Tips

Eve_Kessner_236

Eve_Kessner_236

More and more often these days I get asked questions about how to lose weight? Tighten up? Stay healthy? Keep my energy up to work, chase kids, and still cook dinners? Maintain balance?

The answer is: there are no easy answers! But there are definitely tips I’ve picked up along the way and incorporated into my daily life that help the process. Lots of the “crazy” things I do seem strange to friends, were strange to me at the beginning, but have become easy, normal, regular.

I do my best to keep it natural and whole, so looking to other cultures’ traditional ways are often what I guide myself towards. For this list (and I’ll post more in the future!) I’m going to avoid what I believe to be obvious (drink lots of water, avoid processed foods, keep away from sugar…) and focus on what may feel a bit more obscure.

Incorporate any of these, maybe one at a time to see if they are working for you, and definitely let me know how they make you feel!

With a new season upon us, my favorite season of the year!, it’s the perfect time to clean up shop starting from the inside out.

So, with no further adieu:

Chia seeds. Packed with omegas and fiber, they are an easy addition to almost any baked goods, pudding, salad, drink! I add them to my water or tea whenever I can remember to. They give a burst of energy and nutrition without adding any taste.

Turmeric. I add it to my cooking whenever I can. It’s amazing for your immune system and brain! Highly anti-inflammatory, it is also a great compliment to any fitness regime.

Essential oils. Now these deserve a whole post of their own, but I diffuse these in the house, use them in my kids baths, take them internally as remedies. Here are a few ways: lavender is amazingly calming for bath time or diffusing in the house before bed time. It is also a powerful wound healer! I use tea tree for skin conditions of any sort (think rashes, pimples, itchy sun burn). Peppermint is amazing used internally as a digestive aid or in a bath to invigorate tired muscles. Eucalyptus clears stuffy noses and sinuses. Orange is our happy scent. Lemon goes down the drain to make the kitchen smell good! I could go on…

Lemon. I squeeze it into and onto anything appropriate. Water, salad, avocado. It is detoxifying and purifying and also delicious.

Apple cider vinegar. I swig it in the morning and a couple times throughout the day when I’m trying to cleanse or boost my metabolism. It’s probiotic and detoxifying and invigorating! Wakes me right up!

Eat and drink greens. Duh.

When I do eat poorly (cause we all do once in a while), I take digestive enzymes to help my body break down what its not used to eating. This just help the body’s natural processes.

Saurkraut (or anything naturally fermented). Naturally fermented foods contain probiotics which help our digestive system do what it needs to do. Our gut is also the hub for the first stop in our immune system, so keeping your gut healthy keeps you healthy!

Avoid the bread. This one is simple. I avoid bread unless it is really worth it. Don’t all or nothing anything, but in my opinion, bread should be worth it! Wait for what’s good and hold back on the empty calories whenever you can.

Eat enough! Too many people that come to me for help are simply not eating enough. By eating too little we are tricking our metabolism into actually hurting our weight loss goals instead of helping us. This deserves a much longer post, but the short end is this: by eating too little our bodies hold onto calories instead of burning them due to what we call fight or flight mode. Basically our body gets nervous about not knowing when our next meal is coming since we are feeding it so little and it conserves what it’s got instead of burning it off. Got me??! Don’t starve yourself! Ever!

The Cold and Colds

Wellness Shot

Wellness Shot It's been freezing in these parts.  Dead of winter.  And it's no secret that little kids carry lots of little germs.  And those little germs create runny noses and sore throats and all that is evil.

On Sunday Avital puked into my hands while Richie sped to try to get us home.  Yesterday I came home to Ellie's poop everywhere.  Tonight Bar vomited all over me while cuddling on the couch.

I AM SURROUNDED!  And I cannot afford to get sick.

This season is just tough.  Period.

Almost every day I get a text or call from a friend or family member asking what are my remedies for x, y, or z.  Soooooooo...I figured I'd post my cure-all, preventative, germ killing wellness shot for all of you.

You can make it in a juicer to in a blender.  I used my mini-prep Cuisinart thingy then strained it all through a hand strainer and glugged it down.  It's spicy and sweet.  It may burn a bit going down, but I promise it works wonders!  Boost that immunity y'all!

