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Happy Holy-Days

Rachel Rubin

For the first time in my life I am connecting with the true essence of the holiday season. My daughter is 3 now and fully understands the world around her and is speaking of the holidays as the special time it is made to be. This gets me all sentimental and has resulted in the opening of my resistance to the hoopla. See I'm Jewish and when I was young we wouldn't celebrate Christmas. So this time of year would roll around and I would beautifully celebrate Hanukkah but not pay much attention to the cheer of xmas and the man in the suit. But now, now I have new perspective. Now I see the big picture. Now I see the purpose. 

Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, whatever you celebrate, they are times in our lives to stop and be present. Not get presents. But be present. Put the hustle and bustle of our daily world in the background to just be here and now with the ones we love, and with ourselves. We've strayed too far from this, so focused on the excess of getting and giving and decorating, with things. When the real place that wants to feel the exchange of love and joy is the heart and soul, with warmth and presence and true gratitude. So I offer you a shift in perspective to not stress about the stuff and instead show up with just who you are and offer all of that, to all you love.

I also think about the history and what we know of each holiday. Of the eight days and nights of light, of Jesus, of Santa. The stories. These are all just stories. Not to say without truth. But in truth are written and told accounts passed through generations, cultures, eras of time, to get to us as they are now. Instead of approaching these with disbelief (as I personally used to), we can honor their existence as a powerful part of evolution. Story telling is the fuel to our evolving. It is the beautifully intelligent, natural way for us humans to connect the dots. To share, to express, to perpetuate life. So how special is this time of year then for all to come together in celebration of that. Of the power of our stories. I invite you to take this time with your family to open and share, hold space and listen, to each other and what is impactful or meaningful in your life. Hold the space for each other to express your story and contribute your part to the evolution of your family and our world collectively. 

And finally I feel this time of year appropriately falls at the end of one and the beginning of the next. The perfect time for a pause. A time to reflect on the year behind. How you grew, who you became, how things changed, what you accomplished, what also may not have realized in your life. To pause and look back at your reel in review. Give yourself this time. A year is a big span where lots can change. Do you take advantage of this or do you go on everyday the same. Pause and let yourself think deeper. Creating this depth will help create purpose for the coming year. Think about, and feel in your body, what you want next year to be like. What do you want to do, how do you want to feel, what do you want to change, how can you grow. Begin the process of embodying who this self is.

So now is the time for reflection and conception. A time to be present for yourself and those around you. A time to give from your heart. A time to heal. A time to believe. To believe in the power of story and of your story. To believe in these days as holy, as they are. And to transfer that to each and every day of your existence. As this life is holy and so beautiful to live and share with all.  Happy Holidays my friends. 

Whole Body at Whole Foods

Rachel Rubin

When we think of Whole Foods we think organic, healthy food. We're drawn to shop there because we know we're getting the best possible nutrition sources for our selves. It's beautiful to know we now have the awareness to want to take care of our bodies to the best of our ability and we have a place and community like Whole Foods to support us.

Whole Foods takes the one stop shop for wellness to the next level and it's time we educate on all of their offerings. Whole Body is their department that provides care for every part of you and your family. From the best products for your skin and systems, to the best care for your kids needs and an abundance of goodies to decorate your home and enlighten your life in all areas. Their mission is to provide you with the highest quality and most naturally clean and safe options for every part of your healthy lifestyle.

What sets the Whole Body experience apart from buying products elsewhere is the delightfully educated specialists that are eager to guide you in purchasing the products that match your needs. Not only will you leave with your essential items but you will gain a greater knowledge and understanding of how to take care of yourself better.  

So remember, you need more than just the best quality food to nourish and tend to yourself right, and Whole Foods has it all!! Check it out next time you're there! And go shopping this Black Friday for their awesome 25% SALE and treat yourself and the ones you're grateful for with some Whole Body goodies.

