LAUREN'S ROYAL VKB STEAK & YAMS! 18 Apr 2014

Vkb

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

FIT.HIP.FRIDAY GIVEAWAY! 18 Apr 2014

SG

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

INSTAGRAM ENDVY ♥... 17 Apr 2014

Wildfox

Image of Lithe Instructor Meg G. via Free People 

LITHE BREAKFAST QUINOA! 16 Apr 2014

LBQ

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

 

SAYEH'S LIVING LITHE TIPS! {CONT'D} 16 Apr 2014

Sayeh

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!

THE MARGARITA! 16 Apr 2014

Margarita

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

WHAT'S (NEW) IN THE FRIDGE? 15 Apr 2014

JiMa

Have you tried it?  We're now carrying one of the tastiest, locally-made granola bars: JiMa!

LITHE'S TUNES ON PHILLY.COM 15 Apr 2014

Lithe
Lithe Tunes
Check out the tunes!

INSPIRATION 14 Apr 2014

FUNK

Image of Lithe Instructor Rachel D. wearing Lithe via Dom

 

SUMMER BODIES ARE EARNED IN THE WINTER (ED.9)! 14 Apr 2014

Summer-9

After getting to know Lither Betsy C. on Lithe Escape, I thought it was the perfect time to demystify her.  Enjoy!

Age: 34    
     
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

 

LITHE SPRING CLEAN WEEK 3! 13 Apr 2014

Lithe Spring Clean

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!  

Download LSC Week 3

Download LSC Recipes 3

FIT.HIP.FRIDAY GIVEAWAY! 11 Apr 2014

Lithe & Instacart

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

 
 

LAUREN'S GINGER SOY CHICKEN! 10 Apr 2014

Lauren's Ginger Soy Chicken

#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.

Ingredients:  3-6 tablespoons Tessemae’s Soy Ginger Dressing,  1 lb chicken breast, a litttle bit of Braggs liquid Aminos.

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

 

 

LITHE SHARE REFERRAL PROGRAM! 10 Apr 2014

LitheShare

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:

  • Only valid towards the purchase of a Monthly Membership (1-A-Day or Undergrad). 
  • Your discount must be used within 30 days of you being notified of having received the discount.
  • Your referral must purchase their membership within 14 days of their first.
  • The discounts are cumulative!  Example: If you refer two friends and they become lithers you will receive $40 off of your membership, if you refer 3 friends and they become lithers you will receive $60 off, you get the point …
  • Tell your LitheShare to share your name when they fill out their new client waiver.
  • Only valid for new referrals (i.e. sorry, nothing retroactive).

Image of Lithe Instructors Lauren Boggi (Founder) & Danielle Ingerman wearing Lithe via Dom

MISSION: LITHE! (JONATHAN & KATIE'S RESULTS) 10 Apr 2014

6-8
Check out Jonathan and Katie's results!  You can visibly see the difference from their before picures

For the past nine days theyv'e been Lithing and eating clean!  We'll hear from Jonathan later today, but Katie said, "I feel AMAZING after completing the 9 day challenge!  This challenge was one of the best things I have recently done for myself.  It allowed me to truly focus on myself instead of letting a busy life get in the way. In addition to the Lithing 9 days in a row, I made sure to drink between 64-92 ounces of water a day, and I stuck to the #LitheSpringClean menu (except for some weekend pizza). By day 3 of the challenge, I found that I've constantly been in a great mood.   I've literally been dancing around to Good Vibrations by Marky Mark  and Happy by Pharrell on repeat.  I feel stronger, healthier and I have more energy.  I feel so great that I'm going to keep going and try to complete 20 in 25 days for  the Lithe Spring Clean Challenge!" 

Images via Lauren

 
 

            

NO 101? NO PROBLEM! 9 Apr 2014

101

You've spoken out and we've listened!  Last month we lifted our 101 requirement and adjusted our teacher training program to accommodate newbies in a way that doesn't make them feel frightened or alienated.  If you or a friend have been wanting to try Lithe, but our 101 schedule hasn't worked for you, this is your chance to get Lithe! 

