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Pilates and Running Interview

Check out my interview I did with Erin at Running With Roots website. If you are a runner – of any level- follow her page. You will love it!

Pilates and running are great compliments to one another, so read and discover the hows and whys.

March Classes are Up!

My classes are set for the month of March! Go here to purchase your class(es) of choice. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. Just shoot me an email. Thanks and see you soon! ~Michele, Pilates in the Loft

Pilates in the Loft – Up and Running!

My new website for Pilates in the Loft has launched! Please go here and sign up for one (or two!) of my classes!

Coming 2021!

Pilates group classes and private sessions for women

Black Rice and Red Bean Veggie Burgers

Black (or forbidden) rice is not popular (yet), but needs to be the go-to rice for your meals. White rice is the standard rice you will find in America, yet it is devoid of fiber and nutrients. Black rice, which is really a deep purple in color, is high in the antioxidant anthocyanin which battles illness as it fights off free radicals. Black rice also boasts 5 g of fiber per 1/2 cup serving and 8 grams of protein, meaning you will feel full and satisfied, and will be left with a powerhouse of disease fighters within your body.



  • 2 cups black rice
  • 1.5 cups kidney beans (1 can, drained, rinsed, and patted dry)
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


In a medium bowl, stir flax, onion, carrots, and zucchini together and allow to sit for 5 min. Then place beans into a large bowl. With a potato masher or fork, mash beans together leaving some of the beans intact. Add the flax and veggie mix and the remaining ingredients into the beans and stir until well combined. Shape into 3-4″ patties. Cover and allow to chill for at least 30 min. Preheat pan to medium heat. Place patties in the pan, cooking about 6-7 minutes per side. Top with avocado, lettuce and tomatoes, sautéed onion and peppers, or other yummy veggies 💚

Makes about 8 patties

Posted in Nutrition, Recipes

Lemon Basil and Mixed Grains and Veggie Bowl

This is such a great meal to make ahead and enjoy for quick dinners or lunches to go. You can certainly add in/swap out whatever herbs and veggies you want. No excuses for not eating well when you are prepared with something you love on hand!

Zest and juice lemons over the cooked grains, add onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, and pepper and fold in. Add in the vegetables and stir together. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. This will last several days in the refrigerator.


Athlete Health by Aleyah Terry

Athlete Health

There are about 500 professional athletes in America, 2,900 Olympic athletes, and 460,000 college athletes. These athletes dedicate their lives to their sport, therefore they have to love it. Hours are spent training to lead up to minutes performing. Athletes have to treat their body with utmost care. That might include a vegan or vegetarian diet, which many have done.

Vegan and Vegetarian
When football players diets are visually depicted, it typically shows them chewing on beef jerky and devouring hamburgers, but that could not be farther from the truth for some players. Tom Brady, Derrick Morgan, Jurrell Casey, and DaQuan Jones have adopted the vegan diet. One NFL linebacker was not quite on board though:
“But linebacker Wesley Woodyard needed a little more convincing. ‘Y’all crazy with this vegan thing,’ was Woodyard’s initial reaction, reports ESPN. ‘I’m from LaGrange, Georgia. I’m going to eat my pork.’ But soon he was convinced, and better for it. ‘My energy levels gone up,’ Woodyard, recently told the Associated Press. ‘And it’s just putting in good fuel to your body. And of course, it’s always hard to keep weight on [during the season]. But it’s worth it for me staying on top of my health.’
The Titans players are convinced a plant-based diet ‘helps them lose weight, recover faster and, believe it or not, play better,’ according to ESPN.” (CNBC)
Vegetarianism has also got NBA stars Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Wilson Chandler, Al Jefferson, Garrett Temple, Enes Kanter JaVale McGee and Jahlil Okafor on board, along with Venus Williams, the tennis champ.

What is the difference between vegan and vegetarian? Vegan is absolutely no animal products, like honey, meat, and eggs. Vegetarian is eating no animals, but they do eat products with ingredients that come from animals such as honey, milk, and eggs.

