A Three-Course Meal Leads To A Three-Day Cleanse

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Dear Readers:

After a wonderfully indulgent holiday, I have decided to start my first ever cleanse tomorrow. I have decided to start with a three-day option as I am not mentally prepared for five just yet. After doing a bit of research, I have chosen the “Winter Cleanse” from Orchard Street.

So, why a cleanse? I just returned from a trip where I enjoyed three-course meals cooked by a private chef every night. Enough said. This is also my annual “no alcohol” month so I can kill two birds with one stone and I literally want to cleanse myself of this winter season.

Summer, where are you? Come back, please.

I received a wonderful email from Orchard Street that gives me a step-by-step prep list. They suggest I avoid Animal products, refined sugar, coffee, alcohol, gluten and trans fats whilst embracing raw foods, water, fruits and veggies.

I plan to share my experience with all of you next week.

Have you tried a cleanse? What did you think?

Much Love,
Jo

Putting “Nutrients” In All Areas Of Your Life

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Dear Readers:

I am a big fan of health of beauty from the inside out. What good is looking great if you feel terrible or slathering products on dehydrated skin, hair that begs for vitamins or putting on concealer on circles caused by sleepless nights? It’s essential that we think about ourselves  in the context of the whole–spirit, health, wellness and beauty as the added bonus.

Today, I want to encourage all of you to start thinking about the foods you are taking in, how you are breathing (short panicky gasps for air or deep, cleansing breaths ) and how much “nutrients” you are placing in every area of your life. Start small if you need to–30 extra minutes of sleep, one more glass of water, one added class per week… these things add up and you’ll notice the benefits in record time.

Each time you do something “extra” pay attention to how easy it was and how good you feel about it. The best way to form a habit is to repeat an action consistently and reward yourself with a pleasant pat -on-the-back for a job well done.

Much Love,

Jo

Personal Power is an Inside Job

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Dear Readers:

Working in fitness, I talk a lot about centering and building power in your core. But I want to ask you all something? How powerful do you feel in your daily lives? How “strong” do you feel when it comes to facing day-to-day challenges? How toned is your spiritual center?

If there is a bit of a disconnect, it may be time to make some changes.

Though it’s natural to focus on the physical in the studio, we sometimes forget that personal power is an inside job and it requires dedicated and consistent training. What good is being able to hold a three-minute plank when we can’t pull ourselves up from a proverbial fall?

When we take the time to really connect with ourselves, use our power to choose, our voice to speak up and feel anchored in our values and vision, we become a force in our own lives. Suddenly, we are able face winds of change by bending without breaking and endure a difficult day without allowing ourselves to believe it’s a difficult life.

Today, I want to encourage you all to create a “power space” where you can sit and really work on building your own inner strength. Perhaps it’s a nook where you can write in a journal, or a space in your garden where you can meditate. It could even be on your bed in your bedroom with candles lit and an inspiring book. Commit to visiting that space a few times a week over the next few months and take note of how it makes you feel.

I’d love to hear about your progress.

Much Love,

Jo

8 Favourite Non-Dairy Treats (That Taste Delicious!)

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Dear Readers:
As I have previously mentioned, I have had a lifetime of digestive issues. After many years of being misdiagnosed as having IBS and coeliac disease, I was finally (correctly) diagnosed as being lactose intolerant. When I was gluten free nearly eight years ago, it was not nearly as easy as it is now to find palatable and affordable options. The options were stark and dense, to say the least. From experience, it is way easier to be lactose intolerant than gluten intolerant, but I still cant order a bloody pizza though!
Food allergies are on the rise world wide. As concerning as this is, it’s also positive in that I really think it has brought us back to basic cooking. We are really looking into the ingredients that are in our food and the response our body has to the different ingredients.  Now, I don’t endorse people cutting out full food groups just because it is on trend. However, if you want to try some dairy-free options, and be nice to your belly, here are 8 of my favourites.
 CoYo- CoYo is made from organic ingredients and is very versatile. I use it in salad dressings, smoothies, desserts or just plain from the bowl.
 
