Article via Elizabeth Wellington & images of Lauren Boggi Goldenberg, Lithe Instructors, Melissa Weinberg & Jen Troped via Clem Murray
for beginning a new romance with a mysterious stranger
Thanks to Hallmark, February is associated with a very commercial, “ready to buy” idea of love. Like “diets,” boxes of chocolate and tacky lingerie promise a simple and cheap solution to a process that takes time and care. Too often, these solutions seem like a sarcastic or cruel commentary on what they are actually supposed to represent.
This Valentine’s Day, dump the lazy, cheap, and thoughtless boyfriend of mass-marketed foods and beauty ideals. A mysterious stranger and a new and exhilarating romance are waiting for you. This dashing prospect is your current health goal. A charming date leans in and listens closely. Do the same to your goal. Read between the lines as you would with post-date and follow-up text messages. What does “I want to lose 15 pounds” really mean? What is different about the version of me who accomplishes this task? What does our life look like together?
Have a flirty first journal date with this question. Take it slow. Making this process into yet another crash diet is like sex on the first “date”: fatal to the relationship. Like a Lithe challenge or earning 30 lunge stamina, exploring, questioning, and deciphering your wellness and weight-loss goal takes time and dedication. And, your efforts are rewarded with lasting gifts that go beyond a smaller and tighter body. The more you listen, the more sensational the love affair with yourself and life, year round. Hallmark and Godiva can never compete with that.
Ali Shapiro is a 20-year cancer survivor and regular NBC Philadelphia contributor. Her Truce with Food program, which simplifies and revolutionizes your nutrition goals, begins March 6. Details and sign-up at http://alishapiro.com/group-programs.
Image of Ali Shapiro via Ali and Lithe Instructors, Krista DeNofa & Melissa Weinberg via Dom
Who is Cris Pizzato? My beautiful Brazilian friend, 1100 Shack neighbor and the most incredible self-taught chef that I know. She's like family to me and she was Lithe Foods first project manager (she helped me launch the brand). Architect, Designer and Project Manager by trade, Cris was invaluable to launching Lithe Foods (She's fluent in 5 languages, including Mandarin!).
Cris is moving to L.A next week. Cris I will miss you, Emerson and the girls more than you can imagine. I'm looking forward to west coast visits, a trip to Brazil, late night Samba & Seu Jorge, your food, lots of laughs and us working together again. I love you guys!
Image of Emerson Teixeira and Cris Pizzato via FB
Lithe Passport. 61 days. 32 classes. My trip has already begun.
What you need: Gloves!
Props: Lithe Higher Power Band System (blue bands)
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you’re comfortable in
Sweat Factor: You’ll look like you were attacked by someone with a super soaker.
I didn’t grow up in a religious family. In my house, our mother just told us there was a higher power, and to always do the right thing. So, as a result, I grew up keenly interested and curious about all things spiritual--both traditional and alternative, so horoscopes were always a source of light-hearted fun. They were the first things I would read in Teen or YM magazine (well right after the “Nightmare of the Month” column. I’m still scarred by all the tampon horror stories I grew up reading as a child.)
So it’s no surprise that when I’m not lithing, or writing about lithing, I’m the resident astrologer for the National Constitution Center. This means that every month I write a column for the NCC’s blog, Constitution Daily, analyzing a zodiac sign and using it to think about events of the past, instead of attempting to predict the future.
Am I extensively trained in the art of reading the stars? Not a whit. But that’s what the internet’s for, right? (The way I see it, if Kris Jenner can become an ordained minister, I can sure as hell try my hand at a little astrology!) As for me, I’m a Taurus. A true Taurus. Bull headed, but caring. A teacher. Jealous and a bit possessive, but loyal with a slight penchant for nice, material things. Taurus likes? Stability, comfort and pleasure (duh, who doesn’t like those things?) Taurus’s dislikes? Being “pushed too hard.”
