Testimonial: My Alkalign Muscles

We love hearing about our client’s successes and Liz Rhodes is no exception! Liz has been with Alkalign Menlo Park since March of 2015 and takes about 3 classes a week. Liz’s lifelong dedication to her health is impressive! She’s an early bird and gets most of her workouts in at the 6am Express classes, but also takes the occasional Align or Elevate class.

Health isn’t something you can acquire one day when you decide you want it, need it, or have time to invest in it. Health is something you have to make a priority and commit to throughout your entire life. Liz is a perfect example of this! She is strong, vibrant and committed to ever-evolving her practice. She recently joined us to dig deeper into her nutrition by joining our Nourish group. Here’s what Liz has to say about Alkalign. 

I am a fan of Alkalign for many reasons.  I love the muscles, strength and balance I have acquired.  I appreciate that my core is strong.  Erin and her staff are very proactive in educating us about the parts of our bodies that we are working, I love learning about my body!

Erin also sends out emails with recipe suggestions, and I am participating in her Nourish program. I’m looking forward to learning more about my nutrition.  I will find out in the 3 week elimination program my reaction to corn, dairy, gluten, soy and sugar.  

I work full time as a Realtor, and family is my priority.  We have a blended family with 12 grandkids with number 13 on the way! I am always very busy with sleep overs, visits and of course the kids’ sports activities. Keeping up with all of these activities take energy, and my exercise and diet help to keep me on the right track!

Alkalign provides so much more than any other gym setting.  Erin and her staff are passionate about loving and caring for your body in the most healthy fashion.

Thank you, Liz, for being a part of our wonderful community and inspiring us all in our pursuit of lifelong health. 

3 Reasons Why You Should Nourish

As the holidays approach, are you starting to think “Wow, I need to dial in my nutrition” as another plate of cookies from your aunt shows up at your door? Are you ever curious why so many people (maybe yourself included) feel so down over and after the holidays? Have you considered that maybe it’s the food you are (or are not) eating? If you’ve found yourself asking these questions, it’s time to stop wondering and start Nourishing!

   

Nourish is our 21-day group health coaching program that helps you take a more holistic view of your health. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should sign up for Nourish in 2019!

   

1 – LOSE THE WEIGHT AND PUFFINESS CAUSED BY INFLAMMATION Do you have extra weight/puffiness you would like to stop carrying around? Weight, inflammation and food sensitivities are all closely related. Spend 21 days discovering if one, or 5, inflammation-causing foods are standing between you and your health goals. 

   

2 – COMMUNITY SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY We are more likely to reach our goals when we tell others about them. We are also more likely to succeed when we have support, help and encouragement along the way. Nourish will give you all of this and more! Join Nourish and you will join our private Facebook group lead by our Nourish team which includes certified health coaches.

   

3 – REDUCE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION, INCREASE ENERGY Are you feeling less than amazing these days? Are you blaming it on the holidays or shorter winter days? Try something new! Take 21 days to eliminate sugar and explore what it has been doing to your mental health and energy levels. We FEEL how we eat and a healthy diet can help balance your mood and increase your energy.

   

Now that you have our top 3 reasons to join, sign up with us today and start feeling like the best you possible. Make 2019 YOUR BEST YEAR YET….same you…only healthier! 

   

CLICK HERE for a free recipe book and preview of the delicious food ideas you will get by joining Nourish!

   

Core Plus Unlimited Members and returning nourishers, email us for your discount codes at info@alkalignstudios.com.

Nourish: The Path to Health and Wellness

 

People often ask about how I made the transition from my corporate jobs in investment banking and product development to health and wellness.

 

The truth is, my journey to wellness has been gradual, and it has taken most of my life. As a teenager, I had terrible abdominal pains. From the age of 15, I can remember being doubled over. Often, I had to dig my elbow into my right side to cope. I felt as if I were “bruised on the inside” and also was so bloated that I wished someone could pop me with a pin. It was an awful existence.

 

It got so bad that I had a battery of tests: Upper GI, Lower GI, parasites, barium enema, you name it. All were inconclusive. Eventually, I ended up in the hospital for exploratory surgery, and doctors removed my appendix, which appeared “shriveled.” They labeled my condition “chronic appendicitis,” but I wasn’t convinced, especially since the pain continued. Through all of that, not one doctor asked me about what I was eating — at lot of dairy and carbs. After all, skim milk and bagels were FAT FREE!

