It's summer, the time we have all been trying to get in shape for. Now that summer is here, who wants to spend more time in the gym? Not me. And why should we? This is the PERFECT time to break up the routine a bit, take advantage of the outdoor weather, and stimulate new muscle growth and tone with a different type of workout.
Personally, in the summer I switch to body weight and plyometric workouts for strength training. The awesome part of these workouts, is that although they are excellent at toning and strengthening your muscles, is for the most part, no gym is needed. They can be done on simple pieces of equipment such as pull up and dip bars, stairs, or resistance bands, most of which are found in regular public parks, or can be easily acquired at home. If you’re like me, NOTHING beats breaking a sweat in the outdoors with the sun shining down…..just replenishes your soul.
What do you need?
Less than $70 to $225 in equipment, depending on your preference. That’s pretty short change for being able to work out in the beautiful outdoors.
1. Resistance bands – typically $30-40 for a decent set
2. Push up bars - $30
3. If you really want to get fancy, you can purchase your own “power tower” for around $150, which typically is a simple piece of equipment that has a pull up bar and leg raise bar and dip station.
So here’s my routine:
In the summer, I’m typically trying to stay a little leaner and am less focused on putting on size, so my workouts typically involve a good amount of cardio, and maintain a very brisk pace, with less than 30 seconds of rest between each exercise. This type of training, which is typically called “circuit training", keeps your heart rate up, and burns fat as well as keeps you toned.
Prior to each workout, I warm up with a 15-20 minute run, during which I try to cover at least 2 miles of distance, depending on pace, followed by a warmup of 2 sets each of the following exercises, each one minute long.
2. Jumping jacks
3. Squat jumps
for a total of 6 sets. You should be about 30 minutes in at this point.
*If you are near a beach, try sand running instead. A piece of advice, sand running KILLS your calves and abs, so ensure you plan ahead knowing that you will be very sore in those areas for 2-3 days after the workout.
1. Day 1 – Chest/Back
a. 3 sets of wide grip, 3 sets of close grip – this exercise is great at targeting your latissimus and serratus muscles, as well as biceps. If you cant do a full pull up, or have trouble doing more than a few, you can use resistance bands or a partner to help assist you in lifting your body weight. Don’t worry, before long, you will be stronger than you think.
a. Alternate each set with one set of push ups. 2 sets of close grip, 2 sets medium grip, 2 sets wide grip. I use a set of push up bars that allow a better range of motion, and help in isolating your chest and triceps.
2. Day 2 – Legs and Abs
For More advanced athletes:
Hanging leg raises
a. 3 sets of straight leg followed by 3 sets of bent leg raises. The key to doing this movement properly is ensuring that you have FULL flexion of your spine, meaning that the thigh portion of your leg must make contact with your chest. If that is not the case, you are not engaging your abs properly. When Im feeling particularly enthusiastic, I wear 10lb ankle weights for straight leg raises, and trust me, that’s all you need.
Hanging Sit Ups
a. You can also combine these exercises for a more thorough workout
b. Use a partner here for SURE, as not doing so can result in slippage and injury
For more intermediate and beginning athletes:
a. 5 sets of 40
Decline bar sit ups
a. 4 sets of 20
a. 4 sets of one minute each
Resistance band Squats
a. 6 sets of 10 total. First 3 sets using a wide leg stance, then 3 sets of ten using shoulder width stance. this is basically the same exercise as regular body weight squats, but using resistance bands to add extra resistance instead of weights. Ensure that you keep your chest forward that could compromise posture and cause injury resistance band lunges
b. 3 sets of 10, first one leg, then the other, for a total of 6 sets)
Day 3 - Shoulders and arms
Resistance band Military press 4 sets of 10
Resistance band lateral raises 4 sets of 10
Resistance Band Bicep Curl, 3 sets of 10
Resistance Band French Curl, 3 sets of 10
Resistance Band Concentration Curl, 2 sets 10 of each arm, 4 total
Resistance Band Tricep Kickbacks, 2 sets of 10, each arm, 4 total
This sequence I repeat twice each week, with one day off during the week, or mixing in some other activity such as cycling, swimming, or boxing into keep it interesting. This is just enough to get you a full body workout as well as some decent cardio In without having to spend a lot of time on either. After all, the goal is to enjoy the summer right?
In terms of my summer diet….very little changes. But I do take advantage of seasonal things such as the BBQ and salads that tend to be EVERYWHERE as well as fun to cook during this season. Its the perfect time to switch to a paleo type diet with the abundance of meat around.
Some simple changes that can make your summer a WHOLE lot healthier include:
1. Switching out regular hamburger meat for bison, ostrich, or turkey meat
2. Using mustard instead of ketchup as your main condiment
3. Swapping out mayonnaise for lighter options or miracle whip
4. Curbing the alcohol intake
5. Using balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil instead of salad dressing
These minor changes can keep your overall calorie count at less than 50% of what it was prior, enjoying almost the same amount of fulfillment in the process.
So get out there, grab a friend, have some fun, catch some rays, and enjoy your summer!
Dr. David A. Greuner MD, FACS, FICS is a contributor to Athleisure Mag and is the managing director and co-founder of NYC Surgical Associates. He is a double board certified surgeon (Minimally Invasive Surgeon and Cardiovascular Surgeon) with over 10 years of experience. Dr. Greuner is also an athlete and fitness expert .
PHOTO CREDITS | Sabina Plestilova
Choosing beauty products is tricky enough without having to translate all the ingredients and scientific lingo on product labels. But knowing what we put on our bodies (hello, rose gold highlighter) is just as important as knowing what we put in them, so we recruited beauty expert, founder and CEO of Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc. Gabriel De Santino to school us on some label-reading basics.
When it comes to understanding beauty ingredient labels, knowledge is definitely power. Even though it takes up your precious time to learn how to decipher everything that’s listed on your favorite product, in the end your skin (and your body!) will be better for it. Not only will you be able to confirm that the product you’re using is free of harmful add-ins, but you’ll also be able to better understand how it stacks up to others on the market. Plus, you’ll be certain that you’re choosing earth conscious and ethical items—how extra woke of you.
Want to ensure that the products you’re spending your hard-earned cash on are cruelty-free and made with clean ingredients? When perusing the aisles of your favorite store, the easiest way to spot a cruelty-free brand is through one of three certifications that appear right on the packaging—Leaping Bunny, PETA’s cruelty-free logo, and the Choose Cruelty-Free logo.
Familiarize yourself with these symbols and it will make shopping a breeze. If you’re filling up your cart online with time to kill, take a few minutes to check out each of the certification sites mentioned above for a list of cruelty-free brands so you can purchase from companies with like-minded val ues that you can trust. And always remember—if you see an ingredient listed that you can’t pronounce, Google it! Sometimes a complex-sounding word is a totally harmless additive, and sometimes it's as dirty as dirty gets.
Other tips to keep in mind: the higher up on the ingredient list something is = the higher the concentration, paraben-free is always the way to be, and the term “fragrance” can be used to mask unclean ingredients so be wary of brands that use it.
It’s also important to note that just because a product is formulated vegan that doesn’t mean it’s cruelty-free and vice versa. Vegan beauty products are made without animal ingredients or by-products, while cruelty-free refers to products and ingredients that aren't tested on animals --- however, this doesn't necessarily means the products are vegan. Why choose makeup and skincare (like our own Gabriel Cosmetics) that's vegan and cruelty-free? The answer is simple—they advocate healthy living and sustainable practices for both you and the environment.
Congratulations, you’re now significantly more label-savvy and well on the way to living a cleaner and greener life.
Gabriel De Santino is the founder and CEO of Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc., a global natural beauty empire starting in 1992, whose brands include Gabriel, Clean Kids Naturally and ZuZu Luxe.
Gabriel Cosmetic's Inc.'s prestige and diverse brand portfolio was created out of one man's vision of clearly defining natural beauty and being able to provide affordable and accessible vegan beauty products to consumers worldwide. Gabriel Cosmetics Inc. stared with a vision of natural beauty and has evolved with the philosophy of sustainable individual natural beauty while continuing to advocate healthy living.
Read more from the June Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Something You Should Know | The 411 On Reading Ethical Beauty Labels.
We're in that stage of life where we are going through milestones or watching those going through - rocking our careers of choice, launching businesses, getting engaged, married and having babies. We're aware of these benchmarks but the one we thing we hear after someone announces that they are expecting, there is a bit of a groan about what they can wear, what options exist and if they can go up a size. We sat down with corporate veterans and Co-Founders of of Mia Tango to talk about connecting mommies to be with brands that won't sacrifice their style and how this company was conceived.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background pre Mia Tango as our readers love knowing about trailblazing women.
