Sunday, November 22, 2015

Avoid HOLIDAY weight gain this year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I love the holiday season! I love being with my friends and family and celebrating this time of year. I love the lights, the music, and decorations. Sadly, most of the time spent with family and friends means crazy amounts of rich, heavy, and sweet foods. It’s everywhere! It begins in October and doesn’t stop until after Jan 1st.  Most of us indulge “just this once” over and over again for weeks on end, without realizing it. Then before you know it, you don’t look as good in your leggings. So, I decided to put a list of 3 simple things you can do to avoid the “holiday weight gain.” They are super simple and effective and I hope they are a gentle reminder for you during this festive time.

1. Ditch the processed foods.

If it comes in a box, a bag, or in plastic wrap, just say no! Items high in salt, sugar, additives and artificial sweeteners are more difficult for our bodies to recognize and digest, plus they offer no real nutritional benefits.  Instead of packaged and processed products, opt for real whole foods that your digestive tract knows and loves

2. Go to bed and sleep like you always do.
Maintain Your Sleep Schedule. Just because you have more opportunities to stay up late and party doesn’t mean you should. Go out and have fun, but call it quits early enough so that you can get plenty of sleep. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night.
3. Drink Alcohol in Moderation
Yes, you should watch your liquid calorie intake, but what you drink can also affect the quality of your sleep. Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine can interrupt your sleep and leave you feeling worn out the next day. Remember, moderation is key!
I want to leave you with this: List your top 2-3 favorite treats during the holidays and commit to having only those.
It helps me so much and I hope it works for you too!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Does The Music Tempo Matter?

I was listening to a playlist I created on Spotify and I noticed that certain songs made me run faster and even focus more on my workout. As a fitness pro I understand the important role music plays in your fitness. I thought I'd take this post to talk briefly about music.

Have you ever noticed that some songs put you in the zone and you are able to increase the speed on the treadmill or whatever you are doing? Does your favorite fitness class play songs that make you want to work your body harder? This is on purpose. As a instructor I want my music to drive my classes. I want the participants to not only enjoy the class more but when the music tempo is increased the students are choosing to work harder and faster. I'm just there guiding them along but ultimately it's them who choose how hard they want to work. Maybe that's what makes them keep coming back for more?

So maybe the next time you want to get your cardio on skip the NPR and play some sped up Chris Brown.

Here is a playlist I encourage you to play for your next workout:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Oh Sh**!

This week my friend lost her job. When stuff like that happens it’s devastating but it can also become an eye-opening experience.
Life is unpredictable and it's not surprising to come face to face with situations we never thought would happen to us. “This is the sort of thing I hear about on TV or see in magazines… I never thought it would happen to me,” is a common thought.
These "Oh Shit!" moments have not only made me miserable but also gave me a reality check. Things that I once thought were important are now trivial. Other areas my life I didn’t pay much attention to, or perhaps took for granted, are now the only things I care about.
I hope that you have no idea what I'm talking about because your life is perfect and that you are having a hard time relating to this post. If not, this post is for you.

Don’t Wait for an Oh Shit! Moment

This is an exercise I’ve been doing the past several months. I know bad things in this life are inevitable, and I don’t want to wait for (another) one to make me prioritize. I routinely  ask myself what matters most to me. What do I truly value? At the end of every day, what and who am I most grateful for?
Here are some questions to ask to help you figure out what matters most:
  • What do you value? Family, friends, faith, free-time, adding value or contributing to the world in some way?
  • What has (intentionally or unintentionally) taken a back-seat in your life that you once valued?
  • Who do you love or value spending time with?
  • At the end of the day, what matters most?
  • Are the things you’re spending time and energy on adding value to your life, or distracting you from the things that truly matter?

Start living life the way you want, be fearless like you once were as a child, and always stand up for the truth. 


Friday, November 6, 2015

Block Island Organics Are A WIN!

When it comes to taking care of ourselves, it is equally important to take care of both our inside as well as our outside. Our skin is our body’s largest organ so it should be an important part of our healthcare regime. Our skin serves as a protective barrier between our insides and the outside world. It helps regulate our body temperature and acts as a filter.
Our skin is in a constant state of growth as old cells die and new cells are formed. It is a fact that healthy skin is better able to fight off signs of aging, has the ability to heal faster and staves off potential disease.
As skin plays such an important role in our health and well-being, I do a lot of research when it comes to the products I use it. In my research, I found a company that makes a great line of skincare products. They are called Block Island Organics ( Block Island Organics is a family-owned company that is run, in majority, by women (girl power!!) and is located on Block Island, Rhode Island.
What I love about this company is that all of their products are free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes and artificial fragrances. Plus, they use only vegan-based formulas and they don’t do animal testing of any kind.
My favorite product of theirs is the Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser. The cleanser is produced with an organic and natural formula; made with botanical ingredients and rich in antioxidants. It cleanses the skin gently while maintaining a moisture balance so delicate facial skin won’t dry out (even more important in the upcoming winter months!)
I love using this cleanser just after completing a sweaty workout! It removes build-up, impurities and makeup residue and leaves my skin feeling very refreshed. The ingredients include rosehip, chamomile, sunflower, avocado and olive. Because it’s packed with vitamins (like C&E) I know I am enriching and revitalizing my skin.
Block Island Organics makes other great products (moisturizer, sunscreen, and revitalizing night cream). All the products are packed with antioxidants and are made from all-natural ingredients. Because they produce a line of non-toxic products, you can feel confident that you are doing right by your skin.  
Rather than buying products from a big name, mass production company, I feel good purchasing items that have been made with care and attention. I trust that a family-owned company like Block Island Organics, is going to put more care and thought in to their products because they focus on only a handful of items -and they do them extremely well!
I encourage you to try out one (or all!) of their products. Check out their website ( this Sunday 11/8 through Saturday 11/14 and get 20% off using this coupon code: jessicab . . .  You’ll won’t be disappointed!