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38 posts from August 2011


  Elizabeth in Lithe

Goodbye sandy beaches and flip flops! Summer ending is a bummer, but my favorite season is finally here.  Lets welcome crisp, cooler weather and a few new fantastic Lithe Method workouts (coming soon!) that will get your body ready and into those jeans (skinny, flared, pencil, legging, boyfriend or high-waisted) and cute cardi's, tunic's & sweaters!

Download Old City September

Download Rittenhouse September

Download Liberties Walk September

Image of Lither Elizabeth Howe wearing Lithe's Studio + Street 'Leather' Leggings & Mojo Vented Top via Dom


fat Free & Fabu-legs

Lithe Passport. 61 days. 32 classes. My trip has already begun.

Fat Free (aka I hope you peed right before class!)

What you need: Nothing! Just yourself.
Props: Rebounder (mini trampoline), 3 or 5lb weights
Clothing Considerations: Cropped pants or shorts. You’ll be doing a lot of jumping, and don’t want to get tangled up in flowy yoga pants.
Sweat Factor: You’ll look like the cast of Jersey Shore after a night of fist-pumping in the club!

There’s a ton of conflicting information out there concerning fat-free foods. Some nutritionists say that it’s better to eat natural, full fat versions of things (like ice cream) in moderation rather than giant portions of the fat-free versions. Others say that indulging in fat-free versions of your favorite treats is a simple way to cut unwanted calories from your diet.

When it comes to making this call, I can often be found staring blankly into a refrigerator case in my neighborhood grocery store, overwhelmed with indecision. Usually, I’m holding a fat-free and regular version of something like sour cream, comparing calories. How many calories per serving? How many of those calories are from fat? How many grams of sugar? It’s enough to make a person’s head spin. Usually, I just throw the fatty version into my cart and tell myself to get a hold of myself.

Fat Free the class however, requires no such agonizing or controversy. It’s 100% calorie burning and wait for it...100% FUN! I loved this class! It starts with your standard ab prep series, except that you are sitting on the rebounder. This adds a little extra challenge to the familiar moves, since you need to really engage your core to keep from bouncing around. The remainder of the class is spent on your feet and  jumping around doing twists, turns and kicks. Tiff encouraged us to have a good time and get some air. She peppered in some lunge work with one foot on the tramp to round out the class, and the result was an incredible workout that left everyone smiling. (I think I might have even high-fived someone when it was over. It’s a problem. I’ve acknowledged this.)

So in honor of Fat Free, I’ve compiled a little playlist of all my favorite jumping themed songs to get you in the mood. Throw this in your iPod on the way to class, and get ready for a great time!

   1. Kris Kross’s “Jump” (I was obsessed with these two kids. My mother refused to buy me a baseball jersey so I could wear it backwards to school. RUDE! Also, check out what they look like now at 32 and 33 years-old. You, on the right--which ever one you are--call me!)
   2. House of Pain’s “Jump Around” (There’s an incredible scene to this song in Mrs. Doubtfire, the best movie EVER, that has forever sealed it in my heart.)
   3. Pointer Sisters “Jump (For My Love)” (This song is a guaranteed party starter. I can’t overstate my love for this jam.)
   4. Van Halen’s “Jump” (This song actually came on in class, and I almost flew off my trampoline because I got slightly over excited.)
   5. Destiny’s Child’s “Jumpin! Jumpin!” (Congratulations to Beyonce and Jay-Z on their bun in the oven! I wish I woulda known about this news when I was making my list of crazy hybrids!)
   6. Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line” (This song comes on every time you make straight A’s, if your name is Lydia Deetz and you have two ghosts living in your attic.)

So while you’re jamming out to these tunes, remember that the good news about taking Fat Free, or any Lithe classes for that matter, is that if you choose to indulge in the full flavored, full fat version of something, you’ll jump out the extra few calories in no time.


What you need: Nothing! Just yourself.
Props: 3 and 5lb weights. Velcro ankle weights. The blue ball (heh heh heh).
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you’re comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: Medium sweat--you could go out in the world afterwards if you needed to, but you may not feel your most fresh.

