Stress causes are just about everywhere…

and our natural “fight or flight” stress response can sometimes go a little overboard. This response is designed to help us avoid injury or death in emergency situations and then return to normal after we have fought or flown. However with high and constant stress causes in our society, the going back to normal doesn’t happen as often, meaning this response is ongoing and then it becomes chronic.

You may have heard of the main stress hormone, named “cortisol.”  Your adrenal glands release cortisol as a response to stress. This hormone is also naturally higher in the mornings to perk you up and get you going, and then slowly fades away through the day so you can sleep. These are good and healthy processes.

However did you know that levels of cortisol, when higher than normal are associated with belly fat, brain fog, high blood pressure, poor sleep, high blood sugar, and even low immunity?

Can you relate with any of these? If so, keep reading as I’m sure you’ll find my list of foods, nutrients and lifestyle suggestions helpful in getting you to a place where you’re enjoying lower stress hormone responses naturally!

 

Food and Nutrition changes to lower cortisol

I’ll start with what you should really get into to help reduce cortisol and wrap up with the biggest no-nos for reducing cortisol.

Water
Dehydration increases cortisol, therefore be sure you are drinking more than enough water as it appears many fall short of this, because they don’t “feel” thirsty (that’s another discussion for another day).

Tea and Dark Chocolate
Real dark chocolate (really real – not the sugar and milk kind) and tea help lower cortisol and are great in little portions as you unwind.

Remember probiotics and prebiotics!
As I mentioned in a previous post on the brain and gut connection, there is so much new research about the digestive system and it’s connection to the brain. Creating a good digestion environment with your friendly gut microbes is key! Be sure to eat probiotic rich fermented foods and get healthy doses of prebiotic fiber.

Variety
Enjoy a variety of foods that are nutrient dense as this will always improve all aspects of your health, as well as lower cortisol levels.

Now reduce these to reduce cortisol-

Sugar
This is one of the biggest causes of cortisol increase. Reducing sugar intake whether by eating or drinking is a huge step toward better health and reduced cortisol levels.

Caffeine
Caffeine in high doses is also a cause of high cortisol levels, so if coffee has a jittery or “anxious feeling” effect on you, then cut back on your coffee. I’m actually one of those that can relate to the coffee jitters, so it’s a no for me.

 

Lifestyle strategies to lower cortisol

In addition to food, here are some lifestyle techniques that will directly help you lower cortisol levels

Mindfully reduce stress 
Studies show that renewing your mind (purposefully reducing stressful thoughts, worry, control, anxiety, offense etc) reduces cortisol, so it’s time to capture you thoughts and choose life giving thoughts.

Get good exercise (but don’t overdo it).
Mindful movement and exercise is a must for your health as your body was designed to move a lot and then rest intermitently. Although the intensity of some exercises can increase cortisol levels temporarily, it can reduce overall cortisol levels; while certain types of exercise, like constant running can also increase cortisol. A variety of exercises, therefore will be of greater benefit to your health. Our clients, after working out well at the variety of classes in our studio love the pampering and restorative release of our Santu Stretch class. 

Get adequate sleep!
Getting enough sleep is seriously underrated in our modern societies, especially. Therefore, in addition to improving your health in many ways, sleep reduces cortisol levels – it’s as simple as that.

Have more fun and relax 
Getting out with nature; deep breathing; massages, and listening to relaxing music all reduce cortisol, so how about a walk outdoors; earthing or grounding (barefoot walking on natural surfaces) etc

Curb loneliness and be social
It wouldn’t just be my personality type talking when I tell you there are actually health risks involved with isolation and loneliness. Seriously, there are studies shown to support it! Spending more time with friends and family you like and who support you (and vice versa); and maintaining healthy relationships is key in reducing stress and living a longer quality of life.

 

Summary
An overactive response of the stress hormone cortisol can have many negative impacts on your health. There are several helpful ways to reduce cortisol levels naturally.

Good diet changes for reducing cortisol levels include cutting sugar and caffeine, while taking in more water, fruit, tea, dark chocolate, probiotics, and prebiotics.

Lifestyle changes are effective when it comes to lowering cortisol, therefore, get proper exercise, more sleep, relax, have more fun and engage with friends and family.

So finally, will you try these suggestions? In the comments below, let me know your favourite ways to bust the stress hormone cortisol!

RECIPE: De-stressing Chocolate pudding

 (Prebiotic and High in Fiber)

Serves 6
Ingredients:
3 ripe avocados
¼ cup cacao powder (unsweetened)
¼ cup maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 dash salt

Instructions:
Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve and enjoy!

