Coming Back From An Injury

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Regardless of your sport, an injury is never good news.

Perhaps you heard the crack as your bone snapped before it gave out from under you.

Maybe you pushed your body beyond its limit and it is inflamed and tired.

Conceivably your ego took over, you went beyond your limits only to come crashing down.

After the initial trauma, treatments, and the healing have occurred are you ever ready to go back? Will you be the same athlete you once were?

Do you recognize this “new” body? Can you accept this new version of you?

Doubt clouds your mind, and you begin to question yourself.

If you go back out there will you injure yourself again?

Will your body support you? Will you be able to trust your body?

Are you fully healed enough to play again?

Perhaps the body is healed, but what about the mind? How do you let go of that fear?

Will they see the self doubt in your eyes?

Dozens of questions, and loads of self doubt, run through your mind after sustaining an injury.

Our bodies are strong, amazing machines, and they will heal. Typically, it is our mind that holds us back.

Overcoming the fear and self doubt through mindful meditation is what has helped me heal my body and mind after an injury. Meditation is a powerful tool and is crucial during healing.

My story…

Back bending was always ‘my thing’. I took great pride in my insanely deep backbends and heart openers in my yoga practice. I loved the rush of energy and the purge of emotions; and of course my ego loved the attention when a teacher would ask me to demo.

Even though I played a sport every season, (soccer, track, softball, swimming and tennis) I was never a serious athlete. In fact, I only ever won awards in two of those sports. When I discovered yoga it seemed like a natural fit, my body loved it and seemed to handle the challenging postures with ease and grace. I fell in love with yoga so much so, that I became a yoga teacher, an excellent addition to my personal training and sports medicine background.

November 2017 my world came crashing down on me a bit, as I sustained my first serious injury.

I injured my back during a yoga class, after completing one of my beloved backbends. I felt sharp and uncomfortable pain, almost as if there was a knife between my vertebrae.

For the next several days and weeks my back was out… I was barely able to move. I was not able to stand for long periods of time, and sitting was painfully uncomfortable.

I would bend over to pick up my phone charger off a chair, and I would get stuck halfway down with tears running down my face, literally unable to move as sharp stabbing pain radiating through my back. It was scary and traumatizing.

The insane pain would dissipate, and slowly achy dull pain would take its place. I was unable to practice my yoga, I was unable to run, or lift weights. My job became to heal. I struggled to do my work and see clients.

The pain would slowly fade after 3 months, then I would feel this immense sense of freedom in my body. I would slowly begin to take gentle yoga, then vinyasa, then jogging … easing my body back into its routine. I was cautious, I did not want to go backwards. I couldn’t go back there.

The physical pain was one thing, and I was learning how to adapt my business fitness lifestyle. The mental game was another, this proved much tougher for me to move through and overcome. I felt a loss from not being able to connect to my body and my yoga practice the way I was used to.

This freedom period would last about 4 weeks in the beginning, then I would do something unknowingly and my back would go out again. This pattern went on for over a year. I would be fine for a few weeks, then I would take several steps back into pain and being unable to move. The period of freedom would begin to elongate over the next year, and the pain periods would heal quicker. I saw several different therapist, doctors, acupuncturist and healers all of which had different answers and all medical testing was virtually inconclusive. I still have no definite answers as to the problem. Unfortunately, this is something that I still deal with on a regular basis. The difference now is that I am learning how to listen to my body. I am tuning in to what my body needs instead of pushing through another power yoga class, perhaps choosing a gentle or restorative class instead. I am intuitively learning what my body needs, and accepting that.

Everyone’s journey to healing is different. If you are currently moving through an injury, I see you, don’t give up. Your body will heal, and you will still do great things.

Comment below and tell me about how your healed from an injury.

Edgewater Beach Hotel

My husband and I recently had the pleasure of being guests of the Edgewater Beach Hotel for a wellness weekend. The Edgewater Beach Hotel is a quaint hotel located in Naples Florida directly on the gulf, and only has 125 rooms making it very private.

Honestly this was one of the most luxurious trips we had taken in a year! Best part - it was only a 5 minute drive from our house, a relaxing stay-cation, no need to fly anywhere or deal with traffic… just unplug and relax!

