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Top 5 Ways to Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions

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Top 5 Ways to Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions

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Somehow the New Year has come and gone, and we're now on the fast track to February. How did that even happen? Nevertheless, the "new year, new you" mantra is in full swing and if you are the type of person to make resolutions, let's do a quick check-in. How are they going? If they're no longer going, don't stress. Our DIAKADI trainers say it's time to regroup, start over, and get this show on the road.  

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1. Create specific and attainable goals leading up to your bigger goals.

Instead of generically saying, "I want to get stronger", focus on spelling out goals that you can check off and complete. For example, "I want to deadlift 10 more pounds within two weeks," or "I want to perform 20 continuous push-ups," are two goals that will help you get on track to becoming stronger. A common method to effective goal setting is making them S.M.A.R.T: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Adding two or more of these elements into a goal help make them feel easier to accomplish and therefore motivating for you to take on more goals. Jackelyn Ho, www.jackelynho.com

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2. Write it down.

Whether you make a vision board, write it on the bathroom mirror, or place a post-it note at your front door, choose a method that works best for you. If you're not sure what works, then try 'em all! The more you see your resolution, the more you are likely to subtly make your way towards completing it. Be sure to acknowledge your notes every time you see it instead of letting the message glaze pass you. Gina Gutierrez, www.diakadibody.com

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3. Schedule it.

Putting it into the calendar helps you stay on track because when it's in your schedule, you feel obligated to make it happen. Instead of only scheduling time for hard work, make sure you include restorative time as well. Allow yourself time for both mind and body. You deserve it! Stephanie Dale, www.gethungrysf.com

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4. Ask a friend to hold you accountable.

It's hard to get off track when you have someone checking in with you, simply because our brains are wired in a way in which we don't want to disappoint. Canceling on a running meetup is not fun, so keep it real and don't be a flake to yourself or your friends. Jan Milano, www.milanoperformance.com

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5. Prioritize your goals and focus on one thing at a time.

It's easy to get caught up in wanting to achieve everything yesterday, but that's how you end up on the fast track to chaos town. Take a hard look at your list and decide what's most important to getting you where you need to go. Having a hard time deciding what's important? Ask a friend to review your list and help you make some hard decisions. Dustin Eastment, www.dustineastment.com

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Kicking Ass with the DIAKADI Difference

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Kicking Ass with the DIAKADI Difference

I began working with The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women/HIV Circle shortly after I moved to San Francisco in 2008. This opportunity allowed me to create theater with women who were living with HIV to help release the stigma around the virus. While working there, I met Cassandra Steptoe, a survivor of sexual abuse, addiction, incarceration, and HIV. I also learned that Cassandra was a thriving and radiant grandmother of nine who was raising her beautiful seven-year-old granddaughter, Vassidy, who we call the “Cupcake of Light.” Check out Cassandra's video below:

Meeting Cassandra and the other women of Medea opened my eyes to the realities of poverty. I grew up in an upper middle class suburb of Boston, and while I had long understood that poverty was ‘problematic,’ it wasn't until meeting these women that I truly grasped the harsh realities of economic disparities. Wondering how you would afford to buy your child a birthday gift. Growing up in a community plagued by crack addiction and gun violence. Choosing to walk instead of taking the bus just to save a few dollars.

"Through my work with Medea, it became clear that we are not brought into this world on an equal playing field and it no longer felt responsible to ignore this fact."

Therefore, when Cassandra mentioned that she was struggling with her weight two years ago, I invited her to come train with me at the gym for free. What emerged was a two-year training period where Cassandra not only lost 20 lbs, but also learned to love exercise and had more energy for her granddaughter (who sometimes joined us for sessions!). What emerged for me personally, was the honor of getting to closely know an extraordinary woman who had literally been through hell and back. And to see, first hand, that anything is truly possible.

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Inspired by my experience, I reached out to Billy and Gina to see if they would be open to creating the DIAKADI Difference Program, where other trainers could also offer their services to people who wanted to make a big change in their health and fitness routines, but couldn't due to financial constraints or difficult life circumstances. Met with an enthusiastic “yes!,” the three of us set out to design the DIAKADI Difference Program, which allows a participant to work with trainers once to twice a week for three months, focusing on fitness, diet, and lifestyle choices.

We are thrilled to announce that the program successfully launched a few weeks ago! We have two trainers, Jon De La Torre and Elaine Williams, who are kicking ass with clients Kathy, a mother of three and Nicole, a mother of five (read about their experiences below)!

I am so grateful to Jon and Elaine for committing their time, energy, and resources to this program and to Kathy and Nicole for showing up with so much enthusiasm, readiness, and dedication. Step by step, person by person, my hope is that the DIAKADI Difference Program can help improve the lives of those who are ready to make a change in their health, regardless of their life circumstances.

Do you know someone who could benefit from the DIAKADI Difference program? Have them fill out an application here!

Come check out the Medea Project at their upcoming show, Birthright?, at Brava Theater in collaboration with Planned Parenthood, April 9-19, 2015.

What the DIAKADI Difference Participants have to say:

Kathy James-McWay (Participant): I’ve wanted to get myself in shape and in good health for a while. I was tired of being out of breath when I would go down the stairs and back up, tired of being overweight, and not being able to walk for a long distance.

My goals are to lose at least ten pounds, get some of the body fat off, and to tone my body, and turn the fat into muscle.  I would also like to be able to walk up and down stairs and not be tired, and turn my long walks into jogs.

My experience has been totally new to me; I’m doing things I’ve never done before, but it’s all good and I’m having a great time.  Jon is a great trainer. He pushes me and encourages me at the same time; I need that.  Thank you all for the opportunity!

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JDLT Kathy DIAKADI Diff Mar 2015 103

Jon De La Torre (Trainer): When Polina first presented the DIAKADI Difference program, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. To have the chance to help another person enhance their life through exercise and wellness, sign me up! Though it's only been a short amount of time so far, I've really enjoyed working with Kathy, and feel like we've been doing so for years! Our sessions are always so enjoyable, and Kathy always comes to work hard!

I look forward to helping her reach her goals and beyond!

Nicole Rodriguez (Participant): I'm so blessed to become part of such a huge loving family at DIAKADI. Since working with Elaine I have felt encouraged and supported in every way possible. Elaine has such positive energy that its contagious and her feedback motivates me to make healthy choices. I look forward to our weekly meeting she is such a perfect fit in my life having someone like her by my side makes working out fun and exciting.

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Elaine Nicole DIAKADI Diff Mar 2015 045

Elaine Williams (Trainer): When I first heard about the DIAKADI Difference program I felt an absolute YES in all cells of my body, it's like the physical alignment that I strive for when I'm doing any exercise!  So, with my inner wisdom on board, I knew this would be a fun journey and it would allow me to step outside of my box--it's not everyday I go looking for clients that can not afford my services:)  While I've been told that "I INSPIRE", I know "Like Attracts Like", and Nicole is my greatest Inspiration right now!  Given Nicole's life experiences so far, she could have given up on her health a long time ago, but she didn't and that's why she and I are working together.

We Both agree at a deep cellular level, that We deserve to be healthy, strong, sexy, beautiful, full of energy, and overflowing with Love! 

Since we both said YES to this process, and are truly excited about it, we are learning a lot from each other and are gaining the knowledge we need that comes from giving ourselves 100% to the process!  It's only been the 2nd session and Nicole has had some amazing breakthroughs in her mind & body that will only increase her energy levels, bring about more balance, and lift her up in feeling more playful and free in her body!

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Hold On: When Everything Changes in an Instant

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A year-and-a-half-ago, the Stager-Radavich family experienced something that we all fear: While helping a neighbor with a simple chore, Peter Radavich fell and suffered a devastating brain injury. Jen’s beautiful story—of holding her family together during Peter’s long and ongoing rehabilitation—is really about navigating change, in a compressed span of time.

“I’d forgotten you exist!”

I don’t quite remember my response, although my smile remained frozen. I was attending the fortieth birthday of a colleague from my PhD program at Berkeley and her childhood friend, a neurosurgical nurse practitioner. The nurse’s team had overseen part of my husband’s care in Intensive Care. During my three-month hospital vigil I’d returned to Peter’s bedside every night once the children were asleep, thanks to a rotation of generous friends. This party was my first social foray out of our house after dark.

“I’d forgotten you exist!”

I turned these words over in my head over the following year of mostly single-parenting, spousal caregiving, intermittent working, and relentless homemaking. I can’t fault her honesty. In some moments, I’ve forgotten that I exist, too. Just over a year ago our family of five moved back to San Francisco, after five years away in Athens, Paris, DC, and LA. During our travels, I researched and wrote my dissertation (on theories of color) and Peter worked as an IT engineer from the living room of our apartment in each new city. He owns a killer set of headphones.

Our first child, Soren, was a souvenir from an idyllic trip to Tuscany and Rome. We’d been so surprised that I’d taken four pregnancy tests, prompting Peter to question the statistics on false positives. Very low, it seems. Soren was born in San Francisco shortly before I began researching my dissertation. Felix, our middle child, was born two and a half years after Soren, in Paris, at the Maternité Mona Lisa. Soren gave his little brother the middle name Delphi in honor of our travels to what was once called “the navel of the world.” Our daughter Astrid was born under a blue moon in Los Angeles, on the last day of August, four days before I started a post-doctoral fellowship. We’d left San Francisco with one small child. Five years later we returned with three.

Such a small thing: we never used the bureau that we’d kept in storage all those years away so we offered it to our new neighbors. On a regular Monday just after work, our neighbor came over. The guys hefted the bureau and moved toward the door. Peter tripped on a recent repair to the landing. With no railing to catch him, he fell over the stairwell. I heard the loud crack of the bureau smashing to the uneven pavement a story below. I know I ran to the landing, because I saw the shattered bureau. Then I saw Peter sprawled about a foot away, unmoving.

“PETER AND I ARE BOUND BY THIS TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE, YET IN THAT INSTANT OUR LIVES DIVERGED IN WAYS THAT WE STILL STRUGGLE TO RECONCILE.”

My memory and our children’s memories of what happened next are brutal pictures. They reassert themselves daily, whenever a siren sounds, when we drive by the old apartment, when someone around us trips or bleeds. Peter lives each moment with the injuries themselves, but remembers nothing of the accident, the emergency response, his time somewhere between life and death, his craniotomy, the month in intensive care. He woke up five weeks later in a rehabilitation hospital in a beige room papered over with get-wells cards and our children’s drawings. Peter and I are bound by this traumatic experience, yet in that instant our lives diverged in ways that we still struggle to reconcile.

Our neighborhood in San Francisco is gritty, loud, and proximate to two freeways. It has one other crowning jewel: San Francisco General Hospital, the city’s only Level One trauma center and a microcosm of the city itself. If you’ve been shot, wrecked, run over, overdosed, or felled in San Francisco, you’re taken to the General. As a public hospital, they accept everyone with or without insurance, and they also have a renowned approach to emergency care. The head of neurosurgery at SF General hospital, Dr. Manley, also treated Bob Woodruff, the ABC journalist who sustained a severe traumatic brain injury from a roadside bomb, while reporting from Iraq. He also oversees some of the longest running studies of brain injury today. Remarkably, he answers his own cell phone.

Our friend Elly set up two playlists for Peter’s room in the ICU: Peter Heals—Day and Peter Heals—Night. He had no windows by which to distinguish night from day; instead, music and the shift changes divided time. Day was Ryan Adams, Tom Waits, and Billie Holiday; Night was Brian Eno, Andrew Bird, and Zen Magic Garden. One nurse liked the music so much she asked me in earnest to help her track down the musician Peter Heals. We moved the music with Peter to each successive hospital, creating a cocoon in each new space.

Well your old hometown is so far away/But, inside your head there’s a record/That’s playing, a song called/Hold on, hold on/You really got to hold on/Take my hand, I’m standing right here/And just hold on.

One night in the ICU, Peter was certain that we were back in Paris. Another night when they lowered his sedation he insisted that I was not his wife.

“My wife,” Peter rasped, looking around with frantic eyes.

“I am your wife,” I said.

“No, you are not,” Peter insisted.

“Yes, I am.”

“No!”

“What does your wife look like?”

“Like you.”

“And what is her name?”

“Jennifer.”

“Oh, she looks like me,” I answered with false brightness. “My name is also Jennifer. That is because I am your wife.”

“No, you are not.”

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Soren and Felix are dressed in shiny, elaborate armor and duel with leather swords.

