Exercise Excitement

One Year Passed

Episode 1 - 7/2/13

So one year has gone by and here we are with our First Anniversary Show!

We’ve been training with Jenel Stevens as you’ve seen on our past blogs.  We are in a bit of a transition because we need to find more time in the afternoon for things like FourC and other personal stuff so we really need to commit to morning workouts!

In reflection of this year, we’ve come to realize a few things:

It is important to recognize growth on your journey.  It is also important to know when it’s necessary to make a shift in a new direction.  We have grown this year, but we’ve also settled more into our new lifestyle and our new bodies.  We don’t obsess over the scale the way we used to, we don’t obsess over our workouts – we try to keep a healthy balance.

But at the same time we recognize when we need to kick things up and we have learned that consistency is key.  Stopping and starting gets you no where, this is something we continue to recognize on our path to our goals.

Many might think it’s weird that we still have goals, but we think that’s what life is all about, setting goals and accomplishing things, it’s my opinion that the minute you become complacent you give up or stop growing.  What’s life without constantly trying to better yourself & your lot in life?

We started the show to help others and we hope we have been able to do that in our first year.  We plan to continue to help others while branching out and growing in new directions.

It’s not always about “weight loss” or the scale, it’s not about working out 24/7.  It’s about loving yourself enough to be healthy for yourself and your family.  To live a long and happy life, to find what it is that makes you happy and to enjoy that to the fullest.

A big thing we have learned this year is that special occasions are just that, special occasions – we have grown to not “cheat” just because it’s the weekend.  I am sure we will continue to grow and learn more this year and we thank you all for being on this journey with us!

We watched back our first show and we notice a few things that are the same and a few things that have changed!

On the first show:

Lisa was yelling into the microphone
We were cross fitting
We were eating Paleo
We struggled with early morning workouts
We preached finding what works for you
We were not runners but we were gearing up for the Color Run in Brooklyn
Our workout recovery was sweet potatoes

FourC Fitness Now:

Still eating Paleo and have successfully completed two Whole30’s

Still struggling to wake up for AM workouts but will not give up

Personally grown to know what works and what doesn’t work for us both exercise wise and eating wise.

We have met so many amazing people, guests and non-guests in the fitness community and those needing inspiration and guidance.

Our amazing past guests have included:

- Our first guest was Jenel Stevens, who has now been our personal trainer and has become a good friend.

-JoAnne Romanelli taught us more about Creating Energy and the self help we can use along with natural products to help with our energy levels!

- Christina Vircillo, Fitness Enthusiast and Mom joined us for show, Commit, part of the “FourC Series” shows.  She shared with us how to make time for fitness on top of being a small business owner and busy mom!

Dasha Libin, she presented us with Body Series DVDs, and we had a massive Q&A fill with great tips!

Tea Green of Tea Rex Paleo Cookies came to talk more about Paleo & Crossfit.

Jeannine Andre-Burns, MS, CNS taught us all about Diabetes.

Scott Dean of Custom Fit Meals talked all about how the body works and how Custom Fit Meals can help you attain your goals.

Founders of Qinetic helped us out on our Resolutions episode

Michele Gordon, Miss Motivational provided us with some Quick Fitness tips and of course, tons of motivation!

Founders of Sportsetter introduced their newly launched App that assists in trying new fitness around the city and living a Multi Sport Lifestyle

Founders of OakPoint Health & Vitality came to teach us more about Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture.

Rebecca Golian of Vemma introduced us to VEMMA products and how they can aide in your active lifestyle

Julia & Kayte of Average2Athlete discussed their CMC experience and training.

Kenny Pena of Pena’s Fitness Method brought to light the importance of Fitness for Survival

Team MissFits/P.E.P.P.E.R taught us what goes in to Competition Training and how you can become a member of Team MissFits whether it be for personal goals or competing!

Upcoming shows:

Kim Watkins of inSHAPE Fitness
Julia Dalton-Brush from  FitJourney
Alan Courtenay, Personal Trainer and CEO of NYC Boot Camps
Kettlebell Kickboxing introducing the 7 Day Lean program
Linda, Breast Cancer Survivor and Fitness Enthusiast

Upcoming events:

Video Vignettes
Civilian Military Combine Race
City Challenge Race
Quest/Fitness Transformations
Networking and taking up invites to try new workouts around the city!

