In this issue
Positive Pilates Resolutions
It’s that time of year when good intentions are set. Along with your declarations to sleep more, stress less and eat better, consider making a specific one for your Pilates practice. Need inspiration? We asked instructors to suggest a few resolutions that can benefit practitioners of any level.
“Leave your cell phone outside of the studio. It’s become the norm to have our phones with us everywhere and on at all times. Make your Pilates session a phone-free zone so you can truly focus on just yourself and your practice. You’ll be amazed at how much more toned, relaxed and refreshed you’ll feel afterward.” —Hanneke Antonelli, a STOTT PILATES®–certified instructor in Boston and owner of Pilates with Hanneke
“Find the time. Sure, we all have busy lives, but I guarantee that you have the time to exercise. How often did you check Facebook today? As an experiment, set a timer to keep track of how long you peruse the Internet or watch television. If you stop thinking about exercise as an optional activity, you’ll find time. Can’t get to the studio? Do an online video or DVD. But chances are if you log off from the information overload, you’ll be able to make it.” —Mariska Breland, founder of Fuse Pilates in Washington, D.C.
“Move more every day. I see my clients once or twice a week, so I want them to include healthy habits in the rest of their lives. Whether it’s taking a walk or getting out of that office chair every hour, it’s important to just move!” —Jenn Powell, owner of Pilates Fun in Palo Alto, CA
“Focus on lengthening. This year, my clients and I are going to pay attention to the opposing ends of our movements, like reaching the top of the head away from the toes or the hands away from each other.” —Dianna DiLapo, a Stott Pilates–certified instructor in Ontario, Canada
“Commit to yourself. Give me 100 percent, but dedicate 110 percent to yourself. In the words of Joseph Pilates, ‘At times you may feel tempted to take a night off. Don’t succumb to this momentary weakness of indecision, or rather, wrong decision. Decide to remain true to yourself.’” —Laura Hammerle, owner of Precision Pilates Studio in Ridgewood, NJ
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Best New Organization Apps
Keeping track of your hectic schedule can feel like juggling a million balls. Make it easier on yourself with some high-tech help. Download some—or all—of the following smartphone apps to get your life in order.
Get your household on the same page with…Cozi
(free; available on Apple, Android and BlackBerry)
With this app, family members can enter their schedules and send out reminders (“dinner on Tuesday at 6:30!”). Other features: individual and shared to-do lists, as well as a grocery list and family journal.
For more info: www.cozi.com.
Stay on top of those travel plans with…TripIt
(free; available on Apple, Android, BlackBerry, Windows)
Forward all those confirmation e-mails (airline, rental car, hotel and restaurant reservations) to a TripIt e-mail address, and you’ll have all of your plans—plus a convenient itinerary—right at your fingertips.
For more info: www.tripit.com.
Keep track of Evernote
(free; available on Apple and Android)
This app acts as a digital filing cabinet. Keep notes, bookmarks, lists, recipes and photos organized; you can even categorize them with tabs.
For more info: www.evernote.com.
Get your budget in order with…Mint
(free; available on Apple and Android)
Securely link all of your accounts to this program, and you’ll get an overview of exactly how much you’re saving and spending. Organize your purchases into categories, and you’ll see exactly how much goes toward those lattes each month. You can also create budgets and savings goals.
For more info: www.mint.com.
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& A with Rael Isacowitz
Q: I’m starting to strength train. Sometimes I’m sore the day afterward, when I have a Pilates private scheduled. Should I postpone—or is it fine to work through the ache?
A: I’ll start by saying that the reason for your soreness—called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)—isn’t conclusive. There’s ongoing debate, but the cause is thought to be microscopic tearing in the tissue. As a result, your muscles do need time to repair. This is why it’s not recommended to strength train on consecutive days without a break. However, Pilates is a completely different type of training and doesn’t have the same effect on the muscles.
Personally, I think doing Pilates the day after strength training, when you may be feeling some soreness, is an excellent strategy for recovery. Rather than a session that focuses on strength work, your instructor could focus on stretching, muscle endurance and—as always—posture, alignment and the quality of the movements.It could be a lighter, more basic session, rather than one that incorporates very challenging exercises.
In fact, I believe that every session should be suited to your physical and mental state. Some days you may feel like pushing yourself, and others you may feel like working the body more gently. I have always found that doing a light session when the muscles are hurting will make the ache subside. It keeps the joints mobile and muscles flexible. Plus, it will keep your routine consistent and on track. Remember: Pilates is not only for the body, but also for the mind.
Rael Isacowitz, MA, has been practicing Pilates for more than 30 years and is recognized internationally as an expert in the field. In 1989, Rael founded BASI Pilates®, a comprehensive Pilates education organization represented throughout the world. For more information, visit www.basipilates.com.
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Close Up: Triceps Press with Lunge
by Georgia Burns; photography by Nolan Daws (www.nolancreative.ca)
In the Nov/Dec issue of Pilates Style, Toronto-based Pilates instructor Georgia Burns explained how to score the benefits of a Reformer workout while on the road: Resistance bands offer the same strength, flexibility and bone-building benefits. To work your legs and triceps—even during pregnancy!—add the following do-anywhere move to the routine.
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Setup: Lunge your right foot forward and step on the band with your left foot. Holding the other end of the band in your hands, reach both arms overhead. Bend your arms backward, flexing your elbows at 90 degrees.
1. Inhale, hugging your shoulder blades against your rib cage.
2. Exhale, reaching your arms straight out overhead, engaging your triceps.
3. Return to the starting position.
Tip: Reach your energy through the crown of your head, and remember to maintain length through both sides of your waist.
Former gymnast Georgia Burns, OTA/PTA, has more than 10 years experience teaching the Pilates method. Trained through Body Harmonics Pilates and Humber College, Georgia is dedicated to helping all populations achieve functional movement. Additionally, Georgia is a labor doula and uses prenatal Pilates as birthing preparation for her clients. For more information on Georgia, visit www.bodyharmonics.com or join her group page, Georgia Pilates, on Facebook.
Healthy 30-Minute Dinners
After a long day, it’s tempting to order in delivery. But if you make a few smart moves ahead of time, you can have a healthier homemade meal ready before that pizza reaches your door. To help you get dinner on the table, consider the following advice—and delicious recipes—from Ellie Krieger, a dietitian, host of The Food Network’s Healthy Appetite and author of the new book, Weeknight Wonders: Delicious, Healthy Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less.
1. Stock your kitchen. With the right staples, you’ll always have a meal at the ready. In addition to spices and sauces, Krieger advises loading up on whole grains, like whole-wheat egg noodles, pre-rinsed quinoa, brown rice, breadcrumbs and bulgur. In the freezer, store frozen vegetables, fruit and whole-wheat pizza dough. Finally, stock up on canned tomatoes, beans and low-sodium broth in the pantry.
2. Take shortcuts. While farmer’s market finds are the freshest, they can be impractical for the time-crunched. If you’ve got a hectic week ahead, opt for prewashed greens, cut-up vegetables and pre-cooked whole grains. They may cost a little more, but it’s well worth the time saved.
3. Multitask. To cut down on cook time, don’t waste a minute. Chop veggies as the water’s boiling and start loading the dishwasher while you’re waiting for that dish to cook.
4. Speed-cook. The quickest—and healthiest—way to whip up a meal is by steaming and grilling. Steam veggies by place them in a steamer basket in a pot covered with a tight lid for one to six minutes. Once they’re done, flavor them with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. To cook meat, heat a grill pan on the stove (or crank up the grill) and lightly coat with cooking spray. Turn the meat only once, and let cook for three to five minutes. Allow it to rest for another three to five minutes—and you’re ready to eat.
Pasta Fagioli with Zucchini
Makes four 1½ cup servings
This one-pot soup is hearty and filling on a cold winter night. But with just 290 calories and plenty of vegetables per serving, it’s a smart choice for your health, too.
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium zucchini
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium white beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup whole-wheat elbow macaroni
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley leaves
1. Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Meanwhile, chop the zucchini.
2. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pot along with the tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the zucchini and macaroni, return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 12 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, grate the cheese and chop the parsley.
3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese. Serve garnished with the chopped parsley.
Asian Chicken and Vegetables in Foil Packets
Makes 4 servings
These genius packets use foil to wrap up your entire meal (and no clean up!). As they heats up, the steam from the flavorful sauce poaches the chicken and vegetables. The entire process takes 15 minutes, so heat up some brown rice or soba noodles in the meantime. You can also make them in advance and leave them in the fridge; simply add three minutes to the cooking time.
4 large scallions
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium yellow bell pepper
1 large carrot
4 thin-cut skinless boneless chicken breasts (1/4 inch thick, about 4 ounces each)
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce, such as sriracha
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
1. Preheat the oven 400°F.
2. Trim the roots off the scallions, then cut the whites off about 4 inches from the bottom so you have four 4-inch-long pieces. Then slice each of those pieces lengthwise into quarters. Thinly slice the greens, keeping the whites and greens separate. Thinly slice the peppers. Slice the carrot into thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
3. Cut 4 pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil about 18 inches long. Place 1 piece of chicken at the center of each piece of foil. Layer the carrots on top of the chicken pieces and arrange the peppers on top of the carrots. Scatter the scallion whites on top.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, oil and chili-garlic sauce, and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of the sauce onto each stack. Tightly seal the foil into packets, leaving several inches of space inside each packet for the chicken and vegetables to steam. Place the packets on a baking sheet and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are crisp-tender, 12 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until they are gold and begin to pop. When the chicken is done, carefully open the packets. Use tongs to transfer the contents of each packet to a plate, then pour the accumulated juices on top. Sprinkle each portion with 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and garnish with some of the scallion greens.
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