Tip:
Add a little bit of cinnamon to get a deeper flavor.


References:
https://authoritynutrition.com/ways-to-lower-cortisol/
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cortisol
https://authoritynutrition.com/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety/
https://www.thepaleomom.com/managing-stress/
http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response
Image by Photoduet/Freepik

 


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! You have the option to try 3 Classes for $33 or 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $49! We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

Blood Sugar…

It probably brings up thoughts of eating restrictions, medications for diabetes and insulin shots.
But simply put, blood sugar is the amount of sugar in your blood and how it measures up against the right balance you need to fuel your muscles and brain.
However, blood sugar fluctuates quite a bit. And that fluctuation is the natural balancing act of the things that cause it to increase and those that cause it decrease.

Consuming foods with sugars or starches (carbs/carbohydrates) causes your digestive system to absorb sugar into your blood. After the carbs have been ingested and broken down into simple sugars, your body then stabilizes blood sugar by secreting Insulin. This hormone, Insulin, then allows excess sugar to get out of your bloodstream and into your muscle cells and other tissues for energy usage.

Why do I need to keep my blood sugar stable?

Your body needs your blood sugar level optimized. It needs it high enough to where you’re not experiencing light-headedness, fatigue or irritability. And it should be low enough to where your system isn’t going haywire to get rid of excess sugar from your blood.

Now the term “hypoglycemia” refers to when blood sugar is too low, and the term “hyperglycemia” refers to when it’s too high. Overextended periods of elevated blood sugar levels (known as chronic hyperglycemia) could cause “insulin resistance.”

Insulin resistance occurs when cells are so burdened with the excess insulin that they get desensitized and stop responding (ignore/resist) to it, and that causes blood sugar levels to remain too high.

Both of these, Insulin resistance and chronic hyperglycemia, can eventually cause diabetes.
Let’s take a look at how you can optimize your lifestyle and revive your diet to maintain your blood sugar stability

Food for stabilizing blood sugar

The simplest way to blood sugar balance is for you to reduce the amount of refined sugars and starches you eat. You can pick out the culprits quickly by ridding yourself of sweet drinks (“diet” drinks included); and eating smaller portions of desserts and sweet snacks.

The next great way is by consuming more fiber. Fiber is helpful in slowing down the absorption of sugar from your meal. It reduces that “spike” you may have heard of or experienced in blood sugar levels. You’ll find plenty of fiber in plant based foods like whole (complete and raw; not broken down or processed) fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.

FUN SCOOP: It has been shown that the spice, Cinnamon, helps your cells increase insulin sensitivity. In addition, it’s a yummy spice that can be used in place of sugar. And yes, it’s included in the recipe below.

The Ultimate Lifestyle for stabilizing blood sugar

Enjoy exercise, rest from stress and sleep!

Exercise helps to improve insulin sensitivity; training your cells not to ignore insulin’s order to remove excess sugar from the blood. Additionally, your muscles use up the sugar they absorbed from your blood when you exercise. Hopefully this intentional movement/good exercise is something you’re already convinced about.

It may not be news to you that stress also affects your blood sugar levels, or is it? Stress hormones increase your blood sugar levels with the “fight or flight” stress response. And if that is the case, guess what fuel your brain and muscles use to “fight” or “flee”? Exactly! Under stress, signals send for a release of stored forms of sugar to be sent back into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar levels.  

So, reduce stress, manage it and/or your response to it more effectively. Simple tips are prayer, reflection/meditation, deep breathing, gentle movement, nature walks, and simply adding more of what you enjoy to your schedule.

Sleep is a crucial, but often overlooked matter when it comes to maintaing good blood sugar levels. Sleep also goes right along with stress, because when you don’t get enough quality sleep, you’re likely to release stress hormones, experience an increase in appetite, and also get sugar cravings.

Make quality and length of  sleep priority – it will do your blood sugar, along with the rest of your physical and mental health, a whole lot of good.

Conclusion
Your body is like a system on a continuous 24-hour duty to keep your blood sugar stable. It has the mechanisms in place to do this, however those can get tired (resistant). Prolonged blood sugar issues can cause trouble, but there are plenty of nutrition and lifestyle strategies you can make to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Minimize excess carbs in your diet; eat more fiber; exercise, reduce stress, and improve your sleep quality. These are all key to your health overall and blood sugar stability.