Why go vegan or vegetarian? “The findings show that vegetarians have a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity and a lower risk of ischaemic heart disease compared with non-vegetarians from a similar background, whereas the data are equivocal for stroke. For cancer, there is some evidence that the risk for all cancer sites combined is slightly lower in vegetarians than in non-vegetarians, but findings for individual cancer sites are inconclusive. Vegetarians have also been found to have lower risks for diabetes, diverticular disease and eye cataract.” Being vegetarian or vegan can make future issues less probable, but it can also improve present issues like lowering high blood sugar, weight control, healthier skin, relief from arthritis, and give more nutrients. Being either of those can not only help you feel and look better, but it is more sustainable for the environment and even more cost-efficient.

Balanced Diet
There are several different kinds of plant-based diets. These diets vary on what is good to eat and what isn’t.

In order to get a balanced diet though, half of the day’s food should be from fruit and vegetables. Grains and legumes should make up most of the other half with some nuts thrown in.
Nut butter
Seeds and nuts
Whole grains
Beans and lentils
Veggie burgers
Protein bars
Eggs (depending on what diet type)
Eggs (depending on what diet type)
Orange juice/oranges
Plant based milk
Vegetables: bok choy, broccoli, and kale
Sesame seeds
Vitamin B12:
Eggs (depending on what diet type)
Veggie burgers
Plant based milk
Bread and cereals
Dark green veggies

Vitamins and Minerals
“The most common vitamins and minerals found to be of concern in athletes’ diets are calcium and vitamin D, the B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, as well as some antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and selenium.” (Medscape)

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Provides energy
Whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and oranges
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Provides energy
Eggs, almonds, mushrooms, and avocados
Supports anaerobic (strength) and aerobic (cardio) performance
Broccoli, peanuts, kidney beans, peppers, and mushrooms
Vitamin B6
Provides hemoglobin (oxygen to vertebrates) and energy
Green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, peanuts, whole grains, eggs, and beans
Vitamin B12
Brings oxygen to tissues
Fish, eggs, squash, avocado, broccoli, carrots, peaches, and peppers
Vitamin D
Healthy bones and muscles
Seafood, eggs, cereal, beans, almonds, bok choy, and orange
Pantothenic Acid
(Vitamin B5)
Provides energy
Eggs, cauliflower, mushrooms, corn, broccoli, avocado, and sweet potato

Balance water
Salt, bread, nuts
Controls pH levels
Potatoes, bananas, avocados, acorn squash, mushrooms, oranges, and nuts
Healthy bones and muscle function
Bok choy, oranges, apricots, spinach, almonds, green beans, okra, and sardines
Provides hemoglobin (oxygen to our body) and muscle health
Beans, chocolate, oatmeal, seeds, nuts, oatmeal, dried fruit, green leafy veggies

Superfoods have been coming more of a rage. Foods, especially veggies and fruits, are taking over most of this list. Some superfoods best for athletes are these…

Hemp seeds are not only high in chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, fiber, iron, potassium, and B vitamins, but your body easily absorbs all these minerals. Amino acids and fatty acids are also prevalent in hemp seeds, which help your muscle growth.

Raw Cacao is high in antioxidants and helps muscular health. It is a great addition to smoothies and energy balls.

Berries: goji, acai, blueberries, and raspberries are all high in antioxidants and in various nutrients. Berries will also help preserve muscle health and strength.

Sweet Potatoes can make an athlete feel fuller longer and won’t create an energy spike, it will create more endurance. Raw sweet potato slices and guacamole taste great, but when you cook it there are some nutrients.

Chia Seeds are packed with protein, carbs, and fiber. They also boast of high antioxidants, omega 3s, calcium, potassium, and can help you feel fuller longer, which helps endurance.

Red Peppers are a great, colorful snack with hummus. Not only are the tasty, but the help build and strengthen muscles.

