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25 posts from December 2014

LITHE INSIDE: UNREFINED CARBS & SUGAR CHALLENGE! 29 Dec 2014

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I've always said what you eat is 80 percent of the Lithe equation – it's SO important to nourish yourself from the inside. Many of us are in the studio 5-7 times a week, but aren't feeling our best on the inside, and aren't reaching our true potential on the outside.

Beginning on Monday, January 5th, we're banding together post-holiday for the Lithe Inside: Unrefined Carbs & Sugar Challenge! We challenge you to 30 days of Eating Lithe without refined carbohydrates and sugar. We believe in 80/20, so you're off on the weekends. For those of you who want to take it to the next level, you can include weekends as part of your challenge. There is no sign up or workout component to this challenge.

Try not to think of this as a restrictive diet (we know that diets don't work) and get super-excited about all the delicious things that you CAN have. You're about to embark on a huge attitude shift that is going to enable you to transform your body and get into the best shape you have ever been in! 

Eating Lithe (clean eating) stems from the idea of eliminating or reducing all chemicals from the body. This means getting back to basics: no refined sugar, no unhealthy refined carbohydrates, and minimal processed foods. It’s all about nourishing that gorgeous body of yours and fueling it with nutritious whole foods that are as close to their natural state as possible: healthy unrefined carbs, Lithed Up salads, veggies, fruit, lean meats, healthy protein, and good fats.

Are you in? Check in on Saturday and print out your shopping list and everything that you need to succeed! Each week we'll post recipes, tips, and tricks so please share and follow us here and on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Happy New Year Lithers, let's make this our best year yet! 

 

BEST OF FHH 2014! 29 Dec 2014

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What a great year! Thank YOU for all of your hard work and dedication: We completed 3 challenges, 2 Lithe Escapes, traveled on tour to Seoul, NYC & LA, celebrated a decade in Philly, Welcomed 11 fantastic new instructors (Meredith, Cate, Jen L., Maggie, Jenn B., Annette, Liz S., Kalika, Jonathan, Alicia, Katie B), 3 veteran instructors became Masters, debuted 7 new workouts (Rah, Lithe Beach, Hi-Top, All That, Sideline, Mercy & Lithe Lab), 2 WKND's and have seen the most killer camaraderie and results than ever before!  Here's to 2015!  Check out some of our favorite posts...

Lithe Escape Jamaica, Lithe WKND, Lithe Escape Tulum, Love Letters, Kristy's Before & After, Lithe Tour Philly, Seoul, NYC & LA, Because I'm Perfect, Lauren's Gym Bag Essentials, Beauty Tips for a tired face, 3 Days to Flat Abs, Lauren for Prevention, Breaking the Mom Cycle, Talking biz with Forbes & Jon Oringer, Fall Transformation Results, Elizabeth Tomkins x Destination Maternity, Lithe Foods x Art In The Age Skinny Heathen series, Sayeh's Living Lithe Tips, Earned in Winter Challenge, Results, T-Minus 30 Challenge, Mission: Lithe, Mama Says, Lithe Spice No.1, Meg G. & Lithe on BLDG 25, love from the Press & Eating Lithe,

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 24 Dec 2014

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I, along with everyone at Lithe and FHH, would like to wish you and yours a beautiful holiday and all the best in 2015. Thank you for your love, inspiration, loyalty, readership, letters, comments, and support this year. On Monday, we'll be taking a look back at the best of 2014 (and what's on deck for January 2015) and then we're signing off until Monday, January 5th.

Here's to happiness, health and your fittest year yet!  2015 is going to be another great one and I look forward to bringing you all that is fit, hip, healthy, and Lithe! 

xo, LBG & everyone at Lithe

 

GIFTING... 23 Dec 2014

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1. Byredo Mojave Ghost is unlike anything else.  2. Yotam Ottolenghi's Jarusalem cookbook  3. Lithe Spice No. 1 for everyone who's Eating Lithe in January.  4. Laura Mercier Bare Beige lip glace looks great on everyone. 5. Konjac sponge is naturally alkaline, and pH neutral which leaves skin perfectly balanced. 6. Drybar Detox dry shampoo turns Lithed-Up, second day hair into blow out quality.  7. You don't know you need a bodysuit until you have one! The Bradamant Pop-Up shop at 1605 Walnut St. is open from Dec 15-25!

