I've spent a lot of time in this very special Queen Village community garden. Much of my family (brother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece and nephew) and many friends live in the neighborhood and are in featured in this video on Martha Stewart. Check it out here if the screen above is too small. You may see someone you know!
Fight the Freshman 15 or the MBA 25! (via Chattersource.com)
I am a Wharton MBA student and I had lived in Philly for almost two years before I discovered Lithe. I was doing a team project for one of my classes on Lululemon and my teammates told me about a new class they'd been taking called Lithe Method and how much they loved it. And since they were looking so fabulous I was intrigued so I asked them more about it.
I went onto the Lithe website and started reading and got more excited about it. I decided that I was going to give it a go after I came back from spring break, so I signed up for the Lithe Immersion class, which is an intro to all things Lithe, including breathing and how to properly do the movements. The class meets twice a week for three weeks. Upon completion of the class you can jump right into the full suite of Lithe classes.
I will forever remember March 16, 2010, the date I went to my first Immersion class. There were about 10 other ladies (and one brave guy) in the class. From the beginning, our instructor put us right at ease and talked us through what we were about to do. We learned the breathing techniques and started learning moves.
Let me tell you the day after the first class, I was sore in places I didn't know I could be sore in. But it was that good kind of sore, a sore I hadn't felt since I was a year round athlete in high school. The kind of sore you feel when you know you've pushed your body to its limit and the kind of sore that makes you want more.
Needless to say, I was hooked from the first class. I'm the kind of person who loves the feeling of being in shape, but hates working out. That's why I loved playing sports so much because I loved game day. However, once college and life hit, I got lazier and lazier. I mean, take moving to Philly for instance. I signed up the second day I moved here at the Rittenhouse Square Gym and went diligently for two weeks and then after the 2nd day of pre-term never went again. Lithe has been different. I have literally since March 16th only missed two classes, once because I came down with a really bad cold and the other because I overslept (hey, it was a 7am class; I should have known better anyway!).
But what has kept me going is the results. I can literally feel that my body is tightening and more toned. I make all my friends feel my stomach and how firm it's gotten. Seriously, it's like I've become some apostle of Lithe. Everyone I send there also becomes hooked. Post my Immersion, they give you a one month unlimited pass for a special rate of $125. I bought this and used it as much as I could to get the most of the money. I went to 21 classes in 30 days and I can see the results and feel more confident about putting on a bathing suit in a couple of weeks for our graduation trip to South Beach.
My only regret is that I didn't discover Lithe sooner. I can only imagine how great I could have looked and felt over the course of these two years had I known sooner! I'm hoping Lauren brings it to NYC so I can keep doing Lithe when I move back there this summer.
So I'm spilling the secret to you ladies of Penn and Wharton. Try Lithe and I'm telling you, you won't be sorry!
P.S. I strongly recommend not jumping right into classes but taking the full Immersion class. If you jump right in, you might get discouraged because the moves can be really hard. You don't want to quit after one class so ease your way into it and gradually build up to the hard stuff.
Image via The Anthropologist
Check out my latest blog post on Be Well Philly! Everyone is always in a rush these days and unfortunately our bodies pay the price. As much as you want to prepare and cook wonderful, healthy meals, sometimes you need a good meal "in a pinch." Eating healthy is not always about carbs, fat and calories.
When you're on the run, the quality and the source of the ingredients are so important. Philly's got some great options. Try to think out of the box for the most nourishing meals when you're on the go. Here are my top 10 healthy stops for when I'm on the run:
Fork: Etc. (308 Market St., Old City) Fork has great quality healthy alternatives and they use fresh, organic local ingredients. I often mix and match small servings of their prepared foods. For breakfast, I love the egg white omelet & fruit salad, for lunch pick up the roasted veggies and quinoa salad.
MiLah Vegetarian (218 South 16th St., Center City) I love this place. They make it really easy to eat healthily...Their produce is like butter! The ALT on Italian bread is so good, yet a splurge for me (I'll usually split it with a co-worker) and add on their Miso Kale. If you're looking for a salad, try the Mango, Avocado mix green salad with the Spicy Caribbean dressing.
