Monday, December 31, 2012

In preparation for the year ahead

I share this every year around this time, because I think its great! 
Take the time to read it through, you'll be glad you did.


1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to be thankful.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2012.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Don't have negative thoughts on things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra
class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...


25. Call your family often.

26. Each day give something good to others. Change Lives
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


32. Do the right thing!

33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals too.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, give thanks for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:
40. Please feel free to share this with the people you care about, I just did.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Best Chili Recipe Ever

This recipe is great because it can be made vegetarian or with meat; with beans or without.  It's basically just a base of a recipe that I alter each time I make it depending on what I feel like having.  Additionally, you can make this recipe on the stove and let it simmer for 1/2 or you can get super-delicious and turn it into a slow cooked meal. Slow-cooking meat makes it so incredibly tender you can cut it with a spoon.

The main components of this dish are chipotles and brussel sprouts. Yup, you heard that correctly... brussel sprouts. They give a nice contrast to the meaty, smoky flavor of the chili and help temper a bit of the heat from the chipotle peppers. They are a huge part of why this chili is sooooo amazing.

I cook my chili in a dutch oven -this way I can cook it stovetop then move it into the oven if desired.  Yes, a dutch oven can be expensive but it is a lifetime purchase that will pay off over and over again for slow-cooking stews, short ribs, pot roast, chili, bread, etc.


1 package of stew beef
olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
salt & pepper
chili seasonings (chili powder, cumin, paprika, etc.)
3-4 dried chipotles, DO NOT CHOP
brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in 1/2
1 28-32 oz can diced tomatoes (I like fire-roasted)
1 can of rinsed and drained beans (optional)
water as needed

Add 3 dried chipotles to a mug of very hot water to soak.  [Do not cut the chilis or you will have extremely hot chili!] Let the chilis soak while you start making the chili.
Heat up the dutch oven and add 1T of olive oil to it.  Once the oil is nice and hot add the steak to the pan and brown it off.  Do not crowd the pan or the steak will steam, not brown.  If you need to do it in two batches then do so.  Get the meat all browned off and let the pan get brown (but if you smell burning then turn down the heat and add a bit more oil or water to keep it from scorching).  After all the meat is browned move it to a bowl for later.  Add a bit more oil if needed and toss in the chopped up onion and brown.  At this point you  may want to add a bit of water to the pan and scrape up all the (tasty) brown bits at the bottom of the pan from the meat (you are basically de-glazing the pan).  Add the red/yellow peppers and stir for a minute or two then add the meat back into the pan.  At this point you'll want to season everything with your spices (salt, pepper, adobe chili powder are my constant go-to's with chili).  
Once everything seems incorporated then add the brussel sprouts, can of tomatoes, chipotle chilis WITH the soaking water and stir.  If you need to add more water to the pot then do so.  [Important, if you are planning on slow-cooking this chili then you should def. add more water]. 
Bring the whole mixture to a boil on the stove.
If you are not doing the slow-cook method then once it comes to a boil add a can of rinsed and drained beans (optional) and then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 mins until all the flavors have come together.  
For the slow-cooker method once the mixture has come to a boil cover and put the pot in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours.  Be sure to check it every hour to give it a stir and see if you need to add more liquid. If you want beans in your chili then add a can of rinsed and drained beans to the pot 1/2 hour before it's done.  All the flavors should have melded and the meat should break apart without a knife.  At this point you may want to remove the chipotle chili's from the dish so that you don't accidentally bite into one and burn the heck out of your taste buds.
Scoop the brussel sprout chipotle chili deliciousness into a bowl and top your chili with your fav chili toppings... because there is so much flavor in this chili I tend to keep it simple and top it with guacamole.  Also delicious is squeezing some fresh lime juice over the top (helps cut the heat a bit too!).

If you need a more structured recipe then here is the original recipe that I've based mine on.  Just adapt it to your own liking!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ready to be INSPIRED?

Over the past few years I have learned SO much about how what you eat makes you feel. 
Food affects your MOOD. 
Food is FUEL. 

Ready to be inspired?

Here’s a story for you...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


It’s that time of year again – crisp days, cold nights, vibrant colors on the trees and the smell of autumn in the air. Oh, and let’s not forget about the Fall foods: apples, cider donuts and pumpkin everything!  What better time to start your morning with a low-sugar/no sugar added pumpkin spice smoothie?!

