Lifestyle

Starbucks…Healthy Food Mecca???

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, News, Nutrition Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

For the few of us left in the world that do not drink coffee, there is little reason to go to a coffee shop such as Starbucks.  Or is there…On a recent trip in for (free, perfectly good tap) water after a long hike, a treasure trove of healthy, interesting, and TASTY food options were sitting on the shelves, much to my satisfied surprise.

Long hailed for its giant donuts/muffins/pound cakes, Starbucks has changed with the times as the times have called for more nutritious options for the working professional on the go.  Realizing that this particular Starbucks is a busy outpost in health-conscious Portland, OR, and knowing not all stores are same, here is a list of some of the options available on a Tuesday afternoon:

  • Dehydrated fruit chips/freeze dried fruit slices
  • Regular cut fruit
  • protein plates (think an egg, cheese slices, meat slices)
  • high quality trail mix
  • air popped popcorn (and pop chips)
  • KIND fruit and nut bars
  • Raw food bars, local too!
  • greek yogurt
  • Nice sandwiches without mayo slathered on, with respectable nutrition stats, protein, whole grain bread, etc.
  • cut veggies/veggie trays with hummus
  • Salads with protein
  • Nuts
  • Fresh pressed juices, locally bottled (not Odwalla or another national company; something with short shelf life)
  • The usual milk, soy milk, and other healthy options available steamed, in a latte, etc.
  • numerous gluten free, GMO free, dairy free etc. options
  • Also, many of the less healthy treats are much smaller and have calorie content listed

This is impressive!!!  A picky, raw-food-eating paleo gluten free vegan could come in here and do just fine.  Pretty cool, huh?

Fun fact – Between my first and second year of business school I interned at Starbucks corporate in Seattle – and happened to sit next to a food procurement team.  This was 2005, and it was all cookies, cakes, muffins, doughnuts.  Exclusively.  It was hard to resist (though I did a great job) but now it would be FUN to sit next to that team.

So, the next time you are hard up for a quick healthy meal, head to Starbucks – you can actually get your needs met, walk away feeling satisfied, and even grab and raw food bar for the road!

 

 


Food Dehydration – Fun for the Whole Family!

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creating fun, interesting, healthy and PORTABLE snack foods can be a challenge for even the most creative people.  Carrot sticks get boring, and buying packaged snacks gets expensive!  Those amazing Kale Chips from New Seasons Market are one of the tastiest snack foods this health enthusiast has tried all year (and the best Kale Chip ever, hands down), but at $6-7 for a 2.2 oz. container it is not exactly the bang for your buck most people look for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One idea is to dehydrate your own food!  Whether you make Kale chips or apple slices, over time you will save $$ by passing up those $8 bags of dried fruit slices.  Nesco makes some wonderful, affordable food dehydrators, with entry level models starting at under $40!  Fred Meyer also sells a good entry level model, and they often run coupons too!  Mine was purchased this past weekend for $39.99 through creative coupon use, saving $20 off of the original price of $59.99.

Once you have your dehydrator, grab some apples, some peaches, some strawberries, and a big bunch of kale and get cracking; all the instructions for how to dehydrate come with the appliance, but please remember this IMPORTANT FACT: Despite what the directions say, you need to keep temperatures under 125 degrees Fahrenheit in order to maintain nutrient profiles; heats above 125 zap vitamins and minerals and begin to degrade foods.  You can even make beef or turkey jerky and bring healthy protein snacks to work without all of the preservatives found in any mass market jerky product.

This is a fun activity for the whole family, and a way to create a conversation around healthy snacking.  So have fun with it!!


Nutritional Counseling…DO IT NOW!

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is easy to run off and buy the newest iPad, designer handbag, or splurge on a trip to Europe; these kinds of purchases are exciting and come with tangible objects or, in the case of travel, photos and memories that can be ascribed to a specific time and place.  It is a lot harder to invest in personal health and wellness, which often lacks tangible, day-to-day markers of success.  In a world of instant gratification, holding something in your hand can be a lot more fulfilling then knowing that your efforts will pay off a month or two or three down the road.  Those who take the time to help themselves are often shocked when they come to understand how much nutrition and personal eating habits play a role in physical health and sense of well being.  You can have all the cool technology in the world and a wardrobe that Kate Moss would die for, but if you do not feel healthy, energetic and full of life then you cannot fully enjoy your spoils.

Summer is the best time to invest in YOU by adding both new physical activities AND nutritional counseling to your regimen; the weather is great, the produce is fresh, and the fish are swimming.  Changing eating habits is hard, and while it might sounds simple enough to read a book and follow an arbitrary plan it is important to set yourself up for long-term success while creating a plan that caters to your specific goals.