 

In San Francisco after college, I went to see a kinesiologist I found on the Internet. The first visit was $500 out of pocket, a hefty investment, but I was desperate. I met this woman in a consultation, and she explained to me that flour and water were acting as a glue in my system and causing my ileocecal valve, the joining point between the large and small intestine, to either get stuck in the open or closed position. She manually adjusted me to pop it into place (which felt amazing) and advised me to “stop eating carbs” for 2 weeks before my follow-up appointment.

 

I tried for a few days but failed because I didn’t know what to eat instead. The lack of education on this was a big issue because at the time I was running marathons and training for triathlons. How would I train without “carbs”?

 

I fueled myself for a 14-mile run on Saturday with eggs, canned tuna and mixed greens. On Sunday, I rode 40 miles through Woodside and literally collapsed on the side of the road. My friend had to bike to his car and come back to pick me up. We went to Bucks, and I lay in the booth unable to move. Yet I refused to eat anything other than egg whites.

 

I continued to feel so awful that I eventually went back to eating normally. I couldn’t sacrifice my job or training for this silly health practitioner who clearly didn’t know what she was talking about. I never went back to see her. I never gave it a chance.

 

Eventually, I did make small changes to my diet, including switching to better carbs, such as sweet potatoes and quinoa, and began to feel better. I realized the kinesiologist was probably right. After giving birth to my first daughter in 2010, I got really serious about my nutrition. I decided to do tests again to see if my gut issues had a diagnosis, given that “celiac” wasn’t a label in my teens. The endoscopy results showed that I don’t have the disease, but the most interesting finding was that 15 years later, no doctor asked about my nutrition…even in California.

 

I love Western medicine, and I respect doctors. I do, however, feel there is a significant gap between preventing disease and discomfort and treating it. I believe food can be the best form of medicine or the worst form of poison. I also believe that many ailments can be helped by changing what we put in and on our bodies.

 

I acknowledge that we all go through different journeys and that we are all individuals. In the Nourish program I’ve developed under my Alkalign brand, my goal is to guide you through a journey of self-exploration so you can really understand what does and does not work for you.

 

Nourish is a 21-day group health coaching program that guides you to take a holistic view of your health. The emphasis is on discovering how what you eat impacts how you feel, but you will also learn how paying attention to your sleep and hydration and incorporating mobility and mindfulness contribute to your well-being. Nourish provides a supportive community setting as well as structure and motivation to help you learn and grow. You get access to a Facebook group with health coaches, daily emails, a Playbook (the how-to), a Recipe Book (the yum) and a Journal to keep track of it all. Most of all, you get control of your energy, your health and your quality of life.

 

During each Nourish cycle, we start slowly and work on one thing at a time. It is better to make one lasting change than many changes that don’t stick. Sustainable change comes with repeated behavior over a long period of time. We host regular sessions, seasonally, so find out when the next one starts and sign up as soon as you can!

 

Erin Paruszewski

Alkalign Founder, CEO and Studio Owner

 

 

Overripe Bananas? Make Muffins!

What do you do with overripe bananas? You can freeze them (but peel first; I learned that the hard way) and use them at a later date. Or why not bake today?

 

Currently, my favorite thing to share is banana muffins from Bakerita.com. This recipe includes dark chocolate chips and almond butter but no additional sugar. I add a “dollop” of almond butter in the center of each before baking. If you came to my class this past week, you had a “taster.” These muffins are fast and easy to bake and, even better, make a great grab-and-go snack. Enjoy!

 

—Pauline

 

Alkalign Classes+Nourish Fuel Endurance Runner

This past fall, my husband and I ran in our 2nd annual Reebok Ragnar Relay, which consists of 12 people, 2 vans and 200-ish miles of running non stop through the day and night (and into the next day). Ragnar Michigan starts in Muskegon, and we run along Lake Michigan up to Traverse City. We run, sleep (if we are lucky), run and repeat for about 30 hours.

 

I have run half marathons as well as this relay before, but this race was different. I had been taking 3 classes or more a week at Alkalign and participating in Nourish, and I discovered how important nutrition and functional training are in endurance runs.