Because I eat so low sugar I get my kicks on the savory side of food and am partial to a super spiced smoothie with ginger being my favorite smoothie spice.  Ginger is not only delicious but is a great anti-inflammatory food and can often help settle an upset stomach.  I always grate fresh ginger directly into my blender using a rasp.  You can find a rasp at almost any food store these days and it makes adding ginger to your recipes a cinch!  If you are not partial to ginger, then reduce the amount or leave it out completely.

Low-sugar/no added sugar PUMPKIN SPICE smoothie

1C unsweetened almond milk (or your milk of choice)
1 scoop of SunWarrior Natural protein powder (or if you tolerate Stevia then you can sub with SunWarrior Vanilla)

1 large scoop of roasted squash (or canned pumpkin)

Small handful of pecan halves

1 dash of vanilla extract (leave this out if you  use the Vanilla protein powder)

½ - 1-ich piece of fresh ginger, grated or a few dashes of powdered ginger

½ tsp of cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, ground cloves (easy with these - they can be bitter and you can always taste the smoothie as you go and add more later if needed)

Small handful of ice

Blend in a high-powered blender (VITAMIX or Blendtec)

Drink and Enjoy!!

TIP: when cooking with spices I always smell the spice before I add it ..some days I’m just not feeling certain spices and this is a good way to keep myself from ruining a meal or smoothie.

End of Summer Training

Quick video of my recent training :)))


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Client Progress :)

Here's a little note from a client of mine :)

I've always been active, love being outside, and also love challenges.  My friend proposed that we have a running and pushup challenge: run 300 miles and do 1200 pushups between December 22 - March 20. I was on a roll, but all of a sudden started having serious knee pain which prevented me from running and, eventually, even stopped my morning beach walks. I felt like an old woman and didn't understand what the problem was. I had never felt this time of pain - even when I played rugby for a season. I'd go to yoga and my back would hurt, my foot would cramp, my knees would kill. It worried me because exercise and staying active is important for: 1. my overall life balance and sanity  2. the fact that I really like eating food.
Basically, I'm trying to figure out how to strength train with out PAIN and have a better understanding of nutrition. I also know that I am more successful when someone is holding me accountable to my goals.  I can't be an expert at everything (who can?) so when I need help, I look for experts. It made sense that I connect with Stacey because, let's be serious, she's THE expert at fitness and nutrition. Her clients raved about her to me, I love reading her blog, and I liked her I DON'T GIVE A FUCK attitude. It's empowering. 
The eating piece came second to my reason for connecting with Stacey. Moving into my own apartment, I started making pretty conscious food choices. I started cooking kale, eating brussel sprouts, and really focused on fruits and veggies. I discovered the Paleo diet and started following that. Between November - January, I lost 10 pounds and felt awesome. Then I gained it all back. This is the story of my life. Not so much yo-yo dieting as it is yo-yo snacking/frozen-yogurting/binge drinking. It isn't about being skinny or fat to me, it's about feeling comfortable, having high self- esteem, and being healthy. I know that I have pretty a serious family history of disease - high cholesterol, diabetes, cancers, high blood pressure and am also conscious of the fact that I need to take preventative measures now - before I have way more responsibilities than I already have. Now that I have been working with Stacey I feel huge changes in my body - no more knee pain, I'm getting better at kettlebell exercises, and my IT band doesn't feel like it's going to snap when I go on long walks.  It's the eating piece that needs some extra help. Stacey and I thought it'd be helpful to blog about my journey. After all, this is a journey. It's not easy to break habits and start new habits. It's also proven that when you are held accountable, your rate of succeeding is higher....
Cheers to the journey to my fit, happy, healthy (ass-kicking) life. My goals: lose 20 pounds by August and, ultimately, 30 by September. Do 10 pull-ups in a row (I've never done a real pull-up in my life). Be at a fitness level to play a competitive sport (probably soccer). Master the turkish get-up. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Easy Ways to Increase Shoulder Mobility

Recently did a video for an old friend who is having some issues with limited shoulder mobility.  He is an avid CrossFitter and he has finally realized that his shoulders are holding him back.

For anyone who knows me you KNOW my worst fear is speaking in front of the camera.  I coach and cue and speak all day long but not in front of a camera :0
So here's to my first attempt :P

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Meal Ideas?

