CLEAN EATING TURKEY TACO SALAD

February is HEART HEALTH month, so why not take a look at your dinner and clean it up a bit? Here is a recipe that Absolute Nutrition shared with us for Turkey Taco Salad! Let us know if you try it – we know we will! 
 

Clean Eating Turkey Taco Salad

    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
    • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 cup orange bell pepper, chopped
    • ½ red onion, chopped
    • 1 lb ground turkey
    • 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
    • romaine lettuce, chopped
    • ½ cup grape tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
    • ½-1 avocado, chopped into chunks
    • ½-1 cup fresh fruit-based salsa (I used peach)
    • 1 lime
    • chopped cilantro, to taste
  • hot sauce, to taste
 
INSTRUCTIONS
 
Toss chopped onions and peppers with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and grill or sauté in a skillet until they reach your desired texture. Once cooked, set aside.

Brown turkey in a large skillet with a little olive oil. Break meat into smaller pieces as it cooks. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink. Add taco seasoning to the pan and stir to combine. If the meat seems too dry, add a little water with the seasoning.

While the turkey it cooking, prep your salads. Start with a base of romaine lettuce and begin layering the toppings — tomatoes, jalapeño slices, avocado and salad. Squeeze a little lime juice onto each salad and sprinkle on chopped cilantro. Add a few drops of hot sauce if using.

credit: eatingbirdfood.com

Sleep – #2019antiresolution

This month’s soap box we will be speaking to is a trend that has been taking shape over the years. We would like to suggest that before we get to deep into setting goals, let’s enjoy some time this year to understand our current baseline. What do you do already?

In January, we thought it may be fun to create a group sleep tracking event. It is meant to bring attention to a crucial yet often sacrificed part of what it takes to be our healthiest selves. Have you been adding your sleep hours to our wall?! If you haven’t start now!

Bringing your attention to your current sleep habits will give us an opportunity to contemplate how we may be helping or hindering all the other things we do to create a healthy quality of life.

sleep

Let’s pay attention to what we already do in order to give us an opportunity to contemplate how we may be helping or hindering all the other things we do to create a healthy quality of life.

Have you noticed over the last few weeks if your sleep was hindered by any of the following:

  • How much energy you had on average for the day
  • What time you consumed any alcohol, caffeine and tobacco (and the amounts) * any naps (and how long they were)
  • Any medications you took
  • Any stressful (out of the ordinary) events that happened that day
  • Time that you decided to go to bed for the night.

Other Options to Consider are:

  • Think about how you slept the night before
  • Estimate how long it took you to fall asleep
  • How many times you woke up in the middle of the night
  • How long you were up for each time
  • What time you woke up as well as what time you got out of bed * how you felt when you woke up

While you are on this journey with us, notice these things about your sleep patterns and maybe even make notes, it may help you sleep in the long run!

Client Who Inspire us: Laura Green

Laura comes into the Studio twice a week for Matwork and Reformer classes. She ALWAYS has a smile on her face and brightens the classes with her positive energy! Anyone who takes classes with Laura knows she makes class fun; with her witty comments and her life stories. Read more about Laura below.

Laura

I am married with 5 children and 7 and counting grandchildren. I am retired after a wonderful career in teaching mostly spent in JK/SK. There was never a dull moment and they always made me laugh.

I started coming to the studio when Liz Fryer suggested it to our book club. I think that was about 7 years ago!? I have always enjoyed physical activity and attend Zumba classes several times a week. I love the dancing even though I am often doing the wrong choreography. Do what brings you joy, right?

I started Pilates for a couple of reasons. Many members of my family have osteoporosis and I wanted to do as much as I could to keep my bones healthy and strong. I also like the toning, strengthening, flexibility and stability that Pilates can develop. I enjoy the classes and the people I have met along the way. 

I am looking forward to being back in classes as 2019 unfolds.

News Years Sleep Resolution – GET MORE SLEEP

Did you know that a good nights sleep is just as important as your healthy eating habits and exercise? That doesn’t mean waking up after 6 hours, but instead, getting at least 7-9 hours a night. 

Want to know what happens to your body when you don’t have good sleep habits? Watch this youtube video with Matthew Walker. 

