Image of Lithe Instructor Diana Khuu via Dom
I could write my own 25 things about this week’s feature instructor, Colleen McNally. Among those 25 things I would include that I look forward to her classes, how infectious her energy is, how she pumps me up by getting louder at just the right times, and shouting things like YOU’RE SO STRONG, right when I’m about to give in to the burning desire for a break. I’d include how she always seems to pick the right playlist, how the volume is just high enough to keep things up-beat, and just low enough that I can hear her cues. I’d say that she reminds me of a beautiful elf from a Lord of the Rings Movie (this is a compliment!), and that you can tell she enjoys teaching and how that shows in my new favorite class: Colleen’s Sleeveless 2.0. I hope you enjoy finding out more about as much as I did.
Image of Colleen in a heel stretch via Dom
Pearl started Lithing in March and she jumped right in; Her first class after Lithe 101 was a Freestyle with me. I was super excited when Pearl requested that her nine day challenge be featured on FHH so that she would be held accountable in reaching her goals (it works!). Today is day two for her. We'll be checking in next week! Read why she's doing a nine day...
I am a big believer in the power of real food and regular exercise. However this winter was cold and long, so I excused myself for having hot chocolate, candied nuts, ice cream and cakes.... to keep warm and carry on, until one day I came to my realization that I am no longer the healthy snacker I thought I was. I rely on sugar and caffeine everyday. I understand that sugar does no good to my body and should only be a treat, but unfortunately I'm so badly addicted to it already.
I am looking forward to breaking bad eating habits, re-embracing a healthy lifestyle, and cultivating that perseverance and mental toughness - it is not easy to wake up at 5:30am everyday and exercise 9 days in a row. I'm going to Lithe everyday, detox my internal system through a 3-day juice cleanse and then I'll be eating only real food afterwards: no added sugar or processed food!
Images of Pearl via Lauren
Guys, this is SO good, and really easy to make. My little loves it, too. I cut artificial sweeteners out of my life back in college but this recipe really calls for a powdered sweetener - liquid sweeteners make this too soupy. The only powdered sweetener that I prefer other than date sugar (which is natural) is Nectresse.
Ingredients: 1 can of thick, full-fat coconut milk (I prefer Thai kitchen), 1/4 cup of cacao powder, 4-6 packets of Nectresse (Stevia will do), 1 tsp of cacao nibs, 1/2 tsp of tocos, 1/2 tsp of mesquite, 1/2 tsp of maca.
To Do: Pour coconut milk in a bowl. Stir in cacao powder, Nectresse, and all of your superfood powders until smooth. Place bowl uncovered in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight!) until it becomes nice and thick.
Images of Mars and the mousse via Lauren
Sorry for the delay, Typepad was down a majority of the weekend and I was unable to post. Here's your 4th and final week of #LitheSpringClean, which is also the last week of the second phase of our Earned In Winter Challenge! Good luck everyone, and if you've fallen off the wagon last week, it's the perfect time to get back in the game!
The temps have dropped again and you're probably looking for some easy, healthy, comfort food, right? I know that we're heading out of crock pot season, but I use my Royal VKB all year long. If you don't have a Royal VKB you can use a regular crock pot. All you have to do is put your fresh ingredients in the Slowcooker XL without oil, then place it in the oven. I love that all the original vitamins, minerals are fully preserved during this method of cooking. To Do: Choose your grass-fed protein, wash and chop your veggies, add water and voila!
Images via Lauren
Happy Friday, Lithers! This week's giveaway comes to us from Stinky Girl Beauty, a local Philly company that makes THE BEST high-performance, natural deodorant that really works. Many Lithers agree that Stinky Girl is far more effective than any other product out there on the market. I'm totally hooked!
For a chance to win, please leave a comment below telling us which scent you want to win. Two winners will be chosen at random on Monday, so you have three days to enter. One entry per person. Good luck!
Image via Stinky Girl Beauty
One of my favorite comforting (and filling!) breakfasts!
YOU’LL NEED: 1-cup quinoa, 1 – 1 ½ ripe Banana (critical ingredient!), ½ cup coconut milk, 4 healthy shakes of cinnamon (critical ingredient!), 3 tablespoons raw almond butter, Agave or maple syrup, 6 dates & 1 handful of raw almonds
MAKE IT: Soak quinoa the night before you make this then rinse the morning you make this! This recipe is 100% to taste so add as much as you want. Cook your quinoa then add almond butter for richness, almond milk to thin it, maple sugar and dates for sweetness, almonds for crunch. Enjoy!
Image via Lauren
Last week, I shared 5 of my tips for getting the most out of my classes and staying motivated through the Earned in Winter challenge. This week, a few more.
1. Front and Center: Yesterday, I fought the rain and a mangled umbrella to walk into class late, right as the stretching started. There were no mats left, except for in the very front of the room, right in front of the instructor and everyone else. I grumbled to myself. I usually like to stay off to the side, not too far away, but far enough from the spotlight so I was loath to take my position. But, it was SUCH a boost to my motivation. I didn't feel like I could slack with so many people behind me. It gave me a little kick in the pants to get my knees up, my butt down and to take less breaks. (Don't be scared to try this. The reality is that no one is really paying attention, unless they are looking for a leader. I rarely see the girl at the front, since there are so many people between her and me and I'm concentrating on myself.) Even still though, you feel the pressure anyway, and it helps.