Here are the ingredients (no exact measurements necessary):

1-2 inches of fresh ginger

2-3 cloves of garlic

lemon juice

apple juice

raw honey

cinnamon

SoulCycle Community Rides!!!

SoulCycle Community Ride #1 Invite

SoulCycle Community Ride #1 Invite So now you know I'm training to be a SoulCycle instructor and the truth is I'm almost done!  It's time to test out my skills and that means free classes for those of you willing to trek down to the West Village to party on a bike with me.  I wanted to personally invite all of you Love Life and Lollipop reader to come!  If you're interested, email me offline or comment here and I'll get in touch with you to let you know if there's a free bike for you!

(I'll have 2 more rides too, so if you don't make this one, there'll be a couple more chances.)

Combating it all

Love Life and Lollipops- Ginger

Between the stress from moving and this crazy cold season, my immune system has been hit with the worst.  Luckily I avoided any major sickness despite the fact that it went around my house and hit my babysitter and Bar pretty hard. Love Life and Lollipops- Ginger

Here are some tips on keeping your immune system boosted to avoid the flu and some tips on how to heal quick and soothe in case you do get hit:

In avoidance of:

  • Green juice!  Add lots of lemon and ginger.  Lemon helps our bodies detoxify while ginger is an immune booster and anti-inflammatory.  Chlorophyll is like a blood transfusion (not literally of course).  It is chemically similar to hemoglobin, so cleans our blood and gives us a boost.  It's life at it's simplest form.
  • Green tea.  The benefits are too long to list.  Drink it!  Lots!
  • Avoid sugar.  It's bad for everything and taxes your system.
  • Eat whole grains, enough fiber, tons of veggies, beans beans beans.
  • Neti pot on a regular basis and use salt.
  • Take your vitamins!  Specifically a whole foods multi, vit D, omegas, probiotics.
  • Get enough sleep!  I can't stress how important this is.  As a parent of young children, I understand life can get in the way and getting enough sleep can feel impossible, but sleep and stress can dictate how our lives go.  They both control our energy levels and motivation among other things!

In the case you feel something coming on or find yourself stuck with a cold:

  • Use your humidifier and put 5-10 drops each of tea tree oil, lavender, eucalyptus.  If you can find it, replace the tea tree with medieval mix or thieves.
  • Green juice!
  • Take zinc, echinacea, and 1000mg of buffered vit c with bioflavanoids on top of your regular vitamins.
  • For a cough or anything bronchial make a drink consisting of the following: apple cider, the juice of one orange, honey (preferably ginger, garlic, 1/2 onion, cinnamon, turmeric.  Bring it to a boil, let it simmer for 10-15.  Drink it warm!
  • Make a natural chest rub of any oil or lotion you like along with a few drops of eucalyptus and tea tree oil.
  • Neti pot.
  • Miso soup!!

Good luck!  Stay healthy!  Enjoy this gorgeous winter!

Nina Rutsch's Soul Cycle Gym Bag

Love Life and Lollipops- Nina Rutsch

I know I gush and ahh over my friends, but I have to say, I pick them carefully.  They're pretty awesome people!  Moving is stressful.  Nina and her class make me happy.  Nuff said.

I told you guys about Nina a while back.  She's not only a rockstar Soul Cycle teacher, but also one of the most stylish gals I know.  She was gracious enough to show me up on the "what's in my gym bag" post, so here she is, showing us what's what in the world of looking good while we're working to feel good:

IN MY BAG:
  • Deepa Gurnani decorative headbands- a quick fashionista look to cover up frizz & fly-aways- a great way to "dress up" sweaty hair
  •  Trader Joes- individual packs of raw almonds, the perfect snack on the go: protien, energy, filling and easy to keep in the pocket of my lululemon tote
  • lululemon "OM" tote bag- It has a computer protective bag pocket.  I use the front pocket for my spin shoes so they can air out, inside divider pockets are perfect for phone, almonds, metro card everything at arms reach complete with full zip to keep my stuff safe on the subway as I was pickpocketed days after returning to NYC after being "LA- "om"ed out and not paying attention on the train !!!!!!
  • NARS  larger than life lipgloss this stays on for hours and does not feel sticky and stays on through class
  • Emergen-C packs- These are my godsend I will throw one in my SmartWater at SoulCycle and it gives me a quick boost during class and I like to think the vitamin C wards off any germs
  • COCONUT WATER- ANY KIND that's natural.  I drink at least 2 a day.... It is my CURE ALL, is my "windex" (referencing MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING movie joke) ......LOLimage via http://www.google.com/imgres?q=coconut+water&start=97&hl=en&client=safari&sa=X&tbo=d&rls=en&biw=1101&bih=579&tbm=isch&tbnid=HArqjD3DKInizM:&imgrefurl=http://www.drinkkarmalife.com/coconut-water-benefits/&docid=TV2pao18j-znpM&imgurl=http://www.drinkkarmalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/coconut.jpg&w=331&h=312&ei=AOG4UKzCJ_C80QGQ4oCIDQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=576&vpy=250&dur=812&hovh=218&hovw=231&tx=98&ty=201&sig=109351221432321471561&page=5&tbnh=127&tbnw=135&ndsp=26&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:100,i:4
  • Altoids
  • SOULCYCLE  bandanas!!! cannot.teach.without.
  • Cabots cocoa butter- I use this for everything! It works great as a hand/body lotion also comes in a lip balm its all natural cheap and smells amazing
  • lucky charms :) ... no not the cereal ( NO SUGAR CEREAL!! )- I carry my zen amulet necklace given to my by my "spin family before I left LA" designed by Suzanne Wilson and numerous lucky pennies found on the street and a heart shaped crystal given to me by my nephew :), and other notes and sentimental items as mini- every day reminders to be grateful to those around me.  Can you tell I am superstitious?
  •  yes to cucumber towelettes- for a quick face wash on the go
  • soulcycle bathrooms are well equipped with bobby pins and black hair elastics so its quite easy to put together quick hair fix in a rush!
  • MAC studio fix undereye concealer ... enough said
  • WESC headphones ... always "music-ing" thats what we do

May I introduce you...Charlee Atkins @SoulCycle

Love Life and Lollipops- Charlee Atkins

When Jolie was on maternity leave and I was devastated at not having her class to depend on for the stress reduction I so desperately needed with two little kiddies driving me mad, I fell into Charlee's class and fell in love.  Her class is superdifficult and totally sexy and wildly addictive.  She agreed to give us a glimpse into her life and psyche and I have to say after reading her interview I was floored.  Not only is she an amazing instructor, woking out of a perfect body, and popular on top of all that, she's smart and analytical and deep.  LOVE HER!! So with no further adieu:

charleecharlee

I know you've moved around a bit in your life (Hawaii, Seattle, LA to name a few).  What made you plop down in NYC? And did Soul have anything to do with it? Have you taught spin anywhere else? I was teaching spin for about a year at a small studio in LA when I was invited to a private ride taught by Soul Master Instructor Janet Fitzgerald.  At the time, I had heard of SoulCycle as a fitness studio, but I honestly had no idea about the community.  I went to the ride with my two best friends in LA -- Pixie and Angela (who are also instructors in WeHo now!) , and I literally took the best, most life-changing ride of my life. The following day, SoulCycle was holding auditions for the upcoming WeHo location, so me and my girls auditioned.  I remember driving to the studio, being nervous, wondering what music to play, and half-way there decided to just wing-it because all the spin classes I had taught previously had been practice for that moment. Immediately following my audition, Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler (founds of SoulCycle) followed me out of the spin room and said, "Where can we find you?  Have you ever thought about moving to NYC?"  Ha!  At the time, I had only been in LA for about a year so the thought of moving again was not an option, but Julie had planted the seed.  A month later I was at dinner with Janet Fitzgerald, Kaili Stevens, and Clare Walsh asking about NYC because I had somewhat entertained the idea in the last month.  My best friend, Angela, drove me home that night and was like, "Girl, you gotta jump!"  And jump I did.  Here I am! How long have you been teaching at Soul?  And what was the incubus to get you started as an instructor? My first day in NYC was December 1st, 2011 and I taught my first SoulCycle class December 12th at 6:30 pm in Union Square (so...9 months at Soul?) Like most instructors, the catalyst to me becoming an instructor was actually taking my first class.  After graduating college, I was living in Albuqueque, New Mexico (where my family currently lives) and I decided to take a spin class.  I, too, had a first class and it was super challenging (I definitely was not tap-backing or push-upping!).  The instructor yelled at me because I kept resting my elbows on the handlebars (big no-no!). The drive home that morning felt like it was suspended in time.  New Mexico is called The Land of Enchantment, and the sunrises and sunsets are the best I've seen in this lifetime.  Albuquerque sits at the base of the Sandia Mountains, with "sandia" translating to watermelon.  I was driving up, the sun was rising, the mountains were pink, I felt defeated, yet energized.  Looking back it was in that moment I decided that I wanted to be a motivator, instructor, coach, or life-changer of some sort. Side note, I thought my music selection would be pretty amazing too! When I moved from New Mexico (to Hawaii) I had no intention of returning to NM but something magical happened while I lived there, so I wanted to document that change.  I got the Zia sun symbol (the "symbol" of NM) tattooed on my sternum, aka heart center.

