January 31, 2016
Recipe: Brussels Sprout Pasta
If someone asked you to name your 5 least favorite vegetables, what would you say? For many people, like myself and my son, I bet brussels sprouts would definitely make that list. All that changed after eating dinner at my sister’s house one night. She served a brussels sprout pasta that both me and my son gobbled up!
Hope you will enjoy it too!
Brussels Sprout Pasta
- 1 lb brussels sprouts
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 6 tbsp EVOO
- 1/4 cup sliced shallots
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts (or almonds), chopped (can use the food processor)
- 1 cup grated pecorino romano (my son loved it with Parmesan as well)
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1. Shred brussels sprouts in a food processor with a slicing blade. Set aside.
2. Bring pot of salted water to a boil and add spaghetti. Cook 8 minutes, drain and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Stir in shallots and garlic; cook 2 minutes.
4. Mix in shredded Brussels sprouts; cook 4 minutes.
5. Using tongs, add spaghetti to skillet. Stir in pasta water, hazelnuts, salt (optional), freshly cracked pepper, and 3/4 cup Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
6. Toss well. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
(photo by French Revolution Food Blog)
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January 28, 2016
To Sock or Not to Sock
Open up almost any fitness magazine and you will see an ad for socks – dri-fit, compression, no-show, non-slip, etc. It seems there is a sock for almost every sport! In fact, more and more studios are beginning to require clients to wear non-slip socks during classes. What is this new sock trend all about? Here is the scoop on non-slip socks:
First, wearing non-slip socks is for safety. Studios do not want clients to slip and fall during a Pilates or a Barre class. Once you start to sweat, your feet can slip on the floor or on the equipment. This could lead to big injuries. Traditional athletic socks can be very slippery on wood floors, gym floors, and Pilates equipment. Non-slip socks provide more grip and traction on slippery surfaces.
Another reason for wearing those non-slip socks is hygiene. Let’s face it, our feet sweat. When you are in the middle of an intense barre, yoga, or Pilates class, you are sweating… that means your feet are sweating too! Think of how many places and things your feet have come in contact with during any given day! Less germs spread around means healthier – and happier- students!
So, embrace the sock revolution! With so many varieties out there, you can choose one that fits you perfectly. Some styles feature a sock-like fit, others cover each toe like a glove, some cover the foot but leave the toes open (think of the 80’s fingerless gloves – but for your feet), and others even have a padding on the bottom of your foot for extra comfort during barre and dance classes. Pick out the style and the color you love best, put on your favorite Splits59 outfit, head out to class with a smile on your face, and put your best foot – or sock – forward!
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January 21, 2016
Foam Rolling Techniques For The Lower Body
Self-myofascial release is a type of stretching technique that helps correct muscle imbalances, relax and reduce “knots” in the body, and prevents overactive muscles. Simply by adding slight body weight on a foam roller and rolling over the tender spot for a minimum of 30 seconds. This will allow for the “knotted” muscle fibers to relax. Self-myofascial release (SMR) can be used for pre or post workout.
Since leg day is an important day in a workout program. I leave you all with 5 foam rolling techniques for the lower body. Keep in mind SMR can be done with other types of products such as: handball, softball, baseball, trigger point therapy tools and more.
Lie on one side, lengthen the bottom leg and cross the top leg over lower. Slowly roll from hip to above the knee.
Adductor (inner thigh)
Lie face down with leg flexes and opened out, and roll in the groin area on the inner thigh.
Pirformis ( glute area)
Sit on top of the roller, cross one foot over the opposite leg( Figure 4) . Now lean into the hip/glute of the crossed leg.
Lie facing down with legs lengthen and roll from hips to slightly above the knee.
Place foam roller underneath the hamstrings with legs straighten, place your palms on the ground by the hips and lift yourself slightly up and now roll from underneath the glutes to the bend of the legs.
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January 14, 2016
Finding the perfect pair of athletic shoes
Just like your perfect workout outfit, your perfect pair of athletic shoes don’t have to be hard to find. Start by answering these 3 questions and then you will be on the road to shoe heaven:
- What activities am I going to do in these shoes? Shoes are designed for a specific activity in mind. The styles, fabrics, weight, and cushion vary depending on the activity performed while wearing the shoe. Will you be running, playing tennis, golfing, mountain climbing, or running errands? Choose a shoe made for your type of work outs.
- What type of gait do I have? Shoes have become more sophisticated over the last decade and they are designed with different gaits (or how you walk) in mind. Whether your ankles roll in or roll out, you have high arches or flat, there is a shoe to help balance that out. Many stores offer a free gait analysis. They take a video of you walking, analyze it, and then make recommendations for you based on your gait. I had this done a few years ago and it surprised me! I was wearing the opposite type of shoe for my gait. I changed up my shoes and found I had less foot pain!
- How does the shoe feel when I put it on? This is sort of like Cinderella here – you will know if the shoe fits and is comfortable as soon as you put it on. If your feet hurt after wearing them for 2-3 minutes or you can’t imagine walking to your car in these shoes, they are not the right ones for you.
Hopefully, having these 3 things to consider will help you find your favorite pair of athletic/tennis shoes. Happy shoe shopping!
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January 10, 2016
Pilates For Anxiety
I have struggled with having anxiety my entire life. Whether it excitement, stress, worry or fear,- I feel like I have dealt with every form of anxiousness there is. Growing up and in school lot of times my anxiety was misinterpreted as ADHD- but in fact I just have a hard time focusing because my mind is constantly working. I seldom sleep and when I do, my brain is always chasing a dream or thought. Pilates has been a great way for me to not only cope with my anxiety as a release but also as a way to train my brain to stay focused on on the task at hand, and not let my mind wonder into a manic dreamland.
One of my favorite basic Pilates exercises I like to do to begin my practice when I am feeling anxious is basic “breathing.” Starting with my knees bent, feet planted and palms facing up, I like to imagine that on each breath my lungs fill up and on the exhale all the muscles around them come into place with emphasis on powerhouse engagement. This really helps to set focus and intent, and gives my shoulders(I have shoulder unevenness that has resulted in a slight mechanical scoliosis) a good starting position in knowing everything is in it’s proper place. Staying in control is key in Pilates, not only by staying connected to your powerhouse, but staying in control of your mental focus as well. Using deep imagery helps focus on the task at hand always, and utilizing this simple tool can help when anxiety starts to take over in everyday life.
I think the key to dealing with anxiety is being able to control the manic part of the brain when it starts to race and wonder into thoughts…Pilates helps connect your mind to your body. This can give you awareness and control, even over your emotions if practiced often. I find that once you finish your Pilates practice after a anxious event it is almost as though your mind comes out of the fog and you are clear headed again. Pilates is a great way to not only stay physically healthy, but mentally as well.
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