Rebel Kitchen- Rebel Kitchen is a coconut milk based drink; my favourite is the coffee. This drink has nothing but goodness in it.  All organic, no additives, vegan, paleo, gluten free, nut free and soy free. Are you eyes rolling yet?
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CoCoWhip-My favourite dessert on a hot day is cocowhip. CoCoWhip is essentially coconut soft serve.  It’s light, delicious, moorish and harmless.
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Dobbys Donuts- These donuts are definitely a treat and not a daily staple. They are vegan donuts and they are delicious. They don’t taste like your eating a healthy dessert. They taste like delicious down-and- dirty tasty treats.
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Cobs organic popcorn. I love popcorn;it’s my favourite snack. I make it all the time at home, but Cobs makes the best on -the0- go popcorn. I purchase cobs popcorn at least once a week (in multiple packets)
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​Inside out, coconut milk-There are many options for coconut milk on the shelf these days but you really want the fresh stuff from the fridge. If the use by dates has months on it, then there is definitely some nasties added in there. Inside out coconut milk is my favourite. ​It is 100% natural and cold pressed.
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Pana Chocolate. Pana Chocolate is made from raw cocoa. It is beautifully creamy, organic, and guilt free. My favourite is the peppermint.
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​Blue Dinosaur Paleo Bars Basically these bars are the lazy person’ s answer to bliss balls. I have a stack of these in the fridge at work for those days when i’m on the go. Again, my favourite flavour is the cocao mint. I may be obsessed.
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What are some of your favourite non-dairy treats?
Much Love,
Jo

This is not a sponsored post. I just really love these products.

JMP Anniversary Party: A Big Thank You To Everyone Who Made It Great!

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Dear Readers:

As many of you know, last week was the celebration of JMP’s first year of business. Truth be told, I was really excited (and very nervous) about having this event. You know when things are on your mind when you start dreaming about them and I started dreaming about this event two weeks prior.

Thankfully, everything went off without a hitch. The weather Gods provided the summer vibes, the jasmine scent was thick in the air and friends and family filled the backyard soiree. It was a memorable and special evening that really meant so much to me and I would like to thank a few people in today’s post. Without them, things would not have run so smoothly.

I want you to know that I am very appreciative of all of you.

 

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Dad: You are always the one to provide the appropriate wine and bubbles. Thank you.

 

Mum: Thank you for the ridiculous amount of amazing food you produced.

 

Peace: A shout out for running errands and putting up with me bossing you around. You are the best.

 

James: Thank you for the free labor and heavy lifting.

 

Dan at Young Henerys:  The delicious craft beers and ciders were amazing! Thank you.

 

Dobbys Donuts: The amazing donut treats were beyond delicious. I am still finding 100’s and 1000’s in the studio.

 

Ryan: Thank you for lighting up the night.

 

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After arriving reasonably on time (impressive) everyone had a drink in their hand and some food in their belly. It was time to break up the conversation and draw the raffle. My dear friend (and original bootybarre star), Clare, blurted out “I didn’t even get a ticket!”

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There were no tickets as we placed the names of the attendees in a hat.  The first item in the draw was for a beautiful Chuchka pilates mat. Caroline Brier-Bayot, the lucky winner, didn’t put it down all night. Everyone kept on going up to her and stroking her beautiful (super-soft) mat. Caroline also made it to a one-minute plank for the first time that day and vowed to continue to practice her planks on her gorgeous new mat. The next prize, a beautiful gift basket of soaps, bath milks and candles from No. 12 trading, was won by Lauren Aimee Curtis. This prize could not have gone to a better person as this girl loves to take long baths. She too refused to put down her gift basket all night. Next was the amazing gift voucher donated by the very talented beautician, Amy Erbacher. Winner, Nicole D’Angelo will receive a bespoke aromatherapy concoction.

