How about a food cleanse ?

Detoxing, cleansing, measuring and meal timing, Paleo, Keto, plant based ahhhhhhhh, so many choices, so many theories, so many bio individual needs that one size DOES NOT fit all.

So what about just a simple Food Cleanse and what does that mean exactly. To me and my clients, a food Cleanse is just a simple way to get back into clean eating habits without the stress of having to measure out every bite you eat or following some strict caloric and macros tracking plans which become really unrealistic in the long term. It's a way to remove all of the processed and harmful foods in your life, without over planning or over thinking. What else does this cleanse involve? Happy you asked. It also involves removing any other toxic habits and making time for self care. Habits such as lack of sleep, lack of or too much exercise (yes the is a such thing as too much exercise), high stress levels, too much screentime, harboring unhealthy relationships, over working etc. It is a full analysis of your day to day habits and how they are effecting your mood, your focus, your energy and possible weight gain. Below are my 7 steps to a successful food cleanse and how you can get started:

  1. Remove Processed sugar : this means your morning muffin or the extra teaspoon of sugar in your morning coffee. Sugar can “weigh you down” in more ways than one. It can cause brain fog and make you sluggish after the initial “sugar high” passes. Wondering why you might be falling asleep at your mid morning meeting ? Your sugar crash may be the culprit.

  2. Sleep more: Sleep is crucial in keeping your mind functioning at its optimal capacity . It also helps to balance your hormone levels so that your body knows when to eat and knows when it is full. Less than 5 hours of sleep per night disrupts the natural balance of the hormones ghrelin (hunger hormone) and Leptin (the hormone that suppresses appetite), which can cause you to crave sugary and carb filled foods in abundance, causing weight gain (specifically around the abdomen)

  3. Remove Alcohol : by removing alcohol from your diet you are automatically reducing the amount of sugar and empty calories that you are in taking.

  4. Make time for Self Care: whether it be an extra long relaxing bath, 5 minutes of daily meditation, or taking that nice long walk during your lunch break, making time for self care is essential to your mental health and wellbeing. It's no mistake that you automatically feel relaxed and more focused after returning from vacation. So why is it that so many of us choose to skip this important step on a daily basis. Here's a quick tip: set aside 10 minutes a day for just you. Disconnect from social media, put your phone face down on your desk, and just take this time for you. I promise, after these 10 minutes of “you time”, your stress level will begin to drop and you will feel more refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

  5. Stress Less: I know life is stressful, I know we all have multiple responsibilities, our careers, our family, our finances etc… but stressing about these things will not make them go away and it certainly will not help resolve them. Find ways to reduce stress and in turn I promise that the weight will drop, and you will be more productive since you will have a clearer more focused mind. My tip : I do 15 minutes of yoga by myself daily. I can't always get to a class so I watch a video on Gaia.com. this has helped my stress level go down tremendously.

  6. Eat from Nature: the easiest way to ensure that you are eating foods that are good for you, all you have to do is eat from nature. Fresh vegetable, fresh seasonable fruit, lean protein sources, healthy grains. Remove anything packaged or processed or anything your ancestors from the 1800’s would not recognize as food.

  7. Move more : whether it be a gym workout, a pilates class or just a long walk mid day, just commiting to moving your body around more will make you feel more energized, help your brain function better, and you guessed it, promote heart health. And weight loss. Take care of your body and I promise that your body will take care of you.

Ready to tackle your first Food Cleanse ? These simple steps are just the tip of the iceberg. I promise that you will see changes if you commit to yourself and your well being. Want a little guidance and a more in depth customized approach, reach out to me and let's set up your complimentary 60 minute HealthHistory Consultation so that we can discuss your specific needs and goals. Click on the link below to schedule your time with me!!

https://calendly.com/crystalrf8

In Health and Wellness,

Crystal

Why the long break???

Hello everyone. I know I took a really long break from writing in my blog, but truthfully, I always want to make sure that my content is worth reading instead of rushing something out just for the sake of posting. So, here I am, and I am so thankful that you all have continued to follow me and engage with me on Social Media despite my little break. 

