A few letters ago I introduced you to Terry – insanely muscular – no body fat- does a bunch of pushups and runs and eats junk food out of the bodega.
The point of his introduction was to bring light to the fact just because the outside looks good does not mean the internals are in order. Also to highlight what works for Terry may not work for you and me.
Meet Nancy -early thirties, awesome bubbly personality, lives in yoga pants and lives at juice press.
When not working with me she is in every fitness class in NYC. A social butterfly grinding and dating her way through NYC.
Pandemic Nancy – hasn’t worked with me since lockdown, made a go at online fitness classes, can’t seem to recreate her order at juice press, hasn’t been on a date in months and traded yoga pants for sweat pants.
She messaged me “sorry summer happened”. Oh Nancy, so we reconnected.
Diet has always been an obstacle for Nancy. We developed some good habits and strategies that worked for her social on the go NYC lifestyle.
But all that has changed. It’s one of the reasons I was prompted to build a guide that not only can help Nancy but many in her position.
Take a look at a few pages I sent her.
A fresh rebuild of wellness before this atrocious year is over.
Join me on this journey
Like Nancy, I want to end this year on a high note.
I will be experimenting with new training programs that I developed as well as nutrition and other wellness strategies that I have dialed up.
Phase 1- Nice n Easy
Processed food, bakery visits and alcohol were the first to go. I had a pretty good run this summer and said my proper farewells to doughnuts and wine for a bit.
The first several weeks for me are rebuilding my good habits and cleaning up my gut, digestion, inflammation and regulating blood sugar.
I will share ways I plan on doing so in this letter as well as upcoming issues.
Down below I will show you some of my training strategies for the first several weeks.
I started to use Lions mane mushrooms in the morning. I don’t know if its placebo but I felt the focus after a couple of days.
I feel a bit sharper as well. I did come off caffeine for a week which was dumb, but it can be a good combo. Read the last newsletter on cheerstoagoodlife.com about Lions mane mushroom
Just Try it
A whole lot is going on! We are weeks away from the election and still battling the pandemic and winter is coming. A lot to be anxious about.
This summer felt like a gift. Finally getting to see family and walking around seeing friends after a cold and gloomy secluded spring.
Anxiousness comes in many ways.
I used to suffer from random panic attacks when my breathing all of a sudden seem constricted. Mostly in the summer. It would even happen in Yoga where I thought I was safe.
It got so bad that during class I would set up my mat close to the door in case I needed to escape out for air.
It was the anxiety of not being able to breathe and everything just tightens up. Sucks!
Learning how to properly use breathing techniques through mediation has helped me overcome it.
Aside from that mess, I use meditation to ground me and focus my thoughts and intentions. 🙂 The use of breath has been amazing.
Meditation. Not here to tell you that you should meditate but just throw out some benefits I received from this practice and how it can be a tool to battle anxiety.
Understanding anxiety is the first step in managing it. In knowing its erratic nature, we can obtain a better sense of triggering situations and how our anxiety operates — and that’s where meditation comes in.
Anxiety is a cognitive state connected to an inability to regulate emotions. But research shows that a consistent meditation practice reprograms neural pathways in the brain and, therefore, improves our ability to regulate emotions.
How to Meditate
Definitely use guided in the beginning. Guided meditation through the calm app– It only takes 10 minutes!!!
I like the calm app over headspace because honestly its a woman’s voice and I find it actually calming.
Nothing against the Australian dude on headspace and Sam harris which is both great as well.
Don’t have any expectations, be open-minded, and give it a go. Let the mind wander, race, and think of weird stuff.
Research shows that it’s easiest to create a new habit when we do it at the “same time, same place” every day.
Just don’t overthink it: The best time to meditate is whenever you can best prioritize it.
Make sure you’re sitting comfortably – I usually stretch before meditation.
In the mornings. It gets my mind focused before I start work. It’s good to start the day with an accomplishment/win.
Sometimes I use the sleep feature when I need to fall asleep – like I said before the ladies’ voice is calming AF.
My favorite – I love to meditate when traveling.
Tulum beach was to me the most incredible place to meditate. As the sun is rising and all you can hear is the ocean.
Bali was incredible as well. In Ubud where you are surrounded by green and water.
In Spain. Meditating in san Sebastian feeling that Basque country breeze with the beach so close. I can smell the chorizo, eggs, pastries and coffee brewing.
By utilizing mediation in these places I can easily meditate here in NYC and transport myself directly to those places.
The habit, the app, the prep, the voice all brings me back once I scan my thoughts and think of that place.
I use it as a tool to take me back to an amazing place before I have to hop on my bike and pedal through NYC streets.
Meditation is not a quick-fix strategy; it does take a long-term approach.
Should you have severe anxiety, or if you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, always speak to a health care professional to talk through your options and figure out how to make meditation a component of an overall treatment program.
There are dozens of free resources online.
Get all the nutrients in and out of the (whey) 😆
Now that I am getting things in order healthy wise. I am back to making a smoothie/shake. It’s a quick and easy way to get your nourishment for the day.