Scary, right? Don’t worry! We are here to help and inspire you on a new journey to healthy sleep patterns. 

sleep

This January join us for a sleep-a-thon! We are challenging you to SLEEP MORE.

  • Every week, write down your weekly total of hours slept. We will have a place to record your hours in the Studio (the more the better!) 
  • Receive tips, tricks and stories on all things sleep through social media, our blog and in Studio. 
  • Stay motivated with our thermometer that we hope to collectively rise on a weekly basis. 
  • Share with us any changes you feel throughout the process to be a featured story. 

Excited yet? We are!

Let’s work together in 2019 to make more time for self care and an early bed time. Healthy change happens when we allow ourselves space to be curious, to educate, to bring our attention to ourselves and move through a process.

Stretch for Strength – Release for Range

Last week, we hosted a workshop on stretching for strength. For those of you who missed it, here are a few takeaways:

Pain: Observing someone else – which is the constant job of a manual or movement therapist – how am I to know when things are unpleasant and emotional or too much? How do you know when sensations are going to far?

“A sensation accompanied by the motor intention to withdraw” Tom Myers

Pain consists of three types: “pain that enters the body”, “pain stored in the body”, and “pain leaving the body”.

Muscle Spindle

What’s in a feeling?

Muscle Spindle: is a proprioceptor, a sense organ that receives information from muscle, it senses STRETCH and the SPEED of the stretch.

When you stretch and feel the message that you are at the ENDPOINT of your stretch the spindle is sending a reflex arc signal to your spinal column telling you not to stretch any further. This sense organ protects you from over stretching or stretching too fast and hurting yourself.

Golgi Tendon Organ

Golgi Tendon Organ: is a proprioceptor, sense organ that receives information from the tendon, that senses TENSION.

When you lift weights, the Golgi tendon organ is the sense organ that tells you how much tension the muscle is exerting. If there is too much muscle tension the Golgi tendon organ will inhibit the muscle from creating any force (via a reflex arc), thus protecting you from injuring yourself.

Cerebellum: (latin for ‘little brain’) receives information from the sensory systems, the spinal cord, and other parts of the brain and then regulates motor movements. The cerebellum coordinates voluntary movements such as posture, balance, coordination, and speech, resulting in smooth and balanced muscular activity.

So What? Your neurological system can get it’s wires crossed and you can ‘feel tight’ and not be tight, you can feel restricted not because the joint’s in danger but because the Golgi tendon THINKS/FEELS it’s in danger because the muscle spindle and or Golgi tendon never returned to it’s “happy” shape.

Release for Range

• Gives the body a space and time to recalibrate it’s systems and or to regain their structure
• The cerebellum needs you to pay attention, investigate, it needs to be fed information
• Allows the body to take in and establish the changes movement & manual therapists give
• Release is developed in the space between how far and how much — in other words before the muscle spindle or Golgi tendon needs to shut you down

Creating release in your body takes an investigators mind.

Dynamic Neutral: Learning how to experience where a joint can create motion without influencing how your body weight sits in space before you started the motion We can’t teach you what to feel we can only teach you how to feel. Instructors try to find words that give you opportunity to explore how to weight sense, find fluidity and or focus on the space between where the motion begins and how the motion travels through you

Body Weight: ‘The force exerted on a body by a gravitational field’; ’our ability to stand upright depends on the tension between the force of the body and the pull of gravity’ (Laban)

Space: When we move we ‘push some space out of the way’ and the area we just vacated is filled with more space. (Laban)

Gather and Scatter: (Newlove, Dalby, 2004:112)
• Gather: taking up the least amount of space possible; this consists of ‘bending all of our joints and curling up into a ball’.
• Scatter: when we can stretch all of our limbs into a star like position, stretching even our fingers, to extend our Kinesphere
• It is important to remember that we don’t only gather or scatter our whole body but individual body parts as well
• Generally in movement we are doing both, using opposition to create stability in order to increase mobility and balance

Kinesphere: “The sphere around the body whose periphery can be reached by easily extended limbs without stepping away from that place which is the point of support when standing on one foot” (1966, Laban p.10) (visual image: DaVinci ‘)

Kinetic Force: how much energy is required to move in space

Vitruvian Man

Conclusion:

• Find time to investigate what midrange is in your body.
• Before you move, create a sense of ready throughout the entire body, gradually build up the sense of ready until you have gathered your weight and then move.
• Remember coordinating your body actually takes a great deal of intelligence, skill, patience and investigation, avoid taking it for granted or relaying on others

Client Spotlight: Duane Eby

Duane comes into the Studio 3 times a week taking Spin/Yoga and Reformer classes. We love watching him progress in movements and are inspired by his dedication to health and wellness.