RECIPE: Apple Cinnamon Yum

 (Blood sugar balancer)

Serves 4
Ingredients:
2 Apples, chopped
1 Tbsp coconut oil
½ Tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ Tsp sea salt
¼ Tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:
1. Place chopped apples into a small saucepan with 2 tbsp water. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After about 5 minutes the apples will become slightly soft, and water will be absorbed.
2. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Stir apples and oil together.
3. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
4. Add cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Stir well.
5. Cook for another few minutes, stirring until the apples reach your desired softness!

Serve and enjoy!

Tip:
Keep the apple peel on! It keeps the fiber content higher, which is even better for stabilizing your blood sugar.


References:
https://authoritynutrition.com/15-ways-to-lower-blood-sugar/
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-review-blood-sugar
Image by Javi_Indy/Freepik

 


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! You have the option to try 3 Classes for $33 or 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $49! We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

Maybe you love your breakfast and have your go to list of breakfast foods; or maybe you need some motivation to start eating breakfast again? Well here are some great strategies to make sure you’re getting what’s truly important out of what has been touted as the most important meal of the day.

Unknown to still too many – adding a substantial amount of protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss. The reason being that protein grants satiety (feeling full) longer and puts to use (burns) a lot of calories to absorb and metabolize the same protein. So I’m going to share some tips on how your can get the protein, as well as vegetables and healthy fats for your new and hopefully favorite list of breakfasts foods.

Top Breakfast Food #1: Eggs

Eggs really do reign as breakfast foods, ad for good reason!

But to clarify first – I’m not speaking about those “egg” white in a carton. I mean singing about real ,actual actual whole eggs that come in a shell and all.

Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses. Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.

Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.

Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” protein “bullet” breakfast when you’re running short on time.

Also, to calm your “fears” –  the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.

One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized. It’s the oxidized cholesterol that’sunhealthy for the heart.

Top Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.

You won’t be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I’m talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.

Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you’re running late in the mornings.  Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you’re running out the door; you can nosh on them while you’re commuting.

Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.

Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter.  Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.

Top Breakfast Food #3: Vegetables

Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies.  You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right?

Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water.  You can’t go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day so if you don’t already you should definitely try them for breakfast!

And of course not – you don’t need to have a salad or roasted vegetable for breakfast if you don’t want to but you really can!  You wouldn’t be breaking any “official” breakfast rules.

Add some protein to your leftover vegetables to make a great combination for any meal, including breakfast.

Included below is a delicious recipe for you to try or customize for your next breakfast.

RECIPE: Veg-Melet

Eggs and Vegetables

Serves 1
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 or 2 eggs
¼ cup vegetables (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers)
A dash of salt, pepper and turmeric
Instructions:
-Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans, preferably).
-While the oil is heating up, grab a bowl and beat the eggs with your vegetables and spices.
-Tilt pan all over to ensure the bottom is well covered with the melted oil. Pour the egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.
-When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until the egg white is no longer runny.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tip:
Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portions of your favourite vegetable. Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomatoes


References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/eggs-worse-than-fast-food
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/eggs/
https://authoritynutrition.com/eating-healthy-eggs/
https://authoritynutrition.com/12-best-foods-to-eat-in-morning/
Image by By Smastronardo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

Losing strength?

You’ll find this hormone will help you or some of our men regain strength!

It’s the hormone that helps you build muscle… naturally. Testosterone, that is. And what I’m about to share with is not going to suggest taking anabolic steroid hormones or things of that sort that people often think of when it comes to building buff bodies!

Rather, I’ll get into a couple of solid strategies on boosting this hormone level in a natural way with food based supplements!

Strategy #1: Get enough zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that helps with a number of processes in your body (it helps over 300 enzymes). Zinc helps your immune system, helps to produce critical proteins and DNA, and also helps with wound healing. Enough zinc is necessary to maintain healthy skin and for optimal ability to taste and smell. Zinc is an antioxidant and can be supplemented to support optimal levels of testosterone because it helps the enzymes that converts cholesterol into testosterone.

Although this mineral is mostly found in red meat, poultry, egg yolks, and shellfish; some plants also provide some zinc such as beans and nuts. The best dietary source, however is found in oysters! You can also get some more Zinc through your interaction with dirt! That’s right, the outdoors, earthing (barefoot walking), the sandy beach etc

The daily recommended dose of zinc for men is 11 mg/day (for women it’s 8 mg/day). Low zinc levels are rare but tend to occur in vegetarians/vegans, athletes, and people who sweat a lot because zinc is lost in sweat. And low zinc levels have been linked to low testosterone levels.

