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17 Healthy Ways to SHOW Your Love!

When it comes to love: Show don't tell!

When it comes to love: Show don’t tell!

I have a confession: I didn’t plan anything for Valentine’s Day. And neither did my hubby. We’re the annoying couple that exclaims, “We celebrate love 365 days a year!” But it’s true. For us it’s about the little gestures, the everyday actions that we use to SHOW one another, in healthy ways, what love means. And this goes for friends and other family members too. There’s no need to reserve your affection for a significant other. Because you can’t use love up! There’s plenty of it to go around. With that said, here are 17 healthy ways to show your love for the fitness and health enthusiast in your life.

1. Peel a cutie.

Why does a mandarin orange taste so much better when someone ELSE has peeled it? Add this to life’s great mysteries.

Cutie Heart

2. Slice an apple.

And pair it with a dollop of almond butter. Your love with be impressed by this healthy snack!

3. Pick out the _____ from a veggie medley.

My hubby abhors water chestnut so I take a few extra minutes to pick them out of any Asian style vegetable medley I’m preparing. With a big smile on his face, he notices it every time.

4. Get up a little extra early to make a protein smoothy (love yourself too and make enough for both of you!).

5. Make Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Oat Meal Cookies.

Wrap up a bunch, then hide them in your love’s briefcase, backpack, or computer bag.

6. Make a Joy Jar.

Fill  a container (I typically use a glass jar) with folded up notes of the things you appreciate about them. Don’t be afraid to get graphic! Who doesn’t like to be praised for that booty they work so hard on. Intersperse inspiring and motivational quotes so that they can pull from the jar anytime they’re not in the mood to go to the gym, go for a run, or pop in a workout DVD.

7. Rub the heck out of some feet.

Those feet are what push them higher at the barre and faster on the treadmill. Try Skin Owl’s Argan Infusion to soften tough dry skin. BUT unless you’re a skilled masseuse by trade or have a touchy feely relationship with your buddy, this might not fly with the platonic lovers in your life. Key word: might. I will gladly accept a foot rub from any willing foot rubber.

8. Pick up a pack of new ankle athletic socks as a surprise gift.

Next time you’re at any department store (even Target!), mosey on over to the hosiery aisle. Find some bright, silly, and fun socks that will make your love smile every time they pull’em on. There’s nothing like fresh new socks for hard working feet. Years ago one of my best friends bought me a pair of fancy Nike socks… to this day I think of her every time I wear them!

color cheetah

9. Buy that local deal.

Groupon, Living Social, and Bloomspot are overflowing with awesome fitness deals. Snag that one for the nearby yoga or barre studio you KNOW they’ve been dying to try. Print out the coupon, roll it into a scroll, and tie it with a ribbon or string.

10. Go grocery shopping.

Bring a bag of organic farmer’s market produce home and cook up a healthy feast. Even if you’re not the world’s best cook, they’ll appreciate the effort. Trust me.

11. Offer to join them at their favorite barre studio.

Pay for that day’s class (hint hint hubby). Should he read this post and like to attend a class with me, there’s a spot in tomorrow’s Dailey Method Class with his name on it! Ladies if your man is a Cross Fit fanatic, join him. Gents if your woman is into cycling, saddle up. Working out with a partner is your fitness kitty’s catnip.

12. Make a dance cardio playlist.

Because Tracy Anderson’s music can motivate a person for only so long.

13. Create an in-home gym, even if just for an hour.

Move all the furniture out of the way, have their favorite barre DVD qued up, then get the dogs or kids out of their hair. Providing an entire hour of chaos free fitness at home is a priceless gift for your fitness prince or princess.

14. Show the workout of YOUR choice.

They’ll be thrilled that you are trying to  love fitness almost as much as they do. They’ll be thrilled that you’re taking your health seriously!

15. Get a subscription to ANY fitness magazine.

Shape. Women’s Health. Self. These are just a few of the many awesome fitness mag’s they’d LOVE to have delivered to their mail box.

16. Run a bath full of Epsom salt.

Soar muscles after some brutal circuit training, for example, can benefit from a hot bath full of Epsom salt. Athletes and dancers do it. FitnessWhore’s definitely do it. Tell’em that you appreciate how hard they work, with a fresh, hot tub just for them! But like the foot rub above, this one might best be reserved for romantic partners. Friends of mine reading this, don’t be shy. I’d love to have a gossip sesh from my bathtub.

17. Send any and all cool health and fitness related articles you find while browsing the internet.

They’ll know you’re on their mind. They’ll know you pay attention to what matters to them. They’ll be glad you associate them with healthy and fit living. It takes mere seconds to “share” a blog, blurb, or article, but the goodwill lasts much longer.

The ways to show a FitnessWhore that they’re appreciated go far beyond this simple list. I know you’re dying to share your ideas with me! How do your actions speak louder than words in showing the love?


Realigning the Barre: The Dailey Method Venice

Get alignment, balance and results at The Dailey Method Venice.

There’s something different about The Dailey Method.

I first heard about it from a girlfriend who lives in San Francisco. Like me she’s tried various other barre fitness regimes, including Pure Barre and The Bar Method, so I assumed her passion for The Dailey Method had to do with proximity or convenient class times. Yet when I asked her what was unique about this barre studio, she was more than happy to explain. She told me that she had gone to University of California San Francisco (UCSF) runner’s clinic around the same time she discovered The Dailey Method in her neighborhood. At the clinic she learned that all the exercises UCSF clinician’s recommended to improve her running and prevent injury were the same ones she had just started doing at The Dailey Method. I was impressed and intrigued. She promised she’d take me to a class next time I was in San Francisco, but I couldn’t wait for a road trip north. I scoured the net for Dailey Method locations in Los Angeles and happily found that one had recently opened up in Venice. I signed up immediately and wondered, would doing it “Dailey” be for me?

What is The Dailey Method?

The Dailey Method was founded by Jill Dailey of San Francisco in 2000. According to the method’s website, this regime differs from other barre based workouts in that it strives to provide a system of movements that support client’s fitness goals while potentially preventing injuries and supporting recovery for those that have them. Exercise science and continued research help the method to continuously improve so that clients get the safest and most effective instruction.

“Founded on kinesiology and core alignment principles, The Dailey Method® is a full body workout that combines ballet barre work, core conditioning, yoga, and orthopedic exercises designed to strengthen, tone, and lengthen the entire body to produce quick physical results and balance in the body.”

The Dailey Method offers a “hands-on-approach”  to assure that clients are properly executing each movement. Words like “balance” and “grounding methods” are also used to distinguish The Dailey Method from competitors. Additionally, Jill Dailey, its founder, has an actual degree in kinesiology! What’s kinesiology, you ask? Wikipedia explains: “Kinesiology, also known as human kinetics, is the scientific study of human movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, mechanical, and psychological mechanisms.”

The fact that the founder spent years studying the body, what works for it and what doesn’t, definitely excited me. Would The Dailey Method help alleviate some of the back pain I’d been experiencing from sitting at the computer writing all day? Would it provide the same results and challenges as the other awesome barre studious out there? I’ll admit I had high hopes after my girlfriend’s insistence that The Dailey Method had improved her running. So after acknowledging my biases and my high expectations, I headed to the studio.

The Dailey Method Venice

After two classes I can confidently answers YES! to the questions I posed above. I am heals high in love with The Dailey Method as taught at The Dailey Method Venice location and here’s why.

1. Location, location, LOCATION!

Because the address listed Abbot Kinney I assumed that I’d be entering the studio from the street. Gleefully, I was wrong. Rather than trying to fight for street parking with a coffee crazed hipster (Intelligentsia is The Dailey Method Venice’s neighbor), there is a whole world of parking behind the building which can be accessed by turning on Santa Clara Avenue OR California Avenue. If you do find yourself lucky enough to score a spot out front, just cut through the coffee shop and you’ll find The Dailey Method Venice next door. After class treat yourself to a delicious chai latte or stroll Abbot Kinney. You’ll be in the heart of Venice after all and can literally go from the Barre to the Bar in seconds. The Other Room and The Brig are just a block or so away, not to mention a bevy of yummy restaurants.

2. Smiles and Sunlight.

I almost wonder if the owners of this studio are Feng-Shui masters. They managed to transform a small basement-like room into a bright, warm, inviting, and SPACIOUS studio with high ceilings, keyed lockers, two bathrooms, and a loft for child care. Child care! (Moms have no excuse not to belly up to this barre!). The white rafters and California light spilling in are natural motivators. Best of all, you won’t encounter any snobbery at The Dailey Method Venice. Everyone I’ve met so far has been gracious and full of good energy. In fact, if they keep being so nice to me I might move in!

3. Hands-on = Never wrong.

During my first class with instructor Tenaya I noticed several things immediately that have made The Dailey Method stand out for ME. Tenaya adjusted every single participant throughout the entire 60-minute class. She was ALWAYS watching, adjusting, and instructing so that it almost felt like I was in a personal training session. I also noticed the use of a term I haven’t encountered at the barre – neutral spine. I’ve heard this used in Yoga, but most barre classes seem tuck obsessed. In my second session, Amie demonstrated. A neutral spine is one in which the back and hips are positioned naturally. I found this, along with tons of amazing, specific, and focused instruction to be refreshing. My body did too. My back pain really did lessen after just one class. No joke.

4. Sequence, stretching, and safety.

Because I haven’t studied Kinesiology like The Dailey Method’s founder, I’ll try my best to explain how totally awesome the entire program is. Yes, you get a killer workout, but there’s something about it that feels therapeutic. My thighs shook. I steamed up the mirror with my light perspiration during the flat back portion. But there were little adjustments made to each exercise in general and tailored adjustments made to me throughout class, during stretching too, that truly made the entire thing feel safer, just as they claim. In my second class I had the pleasure of sharing the barre with a pregnant woman. She was able to do 90% of the exercises without a problem.

The Overall Verdict

You won’t find any drill sergeants at The Dailey Method Venice which makes this an excellent workout for anyone recovering from injury or stepping up to the barre for the first time. But don’t expect it to be easy. You’ll be encouraged to push yourself, but in a way that works with your body instead of against it. Since I’m having surgery next week and will need to avoid the barre and the treadmill while I heal, I plan to sign-up for The Dailey Method Venice’s January Challenge with my doctor’s approval. I imagine I’ll feel like a barre beginner after that much time away (gulp). Regardless, I’ve already set a goal – 30 classes in 30 days! It looks like I will be doing it Dailey (or trying to) after all.

If you can’t make it to The Dailey Method near you, check out this DVD for a safe, but effective, Barre workout you can do from your living room:

A Brief History of Work Outs…. This amusing post, made me want to bid for vintage leg warmers on ebay… Gross or really, really cool?

Mendocino Farms – Nutritious AND Delicious?

Considering my propensity for obsessive compulsive restaurant patronizing, I felt compelled to reach out to my favorite deli-esque sandwich shop: Mendocino Farms Marina Del Rey. I’ve already visited them twice this week! With that said, I’ve become very curious about the calorie count of my favorite item: The Veggie BLT, made with strip after stip of crunchy veggie bacon… YUM!

In addition to this sandwich, their deli/salad items get me every time. From the Asian insipired Black Rice Tofu Salad to the Curry Orzo, I’m an addict. My inner health nut feels pretty good about these hearty choices, but you never can be too sure until you see it it writing; See my email to Mendocino Farms below:

“Hello fantastical Mendocino Farms Team!

 I have been passionately enjoying Mendocino Farms’ Marina Del Rey location since it opened. Due to my hectic schedule, document specialist by day for a beverage manufacturing company and law student by night, I’ve found  myself stopping at Mendocino Farms several times per week before class. My favorite: Your Veggie BLT – NO onions. I’m OBSESSED. I’ve already had 2 this week alone!

 More Recently, I’ve taken to picking up sides for lunches and snacks. As a matter of fact, I just gobbled up a small side of your Asian inspired black rice tofu salad. MMMMMMMM! However, being the active and health conscious (visit person that I am, I’m hoping you can provide me with some Nutrition Facts, sandwiches and sides included!

 Thank you so much for providing a bevy of DELICIOUS non-meat options.

 A very happy Vegetarian,

Steph Mignon”