Food Focus: Water

Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking enough water. Getting our daily dose of water helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, and allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly. Even with this knowledge, it can still be challenging to drink all the water our bodies deserve daily. In the summer, when we tend to play hard, sweat and spend prolonged time in the sun, drinking plenty of water is critical. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath and general fatigue.

To start your day right, set a large glass of water by your bed each night and drink it when you wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning pulls out toxins from the previous day and freshens your system for the day ahead. Keep a bottle of water accessible throughout the day, whether you are on the go or at a desk. Having a bottle of water close by will remind you to take a sip when thirsty. The first sip will usually let you know how much more water you need. A sip or two may be enough, or you may need a big glass. If you drink most of your daily water before early evening, you most likely will not be thirsty before bed. This is good, because drinking before bed and then waking to use the bathroom disturbs your peaceful night’s sleep.

Relaxation and Exercise

Summer is often a time for serious play, time off and deep relaxation. Many of us use the summertime to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year. In our work-crazed society we can lose sight of the benefits of slowing down and taking time to rest. Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to your body through movement and relaxation.

The body loves to move. Even though our body is healthiest when it is getting appropriate physical activity, we often feel dread and boredom when we hear the word “exercise”. Think for a moment of what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to torturous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym, but miss taking dance classes. Maybe you secretly want to try yoga or rollerblading. You could play touch football with your kids, walk with a neighbor in the mornings or go for a swim. The summer offers so many choices – it’s simply up to you to choose which style of movement excites you. Your heart will thank you, your soul will be gratified, your limbs will be more fluid and you’ll sleep better at night.

Summer is a unique time of year when we can do both our relaxation and our movement out in nature. Take a nap in a hammock and enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass. Go to the park and meditate or read under a favorite tree. One of the greatest places to rest in the summertime is by the water. There is something magical and restorative in water, and we naturally crave to be near it, by it or in it. Heading to the water, whether it is the beach, a lake or a kiddy pool, can be relaxing and rejuvenating.

Whether you are relaxing, exercising or both, notice that being outside in nature has a profound way of quieting the mind and reconnecting us to ourselves. Often this relaxation and peace of mind are what our bodies crave the most. So while summer is with us, strap on your sandals and enjoy the rich elements of sun, wind and water and the nourishment that they bring.


Do you have a mentor in your life? A teacher or guru? Life coach or counselor? Mentors have special gifts for us. They offer us knowledge and insight; they guide us on our path. We all have a unique path and purpose in life and if we are lucky we recognize that everyone we meet has something to teach us. The special ones, mentors, are meant to guide us through a difficult time in our life or can help show us our true path or purpose.

Did you know you could be someone’s mentor and not even know it? Be open to your impact on someone’s life. When you are conscious of your impact in someone’s life, guide them with love but don’t become attached to the outcome. Often it takes a while for us to understand what someone is opening us up to. Plant the seed and let it grow with love, patience and understanding.

Sometimes we don’t realize how a mentor has impacted our lives until they move on. One of my very special mentors is moving on with his life outside this country. At first I felt this was an end, but now I realize that this is not an end but maybe a new phase of our friendship. The seeds he has planted are still growing and will be well fed with the energy of his spirit in all the lives he has touched here at EMC.

We will miss you, Henry – Godspeed and be well!

Recipe of the Month: Fruit Nut Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
1 banana
1 cup soy or rice milk
1 cup berries
1 cup diced melon
1/2 cup almonds
2-4 ice cubes


1.   Mix in blender for 1-2 minutes and serve.

Note: You can add other ingredients for added nutrition such as a spoonful of bee pollen, coconut oil, flax seed oil, spirulina powder or a scoop of protein powder.

Food Focus – Benefits of Fruit

A healthy lifestyle is the key to longevity, optimum weight, abundant energy and balance. By using fruit to satisfy our taste for sweetness, we can leave behind the use of chemical, processed and refined sweeteners. Fruits are easy to digest, are cleansing and cooling and are great for those who are overstressed and overheated from excessive mental strain or hot climates. Fruits are filled with fiber and liver stimulants, which act as natural, gentle laxatives. Whenever possible, buy fresh, locally grown fruit as opposed to imported fruits shipped from far-off places. This keeps you eating in season, and more in harmony with your environment and climate.