From the moment we arrived, we were greeted by a valet and our luggage was delivered right to our room. After we checked in, we were handed a cold glass of champagne and given a brief tour of the hotel. From the hotel lobby, you look straight into the main restaurant, which has an open concept, and out over the pools and the gulf of Mexico! Before we even made it to our room, I knew I was going to love this place.

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The Edgewater Beach Hotel is the only all-suite hotel in Naples, Florida. Our room was stunning! We had a wrap around patio, with a view of the pools and the beach. Each room has a kitchen, dining area, living room, and full bedroom set up making this the ideal spot for families and week long stays.

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After settling in we decided to check out the pools…yes there are two! Between the pools, there is a beach bar where you can order food and drinks for the pool area or the beach. At the end of the pool just before the sand begins there is a fire pit, both my husband and I looked at each other knowing we would venture down here later in the day. The Edgewater Beach Hotel has an expansive beach area, with options for lounge chairs, day beds, and even a full VIP set up.

One of our favorite parts of the hotel was how private it was, with only 125 rooms it really limits how many guests they have each day.

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We enjoyed our first dinner at Coast, the main restaurant at the Edgewater Beach Hotel. The cocktails were unique and the staff was well versed on the wine list. I had the scallops and my husband had the grouper, the presentation was beautiful. The Chef came out to check on us and introduce himself. I was comforted knowing that the staff and the chef were very aware of my food allergies, and adjusted each of my dishes accordingly. During dinner, we watched the sunset over the pools, feeling the vacation vibes begin to set in.

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The next morning the hotel had arranged bicycles for us to ride into Old Naples, were we enjoyed local coffee. The bike ride through Old Naples was beautiful, and offered us a fresh and new perspective to our town. After the ride, we picked up our beach brunch picnic basket and went down to the beach. To our surprise and delight the Edgewater Beach Hotel set up a VIP beach set up for us. (When staying at the Edgewater the VIP beach set up is a must!) We leisurely enjoyed our brunch while watching dolphins play.This was one of my favorite parts of the entire weekend. After breakfast we lounged beachside for hours, truly understanding the meaning of a wellness weekend. We were able to unplug, unwind, and relax! (much needed for two ambitious professionals) We attempted to paddle board after lunch, however due to the waves we did not have much luck … next time!

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After the most relaxing day beachside, we freshened up for dinner at Coast. We tasted a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts each better than the last. The food (all gluten free and diary free for me) was surprisingly amazing! I am often disappointed when dining out because the gluten free and diary free options are so limited and often tasteless … not here. The scallops were my favorite.

Saturday we participated in the Paradise Wellness Weekend, at the Edgewater Beach Hotel. We started our morning with beach yoga, two of my favorite things, and then enjoyed a mind and body workshop with the Spread Happy duo followed by a cooking demo from the Chef. We learned how simple the green smoothie and cauliflower quinoa cakes are to make - blog post with the full recipe coming soon!

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I honestly did not know much about the Edgewater Beach Hotel prior to my stay, but I can say I was blown away. This high end luxury hotel is a wellness destination and one of my favorite spots to date. I loved how private the hotel was, how many activities and fitness options they offered, but my favorite was the wellness. As a health and wellness professional, I provide wellness to my clients daily, but sometimes forget to put myself at the top of my to-do list. This weekend allowed me time to restore and rejuvenate myself.

Another one of my favorite parts about the hotel was their Be Well menu in their Coast restaurant. Edgewater Beach Hotel became a Blue Zones approved partner in 2018 and since then added several Be Well (and Blue Zone approved) items to their menu.

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Edgewater Beach Hotel has become one of the top wellness resorts in Southwest Florida with the infusion of the Be Well menu, a high end gym, aromatherapy towelettes, and weekly yoga classes. Staying at the hotel and don’t want to miss your workouts - no problem, the Edgewater can have a personal trainer or yoga instructor available to you during your stay.

Everyone at the Edgewater Beach Hotel was exceptional and went above and beyond to ensure our stay was everything we wanted. There were a few team members who stood out that we would like to thank for making our trip so wonderful. Louise, Wendy and Herry were our favorite servers and made every meal special. Special thank you to Laura, McKenzie, Dan and Alice.

