Member Spotlight: Leeron Ofer

Photo on Left from August 2016, Photo on Right from February 2017 (6 months!)

How long have you been coming to SculptHouse?
Since August 2016. Started with 1-2 times a week, now I am an avid goer of 4, sometimes 5 a week!

How is the SH method different form other group classes you’ve taken?
I’ve tried CrossFit, personal training, and several other group fitness classes before. After my first SH class I felt like part of the family right away! The class size is small and intimate which means that clients get the one on one personal attention and motivation to keep going. The energy you feel the second you walk into any class from the amazing, outgoing, and professional trainers is something I have never felt before walking into any other gym or studio. SH has taught me how to listen to my body while working my slow-twitch fat burning muscles and how important it is to focus on form rather than simply trying to “rep it out.” I’m truly addicted!

You’ve seen some incredible changes in your body since starting at SculptHouse! What is the biggest change?
The biggest change is in my waist line and lower body!! I have gone down about a size and a half since starting at Sculpthouse. I can proudly say I have never loved my body so much and after seeing those results, it’s that kind of proof that keeps me coming back to continue to sculpt and change the shape of my body.

What would you tell someone hesitant to try something completely new and unique?
Don’t mock it till you try it! Getting yourself out of your comfort zone is something everyone should try and try often; it’s good for the soul and you’ll never know what you will discover or accomplish! 

What’s your favorite Megaformer move? Favorite Curve block?
Favorite M3 move is anything involving the core! If I had to choose, it would be teaser, or plank to pike. I feel my abs and core so deeply. For the Curves, definitely Skate the World! From someone that used to hate cardio I enjoy mixing up the workout and not straight running. 

You struggled with a knee injury recently. How is SculptHouse helping to recover and strengthen so that you can continue to work out? 
I discussed my knee pain and concern right away with the trainers – I felt comfortable knowing that there would be no judgement if I had to stop or modify a movement. I was worried I would have to stop coming to the StrengthSculpt, full body classes. However, the highly trained trainers have kept a close eye on me and have helped me make adjustments whether it be reducing the resistance, changing range of motion or suggesting alternative exercises. The attention to detail, motivation and high energy keeps me going every time and I’ve been able to strengthen the muscles around my joints to become stronger without further injuring myself. 

What’s your favorite thing about the House and the SculptSquad?
The energy, motivation, friendliness and professionalism of the trainers and everyone that works there! Oh, and the amazing boutique definitely makes the House unique and special! 

Anything else you want to add?
Showing up is the first step to becoming a better version of yourself. Eat clean, work hard and enjoy the results! Thank you, SH for making me feel part of the SculptSquad! See you at the House!

Thanks Leeron for being such a valued part of the SculptSquad! We adore you and love your energy and upbeat outlook in and outside the studio. You are proof that this method works and we are so glad to be a part of your success. Keep up the great work!

Love,
The SculptSquad

Trainer Spotlight: Jenni Talbert

Jenni moved to Atlanta almost 2 years ago from LA where she was an avid Lagree client and no stranger to the M3! As a mother to three gorgeous little girls, Jenni finds time to balance work, family and fun. Catch her own advanced moves while she is participating in a class or her killer routines when she teaches. Jenni’s high energy and fun commentary will get you through any 50-minute workout!

With three little girls, how do you make sure you take enough time out of each day to take care of your own health and fitness?

I have always loved being active. I ran track, I studied martial arts, I snowboard, I was a gym rat, street running, beach running, trail running, anything that left me in a puddle of sweat. However, after I had my first child, exercise seemed like such a selfish pastime. I fell into the same trap that many parents fall into… Guilt. It took me some time before I truly understood that self-love, self-maintenance, and self-care were essential to parenting. My heart was full, but I was tired, drained, and running on empty. I started to schedule a sitter to workout a couple days a week, and soon, I remembered what fitness did for my spirit. Now, just like anything that fills us, exercise and fitness is fully integrated into my life.

What is your favorite M3 move? Favorite Curve block?

