How are health coaches different?

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•• Nutritionists give you a list of foods to eat, and a list of foods to avoid. Most

people already know this, but haven’t been able to actually do it.

 

•• Therapists don’t provide clear action steps, and there is no linking of mood

and don’t address food in relation to mood.

 

•• Doctors don’t address the root cause of the symptoms, but instead prescribe a pill

or other quick fix.

 

Health Coaches address the root cause and guide their clients in holistic healing and transformation, addressing all areas of life.

Ever wonder why you know what’s good for you but you just aren’t doing it?

As your health coach I will help you identify the end result you want, what it will mean to you, and how I can support you in getting there. I’ll hold you accountable because it’s time to see what’s possible. It’s time for transformation.

Aside from the foods you eat and drink, we will also explore primary foods – things like your relationships, career, spirituality and exercise. If there is an imbalance in life there may be an imbalance in health.

And because I also have a fitness background, we can add training sessions and videos for strength and cardio workouts, yoga, and many other tools to your twice-monthly health coaching sessions.

There will also be:

-handouts

-fridge and pantry makeovers

-health food store visit 101

-recipes and cooking tips

-suggested movies

-group sessions and optional events

– lots of space for you to talk, dream, and overcome roadblocks.

We’ll discuss your goals, what that vision looks like once achieved, and how to get there. From weight loss, to solving existing health problems, to de-stressing, stopping a bad habit, to toning your muscles, and finding happiness through wellness….I’ll support you on your journey,

So think for a moment, what is the “why” behind your goal? Can you picture what achieving your goal will look like? Lets clearly voice your needs to move forward in your journey. Deciding to work with me is an investment in yourself. I’ll be 100% committed to your success.

Step 1:

Contact me today about a 6 month Health Coaching program!  We can meet in person or on the phone/skype. Six months is the perfect amount of time to get past common challenges and setbacks of daily life. Each session we will reconnect with your intentions and each session will end with 1–3 action-oriented goals to work toward our intended result.

Step 2:

After your initial health history/goal setting session, you’ll set dates to meet or talk with me in advance and sign a commitment letter for yourself and your coach, outlining your goals from 1 month, 3 months and 6 months.

Join me to take your first step to abundant health by crowding out the bad and adding in the good! Nikki

nikki@nikkifitness.com

WANT TO BE AN INTEGRATIVE NUTRITION ®  HEALTH COACH YOURSELF AND START A REWARDING NEW CAREER? CLICK *HERE* for more info (bonus – you get a large tuition discount for mentioning Nicole Glor though this link!)

 

Om 5: One Move, One Mantra, One Must Have!

 

Health doesn’t Have to Be Hard

 

Little changes every day, like crowding out soda and sugary drinks with water and green tea, replacing cheese and chips with veggies and hummus, and walking after meals instead of sitting in front of the TV, can make a big difference in your health. This month’s blog is an especially happy read because health doesn’t have to be hard!

 

One Move

New study shows walking better than running for diabetes prevention

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Health doesn’t have to be hard, according to a new study from Duke University http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-016-4051-z?view=classic that finds walking might protect against diabetes more than running does. It studied the effects, on pre-diabetics, of walking 13.8 miles a week for 6 months verses running the same distance. (According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 out of every 3 Americans is pre-diabetic, with elevated blood sugar but not as high an amount as diabetics).

 

Researchers found that the walkers had 6 times more improvement in their glucose tolerance than the runners did. One theory on the improvement is that walking burns more fatty acid than running does, and too much fatty acids make it harder for your body to process insulin. If you can’t use insulin, your cells can’t absorb blood sugar from the bloodstream, which leads to pre-diabetes and full-blown diabetes.

 

Whether going for a walk down the street, in a park of on a hiking trail, or just marching in place in your living room with a walking workout video like the NikkiFitness Anti-aging Walking Workout (Amazon or iTunes) there are many options to work walking into your week. You can add some fun music, a guided meditation, audio-book, a pet, significant other or best friend and getting healthy will also get you happy!

Plan:

Week 1 – Walk ½ mile or 10 minutes M-F. Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.

Week 2 – Walk 1 mile or 20 minutesM-F. Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.

Week 3- Walk 2 miles or 30 minutes M-F. Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.

Week 4 – Walk 3 miles or 40-45 minutes M-F, Rest Saturday, do yoga/pilates/lift weights Sunday.

 

One Mantra: Work out because you can!

(And for all those who cannot because of injuries/disabilities/life limitations.)

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Health Coach NikkiFitness giving a nutrition talk to 1-3rd graders in NYC!

