Fitness Files: Katherine & Kimberly Corp

Katherine and Kimberly Corp are both certified with, and Continuing Education providers for, the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), American Council on Exercise (ACE), and National Academy for Sports Medicine (NASM). These former Rockettes have been sharing the benefits of Pilates workouts with fitness-oriented New Yorkers since 2000. They train and certify other fitness experts through their Pilates on Fifth Academy International (PAI). Pilates on Fifth is the NYC training center for ActivMotion Bar. Continuing reading their Fitness Files interview below to discover how this dynamic duo stays motivated while motivating others!

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? Katherine & Kimberly

Katherine & Kimberly: We have danced since we can remember!  From the time we were VERY small, we were in dance class, first with ballet, and then adding tap and traditional jazz.  We also were on the swim teams and diving teams in elementary school, then cheerleaders in middle school and high school, but dance was always the constant.  Dance is even what lead us to Pilates initially, as we used it as our "tune-up" workout while performing with the Radio City Rockettes.  Now, we love finding exercise that is functional for both daily life and sports and dance training.

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

Katherine & Kimberly: In the midst of a very demanding teaching day or rehearsal (Yes! We still perform!),  We love coconut water, and drink it before, during and after a big workout or rehearsal.  We are not fans of "protein bars" or other processed foods, but opt for real food such as nuts and raisins or even guacamole (we make our own) with fresh veggies for dipping....

NMF: At Nadia Murdock Fit our motto is “Train Your Mind, Change Your Body” so we must ask: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

Katherine & Kimberly: We believe first and foremost that movement IS joyous and we should continue to embrace that.... watch children moving and running around.... they aren't doing it for exercise, they're doing it because it is FUN!  As adults, we tend to lose sight of that, and it seems that many people view exercise as some sort of punishment.  The easiest way to train the mind is to embrace the joy in movement.  FIND SOMETHING YOU ENJOY DOING! A good walk every day is far better than a punishing run once a week.  Focusing on the enjoyment might even mean exploring the way you FEEL after you've done your workout.  OF COURSE we have days where we are tired or just feeling lazy, but then we talk about how much better we will feel after we've worked out, and then we just get started.  (Sometimes getting started is the hardest part!)  The other component we like to focus on is that ANY time spent exercising is valuable.  The mindset that a workout MUST be of a certain duration to be effective is not always true.  If you only have twenty minutes, doing twenty minutes of SOMETHING.... it's better than nothing for sure!

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

Katherine & Kimberly: We LOVE to mix up our workouts so that our bodies never plateau.  With Pilates, it's easy to give yourself a different workout every day because each piece of equipment presents a new challenge, whether it be a different plane of motion, increased resistance or amount of core strength required.  That being said, we LOVE finding new forms of fitness that complement traditional Pilates, and have structured our studio offerings to reflect that.  In addition to Pilates, we have SilkSuspension(tm), CoreAlign(r), and the ActivMotion Bar, all of which enhance the teachings of Pilates.  For us, the appeal of the ActivMotion Bar was threefold:  1)  It introduces momentum, which is extremely functional, as we have to grapple with that daily.  (Picture yourself running across the street and then stopping suddenly.... your momentum carries you forward and you need to negotiate that!)  2)  The ActivMotion Bar introduces variable weight. (Anyone who has picked up a squirming child or even pet knows that the weight does not remain constant and even!)  3)  The ActivMotion Bar introduces movement in three dimensions.  (Many Pilates exercises are linear in design, and yet our bodies move in three dimensions. The ActivMotion Bar allows you to train your body in all ranges and planes of motion, which aids in core strength, peripheral strength, and BALANCE.  We also find that if we "pair" and ActivMotion Bar workout with stretching throughout the workout, that our flexibility skyrockets.... perfect for high-kicking!  :)

For more information visit: http://pilatesonfifth.com/owners

Fitness Files: Melinda Nicci

Melinda Nicci founder of Baby2Body

Melinda Nicci founder of Baby2Body

Melinda Nicci is the Founder of Baby2Body and she knows what it means to train your mind and body! With several years of experience in the fitness industry, Melinda saw something lacking when it came to resources for pregnant women. This time last year I was constantly researching the do's and don'ts when it comes to maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle while pregnant which is why I am happy to share this very helpful option!  Baby2Body helps to keep women inspired and motivated so that they can live the best life during pregnancy and new motherhood. Although I am now a mother, the site is still an excellent resource postpartum! Continue reading to learn more about Melinda and how she is changing the lives of mothers everywhere!

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? 

Melinda Nicci (MN): Yes, always - for as long as I can remember. I was born and raised in South Africa, and the lifestyle there is so focused on being active. It’s not so much about being into fitness, but more about playing sports and being outside as much as possible. That was all I knew growing up, and I think it’s naturally developed into a deep-seated passion for health and fitness. 