Images via brand websites

LITHED-UP SUGAR COOKIES 23 Dec 2014

Cookies

My Mars has a serious sweet tooth and now that he's three and a half, he's at the age that I can't totally fool him with something healthy.  These sugar cookies are Mars (and me) approved...

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely ground almond flour
  • A little over 1/8 tsp. salt (like, 1/8 + 1/16 tsp.)
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 level tsp almond milk or Lithe Foods cashew milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  • Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  • Combine all liquid ingredients (except nut milk).
  • In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir well. 
  • Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and keep stirring, breaking up clumps as you stir. The batter may seem dry at first. If so, you can add the extra 2 tsp. milk. It will eventually form something that can either be squished into a ball with your hands.
  • Roll out dough to cut-out cookie width, either between sheets of parchment paper.
  • Freeze dough at least 20 minutes before baking. 
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes (depending on desired crispiness). 
  • Let cool another 10 minutes before even attempting to remove cookies from the sheet. The cookies should firm up well.

Images of Mars making cookies via Lauren

LITHED-UP ALMOND MILK 21 Dec 2014

Lithed Up Almond Milk

A few years back I could only find the best almond milk lattes in California. These days, you don't have to travel far to find a coffee shop that serves almond milk. We’ve all read the horror stories of soy (GMO-laden soybeans and highly processed). And while almond milk is surely the cleaner route to go, even the latest brands seem to be pumped up with thickening agents like carrageenan and xanthan gum, on which the jury is still out (there are claims that both are inflammatory). What’s a health conscious chick to do? Play it safe and make your own. I swear it’s not as scary as it seems...

Ingredients
1 cup raw almonds
4 cups filtered water
Sweetener (we like coconut nectar or 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup)
1 cheesecloth or nut milk bag
½ teaspoon vanilla extract, pinch of sea salt, and cinnamon (optional)

Directions
Soak almonds in a bowl of water overnight (soaking allows nuts to soften and sprout which is easier on the digestive system). The next day, strain/rinse almonds. Add nuts to your Vitamix or high-powered blender along with water. Blend for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute. Place nut milk bag or cheesecloth in a medium-sized bowl, pour milk into cheesecloth, and squeeze the bag to release the liquid “milk." Once the almond meal inside the bag is dry, pour liquid back into blender and add sweetener of choice plus vanilla, sea salt, and cinnamon, if you wish. Blend for 30 seconds. The milk will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Image via Lauren

25 NEW THINGS! {BY SAYEH} LITHE EDITION! 19 Dec 2014

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We all know Lauren as the brains (and the body) behind everything Lithe. From the constantly evolving classes, to the clean drinks she creates to compliment them, to the stylish, high performance gear she designs for us to wear during them (and out to dinner after we leave), she has carefully crafted an entire lifestyle for her clients. One that is without gimmick and that gains die-hard converts daily, because of one simple fact: it works. But aside from all of that (and that's a lot), one of the things I l love most about Lauren is the genuine joy she still gets when she watches how Lithe changes her clients' bodies and lives.

I'll never forget when I ran into her a couple of months after my initial Lithe Diving commitment. I had lost another 7 or 8 pounds and toned up quite a bit. She saw me, and just seemed overwhelmed by my results. She had this childlike delight and surprise – almost like she couldn't believe that it was she, herself who had created this thing that had worked so completely. It was a glimmer of something underneath that typically unwavering, fierce vision she has when it comes to Lithe – the almost preternatural confidence she has about what it can do for a woman who commits to it, and how much it will continue to grow. It was a brief flash of that side of her that still cries at every love letter and whose jaw still drops at every before and after picture and endless summer hashtag. The side that kind of still can't believe that her dream is coming true. This week, she brings us 25 NEW Things to share as she continues her constantly evolving journey to better herself, life, love, and Lithe. Like me, I'm sure you'll tip your hat at the screen a bit thinking about her skills, business acumen and the general bad-assery she's brought to our lives.

