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What To Wear Wednesday with Leah's Plate

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We love a good Happy Hour, especially when it's spent at Mantra! This week's limited edition tank says it all, "This Is My Happy Hour #IWorkOut." This tank will be available in studios on Monday...just in time for Sarasota's Happy Hour on October 5th!

If you're taking part in our Transformation Challenge or just watching your calories, you may not want to indulge in adult beverages at Happy Hour. We have a healthy alternative for you - Strawberry Milkshake Smoothies! Leah from Leah's Plate is sharing a delicious and healthy recipe that will take you back to childhood. Totally guilt-free!

Strawberry-Milkshake-Smoothie

This smoothie reminds of me being a kid and indulging in strawberry milkshakes during the summertime. However, this is my adult, perfectly healthy, non-dairy version of a strawberry ‘milkshake’. It is made using almond milk, strawberries, banana, almond or cashew butter, coconut butter and cinnamon. The nut butter and coconut butter add healthy fats to this smoothie that will keep you full and satisfied. Using frozen strawberries and banana is key here, as that’s what gives this smoothie it’s thick ‘milkshake-like’ consistency.

STRAWBERRY 'MILKSHAKE' SMOOTHIE (VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE & PALEO)

Author: Leah's Plate (www.leahsplate.com)
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo
Cuisine: Smoothie

Prep time:  5 mins
Cook time:  1 min
Total time:  6 mins

Serves: 1

A thick and creamy smoothie that tastes like a strawberry milkshake!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond milk
1 heaping tbsp raw almond butter (or cashew butter)
1 heaping tbsp coconut butter
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
½ tsp cinnamon
Optional: 1 tsp ground flaxseeds

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Enjoy in a glass as a smoothie, or pour into a bowl and enjoy with a spoon (that's the best part about this - it's thick enough to eat with a spoon! Amazing right?! I added freeze-dried strawberries on top of my bowl.



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Transformation Tuesday with Casey

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After chasing fitness fads for quite a while, Casey finally found a workout that got her hooked! Mantra not only gives her a challenging workout, but also provides her with a place to escape and relieve stress.

The changes in her strength and muscle tone in just 6 months are evident and we can't wait to see her achieve more of her goals going forward!

How did you find Mantra, and what were your goals when you first started working out here? 

I found Mantra in March of this year while looking for my next fitness “fix”. I’m guilty of following the fitness fads whether it’s Zumba, Crossfit, Prancercise, etc. I had been in Tampa for about a year when I found Mantra online (which was purely good luck), and I felt like I needed to start taking my fitness more seriously. It only took that first class to get me hooked! As far as my physical goals, I wanted to focus on building strength and toning all over for swimsuit season! Another goal of mine was to find a healthy outlet to relieve stress. Between work, bills, and my two fur-children, I needed a place that I could go to escape from this fast paced world and focus on improving me. Mantra provided me with just that.

What did you think when you first started taking classes? 

When I took my first class I was blown away with how challenging it was! I thought I was attending a Pilates class that would involve lots of stretching and would somehow make me skinny. I guess there still is no secret pill and you have to work for that bungee booty. Even though the classes were challenging, I loved the way I felt after and I wanted to keep feeling that way so I kept coming back.

How has your body/strength changed?

My strength is the biggest difference that I can see since starting Mantra. I get so excited when I can go a little deeper in my Single Leg Squat or do my Elevator Lunge without a red pole. It’s those small victories! I have definitely noticed positive changes with my body as well - my stomach is way more toned and some other “problem areas” such as the backs of my thighs have been completely addressed whereas doing my 3 mile runs on the treadmill earlier this year was just not cutting it. I’m so happy with the changes my body is making and I cannot wait to see where 6 more months of Mantra gets me!

