Wednesday, September 24, 2014

30 Clean Recipe Ideas

I am in the midst of The 30 Clean (day 10 and feeling great!) so wanted to share some of my favorite recipes with you. When I do a cleanse like this it’s what I make for everyone for dinner. My family goes on a cleanse and doesn’t even know it! That’s how good this food is.

1 handful mixed greens
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
squeeze of lemon
roma tomato sliced and quartered
½ avocado sliced into chunks
2 slices bacon preferably organic, center cut and free of added sugar and nitrates
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste 
*Note: I added onions and pea shoots

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Lay bacon on the rack of a foil lined baking sheet.
3. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until crispy.
4. Meanwhile toss the mixed greens with olive oil & lemon.
5. Plate the greens, roma tomato and avocado.
6. Top with chopped bacon.    

2 cups snap peas
2 cups garden peas
5 cups arugula
2 cups kale, stems removed
½ cup mint leaves, chopped – can do more depending on your taste
1½ -2 avocados, cubed
¼ cup lemon vinagrette
Pepitas and coarse sea salt for garnish

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath.
2. Wash the sugar snap peas and de-string them if necessary, snapping the tip and removing the fibrous strand running lengthwise. If the snap peas are young, you won’t have to do this. Drop the sugar snap peas into the pot of boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes, then strain out and drop them into an ice bath. Once cooled, strain.
3. Combine arugula, kale and mint to a serving bowl.
4. Add peas, avocado and dressing and mix well.
5. Top with pepitas, salt and any additional toppings and season with salt and pepper if needed.

1 1/2 cups fully cooked chickpeas, towel dried
zest + juice of 2 limes, divided (my limes were extra juicy-seeming)
olive oil
chili powder (chipotle, ancho, whatever you like)
salt + pepper
1  head of cauliflower, core removed
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1/2 tbsp maple syrup/raw honey/agave nectar
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup flat parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh mint, leaves sliced
2 green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 crisp apple (like fuji or pink lady), sliced thin
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the chickpeas out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle them with a bit of lime zest, chili powder, salt, pepper, and about a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the chickpeas to coat and slide the tray into the oven. Roast until lightly crispy and golden, about 15 minutes.
2. Start turning the cauliflower into rice in batches. Place a few handfuls of the florets into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse the florets until you have small, rice-ish bits of cauliflower. Scrape the “riced” cauliflower into a large bowl. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
3. Whisk together the remaining lime zest, juice, a little splash of water, some salt and pepper, the grainy mustard, maple syrup, and 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour it over the cauliflower rice and toss to coat.
4. To the large bowl, add the radishes, parsley leaves, mint, scallions, chives, sliced apple, and roasted chickpeas. Toss it all lightly to combine. Top it all of with the diced avocado, sunflower seeds, and some more salt and pepper.

What are your favorite recipes? Please tell me in the comments below!

Bon Apetit,

-- Jill

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fit Tip: Why Balance is so Important!

One of the greatest joys of developing and teaching The Dailey Method is the knowledge that what our students learn and practice in class will help them to be stronger and healthier outside of the studio. Your Dailey Method practice will prevent injuries and allow you to participate in all of the things you love to do.

One of the most important ways in which The Dailey Method will benefit you in the long term is by improving your balance. Balance naturally degrades as we age due to loss of muscle and bone mass as well as deterioration in senses such as vision and proprioception. Falls are the leading cause of injuries in older adults; each year one in every three adults 65 years and older falls!

Good news! Research shows that exercise programs that incorporate balance work can slow that degradation as we age. The Dailey Method helps maintain and improve balance throughout class in a number of ways:
- Core strengthening exercises improve balance and coordination by creating stability from the inside out. 
- Exercises that strengthen the muscles that support the hips and pelvis are particularly important in improving balance. 
- Single legged exercises challenge your balance with a less stable base of support. One more reason to love standing single leg lifts, single legged lunges, standing seat work, and stretches such as dancer’s pose, tree pose, and Dailey barre stretch!

Additionally, The Dailey Method’s strong focus on alignment and postural awareness helps to improve proprioception. Proprioception can be thought of as a sixth sense. It is your ability to sense where your body is in space. Your muscles, tendons and ligaments are constantly sending signals to your brain as you move. Your brain responds by sending signals back to your muscles telling them when and how much to contract and release to keep you balanced and to keep your movements smooth and coordinated.

And finally, The Dailey Method incorporates a large repertoire of multi-joint and multi-planar exercises. By working more than one joint and muscle group simultaneously and by moving your body in all planes, your brain and your muscles are challenged. You are strengthening your mind-muscle connection, resulting in better balance and more graceful and synchronized functional movements.

The final resting pose at the end of each Dailey Method class is just as important for balance as all the work you’ve done throughout the class. Final rest gives your nervous system the chance to integrate all the deep muscle work you’ve done. It allows your mind much needed quiet and stillness leaving you with improved clarity to take on the rest of your day. It allows your heart and soul the opportunity to express appreciation and gratitude to yourself for your dedication, your hard work, and your decision to lead a balanced life.

