My journey to overall health and wellness... Thanks for coming along!


Monday, July 18, 2011


I have outgrown my current home and am officially announcing that The Lean Body Pilates Blog is moving to Wordpress! This will be my last post here, so from now on, please visit my new home. I am SUPER excited about the new blog and I hope you all will be too. Here's what you can expect:

More regular blogging including:
  • Fitness & Healthy Living Tips
  • Pilates info/exercises/workouts
  • Favorite recipes
  • Restaurant reviews
  • Things I love
  • Fun places I go
A Better Layout.

wait for it...

GIVEAWAYS! I have some great giveaways coming with some awesome companies, so stay tuned.

Also, if you have been receiving my posts via email and wish to continue to do so, please enter your email address in the subscribe box on the upper right hand corner of the new site.

Thank you all so much for reading and I can't wait to have you over to my new place!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I have been traveling a lot lately, and it occurred to me that I am probably not the only one. Planning some trips this summer? Here are 4 rules to live by when you are taking your fitness on the road:


Just because you may not have time a full workout like you would do at home, doesn’t mean you should just skip it all together. Sometimes if I don’t have a full hour, I’ll just plop down on the floor and do Quickie Pilates.
Something like this:

  • Pilates Hundred (Inhale 5 counts & exhale 5 counts 10X)
  • Half Roll Backs (4X)
  • Full Roll Ups (4X)
  • Pilates Series of 5 (8X each exercise, without stopping in between if you can)
  • Shoulder Bridge (4X each leg)
  • Back Extensions w/ hands stacked under forehead (8 times)
  • Quadruped/Watchdog (2X each side)
  • Plank (hold as long as you can)
  • 8 Pilates Push-ups (1-2 sets depending on time)

Now if that sounds like (insert obscure language you don’t understand) to you… I suggest you stop by my You Tube page and do one of my Lean Body Workouts (10-15 min tops) & I’ll break it down for ya!

If Pilates isn’t your thing, other options include, but are not limited to: quickie Yoga, Walking around the block, jogging around the block, squats, pushups, jumping rope, lunges... the list goes on and on. Just do something that gets your blood pumping and muscles working.


Sometimes the best way to incorporate fitness is find out what keeps the people who live where you are traveling fit. For example on my recent trip to Colorado I took an amazing hike with my sister. The workout was just a bonus really. I got to take in the beauty of my surroundings and spend some QT with my sis. I love workouts that don’t feel like workouts!


If you aren’t traveling somewhere like Colorado that has fitness built in, you can still make this rule work for you. Lets say you are traveling to NYC. Guess what the locals do…

legs-walking, NYC


The majority of New Yorkers do not have a car. We get around the old fashioned way, our own 2 feet (with a little bit of Subway mixed in). Again, it’s a great way to take in the sites and really get a feeling of the vibe of the city. I highly recommend putting on your walking shoes and just going out exploring. I promise it won' t be nearly as scary as it sounds.


Fitness toys that is… You don’t need a gym to get fit. I am certainly not suggesting you lug dumbbells around with you. I for one never check bags and would certainly not want to carry waits around the airport. I’m thinking something more like this:


This little magic toy is a gym in itself. If you combine it with this little toy (which can be deflated & fit into any carry on):


and you are set! You basically have a Pilates studio at your fingertips. Here are my favorite ways to use them:

Back Rowing with the Stretch Band:

  • Sit tall on top of your sits bones with the legs long in front of you and the band around your feet.
  • Bring your knuckles together in front of your chest with the elbows out to the side.
  • Pull the abs and ribs in and round back off your sits bones stopping about the top of your pants.
  • Deepen the scoop in the abs be pressing the belly button straight to the floor and keeping the ribs closed.
  • Extend the arms open to the side with the palms facing back (think of windshield wipers).
  • Press the band back as far as you can without moving & then dive up and over your things as the arms reach to the back with palms facing each other.
  • Lift your abs and ribs as far away from your thighs as you can & bring the arms back around to the front (the band will lose tension).
  • Roll back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat 2-3X.