Eating raw fruit in summer months is highly cooling, while baking it in the winter months neutralizes the cooling effect. Fruit in the form of juice is a great choice for cleansing the body, but be aware that juice rapidly raises blood sugar levels, leading to an energy crash soon after. Frozen, whole, puréed or juiced fruit can make great summertime cool-down treats. Try frozen grapes, banana-coconut smoothie popsicles or lime juice ice-cubes in iced tea!

Whether you are having fresh fruit for a light early morning breakfast, a midday snack or evening treat, enjoy nature’s sweetness and whenever possible buy organic. Here are a few summer fruits and their health benefits:

Apricots: Great for lung conditions and asthma; used to help treat anemia due to their high copper and cobalt content.

Bananas: Help to lubricate the intestines, treat ulcers, detoxify the body and manage sugar cravings; are rich in potassium (which helps hypertension).

Cherries: Slightly warming in nature; increase overall body energy, remedy arthritis and rheumatism and are rich in iron, which improves the blood.

Grapefruits: Treat poor digestion, increase appetite during pregnancy, alleviate intestinal gas and reduce mucus conditions of the lungs.

Papayas: Tone the stomach, act as digestive aid, moisten the lungs and alleviate coughing; contain carpaine, an anti-tumor compound.

Raspberries: Benefit the liver and kidneys, cleanse blood of toxins, regulate menstrual cycles, treat anemia and can promote labor at childbirth.

Snack Attack

There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some of us feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!

To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.

Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter and fruit. Make your own signature trail mix, organic hot chocolate made with almond milk sweetened with agave nectar, or blue corn chips with hummus.

You can also try “upgrading”. If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole grain crackers; if you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit; instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea; instead of ice cream, upgrade to applesauce with cinnamon. Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satiety and satisfaction; you won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you’ll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours.

Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.

12 Reasons to Detox

Detoxing doesn’t mean drinking liquids all day long. What is does mean is paring down on the heavy, processed, toxic foods such as fast food, junk food, etc. It means limiting your animal consumption while increasing your vegetable consumption. Below are 12 reasons why you may want to do this.
Blemished skin
Acid reflux
Diarrhea or constipation
Extra weight
Trouble Sleeping
No Energy
Interested in learning more? Stay tuned!

Bringing Life into Balance

What’s the best exercise to do?
What’s the best diet to follow?

When someone asks me what I think about this exercise or that diet I often find myself at a loss for what to tell them. I know they want a simple answer but sometimes the simple answer is hard to hear. We need to find a balance in our life between exercise and diet, work and play, media candy and meditation.  So how do we do that?

What is the best diet? It is the one that keeps you feeling vibrant and alive full of energy and strong immunity to viruses and colds. It is a balanced diet high in vegetables especially the green ones, good quality proteins, a few grains, fruits, nuts and seeds, good source of fresh clean water, and very little processed foods and refined sugars no more than 10 percent because remember balance. Sometimes we need a little sweet in life. And a good balance between the protein, vegetables and grains depends on your body type and what works optimal for you.

Same with exercise. Too much yoga can leave one weak and mushy putting their tendons and ligaments at risk for injury.  Too much weight training can leave one tight, and inflexible leading to injury of muscle tissue. And too much cardio exercise like running can lead  to stress fractures and imbalanced muscles. Find a balance in your exercise program. Make sure you are getting at least one day of strength training with weights, include some yoga stretching to all your exercise routines and remember cardio. At least 3 days per week of cardio. Doesn’t have to be long, 20 minutes of interval style cardio program where you add in 30 – 60 second sprints of vigorous movement, enough to leave you near breathless.

When it comes to “chilling out” we also need a balance. Chilling out to TV or to our computer/smartphones can disconnect us to ourselves and our species. Too much meditation can lead to a distancing of ourselves from our life here on this earth and in this body keeping us disconnected. However, most of us don’t meditate enough if at all.