Some of my absolute favorite Whole Body products are the pure oils that naturally work with your body to remedy so many conditions. Like this lavender I use on my child's feet to sooth her soul before bed. For the little ones (and you!) I also love their collection of Burt's Bees products and clothing that guarantees pesticide free products and anti child labor manufacturing. I also just discovered this Aztec Healing Clay mask and Yes! it rid of my black heads and rejuvenated my skin in just 10 mins and for only $7! My go-to whenever I'm in Whole Foods is to check out what fresh salts and scrubs they have that are made in house! I love tossing them in the tub for myself, and my little one loves to throw them in too. They revitalize your senses and the scrubs feel amazing! 

Go find your new favorite must have products at your Whole Body now!! Educate and have fun while making your body healthy inside and out!! 

The New Look of New Balance

Rachel Rubin

Check your mailbox!! New Balance is delivering to your door step the beautifully inspired display of their new look and new line of the freshest fitness attire out there. And they want you to see it first!

Since working with New Balance I am completely converted. The sneaks are by far the most supportive and comfortable I have ever worn. And I am a sneaker addict! I can never choose which to wear because I love them all so much! Their footwear lines span from outdoor, training to studio and causal lifestyle. So you can get comfort and control all the time!

Taking it to the next level, New Balance created the most flattering and functional fitness apparel that are perfect for both sweating it up and wearing out anywhere. Comfortable for all day! Plus look at the vibrant color combos and the beautiful, classic cuts and patterns. This line is sure to fit you right and flatter your form as you get fit for life. 

Join me and experience what New Balance is all about. They're here to support you and your goals and don you with the confidence to conquer the world! Transform your life and empower your performance with New Balance!

New Balance Girls Night Out NYC

Rachel Rubin

Oh what a night!! Wow Girls Night Out was such a blast!! 

New Balance is majorly redefining what it means to get fit and social! Gathering women all looking for a great workout and a good time, and giving them the experience they need. I was blown away by the brilliance of this bash and so excited to host the fun!

This Girls Night Out at the 5th Ave store in NYC was all about Body Breakthroughs! This concept is based on the idea that we all hit plateaus in our life and we all look for ways to take our Mind, Body and Spirit to the next level. Jacey Thomas and Danielle DeAngelo, of The Sports Barre in Jersey City, led the ladies in their signature breakthrough barre workout, which I heard was so energetically awesome! Me and some amazing New Balance team members led the other women on a fun run down 5th Ave to Washington Square Park where we did some relays and warmed up from the cold. Everyone really sweat it out and had a blast together getting our workout on!!

After exercising we enjoyed yummy healthy food and some bubbly from the bar and all hit the dance floor hard to beats by DJ Brek One. A dance party in sneakers!! Yes!! Such a blast. Each lady also left with a swag bag filled with New Balance gear and MIO Skincare products to keep you fresh during your fitness. 

Throughout the night myself and the girls from The Sports Barre shared our Body Breakthroughs. Jacey and Danielle talked about the hard work and commitment it takes to reach your goals. As former Rockettes they really know what that's all about! I shared with the women about the importance of the mind body connection while exercising and that you can reach your potential by connecting with your movement and not just going through the motion. And I wanted the ladies to know how important loving yourself is :) Being patient with the process of getting and staying fit and being kind to yourself and embracing your uniqueness. 

We all agreed that finding a group of supportive, energetic women is the ultimate Body Breakthrough! Surrounding yourself with people that push themselves and commit to being better and having fun at the same time is what drives us all as a community and makes us feel alive! That's why we are so grateful for New Balance and the Girls Night Out team for creating this amazing experience for us all to connect with each other and ourselves more deeply! Such a spectacular event! So awesome being with everyone! Can't wait for the next!! #NBGNO

Stay tuned for upcoming NYC and Philly Girls Night Out events!!

 

Connecting to Our Earth

Rachel Rubin

There's something about connecting to the Earth that makes us feel alive. Whether it's sinking our feet into the grass or diving into the ocean, touching the natural elements is an important part of being human.

I noticed that living up north we are bunkered down inside for months straight. We cover our skin from the cold and sink our feet into our Uggs. I decided through these last winter months that it's part of what contributes to our feeling icky, bummed out or unmotivated. Not feeling the energy of the sun or exposing our parts to the Earth can really take effect on our mental, emotional and physical well being. Symptoms and sickness show themselves as signs our body is yearning for this core connection.