What are your goals now? 
Whew, I am a big goal setter so this is a loaded question for me. A short term goal is always to fit a fourth Mantra class in every week. I can somehow only ever make it to three classes per week which kills me! In the next year I would love to get skilled enough at the Lagree Method to become a certified instructor. I’ve really become passionate about this form of exercise and I would love to teach part-time someday. I am working towards becoming a fully-licensed Mental Health Counselor and I wholeheartedly believe that wellness is an essential component to living a fulfilling life.

What's your best advice for others who are just starting to work out at Mantra?

My advice for people who are just starting is to stick with it! The results are worth it and there is nothing like that accomplished feeling after completing a class! What I love about Mantra is that you can see yourself constantly improving on the movements but there is always work to be done - it never gets easy!


Do you love Mantra and want to share your experience? We'd love to feature you in a future Transformation Tuesday! Just let us know at the studio.






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Transformation Tuesday with Jean Marie

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Happy Tuesday Mantra Family - We hope you had a fun and restful long weekend!

Today we are thrilled to be sharing Tampa client Jean Marie's story for Transformation Tuesday. Jean Marie just recently started Lagreeing with us (July), but she has been a warrior on the Megaformer from the start!

What's your best advice for others who are just starting to work out at Mantra?

Don't get discouraged. Many of those taking class next to you have been coming for a long time. Go at your own pace. Also, you have to listen to the cues, so be present in the moment and not thinking about your to-do list.

Tell us a little about your first few classes. How difficult did you find them?  

They were very difficult. I mean it was hard seeing a very pregnant trainer get on the carriage and demonstrate moves like it was nothing. But I was determined to do this so I looked up on YouTube as much as I could about the positions and about Lagree Fitness. Recently Mantra has been posting the Technique Thursdays and I watch them all the time. Those videos are very very helpful. I also share your videos on my FB page so that my friends etc. can see the amazing opportunity we have here in Tampa.   

What have been some of your biggest challenges along the way?

Let's face it. I'm a Latina woman and we are blessed in the butt area. But it was an article that I read where Sofia Vergara talks about Lagree Fitness and I wanted to find out what kind of program she was talking about. I had taken Pilates before but this is SOOO much more than just Pilates. This is a TRUE all around workout.

Are there certain moves you find super difficult?  

The bungee! Anything that targets my butt!! The skater, the lunges - anything that targets the areas where I need the most work!!

Has it been tough to juggle multiple workouts into your already-busy schedule every week?  

This is a commitment to me. I workout at least 5 days a week at the gym before I go to work so I try to come here at least once a week after work and then Saturday mornings. I wish I could do more. I notice my hamstrings are getting stronger. Yeah.

What has joining Mantra been like for you, and what kind of support have you received both from your fellow Megaformer friends and the Mantra trainers and owners? 

The trainers are extremely helpful. I like how Alexandra will go around and correct you. She's not shy about touching a sweaty client. 

How far have you come since that first class?

I definitely see a difference and how this workout is complimenting my regular gym routine. I wish I could attend more than just twice a week. My core is getting stronger, and I have a goal for next April, and I'm confident that Mantra will help bring me to that next level.  


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Transformation Tuesday with Elizabeth Reilly


Happy Tuesday Mantra Family! This week we get to know one of our Tampa instructors, Elizabeth Reilly, a little better. Not only is she a fierce instructor, but for the past few months she's been working out on that Megaformer for two! She's expecting a baby girl this winter!


How did you find Mantra, and what were your goals when you first started working out here? 

I found out about Mantra through Mantra Instructor Lindsey Finer while teaching at SOHO Cycling with her. She told me it was how she got and kept her booty right so I gave it a try with the goal in mind of tightening up everything.


What did you think when you first started taking classes? 

I fell in love after my first class with Keri Clare and after a few short weeks I could already see the difference in my abs. Once I got a taste of how great the results could be, I was hooked!

What made you decide to become an instructor?

I really believe in the workout and what it can do for people on so many different levels in such an effective way. I wanted to be able to help people achieve those goals and push themselves to a place they thought they couldn’t achieve.