Of course if you don’t get enough zinc in your diet you can always supplement. Before you do, however, consider a few things:

It is possible to get too much zinc so unless your doctor tells you never take more than 40 mg/day.  For many people just 5-10 mg/day is enough to prevent deficiency.

Zinc supplements can also interact with certain medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if zinc supplements are safe for you.

Zinc supplements are best taken 2-hours away from any medications (if it’s safe to use it at all while taking those medications) and should be taken with food.

Strategy #2: Get enough vitamin D

Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” is actually the most common nutrient that we in North America just simply don’t get enough of. Not only is it not very abundant in foods but most places far from the equator don’t get enough sunlight to produce adequate levels year round.

Hello winter; goodbye sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D is known to help us absorb calcium from our foods and is also necessary for our immune system, nervous system, and muscular system.  As with zinc if you’re deficient in this nutrient you may experience increased testosterone levels after supplementing.

Vitamin D deficiency is most commonly associated with bone conditions such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

It is a fat-soluble vitamin and is found in fatty fish, organ meats, and egg yolks.  Unfortunately it isn’t abundant in most other un-fortified foods.

The bottom line with vitamin D is that you may need to supplement.  Of course if you’re always outside in the sun or eat fatty fish every day you may be the exception.  You can always ask your doctor to check your blood levels to be sure because vitamin D is another one of those nutrients where more is not always better.

Here are a few tips to supplement with vitamin D safely and effectively:

Read your labels and don’t overdo it. Don’t jump into supplementing with more than 4,000IU/day unless supervised by your physician.

As with zinc (and most other supplements) you should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking any medications.

Take your vitamin D with some fat to help your body absorb this vitamin.  It is often recommended that you take it with the largest meal of the day.

Note that vitamin D is also found in cod liver oil (my favortite is Fermented Cod Liver Oil), and multivitamins, so you may not need to take it separately (read your labels).

Summary:

Lower Testosterone levels may be due to a Zinc or Vitamin D deficiency, which are essential to the building blocks of proper nutrition. Try boosting these, but you don’t  want to overdo it.

RECIPE: Honey Salmon and Sesame 

Vitamin D and Zinc

Serves 4
Ingredients:
2-3 Pounds, salmon fillets
¼ Cup soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
¼ Cup sesame oil
1 Lemon, juiced
2 Tablespoons honey or coconut nectar
1 Inch of ginger, shredded or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 Tablespoon, coconut oil
2 Tablespoons, diced green onions or chives
2 Tablespoons, sesame seeds

Instructions:
-Mix soy sauce/tamari/aminos, sesame oil, lemon juice, honey/coconut nectar and ginger together to make a marinade.
-Place salmon in a glass dish and cover with marinade.  Let sit for a few hours or overnight.
-Heat a large cast iron frying pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.
-Place salmon in pan skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes.
-Pour marinade into the pan, lower the heat and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
-Sprinkle with diced green onions/chives and sesame seeds.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tip:
Wild salmon can contain up to 4 times the amount of vitamin D as farmed salmon. I always recommend Wild Caught seafood.


References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cholesterol
http://summertomato.com/how-to-raise-your-hdl-cholesterol
https://authoritynutrition.com/top-9-biggest-lies-about-dietary-fat-and-cholesterol/
https://examine.com/nutrition/how-can-i-increase-testosterone-naturally/
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/reference/table/ref_elements_tbl-eng.php
http://thewellnessbusinesshub.com/yes-nutrient-deficiencies-heres-proof-can/
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-Consumer/
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=zinc.mono&lang=eng
https://examine.com/supplements/Zinc/
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=183&lang=eng
https://examine.com/supplements/Vitamin+D/
https://authoritynutrition.com/9-foods-high-in-vitamin-d/
Image by InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

There’s something your waist measurement knows that your scale doesn’t.

Maybe you’d like to completely ditch your scale.

And perhaps you and your “weight” even have a strained relationship.

Because certainly, it doesn’t define you (hopefully you know that).

And what you weigh does matter, but only to a certain extent.

Because what matters is more is central to your waistline’s circumference (pun intended). Let’s take a closer, maybe awkward, but totally relatable look at our bellies.

Belly Fat:

Remember the body form description named after fruit like apples and pears? The apple is more round right around the middle (do the beer belly appearances ring a bell?) and the pear is more round around the hips and highs.

