Balance

INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN BOGGI

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How has living on the West Coast affected your lifestyle?

California has always felt like home to me. Whenever I would travel here for work or vacation I’d never want to leave. Jordan says LA is my “Spirit City” which seems about right. My lifestyle has shifted a bit since moving to the West Coast. I feel like it’s quieter in LA - I spend much more time at home in LA than I ever did in Philadelphia. I’m not on edge and running around LA like I was on the East Coast. I’m much more balanced, present, and chilled-out here. In addition to my at-home Studio LB practice it’s also been really nice for me to step outside my house and go for a walking call, or a hike or run at Runyon.

Is routine important to you, or do you prefer to go with the flow when it comes to your schedule?

Routine is important to me when it comes to health and wellness but I’m very much a go with the flow person, which can be both good and bad! Being over-scheduled with work squashes my creativity and I prefer to create and produce one - two workouts on certain days, and then the rest can be more spontaneous. I think leaving room for spontaneity in your life leads you down some pretty awesome roads.

With that being said, do you have any bedtime routines or rituals that help you sleep well?

Every night I put ten solid minutes in on my foam roller and take a bath followed by Papa & Barkley’s Whole Body Releaf 30:1 CBD Tincture.

Tell me about your skincare approach for your face and body.

My routine is pretty simple. I’m a huge believer in the benefits of a healthy diet and sweating everyday. I don’t eat a lot of sugar or dairy. Other than that, daily Gua Sha, and micro-current a few times a week. I’ve been using Dr. Bucky’s Alphaeon and Shani Darden’s Retinol Reform for years.

What’s the best advice your parents ever gave you, and do you actively follow it?

My parents always allowed me to be myself, and told me to do what I love and try to make money doing it. I absolutely follow (most of) their advice.

If stressors in your life cannot be avoided, what are your methods of dealing with them?

It has to be pretty stressful in order to really eat at me, but if I’m sweating something I like to breathe and remind myself that things aren’t always going to be okay, and to accept that.

How’s your relationship with your body? 

OMG I am so in tune with my body. I sorta have this like, body intuition with myself (and other people’s bodies). I can read it really well, and know when I need to cut out sugar or dairy, or back off during a workout. My outlook on my body has changed since turning 40. I feel stronger than ever and my mind and body are super meshed. I know who I am and I love every inch of me, and for me that really came with age.

Can you tell me about a book, movie, or podcast that has influenced you recently?

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari kinda blew my mind.

In your practice with Studio LB, you always build in a Rest or Yoga day. Can you explain the importance of that day?

Taking a rest day is so important. Your body rebuilds itself via rest. You simply cannot become stronger without it. CCS is intense and so full-body. Every muscle is integrated into the workout and the rest day is so necessary! Yoga is the perfect companion as it really helps with stretching and alignment.

What do you look for in a Yoga teacher?

The main things that I look for is a teacher with great anatomy knowledge, and a willingness to be super authentic. I don’t need someone to be nice and I think it's crucial for teachers to be real and that’s what really attracts me. I want to feel something. When teachers are true educators it’s so palpable. Here in LA, I love Emilie Perz. She’s so gifted!

Do you ever see yourself having a Studio again?

You know, CCS is very niche and unique but the current market is very different from when I started out. It’s so saturated. I’ll never say never, but not right now. I have days where I have a slight itch but operating studios is not what excites me. I love the digital world. I love being able to be a part of everyone’s day wherever they are. I LOVE teaching and creating. That’s my gift. I also love being a part of people’s lives without the need or pressure to be people’s ONLY thing. I think that we’re really in the midst of a huge fitness shift; a cultural moment.

Why do you think people gravitate towards you and Studio LB?

I think it's a mixture of things. First and foremost, the workout and the results. But, it's more than just changing your body. It's always been about empowering women through movement and this movement in particular really fuels confidence and strength. It literally makes you feel like you’re f*ing Beyonce. It’s so powerful. And fun. The Program changes people’s bodies and headspace.

What’s the most common mistake you see when you’re training someone new to Cardio Cheer Sculpting?

Just not giving it enough time to fully master the technique or not committing to learning the basic bio-mechanical principles. CCS is a different type of movement. Discipline is a huge part of success with CCS and there are huge rewards of committing to Studio LB fully, working hard, and seeing the program through. You can’t make excuses and succeed when it comes to fitness.

What advice to women always ask you for?

Number one would be what they should eat to see the best results.

What do you do to unwind or treat yourself?

I unwind by listening to music or reading and I love to hang with my girls or treat myself to a manicure and pedicure at Olive & June or go shopping. And wine…wine and shopping!

What’s your favorite love song?

Ahh! Probably a tie between Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen and Rolling Stones Beast of Burden.