STEPHANIE RETCHO: I began my career working in direct marketing - the great precursor to the digital age (darn, did I just age myself ?!). I remember so vividly interviewing for my first job in advertising at Leo Burnett in Toronto. It so perfectly combined my love of data with my creative talents - my inner geek did a happy dance. After working at Leo Burnett for a few years, I took a big leap of faith and moved to New York City. I played hookie for a week and flew to NYC, to interview with 6 or 7 different agencies. By the end of it, I had 2 job offers. 3 weeks later, this was home. I worked in agencies most of my career until moving to KAYAK. KAYAK was a marketer’s dream - the chance to work with smart people, building something you believed in, and then to watch it fly. KAYAK is where Melissa and I met, and working on Mia Tango feels like the perfect next step. This time, the journey is even more personal - it’s a problem that we truly believe needs solving!
MELISSA BIRGE: After college, I went to work for Arthur Anderson as a CPA in the adult division. I have always loved puzzles and solving problems, and that's what accounting felt like to me. Working for a large professional services firm gave me the opportunity to see a lot of different industries and company environments, and I found I preferred working with emerging companies that were in a high growth mode. After Andersen went under following the Enron crisis, I went to work for one of its clients: Orbitz. I loved the fast paced, demanding environment and the “newness” of the internet, plus travel is a big passion. I learned a lot about building a team, creating processes and working with different disciplines. Orbitz was acquired and a year later, I took some time off to travel the world on a solo journey, and then enjoy the Chicago summer before I started my new position as the Controller at a restaurant chain called Potbelly Sandwich Works. I loved learning about managing multiple retail sites and helping to profitably grow this beloved sandwich shop, but when I got the call to join the team at KAYAK, I packed my bags and moved to the east coast. KAYAK was a dream job - earning the CFO title and taking the company public before selling it for $2.1B. Having achieved everything I wanted to in finance and after having worked for some great start-ups, I felt it was time for the next great challenge: creating my own business.
AM: What was the moment that led you to creating Mia Tango and tell us more about this e-commerce platform.
MB: Mia Tango was really conceived from my own experience in buying clothing during my pregnancy and 4th trimester. I like to tell a story about my ultimate humiliation when I had to wear slippers to an important business meeting because I could not find any shoes that were wide enough to accommodate my big fat pregnant feet, and that's because there is no such thing as shoes made for pregnant women. But there were so many things that I found dissatisfying aout the whole experience - it felt like no
one really cared about pregnant women and new moms. It was like retailers were just putting forth the minimum effort because it wasn’t a big enough market to really care about. Well, I care about it deeply. I feel you pregnant women and new moms!
My husband and I were enjoying a glass of wine after we’d put our twins to bed, and he just asked me what I wanted to do next in my career, because he knew I was ready. The answer came out of my mouth so quickly and so naturally, and yet I was surprised to hear myself say it. I told him, “I want to start my own business.” From there, I just told him everything that I saw that was broken about buying maternity clothes and how I would change it. Retail was changing, the sharing economy was growing and millennials were embracing new ecommerce brands. Maternity was the last to adopt the trends, which really came as no surprise.
One of the things I really wanted to address head on was the guilt factor in buying maternity. When I was exploring the idea of Mia Tango, I interviewed dozens of pregnant women and new moms. I started out asking them to tell me about their pregnancies. Every last one of them described their pregnancy in joyful terms. Mind you, many of these women suffered horrific physical effects: debilitating morning sickness; a full body rash that itched like mad; preeclampsia; gestational diabetes. These are not little inconveniences – these are painful and frightening experiences – and yet, the women still felt their pregnancies were wonderful, because they all know, as every mother does, that the birth of a healthy child is a miracle.
Then I asked them to tell me about getting dressed for pregnancy and I got an entirely different reaction. Frustration. Resentment. And Guilt. A lot of guilt, which is kind of bullshit given the burden they’re carrying. Woman after woman told me where they usually shop and what they usually spend on clothes, and then described how they completely changed their entire shopping strategy after they got pregnant. They went from buying high quality, well made and fashionable items to cheap basics. Most often, the brands they knew and loved didn’t care maternity, so they were forced to shop brands they weren’t familiar with. The service was nonexistent at most big box stores and online, and they felt confused by what to buy and how to make a new wardrobe. They bought as little as they could get away with, focusing on plain tees, leggings and jeans. The result? They hated their clothes. The poor quality made their sensitive skin itch. The colors faded and the materials pilled and sagged. They wanted to burn their clothes in the end. Worse yet, like me, they felt like a lesser version of themselves. At the exact time they should have felt their most beautiful, they felt anything but.
AM: Mia Tango allows shoppers to be introduced to brands that provide maternity and new moms with attire as well as the ability to purchase pre-loved items - how important is having these avenues for your audience?
SR: We’ve heard time and time again - and experienced ourselves - how uninspiring shopping for maternity clothing is. The brands you like most often don’t make maternity, it’s hard to find things that you like, that are good quality and that you feel like yourself in. There are some really great designers out there making high quality, beautiful and intelligently designed pieces...it’s just that no one knows about them and they’re hard to find. First and foremost, we want to bring these great products together for moms-to-be and moms - all in one plae. The other side to the struggle is that mot women view buying maternity as a "temporary" thing. They feel guilty about investing a lot of money in it, but as a result they end up wearing things that they don’t feel good in. Our trade-in program lets mamas trade in most items purchased new at Mia Tango for 30% cash back. We also offer pre-loved items at 40-60% off the new purchase price. These programs are both designed to help mamas look great and feel great about their purchases. We really just want to be the brand that gets it. It’s so needed.
MB: Prior to starting Mia Tango, we talked to dozens of moms who told us all about their frustrations when searching for maternity and postpartum clothing. Chief among them was the challenge of finding chic clothes that fit their personal style, and so we felt it was vital to do this work for them and bring the best brands together. Then there was the conflicting feeling of wanting to look great, but not wanting to make a big investment in a temporary wardrobe. This was especially hard when they weren’t sure if they’d grow out of the clothes and they didn’t know the quality of unfamiliar brands. So we’ve designed our store to have generous and easy return policies, along with the option to have us buy back items within nine months of purchase. We also heard that many women love to shop pre-loved clothes because it makes them feel good, whether because they reduce their carbon footprint or because they score a great bargain. All of these features were designed to address the wants and needs of our customer.
AM: How do you go about finding designers that are featured in Mia Tango?
SR: All credit to Melissa on finding simply the best designers out there for pregnancy and new moms! She has a great eye! We’ve also benefited a lot from networking with other mom-preneurs. Many of the best styles in maternity and postpartum clothing are coming from women who saw a need and decided to solve the problem themselves by designing their own line. (Shocker, right? Moms making it happen!) We want to make it easier for other moms to find these great brands. That’s a huge part of why Mia Tango exists.
MB: We started with four designers and have now expanded to over 20! We’re always on the lookout for great new brands. When we see someone wearing something that we love, we research the designer and what they’re about, and designers seek us out as well. Quality is important to us, as is the designer’s vision - it’s got to fit with our woman’s lifestyle, values and aesthetic. We really believe in the brands that we carry.
AM: Will you extend these offerings to baby clothes as well?
SR: We have so many great ideas about how to expand our offering - we’re excited about all of them.
MB: At our heart, we are about the mom and what she needs, so any product extension that we consider has to pass through that filter first.
AM: As mothers who run this boutique, how important is it for women to ensure that they maintain self-care, take care of their families as well as to find outlets whether they are creative levels of expression and/or entrepreneurial?
SR: Whether a woman works outside of the home or in the home (and let’s be clear - it’s all work, and it’s hard work) so often, as moms, we’re told to put ourselves last when really we should be putting ourselves first. That’s a tough shift in thinking. But, it’s a crucial one. Everyone needs a base level of care in order to be able to function as a human. But, to really share your gifts with others (yes, you have gifts!) you need to be fed spiritually, mentally and physically. Family is a big part of that, but something to feed your brain and maintain your body and mind is equally important. How you feel about how you look is a big part of your physical being and your physical presence. That’s where Mia Tango comes in and it’s a big part of why I love it so much. Pregnancy and motherhood should be a time when you feel great about yourself, and clothing plays a huge part in that. For all the sacrifices you make, getting dressed should make you feel like, “heck ya, I’ve got this!”