Make sure when the arms reach back that the shoulders are sliding down the back, far away from the ears. Also, even when you lose tension in the band towards the end, maintain engagement in the abs as if you were just at the end of your roll up.

**You can add pulses when the arms are reaching back for more triceps.

**You can add bicep curls before you begin the rowing series by swiveling the arms so the fists & elbows are in line with the shoulders and then extending the arms out front.

Toe Taps on the Small Ball:

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat& knees up
  • Lift your hips and place the ball under your pelvis (1/2 way between your lower back & butt)
  • Deepen the abdominals by connecting the hips to the ribs & bring one leg at a time into table top (knees over hips & shins parallel to the floor)
  • Without changing the bend in the knee, dip your right toes down towards the floor & then back up to table top.
  • Switch at dip the left toes down.
  • Keep alternating 8-10X total

Make sure you are moving from the hip and not the knee. As the thigh moves away, pull the hip point on the same side up towards the rib more. It's not about touching the floor... it's about keeping your spine and pelvis still against the movement of the legs.

**If you want to get fancy, you can try bending the elbows & lifting the forearms off the floor or reaching the arms straight up to the ceiling above the shoulders. (MUCH more balance and core strength required)

**Once you have mastered the alternating legs, try moving both legs together.


I am assuming your trip is not much longer than 5-7 days. If you miss a workout (or 2 or 3) DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP! Instead of planning your trip around your fitness, plan your fitness around your trip. If you are on vacation and relaxation is the goal, for goodness sake, relax. Stressing out about how much you are or aren’t working out will defeat the purpose of the vacation. If you are traveling for work, obviously you have to work (& most likely have a pretty tight schedule), so do your “quickie” Pilates or walk around the block whenever you can & be proud of yourself for making the effort.

Do you have any travel fitness tips you live by on the road... go-to workouts, tools, etc?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


That's what Day 2 of the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference was like for me.

I started on a very HIGH note with a Kangoo class courtesy of Wendy at Body Dynamics in Boulder. Never heard of Kangoo?? I hadn’t either. Then I watched this video… and I thought, “What the h%*l is that?” followed closely by, “It could be fun…” and since the Conference was offering the class for free I then thought, “Why not?”

Here I am in my Kangoo Jumps (The pic is a little blurry, because it is almost impossible to stand still on those things):

Finess & Health Bloggers Conference

Pretty H-O-T right?

I can honestly say that it was the most fun I have ever had in an exercise class! I am seriously considering buying a pair, although I am not sure if it would have the same affect if it were just me in my living room & would probably freak out my cat...

Bengal Cat

In a group we all looked crazy together, so in turn no one looked crazy. Plus you can’t help but feed off the smiles of the other jumpers around you. I dare you to try this without smiling the whole time… and if you can do it, you better send me a video, because I don’t believe you! Check the video Anne of fANNEtastic food made here. I am in the back corner and mostly hidden, but I assure you I am there...

In addition to the joy and fun factor, there’s the health and fitness factor (oh yeah, I forgot… we were exercising too). Since the shoes are on springs, there is no impact or stress on the joints, so people with injuries or a few extra pounds to carry can get an amazing cardiovascular workout without the stress on the body. It allows for more dynamic movement than may not otherwise be possible and burns more calories- 25% more to be exact! Kangoo also helps to improve balance and coordination. I’m definitely going to get to some Kangoo in NYC! Apparently this is the guy to see.

So riding my Kangoo High I got showered and changed at Body Dynamics before the first seminar, which I was really looking forward to. Since I was staying with my family who lives nearby, I had taken the car to the conference (Kangoo was at 7am and no one seemed to keen on dropping me off at that hour & I don’t blame them). I went to drop some stuff in the trunk that I didn’t want to lug around all day before I headed out in search of coffee in breakfast. I had budgeted my time perfectly and had 30 min to find them. That’s when it happened… One simple thought changed my state from highest high to lowest low. It went something like this:

“I don’t need to take my whole bad and computer to go find coffee. I’ll just leave it in the car.” With the keys in it… Yup.

