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36 posts from June 2013

FIT.HIP.FRIDAY GIVEAWAY! 27 Jun 2013

Giveaway Friday

Happy Friday!  Today's giveaway is a Lithe Method post-holiday gift pack; Perfect for getting motivated and back on track, post-holiday weekend!  Our gift pack includes a Lithe 3 Class Card, a Lithe Foods cooler bag, Lithe Love tee shirt, and a Lithe water bottle.  

For a chance to win, please leave a comment below telling us your favorite Lithe Workout (tough choice!) and why! One winner will be chosen at random on Monday, so you have three days to enter.  Rules:  One entry per person; Card will be added to your account with expiration applied.  Thank you, and good luck!

Image of Lithe Instructors Bianca Pollatto and Kim Sauer via Dom

ME ON MONDAY (MY APPLE). 27 Jun 2013

Mars Goldenberg

I'm currently planning Mars's 2nd birthday party (July 30th), and I can't believe that I've been a mom for almost two years.  Two years!  Mars is a full-blown TODDLER!  These past two years have been the fastest, most challenging, and satisfying years of my life.  Actually, I feel like I'm just now getting the hang of being a mom; I'm no longer on edge, nervously second guessing myself, or trying to get the hang of my role.  It finally feels really good.  I can honestly say that I truly love it now.

Up until about two months ago, I could visibly see that Mars resembled me, but I would always wonder what kind of person he would be.  Would he be a thinker?  Funny like Jordan?  A creative?  Intellectual?  An athlete?  Would he be like me?  Would all that movement (Lithe) in utero effect him and shape him at all? 

Now that Mars is quickly turning into a little boy with a BIG personality, I have to say that I know for sure that he is happiest when he is active.  He dances whenever he hears a beat (even a Harley Davidson's cadence when idling), he stretches whenever he has the opportunity, and he loves music.  Jordan recently captured this impromptu photo of him in front of Athleta on Walnut Street.  Mid-walk he stopped to check out the mannequins and went right into Downward Dog.  This picture really warms my heart.  I guess the apple hasn't fallen too far from the tree...

Image of Mars via Jordan via Instagram

GO GO OATMEAL! 27 Jun 2013

Oatmeal

My work schedule has recently become way more active this month as I began training our newest crop of Lithe Instructors.  My latest breakfast obsession?  Go-Go Oatmeal!  It is SO good and keeps me full well into the afternoon hours on my "go go" days.  I make a huge batch on Sunday and then eat it throughout the week.  Mars loves it too!  Full disclosure re: ghee...I like my oatmeal buttery and rich (hence, the 1 tablespoon per serving). if you don't "go" everyday, you probably will after you eat this.  If you do "go" everyday, this WILL send you to the bathroom, so my advice is to slowly incorporate Ghee into your diet.  

Ingredients:  Steel cut oats, 1 tablespoon of ghee (or less if you prefer), coconut milk, and coconut sugar

Directions:  Soak oats overnight, then cook oatmeal.  Add in ghee, coconut milk and coconut sugar while oats are still hot.  Enjoy! 

Image via Lauren

SAYEH'S LIVING LITHE (PERSIAN BREAKFAST)! 26 Jun 2013

Livingl

In my continued effort to clean up my eating habits, breakfast eludes me. I always wake up with just enough time to make it to work 5-10 minutes late. I buy things like frozen acai berry paste and flax seeds, promising myself I will at least make delicious and nutritious smoothies for myself before work, but it never happens. I just end up grabbing a granola bar and running out the door, instead. One day, though, I will be the kind of person that wakes up early and does a whole series of things before my workday begins. Maybe I'll read the paper. Maybe I'll do a load of laundry. Maybe I'll go through that pile of mail on my credenza (yeah, I said credenza). And maybe just maybe...I'll make myself a real breakfast. 

Until then, that's what the weekends are for, right? Because that's when I actually have time to bust out my very favorite Persian breakfast (my fiance is at his desk somewhere wondering if he's been asleep during this alleged breakfast cooking, but don't mind him!) So for those of you that like to go the extra mile and create a spread on the weekend to make up for your lackluster weekday morning yogurt cups, here's an incredible, clean and super summery Persian breakfast that will be as fun to make as it is delicious to eat. This recipe (if you can call it that) works for lunch or dinner as well with just a couple of adjustments (or none at all!) 

PS) This is the kind of spread that's meant for sharing. You could go solo for sure, but it's the kind of meal where you use your hands, and it brings everyone eating it closer together. 