MB: When I feel like I don’t have time to even take a shower, I always remind myself of what the flight attendants tell you during the routine safety demonstration: put your own mask on first before assisting others. As moms, this is so unbelievably counter-intuitive, but you really can’t help anyone if you aren’t well yourself. For me, self-care is about sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, a bit of meditation and quality time with my husband. When anyone of those things is missing from my routine, I find that I’m less patient and less able to cope with whatever hijinx three little boys cook up for me during the day. And work for me has always been a creative outlet, which sounds funny given that I’m an accountant by trade, but it’s been a way to use my mental energy to solve problems and it really feeds me. Our children are not ours to keep forever - we are here to teach them, guide them and then let them go. It brings me to tears to talk about, but that’s our job. And when they leave our home to start their own journey, we better hope that we have something else in our lives that keeps us engaged and energized, or else the void is going to engulf us.
AM: How important is it for women to encourage other women within business?
SR: It’s critical. While I think it’s also important (and much needed) for men and women to support each other, I think that women are truly able to understand each other’s situations - to be able to relate to the challenges, fears, and - yes - insecurities, as well as knowing first-hand the hurdles we have to get over every day.
MB: I remember hearing Sandra Day O’Connor talk about how the conversations and arguments on the Supreme Court changed as soon as there was one other woman on the Court. Suddenly, her views were amplified because there was another person in the room who could understand where she was coming from. I’ve noticed it in management meetings as well when I’m the only woman in the room vs. having at least one other, and it’s vital that women be heard and our needs be considered. So if you want to have products and services designed with women in mind, if you want women's specific healthcare issues researched, if you want better childcare, then you better make sure there are women in the room when these topics are being discussed. The best way I know how to do that is to help them. Network and make introductions. Serve as references. Give them feedback. Help them think through an issue or prepare for a presentation. Tell them how you managed through maternity leave. Advocate for policies that help women in the workforce. We all win when women succeed.
AM: How do you give of your time from a philanthropic standpoint?
SR: I so wish I had more time to give to the various causes I believe in. Right now, my philanthropic efforts are really focused on giving as much as I can in support of those causes, and to get involved where I can, which is mostly working with my girls to put together donations for various local drives. I think a lot of people - men, women, whether they are moms, dads, or entrepreneurs - struggle with adding this into the mix of their everyday lives. I’m no different.
MB: Having three young boys and running a new company is taking everything I have, so volunteering my time is something that I’ve had to set aside for now and instead focus my philanthropic efforts around giving donations of cash and goods. I feel that it’s important for my children, even as young as they are, to take part in passing along their own clothes and toys, and so we do this together whenever possible. One day, I’ll be able to give my time as well.
PHOTO CREDITS | PG 92 + 97 Nynne Schrøder | PG 95 Stephanie Retcho (left) and Melissa Birge (right)
We've been hooked and fans of Showtime's Ray Donovan since day one! The storytelling, the family - the fixing. With season 6 currently filming here in NYC, we were beyond excited to have Pooch Hall, who plays Daryll Donovan as this month's cover! Our shoot focuses on how he enjoys his down time in the city as we shot in various locations in Flatiron as well as hanging out with him on set! From playing Derwin Davis on BET's The Game, his current role as Daryll Donovan in Ray Donovan and being Frank Alexander on USA's Unsolved The Murders ofTupac & Notorious B.I.G. - Pooch shares it all with us.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We had such a great time shooting with you and then coming to your set! When did you realize that you wanted to be an actor and share with our readers about your journey as an actor and roles that you have appeared in?
POOCH HALL: I realized I wanted to become an actor, when I realized I could be a part of the world that entertains and influences, that I could be an influencer. I love entertaining and role playing.
AM: Regardless of our industries, we have had mentors that have really set the tone for our success - who has done that for you and what words of wisdom did they leave you?
PH: A few of the people who have been an inspiration to me are Jon Voight and Liev Schreiber. Jon with his caring and insight based on his experience and Liev based on pulling out my potential as an actor, whether we are acting together or he’s directing me. I have fun and I move based off what they give, or they share what is beneficial. Whatever they teach me, it’s always cherished and helpful.
AM: We've been fans of yours since "The Game" and when we saw that you had joined "Ray Donovan" we were so excited! As you're currently here in New York filming the 6th season, can you take us back to the audition process for being in this show and what have the past seasons been like in terms of being a part of this dynamic cast?
PH: The audition process was awesome it happened quickly. I was fresh off the end of season 5 of “The Game” and ready for the next move. I auditioned and then met with producers and we all connected. I’m blessed that they saw something in me to where I could be considered and recruited for the Ray Donovan star team.
AM: Do you find similarities and/or differences between yourself and Daryll and how do you prepare to play him on set?
PH: Daryll and I are different, but the same. Different because I’m in control of my life - where Daryll is still finding his way. Then the same because I play Daryll... and I want Daryll to be real and have qualities that people can relate to, an underdog trying to defy the odds and be someone who has a purpose...
AM: What if anything can you tell us about Season 6 and what are you excited about for the upcoming season?
PH: Daryll has finally come into his manhood and is exercising his independence as a man and as a Donovan.
AM: With filming being in NYC, how does this affect the show?
PH: Filming in NY is awesome. It’s different from LA. Their looks are different, their swag is different. New York offers a different energy and vibe. It makes people have to work and move differently.
AM: Watching the show there are so many dynamic personalities that interact with one another, we imagine that off camera, you guys are pretty close - how important is it to have that kind of camaraderie?
PH: Having a family camaraderie is amazing, but we have waited a long time to have a show like Ray Donovan and part of the show’s success is due to dynamics outside the show. We have been around Hollywood for a while and each one of us recognizes how important family is. And us being parents and having kids brought us together rather quickly. For example, my kids call Jon Voight "Papa Jon,” Eddie and my kids hang out and Liev fought for me to be in his movie "Chuck" where I played Muhammad Ali.
AM: Are you working on any projects that we should keep an eye out for in addition to the upcoming season of "Ray Donovan"?
PH: I’m working on writing my own story and I was recently in USA's “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.” where I played Frank Alexander, Tupac’s best friend and bodyguard. It’s now available on Netflix.
AM: In our shoot, we included a yoga session at Humming Puppy which is one of our Style Director's favorite places to work out. How do you stay in such great shape?
PH: I run, and I train with some great trainers. Boxing, Basketball and hot yoga are all a part of the regimen. I also try and eat as clean as possible.
AM: In LA, where can we find you working out, grabbing a bite/cocktails and where do you shop?
AM: As you have been in NYC for awhile, where do you work out here, where might we find you for drinks and where do you like to shop?
I love to go to Beauty and Essex and I spend a lot of time in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Wherever I can find a bar- gain... love me some Flight Club NY.
AM: We see you in front of the camera, but will we see you directing down the road as well?
PH: Yes like I said I’m writing and yes that’s the plan. You have to be a triple threat.
AM: How do you take time for yourself, especially when you are in the midst of filming for this role?
PH: When I’m sleeping lol and whenever I do have down time, I write or just explore the city.
AM: Philanthropically, how do you give of your time?
PH: I try and give my wife a hand by helping and supporting her fight in raising awareness for special needs. Our oldest daughter has cerebral palsy, and we are in a fight to give her and ones like her the best life possible.
AM: We know that your family man as we love seeing pictures of your wife and kids on your Instagram and we had the pleasure of hanging out with your son Djordan - how great is it to have him join you on set and to take him to the office with you?
PH: It was awesome having my son on set with me. He’s well behaved and constantly asking questions and to learn how Hollywood comes together. And I just love seeing my family, they are my everything.
Our photoshoot took place at a number of locations in Flatiron. We enjoyed including Patisserie Chanson and Humming Puppy NYC which is the sister location to their Sydney and Melbourne locations. Although they have only been open a few months in Flatiron, our team enjoys taking in some much needed zen! Jackie Alexander, one of the Co-Founders is not only in the shoot but took a moment to tell us about their newest studio!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We've been fans of Humming Puppy back when we included you in our Athleisure List a year ago for your locations in Sydney and in Melbourne and now you're in NYC! We've taken a few classes and are huge fans. Tell our readers about the ethos of Humming Puppy in general and specifically about your Flatiron location.
JACKIE ALEXANDER: At Humming Puppy we want our clients’ experience within the space to begin when they cross the threshold from the busy streets of NYC and enter our studio. There are gradual points of reveal as you move through the different zones within our space, transitioning into a space of relaxation before moving into the sublime – the shala/studio - and onto the mat.