In the slam of a Honda trunk I was suddenly plunged into the depths of helplessness, AKA locking the keys in the car. So, naturally, the first thing I did was call my dad to come to my rescue… and naturally he said he'd be right there. He’s good like that. I would like to point out that I did NOT cry… which if you know me well is pretty huge. I tend to freak out over things like this that throw a wrench in my life. I calmly asked the front desk at the hotel for the number of a locksmith, called and explained my troubles. Then, I went to the Hotel Starbucks and got some Coffee and Granola (remember I had Kangoo’d earlier and still hadn’t eaten) and had breakfast with myself on the trunk of the car and waited for Isaac the locksmith.


Breakfast of people who lock themselves out of their car.


Long story only slightly shorter, he came and saved the day!

He was pretty easy on the eyes too, which didn’t hurt. He was also very understanding when I told him that it was necessary for me to document this as I was attending a bloggers conference. (wink)

Even better, I was only about 15 minutes late for the session and still got to hear Toni speak... plus I had a good story!

The “low” was very temporary, which is a good thing to keep in mind, I suppose.

*In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that my dad did pay for my blunder, so here is my very public THANK YOU, DADDY!

**In other news, I have decided to become a locksmith, because that is apparently where the money is.

Have you ever had a roller coaster day like this??

Monday, June 27, 2011



I had an idea of the awesomeness I may encounter at the 2011 Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference, but that idea paled in comparison to the reality...

I have never been in a room full of more open, honest, and giving people in my life. People all working towards a common goal of helping get the fitness & health word out there to the masses. People so passionate about helping others lead a healthy life that there was no room for pride (the bad kind of course) or vanity.

I admit, going into the conference I felt low on the totem pole as a fairly new blogger wanting to learn how to be better. However, when I got there, I realized there was no totem pole, only people just like me who wanted to help me on my journey and also looking for help themselves. The phrase “Everyone had to start somewhere” rang very true and I realized that no one in that room was looking down on me, but rather standing next to me, ready to hold my hand if I needed.

People who I consider “Blogilebrities” like Stephanie Quilao AKA @Skinnyjeans, Ryan Sullivan AKA @nomorebacon and Toni Carey AKA @BlackGirlsRun were following me on Twitter, responding to things I had to say, sitting next me at dinner and calling me their friend. I almost died when Leah Segedie AKA @bookieboo told me she liked my top. Of course like a nerd I said, “Thanks! I like your blog.” I said the last part kinda quiet so maybe she didn’t hear it… (she heard it).

There are a few women, however, who I would like to give a special shout out to… my tribe* if you will.

From left to right:

Kris AKA @Krazy_Kris, who is easily one of the funniest, most open, infectious and caring people I have EVER met. I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel to have weaseled my way into her circle. He he.

Suzanne AKA @WorkoutNirvana, who is not only totally hot and BUFF, but probably as down to earth and honest as it gets. On the road to becoming a Fitness Pro herself, she and I enjoyed so many conversations about fitness, blogging and life in general. I mean I’m not that surprised because she is a CO girl!

Emily AKA @EmilyinProgress who is sweetness personified. Like me she was there to learn and I found her to be incredibly open, honest and easy going... not an ounce of pretension. Plus she is a smarty pants attorney and that is awesome!

Casey AKA @HippieHealthNut, who is so sweet it’s almost unbelievable, but can get snarky when the opportunity arises, which is my kind of gal! We found each other in a sea of people as we stood trying not to look awkward & bonded over our first conference experience and Kangoo!

We are a motley crew for sure , but these women became my buddies. We sat together, ate together, played together, LAUGHED together, and brought out the best in each other if you ask me. I absolutely look forward to cultivating much deeper friendships with them beyond this weekend. You should all be reading their Blogs, following them on Twitter and liking them on Facebook. I’m just sayin…

Rest assured there will be many #FHBC11 inspired posts to come, but this one had to come first. Because what it’s really all about is connections and I feel like I hit the jackpot!

