The Wonderful World of Protein

Confused by how much you need? There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. Don’t be afraid to explore plant-based proteins, but eat what works for you. The protein content for common animal-based foods can be found with a quick web search. In the meantime, check out Kris Carr’s guide to get you started:


Snow Day!

Snow days are bittersweet – sometimes the things you want to do aren’t available, but you still can’t help loving an unexpected day at home.

Go for a quick walk or run. Keep it brisk, and treat it like an outing on the trail (watch where you put your feet to avoid icy patches). Dress warmly so your muscles have a chance to warm up properly, and enjoy the day!

Love Love Love

What do you love about yourself? Can you think of just one small thing? Try some Pilates – movement makes us feel good and helps us feel good about ourselves. It can be hard to remember, but each of us is beautiful.


Pinole Poppers

Don’t worry – I’m not going to lecture you on the drawbacks of the Standard American Diet or the benefits of one that is plant-based and alkaline-forming. The information is out there, so I will instead direct your attention to the medical emergencies we are facing here in the U.S. and worldwide: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

The good news is that our society does seem to be moving inexorably towards locally sourced, organic whole foods. Maybe this is a result of the current medical crises; maybe it’s happening regardless. Either way, those who aren’t moving fully into this sea change are at a minimum becoming more aware and informed about their dietary choices, and I think many of us are more conscious about how we spend our money on food.

Through my own experience with radical dietary shifts over the last ten years, I know these changes make a big difference – clearer skin, faster recovery from injuries, virtually no illness, better sleep, more energy, and clarity of thought. My search for real food with high nutritional value has brought nothing but good things, and one of those is Pinole Poppers.

If you have read Born To Run or other literature detailing the amazing running feats of the Raramuri, a Mexican-Indian tribe in northwestern Mexico, you know that they rely on Pinole, a mixture of cornmeal and chia seeds, for endurance. Pinole Poppers are a delicious riff on the Raramuri recipe. And what an extraordinary find for athletes everywhere:  not only are they a cinch to store and to eat but they are easy to digest, providing an even source of energy before, during, and after workouts.

Rich Popovich, the proprietor of Pinole Poppers (, has a background in Culinary Arts and personal training. Through his interest in endurance sports, he began to find that Cliff bars weren’t getting him through bike rides or longer runs. Thus began a search for foods that aided in muscle recovery, dehydration prevention, and keeping hunger pains at bay in order to maintain his focus during training.

As these searches often do, his ended with the creation of his own fuel. The final format, a combination of cornmeal, chia seeds, honey, nuts, and dried fruits, is designed for maximum nutritional effect, using ingredients that won’t lay heavily in your stomach. For any of you out there who rely on food bars, a single Popper roughly equates to a mini Cliff bar and travels just as well.

The real-food nature of Poppers derives from Rich’s culinary point of view rather than the mass production of calories versus protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Whole foods are a state of mind and may require a shift in habits if your body is used to processed food products, sugar, and the routine of counting calories. Long-held beliefs and tastes take time to change, and certain foods, sugar in particular, can be addictive and difficult to set aside. The average person is used to eating high levels of sugar not only for immediate but also long-term energy. (Can you imagine 22 teaspoons of sugar? Yuck, right? This is the average amount Americans are taking in every day, and the nutrition industry is not exempt.)

Poppers, though, are a no-brainer when shifting away from sugary boxed snacks. Not only are they good for you, but they are moist and full of flavor, leaving you with something more than the pressed-cardboard taste of a typical food bar. And who can say no to fewer calories? A single Popper, which clocks in at around 90 calories, is a far cry from 170-250 calories of many popular bar brands you find at the supermarket. To boot, most of those extra calories are from our friends sugar and fat.

Instead, a diet comprised of nutrient-rich whole foods provides sustained energy and blood sugar levels over time with far fewer calories than most of us are used to or even need. Instead of being used for an energy boost, food should provide energy maintenance over time. Poppers provide the latter, keeping you out of the cycle of blood sugar crashes, but the taste makes you think you are indulging in a treat.

And what could be a better indulgence than a muffin? I myself LOVE muffins (doesn’t everyone?), but you have to be careful what you choose. Blueberry muffins sound healthy, but they are usually made with white sugar and flour (that’s right – not great choices). Instead, Poppers are like a healthy cereal in muffin form. I know I’m there.

Rich and Denise, his partner in business and in life and with a similar background in Culinary Arts, try not to make too many claims about their Poppers. They are people driven rather than product driven, so you know you are getting something that they themselves eat, made with ingredients you recognize, hence the customer raves.

Speaking of raves, some of you have already tasted the wonder of Pinole Poppers. The good news it that we hope to carry them at the studio in the very near future, so keep your eyes and ears open. In the meantime, happy eating!


Born To Run:  A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. Christopher McDougall. Alfred A. Knopf:  New York. 2009. p. 109.

Overcoming Bad Habits

We all have habits we wish to break. For some it might be perpetual tardiness, junk food addictions, or simply lack of discipline in some area of life. If you have ever tried to break a habit, you know how hard it can be!


Image courtesy of

Vega outlines a great 10 step plan to break a bad habit. Give this a read and say goodbye to those annoying habits!

Interval Workout

Although most of us would concede that a hard workout feels great, it can be tough to get motivated. It’s like the party you can’t quite get out the door for, but once you’re there you’re glad you went. To help with that, we are going to give you a bit of classroom motivation.

If you’ve tried it firsthand, you know how challenging and effective interval training can be. Intervals can be used in place of a full workout when you are short on time, but they are also good staples for between-workout boosts.

To time your intervals, give the app Interval Timer by Runloop Ltd. a try since our smart phones are always handy. The Tabata method is an easy one to start with since you do only 6-8 sets with 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest between each exercise. Push yourself to work as hard and as fast as you can throughout each of the 20-second intervals in order to reap the most benefit from your session. To gauge your effort, you should barely be able to complete the last two sets.

To motivate as well as to distract yourself, nothing beats a rockin’ playlist. Since the body responds instinctively to music, up-tempo songs will increase your heart rate, so it follows that adjusting the speed of your music will directly impact your workout. Use the same Runloop Tabata app to help find music that pushes you to work faster and harder.

Keep your New Year fresh (yes, it’s still Feburary!) and give this interval workout a try. The one below is designed by Kara, one of our Reform instructors, and it will leave you breathing hard. You can do this anywhere, so no excuses!

Stay in each exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 10, with a 10-20 second rest between rounds. Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 (6-8) times. For variety, do Round 1 (6-8) times, rest for 10-30 seconds, then complete Round 2 (6-8) times. If you have other individual exercises that you like, by all means add them in.

Round 1

High knees


Mtn climbers

Jump squats


Round 2

Jump lunges

Bicycle crunches

Speed skaters


While the exercises and techniques outlined in the article above are not terribly strenuous, please be mindful of any physical restrictions you may have, as we the studio and instructors are not responsible for any injuries.

Holiday Reform

Wine Chiller

There are so many methods out there – try this unusual and beautiful one to bring your wine to the ideal drinking temperature.

Corkcicle Wine Chiller, 12” L, $24.95,








Lip Balm

Organic lip balm in a fun screw-top container. A great stocking-stuffer for the girls in your life.

EOS lip balm, $2.99, Walgreens, CVS, Target (various locations)








Everyone needs a great apron for baking holiday cookies, and Anthropolgie has some of the best out there. Old fashioned, feminine, and beautiful.

3-D Toile apron, $32,









Measuring Cups

Know someone who could use a little more fun in the kitchen? Give these space-saving, artistic measuring cups for the counter of your favorite cook.

Milk Bottle measuring cups, $24,








Nail Lacquer

Everyone can use another nail color. Get your holiday on with this deep, glittery red.

Nail lacquer in Chancer, $14,









Sea Salt Caramels

Often repeated, never duplicated. Go now – quantities are limited each holiday season.

