How to make a passion your road to better health

Emily Alrick was a fashion design student when she kept getting randomly asked if she was a bellydancer.   Feeling a little burnt out on the design world, she came across a bellydance class while walking around Ashland, Oregon.  Curious to know if the earlier questions were a compliment, as she first imagined something more on the cheesy side, Emily gave the class a try.  “I felt like I’d found a long lost friend!”  She instantly found herself passionate and committed.

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One popular practice to train your brain to leave work… at work!

You will probably roll you’re eye’s when you read the solution I’m suggesting because… it’s so “old news” and maybe even promising things you think are a little bit hyped.  SO!  Before I say what I’m suggesting you try to mentally train yourself to be more present to the task you are on instead of the one you just left, I’m going to tell you the benefits I’ve  experienced first!
  • I learned to quiet my brain down to take an afternoon nap.
  • Responding to stress, instead of reacting to it.  Catching myself mid-freak-out-mode when stress has reached it’s peak and remind myself who I want to be instead of reacting.
  • Take a break from a frustrating problem by taking my mind off of it, then resume back later with a clearer mind.

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Going Beyond Using a Gym Membership to Gain Back Your Health

Do you find your only disciplined in gym attendance, after slacking off so much your feeling sick again?  Are you discouraged because you’ve broken so many promises to yourself to get in shape, and now January is right around the corner to repeat the vicious cycle again?  This is an interview with a local individual who has established the habit early in life, of attending to the important, but not urgent things before life would force him to focus on his health via, a health crisis.  Here are his tips for gaining the mindset that get’s you past the temptation to wait for a crisis.

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2 Simple Ways to Give Your Body What It Needs

Have you ever been told bad news followed by “Now we wait”?  It’s a helpless position to be in;  Gloria Jaeger Albanell is a belly dancer of 17 years, and local fitness instructor at Society One Fitness.  9 months after the early birth of her first child, Gloria realized she was losing sight in one of her eyes.  She was told by her doctor she might be looking at the early stages of MS (Multiple Sclerosis), and then the dreaded “Now we wait”.
She decided to take her health into her own hands and began educating herself and trying things.  A friend introduced her to Dan McDonald’s YouTube videos on juicing, and Gloria jumped on the idea.  She juiced mostly vegetables and a little fruit, and drank 32 ounces for 7 days.  She said one week was enough to show her how much her body was in need of some essential nutrients.  First she saw results in her hair and nail, both growing longer and stronger in those 7 days.  Her sight eventually returned, and Gloria has made juicing a part of her life.  She has also added essential oils to her bag of tricks, taking advantage of natural solutions to heal and nourish her body.  Gloria loves educating others, teaching Essential Oil Wellness classes, one-on-ones, guiding and mentoring people through their own difficult health challenges and wellness goals.  She enjoys promoting powerful natural solutions and encouraging others to reduce toxin-laden pharmaceuticals and to be the very best they can be!
How does she evaluate pain:
Intuition is important!  You have to be intentional to learn about your body and how you respond or react!  Pain is a difficult thing.  You can’t build muscle without a little pain and discomfort but pain is also the warning sign that something could be wrong.  Gloria recommends listening to your intuition.  Listen to what “feels right” and keep pushing through if you know it’s the pain you’ll be grateful for later, rather than the “ouch”, injured and regretful kind.  Push yourself to discomfort but don’t be too hard on yourself!  Be encouraging and gentle with your self talk.
What is working for her:
  • Juicing, of course!
  • Educating and using essential oils daily and consistently.
  • Her ideal diet is gluten, dairy, and meat free, but she doesn’t hold herself to it religiously and practices being kind to herself when she “messes up”.
  • She teaches classes 5 days a week.  By becoming an instructor she has ensured she is active and moving daily!
 What to expect:
Barre and Bellydance both have their roots in dance.  Gloria comes from a background of dance and gymnastics.  She tries to keep the atmosphere light, encouraging people to have fun and loosen up!  Barre is a blend of Pilates, yoga, ballet and aerobics. . You will get a full body workout, lots of toning to all muscle groups, and plenty of fun!  Click Barre Class to get a sneak peak into what that class is like.
When and Where:
-Society One Fitness Website and schedule.
-Expect Belly Dance in November on Tuesdays.  Sign up before November 5th for the 4 week (closed group) Belly Dance session.
-Check out Gloria’s Oil website, host a class or schedule your own private Wellness Consultation with her here: 

3 Daily Habits that can Lead to Better Health… and Keeping an Open Mind.

You will run into Jen Cook when you first walk into the doors of Medford’s YMCA, running the membership office, but what you didn’t know was Jen started her relationship with the Y’s gym as a novice.  Shortly after a loss of a loved one she began to ponder the possible consequences of her own lifestyle and testing the water’s of change… changing herself.