2. Schedule Smart: If you're like me, you already spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what classes you're going to take--which instructors, on which days, in which studios. (Can I get an amen??) But, somehow, despite this, I often don't take my whole scheduling picture--social life and habits--into consideration when I get on MindBody. I tend to focus more on getting on the schedule at all, rather than scheduling smart. This leads me to forget about a meeting or dinner plans, which has me realizing--way too late--that I should have scheduled a morning class that day, instead of an afternoon one. So, I've begun keeping my smart phone calendar out in front of me when scheduling so I can't forget about the commitments I can't move. Taking it a step further, I'm also trying to gauge patterns in my energy. When am I up-beat? When am I dragging? If I know that Monday afternoons are a low-energy time for me, I don't schedule myself for a high cardio class for that slot. Instead, I pre-plan for a low-impact, sculpting class that day so I'll be more likely to follow through with it.
3. You're So Vain: On last week's post, someone shared their tip of looking in the mirror, and it's a really good one. Getting yourself in a place where you can get a clear look at yourself in the mirror is a good habit. I know most of us feel uncomfortable gazing at ourselves for 60 minutes. (I personally find it challenging not to focus on the parts of my body that I'm unhappy with, or the rogue hairs sprouting all over my face), but it's actually proven good practice for me in multiple ways. Not least of which is to encourage myself to look beyond my insecurities to my form. When I can SEE what I'm doing, then I can make adjustments. When an instructor yells FLAT BACK, I can check and see if I'm flat and adjust. When she asks me to make sure my knee isn't going over my ankle during lunges, I can double check from the side reflection. Keeping tabs on form through the mirror has helped me vastly improve.
4. Stretch Armstrong: I hate stretching. I'm using the word HATE about stretching. I know how crucial it is, but still I hate it. It hurts. I'm inflexible and I suck at it. It's one of the reasons I hate being in class early, because I feel forced to stretch on my own--like others around me--and I just don't wanna. BUT, I do commit to the stretching IN class. I know it's not much, but that makes it all the more important. Before and AFTER the class. We've all been there, when we are lithing at lunch and need to hurry back to work, or we have a ride waiting on us downstairs, so we skip the stretching at the end, step over some people, and get a towel and rush back to our mats and out of class before everyone else. I certainly have. But, there are some folks that make this the rule rather than the exception just to beat the locker room rush, and I can't help but feel like I'm getting cheated out of my much needed stretch when girls are stepping over me or spraying me with mat cleaner while I'm down in a straddle. We all need a stretch, even if it's just a few moves, and let's be honest, hitting the elevators two minutes before everyone else isn't worth skipping out on it. A few stretches a few times a week, really does add up to increased flexibility. So stay to the end of class (if you actually have the time), I and your neighbors, and your body, will thank you for it.
See you in class!
My brother-in-law Stu makes a killer Margarita without any sugar-laden mixers. Give it a shot, it's a guaranteed killer arm workout!
To make a pitcher, use equal parts Silver tequila, triple sec, and juice. To make the juice, you'll want half fresh-squeezed lime juice, 1/4 Roses lime juice and 1/4 orange, grapefruit, or pineapple juice. Place ice cubes in rocks glasses, shake margarita mixture in a cocktail shaker, and then strain into rocks glasses and enjoy!
Top image via Stu and bottom image via Lauren
After getting to know Lither Betsy C. on Lithe Escape, I thought it was the perfect time to demystify her. Enjoy!
Kids?: Maybe someday
Her Fit.Hip.Healthy: Some people don’t believe it, but growing up I was heavy. I was a very active kid, and I loved to play sports, but I was a pretty picky eater, which led to food and weight issues. At a fairly young age, I learned about eating better, strength training and cardio. When I was in high school, I became obsessed with spinning, Tae Bo, lifting, running, using an elliptical machine, etc. That "eating better" part went out the window when I became a victim of the diet fads of the 90s, eating fat free everything and too much sugar. So I would spin and use the elliptical for hours a day. All that repetitive motion just made my thighs look like tree trunks. No matter how lean I was, my quads were always SO big, I loathed them.
After the summer of 2012, I came home from the last weekend at the shore where I go to boot camp at 80th street in Stone Harbor. I decided that I needed to look for something like that near home. I searched for similar workouts but feared they wouldn’t be challenging enough. I found Facebook friends praising the effects of Lithe. So I decided to give it a whirl, and I was immediately hooked. Within 5-6 months, I noticed my clothes fitting better and I felt stronger and more confident in myself. During the holidays, my mom and sister-in-law were saying I looked like a new person. My skin and hair looked healthier and I looked happy! I hadn't lost any weight really, but I was leaner.