This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Partner Core Workout

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to grab your partner or your bestie for a serious core workout!

Working out with a partner is much more fun!

You encourage and motivate one another, you sweat together, and hold each other accountable for showing up.

Here is my favorite partner core workout!

Partner Core Workout | Lean and Green Body® Blog

Seated Core Rotations

Sit back to back with your partner (spine long, core engaged) - pass a weighted ball back and forth to each other (making sure the ball goes around the full 360 degrees) - pass the ball 10 times each direction.

Partner Core Workout | Lean and Green Body® Blog

Partner Crunches

Laying supine, hook your ankles with your partner.

With knees bent, extend arms overhead. One partner will start with a ball in their hands - both partners will sit up, pass the ball, and lower back down.

Continue moving this way, crunching all the way up and passing the ball, then lowering all the way back down.

Pass the ball 20 times.

Partner Core Workout | Lean and Green Body® Blog

Core Ladder Drills

Come into a high plank with both hands inside the ladder, facing your partner.

High five your partner (right hand to right hand, then left hand to left hand) then walk laterally to the next box and repeat.

Walk the entire distance of the ladder and back.

Option to add a theraband around the legs for additional resistance for the legs (working the abductors).

Partner Core Workout | Lean and Green Body® Blog

Partner Planks

Come into a plank position on your forearms facing your partner.

Both partners will bring right arm up and gently touch partners right forearm, hold for a count of 10, then bring arms come back down. Switch to left side, hold for a count of 10 then lower and switch.

Repeat 2-3 times.

Year in Review

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Wow. What an incredible year it has been!

Honestly, 2018 has been the biggest year professionally of my life.

When I look back at this past year, I am amazed by all of my accomplishments and everything I have built for Lean and Green Body®.

I am happy to say that this is only the beginning of Lean and Green Body® … we are just getting started!

Since August 2018, I have had the privilege of being featured in the following publications: Naples Daily News (online video and front page of the paper), Gulfshore Life Magazine, Naples Herald, and Naples Illustrated (coming January 2019).

Here are a few of the big points and events of 2018 …

January - Grand opening of 5th Ave Studio

January - I published my first book- Revitalize and Renew

January - First event for Revitalize and Renew at Revival Yoga

February - Revitalize & Renew book launch

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February - Revitalize & Renew book launch party

April - Lean and Green Body® at an Ebella event with Dr. Perlmuter

July - Made the decision to close 5th Ave Studio … only to go BIGGER!!

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August - Started a partnership with Momentum Brewery for monthly yoga classes

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September - I won Top 40 under 40 for all of Southwest Florida!!

October - Hosted a Yoga and Wellness event for the David Lawrence Center

October - Started teaching weekly yoga classes at my own public studio space … for only $10/class … making yoga more accessible to everyone

October - Became a Certified Fitness Nutritionist through ISSA … love continuing my education and staying current on new wellness ideas for my clients.

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November - Lean and Green Body® became an approved Blue Zones Project partner

December - I was asked to sit on the board of the Red Cross.

December - MALK Organics asked me to become a national partner, and work with them as a nutritionist. I am so excited for this partnership, because together we will be able to educate the public on a national level.

December - Mindful Movement Studio powered by Lean and Green Body® … pre-sale started December 17 and beta launch is January 1!


This year has been incredible! Through Lean and Green Body®, I have been able to host over 20+ events for our Southwest Florida community.

Thank you to all of you, who have supported me through this momentous year of growth.

In 2019 Lean and Green Body® will officially be a national brand!! I am so excited and ready for this expansion, and to educate the greater community on the importance of wellness and a healthy lifestyle.

Happy New Year!!



Love and Light,

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Blue Zones Recap

Blue Zones Project® | Lean and Green Body® Blog

It’s official!! Lean and Green Body® is a Blue Zones Project® partner!

The ribbon cutting was on Saturday, November 3rd at 8th Ave South in Naples. We were honored to have the official Blue Zone’s team there to celebrate our new partnership. Lean and Green Body® is excited to be a partner and support the mission of the Blue Zones Project®.