In the reception and bathrooms our aim was to create a luxurious space with a spa-like atmosphere. In the shala, the aim is twofold; provide a sacred and beautiful space for your practice but also a practical space where there is ample room between each mat, where the teacher is visible (thanks to a tiered floor) and where our trademark hum resonates within the studio to enhance and deepen the experience of your practice.
Our Flatiron location was also specifically chosen due to its high ceilings and it’s beautiful arched windows, which let an enormous amount of natural light into our lounge/reception area. Finally, the columns within the space are a stunning reference to the buildings heritage and played a big role our design process.
One of the unique things about our studio is that we actually inject specific frequencies into the studio to help ‘tune’ you while you practice. Our yoga space or ‘shala’ is injected with a combination of frequencies to enhance and deepen your experience and make the shala feel as if it is humming. More specifically we use a combination of 7.83hz and 40hz. Being submersed in these frequencies helps you to naturally produce matching frequencies through a process of entertainment. 7.83hz otherwise known as the Schumann Resonance is actually the frequency of the earth itself and helps to 'ground' you through your practice. 40hz is specifically associated with ‘Gamma’ brainwave activity, integral for achieving states of peak performance. Elite athletes, top-notch musicians and high achievers in all fields, typically produce far more gamma waves than average.
And whilst all of that sounds quite serious and complicated, on a much simpler level the hum just feels good!
AM: Why did you want to bring Humming Puppy to the states and ultimately to NYC - are there other cities that you feel you'd be interested in having Humming Puppy in?
JA: NYC is just an amazing city that has always held a special place in our hearts and it has been our intention, since before even launching our first studio in Melbourne, to bring Humming Puppy to NYC. Apart from personally being in love with the city, we also felt that the calming and restorative nature of our studio would provide an urban sanctuary where you can relax and take time out from the high paced NYC lifestyle.
AM: If you haven't covered already, tell us about the classes offered at Humming Puppy and what once can expect when taking them.
JA: We don't prescribe to any specific style but rather draw our inspiration from all of the lineages from which our teachers have practiced and learnt. We believe this gives our students a unified and holistic practice. We base our teachings on the principles of breath-pranayama, movement-asana and awareness-meditation. These principles are the foundation of our 3 class styles in which we welcome beginners through to the most experienced yogi.
These 3 class styles include our Mellow Hum which is a super chilled class that may include gentle slow flows and postures held for 3-5 minutes at a time.
Our Unified Hum which is a medium intensity class that gives students an opportunity to link breath to movement to calm the mind and strengthen the body.
And finally our Dynamic Hum, which is a high intensity class that can include stronger, longer holds, Vinyasa flows and advanced postures that will energize and challenge your practise.
In all of our these classes we welcome beginners through to the most advanced yogi and will always offer variations for beginners for any advanced postures that are being practiced.
AM: We have a number of things that we love about Humming Puppy can you tell us about the phenomenal quartz light?
JA: Our beautiful quartz crystal light is an original piece by Christopher Boots who is a phenomenal Melbourne based industrial designer. When we first saw the piece, we immediately fell in love with it, not just because of its breathtaking aesthetic, but also because we loved the idea of showcasing an artist from our home town. Finally, crystals actually act as a resonator and amplifier of frequency and as such the piece is a beautiful compliment to the Hum that we inject into our shala.
AM: The shala is amazing from hearing you playing the bowls in the space, the dark interiors and the stadium like setup. Can you tell us why the space is laid out like this and how this is beneficial to doing yoga there?
JA: We have come to learn that many students actually have their favorites spots within a yoga class. And as a result of this we have built a mat booking system that allows you to reserve the exact location that you want to be within each class. However, we also didn’t want to disadvantage those who like being in the back over those who prefer the front and so we have tiered our studio (similar to stadium seating) so that no matter where you are located within the class you can always see the teacher.
AM: What is the connection between yoga and sound?
JA: Whist there here are many connections between yoga and the use of sound (through singing or the use of various instruments such as singing bowls), one of the more commonly known examples is the chanting of Om within the practice. The actual meaning of Om has many different interpretations, from it being the “sound of universe” to it representing that which is "mysterious and inexhaustible”.
AM: Tell us about amenities that are offered at Humming Puppy from products in the bathroom and the use of the lounge?
JA: At Humming Puppy we like you travel light - emotionally and physically - so we provide absolutely everything from our home town. Finally, crystals actually act as a resonator and amplifier of frequency and as such the piece is a beautiful compliment to the Hum that we inject into our shala. We also provide hair ties and phone chargers complimentary as well.
Our bathrooms are fully stocked with towels, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair dryers, straighteners and shower caps.
And finally in our lounge area, we serve complimentary herbal tea; coconut water and filtered water and students are welcome to make themselves at home before and after class!
AM: Being that you are in NYC now, tell us about where we can catch you grabbing after work drinks/meal, brunch on the weekends and shopping in NYC?
JA: I tend to be a creature of habit and go back to places I love a lot like Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, La Esquina, Café Dante and my local fav XYST but….. …..with that said I love exploring all the amazing food that New York has to offer and so you’ll find me trying out all that there is to offer most weekends. For shopping one of my favorite things to do is wandering through Barney’s on 7th Avenue and simply soak up the design aesthetic and creativity.
119 W. 23rd St.
NY, NY 10011
THE CUBAN AFFAIR
Simon & Schuster
What's not to love in Daniel "Mac" Graham MacCormick's life? At 35, he lives in Key West, owns a 42 foot charter fishing boat (which has a large bank loan), was an infantry officer in the Army and returned after 5 years with a Silver Star and 2 Purple Hearts.
With looming debt, he agrees to take on a job for $2 million for a 10 day fishing tournament to Cuba which he suspects has more involved than an outing that could include anti-Castro groups.
He learns that his charter involves obtaining $60 million in Cuba. His client's grandfather stashed the money in Cuba prior to fleeing from Castro's revolution. With the "Cuban Thaw" taking place between Havana and Washington, they are now in a race to find the money before someone else does. Mac will either be rich or not at all.
Former Runner's World editor-in-chief, Boston Marathon winner and runner that have logged over 100,00 miles - Amy Burfoot gives advice on how one can enjoy running and the health benefits that will last for a lifetime.
The act of running starts at an early age and is as natural as breathing is to us. But this simple act has become complicated with trendy gadgets and thought processes that hinder this native act.
This book focuses on the basics and the root of lacing up and running. She provides guidance to runners of every age and ability level.
Readers will find that regardless of their skill level, that they are properly motivated, learn how to avoid energy and see how they can increase their speed and endurance in order to reach their goals!
By the Editors of Food & Wine
Food & Wine Editors as well as celebrity chefs such as Daniel Holzman of NYC's Meatball Shop shares meals in a cookbook that literally share menus that you can create! You'll find a classic recipe with two sides, wine pairings, tips for leftovers and technique for the dish in an easy to use cookbook!
In addition to the stunning imagery, the techniques are clearly illustrted. We're excited about the Meatball Shop's Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (the leftover option as well as the technique to make the uniform balls is great to know).
Ted Allen's Pan-Roasted Salmon with Tomato Vinaigrette is another winner that's perfect to enjoy as the temperatures continue to climb. The technique of learning how to remove salmon skin is another sill that's worth knowing (or being able to share at your next cocktail event.
Season 2; June 15th
Amazon Prime Originals
If you haven't caught up on Goliath, we know you're marking your calendars to catch up as the new season will release on June 15th on Amazon Prime. Season 2 continues with Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thorton) continuing to fight new giants (just like last season)! He finds that the client he is meant to defend has an issue that involves a mayorial candidate. In addition, there is a new villain in town that makes the season interesting and creepy.
Season 2; June 29th
You know that the team at Athleisure Mag is a fan of wrestling (just check out some of our previous covers) so of course when the first season of GLOW came our last year we were hooked! With it's 80's nostalgia as well as focusing on the beginnings of the "Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling", this dramedy is an easy one to binge if you need to catch up.
The second season focuses on the launch of GLOWs' late-night cable television show which was taped in Las Vegas at the Riviera Hotel and Casino (which was demolished in 2016).
This season focuses on activities that take place around the show from Debbie wanting to be a producer but finding it difficult to break through the boy's club, another wrestler has a flirtation with a camera man, another character has a sexual epiphany while another has their version of a #MeToo moment.
