Wisdom

Veggies are Like Legos…

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

I have come to think of veggies like I do Legos…they are interchangeable parts that can be mixed and matched to form new things.  The ingredients are the same, but the pairings and combinations change, bringing ever-important variety to the table, literally.

Recently Rachel Rettman – Fitness. Nutrition. Lifestyle. has been prepping food in a wonderful Kosher kitchen (read more about Kosher here), which adheres to specific levels of cleanliness and food preparation guidelines.  All this to say that the food and what it is prepared in is extremely clean and well kept.  Helping others to stay healthy by bringing lots of prepared, chopped, cleaned, and portioned items such as chicken, eggs, veggies, grains, salads, etc. into their lives makes THE different between staying on a clean eating plan and ordering that pepperoni pizza at the end of a long day.

Contact us NOW for meal preparation services; whether done in our kitchen or yours (this is another option), you will be ecstatic to have all the ingredients on hand to build your very own Lego-style lunches and dinners – endless combinations of health at your fingertips!

healthycooking


Values in Action – Live your Goals!

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

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When considering any life change, whether it be buying a couch or taking on an entirely new eating plan, it is important to consider the reasons behind the decision.  Do you need a new couch because the old one looks bad, or because there are springs poking you in the behind?  Is the couch you are considering comfortable or does it just look good in a living room, and what do you plan to use it for?  Will it rarely be used or will the family spend lots of time on it talking, playing games, watching movies and otherwise relating to one another?  Purchasing furniture might seem simple, but understanding your values and the WHY behind choices can make a huge impact on the final decision.

The same holds for health-based changes, such as beginning a new eating plan.  Are you doing it because you want to lose weight, feel better when you wake up, play with your kids/grand kids more easily, or to attenuate the effects of an illness or looming potential disease?  Maybe a new mom is looking to get the pre-baby body back, or an elderly person is trying to prevent hip fractures; the point is, these kinds of motivators must be internalized and understood in order to not only choose the best path, but also to stick with that path in the long run.

Whether we know it consciously or not, our underlying values drive our ability to make and stick with both (seemingly) less important decisions like purchasing a couch, and more important decisions around making fundamental healthy living improvements.  If we spend some time thinking about the drivers behind why we want what we want, the chance for long-term sustainable change and incorporation of new lifestyle habits becomes second nature.

The next time you have a sizable decision to make (we are not talking about broccoli vs. asparagus), take the time to align your personal WHY with the choices you have in front of you.  Pick the option that best represents your belief system, then sit back (on the couch) and reap the benefits of such a thoughtful investment!


Subsidies vs. Penalties…Which do you Prefer?

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

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When you hear the words “subsidy” and “penalty” which one are you more likely to respond to?  Do you like the idea of getting some positive assistance, or does the idea of getting docked or penalized resonate with you?  When discussing how to encourage participation in and adherence to wellness programming, subsidies and penalties are two sides of the same coin; you can either reward someone for doing the right thing (subsidy), or punish them for a lack of participation leading to poor health (penalty).  It boils down to motivation, and what motivates each individual.  In the case of workplace wellness, it also depends on what kind of a culture the employer wishes to foster.

If a company wants to promote health and wellness as positive, beneficial work-life elements, subsidizing healthy people makes sense.  If everyone starts at the same baseline, and people are rewarded for exercising, eating well, maintaining / monitoring health conditions, and stress reduction activities, those people can feel good about their accomplishments and see tangible reward for healthy living; on the other hand, people who do nothing get nothing.  Doing the reverse, punishing people for a lack of health, would seemingly create bitterness and resentment around the idea of health.

At the end of the day, companies need to align their benefits practices with overall company culture; we live in a world where fewer people fully separate from work at the end of each day as more people are working in flexible environments that inevitably create mix work and personal time together. Values-driven wellness goes beyond the office and helps employees to incorporate health into every aspect of life.

 


Wellness at Work – Let’s Take a New Approach

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

veggies and lady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workplace wellness is a hot topic… and a burgeoning $6 billion dollar a year industry.  Unfortunately, a recent study by RAND, commissioned by the Obama Administration, concludes that wellness programming does NOT produce statistically significant benefits to employees, while costing employers, on average, $521 per employee per year.  How is this possible? How can health-promotion NOT lead to positive, measurable results?  The answer is simple – Both employers and program providers are focusing on the WRONG topics and interventions.

Typical programs are focused on short-term goals, like getting a health screening or going to the doctor; more involved programs might include smoking cessation counseling.  But trying to get blood pressure monitored without other lifestyle intervention, or getting someone to stop smoking without properly addressing the myriad behavioral issues surrounding smoking on a larger level is pointless.  Small changes may be observed, but as the RAND report shows people almost always return to their original status quo.