I have so many favorite M3 moves… Anything Giant Reverse, Reverse Carriage Kicks, BUNGEE (aka butt lift), and Mermaid Twist. They are effective and gets me into my shakes right off the bat.

Favorite Curve Block right now is 90 Builds. I like generating speed and then blasting off at the end. With this new block, it forces me to really use my mind to hold my Level 4 for 30 seconds. I have 3 chances to redefine what that max effort means.

You’re a clean eater but always find ways to make “healthy” treats for your SH co-workers. Tell us a little bit about your cooking and baking style?

I grew up with my mom making home-cooked (Korean) meals from scratch (yum) so now that I am a parent, my view on food is all about clean ingredients. I use organic, local (when available), preservative-free ingredients. Also, components are intentional. For instance, I use turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties, cardamom for its aid in waste elimination through our kidneys, oregano for immunity, cinnamon to assist in improving the way our cells metabolize glucose, ginger for our digestion, ghee for reducing stress in the body, etc… Life is balance though, so there are a lot of meals out- steaks, french fries, and ramen when needed.

I discovered Paleo baking in the last five years. For me, it is a challenge. Tell me you are vegan and gluten free and I get excited about making a vegan, Paleo caprese savory “cheese”cake. I love bringing treats to work because I know the health intention is appreciated. It brings me so much happiness to see people enjoy my chia pudding!

How do you wind down after a busy day at work and with the kids?

There is very little wind-down time once the kids go to bed because I go to sleep soon afterwards. However, Saturdays are completely relaxed. We don’t wake up to an alarm clock, I make a huge breakfast, we do a whole lot of nothing, and it is perfect.

What do you do in your free time?

What’s that? Ha ha! I am thankful to have known and met some incredible people here in Atlanta. So, every so often, we set a date, I put my face on and meet up for a scrumptious meal and a martini somewhere in the city. If I have a stretch of free time, my favorite thing in the whole wide world is traveling, and second to that, is scuba diving, so if I can combine those two passions, I am a pretty happy gal.

How long have you been doing the Lagree method and what is it about the CardioSculpt combo that people are drawn to versus just the Megaformer?

I have been doing the Lagree method for many years now and it is still my favorite workout… I believe the CardioSculpt combo provides the perfect mixture for those looking to develop both their larger, explosive muscles, and also their smaller, slow twitch, endurance, fat burning muscles. Plus, you get an incredible cardiovascular workout. You leave with exhausted muscles and a clear mind.

What kind of music can we find on your playlist?

I try to put a mixture of what is popular… Pop, EDM, Remixes, Hip Hop, and Rap. I want people to feel pumped and driven, but the music should be background to instruction and to the most important voice, which is the voice within them. That drive, that affirmation, is what will get them to their goals- physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Favorite thing about being part of the SculptSquad?

I feel so grateful to be part of such a wonderful group of powerful women. Each and every instructor has such an interesting story and a heart that is as immense as their beauty… Inside and out. Despite being the oldest one there, I have so much to learn from them. They are bright and intuitive, fun and insightful.


What are your go- to household products for your kids?

Probiotics and green juice! I give the children probiotics to keep proper balance in their tummies, and an organic green juice powder from Garden of Life that the girls love! I also rub lavender oil on their feet at night or a couple drops on their palms to breathe in.

Anything else you want to add?

As SculptHouse goes into their second year, I reflect on my own personal journey here. A year and a half ago, my husband and I packed up the kids and left a city I had been in all my life. I left some incredible friends and my family… Yet, I feel so blessed to be part of a community of remarkable people. Whether it is side-by-side, sweating our asses off in the studio, or teaching class to individuals whose strength inspires me EVERY TIME, I am humbled. Thank you.

You can catch Jenni on Fridays at 12:15 and Sundays 8am for StrengthSculpt or Thursdays at 9:45 and Sundays 9:15 for CaridioSculpt. Thanks Jenni for being part of the SH original crew – we love you!