And while that was about four years ago, the meaning of that tattoo has manifested itself into my life:
(from Wikipedia...)
"...The Zia Indians of New Mexico regard the Sun as a sacred symbol.  Their symbol, a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions, is painted on ceremonial vases, drawn on the ground around campfires, and used to introduce newborns to the Sun.  Four is sacred number of the Zia and can be found repeated in the four points radiating from the circle.  The number four is embodied in:
  • the four points of the compass (north, south, east, and west);
  • the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter);
  • the four periods of each day (morning, noon, evening, and night);
  • the four seasons of life (childhood, youth, middle years, and old age); and
  • the four sacred obligations one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and devotion the welfare of others), according to the Zia's belief...."

Your class is addictive and your energy is intoxicating!  How do you keep it fresh each class and maintain your cool while killing it on the bike?
Well, it wasn't always like that, so I'd like to say it took a lot of practice.  :)  A lot of spin classes.  When you're put in a situation where you are acting from impulse and have to be in the flow of the Universe, I believe our true selves come out.  You are acting from pure action and reaction, similar to any pro-ball player who only has seconds left on the clock and has to decide whether to take the shot, or pass.  So, to relate that to teaching, I believe your true colors come out up there.  That, my friends, is the truest form of life coming through me!  To relate it to riding, when you're put in a stressful situation (i.e., last song in class, and instructor is asking you to push-it!) and the choice you make to keep pushing or to pull back, is a reflection of how you act outside of the room.  But the beauty of it, is that you choose.
As far as keeping it fresh, that's what progression is all about.  As a rider, and as a instructor, each class should be your best class....otherwise why keep coming back?
Where do you find your music and do you listen to the same stuff on your off time that you play in class?
A lot of music research goes into the SoulCycle instructor lifestyle!  I've always called it "music-ing" and I believe the term has since caught on!
I find most of music online through the website Hype Machine.  (http://hypem.com/popular).  I looooove me some remixes, so I'll hear a song that I like and then search for the remix and I purchase most music from beatport.  Also, a lot of riders also send me music, and I tend the venture out for music search from there.  I music share with instructors a lot.  Marvin and Janet are the best music share-ers!
I listen to the music I play in class, because there is an element of knowing the song.  However, when I'm not in music-land I tend to listen to trance-y, chill-like stuff.  Currently I'm listening to the Moby station on Pandora, and it is so relaxing, yet energizing at the same time.
Where did "Yes or Yes" come from?  I love love it.
I'm big on "inner-cising" as well as exercising.  Inner-cising is keeping the mental component of life fine-tuned.  I only read motivational, success, and business-like books.  This particular saying comes from one of the best books I've read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker.  Driving around a lot in LA, I used to get audio books to listen to while spending hours (literally, hours) in the car.  Eker was one of the speakers on the audiobook "The Secret: Teachers Recorded Live" (http://www.amazon.com/The-Secret-Teachers-Recorded-Live/dp/B000Y8ZIM8) and I really resonated with his speaking style and how he delivered the message.  If you listen to his part, I'd like to think you would say he and I are similar.  Ha!  His speech definitely influenced me!
Do you workout outside of Soul?  Your abs are uh-mazing!  What's your favorite way to break a sweat?
Working out to me is a lifestyle choice and I do it because I enjoy it.  Much like some people enjoy watching movies, or dining out, or traveling.  Working out is what I do.  :)