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

MN: I’m not really much of a snacker.  I’m a personal proponent of Intermittent Fasting because it works for me and my body responds really well to it - but we’re all different, and it’s definitely not for everyone. On my fasting days I guess my ‘snack’ equivalent is usually a cup of hot green tea for a bit of an energy boost. On my non-fasting days, if I’m not able to sit and have a bit of lunch I’ll snack on raw cashews and every now and then I do love a green smoothie - usually avocado, kale, kiwi, and apple is what I’d go for.

NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

MN: Since fitness has been part of my life for so long, if I take even two days off from exercising my body will let me know that it’s not happy. I love how working out makes me feel, and I hate how not working out makes me feel, so I think that’s a natural motivator in itself. What I’m getting at is that when you’re consistent with something it becomes really easy to stick with it - and that's so true for exercise. 

That said, I do regularly practice mindfulness and use meditation to help me stay focused, productive and on top of everything else going on in my life. I usually start every morning with a bit of meditation, and I’ll spend about 10 minutes in a mindful state every night before bed to help me process the day I’ve just had and get ready for the one ahead. 

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

MN: I’ve never been one to focus on changing my body - it’s more about treating it right every chance I have. When you make the healthiest choices when it comes to what you eat, when you exercise, and how you tend to your emotional wellbeing, then your body will thank you for it and you won’t want - or need - to change it. 

My fitness favorites are swimming and weight training - that’s what I’ll cycle between most often. If I had to pick one particular workout move or body-weight exercise it would definitely be the plank; it’s so good for all-over toning and you can do it absolutely anywhere.

For more information visit: Baby2Body 

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

5 Quick & Easy Recipes for Strong, Healthy Teeth

We all know to avoid certain foods (looking at you, sugar) to keep our teeth clean and healthy. But did you know that there are certain foods that you should be eating to make your teeth stronger?

Poor oral hygiene often results in periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease can be a contributing factor to several systemic diseases, including cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke), diabetes, inflammation and certain types of cancer.

The harmful bacteria that cause periodontal disease can travel from your mouth to your heart via the bloodstream and lead to a heart attack. In diabetic patients, harmful bacteria increases sugar levels in the body, making it difficult to achieve a healthy blood glucose level. More recent research has found that men with periodontal disease were more likely to develop kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and blood cancers.

StoneCreek Dental Care in Alabama has compiled five quick and easy recipes that will help keep your teeth strong, vibrant and healthy for years to come (when combined with proper brushing and flossing, of course)!  

Spinach, Tofu and Sesame Stir-Fry

Description: Lean protein like tofu contains phosphorous, which works with calcium to strengthen teeth. Dark, leafy greens like spinach are high in calcium and folic acid, as well as other essential vitamins and nutrients. Sesame seeds have calcium and magnesium, and can reverse tooth decay by remineralizing your teeth’s enamel. The ginger in this recipe also has anti-inflammatory properties — consider spicing up your diet with this delicious flavor! And if you’re just not into tofu, don’t worry — substitute chicken instead.

Serving size: 4

Prep time: 25 minutes

Ingredient List

  • Canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • Tofu, diced
  • ½ Pound
  • Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Large
  • Grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • Red chili flakes
  • ¼ Teaspoon
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • Baby spinach, rinsed
  • 1 6-ounce bag
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons
  • Sesame oil
  • 1 Teaspoon

Instructions

1.     Heat canola oil in a large skillet or wok; add tofu and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

2.     Add ginger and garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add soy sauce to taste.   

3.     Add spinach and cook until wilted (about 1 minute). Add sesame seeds and more soy sauce to taste. Remove from heat.

4.     Combine with desired grain (e.g., brown rice) or noodles.

 

Sheet Pan Salmon with Crispy Kale (Source: Buzzfeed)

Description: Salmon is one of the best foods for your teeth — it’s high in Vitamin D, which aids your body in the absorption of calcium. Kale, like spinach, is another dark, leafy green with calcium and folic acid. Did you know that folic acid can help treat periodontitis (gum disease) in pregnant women? As an added bonus, this one-pan dish makes for easy clean-up!

Serving size: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredient List

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 5 Cups (approx.)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Canola oil
  • 4-oz. salmon fillets
  • 1 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Medium 1 Lime

Instructions

1.     Preheat the oven to 450°. Season salmon with salt and pepper.

2.     Place the salmon fillets on top of the vegetables. Roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through.   

3.     Combine the honey, canola oil and Dijon mustard in a large bowl. Add the kale and onion, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat the vegetables in the honey-Dijon. Spread the vegetable mixture on a baking sheet.