XO
The SculptSquad

Member Spotlight: Pietro Gianni

Pietro Gianni is not only a SculptHouse member but also our next door neighbor as co-owner of Storico Fresco – “a true Italian Alimentari e Ristorante!” Pietro has been coming 3-4 times a week for the past two months and his results are pretty amazing. Here he is to tell you his story and how SculptHouse has helped change his body and fitness level:

As a restaurant owner you probably have a very busy schedule! How do you fit your workouts in?
I tend to rotate my schedule around my fitness classes, not the other way around, as that’s the priority. SH’s app is so easy to use, I can book my classes and make sure early on there are no conflicts with work. I always tell everyone to book their classes the week prior and stick to them as much as possible.

What is it about SculptHouse that changed you from a class-by-class client to an unlimited member? How has SH changed your body?
SH is addictive! The results come so quickly, especially working where I lacked training most such as core and lower back, that was a quick fix to my personal issues. Becoming an unlimited member was a natural solution, going 3 to 4 times a week made it a no brainer to choose that package, also I don’t ever stress about how many classes I take and being an unlimited member motivates me to go more than ever.

How do you stay in such great shape with all of that Italian food (and wine!) around you all day?
Good question!! I was quite heavier a few years back and learned to eat several small meals through the day. Working inside a restaurant environment doesn’t allow for the classic 2 meals a day anyways, so I’ll eat at 8 and 11am, then a light late lunch after lunch service, again a small dinner on the early side and a healthy snack before bed. That keeps my metabolism always active, and yes, a couple glasses of wine a day is part of the reason why Italians hold such longevity records!!

What would you tell another guy about his hesitation to try SculptHouse?
Guys this is an amazing and very complete work-out!! SH allows for everyone to get to your “sweet spot” pretty quickly. Adding both Megaformer springs and harder Curve running objectives to your personal needs as you progress is very satisfying. While SH is mostly frequented by very fit ladies, we guys also need firmer booties, hind legs and being a bit more “ripped”, which never hurt anyone!!

How is the SculptHouse method different than any other group class you’ve experienced?
The main difference for me is the core exercises. I’ve never experience such a dramatic change in my lower chest to glut areas with other workouts. The real benefit of SH is balance, you get the right exercise in all those smaller muscles we ignore in our regular running or gym exercises and it shows very fast.

What is your favorite M3 move? Favorite Curve block?
My favorite M3 move is anything that regards core (abs, lats, planks, etc.) mostly mermaids where I have discovered parts of my body that I simply didn’t know were there at all! As for the Curve, especially with the recent “upgrade” in levels, being a runner I . Whether it’s active recovery or level 1 I’m jogging lightly, never walking, level 2 is a solid run, level 3 is running at my top speed, and finally level 4 is give it all you have for those few seconds! My favorite Curve block is the 20 second interval 2’s, 3’s and 4’s.

Can you tell us a little about your running history and how the Curve treadmill has made you a “born-again runner?”
I used to run 20/25 miles a week, basically hurting everywhere!! Lower back issues, joints, flabby back side and all that comes with running only. The Curve is an amazing alternative to running outdoors as it pushes the entire back part of our gluts and legs. I’ve never experienced a back pain since starting SH.
I now run half the mileage I used to run at SH (hence preserving my back and joints) but am burning more total calories and have finally achieved a much firmer hind and hamstrings than ever. The Megaformer really pushes those legs, and yes I’ll sometimes wake up with a healthy pain in my muscles, but never anything I can’t shake off the next day. Added plus is a perfectly air-conditioned environment all year round with cold water and towels always available.

Your restaurant is frequented by SH employees and members alike. What is in season right now and on the menu (and drink menu!) that you would suggest for someone watching their diet?
Funny thing to talk about. I believe in carbs more than ever, pasta is an amazing resource for exercising, it’s our fuel!! We only use unbleached, non GMO imported flours for our dishes and we grow all our greens thanks to amazing farms like Mcmullan Family farms. Our pasta is filled with great cheeses and veggies, while our fresh cuts are always prepared with farm grown produce that is only an added bonus to our diet. We also pay particular attention to our many salads and veggie platters, we always choose the best possible produce that’s available and seasonal.
As for drinks, our wines are only Italian, we spent months choosing the best of the best, and we serve even the simplest white wine by the glass at optimum temperature, something we are very proud of.