1. Being a mom has inspired me in so many ways. I'm working on two new projects for 2015 (one food and one fitness) that I think all the mom's out there will love! 

2. I can't believe that I'm saying this out loud ... I've been toying with the idea of possibly having another baby at some point. I've gone from never again, to maybe...

3. I'm developing two new incredible in-studio workouts for 2015 and even more content will be debuted online. For the many displaced Lithers who have been dying for VOD for all these years, we've heard your cries : )

4. I'm never idle. When you don't see me on the schedule, I'm where the business needs me: instructor training, working on my book, Lithe Foods, a project, or another aspect of the businessLithe is so much bigger than me and most days I go from 5AM to 12AM, just trying to chase it!

5. I don't have a favorite studio, but Rittenhouse is conveniently located two blocks away from my house, so to make my life easier, I prefer to teach there. Since having Mars, I've realized that my time is so incredibly valuable. I’ve really learned how to work smarter and not harder, as well as choose quality over quantity.

6. Teaching is my happy place. I'd always rather be teaching. 

7. I've been asked to be a ambassador/sponsor for many companies. I'm taking on my first one this year. The most important lesson I’ve learned when it comes to associating yourself with another brand is to be selective and to align yourself with something that you truly believe in. I believe that it's vital to work with companies that are harmonious with Lithe and myself. By being selective, I strengthen the connection with my fans as well as their confidence in me. At the end of the day, it’s really about authenticity and staying true to yourself and your brand.

8. Lithe is such a small business. We are a team of approximately 50 (and only three studios), but our brand is so much bigger than the business itself. I giggle at some of the things that I hear. Sometimes people assume we have "issues" because it takes us time to install mirrors, for example. It all boils down to being a small business. At our core, we are a workout. We're not a large company (yet!).  

9. At this point in my career, I feel like I have an MBA. I learned it all through experience and that is priceless.

10. When I opened our first studio in 2005, there were no boutique fitness options in Philly. I feel like Lithe (and Lithers!) are the pride of Philadelphia. In my opinion, the rise of the local fitness scene was due to Lithe. We put Philly on the map. The big box fitness brands wouldn't be here if we hadn't built and proved the market. I've enjoyed watching Philly grow and reach its full potential!  

11. Lithe is absolutely amazing. We're working towards a goal and every six months we're stronger and more united. Our current manangement team is phenomenal and I pinch myself every day. I work with such talented, hard-working people.  

12. Pepsi recently asked me what my proudest (business) moment has been so far. Honestly, it has to be having THREE men on the Lithe team. I couldn't be more proud of that and the direction that we're moving in.  

13. I'm striving for Lithe to make it on one of the best places to work list, and someday that will happen. Over the past year and a half we've completely changed our culture. I don't believe in your typical workplace seniority. A very smart business man taught me about the importance of horizontal organization charts.

14. Eventually, I will cut back to only one studio in Philadelphia. I look forward to shifting my focus and scaling the business in a different way.  I'm an entrepreneur at heart. 

15. When it comes to my leadership style, I'm a big believer in hiring great people, and then getting the hell out of their way. 

16. Don't believe everything you think and don't worry about what other people think.

17. Fit.Hip.Healthy turned seven this year! Because I have so many hats to wear, many aspiring bloggers want to know how I continue to blog and support each facet of my business effectively. It all boils down to time management and your team. I changed the type of staff I've had a lot over the past several years. I started with interns during the early days of 2008. Then, I worked with freelance contributors. Then, last year, I decided to go back to blogging by myself and now I only have a few Lithe-specific contributors posting on occasion. I feel like I've found the perfect balance that works best for me. 