Persian Breakfast (one of many variations)

Ingredients

Persian or any crusty, warm middle eastern bread (Whole wheat pita works fine and is easy to find, but if you are adventurous and can find it--my favorites are: Barbari and Sangak. I usually find mine when I'm in the DC area since there are lots of Persians there and plenty of Persian stores (I buy a ton, cut and freeze), but I've heard that in Philly Bitar'sMakkah Market and Jerusalem Foods may carry these breads or something close that will be fun and different for your palate. If you get a hold of them, don't be daunted by their size. Grab a pair of (washed) scissors and cut them into rectangular, toast-ish-sized pieces for...well...toasting.)

1 brick of feta cheese (Avoid the pre-crumbled stuff. I prefer a French style sheep's milk feta for its creaminess and subtle tang. This is my favorite brand. If you want to scout your own brand, go for feta stored in a tin, where it is sitting in water to retain moisture and freshness or at an international foods store where you can buy it from a bulk bin behind the counter. This makes a world of difference! Once you have opened the tin, transfer the feta you aren't using with the water from the tin, into an airtight container and pop it into the fridge. It will last for a while. You'll be able to smell when it's turned...it is good for at least a couple of weeks.)

Butter (set out enough in a dish for smearing on your bread)

1-2 RIPE, RIPE juicy tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 inch think half-moons, lightly salt and peppered (Go local here! Jersey tomatoes anyone??)

1 bunch of fresh mint, rinsed and patted dry (a must have)

1 bunch of fresh basil, rinsed and patted dry (optional)

1 bunch of tarragon, rinsed and patted dry (optional)

3-4 Persian cucumbers (1/2 English or hothouse cucumber will work too and is easier to find), peeled and cut into spears (lightly salted)

A couple of handfuls of raw walnuts (soaked in slightly salted water overnight) (optional)

Directions

There's no cooking to this breakfast (lunch or dinner). Just arranging and assembling. (Make it pretty. It's more fun to eat that way.)

Arrange all the tomatoes in a dish you love. 

Place all the fresh herbs and cucumbers in a basket (or plate) with a paper towel underneath to soak up any excess moisture left on them. 

Place the feta in a pretty dish (drained of it's water). 

Place the butter in its dish. 

Leave the walnuts in their soaking juices in a small bowl. 

Place, the warm toasted bread in its own basket with a linen napkin or clean kitchen towel and keep covered to retain the heat. (Toast the bread to where it's not doughy anymore (yuk!), but still able to fold with a little crunch (not snap in half). Having the warm bread is key to the deliciousness of this meal. This is why Persian families often get up and toast new rounds of bread intermittently throughout the meal, instead of toasting it all at once, so the slices are warm when you are ready to eat them.)

Now start building yourself little sandwiches!

First smear a bit of butter on your bread, then a smear a good chunk of feta on top of that. You can certainly leave out the butter, if you're counting calories, or like the taste of the feta on its own. Try both! I alternate!

Then mix and match any of the toppings! (But remember, the base bread should always have AT LEAST feta cheese smeared on it.) 

Do a little cucumber and a handful of mint. 

Do a little tomato, tarragon and walnut. 

Do a little basil, tomato, cucumber. 

Do all of it, all at once!

The combinations are endless. This is a meal that Persians call "khosh khorak." Khosh means good or happy and khorak is food. It's a happy food! And you just can't stop eating it. You find yourself getting more feta out of the fridge, and slicing more tomatoes and adding more cucumber! Sip with warm tea (we add cardomom pods to ours) and add whatever ingredients you want...hard boiled eggs (YUM), radishes, green onions, bell peppers. You can't go wrong with anything seasonal and fresh.

If you plan to do this for lunch or dinner, I high recommend eliminating the butter and adding:

Persian or Israeli pickles, sliced on a diagonal

Thinly sliced mortadella--an italian bologna with pistachios in it. (If you've never had mortadella, prepare to DIE. I don't even like bologna, but this stuff is heaven.) Add a heap of it to the table with the rest of the toppings. 

Thinly sliced white onions (in half moons)

Some people like to replace the feta, in this variation, with a dab of mayo. I like either...and of course alternate. That's the point of having such a big spread. So many combinations that you don't have to choose just 1!

Hope you give this a shot. It's fun and fresh and clean and most importantly...de-licious! Stay tuned next week for another Persian breakfast I love which will also make use of your leftover feta. 

Till then...see you in class!

Images via Sayeh and Dom

 

 

INSTAGRAM ♥... 25 Jun 2013

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LITHE VARSITY! 24 Jun 2013

Lithe Varsity
 
Here's our greatest challenge yet.  Annoucing our new Varsity Lither program!  "Tryout" for the Varsity Lithe squad by giving it your all ... all year long.  We'll be tracking your logged Lithe hours each year from September 1 through August 31, and Lithers who log 250 classes make the team!  Varsity Lithers will be announced on the blog, receive a limited edition Varsity t-shirt, and get exclusive discounts, specials, and perks throughout the year.  


