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


Monday, March 22, 2010


Violet Ruby Zugel!

One of my best girlfriends gave birth to this amazing little lady on March 15th and I couldn't help but show her off...
Plus this picture is just amazing and will surely make anyone who sees it smile! I love her.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I recently took a workshop with Linda Farrell on incorporating this little toning gem- a "mini" version of the large inflated balance ball you all may be familiar with- into my classes (and workouts). It looks relatively harmless, but I assure after one hour with the mini ball you'll understand why its my new favorite toy. It's a great way to rev up classic Pilates mat exercises. There are so many ways to use it...

Squeeze it:
- between the inner thighs
- between the shins
- between the palms


Roll it/Balance on it:
- underneath the feet
- underneath the palms

- behind the lower back

- underneath the side waist
- underneath the pelvis/hips


Take a nap on it:

- underneath the head and neck ;)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Sign me up!
I have made this amazing Lemon-Walnut Chicken from a recent Fitness Magazine for dinner three times now, and every time it rocks my world. I substituted the brown rice for quinoa (another new obsession) and also made brussels sprouts (surprise, surprise) and most recently asparagus to go with it. Eating healthy has never been so easy and tasted so good! It just goes to show that you do not have to sacrifice flavor to eat well. Try this and more flat-belly recipes here!

image: Fitness

Friday, March 12, 2010


And they're always glad you came!
You all know how it goes, but I say: Why does this familiar tune only have to refer to your neighborhood bar? What about your neighborhood Pilates class ( or any class for that matter but I am slightly biased)...

One of the greatest reasons for taking a group fitness class is community. You are surrounded by people who, like yourself, are trying to incorporate fitness into their lives. I have a strong group of "regulars" in all of my classes, and we all delight in seeing each other week to week. Many people shy away from classes because they are afraid for one reason or another:
-everyone will be better than they are
-they are not in good enough shape
-the instructor will judge them
Rubbish! Having other people around you when you exercise can be a very good thing... And it's not just the teachers who may motivate or inspire you, but the other students as well. In fact, I had an experience in a class of mine that was the inspiration for this post...
A connection was made between two women who were new to my class (and Pilates in general). After class one women said to me "I am a woman on a mission... I just quit smoking, and I am trying to lose weight and get healthy." The other woman chimed in "I haven't smoked in 13 months... I promise you it gets easier!" This led them into a deep discussion, and they were still talking when I left the gym. It was so wonderful to see these women form that bond after my class. And I am confident they will be back (and maybe even be regulars), because now they know they are not alone. So don't feel shy or apprehensive about taking a class. You never know who will be on the mat next to you and what they might have to offer.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Makes me happy! It is truly a BEAUTIFUL day in the neighborhood! It's amazing what some sunlight, blue sky and about 15 degrees can do... I have been feeling the negative energy-zapping effects of those cold, gray February days. Last week, I cringed at the thought of leaving my house. I wanted to hibernate on my cozy couch. Today I suddenly feel rejuvenated and motivated! Not only was I excited to get out of the house, but I RAN to teach my class... and then I RAN home! It was glorious to breathe in the outside air and sweat with the sun on my face (SO much better than trudging to and from the gym in clunky winter boots, down coat, hat, scarf and gloves, fighting wind and rain or snow). I also noticed that my students were working extra hard today. They must have caught the sunshine bug too! If you are like me and let the winter get you down, take advantage of a day like this, and go out and DO something. Let the sun work its motivational magic and MOVE you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I've been a bad bad blogger. Hopefully, when you see my newest Life Essential- and the reason I have been so absent lately- you will forgive me...

Ladies and Gentlemen, LEAN BODY LIFE ESSENTIAL #8:

Charlie Bird Alouicious Sullivan

This little 3 month old Silver Bengal kitten has brought so much joy into our lives! My husband and I have only had him for a week, and I already can't imagine life without him! They say pet owners live longer, and I can feel the years adding on. In fact, there are many health benefits to pet ownership- they can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, encourage exercise, fight depression, etc. Check out this article for more. Those of you who have animals know what I am talking about, and for those of you that don't... I strongly encourage it!