 

One Must Have: A Health Coach

Health coaches are a growing trend, but what are they? A health coach is part life coach, part nutritionist, part personal trainer, part cheerleader, part accountability partner… and all effective. They may talk about incorporating better foods, finding ways to naturally make you well if you’re experiencing a lot of ailments that could be stemming from your lifestyle, adding more exercise, and exploring weather roadblocks to your wellness may be related to unhappiness in career, relationships, lack of spiritual experiences, etc.

 

Health coaches are different based on their background, so you’ll want a full list of credentials and certifications, and to make sure that they are not simply a “health coach for company/shake/supplement/meal plan X.” They should not be representing or selling a certain product, just selling a happy, healthier life. They won’t prescribe or take you off prescriptions, but they will work in conjunction with your doctors to see if food and lifestyle changes might improve your health to the point where things like diabetes, arthritis, rashes, allergies, inflammation and weigh gain could be the result of a food allergy or intolerance. Holistic and integrated lifestyle improvements could get you off these prescriptions in the long run when you, your health coach and your doctor are a support system working together.

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Generally, a health coach will conduct a health history with you in your first complementary session and then they usually work in 6-month agreements. Sessions could be in person, over Skype or Facetime, or over the phone. They may involve meal diaries, emails or texts with your coach, and group sessions depending on the package and geographical situation.

 

Disclosure: I am a health coach with a certification in personal training and group fitness instruction from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, 200 hour Registered Yoga Training (RYT) from YogaFit, and health coach certification from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition, as well as an author, writer and national media fitness expert. You may find coaches who are registered dietitians with less fitness background, or someone who was once a therapist and expanded into nutrition and fitness in other ways. Each health coach comes to this growing career in different ways, and could even be a new career for you. Look into it and find someone with the right background and demeanor for you!

 

Om 4: One Move, One Mantra, One Must-have!

Crunch on the Run

By NikkiFitness

 

What if you could call yourself a runner? Ever dreamed of jogging a mile without stopping? If these goals seem out of reach, read on, and reach for your sneakers…

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Running is as inexpensive as buying a good pair of running shoes and it’s as easy as setting aside 30 minutes. It’s a priceless way to see new cities when you travel, you can bond with a significant other or jogging friend while working out where you live, many people find it therapeutic to run alone and/or out in nature (I solve my problems and get great ideas while running solo and thinking). Running is a mood-booster as well. If you have a treadmill or a gym membership, you can do it even on a rainy day or icy day. Running makes you lose fat and builds great leg and abdominal muscles. Some days you can do longer distance, some days shorter speed intervals. Some days you’ll take off on flat pavement, on others find winding trails and hills. I even train clients to jog and then add in push-ups, planks, triceps dips and lunges on park benches. You can make it even more special by signing up for fundraising races for a good cause and participating in mud runs or color runs with paint splashed on you for each leg of the race. (Your body will look toned and lean, while all covered in mud and paint for those race selfies!)

 

Get started: People often ask me what running shoes I use. That’s like asking me what toothbrush is the best. Sneakers that work for one person won’t be ideal for another, because it depends on your body’s needs. Visit a runner or athletic shoe shop and have them watch you run and measure your needed amount of arch support to find the best pair for your body.

 

 

Move- Try these running workouts for 30 minutes a day.

 

Week 1: Start speed walking for 30 seconds hard, 30 easy. Do this 5 days a week.

Week 2: After the first week start speed walking for 2 minutes, then take 30 seconds easy.

Week 3: Time to jog.  Go back to 30 seconds on, 30 off. Then jog 2 minutes the next week and walk for 30 seconds between intervals.

Week 4: Jog for 5 minutes at a time and take 30 seconds to recover.

 

After a month try your first mile, or run for 10 minutes without counting the distance. Keep adding on to your time jogging and eventually you’ll be able to jog for 30 minutes straight!

 

 

Mantra-

Working out: First you feel like dying, then you feel reborn! (So push through the days when you feel like it’s too hard, and you’ll be rewarded during and after later workouts.)

 

 

Must-try-

You hear about adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, but that banana got smashed in your bag yesterday and today those strawberries are a mushy mess by the time you unpacked them. Forget the mess and get crunching while you’re on the run with a new food brand of freeze- dried fruit called Crunchies! I discovered these while adding in more plant-based food to my diet as I began nutrition school. They are so good that my 6 year-old’s soccer team was fighting over the bag last week. The fruit is sourced from all natural fruit and veggies – and the company owns heir own supply chain “from field to fork!” They taste fresh and sweet no matter which kind you try, from mixed fruit to strawberry, to pineapple or even beets! At about $5 per bag and 40 calories with 6 grams of sugar per serving Crunchies “beat” the mushy banana any day.