Ardmore Farmer's Market @ Suburban Square I'm out in Ardmore on Fridays and I always run to Asian Box for their fantastic Tofu & Shrimp summer rolls. They make em' in the morning and stock them on the counter. Easy to grab and go.
Zento (138 Chestnut St.) I cannot say enough about this place-It rivals Sagami and you don't have to cross the bridge! They make a wonderful (non-iceberg) salad with ginger dressing and avocado and they wrap many of their perfectly portioned rolls with yummy soy paper and cucumber so that I can go rice-less. I love their Sashimi Roll, Love Roll and Center City roll.
Metropolitan Bakery (5 locations in Philly) High-quality and locally sourced ingredients. You're safe with anything out of their refrigerator case.
Picnic (3131 Walnut, University City) Their lovely menu changes daily and they are one of my top caterer choices for meetings and events.
Essene (719 S. 4th St.) I love their Cafe/deli. The to-go sandwiches are top-notch and I often experiment with their macrobiotic and Japanese dishes.
Soy Cafe (602 North 2nd St., Northern Liberties) I'll walk from Fishtown for the soy wraps, smoothies and honey latte's--they made me a soy convert!
Healthy Bites To-Go (2521 Christian St., Gray's Ferry) The best BELT's, panini's and fritatta's for breakfast. I also love the Quinoa Breakfast cereal.
I just read Lauren H's Reimmersion post. It's pretty funny and inspiring and it brought me right back to how I was feeling after my wedding. There's nothing like a good long break to bring you right back to where you started. It's funny how quickly we lose strength and how much we can feel it-getting back into the studio is never easy. Don't you wish that you could feel how quickly you gain strength?
It's all about getting back on that horse. Many of us cannot keep a 3-6 day a week Lithe schedule for months and months. Especially during the summer when we need it most-the pool, the shore, summer getaways and tempting al fresco dinners take priority. It's a new season and summer is officially here. It's time to commit to your routine and be healthy. I know that I'm inspired!
Images via Cecilia Carlstedt,The Anthropologist, Lithe Instructor, Krista DeNofa on Lithe's Higher Power band system & Lauren Boggi for Everlast via Dominic Episcopo.
Waspie is my favorite workout. When I created it, I knew I was really onto something big. I taught it as much as possible before my wedding and it completely whipped my waist (actually, my entire body) into wedding dress shape with the quickness. I love what Lither, Melanie has to say about it!
Lithe Instructor, Paula Graff in Waspie Swivel Kicks via Dominic Episcopo.
I am now guest blogging for Phildelphia Magazine's Be Well Philly blog! After reading Self Magazine's May issue, I was inspired to spread the word on a much healthier way to get to work:
When the weather gets warmer, I find it’s much easier to like a healthier, active lifestyle beyond Lithe. It all starts when I get out of bed and cut some fresh wheatgrass from my rooftop garden. Then I jump to the kitchen, grab a cup of java, blend a fresh fruit smoothie, blog and watch the weather. If it’s nice out I'll bike to the studio and beyond. I don’t even worry about my hair or what I’m wearing.
You don’t have to be a fitness cyclist to love commuting by bike, and you don’t have to be fearless to navigate through Philly traffic. Grab a helmet and choose a safe route-Self Magazine recommends checking out Google Maps which now shows bike routes and it can actually be a much more calming experience than taking the El, cabbing it or driving. Plus, you save big on gas, cab/train fare.
Self Magazine and I recommend giving your wheels a spin in honor of National Bike Month. Commitmentphobe? Try it for one day: May 21 is Bike-to-Work Day.
Need some inspiration to get you excited? Check out Riding Pretty (www.ridingpretty.blogspot.com) Copenhagen cylechic.com (Cyclechic.co.uk), Vanilla Bicycle (www.vanillabicycles.com) & Dutchie Bikes (Dutchie.co.uk)
Images via (Clockwise): Copenhagencyclechic.com, Garancedore.fr for Celine, 13” Hot Dog Riding bag via Knog.com, Love/Hate leather riding gloves via Knog.com, Liberty of London bicycle for Target.com, Commuter #2, handmade by Portnad, Oregon’s Vanilla Bicycles, Sawako Furuno helmut & Brooks Hoxton Basket
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