This year I wanted to approach my Top 5 Favorite Fitness Products a little differently. I wanted to choose a variety of products that would cater to everyone’s needs and budget. This is the first year that I added a book! I felt limiting my picks to just DVDs wasn’t working anymore. I’ve tried so many useless products and the point of choosing my favorites is to guide you to quality items.
Without further adieu…
Best Book: Clean and Lean Diet (By: James Duigan) – Usually I only recommend diet books that address more emotional issues. In my experience, a lot of women I know eat the right way, they just each too much or too little and then binge. This is one of the first “diet” books I’ve come across that explains the notion of cleaning eating in a approachable manner. If eating unprocessed food seems like a daunting task, you may want to keep in mind that Duigan is a trainer to the stars. His clientele includes: Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Elle Macpherson, and Hugh Grant. He’s also coming out with a 14 day jumpstart type book called Clean & Lean Flat Tummy Fast. It’s not due out until February ,at least here in America. (…Yeah, I wish I could get my hands on it too!) He also has a website called Bodyism that features a variety of products and supplements to aid you on your healthy-living journey.
Best Bang for Your Buck: This is Yoga - I was sent this set of DVDs, thanks to being a part of FitFluential! I wanted to include this in my favorites because it offers so much variety and for a great price. You get four DVDs for $20!! Tara Stiles is the force behind this fantastic series, many of you will be familiar with her from YouTube. This set of DVDs ultimately earned its spot on this list for their variety, amount of workouts, combination of yoga and relaxation, and great overall aesthetics. You can purchase the DVDs HERE. This is a summary and description of what you get…
DVD ONE- DAILY YOGA FOR EVERYONE Focuses on building core strength, improving balance and working toward inversions, as well as releasing tension in the shoulders, back, neck and hips to rejuvenate the mind. Includes 60 minutes of Strong Flow & 30 minutes of Relaxing Flow.
DVD TWO- BEGINNERS YOGA FOR EVERYONE Beginners will learn to move with breath and build strength and flexibility evenly in the body. It also displays how to open the hips and hamstrings while bringing more space to the body and mind. Includes 30 minutes of Beginners Flow, 15 minutes of Relaxed & Easy Going Flow, & 50 minutes of Calming Night Time Flow.
DVD THREE- AM/PM YOGA FOR EVERYONE Designed as a gentle total body flow that opens the mind, energizes and builds strength evenly in the body. Includes 5 minutes of Morning flow (in bed), 60 minutes of Energizing & Strong Flow, 15 minutes of Daily Basic Flow, & 5 minutes of Bed Time Flow (in bed)
DVD FOUR- COMPLETE YOGA LIBRARY FOR EVERYONE Provides a collection of approximately 120 poses including seated, standing, standing twists, sun salutations, back bends, inversions, arm balances and reclining.
Girl on the Go: Physique 57 Online Workouts – I’ve been doing my favorite fitness products for three years now. Physique 57 is the only company that’s made the list every year! They recently came out with online workouts, which are perfect if you are looking to add something new to your P57 routine or if you are a tech-girl always on the go. The fact that you can stream these workouts on your computer or tablet means you’ve got no excuse to not workout! They have fun workouts like Physique Cardio and F.I.T Focused Interval Training. You can find these workouts on their website.
Let’s Do This: Rip: 60 – This is for the girl who want’s a serious workout. If you aren’t into yoga or Pilates, and you want to toughen up, this set if for you! It’s 60 minutes of working out a day for 60 days! I like this program much more than P90X. P90X was too boring, aggressive, time consuming, and required unusual equipment, like a pull-up bar. Insanity is also great, but primarily focuses on cardio. Rip: 60 is a good combination of both. Another reason I love it is because it comes with all the equipment and tools needed. You don’t have to worry about destroying your house by nailing things into walls. It comes with what they call “Rip 60 straps,” which is like a suspension system. Luckily, they made it user-friendly. All you have to do is lay this strap over the top of a door frame and close the door! No screws and bolts required. It comes with nutritional help and a 60-day calendar to keep you on track. If you want more information you find it on Amazon HERE, but I bought my set at Target.
An Oldie, but a Goody: Cindy Crawford Next Challenge Workout – I can’t say enough about this DVD. I’ve had it since junior high or high school. It’s a great workout without all the frou-frou (yeah, I just used that term.) Who doesn’t love Cindy? She’s in her 40′s and still looks amazing. The proof is definitely in the pudding, and therefore I think her workouts deserve credit. I also chose this because you can find this DVD on Amazon for $10. It has a good cardio aspect to it and great toning exercises that don’t make you feel like you’re attempting CrossFit. You’re going to love this one, especially for the price.
What workout are you loving right now?
I’ve been meaning to put this review under my belt for a while now, but the good news is I’ve had quite a bit of time to scan through this book and give you my honest feedback. I initially heard about this book via Twitter. I follow my girl-crush Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who I know is being mentioned entirely too much in my posts, and she Tweeted about her trainer, James Duigan.
Seriously though, you don’t want to look like this?
Or even better, this????