Blue Zones Project® | Lean and Green Body® Blog

The ribbon cutting was followed by a 60 minute vinyasa yoga class over looking the beach … the sound of the waves soothed our souls during savasana.

Delicious Raw and Epiphany Bakery both showed their support with post yoga treats!

So what is the Blue Zones Project®???

According to healthways.com “A Blue Zones Community® is an area in which citizens, schools, employers, restaurants, grocery stores, and community leaders have come together to optimize residents’ longevity and well-being. Blue Zones Project® by Healthways takes a systematic, environmental approach to identifying and creating policies and programs that support community transformation. “.

Blue Zones is working to create healthier communities, helping us to live longer better lives, one partnership at a time.

Blue Zones Project® believes in the Power 9®…

  1. Down Shift

  2. Purpose

  3. Plant Slant

  4. Wine @ Five

  5. Family First

  6. 80% Rule

  7. Move Naturally

  8. Right Tribe

  9. Belong

Down Shift: reverse disease by finding a stress relieving strategy that works for you.

Purpose: wake up with purpose each day to add up to 7 years to your life.

Plant Slant: put less meat & more plants on your plate.

Wine @ Five: enjoy a glass of wine with good friend each day.

Family First: invest time with your family & add up to 6 years to your life.

80% Rule: eat mindfully & stop when 80% full.

Move Naturally: find ways to move more! You’ll burn calories without having to think about it.

Right Tribe: surround yourself with people who support positive behaviors.

Belong: belong to a faith-based community & attend services 4 times er month to add 4-14 years to our lifespan.


the power 9® info is taken from the Blue Zones Project® handout


For more information on the Blue Zones Project® or to become a partner email bluezonesprojectswfl@sharecare.com or call (239) 624-2312

Sports Drinks

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One of the biggest questions I get asked by clients is how to rehydrate during and after a workout.

Clients often jump to high sugar electrolyte drinks like Gatorade and Powerade to replenish. Although these drinks do contain electrolytes, the bad properties out weight the good. These sports drinks are pumped full of sugar and chemicals, and do more harm than good. These sports drinks will increase the blood sugar and cause a spike in insulin, which will give you a boost of energy but will ultimately lead to a big crash. Long term these drinks can lead to weight gain, and possibly type 2 diabetes due to the high sugar content and the high fructose corn syrup.

The sugar in these drinks cause you to crave more. So you end up drinking more than you initially expected. You take one sip, and it’s so good you want more! Sugar is a drug, and can create similar responses in the brain to cocaine. Crazy?!? Is this how you want to hydrate your body??

I recently had a client reach out to me looking to find ways to rehydrate during and after her golf game. The Florida heats is excruciating this time year, and golf is such a long sport that it is key to hydrate properly on the course and after the game too.

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Water is simply the best way to hydrate! If you drink enough water (minimum 64 oz, but most people need up to 100 oz per day) during the day, simply adding a few more cups of plain water during and after your workout is enough. For extreme athletes, those who play professional sports, marathon runners, triathletes, or anyone with an electrolyte imbalance should consider a hydration supplement.

My favorite way to hydrate, in addition to plain water, are NUUN tablets. They provide electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and are very low in sugar and they have very few ingredients. This is not a sponsored post, I just really love this product! Gatorade and Powerade, among other sports drinks, have made a big name for themselves as the top sports drinks. They have campaigns on how beneficial they are during and after your workouts and games. The one thing these companies do not discuss are there ingredients. These sports drinks, all varieties, are loaded with sugar!! They started with high fructose corn syrup, which has now been linked to cause diabetes, obesity and other major health problems. Some varieties of these beverages have switched to artificial sweeteners, so the sugar content on the food label may appear lower or even zero… but this is not true. Artificial sweeteners are actually worse for you than regular sugar!! It makes me so upset that companies find it okay to put these ingredients in their products. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to diabetes, obesity, brain tumors, and several other health conditions. These sweeteners are not just in sports drinks, they are actually in several common beverages you can find in any grocery store. It is so important to read the food labels on everything you consume. You are what you eat. The cleaner and more pure the better.

If you need help reading food labels, check out this article and video interview here.