Programs needs to focus first and foremost on long-term health habits – creating and sustaining healthy behavior that becomes part and parcel to each person’s daily life.  Moreover, these programs need to be individualized to mesh with company culture, complete with adaptations that reflect individual employees as well as larger company value systems.  Successful programs will address the whole person, in and out of the office, and encourage camaraderie and peer support while fostering a positive environment of health.

Thus, the top 3 most important considerations for a corporate wellness program are the following:

  1. Aligning wellness programming with company culture, creating a visionary values-driven unique approach to health.
  2. Addressing the whole person, in and out of work, and providing individualized support to achieve this goal recognizing that people will have unique priorities and stressors, requiring different intervention techniques to be successful.
  3. Deliver thorough but slow and steady change – no one likes a shock to the system,so programming should reflect the pace at which buy-in is both observed and fostered.

Biometric screenings and other sophisticated-sounding but realistically underwhelming tools are a thing of the past; from here on out wellness providers must stay focused on meaningful, values-driven programming if they are to prevent, or even reverse, the upward trend of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other (primarily) lifestyle-related illnesses.


Workplace Happiness…it IS a Big Deal!

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

TV-Mad Men-Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the U.S. people spend the majority of their lives at work; therefore, it makes sense to find ways to make that time enjoyable and fulfilling.  While one’s job might not always be the stuff of childhood dreams or ultimate passion, there are some things employers can do to align careers with personal goals and desires.

Check out this Huffington Post article on the topic of workplace improvements; it is full of interesting research and makes 3 important points to remember with respect to work-site health and wellness:

  1. Work-life balance is essential: We all need time to attend to personal matters and responsibilities beyond the office. Employers are smart to assist employees with the likes financial planning assistance, child care and flexible hours.
  2. Health and Safety are priorities: Workplace health and wellness programming, including fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle/stress management can mean the difference between expensive, sick employees and proactive, healthy and dedicated workers.  Investing in such programming is also a way to attract top talent!
  3. Employees need Recognition: Everyone wants to be acknowledged for a job well done, and such accolades can go a long way towards improving morale and loyalty.  People who feel good are more productive and efficient, and feeling valued also improves self esteem, which improves health.  A positive feedback loop is created!

In this day and age there are so many ways in which employers can give back to their staff…health and wellness services are one of the BEST ways to let employees know that their overall well being is of utmost importance to the company.

Improve your bottom line, figuratively AND literally, financially and physically, with health and fitness!

home-Corporate


New Class Subscription Pricing

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new year is almost here and it is time to get healthy!  Check out our new subscription pricing options!!

MAT CLASSES:

  • $45/mo for all Saturday mat classes (approx. $10/class)
  • SAVE $15 and pay $120 for advance 3 month purchase (approx. $9/class)

REFORMER CLASSES:

  • $100/mo for a permanent weekly class  –  you pick the day and time, then that’s always your class! (remember some months have 5 weeks so you pay $23/class through subscription)
  • SAVE $10 and pay $190 a month for TWO weekly classes (less than $22/class)
  • SAVE $15 and pay $285 for 3 months of one weekly class (less than $22/class)
  • SAVE $35 and pay $565 for 3 months of TWICE weekly classes (less than $22/class)

These are some SWEET DEALS, and we cannot wait to have you in class getting fit and strong!

Come check out new class formats, like reformer on the jump board, or mat classes in a rotating format (props or not props, that will be the weekly question)!!

Conserve your energy, because it is almost time to tackle those new years resolutions head on.  Have fun and see you soon!

 


Foam Roller Stretching Galore

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We once again revisit the Foam Roller because it is one of the most versatile, beneficial inexpensive training props available.  Not only can almost anyone use it, but also it can be harnessed for both active exercise and strength-training purposes as well as stretching and relaxation.  In specific, the Foam Roller is fantastic for stretching out the spine.

Why stretch the spine?  Well…for one, it supports our head, our limbs, and many of our organs and so it needs TLC.  But more so, we spend so much time stooped over, in a state of flexion (think rounded shoulders, sitting at a desk, in front of the TV, or in the car) that moving in the opposite direction is vital to long-term spinal health and functionality.

As far as accurate, medically sound resources go, YouTube can be hit or miss; however, there are a number of short videos devoted to stretching the spine, especially in the Thoracic region (think ribcage area), that are easy to follow and impart sound advice.

Check out these spine stretches!!

If nothing else, lolling around on a foam roller for a few minutes before bed is a nice way to step away from the day and into ‘I really want to experience sleep soon’ mode.  Get ready to sleep tight…or better yet, sleep loose!

To strengthen that spine, and make those stretches even more rewarding, begin a fantastic Pilates program today! As we approach the holidays take the time to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of sound mind and body.  It will last a lot longer than a trendy sweater!

 


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.

 


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