The World’s Healthiest Breakfast!

The World’s Healthiest Breakfast!

Everything You Need To Know About Acai Bowls

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There are many food trends out there that are unwarranted, but when it comes to Acai Bowls, the buzz is 100 percent deserved!

Acai bowls are extremely popular here in Los Angeles. They look like ice cream, almost taste like ice cream, and make you feel good about your breakfast choice. It’s what breakfast dreams are made of. An acai bowl is basically a really thick smoothie that’s been topped with oatmeal, fruit or peanut butter, and then you wolf it down with a spoon. For breakfast. After eating a bowl, you will not only feel happily full (for hours) and have satisfied a sweet craving (no need to cave for a donut), you’ll have also done something that was good for you. Win win.

Get your hands on some Naturya Acai Powder (or another organic brand), add a big scoop to your oatmeal, (nut)milk or yogurt, add the other ingredients you love, done! The taste of the acai is very fresh and it makes your ‘regular’ breakfast even healthier than it was.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy (Calories: 240 per bowl):

  • 250 ml rice milk (1 cup)
  • 1 scoop soaked oatmeal
  • 1 scoop acai powder
  • 2 tbs pomegranate seeds
  • fresh mixed berries
  • dried mulberries dried inca berries

xo Charlotte

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TAKE OUR 30 DAY BUTT CHALLENGE!

TAKE OUR 30 DAY BUTT CHALLENGE!

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Get ready to feel all kinds of BOOTYLICIOUS!

As many of you have requested, I put together a great 30 day butt challenge that is easy to do wherever you are… at home, in your garden, at the gym….

xoxo Charlotte

HOW TO DO A SQUAT: Stand with your feet apart, directly under your hips, and place your hands on your hips. Tighten your stomach muscles. Standing up tall, put your shoulders back, lift your chest, and pull in your abdominal muscles. Lower down, as if sitting. Bend your knees while keeping your upper body as straight as possible, as if you were lowering yourself onto a seat behind you. Lower yourself as far as you can without leaning your upper body more than a few inches forward. Don’t allow your knees to go too far forward. You don’t want them to stick out past your toes.

HOW TO DO A BRIDGE: Lie flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder width. This will be your starting position. Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second.

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HOW TO DO A LUNGE: Keep your knees aligned, front knee over your shoe and back knee pointing down. Watch yourself lunge with a side-view mirror. Make sure you aren’t leaning too far forward or back or rounding your spine. Keep your knees, hips and shoulders all facing in same direction — forward. Think about how you are distributing your body weight. Don’t force your weight into your kneecaps but rather use them as a hinge. Engage your quads, hamstrings and glutes. To make it harder you can also lift one leg and only use one leg to lift up (which is showed in picture).

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STAY SAFE IN THE SUN!

STAY SAFE IN THE SUN!

Living in Los Angeles, I try to never to go out without sunscreen. It’s this kind of casual sun exposure that is the cause of premature wrinkles –and skin cancer.

Summer is right around the corner, and I know how excited many of us are to hit the beach and lay out in the sun!
Before you go out in the sun I wanted to share my top two sun tips, so you can get a healthy glow without damaging your skin this Summer!
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1. You need a sunscreen even if you’re tan. This is an easy rule to remember: You need sunscreen anytime you’re in the sun — even on cloudy days and even if you’re tan — because you’re continually being exposed to the sun’s damaging rays!

2. Reapply sunscreen every two hours. No sunscreen is completely waterproof, sweatproof or rubproof. You need to reapply every two hours even if your sunscreen label says it’s waterproof or water resistant.
Happy tanning 🙂
Charlotte
Clothes by WILDFOX COUTURE. Photo: J. Frantzis.
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Buddy Up: Why partner work outs are awesome!

Buddy Up: Why partner work outs are awesome!

Don’t feel like working out after work? It’s one thing to cancel plans with yourself but it’s another to cancel on your friend—someone who’s counting on you!

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News flash: The treadmill and the bench press aren’t the most exciting ways to pass the time. With a partner, you can get your heart racing in more interesting ways. Together, you can play one-on-one basketball, tennis and squash, or make running outside together a lot more fun.  I believe that whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be great than when you’re alone!

One key tip when picking your partner: Your athletic abilities should be in the same ballpark. A more seasoned gym-goer won’t get as much out of working out with a newbie. If you’re on the same level, you can push each other! An exercise buddy makes such support even more personal. If you decided to become more active this year, having an exercise pal may help you achieve and maintain that goal.

