I am a 17-year-old dancer from Spokane, Washington. Last year, I sprained my ankle pretty badly and had to miss my classes and sit out of a recital. I thought that was the worst of it but then I just found out I also have to rehab my hip next year. I want to be the best I can but it seems like everything is holding me back from that. Your practice seems so perfect and effortless, have you ever had an injury that held you back or anything else in the way of your dancing?
I am sorry you’re feeling so down! Hopefully my story will lift your spirits and show you that no, nothing will ever hold me back from dancing! A lot of people don’t know I injured my neck severely just four days before we left for the MOVE Live Tour in 2014. A previous injury that happened on the set of Rock of Ages came back with a vengeance. My C2, C3, C4, C5 vertebrae were out of place. Because of this injury, I had five ribs out of place, my hips were rotated forward on the right hand side, and I had a tingling sensation running down my left arm all the way to my ring finger.
For the entire MOVE Tour we had to find a physical therapist in every city who could work on me before each show. I’d use a stem machine throughout the day to loosen the muscles in the area and keep a rotation of heating pads on throughout the show in between dances. I even had to wear a neck brace (as you can see).
Can you believe Thanksgiving has already come and gone?! Not to be cheesy, but time really does fly when you’re having fun! And speaking of cheese (mmmmm… cheese), I discovered this great cranberry dip recipe that is phenomenal slathered on a bagel, on top of crackers, or even just spread over a piece toast.
I don’t know about you guys, but we always seem to have a leftover bag of fresh cranberries every year that just sits there begging to be whipped up into something — but I never know what. Now I do!
Chances are you’re reading this from a laptop or maybe even a smart phone. Let me guess, your chin is pulled down toward your chest allowing you to look down at the screen, turning your posture into a slouch. Am I close?
Now sit up straight, square your shoulders back and lift your chin high — even if it means looking at the wall instead of this post. Doesn’t that feel better? That’s because it should! Humans were designed to stand this way, we weren’t ever actually built to be sitting for long periods of time. Think about this: when we stand in conversation we are eye to eye. It’s the most natural position for our bodies to be in.
This whole conversation was inspired by a colleague of mine. She was experiencing some pretty serious neck and back pain, and was finding the relief from a good massage was only temporary. Since there’s only so much time a girl can spend on a heating pad, she decided to look into what might be causing these aches. It turns out that years of sitting hunched over her laptop actually changed her posture and was causing all kinds of problems.
Remember when the kid in Jerry Maguire claimed the human head weighs eight pounds? Well, he was right! When my girl had her alignment checked, they discovered even though her head weighs eight pounds, the position she’d become accustomed to created 18 pounds of pressure coming down on her neck and shoulders! She was given three options: visit a doctor regularly to constantly correct her body, take prescription medicine to alleviate the discomfort, or create a better working environment and train her body to self-correct. You can bet she went with number three — and never looked back!
Below you’ll find some of the best ways you can create a workspace that benefits your body. In addition to these products, simple adjustments in your daily life can make a major difference in your posture. For example, when you’re scrolling through your newsfeed on your smart phone, hold the phone at eye level rather than holding it down toward your lap. Your neck will thank you!
Meditating sounds simple enough, but the truth is it can be really hard! Finding zen isn’t easy when we’ve got a list of places to go and things to do. As it turns out, quieting your inner chatter is actually a practice, and like most practices, starting small is the best way to get it right.
One of my favorite instructors at SoulCycle, David Zint, is famous for getting his riders to tap into a higher power during class. If anyone could teach me how to be there mentally, it’s him!
I asked David to share with us the mental workout I am lucky enough to experience in his classes, but in a way we can do it at home. Please let me know how your ten-minute meditation goes!
Most of us have heard the benefits: The peace. The calm. Reduced stress. The mental clarity. Regulated moods. More productive. Being more grounded. More present. Happier and yes — healthier. All from one practice: Meditation.
Yet many of us, myself included, resist it, criticize ourselves when we are doing it, fall out of practice with it and sometimes even fear it, because we just don’t know how to do it.
Let’s start simple and small. Ten minutes. That’s all it takes. Ten minutes a day. Put aside the time either early in the morning before you begin your day or at night to unwind — if you really want to bookend your day with calm and clarity then do both morning and night meditations. Let’s get started!
There are times when life gets so busy that between work obligations and personal plans, it feels like I’m juggling way more than I’m meant to handle. You might have heard I’ve just signed up to guest star on ABC’s new comedy “Speechless,” and while I’m absolutely thrilled to play Miss Bloom, an enthusiastic choir teacher, I know between all the things I have going on personally and professionally some major adjustments will have to be made in order to perform at my best.
As you guys know, last year I “unplugged” and had a zen getaway with my sister Marabeth. It was exactly what I needed to get my priorities back on track, and it helped me prioritize my health more than I had been because of my hectic schedule. Nutrition (and food in general!) is extremely important to me, so when my calendar really gets cranking planning my healthy meals is the first thing to go wayside.
On those days, I’m super grateful for meal delivery services. I don’t know if you’ve tried any, but the one I’m doing now with The Ranch Daily has been a total game changer for my schedule and eating habits. Their freshly made, organic meals are gluten, dairy, GMO and meat free — plus they’re incredibly delicious!
There is so much value in having my meals ready to go, knowing they’re nutritionally balanced and made with my tastes and preferences in mind.
I highly recommend you give your to-do list a break while doing something fantastic for your body by trying a healthy meal delivery service! You’ll be so glad you did!
I’m so excited to have Meghan Rosko back with one of her amazing cookie recipes and design tutorials! She always makes me feel like I could make something beautiful, and no matter how my batch turns out I always have a blast trying!
Besides, even if your icing skills aren’t going to win awards anytime soon, the cookies are still insanely delicious.
Fall is one of the best seasons for flavor combinations, and what better way to celebrate the leaves falling and cooler temperatures than with a Warm Apple Spiced Sugar Cookie recipe.
To add an extra layer of fall fun, I decided to decorate these cookies into festive little pumpkins!
Here’s the recipe:
Recipe for the Cookie Dough (yields about 2 dozen cookies):
• 1 cup of butter (room temperature)
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 5 tsp. apple cider
• 1 tsp salt
• 3 cups flour
• 1 tsp cinnamon
For this week’s Ask Jules, I’m going to share a question I actually had for one of my favorite people, David Zint! David is a senior instructor and training officer at SoulCycle, as well as a personal trainer and life and motivational coach. He’s pretty much the coolest person all around. I’m so happy to have David sharing his advice today, but remember — always do what feels right for you and your body!
I am wondering what the absolute best breakfast would be before taking one of your morning classes or getting into an early intense cardio session? If I were taking a super early the-sun-just-came-up class, do I have to eat breakfast beforehand or can I wait until after?
On most days around mid-afternoon I begin to deflate, feeling like a sinking balloon days after a party. Caffeine always crosses my mind but I know one cup of coffee too late in the day usually translates to tossing and turning late at night.
Luckily I discovered a healthy (and delicious!) way to energize that won’t result in a late night buzz or early crash.
My Pretty Powder Super Smoothie has become my must have for many reasons. Besides giving me a great energy boost, Hum Nutrition’s superfood powder also keeps my metabolism in check. I call it pretty powder because in addition to keeping me out of cranky status, it also improves my skin tone. Plus, there’s no feeling less attractive than being tired and hungry. From there, things can get ugly.
• 1 scoop Hum Nutrition Raw Beauty Green Superfood Powder
• 1 cup almond milk
• ½ banana
• ½ cup strawberries
• ½ cup ice
Blend until smooth and enjoy your day!
By the way, if I don’t have time to make this smoothie, or when traveling on the go, I’ll skip the ingredients and mix one scoop of Raw Beauty from Hum Nutrition into a serving of water or almond milk. This would be an easy way to perk up while you’re at work or school and sans blender.
It’s officially September, so that means one thing in the world of wonderful snacks: pumpkin flavored everything! Every year I look forward to a toasty, spicy latte. It feels awesomely nostalgic and sends my taste buds into a fall frenzy. When I learned how unhealthy those pumpkin lattes can be when purchased at most coffee chains, I sought out a solution. Many cafes use a ton of sugar, artificial colors, flavors, and to my shock — zero actual pumpkin!
This recipe uses real pumpkin and sweetens with honey, but you could use agave or other sweetener you prefer. Even 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar, if that’s your jam! It also works whether you’re a coffee or a tea person. Either way you sip it, it’s sooo good.
I feel like the luckiest girl ever now having shot four covers for SHAPE Magazine! Every issue has made me increasingly more proud to have the chance to work with the talented SHAPE team. The magazine is a great opportunity for me to connect with you about what I believe it takes to feel good from the inside out.
Many of you have written in to the magazine with questions for me regarding my fitness routine. Below, I’ve answered 10 questions from SHAPE readers. I hope they inspire you to live, love and move to your fullest!
1. What do you find to be the most effective ab exercise? — Rachel M. on Facebook
I love them all! I find that mixing up my moves is what’s most effective. I like to lay on a box during leg raises, so I can really use my lower abs with each movement. I also love standing exercises for abs where I can really isolate my torso. I sometimes add hand weights to these moves in order to work my obliques too. Both are effective!
2. What’s your go to food when refueling after a workout? — Jude J. on Facebook
I have a protein shake right after my workoust. Otherwise I’ll get hungry an hour after and binge on something I probably shouldn’t!
3. What do you feel like was your biggest achievement? — Caren S. on Facebook
I feel really lucky because I view all my little achievements as one big achievement. I feel most accomplished when I’m living a balanced lifestyle with diet and exercise, in my relationships with friends, family, and my fiance. All these little things add up 🙂
5. How do you stay on track with eating healthy on the weekends? — @pattilli7 on Instagram
Everything in moderation! I also like to say I’m committing to having a healthy lifestyle rather than using the phrase “dieting.”
6. How do you stay motivated? What do you binge on? — @michele_stuurman on Instagram
I stay motivated because I find that I actually FEEL better when I’m putting healthy, yummy food into my body. When I binge, I definitely go straight for the pizza and pasta!