Many superfoods above contain antioxidants, but what are antioxidants? Antioxidants fight against free radicals…

“Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons. Electrons like to be in pairs, so these atoms, called free radicals, scavenge the body to seek out other electrons so they can become a pair. This causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA.” (Live Science)
“High levels of oxidative stress affect every organ and system in the body and have been linked with everything from Alzheimer’s disease, arteriosclerosis, cancer and heart disease to accelerated aging, asthma, diabetes and leaky gut syndrome. Oxidative stress is believed to lead to the development of the most prevalent chronic diseases and disorders killing adults today, especially heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Oxidation lays the foundation for the proliferation of free radicals and damage to cells, muscles, tissue, organs, etc.” (Dr. Axe)
An antioxidant comes in and gives one of its electrons, which calms down the free radical, but it dies in the process. Why does this matter to athletes though? Free radicals become more prevalent when someone, like an athlete, is constantly working out and training. As Dr. Axe mentioned, free radicals can cause present damage, muscle, tissues, and organs, but it can also cause damage in the future, faster aging, cancer, heart disease, and brain disorders. So, an athlete needs to eat food high in antioxidants and rest, because sleeping can relieve stress from free radicals.

Water is important for athletes muscles, blood regulation, and replacing the fluids lost while sweating. It may also help transport nutrients around the body. Water is important for average people, so water is extra important for athletes.
“The American Council on Exercise has suggested the following basic guidelines for drinking water before, during, and after exercise:
Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising.
Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up.
Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise.” (Family Doctor)
Sports drinks are not always a good alternative because they can have added sugar (more than the recommended daily amount) and chemicals. Why would someone want chemicals in their body? Healthy alternatives include:
Coconut water
Homemade Electrolyte Drink (from the blog “Don’t Mess With This Mama”)
2 tbsp honey
¼ cup lemon juice
⅛ tsp of himalayan salt
½ cup orange juice
2 cups of water or coconut water
Pickle juice (in small portions)
Watermelon juice
DIY Sports Drink
Stretching is so important for flexibility and healthy muscles. Proven benefits of stretching include…
Better range of motion
Muscle development
Reduced injury chances
Warms up muscles
Improves posture
Be careful when you stretch though it may cause injury if you push yourself too much. Stretching can be achieved by using a foam roller, taking a yoga class, or a stretching video.

Rest is very important in an athlete’s life. Rest helps muscles recover, rebuild, and become stronger. One day of rest is usually the normal, but what is “rest”? Sleeping is usually what is pictured, while it is good to get eight hours of sleep each night, sleeping is not the only thing classified as “resting.” Hydrating, as we already looked at, is so very important. Drink your body weight divided by two (example: 120 lbs/2= 60 oz of water). Eat low carbs and lean protein on rest days, a rainbow of fruits and veggies should also be included. Make sure your stretch on a foam roller (it will speed up muscle recovery) and do low impact exercising, such as walking outside, yoga, swimming, pilates, or a barre class.
“Each week, always take one complete day off from exercise. One to two days off completely, each week, from exercise, is the ideal amount of time.” (Dr. Axe)

Stretching is a great option before working out. It helps reduce injury while creating a better range of motion, improving your performance. Three to four hours before a workout have a hearty meal. Beets are great for providing energy and extends exhaustion time. Coconut oil gives a quick burst of energy, fights fatigue, and alleviates muscle aches. Berries such as goji, strawberries, and blueberries provide fuel for muscles, while healing them. Coconut water is a great alternative to sports drinks, chalked fuel of electrolytes. Chia seeds have healthy fats and protein supplying energy and increasing strength. Spinach is nutrient dense and helps heal muscles with the help of antioxidants. Two to three hours before drink 16 ounces of water. Fifteen minutes before have a snack (a piece of fruit or a bar) and 8 ounces of water.

Carbs (recovery) and proteins (repair muscles) should be eaten within one hour. Carbs that are healthy after a workout are sweet potatoes, quinoa, fruit, rice/rice cakes, oatmeal, dark leafy veggies, and pasta. Proteins that are healthy after a workout are eggs, fish, protein bar, greek yogurt, and protein powder. Fats are also a great addition to your meal, some options include: nuts, nut butter, and avocado. Some meal samples from are…
Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast.
Salmon with sweet potato.
Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread.
Tuna and crackers.
Oatmeal, whey protein, banana and almonds.
Pita and hummus.
Rice crackers and peanut butter.
Whole grain toast and almond butter.
Greek yogurt, berries and granola.
Protein shake and banana.
Quinoa bowl with berries and pecans.
Multi-grain bread and raw peanuts.

Essential Oils
“There is oil in the house of the wise.” (a translation of Proverbs 21:20), especially in the house of an athlete. There are so many essential oils and they each are unique and have many benefits. Peppermint essential oil is great for pre-game jitters, the respiratory system, better focus, and muscle aches and pains. Lemon gives off a positive vibe, maintains peak performance, and helps treat athlete’s foot. Clove also helps treat athlete’s foot, but clove also helps reduce inflammation and keeps athletes healthy due to its extremely high antioxidant level. Eucalyptus increases stamina while continuing flexibility levels. It also keeps the body awake and cool. Lavender helps relax and ensure a great night’s sleep. Some are best for cancer, arthritis, skin, and hair, but these oils are best for athletes each in a unique way.

Improve Performance
Athletes are constantly trying to maintain peak performance. There are several easy ways to do this. Take an ice bath the day before a performance or game to ensure your muscles are fully rested. Set goals. Imagine how you want to perform in your performance or game. Maybe set a goal to score two touchdowns or performing that complicated set of jumps. Encourage yourself, don’t imagine yourself failing. Sleep, fuel is so important. You eat the best you can and now sleep the best you can. Focus, but have fun. Don’t be tense that will not enhance your performance. Drink 2-3 cups (16 oz – 24 oz) of water during exercise

2 hours before exercise…
Drink 2-3 cups (16 – 24 oz) of water
Eat healthy carbs (whole grain toast and nut butter, yogurt, brown rice, and/or fruits and veggies
20-30 minutes before exercise…
Drink 1 cup (8 oz) of water
Eat a piece of fruit
During exercise…
Drink 1 cup (8 oz) of water every 30 minutes
Have a snack such as a bar or fruit
After exercise…
Drink 1 cup (8 oz) of water within 30 minutes
Eat protein, fat, and carbs within 1 hour

Meal Plan
Breakfast (500-750 calories)
Chia pudding with fresh fruit and granola
Avocado toast with eggs
Nut butter and banana toast
Hard boiled eggs and nuts
Chickpea cookie dough and fruit
Berry smoothie bowl with nut butter and granola

Lunch and Dinner
Rice bowl with roasted chickpeas and avocado
Salad with several veggies and fish
Veggie burger

Veggies, crackers, and hummus
Apples and almond butter
Avocado and rice cakes
Hard boiled egg and nuts

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Your body is your instrument and your job is to glorify God with it. When you eat right and take all the precautions and tips you are take care of God’s temple.

“Hydration for Athletes.” Accessed February 14, 2019.

“Post-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat After a Workout.” Accessed February 14, 2019.

“The Best Essential Oils to Improve Athletic Performance.” Accessed February 14, 2019.

“Can Superfoods Aid Athletic.” Accessed February 14, 2019.

“Fighting Free Radical.” Accessed February 14, 2019.

Posted in Nutrition

How Do Fruits and Vegetables Impact Your Body?

Anna’s Research Paper Slideshow 🙂

Posted in Nutrition

Double Grain Protein Pot


I love this super easy, one pot dish! It is so versatile and it keeps for several days in the fridge. Cooking various grains at one time allows you to save time AND to reap the benefits of both (or all) foods. As for millet and quinoa, they are both a great source of protein and magnesium. Magnesium helps cardiovascular health as well as muscle and bone health. And quinoa is one of the only main sources that contains all essential amino acids.

Double Grains Pot

  1. Rinse and drain the grains.

  2. Bring the water or broth up to a boil and add in the grains.

  3. Cover, turn to low, and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.

  4. After 20 min., remove from heat.

  5. Let it stand, COVERED, for 5 min.

  6. Uncover, fluff with a fork and it’s ready to serve.

Add this to a green salad or add in your favorite veggies and seasonings or even fruit.

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Posted in Nutrition