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


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


If you have not heard/seen this fierce creature in 6 inch heels, then you are certainly missing out. In an age where Auto-tune is a pop star's best friend and Real Housewives can cut a single, nothing excites me more than truly talented females!

I saw Jessie J on SNL- which as we have seen, can often be the demise of some performers- a couple of weeks ago and I am still not over it. Don't just take my word for it, see for yourself. Prepare to be amazed!

Her album
Who You Are drops in the US on April 12th. I can't wait!

Leave me some comments and tell me what you think... Also, Have something you think Lean Body should Love?? Let me know and I will check it out!

**Once again, the opinions on this blog are mine and mine alone, and everything I endorse is out of my own genuine love of it.**

Photo of The Countess by Jay Sullivan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Because I LOVED writing my Valentines Day post so much, and also in an effort to get back to doing some weekly segments- Remember my LIFE ESSENTIALS??- I am starting a new series called:

Once a week I will talk about something I am loving at the moment- products, websites, classes, recipes, TV shows, etc. I thought about just bringing back Life Essentials, but somehow the title seemed too serious. These Loves aren't
essential to my existence, just things that make me smile and I hope will make you smile too!

This week, LEAN BODY LOVES...

At the risk of sounding totally crazy, I am borderline obsessed with Jessica Seinfeld (yes that Seinfeld) & her website Here's why:

The Recipes

First and foremost, she cooks amazingly flavorful, healthy, and simple (as in quick & easy not unrefined) food. She also provides nutritional info, helpful hints, a list of tools you need and ideas for what to serve with the dish to make it a meal. Here are 2 veggie recipes that I am loving right now :

Her first cookbook was about sneaking veggies into meals for kids, but the truth is, sometimes ADULTS need to be tricked too. In fact, I whipped up some of these Kale Chips on a night we were having a friend over for dinner who is notorious for his dislike of most things green (much to the chagrin of his vegetarian fiancee). He tried a chip to be polite, and promptly said "Wait, I actually LIKE these!" as he went back for more. And just like that, another leafy green success story!

The Kitchen Guides

Learn how to stock you kitchen, shop for & store your food, and decifer labels to be a more intelligent consumer. Love it! I took the Well Stocked Kitchen list with me to the store right away.

The Videos

The idea for Do it Delicious was born out of Jessica wanting to help her friend Ally learn to cook. She started making videos for her to show her how simple it can be to make good healthy meals. So, in addition to step by step instructions & photos, there are videos for some recipes. The videos are great because, if you are a visual learner like me, it's easier to see someone actually cooking than to read a recipe and figure out what your are supposed to do. Plus, she doesn't take herself too seriously and has a good time, which make the meals seem even easier. I am going to be making this Peppercorn Steak VERY soon!

Jessica's Blog

It's not only entertaining and personable, but informative as well. This post on being an EATIE is one of my favorites... probably because I am one.

So if you are: busy and on the go/trying to get the family to eat more veggies/ trying to eat more veggies yourself/ afraid of your kitchen & cooking/ excited about your kitchen & cooking/ looking for new recipes/ or just an EATIE like me... check out Do it Delicious!

**All the opinions on this blog are mine and mine alone, and everything I endorse is out of my own true love of that product.**

All photos courtesy of Do it Delicious.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


debunked! On my journey I have realized that there are a lot of ideas floating around about Pilates, that just aren't true, so I thought I would address a few.


I find this myth particularly ironic seeing as Pilates was invented by a MAN.

I'm not sure how or why this stigma was created, but I must say that it troubles me. Men especially can benefit so much from Pilates. For instance, I find that a lot of the men I train (and I pride myself on training quite a few) are strong but not free, ie. locked in the shoulders and hips with tight hamstrings. Pilates addresses all of these issues and helps to achieve more overall fitness, not just brute strength. Muscles are nice, but tightness is not.


I think this generally depends on the instructor. Unfortunately, there are some instructors floating around out there, who guide people through an hour of sleepy time stretching and breathing and call it Pilates. Believe me, I have taken their classes... During my training, an amazing teacher, Ron Speiss, said to me : "Pilates is exercise. It's not physical therapy or rehab. It's not stretching or relaxation. It's exercise, so get your students moving!"
I haven't forgotten this, and keep it in my brain every time I teach. I am not a doctor, I am an exercise instructor. My job is to work people out. Pilates is exercise! For fun, I put together a little list of my favorite First Class Quotes:

"That is the hardest thing I have done in a very long time." -after finishing the Hundred.

"When you see a class from the outside it doesn't really look like anyone is doing anything... And then you take the class and realize that's not true at all!"

"I was expecting something much more... Feminine." -a personal favorite which came from a competitive boxer.

"I'm going to be sore in muscles that I didn't even know I had!"