So where have I been??? So much has gone on in such a short period of time. One of those things was a change in my workplace. After 3 years at New York Sports club, I received an offer to join a brand new gym as a Personal trainer. By brand new gym, I mean we literally opened our doors on June 6th. This was the first time I have ever been part of something so new from day 1 and I have to say, it has been amazing. Scary to leave my well built business behind, but so exciting to become part of this new team of extremely talented and dedicated individuals, who have a true passion for this industry. So I am now at Chelsea Piers in BK , which is quite a luxurious facility and I couldn't be happier. Most of my summer, has been consumed by working hard at the new place, so a little social media silence was necessary for me. If I have learned one thing about myself this past year, its that I need to stop trying to multitask, and I need to focus on one thing at a time in order to provide the best version of myself where it is needed. So now that I am fully settled in, and my schedule has become busier than I expected, I can refocus on you all again, and bring you some new, quality, refocused content. 

I have some really cool things that I am working on, which I am anxious to share. I also have some updates on the current state of my fitness journey and how I have refocused my workouts to promote balance and function instead of going hard and intense all of the time. New Logo to be revealed soon, and working with someone on updating the website for you all. Good things to come!!!

As Always, In health and wellness..

Crystal

Why do a Sugar detox

Detoxing can be a scary concept. I know this word is floating around the fitness and health industry like crazy. When we think of the word detox, we often think of juicing and fasting, but a detox can be approached in a more sustainable way as well. 

Another word that is all over these days, is sugar. Yes, sugar. We drink it, we eat it, and just when we think we have cut sugar out of our diet, it creeps up on us in our protein powders, granola bars, etc....

So why do a sugar detox? For several reasons. One: Sugar is highly addictive. Research states that sugar is 8x as addictive as cocaine. Crazy right!!!! With the average american consuming about 152lbs of sugar per year, about 22 teaspoons per person, per day, I think it is safe to say we have a huge problem. Not only is sugar contributing to the rise in type 2 diabetes in adults and children as well as the rising obesity epidemic in both adults and children, it is also an underlying contributor of many other diseases and health conditions. 

I started a 7 day sugar detox along with a group of my friends and clients on FB today (with a 7 day reintroduction phase after the initial detox). I think the initial reaction I received when I sent out the protocol to my participants was, "wow that looks really strict". However, the goal, is to fuel my clients and friends with plenty of protein, fresh veggies and healthy fats in order to curb the need for sugar and carbohydrate(the bad carbs of course, not all carbs are created equal). So if you want in with us, if you are ready to reset your body and learn a little bit about the effects sugar has been having on your body, shoot me a message on my "About me" page, and I will add you to our exclusive Facebook group. 

Have a great week everyone! 

An Exercise in being grateful

Have you ever woken up after a long stretch of stressful days and just realized how lucky you are to be where you are ? I know a lot of you are like ,”ok enough with all of this positivity”, but I’m serious here. For those of you that know me well, know that I am a worrier and I tend to overwhelm myself with work and personal tasks. My schedule is always full and I go through phases where I get so caught up in my day to day that I forget to make time for family and friends and I instead keep working or I go home and rest (which is important too), but as part of this balanced life I am trying to lead, I sometimes need to just sit and remind myself to slow down, and not forget to live. So I’m making it a priority to do the things I love, and slow down a bit. For any of you that follow me an Facebook or IG, you know that Frank and I have a new member in our family, Elmer, our beautiful 9 week old Alaskan Malamute. He has brought so much joy and so many laughs to our home already, and he is forcing me to slow down and prioritize my schedule in order to spend time with him in between my crazy client load. I couldn’t be happier that I have him here and that I can come home to this loving little guy.
Aside from that, I am grateful to have spent some time this weekend reconnecting with a good friend who I haven’t seen in a very long time, to celebrate her bridal shower. I’m lucky to have friends who understand me and my craziness , and who are here to reconnect, even if it isn’t as often as we would like. 
So the point if this short blog today , is to get you guys thinking about the things you are grateful for today. I know we can all sit here and vent our woes and complain on social media about the things that aren’t going right in our lives, but how often do we sit down and say “I am lucky to be here” or “I am grateful for..”. I challenge you all to take a second, and think about what makes you happy, who and what are you grateful for, and how can you make some more time for these things ? Take some time, write it down for yourself, and leave some comments below for me if you would like.  As always, I look forward to connecting with you all.

In Health and Wellness, 
Crystal
 

 

Finding Balance on Vacation

For those of you who follow me on IG, you know that my husband and I recently traveled to Austin Texas for a mini vacation to celebrate both of our birthdays. Now, he and I have been following the Whole 30 for the past 2+ months with great success.  So of course, I was a little concerned with how we were both going to enjoy the delicious food that Texas has to offer while we were away, without completely destroying our whole 30. Just a quick side note, both of us have seen such amazing things from Whole 30 which I will talk about on a future blog post, but just to name a few things, Franks skin cleared up and he lost 9lbs. My allergies have been almost non existent  (huge for me and anyone who knows me knows that I took allergy pills everyday, all year round for both my indoor and outdoor allergies for my entire life), and the joint pain and cramping I have been felling in my hands for the past year is now gone. Anyway, I’ll talk more about this in next post. Back to our Vaca 
Austin had some amazing food (ex : delicious BBQ, an abundance of meat, tacos, and of course, my weakness- Voodoo Donuts which had the best donuts I have ever tried). Anyway, back in the day when I was a competitor, I  either would have not taken a vacation, or I would have packed all of my food for the 4 days, forcing my husband to dine alone at restaurants or via room service. My priority, was my diet, and I didn’t care who or what I neglected, I only knew one extreme way of living and I did not think that it was possible to find balance. I missed out on a lot of things during that time, and it makes me sad to realize that now. (To any competitors out there, please note that this was my experience and I know that many of you have found that balance while competing, but I wasn’t able to). Of course I am not a competitor anymore, but there is still that part of me that fears falling completely off track, just because this has always been a slippery slope for me. But at this point in my life, thanks to my education and Integrative Nutrition, I realized, that there is a way to stay on track, stay healthy, but to also live my life and enjoy experiences with loved ones without depriving myself, neglecting my loved ones, or stressing over food and macros. Finding that balance between indulging in things that I wanted to try since I was traveling, and making choices that kept me as close to whole 30 as I possibly could while away, was exactly what I needed.
So here is what I did, and what worked for me. I woke up every morning to a 25 minute intense HIIT session at the hotel gym. In the past I would have spend an hour and a half as my husband waited for me to get some breakfast. But I realized how out of balance that was. Vacation is about relaxation and breaking from your normal routine. I’ve always stayed on my routine on vacation which never made me truly feel like I was taking time off to reset and relax. So this shorter gym routine actually energized me , and got me ready for the day. After that,  we started our days walking all over Austin visiting galleries and the Capital building and of course listening to some great music at various bars and rooftops. At every restaurant, I made the choice to either indulge or make a smarter choice. Thus balance enabled me to enjoy the amazing southern food with my husband,  while finding balance with green juice and avocado smoothies later in the day to get in my greens and nutrients. The hardest part for me, was trying a donut(ok 2 donuts) at the famous Voodoo Donuts on 6th street , which was amazing and worth it. I was afraid that my sugar demon would return, but luckily, because of my balanced mindset, it did not. And the indulgence was just that, an indulgence. 

I can honestly say, that we thoroughly enjoyed our trip and the delicious food with my husband and I do not feel badly about any of it. Food shouldn’t be an obsession ( as it was for me in the past ), it should be something we enjoy for nourishment, but also something we enjoy with family and friends. I know for some of you, like me, it’s hard to not count calories, it’s hard to not feel guilt when we eat a treat, and its hard to not workout everyday for 2 hours, but we need to stop beating ourselves up over these things. We need to stop bringing negativity to our relationship with food, and exercise.  The freedom I have found with food and exercise since becoming a Health Coach, has been life changing, and I am truly grateful for that.
If any of your guys struggle with what I have in the past, please comment below and let’s chat it out. I am also offering complimentary Health and Nutrition Consultations, where I can help you find that food freedom and build a healthier and easier relationship with food. As always, I love to hear from you all so, please leave some comments below and let me know how you have found balance on your vacations. 
Thank you as always for reading
In Health and  Wellness
Crystal
 

Why I Became a Health Coach and Personal Trainer

I wanted to talk a little bit today about what brought me to the world of Health coaching and Personal Training. I wasn't always in the Fitness and Wellness Industry. For 10 years I was a Fashion Designer. I studied at the Fashion Institute of technology and received my BA in fashion Design in 2005. I was so excited to be a designer and I started working immediately after graduation. I loved my industry, the shopping, the creativity, the fact that I was doing something I had wanted to do since I was a little girl making clothes for my Barbies using scraps of leftover fabric that my mom would have otherwise thrown away. It was everything I thought I wanted. But the industry quickly took a toll on me. The long hours, the tight deadlines, the many hours glued to a desk and a computer screen designing patterns and working on presentations. I found myself eating junk food, sugar, drinking way too many Starbucks lattes and of course indulging in happy hours several times a week in order to release stress and feel like I had a social life. In other words, I was leading a very unhealthy lifestyle for a woman in her early 20's. Living in NYC, it is so easy to fall into this lifestyle. You work late hours and then you don't want to rush home, you want to relax with a glass or 4 of wine and then of course eat junk food since you never made the time for dinner before leaving the office.

When I was 25, I decided to join a gym. It was a small local gym and it was affordable so I figured this would be a good place to start. I would go workout about 2x a week, which wasn't much, but I always felt good when I went. I also realized how out of shape I was when I could barely run 1 mile without feeling drained. I started to grow bored of working out alone, so I started taking classes like spin, Zumba and Total Body conditioning which I loved. I started to enjoy the gym but I felt like I needed more in order to really start seeing my body change, so I started working with a  personal trainer. That was the best thing I could have done for myself. It held me accountable by scheduling time for my sessions and for the first time I was doing workouts the were specifically made for me. I continued to take classes and then I started running which was a challege for me, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I signed up for 2 Spartan races and a year later 2 half marathons. The discipline that I gained training for races was so important to me. I loved having something to work towards and finishing these races felt amazing, I went from eating horribly and never working, out to signing up for races and commiting to my fitness. I felt amazjng. The only thing that frustrated me, was the fact that my body was still not as fit looking as it felt, I was fast, I was strong but I didn't look as fit as I wanted to. So, through the encouragement from a friend, I decided to train for a Fitness Competition. In  2014, I hired a coach, and started my journey to the stage.

It was during this journey to the stage that I started learning about food and macro counting. My body was changing fast, with a lot of hard work, both at the gym and in the kitchen. But it was also here, where I started focusing on depravition rather than health, and working out in excess rather than working out to feel good. I have a bit of a competitive side to me, so of course, I wanted to reach perfection and I wanted to win. 3 shows later, I was tired, and frustrated, and because I did not  place well at my shows, despite my hard work. I became depressed, and instead of working hard to continue to improve my body, I was angry and I took it out on myself. I started eating everything in site that I had deprived myself of for a year and a half. Sweets, which have always been my weakness, junk food, everything that I wasn't "allowed" to eat during my prep, And the more of those things I ate, the more I wanted them. I hated how I felt and looked, but I couldn't seem to get myself back into a routine. I wasn't working out, I was eating badly, and everytime I said I was going to go back on my "diet", I was only able to maintain that for a few days before I fell off the wagon. 

At this same time I was preparing to take my NASM exam to become a trainer, and I felt like I needed to get my act together if I was going to work with clients. I needed to be the person I was before I started competing. The person who loved her workouts, who loved healthy food and who enjoyed encouraging people to take care of their bodies. It was that person that wanted to change her career to become a Personal trainer in order to make a difference in other people's lives. It was that version of me, who remembered what a positive impact fitness had on my life, and I wanted to give that back to people. People who were new to fitness and people who needed someone that they could trust and relate to. So I did just that. I got back into my workouts, I started eating healthy without depriving myself, and I started researching nutrition programs that would best suit my goals. That is when I enrolled in a Health Coaching program that changed my life. I learned so much about myself and about food/ nutrition. I learned that it wasn't about the quantity of food but rather the quality of food  and I was excited to share this with my clients. I wanted to get them away from the old school mentality of dieting and get them to think in a more modern way about nutrition. Food quality is everything. Eating natural, whole foods is the way to go, and I will talk more about this in later blog posts. So this was my new mission. I not only wanted to provide my clients with workouts and exercise plans, but I wanted to be able to guide them nutritionally. I want my clients to enjoy food and to feel good about what they are eating. I do not want my clients to feel like they have to deprive themselves of food and I want them to understand that they don't need to count calories or depend on a food scale in order to lose weight. My programs teach them more sustainable habits.

This is probably the longest blog post that I will ever post, but I want you all to understand where I come from, I want you all to know that I was once that new person at the gym just trying to find my way. We have all been there and if that is where you are right now, I am excited for you. This journey can be life changing and I am excited to be a part of it with you.

I would love to hear about you guys and you stories. Please feel free to share in the comments below and thank you for reading my post!! 

In Health and Wellness