Trainer Blog

The Healthiest Looking Hair For The Woman Living An Active Lifestyle

Written by Jamie Cocco
With Our Instructor and Professional Hair Stylist Sarah Blackmore

The Healthiest Hair while Living an Active Lifestyle

Is the frustration of having healthy looking hair and living an active lifestyle getting to you? Having great hair and an active lifestyle don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In this Community in Focus Article we interview Our Spinning, Barre, Tabata, and Outdoor Fit Camp Instructor and Professional Hair Stylist Sarah Blackmore from Salon Herdis in Northampton about how to find that perfect balance.

What do you do when you are told not to wash your hair every day, but life and fitness say otherwise? Client after client ask our Instructor and professional hair stylist questions like this all the time, and in this article, we give you insights into how to have the healthiest looking hair while living an active lifestyle.

Understanding your Hair

How often should you be washing your hair? This question is not a simple one, so we will first talk about how to target your hair by explaining the different types of hair and how to impact it the most. Breaking it down further there are different types of density thin, medium, and thick. That is the amount of hair that you have on your head. Then we look at hair types, which is fine, medium, and coarse. Essentially you could have a combination of any density with any type such as medium fine.

Knowing your hair type matters

How do you know what combination you have? Hold one strand of hair in between your fingers, if you can’t feel that hair, you have fine hair, if you can feel the hair, then you have coarse hair, and if it is somewhere in between, where you say to yourself that you can kinda feel it, you have medium hair. It is important to know your hair type to help determine the right shampoos, conditioners, and styling products for your hair.

How often do we really have to wash our hair?

Sarah recommends if you are someone who washes your hair every day that a person moves to washing their hair every other day and to use a dry shampoo on the non-washing day. Why is it better to not wash your hair every day? Your body produces natural oils, and those oils protect your hair from outside elements. If you wash your hair every day, you are stripping your hair of that natural protection. Your body will then be forced to produce more oils to compensate for every day hair washing. When you begin washing your hair every other day, you may feel like a grease ball. It’s that feeling when you take your hair tie out and your hair is frozen in place. If you have gone that far, the only thing that will help is washing your hair, but for everything in between, its ok, because dry shampoo exists.

Pro Tip: Washing your hair 3x per week is ideal.  

 

The miracle known as dry shampoo

In the 1940s a miracle happened. Milk was 34 cents per gallon, 8 cents for a loaf of bread, and dry shampoo was born. Dry shampoo is a powder spray that when sprayed at your root absorbs oils and extends your style by up to two days. So, if you are like me, you may ask, how do I use dry shampoo?

  • Shake the can
  • Hold the can 4″-6″ away from your head
  • Spray in sections around your head focusing at the root
  • Brush through for even distribution of the product

Don’t worry men, you aren’t completely left out, the right hair tie may not be right for you, but you can use dry shampoo too and get the same results as women.

Pro Tip: If you have held it in a spot too long and a white powder circle has formed, take your blow drier out and blow dry that section to boost the absorption of the product.

 

The best hair tie for your active life

Not all hair ties are created equal, and in this section, we talk about the hair tie that will make a world of difference for your style. Let’s be honest, we have all used the black tie and you probably even have one on your wrist right now and yes, they work great. They hold your hair back, but when you must take your hair out, you have that annoying pony tail crease left behind. And when we are avoiding washing our hair every day, that pony tail crease makes it that much harder.

Sarah says the Goomee hair tie, shown in the picture, doesn’t leave any mark in her hair, holds her hair in place through her entire workout, so she doesn’t have to constantly fix her hair throughout, and she works out hard. It doesn’t cause breakage, and easily shrinks back down to size when you put it in hot water. Sarah can put her hair up in a pony tail with one of these and at the end of the workout when she takes the hair tie out, voila, her hairstyle looks the same as when she started. #mindblown.

Pro Tip: Never put your hair up in a pony tail when your it is wet. Your hair has more elasticity when your hair is wet then when it is dry, and as it dries, it can snap causing that pesky breakage right around your face.

