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The Studio Marina Del Rey

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Lisa's Likes--Travel Essentials (Just In Time For The 4th of July)

It’s official.  SUMMER is here! Hello June, July, August and sun.

But before we get too ahead of ourselves, remember those resolutions that you set back in January? Of course you do (especially when you start to see your hard work pay off as you slip on your swimwear and head to the beach). 

It's important to remember those resolutions and honor your commitments to push yourself to new limits at The Studio (MDR), but what's equally important is taking time to relax and simply enjoy some R&R.  Nothing says "relaxing" like going on a summer vacation, and SimplyStylist.com recently asked our own, Lisa Hirsch, to share the must-haves in her travel bag.

Lisa's picks are fashionable, practical and functional but our personal fave on the list is the Luna Chocolate Dipped Coconut Bar For women.  Lisa admits, “Airports are the worst when I’m trying to eat healthy so I always have a couple of Luna Bars on hand. Chocolate Dipped Coconut are my favorite, especially when I get stuck on an unexpected layover.”

To read the full article, click here.

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Meatless Monday: Green Smoothie

We all know it’s important to eat our veggies, but sometimes it can be tough to incorporate the vegetables we need each day into our diet especially if we may be working long hours or eating on the go.  So, what's the Studio (MDR) solution for you?

A green smoothie, which by the way is a great way to get key nutrients in one quick, easy and, most importantly, delicious drink! (And it's a perfect dessert, snack or meal for Meatless Monday).

You may have noticed the recent upswing in juice cleanses lately (especially right after new years), and while juicing fruits and vegetables is a fantastic way for the body to absorb nutrients, blending a green smoothie provides more nutritional benefits since the pulp isn’t extracted.

Contrary to what you think, you can have fun with green smoothies by trying different concoctions of your favorite vegetables mixed with fruit.  As an added bonus, you can include a spoonful of Greek yogurt for protein, probiotics and a thicker, more filling smoothie!

Here is a fantastic, refreshing smoothie that is low in fat, high in fiber and is gluten free:

2 Cups Spinach
2 Cups Diced Cucumbers
2 Ribs Celery
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger
1 Handful Parsley
2 Apples, cored but not peeled
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
1 Spoonful Greek Yogurt (optional)

Blend all ingredients until very smooth and enjoy!

What are your favorite green smoothie or Meatless Monday recipes? Feel free to share them in the comments section.  Most importantly, cheers to your health!

Like our blog? You'll love our community. Keep up with The Studio (MDR) via Facebook and Twitter, here are the links:

https://www.facebook.com/TheStudioMDR

https://twitter.com/thestudiomdr

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Goodbye Workout DVD's, Hello Bridal Body! Guest Post From The Studio (MDR) Client Emily Lavender

This is a guest post from The Studio (MDR) client, Emily Lavender.  Emily, 24, is a Marketing Director for Circus Vargas. When she's not working or working out, she enjoys spending time with her fiance and getting reacquainted with LA after living in Orange County for 6 years.

My future sister-in-law, Colleen, brought me to The Studio (MDR) for the first time because she insisted it was unlike anything else I had ever done before and that I would get hooked. Boy, was she right! I have basically always been on the search for the next thing to help me lose weight, and was getting tired of the options I was finding. In the past I have mostly done workout DVDs (cardio kick boxing), they’re fun and a pretty good workout, but they get so repetitive! That’s not the case at all at The Studio (MDR)! The trainers keep you on your toes by mixing up the moves and the music, I’m always excited (and slightly afraid) to see what we are going to do next.

I’ve also been a member of a gym and done classes that involve weights, but after a month or so I started to feel like I was bulking up, so back to my DVDs or the elliptical I would go. The Studio (MDR) has made me excited about fitness again, and I’m so glad I took that first class!

Mary Miller was the trainer for my first session, and I couldn’t believe how much time she spent with me, helping to correct my form and modifying the moves that I just couldn’t get as a newbie. It made me feel like she really cared about teaching this class. I was also very impressed by the way that she would call out to each person by name with words of encouragement or tips.

At the end of the class, Colleen asked me what I thought, and while the language was not appropriate for this blog, it was something to the effect of “holy cow!” I left that class determined to keep coming back in order to build my strength and be able to master those moves. And I came back the very next day! Granted, I could barely move for a week after 2 days straight, but I felt AMAZING!! I don’t think I had ever been that sore from a workout before, but almost two months later, I rarely ever need to modify a move and like to think I can keep up pretty well.