Because of the way my schedule worked this week, I took Fabulegs twice--once with Anne and once with Brooke. They were very different, and I really loved both. Both used the Velcro ankle weights, and both kicked my butt. Brooke’s was different because she incorporated the blue ball (we locked it in behind the knee and calf, instead of between the legs) during many of the series at the barre, which was a nice departure from the normal lunges, sumos and curtsies that we do in most workouts.

So as I do in most classes, to keep myself from focusing on the burn, I tried to think of something else. In this case, all the people that are generally acknowledged as having Fabulegs.

   1. Tina Turner. DUH. And she’s still killing it. Plus, Oprah loves her!
   2. J.Lo. She’s even flaunting them for the Venus Razor these days. (And clearly, it’s been at least 2 blog posts since I’ve mentioned her, so it’s time. Do you guys think Marc Anthony really cheated on her with Jada Pinkett Smith?? Scandal! If so, GOOD. I’ve always hated them both. Now J.Lo and Will can get together, and all will be right in the world.)
   3. Beyonce. Yes, I’m shouting her out again, but people are obsessed with her legs! (For a while there, I didn’t understand it--but I was converted after I saw the “All the Single Ladies” video. She worked that leotard.)
   4. Heidi Klum. There are no words. (Every week on Project Runway, I catch myself staring, mouth agape, when she walks out onto the runway to introduce Michael Kors and Nina Garcia for the 1 millionth time. Heidi, we realize Nina is the editor for Marie Claire magazine, okay? Michael Kors? Yeah, we know him too. Introduce the celebrity judge, and get on with it!)
   5. Ciara. My personal choice. Probably because I watched 10 of her videos in a row at 3am the other night. (What?) Watch this, and tell me her gams aren’t gorgeous. It doesn’t hurt that Justin Timberlake is in it. It’s a little steamy for work. Play at your own risk.

Regardless of whom you would choose for the list--the stars of today or the classic beauties of the past like Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, one thing’s for sure. Take a few of sessions of Fabulegs, and you’ll be able to compete in no time!

24 stops down...only 8 to go. Next up? Wings and Watershed!

See you in class! 

Images of Lithe Instructors Nicole Sewall and Krista DeNofa via Dom

BEES KNEES. 30 Aug 2011



Ever since I've started lithing I've been experiencing pain in my left knee, I can do some things but not all. I especially have problems with lunges and jumping. I get very frustrated with myself and I feel like I am cheating myself a good workout when I only do a few lunges at the barre. I can do it all on my right side. Do you have any suggestions on what to do about the pain so that I can get through a workout?  JR

Hey J! 

So sorry to hear about your knee.  I know how frustrating that can be.  I'm no doctor, and you could possibly have an injury or "runners knee," but it sounds like your left leg alignment may be off when you're doing barre work. We often see people work too far away from the barre or squeeze the ball too hard during squats which causes the patella (knee cap) to track out of alignment laterally.  Try to pay attention to what your left foot and knee are doing while you're at the barre and/or jumping.  They should be aligned parallel.  Are they lateral or medial? 

With Lithe, the body tends to become stronger from the extremities first, then, to the interior core. As your core becomes stronger (your core is the area from your nipple to your knees), it will free the load from your feet and lower leg/knees.  Beginners tend to work from their feet/lower extremities instead of relaxing them and working from the center. Also, try not to think of liberty/lunges/barre work as "leg work."  You want to lift from your center, engage the glutes and "pull up on your kneecap" so that you engage the quad and track your patella properly. This "pulling up on the kneecap" action also takes the weight off of the feet and lower leg.

Also, you've probably worn sneakers your entire life while working out.  Sneakers really prohibit the foot, ankle and calf from working like we work them while Lithing.  Barefoot training is a totally different ballgame and in the beginning, your feet, ankles and knees are weak.  Good news ls, you and your feet/knees/lower leg will become much stronger. To ease the pain in the meantime, I would stay on a mat, stay flat-footed during lunges and ease your way into stiletto over time (or never). 

