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This week ZOMBIFIED, next week HAPPY

4 Nov

The week began at 5am Monday morning with Dave, the Halloween master, getting ready to transform the trainers of FIT…

And the painting begins…

And Dave’s final masterpieces – a gym full of zombified trainers…

The one and only Elvis…

Join us next week on a much HAPPIER note for the screening of the movie, Happy.

Thursday, November 10th @ 6:30pm

RSVP to Jen@focusedtrainers.com

View Trailer


November Event Updates

26 Oct

As November inches closer, we want to first wish everyone a very happy (or scary) and safe Halloween!  Stop by FIT on Monday for a bit of a fright (or good laugh) as your trainers attempt to join in on the halloween fun.

By now, you have probably received an email, viewed a post, or have seen a poster smiling back at you at FIT – Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 10th @ 6:30pm for a screening of the movie, HAPPY. Don’t forget to RSVP to Jen@focusedtrainers.com so we can be sure to have a seat for you!

SIGN UP NOW for the workshop,  Play As A Mindfulness Practice, presented by Mushtaq Ali Al Ansari onSaturday, November 5. Details below.

Play As A Mindfulness Practice: Break a Sweat, Have Fun, and Experience Reality!  Presented by Mushtaq Ali Al Ansari

Throughout most of humanity’s history we did not learn our most essential skills in a formal environment. We learned from watching the people with the skills we needed, we learned from stories passed down through the generations, and we learned through play. Play is perhaps the most universal form of learning we have.

This workshop will address play as learning in the service of mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake and present to what is given in this moment. Through the use of simple, traditional games of pre-Columbian origin we will work to recreate an environment that supports full body learning. We will attempt to create together an environment that is reflective of our hunter-gatherer ancestors and use the games they played to learn to be in the world.

Interwoven with the games will be breath practice, awareness techniques, and mindfulness practice that will elevate the game play to a new level for the participants.

Come prepared to sweat, run, jump, learn to use the lance as a game tool, cooperate, compete and generally have a blast exploring a very active form of practice.

Prerequisites: 1+ month(s) of prior physical training.  Can run without pain or injury.  Adults and mature youth open to learning and having fun!

Perfect for:

  • a fun and engaging way to stay looking sexy and healthy
  • learning to meditate for stress relief but don’t have the patience or desire to sit quietly for long periods
  • exercising without having it feel like exercise (using games to play and be active)
  • active way to play/spend time with friends and/or family members

Date and Location:

Sat., Nov. 5, 2011

10 AM-12 PM

McKenzie Park (Grass field. Follow signs for playground/restrooms.  Parking and Restrooms available.)

707 Fremont Ave, Los Altos, CA 94024

 

About the Presenter: Mushtaq Ali Al Ansari

Mushtaq has lived a varied and fascinating life of martial adventure, forays of fitness and earthquakes of awakening. He has a background in Martial Arts, being the senior-most instructor of Pencak Silat Satria Naga. He is expert in Ericksonian Model Hypnosis having taught the modality for many years. He has trained extensively in Abhedha Trika, Advaita Vedanta and Sufism. He is considered one of the more innovative commentators on the Yoga Sutras. He runs popular functional fitness programs, including classes in minimalist/barefoot running, based on his experience with martial arts and indigenous cultures.

His skill in working both in groups and one on one, makes him a popular instructor in the physical, emotional and spiritual arenas. From spiritual and philosophical counseling to training with kettlebells, sticks and knives, Mushtaq keeps things interesting, and is an effective agent for those seeking greater well-being and encounters with reality.

Privates or Semi-Privates:

On a limited first come first serve basis Mushtaq will be conducting privates or semi-privates during his trip to the SF Bay Area from Sat.,Oct.29-Sun.,Nov.6 at a sliding scale cost of $90-110 per 60 min. session for 1:1 privates and $65-75 for 1:2 semi-privates per hour. Mushtaq can conduct privates on any of the subject matters mentioned in his bio.

It is the little things that make us happy…

19 Oct

In light of the upcoming screening of the movie Happy on Thursday, November 10th @ FIT,  I’ll be sharing a weekly “happy post”….observations, definitions and/or happy experiences.

Many are on a lifelong quest to find happiness – I believe instead of searching and hunting, we need to do more creating.

We often try to define what makes us happy – Not everything needs a concrete definition – it can place constrictions and restraints on something that has potential to constantly change.

Instead of searching and hunting, describing and defining – STOP – look in front of you, around you, maybe even behind you because as you are searching, hunting, describing and defining you could be missing out on some of the littlest things that can and would lead to that happy feeling you are on the hunt for.

FITBuddies’ is a group that constantly reminds me that it’s the little things that can make you happy.  They remind me that we all can have our own definition and ideas of what makes us happy but together we can create a entirely different kind of happy.

Kristen completes her warm up and cheers like she has won an olympic gold medal.