Well it’s clear that Liz Galbally didn’t get that memo! I took Higher Power with her last week, and nearly died! I’ve taken it before, but Liz just took it to the next level. It is 60 minutes of intense, practically non-stop cardio using the bands. According to various reports on Fit.Hip.Healthy, it burns around 600 calories in an hour. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. Between the endless Clam Diggers and jumping lunges and cheer sequences, calf pumps, lift and pulls and more, I didn’t think I was going to make it through side number 2, after finishing the first.
No amount of star gazing could’ve prepared me for how nuts Higher Power was, but hopefully this post will help you see into the future a little bit better than I did, and prepare you for what lies in store!
What you need: Nothing! Just yourself!
Props: Step 8, 3 and 5 lb weights
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you’re comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: Ever taken clothes straight out of the washer and put them on? It’s like that.
Ever since I’ve been lithing consistently, my favorite thing to do is make people feel my arms. My biceps. My shoulders. My triceps. The whole thing. I warn them of course, that squeezing my arms may cause them serious pain...because they’re so rock solid!! (Seriously, I do this. All the time. My friends just shake their heads and indulge me.)
The thing is, I’m proud of myself! I’m no Angela Bassett or Madonna (thank God), but if my friends did as many Crazy Arms series, push-ups, tricep dips, and band classes as I’ve done to get my arms in shape, they would insist that people squeeze them as well! When I look around class during weight work, every woman regardless of weight or size, has incredible arms. Lithe Method doesn’t mess around when it comes to them.
Sleeveless for example will not only kill your arms, but burn some serious calories. The first 20 minutes of class is serious, fast-paced cardio which includes things like Rockette Kicks and a Kick Cross Step that I’ve never done in any other Lithe class, so is a little tricky to get at first.
Then the class moves into heavy weight work, and slows down significantly, using 8lb weights the whole time. Basically, I thought my arms were going to fall off. After that we dropped it down for push ups (which is killer after all the weight work) and then picked up the 3lb dumbbells for another set of weighted cardio. To top it off (or should I say bottom out?) we ended, with wide-second work, lunges and squats to round out with a lower body workout.
Needless to say, incorporating Sleeveless into your repertoire will have you wanting to sport tank tops through the winter so you can flash your incredible arms! And maybe ask some innocent strangers to squeeze them, or at least tell you which way to the gun show.
Next Up? A-List Abs and Short Shorts!
See you in class!
Images of Lithe Instructors and Anna Marie Chang, MD via Dom
I'm really into tea right now (I'm obsessed with black tea, roobios and the TBar's coconut tea latte with Soy). I recently caught up with Philly's Alexis Siemons: Lither, writer, blogger of Teaspoons & Petals and tea consultant:
1. How did you become so interested in tea?
I can still recall the moment that I watched the green jasmine pearls unfurl in my teacup over 3 years ago. Inspired by the aromatic sips and wondrous leaves, I created my tea blog (teaspoons & petals) to document my journey with the steep. This simple quest of curiosity quickly blossomed into a hobby, then a passion, and now a passionate career. From blogging, crafting custom blends, teaching classes to writing articles that feature my tea-infused recipes, I can’t seem to get enough of the simply beautiful steeps.
2. Do you have any teas that you prefer to drink before/after Lithing? Anything super beneficial for pre/post exercise?
While my tea steeps change every moment, I often steep a green tea (normally pi lo chun) before lithing for a hydrating sip and small burst of caffeine. During lithe, I like to sip an herb infused water (lavender & mint or thyme with a squeeze of lemon and dab of honey) that wake up my taste buds and body when I need a reviving sip mid class. Considering that I leave lithe on an energy high, I steep something a bit more delicate, like a Chinese white tea. Although if I opt for an evening class, I’ll steep a hot cup of Rooibos (made from south African red bush plant) that has a rich, earthy flavor without any caffeine.