Well guess which shape is most frequently associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar problems (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart problems (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases)?

The apple!
Not so much because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may have heard referred to as a “muffin top”.  The risk to our health is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering organs like the the liver, intestines and others.

The internal fat is known as “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem is. In this “un-pinchable” fat that you can’t actually grab.

The reason visceral fat poses a health problem is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that could negatively affect blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure.

Those with more of an apple-shape tend to have a lot more hidden visceral fat than those that are pear-shaped.

So of course, while excess fat storage is a key issue, where your excess fat is stored is even more important that your weight.

 

An apple or a pear – which one am I?

It’s simple to figure out if you fall into the higher risk category or not. The easiest way being to simply measure your waist line with a measuring tape to determine the circumference. Do this right now if you can.

As a marker in general, women, if your waist is 35 inches or more you may be said to have “abdominal obesity” which could place you in the higher risk category. Keep in mind that expecting mothers are exempt, of course.

For men in general that number is 40 inches.

Now this is not by any means a diagnostic tool, as there are a lot of other risk factors for chronic diseases and the waist line is just one.

If you have concerns, please do see your doctor.

 

Tips for helping reduce some belly fat:

Eat more fiber. Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways.  First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food.  Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.

Add more protein to your day. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer.  It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.

Cut out the added sugars. This means I’m encouraging you to ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).

Get into the joy of movement. Dance, climb, lift some weight (your body weight or other resistance); walk often and take the stairs; get some interval cardio/aerobic exercise. It all adds up.

Now seriously… stress less!  Elevated levels in the stress hormone, Cortisol have been shown to increase appetite, cravings, drive abdominal fat up and increase appearance of AGING!

Sleep more. Make this a priority and see how much better you will feel (and look, by the way).

RECIPE (High Fiber Side Dish):

Lemon Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Serves 4
Ingredients:
-1 lb Brussels Sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)
-2 to 3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
-2 Tablespoons, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-2 Teaspoons, Fresh Lemon Juice
-A Dash of Salt and Pepper

Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 400F.
-Toss Brussel Sprouts in a bowl with garlic, oil, and lemon juice. Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.
-Bake for about 15 minutes, then toss.
-Bake for another 10 minutes.
-Serve and Enjoy!

Tip:
Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving Vitamin K. Eat them more often 😉


References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-abdominal-fat-and-risk
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/visceral-fat-location
http://www.drsharma.ca/inspiring-my-interest-in-visceral-fat
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-definition/abdominal-obesity/
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/weights-poids/guide-ld-adult/qa-qr-pub-eng.php#a4
https://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-ways-to-lose-belly-fat/
https://authoritynutrition.com/20-tips-to-lose-belly-fat/
Image by Vegan Feast Catering (Skewered Brussels & Shiitakes) [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

Holiday parties, and family feasts are simply amazing!

Not only in the abundance of yummy food, but the ambience, beloved people, decorations and just the festivities of the season. So because of this it’s pretty common to indulge during these periods, and you know what I say to that, health permitting!

BUT then it doesn’t end there. At times we not only indulge, but over indulge on “regular” days, meals, like all the time!

So if you DON’T want to worry about overeating, I can help you put an end to your worries now, with these easy common sense tips. Remember, I’m not interested in stopping you from eating- just from over-eating and over-eating food group proportions 😉

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

 

Tip #1: Start with some water 

With your tummy already growling and then you smell simply the simply delightful aroma of food, it’s super easy to fill your plate or even start grazing (bare hand sampling). But like I’ve shared with you before, do you know it’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger? I mean sure, if you haven’t eaten in a while, of course you’re hungry, but you’re also thirsty. So your stomach may also be desperate for some water than a huge meal.

Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this easy and simple tip may even help with weight loss (almost “duh”, right?).

Water will not only start to fill you up before you get to the table, leaving less room for the food, but drinking enough water keeps you hydrated and has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism! Nice!

 

Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”

You’re probably familiar with mindfulness, but do you apply that to your eating habits?

This will help you overcome overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion. How?

The same way that being mindful when you reflect and rest helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment, being mindful when you eat helps you focus your attention on your meal to break it down properly and give your digestive system and healthier process to absorb nutrients and get rid of waste.

You achieve this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.

So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.

 

Tip #3: Start with the salad

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.

But wait. Really. Start with the salad.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).

Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”.

And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.