Jeremy says his goal is to make people happy every day at starbucks as he greets them at the door.

If you are really in need of a definition of happiness, come meet Spencer!

But it’s the little things, like Bowling on a Tuesday as a group, that make us all happy….

Save the Date: Thursday, November 10th!

9 Oct

Join FIT & The College of Adaptive Arts on Thursday, November 10th at 6:30pm for a screening of      Happy:  The Movie.

FIT

600 Fremont Ave.  Los Altos, CA  94024

RSVP: Jen@focusedtrainers.com

*We are asking for a suggested donation of $10 in support of The College of Adaptive Arts.  The CAA is a non-profit that provides college courses for adults with differing abilities.

 

Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award® nominated “Genghis Blues” now brings us HAPPY, a film that sets out to answer these questions and more. Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

Spring Cleaning: Identify your cleaning habits

9 May

Spring is officially here.  It is time to clean out the closet, garage, toy room, attic or whatever appears to be overflowing in your house.   Some tackle this project every year, some are on the five-year plan, while others go in about every three months and eliminate a few things.  If you are like me, you just move every year and that solves the clutter problem!  Regardless of what your de-cluttering strategy is, one thing is for sure, there is something refreshing about making that goodwill drop-off.  It is something that no one can do for you because 1) you would not get the same feeling of accomplishment and 2) they may give away those favorite pair of sweatpants from high school that you are just not ready to part with.

Is there a relationship between spring-cleaning habits and attempts to make dietary/lifestyle changes?  I think so.  Is one habit or strategy better than the other?  Not necessarily.  What is important is to identify what your habits are and identify the most realistic path to get to your goals. 

Every couple months do you throw a little away?

You may prefer to remove or reduce one thing at a time; slowly make dietary changes, such as that daily latte.  There is something to be said for gradual consistency.  However, this constant cleaning out may be masking an overwhelming sense of fear, or a way to skirt around what really needs to be done.  If you feel like you are constantly attempting small dietary changes but are not reaching your goals, you might be better off making one big change.

Are you actually eliminating the stuff that is taking up the most space?

Do you constantly sort through the small unassuming pile of t-shirts instead of tackling the massive amounts of shoes you trip over every morning?  Many people give up or get rid of the things that are easiest to part with.  For example, it might be easier to part with the occasional ice cream indulgence, but eliminating the nightly glass of wine may have more impact.

Do you get rid of stuff only to replace it with something new or similar?

This is fine if your goal is not to make a dent in your closet or in your diet.  An updated pair of Lulu’s is definitely better than the worn out pair of spandex.  You can say it’s better to swap rice for nutritionally dense Quinoa.  Sometimes replacing something can be positive (and necessary), for example a piece of fruit instead of a piece of cake.  However, be mindful of what you are swapping because it may be more calorically dense and actually “take up more space.”

Do you opt for the once a year spring-cleaning swoop?

You go for it.  Get rid of all the clutter and see the difference right away.  You are probably willing to make big dietary changes with the hope that you will see the results in a short amount of time.  Many start a challenge, such as the FIT 30-day challenge, with the mindset, “it’s only 30 days.”  Make sure you have a plan for after the 30 days.  Watch out for over indulges and the vicious yo-yo cycle; we all know yo-yo dieting does not work.  If you have never made drastic changes, try it at least once.  It is one of the best ways to identify your true dietary needs.  But if you are constantly in an purge and binge cycle, it’s time for a little moderation.

Do you choose a strategy or habit that you prefer or the one that you know is truly best for you? 

It is not always about breaking habits; it’s about identifying your habits, and, yes, probably changing or removing some old ones.  But, it’s also about understanding how to work with your behaviors in order to reach your desired goals.  It’s about identifying barriers, such as stress, travel, or busy schedules, and knowing how to make changes that work with your lifestyle.

Whether or not you embarked on FIT’s 30-day challenge, take time to identify your eating habits.  At FIT, we can help you identify a path, make suggestions, and provide support, but we can’t clean out your closet for you.  You have to do the work and the results will be due to your own actions. 

Have you ever regretted a trip to Goodwill?  I doubt it.  Go for it.  Try to eliminate what you think you NEED (your daily latte, glass of wine, etc) and yes, the first couple weeks will be hard, but in the end you can make the decision whether you really need it, whether you should swap it for something new, or whether it should even be a part of the “junk in your trunk.” 

From Jen’s Kitchen – Easter Brunch

8 Apr

What’s are the menu?