🙂

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3 SUPERFOODS TO ROCK YOUR DIET!

3 SUPERFOODS TO ROCK YOUR DIET!

Have you ever heard that beauty starts on the inside? It’s very true! Feeding your body with healthy, nutritious foods helps you glow! Today we’re talking about 3 of our favorite superstars: strawberries, lemons and arugula!

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STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries are a healthy, naturally sweet treat bursting with body loving superpowers! Even when they’re not in season, frozen berries are available year around and they make a delicious addition to just about anything! Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving — about eight strawberries — provides more vitamin C than an orange.

1. Helps burn stored fat
The red coloring contains anthocyanins, which stimulate the burning of stored fat. When a group of animals was fed a high-fat diet along with anthocyanins, they gained 24 percent less weight than the animals eating the high-fat diet without added anthocyanins. (The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry)

2. Low in Calories – High in Fiber
One cup contains only 54 calories.

3. Promote bone health
Strawberries contain potassium, vitamin K and magnesium which are important for bone health.

4. Anti-aging properties
Strawberries are filled with biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. They also contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to prevent sagging. 

5. Good for weight loss
The compound nitrate found promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body, which is great for weight loss.


ARUGULA
 
You can use Arugula just like spinach. Grab a bag the next time you’re at the grocery store to use in salads, wraps or even in a green smoothies.  We love it simply dressed with lemon juice, a touch of olive oil and fresh ground pepper!
 
1. With very few calories and tons of flavor it is a great green to help maintain a healthy weight without sacrificing great tasting foods!
2. Arugula is a rich source of certain phytochemicals that have been shown to combat cancer-causing elements in the body. Arugula is also a great source of folic acid and Vitamins A, C and K. As one of the best vegetable sources of Vitamin K, arugula provides a boost for bone and brain health.
3. Arugula has an array of minerals and high levels of Iron and Copper, making it a good substitute for spinach if you’re paying attention to getting more vegetable based iron in your diet.
 
 
 
LEMONS
 
DNA cell protection, immune system regulation, and inflammation relief are just a few of the many nutritional advantages offered by lemons. But what they don’t have a lot of – calories – may be another reason they’re so popular. 
 
1. Hair Care: Lemon juice has proven itself in the treatment of hair care on a wide scale. Lemon juice applied to the scalp can treat problems like dandruff, hair loss and other problems related to the hair and scalp. 
2. Skin Care: Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can also cure problems related to the skin. Lemon juice can be applied to reduce the pain of sun burn, and it helps to ease the pain from bee stings as well. Lemon juice can be applied on the skin for the treatment of acne and eczema. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads.
3. High Blood Pressure: Drinking lemon juice is helpful for people suffering from heart problems, because it contains potassium. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, and nausea, because it provides a calming sensation to both the mind and body. It is commonly employed to reduce mental stress and depression.
4. Fever: Lemon juice can treat a person who is suffering from a cold, flu or fever.
Charlotte 🙂
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GET A BIKINI BODY IN 2 MONTHS WITH THIS PLAN!

GET A BIKINI BODY IN 2 MONTHS WITH THIS PLAN!

It happens every year: Spring and Summer has a way of sneaking up. And when the flesh-baring weather hits, you want to be ready.

Acknowledge and accept the fact that transforming your body is not easy, it’s hard work. Walking around the block gripping 2 lb hand weights for 20 minutes a day three times a week or killing yourself at the gym once a week will not give you a bikini body.

Once you’ve figured out the particulars of getting yourself into the gym, don’t give up. Go four times a week. After 8 weeks, continue to work out 3 times a week. Change up the exercises in your repertoire. You will have plateaued on the current selection. The human body is adaptive and will have figured out at this point how to no longer consider these exercises hard work.

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DAY 1 – Legs:

Pick any four exercises from the list: do four sets of maximum reps. If you can go past 12-15 reps, the weight is too light and you will not being a process call hypertrophy which changes your body composition (makes it tight and hard). Afterwards, spend the rest of the hour doing steady state cardio, HIIT or a dynamic form of yoga.