Bringing it all together

It is not healthy for your hair to wash it every day. It is ok to not wash your hair after exercise, and for you, dry shampoo will be your best friend. Not the best friend you stay up all night having heart to hearts with while watching the Golden Girls, but close to that. Washing your hair every other day is key and when aiming to keep your hair style looking its best through a workout, using a Goomee hair tie instead of your old friend the black hair tie will be a game changer. In the next article we will dive into what hair products work best for your hair type and lifestyle. Thanks for reading this article and drop in a comment about what you want to hear in our future healthy hair articles for the active woman.

 

Your Biggest Questions about Sugar, Answered.

Your Biggest Questions about Sugar, Answered

 

Question 1: What does sugar do to our bodies?

 

Sugars are carbohydrates, and they provide quick energy for our bodies (which is why many of us reach for a sugary treat during that mid-afternoon slump at work). However, unlike starches, fiber, and cellulose, which are complex carbohydrates, sugar is a simple carbohydrate. The more complex the molecule, the slower it digests. Since sugar is a simple carb, it digests quickly, while starches and fiber are complex carbs and digest more slowly. This is why eating fiber and healthy starches (think potatoes or brown rice) will help you feel full longer, yet you are often hungry again an hour after eating a bowl of cereal or a pastry.

 

Question 2: So what about the connection between sugar and our health?

 

While sugar itself may not be the primary culprit in weight gain, the problem comes from how much of it we consume. Sweet, sugary foods are usually processed and highly palatable (ie. delicious), and since they are digested so quickly, they overstimulate the reward/pleasure centers in our brain, leading us to overeat them (this is why it is so difficult to only eat one cookie out of the box). Therefore, we are likely to ingest more calories throughout the day through overconsumption of sugary foods. Sugar feeds sugar cravings, so if you start the day with a rush of sugar, you’re more likely to reach for a sugary snack at lunch, and a sugary dessert after dinner.

 

Studies have linked intake of refined sugar with insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of diabetes. A recent study found that for every 150 calorie increase in daily sugar intake (or 37 grams of sugar – roughly the amount in one 12oz can of soda, the risk of diabetes increased by about 1.1%. Eating too much sugar can also increase accumulation of fat in the liver, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

 

Question 3: How much sugar should we be eating in a day?

 

Each of us is different, and each person’s response to sugar will be a little different. Some of us may be able to tolerate higher amounts of sugar in our diet. However, the bottom line is that sugar doesn’t nourish our bodies, it adds little to no nutritional value to our diets, and provides us with no vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, water, or fiber. It doesn’t make our bodies stronger, healthier, or more functional, or improve us physically. Simply speaking, even though it tastes good, it is empty calories, and wouldn’t you rather get your calories from foods that will also provide health benefits for your body?

 

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sugar to 10% of your daily calories. Do the math – if you’re eating 1800 calories a day, that means 180 calories from sugar, or 45 grams of sugar (180/4, since there are 4 calories per gram of sugar).

 

Question 4: What are the best and worst sources of sugars?

 

Here’s a good way to visualize it in order of preference:

  1. The best sources of sugar are the naturally-occuring sugars that come from minimally processed whole foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy.)
  2. Natural sugars in more concentrated forms in foods such as honey, dried fruits, and fruit juices.
  3. Sugar in semi-processed forms such as maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave nectar.
  4. Sugar in processed foods (granulated sugar, high fructose corn syrup).

 

Read your food labels! Sugar is prominent in processed foods, and one of the easiest ways to minimize your sugar intake is to limit your consumption of processed foods. Salad dressings, frozen dinners, and most sauces are full of sugar. Beware of hidden sugars in processed “health foods” such as yogurt, granola, protein bars, and juices. When shopping, try to purchase as many foods as possible without food labels at all (such as whole fruits and veggies, raw nuts, beans, and legumes, and meats and seafood). Transitioning away from processed foods to a diet rich in whole foods without labels is a great way to reduce your sugar intake while increasing your nutrient intake.

 

Question 5: What are the different names for sugar?

 

There are a ton! Here’s a sampling to watch for on food labels (this isn’t even all of them!)

  • Glucose (simple sugar that is absorbed by our body – carbs are broken down into glucose for energy)
  • Fructose (found in fruit)
  • Sucrose, aka table sugar (which is glucose + fructose)
  • Galactose
  • Lactose (galactose + glucose, found in dairy)
  • Maltose
  • Saccharose
  • Dextrose
  • Dextrin
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol

Here’s some other ingredients that are essentially just more names for sugar:

  • High fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener
  • Granulated sugar, confectioners sugar, brown sugar, turbinado sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut sugar
  • Agave nectar
  • Caramel
  • Molasses
  • Fruit juice
  • Raw sugar, palm sugar, date sugar
  • Cane juice, cane sugar
  • Syrup
  • Barley malt, malt syrup

 

Challenge yourself to eat less sugar! Read the food labels around your kitchen, and look for the ingredients from the above list. What items in your house have hidden sugars? Next time you go grocery shopping, which items can you swap out for brands without added sugars?

If you would like Nutrition Coaching with one of our Precision Nutrition Certified Coaches register for a Complimentary Health and Wellness Consult below:

‘Tis the Season for Maintenance and Moderation

Katie’s Corner
We’re in the middle of the holiday season and things are getting overwhelming. Chances are, your thoughts consist largely of lists and lists of things you have to complete over the next four weeks, like shopping, hosting and/or attending parties, volunteering extra time or getting together donations, and prepping the house for extra guests-not to mention all of the normal daily tasks you have to carry, like work, family, and your own personal care. How is it even possible for fitness and nutrition to fit in to your life at such a stressful time?

The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t. I get it. Trust me. Even though I spend sun-up to sun-down in a fitness studio, it can be difficult to get my own workouts in. It is tough to plan out my meals, especially at this time of year. Some days are more successful than others, and that’s ok with me. I find that working on a day-to-day basis, rather than trying to tackle the world helps me to stay focused and on-task. Having overall weekly or monthly goals and breaking them down into smaller daily chunks makes them much less daunting and overwhelming. Then, amid all the busyness, I make myself sprinkle in 25 pushups and 50 squats into my activity so I can stay on track.
You may not be able to do everything (like attend 5 classes per week and eat healthy for every meal), but you can do something every single day to keep you in alignment with reaching your goal. Laying the foundation for achieving your fitness and nutrition goals a step or a day at a time will ultimately turn into miles and marathons. You may diverge from the path occasionally, but the cool thing is, you can step right back on at any time. So, this week, break things down for yourself and take things one step at a time.

There’s No Place Like Home

Katie’s Corner

There’s No Place Like Home 

Vacation is a time to relax and rejuvenate from the stressors of life, and for many, that means sipping strawberry daiquiris on a beach while lying in the sun. Don’t get me wrong, getting sun-kissed and eating the famous local dessert are two of my favorite pastimes, though I usually research the closest gyms and running trails and pack a few sets of workout gear when I visit a place as well. Because much of my work is demonstration  and I’m constantly on the move, I often neglect my own full 45 minute workouts, and taking exercise classes while I’m away re-centers me and allows me to embrace the role of a student, rather than that of a teacher. And, with the studio not far from my brain at any given moment, I take the opportunity to do my homework on what other gyms are doing to facilitate their own classes and workouts.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Brooklyn to take three spin classes at various spots throughout the city. The first two classes I took were at larger, very popular spin studios with several locations across the country. Their operations systems of shuffling people in and out of classes by a team of 10-15 staff members was impressive, and their classes amp up students to the equivalent level of three energy drinks. I felt as if I were in a dance club, which was fun, though I missed the sense of alliance that I’m so used to at 50/50.
The third studio was similar to ours in that it was a small business operated by an owner, a manager, and several staff members and instructors. Located in the heart of Brooklyn, it had an urban buzz, but as soon as I walked in, they welcomed me as a new student and acclimated me to the space. I immediately felt at ease and had an excellent spin class where I could ride to the beat of the music and push myself like I hadn’t in a while. I truly appreciated the fact this local business recognized the value of personalization, even in a city of near anonymity.
I had a blast at each of the classes I attended, and I am eager to share tips and tricks I gathered with the staff here at 50/50. There are an abundant amount of notable business models in the fitness world, and it’s exciting to think about the hordes of people who are actually enjoying exercise on a daily basis. Above all, though, my trip helped reinforce that we are doing things right at 50/50. We have a strong, community-centered studio with top-notch instructors and trainers who are committed to building the best experience possible for our clients. How exhilarating to have the 50/50 studio right in our own backyard, and to be a part of such a health-conscious movement! See you in class, y’all.