At The Studio (MDR), I can feel myself getting stronger and more toned, but definitely not bulky. I try to go to class at least 3 times a week and I take advantage of all of the healthy recipes and tips from the blog, so thanks to The Studio (MDR) I will be wedding ready for my big day in no time!

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Superfood Saturday--Say Hi to Açaí

It's time for Superfood Saturday's on The Studio (MDR) blog. And today, we want you to say hi to Açaí. Also known as nature’s energy fruit, the Açaí berry is one of the most nutritious foods in the world.

Açaí, harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, is chock full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids, making the tiny berry a weight loss and anti-aging superfood1!

While it may be difficult to find Açaí berries in your local supermarket, Açaí juice is widely available.  There is also, a new product featuring the unsweetened pulp of Açaí which provides many benefits including2:

  • A remarkable concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.
  • A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.
  • An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.

So, if you’re feeling a little sluggish, or if you just need an extra boost of energy, this recipe for an Açaí smoothie is a fantastic choice to consume before or after your workout at The Studio (MDR).

Açaí Berry Smoothie 

1 Unsweetened Pure Açaí Berry Smoothie Pack 8 oz Almond Milk 1 Banana 1 Scoop Whey Protein Powder 1 Tablespoon Flax Seed Oil

Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy!

Is there a superfood you'd love to read more about? Let us know, we are looking for future "Superfood Saturday" ideas.

  1. http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/Açaí -berries-and-Açaí -berry-juice-what-are-the-health-benefits
  2. http://www.oprah.com/health/Açaí -Dr-Perricones-No-1-Superfood

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Sugar Free Saturday's: A Guest Post And Recipe From Amy Samuelson

My name is Amy M. Samuelson and I have spent the last twenty-five years in the entertainment business as a writer/producer. Visit my website at www.amysamuelson.com. I am a former New Yorker living in Santa Monica, California. I also maintain the blog, Amy Does It Sugar-Free.

Last year I had an epiphany regarding “good health” and how to attain it by reducing salt and sugar in my diet and kicking up my exercise regimen. I also began attending (MDR) Total Body classes at The Studio (MDR) run by Lisa Hirsch. The changes that have occurred to my body, mind and spirit are phenomenal.

  • My sense of self and humor returned quickly.  I had forgotten how much fun life offered.
  • Blogging on Amydoesitsugar-free also means I will not sugarcoat this lifestyle. My entries are written with a sense of humor and truthfulness. Truth being the bully everyone pretends to like. I will chronicle my successes, missteps and adventures.
  • Sugar-free living is limited to 15 grams of sugar a day. Sugar exists in almost everything we eat… Read labels carefully.

Here’s my recipe for “Mellow Yellow” scallops, served with asparagus and brown rice. This entire dish is low in sugar and salt.

I buy frozen scallops at Trader Joe’s in a 12 ounce package. I defrost them in the bag. Once defrosted, I take them out of bag, squeeze out their juices, and place them on top of 2 paper towels. I cover them with more paper towels in order to remove excess liquid. It is important that the scallops are as dry as possible before “woking” them.

Next, I place a generous amount of saffron into my wok along with chopped garlic, olive oil, 2 Tbs of white wine (optional), lemon thyme, ginger and the juice of one lemon. I heat my mixture until it is hot and place my scallops into the wok. They are done in approximately 5 to 6 minutes. You never want to overcook your scallops. They will become tough. Fault on the side of under versus over. Garnish them with lemon zest.

Asparagus is an amazing and health friendly vegetable. It is high in vitamins and the folic acid it contains is good for depression. Also, it has a cleansing proponent that flushes your system. Of course, we have all noticed that our pee smells funny after eating asparagus.  Well, it turns out to be a good thing. Who knew? 

There are many ways to cook asparagus.  I prefer sautéing my asparagus in lemon, garlic and oil. Sometimes I add a little butter with fresh pepper. It is ready to serve in less than five minutes.

As for the brown rice, I buy mine at Trader Joe’s in microwaveable packages. However you choose to cook it is fine--just remember that brown rice is always preferable over white rice in this regimen.

Putting it all together. After everything is cooked, place a scoop of brown rice on a plate, dice up your asparagus and place them around your brown rice and put  the scallops on top of the rice. Voila, the result is a picture-perfect entrée that looks as beautiful as it tastes.