Guests: Oak Point Health & Vitality

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This week we were so excited to have the professionals from Oak Point Health & Vitality of Astoria as our guests on the show!  Michelle is a regular client of Oak Point for Acupuncture and we often refer people here because the results that Michelle has seen since she started her treatment have been pretty outstanding!

Originally she went in to treat her TMJ issues.  Her pain was unbearable and could not find relief in simple heat and pain relievers.  She immediately made an appointment and after her very first session at Oak Point with Dmitri, the TMJ was virtually gone.

During her assessment, Dmitri let her know that Acupuncture could help some other issues she was having.  Being an advocate for natural treatment alternatives, Michelle decided to continue to see Dmitri not only for the TMJ but for other imbalances in her body.

Here is some background on Dmitri and Anna from Oak Point:

Dimitri Boules LAc, LMT, CPT Bio – As a New York State licensed Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist, Dimitri takes a holistic approach with his patients—tailoring treatments to individual conditions and needs. He began working in the health field as an Astoria-based personal trainer in 2006. While he very much enjoyed helping people who wanted to improve their health and fitness levels, he quickly recognized that the majority of his clients suffered from chronic pain or medical conditions. They viewed pharmaceutical drugs and/or surgery as the only treatment options but Dimitri knew there were better alternatives and decided to continue his education. After obtaining his personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, he continued his education at New York College of Health Professions where he completed his associate degree of occupational studies in Massage Therapy and his bachelors and masters degrees in Acupuncture. He also completed a holistic health counseling program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Dimitri continues his education by attending seminars and reading the latest research in massage therapy, acupuncture and holistic health.

Today, his blend of acupuncture, massage therapy, corrective exercises, and nutritional counseling truly addresses the root cause of disease and not just the symptoms. Dimitri is experienced dealing with a wide range of conditions and concerns but has special interest in orthopedics and sports medicine, as well as infertility and digestive disorders.

Anna Louca Boules LAc, LMT Bio – In 2006, when Anna Louca began working with clients to improve their long term skin health, she quickly recognized that such treatment required far more than just the external application of products.

To stay true to this perspective, Anna continued her education in nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Traditional Chinese Medicine at New York College of Health Professions where she obtained degrees in massage therapy and acupuncture. She now combines this ancient form of healing with esthetics and nutritional recommendations to give her patients long lasting results and a better understanding of how internal medical conditions or energetic imbalances initially present on the skin–our body’s largest organ. By treating both external (skin) and internal (organ) imbalances, Anna offers her patients much more than a “temporary fix.”

Consistent with her holistic outlook, Anna may specialize in skin care but also enjoys addressing a wide range of conditions, e.g. infertility, digestive issues, neurological and respiratory concerns, cancer pain, and the side effects of chemotherapy/radiology.

Oak Point: Our mission is to both provide holistic health options and educate our patients on how to enhance their body’s ability to heal itself, to look and feel its best. The founders of Oak Point Health and Vitality Centre, Dimitri and Anna, provide you with the highest quality care in acupuncture, massage and skin therapy, as well as holistic health counseling. With a well-rounded commitment in holistic health, our treatments address issues at the ROOT level.

Dmitri provided us a wealth of information answering the following questions on the show! You can check out the YouTube version of the show here!

1. Can you explain what exactly acupuncture is?

2. What is the history of Oriental Medicine?

3. What are acupuncture and Oriental Medicine known to treat and how exactly can they help?

4. How does acupuncture treat pain?

5. We’ve heard that oriental medicine can also help with fertility and hormonal issues. Can you explain more about this?

6. We’ve learned that Oriental Medicine is more than just acupuncture treatments for specific issues; can you explain the additional aspects of oriental medicine?

7. Can you explain more about how oriental medicine and nutrition are related?

8. What are some uses for and types of oriental herbal medicines?

9. How are specific exercises and massage therapy utilized in Oriental Medicine?

10. Oak Point treats a wide variety of clients, including those with specific fitness injuries, how can acupuncture and Oriental Medicine apply to fitness?