1. Deadlift

2. Squat

3. Sumo Squat or Power Squat

4. Walking Lunge

5. Split Squat (stationary Lunge)

6. Cable Hip extension

7. Machine Hip Abduction

8. Machine Hip Adduction

 

DAY 2 – Upper Body

Pick any five exercises from the list: do four sets of maximum repetitions. If you can go past 12-15 reps, the weight is too light and you will not begin a process called hypertrophy which changes your body composition. When you are finished spend the rest of the hour doing steady state cardio, HIIY or yoga.

1. Bench Dumbell chest press (you can rotate between incline, decline and flat bench)

2. Overhead Shoulder Press

3. One Arm Dumbell Row

4. Bent over Row

5. Lower Back Extension on the Roman Chair

6. Weight Assisted Chin Ups

7. Push Ups

8. Sit Ups

 

DAY 3 – Lower Body

Pick any four exercises from the list that you did not do on day 1: do four sets of maximum reps. If you can go past 12-15 reps, the weight is too light and you will not being a process call hypertrophy which changes your body composition (makes it tight and hard). Afterwards, spend the rest of the hour doing steady state cardio, HIIT or a dynamic form of yoga.

DAY 4

Upper Body

Pick any four exercises from the list that you did not do on day 2: do four sets of maximum reps. If you can go past 12-15 reps, the weight is too light and you will not being a process call hypertrophy which changes your body composition (makes it tight and hard). Afterwards, spend the rest of the hour doing steady state cardio, HIIT or a dynamic form of yoga.

How much protein per day for a bikini bod?

Females should multiply their body weight by 0.75, ie. A 150 lb exercising female should consume 150 grams of protein a day, with at least 25 grams immediately after training.

How much carbohydrate a day?

Take your body weight and multiply it by 0.60. This is just enough to fuel brain function and workouts, and keep a favorable mood while tapping into fat stores, so the process of leaning out takes place

xo, Charlotte 🙂

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6 WAYS TO GET STRONGER ARMS IN YOGA CLASS

6 WAYS TO GET STRONGER ARMS IN YOGA CLASS

Practicing yoga is a great way to relieve stress, but since you’re holding yourself in challenging positions, it’s also a killer workout for your upper body. Superstrong, sculpted arms not only look good in a strapless dress, but also enable you to do more advanced yoga poses. Here are some ways you can build a stronger upper body with yoga.

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  1. Taking a class once a week is better than nothing, but you’ll really notice a difference in your upper body when you take three or more classes per week. Choose 90-minute classes, rather than 45- or 60-minute sessions.
  2. Skip Child’s Pose: While resting is important during a yoga class, if an instructor suggests coming into a relaxing child’s pose and you don’t feel you need it, stay in Downward Facing Dog to work your shoulders and upper back.
  3. Hold arm-strengthening poses longer: Five breaths are the standard when it comes to holding most yoga poses, stay in it for a few extra breaths to really feel the burn.
  4. Lift those arms: For poses that involve working the legs, make sure you don’t forget about your arms. Lift them whenever possible and take advantage of opportunities to hold your arms in more challenging variations, such as extending your arms straight in front of you in Warrior 3 instead of out wide in T-position.
  5. Do some variations while in Down Dog: Downward Facing Dog is a killer move for your upper body, but if you’re up for it, try a more challenging variation. Come into Quarter Dog or shift your weight forward so your shoulders are over your wrists in a push-up position.
  6. Try advanced poses: Instructors often lead students through a series of poses that build up to a more advanced move. Don’t be afraid to try it, since it often works your upper body. Inversions like Headstand, Forearm Stand, and Handstandare great upper body poses, as well as arm balancing poses like Crow.

xo Charlotte

Clothing from NIKE SS’15 collection

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WHICH TYPE OF YOGA IS BEST FOR YOU?

WHICH TYPE OF YOGA IS BEST FOR YOU?

Virtually any type of yoga improves strength, flexibility, and balance. The more intense styles can also help you shape up and trim down. The type of yoga that’s best for you will depend on what your health goals are.

For beginners: Hatha yoga is great for beginners. Poses are straightforward, and the pace unhurried. You do a pose, come out of it, then do another.

Great for weight loss: Ashtanga- and power yoga combine the regular benefits of yoga with a killer cardio session. Both styles focus on flowing from one pose to the next without rest—making for a terrific calorie burn (about 500 per hour).

Good for chilling out: Yin yoga is particularly good at activating the part of your nervous system that helps you bounce back from pain and stress.