3. What tea should we be drinking this fall?
Masala chai is a wonderful fall tea thanks to its traditional warming spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, peppercorn, cloves, etc) anchored by hearty black tea that warms the soul. Although, if you prefer a chai sip with less caffeine, you should try a White Chai or Rooibos Chai. I also love roasted teas, like hojicha (roasted Japanese green tea great when served with ginger honey), Tung Ting oolong or Gen Mai Chai green tea. The steamy sips, toasty aromas and flavors pair perfectly with crisp fall weather.
4. Anything that you can teach us about tea?
My best piece of advice is to find a few teas that you love and learn how to steep them properly. I often advise friends in Philly to visit local tea shops where you can sit and sip and buy in bulk to-go (Tbar on 12th & Sansom). Meet up with friends and treat yourself to a few pots to find a favorite tea. Ask the tea expert behind the counter for the proper steep time and temperature and you’re set to make a lovely cup at home.
Keep in mind that every tea requires a different water temperature and steep time. For example, most black teas require boiling water steeped for3-5 minutes, while Green tea only should be steeped in 180 degree water for 2-3 minutes, and White tea at 175 degrees for 3-4 minutes, etc. Most teas have steeping directions on the packaging, but you can always google it just to be sure. Or tweet me :)
Image of Alexis via Courtney Apple
Even if you won’t be celebrating a new year this September, fall still seems like a time of fresh starts. For alumni of the quintessential American childhood, the first cool mornings bring back memories of the start of the school year with new school supplies and clothes. Indeed, this feels like a crisper time for a fresh start than cold and stark January 1st—which many greet from a fog of holiday food and alcohol.
For the Jewish New Year, there is a tradition of apples and honey to symbolize a sweet new year. I would like to share with you this recipe makeover for a traditional Rosh Hashana food, Jewish Apple Honey Cakelets. This cake is made from high-protein, high-fiber, low-carb coconut flour that balances out a touch of low-glycemic honey while cupcake form provides built-in portion control, and easy portability. Regardless of when you celebrate the new year, all Lithers can enjoy a truly sweet fall!
P.S. Only 2 spots remain in my Truce with Food program. I’m thrilled so many Lithers are joining me. If you are on the barre, definitely take the lunge before its filled.
Ali Shapiro is an author and regular NBC 10! Show contributor. She works with individuals and groups to achieve Eating Elegance™, which is a systematic approach to creating a sophisticated freedom around food and lifestyle that nourishes your tastes, not your taste buds. In other words, food is no longer the centerpiece in your life. To sign-up for her newsletter, click here
Images of Ali via Ali Shapiro and Lithe Instructors Krista DeNofa in Fat Free & Brooke Holloway wearing Lithe Wear for fall!
Has anyone seen or smelled the gorgeous flowers (see above) at Lithe Old City? I walked into the studio last night and was surprised to see the most beautiful bouquet to me from a Lither that I haven't met yet. Meet Ciara, owner of Sullivan Owen Floral and Event Design.
Ciara, thank you so much. I have been down and out with a stomach bug and when I opened your letter and the flowers (along with the beautiful flower elixir) I was so touched. You brightened my day! You're so talented and your product is beautiful and unique. I'll definitely be calling you for flowers and I'm so happy to hear that you're enjoying our Immersion! Thank you! xo-Lauren
Image of Ciara via Sullivan Owen & Lauren's blackberry
Meet Ali Shapiro: Lither, Board Certified Health Counselor through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and Columbia University's Teachers College, 17 year cancer survivor, and author of “The Roots of Going Green.”
Ali is also a regular health contributor to the NBC 10! Show and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily Candy, and Philadelphia Women’s Journal-and now, she'll be guest blogging bi-monthly here on fit.hip.healthy™! Ali and I share many common food and body image philosophies and I'm excited to have her here on the site!
Images via Ali Shapiro, Amazon.com & image of Lither, Jenny R. via Dominic Episcopo
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