Get started on becoming the healthiest version of yourself, and address some of the following issues:

  • Weight Management
  • Making sense of fad diets and understanding past success/failure
  • Diabetes and blood glucose management
  • Meal Planning
  • Healthy Snacking
  • Food Allergies
  • Aerobic / Cardiovascular health and wellness
  • Persistent Gastro-intestinal (G.I.) Problems
  • Breaking long-standing negative eating behaviors (e.g. night eating, stress eating)
  • Mindful Eating
  • Positive habits for Children and youth
  • Eating healthy on-the-go / during travel
  • Food journals and other tracking methods
  • Technology-driven tools for successful eating and living
  • Sustainable healthy eating practices

Visit our nutrition page to learn more and call 415-602-4291 for an in-person meeting or a phone/skype/video meeting from anywhere in the world!


The Importance of the Pilates Method for Children

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, News, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the following article on learning healthy habits at an early age / Pilates for kids written by Javier Bceiso Blanco of Body Arts and Science International (BASI) in Spain (there is even a photo of him / student in action) –

 

It is critically important to begin instilling healthy habits at an early age. That is probably how  I would sum up everything I have learned as a teacher and as a father.

I have worked with children for 15 years, and observing their physical, mental and spiritual development has been one of the great joys of my life. For me, the Pilates method has proven itself beyond any doubt as an essential aid in the development of children into socially-integrated adults with full physical and mental skills.

It’s a fact that the brain needs to lean on the physical self as it develops a solid basis for cognitive abilities. An example is the child’s use of the fingers when learning to count.  At the same time, a healthy mind-body connection contributes to less tangible, but just as important, skills, including open-mindedness, receptiveness to people and healthy habits of discipline. These, together with a strong pedagogical environment and a healthy family environment, create those important educational values which, unfortunately, seem to be on the wane nowadays.

Pilates is just as important for healthy children as it is for those with motor issues. For the latter, it assists in balancing the imbalances caused by their injuries, improving their muscular tone and building coordination, balance, breathing, ROM (range of movement), flexibility, strength and endurance – all of which are just as important for the healthy child. And, of course, all children need to understand their own bodies and develop self-awareness, control, concentration and discipline. Pilates helps every child avoid the modern evils of a sedentary life and obesity – along with all the problems that they entail.

Physical Education and sports as currently taught at school do not cover all the physical and mental dimensions that are necessary for childhood development. And, in many cases, schools reduce the time spent on these activities is favor of more “academic” subjects. At the same time, the US National Association of Physical Education has estimated that 300,000 people die every year due to deficient physical activity and bad diet. This number exceeds the number of people who die as a result of infections, car crashes and substance abuse.

This is the background to BASI’s Pilates for Kids: Healthy Development workshop, which integrates the Pilates method as an extracurricular tool in order to complete the physical education provided in school and to instill healthy habits into young bodies and minds.

The workshop focuses less on education (or re-education) than on maintenance. Children have a natural, inborn movement instinct which automatically reinforces their musculature and, in most cases prevents them from experiencing serious injury. The objective of the workshop is to strengthen and guide this instinct; to prevent it from falling into disuse, which is what happens with most adults.

The program is adaptable to all children and all phases of development, from psycho-motor development at an early age, which enables the child to acquire balance and coordination, through the development of elastic qualities and muscular strength to the development of coordination, fine skills, aerobic capabilities and, finally, maximum muscular strength.

It is important to emphasize that Pilates practice at an early age will avoid – or reduce – potential musculo-skeletal problems in childhood or in later life, as a consequence of bad posture, lack of flexibility, inadequate muscular tone, wrong breathing and bad joint mobility.

If parents and educators were aware of the importance of instilling healthy habits from childhood, many common adult diseases could be avoided. As Dr. Valentin Fuster writes in this book The Health Science “heart attacks suffered from the age of 45 begin to develop in childhood. Between 70% and 90% of the time, they are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle acquired since childhood”.

Pilates for Kids: Healthy Development teaches Pilates professionals to both build programs for children throughout the developmental cycle and to lead them through the process of acquiring discipline and healthy habits in a fun and healthy way.

Learn more about the BASI Pilates for Kids: Healthy development workshop.

 


3 Simple (Healthy) Rules for Weight Loss

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The elusive struggle to lose weight continues to confound most people.  It seems like the more articles / research / self-help books on weight loss, the bigger we get.  It is an inverse relationship that does not make logical sense, yet when we look at our current lifestyle choices it makes all the sense in the world.  People think losing weight is hard…and it is in some ways.  Truthfully, though, it is easy on a physiological level and difficult from a mental and personal perspective.  Losing weight is hard because people kinda don’t wanna do it.  They sorta don’t feel like changing their eating habits.  They really like chocolate, cookies and endless pasta bowls.  They like their routines, and we all are creatures of habit.  So what is a person to do?

Instead of trying to follow a super strict eating plan, start out with guidelines that create healthier habits.  Check out this article to find out about 3 simple ways to lose weight.  In summary, you want to:

  1. Keep a food journal and record what you eat
  2. Avoid skipping meals (do NOT skip)
  3. Minimize (or eliminate) eating out, especially at lunch

See…simple!  Just write it down (creating awareness and understanding habits), eat at regular intervals (never allowing yourself to get too hungry or over-eat down the line) and prepare your own food thereby maintaining control over what is in it and how many calories you consume.

Of course calories matter, and it is still a ‘calories in, calories out’ equation such that if you consume more than you burn you will gain weight.  There is no way around that one.

