5 Reasons to Take Your Exercise Routine Outdoors

beach 2Sick of the gym and the same exercise routine you’ve been doing all winter? Spring is here, and summer is finally right around the corner. As the weather continues to warm up and sun stays out longer, now is the perfect time to take your exercise routine outdoors!

We all love the newness and a fresh start with the change in the seasons including a change in your workout and exercise routine. Take out the staleness, monotony, and amp it up with some new inspiration.

Here’s 5 reasons to take your workout outside.

  1. Brave the Elements:

The elements of your environment can increase the intensity of your workout, take in your atmosphere and add some obstacles like wind, snow, and heat to give you a challenge.  Bike during a heavy rain or paddle board when the winds are high and the water is choppy. Got a humid day? Run in the afternoon when the temperatures are even hotter. Why not try swimming laps in the ocean with a big swell!

  1. Vitamin D and Fresh Air:

After being stuck inside all winter, a little Vitamin D, sunshine, and fresh air can always do everyone some good.  Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles and it can also help reduce illnesses and infections. Think about how much better you feel when you step outside on a warm sunny morning? We tend to have better moods and improved well-being, more energy and motivation, and feel a lot better about ourselves and our body image.

  1. Challenge Yourself:

Take it to the extremes, change it up, skip the same boring exercise routine. Challenge yourself! Live near the mountains? Use them for intensity, altitude, and temperature changes. Live near the beach? Use the sand, sun, and surf to up your game. Grab a friend for a little competition and extra push, race the clock or decrease your resting time. Give yourself a deadline, visualize your goals, extend the finish line, even changing your mindset can add more challenges to your work outs.

  1. Skip the Germs:

Getting outside for your workout can greatly reduce the exposure to all the germs that you’ve been befriending in the gym all winter. Think about all those coughing, sneezing, sweating people you’ve been sharing treadmills, mats, and equipment with for all those dark, cold months. Trade up for the fresh air, sunshine, and a lot less people in a confined space. Getting outside more can help you avoid everything from the stomach bug to ringworm and from Staph infections to Ecoli. (Ewww!)

  1. Try Something New:

Step out of your comfort zone and try something new! Look for something you wouldn’t normally do for exercise. Grab your tutu and sign up for a color run, meditate ocean side, go old school and dust of the old roller skates or rollerblades, or sign up for those group surf lessons you’ve been dying to try. Take a Pilates class on the beach or boot camp in a park. Go the sports route and jump into a basketball or volleyball game. Want to go more extreme? Try kite surfing or rock climbing, or how about checking out the new trapeze workouts.

So skip the gym and the germs, and hit the streets, beach, or mountains for some extra challenges and soak up some sunshine and fresh air. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new this season, you may possibly find the exercise can’t live with out.

 

 

 

 

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Lentil Buddha Bowl

lentilNeed something a little more filling to get you through the day. This recipe is guaranteed to keep you fuller and leave you feeling satisfied. I love having my protein first thing in the morning to start my days off with lots of energy and not crashing from breakfast 2 hours after eating it. So sometimes if I really need it,(especially when I know the studio is slammed for the day and I have to teach through lunch) I’ll do a lentil bowl first thing in the morning, only thing if you’re tight on time you have to cook it all the night before. But make a large batch and top it with an egg or piece of Salmon for the perfect lunch or dinner!

  • 2 C lentils
  • 3 C of veg stock (may need a little more)
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • ¼ head of cabbage
  • ½ onion
  • ¼ cup of nori flakes
  • ¼ C pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Shallots
  • 1/2  orange- zested
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place lentils into a sauce pot add veg stock, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat until lentils suck up the liquid.
  3. Add all chopped vegetables to a baking pan or dish with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook for about 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  4. Place lentils in a bowl, add with cook vegetables. Top with pumpkin needs, nori flakes, and orange zest

Celebrate World Health Day!

DSC_5821Celebrate World Health Day! Today is the day! Show your awareness for health and wellness. Today can be the new starting point for yourself as a personal goal. It can be the day you decide to stand up for anything you believe in, whether you want everyone in the world to be able to have clean drinking water, you’re thinking of becoming vegan, maybe you want to give back to your community and start a garden to help the hungry. Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to take back your health, so you’re starting a new exercise routine, you’re changing your eating habits, you’re going to start meditating, and you’ve decided 8 hours of sleep is what you need to look and feel your best.