Pilates is designed to help you gain more flexibility and range of motion, while strengthening your core so you can support that flexibility. If anything LACK of flexibilty is a reason to get into a Pilates class. I'm just sayin...

** Note, I planned to include a pic of a VERY flexible human here, but they all really creeped me out, so I decided against it. Google "flexible" to see for yourself.


I hear this a lot, "My abs aren't strong enough to do Pilates," and it confuses me so much.
Now, obviously you need a certain amount of strength to do the advanced work, but no one is expecting that you will come into your first class and do a perfect straight leg teaser right out of the gate.

Just like you wouldn't run a marathon the first time you laced up a pair of running shoes... It's a process. Most people have to learn how to engage- and in some cases even find- their abdominals before they can start strengthening and sculpting them. But if you still insist on getting strong abs before you take Pilates... I suggest you take Pilates.


It's true that the core of Pilates is the "core" but the idea that it is only good for the abdominal muscles is crazy. I dare anyone to get on a mat or any of the equipment and not get a total body workout. The beauty of Pilates is that the abs are ALWAYS working, and supporting the spine during every exercise, which not only leads to a rockin' bod but a healthier and injury free bod as well. What good is lifting heavy weights if you aren't engaging your core and protecting your lower back?

Sure, you may be "working" your arms, but what are you "harming" in the process?


This is another one I hear a lot. I like to begin my classes by asking if anyone is brand new to Pilates, and inevitably I will get someone who raises their hand and says "I've done Yoga." That's great. Yoga is great! But Yoga is not Pilates. Do they have similarities, yes, but they also have some major differences. This chart from Pilates Supply does an amazing job of breaking it down:

**I realize the chart may be a tad hard to read, so a larger more legible version can be found here.

So next time you feel like using one of these excuses as to why you aren't doing Pilates, you are going to have to think of something else... And then I will debunk that.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


This little questionnaire has been floating around the blog world and I thought I would join in the fun!

A. Age: 28

B. Bed size: Full...ugh. We are desperately wanting to upgrade to a Queen!

C. Chore you dislike: Taking out the Garbage/Recycling and I don't really know why, because there are definitely way worse chores.

D. Dogs: Growing up I had a Wheaton Terrier named Maggie, but now I have a Bengal Cat named Charlie who acts like a dog- he loves to lick and play fetch.

E. Essential start to your day: C.O.F.F.E.E.

F. Favorite color: Blue

G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5'7"

I. Instruments you play(ed): Tried flute and Piano. I got much farther with the Piano, but ultimately just stuck with my built in instrument... my voice.

J. Job title: Pilates Instructor!

K. Kids: Someday...

L. Live: in NYC!

M. Mom’s name: Linda- as in beautiful, which she is!

N. Nicknames: Sweets, Girl, Ferd, & Turkey (that one's from Jay)

O. Overnight hospital stays: Yup, there's been a few of those... However, NONE since my surgery in 2009!

P. Pet peeves: People who play music on their phones on the train without using headphones. Drives me CRAZY!

Q. Quote from a movie: Anything from Mrs. Doubtfire

R. Righty or lefty: Righty.

S. Siblings: Heather, Todd, Julie, and Joe

T. Time you wake up: Usually 7-8am except for Tuesday and Thursdays when it's 5am.

U. Underwear: Yes.

V. Vegetables you don't like: Are Pickles a vegetable?? I HATE Pickles.

W. What makes you run late: The MTA!

X. X-rays you’ve had: Right Foot, MRI for my lower back, and numerous CT scans if those count.

Y. Yummy food you make: Apple Pie!

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Elephants because they really blow my mind...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Easy for this guy:

Not so easy for a freelancer who loves her job. Seeing the empty space on the calendar- which I have carved out for myself on Wednesdays- is hard, especially when people are wanting me to teach classes or schedule private sessions.

It is so tempting to say "Yes, I am available," and give up my free day. In fact, earlier this week I caught myself thinking: "I don't need a whole day off," and "It's basically a day off if I only teach one class or one private."
And then... I got sick. I'm talking head cold, nothing life threatening or serious, but significant enough to knock me on my a%$. So I here I am on the couch with a box of kleenex, very thankful that I have today off, and also realizing that not having a day off is not an option. There is a difference between ambition and stupidity, and thinking I can work every day is just plain stupid. I am no good to anyone (including and especially myself) if I am burning the candle at both ends and in turn, completely burned out. No one is going to fault me for taking a day for myself... a day when I get to choose the places I go and the people I see- and if they do, they aren't the kind of people I want to be around.
So... I'm officially writing it here to keep myself in check:

Until further notice, Wednesday is my day off and I will not be teaching any group classes or private sessions.

Believe me I am not happy that I got sick, but I am taking it as a sign that I need this day of rest. I urge you to take a look at your own work schedule- especially if you are your own boss- and make sure there is at least one day OFF.