If I am on the go and working with clients then for sure the shake will contain more stuff. When I am at home coaching remotely or people coming to me I have the opportunity to cook 🙂
Currently, I am using whey protein – I spent a lot of time experimenting with plant-based protein powders and enjoyed them. I needed something to absorb and digest quickly that’s why I switched over.
Collagen Protein + Chlorella powder + Creatine + Mushroom combo
Reply to this email for the brands I use.
I get a lot of my other nutrients from foods that I normally eat. If you don’t get an opportunity to eat or cook your food then you can use the shake to add them in.
If I am not eating my normal eats then:
Add yogurt or avocado for some more protein and goodness.
Berries for antioxidants
Chia seeds or flax for some good omega 3 fats and magnesium.
Leafy greens if you don’t like to eat them or don’t get enough of them through diet.
Not a bad way to start eating better. It may take some time to prep, but once you have it down it’s easy.
There are ways to spruce up the taste. For me, these shakes are strictly business not pleasure lol.
Kettlebells + Workout
As gyms are reopening at small capacity most people including myself are getting back to an exercise routine.
It may not be the routine or habit you had if you were going several times a week but it’s better than at home bodyweight workouts.
Nothing wrong with that – but it can get boring after some time.
There’s a need to mix it up and add different loads to movement patterns. 🙂
All seems to be heading in the right direction but we are still uncertain if this will keep up as the year closes.
Now is a good time to get some tools and toys in case you are relegated back to at-home workouts.
I’ve recommending adding kettlebells to the tool kit for my clients. Kettlebells can be super versatile and properly executed can do wonders for movement and the body.
From kettlebell swings, presses, rows, deadlifts, snatches, and several squat patterns to name a few. Kettlebells can keep your training interesting and efficient.
Kettlebell workouts are also great if you’re short on time.
I had a client of mine incorporate 50- swings in the morning as she got ready for work and over the weeks it makes a great impact on her body and weight.
A great kettlebell workout
Can be done with two or 1 kettlebell
10 V-ups or sit-ups
8 single leg deadlifts
15 kettlebell swings
Jump rope 1 minute or jumping jacks for 30 seconds and high knees for 30 seconds.
Kettlebell rows ( one arm or two)
Side lunges with the kettlebell.
15 kettlebell swings
Jump rope 1 minute or jumping jacks for 30 seconds and high knees for 30 seconds.
Squat and Press (thrusters) 10 reps – REST AND REPEAT.
Rest in Power to The Notorious R.B.G
As we know, R.B.G made historic strides for women’s rights and gender equality. Like Notorious B.I.G, she was a Brooklyn-born pioneer in her game.
As we remember her and celebrate her passion for justice, I’d like to talk about her dedication to health!
Ginsburg works out with her coach, Bryant Johnson, twice a week. She has called him “the most important person in her life.” She trained even through the pandemic!!
After her battle with cancer and treatment in 1999, she understood she needed to strengthen her body. She noticed the difference immediately – and never looked back.
“At Justice Ginsburg’s request, the Court set aside the limited private space next to its health facility for Justice Ginsburg to exercise.”
Although she may have worked the entire day on the bench, R.B.G’s coach said “Her choice is, she doesn’t make excuses not to do it, so we find ways to do it.”
R.B.G never bailed on a workout despite working all day. My kinda gal! I respect her on so many levels. Having left a mark on history and someone we can all look up to.
The power of unilateral training
This first phase of my training will be addressing movement imbalances and mobility through the body.
This will consist of bodyweight flow movements, yoga, mobility work and unilateral training (training one side of the body at a time)
As athletes wee are typically riddled with muscular imbalances
Everyone has a dominant arm or a dominant leg. A more well-rounded athlete has a smaller gap between the skills and strength of their limbs, but there is almost always a deficit.
When an athlete takes those deficits into the weight room to perform bilateral exercises (conventional training movements), they will many times rely on the stronger side to perform more work.
By incorporating unilateral movements you can avoid overtraining or overusing the dominant side.
Unilateral movements can also help to isolate and correct muscle imbalances, improve balance and utilize core muscles!
When you attempt a single leg deadlift or one arm press you produce forceful contractions while standing on one leg. This requires greater core stability than bilateral movements. The same goes for upper-body unilateral movements, as the core must work to prevent the torso from unnecessarily rotating during unilateral pushing or pulling exercises.
Add in some single leg deadlifts, one arm shoulder presses, lunges, rows, and single arm shoulder presses.
What to watch
I recommend shows and movies to watch because I enjoy them leisurely. The books I read are for sure not leisure and just on the goods, I try to share. Once I am out of the hole on them I will gladly talk about some great reads!!
Ted Lasso may be the greatest show ever! –
Jason Sudeikis plays a college football coach that goes to Europe and coaches a soccer team. With no experience in the sport of soccer he has to use his American coaching , funny southern charm to not fail!
It is hilarious and all the characters are great. Check it out on apple tv
Eco challenge – On amazon but a grueling 10 day race on foot, boat, bike in the jungles of Fiji. I need to step my training up!!
Amazing race – I am late to the party but damn do I wanna be on the amazing race!! Just watched the last two seasons. Once the world is back in order, I am auditioning!
I’ll see ya in two weeks