Soul Cycle DC!

LA taunted my move two years ago by opening a Soul Cycle studio 2 minutes from my apartment (set to open a week after we left)…

While the studio is not 2 minutes from my house, Soul Cycle has finally come to DC! I happily got my fix last week when a friend visiting from LA insisted we go (no joke…that is how much people love it. They travel to a city they haven’t been in for 20 years and pine to take a class they can take right around the corner whenever they want).

The class was everything I remembered it being. Wonderful instructor (thank you Megan!), great music, and the bikes were clean and brand new. My tush didn’t even hurt the next day (though my arms and legs were comfortably sore).

The only problem is, DC already has several studios that can rival Soul Cycle. Is it too late for them to thrive here? There’s zengo which is literally the same class right down to the weights on the bike. Then Revolve and Biker Barre – remove the weights, add a barre ball (I believe Revolve also has weights in some of the class offerings) and Sculpt DC – remove the barre and add a little yoga. All these studios offer similar classes at a much smaller price, so I am curious to see how the studio does in DC. The classes I took in LA sold out quickly while the DC class was only about 60% full. Soul Cycle DC charges $30/class and has seating for almost 60 people. So $30/class without any individualized attention…and I mean no individualized attention. I would be shocked if the instructors can see anyone given the class is conducted in the dark. At least in LA my $30 got me a potential David Beckham or Katy Perry sighting…which was arguably worth the price alone depending on who was sweating it out.

All in all, I encourage my FITfriends to check it out. There is a reason it is the most talked about studio…and it isn’t just that celebs love it. It is basically adult clubbing – without the hangover.

If you are looking for a more customized experience, schedule a session with us today! I can’t promised David Beckham…but we can at least work towards getting his ABS!

xoxo

FITintheCITY

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

Let’s just start this post by stating that when it comes to diets, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Ever heard of the diet where you only eat for 7 hours out of the day? How about the cabbage diet? Grapefruit diet anyone?

Intermittent Fasting ranked No. 28 of 31 on U.S. News’s Best Diets Overall rankings list…which should already clue you in to how ridiculous this fad diet is.

If you want more information on this diet, we suggest reading “The Case for Skipping Meals” published by US News, but the general theory behind it is that our bodies were programmed for periods of feast and famine. As such, we should recreate these feast and famine days in order to lose weight and live a longer life.

Told you…ridiculous.

On this plan (aka The Fast Diet), dieters select two non-consecutive days each week to eat 500 or 600 calories, depending if they’re a man or woman. On fasting days, low-glycemic-index and low-glycemic-load foods are recommended since they take longer to digest, which in turn makes you feel more satisfied. Recommended foods include vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes (including beans and lentils), and some fruit. Dieters are recommended to follow their regular exercise regimen during fasting days. As trainers, we strongly advise against exercise without food. This can lead to dehydration, lightheadedness, weakness, injury, and potentially just a bad workout.  During the remaining five non-fasting days, you can eat whatever you wish.

Basically – you may lose weight because your overall intake at the end of the week may be less than usual. You also may not lose anything because you overcompensate during the other 5 days by eating more than usual.

If you read the article, you will see that they have highlighted a few “pro’s” like exercise is allowed and no food group is removed, but we just can’t find any pro’s with this diet (and frankly any diet that does not allow for exercise should be ignored completely). So here are the con’s:

• Much of the scientific evidence regarding intermittent fasting is controversial.

• With sub-optimal calories consumed twice a week, you may become deficient in several important nutrients.

• Eating so few calories can result in uncomfortable side effects such as headaches, irritability and hunger.

• Lifelong healthy eating habits aren’t promoted. On the days when you can eat whatever you want – most people will run towards the french toast not the avocado toast. Also – two slices of pizza can come in around 500 calories. So theoretically, you could eat pizza on your fast days if you want.

We will end this post on yet another fad diet with the mantra from the first post:

Choose to eat CLEAN.

