B Well, B Fit, B Happy

The 3 B's – by Sheri Myers

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The 3 B’s…

We all have our must-haves in life; what we feel we need to feel comfortable and safe.  We look to tangible items quite often to find that security.  Favorite foods or sweaters, pillows, teddy bears and the likes can invoke pleasant feelings.  Some of us rely on conditions, situations or other people. But regardless of what each person’s must-haves are, what we’re all really seeking is happiness and contentment in some form or another.

Wikipedia defines happiness as “a fuzzy concept and can mean many different things to many people. Part of the challenge of a science of happiness is to identify different concepts of happiness, and where applicable, split them into their components.”

Personally, I think it becomes a counter-productive process to over analyze what can be specifically considered happiness as it really is a subjective term.  So for myself, I created the 3 B’s.  Be well, be fit, be happy.  You can look at this as an equation or as 3 complimentary states of being.  But for me the 3 B’s travel as a pack.

First off, I should explain who I am and why I even feel I get an opinion on such an important topic.  My name is Sheri Myers. For the past 10 years, I have been the owner and master trainer of Fōkus Pilates Studio and Boutique in Laguna Beach, CA as well as a designer of women’s activewear and a line of hand made jewelry and accessories.  At Fōkus, I have not only taught hundreds of Pilates enthusiasts but have also had the honor of certifying a good number of men and women to teach Pilates to others.  In addition, I have created a retail and organic skin care boutique and organic airbrush tanning studio. Over the years I have hosted various professional advisors such as Physical Therapists, Structural Integration Specialists, Nutritionists, Holistic Healers  and Chiropractors.  These professionals have either been in as clients, co-workers or as guests providing services to myself or my clients.  Regardless of their roll, I have taken the opportunity to learn from each and every one of them so that I can enrich not only the experience my clients have at my studio but also so that I may enrich my own life and journey.

My clientele over the past decade has included professional athletes, moms, teens, post injury and surgery rehab cases and beings of all types with one common goal: to feel well… Alongside the obvious physical results of Pilates come the emotional and physiological results. Pilates empowers and shapes the core, lengthens and strengthens all muscles in the body and can improve posture and the execution of movement.  The longer, stronger body leads to an improved physical appearance which can lead to a more confident emotional state. All of this helps to increase body awareness and balance which can lead to the desire for a healthier lifestyle in general. All of these self-caused improvements create a sense of control over one’s general health which then can lead to mental strength and a sense of calm. Quite a chain of reaction!

In my experience working with the fabulously vast array of people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, I found that while each person may have different specific goals, they all want to feel good.  To feel good we must be well from the inside so that our body operates optimally.  To feel good we must be fit to some degree so that the outside of our body operates optimally.  To feel good, we must feel happiness.  I take a significant interest in acquiring all of the above, not just for myself but also for my clients and other people in my life.

This blog site is a step in furthering this endeavor.  I hope to share with my readers all the interesting, wonderful, helpful and sometimes disturbing facts about wellness, fitness and happiness that I learn from my research.  You, the reader, may benefit from the information or maybe able to teach me something I can benefit from.  Either way, my plan with this site is to reach the global community that shares my same goals: to Be Well, Be Fit, Be Happy…

Enjoy…

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Beauty and the Broth

“Beauty and the Broth”

For centuries, broth made from the bones of animals has been used for food, health and medicine. Mention of the medicinal use of chicken soup (bone broth) goes back to the 12th century when the Egyptian physician Moses Miamonides prescribed it as a remedy for colds and asthma. The gelatin in bone broth was popularized during the Victorian Era as an ingredient to make gelatin desserts. In 1845 the industrialist Peter Cooper obtained a US patent for powdered gelatin. Practitioners of Chinese medicine have used bone broth to support the digestive system, as a blood builder and to strengthen the kidneys. The marrow of bones is considered to nourish and sustain ‘jing’, meaning “the reservoir from which we draw energetic sustenance during our entire lives”.