Here’s to finding more balance inside and outside the studio!

-- Jill

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Dailey Playlist

Music is pretty much always on my mind, but it has been even more so lately and inspired my blog topic this week. Yes, you’ve heard it… I LOVE Spotify. The quantity of music right at your fingertips is so fun and exciting. The opportunity it allows you to get inspiration from others, create, and change up playlists is truly life changing - if you have my life:). When I have a great playlist I know I teach a better class because I’m motivated and inspired. It’s also incredibly motivating to me as a student when my teachers have current, interesting and creative playlists. I make it a goal to always have a playlist that I love. Here’s my current spotify list that I’m taking to Chicago with me for the upcoming teacher workshop series (keep a watch on my instagram for photos from that). Maybe it will inspire you to do a little thigh dancing or push-ups all on your own!  

click on image to enlarge

A couple of notes on how I design my playlists:
- I always have music in the beginning of my list that that doesn’t necessarily work for class but  for the student's enjoyment while they’re entering and preparing for class. It sets the mood but still keeps a calm energy- we can pick it up once I put on the microphone!
- I try to have a balance of great new music and old music. I know students really appreciate hearing the new but also familiarity to music is really powerful when people are working deeply.
- I try not to use songs that have profanity but sometimes the song just demands to be played. My daughter Nico loves to help me find songs and she found All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor a couple weeks ago. She said “Mom there’s a couple bad words but it really has positive messaging.” Love! Done!
- I do my best to time my music so that one song will roll into the next. I use my playlist to keep me on track with timing. Now you know- if I have to rewind a song “uh oh!” it’s your 70 minute class.

Here’s some pointers on my current list just in case you want to envision where you’ll be during class for the different songs:
- My warm-up song is Another Love by Tom Odell- LOVE this song right now!
- Big surprise! you’ll be in thighwork and back dancing with “my boy” Pitbull.
- You’ll be stretching during Battle Scars and Good Girls.
- Life of the Party is for Savasana, helping you walk out stronger, healthier and calmer.

Happy listening!

-- Jill

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Word of the Month: Stability

The past three months we’ve highlighted our Primary Alignment Principles at The Dailey Method: AlignEngage, and Move. Our word of the month for September is STABILITY, which begins our focus on The Dailey Method Secondary Alignment Principles: Stability, Space, Support and Smile (4S’s)

As we Align, Engage and Move we can refine our practice and get even deeper by focusing on the 4S’s. Stability comes first and relates to foundation and grounding. Settling the body. Connecting with breath. Focusing our energy. Feeling and finding support.  

Stability is a perfect Word of the Month for Fall. This time of year typically represents a “coming down” from the free-flow and breeziness of Summer (even though there is the total joy in occasionally getting to be alone in an empty house). A return to structure, routine and grounding. Nature follows these same rhythms, and as Summer wanes we may start to feel the pull to re-connect deeper within, and with the supports around and underneath us.

Here are some ways to invite a deeper connection with STABILITY into your TDM Practice, and into your life:

Fully arrive & begin with intention. Set a mindfulness trigger point to help you arrive: touching the door knob, entering the front door, grabbing your water bottle, Marching at the beginning of class. It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is the practice. Making a choice to when and how you will fully arrive in your practice, and then let go of everything but what’s happening right now. Show up FULLY for yourself by being present.

Breathe. One of the best ways to practice mindfulness and presence is to simply pay attention to your breathing. As you fully arrive, start taking deeper breaths. Your body will take cues from your breath, and come to a deeper/centered place. When you are calm and centered all your body’s systems function optimally. Breathe deeply and feel the stabilizing effects.

Notice & use supports. We are fully supported all the time by visible (and invisible/energetic) supports. We have everything we need to feel stable right now, all the time. Feel your feet. Feel your hands. If you are sitting, feel your pelvis. Feel your breath. Notice the people around you. Feel the shared energy and benefits of community practice as you move and breathe together. Feel the support of your teacher, and the cues she offers and adjustments she gives. Props are also supports. If there’s a baseboard, ball, strap or barre there to help you find stability, use it! We often ignore the supports life offers us instead of simply accepting them with gratitude. Use and appreciate all your supports.

Focus on Foundation.  How you connect with your foundation (feet, hands or pelvis depending on you position) impacts your ability to align, engage and move your entire body. Always align from foundation upward. Please take a moment to revisit these great resources for how to connect with your Foundation!  Here is one on FEET and here is one on HANDS. Use this month as an opportunity to learn more about your own hands and feet, and to ask your teachers for help improving your personal foundation! Un-learn your old ways of standing (walking, running) so you can let your smart feet teach you a more optimal way to connect and align.

I hope this focus on Stability in September gives you a feeling of grounding and connection that you’ll carry with you into October when we’ll talk about SUPPORT! THE DAILEY METHOD practice has been my personal rock and stability. I’m so grateful for the ritual of practice, and grateful for all of you and the community that solidifies and strengthens it every day.

Yours in stability,
-- Jill and Lorna