Summary:

Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

Recipe (Infused Water):


Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses, here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
Slices of Strawberries & Orange
Slices of Lemon & Ginger
Blueberries & Raspberries
Slices of apple & a Cinnamon Stick
Chopped Pineapple & Mango

Tip:
Also, buy a bag/several bags of frozen chopped fruit and put those in your cup, or super cool bottle or jar at the beginning of your day. They”ve already been washed and cut, and will help keep your water colder for longer period of time.


References:
https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/
http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We’ll donate a portion of that to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve.
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

 

Oh my goodness – there is “healthy eating” nutrition and diet information everywhere!

And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you.  Right?

Well, possibly…

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.

Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

 

What you eat and drink

Calories, Schmalories! – as I once heard someone say. The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we?

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.

Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods).  This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness. I call it the Real Food Revolution!

This is what you should aim for every day:

A colorful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).

Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads. Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. You don’t need to overdo it here.  Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

 

How you eat and drink

Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?

When it comes to how you eat let’s first look at “mindful eating”.

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

Thought so!

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

And don’t forget about drinking your food.

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack.  And don’t gulp it down too fast.

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.

 

Summary:

Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

Picture of Passion Barre Peachy Green Chia Smoothie Recipe

RECIPE (Smoothie meal):


Peachy Green Chia Smoothie
Serves 1

A Handful of Spinach
1 Tablespoon, Chia Seeds
1 Banana
1 Chopped Peach
1 Cup, Unsweetened Almond Milk

Add ingredients to a blender in the order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend).

Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk (preferably, pre-soak them for 30 minutes or more beforehand)

Blend, Serve and Enjoy!


Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions. Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference.

Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids but they  contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.

So again, consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it. Can you relate? Did you try the recipe or replace some ingredients? Let me know in your comment below!

References:

http://summertomato.com/wisdom-wednesday-salad-dressing-is-your-friend
https://authoritynutrition.com/20-reasons-you-are-not-losing-weight/ 
http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2
Image By Marco Verch [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $30. We’ll donate a portion of that to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve.
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

There’s a bit of a scandal going on now with the research industry that you might find helpful, or that at least will help you understand why I encourage you to eat certain foods that have been considered “taboo” for over a generation now! Keep reading below for more.
But first, this leads me to the subject of health myths. You might have heard quite a bit about salt and how bad it is for your health. However, this common conception is quite inaccurate! What? I know – let me explain:

This misconception is a “half-truth” and only true about conventional Table Salt. And half-truths create a mess! Commercial, table salt – that is, the man-made type (like a lot of man-made foods) isn’t even close in quality to nature-ready salts rich with minerals.

The chemical processing involved with making table salt is not just sodium chloride, but often involves removal of it’s natural mineral; bleaching; and may include Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), anti-caking agents, aluminum and more.

Real mineral-rich salt is super important for our bodies’ health…in fact, it’s a vital electrolyte, and necessary for good muscle contraction. You need it along with Potassium and Magnesium for good fluid exchange, balancing, relaxing and a host of other bodily functions designed to keep you in a state of optimal health 😉

What Salt should you start using that’s supportive to your health then?

1. Pink Himalayan Salt (also known as Pink Gold) is rich with nutrients, and contains over 90 additional trace minerals, whereas conventional table salt processed in a lab contains only two.
2. Celtic Sea Salt helps greatly in alkalizing your body, balancing blood sugar level, and helpful in the improvement of brain function.
These salts also do not taste as “salty” as table salt, so keep that in mind as you transition.

Now, add this lately discovered scandal to your knowledge of health myths:

Sugar Industry Busted for Funding Phony Harvard Science and Shifting the Blame to Fat

I mentioned I would share some insight on this most recently busted myth. I’ll say it again: ONE of the leading causes of obesity and disease is Marketing! Obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease?… America’s been on this “low fat” binge for decades, but we’re getting fatter! Here is some more information from Dr. Axe and the NY Times on the scandal going on right now! The nutrition facts may be of no surprise to some of you, but if you ever felt hesitant or weird for eating more “real fat” (or thought I was crazy), this should help you. 😉  So what do you think?

To wrap things up, “Your mission, should you choose to accept” (haha), is to switch out ALL your table salt at home with Pink Himalayan Salt or Celtic Sea Salt. This Mission IS possible! Then let me know if you’ve learned something new concerning sugar versus fat.
Do you accept? Let me know, comment below and share!