 

I was runner No. 11 out of our team of 12, so it felt like I waited forever to run my first leg. I finally got out of the van to stretch my legs and hit my running stride at around 3 p.m. I hadn’t run hard training for this race as I was intending to take it slow and just put one foot in front of the other. I got through my first leg, which was 3.1 miles, at a pace that was about a minute and a half faster than my team (or I) expected. I felt amazing! But I was worried I was going to feel it later.

 

I thought my second leg was going to be a bit more challenging. Our van was running the graveyard shift, and I didn’t start running again until 2 a.m. The conditions were perfect: The sky was clear, the moon was bright, and I was starting in my hometown, right behind my old high school. It was 6 miles of brisk night air and chasing the moon to my next checkpoint. I flew through those miles. I felt strong and had plenty of energy to see me through to the end. The last 0.8 of a mile was all uphill, and I thought I would struggle more than I did. It was hard, but I engaged my core, climbed that hill and met my teammate at 3 a.m. with a smile on my face!

 

As I recovered, I ate some of the Nourish-friendly foods I had packed for energy. Instead of sugary fuel packets/drinks, I relied on protein-packed, high-energy foods I had learned about from the Nourish group. I had homemade protein balls (which were very popular with the people in our van!), Elemental Bars and all my favorite fruits and vegetables that I knew would give me the energy I needed. Two key things that I learned from Nourish helped me feel my best during this race: 1) Sugar is a quick fix but not a sustainable fuel and 2) higher quality foods make you feel great inside, which results in a more satisfying performance! I felt nutritionally sound from the inside out.

 

While waiting for my next run, I became aware that I didn’t have any of the usual aches or pains in my left knee or hips. Due to 3 pregnancies, my hips are always out of place. Due to running, my hip flexors always seem tight and sore. My left knee has a slight injury that always spoke to me after longer runs, but it wasn’t bothering me at all. In fact, I realized that I hadn’t “felt” my knee in months. This was my first a-ha moment. The Alkalign workouts had strengthened my body so effectively that my running aches and pains were gone!

 

My biggest challenge was ahead with my last run. I had 7.2 miles of hills on little to no sleep after already running 9 miles over the past 24 hours. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do it. I was feeling good, but I was having flashbacks of running this relay last year and barely making it through my last leg. This time I had over 7 miles and elevations that looked like a panicked gazelle’s EKG in a lion’s den. One of my teammates said, “Don’t worry about it. The weather is perfect, and it’s just one more opportunity you get to run. Not everyone can do this, so go have fun.” He was right on. I turned up my music, tapped into my core strength and enjoyed the run.

 

Running this relay after spending 6 months at Alkalign made me a stronger person and a stronger runner. Running this relay after doing a full 3 weeks of Nourish fueled my body for optimal nutrition. I’m not the fastest runner, but I am stronger than I have been in a long time. Not only am I stronger, I’m physically more comfortable! I love that I can do the activities that I love without feeling any discomfort. During this relay, I realized that running is about more than just pulling my body forward. It’s about having a strong balanced body, both from strength training and nutrition training!

 

At Alkalign, we spend time strengthening hamstrings and spinal extensor muscles, and we work the back body equal to the front body. This focus on building the back body is one of the big reasons I ran so comfortably for every leg of the relay. I realized I was no longer going into my runs focused only on my quads to get me through. When those big hills got hard, I engaged my core, keyed into my neutral spine and let my back body push me over the hill. We all know pushing is easier than pulling, so it only makes sense that strengthening the back body is key to an overall strong body.

 

I am not downplaying the importance of strong quads. My quads are also definitely stronger because thigh work at Alkalign is so intense (I’m talking to you, Neutral Spine Chair). The strength in my quads helped my running, but it was most important to squatting for this race. The porta potties are plentiful when spending 30 hours living in a van!

Guest Post: Juice Co. LG Co-Founder Katelin Slifer

Juice Co. LG via Alkalign Studios

Convenient health. That’s what we’re striving for, right? Making a kale smoothie as we run out the door each morning + squeezing in our favorite barre class before the first meeting of the day. Making healthy choices can be time consuming and inconvenient. We live in Silicon Valley, one of the most successful communities in the world and there are still never enough hours in a day.

