ADD LIFE

A positive shift in mindset. move away from an attitude of restriction.
Make sure you start you week off right with a good breakfast. 

Try these Bell Pepper Egg Rings. Simply slice a bell pepper into 3/4 to 1 inch thick rings. Toss them on a non-stick griddle (I used canola oil), and crack an egg, slowly into each one. Add sea salt, black ground pepper and cayenne pepper and cook to the temperature you prefer. Quick, easy, healthy…

Make sure you start you week off right with a good breakfast.

Try these Bell Pepper Egg Rings. Simply slice a bell pepper into 3/4 to 1 inch thick rings. Toss them on a non-stick griddle (I used canola oil), and crack an egg, slowly into each one. Add sea salt, black ground pepper and cayenne pepper and cook to the temperature you prefer. Quick, easy, healthy…

Here’s to a Healthy Hood!

Antioxidant Protein Smoothie

2 cups brewed and cooled matcha green tea
2 cups frozen mixed berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry)
1 kiwi 
6 tbsp hemp protein powder 

Makes 2-3 servings

Here’s to a Healthy Hood!

Antioxidant Protein Smoothie

2 cups brewed and cooled matcha green tea
2 cups frozen mixed berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry)
1 kiwi
6 tbsp hemp protein powder

Makes 2-3 servings

Don’t forget to eat a healthy breakfast… poached eggs over wilted spinach with a side of steamed yellow squash, with sea salt, ground black pepper and cayenne.

Don’t forget to eat a healthy breakfast… poached eggs over wilted spinach with a side of steamed yellow squash, with sea salt, ground black pepper and cayenne.

As I was rushing home from my last session tonight, I tried to cut across Central Park at 72nd street, but was re-routed due to what appeared to be thousands of people participating in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5 mile race. 

For a few seconds I was of course annoyed that I would have to walk my bike out the way and around the race on the designated pedestrian path, but almost immediately it turned into a very pleasant walk and an opportunity to witness how happy it seemed that everyone I passed along the way was. There was racers and their endorphins, a romantic gondola ride, newlyweds posing for pictures on a bridge, the boot camps and group exercise at the fountain, tourists excited to be in New York City and children running and playing on the Alice in Wonderland sculpture. It wasn’t long before I came to the conclusion, Central Park is straight up magic! 

Even if you can’t get to Central Park, get out and spend some time in A park, ANY park, I’ll bet you can find the magic there if you look for it! 
 (at Central Park)

As I was rushing home from my last session tonight, I tried to cut across Central Park at 72nd street, but was re-routed due to what appeared to be thousands of people participating in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5 mile race.

For a few seconds I was of course annoyed that I would have to walk my bike out the way and around the race on the designated pedestrian path, but almost immediately it turned into a very pleasant walk and an opportunity to witness how happy it seemed that everyone I passed along the way was. There was racers and their endorphins, a romantic gondola ride, newlyweds posing for pictures on a bridge, the boot camps and group exercise at the fountain, tourists excited to be in New York City and children running and playing on the Alice in Wonderland sculpture. It wasn’t long before I came to the conclusion, Central Park is straight up magic!

Even if you can’t get to Central Park, get out and spend some time in A park, ANY park, I’ll bet you can find the magic there if you look for it!
(at Central Park)

Fitness is an exercise in self exploration. Get to know yourself better through exercise. 

Movement has a way of making us more self aware. It highlights our strengths and weaknesses, deficiencies and imbalances. We can learn so much about who we are and who we aspire to be by paying attention to our bodies when we move, exploring our limitations and charging beyond them.

Fitness is an exercise in self exploration. Get to know yourself better through exercise.

Movement has a way of making us more self aware. It highlights our strengths and weaknesses, deficiencies and imbalances. We can learn so much about who we are and who we aspire to be by paying attention to our bodies when we move, exploring our limitations and charging beyond them.

If you’re using squats to build a better booty, make sure you get low! All those half squats aren’t gettin it done. Proper form and a full, complete range of motion are the two aspects of the squat that will target your butt the most. Completing that 30 day instagram squat challenge won’t yield bootylicious results if you don’t, “drop down low and sweep the floor wit it!” 