Today is the day to take back your health and know that what you put in is what you get out. You can also make a difference in someone’s life just by being there for them, offering a hand or your resources when you can, anything to give back. Health and wellness is something we all need to implement and take back for ourselves, our families, and for the world.

This year’s World Health Day focuses on depression. Depression affects any age, gender, race, in any country, and all walks of life. It has become a serious epidemic in our society. Mental health has been over looked for years and if we don’t take a stand against it, it will consume our friends, families, our lives, and the world we live in.

We often forget that mental and emotional health are huge factors in our health and wellness. Often we tend to focus on what we’re eating, weight loss, and BMI. And we tend to forget to focus on personal time, healing, relaxation, reducing stress, enjoying the simple things, and getting rid of the toxic people and things in our lives that continue to make us unhappy and unhealthy.

Today is your starting point to make a difference in your life as well as someone else’s. Vow to eat one meal healthier, get outside for some movement and exercise, meditate even it’s only for 3 minutes, turn off the tv and go to bed earlier, journal or read that book you’ve been putting off. Find time to heal your soul, clear your mind, and better yourself as a whole, not just little pieces of you.

Food Revolution Day 2016

2016 fr dayIt’s that time again! Food Revolution Day!! The perfect time to teach your kids, your neighbors kids, classmates, friends, and family the value of being able to prepare, cook, and enjoy a healthy, nutritious meal. Like I’ve said before teaching your children or our next generation how to cook for themselves is an asset to their health, livelihood, and longevity. It’s a skill that they keep for their lifetime and it could possibly save their health and allow them to live a long life, free of disease and illness. Every child deserves to be healthy.

Every year Jamie Oliver challenges his Food Revolution Ambassadors to go out and make a difference in the lives of the people around them by teaching the skill of preparing a recipe. Usually the focus is on the younger ones, since they will be our advocates as we age as well as their own. This year’s challenge was making your own omelette. That’s something my kids and I do personally at least once a week. So instead since I have access to my little crew of gardeners through my Farm Foodie Fitness Edible School Garden, I decided to visit my first graders and we made healthy smoothies using local strawberries, peaches, and blueberries that my kids and I harvested and froze from last summer. So we spent 45 minutes talking about health and wellness and then made killer smoothies! They loved it!

So, I’m challenging you all out there to make a difference in someone’s health this weekend and spend sometime in the kitchen teaching, showing, and preparing a recipe. If you want to take the challenge of the omelette, their easy and fun for kids to help in the kitchen. If you’re up for something else go for it! Make sure to check back in and let us know what you made and how it went. In the mean time, check out my crew of Food Revolutioners and if you’re looking for help or need some ideas with kids gardening and cooking. Check out my Kid’s gardening and cook book! You can grab a copy from our website!!

Happy Food Revolution Day! Here’s to Jamie Oliver for making a difference in all of us and the world! #foodrevolution

 

 

Teaching Basics to Our Next Generation

mbs esg16There are two things you can teach your kids that they can take with them forever no matter where they go and you know they’ll be able to live a longer, healthier lives. And you can also look at it this way, one day we will be relying on them to help us with our health and wellness at some point as we age, don’t we want them to be able to give us the best opportunity to heal, grow, and live longer healthier lives as well???

I get so excited to do this every year just to see their little faces get so involved and light up when they know the answer or have something to share. Mind you my garden is way behind this year, between a 5 month old added to my mix, a busy studio, (which is a great problem to have) and the continual and constant rain we’re getting; I’ve not been able to tackle the school garden yet. So on our rainy day yesterday I headed to my edible school garden, but of course we were inside with the Pre-K4, Kindergarten, and First Graders teaching them two basic fundamentals of survival… learning how to grow their own food and how then how to prepare it once it’s grown and harvested.

These two basic skills could mean life or early death for our next generation. We’re so on the go and running around we never slow down long enough to enjoy the time we have with our families, let alone eat a meal sitting down together, and to even think of growing some of our own food and then coming in and preparing it and skipping that nasty drive through or running to the next restaurant chain. We owe it to the next generation for them and ourselves (they will be caring for our health at some point in our later years) to teach the simple tasks of growing a vegetable or fruit and learning to how to prepare and cook something wholesome, nutritious, and make it still taste good!

It’s May now is the perfect time to get kids out in the dirt and teaching them how things grow, where food comes from, how they can be apart of it, how they can change their health and be in control of it. A lot of them think the food just shows up at the grocery store or to the restaurant. (kind of like we all thought our parents pulled dollar bills from the trees- if only right??!!)

Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Start small and if you want a little more help. Grab my kids cooking and gardening book from my site for some healthy recipes and how to start your own little garden with your favorite little one! www.beachpilatesandwellness.com.

Here’s to healthy, happier, longer lives for our next generations!!

 

Gluten-Free Strawberry Coconut Pancakes

straw panSundays are my only day usually home with the family and with summer coming and the studio about to go buck-wild, sometimes I don’t even get Sundays with my favorite little people. But every Sunday the kids come jumping on the bed and ask what pancakes we’re making for breakfast. Usually I let them decide what to put in as the summer progresses, there is a lot more choices for fruits and goodies.

This time of year we are right on the cusp of local strawberries coming into play. So this time I decided as I rummaged through the refrigerator. Strawberries and coconut always go well together!! So here are is my new pancake recipe!!

Ingredients: Makes about 10 medium-sized thick pancakes

  • 1 1/2 C of Gluten-free pancake mix. (Trader Joe’s has a great one!) ( You can also make your own flour mixes, but a box already together is way faster and cheaper! Just read the label for good quality ingredients)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C of water (may need a little extra if it’s too thick)
  • 1/4 C of Coconut oil-melted down
  • 2 Tbsp Cacao Powder (secretly through this in again)
  • 1 container washing and sliced thin strawberries
  • 1 C unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Coconut oil or spray for the pan while cooking

Directions:

  1. In a bowl add flour mix, eggs, water, cacao powder, coconut oil and mix well. Add more water if it seems too thick.
  2. Preheat and oil pan so pancakes will not stick. Keep heat on medium once the pan has warmed up.
  3. Scoop in pancake mix to the pan, whatever size you would like. Remember these will be thicker so make them a little smaller.
  4. Top with shredded coconut, and 3-4 slices of strawberries. Once the pancake begins to bubble you can flip them so they cook all the way through.
  5. Stack them high on a plate add some fresh berries to the side or top with a pinch of coconut flakes and a little pure maple syrup if you wish.
  6. Dig in and enjoy!

Brownie Bites!!!!

brownie bites2Chocolate! Chocolate! Kids love it! Even the adults will love them! This recipe will make you feel a little better about giving it to them to the kids, all whole ingredients, no               chemicals or preservatives, and only natural sugar. Super fun to                   make! Double or triple your batch, store them in the freezer for                 later. The kids will love getting their hands sticky and licking their               fingers clean on this one!

 

Makes 18-24 Balls

Ingredients:

  • ½ C macadamia nuts
  • 1 C dates (soaked for 10 minutes)
  • ½ tsp cacao powder (1/2 tsp extra for rolling)
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)
  • 1 Tsp unsweetened coconut (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a Vitamix or food processor pulse until nuts are still a little chunky, you want mostly powder. Put in a bowl.
  2. Blend soaked dates, add a little of the water they’ve been soaking in if it’s too sticky, should make a paste.
  3. Add cacao and salt, blend again. Scrape into bowl with nuts. Moisten hands with water and roll into balls. Roll into unsweetened cacao and coconut if you’d like!

 

 

Mango, Strawberry Chia Seed Smoothie

mangoIt finally feels like spring here in the Mid-Atlantic. The temperatures have finally reached the high 70’s and low 80’s all week. It’s a great time to finally get out and start working on the gardens and your yard. But with all this gorgeous weather, everything begins to bloom, making the world a much more fragrant and beautiful place, it also brings the pollen count sky rocketing to an all time high. My little guy even asked the other day, “Why did Daddy paint the porch yellow?” That will tell you how much pollen we have in the air this week.

If you’re plagued with seasonal allergies you probably feeling it big time right now, scratchy throat, water itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, the list goes on and on with allergies. So you’re probably not feeling to hot lately. With all this beautiful weather you don’t want to stay couped up in your house. Up your antioxidants and protein with this new smoothie recipe! Have it for breakfast, a pick me up in the middle day, or save it for a healthy dessert! Help kick the allergies, boost your immune system, replace an unhealthy snack with something a lot better for you. simple and fast you’re guaranteed to love this one!

Ingredients:

  •  1 mango chopped- save a piece for garnish
  • 1/2 cup strawberries sliced- save half a strawberry for garnish
  • 2 cups organic coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender or Vitamix and mix well.
  2. Pour into a glass and add a straw
  3. garnish with mango and strawberry slices
  4. top with a sprinkle of chia seeds if you wish

Drink up and enjoy! Slip away for a little down time while you enjoy your smoothie!

National Pilates Day

DSC_8740National Pilates Day is this Saturday, May 2nd. If you’ve never done Pilates before, today is the perfect day to get out and try it! Grab a friend and check out the studio in your area. Most studios will have special events or promotions for Saturday! Some may even be holding classes in a park, on the beach, on a SUP board, or even check what time the class is at your local gym.

Pilates has been a part of my life for over 13 years as a student and 9 years as an instructor. I got into Pilates after a bad car accident left me with serious neck injuries. So much I could barely get out of bed some days. Pilates was the only thing that relieved the pain and tension and didn’t leave me still in bed in tears every morning. Flash forward to now, I’m training people with knee and hip replacements, chronic illness, scoliosis, osteoporosis, athletes, men, and women. After some health issues of my own for the past year,  (which by the way is the most frustrating thing for a healthy and mindful person to have health concerns out of their control.) I learned Monday of my diagnosis and the specialist eased my mind that I have been rehabilitating and healing myself for over 10 years now. To think what I could be like today, if Pilates was not already apart of my life!

So if there is some reluctancy or you’re nervous to go a class alone, grab a friend, talk to the instructor before class about your concerns, may be Pilates will be your answer to healing and it could possibly change your life forever.

Benefits of Pilates:

  • injury and prevention
  • strong core
  • long lean muscles
  • resistance and assistance training
  • weight loss
  • rehabilitation
  • increased flexibility
  • coordination and balance improves
  • mind-body connection
  • learn coastal breathing or lateral breath
  • low impact
  • great for anyone
  • can be done anywhere
  • pain management

The list continues on and on. So this Saturday celebrate National Pilates Day whether you’re a newbie or a veteran! If you take class, message me and let me know how it goes!

Earth Day 2015

Today is the perfect to start giving back to Mother Nature! The world, climate, food, ecosystems, etc are changing so rapidly once we finally realize the damage we are continuing to do every day it may be too late. And yes we may not see the end results in our lifetime but think about your kids, grandkids, great-grans, nieces, and nephews. What kind of world our we leaving behind for the next generation?

I don’t mean run out and put solar panels on your entire roof, become completely vegan, or sell your gas guzzler for an electric! Even the littlest things can cause a ripple effect and can set the world in motion to make a change to the world that offers us so much. Teaching ourselves, loved ones, the public, and the next generation could be the deciding factor to global warming, our water resources, our food supply, air quality, and livelihoods.

Here are some small changes to make a bigger difference.

  • Turn off all lights, appliances, radios, etc when not in use. (I send my little ones around the house to turn things off all the time, just so they get in the habit of turning things off-plus your electric bill will go down! Bonus for everyone!)
  • Learn and teach how to recycle. Reduce your trash. Once you start recycling you’ll realize how much can actually be reused and yes I know it’s another thing on your to do list on Saturday morning, get the kids or neighborhood involved. Make it fun to take “the chore” out of it.
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and wash dishes. Run full loads of laundry. Track the rain- do you really need to water the lawn in the morning if it’s going to rain in the afternoon. (If you pay for your own water, this will be huge for your bill too!)
  • Start a garden. It doesn’t have to be huge, you can even just do a couple pots. Save money and gas, running to the store and know where your food is coming from and pick it from your own yard!
  • Garden too much for you to handle this year? Buy local and seasonally! Shop farmers markets and produce stands. Reduce your carbon footprint and keep money in your own community. Plus you can always ask the farmers questions. Even join a CSA and get a share delivered each week to your front door!
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- Pass down unwanted clothes and shoes or have them donated. Sell things on consignment. Find ways to reuse materials, boxes, bags, wood, furniture, paper, etc
  • Buy a water filter, cut back on plastic bottle use. Filter your own water. Keep the money in your wallet more often and control the amount of BPA you’re exposed to on a daily basis. Have half glasses of water or bottles lying all over the place? Don’t just dump it down the sink. Water your plants with the left over water. It’s just another way to save on your water usage!

The ideas are endless! These are just a few to get you started! Enjoy Earth Day this year. If you’re lucky like me today it’s 70 and sunny. At the very least get outside for some fresh air on your back porch, go for a walk and get some Vitamin D, listen to the birds chirp, enjoy nature and the world today. Be grateful for everything we have! Happy Earth Day Everyone! Make sure to check out Earth Day 2015 for more ideas on how to contribute today and in the future.