It's this fundamental factor of being connected that I believe keeps us going. I compare us humans to other living things too, such as plants and animals. In the winter they are bare, they hibernate. We're made of the same matter. It only makes sense that we then naturally do the same. The only issue is that we're expected to function daily and perform on higher levels than conditions allow. 

I also realize the thought that we are a society built on our material possessions now. We stay inside with our heaters on. Cover ourselves with coats and blankets. Even in the warm days, we use sun block, wear sandals, rely on our air conditioning. Yes we are so fortunate to have these things to keep us more comfortable but they actually do create separation for us from our natural habitat and conditions. We don't realize that this drives us further away from our true essence and funks us up. 

So all I suggest (for myself and all) is to expose yourself as much as possible to the pure properties of the planet. Sit in the sunlight through your window. Play in the snow. Dance in the rain. Run in the cold. Smell the flowers. Sit under a tree. Put your feet in the sand. Do what you can to feel the elements and connect to natural materials. We are of the Earth so it sensibly equates that we must feed this connection to fuel our selves and keep us thriving. It will simply create more joy and fulfillment in your self and your life. Your mind, body and spirit need it and will thank you :)

Mommy and Me Yoga

Rachel Rubin

My little boo surprised me at the end of class today :) She loves jumping right in to whatever Mommy's doing so I thought I'd set up the camera and see what she does! Impromptu movement sessions are awesome for getting your child in their body and having fun! Here's a few basic yoga moves that you can work on with your little one.

Remember to help them by identifying their body parts and being hands on. This really helps develop their mind body connection. First get them on their belly for cobra position. Hold each position for about 30 secs. Now transition into childs pose by pressing up on your knees and sitting back on your heels. Again guide them through it! Now tuck toes under and press into downward dog. This pose seems like a natural kid favorite! Add a little leg lift at the end too if they're really going for it. Walk your hands into your feet and finish with a gentle forward fold. 

This is a great yoga combo to do yourself and with you little one on the regular!

Have Your Own Dance Party!

Rachel Rubin

So many times when I go to tape a fitness video I put on my favorite song of the moment and immediately get lost in it and start grooving. It just feels so good! And I'm all about doing anything that makes me feel good! This post is literally to inspire you to put on your fave jam and totally let loose and have some fun. With yourself! When you're feeling low or tired or in a funk, dancing is the cure. It's been since the beginning of time. You can make a beat with your mouth, hands or feet, that's how much rhythm is a part of our being. It taps into the deepest part of us. To our soul. Watch any child. Before they can even walk or talk, they bounce and move to a beat. Music hits that chord. That chord of love. It's our purest programming. Our foundational flow. So I prompt you to tap into that. By yourself. With yourself. Move however it makes you feel. No shame, no judgement. Just you and your body doing whatever it feels. Your mind, body, soul and spirit will thank you :) xo

The Gift of Pain

Rachel Rubin

Pain is the driving force for us as humans. We are wired with this self destructive thought and behavior process that tends to control our existence. In recognizing the play of this crazy game we can channel the grace that lies within it.

When we think of pain either we can place blame on a specific cause or we sense an overwhelming feeling that comes from some form of lack or suppression that we can't quite identify. I learned that there are four types of pain playing out in our human lives.

The obvious one that we all use to create the illusion of making life easier is the avoidance of pain. We believe that if we do not acknowledge the hurt we feel somewhere inside that we can pretend it does not exist. Actually what we are really doing is shoving it down. Layer upon layer building up thick, unexpressed suppressed emotion. Remember again that this is only natural. One way of our dealing. Imagine though that by gently and courageously bringing our attention to these layers, we melt them away. Strip them one by one, uncovering what could be that flowing water under all the rigid rocks and dirt. Bringing your awareness to the pain to actually free yourself from it. Acknowledging its presence. All of a sudden then having a sense of clarity around it. Not holding onto it. Not letting it define you. Just saying Hi I acknowledge you as part of my existence or past and I can visit you now and then but you are not me. You are just a building block to the story I am writing. I needed you to be where I am now. I can learn from the hurt I felt from you. I can be with that pain, to know and express my feelings around it. And for it to be ok to do so. To release that built up energy around the stuffing of pain is incredibly freeing. And the truth is you can not feel that unless you feel the pain. So think of it this way, in order to feel the freedom from the pain you have to be present with it.