To be continued next week…

INTUITIVE EATING

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Michael Pollan says to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Dr. Atkins suggested, “eat either three regular-size meals a day or four or five smaller meals. Do not skip meals or go more than six waking hours without eating.” In French Women Don’t Get Fat, Mireille Guiliano writes “French women love bread and would never consider a life without carbs.” And then there’s J. Lo challenging her 93 million Instagram followers to cut sugar, carbs, condiments, most fruits, alcohol and dairy from their diet for 10 days to become super lean.

I’m not necessarily knocking any of this as purely bad advice, but it definitely can become very overwhelming trying to weed out the good from the wack when it comes to our diet. When I say diet here, I should clarify that I mean purely the food that we eat on a daily basis rather than a restrictive set of behaviors.

I love sharing recipes with you, and try to give some insight into what I eat both here on the blog and also via Instagram. In my opinion, food can be nourishing, fun, and communal which is why I like to post photos and share interesting seasonal ingredients that I’m loving. What I never want to do when sharing my food ideas or even meal plans for challenges is to make you feel anxious or overwhelmed with respect to your relationship with food. IF you’re actively trying to lose weight, take this all with a grain of salt, as I strongly believe in the science of proper portion sizes, calorie counting, and listening to your body’s cues - like, stopping or slowing down when you take that first big inhale (if you’ve been on Activation with me, you’ve heard all this).

With all that being said, I wanted to talk about Intuitive Eating, an approach to nutrition that respects your body and aims to break a toxic diet mentality. An intuitive eater is defined by a few main behaviors (there are actually 10 principles  to the approach but we’ll focus on just a few here):

  • Makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma

  • Honors hunger

  • Respects fullness

  • Enjoys the pleasure of eating

Sounds simple, right? Not so much if you’re a person who has chronically restricted food or weight cycled over the years. Without realizing, we internalize so many aspects of diet culture like categorizing foods as Good/Clean versus Bad/Sinful. Breaking yourself of that mindset is one of the first steps toward eating intuitively and growing a respectful relationship with food.

Another key component is discovering what hunger feels like to you. Intuitive eating encourages you to discover what your personal cues for satisfaction and fullness feel like, and meet those needs. Also, it can help you realize that allowing yourself to become excessively hungry sends all of your intentions of moderate, conscious eating running for the hills. Determining your biological signals and respecting them is important (and not always easy to do)!

Intuitive Eating also stresses the importance of finding fun, happy ways to move your body. If you’re reading this, I hope Studio LB is that positive method for you. By this approach, exercise is supposed to energize you rather than punish your body. If you’re using exercise only as a way to lose weight or to justify eating more food, you will not stick with it and you will inevitably be disappointed.

Finally, food should taste good and be enjoyable to eat. What is the point otherwise? Try savoring your meals and choosing ingredients that make you happy and energized. Keep in mind, this does not have to be the exact same every day. You are the expert of your body, and only you can decide what fullness and satisfaction mean to you.

If finding a balanced, positive approach to eating feels like too much to take on alone, ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian or check eatright.org  for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

You can read up on the full Intuitive Eating approach in Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch’s book, originally published in 1995. 

And I’m always here to chat all things food, ingredients, and recipes on the Studio LB hotline 424-327-5470.

LIVING BETTER: JULIA WESTER

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As we continue to recognize inspiring women, creativity, and general badassery in our Studio LB community, Julia Wester immediately comes to mind. She is the Creative Content Producer and Prop Stylist for Oh Joy! in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, Dave, and their two children Zealand and Bodhi. We chatted with Julia about the elusiveness of work-life balance, and she gave us a few LA insider tips along the way too.

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Tell us how you came to join the Oh Joy! team from your background in television. 

I was a reality TV producer for ten years before I came to Oh Joy! My husband and I were engaged at the time. He also works in reality TV, and the production hours are long. I wasn’t satisfied anymore being a producer. I was in the middle of planning our wedding, loved being creative and planning for it, and I had just wrapped on a TV show. My husband suggested that I take that time off to see if there was something else I wanted to do and suggested reaching out to event planners and other creatives to see if I could intern while I was in between jobs and had the free time. Eventually I found Oh Joy! and saw that she was hiring. I applied, and the rest is history.

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You are a working mother of two, how do you find time to dedicate to your health? 

Being a working mom is hard. Being a working mom of two is chaos. I have a full time day job but once I leave the studio, I continue with my other full time job as a mom. 

What has kept me from focusing on myself was the lack of time and how tired I’d be at the end of the day after putting both my kids to bed. After my son was born, I decided to give myself six months of enjoying him and to focus on my new life as a mom of two and then start focusing on my health. It was also conveniently when the New Year started. 

What has helped is working out at home, which is why I love Studio LB. I can turn on a 30 minute Quick Burn and do it once my kids are in bed in the comfort of my home. I needed to get the train in motion and once I did, I realized the 30 minutes I spend on myself working out has made me happier and has given me more energy, making me a better mom, wife, and person overall. 