Upon doing a bit of research I came across Clean & Lean Diet and Bodyism. I found the book on Amazon, which you can purchase HERE, and decided to explore this 14-day challenge.
I get tons of messages, emails, posts, etc. asking about cleanses or ways to shed a few pounds fast. Although quick weight loss isn’t a long-term solution, or necessarily healthy, I think the right tools can help you lose a few pounds before a school reunion, encounter with an ex-boyfriend, or that tight squeeze into a bandage dress. The good news is I think Clean & Lean Diet is just the book to show you how to do it properly. No gimmicks, no fancy products… just real food as nature intended it to be.
Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding and the list of clients dedicated to Bodyism pretty much sums it up. Elle Macpherson and Mollie King, from the British girl group The Saturday’s, round out the group of celebs being tightened and toned with this amazing program. On Bodyism’s website they do sell a load of supplements, none of which I have tried. If you have ever sampled them, please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear your feedback too.
The core Clean & Lean program, however, doesn’t requite the purchase of said supplements. The book, and a trip to your local grocery store, are really all you need. I think that it is important to point out that this book isn’t good for people just looking to shed some pounds, but also people looking to shed their addiction to food. I don’t mean this in the gluttonous sense, but many additives such as sugar, salt, and fat are highly addictive and this book is just the detox you’d need to get that junk out of your system!
The book truly gives you everything you need, a meal plan for each of the 14 days, recipes, a sample of exercises, and the beginning of this book is dedicated to helping you to understand the importance of whole foods and why this program can set you on the right path to changing your overall well-being.
I wasn’t paid for this review, in fact I wasn’t even sent this book. I purchased this with my own money because I have been looking for a product to recommend to people who want to make a difference in their health quickly. I believe I have finally found the right one! It won’t be easy, eating purely clean food is a shock to the system and to your lifestyle, if you aren’t used to cooking and preparing ahead of time. Many other celebrity trainers are feeding their clients 900 calories or putting them on a diet of baby food. Clean & Lean Diet simply retrain’s your system and expects you to want to put the right foods into your body… because you’re worth it (cue corny commercial voice.)
Here is sample of what you’d be eating on a typical Clean & Lean day:
Day 6 -
Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg with spinach, cooked with EVOO and 1 slice turkey
Lunch: 1 beef burger (skip the bun) with pan-fried mushrooms, onions, and grilled tomato, served with a small salad
Snack: chopped vegetables with hummus
Dinner: baked salmon fillet (add some chopped dill, crushed garlic, and paprika to it first, wrap it in foil, and bake), served with steamed broccoli and cauliflower
Snack: 5 brazil nuts
See, not too shabby. Eating clean isn’t anything to be afraid of as long as you are prepared and willing to stick it out. I find the first two weeks of any plan are the toughest, which is another reason why I love that Duigan made this a 14-day plan. I think he is like your training wheels. If you can stick with it, by the end of the 14-days you should be able to take those training wheels off and continue to live a cleaner life.
I highly recommend this book!
I’ve reviewed Ballet Beautiful DVDs in the past. Ballet Beautiful, however, is Mary Helen Bowers’ debut book. I purchased this on Amazon. It’s currently on sale for $12.60, so it’s super affordable! Mary Helen has trained a lot of celebrities including Liv Tyler, Zooey Deschanel, Helena Christensen, and most notably, Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan.
I look just like this when I work out.
Actually, my tutu is a bit bigger.
My bun is bigger too…
My obsession with ballet began with this bad boy circa 2000.
Anyone else love the corny-goodness of Center Stage?
Anyway… back to Ballet Beautiful. (Focus Tayler!)
The book is split up into 3 main sections: building your Ballet Beautiful mindset, the Ballet Beautiful program, and the Ballet Beautiful Lifestyle. The forward was written by Natalie Portman! Mary Helen discusses her story… going from a prima ballerina to a student at Columbia. She also discusses the challenges of going from a dancer in tip-top shape to a less active college kid.
What I really love about this book is how she tackles the mental aspect of healthy living. Motivation, goals, and balance are all part of the discussion, and an integral part of living a Ballet Beautiful life.
The majority of the book is dedicated to explaining her key exercises. She provides readers with excellent photos and detailed descriptions, which is so important in ballet!
Mary Helen also created a really great checklist that covers all the bases:
1.) Are you taking care of your body?
2.) Are you keeping your emotional eating in check?
3.) Are you regularly rewarding yourself? (Unfortunately, red velvet isn’t a reward…rewards are non-food related.)
4.) Are you eating right?
5.) How positive and healthy is your though process?
“The Ballet Beautiful Kitchen” is one of my favorite parts of the book! There are really tasty recipes like whole-wheat ravioli with sautéed spinach, chicken with mustard and garlic and steamed asparagus with a cucumber tomato salad, and apple crumble.
Gurl… Mary Helen keeps it real (3 snaps in a Z-formation!)
Meat, dairy, whole grains… Can I just say thank you! I am so sick of trainers coming out with books asking people to live off leaves and coconut oil.
I love Mary Helen, and Ballet Beautiful. She’s super sweet!
You can find her on Twitter too: @BalletBeautiful