Good for injury-prone people: Lyengar teachers are trained in biomechanics, so they understand which positions are most likely to cause injuries—and how to modify them by tweaking your form and showing you how to use props to make them less intense. Plus, a pause between poses (as opposed to flowing from one to the other) allows you to perfect your position, so you’re less likely to strain something. Lyengar may even help you recover from injury.

xo Charlotte

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TUNA WITH A HEALTHIER AIOLI

TUNA WITH A HEALTHIER AIOLI

Fish is something I eat every single day – I’m a huge fan! It’s not only my favorite food, but adding fish to your diet, is also an amazing way to stay fit, slim and healthy. Fish boosts your body’s energy production, and is fantastic for your hair and skin (Fish is definitely my favorite beauty tip).

I eat tuna once or twice a week – usually grilled with teriyaki sauce, citrus salsa or aioli. Tuna is loaded with vitamins and nutrients, low in saturated fat and is an excellent source of protein. With talks of the dangers of high mercury content, many have turned away from tuna fish, but these reports are made in relation to people who eat fish every day. When eaten in moderation, you can reap the healthy benefits of this tasty fish, while avoiding the negative effects of high levels of mercury in your food.

Aioli has a fancy name, but is nothing more than garlicky mayonnaise. And like all mayo, this dressing is packed with fat and calories, thanks to the traditional base of oil and egg yolks. If you’re making aioli at home, however, it’s simple to lighten it up: Just use light or fat-free mayonnaise instead of the regular variety, and don’t add any oil.

xoxo Charlotte

Today’s Dinner Tip: Grilled Tuna Skewers with Aioli & Fresh vegetables.   (makes approx. 15-20 pops)
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon low sodium tamari
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 pound ahi tuna steak, cut into rectangular logs
  • *Toasted sesame seeds and scallions for garnish.
  • Sriracha Lime Aoli 
  • ½ cup aioli
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (you can adjust heat by adding more or less)
  • ½ lime juice (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced (whites only)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl or Ziploc bag. Reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade to the side. Add tuna to Ziploc and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Remove tuna from marinade and place into pan.
  3. Sear for 10-20 seconds on each side.Remove tuna from pan and slice into bite size pieces (approx 1/4″-1/2″ thick). Drizzle marinade over tuna pieces and skewer them onto bamboo skewers.Serve with dipping sauce.
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SLIM DOWN WITH THIS DETOX SMOOTHIE

SLIM DOWN WITH THIS DETOX SMOOTHIE

Looking to slim down? This detox smoothie is easy to make, and packed with healthy, naturally detoxing ingredients that will help you beautify and energize in just minutes. With ingredients like avocado, ginger, green tea, cilantro and lemon juice, this smoothie will not only cleanse your body and help you get rid of heavy metals, it will also add vitamins and fiber to your diet, and give your metabolism a big boost!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup green tea, chilled
  • ​1 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • ​1 cup loosely packed organic baby kale (or another baby green)
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • ​1 cup pineapple
  • ​1 lemon (squeeze the juice)
  • ​1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ​½ avocado

Place ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Enjoy!

xoxo Charlotte

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2 AMAZING KICK ASS WORK-OUTS FOR BIKINI SEASON

2 AMAZING KICK ASS WORK-OUTS FOR BIKINI SEASON

There are a lot of new fitness trends that promise to give you an amazing body, I’m the skeptic, there is so much false advertising in this industry and as a professional dancer and fitness trainer, I know what really works. Here are my two favorite workouts for Spring season (if you want to get in bikini shape for Summer, you need to start asap), check them out!

1. Barry’s Bootcamp 

Barry’s Bootcamp has had a lot of media attention lately, and celebrities like Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Biel and Katie Holmes love the workout, so I decided to test it out earlier this year. What’s my opinion? Love it!

I burned close to 800 calories during my workout and it felt like the fat melted off my body. It combines intense cardio with strength training, the trainers are highly qualified and hot (which is just the icing on the cake), and they use night club lighting and the most current music, which is very important for a music junkie like me. It’s an affordable and fun solution to fitness. (Link: Barry’s Bootcamp)

2. Physique 57 

Interval training taken to the next level! It’s an innovative workout that combines isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches to systematically lengthen and sculpt your muscles to create a beautiful, lean body. Celebs like Demi Moore, Denise Richards, and Kelly Ripa are all huge fans of this workout, with bodies like that, I had to give it a try. Last week was my first visit, the 57 minute workout went by so fast, I can’t wait to go back and do it again! (Link: Physique 57).

xoxo Charlotte

Photo: Corey Benoit.

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DANCE YOUR WAY TO A BETTER BODY

DANCE YOUR WAY TO A BETTER BODY

Dance is a total-body workout that has all the benefits of a long run or a session on the elliptical—and then some. In a 1-hour class, you can burn as many as 400-1000 calories. Do that 3 times a week and you could drop nearly 20 pounds in a year without dieting. You’ll also tone nearly every muscle in your body, improve balance, and boost brainpower.

Dance is hotter than ever – this coming Fall you can find even more Barre, Zumba, Hip Hop Cardio and other dance inspired classes at gyms around the nation. If you’re based in the US (or visiting on vacation), I recommend trying the “Barre Burn” class at EQUINOX, or the body sculpting “Cardio Barre” class at David Barton Gym. Try a dance cardio class at your local gym or dance studio – most dance studios offer open level classes, so you don’t have to be a professional dancer to attend.

xoxo Charlotte

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FAVORITE SIX-PACK EXERCISE: V-UPS

FAVORITE SIX-PACK EXERCISE: V-UPS

As a dancer, I get most my ab exercises via yoga and pilates, so I make sure to add more explosive, full body exercises such as V-ups to help me build a six-pack. I try to add V-ups to my ab work out 2-3 times per week, and I do 3 sets of 10-12 reps each time. V-ups are great because they hit the entire rectus abdominus (six-pack muscle) that extends from your pelvic region to your sternum. It’s an intermediate level abdominal exercise that requires balancing on your sit bones while your torso and legs are lifted in the air. Also known as a jackknife sit-up, the V-Up is an effective abdominal exercise when performed correctly. The key is to fully engage your abdominal and upper back muscles for stability rather than relying on momentum, and it takes a certain amout of strength and coordination to do correctly. 

Ab workouts become efficient only after you have eliminated the layers of adipose tissue covering your muscles, so for your abs to show you need to lower your body fat percentage. It is usually easier for a woman to lose stomach fat than for a man, but it takes longer for her to define her abs and build a six-pack. It takes patience, perseverance, thorough training sessions, and a proper diet to get you closer to your goal.

How to do V-ups:

  1. Lie down on a flat surface or mat.
  2. Start with your legs straight, then come up.
  3. Touch your toes, and then let your torso fall back down.
  4. Bring your legs up into the air, touching your toes again.

Oher exercises that are great for building a six-pack: Ab wheel roll out, barbell landmine, medicine ball slam, weighted crunches, the pike and cable side bend.

xoxo Charlotte

Shoes NIKE Free TR Connect. Top NIKE Dri-Fit Touch Breeze.

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MELT FAT FAST WITH JUMP ROPING

MELT FAT FAST WITH JUMP ROPING

Next to running, jump rope is one of my favorite cardio exercises. It’s cheap, you can do it almost anywhere, it’s great for weight loss, and jumping builds bone-mineral density and improves total-body power. Old-time boxers knew what they were doing; Jumping rope for 10 minutes can burn as many calories as jogging at an eight-minute-per-mile pace. No wonder many fitness experts call the jump rope the best all-around piece of exercise equipment you can own.

I’m jumping 20-30 minutes three times per week. Jumping rope for 30 minutes will produce a caloric burn of approximately 300 calories, and therefore, in order to lose one pound per week, you must jump rope for thirty minutes every day and cut out 400 calories from your diet.

Jump 1 to 2 inches off floor, giving rope just enough space to slip under feet. Only the balls of feet should touch the floor. Keep elbows close to sides as you turn the rope. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders. To find a rope that fits, place one foot in the center of the rope and lift the handles, they shouldn’t go past your armpits.

Happy Jumping!

xoxo Charlotte

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SKINNY DESSERTS: RASPBERRY COCONUT SMOOTHIE

SKINNY DESSERTS: RASPBERRY COCONUT SMOOTHIE

Something sweet for the weekend…

When we’re watching our calorie intake, low-calorie desserts are one of the more difficult finds. This creamy, dreamy raspberry smoothie made with coconut milk is sugar free, dairy free, and vegan. Enjoy!

Happy Friday, everyone!

xoxo Charlotte

  • ½ – 1 cup coconut milk (depending on how thick you like it)
  • 1 medium banana, peeled sliced and frozen
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • optional: shredded coconut flakes, sweetener of choice, to taste

Add coconut milk, frozen banana slices and coconut extract to your blender. Pulse 1-2 minutes until smooth. Add frozen raspberries and continue to pulse until smooth. Pour into your fancy schmancy serving glass, top with a couple of raspberries and a little shredded coconut, and enjoy!

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30 DAY ABS CHALLENGE

30 DAY ABS CHALLENGE

Just in time for Valentine’s Day…

In case you needed reminding before your partner did it for you, February 14 is Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re in a relationship or a single gal out on the town, Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to show off your sizzlin’ hot shape.

Here’s my 30 day abs challenge, so you can look amazing for the big day. If the challenge is too intense, do less reps, it’s all about trying your best!

xoxo Charlotte

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30 day abs challenge Girls In Shape

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30 day abs challenge Girls In Shape

 

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BUILD A BETTER BODY WITH STRETCHING

BUILD A BETTER BODY WITH STRETCHING

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It’s easy to forget to stretch. It’s often overlooked because the results are not as visible as squatting and lifting weight – or so you thought. Stretching can lead to a much better posture, fewer aches and pains, and greater confidence. Stretching also relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress and increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recovery time if you’ve had any muscle injuries. Here are three important things to think about when you stretch:

1. Skip the pre-workout stretch. Your muscles should be warm before you begin your stretching. Do a warmup before a workout that simulates the movements you’ll be doing in order to warm up and prepare your body. Stretch after the workout when your muscles are already warm. A basic static stretch should last about 30 seconds. Anything less than 20 seconds won’t make a significant difference in lengthening muscle fibers and tissue.

2. Focus on the muscles that need the most help. Instead of trying to stretch your whole body after every time you exercise, focus on a key area of the body each time. Spend longer on each stretch and include more stretches for each area.

3. Include one long-duration flexibility session each week. Choose a flexibility class, such as yoga, hot yoga, pilates, or do your own flexibility work for 45-60 minutes at least once a week.

Happy stretching! xoxo Charlotte

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BERRIES FOR WEIGHT LOSS

BERRIES FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are packed full of nutrients and are lower in sugar than other types of fruit such as mangos or bananas. That’s why berries are often lauded as great fat-burning foods.  They are full of vitamins and minerals  and are especially rich in fiber and vitamin C. On top of that, they have no fat and tout the lowest carbohydrate count of almost any fruit. Click here to see a few of my absolute favorite berry recipes!

xoxo Charlotte

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All photo rights: Girls In Shape™

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KNOCK OUT YOUR EXCUSES!

KNOCK OUT YOUR EXCUSES!

If you think boxing is just a sport for the rough and tough, you’re wrong. Boxing is now one of the most popular fitness regimes out there and if it’s a lean, toned and strong body you’re after then this could be the sport for you!

You kill major calories without all the stress on your joints from running miles and miles. You’re not lifting weights or gaining bulky muscles. You’re getting stronger of course, but lean. And most important (to me) it’s fun and everyone goes at their own pace. Nearly every Victoria’s Secret supermodel boxes – it’s a fantastic work out for all women!
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What can I expect at a class? 
A typical class will start with a 10-minute warm-up, followed by about half an hour of boxing and finishing with a 10-minute warm-down. Classes will teach you how to punch properly — it’s about technique not strength.
Classes are usually made up of around 15 to 20 people and concentrate on pad work and sparring. This means you face opposite someone and throw combination punches at them which they block with their padded gloves. Then you swap and block theirs.
 
What benefits will I see?
Weight loss, increased agility and coordination, muscle tone and greater fitness all result from boxing. Many people think that boxing is all about the arms but it is actually a cardio work-out for the whole body. It’s especially good for toning your bottom and quadricep muscles, which is perfect for women who want to lose weight around their bottom and thighs as part of an overall reduction program me.
 
Will I get hurt?
There is absolutely no body-to-body contact allowed in boxing, so any risk is minimal. One thing to check when you’re signing up is that the instructor taking the class is qualified to teach boxing. They must have some kind of boxing certification otherwise, if for some reason you do get hurt, they are not covered by insurance. If you’re new to the sport, make sure that the instructor takes some time out to explain the moves.
xoxo Charlotte
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SECRETS TO A FLAT BELLY: PLANK WITH LEG LIFTS

SECRETS TO A FLAT BELLY: PLANK WITH LEG LIFTS

This exercise is one of my favorites for a flat stomach – great for strong abs, glutes and optimal posture.