How has Mantra affected your pregnancy? 

I have definitely noticed that the more diligent I stay with my Mantra workouts the more energy I seem to have, little as that may be these days. I am really hoping that continuing to work my muscles and keeping my body as active and strong as I can will make labor/delivery and the recovery afterwards easier. I have definitely had to start modifying my workouts in the past few weeks, all the twisting gets uncomfortable, but it's pretty easy to modify on the Megaformer. Just in general I have to pace myself more and really listen to my body when it’s telling me to STOP.  

What's your best advice for others who are just starting to work out at Mantra? 

Don’t be intimidated! It was everyone’s first time once and no one is there to judge you. Also, once you learn the exercise names and get to know what is coming the class becomes much less confusing very quickly. Lastly it will hurt, but trust me, it WILL WORK!!!!


**Always check with your healthcare provider before starting, continuing, or changing an exercise routine. 


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Cheers to the Weekend: Pineapple Crush

Happy Thursday!

Since the weekend is on the horizon, we wanted to share a simple recipe to enjoy when Saturday rolls around. It's so easy, you only need a bottle of white wine, pineapple, lime juice, ice & your blender! 

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For our recipe, we used a Blonde Five by CK Mondavi; it has notes of other fruits and honey, which made it a good match for pineapple & lime. However, if you love a sweeter drink, use a Moscato or for a dryer taste use a Pinot Grigio.  

Whatever wine you choose -- pairing it with some sweet pineapple is a sure way to cheer in the weekend! Enjoy! 


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Better For You Carbs

better carbs

We don't know about you...but we have one, BIG question. Why do carbs have to be oh-so-tasty?! We know there is a good chance that you are on the same page as us for this one... But in the big picture, we have goals, we work hard, we are all making a conscious effort to eat clean & healthy. 


Today, on our Facebook page, we are sharing a bowl recipe of Sweet Potato Falafel & Jalapeño Ranch, thanks to Pinch of Yum. This got us thinking and we wanted to keep the theme going by sharing a couple of our secrets for healthy carbs and some replacements that will allow your meal to stay tasty!  

Healthy carbs to enjoy: 
= Sweet Potato
= Brown Rice
= Quinoa
= Nuts & Seeds
= Fruits

This for that...
= For taco night, exchange the tortillas for lettuce as your wrap.
= We love mashed potatoes, but save them for the holidays and enjoy mashed cauliflower.
= Craving chips covered in cheese, salsa & guacamole? Take some peppers, cut in thick slivers and covers with your toppings. 
= If lasagne is a favorite of your family, use thinly cut vegetables instead of the pasta. 

What is a carb replacement that you use daily? 



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Transformation Tuesday with Kelly Lavieri

kelly

Happy Tuesday!


We are very excited to share with you today's Transformation Tuesday -- Kelly! We are lucky enough to have her as our health coach for our upcoming Body Transformation Challenge at our Sarasota Studio. More details are coming soon...but get excited to join us for six weeks towards a fit, lean & strong body!

Kelly has been in the women’s health and fitness industry for over 15 years, specifically working in women health and sports nutrition; she is also a board certified functional nutritionist and certified personal trainer.

In her practice, she works with clients that may have challenges from weight management to menopause and everything in between, as well as a personal and group training helping women and men to achieve their “Best Self”. Kelly believes that her background puts her in a blessed position to work with the women and men as the Coach for the 6 week Fit, Lean & Strong Body Transformation Program.

Kelly is just as excited as we are for the upcoming challenge...and we know she is looking forward to providing all of her knowledge and experience to all of us -- specifically our Sarasota Studio!

To our Sarasota family, we hope you decide to join us for the 6 week Fit, Lean & Strong Body Transformation Program to help you achieve your  health and wellness goals with Kelly!

