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The Pilates Angel website is live! Go to the site to see my latest projects and stay tuned for my new blog. http://www.pilatesangel.com

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Healthy Eats: Avocado Egg Bake

  
Breakfast is the most important and just so happens to be my favorite meal of the day. When I have to leave home for early morning clients, I typically make a green smoothie to-go. On the days when I have the morning off or have a later start, I enjoy taking the time to make a sit-down breakfast like this delicious Avocado Egg Bake!

Avocados and eggs are the perfect combination for a morning meal as they are packed with protein and fiber, that will keep you satisfied until your next meal. Try this easy recipe and feel free to use your favorite toppings like tomatoes, basil, cheese, and bacon.

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Prep Time: 5min

Cook Time: 15-20min

Serves: 1-2ppl

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Ingredients:

– 1 medium size avocado, halved and pitted

– 2 eggs

– salt and pepper to taste 

– red pepper flakes (optional)

– 1tbs feta cheese (optional)

– 1 tsp chives (optional)

Procedures:

1 — Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2 — Scoop out a small portion of the center of each half of the avocado with a spoon.

3 —  Crack 1 egg open into each half of the avocado, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 — Bake 15-20min, then top with red pepper flakes, chives, and feta cheese (or your favorite toppings) and serve.

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Tips: Make sure your avocado is a big enough size to be able to hold the eggs. Also, be sure to use a baking pan that can support your avocado to prevent the eggs from spilling off the side. I tried to use a tray at first and my egg was spilling so I opted for a cupcake baking pan and placed foil inside to keep the avocado halves in place.

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Move of the Day: Hundred

  
|| HUNDRED || Hundred is my move of the day and is a classical Pilates exercise that helps to tone your abs! Adding a set of 2lb dumbbells makes this move even more challenging for the core, and it will help to create lean, sexy arms too!

Benefits:

• Strengthens and tones the abdominals.

• Warms up the entire body and increases blood flow.

• Tones the arms and upper body.

• Coordinates breath with movement.

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1 — Start by lying supine with arms by the sides holding the dumbbells, and knees into the chest. Engage the abdominals by pulling the belly button in and curl the head and shoulders off the mat.
2 — Extend the legs out to a high diagonal with the heels together and toes apart in a Pilates “V.” Lift the arms above the level of the hips and begin pumping up and down vigorously, as you inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts.

3 — Repeat x10 and that makes 100!

4 — Hug the knees into your chest and lower the head and shoulders onto the mat. Move the head from side to side to relax the neck.

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Tips: Keep the body still as you pump the arms by engaging the abdominals throughout the exercise. For more of a challenge, lower the legs closer to the floor, but only as far as you can keep the abdominal engagement without arching the back.

Modifications: If you are a beginner, practice this exercise without dumbbells and start with the legs in a tabletop position, knees bent above the hips and feet lifted as high as the knees. If that is too challenging, you can also perform the exercise with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor. 
If you have any neck issues, do this exercise with the head down and use a small pillow or towel for extra support if needed.

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Photo by Sherry Dubash at KZP

Tights by Splits59

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Reflection: Breathe

  
|| BREATHE || Today was one of those days where absolutely nothing was going according to my plans and everything seemed to be going wrong. It is those days that I remind myself to breathe, to make changes, to adapt, to look for the lessons that I am suppose to learn, and to recognize that everything is actually going right.

Rather than sleeping in on weekends, I wake up early to take yoga. It feels good to move, to stretch, to meditate, and to breathe. Post yoga I typically go to my local coffee shop sometimes for up to 3hrs, where I read, write, organize my schedule, make plans, and work on new projects. Then I feel like I have plenty of time during the day to do other things like go to brunch, run errands, cook etc. 

On Sunday, I woke up and headed to morning yoga only to be turned away because the class was filled to capacity. I was bummed that I was missing one of my favorite classes and that I would have to change my plans for the day. However, I told myself to breathe and decided that instead of being upset, that I would just look forward to taking an afternoon class instead. So, I went back home, had breakfast, FaceTimed with a friend, showered, and started to organize my schedule and tackle my “To Do” list.

The afternoon came and once again I made my way to class. This time around, the class was full but everyone was able to participate, including a little girl that looked to be about 8yrs old. Five minutes into the class, the little girl stood still looking at her mom, clearly not understanding or enjoying the practice. Her mom decided to take her out, along with another family member. They walked across people’s mats, got their bags, took turns using the bathroom, and stood in the back of the studio talking. After a while the teacher asked them if they needed help with anything, as their exit was disruptive and seemed to be taking quite some time. They said they were fine and so they left, allowing the room to be quiet, except for the voice of the teacher, and the sounds of our breath.