Another way we deal with pain is to try to manage it. This is the trick of the intelligent mind. Trying to be our protector but instead being our destructor. We like to situationally talk ourselves out of feeling whatever it is that seems too much to bear. For example if you hate your job you may say “well at least I have a job and I make x amount of dollars”. When actually you are miserable and your stress is unbearable surrounding it but you attempt to manage that underlying feeling that you know you need change. The trick of the mind is that it makes us believe that it is easier to stay in our managed misery than it is to obstruct our current patterns. The truth however is that by acknowledging this and being with it we can free ourselves from that pattern. The change is actually liberating to the self. Freeing of the stress and cause of the pain. The self now has the space to find what it is that is more agreeable and fulfilling for your highest functioning.

More prevalent now in our society of competition and comparison is our pain existing in form as not enough progress. We live in the future or outside of ourselves in what we believe should be our lives now. This lack of living in the present genuinely causes pain in people. Our culture is one of immediate and outward gratification that we lose the safety and beauty of being who we are and where we are in life at the present moment. Imagine that by consistently acknowledging the what is and assuring yourself that all will play out as it should as long as you have focus on your true desired outcome, could melt away the pain around the illusion of progress. The love that lies in real time. In acceptance of now.

The last type of pain is tricky for most of us. It is the pain in not knowing your purpose. Again society has impacted this pain heavily. Our culture complicates our precious existence. The truth to purpose is in love. Of yourself and others. In honoring yourself in the now and honoring our connectedness as one. Thus purpose being a loving light that shines for yourself and those around you. Emitting your vibration onto this planet of one thats positive and productive for the collective in whatever form that is right for you. Whether it's being a loving mother to your children or saving the whales. Serving your simple yet sound purpose that resonates with your deepest knowing will beautifully release the pressure of performing in a way that is not aligned with your true self. Have the trust in your soul that it will guide you and reveal to you what it is you are here on this planet to contribute. Sit with it and allow it to be what is.

So keep this remembrance with you when you feel pain in whatever form – What has been repressed will eventually need to be expressed. Our consciousness is conditioned with life experience so whatever it is that causes the pain will actually not go away until we acknowledge it. Shift your awareness to it and just allow yourself to be present with it. That will then shift its presence in your life from that of past pain to that of a present and even greater future gift.

It Starts in Your Mind

Rachel Rubin

I love getting new beings in class because I love watching each person hit new levels of growth to realize their full potential. Each is unique to their own bodies and obstacles but my basic approach to healing is the same for all.  Starts with the mind, translates into the body and transcends to spirit. My mission is to hold the hand of each person that shows up and to guide them through the process of getting fit for life.

When people come to me they expect only fitness. Goals based on losing weight, gaining strength, managing pain and all things alike. But what I've discovered is most want to go straight for the goal. This isn't their fault because our society is so goal oriented that we tend to ignore the process. As we've adapted to this way, we've actually lost sight of the steps to attaining what it is we desire. The ultimate really for all is living a healthy strong happy life. 

Most believe this is as simple as attending and performing a fitness class or regimen. And I so appreciate that motivation. But most forget the foundation of it all. This is where I like to connect. Connect each with the awareness that it all begins with your state of mind. Your understanding that you must be conscious of your thoughts and behaviors, patterns and movement. Our amazing intelligence can both positively control our lives or hinder them. It is up to us to make that choice. Here's the realization I have come to: most are completely unconsciousness of this control.

When someone steps into my class, it is not just my purpose to take them through a great workout, but I've recognized my desire and purpose to awaken their minds. Start their process. Set a light off. Pop their bubble. Clear some clutter. Start fresh. Fresh perspective on that reaching their goal is not a simple, straight forward process and is not actually directly related to anything specific such as an injury or a number on a scale. It is all about the process and it all begins with the mind.