Mushroom and Shalot Quiche (with or without crust)
Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese & Bacon
Strawberry & Walnut Spinach Salad

Drink of Choice: Mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice
Personal Favorite Easter Candy: Cadbury Royal Dark Mini Chocolate Eggs

Recipe: Mushroom and Shalot Quiche

Serves 8

Crust:
-1 cup almond flour
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp sea salt

Filling:
-16 eggs
-6 Shallots – chopped
-3-4 mushrooms – sliced
-2 Tbsp fresh chives – chopped
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-Goat Cheese (optional)

Directions:
1.  Pre-heat oven to 375
2.  In a small bowl mix together the crust ingredients
3.  Spread the crust in a thin layer over the bottom of the baking dish and bake in the oven for 10 minutes – until crust is brown and hardened.  Remove and set aside.
4.  While crust is baking, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet and add the shalots
5.  Once shalots have softened, add mushrooms and cook through
6.  Add chives for the last 2 minutes of cooking the mushrooms.  Set aside.
7.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs
8.  Pour the mushrooms/shalots into the bowl with the eggs and stir together.
9.  Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish.  If you’re using goat cheese, sprinkle it over the top of the eggs and it will blend in during baking.
10.  Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes – or until the eggs are cooked (stick a fork in and if it comes out fairly dry, it’s finished).

It is great without the crust as well.  I also make mini quiche’s:  pour egg mixture into muffin pan and cook on 375 for 25 minutes.  Great for a quick morning breakfast throughout the week.


My Favorite Things

6 Dec

The holidays are upon us.  Halloween.  Costumes.  CHOCOLATE!  Pumpkins.  PIE!  Thanksgiving.  TURKEY!  MASHED POTATOES!  Family gatherings.  Decorations.  Christmas.  COOKIES.  Presents.  More family.  MORE FOOD!!  New Year’s Eve.  ALCOHOL!  “Bright paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things!”

I have always been a sucker for the holidays.  I love every minute of it.  It all begins in October (my favorite month) and the fun continues for the next three months.  If you get in my car the day after Thanksgiving, you will most likely hear Christmas tunes.  I can rattle off family tradition after family tradition that makes me smile from ear to ear.  And many of my favorite holiday things involve food.

HEADACHES.  Fatigue.  Joint Pain.  Inflammation.  NAUSEA.  Sugar highs/sugar lows.  Cravings for more carbs.  The infamous “food comma.”  These are a few of the “unfavorable” symptoms that accompany the consumption of my favorite holiday treats.  As an individual with food intolerance, the holidays can be tough.  I am constantly surrounded by everything I love, yet everything my body “hates.”  Some people say I am lucky that certain foods make me sick; others feel sorry for me because I can’t enjoy the holiday favorites.  The reality is that most of the foods I am sensitive to are the foods that many us would benefit from cutting back on, both during and after the holidays: dairy products, grains, processed foods and sugars.

Many people go into the holidays concerned about the excessive amount of food they will be surrounded with.  While my reaction to certain foods may be more extreme than the average, the consequences of over-eating and over-indulging on holiday favorites is something many of us can related to.  Whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain weight, or have food intolerances, we’re all in the same boat.

So, is there a holiday favorite that you’re willing to give up this year?  Most clients will say, “but it’s tradition”, “I can’t give that up”, or “I can’t not serve that dish.”  We are really good at blaming the food or the tradition for causing our problems.  It’s the bread that makes me feel sick.  It’s the traditional deserts served that adds on the extra five pounds.  It’s NOT our fault, right!?  This thinking gives food the control, and just leaves us feeling mad and annoyed.  There was a point when I did get upset that my favorite breads, cookies, deserts, etc. would make me feel sick; just as I’m sure many of you get mad or upset at the foods that add on those extra pounds.  But every time I got mad or upset and restricted myself from these foods, I just wanted them more, and yes, I felt sorry for myself.   The same often happens for individuals that use food restrictions in an effort to lose or manage weight.  Restricting your food intake and saying things like “I can’t have that” or “I’m not allowed to eat that” usually leaves a person feeling deprived and will most likely lead to a vicious cycle of binging, feeling guilty, and restricting.

This year, don’t give up anything for the holidays.  Allow yourself to eat, drink, and be merry, but also know that you are in charge, you are responsible for how you feel, and for any additional pounds.  I now allow myself to eat whatever I want around the holidays BUT before I eat it, I stop and think about how I want to feel for the rest of the day, or even the next couple days.  It’s my choice.  I know I can have a bite of pumpkin pie and not be affected, but if I have a whole slice, forget about it.  Sometimes I go for it and I do have consequences, but I’m accountable, I’m in charge, and I dictate how I’m going to feel.  I am in control, not the food.  Don’t restrict yourself, enjoy a bite of your favorites here and there, and then move on to the more important aspects of the holidays…

FAMILY.  Friends.  Helping those in need.  Watching the excitement of my nieces and nephews.  Christmas music.  Parties and Gatherings.  Decorating (while listening to Christmas music of course☺).  Did I mention Family?  Giving “bright paper packages tied up in string”…these are a few of my favorites things that are more enjoyable and important than any traditional holiday food and are some of the real reasons I truly love the holidays.