Now, let's find out more about Kelly's experience with Mantra:


How did you find Mantra, and what were your goals when you first started working out here? A friend of mine, Christine Page was a member and said I should check it out.. I am a functional nutritionist and trainer working specifically with both women and athletes and I was looking for a workout that could be part of my triad of health…nutrition, strength training, mobility and flexibility, as well as fun.

What did you think when you first started taking classes? Funny thing…my first thought was “I thought my core was stronger!”. And the biggest change has been tighter butt and leaner legs!

What's your best advice for others who are just starting to work out at Mantra? My motto is consistency over perfection! Don’t worry if you don’t do every move right or every rep…just be consistent with you workouts…

Thinking back to your first couple workouts at Mantra, how difficult did you find them? The first few workouts surprised me, and I am fit. I love a challenge, and I wanted to really develop deep strength and with Mantra Fitness, you can do that. Strength training is my love, and it is truly one of the only ways to reshape your body, in my opinion. However, doing small intense controlled moves can help you get the deep strength that you need to assist you with functional fitness, that is why it is so great for many age groups and fitness levels.

What have been some of your biggest challenges along the way? The biggest challenge is not incorporating other body parts to assist in a move, such as in tensor, raising your hips, instead of pulling in with the legs.

Are there certain moves you find super difficult? I don’t find the moves super difficult, but it is the length of time that creates the intensity, “the burn” has been difficult. You have to find you focal point to focus on to keep going.

Has it been tough to juggle multiple workouts into your already-busy schedule every week? Yes, with my own personal and group training clients, my nutrition clients, and my own training schedule that includes both cardio, strength, track work, mobility and Mantra…it’s tough, but we need it all. You have to keep your heart healthy with cardio, you need weight training to stay active, and ward of sagging skin and you need Mantra for deep strength for both mobility and flexibility.

What has joining Mantra been like for you, and what kind of support have you received both from your fellow Megaformer friends and the Mantra trainers and owners? I love coming to class, everyone is supportive. I especially love that there is a wide age range and that you can work a level that is right for you.

How far have you come since that first class? I have definitely become stronger in many ways and I love the trainers motivating attitude. Mantra Fitness will continue to be part of my overall health triad and I encourage everyone to take their first class and ….”work it out”!

Thank you for sharing Kelly! As we said before, we are so excited for your to join us in our upcoming Body Transformation Challenge next month in Sarasota.

It seems fitting to end with Kelly's personal mantra...keep this in mind today: Personal. Positive. Powerful with Connection!

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Back to School Tips

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Summer is coming to a close...


School is back in session, roads are busier and even more things are added to our schedules. And even though the kids may be back in school, it can make the day busier and life a little crazier! 

Here are a few tips to still make that workout happen as we all get back into the swing of things: 

Wake up early. No one is a true fan of an early alarm, but what a difference it can make! Getting up early and doing your workout before the hustle begins can be a sure way to make it happen. Good thing for those 6AM Mantra classes! 

Do a quick one. If you day is too crazy, improvise. A HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout can be as short as 15 minutes, or even done during the commercials of your favorite evening show. 

Workout with your kids. If that alarm turned to snooze...but dinner and homework is done, take it outside with the family! Take a walk, enjoy some catch outside, or even chase some Pokemon. 

Any other suggestions for us? 

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Transformation Tuesday with Sheila Haddad

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Happy Tuesday! Sheila joins us at our Tampa studio and like all of us, enjoys the challenge of Mantra. And although she does travel often for work -- Sheila is a regular to our studio and we love it! 

What's your best advice for others who are just starting to work out at Mantra? It’s very challenging, and most of us find ourselves very sore. But you came for a reason, and to keep going, requires discipline and always remembering why you are there. Every so often re-evaluate your goals, what have you achieved and reset new ones if need be. Keeping my goals in mind keeps me coming. The best part is the feeling after the workout. It’s all worth it.