From the creator of Shameless comes an exhilarating, ballsy and funny police comedy-drama with dynamic female characters and a unique take on police procedurals mixed with cutting edge humor. Joanna Scanlan and Elaine Cassidy star as Manchester detectives working in a crumbling cop shop who hunts for a serial killer. The series focuses on how these women got here on this side of town while also working to keep the
streets clean. This close knit teams works on the toughest cases given to them. If you enjoy this season, the second will air on Acorn TV this fall and the third season is currently in production.
We are firmly in the summer season and although we have been working out and watching our intake, we know that there are other tips that are important to keep in mind when it comes to working out. We decided to tackle 5 Belly Foods by getting tips from Eraldo Maglara, NSCA-CPT.
If I had a dime every time someone has asked me “can you get a six pack just by doing 100 crunches a day?” I would be a very wealthy man. Most of us have cometo realize (by now) that no amount of sit ups, leg raises or “crunches” can sculpt your abdomens to look like a pro bodybuilder. On the other hand, a well-balanced approach of foods and fitness tips can get you ready for that summer beach body you will be proud to share with everyone.
One of great things about yogurt is that it has evolved over the years. Just a while back, I could count the number of varieties on my hand. Today, there are over twenty manufacturers and an array of varieties. However, what makes yogurt so appealing to your belly is that it is low fat, low calories and it helps improve your digestive system.
Fitness Tip: Having a yogurt mid-morning can help you avoid unwanted calories at lunch and /or give you the boost you need for your evening workout.
Research has shown that eating cherry’s or blueberries can help reduce belly fat. The chemical (which gives the fruit it’s color) helps burn stomach fat. Moreover, berries are good source of antioxidants which play a big role in protecting your body from free radicals which can play a big role in heart disease, cancer, etc.
Fitness Tip: After a great training session, your body depletes itself of vitamins and minerals. Having a cup of berries can replenish those lost nutrients and help you keep unwanted fat around your waist.
There is no doubt that eliminating the bad fat from your body (i.e. trans-fat, heavy saturated fat) will lower your cholesterol levels; which has been linked to heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat (good fat), low in cholesterol and a great source of fiber.
Fitness Tip: Avoados contain a great amount of potassium. Eating them, can maintain proper function of your vital organs (such as your heart and your kidneys) which is necessary to maintaining a strong and fit body.
Having a well-balanced breakfast is key to starting off your day on the right track. Eggs (over the years) have played an integral part in our morning routine for good reason. The vitamin content in eggs include Vitamin D (which attacks the visceral fat around your organs) and Vitamin B12 (responsible for burning fat cells) is an ideal choice to help maintain your belly looking “eggstra”ordinary.
Fitness Tip: Protein is the cornerstone for building your muscles. Eggs contain a good amount of it which makes it an ideal food to have post-training.
Personally, I believe cucumbers are underrated. Given the fact that they are loaded with H20, low in calories and help with bloating, cucumbers are a great source of vitamin A, B and C which boosts your immunity and supply you with an abundance of energy for the day. Did I also mention they are great for reducing puffiness around your eyes? Underrated....nevermore.
Fitness Tip: Flushing out toxins is a great way to keep your system running optimally. While working out, slice up a few cucumbers in your water and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Eraldo Maglara, NSCA-CPT is a personal trainer, author of The Real Fountain of Youth: Simple Lifestyle Changes for Productive Longevity, a book on healthy aging. He is also a contributor to media outlets across the country, has been featured in numerous publications and is the host and Executive Producer of the show "Healthy Lifestyle with Eraldo" seen in Philadelphia.
Read more from the June Issue and see 5 Flat Belly Foods and Fitness Tips with Eraldo Maglara in mag.
Former professional dancer, choreographer and celebrity fitness instructor Lauren Kleban is the founder of LEKfit which opened officially in 2016 in the Larchmont/Hancock Park area of LA. She created a dance-inspired fitness method designed to create long and lean muscles by using intervals of low impact, high intensity, fat burning cardio with muscle sculpting techniques created to strengthen and tone.
LEKfit takes a musically driven approach to fitness with Lauren consistently drawing inspiration from her ballet, jazz, burlesque and yoga training to create fun and effective workouts that empower and promote body love and acceptance.
Lauren has trained a number of celebs including Busy Phillips, Emmy Rossum, Lindsay Price, Alia Shawkat, Katie Duplass, Ever Carradine, Lara Worthington, Judy Greer, JoAnna Garcia, Charlotte Ronson, Elizabeth Chambers, ad Katherine McPhee.
This method offers three different concepts. BOUNCE is a signature intense cardio and muscle sculpting workout. Each class includes a warm-up, low impact, high-intensity cardio session using mini Jump Sport trampolines, leg, arm and core series plus a cooldown.
SCULPT is a ballet and yoga inspired class designed to create long and lean muscles. Each of these classes includes a warm-up, leg, arm and core series plus extended stretching for optimal muscle recovery.
FUSION is a high-intensity cardio and muscle sculpting class that incorporates the best parts of each LEKfit workout. Each class includes a warm-up, intense cardio session, leg, arm and core series plus a cool down and stretch.
Amenities that guests can enjoy at this studio include showers, changing rooms, a waiting room and the Joovv infrared light.
For those that want to continue taking classes outside of the studio session or for those that may live outside of LA, Lauren launched LEKfit On Demand early 2017. Those who connect with this service see Lauren in her LA garage studio with the LEKfit On Demand.
This service allows you to stream two brand new fifty minute full-body workouts every Wednesday directly from her studio and LA clients. This service offers hundreds of full body workouts. You'll also find do anywhere + anytime shorter workouts and "add-ons" which allow you to mic and match what you do based on your time and ability.
Known as "The Most Influential Hairstylist in the World," via New York Times, Jen Atkin has styled the tresses and has the most loyal clientele of some of the influential people including Kourtney Kardashian, Katy Perry, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Gigi and Bella Hadid. In addition to being a Celebrity Hairstylist, she launched OUAI haircare line in 2016, a range of Beauty Works hair extensions, her line of Chloe + Isabel hair accessories and works closely with Dyson to bring their innovative Supersonic blowdryer to market.
With a passion to unite the hair industry and to create a community for hairstylists, she created ManeAddicts.com in 2014 and provides access to top hairstylists as well as featuring products and instructional videos. Due to its success, she expanded to Mane University, a global education resource that brings top stylists to major cities around the world to inspire hairdressers.
We took a moment to chat with Jen about her career, her favorite summer hair looks as well as a new pop, OUAISPACE that is being held at Gurney's in Montauk.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the ah ha moment that drew you to being a hairstylist? Tell us what your journey has been as you have built your name in the industry to being one of the most sought after hairstylists?
JEN ATKIN: I’ve always loved doing hair and was obsessed with Natalie Imbruglia’s short haircut in her ’Torn’ music video when I was a teenager in Utah. No one could give me the cut I wanted, so I went to the store, bought a pack of shaving razors, and started cutting my own hair. Soon I was cutting all my friends’ hair in my parent’s garage. After high school, I drove to California with literally only $300 and my Honda Civic hatchback. I called al the salons in Allure's beauty directory until finally someone returned my call and I started working as a receptionist at Estilo Salon in Beverly Hills. I remember running out to feed meters for Bette Midler and I was so excited and thought “I could move back home that was enough for me” lol.
I’ve just really worked hard and tried to be an honest good person. I’m so lucky I’ve had such support from my clients and friends.
AM: In 2016, you created OUAI - why did you want to add a haircare line to your ecosystem?
JA: It felt very odd to me that there were a lot of men in boardrooms making decisions about what women want for our hair. I wanted to create the first product line a community helped create, promoting a realistic lifestyle that feels inclusive. It was important for me to have a group of women talking to other women about their haircare needs. I think that more brands are trying to empower women. I want to change the conversation in business and beauty! I wanted to stop making the conversation only about women being pretty and start celebrating the spirit and power of being a woman in business.
AM: Why and how did the partnership between Gurney's Resorts come about?
JA: We’ve had pop-ups in NY & LA before so it only felt natural to partner w/ Gurney’s in Montauk.
AM: Will there be future integrations of OUAISPACE of this nature like this and if so why did you start at Gurney's first?
JA: Yes! The look and feel of Gurney’s is so relaxing and just feels easy. Which goes hand-in-hand with what OUAI’s aesthetic is.
AM: With summer hair dreams in our minds what are 3 products that are a must to give you perfect beach hair?
JA: OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil – Rosehip Oil reduces the appearances of scars and redness and is known to lock in moisture, so it’s great for both skin and hair.