If you want to “health up” your diet, by all means do. But rather than going with a fad diet, try this:
  • Do eat three to five smaller meals a day.
  • Do include some protein at every meal and snack.
  • Do include foods with color at every meal or snack.
  • Do include some healthy, whole grains at every meal.
  • Do include a little fat at each meal, such as nuts and high quality oils.
  • Do be selective with some of the less healthy foods – sweets and high fats.

We generally share a recipe related to the diet we are highlighting for you, but since this is about fasting that is hard….

BUT – we don’t want to you follow the “Fast Diet”, so here are some delicious and healthy smoothie tips from a great blog 100daysofrealfood.com that would make an excellent breakfast or snack.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups water or coconut water
  • 1 cup mango
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
  • Ice
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Tightly pack 2 cups of leafy greens in a measuring cup and then toss into blender.
  2. Add water and blend together until all leafy chunks are gone.
  3. Add mango, pineapple and bananas and blend again until smooth.

Gluten-Free

 

Going “gluten-free” means removing the protein gluten from your diet. Gluten is primarily found in bread products and grains, but can be used as a filler and found in products like sausage casing, soy sauce, and even yogurt.

The only people who need to follow a strict gluten-free diet are those suffering from celiac disease – a digestive and autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten. The damage to the intestine makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate.

Going “gluten-free” became popular as a weight loss tool and is now a multi-billion dollar industry. Unfortunately, according to nutrition consultant, Wendy McCallum,“going gluten-free is not the golden ticket. If you don’t do it right, you’re probably not going to see a difference at all on the scale.”

Whether or not you’re ‘doing it right’ largely depends on the gluten-free choices you make.

“A lot of the products on the market that are gluten-free are just replacing wheat and gluten oats, or gluten products with potato starch, corn flour, cornstarch, very low fiber replacements,” says registered dietitian Nicole Marchand.

Marchand says many gluten-free cookies, crackers, and cereals contain these ingredients and lack nutritional value. A lot of these processed foods add sugars to help with flavoring and consistency issues.

“You can end up having the same amount of calories and increasing your blood sugar the same as if you were using wheat,” says Marchand.

The truth is, unless you suffer from celiac disease, gluten is not harmful to your health and is not making you gain weight. Since so many foods now come in gluten-free versions, it’s easy to think that they are a better alternative — which would be wrong. People who eat three servings of whole grains a day are 30 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The right mix of healthy carbohydrates (like quinoa, farro, brown rice, and whole grains) is the best way to control your blood sugar and avoid diabetes. Moreover, they help to keep you full throughout the day and are the vehicle for many of nature’s disease fighters, like phytochemicals. Without these foods, we’d be sitting ducks for cancer, heart disease, and more. So when you’re cutting out gluten for no real reason, you’re losing all of the nutritional benefits found in foods with gluten.

If you think you have a gluten sensitivity, try to limit the amount of gluten and also pinpoint the particular foods that seem to bother your system. A lot of American breads (especially the packaged kinds) add extra gluten to the bread as a preservative so that might be the real culprit – not gluten that is found naturally in certain products.

Thanks to Fitness Magazine for this delicious recipe using the whole grain bulgar. Yum!

Tabbouleh with Feta and Shrimp

dinner recipes with whole grains

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup bulgur*
1 packed cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch salt
Pinch ground cumin
Pinch dried mint
8 ounces medium cleaned, shelled, tail-on shrimp, thawed if frozen **
1 large pickling cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)

Directions
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and add the bulgur. Bring the liquid back to a boil and then cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let sit for 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon of the parsley with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, cumin, and mint.
3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cool water.
4. Place the bulgur in a serving bowl and toss with the shrimp, cucumber, tomato, scallion, feta, the remaining parsley, and the dressing. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Nutrition facts per serving: 297 calories, 19g protein, 35g carbohydrate, 10g fat (2.3g saturated), 9g fiber

* Bulgur cooks quickly and has a subtle, nutty flavor.

** Shellfish allergy? Substitute fish (tilapia or cod would be an excellent choice) or 6 oz. skinless chicken breast.