Tell us a little about your first few classes. How difficult did you find them? Hands down, it is the most challenging work out I have ever had. I consider myself an athlete, I have done a lot in my life, and continue to do so. This is the kind of workout you and your body don’t get used to. It never gets easier, which is the challenge, there is always fine tuning the technique to continue to get more out of each move. I was so sore the first time I couldn’t walk for 3 days :) I knew then it was for me! I knew I NEEDED this.

What have been some of your biggest challenges along the way? Are there certain moves you find super difficult? Has it been tough to juggle multiple workouts into your already-busy schedule every week?  I travel frequently and find that I hate going away and missing a class. One, I know it’s hard to get back into, two, I’ll be sore again. But I have found it keeps building, so even being gone, it doesn’t take much to get right back into the swing of it, body adjusts and says, oh yes, I remember this. It’s good. Each instructor is different yet great. The variety is good. I find when we do certain movements that concentrate on one body part for a length of time, that’s the biggest challenge, the fatigue or pain literally in the booty that happens from these prolonged movements. And that we go slow, phew, lots of breathing! What’s nice is the variety and the encouragement of the instructors that keep me going.

What has joining Mantra been like for you, and what kind of support have you received both from your fellow Megaformer friends and the Mantra trainers and owners? I discovered Mantra after visiting my daughter in San Diego who teaches Lagree out there. I took her class and OMG. I came home and knew I had to find this. I feel so fortunate that we have 2 on the west coast of Florida. There is nothing like it and the notion of going somewhere where it doesn’t exist…. well, I need it, I believe I can say I am addicted. The instructors are the best. They are not only enthusiastic and supportive, but so encouraging during class. Just when I think I want to give up, they seem to sense that and say just the right thing so I believe I can hang in a little longer. It’s a wonderful atmosphere, and as long as I am in Tampa, I will be at Mantra.

How far have you come since that first class? The biggest benefit and one I had been looking for in a variety of other workouts and not finding, is a huge increase in energy, and a feeling of inner strength. I have been and still am a weight lifter for over 30 yrs and was a competitive body builder, so it wasn’t muscle strength I needed, it was a deep inner, core strength. Mantra gives me that. I also wasn’t sure how my lower back would do because it had gotten fragile and worn down from the wear and tear of life. I am so happy to report that it is strong, supports me, I have no pain, but took my time building to that level. At my age, it’s a super workout for low stress on the joints. The instructors are great for offering modifications if necessary. My husband comments all the time on how much livelier I am :) and the strength he sees I have gotten. Losing weight wasn’t a goal, I wanted to feel stronger, young again :), more energy, and the side benefits to achieving that has been a tightening up overall of my body, helping to work a little more against that creeping gravity. I have been here at Mantra for 15 months, and I can’t imagine ever giving up.

Thank you for sharing Sheila! If you want to be our showcased as our next Transformation Tuesday story, please let your studio know.  

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Getting in those Good Fats

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If you're working hard on the megaformer, we know that you are focusing on the foods you are putting in your body. Now, we'd love to be -- but we're not specialists -- these are just some of our favorites for healthy, good fats.

Avocado. This one is a gimme! Toss them on a salad, make some guacamole, the ways to enjoy avocados are endless. We love to freeze them and add to our smoothies, so creamy! 

Nuts. An easy way to add some fat & good protein to your meals; add them to your yogurt or salad for some extra crunch. 

Seeds. Another easy additive to spice up your salads, breakfast or add to your smoothies. 

Olive Oil. Great for cooking in...dipping in...drizzling on your salad. Add some spices to it and you are set! 

Coconut. Another ingredient where the opportunities are endless. We love to add coconut oil to our morning smoothies and hydrate with coconut water post workout. 

Fatty Fish. Bring on the Omega-3's! Salmon and Tuna top the list for our picks! 

Organic Meats. Eating products that are organic are better for you -- simple as that. The less preservatives, fillers, etc allows you to take in the best. Of course this goes for meat too!

What is your favorite way to eat one of the treats above?

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