 

https://www.crunchiesfood.com

Also at Walmart, Amazon and more.

 

Om 3: One Move, One Mantra, One Must-have!

It’s wedding season, and that means lots of events with friends and family. If you’ve recently started a fitness routine, it’s a great way to boost your confidence and feel good about your progress because you’ll see people you probably haven’t seen in awhile, and they’ll likely comment on your healthy changes. You can get red-carpet-ready with the following move, mantra and must-try!

 

One MOVE

The running lunge move from my Red Carpet Runway Workout video (www.nikkifitness.com) works legs, glutes, abs, and cardio.

From a standing position, step your right foot back and place your left hand above your left knee for support. Your left knee should track over your ankle, not your toe. Bend your right knee so that it almost touches the ground (deep lunge) and then bring your right knee up towards your chest, keeping the left knee bent. Step your weight back into your right foot behind you. Repeat 20-30 times and you’ll feel it working your left quadriceps and glutes! Switch sides and repeat.

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Make it harder: Add a hand-held weight to increase the intensity and chisel the arms. By lowering your right hand and weight by your left knee and then lifting the right elbow up to the sky (as if you were pulling the starter chain on a push-lawnmower), you work your upper back (trapezius and rhomboids) and improve your posture when those muscles are strong. Lift the right arm each time you bring the right knee in towards your chest.

 

One MANTRA

The only person you should try to be better than is the one you were yesterday!

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One MUST Try

RockMyRun www.rockmyrun.com is a fitness app that not only provides seamless mixes of fresh fitness songs, but also matches your running (or walking) pace. I use this app to teach fitness class with fresh songs and adjust the beats-per-minute (BPM) to the speed I need for different class formats. But when I go outside to work out on my own, it’s nice to be able to match the beat to your steps so that you keep up with yourself and don’t vary your pace, even at the end when your muscles are telling you to slow down, but your head is saying keep up. Just don’t blame me if you get weird looks from passersby when you are singing to yourself while you work out- the music is that good!

 

Continue doing the running lunge, add your new music playlist for all your workouts and repeat the mantra above, and you’ll be rocking any red carpet this summer. Once you work on your fitness, why not look even slimmer and toned with my posing tips? Here’s a free video that will make sure your photos of your outisides will show how fit you feel inside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBBnq5yAuFQ

 

Om 2: One Move, One Mantra, One Must- Have!

OM: One Move, One Mantra, and One Must- Have

 

 

To me, summer is the time for energy and fun. You’re no longer huddled under a blanket at 4pm when it’s dark outside already. The days are longer, people are happier, salads are more appealing than comfort food, and you even feel lighter and years younger! It’s the time to use that energy to try different workout routines to find your fitness fun! You can take a walk and do body-weight moves on a park bench, jump rope, or turn on your favorite fast song and kickbox your stress away. Summer vacations provide reasons to motivate and move before you go, and while you’re there. Do something active every day so that you are able to use your body today and for years to come. (By the time winter arrives, the good habits you make in the warm weather might stick around so you don’t need a January resolution.)

 

One MOVE

Squat to cross kick and punch is from my Anti-aging Walking Workout (www.nikkifitness.com) and works legs, abs, shoulders and cardio.

From a standing position, squat like you are about to sit into a chair, and use the strength of your quadriceps and glutes to stand back up. Next, raise your right knee and then extend your flexed right foot out into a kick, while punching your left hand toward your foot. Return to standing and squat. Next, kick your left leg and punch with your right hand to complete one rep. Repeat for 10-20 times.

Make it harder: add light hand weights to increase the intensity and chisel the arms more

disc-face-walking

One MANTRA

Today is the youngest you will ever be again, so make the most of it! (I’m turning 39 this summer, so you can be sure I’ll be working out to stay young and run after my 6 year-old and 11-month old!)

 

One MUST HAVE

You hear a lot about wearable fitness devices that track how many steps you get per day, but I say, start with shoes that make you want to move first! Vionic shoes are designed by podiatrists with OrthaHeel ® technology and are a must-have for anyone with low arches. Since I tried them, I can’t even stand to be barefoot at home, let alone walking the NYC streets without wearing a pair of their inventive shoes. They feel better than anything I have ever put on my feet.