OUAI Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray – In the summer people want to spend more time outdoors and less time sitting at their salon. There are new trending ingredients (like the coconut water in our Sun of a Beach) that help keep hair hydrated and give this fun throwback product a modern update.
OUAI Wave Spray – Give your hair natural wave & body without the crunchiness and it’s made with rice protein instead of salt so it won’t dry out your hair.
Christophe Robin Prickly Pear Balm - This is a non-sticky, multipurpose balm infused with all butter and oils to nourish the hair and skin so you can use it all over. Rub some together in your hands and rub it on your ends for a more textured look. To tame frizz, rub a little on your hair and smooth down those flyaway. And for curls, it can be used to redefine and add shine/hold.
AM: What are your favorite products from your line?
JA: My favorites would definitely be the OUAI Treatment Masque because I love the individual packettes that are perfect for throwing in my purse or gym bag and doing a treatment while I work out. I’m also obsessed with the OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam because it’s unlike any other hair products on the market. You can extend between washes 3-4 days. It’s dry shampoo on steroids. You need it in your purse, your gym bag and your hair right now.
AM: What classic updo hairstyle do you suggest should become our go to look this summer? Let us know how we can achieve it and what products we need to have on hand to make it happen.
JA: I suggest the Textured High Pony
1. Pull hair in back into half pony
2. Add the rest of hair and secure with an elastic at the crown of the head
3. Use OUAI Dry Texture Foam to pony for added volume and fullness
4. Finish with a toothbrush and OUAI Medium Hair Spray to smooth flyaways
AM: When you're not working, where do you go for a cocktails and a great meal, where do you work out and where can we find you shopping?
When you're out with your girlfriends, you enjoy hanging out and a number of sips - that's when the conversation gets real. You talk about your love life, what you should do in your careers and then its down to talking about what's going on down there. Maybe you have questions or are prepping for when you have your next visit with your OB/GYN. We decided to find out answers to some questions that readers have asked us by talking with Dr. Sherry Ross who is based in Santa Monica. We found that talking with her was like adding her into our tribe of girlfriends!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background and how you knew that you wanted to be an OB/GYN. In addition, if you can, feel free to let us know about celeb clients that you have worked with.
DR. SHERRY ROSS: When I was a young girl, I would go on hospital rounds with my father who was a Urologist—I must admit that initially I went for the endless supply of donuts and apple juice in the doctor’s lounge. However, over time, I learned firsthand how much my father embraced and loved his patients and loved his profession. I took careful note of his compassion and the positive impact he had on his patients, as well as the powerful impact that my father’s patients had on him. I knew I wanted to be a doctor in order to experience that same powerful and healing give and take. I can honestly say that the most gratifying thing about my 25-year career in medicine has been the relationships and bonds I’ve developed with my patients. I gravitated to OBGYN in my 3rd year of medical school since I loved delivering babies and being a part of such a joyous and memorable experience. Helping women was so satisfying and enjoyable and I really felt as though I could make a difference in their wellness journey.
I felt as though when women's legs go up in stirrups, the conversation really begins and I could serve as their best friend or favorite therapist.
I am fortunate to take care of many A-list celebrities who also are committed to women’s health and wellness. Reese Witherspoon was incredibly kind and generous to write me a wonderful forward to she-ology. Social and celebrity influences can help promote the messaging of empowering women to take better control of their health and wellness.
AM: We had the chance to have lunch with you. Why do you think that women's health in terms of vaginal issues, questions etc seem to be difficult for women to address and what can we do to make these conversations easier to have?
DR. SR: Women need to be comfortable talking about their vagina’s. 50% of women never talk about their vaginal health with anyone, not even their doctor. If you can’t even say the word vagina how are we supposed to talk about it? Women need to talk about their specific health care issues, issues that are often ignored and not dealt with. There are very few places where women feel comfortable talking about their vaginas without feeling judged, so at the very least, a doctor’s office should be a bastion of comfort. 90% of women wished they had more information about vaginal health.
The inability to say the word “vagina” has been passed on in our culture from outdated attitudes, societal norms and misconceptions about the vagina and sex. It doesn’t help that our society as a whole is undeniably juvenile about our approach to vagina. As an example, in June 2012, a bill was presented on the House floor seeking to regulate the use of the word "vagina" after Micigan Representative Lisa Brown was banned from speaking because she used the term in a debate over an anti-abortion bill. "Brown's comment
so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women,” complained Representative Mike Callton (R: Michigan). “I would not say that in mixed company.”
A ban on a word that is a medical term used to describe our female genitalia? Politics and mainstream media will not allow the word "vagina: to be said out loud without some sort of backlash. We need to change this reality for the sake of women’s health, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a problem in mainstream advertising for the treatment of erectile dysfunction!
I am counting on our younger generations of women to help lead the way and change the narrative on how we talk about our health, our bodies, and especially, our vaginas. Women need to take control of their bodies in every way. We cannot be afraid to ask uncomfortable questions. We need to learn and explore the changes our bodies experience throughout our lifetime.
The conversation needs to start at a young age with our girls, daughters, nieces and granddaughters.
It’s not just one “talk” we need to have with our daughters. There are many “talks” about their bodies and overall health that needs to happen depending on the developmental (hormonal!) milestone and what is age-appropriate. Before you start talking about human sexuality and sexual behaviors you have to have created an environment where your daughter feels comfortable discussing other sensitive topics such as puberty, proper nutrition, body image issues, recreational alcohol, tobacco and drug use.
When young girls learn about their body part—“here is my nose, my ears, my belly button”---they need to learn and use the word vagina from an early age so they become comfortable with their own anatomy. When mothers teach their daughters code names for their vagina, such as "Vajaja", this does not move the needle in the right direction of changing this narrative.
If mothers or other role models to young girls don’t initiate these types of sensitive topics, your daughter will find other ways of learning about her health and wellness from other resources. This is where the problem lies. Social media and porn have damaged our children in how they look at themselves.
It’s important for moms to normalize these conversations between a mother and daughter. The more comfortable and candid you can make these conversations, the more relaxed your daughter will be when her breast buds, period, body image concerns and sexual health issues present themselves to her.
In life there are a handful of sensitive subjects that feel completely awkward between a mother and a daughter and talking about her first period, breast development, pubic hair, the vagina, where babies come from and sexual health. In
truth, talking about your sexual health may be a completely off limit subject between mom and daughter.
Even though the average age of a young girl getting her period is 12 years old, puberty, in all its glory, starts as early as 8years old. Breast buds are noticeable 2 years before the period actually starts and can be detected between 8 to 13years. Pubic hair, hair under your arms and legs and acne also joins the hormonal party during the "tween" years. It's important to skowly and comfortably ease your daughter ito talking about her body and changes associated with puberty which empowers young women to embrace their body in a healthy way.
Promote body confidence. Teach your daughter about her body, use the correct descriptive terms when talking about her breasts, vagina and period. If young girls and women are not able to confidently own the proper words to describe their female body parts, it makes it difficult to comfortably talk about their personal needs and experiences.
AM: Vaginal care is an essential and we liked your analogy to taking care of this area as we do our faces. Can you break that down for us?
DR. SR: The one thing I wish women knew was where their vulva was located on their "vagina". This is vagina confusion that women will appreciate understanding more about...
You must get to know your vulva and vagina, up close and person. First - let’s be clear what we are talking about regarding the vagina. The “vagina” actually includes the vulva, labia-majora (outer lips) and labia minora (inner lips), the opening to the vagina is called the introitus, the inner vagina, the urethra (small opening leading to the bladder), the clitoris and the protective hood of the clitoris. The inside of the vagina, where tampons go, is a temperamental and ultra-sensitive area. 50% of women wonder if their vagina is normal looking. My first and foremost advice to women is to get to know your lady parts, know what your “normal” is so you will know when a potential problem arises. If you have not done so already, pull out the mirror and get to know your vagina, your vaginal health depends on it. Every woman needs to take a “vagie” to really know this lady part intimately.
Your vulva and vagina are very sensitive to everyday feminine rituals. Using the wrong types of soap can cause irritation and bad odor. Avoid soaps which are heavily perfumed and are not pH balanced which upset your body. Using a gentle, lightly fragranced wash and natural skin moisturizer daily is ideal, especially ones made specifically for the vulva. Your vulva and vagina does need a special cleaning routine and it usually begins with using a special wash and warm water. You cannot use the same soap to clean your feet and underarms to wash your vagina! I highly recommend Summer's Eve Cleansing Wash made specifically for our most sensitive area on our body. Vagina friendly washes carefully clean the vulva, remove odor-causing bacteria and are balanced for a woman’s natural pH.