The last point made in the article, and one of the most important yet, is that losing weight and keeping it off VITALLY DEPENDS on regular physical activity.  Nothing is better than an up-tempo training session, so ditch the lasagna, check out our offerings, and sign up for Pilates Bootcamp today!


Office Juice Cleanses

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When it comes to the office, there are a wealth of unhealthy habits that tend to dominate typical corporate etiquette.  From big box takeout lunches to cookie trays to your cubicle-mates consistent stream of new cupcake recipes (and let’s not forget those ever-present candy dishes, somehow unnoticed by their owner but loved by you), it is HARD to stay healthy at work!

Enter office juice cleanses, as well as other forms of office bonding that encourage healthy behavior en masse.  If we can’t beat ’em,  let’s join ’em; if we are joiners then join something positive and beneficial!  Whether it be a juice cleanse,  a veggie of the month where colleagues share recipes, or even just committing to pre- and/or post-work walks, there are infinite ways in which coworkers can support one another in the quest for health and happiness.

Summer is the best time to get started on healthy eating – with the abundance of beautiful produce, availability of healthy fish and seafood, and the general sunny weather that keeps daylight way past the end of the workday, there are no excuses to eat poorly and stay cooped up inside.  Head on down to your local Whole Foods or equivalent) or farmer’s market (click here to search for a local farmer’s market)to get your hands on great produce and more.  Explore the nuts, seeds, and nut butters to get healthy fats and copious amounts of fiber into your diet. The grocery store employees and the market vendors are always ready and willing to help you get started!

What are you waiting for!


Healthy Computer Habits

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , ,

Generally, we associate injury with movement, overexertion, and other ACTIVE endeavors.  But we can get repetitive stress injuries and other very uncomfortable problems and syndromes simply by sitting still (or relatively still) at a desk!  Improper movement patterns, over time, lead to many physical ailments such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and a lack of motion leads to muscle atrophy; weak muscles are that much more likely to end up compromised!

Whether it be a screen height issue, a mousing problem, postural issues, and more, unhealthy computer habits can doom a person while healthy habits lead to a more comfortable work day and, by extension, a happier life.

You can make simple adjustments to remedy these issues.  Read up on solutions…we can never be too educated!

 


Fitness and Fashion Converge!

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

Tomorrow is the June Portland First Thursday in the Pearl…and Leanna NYC is featuring local artists, musicians and fitness!

Rachel Rettman – Fitness. Nutrition. Lifestyle. will be raffling off private training, nutrition consultations, and free classes!  This is a great opportunity to ask fitness and nutrition questions, meet Rachel, and mingle with fun people.

More about the ‘LeannaNYC Keepin’ it Local First Thursday’ event can be found on Facebook

Get fit for those skinny jeans, find awesome summer fashions, and of course drink free booze.  Summer is back…so is First Thursday!


Superfoods for Weight Loss

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

Whether or not you want to lose weight, the following article outlines a number of benefits associated with eating some very important foods such as black beans, salmon, blueberries (wait, wasn’t there a post here all about blueberries recently?!?!?!?!), spinach and more.

Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

You can never eat enough healthy food, and in our era of highly processed foods in an overly saturated and confusing marketplace it is time to go back to basics!

Remember you ABC’s…..Almonds, Berries, (dark) Chocolate!!

 


5 Great Ways to Eat Blueberries!

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess what…It’s blueberry season!  Blueberries are one of those powerhouse foods that make every ‘most nutritious’ or ‘top 10 must have’ foods list.  Rarely does one come across a person that does not like blueberries, and kids can also love them because they are both sweet and, well, blue!

There are many great ways to incorporate blueberries into one’s diet, including my top 5 recommendations:

  1. Freeze them – Begin by washing a pint or two of blueberries, letting them air dry, and then freezing them overnight in Ziploc freezer bags.  They make a great snack and last a long time since they are frozen and take longer to eat.  They also taste like little popsicle bites…
  2. Mix with Greek Yogurt, Stevia, and chopped nuts – not only does this make a balanced meal (healthy fat from nuts, protein from yogurt, and fiber/carbs from berries), but also it tastes like dessert!
  3. Sprinkle over salads – start with spinach, then add goat cheese, pecans, and a little vinaigrette; top with a generous handful of blueberries.  To add a bit more substance, mix in some Quinoa or another light grain of choice.
  4. Oatmeal!  Try oatmeal or oat bran topped with our fruit du jour.  For added sweetness and texture sprinkle in ground flax seeds and a little brown sugar or maple syrup (or stevia for a no-calorie alternative).
  5. Shake it up – a cup of Blueberries along with a cup of ice, 1/2 cup milk of choice, protein powder (something organic with few ingredients and little processing, see www.wholefoods.com for options) and sweetener if desired tastes like ice cream while serving as a filling snack or meal replacement option.

Always remember to wash your berries well…you can also soak them in grapefruit seed extract (3-5 minutes) for a natural fruit and vegetable cleaning option.  Check out Nutribiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract.

Most of all, enjoy one of the best foods of spring and summer!

 


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