Duane

I started working at age 12. In those early years, until I completed my undergraduate degree, my various jobs were physical so I was quite fit. After graduation and until recently I was doing office work so my fitness level was barely adequate.

I enjoy golfing, downhill skiing, walking, hiking and reading.   I like adventure and the outdoors.   I have been taking golfing lessons with a colleague for over ten years. In the summer of 2013, our golf teaching professional suggested that if we worked on our core strength, our golf game might improve.   He suggested we get in touch with his friend Stephanie at Art of Fitness.   In the fall of 2013, I also committed to going with a group of 16 to fundraise for international development work. Our goal was to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa in July 2014.

So with golf and Kili in my sights, I began the journey at Art of Fitness. I got a lot more fit and lost 20 pounds before going to Africa. I summited Kili; got tired but never sore. This was due in great part to the training at the studio.

I have continued my new fitness regimen to this day. I now attend three times per week – two Pilates classes and a spin Yoga. I also wear a Fitbit 24/7 to give me feedback on exercise, heart rate, calorie burn, steps, etc.

I plan to continue strength and fitness exercises. It definitely helps my golf and skiing. As I ease into retirement I hope to do more golf and skiing, including more trips to the Canadian Rockies. I am now at a point where my body craves exercise and movement. I am grateful to Art of Fitness coaches for helping me fill that need.

The Potency of ‘just’ Being

Words are powerful. However – just for the record – lets remember that we make them up, along with all of the stories we then create around these words. But are they an expression of anything authentically our truth?

One of our greatest gifts is our imagination – to make things up. Just watch any child at ‘play’. This capacity was hard-wired for all of us when we arrived, created and creative. The rest is merely conditioning. Anything that removes us from a sense that life is wondrous, though not without the inevitable scrapes and bruises, is simply not our truth – merely inherited knowledge of what life ‘should’ be.

Create 
If your life isn’t working for you, check in with yourself and listen closely to the words you are telling yourself – both about yourself as well as about other. Take time to simply be with what is really happening – it takes courage to be vulnerable. But in being openly honest (vulnerability) with ourselves, we gain access to our only true power.

Do you ever wonder? Yes, simply just be with and muse, wonder, get Zen. It is like a cat merely resting languorously in the sun. Can you imagine if you were to establish a practice of ‘no word’ and just listen, without attachment, to the sound of silence? If there is speaking, still listen for the breaks in the flow of words. Like music, the meaning is established or discerned in the ‘no sound’ as much as in ‘the sound’.

Although words are powerful, it is equally true that the space of ‘no words’ or silence, or truly listening is also profound. We are always so busy – not only speaking or listening to others speak – that we too often forget to allow for the space of no words. Just listen.

Why do you make words mean so little or so much?

What might our world be like if we spent more time communing in silence and ‘listening’?

Begin

Light has a different quality at the beginning of day in the early winter morning than in summer. Have you noticed? Nature sounds different in spring than in winter – have you noticed? What is the sound of silence to you? There is beauty, magic in this kind of attention – an attention that does not rush in to describe, or worse, ignore altogether.

Words are powerful but so is the sound and healing presence of silence. Have you tried it?

 

                                             You, Darkness

                             You, darkness, that I come from

                             I love you more than all the fires

                           That fence in the world,

                           For the fire makes a circle of light for everyone

                           And then no one outside learns of you.

                           But the darkness pulls in everything-

 

This poem by Rainer Maria Rilke reminds me also of words, like the fires in this poem – and ‘no words’/silence – being like an enveloping darkness.

I love the melodies of words, ‘tis true. However, I fear that we miss the beauty that waits in silence. This is especially so if we get caught up in a mindless barrage of words, labels, and a need to be the gong or in a throng, absent of silence and listening.