So what is bone broth? Basically, it’s a homemade stock made from animal bones. I know, sounds gross… But it’s the real deal!!! Chickens, turkey, beef, lamb, pig, you name it, nutrient rich broth is derived from what you thought was a disposable remnant of a meal. But the truth is that the good stuff is in the bones! Collagen, amino acids, glycine, proline, glucosamine, chondroitin, and gelatin are the majority of the goods that when extracted can then be ingested and provide noticeable and reparable results. For example, gelatin, which is a form of the coveted collagen, can not only improve skin elasticity and wrinkles and support hair and nail growth but can also help digestion and gastrointestinal disorders. Glucosamine has been known to support the structure and function of joints and both glucosamine and chondroitin have both had success in providing relief of some cases of osteoarthritis. All of these elements have also been shown to support bones, joints and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

To make the broth, the bones are simmered in water for hours or even days. Many broth preparers will add vegetables such as onion, garlic, celery or parsley to flavor it. The simmering of the bones allows the extraction of the many nutrients mentioned above. Once prepared, the broth should be jarred and frozen or refrigerated until consumption and heated only slightly in a sauce pan before serving. Overheating can potentially negate the nutritional elements and microwaving is discouraged entirely.

The broth craze is not a new fad nor is it losing any steam! If you have the time, make it at home using bones from animals raised with integrity – organically and humanely treated. If you don’t have the time, it’s becoming more and more available either online, in restaurants or at local markets. Try Healing Mama’s Bone Broth. Small batch beef and poultry broth made locally with love. Contact Jody at jody.reis@gmail.com to order or for more information. Love your broth!

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Fighting the Fitness Funk

Fighting the Fitness Funk

We’ve all been in a funk of some sort. Whether it be emotional, professional or social, or whatever it is that brings you into an ongoing state of disenchantment, boredom or even depression, a funk is a funk… The North American definition of a funk is “a state of depression”. The British definition refers to being a coward or “avoiding a task or thing out of fear”. Oddly different meanings but both could apply to the feeling one has when they feel they are stuck in a situation that makes them unhappy or makes them feel limited in options.

Like funks relating to professional or social situations, a lack of motivation or a sense of boredom in one’s regular fitness routine is also a type of funk. Does this sound remotely familiar: You’ve been attending the same gym classes for months, taking that same run around your neighborhood or playing the same tennis match with the same guys every Wednesday for as long as you can remember. You know you’re getting an ample amount of cardiovascular exercise and strength training and you feel you’re in okay shape, but you’re just not into it anymore. So you skip a day at the gym one week. You use a household chore as an excuse to skip the run or fake a deadline to cancel on your tennis buddies. And then the following week, you do it again. Before you know it, your pants are a little snug and you’re feeling a wee bit lazy. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a break now and then from your regular work outs, allowing yourself to make multiple excuses for taking a hiatus probably means you’re in a fitness funk.

So how do you do it? How do you light the proverbial fire under the tush and get back out there? Here’s a few ways to analyze what it is you’re actually going through and how to tell that funk to funk off…

Change it Up a Bit

If you still look forward to your old routine but just feel like you need a little break, try mixing it up by making a slight change. Try a different class at the gym. Even if you love your current instructor, take the spin class or bootcamp with a different instructor. The music might be different or the energy of the instructor might motivate you differently. While a sense of loyalty to your fitness gurus is important, it’s more important that you get what you need out of a work out. Any good instructor will understand if you need to take a break and shouldn’t be offended. Of course beware of the wrath of the extra reps she gives you the first time you do come back to her! 😉

Try a different route during that run. Add an incline to the path or extend it by taking the long way home. Robert Frost may have a point that taking the path less traveled does have it’s advantages!

Schedule the tennis or racquetball match at a different venue, with a different group or even just a different day or time. Just that slight change may add a whole different element to your game as well as the people you play with. Challenge is part of every competitive game and when we get in a rut, we can lose our drive and ultimately our love for that game.

Take a Short Break

Taking a break altogether from a routine that isn’t working is entirely necessary at times. But, it’s important that you don’t take an altogether break from staying fit! Find a temporary alternative. Take advantage of the many introductory packages studios and gyms offer these days. Get an unlimited week of Yoga, Pilates or Zumba. Or avoid the organized fitness path altogether and jump on a bike or start hiking. Find something that still challenges you enough to meet your fitness goals but that makes the body and mind perform out of the box a little. Chances are you’ve plateaued to some degree if you’ve been in the same routine for a while. Just tweaking the program a little can give you that extra edge that pushes you to a level of fitness you couldn’t previously reach. You may end up returning to your old ways in a month or so but you may take back a new activity or just a new level of body awareness that helps push you past the previous plateaus.