Thanks to Zephyr Adventures, Boulder CO and the 2011 Fitness & Health Bloggers conference for introducing me to this fabulous community!

*I can not take credit for coining "tribe"... That was Kris!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


My exploration in Live Blogging:

1. Jovial Foods
Bringing back ancient wheat...
einkhorn pasta
- higher nutrition value than whole wheat
- as much protein as an egg
- vegan
brown rice pasta
- gluten free

Holds sauce very nicely
Keeps well

Also make einhorn & brown rice cookies

Products are available at Whole Foods nationwide
Didn't get to taste the pasta today, but I'll definitely let you know when I do!

2. Rudis Gluten Free Bakery
Gluten Free Mutigrain Bread
Tested over 100 recipes
bread launched last June
few ingredients
nothing artificial
no preservatives
mullet seed
sunflower seed

Available nationally at Whole Foods and other large chain supermarkets
IN THE FROZEN SECTION since it has no preservatives

I tried the bread and it is fantastic, and for those of you who have a Gluten Intolerance it would be a great bread alternative!

3. Pop Chips
Air Popped Potato chips
Popped like popcorn
No oil
More chips per serving
Single serve bag is only 100 calories!
Based in San Fransisco
Gluten Free
School Certified

I've seen these before but never had them... Holy Yum! They will defintiely be a staple in my house. Especially since I just won a months supply out of the blue!

4. Recharge
All Natural sports beverage powdered stick
liquid drinks have been around for years
Sweetened with Truvia
only 10 calories
8 Pack for 3.99
Available in Supermarkets
Post or During Workout drink

I tried the orange flavor... It is good, but I am not that big on sports drinks. I don't like to dress up my water too much. If you do like sports drinks however, this would definitely be something to check out.

5. Detour
Whey Protein Bar
High Protein
Low Sugar
Supports Lean Body & muscle mass
170 Calories
Available nationwide

I tried a cookie dough flavor... I admit that in the beginning it actually did taste like cookie dough... it did have that protein bar after taste though. I don' t really think that is escapable though, so I say they did as good of job as they could to create a tasty whey protein bar.

6. Small Planet Foods
2-9 ingredients
gluten free
soy free
dairy free

I love LARA BARS! If you haven't tried them you are definitely missing out! Try the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip...

Also represent Muehr Glenn & Cascadian Farms

7. Casa Noble
Skinny Margarita
Distillery in Jalisco Mexico
Sustainable and organic
age Agaves at least 3 years longer than other companies
aged Tequila in French Oak Barrels which makes the tequila more flavourful
3 ingredients
fresh squeezed lime
Casa Noble Tequila
Agave Nectar
Available nationwide

Of course I loved this! I am a sucker for a great Margarita, and this is just that! Plus we got to sample some straight tequila afterwards and it's definitely worthy of sipping.

If you want links to the companies see the previous post. Like I said this is live people...
Thanks for being good sports!


As you all know I am here in Boulder, Colorado at the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference. I promise there will be many recap posts to come, but first... Live Blogging. What is Live Blogging you ask?

According to the conference website:

"Live Blogging is sort of a round-robin, speed-dating style event in which eight or nine companies will each have five minutes to present one food or drink product to a table of bloggers. Bloggers will taste the product, ask questions, and blog, Tweet, or Facebook about the product live on the spot. Organizers will blow a whistle and then the food and drink companies rotate to the next table."

Here are the companies that will be presenting at FHBC11:

1 One Natural Experience
2 Popchips
3 Jovial Foods
4 Recharge
5 Detour Bar
6 Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery
7 Casa Noble Skinny Margarita
8 Small Planet Foods

I just want to give a little disclaimer saying: I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS! Normally it takes me 1-2 hours to write a post, so this should be an interesting experiment and challenge. We'll see how it goes...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011



The Fitness & Health Bloggers conference is days away and I arrived in Colorado last night. I have to say there is something to amazing and comforting about flying into Denver the the Mountains in the background... It's a view I never get tired of.