Believing in yourself and your power. Being encouraging and gentle with your thoughts. Strong in your will. Consistent with your aim. Loving with your words. Conscious in how you are thinking, feeling, directing your emotions. Conscious of your body. Your connection with its needs and wants. Conscious of your consumption: your fuel intake, the company you keep, the toxicity in your life. Conscious of controlling these aspects. Conscious of being in command. Conscious that this is all a process and all we have is time. Change. Life. Conscious of the love it takes from your self. For yourself. Start your process with your mind and you body, soul and spirit will thank you with a much more fulfilled and precious life. 

 

Intro to the Idea of Energy Care

Rachel Rubin

I've been immersed this past year in connecting with energy. Recognizing that all living things are energetic beings. Made up of mere molecules. Malleable. Constantly moving and shaping. Constantly absorbing and affected. Constantly affecting. We are energetic beings in a physical world. We have lost our connection with the very existence of us on the Earth and I am making it my mission to reconnect us all with ourselves and all other energy around us. It is time...

I made this video a few months ago but I want to share it now. This is just the beginning for me of shedding Light on the idea that we must focus on caring for this part of us and our world in order to feel pure consciousness, joy and connection to this life. Much more to come... :)

More About Jody and what she does:

Jody is blessed with the gift of connecting with you in such a way that ultimately makes you feel better. Better as in clearer, lighter, brighter. Better as in more aware, more conscious and more in control of you and your environment. She makes you feel more. More happiness, more awake, more alive. Jody measures and manipulates life on the frequency of energy. This field is everything. It is what all living things are made of and is what controls our existence. 

Jody will explain this to you herself if you are interested but I think it's important I lay down the groundwork for your experience so you maybe feel more comfortable to step into the unknown. Your session with Jody is remote. Meaning you lay peacefully in your own home and she accesses your aura from where she is. Sounds interesting right? Because it is. Awesomely interesting :) Check out Jody's website to connect with her and learn more! www.jodyjae.com

Range of Motion

Rachel Rubin

One of my main principles of focus for strength and movement is Range of Motion. Your body is designed in a specific way for you to function healthy, freely, and without pain, in life. Over time without regular dynamic activity and constant static positioning (sitting, sleeping), our range of motion decreases as our muscle mass and memory decline. Also excessive repetitive movement such as cycling and running, tend to hold joints in specific patterns and limit range of motion as well.  So no matter what your conditioning level is, it's always important to devote time and energy to your body's flexibility in order to live with ease and comfort throughout life.

Here's a basic stretch routine. I love to stretch out after a nice intense workout. My muscles are warm and heated and I'm ready to relax and focus inward on my breath and flexibility. Practice regularly :)

Power Glide Workout

Rachel Rubin

I am so pumped up from what was created in class today. There are times when I will get in such a zone that I feel out and actually create a workout. Nothing I've really ever seen before, but always built on one thing... Using your entire body to move and challenge functional, foundational strength. 

I went for my rags today to switch it up from kettlebells, but my mind didn't pick up 1 rag, instead I grabbed 4. I envisioned and planned to execute a total hour workout using gliding power and strength from each extremity. It was awesome!! Incredibly challenging, yet incredibly rewarding for connecting with your mind, body and spirit and performing a kick ass exercise routine. Was so proud of my girls for showing up as they always do to play around with me!

When I sat down to edit this video and think about what to name this workout it came to me... it doesn't need a label. I really don't like labels for much of anything! Because it is not about what it's called, it's about what it is. Total body movement that builds a fit form to function best in life. This workout just so happens to also be killer challenging which seems to be the theme for me as I always push the limits ;) So grab yourself some rags or whatever glides and power up your exercise routine with this ridiculous total body and core blasting workout. Get it! 

Try each of these 4 exercises how ever many times you want to challenge your core and blast your total body!

1. Start on all fours with rags under both your hands (under shoulders) and feet, body in a straight strong line. Glide and pull your feet in with your core, knees to chest. Then glide your hands back out to your strong starting position. 

2. Start with rags under all fours and body in a straight strong line. Glide your opposite hand and foot up at the same time, and follow with your other hand and foot. As if you are crawling across the floor!

3. Turn to the side. Start with rags under all fours and body in a straight strong line.  Lead out to the side with your same hand and foot. Pull your other hand and foot in to meet at starting position.