I workout in and out of Soul.  Most people know my obsession with SoulCycle instructor Danny Kopel, and if they don't, I certainly make sure to give him credit because it is most certainly due.  I try to take as many DK classes as possible, because his class is art, his class is beauty, his class in fun, his class is soul.  He is fabulous!  Other than #dannyce-ing with DK, I take yoga at Moksha Yoga in the West Village and kundalini yoga at Golden Bridge in Little Italy.  And as of late, I've been obsessed with taking the group fitness classes at Equinox.  I love the MetCon3 class as well as the 30/60/90 classes.
We chatted once about you eating vegetarian (yay!).  What lead you down that path?  And is it something you'll stick with??
While living in LA, I came into the land of organic vegan and vegetarian restaurants.  I started going because I thought the food was phenomenal, so much that I starting seeking out vegan/vegetarian spots and they just became my go-to restaurants: (Cafe Gratitude, Real Food Daily, Cru, M Cafe, The Newsroom, Urth Cafe, Veggie Grill).  I was still eating some meat (mainly at Chipotle!) however, I started to notice an energy level increase when I stuck to just the veggie diet.  About the same time I discovered kundalini yoga, and then Forks Over Knives was released, and I just made a conscious decision to eliminate meat (including fish) completely.  A few months later, I tried eating meat again at dinner, and it just didn't taste the same.  In fact, I find since going veggie that the flavors profiles of the food start to become much more noticeable.  It definitely makes eating that much more enjoyable.  I don't typically drink wine, however since going veggie, I even find drinks to have more robust flavors.  People find it hard to believe that an athlete can be vegetarian/vegan, but plain and simple, for me, I don't need meat to survive.  :)
What advice do you have for new Soul riders (/addicts;))?  Any advice for advanced riders??
New Souls -- show up early!!!!
  • Give yourself time to get situated, that way you're not rushed into the room and onto the bike.
  • Have no expectations.  And trust the process.  If your first class is easy, then you're not giving yourself room for growth and improvement.  :)
Old Souls -- show up early!!! :)
  • Give yourself time to breath, when you rush into class you lose the essence of being in the flow.
  • Have no expectations and trust the process.  If it was easy, you wouldn't have showed up.

Balance Throughout

image via http://teachmelife.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/teach-me-balance/ My sister-in-law, Rachel, threw her back out.  She thinks it was too much intense spin class (she's my Soul partner).

Back pain is the worst!  I am prone to getting it (thank mom!) and it's totally debilitating.

So it got me thinking, my back was pretty achy for a while since I have been spinning like crazy these days.  And because of the summer and being off schedule, I'd gotten out of the habit of regular yoga.  And you know I love me some yoga!

But there's only so much one can fit into a day, right?  NO!  Without even thinking too much into it, I fell back into the habit of morning sun salutations.  I'd wake up achy, get Avi off to school, the baby napping, and sneak in some 15-20 minutes of yoga (ok, sometimes it's only 10, but still...).

It immediately transforms me.  I feel lighter, brighter, more energetic.  Less pain, aches, tightness.

Moral of the story: I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, since it's what I preach to all of my nutrition clients: balance!

Nothing is entirely good or bad for you.  But too much of anything can wear you down.  And without the right counterbalance, you'll fall off track!

So...balance your spin with yoga,  your vegan pizza binge with a fresh salad, too much wine with umeboshi plums, lack of sleep with a hot aromatherapeutic bath...

Take care of yourself!  So push yourself, but allow yourself to relax too, fix what needs fixing and soften where those edges get too rough;)  We can all squeeze a little self-care into our day, even if we don't think we can find the time, it's surprising where we can find it when we need it.

