Your life is what you create it to be!

Archive for September, 2010

What are we teaching our kids when we don’t say “HI”?

A simple “HI” and a smile back, is that so hard to do?  Why does when a baby, toddler, kid say “Hi”, “Hello” or wave to an adult, and adult gets all uncomfortable and doesn’t know what to do, and decides to not respond to the child because….it’s just a child. They know not what they do….or do they?

Are we teaching kids to be un-socialable? To ignore the acts of common courtesy or the act of human interaction?

A baby/toddler is excited to share their new act of courage! Their new skill! Something they normally get a response from….what does that say to them, when you briskly walk past them, ignoring them acting as if they don’t exist or aren’t really a “person” yet.

Would that be your normal reaction if an adult walked past you and said HI?  Your family member? Your boss?

Kids are absorbing and learning how to communicate during the most impressionable time in their life, up to 5 years of age. These are the times where life skills and socialization is strongly developed.

Now, I’m not saying you have to stop in your tracks, say goo-goo- gah- gah, and play a game of tickle. But, the biggest impact you can have on other children around you, is to teach them how to be human, social, and down right just nice!

Teach our kids that it’s ok to at least smile and say HI as we walk briskly past one another. Use eye contact.  Help develop confident, engaging, and positive kids!

Difference between Neutral Spine and Spinal Imprinting

First of all, there are different styles and variations of Pilates.  The technique and training you may receive may slightly vary from one resource to another. I always put a lot of value in taking different styles of training, and really owning the one that suits you best and agrees with your values and goals.

It’s very important to be aware of the differences between both NEUTRAL spine and SPINAL IMPRINTING.

For our format PiYo, we encourage Spinal Imprinting because typically, the average person is taking a pilates class in a group setting, where one on one training technique is not available.  We have to assume that the average person taking class has weak abdominals and if they attempt pilates exercises using neutral spine (or so they think) they can actual risk injuring their back as well as develop some extremity discomfort.

There are different opinions what spinal position is best and you will need to make that decision yourself alongside with your pilates trainer which suits you best, as well as for your body type and strength.


Neutral spine is the natural position of the spine when all 3 curves of the spine (cervical, thoracic & lumbar) are in good alignment. This is the strongest position for the spine when we are standing or sitting.

Many people habitually have their spine in one of these two positions, tucked or tilted. To be in neutral spine, you want to be in between these positions, with the lower abs flat and just a slight, natural curve of the lower spine off the floor.

Imagine that there is a cup of water sitting on your lower abdomen, just a couple of inches below your belly button. Allow your abdominal muscles to drop in toward your spine, making your belly flatter. Remember that you don’t want the water to spill, so your pelvis cannot be tipped forward or tucked under.

Rule of thumb is to keep your pelvis bones level (pubic bone and your ASIS bones)


Imprinting the spine is not the act of pressing your spine/back towards the floor BUT my using the muscles to draw down towards the floor.  To get into imprinted spinal position, start with your pelvis in a neutral position and move your spine so that it’s straight with the floor. Use your abdominal muscles so that you’re not pressing or forcing it down; flattening your back, so that your spine would be completely flat on the floor without any gaps below your lower back and a floor. You may not be able to get into imprinted spine if you have a very big curve in your lower back and that is ok, just work to keep the pelvis level.

Visualize your spine lengthening and sinking down to the mat, lightly imprinting

If you have a bad back, especially if you have disk buldge – CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR


What I have found, is most people can achieve neutral spine, when you just use the techniques above to get into it. BUT, when you add movement, that’s typically when people lose that control.

This is why spinal imprinting is advised, as typically the contact of the back to floor “anchors” you more so you actively can keep pulling down the scoop of your transverse abdominal muscles while you perform the exercises.

Remember no matter what position you chose – your tail bone should be on the floor.

3 Day De-Tox / Cleanse!


The Shakeology 3 day cleanse!The Science Behind the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse
by Steve Edwards, Director of Results

I like to call the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse a “performance cleanse.” This is because it was designed to be done with a workout program. Let’s take a look at how this differs from other cleanses, how to tailor it to your needs, and what to expect if you decide to try it.

First of all, it’s not a true cleanse. It’s a calorie-restricted and nutrient-dense diet plan. Traditional cleanses contain very few calories and nutrients. Compared to the much more popular Master Cleanse, it’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Traditional cleansing diets are done to rid your system of toxins and bring it into homeostasis. They also contain a spiritual aspect. This process can take a long time, which is why you may have seen coworkers walking around the office in a zombie-like state for weeks on end—swilling a strange concoction of lemons and maple syrup.