4. Circles with each extremity! Start by gliding one hand up over head and out in a circle to the side, finishing back under your chest. Follow by gliding one foot up, knee to chest, and guiding your leg out in a circle back to starting position. Remember to use your core to control your movement! Hit each of the 4 points. Perform till you can't do anymore!

 

 

Fear

Rachel Rubin

Fear. It comes in all forms. Most you don't know about. Most masked as insecurity, uncertainty and the unknown. The base of fear is an uneasy feeling that controls impulses and behavior. Recognizing what aspects of your life are fear based helps to overcome what dimensions scare you. What do you not believe you are capable of? What will hurt you? Or hold you back? Are you afraid of "failing"? Look at it with perspective. Ask yourself, Why am I afraid? What is stopping you? 

Because it is all an illusion. There is no real reason to fear. The reasons are nothing but manifestations of comfort zones you've developed throughout your life. These are ways you cope, your habits, routines, thought patterns. All created to keep you feeling "safe". All of your desires outside of these processes are kept as desires because of fear. Fear keeps you from obtaining your purest and greatest truth.

Fear shows itself every day as excuses and insecurities. You tell yourself you can't, or you don't want to, or you aren't. It's too hard, what will so and so say. These are the barriers of fear.

Face them. Realize you are limiting your own potential. Realize there is nothing to be afraid of. Once you recognize these forms of fear, your mind opens, your body awakens, your aura wall cracks. The light comes in. You feel a shift and realize you have control. These fears are here for growth. Face that feeling openly and tell yourself that you will go through it. On the other side is fulfillment. Of your desires, reality and personal strength.

Family Recipe - Crab Cakes

Rachel Rubin

If there's something I know, it's that what you learned at home growing up stays with you and my mothers cooking is definitely one of those things :) When it comes to these recipes I make them with love and don't worry so much about using a small amount of not-so-great-for-you ingredients (like mayo). As long as you are consciously cooking and consuming, then what you make in the kitchen should be enjoyed :)

Here's an awesome, simple Crab Cake Recipe:

1/3 cracker crumbs (crushed in a bag) - I use Oyster Crackers

1 egg lightly beaten

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp. dijon mustard

1 tbsp mayo

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 lb lump crab meat 

Few drops tabasco

Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together with a fork. Form together in 6 cakes. Lay on wax paper over a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least an hour. In a medium/large pan combine butter and oil on medium heat. Cook a few at a time on each side until lightly browned. You can place a sheet of foil over to keep from splattering ;)

I paired these with honestly The Best Asparagus I ever made so I have to share too!

Bunch of asparagus

1 tbsp almond oil

Zest of 1 lemon minced (zest lemon skin with food peeler)

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & Pepper

Wash and cut ends of asparagus stems. Whisk all ingredients and pour over asparagus. Spread evenly and spread asparagus evenly on baking sheet. Roast on 400 for 20 mins.

ENJOY! 


How To Foam Roll

Rachel Rubin

Exercise isn't about how intense your workout is, how much you sweat or how many calories you burn. It's about how your body feels. Not just how strong, but how pain free you are. Therefore your fierce fitness needs to be balanced with a good recovery routine. Foam rolling is an easy and efficient way to manage pain and help restore your bodys musculoskeletal system. The concept is essentially self massage. You are kneading your muscles and tendons to help relax them and bring them to a comfortable, functional state.

It's important to recognize that pain you feel in some parts of your body is not directly connected to that area, and is actually linked to tightness or weakness in another part. Foam rolling works out your larger, dominant muscles such as your upper back and legs, to help relieve pain in auxiliary parts such as your lower back and knees. So make sure you hit each area and not just focus directly where your pain is.

Foam rolling is actually great core exercise too. It helps develop balance and control strength as you move slowly and stabilize your body. You will see and feel all of these results as you practice and get comfortable with the movements. 

Here's a video of basic foam rolling exercises. Develop a healthy habit for this awesome feel good functional tool. I've been using it regularly for years and I know how good it keeps my body feeling. Get rolling! :)

Fit Ball Workout with a Friend!

Rachel Rubin

Excited to share with you an awesome complete total body workout with an exercise ball. I'm always teaching with kettlebells so when I get a chance to pick up another favorite tool I love to get creative and get my body moving in different ways. And it's always more fun to sweat with a friend!