4.     Serve with lime wedges.

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Broccoli and Feta (Source: Health.com)

Description: Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, which helps to prevent dry mouth. The nutrients in sweet potatoes also help combat free-radicals, which damage cells in the body. Crunchy broccoli is a nutritional all-star that contains vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium, beta-carotene and zinc. Finally, cheese is also surprisingly beneficial to your teeth! It is loaded with vitamin C, and is thought to protect your teeth from harmful acids.

Serving size: 2

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredient List

  • Sweet potatoes
  • 2 Medium
  • Broccoli florets, chopped
  • ¾ Cup
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon
  • Minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • Crushed red pepper

Pinch

Feta cheese

2 Tablespoons, 4 Teaspoons

 

Instructions

 

1.      Perforate potatoes with a fork, and microwave for 8 minutes, turning them over after 4 minutes.

2.      Cook broccoli for 3 minutes in a medium skillet in boiling salted water; drain. Heat oil in skillet.

3.      Sauté broccoli, garlic and pepper for 1 minute. Cut each potato lengthwise; push ends inward to form a pocket.

4.      Crumble 1 tablespoon feta into each pocket. Fill each pocket with broccoli mixture and 2 teaspoons feta.

 

Yogurt with Fruit and Nuts (Source: Skinnytaste)

Description: This super easy recipe is a triple threat when it comes to dental health! All dairy products contain teeth-strengthening Vitamin D and calcium, but yogurt has an added benefit of probiotics, which are “good” bacteria that stop the buildup of harmful bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, and walnuts are a nutrient powerhouse.

Serving size: 1

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredient List

Nonfat plain Greek yogurt

6 oz.

Fresh berries (strawberries & blueberries)

½ Cup

Walnuts

1 Tablespoon

Honey

1 Tablespoon

 

Instructions

 

1.     Combine plain yogurt and chopped fruit in a bowl.

2.     Add nuts.

3.     Drizzle with honey to taste.

 

 

Celery-Apple Salad (Source: Cooking Light)

 

Description: Celery and apples brush away food debris and stimulate saliva production, which washes away the harmful bacteria that leads to decay. This recipe also includes onions, which have antibacterial properties!

 

Serving size: 6

Prep time: 8 minutes

Ingredient List

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons              
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons              
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon
  • Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon
  • Honey Crisp apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cups
  • Celery, sliced
  • 2 Cups
  • Flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed
  • ½ Cup
  • Red onion, sliced
  • ⅓ Cup

Instructions

1.     Combine the first four ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

2.     Add apple and remaining ingredients.

3.     Toss.  

Guest Blog Post: Caitlin Grimes, D.D.S.,

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

Posted on June 12, 2017 and filed under #WhatShesHaving, AskNadia.

NMFIT Summer Inspired Cocktails

It's natural that with the summer season here in full swing your social calendar is slowly starting to fill up.  From graduations to weddings these social outings are usually circled around a lot of drinking. I decided to not only create a few waist friendly cocktails but also opt for high-grade liquor. I teamed up with Vivanco wines and HEEET Vodka to create my own go-to beverage options this summer.

I made a wine cocktail and vodka based cocktail, depending on my mood.  I used the TEMPRANILLO GARNACHA Vivanco wine for my recipe below. Each bottle is a lively, bright pink with purple hues. With hints of red liquorice, raspberries, and strawberries, it's delicious to have alone or in a simple mixture. 

 For the vodka I went with HEEET Vodka made of natural ingredients with a hint of cinnamon. Other product details include:
• Ultra-Premium American Made Vodka
• 6x Distilled
• 100% All-Natural Ingredients
• Carbon Filtered
• Small 250 Gallon Batch Size
• 68 Proof 34% ABV

This was a hit with guests when I hosted a few friends, I found my summer drink!

This was a hit with guests when I hosted a few friends, I found my summer drink!

Cool Summer Nights Pink Wine Recipe

  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 Shots of TEMPRANILLO GARNACHA Vivanco Wine 
  • 1 Shot of chilled champagne 
  • Shake and Serve 

Feel the HEEET

  • A handful of ice
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 shot of HEEET Vodka 
  • 3/4 of Black Berry Seltzer

I am a huge believer in not depriving yourself, finding simple ways to give your favorite foods and drinks a healthy makeover is key! If you try any of these recipes please let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! 

Happy Friday! 

For more information visit:

Vivanco
ig: @vivancowines
t: @vivancowines
f: Vivanco Wines

Heeet
ig: @ merrygospirits
t: @merrygospirits

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

Posted on June 9, 2017 and filed under AskNadia, Fitness Lifestyle, Healthy, Lifestyle, Natural.