11. How does acupuncture and oriental medicine help prevent injury and disease?

12. How is acupuncture used as an option to fight/treat illness and heal injury?

13. How can oriental medicine as a form of treatment address root causes of disease, injury and illness?

14. Finally, how can acupuncture and oriental medicine be used to help people achieve their health and fitness goals?

Case Study/Patient Consult/Tips – Lisa/Michelle
In the clinic – Patient comes in with knee pain, take a holistic approach – see what is out of balance and the body self heals.
Oriental Medical Examination – Feeling the pulse, looking at the tongue and asking detailed questions in order to get a better idea about the patient. We do this because we don’t only want to focus on the knee. We want to treat the whole person which would make the knee respond better to treatment rather than just focusing on the knee. If a person’s digestive system is not working properly than how is it going to extract nutrients to rebuild damaged tissues?
Orthopedic Testing and Assessment. This will give us a better idea on what tissues might be involved and help us zero in and treat the knee more specifically.
Muscle Testing and Functional Assessment. This will give us a better idea on why the person has knee pain. What caused it in the first place. Which muscles are not firing the way they should and which are overactive causing abnormal movements and abnormal wear and tear?
At this point it will be good to explain how when muscles shut down that leads to improper movement which leads to injury and if never addressed will lead to reoccurring injuries. Over time those injuries could get worse especially when patient gets older (arthritis).
Treatment, Acupuncture, Massage, Cupping, Guasha
Patient will leave with corrective exercises, stretches and foam rolling activities to do at home and continue doing after they feel better. This will “fix” the dysfunction (what caused the injury in the first place)

General sessions needed:
For Prevention: Recommend an active person 1 a week. This will ensure that their body is in balance at all times and functioning the way it should.
Acute Injury: 4-6 treatment 2-3 times a week. Want to attack the injury right away so people can go back to training again and reach their health and fitness goals.
Chronic: 2-3 times a week for 8-10 sessions. Then re-evaluate how they feel.

Must remind people that Acupuncture and the other modalities that we use in Oriental Medicine are a therapy. Just like a person can’t go to the gym once a year and expect to get as muscular as a body builder. Consistency = change

Contact Info
Want to check out Oak Point for yourself? You can contact them at http://www.oakpointhealth.com/ or call to speak to Dimitri and Anna directly at (718) 777.0620. We will post all of their information on our website!

Guests: SportSetter

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We were lucky to have some key players from SportSetter join us for this week’s show! As you can see from the photo above, if you go to SportSetter.com or download the application in the App Store, you can redeem two free passes when using the code FOURC!

Here is some background information on our guests:

Trevor Ferguson, Co-Founder of SportSetter. Attended University of South Carolina, worked in Software sales for 5 years before starting SportSetter.

Steve Csolak, Business Operations Manager of SportSetter. Also attended USC, worked in a corporate gym setting for 5 years before joining forces with Trevor and Niko Karstikko, co-founder.

Jaclyn Sklaver, Business development for SportSetter – fitness enthusiast for over 20 years – background in marketing & PR for new businesses, active in NYC fitness community.

SportSetter helps people find health and fitness products and services they’ll love. For consumers SportSetter is a personalized fitness concierge service.

You can catch all the info to the following Q&A with SportSetter on the YouTube Episode!

1. Tell us the background story of how SportSetter began.

2. Go through with us the basic features of the app. How do you begin?

3. What are the subscription packages like?

4. What is SportSetter Social?

5. What are the gift passes?

6. How many users currently?

7. Can you only sign up if you have the app or can you do this through the web?

8. What kind of fitness facilities will users be able to access on SportSetter?

9. What happens if you fall in love with a place you try and want to go back again and again?

10. What do you feel are the main benefits of a service like SportSetter?

11. What makes SportSetter ideal for all people on all budgets?

12. What do you see as the future of SportSetter?

13. What is your personal favorite thing about SportSetter?

14. How can people learn more about SportSetter?

The Importantce of Foundation

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It has never been more apparent to us how important a good foundation is to continue to achieve our goals. When we started our weight loss journey, luckily Michelle had been educated by her parents on how to work a gym circuit. A treadmill and elliptical pretty much speak for themselves for cardio.