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How to Not Let Perfection Derail Your Goals

Have you ever thought, “Why bother?” after seeing your perfectly plotted plan show the beginning signs of unraveling.  The temptation to throw in the towel after our bad habits begin to creep back into our supposed “new and improved” self is enticing!

Adam McMenomy is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at Rogue Valley YMCA.  He grew up in an active family with a basement full of sports and fitness equipment. From the high school wrestling room to Army obstacle courses, Adam has lived a very physically active life, pushing him to meet high challenges.  The self-discipline required for sports and boot camp have built-in benefits of a strong body.  After relocating to Oregon from Minnesota with his wife and two kids, Adam had to put into practice a new mindset.  This one had no coach or drill sergeant. No built in system that ensured a physical work-out.  This one had to be timed around family, work-schedules, trips to the park, lunch, and nap time.  No longer a requirement, a trip to the gym was based on principle.  A fundamental recognition that if you are not putting anything into yourself, you are not growing.


The tricky part is accepting the set backs. Just knowing ahead of time that there are days you will not be able to work out, but resolving to not give up after one missed goal. Practicing the ability to adjust and drive on. 80% accomplished is better than 100% not done, as its been said.

When things don’t pan out, Adam reminds himself the goal is to use a work-out as a stress-reliever; it should be fun! He tries to keep the balance between total determination towards high goals and a complete lacksadalsicle attitude with regards to accomplishments. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing while reaching towards your goals, its highly unlikely you will see them through to the end. On the other hand, if you can just cast off goals with no second thought, you were never really committed and it wasn’t a good goal to begin with.


How do you keep the common-place and routine things in life from becoming boring or dreaded?  Classes and other people are a great way.   Finding and committing to a class that fits your schedule and style keeps your attention in several ways:

  •      –Engaging your mind by staying ready for a plan you didn’t build.
         –Connecting with other people, building rapport, allowing friendships to push you a little harder. (Friends keeping friends  accountable for showing up) By the instructor and other people who are attending the class.
        –A little, friendly competition never hurts.
  • If nothing else it’s connecting with other people who are trying to accomplish similar goals and value the same things.  Dragging yourself to the gym through guilt to work out alone will only get you so far.  But when the inevitable step backward happens, it’s nice to have a network of folks to help you remember… that’s part of the deal.  Things  rarely ever go perfectly as planned, but everyday if you walk two steps forward and one step back, eventually you will accomplish your goals.

What is working for Adam
Adam tries to limit eating grains and generally follows a low-carb, higher in healthy fats diet. Calories from carbs burn faster than ones from fat, and when he eats carbs he notices how much faster he feels those hunger pangs.  In fact, he starts most days with a bullet-proof coffee: blend a tablespoon of grass-fed, unsalted butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil into your coffee.  The extra fats keep him feeling fuller for a longer period of time.
He is currently following an intermittent fasting diet, which gives you a window of time where you are allowed to eat. Adam doesn’t eat anything before 11 am, can have a normal lunch, dinner and snacks, then closes the window at 9 pm.  Having one disciplined goal bleeds out into other areas of life and brings more resolve for other accomplishments. Completing one small goal creates motivation, snowballing into larger goals. They are the catalyst to greatness.


What to expect
Adam gravitates more towards the unconventional tools, like using a single kettle bell for a full body work out.  Higher reps and lower weight, with a focus of functionality.  His TRX class uses suspension straps to force the body to use stabilizing muscles to do the work that the ground normally would have done.  Add some cardio in there and prepare yourself to be worn out using only your own body weight!


When and Where
TRX Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30-6:45 pm, RV YMCA in the Aerobics Studio

Personal training sessions also available through the YMCA

1 Unique Way to Walk with Poise and Confidence into Your Meetings

If you find weight lifting, running or any straightforward approach to staying fit as enticing as homework on spring break, you’ll find yourself in the pleasurable company of Sarah Lozoff, as well.  A ballet teacher in Ashland and choreographer for Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The focus of ballet is not to get your heart pounding, muscles growing, or the body sweating.  It’s posture, timing, grace, and beauty.  There is an over-arching goal, with a by-product of
  • leaner muscles
  • smoother motion
  • more flexibility
  • and a disciplined body!


Meet Sarah Lozoff
A star in my eyes after taking one class with her!  You can see it in her posture, when she demonstrates her skill, her reverence for the studio, her focus and clarity to achieve and help her students to achieve a pure representation of ballet.  When she dances it is not to work out and stay fit, but to embody and represent a sacred art.  Speak the language, imitate to eventually become a native.  Ballet can be a second language for most; for Sarah it is as close to a first as anyone can get.

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What is an essential key to designing your perfect day?

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” -Seth Godin

Knowing what your perfect day would look like to you requires self-awareness no one else can do that for you.  Jeni Beck is one person who could take on two, tough, strength-training classes, with an emphasis on core, in a 3 hour period and still be smiling afterwards… twice a week.   And yet, when asked how she stays motivated she would use the word FUN to describe how her personality is driven.

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