This year's "tryouts" run September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013.  That means, you still have over two months to log 250 practice hours.  So, hit the studio, get those classes in, and make Varsity!  We'll announce the 2013-2014 team on September 1, 2013.  Your Varsity status will last one year, and can be renewed for the 2014-2015 season by hitting another 250 classes from September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014.

Up for the challenge?  You can check your completed classes on Mindbody by clicking: (1) the "My Info" tab and (2) "Visit History."  If you need a summary count of your total classes, please feel free to email philly@lithemethod.com or call/check in at any studio front desk.

SKINNY HEATHEN! 21 Jun 2013

  Heathen-4

Lets celebrate the first day of the summer with the quintessential laid-back summertime cocktail, the Piña Colada.  Here's a lighter recipe with no need for Coconut Cream!  If you like Piña Coladas... here's a little history: Mr. Ramon Manchito Marrero Pérez was tending bar at the Caribe Hilton when he was introduced to the product Coco Lopez, and the Piña Colada, translated as “squeezed pineapple,” was born. A sign at La Barra in San Juan’s Old City has a different claim: In 1963, the Piña Colada was created there by Mr. Don Ramón Portas Migot. That both claimants have four names might indicate a tie, but most authorities credit Pérez.

Ingredients:
Directions: Place the rum, Spring (Break) Recovery Smoothie in a blender, and blend for a few seconds. Add 1/2 cup crushed ice, and blend for another 15 seconds, or until smooth. Pour into an glass of your choice and garnish with a pineapple slice. 

LITHE ON LOCATION (& LOVE LETTER)! 20 Jun 2013

LOL Ashly

Hi Lithe, 

My girlfriend, Kristen A., has been doing this for years and finally convinced me to give it a try (enter Rue La La promo). I took my first class in Feb 2013 and used a trip to Puerto Rico as a major motivating factor. I fell in love with the program and it took on a life all it's own. I kicked it into high gear in March/April and ended up hitting 33 classes in 40 days (yes, I counted!). Not only did I feel absolutely amazing on this trip, but I have learned so much about myself in the process. Damn it's good to be a fit, hip, healthy and happy woman!! My boyfriend snapped this picture of me in Old San Juan at The Castillo de San Cristóbal. He teases me about virtually everything, so when I asked him to capture this moment he was in his glory. Look forward to growing with you; Thanks for all you do.

xo, Ashly

FRESH LOVIN'. 19 Jun 2013

Loving-4

Right now I'm carrying, wearing, drinking and listening to: Baggu's Sailor Stripe Duck Bag holds everything, I don't leave the house without Issa Dixon's Hollow & Ridge Balance and Calm blends, So Delicious Coconut Milk Barista Style Creamer in my morning coffee, Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams Get Lucky is on repeat and Ancient Greek Lito rose gold sandals look great on tanned feet.

Images via brand websites and LBG

SAYEH'S LIVING LITHE! 19 Jun 2013

Livingl

I have always fancied myself as someone who doesn't care about what other people think. I don't mind making a fool of myself at karaoke (Madonna's "Borderline" is my go-to). I'll strike up conversations with strangers, even if I can tell they think I'm a crazy person. And I don't mind laughing loudly in a restaurant, even though some people seem to hate that for some reason.

The people I admire most in my life--like my sister and best friends--are people who really don't care what other people think. Actually, the more accurate description would be that they are fearless. They say what's on their minds, even if many people are likely to disagree. Some of them wear daring (fashionable) clothes, not worrying that they will stand out in a crowd or that people may scoff at them as a result. They don't let others cut in front of them in line in the grocery store, and they stand up for themselves and the people they love. 

And while I'd like to lump myself in the same category as these women--and to some extent I do share some of these qualities--I'm starting to realize I'm not as bad-ass as they are or even as much as I like to think I am. 

In fact, I DO care what people think. More than I would like to admit. And my wedding planning is bringing that into striking relief for me. In fact, it's made me realize that I am petrified of people talking sh*t about me. 

Plain and simple. 

Recently, a woman I know went to a wedding shower. She came back from the wedding shower with some stories. How stupid the games were. How many over-the-top, expensive gifts the bride had requested on her registry. How much she spent. How much others spent. She told me how she ribbed a friend, also in attendance, to commiserate with her on the ridiculousness, while the bride opened her presents. She even had a picture on her phone which she had texted to people not in attendance, which she showed to me to corroborate her stories. 