Fitness Files: Wayne Caparas

Wayne Caparas is the author of the heavily-researched book, "BioLogic Revelation: The 10 Minute No-Sweat Anti-Aging Workout."  Caparas established himself as a fitness industry pioneer during the 1990s and has served on the American Council on Exercise and IHRSA.  In the late '90s he was a Co-Publisher and Contributing editor to the newsstand magazine Vie (a women's fitness magazine), which led to a role in the development of Oxygen Magazine as a Contributing editor and writer. Caparas shares more of his fitness background as well as his ups and downs in his Fitness Files interview below! He is the perfect example of staying focused, being determined and training the mind and body at the same time. 

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? 

Wayne Caparas (WC): Mine is a comeback story, so this question is especially meaningful to me. For this, I hope your readers will learn from my mistakes as they read how I made "beauty from ashes." Fitness has indeed always been a major part of my life. As a four-year three-sport athlete while a prep, I earned scholarships in both track and football (sprinter and wide receiver), and went on to set a couple of speed and strength records as a member of the Furman University football team. It was the early eighties when training protocols were brutal and life-consuming, so injuries and other interests cut my college football career short. A few years later, despite my wide receiver build, I was competing as a power lifter while working as a gym equipment broker and health club designer. I was also playing basketball or tennis at least five days per week for two or more hours per session, and despite the frequent injuries, I was a true high-volume, high-impact junkie during my twenties.

By the time I turned thirty I had launched a chain of very innovative health clubs in Charleston, SC and was emerging as a fitness pioneer of sorts. It was just before the turn of the century, and my team and I were quickly becoming media darlings for the many awards and published stories we gained through several high-profile initiatives we promoted to international audiences. Fitness publishing magnate, the late Robert "Bob" Kennedy (bestselling author and founder of MuscleMag International, Clean Eating, Reps!, and many others) was my dear friend and mentor at the time. Having already broken into women's fitness publishing through my role in the award-winning Vie Magazine, Bob asked me to help him formulate the "perfect" women's fitness magazine for the true enthusiast, and Oxygen Magazine was his resulting brainchild. From there I served as contributing editor and research journalist for Oxygen's first three years on the newsstand. During this time, under Bob's reciprocal guidance, I began pioneering obstacle course fitness events for television, and ESPN praised our team for advancing the sport well before any of the popular broadcast obstacle course events existed. I was also lecturing for ACE and IHRSA, and it seemed my fitness trajectory was locked in, until... my body began breaking down. That was the turning point when my fitness interests stopped being about making money and reshaping an industry and started becoming a mission to right some wrongs and reveal the truth.

First, several fitness related injuries destroyed my knees and caused significant damage to my back and my left shoulder. Then the unthinkable happened. In 1997 I was diagnosed with an often-debilitating thyroid disorder (Graves Disease). These combined breakdowns pushed me to look beyond the contemporary definitions and most popular means to "fitness," as they were without question complicit or entirely to blame for prematurely "aging" my joints and my endocrine system. I was just thirty-four at the time. So I liquidated all of my interests in the fitness industry and began researching and experimenting with the "revelation" that had struck me several years earlier while (ironically) rehabbing from my first serious knee injury. In time, startling research that supported or proved my theory began pouring in, and by the time I turned fifty, I was stronger and healthier (and feeling younger) than ever. That's when I decided it was time to share the profound wealth of groundbreaking research that is the basis for my book, BioLogic Revelation. Today I'm well into my fifties, and I am no longer alone in my effort to flip the table on segments of the fitness industry that base their cash-cows on high-volume, high-impact training programs, yet we are still a very strict minority. Where fitness is concerned, the scientific community and common human genetics have proven "less" truly is "more." I hope you'll join us in our effort to get the truth out there and start setting the masses free from all the abuse and neglect that is so prevalent in an industry that is desperately in need of a revolution!

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

WC: Avocados, a variety of raw nuts, Organic black bean burgers (I nuke'm with red chile sauce... yum!), occasional Greek yogurt and organic berries, lots and lots of clean spring water, and ginger Kombucha.   

NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

WC: Above all, by remembering daily that life is a precious and fragile gift, and that my body is the only temple I will ever have to sustain and honor this precious gift. From there, remaining cognizant throughout the day that every cell of my being wants and needs to be stimulated in some way. To that end, I've learned to bridge the mind-body gap to connect to the life systems, organs, and even the very cells that comprise them. This connection keeps me motivated to feed each with the nutrients they need and to ensure I engage each in activities they were designed to perform. I know—just as research has proven—that this is true for every system and element in my body; from my brain and nervous system to my most precious muscle fibers to my glucose metabolism to my endocrine system to my cardiovascular system, etc., etc. Every bit of me. It was this realization that most empowers the stimuli taught in BioLogic Revelation as well as the life-giving chain reaction the stimuli trigger.