What if we could speak mindfully, listen for the music, making space for, at the risk of being vulnerable, silence.

What if our true power – vulnerability – lays in our willingness to be with the no words, or silence as much as in the spoken words?

 

                   Silence sounds like the space between night and day,

                 The glance of love that needs no words,

                 The full moon rising over the lake,

                 The morning dew on the quiet grass,

                 The first rays of the new day’s sunlight,

                 A mystery too deep for words.

 

Forgive me…I believe this is a stanza from a poem by Mary Oliver; I neglected to cite its origin. But it is too beautiful to not close with the beckoning sounds of silence.

— Judith
Judithlharrison.com

Client Spotlight: Gloria Eby

Gloria comes into the Studio three times a week for reformer classes and a private session. We love her contagious spirit and curiosity of movement (and breathing!). She always puts her best foot forward, and inspires us to find ways to challenge her in movement. 

Gloria

Though I grew up very active (farm girl) I was never involved in sports (farm girl) and as an adult always felt too busy to exercise (full time work, children, volunteer work). And then in the last decade, there were four seniors who required untold hours of support. All I wanted to do when I had a moment was sit on the couch and watch TV or read.  In my early 40’s I joined a woman’s gym.   Who was I kidding.  I rarely got there and when I did I felt completely discouraged.   My peers there were 20 somethings and I had no idea what to do.   In my late 40s I took up Kung Fu.   I loved the fierceness and the discipline and I learned a lot but it was too much too late and unsustainable. I tried hiring a personal trainer to come to my home and design a weight training program for me to do myself.   You know how that went.

But in January 2017 I sent a letter to my family anticipating the year and in that moment I decided I needed to do something.   Spending so much time with seniors struggling with Parkinsons, Alzheimers and bad falls made me think hard about what I was doing to prepare myself for the years ahead.   And I wanted to be able to get off the floor fast enough to keep a lively granddaughter safe!

My husband discovered Art of Fitness three years earlier when he needed help to prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro.   He loved it.   But I don’t’ respond well to people telling me what to do. By the end of 2016 he had finally stopped telling me to try classes.   I decided to interview them.   If they were pushy, or intimidating … if I did not feel comfortable … I would move on. My first encounter went very well.  

I attend two classes and a private session every week.   I find it interesting, challenging, and surprising. I know a lot about a lot of things but I did not realize how important the brain is when exercising.   I did not know that I carried as much tension in my body as I do. (PJ asked me to take my tongue out of the roof of my mouth in my first session with her. I had no idea.) I did not know it was possible to breathe into my back. I am still learning how to breathe while holding an ab curl.

I love that my only goal is going to class and improving.   (Well privately I do hope that the saggy underarm skin improves but I don’t focus on that.)   I love that I just need to get to class and that if I do I will get stronger, my balance will improve and I will learn how to do things I could not do a year ago.    Somehow these very capable, congenial instructors know exactly how to push me just hard enough to keep me getting stronger AND more confident.   I continue to be amused by what I am doing and how enthused I am about it.   Amazing.

Mind Your Words: Body Mapping

Professionals who play the role of being your Guide Through Movement (Pilates, Yoga, Functional Fitness, etc …) use a third person perspective of observing your body from the outside WHILE using our words to construct a narrative that gives you the opportunity to perceive yourself from the inside.

In doing this, we focus your awareness, we create an opportunity for you to practice the skill of conscious attention.

Body Mapping

BODY MAPPING IS INTENTIONAL RELEASE WORK

Conscious Attention: what’s in it for you?

Improvement of your overall body function. Avoid the stress your day to day activities (which include working out) creates in your body resulting in habitual movement patterns that do not serve you. Once a movement crosses into the habitual realm you are giving up voluntary control. Involuntary conditioning decreases your body function or potential function, it lays the ground work for chronic ailments, dysfunctions and leaves you with a rigid body.

Body mapping, intentional release work, creates a space for learning. This learning expands your range of action and your perception of available action, resulting in a greater range of movement, strength and ability. If the skill of conscious attention during movement (sensory-motor system) is practiced through out your life time you have opportunity to avoid the habituating effects of stress.