I listened intently and found myself gripped in fear. Oh God, I thought. This is what people are going to say about ME. My worst nightmare is that someone will be attending something in "celebration" of my life choices--feeling obligated and bored and even a little used. To imagine someone leaning over and whispering in dismay to a friend, while I'm doing whatever my bridesmaids have planned for me, makes me cringe. To think people's coworkers may laugh about me on Monday around the water cooler makes me want to call everything off!

And the thing is, this woman is not a bad person. And she's certainly not alone. I myself have certainly attended events--even weddings--and come home regaling my family about the dress (the good, bad and ugly), the food, the music. Who hasn't? Talking sh*t is fun, man. It makes for serious entertainment. I love acting things out, getting animated and hearing my friends say things like: STOP! NO! YOU'RE KIDDING! STOP! While I get to shake my head and say things like...I couldn't make this stuff up!

Talking sh*t is a way to bond with friends. How many times have you connected with someone in your mutual dislike of someone or something else? It makes you feel that you're the same as someone else, and that the person you're talking to is someone you trust and someone who you think is smart like you and recognizes the things you recognize. You feel good. They feel good. I would venture to say almost everyone does it. And I'm not talking about the horrifying, mean-spirited, mean-girls type of sh*t talking. I'm talking the kind that seems to always happen amongst a group of friends and is generally practiced and accepted. Like, You know how Suzy is, she would be late to her own funeral. Bless her heart (in the south this phrase excuses everything you say after it). One time she was late to my...and so on. 

Thing is, I don't want anyone to do that to ME. I mean, is it too much to ask? Can I be the only person exempt from this practice? Please? 

I think about walking down the aisle and wonder what will people think of my unusual dress. Will they hate it? Will I see someone make a face or lean over and whisper to a friend, in a not nice way, while I'm headed to the altar? Will it ruin the moment? Will people leave saying the wedding was beautiful, only to go home and rip it to shreds--with iPhone pictures to boot!

Oh the humanity! 

The firestorm of sh*t talking ignited by registries alone has me in constant angst. 

My fiance and I, while grown ups, have the housewares of college students. Our sheets are bleach-stained and holey. We drink out of his unruly collection of pint glasses with random beer logos on them. Our towels are mismatched and old. Our kitchen is dotted with a couple of serviceable pans (thanks to my wonderful friends) and a few plates my mom gave me before I moved to Philly. I've moved practically every year since I was 18, and amassing a collection of nice things has just never been a practical consideration. And my fiance? Well he's a true man, and until I moved in, was using a melted plastic spatula to make 1 of the 2 things he knows how to prepare on a cook-top. 

So now, I have the opportunity to register for the things we desperately need for a more grown-up life, and I'm imagining the comments I've heard others make in recent years, echoing all around me. Comments about having a registry at all. Even though there are other comments of frustration, if you don't have one. Comments about prices. Comments about items that people will think I need or don't need. Comments about my taste (gasp!). I know I've certainly purchased things on registries before thinking: WOW. That is hideous. But, if you want it, you shall receive it. 

The thing is, when I think of every person I love that will be in attendance at my celebrations, I can't imagine they won't be happy to be there or will go home and talk about me. I have wonderful friends. Incredibly supportive ones, who can't wait to buy me things and attend my showers and fly to be by my side, as I have for them. So why am I so paranoid? It is the outliers? The people I don't know so well that will be there? The general hate and chatter about expense and excess that often accompanies weddings? My own sh*t talking? The woman that went to the shower? All of the above?

Probably.

But mostly, I think it all comes down to judgment. The comments, the sh*t talking...isn't it all ultimately judgment in some way? That's what I think I'm really scared of. That I will be labeled frivolous or wasteful or even worse...inconsiderate. Not that someone will not like my taste in dishes or in dress (sniff), but that someone will surmise something about me in the process. I've worked hard to reconcile my identity...not just to others, but to myself. Will my expensive food processor make them think differently of me and blow that all to smithereens?

So much for not caring what people think right?

I don't know the answers to my quandary, or if/when these fears and insecurities will dissipate. Or what my reaction to this process says about me, about all of us, and our strong opinions about things like weddings, which make us so judgmental. All I know is I keep returning to 2 words. Be. Gentle. A reminder to myself that when I go to weddings and parties and...whatever. That likely, someone has worked really hard and put a lot of time and energy into including me in their life--no matter how over the top or underwhelming it all seems to me. That I should do and spend only what feels right for me, without the resentment or guilt that often comes with not meeting what I perceive someone else's expectations of me to be. 

And I can only hope that I'm equally gentle on myself and that others will return the favor when my time rolls around. 

See you in class. 

 

 

 

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