 


P.S. Hey if you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $30. We’ll donate a portion of that to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve.
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

If you haven’t been in for a while and need a jump to restart. Or you’ve been dipping in and out on the barre, meaning to really get your feet soaked ;)- here is a sweet 21 Days Till Summer Transform-ACTion Series I’ll be sharing from around my network to get you ready for the sun!
See below, and here’s to a longer, leaner, stronger you, AND looking great in the heat!

21 Days Till Summer

TRANSFORM-ACTion SERIES

1. Heal & Zap Cellulite with Bone Broth!                                                                                                 

Bone Broth Image from Passion Barre BlogWhat is this thing I’ve been raving about- especially concerning healing our body’s cellular structure? Bone Broth It’s a soup based food traditionally made by simply boiling bones from beef, chicken, fish, etc. in water and adding spices, herbs, vegetables, and acid (such as Apple Cider Vinegar). The broth is then left to boil for about 48 hours!.

Not only easy to make, bone broth is one of the best healing foods around!  Many, however, don’t realize it’s incredible benefits what it does for our bodies.

Now, the soup’s content may not sound yummy to you, but there are real, life and health enhancing reasons you should certainly try it if you haven’t yet. According to Alicia Streger:

  • Broth is a great source of amino acids, needed for collagen production, that rejuvenates our cellular structure, keeping our skin healthy, smooth, firm and reduces wrinkles and cellulite (outward healing starts from the inside)!
  • Gelatin in bone broth helps strengthen hair and nails, speed their growth, and also enhances nutrient absorption.
  • It also contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulphates and other compounds that support our joints.
  • Broth gives support to our immune system by keeping our gut healthy and its amino acids help reduce inflammation.
  • One of the amino acids, glycine, is important for DNA and RNA synthesis and digestive health.
  • Another one, arginine, helps promote healthy kidney function

Bone broth is conventionally used as a soup or a base for soup.  You can try it some other ways though: with stew, gravy, sauce, and with vegetables in it for additional nutrients. You may also dehydrate it to make your own broth powder.

Transform-ACTion: Well this week’s Transform-ACTion is to cook a batch of bone broth and include it on your meals.  If you’re not sure how or don’t want to, that’s alright, since there are now other places you can buy it.  Below are some recipes to get you started:

Beef Bone Broth Recipe

Chicken Bone Broth Recipe

Have you made or tasted broth previously? Are you in on this Transform-ACTion with us? If so, comment or share ways you’ve used bone broth!

 


P.S. If it’s been too long or you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you. Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $30 – and we’ll be donating a portion of that to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve.
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre.

You might have heard this before- good, real food based nutrition, plus a reasonable and consistent fitness plan is perhaps the best thing you can do for your hormones and overall health. But you might not have truly internalized this for yourself. Or you just don’t know how it applies to you in a practical way and for your body type and phase in life. With older adults, especially, taking charge in this area will give you a new outlook on life and overall better health- but the sooner, the better. With or without knowing it, a number of women develop hormone imbalances which throw a wrench in the kind of results they see even after committing to a healthy lifestyle and regimen. These can be caused by a number of chemical toxins from stress, food, medication, birth control pills, sugar, pregnancy, etc.

A hormone balancing diet and lifestyle will help improve your health, help control cravings, sugar peaks and lows; encourage better sleep, reduce inflammation and even improve the look and feel of your skin.

Just a side note on those controlling cravings… Regardless of what you’ve heard, they are NOT normal and they could be a sign of hormonal and blood sugar imbalances. When you crave, crave, and crave (you know, sweets, chips, cheese, salt, bread, alcohol or meat) it means that your blood sugar levels have dropped. And then you try to eat the right foods, but your willpower loses often because it’s not a match! Your hormones and physiology must be fed by your thought process to even support your thought process. The best thing your mind can do then is strategize before your feelings, hormones and physiology play out whatever they’ve been fed. Therefore the only way to stop a craving is to prevent it from happening, and this is actually easier to do than you might think. Here is one delicious way:

HORMONE BALANCING SNACKS

You know when they say “eat about 6 meals throughout the day” and you’re thinking “What? I don’t have time for that, it’s too tedious.” If you’re like I was, you’re thinking of every meal as a plate, and if you’re taking advise from a fitness or nutrition coach, you assume they also mean a meal plate you cooked and prepared yourself! So 6 of them in a day just sounds impossible!” Here’s the probability though- You’re probably already doing more than 3 square meals a day through your snacking habits (yes including the late night ones) and it’s time to harness them to your advantage. We often tell you that your snack is a meal, so I’ll say it again. Your snack counts as a meal.