The End of an Era

Energia 2012
The True Essence of Community.
In March of 2010, Energia opened it’s doors as a first of it’s kind fitness facility in Western Mass, focusing solely on Spinning and yoga. Jennifer Siddall, of Amherst, founded the studio with a strong passion for health & wellness. She carried this passion and vision for a true mind-body connection through, year-after-year, making consistent changes and ultimately building the foundation for a successful business. She showed everyone that in one small room, truly remarkable things could happen.

Early in 2012, a nervous, awkward 22-year old UMass graduate stumbled across the facility, while job searching in the area.

He strongly disliked his current job, especially after this happened:


But, he at least continued to keep himself entertained…

And, so the story continues:

Jennifer hired Justin as a personal trainer, and he got started with his first clients, a young couple from Granby, several weeks later. On the side, he began Pioneer Valley Fitness, an in-home personal training business, with a small office in Sunderland. Justin quickly quit his Raggedy Ann position, to focus solely on personal training. As Justin matured (many would say that’s debatable), he began to take on more responsibility…both within Energia, and his own business venture, as well.  Without the expertise, guidance, and wholehearted faith his clients continued to exude on him, the journey would have stopped there.

Several months later, while walking through the UMass Dining Commons, I received a phone call from Jennifer. Robert (shown below), was going to be traveling for work and she needed a new spin instructor. “Uhhhmm, let me think about it”, is all I remember. For days, I deliberated. Me, a spin instructor? I had barely gotten over the broccoli days, which damn near sent me to therapy. How could I get in front of a huge group (by huge, I mean 12) people? But, this was my chance. I needed to branch out, to make a name for myself. Shortly after my certification class, I was put on the schedule for a Saturday Spin class. Ironically, it’s the same class I teach to this day, now four years later. Anyways, Friday night rolled around and I went to Dick’s to buy a new outfit (awwww). I returned home to find that my roommate had invited about 15 people over, music blasting, drinks everywhere. Horrified, I left and rented a room at the hotel up the road. 6 hours later, I had crafted (what I believed to be) the perfect workout. By crafted, I mean I went to Michael’s to buy a poster board, Popsicle sticks, and markers (you can’t make this stuff up). My goal was to write the entire workout onto the poster board and bring it with me onto the bike. How could I screw up if I wrote down all of my lines on the sheet? Oh, and don’t worry, just in case the sheet were to bend, I bought the Popsicle sticks for extra security.

Within about 4 minutes on the bike, while I was introducing myself and going over the positions, my sweat must’ve continuously dripped down onto the poster board…because when I looked down to start my cueing, all I could see was a bigggg old smear of magic markers. At this point, all I could do was smile. “Really Justin? You buy yourself an outfit, you remember the damn Popsicle sticks that look ridiculous taped to the back of this page, but you couldn’t think to laminate the sheet”.

So there you have it Jennifer, there’s the true story of what happened that day!

Oh yeah, and here’s Robert, back in the old studio! If Robert didn’t go away, I wouldn’t be here today. I still don’t know where you went, but THANKS Robert!

Needless to say, I survived. My success was SO wild and apparent, the next day I bought the business. KIDDING!

Before that could happen, there was a whole lot of this:

And this:  

 
Don’t worry, don’t worry, that isn’t the true story either. The true story is… I, we, all of you, couldn’t be here without Katie. Her energy and passion, her raw and uncanny emotion, are truly second to none. With Katie, our second location came to light. And with Pat, Jay, Lindsay, Jamie, Ryan, Pam, Ali, Sarah, Mindy, Ashley, and Brittany, our third location now comes to light.  