Cleaning the outside of the vagina or the vulva, clitoris, and vaginal opening every day with a vagina friendly wash is so important. You can use a wash cloth or your fingers to clean this area in the shower or bath.
AM: Why have you partnered with Summer's Eve and why is it essential to utilize cleansing products like this as opposed to total body soaps that are not formulated for the vagina.
DR. SR: Partnering with Summer’s Eve was an easy and authentic relationship since I wholeheartedly believe women have to care for their vagina in the same way we care for the skin of our face. Using vagina friendly and specially made products for this sensitive and temperamental area of our body is so important and necessary. Summer Eve’s has been around since the 70’s and they have created products for the vagina that are clinically and gynocologist tested for safety in this delicate area. You can’t use an everyday soap on the vagina like most women used daily. When you use a vagina friendly wash that’s designed to be balanced for a woman’s natural pH and sensitive to the vagina you feel fresh and avoid irritating residue. I am on a mission to change the narrative on how we talk and take care of the vagina.
AM: As many of our readers enjoy cycling, hot yoga, pilates etc how do we take care of our vagina in order to ensure that we are keepig it healthy in the midst of these activities.
DR. SR: Certain sports can be hard on the vagina. Cycling and spinning are at the top of this list!
The way the vagina is positioned on the bicycle seat exerts unfamiliar pressure on certain parts of the delicate soft tissue of the labia majora and minor, better known as the "lips" of the vagina. With prolong bicycle rides or spinning classes the intense pressure on certain parts of the vagina, tailbone, lower back and groin creates restriction of blood flow, skin irritation, and ultimately numbness of the area, especially the clitoris. Some women even report disruptive genital pain and discomfort with reduced genital sensation.
Other problems that are associated with cycling, spinning and horseback riding include vaginal infections such as yeast and bacterial due to the poor vaginal ventilation and moisture buildup that occurs with these sports. With constant pressure on the vagina, skin cysts can develop as well. Your cycling posture and the way you sit on the bicycle seat also affects the pressure that is exerted on the delicate parts of the vagina.
Recumbent cycling does not create the same problems on the vagina that upright cycling cause. The pressure and problems of the vagina that are typical of upright cycling are transferred to the buttock for those recumbent cyclers causing minimal discomfort.
You can avoid some of these problems by using the appropriate saddle seat, cycling shorts, professional bike fitting, using proper cycling posture, allying emollients and moisturizing creams to the vagina. Also taking a shower or long bath following these types of activities is helpful.
Hot yoga and any activity that brings excessive heat and sweat to the vagina can increase the risk of a yeast infection or vaginal skin irritation. Changing ito clean and dry clothing after these types of workouts is important to prevent these types of problems. I also love the Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths to freshen up after a hot workout. They are balanced for a woman’s pH and also get rid of any odor causing bacteria, so I can feel comfortable all day.
AM: Picking an OB/GYN is such a process - what are the questions that we should have to ask our potential caregiver to see if they are a match for our needs.
DR.SR: Many women are given a list of providers to choose from according to their insurance policy. With social media, Yelp and other physician review sites you can and should learn about the doctor you are going to trust with your health. You can always interview a potential doctor first before you commit to making an official office visit. You want to be comfortable with the doctor you select. Depending on what is important to you, you may want to ask the following questions:
1. Will I get a call back with my test results?
2. Are you accessible via email?
3. How long does it take to get an appointment with you?
4. Will you be calling me back or will it
be one of your office staff members?
5. How often do you suggest I get a pap smear?
6. Make sure the OBGYN is board certified and there are no malpractice claims against them.
The most important quality to find in a new OBGYN is that you feel comfortable talking openly and honestly with her/him.
AM: Over the last year, we feel that we have learned about conditions that women are battling such as Endo and thanks to social media we have learned about symptoms and the stories of celebs, influencers etc that have given us information - but what is a resource that you suggest that women can use to find out answers to their questions when they aren't talking to their OB/GYN?
DR. SR: Your medical information is as reliable as the source you are using. I would stick to WebMD, Mayo or Cleveland Clinic and the Harvard Health Newsletter and avoid chat rooms that can lead to a lot of confusion and misinformation. I also like GoAskAlice.com for relatable and accurate medical information.
AM: Tell us about what are you up to this summer and fall as we know that you are working on a number of things - feel free to share with our readers.
DR. SR: I am working on my next books, She-sequel and the 7 Cycl Systems that women experience. During the summer I enjoy spending time with my sons who come back home for vacations and family time. My wife who is a high school principal in Watts, California, also has more free time to hang out together.
AM: We know that you have a book out called She-ology. For those that are not patients of yours, how can they connect with you and find out their pressing questions.
AM: We also know that you have created a line of supplements - can you tell us more about that?
DR. SR: My mission is to change the narrative of how women talk and learn about their health and overall well-being.
Over the course of my 25+ years as a practicing OB/GYN and women's health educator, I came to realize that women can experience up to 7 distinct hormonally-driven cycles. Each of these life chapters introduces both unique wellness challenges and opportunities to maximize well-being. During this same time, my patients were asking for potentially harmful prescription medications to deal with concerns such as PMS, stress, and hot flashes and my advice on what products could help them feel their best during complex, hormonal life stages, such as Fertility, Postpartum and Menopause.
I researched extensively to find a credible source of natural, high-quality supplements designed specifically for women and was shocked to discover the impurities found in many supplements — up to 50% of the ingredients can consist of fillers, chemicals, and preservatives.
That's when my 7 Cycls System was born — an easy-to-follow women's health management framework that addresses specific onerns in each of the 7 cycles with scientifically-formulated nutraceuticals to target each life stage.
Ultimately, the 7 Cycl system delivers practical nutrition and wellness advice that’s science-backed and easy to apply.
I embarked on this journey in 2014 and have been refining my formulations over the years through customer feedback.
I’m excited to introduce you to my Co-Founders. Jennifer Beals is an ardent women's healthcare advocate and serves as Cycl’s spokesperson, and Amber Bezahler, our CEO who has tremendous experience in the direct to consumer and eCommerce space.
AM: We know that you are based in Santa Monica and anytime we're out there we're always looking for great spots. Where would we find you going out to grab a bite to eat, where do you workout and where do you shop?
DR. SR: I work out almost every day on my Elliptical located in my garage. My goal is always to hit 10,000 steps a day. I am a bit obsessed with my Fitbit to make sure I reach this goal. I spend most of my free time with my family and close friends. Weekly barbeques, family dinners, scrabble games, making puzzles, playing ping pong and binge watching on Netflix are common daily activities for me. One of my favorite places to have dinner and just chill is at Blue Plate Taco or Lares Mexican Restaurant. My favorite food…is Mexican food, with the hottest salsa possible!
AM: Please feel free to share anything that we have not covered that you would like for our readers to know!
DR: SR: Your Vagina is talking to you ladies, PAY ATTENTION!
Just like any healthy relationship you have to have good communication with your vagina ladies, your vagina is talking to you and you must pay attention to what your vagina is telling you!
You cannot be distracted or be multi-tasking when your vagina needs your undivided attention…because if you don’t pay attention, your vagina will feel excluded, lonely, depressed and anxious and will act out!
Open communication with your vagina will create the foundation for a healthy, happy and sexually satisfying relationship.
This is the year of the women. The #MeToo movement has brought out so many good things through empower ing women to let their voices be heard and mobilize to fight injustice and inequities. I want women to use the same voice and power to change the face of how women talk about their bodies, especially their vagina’s.
I am here to empower you to have courageous conversations about your bodies. I want all of you to speak out and stand up for the most vulnerable and voiceless among us. I do have an agenda. It includes encouraging women of all ages to take control of their health and well-being and I am challenging women and others to help me change the narrative and status quo on women’s healthcare.
Read more from the June Issue and see She-Educate with Dr. Sherry Ross in mag.
We are fans of CNBC, especially their primetime programming. With the second season of The Deed launching on June 13th, we were excited to talk to developer, Sidney Torres on the show, his success at flipping houses, his advice, and his passion for the city of New Orleans which is still coming back from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We're excited for season 2 of The Deed. For our readers that may not be familiar with you, tell us about your background (would love to know more about SDT Waste and Debris Services) as well as (The Cove in the Bahamas), FQ Task Force, IV Capital and how you got into being a successful flipper.