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

WC: By leveraging the principle of orderly recruitment, I train the full spectrum of muscle fibers in each of my six major muscle groups through a ten-minute no-sweat training methodology comprised of four distinct protocols. These protocols target my super fast twitch muscle fibers in each of these groups; all to ensure these typically neglected super-human fibers receive the stimuli necessary to burn their incomparable glucose stores. In BioLogic Revelation I translate the science behind this remarkable physiological phenomenon through a very simple metaphor I call "the lobby, the hallway, and the golden door." The muscle hypertrophy (compounding strength and growth), increased fat-burning metabolism, and enhanced insulin sensitivity sparked by the BioLogic Method, in turn, triggers optimal hormonal responses that "wake up" critical lines of communication between all body systems that—for most—are being ignored. So not only does this method change my body composition to more closely align with my actual genetic design (that of a sprinter/dancer), but as detailed in my book, the latest research has shown it also slows or reverses the aging process while catalyzing what I call the BioLogic Cascade of health benefits across all body systems. Having researched and experimented with every known approach to fitness over the past thirty years, performing BioLogic ten-minute no-sweat strength protocols through a variety of controlled exercises are not just my "fitness favorites," but all any of us need to "change our bodies." More important, the research shows that the BioLogic Method works for (and is needed by) all adults of every age. From there, as is true with any fitness program, it's really all about proper nutrition and a more active lifestyle, which I gain through walking, hiking (especially while playing disc golf with my family!), light cycling; occasional sprint intervals on foot, cycle, or in the pool; the "tai-chi-like" mind-body connecting protocols I call "resting movements" (detailed in BioLogic Revelation), and playing lots of low-to-no impact sports and other "play" activities. I don't sit on my butt all day, but when life as a writer forces me behind a computer for longer periods, I take frequent walkabout breaks while employing resting movements as often as possible... and I NEVER skip recess!

For more information on Wayne visit: www.BioLogicRevelation.com

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

Three Tips for Transitioning Your Hair Naturally

Now that my hair is all natural I couldn't be happier with the decision to stop chemically processing my hair. Below you will find a guest blog post from Toccarra Felitz, she shares the ins and outs of transitioning your hair and how to keep it healthy naturally along the way. 

Going natural has never been easier thanks to the world wide web and all the hair care advice available at our fingertips. However, with all this “advice”, a new challenge arises... information overload! Drowning in a sea of options, it’s hard to make a decision. Paranoia starts to set in and you wonder is this site credible? Are the product reviews biased? Does this technique work for my hair type? Whose advice is better? The concerns go on.  

But not to worry! As a natural hair veteran, I’ve made the mistakes, explored the answers, and, through trial and error, created this simple guide to assist you in your natural hair journey. Read on to discover what it really takes to retain length, encourage growth, and create healthy curls worthy of being tagged as #hairgoals.

Find Your Go-To Transition Style  

An easy hairstyle that requires little manipulation is key to handling your transitioning hair with care. Moreover, finding protective styles and hairstyles you enjoy will be the golden difference between loving or hating your journey. Common protective styles are bantu knots, twists, braids (cornrows/box braids/french braids, etc.) and buns.

With all of these styles (and every style really) the key to success is avoiding pulling on the edges, nape of the neck, and scalp. What’s the point of a protective style if you’re pulling hair out in the process?! From these protective styles come hairstyles you can rock just as easily. Things like twist outs, bantu knot outs, braid outs, and heatless roller sets work to our advantage because they’re gentle hairstyles that effortlessly blend natural and processed hair textures together. The Youtube channel Natural Hair Skincare has easy to follow tutorials on these hairstyles and other transitioning styles as well.

Keep Your Curls Hydrated

Hydration starts from the inside out, so drink plenty of water. Each hair shaft is made up of ¼ water, and not drinking enough water will make your hair weak. Worst of all, dehydration can also lead to hair loss. Everyone’s water goals will differ due to their weight and lifestyle, but at minimum get your 8 glasses in. Your hair will thank you for it.

Try to refrain from over washing your hair. Everyone’s wash routine will vary depending on their hair type, porosity, and lifestyle. The universal objective; however, is to keep a clean scalp without stripping your hair of its natural oils. Wash your hair when it feels dirty, not because it’s wash day. This can be anywhere between 1-3 weeks. I recommend shampooing no more than once a week. If you feel the need to wash more often, try washing with conditioner only, or co-washing (shampoo & conditioner mix). Always use conditioner after every wash. You can also refresh your hair daily by spritzing water and adding a leave-in conditioner.

Deep treatments, intense hydration masks, and humectants are your friends. Humectants are products that absorb moisture from the air and seal it in your hair. My go to humectant is raw, organic honey. You can also use products with panthenol, vegetable glycerin or sorbitol in them to achieve the same effect.