So without further ado…
We are Moving!

251 Russell Street, about 3 minutes down the road from Energia

We expect to move early in July, once our renovation is complete. With this move, comes the end of an era. We’ll be saying goodbye to the Energia name and starting anew. Moving forward, we’ll represent one brand, one name, and one identity!

I know, I know, you guys are full of questions! Don’t worry, we are taking the same experience you have all grown to love, and improving it ten-fold! The new space will house a state of the art sound system, 14′ high ceilings with central air, two spacious bathrooms, one spacious shower room, permanent lockers for all monthly members, and much, much more.

The bikes will be adequately spaced, with brand new mats for Spin & Strength. We’ll have an information station with info on all of your favorite class offerings, and a retail room as well.

Lastly, we’ll have an incredible outdoor space with room for obstacle courses, killer boot camps, TRX and all of your favorite programming, all Summer long (and beyond!).

We’ll be keeping our original 50/50 space for Pilates, personal training, and some of your favorite nightly classes.

Stay tuned for further updates on schedule additions and our grand opening celebration, announced in the weeks to come.

If you have any questions at all, and I mean anything, please direct them to katie@5050fitnessnutrition.com. Okay, okay, I promise that was the last joke!

My email is info@5050fitnessnutrition.com

I would love to hear from you…questions, comments, suggestions…I’m here!

FINALLY, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the amazing people I’ve been so fortunate to meet along the way. I know I can speak on behalf of the entire 50/50 team when I say, you all have been more than any business, any staff could ever ask for. Change is scary, sad, and inspiring at the same time, but we’re in this together. Here’s to an exciting, fun and sweat-filled future. 

“All is connected … no one thing can change by itself.”

The Future Begins Now

Katie’s Corner
5050 portrait8
Have you seen the new studio yet?! If you have, we are thrilled that you have shared in the infectious energy that is filling the space. If you haven’t been able to make it just yet, know that we are looking forward to welcoming you to your first class and (hopefully) seeing your face light up when you walk through the door. Justin and I have wanted to bring you a bigger, fancier version of Energia for a long time-a gym that has more room, more options, and more function. And that time is now.
With the transition, there is change. (I feel the need to insert the colloquial “obvi” here.) Most of it will be very positive, as we are adding new waves of classes in the mornings at 7:30am and 8:00am, as well as the afternoons at 4:30pm and 5:00pm. We have redesigned the outdoor programs, bringing you obstacles and profiles that will keep you challenged and on track with your fitness goals. And of course, we are keeping most of the classes you and your body have grown to love. In order to have the best experience possible, we encourage you to sign up for consultations with us to discuss your new schedule, new plan, andall of our offerings.
Finally, on behalf of the 50/50 Fitness staff, I want to take a minute to thank each and every one of our fabulous members who pitched in and helped out with the move, whether you moved bikes, helped construct the outdoor equipment in our spacious backyard, assembled furniture, etc., know that we appreciate your efforts in making the soft opening such a rewarding experience for everyone, now and in the future. There is no question how strong of a community we’ve all built together, and this weekend was a tangible testament to that. I must have pinched myself over 500 times in the past week, reflecting on how very lucky I am to be a part of this experience-this community.
Now let’s forge ahead, together.

Set your intention

Katie’s Corner
5050 portrait8

My goal as an instructor in every class is to provide an avenue for students to actively participate mentally and physically in their workouts, rather than to passively go through the motions. Physical exercise is often viewed as a chore, when it has the potential to be extremely gratifying and uplifting. One of the best ways I’ve found to cultivate this frame of mind is to encourage the act of setting an intention at the beginning of class. In doing this, the person is immediately mindful of the present moment and can begin to weigh what is meaningful and relevant in their lives.