Feel free to add anything else below:
SH just like Storico Fresco is one big big family. When I go to SH I know every instructor by first name just like they know mine, they are always jumping in to correct me when I’m doing something wrong in the sweetest of ways. It’s no joke when we all talk about going to “the House” for our workouts, it truly is a second home full of people who really care about what they are doing and how they are bettering the everyday life of their guests. Being neighbors is the ultimate mega perk. We all exercise in order to feel and look better but also to be able to eat and drink great food all year round…. And one cannot go without the other!

#TastyTuesday: Homemade Almond Milk

Hello! Happy Tasty Tuesday. Today is Almond Milk. One of my house hold staples. I used to buy Almond Milk from the store, but after reading about all the extra junk that is added in, I decided to figure out how to make it on my own. It really is not that hard, and once you do it regularly, it becomes habit. There is nothing tastier than home made milk. It’s delish. This is my favorite way to make it and I hope you like it too! Of course it is VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE and PALEO.

ALMOND MILK:
Serves 4

WHAT:
1 cup soaked almonds
5 cups water
4-6 pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of sea salt
*Optional Add In’s: matcha, cinnamon, maca, maple syrup, strawberries, spinach……
Nut Bag
Blender
Large Bowl

HOW:
Add everything to high power blender. Place nut bag in large bowl, pour milk into nut bag. Squeeze all the liquid out until left with almond pulp. I then pour the milk back into the blender and add in whatever else you like. Store in mason jars for up to 4 days in fridge. YUM! xo Becky

#TastyTuesdays: scrumptious summer salad

WHAT:
{serves 4}
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cucumber chopped
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 heaping handfuls of green beans cut in 1/2
4 sliced radishes
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped (roasted) almonds
1/4 cup feta – Optional

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 lemon
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste

HOW:
– Chop veggies. Add to bowl, except green beans.
– In a pot, bring water to a boil or simmer, add green beans for 1 minute. Drain and immediately add to ice water.
– Add blanched green beans to bowl of veggies.
– Mix in dill and dressing. Stir.
– Top with almonds and feta (optional). YUM!

#TastyTuesday: Thai Peanut Kale Salad

THAI PEANUT KALE SALAD (Vegan & Gluten Free)
WHAT:
Salad
1 bunch kale (stemmed and chopped)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup peanuts
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Dressing
1/4 cup sesame seed oil
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 lime juiced
1″ minced ginger
2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce

HOW:
– Add chopped kale in a large bowl. Place to side.
– Make dressing. Add everything into a small mixing bowl. Whisk together.
– Pour half of the dressing on kale and massage for about 2 minutes.
– Top salad with remainder of ingredients. Drizzle more dressing on top if you desire or save for later. (I used the rest of the dressing to marinate my husbands chicken).

#TastyTuesday: Coconutty Icecream

http://www.gobeyondcapacity.com/tasty-tuesdays/coconutty-icecream

I often get asked if I like ice cream. Um, DUH! But, there is a price to pay when I eat dairy. ( I won’t bore you with details) I also don’t like to buy it from the store because of all the additives/preservatives. So here I am. It took me a few tries to get it right, but when my husband and all the kiddos I had over this weekend give me the stamp of approval, I decided to post it!

WHAT:
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 can coconut milk
1 cup soaked cashews ( 6+ hours)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2- 1 cup of maple syrup ( depending on how sweet you like it)
dash of sea salt

TOPPINGS:
enjoy life chocolate chips, fruit, cookies etc.

HOW:
– In high powered blender, add everything but toppings and blend for 1-2 minutes on high.
– Add into your ice-cream maker until it gets to the consistency you like it. Add in the toppings at the very end or leave plain and add when serving.

#TastyTuesday: MUSHROOMTASTIC TACOS

This is such an easy and inexpensive meal that is QUICK! I eat this at least once per week. It is great for lunch OR dinner. It’s Vegan and Gluten Free!