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Vionic’s innovation lab created walking shoes for men and women to help you increase your fitness level, flip flops to get you out of those un-supportive thong sandals, slippers for cozy comfort indoors, and even wedges and boots for feel-good fashion. Dr. Jacqueline Sutera is a surgically trained doctor of podiatric medicine, who explains why great supportive shoes make all the difference in being active. She says it’s especially important for diabetics to wear shoes inside the house. “If you loose feeling in your feet you could step on something without knowing it. Good, supportive shoes or slippers help circulation and foot health to keep you active indoors as well as outside.”

 

When your feet and legs feel energized and healthy, fitness is fun! And when it’s fun, you feel like a kid again.

OM: One Move, One Mantra, and One Must- Have

 

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A popular saying around the gym is “summer bodies are made in the winter.” If that’s true, then springtime is the time for the procrastinators! If you’re like a lot of people, pulling out your warm-weather clothes in the spring can be fun, but trying them on can be scary after a winter of hearty eating, skipping workouts and too much hot coco on the couch. Don’t worry, it’s not too late if you try my “one move, mantra and must-have” each week. My new blog will help transition you from hibernation to healthy habits just in time for summer!

 

One MOVE

The Bear Crawl is from my Anti-aging Walking Workout (www.nikkifitness.com) and tones your arms, chest, abs, glutes and legs):

Start in a standing position. Bend your knees to squat, then walk your hands out on the floor for a count of four, so that you end up in a plank, keeping your feet in the same place where you started. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders, and your head, hips and heels in one straight line while balancing on your toes. Then, keeping the abs tight, walk your hands back toward your feet and use your leg strength to help you stand up.

Make it harder (additional chest and cardio): walk hands out to plank, then add a push-up, and when you walk hands back into feet and jump into the air with your hands reaching to the sky!

 

One MANTRA

Sweat is just fat crying! (Many people avoid working out because they don’t want to sweat. I say, don’t be afraid to sweat, embrace and chase it, and this mantra makes me laugh through grunting during the workout!)

 

One MUST HAVE

Healthy eating is made easy when the temperature rises. Forget your heavy crock-pot meals or comfort-food takeout and instead chose salads, light protein and smoothies! If green juices and smoothies (think milk shakes that taste naughty but are actually good for you) seem like too much work and planning, I found a great company to get you started on a smoothie-a-day-habit! Greenblender delivers flavorful superfoods high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins and fiber, nationwide, to bring you everything from more energy to weight loss.

 

Each week, for about five dollars a meal, they send you five new smoothie recipes and all the pre-portioned organic ingredients you’ll need to make 10 smoothies (I say share one with a loved one each weekday for breakfast!) They even have diabetic-friendly tips and recipes like “How to Naturally Sweeten Your Smoothie,” that you can reference online at https://greenblender.com/smoothies/?s=diabetic

 

Try this recipe to kickstart your new good habits and come out of hibernation, because It’s not too late to get your “summer body” after all.

 

Raspberry Basil Smoothie Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 ozgrape tomatoes
  • 1 ozraspberries
  • 4 ozpineapple
  • 4 leavesbasil
  • 2 tbspgoji berries
  • 1/4 cupwalnuts
  • 1 cupwater
  • 1 cupice

 

 

 

Pre-resolution Holiday Gift for Fitness Motivation

Are you worried that the heavy holidays will get you looking frumpy in January? I have a motivational gift that will have you looking good and feeling more confident while you work off that weight.

This January, while you’re exercising hard, and eating right to try to burn off that extra 10 pounds in your New Year’s Resolution (download my newest Anti-aging Walking Workout with Weights video to get that blood flowing), add some shapewear to your list for Santa!

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I recommend Leonisa (http://www.leonisa.com) waist-slimming, “double dose torso control” line.

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I believe that once you see yourself in that little black dress looking slimmer than last year, it will give you even more motivation to burn off those extra pounds with a workout. Don’t wear this  product while working out, but pack it in your gym back for after the shower to look good while waiting for the weight to drop this January!

 

Fitness, fit it in! Nikki

 

Back up your health: Yoga for back pain

Imagine a virus going around that causes pain, and stops you from driving, lifting your toddler, shopping for groceries, and exercising.

Now imagine a medicine that prevents this virus. You would take it, right?

This pretend “virus” is back injury. It is real and happens to people every day when they trip and try to catch their balance, roll out of bed, bend over to pick up a bag, take a kickboxing class, or perform a dead lift. The medicine I prescribe to avoid “catching” the virus is a few yoga poses for the upper and lower back. As always, you should check with a doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist to diagnose the cause of the back pain, which could be anything from sitting too much, to stress, to lifting, or even a herniated disc (which I have had twice in the last 20 years.) I have found these poses to strengthen area, realign the problem and fix the pain. However your healthcare practitioner may prescribe an MRI, surgery or rest instead, depending on the source of the pain.