There are many variations of the squat and central to all of them are certain points of positioning and mechanics. 
Starting from the floor, one should take a powerful, athletic stance. Feet width can vary, but traditionally they should be slightly wider than shoulder width and the toes slightly turned out (studies have shown a wider stance calls for more glute and hamstring activation). An athletic stance suggests pressing through the balls of the feet, but for the squat we also want to maintain good heel contact with the floor; never pushing through the toes so that the heels lift off the ground. Keep a “soft knee,” using the leg muscles to support the position rather than the joint capsule. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement, arching the lower back slightly to keep the natural curvature of the spine, while drawing the abdominal muscles in. Shoulders back, chest out, head up. 

In the eccentric phase, as you lower yourself into the squat, hinge at the hips, pushing the butt back and rock into the heels a bit. Knees should not track forward over the toes. Aim for squats below parallel or a less than 90 degree angle between the upper and lower leg. Studies have shown that the greater the range of motion of the squat (deeper and lower), the more the glutes are activated and engaged. Keep your posture, push the heel and the ball of the feet into the floor as you drive your hips forward and stand up out of the squat for the concentric phase of the movement. 

Practice good form and depth with the prisoner squat, which is simply a traditional body weight squat performed while holding the hands behind the head, like the hand placement during crunches or sit ups. Form and range of motion don’t need to be perfect before hopping under a heavy bar or banging out a few hundred reps, but should always be a work in progress and the intent of every rep.

If you’re using squats to build a better booty, make sure you get low! All those half squats aren’t gettin it done. Proper form and a full, complete range of motion are the two aspects of the squat that will target your butt the most. Completing that 30 day instagram squat challenge won’t yield bootylicious results if you don’t, “drop down low and sweep the floor wit it!”

There are many variations of the squat and central to all of them are certain points of positioning and mechanics.
Starting from the floor, one should take a powerful, athletic stance. Feet width can vary, but traditionally they should be slightly wider than shoulder width and the toes slightly turned out (studies have shown a wider stance calls for more glute and hamstring activation). An athletic stance suggests pressing through the balls of the feet, but for the squat we also want to maintain good heel contact with the floor; never pushing through the toes so that the heels lift off the ground. Keep a “soft knee,” using the leg muscles to support the position rather than the joint capsule. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement, arching the lower back slightly to keep the natural curvature of the spine, while drawing the abdominal muscles in. Shoulders back, chest out, head up.

In the eccentric phase, as you lower yourself into the squat, hinge at the hips, pushing the butt back and rock into the heels a bit. Knees should not track forward over the toes. Aim for squats below parallel or a less than 90 degree angle between the upper and lower leg. Studies have shown that the greater the range of motion of the squat (deeper and lower), the more the glutes are activated and engaged. Keep your posture, push the heel and the ball of the feet into the floor as you drive your hips forward and stand up out of the squat for the concentric phase of the movement.

Practice good form and depth with the prisoner squat, which is simply a traditional body weight squat performed while holding the hands behind the head, like the hand placement during crunches or sit ups. Form and range of motion don’t need to be perfect before hopping under a heavy bar or banging out a few hundred reps, but should always be a work in progress and the intent of every rep.

ADD DISAPPOINTMENT

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It seems that many of us spend a lot of time and energy trying to avoid disappointment in life. We have recognized the apparent relationship between expectations and disappointment, and hope that by managing our expectations we can manage our disappointment as well, possibly avoiding it altogether. We are completely correct, for the most part. 18th century English poet and satirist, Alexander Pope said, “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” It’s true, that if we lower our expectations, our chances of being disappointed decrease also… but at what cost?
 
