs working more intensely. Practice this as often as possible until the breath connection feels more natural. When your stuck in traffic, sitting on the couch watching tv, or in a boring work meeting, use the time to train your core and I promise you will see the difference!
Much love, Stacy

A brief history of Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. As a child he suffered from debilitating physical ailments including rickets, asthma, and rheumatic fever. His drive to overcome these limitations led him to pursue a life devoted to fitness, both physical and mental. At the young age of 22 Joseph traveled to England as a circus performer, but with the onset of World War 1 was detained as a German national in an internment camp. During this time Pilates began teaching his fitness regime to the others in the camp, and finding ways to adapt his program for those individuals who were sick or disabled. He found that by attaching springs to the beds of these sick and injured individuals they were able to keep up their strength and recover faster. This inspired Joseph to build his own fitness equipment which we now know as the trapeze table aka the Cadillac, the reformer, and the wunda chair.

After the war, Joseph Pilates returned to his home in Germany and was invited by the German government to train the newly formed army. However, realizing the implications this could mean for him, Pilates fled to America where he met and married his wife Clara. By 1926 they had set up their first studio in New York City, with Clara playing an integral role in teaching what Pilates called Contrology. Clients ranging from socialites, circus performers, athletes, and dancers greatly benefitted from Pilates’ fitness program whether done for rehabilitation purposes, or to increase performance ability. Joseph Pilates was a true pioneer in the fitness industry, developing over 600 exercises to be done on equipment he designed himself, all in an effort to achieve complete mental and physical health. As Pilates wrote “physical fitness is the first requisite to happiness.” We couldn’t agree more!

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a form of exercising targeting the core muscles including the abdominals, back and pelvic floor. The goal of Pilates is to train these core muscles to always stay connected. We do this by using a specific breath technique to engage these deeper core muscles, along with a combination of exercises utlizing body resistance (mat) and spring loading (equipment). By emphasizing the use of these deeper muscles rather than just the surface muscles, we are training the body to develop in a long and lean way as opposed to becoming short and bulky. Pilates also focuses on having proper alignment during these exercises so that posture improves, and the muscles strenghten in a balanced way. Simply put, Pilates retrains the body to perform optimally. This can mean increasing balance for injury prevention, or developing greater stability for better sport performance. Whatever you personal fitness goal, Pilates can help you reach it.