November 2014

How-to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Tips from Exhale Spa’s Nutrition Intuition

In the health and wellness world, March is the month dedicated to nutrition awareness and at exhale we decided to celebrate with a day of awareness entitled NUTRITION INTUITION.

I was joined by two of exhale’s healers: Laura Benge, our National Spa Director and Rachel Lustgarten, R.D. nutritionist, Keri Glassman, nationally recognized nutrition expert, Katie Lee, Cookbook author and lifestyle expert, and Jeremy Bearman, Executive Michelin- starred Chef of Rouge Tomate NYC for a panel discussion on how to incorporate good nutrition, simple cooking and tasty food  into your life on a daily basis.

We spoke on the difficulties of maintaining a healthy lifestyle day to day and some takeaways on solving those challenges; tips like how to cook a nutritious meal in less time than ordering delivery! Prepare raw foods as soon as you bring them home from the market: clean the greens, wash the lettuce, chop the vegetables and store them in containers to be used during the week as dedicated meals or reliable sides for chicken or fish.

Keri made the point that a holistic lifestyle is key to a lean, sexy, happy body. And that it’s not just the food that you eat but your sleep, stress reduction techniques and peacefulness of your home space will all factor in to maximizing health and wellness. According to Keri, a spritz of lavender in the bedroom is a great start to a sleep worthy space! Katie suggested to start your week with a good nutrition plan and if you cheat a little on the weekend, you can start again on Monday. She also shared that preparing foods in advance, like boiling a pot of rice, quinoa or lentils, or steaming a bunch of broccoli and refrigerating are easy ways to stay on track.

Celeb Nutritionist Keri Glassman Answers Your Diet Questions


Nationally acclaimed RD Keri Glassman, is a great resource for all things nutrition and is offering a new destination for those burning health and diet questions! She is now sharing her expertise on Access Hollywood Live every other week and will be answering questions on Access Hollywood Live’s Facebook page!  Each week, Keri will answer one great question in Thursday’s Access Hollywood’s Healthy Hollywood blog and may even answer yours on one of her TV segments.  Tune in and ask away for your chance to nab a celebrity physique and spot on Access! xx Melissa

Happy National Nutrition Month! Half of the battle when it comes to healthy eating and nutrition is simply knowing which questions to ask in finding solutions that fit your personal needs and lifestyle. Have you ever found yourself standing in an aisle at the grocery store, facing countless choices and wondering where to start? Where’s a handy FAQ Section when you need one? With so much information (and misinformation) out there, doing your health homework means sifting through all of it to find the most informed and reliable sources of advice.

How do I really know how many calories to eat?
Is there a danger in consuming too many Omega 3s?
What’s the best thing to eat after my hard workout?
Does drinking out of a straw really make me bloated?

Everyone will have an answer to these questions– your personal trainer, the nutrition-related infomercial you saw on TV, your fitness-magazine-reading best friend. Remember that nutrition is a health science, which requires years of study and experience to achieve true expertise. And despite the information you receive from its many sources (chefs, writers, food bloggers, doctors, nutritionists) sometimes what you really need is to go straight to a nutrition expert, a Registered Dietitian. Registered Dietitians (RD) are nutritionists, but not all professionals operating under the title nutritionist are RDs, who meet the gold-standard in professional nutrition.

Submit your question for me at the Access Hollywood Live facebook page and check out their blog updates every Thursday!

Nationally recognized nutrition expert and published author Keri Glassman is the founder and president of Keri Glassman, Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City.  For years, Keri has been a leader in advancing a “whole person” approach to health and wellness.She has dedicated her career to creating services and promoting education through her Nutritious Life brand. She has authored two books; the most recent is The O2 Diet. The Cutting Edge, Antioxidant-Based Program That Will Make You Healthy, Thin and Beautiful. (Rodale, December 2009.) This book translates complex scientific research on antioxidants and the ORAC scale into useful and usable tools that everyone can benefit from. It empowers people to live a more Nutritious Life by combining a nutrient dense, high antioxidant diet with the other components of a Nutritious Life. The O2 Diet follows the Snack Factor Diet, (Crown, 2007.)Keri is a contributing editor and advisory board member for Women’s Health Magazine, and was the first registered dietitian to create a real food based snack bar, KeriBar.Additionally, Keri is the Nutrition and Health contributor for NBC’s New York Live, and is regularly featured on national television programs including NBC’s The Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, Access Hollywood Live, The View, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, The Wendy Williams Show, MSNBC and The Fox News Channel. Keri resides in New York City with her children, Rex and Maizy.