Don't rush your progress-staying flat-footed is way better than injuring your knee, overcompensating with another part of your body, overworking your muscles and pushing to hard.  Listen to your body, modify and see your MD/PT if it keeps bothering you!

Image of Lithe Instructor, Nicole Sewall via Dominic Episcopo


Lithe Wear

So many of you have been inquiring about Lithe Wear size Large.  They're in! 

Image of Lithe Instructor, Brooke Holloway in Lithe's Slimming Pants via Dom

THE RAW REGATTA. 29 Aug 2011


Raw Soups are all the rage this summer gracing restaurant menus and the food sections of online newspapers. Here are two easy recipes to savor the final days of the late summer farmers market and summer simplicity. And what is be more refreshing than cooking simply by flipping a switch on your vita-mix?

While food trends come and go, to get the Lithe look, eating well must be a consistent trend. Like clothing, different things work for different people. My Truce with Food program, which is now open for enrollment, will help you select the right food “pieces” for a strong, confident body. Most importantly, the program de-clutters your emotions around food to provide the clarity to understand why you know carrots are a healthy snack but emotionally, you choose the chocolate.  You’ll never feel the same around food again. The first three people to enroll save $50. Enter “truce” in the coupon code to see if you are eligible.                        

Ali Shapiro is an author and regular NBC 10! Show contributor and works with individuals and groups to show them how to design weight-loss 10 pounds at a time. To sign-up for her newsletter, click here

Images of Ali via Ali Shapiro & Lithe Instructor Joellyn Dembowski via Dom

LITHE ON A BUDGET! 29 Aug 2011


I am a new-ish Lither; I started going to classes the end of May. I was introduced to Lithe through the LivingSocial deal and planned to only take the 5 classes due to money restraints. Of course after the first class I was hooked and have since purchased two 10 class cards and the Rue La La deal.

My only issue with Lithe is, and I'm sure you've heard this before, the cost (I should note that I do think the classes are worth every penny). Judging by the amount of full-blown Lululemon outfits worn in the studios ;), most of your clientele seem to be, perhaps, a bit on the wealthier side. I unfortunately make a meager salary...however I really love taking the classes, so I'm struggling with how to budget in order to continue on.

Have you heard from other Lithers who are in a similar situation? I'm wondering if you have any budget-friendly tips to share with your readers which could ultimately result in more "fun money"...ie. more to put towards a healthy lifestyle. Just thought I'd drop you a line about this!  Thanks,  Jenna

I've been there!  I remember trying to pay for two studio rents/expenses, my own expenses and also trying to stay as healthy as possible so that I could have the energy to teach 20+ classes a week (because I had to).  Most of the instructors and I agree:  Make your own brew, shop at Whole Foods sparingly and visit those farmers markets!  I recommend purchasing the Rulala & Living Social Deals (they are a huge help!) and participate in our Twitter Tuesdays (you'll have more of a chance to win free classes since there are less participants involved).  Here's the fitness formula:  Take 1-2 Lithe Classic classes a week (Skinny Jeans, Split, Sculpt) to build your Lithe muscle structure.  Then, try to remember our wide second, push-ups and Method Abs sequences.  On the days that you're not in the studio, stay active five days a week by walking, running, Hotstepping outdoors...keep moving and pepper in those sequences!  Enlist a buddy.  We have a wonderful community of women that would probably love to partner up with you (it will keep it fun, keep you committed and feeling like you're involved in the Lithe community).  I promise that it will work!  -Lauren

When I started lithing I had to get rid of cable to afford it. I also didn't eat out as much because 1. It was healthier for me to cook 2. Better for budgeting. I know people who've gotten rid of their parking garages and now park their cars on the street. Shopping less too!  I learned to put $200 in my budget for necessary things so I wouldn't spend it. The monthly unlimited is the best deal ESP if you're going more then 3-4 times a week. It'll teach you not to cancel or sleep in on classes too so you'll get more for your buck.  That's my experience as a client. I know a lot of us have made sacrifices because we all can't afford it but make it work. Let me know if you have any questions. -Jess

