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Summer Vacation from Pilates

My summer vacation is short but sweet.

Every summer since we moved back to New York has been quiet on the Pilates front. Seriously, my business is typically half or less of what it is during the rest of the year.

Not this year!

This year I have been steadily busy, never going under 15 hours. While great for my bank account (especially since I planned to be slow), it has meant less time off.

This year we have number of activities we both want and need to do. One is renewing our driver’s licenses in our home state of PA, so we can then exchange them for NY licenses. This requires taking our photo cards to PA.

We would also love to check out upstate New York, particularly the Adirondacks, where I spent very little time growing up. And we want to visit Governors Island one more time.

And we only have 5 days to accomplish all of this!

Here is the itinerary so far:

First morning we drive to the Poconos for a night on a lake in the mountains. While there, we pop over to PennDOT in Mount Pocono and get the license photos done.

We return to NYC, and take the ferry over to Governors Island the next day.

And then, we drive up to the Adirondacks that night for two nights in the mountains.

Which still gives us a solid afternoon to chill before going back to work.

Where to stay?

I was talking to a few friends and clients about where to stay, and some recommended Camp Chateaugay. Camp Chateaugay is located in the Adirondacks and has become an annual tradition for many families in the NY area.

For this trip, we don’t want family. We want adults only.

Have you been to the Adirondacks? Have a great, romantic hotel to share with me?

Let me know!

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Pilates, Germ Theory, and AC

What connects Pilates, Germ Theory, and AC?

More than you would think!

My Dad was the typical New Yorker that Joseph Pilates envisioned as his client. He grew up in the close quarters of the city, breathing in everyone else’s bad germs. And he was there before AC became cheap and plentiful, so didn’t realize how filtered air might help ease his asthma and help him breathe like I know Pilates would have prescribed.

I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens. Winters were cold and summers were really hot, especially the month of August. Every summer my father would trek down to the basement storage unit and carry up the window air conditioners, and I would be so happy.

See, he would wait until it was so hot that we could barely stand to sleep. Where the complaining just grew too loud, and then the ACs came up.

Interestingly enough, my dad (like Joseph Pilates) suffered from chronic asthma, and he would suffer through the heat instead of just installing the air conditioner and making the act of breathing a bit easier. Now hubby has asthma, and I have had asthma in my life, and I find that the AC really helps both filter and cool the air, making it so much easier to breathe at night.

I recently read that, “50% of illness is directly related to or aggravated by the air we breathe“. This does not surprise me, and wouldn’t have surprised Mr. Pilates. Of course, we now have more sophisticated understanding of what we breathe, so Germ Theory seems a bit silly and simple, but the idea that something other than sorcery caused illness was pretty “out there” for the times.

We now live near South Street Seaport, and between 9/11, hurricane Sandy a couple of years ago, the Brooklyn Bridge renovation, new construction, and demolition, there is a lot of 100-200 year old dirt, mold, and mildew floating around my neighborhood. And there are days when it is very hard to breathe.

Coming home to filtered, cooled air from my AC unit helps. Yes, the power bill may be a bit higher in the summer, but it is worth it to breathe a little easier – literally!

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Depression Invasion

Depression invasion!

We had a wonderful day, went to sleep, and I woke up to a completely different husband.

It is only in the past few years that I truly understand that hubby has always been very very depressed. And depression sucks.

I thought it was me.

You see, in the past I used to blame myself. Since normal people do not just wake up in a hateful place for no reason, it had to be me, right?

I mean, I burnt the toast, didn’t I?

And I forgot to take the butter out.

I didn’t write down that ATM withdrawal and overdrew the account.

And my step-son freaked out and screamed for his mother all night.

So screaming, spitting, throwing, breaking, cursing, and then finally going to bed for a few days was an appropriate response, right?

My mother was bipolar, showing me both mania and deep, suicidal depression. I know not from appropriate responses.

And I would act out too, mind you. I screamed, broke things, cursed, and shook with anger. I often had a Bad Day.

I thought people were entitled to bad days.

About 10 years ago I started to work on myself. I kept journals, started a gratitude practice, and made a concerted effort to tell the truth always.

I dug for the positive, gave out lots of compliments, and started to forgive everyone, including my parents and myself.

I stopped holding grudges. I realized how much of my behavior was learned from my mother.

And I started to live a better life.

Suddenly I had more energy, now that I wasn’t spending so much on anger, resentment, and grudges.

Suddenly I had more money, now that I was giving and spending appropriately and not either hording it or throwing is away.

Suddenly I had more opportunities, as my light grew and attracted others.

And suddenly, my marriage was better, as I forgave hubby and myself, stopped holding on to anger, and started telling the truth.

Hubby was still depressed.

Yup.

Not as angry, not as confrontational, but still depressed.

And even after we moved to NYC, with stable income, and he has written and published two books to some critical acclaim, he is still depressed.

Yesterday he was fine.

Truly! We took the ferry over to Governor’s Island, explored Fort Jay and Castle William, had a picnic, got caught in a little rain, saw a huge hawk, and ordered sushi for dinner. A great day.

And he woke up this morning depressed.

Bad depressed. Like, “my life sucks and nothing matters and I hate my life” depressed. He is in bed as I type.

I feel like he has been invaded.

Today is a depression invasion!

How long will it last?

Who knows?

He will assure me that it is not my fault. And I know it isn’t.

But it still sucks.

win a buddha's herbs goodie bag

Win A Buddha’s Herbs Goodie Bag

Win A Buddha’s Herbs Goodie Bag

My friends at Buddha’s Herbs – makers of high quality, high purity, well-priced supplements and teas, are sponsoring an Independence Day Giveaway here at Pilatesandreiki.com.

