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The Best Part of Waking Up is Green Juice in Your Cup

I recently read an article in which a pastry chef said she starts her day with fresh juice because it lets her feel like she “detoxes before she retoxes.”  I don’t highly recommend drinking juice in the morning just to eat cakes and pizzas all day and feel okay about it, but there is definitely something in her statement.  Starting your day with freshly juiced fruits and vegetables boosts your energy and gives your cells a little cleaning so you start your day on the cleanest, healthiest note possible.

I love drinking juice in the morning.  I really do feel clean, light, fresh, and believe it or not, satisfied when I have juice for breakfast. Please note that I don’t mean Tropicana. I mean lettuce and kale in my cup.  Here is my absolute 100% favorite juice to drink for breakfast.

Hayley’s Fav Green Juice

1 head organic romaine lettuce

A few overflowing handfuls of organic kale or spinach leaves

1 organic lemon (peel and all)

1 organic honey crisp apple (so sweet and delicious!) cut into quarters if its a big one

~One by one, push all the above through your juicer, pour in to a tall glass, and enjoy your detoxifying breakfast cocktail.

 

Be well!

 

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Pilates for Dancers

As a dance teacher I see dancers injure themselves, complain of aches and pains, and stress about their lack of flexibility, or upper body strength, or trouble balancing or any other “issue” from a list that every dancer keeps about their own dance performance.  Unfortunately, dance training can lead to imbalances in muscular strength and flexibility and may not address the “issues” or causes of injury that many dancers suffer. For example, a student who needs help developing ankle strength to avoid sprains and strains may not get that extra training from a typical schedule of dance classes.

That’s where Pilates supplemental training can make a huge difference for dancers.  Pilates provides core strength, increased flexibility, and most importantly a balanced musculature for injury prevention.  But there’s more; dance can make a huge impact on dancers’ performance at all levels.  Dance students and performers at all ages and levels can benefit from even just 1 hour of supplemental Pilates training per week.  Here are five ways dancers can benefit from Pilates:

1. Toned, Strong Muscles without Bulk

Pilates supports the dance aesthetic by strengthening and toning muscles while also elongating and slimming them.  The focus on the deep, intrinsic muscles of the body help to pull muscle into the bone, creating a slimmer frame but providing the strength and endurance a dancer needs each muscle to have.

2. Core Strength

There’s more to core strength than having flat abs.  The holistic core strength-upper abs, lower abs, obliques, and back-that Pilates provides helps dancers with balance and so much more.  Pilates offers core strength in the deep muscles below those famous “six pack” abdominals that allows the core to take over when the limbs want to move. This helps protect the back from injury and allows a quicker response time and movement efficiency.  Dancers can move around with ease, go off-balance and find their center without having to think about it when they do Pilates training.

3. Flexibility BALANCED with Strength

Pilates gives dancers flexibility in a different way than standard stretching for dance classes.  Dancers who do Pilates will gain more functional flexibility by performing dynamic movements that help lengthen and stretch muscles and create mobility in the joints.  The flexibility gained from Pilates is also balanced by strengthening that does not shorten the muscles so flexibility is not sacrificed, yet the muscle stays strong to prevent injury.

4. Improved Joint Alignment

Because the balanced strength and flexibility, movement efficiency, and joint mobility that inherently result from Pilates, dancers benefit from improved alignment of the hip, knee, and ankle joint.  This will improve balance and performance capabilities and vastly decrease the likelihood of injury.

5. Treatment of Injuries

If injury does occur, Pilates is an incredibly useful tool to speed recovery and help dancers stay “in shape” while they are rehabilitating.  Pilates can treat lower back pain and injuries, plantar fascitis, tendonitis, muscle strains and sprains, and much more. Many dancers find Pilates when looking for a way to treat an injury and get hooked for life.

 

Contact Hayley if you are interested in private Pilates specifically for dance or a Pilates class for dancers.

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Very Veggie Vegan Rice and Lentil Bowl

I love bowls of rice.  I love veggies. I love avocado. I love tahini sauce.  Don’t you?  This bowl has all of those things and then some.  It’s chock full o’ healthy starch, protein, vitamins, nutrients, healthy fats, and flat out deliciousness.  I adapted the recipe from this one here to fit my likes and what I had in the fridge/pantry.  Feel free to try my version or the one from Food & Wine Magazine.

Verry Veggie Vegan Rice and Lentil Bowl 

1 cup brown rice

1 cup lentils

4 Tbsps olive oil, separated

1 small onion, finely diced

1 whole carrot, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch pieces

1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise then cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Salt

1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets

1 bunch kale, large stems removed and roughly chopped

1/2 cup tahini, room temperature

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3-5 Tbsps warm water

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

More salt

1 ripe avocado, diced

 

Directions

1.  Cook the rice as indicated on package. In the meantime, cook the lentils as indicated on package as well.

2. Heat 2 tbsps of olive oil up in a large skillet and, over medium heat, cook the onions for about 4 minutes, until they turn translucent.  Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally for another 3 minutes.  Add the zucchini, a healthy dose of salt, and cook until tender (about 4 minutes).  Transfer into a bowl.

3. Put remaining olive oil in the skillet and over medium heat cook the broccoli, covered for about 5 minutes–stirring occasionally–until broccoli is dark green.  Add the kale and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with some salt, mix in the other vegetables, and remove from heat.

4. Whisk together your tahini, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, garlic, and warm water.  Add more water as desired for a thinner sauce.

5. Mix together your rice, lentils, and cooked veggies. Serve topped with avocado and tahini sauce.

**Note for the carnivores: My boyfriend topped his dish with a chicken breast that he cooked in a light coating of teriyaki sauce. He said it was phenomenal.

 

Be well!

 

 

 

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Some Dance to Remember, Some Dance to Forget

As a dancer, I need Pilates to help me find my core intuitively while I’m dancing, and balance my strength and flexibility for optimal movement efficiency.

Contact me to learn more about how Pilates improves dance performance.

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Vegan Pumpkin Peanut Soup

Vegan Pumpkin Peanut SoupI don’t know how the thought came to me, but one day I realized I desperately wanted to make a pumpkin peanut butter soup. Thankfully, such a thing exists and I found a number of recipes.  The recipes I found all had butter.  Why?  I have no idea.  The original recipe I tried was also super boring so I looked for more, stole some ideas, and added some a little sugar n’ spice to make it extra nice.  The vegan soup that I ended up with is absolutely delicious and please both me and my meat-eating boyfriend.  Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Peanut Soup

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 medium sweet potato

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth, natural)

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

1-2 teaspoons maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Chop the sweet potato, steam in a steam basket over boiling water until soft (about 10 minutes).  Peel the potatoes.  Allow to cool slightly and be careful though; those are some hot potatoes! Puree the sweet potatoes until smooth.

Step 2: In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium low heat. Stir in pumpkin, sweet potato puree, and peanut butter.

Step 3: Slowly add the water.  Season with curry powder, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now eat up and love that Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and healthy fat and fiber!