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The very fabulous Louise McGeachie donated a pair of amazingly comfortable (and super stylish) Salt Water Sandals. Madison Moonpie won this prize which is perfect for summer. She can now stop trying to steal my pair! The last two prizes were gift vouchers to JMP.

First up was five Bootybarre classes. This bootylicious prize went to Electra Manikakis. Electra has been on a very personal mission to get fit and healthy this year and she has come so far. It was a pleasure to see her in her first barre class last Friday with many more to come, you go gir! Last but not least, five private studio sessions at JMP were awarded to my blurting buddy, Clare Fitzpatrick. Clare has been on somewhat of a personal and physical journey this year as well. It is a pleasure to see her now move and flow energy and positivity.

 

As I was packing up from the party, feeling a little tired and dishevelled, I could not wipe the smile off of my face. Opening JMP has been the best decision I have ever made. At times, it is scary and challenging, but you all make it so worth it.  

I definitely believe in the saying that your vibes attract your tribe and I know I’ve got pretty amazing people in mine. To my friends that have become clients, and my clients that have become friends,  I thank you with my whole heart for coming into my life. You have changed it for the better more than you could ever know.

Thank you all for supporting JMP. Cheers to many more years to come.

Much Love,

 

Jo

 

5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Summer (And Making It To Class!)

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Dear Readers:

As the weather changes and the days become warmer, the nights balmier and our social lives residing more outdoors, it is essential that we adjust our habits to accommodate the change of season as well as our having fun. Today, I want to share five tips to stay healthy this summer. Confession: Not paying attention to these can directly impact your desire and ability to come to class, so I have an added incentive.

Stay hydrated. Whether swimming, laying on the beach or running errands in the sun, summer is often synonymous with movement and activity. It’s also well known for being the season of chilled cocktails, wine and bubbly which, while delicious, can be dehydrating. Keep your organs flushed, your energy levels up and your skin soft by replenishing fluids on a regular basis. I love to infuse water with herbal tea’s, sliced fruits and even herbs.

Beware of too much salt. It’s wonderful to indulge (and we should), but foods heavy on the salt (chips and processed foods come to mind) can increase bloat and water retention. Not only can this be uncomfortable, it can zap your energy.

SPF is essential. We hear it all of the time, but how many of us really use the right amount of sunscreen every single day? Consider this habit a yearly must-do that helps protect from uncomfortable burns, skin cancer and premature aging of the skin .

Rest up. Yes, there are parties to attend, bonfires to coordinate and trips to be had, but your body needs 7-8 hours each night to rest and renew, regardless of your social schedule. If sleep in the evening starts to be scarce, incorporate disco naps.

What is your best “stay healthy” summer tip?

Much Love,

Jo

5 Ways To Feel More Comfortable In Any Class

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Dear Readers:

I am so thrilled to be seeing so many new faces in my classes (and always happy to see the familiar ones that always bring me so much joy). Whether you’re a Pilates enthusiast starting a new class at JMP or a newbie taking a step towards a healthier lifestyle, it’s always exciting (and sometimes a little unnerving) to step into a new space. Today, I want to give 5 tips to help you feel more comfortable in class.

Tailor your attire: Looking good is fine, as long as you feel good. Pilates and booty barre require precise movements and you don’t want to lose out on class time because you are constantly adjusting your clothing. Make sure your outfits are fitted, but also breathable, flexible and comfortable.

Hydrate! I cannot tell you how important this is. Dehydration not only zaps energy, it can cause serious complications in a workout. You don’t want to get dizzy or feel nausiated. And no, coffee or tea does not count (unless decaf/herbal).

Please do not workout while injured. This is not only dangerous, but it places instructors in a very unfair predicament.

Try and connect with at least one person. Say hello to someone. Ask them about the class. Meet the instructor. A familiar face can be all we need to make the second class even better than the first.

Finally, have fun. Don’t worry if you miss a beat, don’t fully get the pose the first time or can’t finish the first class. The point is to do something for yourself and be proud of yourself for being there. Don’t allow an expectation of perfection take that away from you.