 

Research now shows that we need nine servings of fruits + vegetables daily. We believe in a truly healthy lifestyle but also prioritize life balance and this number can feel overwhelming. Meet juice co. LG. We’re a boutique cold-pressed juicery, making handcrafted, small batches. Our ingredients are 100% organic, locally sourced and raw. By choosing the cold-pressed method, you’re selecting the most nutrient dense juice on the market.

 

Different from masticating or centrifugal juicers, the cold-pressed method maintains the max amount of vitamins + minerals while also maintaining freshness. The term “cold” refers to the lack of heat applied to the produce when it’s ground, therefore maintaining all of those vital nutrients. We then press each recipe individually, very slowly, through a hydraulic press, adding nine tons of pressure. This extracts every last drop of juice out of the pulp. (People always ask me what we do with our left-over pulp. It is donated to the San Martin Milk Company, where they feed the pulp to livestock and use it as compost on the farm.)

 

The more fiber you consume, the fuller you feel. This does not always mean you are getting more nutrients. You get 2-4 pounds of produce in each of our juices. I recently posted a picture on our Instagram that shows just how much produce truly goes into one bottle of juice:

 

 

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-2-05-37-pm

By drinking your fruits + vegetables, you’re maximizing your produce intake while maintaining nutrients. You’re also consuming a massive amount of produce without any additives (think dressing on salads). It would actually take quite a bit of energy to eat that much produce. When you’re able to consume nutrients in liquid form, your body naturally absorbs those nutrients quickly. This is why the cold-pressed method is crucial. It is proven to maintain the highest amount of nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, etc.

 

Over the past two years we have worked to create a product packed full of healthy produce—two to four pounds of organic produce per bottle to be exact. This alone is more than four servings of your RDI of fruits + vegetables, in one 16oz glass bottle! This development process created a product that not only tastes good, but is actually good for you. The final result? Convenient health!

 

You can now purchase our juices at both the Los Altos and Menlo Park Alkalign studios. Purchase directly from the Alkalign Nourish fridge or place a specific order to be delivered to the studio, with no delivery fee. Visit our website at juicecolg.com or follow us on social media @juicecolg to learn more.

Alkalign Organic Green Smoothie Health Benefits

Alkalign Studios Green Smoothie by Green Glow LoveWritten By Anna Frumkin and Alene Baronian, MS, RDN

 

You’ve just finished your fave Alkalign class and you are rushing out to whatever is next on your packed agenda. In ten minutes, your stomach will start talking to you or maybe your head or whatever body part that tells you that you need to EAT. WHOOPS! You realize you don’t have anything and that you won’t be able to eat for a couple of hours. At that point, you’ll be starving. Or maybe just really hungry. Regardless, what happens when you’re THAT hungry? You eat everything in the house, your desk, and/or the bottom of your purse.

 

This is where an Alkalign Blend organic green smoothie comes into play. The blend created for Alkalign Studios was specially formulated to have the right balance of nutrients; protein, carbohydrates and fat. The protein necessary to build muscle and provide satiety, the carbohydrates needed to get the protein (amino acids) into the muscles and the fat to help keep you full and absorb the fat soluble vitamins in the green vegetables. Oh, not to mention great taste. They are an easy grab and go, great as a recovery beverage, meal replacement (depending on your individual needs) or mid morning or afternoon snack to carry you over and prevent you from cleaning out the refrigerator, pantry or cupboard when you get home. Enjoy and let us know what you think! 

 

ALKALIGN BLEND HEALTH BENEFITS

 

Coconut Water: This beauty elixir is Mother Nature’s sports drink. Coconut water is wonderful at replacing essential electrolytes after an intense workout. This is due to the high content of potassium. Coconut water is also low in sugar, which is important for fitness enthusiasts looking to watch their sugar intake. 


 

Cinnamon: A nutrient powerhouse that is loaded with antioxidants such as polyphenol. It also has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in repairing tissue and fighting infections. Cinnamon may also reduce fasting blood sugar levels, which makes it a wonderful option in regulating an individual’s blood sugar. The antimicrobial and anti antifungal properties found in cinnamon may also help in the prevention infections. 