There are many ways to go about setting an intention, but one of the methods that works best for me is to think about what I’ve been experiencing, enjoying, or stressing about in my own life. I look for themes and let that help guide my focus. For (probably the most conspicuous) example, work can be a big stressor for me. As many of you know, I am at the studio much of the day. Don’t get me wrong and let me be clear, I am living my dream and would not change what I do for the world, but it’s easy to get caught up in the little details of making the studio run smoothly. And so, if I’m feeling erratic, I may approach my workout with an intention of sharp focus and attention to my form. If I’ve had a less productive day than I wanted, I may set a measurable goal of reaching a specific number of watts on the bike. Even on the days when I experience extra positive feelings of creativity or contentment, I will set an intention of sustaining that positivity in my workout.

My challenge for you this week is to set an intention in each of your workouts, whether it’s in a spin class or in Outdoor Fit Camp. Fully “embrace the shake” in a barre class or do one entire Tabata set to completion without stopping. In my experience, the benefits are considerable, with feelings of purpose, direction, and centeredness being the frontrunners. And as always, if you are having trouble figuring out how to set your own intentions, let me or any one of our other Health & Wellness Specialists help you, as we realize this activity may not come naturally to everyone. Meanwhile, move with intention, ya’ll!

Meet your Health & Fitness Specialist

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

There’s no denying that we are creatures of habit. We are efficient and effective when we put  routine systems in place for ourselves, at work and in everyday life. I have talked (sometimes incessantly) about the importance of setting goals, planning ahead, and following through by method of practice. The desire to put routines in place is natural and healthy, for sure, but it’s also important to remember that these routines get interrupted all the time. One thing that is constant in our lives is change, and over the past week, particularly, I’ve been contemplating what I’ve dubbed as “certain uncertainty”—the knowing and accepting of the inevitable transitions we endure. I was sifting through Katie’s Corners of yore and realized that I have never solely addressed the topic of change. Probably because it can be so effin’ scary.

Change is standard and tenacious, and yet, we can be so resistant to it. In my view, there are two types of change: that which we expect, such as a change in weather, and that which we don’t, such as getting into a car accident. And then there are those changes we expect but are still incredibly averse to, such as a decline in a loved one who has a terminal disease.

For all the many reasons we have for being resistant to change, our ability to adapt makes us beautifully human. And once we adapt, we become more equipped to mentally accept the changes present in our lives, no matter how daunting or overwhelming they may seem. We often think of change negatively, which is natural, as it “interferes with” the ability to accomplish our everyday tasks efficiently. But this negative view is not especially growthful.

My challenges for you this week are twofold. The first is to find small ways in which you can alter the environment around you. Choose the front row in spin class rather than the back, or try that new recipe you pinned on Pinterest last week instead of making meatloaf for the thousandth time. Note how these controlled, seemingly insignificant acts affect you. See if they vary your perspective and/or encourage you to learn something. Simple practices like these can help prepare you subconsciously for those big changes that are sure to come your way every now and again.

The second is to recognize and understand your patterns when dealing with change. Do you immediately get overwhelmed? Or maybe you become indecisive. Maybe you’re doing a helluva lot better than the rest of us, and you are flexible and easily adaptable. Whatever your specific pattern, gathering this knowledge will only help you to know yourself better and how to move forward.

Of course, it’s much easier to accept change when those things are new and exciting. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge—stay tuned, ya’ll!

Just Breathe

In an age where we are consumed by and inundated with stimulation from ads, text messages, social media, news, (I mean, I could go on), we rarely take time to be fully present in a given moment. We don’t have time to do everything the day calls for, and many times we don’t take a second to look up from the whirlwind that is our life. Many of you might not know that I graduated with a degree in Religious Studies and took to meditation pretty eagerly during my college years. Vipassana meditation, in which the practitioner focuses on the breath, has helped me immensely with being in the present moment and to manage general anxiety, and it’s something I still practice today. I encourage you to take a break one or two times over the next week and quiet your mind in an effort to deal with daily stressors and general goings-on in your life by following this meditation guide below.