SIDNEY TORRES: I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do when I got out of high school and I had to get a job to figure out what I wanted to do. I went to work in the music business, first working the graveyard shift at a radio station and then I got a job working for a musician, Lenny Kravitz, traveling the world for a year and a half. I got fired after living the rock and roll lifestyle and thinking that I was Lenny instead of working for Lenny. That pushed me into going and getting a job working at a construction company sweeping the floor and learning that whole thing. I really enjoyed architecture and I liked real estate I just didn’t know anything about it so I got a job starting from the bottom and worked my way up to a foreman and then I ended up getting my own general contractors license and started doing my own real estate flips. The success in real estate is what gave me the ability to take on other challenges in the community like the crime app and other charity type events.
When Hurricane Katrina hit and the city was in need of help and someone to clean it up, I ended up getting into the garbage business. There was a huge need and I ended up housing a
lot of the first responders. Because of that I became the hub and the place to come for things that needed to get done. I ended up renting a garbage truck and I started helping clean up the city but I wasn’t getting paid for it I did it because we needed to clean the streets from all the debris. That ended up turning into the largest hauling company in seven years in the state of Louisiana. I ended up selling it to a big public company afterwards.
Real estate is really what gave me the ability to do all the charity work, to help out and give back, and allowed me to get into all these businesses. My main passion and love was for restoring old properties and turning slighted houses and neighborhoods into livable communities.
AM: How did The Deed come about and how is this season different than last season?
ST: The Deed came about through CNBC’s executive vice-president, primetime alternative, Jim Ackerman. CNBC reached out to me because they were looking to do a show about real estate and they saw all the work that I was doing in New Orleans and they wanted to feature my company IV Capital, that lends money to up and coming developers as a hard money lender. On The Deed, not only am I providing my expertise, but this is my money that I am investing to aid struggling property investors. We go in and really show the full renovation process, from the financing, to determining and working within the budgets, to the sale of the home, and all of the deals being made from beginning to end.
This season is completely different becayse I am able to get in earlier on the process and affect change. I am able to give these flippers guidance and help them make good choices rather than help them fix mistakes. I am teaching them things like how to value the engineer. What’s also great about Season 2 is that whether you are looking to buy your first home or get into the flipping business, it gives you the lessons to do so.
AM: We don't want to spoil the premiere episode; however, we love that we are introduced to someone who has fallen in love with a flipped house - what are the common situations you find that flippers fall into that are bad habits that you look to break them of?
ST: You’ve got to separate your emotions from your flip. Even your first time home purchase when you are remodeling your house. You always have to keep your eye on your comps and know what things are selling for and what you can invest and what you shouldn’t invest. Always establish your budget on the front end and don’t let your emotions get in the middle of the renovation. It becomes very dangerous when your emotions get involved because you don’t keep the budget at the forefront, you start over investing and taking longer than you should and that is where you can get into a lot of trouble.
AM: What checklist would you suggest for someone who is thinking about flipping to assess whether they are the right person to engage in this investment?
ST: I always say try to mentor with someone you know that is a real estate agent or broker who is seasoned in the real estate business. That is what I did in the early stages. You can tap on the shoulder of a family member or friend to mentor with and kind of shadow for a while to understand whether or not that is what you want to do. I think it's really important for anyone trying to get into this business to really make sure because it’s not as easy as they make it look on TV and there's a lot of things that you have to know if this is the business you want to get into.
AM: Upon deciding that they want to enter the world of flipping what are some "rules of the business" that they should keep in mind when they are selecting a property?
ST: You always need to evaluate your comps. You always need to make sure you are looking at what is on the market, how long it’s been on the market, what are the finishes that they have in there, and understanding the area in which you’re going to develop in so you can always keep that on the forefront as the guidelines for value. What I call value engineering, engineering your development, your flip, to sit within the comp set that has been proven to work. It’s so important even if it’s your first time home purchase to make sure that you get all your pricing for your subcontractors and you know exactly what your budgets are so you’re not in a position when it’s all said and done that you’re over invested.
AM: How are the rules of flipping in terms of design and finishes different then what you would do for your own personal or vacation home?
ST: It all depends on the area you’re in, it all depends on what those comp sets show, and making sure that you understand that. The same principles apply wherever you go it’s just the content changes – the information changes. So the same processes and procedures that I would do in New Orleans or New York or Miami are the same it’s just making sure that you get the correct information from the MLS, from the online sites, from a real estate agent to make sure that you're staying in the guidelines of what actually sells and how much per square foot it sells for. So those are the things that I always tell new home buyers or new flippers.
As far as design and finishes if you’re flipping there are certain things you won’t do because you’re not personalizing it. You want to figure out what does the market research show as far as what you can put into this flip like what did you pay for it and how much can you invest in it with your budget based off of what the comps are showing. To me the same applies if you are doing your personal home because you want to make sure that you have equity in your personal home. Just because it’s your personal home, you don’t want to over invest in it so you’re upside down that if you had to sell it you can’t get out of it because you put too much money in it and you’ve got to take a loss. So I would say the same thing applies, but you have to be extra careful on a flip because of the fact that you’re flipping it and you’re doing it to make money.
AM: We love how throughout last season and based on the first episode of season 2, that we continue to see the rebuilding in a post Katrina era which makes New Orleans a character in the show as well. What is it about this city that you love so much and why is it important to continue to drive the point home that the effects of this devastating storm are still being felt today?
ST: Considering it was one of the largest natural disasters I think it’s important to constantly let people know that certain areas of the city are still recovering and they haven’t fully recovered.
What I love about the city of New Orleans is the history, the culture, the architecture, the music, and the food. When I look at other areas throughout the United States it’s hard to find the laid back kind of lifestyle that we have here with so much rich culture where you can just walk outside and have music on the street and see an artist painting. When you walk around the streets of New Orleans, you feel like you're in Europe as far a the architecture and the history and the beauty of it. It's different to me than any other area. I love New York and New York has a lot of great areas and history and culture, but it's so big and moving so fast that you know it will wear you down if you’re there for a certain period of time as beautiful as it is. New Orleans is more laid back the way that the people are here. You get a lot for the value of what you are buying here in real estate. I can live anywhere I want in the world and I always choose to keep this as my base.
AM: Looking through your social, we see that you are definitely an Athleisure kind of guy - how do you stay so fit and is there a fitness method that you are a fan of?
ST: I really just do cardio and use body weight for pullups, pushups and sit-ups. A big part of it is just eating healthy. Making sure that I eat healthy and trying to stay away from the sweets that I love. Just trying to stay consistent with that.
AM: When you're in New Orleans, where would we catch you grabbing a cocktail/bite to eat, where are you working out and where can we find you shopping?
ST: I mainly stay within the French Quarter, that’s where I live. When I do go out I have set spots that I go to, I go to Café Amelie, Irene’s, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop which is one of the oldest bars in America, right around the corner from my house. I like to walk down Royal Street and walk into the galleries there, some of the local stores. I like to take evening walks in the French Quarter and listen to music and really just enjoy the street noise and street performers.
AM: How do you give of your time?
ST: I am on the board of Junior Achievement teaching financial literacy to young kids. I also work with the Leukemia Foundation, to raise money. Additionally, I have a group called Voice PAC that gives everyone in the city the opportunity during election time to ask the tough questions and speak out by doing commercials on TV and other media.
AM: If there is anything else that you want to share that we have yet to cover, feel free to include!
ST: TUNE IN! The Deed airs Wednesdays on CNBC at 10pm ET/PT.
PHOTO CREDITS | PG 106 THE DEED - Pictured: (l-r) Sidney Torres -- (Photo by: Tyler Kaufman/CNBC) Wednesday, June 20 on CNBC (10pm ET/PT) | PG 109 THE DEED – Pictured: (l-r) Sidney Torres, Chelsea Dreyer -- (Photo by: Tyler Kaufman/CNBC) Wednesday, July 25 on CNBC (10pm ET/PT) | PG 110 THE DEED – Pictured: (l-r) Preston Tedesco, Sidney Torres -- (Photo by: Tyler Kaufman/CNBC) Wednesday, July 18 on CNBC (10pm ET/PT) | PG 112 THE DEED – Pictured: (l-r) John Brooks, Sidney Torres, Joan Brooks, James Brooks -- (Photo by: Patti Perret/CNBC) Wednesday, June 13 on CNBC (10pm ET/PT)
Read more from the June Issue of Athleisure Mag and see He Gets Your House in Order with Sidney Torres in mag.