WHAT:
serves 4
3 cups chopped portabello mushrooms
1 cup chopped purple cabbage
12-16 corn tortillas ( I use trader joes brand)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 lime juiced
1 avocado
Chopped cilantro
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

HOW:
*Add chopped cabbage, maple syrup, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl and stir. Set to side.
*Drizzle some olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms. Saute for about 6 minutes. Then sprinkle garlic powder and cayenne ( to your liking and turn off heat.
*In another large skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil to each taco and brush to lightly coat taco. Add to skillet over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Remove tacos and fill. First add a slice of avocado, then add a large spoon full of mushrooms and top with a teaspoon of cabbage mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. YUM.

#TASTYTUESDAY: MATCHA TEA ALMOND MILK

WHAT:
1 teaspoon Matcha Tea Powder
1 teaspoon Maca Powder
1 cup soaked raw almonds ( I soak them for 4 hours)
4-6 pitted dates
1 handful spinach
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups of water
a blender
a nut milk bag

HOW:
– Add everything to blender and blend on high for about 2 minutes.
– Pour everything into a nut milk bag inside a large bowl.
– Squeeze out all of the milk
– Pour the liquid into mason jars and store in fridge up to 4 days.

BENEFITS OF MATCHA TEA:
What is Matcha?
Matcha or maccha is a finely ground, bright emerald-green tea powder. It is a natural, organic green tea which has been the heart of the famous Japanese tea ceremony for over 900 years. The Buddhist monks honored matcha tea as the ‘health elixir’ for its potential to heighten the concentration and enhance the metabolism.
Originating in China in 9th century, matcha was used as drug for curing various ailments. However, its word somehow got elapsed in China. It was only after the Zen Buddhist monks from Japan realized its true potential at the end of twelfth century, the perfection in the cultivation of matcha picked up. Matcha is still scarcely grown accounting for just 0.6% of total tea yield.
Matcha is prepared from a high-quality shade-grown leaf known as tencha. The tea bushes are sheltered to avoid the exposure of direct sunlight which reduces the pace of photosynthesis and slows down the growth of the plants. This provides the leaves with a darker shade of green and stimulates the production of chlorophylland amino acids.
Harvesting of matcha is done by hand to ensure selection of youngest and smallest leaves for the finest quality tea. Unlike other green teas, leaves used for matcha are briefly steamed to protect them from oxidation and preserve its flavor and nutritional content. This is followed by ultra-fine milling of the tencha leaves by using granite stone mills resulting in a beautiful green powder which is the raw material for matcha tea. After being prized in Japan for scores of years, recently matcha has been gaining recognition in the western world attributing to its unique flavor and remarkable therapeutic qualities.

Nutritional Value of Matcha
Matcha is a time-honored beverage which is source of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin K and trace minerals. Matcha is rich in components with super antioxidant activity including polyphenols, catechins and chlorophyll. Presence of amino acids such as L-theanine and theophylline in the matcha tea makes it a multi nutrient-packed drink.
Health Benefits of MatchaHealth benefits of matcha tea for medical conditions have been discussed as under:

Stronger immune system: As mentioned above, matcha contains various antioxidants, polyphenols, EGCG, L-theanine which collectively contribute in boosting the immune defense of the body and helps provide protection against various antigens.

Antioxidant power: Matcha stores a wealth of natural antioxidants and polyphenols. A research study assessing the antioxidant power of matcha tea has revealed that as compared to other green teas matcha has the highest amount of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an extremely healthful component with numerous benefits. These antioxidants seek out for the oxygen free radicals and neutralize their harmful effects thereby, protecting the body from the occurrence of disorders or inflammations associated with the oxidative stress.

Type-2 diabetes: Matcha tea may prove valuable for maintaining healthy metabolism in diabetic individuals. Antioxidant rich matcha tea aids in reducing the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and hepatic glucose content in the diabetic individuals. An investigative research conducted on diabetic subjects administered with matcha tea has shown that matcha exerts inhibitory action against the renal and hepatic damage by restraining the accumulation of advanced glycation end products in the kidneys.