I for one lived life mostly as an intermittent faster (a huge meal in one sitting a couple of times a day during my most active hours, followed by a longer period of not eating). It wasn’t a targeted “diet,” it was just the way I had learned to eat. My metabolism is great, I built muscle and burned through calories pretty well, and you know what, it worked for me, it worked for my body type, I barely snacked, and I had energy. I preferred proteins and meats to sweets and I joked that I ate like a man… Until my hormones shifted… for good reason 😉 And then I really learnt why Intermittent Fasting is not usually recommended for women for a long period of time when used as a weight loss diet. Because chances are, most women will experience their hormones shifting and this is not a bad thing. Hormones shift through cycles for different purposes. It’s when they get out of whack and aren’t supported that problems arise. So here’s something I stress to my ladies- if you’re struggling with imbalances, or adrenal fatigue, or whatever, you should not go long periods without food; and you must start your day with food (especially a good dose of protein and healthy fat). So while you hope your possibly unruly snacks don’t count against your caloric intake because they’re so small (sorry but they do count… sometimes even more than your healthy meals), use them to your advantage. Turn them into your power tools. Take your 2-3 square meals, factor in a couple of “snacks” inbetween and you’re already at 4-5 meals.

So here’s what I want you to do: plan on having Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, as usual. Then simply snack in-between. A purposeful small meal, that is. If you’re not that great at getting breakfast going yet, then at least start by treating it like a “snack”. Start with my suggestions below so that you can get that fuel your body. You have to start somewhere.

Studies have shown that snacks are the biggest area where most people have trouble controlling their diet. But if you add purpose to your snack, you can basically snack all day, making all your meals small but packed with nutrition. This will trigger the right signals for your body and boost your energy through the day, plus increase your ability to burn off fat and lose weight properly. To help support your hormone balancing diet we have compiled a few superfood, healing food based yummy snacks that are simple to prepare and keep on hand. Again. this should make it easy for you to balance hormones and enjoy the benefits of your active lifestyle.

Krispy Garlic-flavored Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 2-large bundles of kale, washed and dried completely
  • 1/2 -tsp garlic sea salt
  • Grapeseed Oil

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl tear kale leaves into medium chip-sized pieces. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt and drizzle Grapeseed Oil evenly on all pieces. Single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake ten to twelve minutes turning once. Krispy kale chips may be kept in an airtight container for up to two days.

Healthy Five-Minute Hummus (perfect for dipping the Kale chips)

Ingredients:

  • 2-TBS sesame seed paste ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • ¼-teaspoon paprika 2-TBS fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of salt 1-fifteen ounce can chickpeas (rinsed)
  • 1-tsp ground cumin 1-clove garlic

Preparation:
Using a food processor, puree all ingredients except the paprika and a small amount of olive oil until smooth. If necessary add water for desired consistency. Transfer to serving container and drizzle the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.

Chicken Breast Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2-medium chicken breasts
  • 1-small red onion
  • 1 1/2 TBS Grapeseed Oil
  • 3-medium vine ripe tomatoes
  • ½-tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 cup walnuts
  • 6-washed spinach leaves,
  • sea salt, pepper, garlic powder

Preparation:
Heat Grapeseed Oil on medium heat. Wash, pat dry and cut chicken breast in small cubes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Sauté chicken until completely cooked. While chicken is cooking cut vine ripened tomatoes in half and remove all seeds and core. Finely chop 2 TBS of red onions. Tear each spinach leaf in half and place one in the bottom of each tomato. Divide red onions and sprinkle evenly over spinach leaves. Remove chicken from heat and add cilantro. Divide mixture evenly among tomato cups. Sprinkle walnuts on top.

Other Snacks on The Go

If I don’t even have an extra minute to prepare cool snacks you can still find in my purse (yes, purse) a boiled egg, a piece of fruit, or nuts and seeds. And who can forget my favorite quick snack- Kefir with coconut flakes, chia and blueberries? It’s important to have your real protein (please!), healthy fats (pretty please!) and carbs with you. I burn excess fat and lose weight with this Ketogenic approach than anything else and that means more healthy fats in the diet, ladies! So for ultra-quick treats keep walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, kefir, goat cheese, and coconut milk handy; and alternate with vegetables and munch on some raw cauliflower, celery, etc. With these yummy snacks, staying healthy, balancing hormones and supplying your energy regularly is easy and the benefits are amazing. Really, it can be that simple.

 


P.S. If it’s been too long or you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you. Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $30 – and we’ll be donating a portion of that to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve.
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre.