You Got ROLFED. Week Four.

Since beginning my Rolfing Experiment, I have had many clients ask me if they should consider investing in going through the 10 series of structural integration massage process. From what I have experienced so far, I think Rolfing would benefit EVERYONE. The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration does a great job highlighting different individuals that may benefit from the Rolfing method:
“According to Dr. Rolf, all bodies have some degree of disorder and compensation in their structure; therefore she believed that everyone should receive Rolfing Structural Integration. In fact, in her global vision, she imagined a more evolved and structurally efficient human species as a result of Rolfing SI. However, we realize that most potential clients need more compelling reasons to undergo this powerful transformative sequence of session. It is possible to divide those who come to Rolfing SI into two groups.The first and largest group who should consider Rolfing SI are those who have a history of injury or trauma and notice that the effects of their often minor injuries are beginning to interfere with their everyday lives. In many cases these individuals have tried traditional medical treatments or exercise to reduce or counteract the long-term effects of old injuries with varying degrees of success. This group might include former and current athletes, musicians, performers or those engaged in physically demanding jobs who choose not to accept the notion that the quality of their lives must suffer simply because they are aging. In fact, all adults of any age who suffer from any limiting physical discomfort can absolutely benefit from Rolfing SI as long as the pains themselves are in the neuromuscular system and not signs of a nervous disorder or a deeper pathology. For most of us, Rolfing SI combined with appropriate movement therapy, such as Rolf Movement® Integration, and exercise offers a long-lasting solution for connective tissue problems.
The second group are those who are on a spiritual path and who find that their physical limitations prevent them from attaining a higher level of spiritual or emotional peace. Frequently, many on this path assume that the body is something to be transcended rather than something to be honored and loved. For these individuals, Rolfing SI can serve as an educational resource which allows them a more intimate and comfortable relationship with their physical body, which in turn allows a greater ability to experience greater serenity. Interestingly enough, as the body transforms physically it transforms on other planes as well, so that, while Rolfing SI’s primary focus is the muscular and connective tissue system, it frequently has an even more dramatic effect in seemingly unrelated areas such as the spiritual. Exactly how this happens is still a matter of much debate and speculation. However, the results of the work were of much greater importance than the how or why for Dr. Rolf. The genius of Rolfing SI is that it can effect so many people in so many ways and continue to reveal new possibilities for such a rich diversity of individuals.”
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be in one of the above categories, theres a good chance Rolfing will help you discover a way alleviate pain and move freely in your body.  I recently went in for my fourth Rolfing session with Marie and continued on the journey towards getting to know my body. Session four was a DOOZY, my pelvis is now in a new place!

The fourth session is considered the first “deep session”  and is described as the junction between the surface-layer work of sessions 1-3 and the core work of sessions 4-7.  It focuses on what is Rolfers call the body’s “active core” , the deep structures that lie close to the spine and the body’s midline. The goal of session 4 is to  improve the weight transmission in the legs, to bring balance to the pelvis, and to free restrictions in muscles connecting the upper and lower body.


During most of session four , Marie worked around my hips, butt, and lower back. The work was intense and eye opening for me.  It wasnt so intense that it was painful, it felt deep and impactful for me. I knew that after years of running and cycling that my hips were bound to be tight…. but I never knew how much tension I carried around my pelvis. There were spots around my sacrum that needed Rolfing more than I thought. I feel so thankful Marie is helping me find better body balance. Throughout our session, Marie had me stand and assess the physical changes before, during, and after the Rolfing work. As I have said before, it really is amazing how much the body changes after going through this massage technique. Throughout the session you can see and feel the differences as your body shifts in its structure. Not only that, but Marie teaches you how to MOVE with this improved posture in a way that helps your body  move in a pain free modality.  During session 4, she taught me how to access my “pelvic floor” and how to use it to improve my movements in training and daily life. The pelvic floor is something you dont think about often, yet is integral to every move you make. We worked on sitting, standing, and moving from a place of proper postural alignment in my pelvis. It was helpful and gave me a strong sense length and freedom in my legs and torso.  At the end of our fourth appointment, I had a new feeling of energy, harmony, and integration in over-all body movement. Session 4 gave me the first glimpse of what Ida Rolf meant when she wrote of a “gravitationally aligned body”. Every session brings me more body awareness and helps my body on its way to a balanced state. Im already excited to find out what eye-opening experience number 5 brings about!

Have you been “Rolfed”? What was your experience? Leave your comments below with your rolfing stories – Id love to hear from you!
Read More:
Check out Marie’s website for more :

Marie is certified in the Rolf Method of Structural Integration, also known as Rolfing® from The Guild for Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado.  Her massage training was completed at National Holistic Institute where she was trained in Swedish, Deep tissue. Shiatsu, Myofascial Release, and Reflexology. CLICK HERE to continue reading about Marie Thiebaud, structural integration specialist. 

Caroline’s “Secret Sauce” Recipe.

End of the year Fitness Motivation made easy. 

I want to share my recipe for fitness motivation with you.  This “secret sauce” will help you finish the year right and jump start you towards a successful 2012. Remember, it’s not just how you start but how you FINISH that matters. Follow the directions below and give 2011 a STRONG farewell. Looking forward to an inspiring new year of fitness happiness with you all!
Caroline’s Finish The Year Strong “Secret Sauce” Recipe:
1 part Inspiration
2 parts Perspiration
3 parts Determination

Add couple dashes of love. A teaspoon or two of positive thoughts.

Shake and repeat often.

Ingredient Details:

1 part Inspiration

I try my best to inspire you to take action, get fit and live better but I am certainly not your only option. There are incredible stories everywhere about someone deciding to make a change then doing the work to succeed.

Whether you find it in a magazine success story, a blog or a workout video, uncover what truly INSPIRES you. Use that inspiration to light a fire in your belly and jumpstart you into action.  Remember, if someone else has done something amazing, so can you. Choose a positive thought and get inspired. There are no limits to what you can do.


Unfortunately you cant just watch a workout video and  be transformed. You have to do the work and it’s not a walk in the park. To be successful in any endeavor you have to put in some blood, sweat and tears. The  obstacles you overcome are what make the reward so SWEET in the end. The challenge is there to teach you that you are STRONGER than you think you are. Don’t turn away from the work – embrace it and make yourself stronger with every step.

Success is sweet: the sweeter if long delayed and attained through manifold struggles and defeats.
-A. Branson Alcott


Regardless whether you want to be race day ready or just fit and strong in 2012 it takes consistent action,consistent workouts and consistent healthy eating. You have to find the determination to keep going when it gets tough. To believe in yourself when you want to quit. To get to the gym when you really want to skip it. When you stay determined and DO THE WORK you will reap the results you want. Strengthen your mindset by staying focused to reach your goals. Dont give up, you are worth every drop of sweat.

To keep you motivated till the clock strikes midnight on the 31st, Ive put together the below holiday workout JUST for you. This body weight circuit works your ENTIRE body using functional training and dynamic movement. It doesn’t require any equipment and is perfect for at home fitness, traveling, or when you need a quick workout that provides results FAST. The exercises will challenge your legs, butt, chest, arms, and abs. This routine is good for improving strength, preventing injuries, improving performance, losing weight, and cross training for sports.

Challenge yourself by working through this exercise circuit video 2 or 3 times through for a longer workout routine. Tight on time? Go through the video once  with a focus on QUALITY and giving your best. Remember, when it comes to improving your fitness, ANYTHING counts. Keep moving, stay positive, and you WILL reach your health goals.

If you try out the workout I want to know! Tell me when you’ve completed the routine so I can congratulate you on being a fitness rockstar. Have a special request or want another fitness video for stretching, strength, or cardio? Leave me your requests. I’d love to film more videos that help you on your path to success 🙂

I know if you follow the recipe above you will have a strong jump start on 2012. Get inspired. Be willing to perspire. Stay strong, focused, motivated, and DEDICATED. Finish the year right and ring in a new one with positive energy.

Heres a TOAST to your health and a CHEERS for another fabulous year of fitness.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy holiday –


Other Things To Check Out This Week:

The Gluten Free Diet. Should you try it?

Alight folks, it’s about to get personal….

Recently I have been dealing with troubling tummy issues. Without getting too much into detail, the stomach situation has been interrupting the life I love living. I decided to take the time to figure it all out and work towards a better state of health. After many appointments and tests, my doctor advised me to try removing gluten from my diet. We are not sure if gluten is the cause of my tummy troubles… the only way to find out is to take it out. I have been hesitant to try the Gluten Free diet in the past, I saw it as a trend. I believe a healthy diet is about moderation, balance, and whole unprocessed foods. I do not believe in eliminating certain food groups or claiming one eating practice is a quick fix for health. But my stomach hurts. So Im going to have an open mind and give this gluten free lifestyle a chance. Since the doctor asked me to cut it out, I’ve done a lot of reasearch (big thank you to all the friends who reached out to help with it!). Im no expert, but I was able to uncover a lot of interesting info on the Gluten Free lifestyle. I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned so far about living Gluten Free. Maybe it will help you on your health journey….  lets hope it helps me!

The Gluten Free Diet, Should YOU try it?

What is gluten? 

Gluten is a combination of proteins that are found in wheat, rye, spelt, most oats and barley.  It comes from the Latin word for glue (as it is the substance that helps “glue” your favorite bread products together).  Gluten is usually a problem for people who are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the intestine cannot absorb food properly due to inflammation.  The inflammation damages or even destroys the villi, the tiny finger-like protrusions that line the walls of the intestines and are responsible for passing nutrients into the bloodstream.  Without healthy villi a person can become malnourished by missing out on the nutrients even if they are eating a lot of food.  This malnourishment can lead to diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation, fatigue, joint pain and many other symptoms.

Some people may not have celiac disease (which is usually determined by a blood test) but may be gluten sensitive.  This is different than a wheat allergy which is like most other allergies.  Gluten sensitivity (intolerance) is usually marked by feeling uncomfortable after eating bread, cereals or pastas and may not occur for up to two or three days later.  The symptoms are similar to celiac disease and may include skin rashes, food cravings, fatigue and a general unwell feeling.  A wheat allergy usually occurs right away, like an allergic reaction to a cat or a peanut allergy.

What is gluten-free?

Gluten is found in many foods and is very difficult to eliminate.  It is found in all foods deriving from or containing wheat, barley, rye, semolina, bran, kamut, triticale, couscous and oats.  However, there is controversy concerning the oats.  It may be the sensitivity is from the cross-contamination of oats and gluten.  Besides the obvious word wheat on packaged foods also look out for the words modified food starch, dextrin, maltodextrin, and caramel which contain traces of wheat.  Wheat can also show up in beer, grain alcohol, canned soup and soup mixes, most soy sauces, white vinegar made from grains,  canola oil, luncheon meats, bouillon cubes, candy, hot dogs, sauces, seasoned tofu, HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein) and soy milk.

No bread?! What can you eat then?
Rice, brown rice, corn, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, and teff include most of the grains that can be eaten. And of course you can also nourish yourself with fresh produce, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

I’d never heard anything about gluten-free and now it’s everywhere. Is the Gluten Free just a diet a trend or something I need to pay attention to?

For years, “Gluten-free” living was about as sexy as living with diabetes, a conversation-killer, and a dinner-party bummer.  Now the gluten-free diet has become synonymous with enlightened eating, an intellectual aesthetic with its own raft of studies and its own celebrity cachet. Hollywood is suddenly overrun with gluten allergies. Jenny McCarthy is convinced it contributed to her son’s autism. Gwyneth Paltrow blames it for her extra “holiday” pounds. The View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck says it caused her years of chronic pain. And they all gush with near-religious fervor about their restful nights, their clear skin, their freedom from seasonal allergies, and the general joie de vivre their wheat-free regimens bring.

Yes the Gluten Free diet could be seen as a trend, with every food manufacturer from General Mills to Anheuser Busch lining grocery aisles with gluten-free goods. But this food fad does have some legitimate science to back it up. Gluten sensitivity, and the more severe gluten intolerance known as the autoimmune disorder celiac disease, is linked to a higher risk of death. A New England Journal of Medicine study listed 55 diseases caused by gluten intolerance, including lupus and schizophrenia(source). The Gluten Free diet can be a trend worth following, especially if you consider yourself to be in these two categories:

Why would you want to go gluten free?

1. If you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Tests for Celiac can be fairly invasive and involve blood tests or other medical procedures. The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center states that 1 out of 133 people have celiac disease in the United States. However, celiac disease is one of the most under-diagnosed diseases; it may take up to four years to diagnose in some cases. Therefore, if everyone with the disease were diagnosed, 3 million Americans would be affected by it.  Symptoms of Celiac include digestive problems as well as signals that the body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, such as hair loss, bruising easily, growth delay in children, depression and fatigue. While the disease itself cannot be cured, following a gluten-free diet will allow the lining of the small intestine to heal itself over time. If you suspect you may have Celiac, set up an appointment and talk to your doctor.

2. If you are gluten intolerant/sensitive. Gluten sensitivity (intolerance) is marked by feeling uncomfortable after eating bread, cereals or pastas and may not occur for up to two or three days later.  The symptoms are similar to celiac disease and may include skin rashes, food cravings, fatigue and a general unwell feeling. If you find that eating gluten is causing digestive issues or suspect you have a gluten allergy, talk to your doctor. They might put you on a gluten elimination diet to see if this eases your symptoms and go from there.

 If I’m not having problems from eating gluten, are there any health benefits for me to stop eating gluten?
Experts say there isn’t any evidence that people who aren’t celiac sufferers benefit from eating gluten-free food, that it’s healthier, or leads to weight-loss. They argue that going completely gluten-free, if it’s not medically necessary, might lead to nutrient deficiencies of key vitamins like B and iron, which are often added to fortified wheat gluten. Studies have also shown that moving from “regular” processed foods to gluten-free types may even result in weight gain. “Lots of gluten-free products are higher in fat,” says Tricia Thompson, M.S., R.D., author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide. “Pretzels, for instance–manufacturers add fat to give them better mouth-feel.” (Plus, these pretzels cost four times as much as “regular” ones). Currently there isn’t any research out there that confirms gluten-free is healthier for the general population. Spending more on processed gluten-free foods without a celiac disease diagnosis, could just be throwing your money down the drain. On the flip side, going gluten free, for most, means a considerable diet “clean up” or overhaul.  It makes people more conscious about what they’re eating and what the ingredients in their foods are. MOST junk food, easily accessible lunch food, and “comfort food” (like subway and specialties ) are all made with bread and wheat products. If the average american, or even an enlightened san franciscan, were to quit gluten entirely, there’s a good chance their diet would improve.  One thing is for sure, don’t self diagnose yourself with celiac disease. Work with a doctor or nutritionist to create a diet plan that is customized to your needs and helps fuel a healthy life for you.

Will the Gluten Free diet help me lose weight?

A gluten free diet isn’t a weight loss diet. You must realize that gluten-free does NOT equal low-carb or healthier. You won’t necessarily lose weight from eating a gluten-free diet, in fact some people gain weight on it. The sad reality is that many people are going gluten-free as a fad or for weight loss. As mentioned above, a lot of gluten-free food is not healthier than it’s gluten-y competitors. There’s no reason to skip out on gluten if it’s not bothering you and if you haven’t chatted with your doctor.

More Great Gluten Free Resources and Articles:

There is A LOT of research and information out there regarding the Gluten Free diet. I am by no means an expert, the above information is just what I have learned so far. I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and experiences with the Gluten free lifestyle. As the doctor advised, I am trying the Gluten Free diet in hopes that it helps me find a solution to my sensitive stomach. It’s a learning process and every day I uncover more insight on my path towards health. Thank you for listening to my story and supporting me on my journey. I am so thankful you are part of my fitness family. Looking forward to learning, living, and loving every step towards a healthy life with YOU.

With lots of love and gluten-less gratitude,


Other Things To Check Out This Week:

Reader Q & A : Staying In Shape During the Holidays

After the  Holiday balance post, many readers wrote in with specific questions on how to maintain your fitness during the seasonal craziness. I get it, busy holiday schedules make it  challenging to fit in great workouts.But believe it or not, investing just a little time in exercise this December can reap big rewards. In fact, even 10 minutes a day, three days a week can go FAR in maintaining your fitness level. Anything counts and I can guarantee each workout session will help offset stress and provide the consistency that makes it easier to resume your regular routine in the new year.  I want to help you survive the season in great shape. Read below for my answers to all your holiday health and fitness concerns.

Q: What kind of workouts should I do during the holidays, when Im more likely to be indulging a little (lot)? Is it all about cardio and calories? Or should I try to do strength and intervals? 

A: When you are tight on time, go for workouts that involve interval training. Research shows that interval training—workouts in which you alternate periods of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity recovery periods—increases fitness and burns more calories over a short period of time than steady-state cardio. You can incorporate intervals into any of your favorite workouts. Use sprints during cardio, add total body burpees to bootcamp, or try plyometric (jumping) exercises during strength training workouts. Click here to view some of my favorite quick, intense exercise routines. They are perfect for solo gym time or at home training. If you like taking classes, look for high intensity group workouts that involve short bursts of energy. My Chiseld or Cycling classes at EQUINOX Pine street are a great option if you live in the area.  Less time in the gym doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your fitness. Work hard and make the MOST of every minute!

Q: When you’re short on time, should you minimize your whole routine (cardio for half the time, lift half the time) or just focus on one thing?

You could do either, just try to get both cardio and strength training into your weekly routine. But when your schedule is super tight, combine your cardio and strength training into one intense and effective workout. Choose compound exercises (exercises that target more than one muscle group) without rest between sets, and you can squeeze in a workout in as little as 10 minutes. Ideally, it’s best to spend more time on cardio or strength training, but ANYTHING is better than nothing. Focus on quality over quantity  One of my favorite time-saving total body workout is called the “Spartacus Workout”. Before you write this off as something reserved for “spartans”, hear me out. This routine is EXCELLENT for those days when you need to make EVERY second count. It works well for everyone – modify or intensify the below exercises to meet your needs and you’ll enjoy a great total body workout session. As always, check with a doctor before starting up a new exercise routine. This week, I challenge you to take 10 minutes to try the below. Let me know how it goes!

Time Saver TOTAL BODY workout:

Perform the following 10 exercises in succession for 60 seconds (as many reps as possible), with good form.  Give yourself 10-15 seconds to switch stations.  Once the circuit is done, 2 minute rest.  Repeat as many times as your schedule allows.  Great endurance/strength test!

Station 1- Goblet Squats
Station 2- Mountain Climbers
Station 3- Single Arm Dumbbell Swing
Station 4- T-Pushups
Station 5- Split Jumps
Station 6-Dumbbell Rows
Station 7- Dumbell Side Lunges
Station 8- Pushup Rows
Station 9- Dumbell Lunges [with rotation]
Station 10-Dumbell Push Press

Click HERE for images and descriptions of EACH exercise. Let me know if you have any questions and ENJOY your workout session!

Q: What’s the best workout to do when you’re traveling and don’t have access to your regular gym?

My favorite way to workout when traveling is to explore the city with a walk or run. Its a great way to enjoy the place you’re visiting and will guarantee an extra calorie burn while sightseeing. If the weather limits outdoor workout opportunities during your stay, bring your gym in your suitcase. You can easily get a full body workout with resistance bands or simply utilize hotel room furniture as gym equipment. A chair can easily be used for triceps dips and a strong table is the perfect place for step-ups. A jump rope is also a light tool to pack and a great way to incorporate cardio. If your hotel has a lot of levels, take the stairs and make them into a serious stepping workout. Climbing up and down all the flights will get your heart rate up and your butt in great shape! For more of my travel fitness tips, check out THIS POST. 

Q: Favorite workouts for keeping stress-free?

When you are stressed, choose to do the workouts you ENJOY the most. The last thing you need when you are busy is feeling obligated to add another thing to your to-do list. Make working out something you look forward to by choosing activities that allow you to forget your worries and feel good. You’ll stay consistent with exercise if you engage in workouts that make you happy and help you de-stress. It also helps to have a playlist that makes you FEEL happy. Choose songs that give you energy and make you smile. Here’s what I’ve been jamming to lately for extra “feel good” energy:

Caroline’s De-stress December Playlist.

1. Criminal / Britney Spears 3:45

2. In The Dark (Main) / Dev

3. Without You (feat. Usher) / David Guetta

4. Pumped Up Kicks – Remix / Pmoney

5. T.H.E (The Hardest Ever) / Will I Am feat. Mick Jagger

6. Good Feeling / Flo Rida

7. You Make Me Feel / Cobra Starship ft Sabi

8. Talk That Talk (feat. Jay Z) / Rihanna

9. Pass At Me (feat. Pitbull) / Timbaland

10. Superstar (feat. Pitbull & Qwote) / Avicii

12. My Delirium / Ladyhawke

13. We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)/ Rihanna

14. Domino / Jessie J

15.Took My Love (feat.RedRoo,Vein &David Rush) / Pitbull

16. Every Tear Drop Is a Waterfall / Coldplay

17. Electric Relaxation / Tribe Called Quest

Q: Any other tips on staying healthy through the holidays?

My #1 suggestion for feeling healthy and balanced  during the holidays is to put aside the notion that “you don’t have enough time”.  Honor your physical, mental, and spiritual needs and establish a sense of balance for yourself during this time of year. Schedule in exercise, nourish your body, and take time for relaxation so that you can feel your best all season. Embrace imperfection and take pressure off yourself by not trying to be everywhere at once.  I believe doing this will allow you to stay healthy and truly appreciate the beauty of the holidays.

Dont give up your health and fitness during the holidays. You are NOT a quitter. Move to feel good and power your life with energy and health. I know you can DO IT.  Get inspired. Be willing to perspire. Stay strong, focused, motivated, and DEDICATED. Tis the season to stay fit – lets do it! 

I LOVED hearing your fitness questions and I hope the above answers help you stay strong this season. Always feel free to send your questions and comments my way – I am here to support you in finding your happiest and healthiest self. Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday full of fitness!!


Other Things to Check out this week:

Make a DIFFERENCE. Cycle for Survival 2012

To My Fearless Fitness Family,

On February 4th, I’m TEACHING and riding at Cycle for Survival at EQUINOX San Francisco. This national, indoor relay-style team cycling event that has raised more than $9 million in support of life-changing research on rare cancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the world’s premiere cancer research institutions.

I will be riding with over 10,000 other cyclers from across the country and around the world to make a difference in the lives of millions of people affected by rare cancers. Rare cancers include cancers of the brain, ovarian, pancreatic, leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoma, all pediatric cancers, and countless others that all desperately need our attention and help.

Every dollar I raise goes directly to MSKCC to fund research on rare cancers. In just the past five years, Cycle has funded a total of twenty-five new clinical trials and research studies with the promise of so many from the success of Cycle 2012.

Watch this VIDEO to see just how powerful  Cycle For Survival Events have been in the past.  This progress — and the hope it brings to patients and their families — is only possible because of thoughtful contributions from people like you! I hope you’ll make a gift to support my ride against cancer. The link below will bring you to my fundraising page, where you can make a tax-deductible online donation.

Click HERE to visit my personal page.

Or view the team page for my team, FEARLESS FITNESS San Francisco

Id also like to invite you to join us at the event. We will need all the cheers we can get!

Here are the details:


Saturday February 4, 2012

8 AM – 12 PM

EQUINOX Fitness Club

301 Pine Street, San Francisco, CA

THANK YOU for all of your support! Check out all the fun photos from last year below….. Ill see you FEBRUARY 4th and we will make more!



Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center | 275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065 | Questions? Call 888-72-CYCLE

Harnessing the POWER of Protein.

PROTEIN. It’s an essential macronutrient and paying attention to its source and amount is critical for  balanced nutrition, weight loss, and optimal athletic performance. But with so much mixed information in the media today, its hard to know how much protein is necessary for YOU and how to fuel your diet to best accomplish your health goals. Read on to learn about harnessing the power or protein with information fueled by Kashi: Natural Learning!

What protein is and what it does

Proteins, along with fats and carbohydrates, are the macronutrients that form the basis of our diets. In our bodies proteins perform a range of duties, from building new cells to regulating metabolism to helping cells communicate. Proteins form antibodies to shuttle oxygen throughout the body in the form of hemoglobin, as well as build muscle.

Protein provides us with energy (calories). Like carbohydrates, protein contributes 4 calories per gram, versus 9 calories per gram in fats.

Amino acids

Amino acids, of which there are about twenty, are the LEGOs of proteins. Our DNA directs the body to join various combinations of amino acids in a variety of sequences and three-dimensional shapes for an arsenal of about 10,000 different body proteins, each serving a unique function. Our bodies can make about 11 of these amino acids, leaving 9 that we must get from food. These remaining 9 are called essential amino acids, since it is essential that we get them from our diet.

Protein everyday

While our bodies can store fats and carbohydrates to draw on when needed, they cannot store amino acids. We need a fresh source each day in order to build the body proteins we need. If the body is missing a particular amino acid to form the protein it needs, it will pull that amino acid by breaking down existing muscle protein. If we consistently lack protein we lose muscle weight, energy and, eventually, fundamental functions.

Protein sources

Many foods contain protein in some form. Here are the main sources of dietary protein:

  • Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish are complete sources of protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids. Some animal protein sources—most notably red meat and whole dairy products—can also be high in saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels. Learn more about lean sources of animal-based protein.
  • Soy, often in the form of tofu, or soy milk, is a popular plant-based source of protein since it, like animal-based protein, contains all 9 essential amino.
  • Nuts, seeds, beans, peas, and whole grains can be terrific sources of protein. One thing to keep in mind with plant sources of protein, is that not all plant proteins are equal. With the exception of soy and quinoa, plant foods don’t contain all 9 essential amino acids. But certain plant foods complement each other with their amino acid profiles. For example, beans tend to be low in one amino acid that grains have plenty of, so combining these foods forms a complete protein. Learn more about complete plant proteins and vegetarians and protein.

Protein and Weight maintainance:

Studies and experts have indicated that for many people, getting the right amount of protein in their diet may help promote weight loss and improve body composition. Here are a few ways protein promotes healthy weight maintainance:

  • Protein promotes satiety: When we consume protein-rich foods, say lean poultry or low-fat yogurt, we tend to feel fuller than when we consume other types of nutrients. When you eat protein, it’s easier to consume fewer overall calories, which is one of the keys to losing weight. So consider adding a grilled chicken breast to your salad or low-fat cottage cheese to your breakfast. You may find you’re less likely to overeat later in the day.
  • Protein helps keep blood sugar levels steady: The staying power of protein can help keep blood sugar levels from spiking too high or dipping too low. With less frequent blood sugar spikes, dieters are better able to control their appetites, and control what they put in their mouths. Most of us make better choices when our blood sugar is balanced!
  • Protein plus exercise is a powerful one-two punch: Combining the higher protein diet with exercise creates more of an effect than exercise alone and can improve body composition during weight loss. It also helps reduce triacylglycerol levels and increases concentrations of HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Protein may minimize weight re-gain: A protein intake of 18% compared with 15% resulted in improved weight maintenance in overweight subjects after weight loss in a 2005 study. A second study in 2009 examined changes in weight and body composition after dieting, and found that a diet higher in protein more effectively reduced fat mass and improved body composition, and that these changes were sustained over time.
  • Customize your diet to fit YOUR needs! When looking to lose  or maintain weight, the best course of action is to seek a balanced regimen you’ll be able to sustain. This means not excluding key nutrients like healthy fats, complex carbs, or fiber-rich foods from your diet. It also means exercising more and eating less. Upping protein intake isn’t appropriate for everyone (particularly those with kidney problems), so its important to consult with your doctor before making dietary changes. Protein is simply one piece of a larger puzzle that may help you reach your weight and fitness goals.

Challenge of the Week: Calculate your personal protein needs! 

How much protein YOU need depends on many factors, including age, gender, height, weight, activity level,  and fitness goals. This week, I challenge you to figure out how much of this nutrient YOU need to feel and perform you best. To get a good estimate on your personal protein requirement, check out Kashi’s online PROTEIN CALCULATOR. This will provide you with a good idea of how much protein is right for YOU. For a more specific analysis, its best to work with a dietician like San Francisco’s diet guru JAE BERMAN.