Some things Brian and I do: Join a CSA, cut back on eating out, buying lunches (bring your own), making your coffee at home instead of buying it, cooking more (use leftovers for lunch next day), buy grains in bulk at whole foods, setting up a monthly budget including bills & spending money is crucial, eliminate and unneeded spending on magazine subscriptions, etc., walking when you can instead of taking a taxi or paying for parking. It all adds up quickly!!  -Steph

You are not alone - but I find that once you adopt the the Fit.Hip.Healthy lifestyle you find yourself saying no to the high calories, high sugar, high dollar lattes, cook more meals instead of eating out (or ordering in), etc and the money saved just goes towards the Lithe class cards. -Anne

You're definitely not alone!  Many of us go through the money factor with Lithe and go back and compare it to our previous workouts, trainers, home gyms and specialty gyms but find our way back...(it's worth the creativity, instruction, motivation,support, feeling and results ).  After lithing for a while we tend to lean towards a healthier life style in general which equals spending less $$ in areas you did before.  I say skip Starbucks or your favorite coffee shop during the week (make your own brew) and treat yourself after your favorite lithe class on Saturday!  Buy select items @ whole foods and the rest from local retailers, fruit stores and farmers markets perhaps!  When friends & family ask what you want for b- days and special occasions = lithe gift cards!  Give psychotherapy a break = an alternative may be work-it-out at lithe ( awesome for the mind-body-soul).  Check your insurance!  Some insurance plans give their members money back or discounts if they workout! -Bari

The only advice I have is "make health a priority" -- by this I mean, bump "Lithe class" up on the budget list of priorities and triage by sacrificing in other "lower priority" areas like cable TV, clothes, going out to eat/drink, buying coffee/water out.  For example, I saved $50 a month cutting back on the cable package I had, $50 a month making my own coffee at home and nixing the Starbucks habit, and I make it a rule never to buy my own alcoholic drinks when I'm out (saves me calories & cash)!  Little things like that really add up.  I'm not sure what kind of budget she's working with, but there is almost always a way to make something you really want to do happen -- just have to make sacrifices and get creative. -Melissa

I definitely struggled with this when I first started taking classes. In fact, I looked at it as part of my budget--not an additional cost, but depending on how much I was spending on Lithe per month, I forced myself to reduce spending in other areas; in essence, it was about prioritizing. If you're not ready to take the monthly unlimited/$200 commitment, which seemed crazy to me as well (before I understood the important place it had in my life), you might consider getting at 10-class card.  I added on one or two classes to my regular workout/cardio regimen, which worked for my weekly/budget at the time in that it meant I had one less dinner out with friends, or limited the number of glasses of wine I had while I was out (which ultimately helped me reach my fitness goals faster). I did this for about 6 months, and loved lithing more and more each time. You might consider doing this, and then scooping up deals whenever they are available. I also asked for lithe classes/gift cards as gifts for birthdays and holidays, which got me through most of the first year of taking classes (before getting a raise :-)  As a reward for myself for reaching a work goal, I treated myself to a monthly unlimited pass. It became my own mini-challenge--I wanted to make sure I maximized the pass by using it 6 times a week while still pushing myself to stay within my budget. I still maintained my monthly budget, but I sacrificed other things. The beauty of it was that it ended up not feeling like a sacrifice--I was living healthier, eating better, and was more balanced. After staying within my budget and realizing I could do it, spending the money each month felt far less drastic (especially after doing the math and realizing how little each class was actually costing me). I'm not sure this is helpful--but I know for many who work in nonprofit, it's all about prioritizing our spending money (and knowing that over time, your salary increases and things don't feel so hard). Many of my colleagues and friends from grad school would NEVER spend $200/month on fitness, but eat out/shop/pay more in rent/etc. more than I did. I know all of this is pretty obvious, but maybe the fact that you're not alone will help --I have heard so many girls in the locker room over the years say things to the effect of "I don't spend money on clothes, or eating out, but I do spend money on my hair and my workout..." etc.  -Gerri

If you are buying class cards set aside $50-$60/month so you have the extra cash on hand when it's time to purchase a new card. Make a list of everything you purchase for a month & it will give you a great idea as to where you can start saving. Seemingly 'little' purchases add up over a month.  -Krista