An exercise ball is awesome for targeting your small balance muscles that provide you with your foundational, functional life long strength. Feel how challenging this is for your core and your stability and feel how you must engage your every muscle in every move. Go grab a friend and a ball and get moving!

 

Perform this workout 3x through.

1. Glute Roll Out: Legs out straight. Heels on the ball. Lift your hips and roll the ball in onto your flat feet. Keep your hips up and abs in as you roll the ball back out. x10

2. Glute Bridge: Roll the ball in like you did with the last exercise. Now hinge and drop your hips to the ground and then extend them all the way up. x10

3. Ball Squat: Take a strong squat position. Hold the ball in front of you. Keep your neck relaxed, chest flexed and belly button sucked in tight to your spine. x10

4. Ball Lift: Take you ball squat and now lift the ball up over head as your squat down deep. Use your shoulders and core to lift the ball. x10

5. Ball Chop: Gripping the ball still, lower it to one hip as you squat naturally. Lift it up high and drop it to the other side. Alternate sides for 30 secs.

6. Pikes: Start with your belly on the ball. Walk your body out with your hands into a strong plank position. Pike up at your hips, pull your core in and roll the ball in. Tuck your head under to increase your pike position. x10

7. Ball Pass: On your back, pass the ball from your hands to legs. Squeeze the ball with your legs as you lower and lift them to activate your core. 30 secs.

8. Walk Out Tuck: Start with your belly on the ball. Walk your body out with your hands to a strong straight position. Pull your knees and the ball into your chest. Walk yourself back out returning to starting position. Do 1 min.

Smoothies For Life

Rachel Rubin

In the last year or so I've been obsessed with smoothies. I get asked all the time about how to eat right and lose weight. It's a tricky answer because there is no one specific way that works for everyone. It's important to recognize that each persons lifestyle and schedule is different and not one things works for everyone. However, my answer now that is universal for all is Smoothies!

I'm so hooked because of the countless benefits. The main one is how easy it is to get the daily dose of what your body needs. It is so important that everyday you are ingesting the proper vitamins and nutrients to build immunity, fight disease and yes digest food properly to keep your weight healthy. Smoothies are a guaranteed quick way to get this boost. Combining multiple servings of fruit, veggies, grains and nuts all with compounds of protein, fat, carbs. All the simple, yet complex kinds that your body needs to keep healthy and functioning. The major plus too is the natural energy your body derives from these foods. You will literally feel great!

Here is a list of a few of my favorite combinations and some tips on how to make them most flavorful: 

Tips on making them Tasty:

- The best base is a banana or pineapple. It helps with the sweetness. Apples are ok too but not as sweet.

- Add some water and ice to help blend, cool and liquify.

- Squeeze a lemon or lime (or add the whole thing) to help the acidity and balance of the flavors of the ingredients.

- Use less veggies than fruit. With earthy veggies like beets, a small amount will do so the flavor doesn't over power.

- Other great leafy greens to use are of course spinach, collards and swiss chard.

- Micro greens like parsley, cilantro and sprouts are awesome for flavor and nutrient density. 

- Nuts and seeds are a great way to make your smoothies more filling and add good fats that your body needs. Use whatever you like!

- You can always add some yogurt too!

Happy Smoothie making!!! Enjoy the freshness you taste and feel all over!!

Create Your Own Meal

Rachel Rubin

Cooking is being creative with food. It's experimenting with what pairs well together, what flavors complement others and how much of one taste you prefer. The only way to really figure this out is to try yourself. Look what you have in your house already and find some inspiration for a satisfying wholesome meal. Tonight my ingredients were:

Chicken Breast

Mushrooms

Swiss Chard

Sweet Potatoes 

Brussel Sprouts

How I could combine these ingredients and add a few from the fridge was the task for dinner. I came up with ...