I used Kashi’s calculator to figure out I need 86 grams of protein daily! Whats your number? What foods do you eat to fuel this requirement? I LOVE chicken, fish, and the Hodo Tofu sold at my favorite Whole Foods Market Franklin. I also like to waking up with my favorite oatmeal recipe…all the coconut toppings make me happy 🙂

Remember, you cant “out train” a bad diet. Eat the foods that POWER you up, make you feel good, and allow you to live your BEST life.

Thanks for being an amazing fitness family, hope to see you soon for another great class or training session. Till then…. move, breathe, and stay positive!


Other Things to Check Out This Week:

You got ROLFED. Week Three.


On my way to meet Marie, I took a few moments to think about the past two rolfing sessions and their after-effects. Has anything changed since we first started this project? The most noticeable change for me has been in how I THINK about movement; in my posture, gait, and body mechanics. Rolfing cultivates a body awareness and movement mindfulness more than any other massage modality. Our work together has improved  my proprioception, kinesthetic awareness, and allowed me to move throughout the world with proper alignment. This has extremely reduced daily aches, pains, and even my stress levels.  I think about my mechanics and movement now more than ever before. I put one foot in front of the other and feel grounded, stronger.

I show up and Marie greets me with an enthusiastic smile. Despite the fact that her day has been filled with clients, she is vibrant with energy and ready for our session. It’s a sign she has a true passion for her work, the Rolfing method, and for sharing for this healing skill with others.

Before we begin, Marie takes the time to explain session three and what to expect out of our appointment. She introduces session three as the “side session”. Its purpose is to ease the body in the front-back dimension, and create a peaceful union between the upper and lower body. Session three works on the sides of the torso, neck, and hips in an effort to get each segments to better support each other.

We begin with a standing posture assessment. Marie’s trained eyes first check in with my alignment to best understand how to use the Rolfing work to support my body’s specific needs. She then props a big fluffy pillow up for my head and has me lay on one side to work down my body’s “lateral line”. We work all the way from top to bottom; my neck, shoulder, arm, torso, and hip are “rolfed” into massage heaven.  There is a method behind each massage stroke, it is all in an effort to arrange the shoulder, ribs and pelvis into an even stack. Our goal is to provide more space in the spinal column and to promote proper posture for my body in the long run.

Once down the chain, Marie has me stand to compare sides. I was surprised to see the rolfed shoulder had completely DROPPED; it made for quite a contrast to the unworked counterpart. The difference between the two sides was impressive and was the perfect argument for the power of the “Rolfing method”. I quickly hopped back on the table for the other side, eager to balance out my body. With both sides complete, we finished the session with neck and head work. It was heaven… I  mean, who DOESN’t love a good neck rubbing? It wasn’t an average chair neck massage , she used techniques I’d never experienced before. Each one blissful, leaving my neck feeling loose and rested.

I found the third Rolfing session to be an integrating one. It seemed to tie the first two appointments together into a complex whole. Leaving Marie’s studio, I felt as if my shoulders had dropped 2 feet. My torso felt loose and spacious; my arms long and lengthy. The third Rolfing appointment taught me a LOT about my upper body, torso, and spine. I hope to use this knowledge to promote good posture and performance in the long term. I have a feeling this Rolfing experiment is doing a world of good for my mind, body, and longevity.

Session three  is the last of the “superficial” sessions and a great introduction to Rolfing. I’ve heard that from here on out, the work is deeper and more powerful for the rolfing client. Session four is supposed to get in to the pelvis….. Im nervous, excited, and ready to ROLF!

Have you been “Rolfed”? What was your experience? Leave your comments below with your rolfing stories – Id love to hear from you!
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Marie is certified in the Rolf Method of Structural Integration, also known as Rolfing® from The Guild for Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado.  Her massage training was completed at National Holistic Institute where she was trained in Swedish, Deep tissue. Shiatsu, Myofascial Release, and Reflexology. CLICK HERE to continue reading about Marie Thiebaud, structural integration specialist.