This entire meal took me less than 20 minutes to prepare and serve.  Sometimes, I make a quick green salad with whatever vegetables I have in the refrigerator with a simple olive oil and lemon dressing.  Again in wishing you good health, I remind you that lemon is a color you can smell.

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Ladies and MegaMen, We Have Three Winners!

As the month of February draws to an end, the team over at The Studio (MDR) can't help but express continued joy at the enthusiasm of our kick-abs (and ass) community of clients, supporters and friends. And one of the MANY highlights this month was joining forces with author and celebrity dietician/nutritionist Ashley Koff to create the "Celebrating Self Love, Health and Happiness With A Contest From Ashley Koff."

Pictured Above: Ashley Koff, RD

We received a ton of entries for the contest, but three lucky women emerged as our winners. Not only did they answer Ashley's question correctly, the ladies were then entered into a randomized drawing.

To enter, contestants needed to answer the following question: “Is it (a) counting calories or (b) paying attention to nutrient balance that is more important when it comes to getting better energy, a flat belly, glowing skin, and digestive wellness?”

Care to guess what the winning answer was? (B) paying attention to nutrient balance is more important when it comes to getting better energy, a flat belly and glowing skin. So, without any further hesitation, we present to you OUR WINNERS.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Let's give a round of applause to Shari Landon, our Grand Prize winner who had this to say: "What a lovely surprise! When I entered, I was supporting the studio's online efforts." We appreciate that support Shari, congratulations on your prize: a one-on-one phone consult with Ashley and a copy of her book!

RUNNERS UP: Afrouz Nosratian (pictured left). 

"When notified that I was a runner up in 'The Studio MDR/Ashley Koff Celebrating Self Love, Health and Happiness Contest,' I was beyond thrilled. Being a working wife and mother in my forties, with two vibrant, energetic kids, makes my life both delightfully fulfilling and, lets face it, rather exhausting. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book that will surely enlighten me on ways I can be a healthier and more energized woman for both me and my family."

Olivia Hendrickson. "Sweet!  So cool! I cannot wait to get my hands on the book and be fully charged."

Once again, congratulations to all of the winners and a special thanks to Ashley Koff. Please be sure to visit her website for a list of quality foods, supplements and better lifestyle accessories. http://www.ashleykoffapproved.com/

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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Chili

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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Chili

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The Studio (MDR) is inviting all of our fabulous clients to take part in the Meatless Monday movement.  Every so often, we’ll be posting delicious and easy vegan or vegetarian recipes for you to add to your healthy routine.  And we encourage you to share your own recipes as well by posting them in the comments section of our blog, www.thestudiomdr.wordpress.com So, if you've never participated in Meatless Monday before, you may be asking yourself "why should I try this?" Our answer is that there are many benefits to going meatless one day per week.  Whether you choose to participate for your health, environmental reasons or simple to add variety to your diet, kids, men and women alike can benefit from reducing their meat intake. With that said, we want you to enjoy this recipe below for vegetarian chilli.

VEGETARIAN CHILI

It’s getting cold outside in Southern California (much less across the rest of the country), so warm up with this vegetarian chili!  Unlike most chili recipes, this one doesn’t take hours and hours to cook.  It packs a flavorful punch and it’s spicy and satisfying.  Plus it’s loaded with protein and is super low-cal.  It gets better everyday as the flavors meld so stick the leftovers in the fridge so you can enjoy it all week!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
  • 2 cans “no salt added” corn kernals
  • 2 pounds crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 package non-gmo extra firm tofu, drained, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespooon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 can “no salt added” diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans “no salt added” canned beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can “no salt added” tomato sauce
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Soyrizo, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Diced avocado, garnish
  • Chopped green onions, garnish 

Directions In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.  Add the extra firm tofu.  Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer.  Add the soyrizo, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, ladle the chili into the bowls. Top each serving with a spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle green onions and serve.  A small amount of cheddar or pepperjack cheese is optional.  For those who want a cheesy flavor without the fat, try sprinkling nutritional yeast on top for a vegan friendly dish!

Serves approximately 12-14

Per Serving: Calories: 171; Fat: 6.1g (Saturated Fat: 0.5g); Protein: 16g; Carbohydrates: 22g; Sugar: 5g; Fiber 6g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 222.5mg

Now that we've ensured you have a delicious, meatless, protein packed snack, we invite you to come burn off those calories in a class at The Studio MDR. Our "New Year, New Student Special" expires Sunday January 15th so hurry up, sign up and join us as we "look it, feel it and live it" all throughout 2012.

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