Just as I was enjoying the peaceful vibe of the room, a phone started to ring. Of all the ringtones available, I’m pretty sure this one was the most obnoxious and set at the highest volume possible. It’s that one you pick when you know you have to wake up early and there’s no way you’ll sleep through it. The teacher asked for the phone to be turned off but no one moved to do so. A few minutes later, the phone started to ring again. This time the teacher took the bag, put it in a back closet, and shut the door. Finally, we had quiet once again, until another phone began to ring.

‘This is a $h!t show!’ I thought. Here I am coming to yoga for peace, and it seems like there’s nothing but chaos. The guy in front of me almost kicked me in my face in a few times in a downdog split, as he clearly lacked coordination and spatial awareness. Also, the content of the class was very basic as if it was an “Intro to Yoga” class, and I really wanted to flow. That’s when I thought, ‘I guess I’ll just breathe.’

When the class was finished, I thanked my teacher and left feeling a bit unsatisfied. I looked online to see if I could find another class and saw one listed at a studio that I had never been to before. I booked it and quickly went to the train to commute. I stood on the platform waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the train to come. Weekend train service can sometimes be delayed so I hoped that the train would come in time for me to make it to class. Finally, it did and I got on and sat down. A couple stops later, a big guy came on and said, “Excuse me,” as he squeezed himself in between myself and another passenger. ‘Is this dude seriously tryna fit his big a$$ into a small seat not caring that he’s making other people uncomfortable?!” I thought. In addition, he smelled like a mixture of heavy cologne, cigarettes, and funk. I told myself to breathe.

As I got off the train, I ran up the steps trying to make it to my class on time. Just then, it started to rain heavily. I fumbled, digging into my bag looking for my umbrella, dodging puddles and crowded sidewalks, and rushing to the studio. I checked in at the front desk, threw my bag and clothes in a locker, set up my mat in the classroom, and began to flow. The class was wonderful and felt so good. It was just what I had wanted and even more for the morning class that didn’t happen, for the afternoon class that was basic, for the delayed train, and for the uncomfortable commute.

It was so nice to discover a new studio and teacher, to meet and have locker room conversations with new people, and even to run into an old friend from a gym that I use to go to.

Although my day did not go according to my plans, everything worked out in a good way as it often does. Life happens to all of us and things will not always go the way we plan. Though there are many lessons to take away from this story, I am choosing to focus on the breath. Regardless of the outcome of a situation, be it a good or not so satisfying one, I choose to be calm and I choose to breathe. If ever you have a day where it seems as though everything is going wrong, know that it is going right and as one of my teachers says, “All you have to do is breathe.”

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Photo by Simon McDermott-Johnson

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Move of the Day: Tricep Dips

  
|| DIP || The Tricep Dip is my move of the day. If you feel like the back of your arms jiggle and need to be toned then this should be your go-to move! This exercise can be done using a bench, chair, sofa, or a step.

Benefits: Strengthens the back of the arms, shoulders, and chest.

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1 — Start by placing hands on a bench shoulder width apart, fingers pointing forward, and legs either bent or extended in front of you.

2 — Bend your elbows lowering the tailbone down towards the floor then push back up.

3 — Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Tips: Keep the elbows pointing straight up and keep the back close to the bench. Be sure to leave a slight bend in the elbows as you straighten the arms rather than locking them.

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Photo by Sherry Dubash at KZP

Top by Splits59

Note: Long Back Stretch is the exercise pictured on the Pilates reformer and tricep dips can be added as a variation.

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Elephant Journal: 5 Reasons

  
|| READ || If you have ever wondered what it would be like to go on a wellness retreat then this article is for you! Read my 5 Reasons to Book a Wellness Retreat in Elephant Journal.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/09/5-reasons-to-book-a-wellness-retreat/

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Reflection: Healthy Choices

 
 || EARLY || 9.8.15 — I did NOT wake up like this. It’s too early and I hate everyone! Ok, maybe not but at least that’s how I felt waking up at 5am. With a morning yoga photo shoot scheduled, I take an early morning class to begin my day with calm, focus, and to warm up my body. I rolled out of bed, got dressed, did my French lesson, had a glass of warm water with lemon, and made a matcha green tea smoothie before heading to 630am yoga.

I wish I was one of those people that enjoy going for a 5am run in Central Park but f**k that, I’d rather stay in bed lol. However, waking up early is a choice and I know that I will always feel good and prepared for my day after a morning practice.

After a 4hr long shoot outdoors on an extremely hot day, my morning preparation was certainly a good idea. I was able to remain focused between poses, and wardrobe and location changes.

Remember that we all have choices. We can chose to take care of our bodies just as we can chose to be happy. Think about the choices you will make each day that will serve you and others best.

Namaste… Angilique xo

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Photo by Abbey Matson

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