The tricky part is knowing when you’re ready for bigger and better workouts. Yoga, CrossFit, Kettlebell Kickboxing, etc. And just because you might be thin doesn’t mean that you’re ready. (Lisa’s shoulder injury as example). Losing weight and gaining muscle & a strong foundation don’t always go hand in hand if you aren’t doing specific exercises and movements to correct muscular imbalances and strengthen weakened muscles.

Throughout her NASM-CPT training Michelle learned the OPT Model of training, which emphasizes starting out with a base of functional movements and balance and stability to get clients moving in the right direction. Her eyes were opened to the fact that throughout their journey, her and Lisa never started working out with a trainer to build a foundation.
It’s a basic matter of physics, you can’t build a house without a strong foundation. If you start with the first or second floor, the house will have nothing to support it from below. The same is true for starting a fitness routine with a high level exercise. Sure, Insanity and P90X are great programs, but you can be prone to injuring yourself if you don’t have a basis before you begin these workouts.

After meeting with Jenel this week we realized the importance of foundation even more. She warned us that we might become bored with the routine she may give us, but that if we stick with it we will be able to take our results to the next level. Through Michelle’s training knowledge and our own experiences with injury, we know that she is 100% right.
It dawned on us when we were speaking to her – here we are, almost 6 years into our journey, and we are starting at the beginning all over again. It’s actually a really exciting feeling and it motivates us even further to finally be able to achieve our latest set of goals. Without going backwards, we would not be able to go forward.

We spoke to our friend Dimitri at Oak Point who is also a NASM CPT and Corrective Exercise Specialist and we asked him if his clients get bored with the OPT Model of training. He said that he sets up a 6 month plan with them to set them on the right path to achieving their long term goals. As you can see, there really is no QUICK fix if you want to see serious success.

You can certainly try various methods to keep things exciting, as we often suggest – but without starting at the beginning, you will limit yourself to how much you can experiment with. If we had a stronger foundation, Lisa may not have injured her shoulder and we may be competing in the CrossFit games by now (LOL).


Episode 28: Additional Benefits of Exercise

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We often associate exercise solely with weight loss. But exercise has other “hidden” benefits that should be uncovered!

The article, What Happens To Our Brains When We Exercise and How It Makes Us Happier by Leo Widrich was actually our inspiration for this week’s episode!

Here is a breakdown of it for you:

We learned that exercise is a treatment for:
-Memory Loss
-Alzheimer’s Disease

What happens in the brain when you exercise:
-Moment of stress recognized
-Heart pressure increases
-Fight or flight
-Body releases BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) a protective & reparative element sent to your memory neurons acts as a reset switch
-Results in feeling at ease & clear mind after exercising & happy.
-Endorphins released which minimize discomfort, blocks pain and associated with a feeling of euphoria

-BDFN & Endorphins have addictive behavior
A study by Gretchen Reynolds (referenced in the Book Review and the Magazine Rack this week) shows the first 20 minutes of activity provide most health benefits, i.e.:
- Prolonged life
- Reduced disease risk

Quick last fact: You get the highest level of happiness with exercise if you are just starting out.

Check out the article for more in-depth information!

7 Mind-Blowing Benefits of Exercise from U.S. News touches upon some similar and additional information!

Greatist’s 13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise expands the added benefits of exercise even further!

Resuscitate That Resolution!

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Resolution Resuscitation

It’s that time of year. The time of year when you either:

1. Forgot your had a resolution
2. Stopped caring about your resolution
3. Gave up on your resolution
4. Got frustrated with your resolution
5. All of the above.

Making resolutions are a tradition.  And of course getting healthy is one of the top resolutions out there. Come March our resolutions are the last thing on our list of things to do. But you can pick it back up again, the year is not over!  Check out our Tips of the Week blog for more info on how you can resuscitate your resolution!

Winter Fitness

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Winter Show

Well winter has been fully upon us for a while now and we completely understand the habit of hibernation. It’s been freezing, at least in New York it has been, and the last thing you want to do is travel anywhere other than to work, home or out with friends.