Workout Wear, etc.

Love Life and Lollipops- Lulu Lemon's Power Y Tank

I've been going to spin at Soul more and more these days and I find myself in the predicament of not only living in my workout clothing, but lugging around so much in my bag all day every day. I've been figuring out the right products and gear slowly, but surely, but so far, here are a few of my favorite things to keep me comfortable and light on spin days:

I've been wearing:

Here's what I need in my bag (aside from my spin shoes of course):

All that "said", all the hubbub, and it's still all worth it!  I love love my spin days.  I feel one hundred million times better each time I step out of that studio.  Soon I'll have it all figured out, get it down to a science, meanwhile I'm happy to try new things and find my groove:)

Review: Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner

Right now some of you may be like: huh?  Eve, of Love Life and Lollipops, vegan, eco-freak, holistic health counselor, avoider of chemicals high and low, reviewing Dove?

Here's how it went down, Blogher sent me an email offering me the opportunity to review one of Dove's conditioners.  I turn down a large majority of these types of offers as the products rarely fit into my scope of interest.  But in the interest of expanding horizons, I decided to take a second look.

And here's why I decided to review it: I think Dove is doing fabulous things with their Real Role Models campaign.  They're working of building self-esteem in the women and children of our country and painting a real picture of what real women do and should look like.  I'm all for that!

And more, I think that everything in this world is circular.  Energy is always moving and if we put the right energy out there it will come back to us!  Karma baby!  So any time I can support a company that I think is doing good things, putting good energy out there, I'm happy to support it.

That said, I do wish that Dove's products were a little more clean and chemical free.  Now that said, I have to admit, their Intensive Repair Conditioner works wonders.

Since I've died my hair (well half my hair) blonde, it tends to get a little dry and brittle:(  I use conditioner daily and try to keep it in as long as I can (I should probably be a bit better about doing my coconut oil treatments, but who has time for that?!?).

Until I tried the Dove conditioner, nothing really got it back to that supersilky, soft quality.  The Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner reminds me of the conditioners my mom bought for us when we were kids.  It's thick and creamy and really heavy.  It washes out supersmooth and works almost immediately.

While I wouldn't use this daily because you guys know that I'm a freak about using only natural products, I'll definitely keep this under my cabinet to pull out when I need a really good conditioning treatment!  It's also great to know about for if I'm traveling and in a pinch as I'm sure it's really easy to find.  Basically, as far as non-organic/natural products go, I give this a two thumbs up!

And if you guys are interested, they've offered a sweepstakes opportunity and a coupon.  Check it out:

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Fitness Update: Soul, Soul, and more Soul

Image via http://www.soul-cycle.com/about.cfm As some of you may know, I've developed a deep love for my new found Soul Cycle workouts!  I've moved from once a week to twice to three times and I'm fully addicted.  I could go five times a week (if I could find the time and money;)).

The funny thing is that I was never a sweaty workout kinda gal.  I loved a good yoga or even maybe a pilates or abs workout, but never a run or dance class or certainly not a spin.  Now I feel like if I go too many days without a good sweat, I'm sluggish, slow, bloated.

And the faster and harder the class, the more energized I am.  It's changed my perspective on exercise and on life.  On a bad day, a Soul class knocks me out of my funk.  On a good day it enhances my high.

I love love LOVE my Soul classes and love that I go with my sister-in-law, Rachel, and that I've convinced my friend Ali to join us (she's hooked too now of course), and my friend Romney also started joining us!  I've dragged my friend Erika and Maddie and have been pushing my friend Erica (a different Erica...you know who you are) to come too!  I love to share the Soul, so if any of you are ever interested at joining, holler!

For those of you wanting to go try a class on your own, here are my top 3 have teachers:

  1. Jolie Walsh- my first love
  2. Charlee Atkins- my newest Soul-crush (since Jolie left for maternity leave I needed to find my fix)
  3. Marvin Foster- unfortunately he doesn't often teach at times I can get to at Union Square, my home base Soul, but I've taken his class a couple times and they were uh-mazing.  Serious!