The sun was about to set behind them, but I promise you they are there!

I have been moving at a million miles an hour these days... I even gave up my day off for a few weeks- NOT A GOOD IDEA! Needless to say I need some down time. Thankfully I took an extra couple of days here to hang with my family and relax in the Mountain air. It's only been 18 hours and I am already so chilled out and refreshed. There are days when I wonder how I could have left Colorado for New York, but whenever I seriously have thoughts about leaving the Big Apple, my chest gets tight. So, for now I will relish in the fact that I have family and roots in the most beautiful state in the country- in my humble opinion anyway- and can visit any time I want!

After i arrived my folks and I enjoyed an amazing dinner at "new" restaurant in the Denver Tech Center called Chinook Tavern.

The restaurant has actually been around for a while but closed and has now reopened in a new location & new menu. As you may recall... my dad is a bit of a rock star, so the minute we walked in we were greeted by one of the owners & general manager Clemens, professing his gratitude for all the help my dad gave them in getting the restaurant open (which was just the day before). It was pretty cool!

Chinook Tavern is a family run establishment- which I am always a sucker for- run by two brothers, Clemens Georg & Markus Georg (who is the Executive Chef) and designed by their architect father Manfred. Originally from Germany, the family has called Colorado home for many years. They are very in tune with Colorado cuisine and esthetic, but keep to their European roots.
If you live or are are visiting Denver you MUST go to this restaurant! I never had the pleasure of dining at the old Cherry Creek location, but I feel super lucky to have gotten in to this one before the major buzz hits and it's impossible to get a table. It's the perfect combo of atmosphere and amazing food. Obviously we should talk food first:

The menu had me at Mache Salad...

As you can see I was so excited to dig in to it that I forgot to snap a pic until I had devoured almost all of it. It had watermelon radishes, pickled red onions, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese fritters. Have you ever had a watermelon radish?? They are awesome. Not sure where one finds them, but when I do I will let you know.

For my entree I had Colorado Rack of Lamb. Just like if you are in Maine you get the lobster or Maryland you get the crab, when you are in Colorado you get the meat- lamb, beef, bison. This particular dish did my homeland proud!

The lamb was marinated in mint and then topped with grilled cipollini onions and a rosemary merlot sauce.

On the side were grit cakes and tomato gremalade. Perfection!

My mom enjoyed the beef tenderloin.

And Dad had the house signature dish Jaeger Schnitzel.

Both were fantastic!

For dessert we all shared a Creme Brulee. No pic of that... between my mom and I that sugar was cracked in 2.5 seconds. :)

Now on to atmosphere:

The restaurant is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

A fondu room!

Perhaps my favorite thing is in addition to the actual bar, there is a giant community table in the center and other larger tables all around.

Clemens told me that he considers every table in the lounge a community table. He loves sitting at the bar because everyone coexists together, and often times you find yourself having interesting conversations with those around you. His idea is "Why only have that feeling sitting belly up to the bar? Why can't tables be the same?" I for one love the ideas of community tables, but then again I would always rather sit at the bar than a table. Maybe that comes from having worked behind one for 6 years. Jay and I love interacting with meeting new and interesting people while we are out.

Also, there is going to be a European style coffee bar open in the mornings just off of the bar. I am bummed I won't be able to sample that before I go... it opens the day after I leave.

It's no secret that I love restaurants, and living in NYC I get to eat at some of the best of the best. I would certainly put Chinook Tavern on that list!

Day 1 in Colorado was very special and I can't wait to see what the rest of this trip holds. Planning lots of family time, hiking, learning, networking, writing and basking in the mountain sun (wearing SPF of course!)

*In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that because my dad is such a rockstar we were treated to dinner on the house... which BTW was completely unexpected! For the record, that in no way influenced my opinions & I would have written the same blog post either way. The dinner was to say thank you to my dad, I just happened to be lucky enough to have been dining with him...