The thing I love about Lithe compared to all of the workouts I have ever done, is the variety of different classes to choose from, and they are challenging and effective. I noticed that my body has changed, I feel stronger and leaner than ever. The combination of moves, combination of sculpting and cardio are so efficient and fun, what’s not to love!? Another bonus is the sense of community within the studios. The friends I've made over the last year and a half are priceless. I love meeting new ladies and getting to know their stories, successes and struggles. I feel like we’re a team, supporting and encouraging each other to be a better version of ourselves. I also have to give a shout-out to the amazing instructors. Without each of you bringing your energy and enthusiasm, where would we all be?!
I used to do 2 classes at night and then for an extra calorie burn I would go to the gym to use the elliptical. After developing tendonitis in my ankle, I realized the elliptical was doing more harm than good. By June, I decided to give it up. A few weeks later, I noticed my clothes were fitting even better than they had since the initial few months. It took me a year to let go of my fears of not burning enough calories. I thought that my body was different, and that I was genetically predisposed to gain weight. Essentially, I thought that my metabolism would let me down. Almost a year later and I have never felt so good inside and out. I thank my lucky stars that I found Lithe! Thank you, Lauren!
Fell off the wagon?: Never. I struggle to take a day off as it is. However, when I am out of town, I bring along my old workout videos that are no longer as challenging, like P90X. I throw in a few Cardio-Cheer sequences from Pom and Stems 2.0 when the P90X cardio intervals aren’t kicking my butt enough : )
How she Lithes: I try to kill it every time, all the time. It’s my hour (or two) of me time. Why not make the best of it? And by the weekend, I like to earn a few cocktails. Then sweat it out the next day. I work hard, play hard.
What is "key" for her: A balanced diet and as much sleep as I can get. I wear Lithe's Calorie Trashers in almost every workout becuase I have really tight hips. They work wonders for me.
Her Diet: I am on a somewhat restricted diet due to an intolerance to dairy and yeast. I don't eat refined sugar. I eat veggies, grains, nuts, fish, and fruit. The juices and meals available at the studio have been great. When available, I definitely stock up!
She does weigh in: I usually weigh in every morning. At 5’9”, I have been weighing about 138-142 lbs consistently for the last year. I am happiest at this size; Not too thin, not too heavy. I feel confident, healthy and at peace with my thighs. I have been on both ends of the spectrum and I like being right in the middle.
She feels: Fantastic! The Lithe Escape proved that I have a lot of room for improvement! I came back feeling rested and much stronger than I thought I would. We took time to do stretching instead of all cardio and sculpting, and I may try to take some more of those types of classes to help with my inflexibility.
Image of Betsy C. in Jamaica via Lauren
You're half-way there! Week three is another detox week, but it's not as spartan as week 1. You'll notice that your menu is filled with smoothies, green veggies and muscle building lean protein. If you're hungry during the day, add in more protein and increase your portion sizes. I want to see your results on Friday (even if it's a happy smile!) so hashtag #Imlithe!
Happy Friday, Lithers! You are going to love this because it's life changing. You can never get all that you need from one place, right? Well, now you can! This week's giveaway comes to us from my new favorite grocery (and wine!) delivery service, Instacart!
Instacart is a same day grocery delivery service that allows you to buy groceries on-line from your favorite supermarkets and have them delivered to your door within an hour. They currently deliver groceries from Whole Foods Market, Super Fresh, BJ's, Fine Wine & Good Spirits and local Philly gem Green Aisle Grocery! Instacart recently launched in Philly on February 18th, and they're growing - they add new zip codes and stores constantly.
Instacart is giving away a one year Instacart Express membership ($99 value)! With Instacart Express, all your 2 hour & scheduled grocery deliveries over $35 are FREE. For a chance to win, please leave a comment below telling us why you need to win! Ultra Lithe Bonus: Everyone that comments here will receive $10 off and free delivery on their first order (the special code is Lithe)! Download the App & follow @instacart @instacartphilly!
Images via Instacart
#Lithespringclean'ing? I am! Here's a tasty chicken dish that that everyone in my house loves. And, it's SO easy that it's sorta ridiculous. My secret? Tessemae's! You can get Tessemae's at Whole Foods or buy it on-line.
Make it: Cut raw chicken breast into strips. While you're doing that, heat your dressing and Braggs over low heat in a pan. Place raw chicken in the pan and cook over medium heat until chicken is done. Remove from heat and serve. I usually add more dressing : )
Image via Lauren
Here's a huge thank you to our loyal Philadelphia brand ambassadors: our Lithe Share Referral Program! Starting on Monday April 14th, we're rewarding our customers for spreading the Lithe, and at the same time, helping new people try us who have always wanted to.
How It Works: Refer a friend to Lithe, and if your referral purchases a Monthly Membership (1-A-Day, New Client, or Undergrad) within 14 days of their first class, you get $20 off a 1-A-Day or Undergrad Monthly Membership!
LitheShare Discount Details:
Image of Lithe Instructors Lauren Boggi (Founder) & Danielle Ingerman wearing Lithe via Dom
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