  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing, find a comfortable, quiet place to sit with good posture, either on the floor or in a chair. Decide the length of time you want to set aside, and maybe even set a low-level timer for yourself. For your first session, I would recommend 5-10 minutes max.
  • Once you have established a comfortable sitting position, begin to notice your breath, not forcing it in or out.
  • The practice is simple: notice the rising and falling of the breath. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Try to avoid expectation of yourself. Especially when you’re new to meditation, your mind will wander. You will think about—and maybe even worry about—the laundry list of tasks you have to accomplish. Stressors, conversations with others, memories, etc., will enter your mind. And that’s ok. Notice that your mind has wandered, actively let go of whatever your mind is focused on, and refocus the mind on the breath.

Chances are, you will feel lighter, taller, freer, and/or more aware than when you started!

Inside Katie’s Kitchen

Many times, people will ask us what we eat during the day to get an idea of foods that might be healthy for them. Verging slightly from my regular routine of Katie’s Corner, I thought I would bring to you one of the most vulnerable parts of my house-my kitchen! So I sifted through items in my own refrigerator and pantry and am presenting them to you here in hopes that you are able to get an idea of items that might be great for you to eat for meals and snacks. This is not intended to be a guideline for your own diet, but I do think it’s helpful to get an inside view of someone else’s kitchen. I’ve made notes here and there, but if you have specific questions, please reach out to me in the studio or by emailing me at katie@energiastudios.com.

Staples:
Ziploc or Tupperware Storage Containers in various sizes
Olive Oil
Spices
Mozzarella Cheese
Goat Cheese- I like cheese.
Sliced Almonds
Spicy Mustard
Real Maple Syrup- I’m from the South, so I feel the need to clarify the “real” part.

Most of these items you’ll want to use sparingly, as they can be high in calories, but they can provide bursts of flavor even when used sparingly. Healthy food does not equal bland food!Items that you don’t want to use sparingly in this list, however, are the storage containers. Plan your meals in advance and portion them into these, so that you have grab-and-go options for lunches or snacks during the day. I cannot stress this point enough-planning and preparing your meals in advance are the keys to staying on track and in your ultimate success. You will spend less time planning and prepping your meals in advance than if you wing every meal.

Breakfast:
Berries
Fage 0% or 2% Greek Yogurt
Go Lean Crunch

This breakfast combination is what I have most every day for breakfast. I can carry it with me to the studio when I have an early-morning training and not feel like I have to wolf down my breakfast before I leave for the day. When I have more time and am feeling a little fancy, I will have two of the three proteins listed below with half an avocado and salsa. And pepper. Lots of freshly cracked pepper.Smoked Salmon
Eggs
Lentils
Avocados
Salsa
Lunch:
Lentil or Split Pea Soup
Egg White Salad prepared with Greek Yogurt and Mustard
Curried Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt, Curry powder, Halved Grapes, Sliced Almonds, Cracked pepper
Wheatberry Salad
Loaded Sweet Potato
Many of these things, I get pre-prepared at my grocery store of choice, Trader Joe’s, though sometimes, I will make lunches ahead of time, i.e. the Curried Chicken Salad. I cook the sweet potato in advance and will load it with any combination of chicken breast, cheese, avocado, black beans, or sautéed veggies.
Dinner:
Chicken Breast
SalmonBrussels Sprouts
Heirloom or Cherry Tomatoes
Spinach
Mushrooms
Beets
Quinoa
Quinoa and Brown Rice Pasta
Black Beans
Chick PeasI make the side items in bulk at the beginning of the week and portion them into those storage containers I have been speaking so highly about. That way, I can pop home, cook my protein and heat up the sides in the meantime. And I have a healthy, nourishing meal to eat at the end of a long day.
Frozen Staples:
Turkey and Bison Burgers
Mixed VeggiesSnacks:
Hummus
Cauliflower, Carrots, and Broccoli
KIND Bars
Almond Butter
Apple/Pear
Air-popped PopcornSnacks are such a necessary thing to prepare in advance, and again, grab-and-go options are essential so that you don’t find yourself at the vending machine in the middle of the day.

Desserts:
Dark Chocolate
Greek Yogurt Sorbet with a teaspoon of honey

Yes, I eat desserts! Just in moderation.
Drinks:
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
This is a low-calorie option for something other than water.
Your challenge this week: Plan, prepare, and portion your meals ahead of time, and ask us for help if you need it!
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