Lower for Living:

Strengthening your lower back muscles is important for people who don’t exercise on a regular basis, but equally as important for those who do exercise but overlook the lower back. If you have a bad lower back, you can’t do those crunches, bicep curls, lunges or daily living activities.

Upper for Posture:

The upper back exercises are important as well, especially if you sit at a computer or hunched over a desk much of the time. It is equally important if your exercise routine includes pushups and bench presses but not working the opposite muscle group – the trapezius and rhomboids. Hunched posture can cause painful knots and strains, chiropractor bills and give the wrong first impression.

Moves: It’s best to use a flow or vinyasa that creates counter-stretches, so that in one pose you are extending (straightening or arching) the spine, and in the other you are flexing (bending forward or rounding). If experiencing back pain,  twists should be limited, as they could help turn a bulging disc into a herniated one. It’s also important to stretch the hamstrings, hip flexors and glutes, because tightness in these muscles can lead to pulling and pain in the back.

cow cat

Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana/ Bitilasana)This is a great way to start your yoga practice even if you don’t experience back pain. It warms up the body, helps you focus on the breath and strengthens the arms, back and core. Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor. As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, gently release your head toward the floor. Inhale, coming back to neutral position on your hands and knees and allow your belly to sink towards the earth, slightly arching your back while lifting your head to look forward and bringing the chest towards the sky. Exhale, coming back to neutral “tabletop” position on your hands and knees. Repeat 10 times.

Opposite Reach Back

Spinal Extension/Bird Dog/Hunting Dog           

This pose is a great way to tone and strengthen your upper body, core muscles, work on balance issues and strengthen the lower back.  Come into a hands-and-knees position on your mat, keeping a neutral curve in your lower back, strong arms and look at the floor between your hands. Next, slowly extend your right leg back behind you with your toes turned under and the ball of your foot on floor.  If you are feeling stable, lift your right leg up until it is about parallel with the floor, but no higher. If you still feel stable,  reach your left arm (opposite side) forward and parallel to the floor, as if you were to shake hands with someone in front of you. Hold for 3 deep breaths, and repeat on the second side. After holding 3 times, you may want to flow the pose, inhaling as you lift the arm and leg, and exhaling to lower. Modify: If you are having lower back pain, keep the toes of your straight leg on the ground rather than lifting your leg. If you have wrist pain, bend your elbows and rest your forearms on blocks, rather than putting weight on your hands.

cobra

Sphinx Post/ Baby Cobra (Bhujangasana) Lie on your belly, legs side by side with toes pointed on the floor behind you. Place your hands flat on the floor so that they are directly underneath your shoulders, elbows off the floor, and lower your forehead to the ground. Inhale, slowly rolling up and back, using your lower back muscles rather than just your hands (think: snakes don’t have hands). Move slowly, so that you feel each vertebra arching back. Hold the pose for 3 deep ujai breaths, before you get as high as your elbows make sure you are not overextending the lower back. No pain should be felt in the lower back. Slowly roll down, keeping your head back until last. Repeat two more times. As you get stronger you can lift up until you can rest on your elbows, making the backbend more pronounced, while relaxing the glutes.

down dog

Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) – This is one of my favorite poses for building upper back strength, flexing the low back, and stretching the spine, calves and hamstrings. From sphinx or baby cobra, lay back down onto your stomach and then lift up onto hands and knees. Press your hands strongly down into the mat and lift your forearms up. Your fingers should be spread like starfish, with the middle finger pointing directly forward. Curl your toes under and lift your hips up and back, keeping your knees bent and heels lifted. Gently roll the outside of your upper arms down and feel a widening across your upper back, establishing external rotation in your shoulder joints, spreading your shoulder blades apart. Straighten your elbows and press your hands into the mat as if you were trying to push it away from you, elongating your spine lifting your hips to the sky into an inverted letter “V.” Keep the feet hip-distance apart and begin to “walk the dog” by inching one heel closer to the mat at the time. Eventually you may be able to straighten both knees and reach the heels almost to the floor. (Note: If you can glance at a side mirror, make sure you’re in a V – with the head between the arms, shoulder blades reaching down the back towards the hips, and sits bones lifted as high to the sky as you can. It’s common for beginners to take the arms and legs too far away from each other into a wide V and to look at hands instead of relaxing the neck and looking at the knees.) Breathe deeply for 5 breaths while gazing at or past your knees.

