health

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.

 


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!


BASI Pilates

Rachel Fitness, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

For anyone out there considering becoming a Pilates instructor, Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates is the best teacher training program, hands down.  Although trained through and certified by BASI since early 2009, my experience spending the weekend going through part of the original certification (the part focused on teaching and working with clients) but taught through a new voice was an invaluable and hugely exciting opportunity.  To work with Rael Isacowitz, founder of BASI Pilates and renowned practitioner, was such a blessing; so much information can be gleaned from someone with his talent and expertise.

For information on BASI certification, check out their Teacher Training Programs!

For information on Rael Isacowitz (I think I am a little bit in love now…well enamored anyway) click here!

Learning new teaching techniques and feeling re-invigorated and inspired to bring health and functional fitness via Pilates to clients is exciting!  Upcoming mat and reformer clients be prepared to have your worlds rocked!

Wanna try it yourself?  Contact us today!


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!

 


Spend Your Tax Refund on Your Health!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you received your tax refund…now what?

Sure, there are always new pairs of shoes, new purses or that really cool necklace to be had, but the best thing to spend your tax refund on is personal enrichment in the form of health and fitness activities and classes!  No matter what, a healthy body and mind will take you far in life, and lets be honest…next season that purse will be in the back of the closet.

Take this time to invest in YOU…in your future and your well being.  Try something new, do something you already like, it does not matter; as long as it makes you happy and is healthy then you are golden!

Of course Pilates is the BEST thing to take up, but there are so many exercise programs, methods and ideas out there to explore; if you need any ideas feel free to reach out to us here!

Be happy, be healthy!


Get Great Exercise Running Stairs!

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

Portland OR is home to some great urban staircases…the best of which is located in Mt. Tabor Park.  This 280-stair monstrosity is like a playground for those of us who love to feel the burn, torch calories, release a tidal wave of endorphins, and generally have fun (athletic fun).  At any time of the day there are people slowly strolling up the stairs and avid fitness enthusiasts running up and down as fast as possible without tripping.  Either way, it is both FREE and REALLY GOOD FOR YOU.

Check out this article outlining all of the exercise (and more) opportunities in Mt. Tabor Park.  Then walk, run, skip, hop, jump or bike (or drive if you live across town but love this park despite the drive) there as soon as possible to begin spring training!

 

 

 

 

 

Runner up Portland staircases:

  • Large staircase off of 12th Ave in Downtown, by Portland State University and into Goose Hollow.
  • Staircase off of NW Cornell (a little hard to find, off of a neighborhood street) as you head up towards Pittock Mansion.

Pixie Project Auction!

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

How does an animal rescue relate to fitness and Pilates?  Well…dogs are amazing exercise partners!  Not to mention that animals make people happy and happy people are more active and generally involved in life including physical endeavors.  Thus, we here at Rachel Rettman – Fitness. Nutrition. Lifestyle. want to spread the word about the Pixie Project online auction for an authentic piece of furniture (Yin Yang table seen below) from the acclaimed movie Fight Club!  Check out the YouTube video with author (and donor) Chuck Palahniuk and Amy Sacks of Pixie Project here:

The Pixie Project is expanding in order to help 10 times as many dogs as before!  As a dog lover and avid Pixie volunteer this is personally very exciting; the idea of helping more animals is heartwarming and there will be so many more dogs to take on walks and help with leash manners!!  Yessss!!!
Please spread the word and tell people about the wonderful donation from famed author Chuck Palahniuk.  To bid on the table please click here:http://www.ebay.com/itm/290687911585

The Importance of Good Posture

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

As fitness professionals it is often assumed that good posture represents itself in one way, namely correct skeletal alignment with respect to the plumb line, seen here:

While the plumb line is very important, the point that this article makes is that good posture involves the active use of ones postural muscles.  What does this mean?  Well, postural muscles support our daily movements (these are the core muscles utilized in PILATES class).  These muscles help us to sit up straight, or walk in a bio-mechanically sound way because they support our joints and therefore our skeletal system.  For example, when a person sits at a desk all day the lower abdominal muscles do not get to work, and muscles that do not get exercised stop properly functioning altogether.  Then it becomes the responsibility of other body parts to do a job they are not meant to do, which sets into motion a chain reaction of over-taxing certain parts of the body while under-utilizing other areas.

The point is, we need to exercise out muscles, especially postural core muscles, to keep them conditioned and on call to do their job!  Without them we end up with pain and, over time, potentially serious conditions.

If you live in New York you are in luck: Rachel Rettman will help you move your body in all planes of functional motion in order to preserve and build vital core musculature.  Other things, like food choices, daily habits, and more all go into this topic of posture.

Have you ever seen someone slumped over, stooping while either standing or sitting?  Do they look happy?  Usually not!  Our posture is also a reflection of how we feel about ourselves and the world around us, and proper (and improper) posture sends important messages to those with whom we come into contact.  When considering two equally qualified job applicants, you can bet the person with the great posture who stands tall and conveys confidence will have an edge over a counterpart who is slumped over and shrinking away from the world.

Lesson: remember to stand up, be proud, and most of all exercise those core postural muscles so that you can remain upright and pain free!  Head to our Individual tab to get going on some Pilates sessions!


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