Form a straight line by keeping hips parallel to the floor and bracing your core. Raise your foot a few inches off the ground. You can hold that position for the entire set—60 to 90 seconds—and then do the second set with the other leg raised, or switch legs halfway through each set.

xoxo Charlotte

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INSPIRED TO RUN

INSPIRED TO RUN

Even though the temperature has dropped, and Winter is here, I try not to let the cool wind and cold days stop me from running outside. The great thing about Fall in the City, is that we get a few mild days in between the freezing chills, and that’s a great time to sneak in a run. Running is such an amazing way to boost your energy level and immune system (who wants to deal with that annoying cold this Winter), lose weight and build a firm bum.

manhattangirl_runner

Whether you’re training for a marathon, or just a beginner, the success to becoming a “happy runner” is to start off with a great attitude. When I’m getting ready for a dance performance or sports modeling job, running gets me into shape. The health benefits are amazing, it’s among the best aerobic activities for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs, not to mention running only one mile can burn between 100-400 calories, depending on your time, speed, weight, and the terrain (running outdoors generally burns more calories than running on a treadmill). It relieves stress, puts you in a great mood (and can even help with mild depression), some people experience a “high” from all the endorphins it releases, and soon enough you’ll love to run because of how great it makes you feel and look. The proof will come when every guy you meet, asks for your number.

So, how do you get inspired to run? Inspiration can come from anything, the trick is to find what works for you. I’m inspired by many things, like my surroundings. I love running on the West Side along the Hudson River,  where I have the beautiful lights from the new World Trade Center in front of me throughout my run, or around the Reservoir in Central Park – where you find the most amazing skyline views, not to mention all the people watching. Or, maybe I should call it what it is, men gazing…there are so many hot guys running along the path. I started running after boys at a very young age, and I continue to do it to this day. I even met a guy while running in Central Park, we ended up dating and it all started because I ran behind him for a while, just staring at his ass (talk about great surroundings). When I really want to push myself, I try to sprint past 10 people and then slow to my regular pace, and when I’m trying to show off, I always try to run past men, so when I started to pass Joe, he started flirting with me, probably because he didn’t want to be beaten by a girl, and it led to dinner and other exciting things. Running really does make your sex life better!

Music! My favorite accessory when I run, are my huge headphones. I don’t care how ridiculous I look, because unless I’m distracted by cute butts (I mean guys), I’m pretty much in my own little music world. Prodigy and Eminem have helped me through many miles and up and down countless hills, even professional runners run with music. Music pumps you up, and helps you from getting overwhelmed or anxious about the distance you have to cover. Blast your music, it helps set your pace and let your mind free from the stresses of everyday life, live in the moment and let your daydreams carry you…I’ve been a Rock Star, an Astronaut, even a Navy Seal.

If you need help getting motivated, find a running buddy or sign up to run with a running club. It gives you a sense of commitment, and holds you accountable. Just make sure to find a suitable partner, someone who matches your schedule and pace.

I hope I’ve inspired your to pick up your running shoes and get in great shape this Holiday Season. 

“Today I will run what you will not, so that tomorrow I will run what you cannot.” (Unknown)

xoxo Charlotte

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PITAYA – HOLLYWOOD’S “IT” SMOOTHIE

PITAYA – HOLLYWOOD’S “IT” SMOOTHIE

manhattangirl_pitaya

From Hollywood to Malibu, join the pitaya craze and try this super healthy and delicious smoothie bowl for your next breakfast.

Pitaya is a form of dragon fruit, it’s loaded with antioxidants and nutritions, and has quickly become a favorite among health-food junkies. I normally have oatmeal, berries, fish or omelets for breakfast, but recently I’ve fallen more and more in love with pitaya smoothie bowls.

For the smoothie

  • 1 cup chopped frozen mango
  • 1 cup chopped frozen pineapple
  • 1 packet of frozen pitaya (dragon fruit) puree
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach (or other green)
  • 1/2 kiwi, peeled
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop Tropical Tango Vega Protein Smoothie Powder

For the bowl

  • granola (I use raw or gluten-free granola)
  • chopped fresh fruit of choice: strawberries, banana, kiwi, mango, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries

Combine the smoothie ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour about 1/4 cup of granola into the serving bowl. Top with the smoothie. Top with more granola and fresh fruit of choice. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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