Start Fresh

People do it all the time with careers and relationships. They shed what isn’t working and start a new journey. In today’s active world, we are given so many options and guidance in the area of physical fitness. Take some time to evaluate yourself inside and out. Address what your physical limitations and strengths are. List what activities are within your realm of possibility. Obviously don’t start downhill skiing if you suffer from knee issues or power lifting if you have a back condition. Know what you can do, what you like to do, what is within your budget and will work with your schedule. Make a specific but realistic plan and try something new! You really should love or at least enjoy what you do to stay active and in shape and being in a fitness funk will only make staying fit a chore rather than a way of life. If you are reading this article, chances are you put a lot of your energy into finding ways to love your life. Shed the fitness funk and the rest may just fall into place…

Be Well, Be Fit, Be Happy…

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7 Goals That Will Get You Going in the New Year

article submitted by Lori Hernandez

1. Get very clear on your intentions.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?  How about 10 years from now?  Life seems in the big picture to be a very long time, but what we sometimes fail to realize is that it can pass you by before you know it.  Stop and think about if what you’re doing right now is making you happy and moving you toward your goal. Then map a clear picture of where you want to see yourself in the near future.  Break it down into small expectations, but don’t forget to dream big.  The clearer you are about the future you want, the more likely it will happen for you. 

2. Write it down.

When you figure out what your goals are, write them down.  It’s a proven fact that those people that write down their goals are more likely to accomplish them than those who don’t.

It sounds simple, but cannot be stressed enough —make a plan and write it down.  Hang you plan somewhere you’ll see it every day, and focus on each step.  Take advantage of everyday that we have in this beautiful world and watch your dreams come true before your very eyes.

3. Get Physical Exercise.

This is pretty self explanatory.  Get outside and go for a walk.  Turn your music up really loud and take a five minute dance break. Schedule Pilates 3 times a week and put it on your calendar. Be sure to schedule your exercise regimen on your calendar or it will more than likely slip your mind.  Call a friend and go for a hike.  Exploring new places can be good for your body but also for your mind and soul. 

4. Work on your relationships.

Call a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while.  Schedule a lunch with a new friend. 

Researchers have found that we are happier when we are with other people. Research has also found that happy people are more pleasant, helpful and sociable (this really makes sense – those researchers are definitely on to something here).  So if being around people makes us feel happier, and when we are happier we are more fun to be around, we are creating an “upward spiral” of happiness.  Wow. This happiness stuff isn’t too hard after all.  They even wrote a song about it. (Clap your hands)

5. Have someone hold you accountable.

Find a buddy, a coach or a friend who can provide ongoing support over time.  It’s easy to lose focus, but if you have someone waiting for you at the trailhead, you are 99% more likely to get out of bed and get those running shoes on.  So call up that friend, mentor or neighbor and let them know you’re ready to rock this life!

6.  Allocate time to your goals.

In order to to achieve your goals, you need to invest time, energy and effort into making it happen.  This is when you need to stay focused on your intentions and passion.  Stay focused on what you want for your future and make the time, even if it’s just a few hours a week. It may mean giving up certain commitments to work toward your goals, just be easy with yourself and follow your heart.

7. Be Grateful.

Wake up in the morning with a heart full of gratitude for having a warm bed to sleep in, having clean water to drink, having a hot shower and breathing in fresh air.  When you’re in that hot shower, give a big smile and know that you are blessed.  In the hopes of not sounding like a mom of four boys, be thankful and delight in everything we have and do….not everyone is as blessed as you.

8. Have faith in the universe, higher spiritual power or whichever belief system you uphold and know that synchronicity will happen to you.  

Once you’re clear on your intention, pay attention to what the world is telling you.  When you’re on the right track, you naturally tend to be in the right place at the right time, meet the right people and feel good about your decisions.  This is called synchronicity, and when we have synchronicity, things just seem to fall into place on their own without force.  Here’s to an amazing year of relationship building, dream catching and goal setting! 

Lori Hernandez is a Board Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach that support families with health and wellness counseling.  Lori started the company Juice Buds  with her husband and four boys to inspire and encourage parents and kids around the world to make conscious decisions about nutrition and living the life they were meant to live. Lori lives in Laguna Beach, California with her husband, four boys and two dogs. For more inspiration on how to have a healthy vivacious life, visit her at juicebuds.com and lorihernandezhealth.com.

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