Two of the ‘guru’s’ of these methods are:

Thomas Hannah: Clinical Somatic Education

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais: Feldenkrais Method

At KW Art of Fitness our base of this concept is drawn from Integrated Movement Therapies (IMT)®, from the Pilates educator Second Wind Pilates Plus, Danielle LeBlanc.

But I just want to feel my “core work”?

Oh you will.

BUT

You must also be willing to first address the practice of perceiving minimal sensation, minimal movement – thus creating new sensory feedback, new clarity of movement. The unknown becomes the known. Undiscovered opportunity of functional strength becomes discovered and you will have access to voluntarily eliciting effortless effort.

So, how do I do this thing called body mapping?

It all starts with breath, YUP … breathing again ….

and IMAGINATION ….

Cortical Activity During Learning

Movement, Imagery, Active Increase …

Our thinking directs our movements. Your imagination (mental pictures) will cause the deep muscles to come into action.  This conscious access to your body is underneath the superficial layers of muscle. Therefore, you will not feel them work in the traditional sense. If, in fact, you get a work sensation then you are doing, not thinking (imagination), thus defeating the purpose.

At our studio we intentionally drop in moments during your time with us to search out these body mapping opportunities. Sometimes we make it obvious, while other times we sneak it in ….

Learn more about how we specifically create these opportunities for you to explore this world of voluntary consciousness through body mapping.

Join us for the workshop: Stretch for Strength, Release for Range.

Thursday, November 29 from 5:15 – 7 p.m.

We are also running the same workshop for movement professionals, which will dive into cuing (using your words) to help elicit this idea in people whom you are guiding others.

Saturday, November 24 from 10 – 11:45 a.m.

Pilates, Yoga, Cross Fit, Strength Conditioning …

Call your pursuit of fitness and function by whichever label suits; just remember your pursuit will be better served if you take the time to also potentiate your efforts exerted by learning voluntary control (fluid, responsive, supple, efficient movement) – Body Mapping …

Life by Design: Reading a Script or Being a Story

“The achiever’s shadow is addiction to winning, fuelled by the never-ending desire for more. Underneath, s/he has an even stronger fear of losing.”

P. 121, The Soul of Leadership, Deepak Chopra.

Life By Design

If we choose to never fail, we are guaranteed to fail to grow and fully own the authorship of the life we have been given. 

Remember how Stephanie referred to cueing as story?  And, remember how, in a previous blog I talked about the malaise of “MORE”? How does our story deliver as relational and not just more noise? And, what is the space you have available for the more? What if there is only so much available space for more and it is being taken up by spam – like an inbox intruder? 

A great deal of what runs our lives is constantly running in the background – endless loops of old tapes that have gathered over the years of our growing up/socializing process. These ‘tapes’ include our perceptions, beliefs, fears, expectations, judgments and so much more. Without even realizing, unless we bring them into our conscious awareness, “They are running the show. So…who or what is in the drivers’ seat of your vehicle – this thing you call your life.

Question: can we call it life and living if the lights are on and nobody is home?

What I mean by this is all those times we are running on autopilot. You know…when you arrive somewhere and don’t know how you got thereJ Granted, this can happen from time to time; but what if this is your norm? I say that if you aren’t taking a few calculated risks, and living on the edge (outside your comfort zone), you are taking up too much space. It is a choice; no judgments…but, there is the question of what do you want your life to be at the mercy of – automatic-itis or committed, conscious choices?

Would you prefer a life by default or a Life by design?

It is a little bit like fitness. If you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish and WHY, are you really getting fit? And what qualifies as a fit life? Perhaps what we really need to do is simply ask more questions and dare to live the questions for a fuller presence inside the choices we make. See Rainer Maria Rilke – Click Here.

Own your body, free your mind! Dare to ask the better questions.

It is our predetermined programming that imposes judgments and ‘should(s)’ (read: absence of true choice), rather than thoughtful reflections and authentic choice. From Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl says:

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.”

This is where emotional agility resides. Things become increasingly complicated when we either forget we have a choice, or we don’t believe we have one – life on automatic pilot.

To ensure your version of a ‘designer life,’ why not consider a session with a “Guide to All Things Great” ©, or a review of your core fitness beliefs with a coach at the KW Art of Fitness!