Hi Stacey,
I am struggling with dinner ideas that feature a protein at the center ( I am good with the veggies). Do you know of any good ways or recipes on how to cook chicken? The chicken I make always comes out so...bah. I have no desire to eat it.  I would also do beef or pork.
Any suggestions are welcomed!

I get emails like this all the time. Whip up this marinade and I promise your chicken will never be boring again :) Got this from my momma and I marinated the meat overnight and it was amazing!!!!

Paleo Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce
½ cup Ketchup   (I used one 14.5 oz can of Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes)

2 Tbsp Stoneground Mustard
3 Tbsp  Tamari free Soy Sauce (if you do soy)
3 Tbsp Garlic Infused Red Wine Vinegar (or Red Wine Vinegar + 1 clove Garlic) or Coconut Vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar (raw) or Coconut Crystals (for a lower glycemic index)

1 Tbsp Chipotle Hot Sauce
1 ½ tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili Flakes

1 Tbsp Onion Flakes (dried) (didn't use)

Ancho Pepper (I use dried, sans the stem but I use the seeds)    (didn't use)

Arbol Peppers (again, dried, sans the stems) (didn't use)
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp White Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
Put everything in a food processor or the Bullet (my fav!) and go to town. Just blend away until everything looks well incorporated.
Best of all? No cooking! You can use this immediately and its thick and delicious!
Serve on tenders, breasts, wings or Pork Ribs for the best BBQ ever! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Using Strength Training to Support your Yoga Practice and Vice Versa Part 1

People usually stick to what they are comfortable and good at.  I mean if you have a few hours a week to workout you are going to do what you enjoy...right?

Yes of course it is FAR better than doing nothing at all, but what you like isn’t always what you need.
OR what is good best for your body J
Take for example an already super bendy girl doing yoga 4 times a week… shits gonna hit the fan!

Remember at the beginning of this year the NY TIMES article about how Yoga can wreck your body?

Just as we as humans has evolved over the years so too must yoga. Those instructors stuck in the strict constraints of the past may in fact be damaging their students.

Here at South Boston Yoga the instructors come from a wide variety of backgrounds.  Our influences include bodywork, personal training, dance, and martial arts.  These styles collide to create something wonderful. I assure you it is some of the best “yoga” you will get in the Boston area.

Since the majority of my clients practice yoga I don’t have to spend much time on mobility or flexibility in general.  My focus for them is teaching SELF MYOFASCIAL RELEASE, STABILITY and STRENGTH through a safe and solid range of motion.

After all most Yogi’s have a PHENOMENAL amount of body awareness without EVER having lifted a weight!

Here are just a few things to think about:

Teach students that it is ok to have anterior tilt sometimes such as in the deadlift, as opposed to continually cueing a “tucking of the tail”


In addition, teaching rack and overhead carry variations develops strength and stability in the upper back and shoulders as well as the core

-Allow your downward dog to achieve thoracic extension as well as hamstring stretch, cueing chest back to thighs with bent knees as opposed to cueing heels down.

(Notice how this causes a rounding in the low back)

Teach that lunging with both knees bent creates more strength and stability, such as in the banded knee lunge below. 


Versus constantly sitting into the stretch with the following Exulted Warrior Lunge.

Create single leg and hip stability along with glute strength by bending at the knee in single leg deadlifts.

As opposed to simply hinging at the hip with a straight base leg in Warrior III.

There is not a whole lot of supported lateral movement in yoga. Sure we forward fold to the left and right but the core is not involved there.  In order to teach the upper back and core to the support the torso I teach with the assistance of a suspension trainer.

Lateral Lunges with an exaggerated vertical torso for erector and core involvement.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I strength train three days a week and yet I continue to gain strength and skill. 
Yes and you can too :) 
I have gotten to a point in my life that I don't want to spend more time in the gym then I need to. 
I need time to run a successful business, keep up with life, as well as spend with family and friends, and its SUMMERTIME :) 
In the past I have been guilty of losing sight of all that is important to me in order to pursue my goals. 
I have said this before and I will say it can have it all.

Most of you now as a trainer myself, with a specialty in strength training with kettlebells, suspension trainers,body weight exercises, along with a focus on corrective exercise.  I run my business within the largest yoga studio in Boston.  I don't train athletes, I work with everyday folks looking to gain stability, get stronger and stay pain free. 
I do however continue to have my own strength goals to keep me learning and motivated rather than stagnant  because in this industry your job is never done :)  I don't believe in "talking the talk" if you yourself don't "walk the walk".  Therefore when I post videos of myself, this is not a direct reflection of what I would do with my clients.