I started lithing when I was a resident, so both meager on time and money so I understand what you are going through!  I think it's important to budget and really plan everything, including money.  If going out with friends, go to places with specials or happy hours. Or do a potluck dinner and share leftovers!  I prioritized what activities I really enjoyed. So I don't love going to the movies and am willing to sit that out. So try to figure put what you can live without entertainment wise.  Lots of places offer student discounts, make sure you ask. (including places like j crew and club Monaco).   I was someone who couldn't lithe regularly with my schedule, and so if I was lithing less than 3 times a week, the 30 class card makes the most sense. An then I'd do other workouts on non lithe days. If you think about that it's less than $20 a class (which you could spend on dinner it doesnt seem so bad). Do pushups and see saws at home on off days!  I use mint.com religiously and budget my months beforehand, and try to plan for expenses.  -Anna Marie

I feel your pain! Sounds like you are committed to fitting Lithe into your budget, but sometimes easier said than done. Mint.com is a great money website I use to budget and track where every dollar is going. It that's too much, just start writing it all down for a month - knowledge is power, you would be amazed how a dollar here and there adds up. If you use online banking I think automatic savings plans really help too - you can make one for Lithe! Be a month ahead of the game. For me, the $$ towards my savings comes out of my checking into special accounts right after our paychecks are deposited. It makes it a no brainer and like the $$ was never even there. This next one may be a little over the top for you but I'm a bit of a finance nerd. I've read helpful books by Suze Orman, (Young, Broke & Fabulous is great), Dave Ramsey (he uses an envelope system) and Jean Chatzkey to name a few. I believe when you understand more about your $$ it's less intimidating and easier to make smart choices. Good luck! - Heather

Images of Lithe Instrucotrs via Dom



Due to Hurricane Irene, Lithe Method Studios in Philadelphia will be closed on Sunday AND no 6AM or 7AM classes will be held on Monday morning, August 29th.  We apologize for any inconvenience, but, we do not want our students and staff taking unnecessary risks traveling to and from the studios.

We plan to reopen on Monday August 29th at 8:00AM.  However, depending on the weather, electricity & SEPTA service there is a possibility that we may open a little later than 8:00AM on Monday.  Before you venture out for class, please check Mindbody and Face book for updates. 

Thank you!

Hurricane Irene image via National Geographic



This weeks giveaway is a 10" orange skillet ($65 value!) from my favorite line of kitchenware!   Green Cooking Pots is a new line of cookware from twins Cafe and Mica, who have a passion for food and cooking. As children, they frequented the local farmers market with their mother, who instilled a deep value in the preparation of cooking healthy food.

Green Cooking Pots presents their first collection of healthy, eco-friendly cookware - available in a variety of bright, cheery colors without the hefty price tag! Made of enameled cast iron, the same material top cooking brands use, Green Cooking Pots brings the culinary world to the everyday world.

For a chance to win, please visit our Facebook page, "Like us" and then leave a comment at the post.  A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow and the winner will be announced on Monday!  Good luck!

Images via Green Cooking Pots


Starlet week 3

I never thought I could live life happily as a vegan. I always thought that I would turn into The Hulk and pretty much make life miserable for anyone who was unfortunate enough to get in my way. But so far I have been fairly happy living this mostly vegan life style. I haven't grown into a horrible monster and my clothes haven't torn to shreds. I'm not hungry and other than the occasional cookie meltdown I've been able to keep my cravings in check. Breathing and distraction are my new besties. Do I sometimes look forward to the weekend? Heck yeah!

Last weekend I was really looking forward to the Amish festival at Reading Terminal Market! Not for the hand crafted items but for the baked goods. I do have a weakness for Amish baked goods and I have learned to stay FAR away from their stands at the market. But this weekend I threw caution to the wind and practically ran over and hopped into the funnel cake line after I got measured. Ok let me give it to straight I did run over and I searched for the funnel cakes like a mad woman. I felt like Eddie Murphy’s character in the Nutty Professor when he's looking for the spandex section. "Spandex, spandex, where's the spandex section? There it is!" Only I was basically chanting funnel cakes funnel cakes where are the funnel cakes?! I even had to laugh at myself.