One of my favorite ways to hydrate curls and retain moisture is using the L.O.C method. The liquid, oil, and cream method prevent moisture loss by using liquid (water or water-based product) to hydrate your hair; oils to seal in the moisture, and a cream to close the hair cuticle. This layering effect will significantly aid in your hair growth, and transform thirsty brittle hair into soft and bouncy curls.

Learn Your Hair’s Porosity

Dramatic results appear when products compatible with your hair’s porosity are used. Porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.There are three levels of porosity; low, normal and high. However, most transitioners fall within the low or high porosity spectrum. Low porosity hair has a hard time absorbing moisture and is prone to build up.  Thus,protein-free conditioners, and lightweight oils like grapeseed oil, or jojoba oil are prefered. High porosity hair easily absorbs moisture but struggles to retain it. These curls are happiest with protein rich conditioners, and thicker oils like coconut and avocado oil. To determine your hair’s porosity, take a strand of clean hair (oil & product free) and place it in a glass of room temperature water. If your hair sinks immediately, it has high porosity.In contrast, if your hair floats and takes a while to sink, it has low porosity. Normal porosity hair will linger about midway in the glass. You can also take a quick online test to determine your hair’s porosity at sheamoisture.com

Read Product Ingredients

I often compare the process of finding agreeable hair care products to the process of dating. More than likely, you won’t find the perfect match on the first try; and it’s important to keep your standards high and expectations realistic. Don’t expect a product to create a curl pattern you don’t naturally have. Do expect a product to feed your hair, and bring out the best in your natural curl. Try products based on their ingredients, not fancy packaging or misleading labeling. If the contents of a product are hard to pronounce and sound like a science experiment, it is!

Good quality products have nutrient rich components listed at the top of their ingredient list and are void of harsh chemicals. Common ingredients to avoid are isopropyl alcohol; fragrance, mineral oil, parabens, sulfates, triethanolamine (Tea), polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol. For a full list of ingredients to avoid go to: morroccomethod.com/blog/hair-regrowth-10-harmful-chemicals/

Some ingredients to embrace are: shea butter; mango butter, coconut oil, Aloe Vera, honey, tea tree oil, jojoba extract, olive oil, argan oil, grapeseed oil, hemp oil, vegetable glycerin and black castor oil. If you want to cut out the middleman and create your own natural hair products check out Curly Nikki for 15 do it yourself recipes.

Finger Detangle

Finger detailing will significantly impact length retention because less breakage occurs versus a using a comb. You can lightly detangle your hair with your fingers prior to combing, or do away with the comb altogether. I hardly ever use a (wide tooth) comb, and when I do, I always finger detangle first. Using this method, you’ll have the freedom to detangle your hair wet or dry. When detangling dry hair, feel free to add a little conditioner for slip. This will help unravel the knots. Never finger detangled before?  I suggest watching this youtube tutorial: youtu.be/zoVgXo0kcO0 for three ways to safely finger detangle and remove knots on curly natural hair.

Love Your Curls

Last, but not least, love your hair! Through every phase, and stage sends loving thoughts to your curls. It’s hard to notice positive transformations when you’re tunnel vision on that one strand that won’t curl the way you want it to. Plus, your body responds to the thoughts you think; including your hair. Thank it for growing every day and it will.  

Guest Blog Post: Toccarra Felitz 

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Posted on June 5, 2017 and filed under Beauty, Fitness Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Style, Tips.

Health and Wellness; New Fitness Trends In Town

Health and wellness can be achieved with a proper diet and maintaining an active lifestyle. Fitness is key to having a healthy lifestyle. Fitness trends this year are abundant. You have a ton of options to choose from to ensure you keep off the extra pounds in order to stay lean and in clean shape. Ideas about products and programs to be used to keep fit can be shared amongst friends and acquaintances. Here are a few trends to keep up in better health and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Walking

If you work nearby, choose to take a walk or cycle instead of using public transportation like cabs, buses, and subways. This will involve you in more physical activity keeping you more fit and feeling much more energetic since you got to squeeze in some exercise early in the morning. Thanks to wearable technology that keeps track of your heart rate and the number of steps taken in a day, you will be able to count the number of calories burnt just by walking or climbing up the steps to your office or place of residence.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-Intensity Interval Training is a decent way to get in some much-needed exercise in a short span of time. Do sets of exercise for sessions of about 20 to 30 minutes with short breaks in between to burn calories faster. This type of exercise also helps in building endurance.

No Equipment Training

This is an easy way to workout and can be done anywhere and at any time. These types of workouts are quite popular, can be modified to suit anyone and can be done for free. Take your pick from Pilates, squats, lunges, pushups and pull ups. All you need is an instructional video over the internet or television and you are good to go. Even phone apps nowadays make sure you get the right amount of exercise needed to keep fit and stay healthy. Note: If you have never taken these type classes before it's a good idea to take one class instructed by a professional or with a trainer before going out on your own. This will help to avoid injury and help with proper form. 