Sometimes making that extra trip out to the gym or for a run is discouraging in this type of weather. Not only that but cold weather does not encourage healthy eating. Maybe you’re dressed in roomy sweaters to keep you warm and you’re comfy cozy and what do you want to eat? Comfy, cozy hot foods! And just like that, you’re in hibernation mode.

It’s important to keep in mind that going into hibernation mode might be fun now but spring and summer are just around the corner. They will come, whether we feel like they will or not at this point, and if you don’t try to stay focused with your eating and workouts now, you’ll have more work to do once the warm weather rolls around and you shed those comfy sweaters!

Check out the Tips page for ways to beat the hibernation habit!

The Competition Show

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Theme Image
Competition can affect us in many ways. It can both inspire and hinder progress. In our every day life, we sometimes feel pressured by competition; pressure to fit in, measure up, look or even act a certain way. There are those who compete with us, whether we welcome that behavior or not. It can start as early as our childhood, for example, remember how in High School, girls sometimes competed for guys or even just for popularity?

Competition, we believe, can sometimes have negative “side effects” in the case of “High School” for example, it can possibly lead to poor body image or an unsafe approach to dieting should one competitor feels less worthy than the other and feel the need to change themselves to measure up.

Even when I was over weight, I never felt intimidated or the need to measure up to others, but this is not the case for everyone. There was competition to be good at things, but I never felt the need to hurt myself to compete to look the way others did.

On the other hand, competition in sports can be very healthy for young people and adults alike, competition gets people excited and inspired to get and stay fit and succeed at their fitness goals.

Even watching sports competitions can inspire young people to get active and in today’s sedentary, video game driven landscape, it’s important to encourage young people to get involved in healthy competition activities to stay healthy and express themselves through athletics.

We want to encourage a way to turn competition into something that can help, rather than hinder you! We have learned that competition can actually be used in a positive way to fuel you to succeed. As an example, competition among peers can help you stay motivated to get to the gym and conquer a tough workout.

In a group fitness setting, you can have a “secret” competition with another person in your class without them even knowing it. Competition can work to push each of us to work to our full potential.

A little healthy competition came in handy for Michelle and I at times, we were able to push one another to do better by pushing our individual selves. When one of us was having an off day but the other one was in the groove, that mood and “competition” often kicked in to help push the other to do better. In Spin class, for example, we would do our best to keep up with one another.

Signing up for a race with friends can help you to compete against your own best time or help you to keep up with those that are maybe more experienced runners than yourself.

Competing against yourself is also a great form of competition. You can compete to beat your best time in a run, or in a CrossFit WOD. Or you can challenge yourself to learn a new activity or even work up to something as simple as completing a proper push-up!

Viewer Question: How to Ban Belly Fat?

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Photo Courtesy of WebMD.com


How to ban belly fat? We always say *clean* diet, diet, diet.

First: Why is belly fat so dangerous? Belly fat is also known as a visceral fat which is fat that lies close to vital organs.  The risk here is that the closer the fat is to the organs the more risk there is for fat to get into your bloodstream and this is worrisome or other health issues such as clogged arteries, hypertension and metabolic functions in the body.

So check out these resources to find out how to banish belly fat for good!

Three Easy Steps To Fight Belly Fat

Get Rid of Belly Fat After 40

How to Lose Belly Fat

5 Tips To Lose Belly Fat

Paleo Ketchup Goodness

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Homemade Paleo Ketchup
We have been wanting it try to make our own ketchup to be compliant with our current meal plan, Whole 30, as most brands of ketchup contain sugar! We googled Paleo ketchup & decided to give this sweetener-free recipe a try:

Ryan Wilder’s Wicked Easy Paleo Ketchup

About 12oz Tomato Paste (try to find it in BPA-free packaging if possible)
1.5 Cup Water
2 tbsp Vinegar
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp All Spice
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Simmer for a few minutes and stir often. Transfer ketchup to a glass container and refrigerate. That’s it.

We didn’t have all spice, so instead we used paprika, black pepper and a little crushed red pepper. We added a little extra garlic and onion powder to taste and we also substituted the vinegar for apple cider vinegar! It looks and smells awesome and we can’t wait to try it on our eggs and burgers! Let us know if you try this easy recipe!

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