 

Staff pose (Dandasana)– From down dog, come back down to all fours, then cross the ankels and sit back and down. Next, extend your legs in front of you with the feet flexed and the backs of the legs touching the mat, knees not bent. You may already feel your hamstrings stretching. Sit tall and reach the crown of your head to the sky. Inhale, then exhale and fold forward with a straight spine, reaching the hands towards the knees (beginners), shins or feet (advanced). It’s important not to bounce, but rather grow longer on the next inhale and lower if possible on the next exhale. Hold the pose without bending the knees for 5 breaths, being sure not to round the spine. If the spine is rounded, back off from reaching towards the feet and sit taller. It’s not about touching the nose to the knees, but feeling an incredible hamstring stretch and stretching the lower back as well. Surrender to the pose.

 

Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) – From staff, lower down to lie on your back (supine), bend your knees and place your feet on the floor underneath the knees, both hip distance apart. You should be able to touch your heels with your fingertips. Your hands should be by your hips, palms down. Exhale and push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not clenching) the glutes, and lift the hips toward the sky. Keep your thighs and feet parallel and knees over ankles. Next, interlace the fingers beneath your glutes with pinky sides on the floor and extend through the arms to externally rotate onto the outsides of your shoulders. Stay in the pose for three breaths, and lower hips to the floor. Repeat 3-5 times and release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor, then hug the knees into the chest for a counter-stretch. Your glutes and lower back with feel strength building and your chest will feel more open and stretched.

 

Supine Figure Four (Supine Pigeon) This pose stretches the glutes, specifically the periformis, and tight glutes can cause back pain. It offers less room for error than pigeon and often feels good to lay on your back to relax it and feel grounded. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet lying flat onto the floor.  Then, cross the right ankle on top of the left knee. Start here and then gently press your raised knee away from you with your right hand Then, interlace your hands underneath the thigh of left leg and pick your legs up to hug them into your chest.  If you are unable to reach your arms that far, you can use a yoga strap. Hold for five deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

 

Savasana (Corpse pose/final relaxation) If lying down with your legs extended is uncomfortable in corpse pose for your final relaxation, bend your knees and place them together while the soles of your feet are under the knees but hip-distance apart. If this position still hurts, place your legs up a wall or find a rolled-up mats, blankets, or towel to place under your knees when you lie flat to encourage your lower back to press into the floor. These modifications will help create length in your lower back to alleviate any tension. Hold the pose for at least 10 calming breaths, then if comfortable, roll onto your right side and stay for 3 breaths in fetal postion. Next, use the strength of your left arm to push you up to a comfortable seated position for meditation or to get on with your Namas(day).

Back it Up

Before I became a personal trainer and yoga instructor, I didn’t realize the importance of working my back as much as working my abs. I ask you to add these moves to each workout you do and take this advice from someone who went through a back injury and could not do normal daily tasks… and take your (yoga) medicine.

Summer Product Review: All Natural New You- NikkiFitness Faves 2015

When I shoot fitness segments on national TV, they do my makeup done professionally. It’s enough to turn a former country-mouse into a NYC beauty diva. However, my love for the all-natural, wellness, fitness and not absorbing chemicals in general, caused me to go back to my country roots and search for all-natural products. A skin cancer diagnosis in the family and being pregnant with my second child also played a role in my search for less chemicals on my skincare daily routine. This #NIkkiFItnessFaves summer product review strays from my normal fitness product picks to summertime body-conscious organic, vegan and natural products that you put on your body after you sweat the toxins out.

So please indulge me while you pick up some products to indulge your pampering side. It took trying a few samples to get me to totally ditch my previous makeup bag, medicine cabinet and shower caddy to totally restock and restore for health.  I’ve included some colors that work for me, medium complexion, but all it takes is a visit to each website to find the shades for you.