I also ate tamales. Omg I love tamales but I felt like a slug last Sunday! So this weekend I think I'm going to go a little less crazy and stick with lighter fare options!

I usually feel pretty good during the week even though I am completely guilty of stalking various restaurants on-line menus and trying to decide what I want to eat on the weekend. Bloody hell why is the weekend only two days. So many foods so little time. Does anyone know of a brunch that offers tapas!

My energy levels are off the meter! Before I began the Lithestyle Makeover, I would lose steam during the cardio sections of classes but now I have an incredible amount of stamina! I was going to test out the energy theory by taking four of Krista's classes last week but I punked out and only did three of her classes. Baby steps, baby steps!

Sometimes when I think I'm ready to break, someone will tell me how awesome or inspirational (who me?) I am or that I look great (Thanks!). This has been a great experience although I do have periods where I have to quash an internal rebellion that is telling me its ok to have whatever it is I'm thinking of (fries anyone?). Even before class starts I'm sometimes thinking I don't know if I can do this but once I walk into the studio and bring it to the barre, the bands, or the mat and take that first cleansing breath I feel relaxed and energetic and I know that I'm ready for the challenge.

I'm kind of in limbo also. Sometimes I think I can't follow this meal plan another day but then I'm so grateful that the chefs are preparing healthy delicious meals for me. I'm nearing the end and it's sort of bittersweet. I'll soon have to cook for myself (insert nervous shifty eyes here) and make my own decisions regarding meals BUT I'll be able to cook for myself and make my own decisions. So hopefully I can take what I've learned and integrate it into my life. 


love letters

Dear Lauren, Lithe Instructors, and Lithe Community:

As I sit down to write this letter of love and admiration of all things Lithe, I realize how bittersweet it actually is. I know what I write cannot possibly give justice to how I feel about this strong community but I am so deeply appreciative of all the fit, hip, healthy advice/encouragement/tips shared through Lithe. Over the past 2+ years, I have been relying on Lithe Method to kick my butt into shape, lift my spirits when having a hard day, and just make me happy. Unfortunately, I am going to be taking a hiatus for an undetermined amount of time. After spending my entire life in Philadelphia, I have decided to move to Boston to start a new chapter in my life. This has been on my mind for awhile and I believe it is the right time for me. When I first joined Lithe, I had struggled with yo-yo dieting and going to the gym every day – never seeing results. A former coworker introduced me to Lithe after hearing me go on about how the gym is so boring, I’m not seeing any changes, what’s the point being on an elliptical every day, etc. After my first Immersion class, I was nervous to go back but really excited as I walked down some steps and almost collapsed from my legs being so wobbly. As I continued through Immersion, I was hooked and ecstatic to finally find a workout that I love and look forward to going to each day (not to mention the amazing results I’ve seen!). Coming to the studio as much as possible, trying Lithe foods, and especially trying new classes as they make their way onto the schedules are things I’ve grown to love more and more. Since I am a planner by nature, I have gotten to the point where most of my activities outside of work are planned around my Lithe schedule. To me, Lithe is like a best friend – always there, supporting, pushing me to be my best, and making me smile through it all.

Lauren: thank you for bringing this incredible, unique workout/lifestyle to Philadelphia. It has done more for me than I would have ever expected when I first signed up. All the instructors: thank you for making class fun, always smiling, and encouraging us to get through a few more lunges, sumos, pushups, etc. to finish out the set! Lithe Community: thank you for being so friendly and working with me to make it through the classes day after day. I do not think there is any way I can thank you all enough.

I am beyond excited to move to Boston! I have friends and family up there so I’m comfortable with that but I am extremely anxious to leave behind Lithe. Trust me, on holidays and when I’m visiting, I will be in one of the studios. I will take all I have learned about food and exercise with me to try to continue to be the best me I can even though I won’t be in the studios. And I will, without a doubt, continue to check out the blog, Twitter, and Facebook to make sure I’m staying up to date on everything Lithe!

I will miss you all and look forward to seeing you when I visit!


Anna J

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