As promised here's my biweekly update on training ;)
As usual my workout begins with 10-15 minutes of SMFR; focusing my attention on areas that I know will need to be open on that given training day. I then move into mobility and stability exercises that target my weaknesses ie ankle, hip and thoracic mobility as well as glute and scapular stability. I prepare for traditional deadlifts with medball slam and box jump variations.
A1:Deadlifts 205X 8 with 60 sec rest
A2:I usually do some sort of hip mobility drill to ensure I rest for the given time period.
B1: Pullups 4x6,
 B2: GHR 4x10 (banded and UGLY)
C1: Bent over rows 5 x8 @ 105lbs
C2: Single leg hip thrusts with chains 4x6,
 D1:GHR sit up3x 10 @ 45lbs,
D2: Prone Trap Raises 3x10@ 5lbs

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Tasty Threesome

While I cannot always please everyone, I promise that you will love one of the next three EASY PEASY recipes! One for dinner, one for desert and one for those of you who may need to go a long time without food and aren't necessarily Intermittent Fasting!

I got a VITAMIX for Christmas and its pretty much become my BESTIE.  A few weeks ago I bought my first grill and I have been a grilling machine ever since :)
I prefer to eat fattier meats and fish at night so that I am satiated, I have found this to work best for me,  I am also the DISHWASHER so anything that is easy clean up is always a bonus. Oh and the fact that my apartment doesn't reek of fish...hahah I consider this a bonus too.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Goals... Who needs em anyway?!?!

Apparently, I do.
If in not getting ready for a certification, training for a competition, or prepping for a photo shoot, I've got limited motivation.
Sure I get in and train but I feel my drive lacking.
 Do I need a lifting partner? Do I need camaraderie?
What is going to keeping me pushing, hold me accountable and most of all get me FIRED UP?!?!

Since I am no longer working with my trainer in person, I send him videos of my progress.  This in itself keeps me accountable :) This week I decided to record most of my is a sample day!

Training Day

Each day I start by foam rolling for at least 10 minutes. If it's an upper body day I have specific areas that I focus on, same goes with lower body. I then go into my mobility and stability warmup. On deadlift day this block I would perform overhead heavy medball slams and box jumps.
The session went a little bit like this.
Deadlift from Blocks: Singles at 135, 155, 175, 225 and 245. In between each single I would perform wall marches to keep my hip flexors open.

Split squat from deficit-3x10 @ 65lbs
T-pushups- 3x 10 with 15lb DB

Single leg slide board leg curls- 3x 10 with 20lbs
3-point DB Row- 3x10 @ 55lbs

Reverse Crunch- 4 sets of 10 with 12kg
Half kneeling face pull-3 sets of 12 @ 65lbs

Since this was week 4 in my block my sets were lower and my reps higher on accessory work. I also didn't perform my usual 7-10 minutes of interval work at the end.

Thanks for keeping me focused :D

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rambling and a special thank you

So once again I find myself saying "Hi again, it's been awhile."
The truth is I don't feel like myself when I am not writing.
One can never use the excuse that you don't have time because you make time for things that are important to you.
I just read an article A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF that really spoke to me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What is a Strength Cruise?

Good question.

As trainers, continuing education is important to us and our time is valuable
…time away from our clients is money lost.
Being the hard workers we all are; we also could use a little R & R from time to time.
Coach Nick Tumminello decided to combine the best of both worlds and BOOM The Strength Cruise was born!

The weekend was put on by Coach Nick Tumminello and featured presenters Jon Goodman, Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic Jose Antonio, and Bill Sonnemaker.

Our time together went something like this
Daily lectures from 7:30/8am to 12pm each day, then we had free time to explore the Bahamas together!  
We had group dinners, hit the beach, worked out, did yoga, and some of us had fun into the wee hours of the morning! The long weekend was the perfect time frame, not too long and not too short.

Friday, January 27, 2012

AHHH the TILT or not to TILT

I want to spin off of an article I recently read.  The following topic is something I encounter weekly if not daily, now that I run my business out of a yoga studio.