How to get glam from with products from the garden…

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Body Wash – Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensie Hydration Body Wash with African Rock Rig and Baobab Oil. The scent is enough to hook you, but the 10% of each sale they give back through Community Commerce Initiative and the ingredients list makes you want to stock up and shower three times a day!  A 13 oz bottle costs $9.99 and they have many other scents, a remedy scroll bar for your type of skin/hair/needs, products ranging from men to baby, and even offer natural face masks. http://www.sheamoisture.com/Community-Commerce-Manuka-Honey-Mafura-Oil-Intensive-Hydration-Body-Wash_p_849.html

 

 

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Face Cleanser– Kimberly Parry SeaOrganics Creamy Cleanser with coconut and argan is rich in sea minerals, vitamins and lactic acid to help your skin look and feel soft and silky. The ingredients glossary helps you navigate your way to a clean facial cleanse. $58 http://www.kimberlyparry.com/skin-care/creamy-cleanser-coconut-argan

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 10.59.20 AMExfoliants – WIth accolades from Yoga Journal and Organic Spa Magazine, and this cool packaging, I couldn’t wait to try Balance Guru’s Organic Farm-a-ceuticals Scrub Me Body Scrub. Then I opened the package and the invigorating smell of Raw Sugar, Organic Coffee, Coconut Oil, Babassu Oil and Cocoa Butter (plus a little of Spearmint and Ginger to spice up your scrubbing experience) gave me a jolt of happy. Safe for expecting mothers, nursing mothers and children, this is a must-try. $22.99. http://balancedguru.com/products/scrub-me-nice-and-gritty-body-scrub

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For the face, exfoliate with Crumbles Strawberry Lemon foaming food facial scrub from Buff Her House of Exfoliation, smells so good you want to eat it. Lemons are a great skin brightener, with high vitamin c its a great antioxidant. Lemon also neutralizes free radicals and gives a boost to collagen. Strawberries are high in salicylic acid, one of the main ingredients in over the counter acne medications. Strawberries are rich in Vitamins A & C. $25 http://buffher.com/products/strawberry-lemon-crumbles

 

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Deodorant and Lotion– Another place on the body, like the lips, that absorbs a lot of chemicals is the armpits. I have looked for years for something that is strong enough to last through a hot day or a heavy workout, trying crystals, all-natural homemade concoctions, and products. Nubian Heritage Honey & Black Seed with Wild Honey and Apricot Oil 24 hour all-natural deodorant is the closest I have found yet. It’s slightly stickier than the average drugstore brand, but smells great when you put it on – better than any deodorant I have ever used. It definitely lasts all day, but needs to be re-applied before bed. For an average workout, you can wear it. For the hardest workouts, I still recommend using the normal brands so those in class next to you don’t give you a funny look. Still, that covers you for most of the day without the chemicals. There are several other inventive scents for  $7.99 each which I can’t wait to try. If you love a good smelling lotion or body butter, shop their Patchouli and Buriti Shea Butter moisturizers.  https://www.nubianheritage.com/product-types/deodorants
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Face Mask -Earth Kiss offers 100% natural mud and clay masks infused in a bamboo sheet and energized with 85 plant micronutrients found in Himalayan Shilajit.
It’s a quick and relaxing way to deep cleanse and help balance the skin to its optimal health and vitality. Choose between revitalize, hydrate, rejuvinate, exfoliate, pore refining and pore cleanse recipes $2.99 http://www.myearthkiss.com

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Protect from the sun with SPF MyChelle has an array of über-safe, natural sun protectants that will guard against both UVA and UVB rays. Titanium Dioxide and clear Zinc Oxide offer clean, broad-spectrum defense that helps prevent the signs of aging, and research has even shown that Zinc Oxide can shield against ultraviolet rays as well. What’s more, their sunscreens for the face have soothing Aloe to ease signs of redness and irritation before they have a chance to occur, and restorative algaes reduce sun-induced inflammation while replenishing oils hydrate and relieve your skin. $17 http://www.mychelle.com/SunShield-Coconut-SPF-28br?sc=7&category=4417#.VVkurMZbz1o

 

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Lips – Not convinced that the skin absorbs chemicals? You should at least be sure that if you wear lipstick you also eat it. Every day. If you only change one thing, change your lipstick to a natural brand. My favorite still, after many samples, is Burts Bees, caramel shade. It looks as good as my Chanel favorite with a summertime sexy shimmer, but 1/5th the price. You can be sure you’re not ingesting chemicals when you put it on then eat a meal, take a drink! The Vitamin E, beeswax, peppermint and sunflower oils only cost $5.  Check out the ingredients: http://www.burtsbees.com/Lip-Shimmer/02313-00,default,pd.html#ekAdP0R90ZFZbvlH.99

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Under-Eye Concealer– Josie Maran’s ultra-hydrating concealer crayon seamlessly smoothes over blemishes, dark circles, and uneven pigment, with no caking, creasing, pastiness, or fading away.  There are six shades for all skin tones, and the chubby, retractable tip just glides like butter. The 100% pure, organic Argan Oil is the main ingredient for natural, earth-friendly beauty, free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, and irritating chemicals. There is also an  Argan Tinted Moisturizer, for maximum luminosity and an all-over, evened-out glow. Luxury with a conscience under your eyes costs $20.  http://www.josiemarancosmetics.com/argan-creamy-concealer-crayon.html#.VVk3bsZbz1o

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 5.41.30 PMEyes (and Face): Eyeshadow/Eyeliner/Browliner from Honeybee Gardens. These items offer shimmer, shadow, smokey eye and glam without leaving the garden. National TV-approved by me, and natural without a tear over chemicals on your oh-so-thin-skin of the eyelids. The pencils glide on like liquid eyeliner and give your brows a model-look. Bat an eyelash at the vegan and cruelty-free ingredients for $8.99 each.