First of all, as much as we try to avoid and manage our disappointment, it is an inevitable part of the fullness of life,  just like joy, pain, love and sadness. Some of these expressions are more comfortable than others, but none is more valuable than the next. Finding peace in the comfortable and uncomfortable alike, although easier said than done, is what allows us to really experience the beauty of life in it’s entirety.
Both the experience of disappointment and the hope of expectation have their benefits if we have the courage to explore them. Here are some of the benefits disappointment:
1. Disappointment can be an invaluable learning experience. Whether from personal failure or from forces beyond our control, understanding gained from a disappointing experience, is understanding that may not be gained in any other way, even if what you’ve learned is simply the value of hard work. 
2. Disappointment is an opportunity to practice peace in the uncomfortable moments and shift our focus to the process rather than the results. In disappointment we can learn to be present in the moment, and savor all the different flavors and notes in life, not just the ones that taste or smell sweet. 
3. Disappointment can lead to affirmation, that what is happening really matters to us and that we are invested. The sadness that accompanies disappointment indicates that we care about the situation, maybe more than we realized, and the anger that can come from disappointment indicates that we’re ready to take action and do something about it. Both of these feelings are very healthy when directed appropriately.
Without fear of disappointment, we are free to live life with and expectant, optimistic attitude, which just so happens to be our nature to begin with. Cognitive Neuroscientist Tali Sharot studies what’s called the Optimism Bias, which is the brains natural inclination to believe that things will turn out better for the owner of said brain, compared to everyone else. For example, although nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, the percentage of newlyweds that believe their marriage will defeat all odds and be successful is in the high 90’s. Dr. Sharot gives an inspired and uplifting Ted Talk on the Optimism Bias, of which she has also written a book called, The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain. ( http://www.ted.com/talks/tali_sharot_the_optimism_bias.html ) In this talk she supposes the questions, “Is the optimism bias good for us?” and like Alexander Pope has said, “Is the secret to happiness low expectations?” She offers 3 reasons why Mr. Pope is sorely mistaken and at that the optimism bias is in fact a healthy phenomenon:
1. Whatever happens, whether success or failure, people with high expectations always feel better (it’s science). Because how we feel depends on how we interpret the events that happen.
2. Anticipation makes us happy (science again). “Optimists are people who expect more kisses in their future, more strolls in the park, and that anticipation enhances our well being.” Optimism changes subjective reality; the way we anticipate the future affects the way we see it. 
3. Optimism changes objective reality. It can act as a self fulfilling prophesy (science).  Studies show that those with an optimistic attitude try harder and that their optimism leads to greater success in Academia, Sports, Politics and even Health.
In one of my all time favorite books, Mindset: The Psychology of Success, Stanford Professor of Psychology Carol Dweck gives examples of two outstanding teachers who use high expectations to do what most thought was impossible. Storied math teacher Jamie Escalante from Garfield High School in Los Angeles and the movie Stand and Deliver changed one of the inner-city’s worst schools by teaching the students college level Calculus. “Marva Collins took inner-city Chicago kids who had failed in the public schools and treated them like geniuses. Many of them had been labeled, ‘learning disabled,’ ‘retarded,’ or ‘emotionally disturbed.’” Using extremely high expectations and the works of Aristotle, Aesop, Tolstoy, Poe, Frost and Dickinson she took second-graders at the lowest reader levels and brought them to the middle of the fifth grade reader level by June. 
Brining it back to the gym, I have a client named Kevin who loves to whip the medicine ball back at me whenever we do a medicine ball toss. As long as his movement is controlled, this is great for him in terms of exercise. The harder he throws that ball, the more muscle tissue is activated and the more beneficial the movement is for him. I know, because he’s confessed to me with a cheeky grin, that he would love nothing more than to see the medicine ball slip through my fingers, careen into my face and draw blood. So I expect the high speed of his pass and the intentional, random misdirection. If I didn’t, surely, sometimes he would have his way, and I would end up with a black eye, broken nose, fat lip or all of the above. Either that, or the ball would sail passed me altogether, into some unsuspecting mirror, window or gym goer. In this case, as in life, an expectant, ready attitude gives me the best chance to catch what’s coming, and ironically enough leads to some disappointment on Kevin’s part. 
Having expectations prepares us to receive good fortune and may even change our destiny. If we don’t expect that what we hope for will be made manifest, the chances are that we won’t be ready or even notice when it is. Let us not abandon our expectations for fear of disappointment, but rather endure disappointment for the rewards of having high expectations.
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