The Shakeology cleanse is nothing like that. Depending on how you decide to do it, you’ll be eating frequently and consuming between 800 and 1,200 calories per day, and it could be even more should you feel the need. The point of this cleanse is not calorie restriction, per se—it’s nutrient efficiency. The aim is to get the most nutrients possible into the fewest number of calories. The goal is to put all of these calories to use as a part of your exercise program, to rid your body of undigested foods and toxins, and to bring your hydration levels into homeostasis. The result you’re after is not weight loss—though it will likely occur—but for your body to be running more efficiently. This should make you feel lighter and more energetic, even though you’re doing an exercise program.

Your eating structure doesn’t change. You still eat every few hours while you’re awake. Each meal should have a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. And while you’re not eating as much food as you’d normally eat, your calorie-to-nutrient ratio is extremely high. This means that you shouldn’t restrict the actual nutrients you’re getting by too much, so activity can continue as normal.

We recommend you try to keep your shakes to just Shakeology. Adding fruits of any kind, or seeds (for fat and fiber), or the Shakeology Fiber supplement, can and should be done as you see fit.

Ditto for your one solid meal—a salad. As we all know from any salad bar, the definition of salad can be varied. The goal of the salad in the plan is to keep your calories coming from natural sources (no artificial ingredients should be added, including artificial salad dressing). Aside from that, you can add ingredients as necessary. Keep your meat intake to four ounces or less, but add veggies, seeds, nuts, fruits, and legumes in quantities to satiate you.

The goal of the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse is to optimize your performance. You want to eat enough to fuel your day AND your workout. The foods you’re eating are so high in fiber and nutrients that it’s virtually impossible to overeat. You’ll be consuming so much fiber, along with enzymes and digestive aids, that your body’s ability to flush excess foods quickly will be at its peak.

What to Drink
Water, of course, is recommended in quantity. This is vital to any cleanse, because one of your goals is to bring your hydration into homeostasis. When your electrolytes are out of balance—the main problem we have is salt—you often retain water outside of your cells. This situation, which we refer to as retaining water, is cured by drinking more water. As the excess salts are diffused, your body begins to hydrate your cells (using sodium as it should be used) and flush the water held outside the cells. So, oddly enough, you drink water to eliminate water retention.

Sodas, alcohols, juices, etc., should be eliminated entirely during a cleanse. Coffee and tea, which are diuretics, should be minimized at the very least and eliminated if possible. Again, performance is the key, so if you need a cup of Joe as a pick-me-up, go ahead. Just use only as needed, and don’t use additives. Eliminating sugar and chemicals is vital. However, do not use energy drinks or soda for this purpose, including the ones with artificial sweeteners. Coffee drinkers may find that switching to black tea during a cleanse will give you the energy you’re looking for with less upset. Coffee’s acidic nature can heighten the effects in a negative way during your cleanse.

Why You Won’t Lose Weight
I should say why you might not lose weight, but I wanted to get your attention. Most people will lose some weight during a cleanse, but that is not the goal. Those with a lot of undigested gunk in their systems will lose weight as it’s flushed out. Those of you who are properly hydrated and already eat well are less likely to lose. For those of you who need to lose weight, take heart: you are setting up your system to use nutrients more efficiently and improving your ability to lose weight through structured diet and exercise. So while you may not lose much on the cleanse, you’ll be more prepared to lose weight later.

Another reason why we don’t always lose weight on cleanses is due to a stress hormone called cortisol. Restricting calories is stressful to the body, and it reacts by releasing cortisol. Cortisol is performance-enhancing in the short term, but if you somehow keep your body stressed for long periods, it creates havoc in your system and can cause you to doggedly hang onto weight in a type of survival mode. We don’t want this to occur, which is one reason the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse is short. It’s important not to remain in a highly calorie-deficient state for long periods of time, especially when you are trying to exercise hard.

Here is the full plan:

The Shakeology® 3-Day Cleanse
The key is to follow the same regimen all three days.
3 Shakeology shakes per day
2 cups of green tea per day
1 or 2 pieces of fruit per day (optional)
1 salad for dinner—can include fish or poultry
No dairy or extra sugars (this includes almond and soy milk)!
Drink 2 to 4 liters of water every day
Only use low-fat dressings, and go easy on the salt and/or pepper to taste
2 snacks before/after any of the major meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Fruit is optional, and it is discouraged (however, some of you will need the calories while others may not)
Power-workout participants (those who are already super conditioned) are recommended the higher numbers of calories
For maximum results, do NOT use additives
Dinner salad may include WHITE GRILLED PROTEIN—poultry or fish only

Daily Regimen:
1 cup of green tea to start the day

1 scoop Shakeology (140 calories)
1/2 cup of fruit (60 to 90 calories)—optional
Ice to taste
8 to10 oz. of water

Snack 1 (85 calories):
1 piece of fruit (apple, pear, orange, banana mango, etc.)