Although the 101 is no longer required, we still believe that our workout is best experienced when you know the basics and our bio-mechanical principles, so our 101 will forever be offered. Guess what? Soon, you'll be able to learn our 7 basic principles and Lithe on-line!

Ready to get started today?  Sign up on-line and create a profile. Select our Complimentary First Class pricing option which is available to all new Lithers and can be used for either a 101 or regular class.  We're here to help, so if you have any questions or concerns please call the studio and they will help you find the right first workout for you so you can have the best experience at Lithe! 

Image of Lithe Instructor Diana Khuu via Dom

SAYEH'S LIVING LITHE TIPS! 9 Apr 2014

Sayeh

Whether you're in the midst of the second phase of your Earned in Winter challenge, or some variation of your own challenge, I think we are all feeling the sudden urgency of beach weekends, and the swimsuits that go with them, fast approaching. (This is crazy since 5 minutes ago it was snowing, and I felt like we were never going to see temps rise over 25, and summer felt so so far away). 

As we all rev it up a bit, I'm feeling the need for motivation more than ever. And as I've completed my nine days, and ramped up to 5 or 6 days a week since, I've been paying attention to the things that keep me going and thought I would share 5 of those things with you in hopes that they may be helpful to you too.

  1. FOCUS: We all know that being mindful in class is important. Zoning out means form gets sloppy, and we don't get the most out of our workout (story of my life). So, I've been taking that concept a bit further to make sure I stay present by focusing on some THING every class. Lately, it's been my breath. Expanding my rib cage and then contracting and knitting it back together on every single inhale/exhale is quite the challenge and quite the workout. In other classes, I focus on things like completely straightening my leg and pulling up on my knee caps at the barre. Choosing one thing to work on helps me to not only stay present, but  also helps me to push myself to really perfect my form.
  2. GET COMFORTABLE: Nothing ruins my life more than wearing my oldest, most ill-fitting sports bra to a high cardio class. I've been finding that paying attention to class descriptions, and wearing the appropriate clothes and having the appropriate gear (gloves, sweat bands) makes a world of difference in my ability to work out effectively. When the bands are chafing my wrists because I've forgotten my wrist bands, or hurting my ankles because I didn't wear long pants, I focus more on my discomfort than anything else. If I don't take the time to strap into my bands correctly at the beginning of class, I'm battling with rogue velcro for 60 minutes rather than getting lower, jumping higher and squatting longer. Having everything you need--from your water to the right wunder unders is key. 
  3. THINK BODY PARTS: When instructors say: You should feel this in your BLANK, I realize where I should be feeling it and it helps me big time. I adjust my body to feel it there--wherever there is--and all of a sudden I'm doing it--whatever it is--correctly. I learned long ago if you're not feeling IT during a Lithe move, you're not doing it right. Recently, in Tight End, after realizing my inner thighs were the focus, I took all my focus to them--literally thinking INNER THIGHS, INNER THIGHS over and over again with every deep lunge, and it helped me to push through the impossible (for me) box series in that class. Connecting the move with the body part it should be sculpting, helped me to stay motivated to stick with it. 
  4. GET DOWN WITH THE GET DOWN: Listen. I'm not gonna lie. There's nothing I hate more than when an instructor tells me to smile and have fun. Literally nothing. I'm pouring sweat, my thighs are burning, my hair is stuck to my head, my muscles are quaking, the room is so hot, I feel like I'm in bikram Lithe and it's all I can do to focus on my inner thighs and my breath and not keel over onto the girl directly behind me. I DON'T WANT TO SMILE. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE FUN. I just want to GET THROUGH IT. Must I LOVE the torture?? Isn't it enough that I'm here? Have you no SOULS?? But then, some times, some days (if the music is right and I'l slightly less curmudgeonly than usual), I do smile and I do get down, and put a little fun and attitude into my CCS, and I have to admit it really does help. So even though I'm shaking my fist on the inside, Lithing with abandon really is...fun...and does make me smile. Eek. I hate myself. 
  5. FOLLOW A LEADER: Every class has a veteran lither in it, with incredible form. When I'm struggling, I lock my eyes on her and strive to match her drive and form. She shows me how to do the hip swivel thing right, keep in rhythm during complicated CCS, and generally stick to it. There's inspiration all around us in our classes. 