Much Love,

Jo

Are You Pushing Yourself Productively Or Just Exhausting Yourself?

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Dear Readers:

As the week begins, I have found myself thinking a lot about self-respect and the way it impacts our self care. The more we understand and make room for our own boundaries, needs, wants, desires and goals, the more we are able to handle the world around us.

Challenging yourself is a good thing. A workout that is “too easy” or given up on the first round isn’t going to do much for you. Staying in your comfort zone or seeing yourself as a victim (defeatist) and not bothering to try something will only re-victimize. But there is a difference between energy output and strategic, healthy and helpful movement.

That’s what I want to talk about today.

So often, I see people “pushing” themselves in ways that aren’t necessarily productive such as making themselves stay up later than their body wants to, taking on more than feels comfortably emotionally or denying their basic human right to protect themselves from being saturated by someone else’s negativity or drama. They engage thoughts that aren’t helpful and bow down to fears instead of standing tall and facing them with the confidence they have earned the right to have.

There’s no honour in this. In fact, it often creates a domino effect. The late night leads to an exhausted morning, a missed class, a bad mood, an inability to do your best work… you see where this is going.

As we learn to care for ourselves, the way we engage with and navigate through the world changes. People respond to us differently, we are more selective how we spent our time (and with whom). We are more aware of what is real and what is fear. We begin to feel more in-control of our mind and body which makes us feel more secure in our moments. Others see us as dependable and even inspiring.

Today, I want to really encourage you to pay close attention to the ways you push. Is it productive or simply exhausting? Do you go to bed feeling a sense of accomplishment of simply collapse and dread the morning?

If it’s the latter, perhaps it’s time to make a real and lasting change.

Much love,

Jo

Never “Exercise” Again. Live An Active Life Instead.

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Dear Readers:

With the sun out and the warm weather here, there is good reason to get out and soak in a bit of vitamin D.  There is also more opportunity to get up (and work up) a good sweat in the studio, in the park, at the beach or even with the windows open in your living room.
So often we view exercise as something we “have” to do instead of seeing it as a part of an active, healthy, vibrant daily life. Activities shared with loved ones (swimming, hiking, cycling, dancing, etc.) are all forms of exercise that offer a variety of ways to connect with your body, those around you and nature.  When we choose to live actively, a good sweat isn’t a chore but a side-effect of a good time.  Imagine if we tossed the “exercise” label all together and simply thought about movement as active parts of our lives.
Think of how often some people exhaust themselves before they get to the gym or class. The back-and-forth with want (to stay in bed) VS should (get up and get to class). The more active we are, the more we associate it with the things we enjoy most (good music, endorphins, friends), the more likely we will stop doing what we “should” do and only be doing what we “want” to.
Much Love,
Jo

Recipes In Honour Of All Dad’s (Especially Mine)

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Dear Readers:

As it is the week of celebrating dad’s, I wanted to take a few moments to introduce you all to mine.

My father, John, is one of my biggest supporters and advocates, for which I thank him. As such, he begrudgingly shows up to my pilates studio once a week for his class. He started Pilates after suffering an injury four years ago, and I have been stuck with this bugger ever since.

He whines and complains the whole time (no exaggeration here), but I will admit that it is a lot of fun having him in the studio. Although he only attends class once a week, his practice really does set the tone for his body. As a businessman, he often spends a lot of time (i.e. too much of his day) seated. By adding pilates into his routine, his body has been able to maintain its strength and flexibility. His favourite piece of equipment is the surfset, he must have missed his calling as a surfer. He still wears his speedos, but thankfully not to class.

Today, I thought it be nice to share some dad-friendly recipes that are easy to make (and sure to please). I especially like the  beer-friendly potato boats and the healthy fruit smoothie summer bowl. Something tells me I already know which one mine will go for.

How will you be honouring your dad this week?

Much Love,

Jo