1 scoop Shakeology (140 calories)
Ice to taste
8 to 10 oz. of water
1 cup of green tea or a detox tea

Snack 2: (you can have the second snack before or after dinner)
1 scoop Shakeology (140 calories)
Ice to taste
8 to10 oz. of water

Dinner: Salad with grilled white fish or poultry (roughly 340 calories)
Greens—3 servings of vegetables, plus 4 oz. of grilled white meat (fish or poultry)
2 tablespoons of dressing—no more!

Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse FAQ
Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:
1. How many calories per day?
800 to 1,100 calories per day

2. How often can I do the Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse?
Ideally, you should do it once per quarter (every 3 months)
As the seasons change
Before starting a new workout program
When you feel you need help breaking through a plateau.

3. Should/Can I still do my workouts during the Cleanse?
Depends on the individual
You’ll have less energy than normal, so consider doing it during a recovery week
Try not to do in the middle of P90X® or INSANITY®

4. Can I do a 1-day or a 2-day cleanse instead of a 3-day?
Yes! Some people will see results with one or two days
We recommend against continuing the cleanse for more than three days

5. Should/Can I take other Beachbody® supplements during the Cleanse?
Results and Recovery Formula™: No, too much sugar/calories
Others (Omega-3, etc.): Not necessary, but won’t hurt either

Go to to get your own bag of Shakeology!
It’s always a 30 day money back guarantee!

CAMP DO MORE! – APD/Presenter Awards!

(courtesy of Ember Nevill)

APD/Presenter Awards for Chalene Johnson and Bret Johnson’s company Powder Blue Productions.
Bret brings up the PAST Presenters of the Year. I was the first one in 2004- so check it out at 1:15.

MOST VALUABLE PRESENTER is awarded at 1:45. I was the pioneer winning this award as well as they issued it out for the first time at Camp Turbo in 2009. This year at Camp Do More 2010, is my second year in a row to win it!

METAL IN YOUR SHAKE! As well as other un-natural ingredients!

METAL IN YOUR SHAKE! As well as other un-natural ingredients!
By Christine Dwyer

When I was an x-ray student, we had to rotate into different departments. During my rotation in the MRI lab, I was always so curious about the inside of my body and of course offered myself as a guinea pig when they wanted to test out the new MRI machine they just got in!

They scanned my liver. While they looked at the scan, they saw metal in my stomach! Confused on what it might be as I wasn’t wearing any metal, they asked what I ate for lunch. Well, I was habitual for trying every diet in the book- and during this time, I was drinking Slim Fast. So I embarrassingly told them I had a Slim Fast shake for lunch. Oddly enough, they actually had a can of Slim Fast in the break room! They reviewed the ingredients and found metal as part of the ingredients! That was the last time I used Slim Fast.

Many people go on the journey to find the PERFECT shake or a quick fix. My best advice for you is to choose something that isn’t going to be temporary. Additionally, be careful not to choose products that have a laundry list of artificial ingredients, stimulants, and preservatives. Your best choice is natural ingredients all around.

Listed in the July issue of Consumer Reports is a quick comparison of the metal levels in some very common shakes that many people plunk down their hard earned cash for each month at their local supplement store or online obsession. It has taken me many years to finally stop risking what I put into my body for the short term fix or my favorite thought process, the “I’m invincible, nothing will happen to me” mentality.

Courtesy of Consumer Reports, July 2010
Here are the average amounts of metals we found in three servings of these protein drinks. The maximum limits for them in dietary supplements proposed by the U.S. Pharmacopeia are: arsenic (inorganic), 15 micrograms (µg) per day; cadmium, 5 µg; lead, 10 µg; mercury, 15 µg. Amounts at or exceeding those limits are in bold. Experts said three servings a day is common.

I have been in the fitness industry for 20 years, and have gone through the gamete of every over the counter product and even some not over the counter. I believe in sharing my journey and what I have learned with others, so they can move faster to their goals. If you need suggestions on the best shake or diet plan for you, just email me. I will offer my best advice.

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