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We really appreciated the real talk from your Instagram post in January about accepting your post-partum body. Has Studio LB been part of your fitness routine, and does sharing and connecting on social media motivate you? 

I’ve found a great support system and mom tribe on social media. Studio LB has been a major part in my fitness journey and I love sharing it with others.  It has been so amazing to have so many supportive moms. Talking about it also holds me accountable too.

Do you have a favorite meal, snack or drink that only locals would know about around LA? 

Ohana Poke is my favorite go to lunch. I get it with olive oil kale as the base and it’s my jam. I try and stay away from sweet treats, but they have my all time favorite chocolate chip cookie there too. My fave milk tea drinks are from Milk+T but I haven’t had one since January. I miss it! 

You can keep up with Julia on all things family, fitness, and French bulldogs on Instagram @juliasirwester.

Photography by Casey Brodley, Morgan Pansing and Lily Glass.

Forward-moving

As the earth rotated around the sun on March 20th, the Spring Equinox marked the transition to a new season and the very welcoming equal balance of daylight and darkness. The seasonal shift invokes hope and a change in habits: fresh perspective, new rituals, a clean slate.

Speaking of new rituals, this week we’re incorporating outdoor walking into the weekly schedule. Walking (fast) in the fresh air is great for feeling strong, alive, connected, and forward-moving. I’ve been walking several times per week for the past couple of weeks and it’s been a real game changer in the way I feel, both mentally and physically.

Get inspired and make a playlist with your favorite music (or use ours) and keep proper walking form in mind: Stand tall, eyes forward, strike with the heel, roll through the foot, push off the toes, and squeeze the glutes.

Balance

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Ah, balance. The buzz word all over the gram. Those balance posts drive me nuts more than statement tees do.  Balance is everywhere and we’re all searching hard for it.  And we should be, because it’s super important. Without it, we can feel kinda anxious and lost.  

Balance (or, happiness, IMO) is really a very personal thing and it’s super interesting because it looks so very different for each of us.  It relates to our life, mind-set, and our lifestyle.  It's about making healthy choices and feeling good, but also allowing yourself the freedom to have fun and be flexible so you’re not hyper-obsessed about every workout and meal.  

Balance is the wellness homeostasis that we’re all striving for, right?  But do we even know what it means?  Figuring out what it means to YOU is step one.  Then, how do we sustain a lifestyle that is fun and makes us feel incredible (healthy) rather than guilty or anxiety-ridden?  I’m asked this question everyday, and I’m here to tell you that it’s totally 100% possible!

Just like it takes time to reach your fitness goals, balance definitely doesn't happen overnight.  And, sometimes you have to really forgo it to fully learn how to achieve it.  For example, If you’re goal-getting, trying to lose weight, or level-up and become your most fit…there’s not going to be much balance happening.  You cannot be downing burgers and beers on a weekly basis and achieve your goals.  BUT, if you can’t have a little wine and dark chocolate what’s the point, right?  

Everyday people ask me about what I do to stay fit (this thing called Studio LB), what I eat, and if I’m restrictive all the time.  Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m enforcing restrictions on myself, because I feel like I've found my balance.  I do try to maintain a healthy, low sugar diet, but if I’m craving something sweet I’ll indulge in some Nutella (on an apple), or a healthy thin crust pizza.  But not every night.  I do enjoy a glass of wine every night and that’s my non-negotiable.  If I want or need to kick it into high gear and become leaner, I’ll nix the wine and choose something with less sugar.  My diet is often 90/10 or 95/5, but, I’m prepared to sacrifice certain things because I truly love the way training and great nutrition make me feel and look.  Do I ever reach for the Potato chips?  Of course, maybe once a month, but I'm def not pining over them.  

So how do we do it?  With a little bit of mindfulness and awareness.  By being mindful and raising our awareness on the things that cause us to feel imbalanced, we can overcome what has thrown us off-balance. 

When it comes to creating more balance, I recommend making small changes  instead of enforcing restrictions.  Sounds like LB 100, right?  For example, choose vodka + La Croix over that glass of wine.  Try cooking in chicken broth instead of butter a few days a week.  Cook four nights a week instead of ordering takeout or eating out. Try to move a little more every day:  Walk to work instead of taking the train, take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park on the far end of the parking lot so that you walk more during the day. When it comes to exercise, do what you love.  Bottom line is, If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it.

If you’re new to this, or are trying to achieve your balance, I always recommend starting with the 80/20 rule.  Make healthy choices 80% of the time and allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the things you crave 20% of the time.  And when you’re ready to take it to the next level, make the 20% the healthiest indulgent choices you possibly can.  

I'm here if you need me! 


Xx
Lauren