Mushroom and Swiss Chard Stuffed Chicken over Sweet Potato Brussel Sprout Hash

Chicken Roll Up:

Pound chicken breasts until less than 1/2 inch thick. Lay a large leaf of swiss chard to cover the chicken. Sprinkle cheese blend of your choice (I used mozzarella and asiago). Slice mushrooms and spread them out on top. Tuck one end of the chicken under tightly to begin rolling. Push all the stuffings under and in so everything is packed tightly. Stick two toothpicks through each side to keep together during cooking. 

Egg wash the outside of each roll up and sprinkle with panko crumbs. Heat butter and oil in a big pan and add roll ups. Cook each side through till brown, rotating 3-4 times. 

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Hash:

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut sweet potatoes in 1/2 pieces. 

Cut brussel sprouts so they are leafy and piecey. 

Finely chop 3 garlic cloves.

Mix together with almond oil, sprinkle salt and brown sugar.

Bake in oven for about 40 mins. Until brown and slightly crispy.

 

Plate and Enjoy!! Mmm!

 

 

Head Stands for Your Health

Rachel Rubin

Been dreaming of head stands on the beach since this weekend. Most of you that haven't tried one since you were a kid probably think it's impossible now or question why do it?! My favorite thing about a stand is the thought of how reenergizing it is for your body. All day every day our blood sits down because of gravity. When you stand on your head the blood flows up to points it works to reach regularly, gets a nice swirl all around, sends some extra flow to your face and brain, and gives your heart a little break. The benefits of practicing these regularly are bountiful for your mind and body and only naturally obtained through these movements. Even if you are afraid, or think you can't (which you can) give them a try. Find a friend to help and try with you! Start up against the wall for support. Keep your head tucked under and your weight lifted up and core activated doing the balancing work. Trust your ability and strength. Now hold it there and breathhh. Feel the flow!! It's invigorating.

Here's a complete list of the super body mind benefits of practicing head and hand stands. Read and turn your life and self upside down!

The Mind Body Connection

Rachel Rubin

Probably the most popular question I am asked is How?! How do I get a ... The answer is not a specific exercise or a type of workout or the amount of hours put in. The answer is the life changing development of your mind body connection. This is the key to taking your everything, mind, body and spirit to the next level. 

Your mind body connection is based on the concept that your mind is in control of your body and literally tells it what to do in order to create movement. When you want to take a step or reach for something, your mind sends a signal to your body to do it. Sounds simple yes. And it is. But unfortunately over time, and as we get older, we lose the ability to tap into this sense. We are so used to whatever regular actions and motions we take part in that our mind body connection begins to deteriorate. Instead of connecting with your movement, we are just going through the motion. This is detrimental to our strength and our selves. We lose touch with our capabilities and coordination and our mind slowly forgets that it is in control of our body. 

This mind body connection needs daily work and development. Tap into that part of you repeatedly and regularly to build its strength and function. In relation to exercise, this connection is what transcends the idea of a "workout". It takes you from going through the motion to connecting with and being the movement. 

While exercising you must be present. During each rep you must use your mind and actually tell your body what to do. Tell your body how to move, tell your body which muscles to contract, which part of you to lift, where to initiate movement, where to hold or balance or create power. This is the mind body connection. For example, when performing a kettlebell swing, you want to tell your body to initiate movement back with your hips, contract your butt and leg muscles to swing the bell forward, suck in your belly button and pull up with your abs, elongate through your core to stand straight and strong, keep your weight on your heels, relax your neck, maintain a flat back. This may seem like a lot but this is what it is all about. You have to be completely connected and in control of how you want to use your body and make it move through each exercise and rep. So during your workout my mission for you is to think. Think about what you are doing and how you are doing it. Get connected. 

Taking it one step further, work on developing this connection in your everyday life and activity. Your posture and how you carry yourself is a direct result of this core value. When you sit or stand, focus on keeping your shoulders back, your chest up and your stomach in. Being in touch with your physical self allows you to age with grace and strength to perform lifes functions properly.

Yes the development of this connection takes time and practice. The result however is that the stronger it becomes, the stronger you become. Your body will thank you and show you how grateful it is. You will feel more in control of yourself not only in your workouts but in all aspects of your life. Tap into your mind and its abilities will take you and your body to the next level. Carry this as the foundation of your strength, knowing that whatever it is you want to accomplish, all you have to do is connect with yourself and create that change.