Got 15 More?

13 Oct

Last month we asked that you take 15 minutes to listen to Jeremy’s story regarding his adventures of learning to ride a bike.  You watched, you supported and Jeremy succeeded and achieved his 15 miles of fame. 

This month we are asking for your support of the entire FITBuddies program as we try to reach out to more individuals in the community just like Jeremy.  Please help us by taking 15 seconds to vote for FITBuddies in the Pepsi Refresh Contest EVERY DAY during the month of October.

FITBuddies is in the running to win $25,000 in grant money from the Pepsi Refresh Contest which would be used to help expand the program and support more individuals, like Mahayla, who come to FITBuddies with the help of scholarship money.

PLEASE take 15 seconds to VOTE
PLEASE pass on the link to 15 friends, family and co-workers

http://www.refresheverything.com/buddiesinaction
OR
Text 102861 to Pepsi (73774)

Thank you for your constant support of FITBuddies!!
Email jen@focusedtrainers.com

When Things Slow Down…

1 Oct

“When things slow down, I’ll be able to get into a routine and focus on me.”
“After the next deadline, I’ll go back to eating right.”
“Once the kids are back in school, I’ll start exercising regularly.”
“I can’t get enough sleep; I don’t have time to prepare my own food; I’m lucky to squeeze in two sessions at FIT a week, BUT when things slow down….”

In the chaotic rat race called life, the majority of us are over-booked, over-worked and over-committed making it very difficult to find time for the basics: sleeping, eating healthy, exercise, water intake, etc.  Regardless of whether you are a full time mom, working and parenting, or retired, the majority of us fill our plates until they are over-flowing.  On a daily basis, I hear clients, friends, family, etc. say “I’m just so busy.”  For some of you that means, traveling non-stop for work, and running from deadline to deadline all while juggling family life.  For others it involves driving to and from school, from one appointment to the next, and finishing the day with kids at three to four different locations for practices followed by homework.  And then there are some who have a very busy day of bed, bath & beyond, home depot, and Costco followed by a hair appointment, nails, etc.  Everyone’s definition of being “busy” is different, but what seems consistent is that as life gets hectic, the first things pushed to the bottom of the list are the things that keep us running and energized: sleep, nutrition, exercise, water intake, etc.  But when things slow down, you’ll address those again, right?

When things slow down you’ll have time to sleep for more than 4-5 hours, you’ll have time to prepare food for the next day, you’ll have time for that hour-long workout, right?  The reality is, in some way, shape or form you will probably always be busy: as soon as next week’s deadline is met, you will take on another one.  While it is inevitable that there will be weeks where everything does slip because of one task, deadline, or project that takes precedent, in general we have to stop using “I’m just so busy” as an excuse for neglecting the important components of our health and wellness.  These components actually energize us and enable us to perform our jobs and daily tasks more effective and efficiently.  Below are a few tips for addressing these neglected components in the midst of the crazy, hectic times:
1.    Something is Better than Nothing: can’t squeeze in a hour workout, how about 7 minutes of squats, push ups, and sit ups?  Or Tabata squats for 4 minutes?  That burst of “something” may help you reach your weight loss goals faster than that longer slow run you had planned to squeeze in anyway.
2.    Control what you Can and Move on: your company is serving a ‘bad’ meal, the school function is all junk food, etc. etc.  You can’t always control what is put in front of you but you can control how much goes into your mouth.
3.   Take 10: how much can you get done in 10 minutes?  Set a timer and for 10 minutes and do what you didn’t think you had time for:  workout, cut up veggies/prepare a quick meal for the next day, a quick cat nap.  All it takes is 10.
4.    Can’t Sleep?  Don’t stress it. It’s only one night.  Chances are you will not be affected that day and will crash the following night (the key is allowing this crash to happen!).  See Matt’s tips for getting a better nights sleep.
5.    Evaluate your “stresses: understand and appreciate the good stress and learn how to manage the bad stress.
6.   Learn how to say NO: did you just say “yes” to yet another project?  Evaluate and prioritize what is piled on your plate, establish healthy boundaries, and know that it is okay not to do it all.

Got 15???

20 Aug

15 Mile: The distance Jeremy will ride in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge

15 Minutes: The amount of time it will take you to read Jeremy’s story and watch his video as he learns to ride a bike (http://buddiesinaction.wordpress.com)

15 People: The number of people you should share Jeremy’s story with because, most importantly, TeamFITBuddies is about creating awareness.  Jeremy, a very special 25-year-old with Down Syndrome, has shown us that anything is possible.

15 Dollars: The amount that could help support Jeremy and his team of 30 plus riders in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle, September 11, 2010.

To make a general Team Donation:

http://tinyurl.com/teamfitbuddies

For more information about TeamFITBuddies email Jen@focusedtrainers.com