Balance can be hard to find. Seems so simple but we convince ourselves that we need to keep working and we don’t have time to exercise or we worked so hard today that we deserve to take ourselves out for dinner. We veg out at the TV or in front of the computer but we haven’t emptied out our head. We keep filling it up with stuff we don’t need.

Where do we start? Try a simple 10 minute meditation in the morning and then in the middle of your day. Sit at your desk, feet flat on the floor uncrossed, hands open in your lap and close your eyes, drop your jaw and just pay attention to your breath. Try this for 2-5 minutes at first then add a minute per day.

How to Balance Giving and Receiving

“Give away what you think you have not enough of.” -Neale Donald Walsh

This thought may seem perplexing at first.  But let’s break it down in simpler terms.  Need a hug? Giving a hug.  Feeling unloved?  Take actions that demonstrates your love.  Feeling unappreciated?  Show your appreciation to others and also to yourself. But what about if we feel we’ve given too much or that we don’t receive enough?

Let’s begin by exploring how we may be giving and receiving at the moment.  Ask yourself, are you giving in order to hopefully receive something in return?  When you don’t receive what you had hoped for, do you feel used, victimized and resentful?  For some people, giving to others puts them in the driver’s seat.  We may be giving in order to attempt to get our needs met.  But at the same time, we may be avoiding dealing with the underlying emotions creating this behavior, such as loneliness or fear of rejection.  On the same token, long-term repressing of emotions may bring out fear-based energies such as narcissism, materialism and hostility.  Finding a balance between giving and receiving starts with admitting to feeling needy and unloved.  This may not feel good at first.  But after a time of just allowing this to sink in a bit, we realize that having needs does not make us needy and unlovable.

The key here lies in exploring and getting in touch with our deepest feelings.  In the Gates of Power Method, this is tied with the Gate of Emotions.  This may be one of the bravest things to undertake, because of the range of emotions there are to experience, including the darkest of feelings.  But when we have gotten a glimpse of these dark emotions, believe it or not, this is actually the perfect place to start exploring deeper.  The result? Feeling more loved, more appreciated, more connected and more able to express our truest selves.

Our underlying needs and feelings are completely valid. 

When we allow ourselves to dig deeper and feel the full spectrum of feelings we learn how not to judge our feelings as good or bad.  This enables us to become aware of the underlying need that is not being met, so that we can behave in a way that does not push people away, thereby diminishing our ability to get our needs met.   If you have a tendency to over give, practice abstaining from giving for a while until you are sure that you are not doing it in order to receive something in exchange.  Practice being open to receiving.  Practice giving if you feel that is what you must do to find balance.

If you are unsure of what to do, simply start each day with a gratitude list of 5 things that you are grateful for.  No need to judge any of the items on your list as good or bad. Trust that we live in an abundant world, that all our needs will be met, and that there is enough to go around, so we do not need to feel threatened by each other.  We are all humans with the same emotions and so we can all relate and even help each other.

The X-BIKE Difference

Indoor cycling is not all the same. At Energy Movement Center, we X-BIKE. The difference in our bikes is the free wheel and handle bars that allow for side to side movement. These differences and instructor direction allow for full engagement of the upper body and core – simulating the full experience of mountain biking on various terrain.

We encourage everyone, no matter what age or fitness level, to X-BIKE. We have college students as well as clients well into their 70’s – male and female – that ride. Our instructors welcome all and guide clients to set their own challenges and remove the inclination to compete or keep up with their neighbor. We believe that each person has an ‘inner X-BIKER’ ready to emerge with some individualized attention and support.

Each instructor has their focus so each class different – Balance, Strength, Interval, and our Basics geared for beginners. Guided classes are offered most mornings at 9am and a few evenings; members enjoy the privilege of ‘Member Only’ self-guided rides. Our drop in rate is $20 and $15 for students, seniors and military. Three Month Trial membership only $199. Because we have a limited number of bikes we request that you call to reserve a bike in advance.