October is breast cancer awareness month, making it the perfect time to introduce you to our lovely member Kaylan!
Maybe you've seen her at the studio, said, "Hi" in the lobby or rubbed elbows at the barre... but you may not have known that Kaylan has been working hard to overcome a breast cancer diagnosis this year. Making it to class with a smile on her face, even when things were difficult, Kaylan has exemplified what it means to face challenges head on, and to find grace in adversity. We're so proud to know her and to have her as part of our community of strong, beautiful women here at Energy!
The Susan G. Komen foundation estimates that breast cancer will affect more than 245,000 women in the U.S. this year, but with early detection survival rates skyrocket, making breast self exams and regular screening invaluable. Take a few minutes to read more about Kaylan's journey to becoming a breast cancer survivor:
1. When were you diagnosed and at what age?
34 years old
2. What stage were you diagnosed with?
Stage 1, Node negative, triple negative breast cancer
3. How was the cancer initially detected?
I found the lump myself in January. It was the size of large piece of gravel and hard as a rock. I knew instantly it was different and not normal.
4. How did you feel when you first received the news?
It was a combination of instant fear and devastation with a mixed sense of relief that I had an answer and an early diagnosis.
5. Is there a family history of breast cancer?
Nothing significant that raised any red flags. I later tested negative for any genetic mutations such as the BRCA genes, ie. Angelina Jolie.
6. What was your treatment process like?
I had a double mastectomy with temporary expanders placed followed by four rounds of chemotherapy and a second surgery for placement of the final implants.
7. What role did working out have in your journey, before, during, and after treatment?
I joined ENERGY a year ago after a strong internal urge to find a local studio. It has always been important for me to be fit and during my breast cancer journey it has been even more so. The community of support that ENERGY has provided since my diagnosis has literally been a source of energy for me. There were days I didn't want to go to a class, but I knew all I had to do was show up and whoever was running class that day would inspire me to get my body moving. Working out was one way I got to feel like I was in control.
8. What message would you like to provide women in our community?
It is so important to know your own body, follow your instincts and be your own advocate. There is always hope, even in a breast cancer diagnosis.
Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.
For those of you who are wondering about this "love letter," here's the back story, by Debra, owner and founder of Energy Pilates Fitness Yoga.
Once upon a time In 2008, I decided to move my fitness program to an empty and prime space next to a karate studio in Woodbury. Two people (hereinafter referred to as "the couple") entered my life who offered assistance and help, and I said "yes,"! Energy planted it's roots. We grew the studio, the staff, the members, and enjoyed serving, helping, energizing all who walked into our purple studio. During this time, I had the pleasure (along with other instructors) to get to know three children of the said couple, Jessie, Kelsey and Ellie. Ellie was our darling little mascot, just 4 years old, and a bundle of energy, opinion, sass, and cuteness. What a joy to grow a business and to meet wonderful "little people" along the way.
If you've ever seen me around the studio, I am in and out of child care all the time. For whatever reason, I am drawn to young hearts, minds, and energy. It rocks my world to laugh, learn, and teach with the children. It came as natural as a sunshine day, getting to know the three children, especially Ellie.
It turns out this happy story had a bumpy middle. The parents of my three little friends turned out to be ....what word should I choose that will now be on the internet forever? Who will read this? What would the children think? I will choose my words carefully ... the parents slowly become very, very, lost and adrift in their assistance for me...and for others.
Personally and professionally, this was the most difficult time for me. How to do I help my customers, be true to their needs, be loyal to what I know, but to stand up for what I believe in. I will do it. I can it. I have to do it.
Doing the right thing cost me a few "friends" and a few customers who only saw the surface and never asked questions of my heart.
Energy moved on, to great success as almost every Energy member showed undying support and moved on with a new and improved business plan paving a road of good energy to "just say 'no" to the bad in this world. Energy is fitness, life, love, laughter and perseverance.
But, I lost my three little friends.
I did know know the bumps had to be there. I did not know how sharp and rocky and painful the bumps were. These choices had to be made, people had to leave my life to I can now see how bright love is. But first, one more dark cloud, one more bump ...Ellie is in trouble.
We need to help.
We launched a fundraiser to help Kelsey and her new husband Phil, gain custody of her Ellie - to remove her from the court system in Colorado to their home in MN, to live with her sister for now and forever. *Can I just add a shout out to all you foster parents out there who "give a damn" for kids. You are needed.