“My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father. Prepare to die!” shouts Felix. We’d watched The Princess Bride, which added specificity to their regular duels. At times one is Wesley; at others, the six-fingered man, but one of them is always Inigo Montoya, avenging his father.

“Stop!” cries Astrid. “Stop, saying that! Papa is not dead!”

Astrid’s protest stunned me. She’d barely begun to speak at the time of Peter’s accident, and I’ve never been sure how much she understood. Like the rest of us, she was present at the scene. She’d been, however, small enough to accompany me regularly to the hospitals, tucked in a carrier on my back.

“I STRUGGLE WITH HOW TO PACE MYSELF FOR A RUN OF UNKNOWN DURATION.”

Her objection shouldn’t have surprised me. His accident has dominated more than half of her life. There are other signs that she thinks about what happened. She doesn’t have bedwetting nightmares like her brothers, or their daylight flashbacks to the scene. She hasn’t drawn Papa’s bloody face, or commented that cerebral spinal fluid looks a lot like pee. She does scroll through the hospital photographs stored on my phone to watch the video of his first halting steps in relearning how to walk. She recounts the story stripped to its bones. “Papa fall?” She asks. And then together we repeat “Papa fell, but now he is ok.”

Peter is easier with Astrid’s laughter and hugs than with the angry movements of his sons, who miss being tossed into the air with the certainty of being caught, of roughhousing on purpose, and not because their father no longer understands the strength of his damaged hands.

“WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE REHABILITATION HOSPITAL IT WAS EASY TO BE GRATEFUL FOR HOW WELL PETER WAS DOING, HOW SMART AND FAMILIAR HE SEEMED. WHEN WE RETURNED HOME, HOWEVER, IT BECAME HARDER TO HOLD ON TO THAT GRATITUDE AND EASIER TO COMPARE HIM TO HIS PRE-INJURY SELF, OR TO THE UNINJURED FATHERS AROUND US.”

Over dinner one night, Felix said in his clear, sweet voice:

“Papa, you were a much better dad before your accident.”

While Peter’s intellect has not diminished, his capacity to grasp emotional nuances certainly has. Within the walls of the rehabilitation hospital it was easy to be grateful for how well Peter was doing, how smart and familiar he seemed. When we returned home, however, it became harder to hold on to that gratitude and easier to compare him to his pre-injury self, or to the uninjured fathers around us.

In intensive care, when the nurses lowered his sedation to check his cognitive status, they would place a photograph of the children in front of him. I’d brought a family shot taken in front of a fake volcano from the Pompeii Family Festival at Los Angeles’s Getty Villa. The boys had glued volcanic rock to the frame. Astrid is wrapped to my chest in a blue cloth, the boys and Peter are wearing matching Nordic sweaters; Soren’s head is bowed to hide his face and Felix is trying to escape stage left. Only Peter and I are smiling at the camera.

When I think of that day, I realize how much I took Peter’s involvement with the children for granted. I have always been the default parent, but through these years of traveling to faraway archaeological sites, innumerable museums, and even Mt. Etna itself, Peter has always been my companion de route. Now I cannot leave Peter alone with more than one child at a time. Slowly, with the help of therapists, we are rebuilding lost skills.

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“How is your libido?” every doctor and therapist seemed to ask, adding to the layers of privacy that this injury had stripped from both of us. Even Peter’s seventy year-old Qi Gong teacher, who had visited Peter weekly since the accident checked in. “Uh, ok?” Peter would answer, often looking at me for confirmation.

As soon as we were certain that Peter would not die, I started to worry about our sex life. Perhaps sex was an easier or more tangible worry than others the accident presented, or perhaps sex offered the kind of affirmation of life that contact with death demands. We’d only just gotten our post-baby sex life back on track—our youngest was fifteen months; we no longer lived in communal academic housing; we went on regular date nights. Aside from the monumental tasks of recovery from the trauma itself, brain injury can dramatically alter a person’s libido, in all kinds of ways. The nurses and I noticed Peter giving an uncharacteristically smirky smile when they lowered his sedation in the ICU and they rushed to check his records for major frontal lobe damage (the kind that can make you pathologically flirty and unable to keep your pants on in public). Although his brain had bounced around a lot, most of the direct impact was to the temporal lobes. The nurses offered me a genuine smile of reassurance.

“PERHAPS SEX WAS AN EASIER OR MORE TANGIBLE WORRY THAN OTHERS THE ACCIDENT PRESENTED, OR PERHAPS SEX OFFERED THE KIND OF AFFIRMATION OF LIFE THAT CONTACT WITH DEATH DEMANDS.”

Once Peter had been discharged to residential rehab, the first step towards coming home, my worry increased. On my drive back to the rehabilitation hospital for my evening visit, I stopped by Good Vibrations, a local sex-positive supply store, and bought two books: the Guide to Sex with Disability, which the salesperson recommended, and a book of erotica. I somehow imagined Peter might read the erotica, with his double-double vision, in between sessions of therapy. In seven weeks, he didn’t crack the spine. The erotica sat on his bedside shelf sandwiched between different volumes of easy Sudoku, which we also haven’t learned to play.

One night we tried to make out in Peter’s rehabilitation room. To facilitate surveillance, his room had a curtain in place of a door, just like my room in my first year of boarding school. Despite years of practice together, we kissed tentatively. Many of the nerves on the right side of Peter’s face had been damaged in the impact from his fall, we hadn’t gone for more than a peck in months, and neither of us knew what would and would not work. I was nervous, but committed; Peter seemed eager, but not in command. Just as we were finding a groove, a perfunctory knock on the door-frame signaled the arrival of his nurse, Pablo, with Peter’s bedtime medications. We broke apart just as Pablo ducked past the curtain. He handed Peter a paper cups filled with pills, winked at me, and sailed out, calling over his shoulder “You must feel like you are sixteen again!”

“FOR YEARS OUR LIVES MOVED SO SWIFTLY—EVERY YEAR A NEW CITY, EVERY FEW A NEW BABY, ENDLESS RESEARCH TRIPS, NEW LANGUAGES, NEW JOBS, NEW FRIENDS—AND WE ARE NOW STRUGGLING TO ACCOMMODATE OURSELVES TO A DIFFERENT PACE.”

In late February, Peter came home. As an academic, I naturally signed up for an online sexuality course with a local sex educator. The course included readings, weekly homework assignments, and a weekly Skype session. Having homework was fantastic. I worried that Peter’s injuries might have altered the particular landscape of his desires. The course’s homework gave me a framework for asking specific questions and experimenting. The weekly Skype meetings with the teacher offered a safe space to talk about desire and disability.

I empathized with what Peter might be feeling from my post-partum days. We had not been together long enough before our first child was born for that early haze of lust to have worn off, and then we had a newborn who woke up every two hours. The pitch and roll of all of those postpartum hormones took a long time to settle. We did not have a basis for how to talk about it. Peter was hurt to be rejected, and I was hurt that he had not intuited my need for space. It took ages to excavate ourselves from this cycle of miscommunication.

It was now Peter’s body that had changed, his hormones that needed time to regulate, and his muscles that needed time to knit themselves together. I empathized, but I was also frustrated. One friend had just started dating again after a divorce, armed with a sex bucket list, and another friend had started swinging. I was surrounded by people getting laid. An endocrinologist suggested the age-old recipe for static libido: the more sex you have, the more sex you will want to have. The Qi Gong teacher suggested goat soup and an acupressure point at the base of the spine. Armed with my homework assignments, we gave it our best shot.

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Days after Peter’s fall my sister-in-law, who is a therapist, sent me a text that read:

“I trust that Peter is in excellent hands with his doctors and nurses. What are you doing to take care of yourself?”

Her words both touched and alienated me. Peter lingered on a precipice between life and death. Now was certainly not the time to focus on myself, I thought. And yet, days into his ICU stay, a friend who is a massage therapist gave me her time and hands. After that stolen hour at her house, some of my panic eased. There is a strange urgency to the time that a loved one spends in the ICU, although every mechanized breath, shift in heart rate, brain and blood pressure, is measured. Despite this surveillance and Peter’s lack of consciousness, I worried about spending any time away from his bedside. One night a seasoned trauma nurse gave me her ICU speech—a pneumonia scare is more likely than not, things often get worse to get better, this is a marathon and not a sprint. That last running analogy is one that I heard again and again throughout the hospital. While the analogy makes sense, I struggle with how to pace myself for a run of unknown duration.

“THE PART OF HIS BRAIN THAT HANDLES COMPLEX BACKEND OPERATIONS HAS EMERGED FAR LESS SCATHED THAN THE PART THAT HANDLES COMPLEX FRONTEND EMOTIONS. THAT PETER IS BACK AT WORK, HOWEVER, HAS BECOME A KIND OF FALSE SHORT-HAND FOR HIM BEING OK.”

A year after the accident, all of my resources have dwindled. Understandably the many friends who rallied to our aid have re-focused on their own lives. Friends have had babies, published books, and made career moves. They’ve also faced their own challenges, and I feel ill-equipped to be the friend I wish to be in these moments. Each indicator that other people’s lives are moving on jolts me from what feels like stasis. That is not really the correct word for our lives right now because so much is always happening—ophthalmologist, physical therapist, soccer practice, trauma therapist for our oldest child, rock band land, trauma therapist for our middle child, school drop-off or pick-up, follow-up with neurologist, neurosurgeon, neuro-psychiatrist, ear/nose/throat specialist, physiatrist—but once we reached the visible milestones—walking, talking, homecoming, working—our lives took on a duller sheen. I suspect, however, that this less obvious space is where the truly hard work unfolds.

For years our lives moved so swiftly—every year a new city, every few a new baby, endless research trips, new languages, new jobs, new friends—and we are now struggling to accommodate ourselves to a different pace. Every word and action requires so much more effort for Peter that the act of being out in the world, with its noise, jostling bodies, and everyday hazards, takes his full concentration.

Peter returned to work seven months after his fall, encouraged by his colleagues at CloudPassage. This choice was right for many reasons: so much of Peter’s identity is built around his computer work and the only way to rehabilitate those skills is to use them. Peter’s co-workers remained loyal to him throughout his long hospitalization, even though seven months in the life of a start-up is a lifetime. The part of his brain that handles complex backend operations has emerged far less scathed than the part that handles complex frontend emotions. That Peter is back at work, however, has become a kind of false short-hand for him being ok.

He works because most days I drive him to and from the office. My own work has taken a back seat to rebuilding our family. Like many women, I fit work into the interstices of therapies, playdates, and cobbled together childcare, often falling asleep at the keyboard only to wake up before the sun in search of a quiet moment. On the other hand, that cliché about necessity and invention has proven true. Since Peter’s accident my career has taken a slower, but more creative path and one to which I’ve held on because work is an important part of my identity. My academic work is not particularly lucrative—and I’m sure it seems crazy to many that I haven’t shelved it to focus solely on Peter and the kids—but feeling like I, too, am making headway and moving forward, is one of the only ways to make sense of these days.

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One other thing that I have done for myself, almost from the beginning, is to carve out time to exercise. As a young girl competitive rowing had taught me to value my body less for how it looked than for what it could do and I needed that same sense of capability now. Exercise has always brought me up, but in the years after having children, I’d let that need go. Once Peter was out of the ICU, I started exercising again, not as often as I once had, but regularly. On the day of and after concentrated exercise, I feel calm and able to manage this crisis. If too many days intervene, panic arises. I grow shrill and easily angered. My body has grown stronger. When you are a caregiver, sick days aren’t an option because there is no one else. I have slowly come to realize that taking care of myself is one part of taking care of everyone else.

“I HAVE SLOWLY COME TO REALIZE THAT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF IS ONE PART OF TAKING CARE OF EVERYONE ELSE.”

Each day brings a new insurmountable bill, another child’s tantrum or rage, more unfinished work, unwritten thank-you notes, or vegetable-less meals. The amount of help that friends have extended humbles me, yet we still fall short. I know that this is not something that we alone feel.

A friend wrote me recently with news of her own recent health issues. In addition to my worry for her, I felt so grateful that she sought me out. A strange, but unsurprising, result of the aftermath of so extreme an accident is that friends hesitate to share their own burdens with me, as though they cannot compare, or do not wish to add to my load. Shared vulnerability is one hallmark of intimacy and without it I’ve found that I feel particularly alone.

“ONE OF THE CHILDREN’S TRAUMA THERAPISTS SAID SOMETHING DIFFICULT, BUT IMPORTANT TO HEAR: IF YOU DO NOT LIVE IN THIS LIFE RIGHT NOW, YOU WILL NEVER GET TO THE PLACES THAT YOU ARE IMAGINING.”

Also, as extreme as our problems might seem at times, this accident has compounded a series of quotidian stresses that most people face at one time or another, over the span of years: Maintaining intimacy in a long-term relationship, co-parenting through adversity with different styles, coping with aging or absent parents while being a parent oneself, helping children process difficult experiences safely, knowing when to seek outside help, balancing work, family, and identity, figuring out how to pay for everything, feeling good-enough, making time for friendships, planning for the future while living in the moment. For us, these challenges are stacked like Matryoshka dolls, one emerging from the next, with little space between.

I do not want to be this new version of us, but I am trying to overcome the desire to keep pretending that we are who we were before Peter’s accident. One of the children’s trauma therapists said something difficult, but important to hear: If you do not live in this life right now, you will never get to the places that you are imagining. Every part of my body tightened in resistance at her words as she said them, but I hear their truth.

***

One morning Astrid and I turn past the General—Papa’s hospital—on our way home. I slow for the pedestrian mix of visitors, doctors, nurses, and patients crossing to the shuttle. From her seat Astrid exclaims:

“Papa is alive!”

“Papa is alive!” I respond with enthusiasm. And then she carries down her list as a call and response:

“Mama is alive!”

“Soren is alive!”

“Felix is alive!”

“Astrid is alive!”

And in this moment, I know that we exist.

 

The original post can be found on Gwenyth Paltrow's blog goop. 

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Jenna of Fitness and the City Talks Goals

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Jenna of Fitness and the City Talks Goals

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Our friend, Jenna Pardini of Fitness and the City, wrote an amazing review of her experience at DIAKADI. Read how she is taking new year's resolutions to the next level! ***

Happy New Year! I can't believe that came around so fast. I'm pretty excited to start a fresh year, with a lot more goals on the top of my mind. It's a great time to rejuvenate and get motivated again! In the past years, have you made a resolution to get healthy and fit, only to turn out in a month or two? It's not uncommon at all, but this is the year you will stick to it!

 

Speaking of resolutions and getting a jump start on new fitness goals, I recently visited DIAKADI- San Francisco's most comprehensive fitness, performance, and life facility. If you haven't heard of DIAKADI (like myself before the visit) I HIGHLY suggest you check them out!

 

Since opening in 2004 as San Francisco's largest personal training-only gym, owners Billy Polson and Mike Clausen have worked diligently to gather a portfolio of San Francisco's premiere health and wellness services. The key distinction of the facility is definitely its personal training. DIAKADI has been recognized to have the BEST personal trainers in the city based on their custom-design, detailed assessments and individualized programs for all types and levels of clients.

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I HAVE NOT had a better personal training experience then I did with Billy. Before my session I filled out a comprehensive client intake form and when I arrived he knew exactly what I needed to work on. Honestly, going in I felt like he would show me the basics (which I already knew) and try to sell me on the gym. This was not the case AT ALL. I have a lot of neck and shoulder pain often causing headaches and Billy cut straight to the point, noticed my issues and showed that he cared to do anything he can to help me. He showed me new exercises which I'm almost positive will change my life (not even kidding), he gave me advice on how to de-stress, as well as nutritional goals, which I have begun to implement this new year. Since our session, he has checked in with me to see how I am progressing, given me a plan of action, as well as sent me videos he took of me during our session so I can look over at home. I could not have had a better experience at DIAKADI. They are SUPER friendly, action oriented and entirely focused on your goals. The facility is amazing, great locker rooms, juice bar and snacks. They also have a relaxation room, TRX ropes, an area for boxing and pretty much anything you need to reach your goals. You can't go wrong. I look forward to going back!

 

DIAKADI is also expanding their facility to provide even more room for training and new equipment. Same location, more square footage! They are also thinking about starting group fitness classes, so stay tuned for that.

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After my session at DIAKADI I was clear on what I needed to focus on this year. Here are a few on my list of resolutions for 2015:

  • Eliminate all of my neck and shoulder pain by continuously working on my posture and exercises.
  • Eliminate processed foods from my diet (breads, powders, bars)
  • Eliminate caffeine (this is a tough one for me, yikes!!)
  • Start my day with eggs and green smoothie, rather than a starch.
  • Stress LESS! Enjoy more. (Billy mentioned I check out Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin)

Thank you so much for having me DIAKADI! You guys rock!

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The Power of Instagram + Fitness [Scott, Update in process]

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The Power of Instagram + Fitness [Scott, Update in process]

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For fitness industry professionals, building a following through social media is a great way to attract new clients, grow your brand, and keep current clients and your community engaged. With more users than Facebook, Instagram is now the fastest growing social media app out there. For those of you who don’t know: Instagram allows you to create a basic profile, post pictures, and aggregate those pictures using hashtags to share with the world and your followers. Increase the awareness of your business by taking advantage of Instagram’s 300 million active users to share your brand with. Here are some quick tips to get you started with a successful Instagram account for your business.  

GETTING STARTED

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Start by creating a catchy handle that includes your business name or title.This is how you will be 

  • Start by creating a catchy handle that includes your business name or title. This is how you will be identified so keep it simple.
  • Briefly describe who you are what you do in your profile. Include a link to your website and/or facebook URL.
  • Create your profile photo with an image of your logo or brand. Reinforce your brand as much as possible. Instagram is all about the photo!

 

 

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PHOTO

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Get creative with your photos. Don’t be afraid to shoot outside the box and be unique. You want to @

  • Get creative with your photos. Don't be afraid to shoot outside the box and be unique. You want to represent your brand and attract peoples attention. Pictures should be worth a thousand words.
  • Integrate your brand in at least half of your photos. Afterall that is why you are here.
  • Get personal. Throw in some photos of yourself and your clients. Stay away from stocked photos or photos with just writing.
  • As a fitness industry professional your posts can range from healthy food, lifestyle, and nutrition to intense workouts, sports,and adventure.
  • Use flattering filters and pick a few that suit you best.
  • Switch things up and add short video clips or use the split screen option. In the fitness industry, videos are a great way to let people see what you are made of!

 

#HASHTAGS

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Choose several keywords that represent your brand and business. These will be your core hashtags

  • Choose several keywords that represent your brand and business. These will be your core hashtags. Allow one to include your business name: #DIAKADI, a few basic relating popular hashtags: #health #fitness #muscle, and 1 or 2 local identifiers: #baytrainer
  • Take advantage of popular hashtags. This is how you will be seen by more users.
  • Avoid using too many hashtags for each post. Keep it around 4-5. You don’t always have to stick with your core hashtags. It’s important to be diverse.

 

BUILD YOUR INSTAGRAM COMMUNITY 

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B an active member. When a user likes your post, return the compliment, or better yet mention 

  • Be an active member. When a user likes your post return the compliment, or better yet, mention them in a comment by using a @mention. (@username)
  • Find relevant users to follow. Search hashtags that relate to your business and find people that pique your interests to follow. It’s advantageous to find users with a lot of followers.
  • Post frequently. Try to post a few a day, but don’t overdo it. Keep people engaged by being consistent, but don't let them get tired of you taking up their feed.
  • Keep your followers engaged by asking questions or using quotes with your photo.
  • Build a captive audience by creating a recurring event, storyline, or campaign that people can look forward to and participate in: #TBT or #tenyearsbest are great examples.

 

2015 is already becoming the year of Instagram. Allow your business the opportunity to become one of the many success stories of their free platform. Remember, the more times people come across the brand, the more likely they are to becoming your next favorite client!

 

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Top 5 Most Shreddable Snowboard + Ski Runs in Tahoe

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Top 5 Most Shreddable Snowboard + Ski Runs in Tahoe

Looking to hit the slopes this snow season? DIAKADI team members have some of the top recommendations for snowboarding and skiing in Tahoe this season! From secret runs, to ideas on fun family activities, this is truly the inside scoop to the best spots in Tahoe. Read below for some of the best recommendations in the Bay Area.

Northstar | Backside and Lookout Mountain

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I am a big fan of natural tree runs and glades because I feel like a kid running through the woods when I am boarding them. That's why the tree runs on the Backside of Northstar and on Northstar's Lookout Mountain are hands down my favorites.

On the Backside between all of the groomed runs are miles of incredible tree runs. They vary from steep to mellow. I recently discovered a secret run along the property line that is awesome fun when the snow is deep. Take a quick left off the very beginning of Sierra Grande and follow the left side property line all the way down to Challenger. It's a fun roller coaster ride.

On Lookout Mountain, I can get lost doing loops in Sugar Pine Glades for hours. It starts steep and levels out into a gorgeous natural slalom course of evergreens. Every time you go down you can find a new route, with new kickers and obstacles.

BONUS RUN WHEN THE SNOW IS INCREDIBLE

Heavenly Ski Resort

When the snow is deep and fresh like it was 3 years ago, off of the Olympic Express chair of Heavenly, you can go through the ski boundary gate and board down the face of the mountain under the gondola. It is a wickedly FUN ride all the way down. Save it for the end of the day because it feeds down into a single track, luge style run that ends at the chain link fence behind the Albertson's grocery store. No chair ride back up from there! Just hop over the fence and walk back to the gondola..or straight to the hot tub. One of the most fun runs of my life!

Northstar's village has great restaurants, usually live music for acres ski, good drinks, ice skating rink, fire pits and free s'mores. There is also a new free champagne toast everyday at 2p near the top of the Comstock lift. There is also the Ritz for a beautiful, cozy apres drink.

Learn more about Billy Polson  Resort | Northstar // Difficulty | All Levels

Kirkwood Resort | Fawn Ridge

Kirkwood is super special to me because it's a locals only mountain. It's a smaller resort which actually means it tends to be less crowded. Fawn Ridge is amazing on a powder day!

It's a great run because it's nice and long and it features a big open bowl at the top with lots of beautiful trees in the middle, a great place to bring yourself into gratitude.

This run is for the diehards, so you won't see a lot of beginners out there. Also, it's often closed down, so it makes it really special when you get to ride it. There are lots of little secret places in Kirkwood, mainly because they are harder to get to and they're black diamonds. If you're feeling up for the challenge, find your way to Thunder Saddle.

The shops, dining and non ski/snowboarding activities aren't great at Kirkwood because it is pretty secluded. If your group doesn't at least enjoy snowshoeing, this may not be the best place to hang out for hours. You have to make your way to South Lake Tahoe if the natural beauty of the mountains and forest aren't entertaining enough for you.

Learn more about Stephanie Foley // Resort | Kirkwood // Difficulty | Advanced

Kirkwood Resort | The Wood

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Kirkwood is special to me because it is ALL about the mountain.

Skiers and boarders go to "The Wood" for the snow and challenging terrain

. I go to ride the trees, the bowls and the steeps. With a base elevation of 7,800 and a top elevation of 10,000, Kirkwood offers over 2000 shred-able vertical feet. If you want to ride the best snow in California, Kirkwood is the spot.

Learn more about Shelby Jacquez // Resort | Kirkwood // Difficulty | Advanced

Squaw Resort | KT 22 Run

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This is my favorite place to snowboard because of its epic terrain!

There are so many features, verticals, and different lines to choose from.

There are lots of special spots that many people don't know about but that's for me to know, and you to find out!  Squaw valley is awesome for the common gapper. There is plenty of shopping, food, and adult beverages.

Learn more about Ross Steiner // Resort | Squaw // Difficulty | All Levels

Squaw + Alpine Resort | Far Right Off Moseley's Run

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My favorite place to snowboard is Squaw/Alpine. Between the two they have lots of great terrain and a lot of variation depending on what you're in the mood for.

It's open and steep enough to get that ski movie powder mountain turns and the advanced slopes have trees and rocks to maneuver.

They have all levels of slopes in the area but it is more of an intermediate/advanced mountain. This resort is unique from the others because of how challenging some of the terrain is. The best skiers in Tahoe ski at Squaw. Squaw is a destination resort so it has a village and lodging at the base. Its probably one of the best resorts in Tahoe as far as this goes. There are secret spots and hidden gems in the area but I'd like to keep them that way!

Learn more about Jeff Kaditz // Resort | Squaw + Alpine // Difficulty | Intermediate/Advanced

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Top 5 Habits to Embrace this Year

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Top 5 Habits to Embrace this Year

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Bad habits are difficult to break. Let 2015 be the year that you conquer your goals and live the life that’s best for you! Don’t think for one second we are about to begin the new year by emphasizing only the things you should stop doing. Instead, we have put together a list of good habits to start in the new year allowing you to reach the ultimate goal of happiness...  

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

- Leonardo Da Vinci

 

Number 1

Break Free from Consumerism and Live Simply

 

 

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Whether it's money, luxury cars, or designer brands serving as status symbols, the accumulation of products and wealth as the primary goal in our consumer society has lead us astray from a culture of humanity and happiness. Imagine what life would be like if we removed ourselves from the comparisons of what others have, rid ourselves of the ideas of ownership, and worked only to provide basic necessities. This year let's look within ourselves and ask: What impacts do our consumerist habits have on our health, our relationships, and our planet. Do things and money really equal happiness? What are we sacrificing to have it all? Listed below are some simple ideas to help you break away from consumerism and live more freely.

 

  • Find comfort in owning less. Living with fewer things will allow you to actually live more freely and with less stress.
  • Avoid the middleman, chain, convenience, department stores, and brand names. Learn to make what you need, borrow or share with neighbors, and buy local. This creates community and relationships as well as a culture of art and individual expression, not to mention saves lots of money!
  • Resist the urge to have the newest and shiniest electronics, toys, and apparel. Ask yourself if this is an absolute necessity or if it’s just a temporary want. You will be surprised how quickly your needless desires will fade.
  • Don't compare yourself and property to those around you. Instead, find happiness in what you already have.
  • Create a sharing economy. Participate in a community garden, build a neighborhood library, or form a children's clothing and toy swap as children grow out of things quickly. This saves a ton of money allowing you more time to do the things you love.
  • Gift experiences instead of products. Nothing is more valuable than creating memories with the ones you love.
  • Buy refurbished, longer lasting reusable products that can be easily upgraded or fixed without creating waste. Invest only in things that will last and not depreciate in value.
  • Place more value in people, experiences, and nature. Without these things life is arguably not worth living.

 

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

-Abraham Lincoln

 

Number 2

Achieve Maximum Productivity

 

mikesnowboardingSome of of us work well under stress, but stress kills. We are all guilty of putting tasks off until that last minute. Buying a gift on the way to a party, staying up all night to finish a project by the deadline, and paying late fees on bills are all different ways that we procrastinate. This is a stress-inducing habit that is both common and hard to break. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with what is in front of us that it’s difficult to see the big picture. Sometimes it’s fear of failure or success that causes us to put things off. This year let’s overcome unproductivity in both life and work. create an environment for success, and reach your goals with these simple steps to overcome procrastination:

 

  • Write it down. Make a to-do list with dates for completion. Set it out in a place that you will see it daily. Let this be your advertisement to yourself.
  • Begin. Don’t set a date to start working on your task, let that be now!
  • Stay positive. Focus on the feelings associated with completion of the task successfully instead of the feelings of failure.
  • Reward yourself. Highlight each step in the process of accomplishing your goal and provide a feel good moment after each accomplishment. None is too small.
  • Prepare for obstacles. Avoid behavior or actions that might hamper completion of your goals, and don’t allow mistakes to bring you down.
  • Stay focused on the big picture. Imagine the benefits of completing your goal on time, and remind yourself what it is all for.

 

“Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not A Lot”

- Michael Pollan

 

Number 3

Celebrate Real Food

 

 

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You are what you eat. Yes, this is certainly true, but when you eat, how you eat, and why you eat are nearly just as important as what you eat. In today's society it's rare to find the time to sit down and enjoy a home cooked meal, much less grow the food yourself. The detachment that has grown between us and what we eat, eating poor quality foods, on the go, and always in a hurry affect not only our physical health, but our mental health, and our relationships. With so many crazy diets being marketed today it's difficult to know what to eat as well. Healthy eating guidelines are not one size fits all. It's important to have balance, so start by setting small goals for yourself, and build from your successes with these suggestions:

 

  • Eat real whole foods. Stick to the outside aisles of the grocery store. Avoid processed and packaged foods; It's important to see your food as nature made it.
  • Know your food. Become aware of the origins of your food. Avoid mass produced meats and veggies. Reduce your carbon footprint and gain a higher level of nutrition by eating local foods that are picked fresh or raised healthy without pesticides or antibiotics.
  • We prefer organic. Organic foods are known to contain a higher level of important vitamins and polyphenols (antioxidants) than non organic food.  Nitrogen in the organic soil allows for vegetables to grow at a natural rate, keeping their nutrients in balance.
  • Buy fresh and shop for food often. This cuts down on food waste and helps you save money. Fresh food tastes better, and is healthier!
  • Celebrate your food! Let dinner be the evening. Take the time to cook your meal and enjoy it slowly. Step away from your distractions and sit down at the table when you eat. Invite friends or neighbors over for a healthy dinner and share a bottle of wine with some laughs.
  • Listen to your body. Figuring out what diet suits you best is challenging. Become aware of your body and gut after you eat. Stay away from foods that make you feel less than ideal.
  • Eat often. Don't let yourself get too hungry because this can lead to overeating and bad food decisions. Keep raw nuts and fruits handy when you are on the go and need a snack.
  • Drink mostly water. Avoid sugary drinks and excessive alcohol consumption. Fruit juices are not a whole food. When the fiber is taken out, the sugar is digested differently. Blended smoothies are a better option.
  • Indulge! Allow yourself a cheat meal every now and then. It's important to reward yourself for being good. Try and stick to the 80/20 or 90/10 rule: eating clean and healthy most of the time, and allowing for a small splurge without the guilt.

 

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” - Albert Einstein

 

Number 4

Spend More Time Living

 

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It's easy to admit that most of us spend way too much time in front of screens. Over the past 20 years our society has become extremely reliant on technology. Sitting in front of a computer all day attributes to poor posture, muscular imbalances, and a decrease in metabolism. In order to live a healthy life we must be able to balance the real world with our virtual world. This new year, let's turn off the t.v.,put down our smart phones, look up and start living the real life around you! Below is some great advice on how to stay focused in the real world instead of the virtual one behind your screen. 

 

  • Keep technology out of the bedroom and bathroom. Fall asleep after a few chapters of a good book or a nice conversation with your partner. Get a better night's sleep and wake up less stressed.
  • Cut back on t.v. time. Try going a week or longer without watching television. Imagine how much more productive you might be without the distraction. You might even be inspired to get rid of your cable subscription.
  • Remove social media apps from your phone. Build relationships with the people that are around you. Focus on maintaining yourself instead of the image of yourself online.
  • Get rid of those mindless computer and smartphone games. That time is better spent learning a new skill or going outside to enjoy nature.
  • Live in the moment. Instead of constantly updating your facebook status with comments and photos, live each of life's moments when they happen, and enjoy it while it lasts.

 

 

 

“ Great Minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Number 5

Find Greatness in Yourself and the Ones Around YouDCIM100GOPRO

It’s easy to get caught up in a culture of negativity. Gossip columns, political gridlock, and violence on t.v. have the ability to taint our thought processes and poison our minds. We all hold greatness and the ability to spread that positive energy. This year is the perfect time to turn a new leaf by building up your community. Start supporting your peers with encouragement and gratitude, love and respect. Hold positivity within yourself and spread it around with these ideas:

 

  • Open up a judgement free dialogue with your friends. Make them aware that you love them for who they are, flaws included, and that you are not there to judge them.
  • Show empathy. Put someone else's shoes on, acknowledge your shortcomings, and gain the respect of your peers.
  • Practice consent. Some people have different limits to displays of affection and touching. Always ask for permission before reaching out for a hug or giving a kiss. This will establish trust when first meeting.
  • Listen. Invite your peers to share their feelings with you openly and avoid negative reactions.
  • Show honesty and respect. Being clear with your intentions, expectations  and boundaries is vital in forming a solid relationship.
  • Tell someone that you are proud to be their friend. A simple show of appreciation can mean an incredible amount.
  • When out in a social situation, invite others to join your group. Inclusivity is a wonderful trait that carries many possible benefits.
  • Show tolerance for opposing viewpoints and beliefs; your tolerance will beget tolerance in others, leading to a more peaceful community.
  • Do something selfless. You will find great satisfaction in the unintended benefits of helping your community.
  • Become a leader. Bring out the goodness in others by finding it in yourself.

 

Be grateful for what you have, find greatness in yourself and others and share it with the world around you. We only have one life so starting this year let's devote it to simplicity, real food, productivity, real world happiness, and community. Happy New Year!

 

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Life Changing: The Secret to Losing 90lbs

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Life Changing: The Secret to Losing 90lbs

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On October 10, 2010, Ashley McCumber walked into DIAKADI as a smoker (pack and a half a day) in a size 54 jacket and size 46 pants. He listed on his goal sheet that he wanted to "Change his life and be known as the 'Healthy Guy'." Today, he is not only a 'Healthy Guy,' but he is an athlete, walking around in a size 42 jacket and 31 pants, carrying over 90 pounds less with him! To get a true sense of this loss, go into the gym and pick up a couple of 45 lb plates or dumbbells and walk once around the gym with them. Trust me, it is not an easy thing. In this video, Billy Polson takes a couple of minutes out of Ashley McCumber's workout at DIAKADI and asks him to reveal the secret behind losing 90+ lbs and completely transforming his life over the period of 4 years at DIAKADI.

Check out the video below for details and use Ashley's list below as a reminder that you can do anything that you set your mind to. Congratulations, Ashley, and thank you for your trust and hard work.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9qMRd_NQxQM[/youtube]

 

Ashley McCumber's 5 Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss Success

1. Believe that you are worth it. Your happiness, comfort and health is far more important than the temporary sensations you get from bad food or smoking.

2. Accept Failure / Trust Success.  Accept the fact that what you are currently doing is not working. Make the decision to seek out expert help that you can trust to lead you towards your goals.

3. Break up with the old 'food you.' The way you are eating now must end forever, starting with new habits and new favorite foods.

4. Push harder on the bad days. When you wake up feeling sore, sad, beat down, tired, THOSE are the days that you get up and push the hardest. Trust me!

5. Live the journey. Milestones matter. Losing the weight or changing your life is not the final destination. Enjoy the trip along the way. Set and celebrate milestones. You are worth it.

 

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What is Your Brand? Not Sure? Here’s How to Figure it Out

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What is Your Brand? Not Sure? Here’s How to Figure it Out

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This is an archived post that we have decided to re-post because of Pooja's great advice for branding your business. Pooja Dang is a Life Coach that specializes in helping people find and live their AWESOME. She offers one-on-one coaching and also works with companies and groups through focused workshops. She loves taking a no-nonsense approach in helping people live their ideal lives whether that means small (but significant) improvements or a complete rediscovery of their values.

 

According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is a "name, term, sign, symbol or design intended to identify the goods and services of one seller and differentiate them from those of other sellers."

We hear a lot about branding in regards to companies and businesses. But what about branding yourself? When I was graduating college, I remember being introduced to the concept of personal branding by management guru Tom Peters. Over the past few months, this concept has again been brought to light in my coaching work.Financial District and Embarcadero Dec 2014 1439

Most people think that personal branding is just for celebrities. But the fact is that each and every one of us is already a brand whether we know it or not. So how do you go about figuring out what yours is?

Ask yourself:

What are your impressions about yourself? How do people perceive you?

Whether you like it or not, your brand has a huge impact in shaping the opportunities you get in your career and your life. So whether you work in a large corporation, are an entrepreneur or anything in between, building your brand has never been more important to your success.

Here's the key to branding. It's not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition. Rather, it's about getting your prospects to see you as the ONLY ONE that provides a solution to their problem. Think of a promotion that you are going for...or a client you want to sign on. Would you rather be in a race with your competitors? Or be so far off the pack that only YOU fit the bill.

With the right branding, you don't defeat the competition. You eliminate it.

Sound awesome? I thought so. So how do you go about creating your brand?

Start where you are. Think about your life - the past 5 - 10 years. What major accomplishments have you had? Why do you think you got to where you are? What unique strengths, characteristics and values came into play?

Start playing with words. Keep a journal (electronic or paper) and ask yourself: "Who am I?" If that's difficult, then ask yourself "Who am I not?" Is it consistent with who I want to be? What do I stand for? How do I stand out?

Evaluate your current brand.  Answer the following:

a) I am known for (2-4 things). This time next year, I will also be known for (1-2 more things).

b) Cool things I've learned in the last 3 months include (1-3 things)

c) My current project is challenging me in the following (1-3 ways).

d) Awesome new additions to my network in the last 3 months include (2-4 names).

e) My primary 'resume enhancement activity' for the next 3 months is (1 item).

f) My resume is discernibly different from last year's on this date in the following (1-2) ways;

Go BIG with your vision.

What's a bumper sticker that defines your essence? Live your Awesome anyone?

What is your personal positioning statement?

Create a quarter page ad for You and Co. How does it read?

Repeat.

Get into the habit of doing a brand evaluation every 3 - 6 months. It doesn't mean you'll have to keep shifting your brand. It means that you will stay more true to your brand. To who you want to be.

There are a LOT of coaches out there.

I AM

All about achieving AWESOME. Having an awesome life means you are engaging in meaningful work, have loving relationships, feel elevated by your peers and friends, and feel energized by your day. ALIVE is the word that captures how you feel and who you are. Everything that’s holding you back from feeling alive – we’ll tackle it. My energy and passion ignites my clients into action and their lives start to change. I am not here to give you some tools to provide a temporary fix. I am not a cheerleader. And I am not a friend. I am your coach. And I am here to make sure you are never held back by the same roadblocks again. I will challenge you to dig deep, to be open and to grow into the person you were meant to be.

Who are you?

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Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year's Goals

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Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year's Goals

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We have made it! Day 12 is here with some of the most important advice of all on setting achievable goals and successful New Year's resolutions. First a couple of questions. Looking into next year and the years ahead, do you know when you want to retire? When you look in the mirror now describe the person you see. Are you happy with that person? In your sex life, what do you wish there was more of? Less of? What 3 things would you like to achieve 1 year from now? In 5 years? 10 years?

These are all great things to think about when setting your goals for the New Year and below we have gathered an excellent list of kick-off questions to get your brain thinking.

But to start, I have four pieces of advice for you on successful goal setting.

1. Sometimes you have to take stuff out before you add new stuff in.

If you are already an over-achiever performing at max capacity, you will have to free up some time in your life, before adding more new goals to your to do list for 2014. Are you running full sprint every day to complete what you have on your current to do list? If your life is already at full capacity, then your first goal must be to make time for yourself. And for maxed out folks, I highly recommend that the goal list stop right there. Making free time and breathing room in your life may often take a while from planning to achievement.

Maxed out or not, use a review of your current schedule to remove activities from your life that are no longer needed. This will help you ‘open’ time in your life as ‘free time’ or as time for achieving new goals. Removing items can mean to complete them, such as finally setting aside a weekend to clean out your closets. Or there may be some items that you just need to stop doing each week or day. My vote for the most commonly needed dismissal item is television. Do you really NEED to watch that huge list of TV shows stored on your DVR every week? Will the world REALLY end if you don’t find out what happened to Emily Thorne and Victoria Grayson on Revenge?

[one_half]"Do you know when you want to retire? Are you happy with the person you see in the mirror? Are you happy with your sex life? What 3 things would you like to achieve 1 year from now? In 5 years? We have gathered an excellent list of kick-off questions to get your brain thinking about your New Year's resolutions. "[/one_half]

An insightful way to decide on which activities to remove from your life is to make a complete list of how much time you are spending on unique activities each week. (ie. Watching television, commuting, reading, working, working out, free time that is left unscheduled, etc.) This can often be a fun and quite revealing exercise for people. After creating the list and fully reviewing your current schedule and life, decide (a) what needs to be cleaned out, (b) how much free time you would like to leave open and unplanned (Very Important!), and (c) how much time you can set aside to add more goals and activities to the list.

And one more thought…If you find you are consistently setting the same goal(s) year after year and it is not being achieved, then one item on your list should be to look closer at these ‘carry-over’ goals to study the ‘blocks’ that are preventing you from their successful completion. It could be something as easy as not having enough hours in the day or something as intense as fear or doubt that you have wrapped around the goal’s completion. Either way, taking time for a deeper look into the problem will definitely be a worthy item for your final goal list.

2. Start with "What if's" and Big Cloud ideas.

Now to the fun list! What changes or additions would you like to make in your life, health and body? I like to start with a big, outside the box brainstorm on paper with what I call ‘big cloud’ ideas and what Zen Habits calls ‘what ifs’. These are big dream wish lists like, ‘I want to work for myself’ or ‘What if I went on a leave of absence and traveled the world for 6 months?’. I recommend making this list as big and broad as you want. You want to get all the dreams and hopes and random thoughts out on paper as possibilities.  Consider all of the 6 DIAKADI Elements when brainstorming ideas: Focus and Passion (What drives and motivates you in life?), Fuel (Nutrition), Movement (Fitness and Exercise), Restore (Energy building activities like sleep, yoga or meditation), Balance (Keeping your stress levels low and not over-booking your life), Teamwork (Nourishing your relationships with friends and family. Perhaps volunteering your time or assistance.).blog-checklist

And don't dare discount a possible idea because you are scared to try it. As I always say, ‘Never Make Any Decision Based on Fear.’

Next, try to prioritize which of these big ideas are the most important to you. Which idea will bring you the most positive change and impact in your life? Which of these tasks are related, meaning that you must complete one of them in order to make another one of them possible?

Lastly, using your priority as a guide, try to begin breaking these big cloud ideas down into baby steps leading to the final product. It will be these smaller steps that we will use to start making your initial goal list.

3. Bigger is NOT always better. Decide on an achievable list.

Again, overachievers step to the front of the line. Although it may make you feel like such a successful 'bad ass' to come up with those 10 giant goals for yourself this year, let's make sure we create a successful plan for your year.

Building on the lesson from Zen Habits, I have used previous years as a time to learn the power of less is more. Being an enneagram 7 this was freaking tough for me! Previously, I would map out 5-10 goals each year that I wanted to achieve. I would then spend the year maxed out to the gills, running and gunning through work, life and commitments. And lastly, I would almost always have 2-4 things on that list that I never got to due to lack of time. In 2011, my experiment was to see if I reduced my goals to less than 5 while ALSO scheduling ‘free’ or unplanned time for myself, if I would come out of the year not only achieving my goals but also enjoying the day to day more, lowering my stress levels and having a stronger, healthier body to boot. Check. Check. And check!

[one_half]"And one more thought…If you find you are consistently setting the same goal(s) year after year and it is not being achieved, then one item on your list should be to look closer at these ‘carry-over’ goals to study the ‘blocks’ that are preventing you from their successful completion." [/one_half]

I cannot begin to describe how much better it feels to set and achieve a small set of goals while at the same time having free time to enjoy the random activities of the day to day. So lesson learned for me. Whittle your ‘big cloud’ ideas and your list of small steps down to a finite set of exact goals to focus on. Maximum, give yourself 5 goals. Do not over-book your life. Save time for yourself to breath. Just give it a try. Trust me on this one.

4. Where do I start? Prioritize and schedule your list.

You are almost there. Now take your list of goals with the priority you placed on them and start coordinating them with your schedule, your calendar and your work load. Look at your daily and weekly life and come up with a plan of when you can fit these new areas into your lifestyle. This may have a seasonal element to it as well. For example, each year from December to April I have one top priority that supersedes all goals and lists… Snowboarding. So for me, all classes, studying or business development goals are scheduled during the spring, summer or fall.

I also recommend placing your list where you will often run into it or refer to it. For some people this means setting a monthly calendar pop-up reminder with their goals. For others this means putting one goal on your calendar each quarter and putting your focus on that individual goal completely. For me, I have a printed list of my goals pinned to my bulletin board at work. It may sit there for weeks without notice until it randomly catches my eye as a reminder. But trust me, those goals are always rolling around in my head.

I recommend checking out this video for some additional thoughts on these 4 steps to successful goal setting:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkLfZOev_EE[/youtube]

A List of Life Questions to Make You Think on Life, Your Body, Hobbies, Career, Goals, Travel, Retirement, and More

If you are not sure where to even begin your goals, at DIAKADI, we researched and gathered a broad, insightful list of questions about your body and your life. We want you to think about their current successes as well as current failures…ok, we can call them current “challenges”. Some of the questions are directly related to next year's goals, while others can be extended into years to come.photo 1

In the least, I recommend taking 2 minutes to read through the questions. Sometimes a simple read through will stimulate some new thoughts and directions.

If you would like to write out some answers, then focus on the sections or areas that will be the most helpful with moving you forward and improving your life.

For all overachievers like myself, enjoy answering every question!

Make It a Fun Exercise for You and A Loved One... or Even as Conversation Starters

The ‘sharing aspect’ of this exercise is often an extremely valuable part. If you have a business partner, best friend, husband/wife, family member that you would like to become closer with or sync your goals and journey with, I highly recommend using some or all of these questions as a sharing exercise between the 2 of you.

Now, Just ETR

Now you have done the first step of setting your course. My final piece of advice comes from my very close friend Doug and that is to ‘Enjoy the Ride’. The journey you will take to achieve your goals is often more exciting and rewarding than the success in the achievement. So enjoy every step of the way.

Good luck!

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s

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Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s

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What activity makes you happier and leaves you feeling more balanced and fulfilled than anything else in the world? I am talking about something that makes you smile with contentment and actually energizes you, often for a few days following it. Ideally think about something that you can do near your own hometown so that you have the ability and chance to participate in this activity on a frequent basis.

For those of you who do not know the answer to the above question, then I would like you to set aside some time in the next week, day and year to find the answer. This is an important task for you to complete. Once you find it, then I want you begin doing the activity as often as possible. Also, keep an eye out for Day 12 of The 12 Days of Fitmas, for some introspective questions that just may help you find your glow!

Trainer and Owner: Billy Polson

For those of you that have your answer, we have now made your ideal plans for New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day.

For me, snowboarding is my thing. And luckily I live close to some of the best mountains in the US so that I can ride as often as possible during the winter. So you can trust me that I will be skipping out on the normal New Year’s Day hangover for some much needed therapy in the snowy trees at Northstar.

Set the tone for your 2014 right from the start. Why delay feeling your best.

  • Find out where your favorite DJ is playing on New Years and go shake your ‘thang’.
  • Reserve a spot with your favorite yoga instructor on New Year’s Day.
  • Hike along the beach giggling with your best friend.
  • Find your quiet place with a meditation seminar.
  • Break your 1RM record during a workout with your partner.
  • Melt into a spa day with a massage and pedicure.

2014 can be your year. You have the power to make that decision.

My advice... Set the bar from day number one.

Trainer: Maggie Harding

 

 

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitness, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day

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Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day

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If you are like me, you tend to over eat the most when (1) you are sitting around bored and hanging out at home and (2) when a spread of sugary and/or savory deliciousness is laid out in front of you in the ultimate foodie’s buffet just ready for the grazing! Put these 2 together and you have the definition of Christmas Day for many of us. Add a little spiked egg nog into the equation to blur your judgement and you will be eating until the cows come home…literally.

Sticking with the philosophy of Day 3 and The 80/20 Rule, I am not going to tell you to skip the feast completely, but why not use that cracked on sugar high to move and be active a bit?

Go ahead and enjoy the treats of Christmas morning, but I recommend making some movement part of your Christmas Day tradition.

Whether you are on Maui (you lucky dogs) or in Minneapolis, or even somewhere deep in the ‘in between’, I have gathered some cool ideas for making the Holiday Hustle part of your new tradition. If you are hoping to use these as a temporary escape from the craziness of family, then keep these ideas to yourself and use them as some time alone to regroup. Or feel free to wrap these ideas into something that everyone can do together.

Happy Holiday Hustle everyone!

How to Hustle Where  ‘Baby, Its Warm Outside’  (Mild/Warm Climates)

1. You Better Bike, Britney

All levels of folks can usually handle a casual, cross-city bike ride. Rent bikes or use one of the city bike share programs that are spreading like wild flower across the globe. (Check here to see if your city offers a share program.)

If you are hosting your family in San Francisco for the big day, take advantage of the new Bay Area Bike Share and hop around between their bike pick up points spread throughout the city.

2. An Outdoor Version of the DIAKADI Destination Workout

Try this ultimate workout, designed for people of all levels. You need no equipment and minimal space is fine. If it is a family event, allow each person to choose their own appropriate level for each exercise from the instructional videos. This way you can all safely exercise at the same time. If you are in San Francisco for the holidays, I recommend completing the workout down on the new outdoor Fitness Court at The Marina Green. It is a great outdoor workout arena, with some helpful basic equipment, on a padded workout floor with the Golden Gate Bridge as your back drop.

3. The Holiday Stroll

Take a nice holiday walk across the city. Window shop, look at the lights, or maybe even Prancercise. And in the spirit of 80/20, if you would like, bring a to-go cup of ‘holiday cheer’ with you. I have heard of some delinquents in SF using to-go coffee cups with lids to walk around the city drinking champagne while holiday window shopping. But I have no idea who these hoodlums are! The new Bay Bridge also has an amazing new walking and biking path that starts in Emeryville. (You can park in the Emeryville Bay Street shopping mall pay lot and head out from there.)

4. Holiday Hoops

When was the last time you played a good basketball game of HORSE?  Shooting some ball on your own or with the family is always a good time. In San Francisco, head up to Walter Haas Park in Twin Peaks and enjoy playing family 'Hoops with a View' (this gorgeous public park looks out across the entire city) or a game of  ‘Holiday Horse’. If basketball is not your thing, check out Mission Bay Creek Park for some great urban sand volleyball courts.

[one_half]"In San Francisco, head up to Walter Haas Park in Twin Peaks and enjoy playing family 'Hoops with a View' (this gorgeous public park looks out across the entire city) or a game of  ‘Holiday Horse’."[/one_half]

 

 

 

 

5. Act like a 5 Year Old

If you are lucky enough to spend the holidays with your nephews and nieces, then take the opportunity to be a kid again. Skate board around the neighborhood with them. Go on an adventure walk. In fact make it a tradition of the annual ‘Holiday Hunt’ where you set up your own Santa Scavenger Hunt around the neighborhood. Nothing is more fun that being 5 again!

6. Compete with Others

Check Active.com for local road races in your area. In the SF Area, there is a Fun Run in Pleasanton around Christmas and a 5K/10K in Mountain View on New Years.

Hustling Where Your Christmas Bells May Freeze (Cold Climates)

1. Embrace the Cold

Take advantage of that amazing winter weather. Ice skating with family or maybe even some hockey. How close is the nearest ski resort or snow hill? Make a tradition of Christmas being about activity and drive to near by ski slopes with the entire family. Looking for the best rate on lift tickets

photo (4)

nationwide? Check out liftopia.com.

2. An Indoor Version of the DIAKADI Destination Workout

Again, this is perfect for some time to yourself or can be done easily with a group of all levels. Do the workout anywhere, in as small as a 7x7 space, no equipment necessary, no matter what your goals.

3. Group X It

Want to mix it up a bit with some Zumba, power yoga or maybe even a little hip hop class for your inner holiday B-Boy? Most cable providers offer a huge variety of free exercise videos On-Demand. Tune in to one of the hip hop classes for the entire family to try, then video Mi-Maw and Grandpa throwing down and you may have the viral vine you have been waiting for all year. Headed into the waste land of no cable? Download a few classes to your laptop, iPad or phone before heading home.

4. Dance It Out

If you have not discovered the game Dance Central for Xbox Kinect, check it out! I have to say that it is a heck of a fun time for solo home workouts, group dance offs at parties or just shaking your thing a bit before work in the morning. Just watch out for wearing out a section of your carpet with your bad ass moves. (Seriously, it will ruin your carpet! Invest in some break dance card board sections.)

[one_half]"Tune in to one of the hip hop classes for the entire family to try, then video Mi-Maw and Grandpa throwing down and you may have the viral vine you have been waiting for all year."[/one_half]

 

 

 

 

 

5. Compete Virtually with Others

While researching this piece, I ran into another incredibly cool option for people in any climate to challenge themselves with a group race event. US Road Running and US Road Cycling host Virtual Road Races, where participants can enter running or bike races from anywhere, completing the mileage on treadmills, indoor tracks, spin bikes, or bike home trainers. Each participant submits their own goal for their race. It could be a certain time or certain mileage. Then after the race you submit your times and mileage and even receive a medal if you meet your own goal. Super cool right? Check here for more info and to view their remaining events around Christmas and New Years.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 9: Silent Night:  How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays

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Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays

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For many of us, the holidays signal a time to relax, take time off work, and spend time with family and friends. While this is always a welcome change, it also disrupts our normal schedule. Many of us are in different time zones suffering from jet lag, while others stay up way past our typical bedtimes so that we can reconnect with old friends. What do we do to combat this change in our circadian rhythms?  And why is sleep so important?

BENEFITS OF SLEEP

There are many benefits to getting a full night's rest – aside from the obvious perk of not falling asleep while doing that last minute Christmas shopping. Getting a full 7-8 hours (for adults) helps promote physical and mental health, keeps you more creative, happier and way less 'Bah, humbug!'. Sleep helps to decrease stress levels and it also regulates hormones that control appetite, so you won’t be trying to steal Santa’s Christmas cookie.

THE EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE ON SLEEP

Most of us reach for the easiest thing to pull us out of our sleepy state. And doesn’t it look tempting in those cheery red holiday cups from Starbucks? While caffeine in small amounts (around 250mg or 3 cups per day) per person is moderate, many of us will go to extremes and supersize it with a Venti or even a Trenti! I’m not saying that caffeine is bad, but everything in moderation. Caffeine typically stays in our system for 6 hours. Any caffeine that you ingest after that first cup of creamy delicious espresso to kick start your day will then extend the effects that the caffeine has on your body.

[one_half]Sleep helps to decrease stress levels and it also regulates hormones that control appetite, so you won’t be trying to steal Santa’s Christmas cookie.[/one_half]

Not only can too much caffeine keep us from falling asleep, it can also disrupt our sleep cycle and keep us from getting into deep REM sleep that so many of us need. During our necessary 7-8 hours of sleep each night our body is restored both physically and mentally. We don’t want to interrupt these repairs to our bodies and mind, especially over the busy times of the holiday season. Be cautious when going for that post dinner espresso and keep in mind that it may not give you a restful night.

SLEEP AND ALCOHOL

Alcohol can have many of the same effects on your body’s recovery during sleep that caffeine can.  While having a glass or 2 of wine may help you fall asleep – alcohol typically causes one to become wakeful during the second half of your sleep cycle. It may also make it harder to fall back asleep once you have woken up. I know that many times after drinking red wine I wake up around 345am and have an extremely hard time going back to sleep. This is known as the rebound effect.  The rebound effect changes sleep variables, actually reversing the direction of your sleep patterns. According to John Shneerson, head of Papworth Hospital’s Respiratory Support and Sleep Center in the UK, "As the alcohol starts to wear off, your body can come out of deep sleep and back into REM sleep, which is much easier to wake from. That's why you often wake up after just a few hours sleep when you've been drinking." 

STICK TO YOUR BEDTIME RITUALS

Since we are sleeping in accommodations that are typically not as comfortable as our own cozy bedrooms, we may have a harder time falling asleep while visiting the relatives over this festive season. Whether you are stuck in a Red Roof Inn in Omaha or sharing a room with your brother who snores uncontrollably, there are some steps that you can take to help you get the necessary zzzz’s.

Sleep

IDEAL BEDTIME ROUTINE

It’s time to alert your body that it’s time for bed.

Turn off all electronics about an hour before you want to be asleep. The light emitted from all of our “gadgets” sends signals to our brains that it’s still light out and that you don’t need to stay awake. Instead of reading the latest New York Times bestseller on your iPad, save your E-books for daytime reading. At night, try actually reading a real book. That always puts me right out! Try it and see the real difference it makes.

Sleep in a room with blackout shades, or wear a mask that will keep all light entering the room from disrupting your sleep. Especially that nightlight in your little brother’s room.

Meditate. Use deep belly breaths to help slow down your mind and your body. Try not to focus on all the exciting activities you’ll be doing with family or stressing about the work you’re missing. You want your body to be completely relaxed as it drifts into a restful night. Is meditation a new idea for you? A great beginner's book is 'Wherever You Go, There You Are' by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Better yet, if you want to jump in feet first, sign up for a silent meditation retreat at Spirit Rock in Marin.

Try these above tips during this holiday travel season. You want to be happy and healthy so that you can enjoy time with your family and friends.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qmqg3wHoME&list=PLP14l1-93xOnfWnx6FzTrNiQ9vsPwW74h&index=3[/youtube]

 

 

Reference:  www.i09.com Why You Always Wake up Early after a Night of Drinking, Robert T. Gonzalez

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitness are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary

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Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary

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At DIAKADI, the heart of our mission is that no workout should be generic, since no specific workout would be ideal, safe and efficient for everyone. So when we were asked to create the ultimate destination workout we knew that it had to adhere to the following 3 rules:

  1. The workout must be completely unreliant on equipment
  2.  Clients must be able to complete the workout in even the smallest of spaces (ie. A New York Hotel room)
  3. Above all, the form instruction for each exercise must be clear for clients, with clear progression and regression options so that people of all levels, backgrounds and goals would be able to adapt the exercise programs to match their individual needs

After thorough planning and design, our DIAKADI trainers have developed the ultimate DIAKADI Destination workout that can truly be done anywhere, with any amount of time, for clients of every level, no matter what their goals.

For beginners and intermediates, The Tune Up program is a complete list of basic movements which will wake up your muscles safely, bringing mobility to your joints and excellent blood flow to the entire body.

For advanced athletes, you can adapt The Athlete: Power/Speed Training with Strength Development program to keep you on track with your sport training and challenge your total body strength.

VIDEO TUTORIALS

Each exercise comes linked to an informational video (links at the bottom of this post) which contains:

  • Difficulty levels 1-3 (1=Beginner, 2=Intermediate, 3=Advanced) for each exercise
  • Clear audio form explanations for every level with corresponding video examples

Below are links to each individual video. All videos are also available for viewing on your smart phone through the DIAKADI Youtube channel, so that you can watch the videos at the gym during your workout to immediately answer questions on form and proper exercise progressions.

WHERE DO I START?

1. CHOOSE YOUR STARTING LEVEL FOR EACH EXERCISE

Each of the 8 exercises have progressions from Level 1 to 3.

Level 1 exercises are designed for beginners, people who have not worked out before, or people with previous injuries, muscle imbalances, or joint issues.

Level 2 exercises are designed for intermediate clients with minimal posture issues and minor to no muscle imbalances.

Level 3 exercises are designed for advanced athletes with proper posture, muscle balance and experience doing exercises with a faster, more powerful pace.

NOTE: If at any time clients experience pain during an exercise, they should immediately stop the movement. If the pain dissipates, then try regressing the exercise to a lower Level. If the pain continues or it is not possible to complete even the lowest Level of an exercise without pain, I recommend eliminating this movement from your workout and seeing a qualified trainer or health practitioner to assist with assessing the problem.

To select your your level for each movement, I recommend going through each exercise one by one, to determine your starting level 1 to 3 for that particular movement.  Watch the entire exercise video in order to decide what your Starting Level is for each exercise. If you are unsure, start with Level 1 for that movement. If you are able to successfully complete Level 1 of an exercise, using perfect FORM as seen in the video, then try Level 2 for that same exercise. Upon successful completion of Level 2, then move on to trying the advanced Level 3.  At this point, make note which level you are able to maintain proper form while also being challenged by the movement. This is your Start Level for that exercise.

2. SELECT YOUR GOAL AND GET TO WORK

Now, using the goal options list below, select the goal for your workout and follow the instructions for exercise order, tempo, sets, and time under tension. Feel free to print the exercise summary photo sheet posted below to follow during your workout.

SHORT ON TIME?

Have 10 minutes to spare? Select your goal and follow that program for just 1 set of each exercise for a quick 10 minute full body pump.

OUR GOAL FOR YOU = KNOWLEDGE

Whether you try the program once or use it over and over when traveling, our goal is that you learn something about your body, exercise progressions and tempos, and how to tweak your own gym programs to keep your body learning, growing and challenged.

Good luck!

C Luecke Nov 2013 224

SELECT YOUR GOAL AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS...

STRESS RELIEF:   Looking to clear your head, breathe deeper and increase blood flow to your body
THE TUNE UP: Full Body Muscle Wake Up for Mobility, Balance and Function
  • For a warm up, move through The DIAKADI Travel Stretch Program
  • Work through each of the 8 exercises, performing your appropriate ‘Start Level’ version of each movement for 60 seconds without rest
  • For dynamic movements (ie. Squats), perform the exercise with a tempo of 2 counts down, 2 counts up
  • Rest 30-60 seconds between each exercise.
  • Repeat the entire set of 8 exercises for 1 to 3 sets, depending on time and experience level.
THE ATHLETE: Power/Speed Training, Strength Development
  • For a warm up, move through The DIAKADI Travel Stretch Program
  • Work through each exercise ideally using the advanced, Level 3 version of each movement.
  • Perform each exercise full out for 20-30 seconds.
  • Focus on speed and power for each movement, aiming for a tempo of 1 count up, 1 count down.
  • Rest 60-90 seconds between each set.
  • Repeat each exercise for 3-5 sets before moving on to the next movement.

One Final Note: Continuously Work Towards the Next Progressions

As you continue to use this workout, ideally your original Start Level for each exercise will become easy. At this point, progress to the next Level for that exercise in order to continue to challenge your body safely.

Hip Bridge Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwWS7uYq1kA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Shelby Jacquez

Levels:

  1. Isometric Hold
  2. Dynamic
  3. Single Leg Hold/Dynamic (Advanced: Perform on Stability Ball)

Optional: Add weight when available, resting dumbbells, weight plate, med ball on hips

Down Dog to Dive Bombers Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3UEb0DZias&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Josh Christopher

Levels:

  1.  Alternate downward dog and upward dog
  2. Downward dog shoulder pushups (Advanced: Raise feet off floor)
  3. Dive Bombers (Advanced: Can try Dive Bombers with feet on stability ball)

Squat Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klrxNNjWJ_M&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Gina Gutierrez

Levels:

  1. Squats to seat
  2. Squats with alternating single leg raise
  3. Squat jumps (Advanced: Single leg squats to seat to jumps)

Optional: Add weight when available, holding dumbbells at sides, hugging weight at chest, barbell on shoulders, or weight vest.

Pushup Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqC8f29qPz0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Mike Clausen

Levels:

  1. Incline pushups with hands elevated
  2. Hands on floor (Advanced: Hold at low)
  3. Pop pushups (Advanced: Pop off hands and feet to Superman pushups)

Optional: Add weight when available: Add a weight vest

Lunge Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNt5dUkT_N4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Gavin Birmingham

Levels:

  1. Split squats with twist and side rocker lunges
  2. Alternate front and back lunges with alternate side lateral lunges
  3. Split jumps to power alt side lunges

Optional: Add weight when available: Hold dumbbells at sides, hug weights at chest, barbell on shoulders, weight vest.

Side Plank Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhOYKenuV-U&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Ryan Allen

Levels:

  1. Elbow side plank
  2. Side plank with dynamic hips (Advanced: Add twist)
  3. Side star dynamic to hold  (Advanced: Add leg swings front back)

Optional: Add weight when available: Hold single dumbbell at side of top hip, can also hold weight in extended arm above body.

TYT Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNSZrMIZcZg&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Ross Steiner

Levels:

  1. Reverse Flys to Cobra Hold
  2. TYT to Cobra Hold
  3. No Rest TYT with leg lift to Cobra Hold

Optional: Add weight when available: Hold dumbbells in hands

Tricep Bench Dips Exercise Progression

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOZxDOrpCF0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Trainer Ross Steiner

Levels:

  1.      Seated on edge of bench
  2.      Legs extended or single leg
  3.      Feet up on bench (Advanced: Single leg on bench)

Optional: Add weight when available: Place weight on legs in lap

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

 

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Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays

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Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays

DAY-7-Condensed-copy.jpg

With the combo of the lower humidity that comes with cold weather, the tendency for people to stay huddled inside by the fire, higher stress levels, lower sleep hours, and of course the balanced holiday diet of booze, cookies and candies, the cold virus is in its glory during this time of year. So look out Granny! Below, I have gathered the leading ways to successfully fight off the common cold, as well as some key ideas on keeping the symptoms and duration of a cold to a minimum if you are already sick.

Feed a Cold…and Hydrate It

Hands down, the leading way to protect your body from a cold is to provide it with the proper fuel and nutrition it needs to run efficiently while keeping your immune system at full strength. I am personally a fan of feeding your body the correct balance of foods, as opposed to relying on vitamins and supplements to do the job. Our bodies have been digesting and breaking down whole, natural foods for generations and therefore are able to absorb and use more of the nutrients from foods as opposed to processed vitamin pills.

[one_half]"The population of people that were given probiotics in the study showed both a reduced duration of the cold (2 days instead of 4 days) as well as symptoms that were 34% less severe."[/one_half]

What are the best foods to eat when boosting your immune system?

1.   Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

  • Unanimously, every single source I spoke with highly recommends eating a large variety of fruits and vegetables during cold season, especially if you end up catching a cold.
  • For Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD, nutrition coach & registered dietitian at MV Nutrition, her top vote for antioxidant super foods to enhance your immune health are Carotenoids & Beta-Carotene.  “Time to get your colors on!” says Koszyk.  Purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow foods have beta-carotene and carotenoids which boost immune health and prevent free radicals from causing oxidative damage. Carotenes also include Vitamin A, which increases the production of white blood cells. White blood cells make up our immune health!”111

Koszyk recommends including these delicious foods this winter season:

  • Sweet Potatoes (eat them for breakfast with some cinnamon)
  • Carrots (you can mix them into a pasta sauce or soup)
  • Tomatoes
  • Pumpkin (add pumpkin puree to a smoothie)
  • Beets
  • Kale
  • Squash
  • Tangerines

To guarantee a good punch of fruits and vegetables every day, use this recipe and start off each day with a homemade Green Smoothie for breakfast.

2.   Cleansing Foods for your Liver and Kidneys

  • Naturally raised, organically grown fruits and vegetables are key in keeping the liver clean since the liver is the organ that detoxifies these chemicals in the body.
  • Traci Freeman, executive chef and founder of Lilah Belle’s Nutritional and Organic Meals to Go agrees. “A strong immune system is the best way to fight a cold or flu.  Good ol' garlic helps your liver activate enzymes that can flush out toxins. It also has a high amount of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing. Garlic packs the biggest antioxidant punch when eaten raw.  A quick ways to use garlic are put it in your salad dressing, or toss it in last minute with your cooked meal. The heat will release a punch of flavor and immune building compounds.”

[one_half]"To guarantee a good punch of fruits and vegetables every day, use this recipe and start off each day with homemade Green Smoothie for breakfast."[/one_half]

  • Freeman also adds that “ Beets are high in plant-flavonoids, which can improve the overall functions of your liver. Adding more avocados to your diet can help your body produce a type of antioxidant called glutathione, which is needed for our livers to filter out harmful materials.  You can make a wonderful salad with kale, walnuts, avocado, beets and mandarin oranges, with a fresh garlic salad dressing.  This will definitely make your organs healthier and stronger!”

Some other great foods that promote clean kidneys and liver include:

  • green tea
  • grapefruit
  • onions
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • brussel sprouts

3.   Probiotics and fermented foods

  • A study posted in the October 2012 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition studied the effects of probioitic ingestion during the common cold. The population of people that were given probiotics in the study showed both a reduced duration of the cold (2 days instead of 4 days) as well as symptoms that were 34% less severe.
  • For probiotics, Chris Kresser, licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine in Berkeley, recommends, ‘Probiotics found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi strengthen and maintain the mucosal barrier system (in our respiratory and intestinal tract), which is our first line of defense against pathogens. What’s more, 75% of our immune system is found in the gut.’
  • Kombucha is also an easy way to get your daily dose of probiotics. Traveling at SFO? You can even purchase a bottle of it in Terminal 2 at The Plant Cafe to drink during your flight home.

4. Bone Broths and Bone Marrow

  • Your Mom was right, that chicken soup and broth are great for beating a cold.
  • Both greatly assist the immune system by carrying more oxygen into the cells of the body.
  • You can easily make your own bone broth at home or Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley is an amazing source for grass-fed beef broths made fresh weekly and delivered to your door.

5.   Avoid or Reduce Inflammatory Foods

Chris Kresser’s worst offenders include:

  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Industrial seed oil
  • Sugar
  • Kresser explains that, “Food toxins provoke an immune reaction that can make us more vulnerable to foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.”

Also to avoid:

  • Junk foods and fried foods with hydrogenated oils (skip those airport food court fries and ask for a piece of fresh fruit or salad instead)
  • Alcohol since it slows down your liver’s detox function while your body is forced to process the cocktail you just drank.

6.   Keep Up with Your Fluids

  • Monitor your urine color to guarantee that you are keeping your body fully hydrated
  • Eating a well balanced diet is just as important as water intake when it comes to staying hydratedIMG_2861

Other than your food, there are a few other useful reminders to assist you in staying healthy this holiday season:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after being in crowded public areas or around people that are sick.
  • Keep your stress levels low. Stress will literally eat you alive if you allow it the opportunity. Check out Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year (LINK) for some good ideas on keeping your stress levels under control this season.
  • Sleep a minimum of 7-8 hours a night, catching even more Zzz’s when time permits. A rested body is a strong body.
  • Stay on track with your workouts and fitness activities. Keeping the body moving and oxygenated will assist with filtration and your immune system.

Follow these simple instructions, keep Grandma from wandering around the yard late on Christmas Eve, and we will all have a healthy and happy New Year!

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class

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Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class

Day-6-Revised5.jpg

Are you and your body truly ready for what is about to happen next week? This is how I see it. You have booked a coach ticket using miles on Southwest to see your family in Milwaukee, connecting through Miami (3 hour layover), on a red eye. Your sister begs you to haul back all the sour dough bread and See’s candy you can carry-on so that she can give them as gifts to all of her neighbors. It is Christmas after all, so you agree (Note to Self: See Day 1 about learning how to say ‘No’). Then, when your favorite niece graciously explains that she will be giving up her fabulous Disney Princess canopy twin bed with the lumpy mattress for you to sleep in, I have a feeling that your body will be in need of a little TLC the next morning.

 

So when you wake up that next morning, gently roll out from under your pink canopy and down onto that ‘wall to wall’ luxurious pink princess carpet and slowly move through some of these stretches as your morning meditation and time for yourself.

[one_half]Then, when your favorite niece graciously explains that she will be giving up her fabulous Disney Princess canopy twin bed with the lumpy mattress for you to sleep in, I have a feeling that your body will be in need of a little TLC the next morning.[/one_half]

There is a lot of information and research floating around debating ‘To Stretch or Not To Stretch’. My personal belief and the philosophy that I follow with my clients, as well as my own body, is that stretches are useful and helpful  when performed on muscles that actually need to be stretched. Lengthening or over-stretching weak muscles often leads to further imbalances and joint issues. The challenge is that most people have no way of knowing which muscles in their bodies are actually in need of lengthening and inhibition versus which are actually long, weak, or taut and giving false feedback that they are needing a nice stretch. Sadly judging by sensation alone is never a reliable source. A great example of this comes from a client that came to me complaining that his hamstrings were always tight and painful and no amount of stretching would ever bring relief. After a quick assessment of his pelvic alignment and a flexibility screen of the muscles attached to his pelvis, we discovered that his hamstrings were actually too stretched, long and weak. He immediately started a prescription of hamstring shortening and strengthening, bringing about complete relief of his pain within a week. Not magic, just the physics of the body’s lever system. (For more information on stretch testing, check out this link to the complete trainer’s assessment.)art-seats2-420x0

So use these travel stretches as a body wake up, just like a puppy does his stretch and warm-up routine after laying down for an extended period of time. For full body mobility, I recommend moving in and out of each stretch initially. For example, for the hip flexors, lunging forward in the single knee, then coming back to your starting point.  Then as you find some of the movements are tight and difficult to move through, you can hold the stretch for 30+ seconds. Again, always stopping before any intense sensation of pain or pulling.

[one_half]The challenge is that most people have no way of knowing which muscles in their bodies are actually in need of lengthening and inhibition versus which are actually long, weak, or taut and giving false feedback that they are needing a nice stretch. Sadly judging by sensation alone is never a reliable source.[/one_half]

If you are home with a group of family or friends, try making it a fun activity for the entire family, getting the kids and granny to do them with you.  Nothing serious or intense, just a way of getting the blood flowing and joints moving. If weather permits, get outside and do them in a nearby park. Lastly, many of these stretches are designed to be done while traveling in coach on an airplane. On a crazy long flight and getting cramped up? Try some of these compact stretches to loosen things up a bit.

(Note: If you are not currently doing any type of exercise , injured or experiencing any type of body or joint pain, I always recommend consulting with a doctor or health professional before starting any type of new exercise program.)

For more information, or if you have exact questions on which stretches are appropriate for your body, feel free to drop me an email here at info@diakadibody.com.

Happy holidays and good luck making it to the Home Stretch!

1. Hip Flexors

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K10-_fJjaI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility alternate between shifting your weight forward then back, gradually increasing the range of motion as it feels comfortable for 12 reps per leg.

For a static stretch, try holding this for 30 seconds to begin with, continuing to hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

2. Quadriceps

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa-5xFRDPdY&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, you can start by alternating legs for the standing stretch, holding each leg for a quick second before switching for 24 reps. You can also use the toe on the wall stretch for mobility by lunging forward and back, gradually increasing the range of motion for 12 reps per leg.

For static stretching, when possible, use the kneeling toe on the wall version in order to relax your body during the stretch. Hold this stretch initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

3. Hamstrings

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z4ePzixMcA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, i recommend slowly moving in and out of the bent over toe touch (5 count down, 5 count up), increasing the range of motion as able for 12 reps.

For a static stretch, when possible, use the floor version with one leg resting against the wall in order to relax your body during the stretch. Hold this stretch initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

4. Piriformis and Hips

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsZ_70O75Jc&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, I recommend sitting in the piriformis cross leg stretch (shin parallel to the floor) and slowly rocking forward into the stretch and back sitting straight up for 12 reps per leg.

For static stretches, hold these stretches initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

5. Lower Back, Hips Twist

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd8nxvs2R0g&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, alternately kick your legs across your body, pulling the knee across with opposing hand for 24 alternating side reps.

For static stretching, try holding the stretch for 30 seconds per leg to begin with, continuing to hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

6. Calves

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqlu8IiC2KU&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, use the wall lean version of the stretch and rock back and forth between (1) your back heel down and leg straight and (2) your back knee bent and rolling up on your toes with heel off. Try 12 reps on each leg by alternating heel up, heel down.

For static, hold these stretches for a minimum of 60 seconds to begin with due to the density of the calf muscles. Hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

7. Chest

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0aJCziKCnI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, slowly twist your upper body and spine into the stretch and back out of it for 12 reps per side.

For static, try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

8. Neck

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ246W0pApI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

I recommend using this stretch as a static stretch only as opposed to a mobility movement. Try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

9. Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4y40FwPoFw&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, I recommend rocking in and out of the stretch by alternately (1) shifting your hips with chest drop and (2) shifting your hips back front with chest up for 12 reps.

For static, try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go

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Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go

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Tickets? Check. Money? Check. Passport? Check. A delicious, organic carry-on meal and healthy snacks for your flight? Ooops...I knew I had forgotten something. If you are traveling this holiday season, be mentally prepared for those crazy security lines, delayed flights, and sprinting through airports to make tight connections. All of these will leave you with limited time to shop for healthy food at the airport. Even if you do have time, the healthy options are usually going to be few and far between. Trust me, there is nothing worse than eating some airport Chili's To Go meal, then hopping on a coast to coast flight, only to run into your own 'major turbulence' 3 hours in. Add in those damn changes in air pressure and you are carrying a 'bomb' that no security scanner would catch! Remember that these planes are a shared, controlled air environment people. Help a brother out!

My simple advice for food options while traveling, stick to 'Plan and Simple'.

PLAN AHEAD

Once again we return to this same advice. If you are able to just plan a bit ahead, then you should have no problem staying on track with both your food choices as well as your food volume while traveling.  

[one_half]"Trust me, there is nothing worse than eating some airport Chili's To Go meal, then hopping on a coast to coast flight, only to run into your own 'major turbulence' 3 hours in. Add in those damn changes in air pressure and you are carrying a 'bomb' that no security scanner would catch!"[/one_half]

1. BYO MEAL: Headed on a long flight back east into the cold, or for you lucky dogs headed west to Hawaii, pack a small meal to bring with you on the plane. You want to land at your destination feeling healthy and happy, not bloated and uncomfortable. And yes, we are allowed to transport food through security lines. Try these easy carry-on ideas:

     BREAKFAST:

  • 2 hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs and a piece of organic fruit with a homemade Green Smoothie. Smoothies are always a better option than pressed juices because you get all the fiber. Not sure which eggs to purchase or worried about eating egg yolks? Get more information using our blog on Pasture Raised Chickens.   
  • Organic, plain greek yogurt, a piece of organic fruit, some gluten free granola ('Giddy Up and Go' granola is local to SF and delicious)

     LUNCH/DINNER:

  • Bring your own salad with some protein (boiled eggs, ground beef, chicken, etc). I always bring an avocado to mix with meat and greens for dressing.
  • Pack a simple meat and vegetable meal from your leftovers the night before
  • Nothing in the house? Save yourself an extra 20 minutes on the way to the airport and run by Whole Foods hot/salad bar to make your own salad to carry with you.

2. USE YOUR RESOURCES: I realize that time to plan ahead may be tough to find for most busy travelers, so use your resources to assist with the process.  In San Francisco, take advantage of great meal delivery companies like Lilah Belle's or Munchery to pre-order a healthy meal to take on the plane with you. I have been using Lilah Belle's delicious organic food service for over 10 years now to order a few meals a week as back up for when I arrive home from work too exhausted to cook something healthy. These meals have not only kept me on track with my food choices, but they have also helped me continue to introduce a great variety of organic, sustainably farmed foods into my meal plan every week.

[one_half]"From this day forward, remember that packing your food is just as important as packing your underwear when traveling. (Maybe even more important for those of you commando fans.) "[/one_half]

3. SMART TRAVEL SNACKS: Don't rely on processed, prepackaged protein bars or trail mix as your snacks, when it is just as easy and way healthier to make your own by combining raw nuts with a piece of seasonal organic fruit. (Note: Remember that 6 raw nuts = 1 serving of fat, so don't start shoving tons of raw almonds in thinking that you can eat all you want because they are healthy.)

MY VOTES FOR THE BEST TRAVEL SNACKS: DSC_0432-1024x680

  • 6-12 raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc) with a piece of organic seasonal fresh fruit
  • Homemade trail mix: combine raw nuts with unsweetened, dried organic fruit
  • Local, grass fed beef jerky. In San Francisco, The Fatted Calf butcher has delicious varieties for purchase.
  • Hard boiled pasture raised chicken eggs are also a great, easy travel snack.

MAKE SIMPLE CHOICES

The travel date arrives and you have been running a sprint for days in advance with no time to plan in any way. Do not fret, there are still some healthy options for food while traveling. In general, my advice is to stick to the most simple options available. 

1. GRAB A BITE ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT: Again, save just an extra 20 minutes to run by your favorite healthy food bar (i.e. Whole Food) or restaurant to pick up a meal to take with you on your flight. Stick to simple salads, meat and veggies, fresh fruit.

2. THE DREADED AIRPORT FOOD COURT: Whether you are dining at Hot Dog on a Stick or

airport

Sammy Hagar's Diner, always choose the most basic items on the menu at airport restaurants. Boiled eggs, salads, grilled chicken breast, basic meat and veggies are your smartest options. This is no time to order the fettucine alfredo. Always look for the lowest fat meats when you are unsure of the quality of the source, since the fat is where any toxins would be stored.  One final option before boarding, you can almost always count on the Protein box from Starbucks. It is definitely better than getting stuck eating the foil wrapped, flattened croissant egg-wich with Jimmy Dean Sausage and cheddar cheese that is being served on your morning flight.

3. SPRINT TO TERMINAL 2: In San Francisco, get down to Terminal 2 and pick up a salad and a kombucha from The Plant Cafe. Then you can also stop by the Napa Farm's Market for some raw nuts and fresh organic fruit. Heck, you can even squeeze in some vinyasa and a little Warrior 2 in the yoga studio in Terminal 2 if you have time. Yeah, we are pretty much spoiled rotten here in San Francisco. Use this link for a full break down of the food options at SFO.

From this day forward, remember that packing your food is just as important as packing your underwear when traveling. (Maybe even more important for those of you commando fans.)  In the end, you will be saving calories, probably saving money, helping to preserve the air quality of your flight, and definitely reducing the stress of staying healthy during your holiday travel.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck

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Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck

Day-4-small1.jpg

Stressing out about what to cook for your family meal during the holidays? Want to prepare dishes that will have your guests asking you for the recipe? Worry no more. We have attended local cooking schools, phoned in favors with distant relatives and reached out to the most experienced cooks we know in order to gather delicious AND simple recipes that are guaranteed to bring you rave reviews. You have heard trainers and nutritionists say it a million times, but trust me, the selections below are finally the proof. It IS possible to cook healthy dishes that have an amazing taste and are quite easy to prepare.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I was a student in a cooking class called 'Everything But the Turkey' at SF Cooking School back in November and discovered this delicious AND healthy recipe for Curried Butternut Squash soup. Of the 16 dishes we cooked in class that day, it won 'Best in Show' by far.  I then cooked it for my family's Thanksgiving dinner and it was a huge hit there as well. It really is incredibly delicious and healthy and a perfect appetizer for both vegetarians and meat lovers alike.  I hope it will become a new favorite for your next holiday meal. Enjoy it!download (2)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste (recommended brand Thai Kitchen)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lbs) peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium baking potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 1 can (about 2 cups) coconut milk, well shaken

[one_half]"We have attended local cooking schools, phoned in favors with distant relatives and reached out to the most experienced cooks we know in order to gather delicious AND simple recipes that are guaranteed to bring you rave reviews." [/one_half]

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut oil and, when hot, add the onion, garlic, and ginger with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent but not browned, 4-5 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, a minute more. Stir in the squash and potato with another pinch of salt. Add the stock, increase the heat the medium high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low; add the coconut milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until completely smooth. Heat the soup gently, taste, and season as needed with additional salt and pepper. The soup can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days. Ladle the hot soup into warm soup bowls, add a pinch of scallions and serve. For total cheat meals, feel free to add a bit of crème fraiche to the bowl as well when serving. Serves 4-6.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

Also from the SF Cooking School, this is a fun, unique twist on cranberry sauce or relish. It is super easy and a bright, colorful dish due to the tweak of keeping the rind on the oranges. The best part of preparing the dish is enjoying the scent of freshly ground coriander seeds. DO NOT use pre-ground coriander seeds for this recipe, or ever again for that matter. Also a great recipe to make ahead and store in mason jars, which can be a great gift for friends and neighbors.

  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 2 oranges, coarsely chopped, seeds removed (do not peel, orange rinds stay on)
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Grind the coriander seeds yourself using a mortar and pestle (be sure to enjoy the incredible scent of the ground seeds). Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until the cranberries and oranges are coarsely chopped. The relish is ready to serve (and lasts for approximately 2-3 days in fridge), or it can be stored in sealed, sterilized jars and refrigerated (lasts approximately 1 month in sealed jars). Makes about 3 cups.

Aunt Barbara’s Beef Loin

I tend to prefer simple, high quality meat dishes as the main course. This recipe is incredibly easy IMG_7971but so damn delicious.

  • Whole boneless beef loin.  (Figure 8-12oz per person)
  • Crushed garlic cloves (1 clove/8 oz)
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Let meat sit at room temp for about 1 to 1 ½ hour. Mix fresh crushed garlic, olive oil, pepper and salt. Rub mixture all over meat. Pre-heat gas grill until VERY hot.  Place meat on grill and sear, turning gently until all sides are browned. Do not leave it on the grill too long, maybe 10-20 sec per side. You do not want it to begin cooking. Then place in shallow pan and bake at 400. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to gauge the desired doneness. Let stand about 10-15 min lightly covering with a foil tent. It will cook a little more while standing. Slice and serve.

Brian and Max’s Hawaiian Holiday Bark

[one_half]"Stressing out about what to cook for your family meal during the holidays? Want to prepare dishes that will have your guests asking you for the recipe? Worry no more."[/one_half]

So this combination dessert idea actually comes from 2 of my good friends, Brian and Max. Thanks guys! It is actually two completely separate dishes that when served as simple dessert options, or as party appetizers, will quench the holiday sweet cravings of any guest without sending them away feeling completely bloated and miserable.

Brian’s Dark Chocolate Holiday Bark

Brian’s holiday bark relies on your creativity in designing healthy AND delicious bark varieties from an endless list of possible toppings including nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds, etc), sea salt, orange zest, candied ginger, dried cranberries, etc. Or any combination of these!  You can also choose your own percentage of dark chocolate: (over 85% = Unsweetened, 65-85% = Bittersweet, Semi-sweet 35-65%, Milk 10-20%) Keep in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the darker the chocolate and the healthier they will be.

  • Dark chocolate
  • Coconut oil for pan
  • Whatever toppings you choose

Melt dark chocolate slowly using a double boiler or a steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Usually the higher end chocolates will have less stabilizers and therefore must be handled gently during the melting process.  Once melted, pour onto wax paper or a cooking sheet that has been greased with coconut oil. Pour it out super thin, no thicker than 1/4”. Place toppings on top of chocolate while still melted and hot so that it sinks in. Let cool and break apart to serve.

Max’s Grilled Pineapple

As I said, I always prefer simple, and this idea (it really is more of an idea than a recipe since it only has one ingredient) from Max could not be more simple, yet tasty.

  • 1 whole pineapple (skinned and chopped into large chunks)grilled-pineapple-with-honey

Heat your grill to medium heat. Place the chunks on the grill, rotating them as they minimally char on each side. Allow to cool just a bit before serving.

 

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more. “The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.” Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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