Group Training

Trying a new exercise alone may not be as much fun as doing it in a group. This will keep you motivated and will be a much more fun experience. Get an experienced trainer, bring along a friend and get to work. This will allow you to train for even longer periods. The friendly competition will keep you going.

My barre class is an amazing group that offers a good workout and support from other participants!

My barre class is an amazing group that offers a good workout and support from other participants!

Strength Training

Long gone are the days when women would shy away from lifting weights. Strength training can help keep you healthy especially as you age. This type of training helps in preserving muscle mass, increasing your body’s metabolism and burning a lot more calories. 

Yoga

The benefits of yoga involve the wellness of the body and mind as well. Yoga will help reduce stress and anxiety, improve blood flow in your body and improve your digestion as well. Unroll your mat and get started on some yoga today. It will help keep you calm and relaxed thus improving your health and keeping you fit.

To learn more about Nadia Murdock Fit and my services click here!

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Fitness Files: Rosanna Shilollo

Rosanna Shilollo is a Certified Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer, Nutritional Counsellor and SUP Instructor/Yogini. Her studio Sunrise Yoga Studio is located in the heart of Cottage Country, on beautiful Lake Couchiching in Orillia, Ontario, Canada. The peaceful setting offers a quiet environment ideal for yoga practice and meditation. Just by looking at the pictures I want to pack my bags and head to Canada! Rosanna hopes to inspire clients to live their best life. She says "We all need inspiration, motivation, and information to live a continually healthy lifestyle." Similar to me Shilollo has a BA in Psychology and uses that background to help others achieve ultimate wellness. Continue reading my Fitness Files interview with Rosanna to learn more about her fitness journey and how she is helping others through the practice of yoga.

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? 

Rosanna Shilollo (RS): I was a senior in high school when I first discovered the toning and sculpting benefits of fitness. It started with classic videos like Abs and Buns of Steel and step aerobics with Kathy Smith. Then I joined a cross-country running club and really made the connection that exercises made me feel good. A sweat session had the power to improve my mood, outlook, and confidence. Once I had saved up enough money for my first gym membership, I added resistance training to my regime and quickly learned to navigate the weight room. Naturally, my commitment to working out led me to earn my certification as a Personal Trainer. It wasn't until after the birth of my son that my dedication to staying in shape was truly tested. I had gained almost 60lbs throughout pregnancy and now there was much less time to focus on myself. I was determined to make fitness a priority even if it meant including my little one in the workout. I highly recommend a running stroller for any new mom! I learned you have to be prepared to squeeze in some activity whenever a window of time appears. You can't always plan it, but if you put on workout clothes in the morning with good intentions, you'll be ready to seize the opportunity when it presents itself. It didn't take long to shed the baby weight as my commitment to fitness was fortified by my goal of getting back into pre-pregnancy shape. This was also the case following my next two pregnancies. Although each one offered a bit more of a challenge than the last to find the time, by this point I had established some good habits that made working out a lifestyle. Life can get hectic with 3 kids, so my discovery of yoga while in the thick of it was truly a gift that completed my fitness (and sanity!) regime. 

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

RS: I drink kombucha (fermented green tea) daily for both energizing and calming effects, plus the probiotic and anti-inflammatory benefits. To stay hydrated I'm usually sipping lemon water which also promotes detoxification. My go to healthy snack is a  Keto-Luxe bar by Powerhouse Superfoods. They are 100% natural, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and keto friendly based on the ketogenic diet which emphasizes high fat, low carbs to help shift the body's primary fuel source from sugar/carbs to fats/keytones. The combination of chocolate with coconut is delicious! 

NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

RS: Visualizing the positive outcome that I want to achieve helps me stay motivated. At times I've known I wasn't living to my fullest potential, but I only allow myself to view a setback as an opportunity to make a comeback.  I'm not competitive by nature, except with myself. I think it's important not to compare yourself to others. It's also crucial to the success of your goals to find activities that you enjoy doing so it doesn't feel like work. Get outside, workout with friends, sign up for fun races and events that get you excited. 

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

RS: Everybody is different but everybody can find a balance of proper nutrition and exercise that works for them to achieve their goals. After 20 years of consistently working out, I now know I require all 3 elements of fitness ( cardio, resistance, flexibility/yoga) training to achieve an overall balance. As a trainer, I can share this trial and error wisdom with my clients so they can find a balance and avoid overdoing it in one area which leads to injury and exhaustion. Variety in your weekly workout regime is key. Surprising the body will avoid plateauing and will keep your interest piqued. My favourite way to enhance my composition is through yoga because it strengthens, stretches and tones the body but it also calms the mind. When we can reduce stress hormones that otherwise interfere with metabolism and fat storage, we can function more optimally which I think is always the ultimate goal. 