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Get their pressed powder for $10.99 while you’re there. http://honeybeegardens.com/cosmetics/

 

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Mascara– Rejuva Minerals’ Mega Lash is a  water resistant, lengthening and thickening mascara an Organic Spa Magazine pick, and was presented to the attendees of the 2015 LA Red Carpet Event for the Grammy’s. It’s designed for women who want to reduce their overall chemical load by living cleaner and greener, and to experience wellness every day  More and more Hollywood personalities are demanding high quality natural and organic makeup for use on set. Rejuva provides for the needs of celebrity personalities such as Shailene Woodley and Lorielle New, is used on the set of CBS’s “The Talk” and HBO’s “Girls.” But I’m the last person who cares what a celebrity uses. I tried it for $14.95. My eyelashes look awesome now and I feel better knowing about their ingredients vs the average mascara on the market. I’m also a fan of their bronzer/blush/pressed powder which you can score a sample size with a lid that limits the  spill factor for $5.95- pictured here. Investigate yourself at http://www.rejuvaminerals.com/store/product1025.html

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Cheeks – I like Virgin Mineral Makeup because other samples I tried had loose powder that fell out or got too much on my brush. This blush – in a shade called “radiance”- was not too pink and not too bronze, and contains a middle piece of plastic that allows only so much to penetrate to the top, where your brush can grab it. The website contains lots of other products that keep your skin young, by sticking with high-quality products that avoid certain ingredients such as talc, corn starch and parabens. $22 at http://virginnmineralmakeup.com/product/radiance/

 

After looking great all day…

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Makeup Remover -Juicy bamboo natural facial cleansing cloths are made in small batches and saturated in vitamins B12, C and E, then soaked in citrus essential oils.  Their “secret weapon,” a nourishing blend of honey, is heated, liquefied, and then blended with sunflower oil and jojoba oil and put into facial cloths that harvested from unbleached bamboo natural fibres, which mean they have a lower environmental impact than a standard wipe, making them cashmere-soft with no paragons, synthetic fragrance, sulfates or  alcohol. Sounds like hard work, but taking your makeup off won’t be!  $15.50 http://kaianaturals.com/shop-2/juicy-bamboo-natural-facial-cleansing-cloths/

Natracare’s new COSMOS-certified Organic Cleansing Make-up Removal Wipes  Perfect for any gym bag, these make-up removal wipes are now available across the country at Whole Foods and online. Taking it off (make-up that is), has never been this easy or safe. These wipes are organically formulated and free from harmful chemicals.  They wipe gently and effectively remove all make-up while moisturizing your skin too.  And with the COSMOS-organic seal, Natracare wipes are the purest make-up removal wipes on the market – the world’s first of its kind! Prices vary by location, and you’ll also find intimate and baby wipes. http://www.natracare.com/p2219/en-GB/Natracare-Products/Wipes/Organic-Make-Up-Removal-Wipes.aspx 

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Face moisturizer – Immunocologie Face Serum is a highly concentrated, ultra-hydrating nutrient rich essential oil formula dry to the touch, that I like to use at night. Combined with the Vital Oligo Complex, this strong emollient supported by the Balanites Roxburghii Seed Oil increases epidermal lipid recovery, providing a robust plumping while also bringing essential vitamins and nutrients to the skin. These nutrients, including omega fatty acids, vitamins A and C preserve moisture in the skin, fight free-radicals and stimulate collagen production leading to increased elasticity. And you just glow. $185 dollars. http://www.immunocologie.com/immunocologiefaceserum/ 

If that’s a little pricy, try Chia Seed Passion Fruit Oil for $32 https://www.lather.com/chia-seed-passion-fruit-facial-oil.html

 

Get your 8 hrs sleep, wake up fresh, splash with facial cleanser, add more natural deodorant and start the day with one of my workout videos the next morning!

Fitness – fit it in, Nikki.