One of you lovely readers will win a Buddha’s Herbs Goodie Bag, consisting of a Buddha’s Herbs tote bag, mug, and a collection of their finest products. I love their products, and am confident that you will too.

Win A Buddha's Herbs Goodie Bag

Contest starts today – US Independence Day, 4 July 2014 at 7pm and will end at 7pm on Friday 11 July 2014. I will announce the winner on Monday 7 July 2014!

This is the first of several awesome giveaways that will happening here over the next few months, so please stay in touch!

Enter the giveaway below. Good luck!

Win A Buddha’s Herb Goodie Bag

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Review: SinuOrega Nasal Spray

SinuOrega Nasal Spray works extremely well, if you can handle it.

3/5 stars

Ever since we moved back to NYC I have struggled with my sinuses. After having only one sinus infection in six years while living in the Caribbean, I have had at least four in the past few years.

My physician prescribed generic Flonase, but now that Nasacort is over the counter, United Healthcare has informed me that they are upping my co-pay to $30 from $10 (for the exact same generic drug). Because the people who receive over $300 per week out of my pre-tax income would rather not pay for anything.

So I have become a huge fan of saline nasal sprays, with Ocean being my favorite.

Back in April, at the start of spring allergy season, I received an email from Naturally Savvy offering me a chance to sample and review North American Herb and Spice’s SinuOrega.

I received a full size (2 oz.) nasal spray and a general spray, suitable for odor elimination and cleaning.

sinuoregaBasically, you are inhaling the emulsified oils of wild oregano (here as NAHS’s Oregano p73), bay leaf, sage, and clove in a sea salt (saline) base. Oregano is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so it actually clears out your sinuses on many levels.

If only I could handle the burn and the smell/taste!

NAHS warns on the package that there can be some mild burning sensations just after spraying, but for me the burning wasn’t minor and lasted for a bit. And then there was the intense oregano and clove taste in the back of my throat. Worse than the odd rosewater aftertaste of Flonase.

I – just – can’t!

Now, I can handle the smell when it’s not in my own body, so the cleaning spray is fabulous for me.

And look, North American Herb and Spice’s SinuOrega has 4.5 stars on Amazon, so clearly it works well for most people. The few negative reviews focus on the inability to handle the burn and smell, not the efficacy of the nasal spray.

My sinuses felt great on the days that I used the spray, but not great enough to withstand the burn.

Have you tried a natural nasal spray? Has it worked?

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Review: Weight Gurus Smartphone Connected Digital Scale

Review: Weight Gurus Smartphone Connected Digital Scale

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I have been looking for a scale that is simple and easy to use. A digital scale that will track my weight and hubby’s weight separately, track weight loss, and connect with my phone and/or tablet so I have an easy to track portablweight guru digital scale boxe record of my progress.

Of course, I also wanted an accurate scale that did not break the bank. With all the technology out there, I knew the scale of my dreams had to exist.

So I kept researching (also known as procrastinating).

And then, I received and invitation from Weight Gurus via Tomoson, a digital marketing company that connect brands with bloggers, asking me to review their Weight Gurus Smartphone Connected Digital Bathroom Scale with Large Backlit LCD and Weightless Technology. I chosweightguruscalee the black scale.

The Weight Gurus scale was easy to set up, only requiring that I pull a plastic strip from the battery case to get it started. It was easy to set up for two users, even with similar weights.

After you weigh yourself, the scale displays a symbol that you can photograph with your iOS or android device via the Weight Gurus app. I side-loaded the app onto my Kindle Fire and found it easy to use, with handy graphs and other great visual aids to show my weight loss. Exactly what I was looking for!

The only thing that would make this scale better is a body composition component, but that is available from Weight Gurus in a different model.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

influenster go voxbox

Review: Influenster Go VoxBox

The Influenster Go VoxBox was filled with free, full-size health and fitness related products. Here is my review.

One great bonus for having a relatively large social media presence is that companies, either directly or through a third party company such as Influenster or Klout, send me stuff to try out and hopefully pass along to my friends, fans, and followers.

govoxboxThe Go VoxBox is my second box from Influenster, and I pre-qualified for another one by being very active in the Twitter Party promoting the brands in the box – Playtex, Aqua Spa, Quaker-Muller, ProFoot, Blue Diamond Almonds, and Next Step shakes from The Vitamin Shoppe. This free box came full of full-size products, all of which are great.

I confess that I brought the Playtex Sport Tampons into work for others to try, since I am post-menopausal and no longer in need. People loved them.

I tried the Next Step protein shake from The Vitamin Shoppe, and was impressed by the decent flavor of the Mixed Berry packet (I tried it first because berry is usually the worst). I was also impressed by the Jack Mixing Bottle, which blended most of the powder easily.

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I was able to purchase a Muller yogurt at the store with the free coupon, and chose white chocolate cherry, which was as wonderful as it sounds. The yogurt comes with separately packaged add-ins.

The Blueberry Almonds were a surprise. I did not expect to like them, but the blueberry flavor was subtleblueberryalmonds_kindlephoto-226093167 and natural. I found that the nuts were the perfect mix of sweet and savory, which is one of my favorite combinations.

The Relax Aqua Spa Body Cream smells good and is a thick, easily absorbed moisturizer. I do wish that it had fewer chemicals, and while I will finish it, am not sure that I would buy more.

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And last, but not least, the ProFoot Pedi-Stone and Orthotic Insoles. The insoles have great arch support with some heel cushion, and the Pedi-Stone is a large flexible exfoliating tool.

Needless to say, I really enjoy these VoxBoxes from Influenster!