My business allowed me to step up to evil, join forces with many women and men in this community and beyond to stop it. We did. God bless this new family; reunited with love and energy.
Hold on when it's a bumpy ride; it's worth it.
With everlasting and deep love from me, Debra and Energy to you .... Kelsey, Phil, Ellie (and Jesse) and ....to anyone else reading this who may need some energy and love in case your ride is bumpy. xo
A Sleep Revolution Will Allow Us to Better Solve the World's Problems
by Arianna Huffington
So here's the big idea I think will shape 2016: sleep. That's right, sleep! How much and how well we sleep in the coming year -- and the years to follow -- will determine, in no small measure, our ability to address and solve the problems we're facing as individuals and as a society.
While our need for sleep has been a constant throughout human history, our relationship to sleep has changed throughout the centuries. And right now we're in the middle of a sleep deprivation crisis, with devastating effects on our health, our job performance, our relationships, and our happiness.
In 1942, only 11 percent of us were getting by on less than six hours of sleep per night. Today, 40 percent of us get less than six hours. Which is probably one of the reasons for the roughly 60 million prescriptions written every year for sleeping pills. And the toll is high -- with sleep deprivation costing the U.S. economy an estimated$63 billion each year. The costs don't stop there. In the U.S., drowsy drivers are involved in 328,000 accidents each year, 6,400 of which are fatal.
What we need is nothing short of a sleep revolution. And the good news is, there is evidence all around us that this revolution is actually in its early stages, with the potential to reach new heights in 2016.
In every industry and sector of society -- in business, in schools, in medicine, in sports, in the arts -- more and more people are recognizing the importance of sleep.
Even in finance, the boiler-room of burnout, change is coming. For example,Goldman Sachs has banned interns from staying in the office overnight. And it's coming from the top: business leaders including Campbell's Soup CEO Denise Morrison, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini have all spoken out about how they prioritize sleep.
Those at the leading edge of the sports world have discovered that sleep is the ultimate performance-enhancing drug, with only positive side effects. Roger Federer says that if he doesn't get enough sleep, he's just not right on the court. Even the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, knows the value of slowing down. "Sleep is extremely important to me," he says. "I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body." And more and more professional teams, in every major sport, are employing sleep experts.
Technology, of course, is a big part of both sides of this story.
From our incessant work demands to being physically tethered to our blue-light emitting, melatonin-suppressing devices, we're all familiar with how technology can make it harder to sleep. But the answer to the challenges of technology isn't no technology, it's better technology. So we're seeing the emergence of technology that serves us instead the other way around: wearable technology, smart devices, "the Internet of things" -- technology that, instead of telling us about our world, tells us about ourselves.
Sleep allows us to connect with a deeper part of ourselves. Because when we're asleep, all the things that define our identity when we're awake -- our jobs, our relationships, our hopes, our emotions -- are quieted. And this makes possible one of the least-discussed benefits of sleep -- a small miracle really -- and that's the way it allows us, once we return from our night's journey, to see the world anew with fresh eyes and a reinvigorated spirit -- to step out of time and come back to our lives restored.
After my own collapse from sleep deprivation, I became an all-out sleep evangelist. And sleep became a key part of HuffPost's DNA. We launched our dedicated sleep section in 2007 and recently partnered with Sleep Number on a sponsored section,Sleep + Wellness, furthering the conversation on sleep as a public health issue and all the ways it can enhance our lives.
I'm confident 2016 will be the year when we collectively renew our relationship with sleep -- in all its mystery and all its fullness.
Originally Published by Huffington Post: http://goo.gl/1OHdZx
Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable and is very closely related to another superfood, cauliflower. Each vegetable is nutrient-dense and low in calories. Both can be used in many types of dishes or they can be enjoyed by themselves! Try this quick recipe for a side dish or even as a snack.
Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cut up pieces of broccoli and cauliflower in a large ziploc baggie or bowl. Sprinkle with whatever seasoning you enjoy. (I like to use Pink Himalayan Salt and Garlic) Melt enough coconut oil to lightly cover your vegetables. Shake or stir vegetables evenly to coat. Place broccoli and cauliflower on baking sheet and roast for about 30-45 minutes depending on the softness you wish. (I like to leave mine in a little longer to crisp the broccoli a little.) Enjoy!
As I spent 30 minutes this week talking to one our members who took yoga, Judith - who is 73 years old, I remembered why conversation AND exercise is so great as we age.
Exercise and Older-Adult Brain Activity
A new study shows that older adults who are physically active have more variable brain activity at rest than those who are not active. Brain variability is associated with greater cognitive function, researchers say.
While links among physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and brain function have already been established, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of sedentary, light, and moderate-to-vigorous activity on neural function. To gather activity data, the scientists fitted 100 participants aged 60-80 with accelerometers for 7 days. Oxygen consumption measurements determined cardiorespiratory fitness; and functional MRI showed how blood oxygen levels in the brain fluctuated over time, reflecting brain activity at rest. The researchers also asserted the integrity of each person's white-matter fibers, which carry nerve impulses and interconnect regions of the brain.
"As an index of functional brain integrity we used spontaneous movement-to-movement variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD), known to be associated with better cognitive functioning in aging", the authors explained.
The results? Older adults who participated in more physical activity, regardless of what type (light, or moderate to vigorous), posted better brain scores that those who were less active. White-matter brain structure was healthier in the active groups.
"We demonstrated that older adults with greater overall (white matter) microstructure were those showing more light intensity and moderate to vigorous physical activity and greater SDBOLD," the authors said, "We conclude that the SDBOLD is a promising correlate of function brain health in aging"
In good health and love, Debra
Never thought I would say those words. However, I always want to keep learning and staying ahead of the trend for fitness and wellness for everyone at Energy. I have a thirst to understand everything and share everything I learn to help others; from exercise, parenting, relationships, you name it, and now I am fascinated with how our brain works; especially when stress and exactly what being "mindful" and "present" actually does for our brain and in turn our bodies.
I am so excited to share with you what I have learned AND what I am learning about what we hear about is "good for us" - the “Mind Body Connection.”
I am so lucky to learn about research from Dr. Julie England, my stepson, Sam, who is psychologist at University of California Berkeley and from Dr. Ronald D. Siegel who teaches about mindfulness and psychotherapy.
So here I go …..
I thought mindfulness practice meant sitting on the floor, legs crossed, breathing and trying not to be distracted. It’s so much more than that and it’s so cool.
Mindfulness means: awareness of present experience with acceptance. Learning this practice (which is not a "one-size-fits all") takes time and I believe can really help us when we really understanding how our brain actually works.
Neurologists are learning that mindfulness practice changes brain structure and function in very meaningful ways and more and more mental health professionals are incorporating many forms o mindfulness into their therapy.
Studies indicate that it can be effective in alleviating a wide-range of difficulties, including anxiety, depressing, stress, medical problems, addictions, eating disorders, interpersonal problems and even the challenges of aging.
Our brain is fascinating!
Mindfulness practices keep important parts of our brain from withering with age. They also activate brain circuits associated with being happy, energized, and enthusiastically engaged in life. They even lengthen telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that get worn down with stress, resulting in cell death associate with aging!
We all know that stress begins in the brain! Here’s what actually happens.
When you are stressed, the amygdada sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. This area of the brain is like a command center, communicating with the rest of the body through the nervous system so that the person has the energy to fight or flee.
After your amygdala sends a distress signal, the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system by sending signals through nerves to the adrenal glands.
These glands respond by pumping a hormone called epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) into the bloodstream. As epinephrine circulates through the body, this usually occurs: your heart beats faster than normal and pushes blood to the muscles, heart, and other vital organs. Pulse rate and blood pressure go up; rapid breathing occurs, lungs open wide and extra oxygen is sent to the brain.
Then a hormone travels to the adrenal glands, prompting these glands to release cortisol. The body stays revved up and when the threat passes, cortisol levels fall. The parasympathetic nervous system — the “brake” —then dampens the stress response.
Many people are unable to find a way to put the brakes on stress; this used to be me!
Think of chronic low-level stress like a motor that is idling too high for too long. After a while, this has an effect on the body that contributes to the health problems associated with chronic stress.
Persistent epinephrine surges can damage blood vessels and arteries, increasing blood pressure and raising risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Elevated cortisol levels create physiological changes that help to replenish the body’s energy stores that are depleted during the stress response. But they inadvertently contribute to the buildup of fat tissue and to weight gain. For example, cortisol increases appetite, so that people will want to eat more to obtain extra energy. It also increases storage of unused nutrients as fat.
Now that I understand how the brain is so involved when we are stressed and how it clearly affects your health and your life, we all need to learn and practice helping our brain "cool down".
To be continued! Feel free to comment or ask questions.
What does it really mean to have happiness from within? Doesn’t happiness come from laughing with friends, having a family you love and enjoying your work? Certainly there are many ways that you can find happiness outside yourself. But lasting, enduring happiness comes from within and isn’t so affected by whether you lose your job or a friend moves half way around the world. You can develop happiness from within in many ways.
1. Live in the moment. When you throw yourself into mindfully living each moment fully, you are living as your authentic self without censure or judgment. Living as your true self is an internal source of happiness.
2. Give up routinely pleasing others as the basis for your mood. As you go through your day, some people are going to be irritated, disappointed, or judgmental of you. Their reactions belong to them and likely have very little to do with you. Let them have their mood, their emotions, and don’t let their emotions change yours. You are not living your life to please others or if you are that will bring suffering. Be aware that they are having an emotion, label it as their emotion, and remind yourself that you are not responsible for the emotions of others and that taking on that responsibility does not make sense.
If you believe that you have some responsibility, in that you have done something unkind or hurtful, then make amends the best that you can and go forward.
3. Know and live your value and purpose in life. What do you value? Contributing in some way? Building a sense of community? Living your values is a process, an experience. The happiness that comes from that doesn’t rely on outcome but knowing that you were true to yourself and lived for what mattered to you. The person who goes to prison for the rights of others knows that he is living his values.
4. Give up perfectionism. Perfection is an illusion; one that means you’ll never see yourself as good enough. If you are a perfectionist, you may not acknowledge that you are trying to reach perfection. You may tell yourself you are far from perfection and that you are trying to be adequate. Embrace your flaws, celebrate your mistakes–these make you wonderfully human. If you look at nature, there is no perfection.
Apples are not symmetrical, rocks have dents and chips, and trees have scars. Yet nature is beautiful and natural.
Your flaws are part of you and having flaws and imperfections is reality.
I am taking a good guess that there are lots of men and women who need a class like this. I will be teaching this class beginning in September. Yep, me, Debra!
Here's how it has come about. I have been teaching group fitness classes (cardio, weights, barre only), at least 5x a week for 27 years. I am fit, but I am sore. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. I love yoga. I love and take Energy's yoga classes when I can. Our instructors are ridiculously amazing. Along with those classes, I want more. I do not want to disrupt others all the time when I am in yoga with my grunting into a position, laughing out loud at myself, sighing, or staring at my neighbor in compete awe that they can do the Eagle pose.
If you need a class to learn more about the cross-training benefits of yoga, and your muscles are screaming for yoga, and if you are not interested in advanced circus soleil asanas, please join me for a super fun non-traditional yoga class. If needed, you can wince, laugh or do anything you need to get into your pose to enjoy the undisputed facts of the physical and mental benefits of yoga.
This class can only be taught by Debra. Her mantra has always been “Oh my gosh, I need yoga so badly, but it hurts so bad, so good, and I want to yell.” This is a great addition to our yoga class schedule. If your body feels the effects of “too any squats, too many barre classes, and/or you simply are “born this way” with tight and sore muscles, enjoy, no, not enjoy -- practice the poses of flexibility and strength with the understanding that it’s okay to wince, and just “get through this” to reap the amazing and undisputed benefits of yoga in a non-traditional yoga class. Disclaimer: Taught by a 27-year certified fitness instructor who cannot speak Sanskrit and will mostly like curse loudly under her breath.
Love to hear your comments, suggestions, needs, wants, best recipes...comment below.
What we are known for - no FADs, only science-based research for fitness, health and wellness.
So, we talk about cross-training and you are doing great; now enjoy and learn more in
our new ENERGY MIX class; a 45 or 60-minute class of cardio, weights, pilates and yoga!
Thanks, Dr. England ... here are just a few benefits of cross-training:
Exercise can strengthen the cardiovascular system, bones, muscles, joints, reduce body fat and improve flexibility, balance and coordination. But if you want to see all of these benefits, you'll need to start cross training. What better time to start than now?