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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? 


Transformation Tuesday with Kelly Lavieri


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!


Back to School Tips


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? 


Transformation Tuesday with Sheila Haddad


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.  


Getting in those Good Fats

good fats

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?


what we're wearing Wednesday...

And it's already Wednesday! We don't know about you, but this week is flying by! Book those megaformers today so you do not miss out on your favorite class; the August schedule is up and LIVE, so get to it!

Since you are here....we wanted to take a mid-week break and show you a couple new threads that are right in your studio. Get 'em before they're sold out!


You cannot go wrong with pair -- sky-like leggings & our cute, signature VW bus muscle tank. Perfect for your date on the megaformer and that coffee date afterwards.


We know, we know...during class we do not love that bungee, but at the end of the day, our booty does! This tank also comes in gray and goes with anythings -- plus check out the cute design on these capris!

We'll say it again, next time you are in your studio for class, make sure to check out these new additions!

*Tampa, remember that there is a sale on clothing right now. Stop by to take advantage of the deals!


Transformation Tuesday with Allison Castilow


Can you believe it is already August?! As the summer comes to a close, we are excited to share with you the story of Allison from our Sarasota studio. She has pushed past her own barriers and keeps getting stronger on the megaformer. 

What did you think when you first started taking classes? Challenging to say the least, but the instructor that day knew it was my first class and was extremely helpful with my form and safety. I knew immediately that I was up for the challenge of this workout, I know if I mastered my form and listen closely to the instructors that I would get the hang of it. Every time that I take a class I get a little more out of it and that definitely helps me mentally.

How did you find Mantra and what were your goals when you first started? I heard about Mantra from a dear friend who knew I would love it! I have a lot of joint issues and was hesitant to start a new workout regime. I was assured that this was a low impact workout and to give it a try...and so I did. Six month later I was still going strong and love it. My goal is to stick with it for as long as I physically can, fell stronger every class and have fun doing it! 

What are you current goals? My goal at Mantra is to continue working on my form and focus, once I get that down I can push myself through the challenging parts of class and gain my strength & confidence. I would also love to master quicker transitions and the dreadful bungee and scrambled egg! 

What is your best advice for others who are just starting to workout at Mantra? The advice I would give to others starting Mantra is to stick with it. Go slow and have faith in yourself that anything is possible. Also, ask questions,every little bit of advice helps and sometimes it is a small foot placement or head alignment that can make the difference. Everyone is very educated and helpful at Mantra and I enjoy every class I attend! 

How much weight have you lost and what else has changed since you started at Mantra? For me, the most that has changed is the confidence I have in myself; I have felt very insecure of my abilities -- what I could do and what I could not do. Then I realized I need to focus on my day to day achievements and not compare myself to others. I feel stronger every class and am able to push myself further everyday, things I thought I would never be able to do I now see possible! Physically, I definitely feel more tones, especially my core strength!

Thank you for sharing with us Allison! Don't forget, if you want to be our Transformation Tuesday superstar, just get with someone at the studio. 


Easy Additives for Overnight Oats

overnight oats

Today, on our Tampa Facebook page, Jeannie shared a delicious overnight oats recipe. It got us thinking... We already know that Overnight Oats are tasty, nutritious and so easy to make! A few of the instructors make them for early morning class or even for the weekend. We wanted to share a few ingredients to throw in the mix for your health and taste: 

cinnamon: Not only is it tasty, but cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, promotes a healthy heart and can also help decrease bad cholesterol. 

coconut oil: The reasons to have coconut oil daily are endless; it boosts your immune system, improves your energy, and even helps your hair & skin. 

nuts. A little crunch is always welcoming, plus an easy way to add flavor and some protein. 

your favorite protein powder. Obviously a great source of protein, but depending on your powder, you could also be adding an easy source of fiber and vitamins to your oats. 

What is your favorite thing to add to your overnight oats? 


Transformation Tuesday with Allie McClure


Let us introduce Allie from our Tampa studio. Allie has been with us from the beginning and is still burning it up on the Megaformer. Thank you for sharing with us Allie! 

How did you find Mantra, and what were your goals when you first started working out here? I was introduced to Mantra by our fabulous owner, Jeannie, a few months before she opened the Tampa location. She whisked me down to a class in Sarasota and after 50 minutes of torture on a machine they call a Megaformer, I was hooked. Sign me up, teach me, train me!

What did you think when you first started taking classes? As we began training to become certified Lagree instructors, my muscles were totally confused and I felt a new soreness that kept me wanting more. Not only was I being challenged physically, but mentally as well. I had to push myself to improve my balance and trust what I was capable of doing, even if I was nervous or slightly scared. After each session, my body was "buzzing" from truly fatiguing the muscles. I continued to feel stronger and stronger each time I got back on the Megaformer.

How many inches have you lost, and what else has changed? I had a unique situation when I began, I had just found out I was pregnant. That didn't stop me in the least though. I was able to modify when needed, but continued to gain strength throughout my pregnancy. My last session was only a couple weeks before I gave birth. I truly believe the strength and focus I had gained from classes helped me prepare for childbirth. And, as soon as I was cleared to exercise again, I was back on the Megaformer. It helped my body bounce back. Fast forward 10 months to today and I feel even stronger than I did prior to becoming pregnant.

What are your goals now? My goals today are to continue to challenge myself with range of motion, balance and stability, and to keep my energy up to chase my daughter around.

What's your best advice for others who are just starting to work out at Mantra? My advice to beginners is to not compare yourself to others around you. Everyone's body is different and has different abilities on any given day. Set an intention or goal for that particular day/workout. If you really commit, you will see results in all aspects of fitness: strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and body composition.


Upping your Fitness Ante

up the ante

We love seeing you on the megaformers (and there is still time to see us this weekend!), but what if you want to up the ante on your fitness game. Here are a few things you can do at home:

daily plank. Add a plank as soon as you wake up or just before you go to bed. Or, add it into your...

quick HIIT. High Intensity Interval Training. Jot down your favorite, quick workouts, grab a timer on your phone & go! Do each move for 30 seconds to 1 minute, work through your list, take a quick breather then hit it again! Go through your list 3-4 times for a good 15 minute burn.

just add squats. You can do them while you brush your teeth, waiting on a part of dinner to cook, during commercials of your show -- just add them! Just remember good form, keep your knees behind your toes, ideally over your ankles.

So we want to know, are you going to up the ante this week?