 

Pineapple: This antioxidant powerhouse is loaded with Vitamin C! Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that helps an individual overcome the common cold as well as flu like symptoms. It also aids in digestion and reducing inflammation due to the enzyme bromelain. 


 

Mint: This soothing herb has been used for thousands of years to aid in stomach indigestion and upset, by helping to relieve cramping and gas. 


 

Spinach: Popeye was right, EAT YOUR SPINACH! Spinach is packed with powerful nutrients such as vitamin A, K, fiber, magnesium, calcium and omega-3! 


 

Sprouted Brown Rice Protein: Sprouted brown rice protein is an excellent source of protein for both vegetarians and carnivores. One serving of protein can contain anywhere from 17-25 grams of protein! Brown rice protein contains vital amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins that are essential for quick muscle recovery.  

 

ALKALIGN BLEND NUTRTIONAL INFORMATION

Calories : 215

Total Fat: 4g

Total Carbohydrates: 24g

Dietary Fiber: 5.8 g

Sugars: 11.4g

Protein: 18.7g

Potassium: 424mg

Sodium:25mg

 

Green Glow Love is an organic smoothie delivery company founded by holistic nutritionist Anna Frumkin. GGL smoothies are made with all raw and organic fruits and vegetables. GGL deliver’s organic green & fruit smoothies as meal replacements, or as energetic fuel to aid in pre/post workout recovery. GGL delivers customized organic smoothies to meet your health needs in sustainable glass mason jars to your home, gym or business establishment throughout San Francisco and the Peninsula.

Hydration + Infused Water

Alkalign Studios Zinger Bottle Infused Water

 

The benefits of drinking water can not be argued but the taste of water can. For some, the flavor of water is often a barrier to getting enough water in your diet and staying hydrated. The addition of fruit, vegetables and herbs to water adds flavor. Lemon, cucumber, mint and citrus fruits are popular choices. It’s simply a matter of taste. Be mindful of the produce choose. Use the Environmental Working Group (EWG) dirty dozen list to help select which produce is the safest and whether or not you should purchase organic.

 

Lemon water in particular is a fantastic way to start your day. It offers a myriad of health benefits, from boosting your immune system to giving an antioxidant boost, aiding digestion and alkalizing the body. It also increases your Vitamin C intake, which is great for your immune system and your skin.

 

Of course you can make infused water in any container or reusable water bottle. We love the Aqua Zinger because it’s dishwasher safe and really does an amazing job of infusing the water with whatever produce you choose to put in it. It’s a great way to combine different flavors and make delicious combos of fruit, veggies and herbs. [Pictured above. See it in action in this Joyus video with style + beauty expert Jenn Falik.]

 

As your water intake increases, you may find that your waist will start to shrink. A study in Obesity, A Research Journal found that overweight women who drank water before meals, lost more weight than those that didn’t.

 

Not only will your waist start to shrink but you’ll find that you’ll have more energy. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of fatigue. All your cells in your body, including your muscle cells, will not function properly. So, the next time you feel like you’re not able to work out to your potential, check to make sure you are hydrated. Instead of running to Starbucks, grab a glass of water and guzzle that down. You get the benefits of energy without the side effects of anxiousness and heart racing that happens with excess caffeine.

 

How do you know if you are hydrated? Well, what goes in must come out. Check your pee! Here is a chart to use to gauge your hydration status. (Note that the color of urine may be altered with supplement or medication use.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nourish

Alkalign Nourish Clean Healthy Eating

Reshape the way you think about food. Learn this and more with Alkalign Nourish, a new, innovative nutrition program developed exclusively for our studios with one goal in mind, the individual. Nourish began with Erin and Alene’s mutual passion for healthful food and a belief that what you put into your body is as important as the output.

 

Nourish is an integral part of the Alkalign philosophy and culture. In the past, a variety of programs have been offered but none as individualized as this one. Nourish will offer the ability to work with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist one-on-one, in a group setting, virtually or all of the above. It will have a community component where you will be able to share your journey, recipes, activity and recommendations for those who choose to participate.

 

Alkalign Nourish is launching in May! We are also offering a Grab-and-Go Fridge with healthy meals, snacks and beverages available in studios now! Stay tuned for more and Nourish yourself to a better you.