Cardiovascular health: Another valuable action exerted by epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) present in match is the maintenance of cardiovascular health. Richness of this component in matcha tea makes it a potent potion to keep cholesterol levels low. A research study has suggested that EGCG helps in reducing the accumulation of lipids and promotes autophagy in the vascular endothelial cells.

Energy enhancer: Matcha contains a healthy form of caffeine not to be mistaken with the one present in the regular coffee. This unique form caffeine known as theophylline sustains the energy levels without any adverse effects. The slow release of energy due to theophylline helps in supporting the functionality of adrenal glands and maintains optimum hormonal levels.

Detoxification: Chlorophyll present in matcha tea accentuates its effectiveness in cleansing process of the body. Chlorophyll is an excellent detoxifier which helps in cleansing the blood. It aids in maintaining the alkalinity of blood and tissues. Chlorophyll also helps in preventing the association of harmful toxins with colon walls and flushes them out of the body.

Mental alertness and calming effect: Matcha tea works wonderfully well in providing a calming effect to the body. L-theanine, a unique amino acid present in matcha green tea possesses anti-anxiolytic properties and which assists in boosting alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves encourage relaxation and induce a profound feeling of mental clarity and more alert state of mind just as is imparted by the yoga techniques. A study conducted on theanine suggests that theanine acts as neurotransmitter which exerts calming effect on the brain without causing any drowsiness. This soothing effect provided by matcha helped the Buddhist monks in maintaining deep concentration during their meditation sessions and was the main reason behind its popularity. Another study has revealed the anti-stress effects of theanine present in matcha which assists in reducing the physiological and psychological stress responses by inhibiting the neuron excitation.

Protection from infections: As stated above, matcha tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is also effective in fighting against various bacterial, viral and fungal infections. An investigative research has suggested that EGCG binds to the lipid membrane and exerts inhibitory action against growth of various important human pathogens including influenza A virus, hepatitis B and C virus, herpes virus, adenovirus Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and Candida albicans yeast.

Protection against HIV: Epigallocatechin present in matcha is also efficient in the prevention of HIV. Along with this, consumption of matcha tea may also help in protecting the brain of HIV patients. This defensive act attributes to the penetration power of epigallocatechin through the blood brain barriers which is not feasible for the commercially available anti-retroviral drugs.

Gastrointestinal health: Match tea is useful for treating gastrointestinal disorders. A research study conducted in this field has revealed that consumption of matcha stimulates the fecal excretion and helps the body to get rid of harmful chemicals and toxins.

Cancer prevention: Matcha assists in the prevention of cancer attributing to the presence of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has chemopreventive properties. Multiple studies have shown that polyphenols present in matcha tea prevents the proliferation of malignant cancerous cells, promotes induction of apoptosis and assists in the reducing the risk of developing various cancers including bladder cancer and colorectal cancer. EGCG exerts inhibitory activities and works against the progression of human breast and prostate tumors as well.
Culinary usage: Apart from healthy gains, matcha is widely popular as an ingredient in a range of food items. Matcha is used to add flavor to a variety of western-style confectionary items including chocolates, cakes, candies, cookies and green tea ice-creams. Recently, a number of famous cafes in North America and around have introduced matcha based drinks such as smoothies, milk shakes, lattes and alcoholic beverages.

SOURCE: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/matcha-tea.html​

#TastyTuesday: Oodles of Noodles

OODLES OF ZOODLES
WHAT:
Serves 2-4
10 zucchini
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 cup maranara sauce OR your favorite pesto sauce
1/2 cup grated parm cheese (optional)

HOW:
– If you have a spirilizer, then spirialize the shizzle out of your zucchini. If you don’t have one, get one because they are awesome (or just chop up your zucchini however you like.) 🙂
– Add zucchini into large pan on medium heat and add in tomatoes & sauce. Cook for 5 minutes.
– Serve in bowl and top with parm (optional). So good!

Source: http://www.gobeyondcapacity.com/tasty-tuesdays/oodles-of-zoodles