Last Christmas I asked for a pair of Vibram Five Finger Classics. I wanted to replace my old wooden clogs for these sleek, soft, and lithe, little shoes. At the Pilates studio I spend a lot of time on my feet, and teaching other people how to use their feet. For years, I found myself kicking off my clogs to demonstrate movements. What I needed was a shoe that would protect my foot, and allow me to use it properly.
|Axis Mini Roller & Stretch Thera-Band|
I can’t resist sharing with you the menu for tomorrow’s Holiday Gathering at Evergreen Pilates. Please join us and sample the following gluten and dairy-free Cheer! Everything is organic, and purchased locally from my very favorite Natural Grocers. In case you’re tempted to recreate a few at home, I’ve included the recipes below.
Organic Cocoa-Coconut Gem Truffles:2/3 Cup Cacao Powder. 1 Cup Almonds, ground. 1/4 Cup Coconut, small flakes. 3/4 Cup Medjool Dates. 3 Tbs Extra-Virgin Coconut Butter. 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt. Flax Seeds, to roll balls in.
Pumpkin-Almond Bread:4 Cups Almond Flour. 3/4 Cup Cane Sugar. 1 tsp. Baking Soda. 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt. 1/4 Coconut Oil. 3 Eggs 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree 1/2 Cup chopped Pecans. 3/4 tsp. ground Cinnamon. 1/4 ground Allspice. 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg. 1/8 ground Cardamom.
Kale Salad w/ Cranberries & Toasted Walnuts:1/2 Cup Walnut pieces. 1 Large Bunch Kale. 1 Orange. 1/4 Cup Extra-virgin Olive Oil. 2 Tbs. Lemon Juice. Sea Salt and Pepper to taste. 1/2 cup dried Cranberries.
Curried Quinoa Salad:Salad: 1 1/2 Cups Water. 1 1/2 Cups Quinoa. 1 Can Black Beans. 1 Red Onion. 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Cilantro. 1 Red Pepper. 2 Tomatoes. 1/2 Cup dried Apricots. Vinaigrette: 1 tsp. Garlic or Fresh Ginger. 1 Cup Fresh Orange Juice. 4 tsp. Curry Paste. 3 Tbs. Red-wine Vinegar. 5 Tbs. Olive Oil. 1-2 tsp. honey. 1 tsp. Sea Salt. Black pepper to taste. 8 Large Lettuce leaves. Cilantro leaves, sprouts, and orange zest for garnish.
Core strength, muscle balance and flexibility are the tenets of Pilates. We spend countless hours strengthening our abdominals
and stretching our hamstrings, yet the health of our hands goes unnoticed. We depend on our hands to type, text, tie, button, groom, eat, and communicate. Too much work or too little, and our hands become achey and less articulate. Any joint that is not properly moved through its full range of motion will become stiff and arthritic over time. Whether you have arthritis or want to avoid it, it is important to stretch and strengthen your hands. The Isoflex Ball is the perfect hand exerciser. It slips easily into a jacket pocket for a walk, or in the glove box for a drive.
Here are a few exercises to get started. By improving your hand strength and flexibility, you’ll increase your coordination and dexterity as well. Be creative and have fun!
Rolling: Place the ball on a flat surface. Place your hand on top with straight fingers stretched apart. Apply pressure and roll the ball back and forth, massaging from the heel of your hand all the way to your fingers tips, and back. Then turn your hand on the pinky side to the ball like a knife blade and roll back and forth along the lateral border of your hand. Also, turn your hand thumb side down and roll the medial border of your hand as well. Turn your hand palm side up and repeat on the back of your hand.
Kneading: Hold the ball in the palm of your hand, gently squeeze the ball to rotate it clockwise in your hand, rotate it counter clockwise. Allow all of your of your fingers to make contact with the ball.
Taps: Hold the ball in the palm of your hand, and tap the ball 5 times with each finger.
Piano Fingers: Hold the ball in the palm of your hand. One at a time, peel your fingers away from the ball and then one at a time re-wrap them onto the ball.
The Isoflex Ball makes a great Stocking Stuffer! For a limited time you can purchase the Isoflex Ball at Evergreen Pilates for $4.99.