18. Progress is impossible without change. So many people are afraid of change and become caught up in failure. Do not worry about failing. Its your failures that inspire you to go out and do something better. Missed opportunities open doors to better opportunities and help you recognize how you can improve in preparation for them.

19. I hate excuses. Our 6AMers have inspired me so much over the years. There's always a way to get your workout in!  When I find myself in a bit of a fitness slump, I realize that the best way to get back on the horse is to stop making excuses. When it comes to working out, we all set our own limitations. The truth of the matter is that if something is a priority, you will make time for it.  

20. Confidence is the key to happiness. Embrace your thighs and measure yourself in strength, not pounds. Allow yourself to be the best version of the person you really are!  

21. Working with 45+ females (and over 1,000 female Lithers) is fascinating. There are so many different personalities to manage and some women tend to be negative and gossip instead of support each other. When I catch wind of something negative that's happening in-studio, it changes the way that I think about that person. This quote has really stuck with me: If those words appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?

22. I still cry over every love letter that I receive.   

23. Yes, send us your before-and-after photos! I never tire of seeing Lithers' progress and results. It totally makes my day and makes me realize why I do what I'm doing. It's a true light bulb moment every time!

24. I'm an eternal cheerleader and I believe that everyone needs one. Whenever I'm overtired or just not feeling 100 percent, I pump myself up by watching this clip of USC's Sandstorm, and then I head out to face the world. Channel your alma mater!  I swear it works. 

25. I highly recommend having a fierce vision when it comes to yourself. There's nothing wrong with being a little egotistical! The best project you'll ever work on is you – the trickle down effect is profound. 

Image of Lauren for Prevention Mag wearing Michi NY, Lithe & Norma Kamali via Dom

 

SHELL STRETCH 19 Dec 2014

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No way, Lithe didn't re-name child's pose! The Shell Stretch is what the Pilates world (and the rest of the non-yoga world) calls the amazing static resting position that stretches the latissimus dorsi and erector spinae.

To do:
Kneel on the mat and rest your sitz bones on your heels. As you keep your glutes on your heels, roll forwards and reach your arms forward, letting the shoulders rise up to your ears.

Image of retired Lithe Instructor Kelly W. wearing Lithe and Lululemon via Dom

 

GIN & JUICE SKINNY HEATHEN 19 Dec 2014

LITHE +AITA Gin & Juice

 

Happy Friday!  At Lithe, we're all about making healthy choices without sacrificing any of the fun. Welcome to our Lithe Foods Skinny Heathen collaboration with Art In The Age spirits! Next up in our 13-week series is Gin & Juice, which is made with Lithe's Smile Sparkle Shine and AITA's Sage liquor

 

Lithe's Smile Sparkle Shine is a cold-pressed juice made from grapefruit, pear and grapes. Grapefruit is rich in vitamin C, lycopene (pink and red only!), and has salicylic acid known to dissolve inorganic calcium formed deposits that may build up in the cartilage of the joints, causing arthritis. Pear is a great source of insoluble fiber and reduces the grapefruit's tartness, yet really enhances its tastiness. Although grapefruit is available throughout the year, it is currently in season, and at it's most delish from winter through early spring. Drink up!

AITA's Sage is a refreshing “garden gin” with an intoxicating aroma and woodsy, herbaceous flavor. Instilled with organic American botanicals including thyme, rosemary, lavender, fennel, and sage, it's delicious in both savory and sweet cocktails. Together, this is just like a vodka and grapefruit, but it's sweeter and gin forward. The flavors of this drink — sage, grapefruit, and gin — balance bright and energetic with smooth and herbal.


Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

2 oz. Sage liquor

4 oz. Smile Sparkle Shine

1/2 lime, squeezed

Ice

Lime wedge for garnish

 

Directions

Fill a Collins glass with ice, pour in Smile Sparkle Shine, Sage, and lime juice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

 

Image via Chaucee

 

 

 

 

 

THERE'S NOTHING LIKE IT 18 Dec 2014

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