Keep on keepin on ladies. I'm inspired by all the hard work I see around me, and by the pictures for the #earnedinwinter series on the blog. If you have your own tips, feel free to share! I can use as many as I can get!

See you in class!

SPLIT! 8 Apr 2014

Split-6

LITHE NEWTRITION (DO CARBS MAKE YOU FAT?) 8 Apr 2014

Newtrition

Welcome to our new column, NewTrition, written by Lithe Instructor and trained chef, Danielle Ingerman! We're debunking common food and nutrition myths by giving you facts about sugar, fat—even comfort food—and more, so you can feel good about diggin' the foods that you love.  Danielle is studying to be a Registered Dietitian at Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions.  Her favorite class is Micronutrient Metabolism, and she's currently interning at CHOP and a private practice in Trenton, NJ.  I'm thrilled that she's shedding some fresh and passionate "Eating Lithe" insight here on Fit.Hip.Healthy!  

Is butter a carb? Ah “Mean Girls”, although generally a far departure from how ‘real people’ view carbohydrates, for here, it could not ring more true. This winter has been ROUGH, long days inside, school cancellations, boredom, comfort food comes a-calling. P-p-p-p-iiizza. C-o-o-o-kies. Make it go away! These foods make us ‘feel good’… or do they? After a 48 hour snow-day binge, I know I feel like a deflated pool float.

Diets attacking carbohydrates as the sworn enemy of the body get a lot of attention these days, and here’s why. When we’re talking about weight gain, typically our focus centers around refined simple carbohydrates- white sugar, white flour, you know, the stuff that makes foods insatiably delicious. Problem is, satiation. These products carry high glycemic index values, meaning once you eat them, they are metabolized into a surge of glucose that zaps directly into your bloodstream. Why does this matter? Well, since our bodies are the coolest machines ever, we can get rid of that crap through the mechanism of insulin, which grabs the blood glucose, and distributes it throughout the body. Unfortunately, this act in many women stimulates what’s called reactive hypoglycemia- basically our body says HEY! we don’t have enough of what we need, lets stimulate some hormones to get it back in here. Cue…hunger. Our bodies think we are starving from our low blood sugar levels, so it stimulates our hunger hormones to get us to eat more to even things out. Ipso-facto - just a few hours after eating you are exhausted and amazingly starving again, which is where the weight gain comes in.

Before you ransack your cabinets and dispose of all carb-laden items, STOP! Not all dietary carbohydrates are here to hurt us. Complex carbohydrates slow the absorption of glucose into your blood, evening out the digestion process and avoiding that blood sugar spike and hypoglycemic drop. Whole grains, legumes, and many fruits and vegetables carry low glycemic index values and often contain many nutrients used to nourish our bodies. However, although eating five apples a day won’t make you gain 5 lbs, it can stimulate more hunger, which is why an even distribution of complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein in your daily diet kicks those blood sugar spikes and curbs your appetite from face-planting into a bowl of cereal at 9 pm. What’s the best combo to stay “lithe”? Try a grain salad mixed with your favorite protein, if you’re feeling famished after an 8 am yogurt, skip it the next day for some eggs or protein and see how you feel. Starving at 3 pm? Try carrots instead of fruit. Remember, the best meals leave us feeling full AND energized. As always, all things in moderation, have fun with your food and try new things. Feel good food is all about balancing what your body loves and what you love.

Image of Lithe Instructor Danielle Ingerman wearing Lithe via Dom

INSPIRATION 8 Apr 2014

Determination

Image of Lauren Boggi wearing Lithe via Dom

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