Sea Salt Caramels, $21.95, Crate and Barrel or











Sulfite-free, organic wine from a local wine-maker. Those with allergies take note – eventhe heavier wines from this unique place may work for you. We especially recommend the South African Pinotage.

Various types and prices,










The softest wrap you will ever own, and stylish to boot. The sweater will keep you warm without overheating. Curl up by the fire with a favorite book or your favorite someone.

Barefoot Dreams Calypso Wrap, $90,









Whiskey Rocks

Don’t limit yourself to whiskey if that isn’t your drink. Pull these ingenious cubes out of the freezer to keep your wine cool or microwave for a minute or two and add to your coffee, tea, or cider. Soapstone cubes will naturally vary slightly in color and texture.

Sparq Soapstone Whiskey Rocks, $9.50/9,





Dessert Sauce

You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted Hudson’s On the Bend Bourbon Vanilla Praline sauce. Divine.

12.25 oz, $10,






Toe Sox

We always recommend a bit of grip for your barefoot workouts, and the newest Toe Sox design is flattering with a lower ankle profile in a pretty mary jane style.

Bella Full Toe Sox (organic cotton with grips), $15, Reform Pilates









Travel Mug

Make fresh coffee and tea on the fly. The built-in press gives you smooth flavor with no hint of bitterness.

Bodum Travel Press Coffee Maker (stainless steel, various colors), $30,









Lip Gloss

A beautiful, shimmery, rosy bronze lip gloss. The perfect where-everywhere neutral.

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Beach, $23, Saks Fifth Avenue









Nail Lacquer

Leave your nails and lips neutral and maximize the drama of a smoky eye.

Nail lacquer in Yummy Mummy, $14,








Hair Oil

Perfect for smoothing and giving body to all hair types and smells heavenly to boot. Rub excess into elbows, shoulders, and decolletage.

Rodin Olio Lusso, $65,









Body Oil

A light but luxurious oil that nourishes and moisturizes all skin types. Perfect for the drier winter months.

Caudalie Divine Oil, 3.4 oz, $48,








You ARE dead sexy. Bring out your inner romantic with this warm, romantic scent. Notes of deep vanilla, exotic wood, white orchid, and ebony.

Dead Sexy #6, 1 oz $30,










A clean, fresh scent reminiscent of the sea to center you and calm the senses. Clean coral, mineral salt, watercress, and crushed citrus.

Sea and Sky #20, 1 oz, $30,











Get into the holiday spirit and take the edge off the Austin air conditioning or curl up on the couch for an afternoon nap with an extraordinarily soft throw.

Barefoot Dreams Bamboo Chic Blanket, $226,








Looking for a lightweight, custom-blend foundation? Try this one from Senna Cosmetics, a well-respected giant in the industry.

Senna Custom Blend Foundation, 1 oz, $38,








Makeup Primer

This silky primer goes on like a dream, making a smooth surface for your makeup and reflecting light with illuminating pigments. Another winner from Senna Cosmetics.

Senna Silky Primer, 1.7 oz, $38,








A truly original gift with a vintage feel for the modern music lover on your list. For the iPhone or the iPad.

Gramophone, $249-$299,











Does one of the men in your life need a scent that stands out from the crowd? Give Badian from L’Occitane a try. Although the top notes are citrusy, what really stands out are the warm, almost musky, masculine undertones from clary sage, anise seed, fig, and black currant.

Eau du Badian Eau de Toilette, 3.4 oz, $50,






Leather Notebook

For the writer in all of us. Jot notes, lists, thoughts, and ideas in this beautiful Italian leather journal.

Roma Wheat Refillable Journal, 5”x7”, $39.95,










Gourmet Maple Syrup

This is not Aunt Jemima. Aged in bourbon casks, honey, charred oak, vanilla, and spice notes warm this dark maple syrup. Sweeten pancakes, sweet potatoes, squash, or anything else that your inner chef can concoct.

Blis Bourbon Barrel maple syrup, 375 ml, $18.95,








Who doesn’t need a flask? Try this stylish leather and stainless steel version at a sweet price (humor included).

Leather Flask, 8 oz, $42.50,