Curtailing the Crave Cave: Tips from Nutritionist Lana Levy

It’s 2:00 in the afternoon, or for some it can be 2:00 in the morning when all of a sudden you are consumed by a craving for ice cream, potato chips and other cheat foods you’re trying to ween yourself from.

When a craving hits, it can hit hard and it can hit fast, and it’s in this moment that we’ve given ourselves two options: give in or resist. If you give in to the temptation, you wind up feeling guilty and won’t even enjoy the object of your craving. If you resist all together, you end up feeling deprived and frustrated as visions of cookies dance in your head. Then, when you do eventually give in to your craving, you overindulge and wind up having way more than just one cookie– realistically it’s more like four or five.

To take control of your cravings there is actually a third and much less disclosed option available. By saying to yourself, “I can have it later” you remove the “should I or shouldn’t I” dialogue that is waging a war in your head, or driving your coworkers and friends crazy. You end the need to justify satisfying your craving or not and let yourself be for the moment. If and when you are able to postpone the craving, you will delay eating it and in the end wind up desiring it less.

The trick in convincing yourself to let the the craving pass is to create a vague time frame in the future to satisfy it. Think not, “I’ll have a cookie at 4:00,” but rather, “I’ll have that cookie later if I want it.” Postponing gives your mind the chance to cool-off, takes you out of conflict mode and combats torn feelings of guilt and deprivation. Don’t forget that postponing your craving may also give you the time to substitute a healthy food instead of the sugary snack you initially wanted.

Put your mind to the test and take control of your cravings! Remember- a mind is a terrible thing to waste!

Lana Levy is a nutritionist specializing in taking a holistic approach towards healthy eating, not only to help her clients achieve their goals, but also help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lana has also incorporated her passion for yoga into her services for her clients, as a way to stay fit, and create a balance between the body and the mind.Lana received her degree from Columbia University, where she completed her Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. In 2010, Ms. Levy became a Registered Yoga Teacher through an intensive training with YogaWorks here in New York City. In 2011 she completed a Prenatal Yoga Certification.With a background in nutrition and yoga, Lana works with her clients to create customized nutrition plans and yoga sequences that are specifically tailored to their needs. Whether the goal is weight loss, healthy weight gain, energy improvement, pre and post natal health, relief from various gastrointestinal ailments, Just For Today can provide you with tools to make a change for life!
 
Image courtesy of Bodyhealthsolution.com

Weight Loss & Maintenance Tips from Nutritionist & Yoga Expert

 

In the 1990’s we were a fat phobic society. Happily eating fat free muffins, fat free ice cream, fat free cheeses and not giving a second thought to the fact that these items were chock full of sugar, calories and preservatives. Then came along the Atkins generation and all of a sudden we were scared to death to put any carbs into our mouths. Instead, without an ounce of guilt we feasted on fatty meats and cheeses, glad to see a dip on the scale but not realizing what these foods were doing to our cholesterol and arteries, let alone fueling our brains inappropriately.

I see it everyday. People come to me for nutritional counseling, confused as to how they should lose weight, maintain their weight or how to eat a healthy diet. And you know what? I don’t blame them for being confused! There is a lot of information floating out there, and a lot of it is misinformation.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be so complicated. However, I will tell you this; to successfully lose weight and maintain, it’s not about going on one of these fad diets you read about, or doing a cleanse that everybody at work is talking about. Yes, the end result may be that you lose weight, but you will not maintain it. The only way to do so is by making a lifestyle change, one that is permanent with lasting benefits. Drinking spinach juice with a touch of wheatgrass is not a realistic meal plan for the rest of your life, nor would you want it to be! Where is the pleasure in that?

A basic principle of weight loss and maintenance is that the majority of your calories should come from lean protein. This includes all animal protein like chicken, fish, beef, eggs, meat and soy protein as well. Your carbohydrates should be coming mostly from vegetables and a small amount of fruit. It’s important not to cut out fats all together- healthy ones found in foods like olive oil, egg yolk, nuts, avocado and omega-3 are actually good for you and weight loss.

Foods that are the main source of weight gain are bread, pasta, cereals, corn products and rice. White bread/pasta or whole-wheat bread/pasta are pretty much nutritionally identical; the same goes for white and brown rice. The only difference is that whole wheat bread and brown rice are less processed, and won’t cause your blood sugar to spike and crash as dramatically. These are foods that are often referred to as “simple sugars” or “simple carbohydrates”.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be about starving yourself (and most certainly shouldn’t be), but rather, learning how to make better choices. It takes effort to make those lifestyle changes but you’re worth it!

Lana Levy is a nutritionist specializing in taking a holistic approach towards healthy eating, not only to help her clients achieve their goals, but also help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lana has also incorporated her passion for yoga into her services for her clients, as a way to stay fit, and create a balance between the body and the mind.Lana received her degree from Columbia University, where she completed her Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. In 2010, Ms. Levy became a Registered Yoga Teacher through an intensive training with YogaWorks here in New York City. In 2011 she completed a Prenatal Yoga Certification.With a background in nutrition and yoga, Lana works with her clients to create customized nutrition plans and yoga sequences that are specifically tailored to their needs. Whether the goal is weight loss, healthy weight gain, energy improvement, pre and post natal health, relief from various gastrointestinal ailments, Just For Today can provide you with tools to make a change for life!
 
Image courtesy of Bodyhealthsolution.com

The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Getting Fit

It’s one thing to want to get fit, but it’s a whole other thing to actually do it. Going from couch potato to enthusiastic exerciser takes some serious motivation and a fitness plan that’s easy to follow.

We went to celebrity fitness guru David Kirsch–the man behind the bodies of Heidi Klum and Anne Hathaway–to get his tips for getting your butt off the couch and working out. His simple plan will help you get toned, without having to morph into a total gym rat.

Set Reasonable Goals
The easiest way to discourage yourself is to set an unreasonable goal–there will be no way for you to hit it and you’ll wind up getting frustrated and giving up. Kirsch recommends setting an obtainable goal, such as “I want to lose five pounds,” or “I want to fit into my skinny jeans.” It’s also important to be realistic about your time frame and the amount of exercise you do each day. “Don’t start off at two hours a day–you’ll burn out,” says Kirsch. “If you are not sure what you’re doing, find a good trainer or training material to guide you.”

Movement = Exercise
“You don’t need to go to the gym to exercise,” says Kirsch. The easiest way to start your new fitness routine is to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. “When you get out of bed in the morning, before heading to the shower, do 15 knee bends, 15 lunges and 15 crunches. When you’re making breakfast, do some isometric contractions: squeeze and release your abs, your butt, your thighs,” he says. Get your body moving with a 10 minute express workout–be it yoga or stretching or cardio–every day before work. “If you start that way and build from that, you’re more likely to stick with a program,” says Kirsch.

Find Time For Fitness
Feel like there’s no time in the day to squeeze in exercise? Kirsch says that any exercise is beneficial, no matter how little. “The reality is that our lifestyles are conflicting and everyone has different physical needs for exercise. Ideally, you should be doing an hour of exercise a day, but if you can only find time for 10 minutes, than 10 minutes of focused training beats doing nothing,” he says.

Stay Focused
According to Kirsch, the number one biggest mistake women make while exercising is not focusing on what they are doing. That means no more cell phone, no more magazines and no more TV while you are working out. “You need to make the most of your time at the gym while you are there. Sitting on the treadmill and talking on the phone doesn’t give you the exercise you really need. Whatever you are doing, focus. Connect your brain and your body so you can really focus on what you are trying to accomplish,” he says.

Don’t Makes These Fitness Mistakes!

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New Year, New You: How-To Get Healthy & Maintain Your Resolution

The New Year is viewed as a time to reinvent yourself and leave bad habits in the past. Topping people’s resolution list each year is the desire to lose weight. While getting healthy is an admirable goal, people typically tend to go about it the wrong way. Many resort to cutting out food favorites like carbohydrates and fats, and in doing so create a diet plan that is unrealistic to maintain throughout the year. The key to successful dieting is to make small changes that will transform your life but not your lifestyle. Here’s how to make the most of your New Year’s resolution:

• Eat breakfast. Did you know that in order to gain weight, sumo wrestlers in Japan aren’t fed breakfast? It’s true and skipping breakfast slows down metabolism and encourages weight gain. Start your day with a breakfast that combines fiber and lean protein in order to rev up your metabolism and keep you feeling full ’til lunchtime.

• Add more fiber to your diet. Fiber is the secret to easy and successful weight loss. It is the zero-calorie non-digestible part of a carbohydrate. The more fiber a food has, the more satisfied you will feel after eating, leading you to consume less throughout the day. In addition, fiber has zero calories — so you get to fill up without filling out.

Fall Tips to Get Fit and Stay In Shape from AS ONE Fitness Trainers

Fall is a great time of year with regard to health and fitness.  Hopefully, you have come off of a great summer where the beautiful weather is all the motivation you needed to get into better shape.  Now fall will afford you two new reasons to continue on your pursuit for health and
 fitness.

1)   The weather and unique natural beauty of fall make it especially
 conducive to maintaining all the conditioning gathered from the summer.

2)   You’ll want to maintain a head of steam as you head indoors for the 
coming winter where the short and cold days have sunk many a fitness plan.

To start, keep utilizing the pleasant temperatures and fall foliage changes 
to keep you outside. Go to the local park and by combining the paths and a little creativity you can design a high intensity circuit that will be fun and challenging.

Try this –

Look for a loop that is from 1-2 miles in length.

Set your timer at two minute intervals, there are many apps you can acquire for free that make this really easy. I use HIIT Intervals on my Android.

Start jogging or walking quickly until the timer goes off. Now for the next two minutes do one of the exercises listed below like walking lunges, once the timer goes off again continue on your path until the next timer sounds at which time you choose another exercise for two minutes, and so on and so on. With just a mile loop you will have created a workout that is challenging, works many different energy systems and lasts from 30-40 minutes in length.

Ten suggested exercises:
1. squats
2. walking lunges
3. pushups
4. situps
5. bear crawls
6. mountain climbers
7. Burpees
8. hill sprints
9. pullups on a tree
10. squat jumps

Try to do the above exercises for the total duration – two minutes will challenge even the most fit. Do one loop or three for an amazing training experience.

Also, to challenge you further pick a weight vest (I like V-Force Vests) to wear while doing the above and take your conditioning to a whole new level.

This is the time to delve into new programs that keep the intensity high and infuse energy into your day and life like AS ONE!

Check out the AS ONE Fitness Program and more tips here.

George Vafiades has been a Head Coach at TriLife in NYC since 2005, and holds a BS in Anatomy/Physiology from University of Buffalo. George’s professional certifications include USA Triathlon (USAT) Level One, and USA Cycling, Level Three. He also has competed in multiple Ironman and Triathlon competitions. 

“One of the rewarding aspects for me as a coach is seeing individuals achieve as a group.” ~ George

Mark Merchant is currently the Director of Training at ALTA Physical Therapy in Manhattan. Mark’s multiple professional designations include: 1) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (as designated by the National Strength and Conditioning Association) and 2) Performance Enhancement Specialist (as designated by the National Academy of Sports Medicine).

“Effective coaching requires the coach to retain a certain degree of supportive tension. AS ONE coaching instills and builds a sense of accountability for those coached.” ~ Mark

Breast Cancer Awareness: Health & Fitness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and tons of amazing brands are doing their part to help raise money for the cause. Here are our picks for Health & Fitness:

IHip Earphones
Earphones are a gym bag essential so why not rock an adorable pink pair?  The iHip ear buds are available in assorted shades of pink to honor Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Jade Pink Yoga Mat
Stand out while doing your headstand: Jade has designed a yoga mat just for breast cancer awareness month.  $5 from the sale of each mat will benefit a national education and support organization for breast cancer.

Borba Firm and Fit Calcium Chews
For the month of October, 20% of proceeds from purchases of these tasty and good-for-you treats will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Seamless Comfort Pink Ribbon Sports Bra
With every purchase of one of these cute and supportive sports bras, 1% of the cost of a mammogram is covered in an effort to raise awareness for early detection.

Red Daisy Roslyn Underwire Sports Bra
Red Daisy, a new line of ultra-flattering workout wear doesn’t only donate money towards breast cancer research during October but all year round. In fact,  10% from every red, Red Daisy bra purchased is donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, regardless of the month.

Buy Now, Jade Pink Yoga Mat, $69.95
Buy Now, Borba Firm and Fit Calcium Chews, $14.99
Buy Now, Seamless Comfort Pink Ribbon Sports Bra, $15

The Benefits of A Yoga Practice

When you think about why people exercise, a major reason is to reduce stress and to improve their overall health.  It is the mindful breathing and single minded focus that takes you into a “flow mentality”.  You create an opportunity to escape from your thoughts which will shift your energy and changes your perspective on your life and problems.  It’s not that problems go away, you just change the way you look at them.  As a dear friend once said to me, “When you move a muscle, you change a thought”.

In yoga, the physical poses are called asanas and these poses can be done in a progression so that even the most inflexible “tin man” can find his way by using various props and modifications.  For me, the experience was quite challenging and in some cases helped me to learn how to over come my fears.  I remember my first hand stand (at the wall) like it was yesterday!

Practicing yoga will help you to evolve yourself so that other areas of your life will benefit.  When you work on your physical challenges be it flexibility, strength or balance, other areas of your life will improve.  But, this means checking your ego at the door because you will probably be working on things that you are not very good at initially.  Like a chain, you are only as good as your weakest link so your challenges may be more about patience, perseverance and consistency when you start your journey then it will be about how many push ups you can perform in 60 seconds.

Yoga is for life.  It is a lifestyle movement program.  When you practice yoga, you start to feel movements from the inside out; you don’t “think” about movements, you “feel “them.  You stop competing with others in class, you no longer need to see yourself in a mirror and the superficial aspect of exercise becomes less important when compared to the sacredness of your practice and your experience.  You will begin to nourish yourself with food more mindfully and you will be more aware of how to incorporate your learning off the mat as well as when you are on your mat.  If you can’t make it to a class, try using DVD’s for a home practice.  Our Core Fusion Yoga DVD (Buy Now, $9.99) is popular because it is broken down into 10 minute sections, if you have time constraints.

Regardless of your degree of commitment to yoga, be it once a week at home with DVD’s or at our studios practicing with a trained teacher, your benefits will include:

  • Stress Reduction
  • Mindful Awareness
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Improved Strength
  • Improved Suppleness in your spine
  • Better Sex Life
  • Better Energy
  • Improved overall health and well being

It’s National Yoga Month…Exhale Spa and PageDaily are teaming up to offer you a complimentary yoga class at any Exhale Spa for the rest of September (first-timers only). Mention PageDaily when you make your reservation! Enjoy!

Fred DeVito, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor
For over 30 years, Fred DeVito has taught New Yorkers to live healthier, leading fitness classes at the acclaimed Lotte Berk Method Studios, and more recently, at Exhale Spa, where he serves as Executive Vice President of Mind Body Training. With his wife and partner, Elisabeth Halfpapp . . . Read more about Fred DeVito

Ten Simple Things You Can Do Every Day That Will Improve Your Body Shape for Life

There is no magic secret or miracle pill that will allow you to achieve and maintain a perfect body for life. If there were, we would all have gorgeous bodies, and never have to watch what we eat or run a single lap on the tread mill. As a personal trainer, and the President of Browning’s Fitness Centers, I have trained, or overseen the training of thousands of people who are struggling with their weight and fitness levels. So I can tell you, achieving your ideal body shape takes time, and determination and consistency. And sometimes, it means saying no to things that you would really like to say yes to. There is just no way around that.

But here’s the good news. Getting into shape isn’t a question of skipping breakfast or lunch and starving yourself, or running yourself ragged on the treadmill week. You don’t have to ruin your quality of life just to be fit. Fitness is a state of mind, and getting into shape is about changing how you THINK about the choices you’re making every day. To get you started, here are ten simple things that you can do that will start to shift your mindset, and improve your body shape for life.

1. As much as possible, avoid the high calorie high fat foods that will gather around your middle. Whenever possible try to avoid cheese, chocolate, butter, cream, mayonnaise, and even avocados which are healthy, but can be very fattening in excess.

2. Get in 15 minutes of intense cardio intervals with a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down. You will be amazed how just 25 minutes of exercise each day will change the way you look and feel. When it comes to exercise, choose quality over quantity. It’s better to do 25 minutes of intense cardio that burns calories and gets your heart rate up, than a two hour walk that will not burn many calories or take the weight off.

3. Remember that your body uses carbohydrates first for energy, then protein, and last of all your body uses fat. So when you’re choosing your food, remember that if you’re a marathon runner, your carbs can come from white bread, potatoes, and pasta, but if you are not in training, your carbs need to come from vegetables.

4. Always keep your portion sizes in mind. All foods have calories, and even too many carrots can make you gain weight. So again, choose quality over quantity when it comes to your calories, and remember to exercise portion control at every meal.

5. Drink lots of water. You need to consume at least 6-8 ounces of water every day in order for your body to work efficiently, filter impurities, and burn more fat. Plus water makes you feel full so that you don’t cheat between meals.

6. The bulk of your food should come from fiber, rather than protein, but remember, even excess vegetables can bloat you and make you feel uncomfortable. Too much of any food is fattening.

7. Be aware of your posture. Stand up straight with your shoulders back, and tucks your abs and your glutes in tight when you walk. Just maintaining good posture alone will lead to a healthier body, and keep you pain free as you get older.

8. Mix up your exercise routines in order to keep your work outs effective. The body becomes more efficient at accomplishing the same movements, and so eventually will no longer challenge you or burn as many calories. So mix it up, run one day, swim another, and spin another. This will ensure that your heart rate in consistently challenged and keep you burning a maximum amount of calories.

9. If you make an unhealthy choice, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back up on the treadmill and start to jog, run, spring or swim again. Guilt is a useless emotion, and will only make it harder to make a healthier choice the next time.

10. Try to eat most of your food by 7 pm. Not only will this improve the quality of your sleep, which is an important component of fitness, but you will burn the calories that you consume before going to bed.

Image Credit: presidentpolls2008.com

In a world obsessed with fitness trends and fad diets, fitness expert Mary Ann Browning stands out with her decidedly simple approach to health and wellness: eat a balanced diet, and work hard. Browning describes these basic principles in such a straightforward manner that instead of rolling your eyes— or throwing a temper tantrum— you can’t help but trust that by following her advice, success is inevitable. Boasting an impressive, intensely loyal roster of clients (celebrities! Fortune 500 CEOs!), the rapid expansion of Browning’s brand speaks to the success of her methods — there are four Brownings Fitness locations throughout Manhattan alone, as well as nine across the country within boutique hotels operated by the Morgans Hotel Group.

A former principal with the South African Ballet Theatre, Browning emphasizes the importance of positivity in her dealings with customers. She credits a childhood dance instructor— who “planted the seed” that success as a dancer was more about hard work than innate talent— with her current emphasis on providing clients with cheerleaders of their own. (With this in mind, Brownings Fitness doesn’t offer traditional gym memberships, only private sessions with personal trainers.) Don’t mistake this caring for coddling, though— Browning makes no apologies about the fact that changing one’s body requires effort, and in particular, strength training (something many women mistakenly avoid, afraid it will make them less svelte and more “Schwarzenegger.”) “By building muscle all over and in neglected areas”— the upper body, in the case of many women— “you burn more fat overall” says Browning.

Eat well, exercise hard and consistently; the strategy is a simple one, but, if done correctly, nearly foolproof. Offering up her standard—though consistently refreshing— brand of realistic optimism, Mary Ann Browning sums up her philosophy in nine simple words: “If you want to change your life, you can” she states, quite matter-of-factly. No eye rolls on our end.

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