When I was struggling to find 'me' time with three young children, I was reminded of my time starting out with fitness videos. The convenience of a doing a video at home was what inspired me to make my very own yoga DVD. Sun Series Vinyasa Yoga with Rosanna Shillolo is my passion come to life in video format. There are 3x 20-minute segments that you can do all together or one at a time depending on your time availability. Filmed along a beautiful lakefront setting, the sunrise and sunset are captured along with many calming elements of nature. Each segment will challenge but also renew your mind, body, and spirit. I'm very proud of this project and feel my background with fitness videos prepared me to make an exceptional one. I recall buying tapes (it was VHS back in my day) I'd only ever do once because they lacked certain qualities but then there would be videos so motivating and addictive I'd worry I was going to wear them out. I'm confident that this yoga DVD possesses the qualities that will capture your attention and inspire a whole new level of health and wellness. 

For more healthy living tidbits you can follow Rosanna on Instagram @sunriseyogastudio Facebook @SunriseYogaStudio and Twitter @sunriseyogini

For more information visit:  www.sunriseyogastudio.ca 

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Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

NMFIT New Jersey Fitness Studio Picks

Listen up Jersey folks! Below are few my recommended New Jersey workouts worth checking out including my barre classes!

Fly Wheel Milburn: Love good music and a solid workout?  Flywheel in Milburn offers just that! I checked out Amanda's class over the weekend (thank you Sweaty Betty) and was pleasantly surprised by the super spacious location! They offer everything from water to fruit post-workout! For more information check click here!

Femme Fitness: If you are looking for an intimate workout experience with all women Femme Fitness is a great option! This is also where I teach two barre classes a week, come say hi you are in the area! (Tuesdays and Thursdays).  Not only are you able to get to know members but you are able to develop a close relationship with the instructors as well! For more information on classes click here!

Equinox (Summit): I have only had the opportunity to check out the Equinox locations in New York so I was super excited when my friend Elaine invited me to workout with her at the Equinox in Summit, NJ.  I was able to partake in challenging strength training workout and brainstorm event concepts (next event with Elaine June 10th!) in their juice bar post workout. It really felt more like an escape and not just a gym! Next time I will have to take full advantage of their steam room and sauna!

Cool Hot Yoga: I always like stepping out of my comfort zone by checking out new workouts. A few months ago I visited Cool Hot Yoga and did the Antigravity, Restore and Decompress class followed by Coolbarre BootCamp! Needless to say that morning I walked away with a great workout experience. Both classes were small and you can clearly tell these ladies are regulars and dedicated to their workout routine! For more information on classes (location in California too) click here

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Fitness Files: Jessamyn Stanley

You may be already familiar with Jessamyn Stanley, she is breaking boundaries everywhere especially in the world of health and fitness! So it makes complete sense why Jessamyn has partnered with U by Kotex, as a yoga teacher that encourages body positivity she is the face of the NEW U by Kotex® FITNESS* line.  The intent of U by Kotex FITNESS is to open an honest dialogue about working out on your period, which is why the brand partnered with Jessamyn, who has accumulated an Instagram audience of 283K+ followers because of her ability to approach honest and authentic conversations. After attending the launch for U by Kotex Fitness I knew I had to interview Jessamyn for my Fitness Files series. Contiue reading to learn more about Jessamyn and how she leads a healthy lifestyle inside and out. 

Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for U by Kotex FITNESS

Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for U by Kotex FITNESS

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? 

Jessamyn Stanley (JS): I’ve always enjoyed being active, indoors and outdoors, but because I was never the fastest, strongest, or most agile in athletic settings during my youth (though frequently the fattest, slowest, and least coordinated) – as a result, I’ve suffered from fitness related anxiety ever since my childhood. It wasn’t until I started to embrace my body with body-positive language and thinking that I started to focus on fitness and wellness.

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks or drinks to feel your best?

(JS): I love coconut water, KIND bars, Trader Joe’s broccoli snacks, and I’m a sucker for dried fruit. I love smoothies and shakes, especially with Sunwarrior Protein Powder or Olly Mango Protein Powder.

NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for U by Kotex FITNESS

Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for U by Kotex FITNESS

(JS): I train my mind by consistently looking within myself via breathwork and meditation. I try to focus on overall mental, spiritual, and body balance, and I think of keeping my body active as a maintenance technique – just like brushing my teeth or hair, or applying lotion. It’s not an issue of vanity – it’s an issue of overall maintenance and care.

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

(JS): I don’t think about changing my body. If I want to sweat profusely and feel my body ache, I will attend a hot yoga class or a spin class.

For more info on Jessamyn click here!  #FindYourFITNESS.

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Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!