The issue of a neutral pelvic tilt…what is it?

A natural neutral pelvis supports a small arch in the low back so that your body is able to support and connect your upper body and lower body, as well as move you.
Therefore to state that a neutral pelvis is actually in an anterior pelvic tilt is in fact correct.

Men and women differ in degrees of what is considered a neutral pelvis in each gender. Women can get away with slightly more of an anterior tilt since a women’s pelvis is designed to support pregnancy, while a man’s pelvis does not.

Now I am going to go ahead and make two generalizations here. 

*If a client or student works at a desk or sits all day the likelihood that their pelvis will be posterior is greater.

*On the other hand if you are teaching a group of high-level athletes, then chances are higher that you will see more anterior tilts.

In reality every pelvis is a little different. One exercise could work wonders for one individual while causing pain for another.

Your best bet as a health professional is to get comfortable palpating the bony prominences that together create the “pelvic tilt”.  Eyeballing is simply not enough. The PSIS is at one end point of the iliac crest on the back side, they appear as two small bumps. The ASIS is the end point on the front side of your pelvis, these are larger and easy to find with you follow the iliac crest all the way forward.

Chances are if your ass is as flat as a pancake you have a posterior tilt going on and your hamstrings do all the work leaving you with a sad excuse for an ass. HOWEVER I have had female clients with nice C shaped bums that would appear to most to have anterior tilts …that were actually posterior!  Ahhh you see I am full of contradictions  :P
Get comfortable, touch yourself so that you can in turn palpate others or instruct clients and or students to get a little “hands on” with themselves.

That being said I see a ton of former dancers, gymnasts, as well as yoga enthusiasts at the yoga studio.  I work to create pelvic stability both bilaterally and unilaterally so that the core is able to fire properly and clients are far less likely to complain of SI Joint discomfort.  In addition I strengthen their posterior chain so that the hamstrings and glutes are firing properly as well as to protect them from a hamstring strain.
Here’s where I confuse some yoga practitioners.
I instruct yogi’s to arch hard when they dead -lift. This throws them for a loop seeing as “tucking your tail” is so common in the yoga world.

As you can see NO ONE RULE applies to every situation…such is life :P

As long as we can create strength and stability through a sound range of motion we will be activating the core musculature that is necessary for supporting a healthy pelvis.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Training the Trainer Part 1

It's funny how when you are trainer you sometimes end up training everyone but yourself.
When you get busy enough as we all do, it sometimes takes all the motivation we have to get our own training in.

I watched it happen to myself. When I was competing I would work a 10 hour day that started by waking up at 4:45am, then drag my ass to the gym.  Luckily I had a great coach who wrote my programs. We would talk over the phone to discuss goals, I'd send photos of my physical progress. I didn't have to worry about my programming, just getting myself to the gym to train.
Once I was done competing and healthy again, I had different goals. I wanted to work on getting strong again. Or perhaps strong for the first time as I am coming to learn :)

Most facilities in the area are big box gyms that don't exactly encourage anything I want to do.  Since I spend most of my time in the city and have strange off hours I did some research and discovered TPS... Total Performance Sports in Everett.  
It has everything I could ever want. Kettlebells, more than make that 4 squat racks, turf with prowlers, suspension trainers, safety bars, dead-lifting platforms, plyo boxes over 12 inches, heavy medballs, free weights, bands, tons of foam rollers, a huge group exercise studio with battling ropes.... even boxing and yoga!
I am one of those people who makes a concerted effort to get what I want. I wanted to earn a living doing what I love. I also want to be able to spend my off hours doing online programming, cooking my own meals and spending the money I earn on things that make my life worth while.
To some people that means buying expensive jewelry or a new pair of stilettos every other week; going out for thrice weekly dinner and drinks with friends.
For me it was hiring a personal trainer of my own.
It's been so exciting for me I can't even explain it. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

I love my Boss

I love my Boss.
For this to be true for all of you out there I know it would be a dream come true!
I respect my Boss.
She knew she loved her chosen career and stuck with it even when things got rough.
She has a network of health professionals at her finger tips when a client issue is out of her realm.
She is motivated and organized.
She walks the walk AND talks the talk.
She knows that putting herself first will mean she is better for her clients.
Finally I am my own Boss

Proof I've been flexing since age 9 
go ahead, laugh it up folks

Stacey's Favorite Fitness Tools: