I Own 2 Fitness Studios and I Don’t Have Time to Workout Either: The Pure Health Challenge Explained

It’s the dirty little secret of the fitness industry.

Before you actually open your fitness studio, you have big dreams of a balanced life, working out every day, and eating clean.  When you actually open, life is nothing like the dream!  Oftentimes you find yourself giving up your spot in class so a client can take.  Maybe a critical last-minute task prevents you from taking class.  Or you’re simply too stressed out from dealing with your employees, finances, and high-maintenance clients to workout.  Did I mention that this is all happening while shoving handfuls of crackers, protein bars, or whatever is easy and portable into your mouth for sustenance.  Fitness studio owners, like most other small business owners, need help prioritizing fitness too!

The struggle is real.  Don’t envy me because I own 2 fitness studios.  I don’t have time to workout either!

She's On Her Toes Pure Health Challenge

2 classes in 2 Days!  That might be a record!  Just kidding–it’s not.

Like the rest of the world, I too have to prioritize working out and eating healthy.  It doesn’t just magically happen.  Damn, if only it did!  This is why I’m such a big proponent of our Pure Health Challenge happening at my studios, Pure Barre Winston-Salem and Pure Barre Clemmons, during March and April.  I need this Challenge just as much as you do.  The Pure Health Challenge is a way to practice consistently taking class each week.  It’s also a chance to think about healthy eating (which so many of us don’t do).  And it’s a way to do both of these things in a group setting so we’re all accountable—and hopefully successful!

I always get a lot of questions about what the Pure Health Challenge is and is not.  Here goes … your most burning Challenge questions answered …

What is the Pure Health Challenge?

The Pure Health Challenge starts on March 5th and ends April 29th.  During the Challenge, participants take 4 classes each week and focus on healthy eating and self-care.  Since we’re all taking the Challenge together, the Pure Barre community provides everyone inspiration and strength to keep going and make fitness and health a greater priority during these two months.

What do you get when you pay for the Pure Health Challenge?

The Pure Health Challenge costs $40 and includes the following:

  • 2 Pure Barre Intensive classes—take 1 in March and 1 in April. Intensive classes are 75 minutes long and focus on specific parts of the body for more targeted, intense work
  • 5 recipes for easy, simple, healthy foods each week—as an example, the first week is “5 Smoothies You’ll Want to Wake Up Early For”
  • Self-care tips from your Pure Barre Team
  • Pure Barre community events including a dog walk and Spring Fashion Show

So, why do I have to pay for the Pure Health Challenge?

It does cost the studio money to put on the Pure Health Challenge.  We have to spend extra time organizing the events, learning the Intensive classes, and compiling recipes and self-care tips so you can get the most out of the experience.  I have to pay my employees who get involved for their hard work.  Yes, we could do challenges like other fitness studios and gyms and put minimal effort into how the challenge is organized and have the challenge be free.  But, that wouldn’t benefit our clients in the way that a more involved, Pure Health Challenge actually helps our clients get healthier and more fit.

I will also say this … if you pay for something you tend to take it more seriously and actually do it.  Ahem!

Why is the Pure Health Challenge 2 months, that seems like an eternity?

Did you know that it takes 66 days to create a lasting habit?  This is why the Pure Health Challenge is 2 months—it’s done by design.  After 2 months of taking class 4 times each week, you should have created the habit and will hopefully keep up that habit of consistently working out even after the Challenge is over.  Sneaky.

What if I don’t want to eat healthy?  I already workout, so I don’t see the point.

You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.  However, working out is only half the equation.  Eventually, you will stop seeing results from simply working out and not eating healthy foods.  You will have to change the way you eat to keep getting stronger and more fit.

It’s a lie.  Whoever told you that eating French fries after working out was ok and those calories wouldn’t count, was full of sh$t.  I know, bummer.

But that’s where the Pure Health Challenge comes in.  By making small changes in what you eat, you can eventually see big results.  Each week of the Challenge, you’ll receive 5 easy, simple, healthy recipes.  Try one or work to incorporate all 5 into your weekly meals—the choice is yours.  Curious about each week’s recipes …

5 Smoothies You’ll Want to Wake Up Early For

5 Salads You’ll Actually Want to Eat

5 Treats That Won’t Make You Hate Yourself

5 Sides That Make the Main Course Boring

5 Pestos to Use Beyond Pasta

5 Main Dishes Where Meat is Optional

5 Sauces with Endless Possibilities

5 Beverages for Maximum Sipping & Pic-ing

I love these because by the end of the Challenge, you could literally make one small change at every meal.  And … you’ll have a whole library of choices to keep going back to once the Challenge is over.  It’s all really manageable!

There you have it!  What the Pure Health Challenge is and isn’t.  If you still have questions, please let me know or talk to us at the front desk next time you’re in the studios.  It’s not too late to sign up!  Make sure you get your 4 classes in each week and try one recipe and tag us on Facebook or Instagram—we’ll be rewarding you for your efforts with a drawing for gift cards to local businesses.  Who said being healthy didn’t have its own rewards?!

Top Trends You Need to Know About Now In Health & Fitness

In the very dynamic health and fitness industry, the “next best thing” seems to be popping up on a daily basis.  It’s hard to separate fad from something that will last and often-times experts disagree on what is healthy or not.  It can be really confusing.  The bottom line is, living a health-focused life isn’t going away anytime soon, so the more you can create a health-focused business, the better you can serve your clients.

But despite all the confusion, there are a few trends in the industry that are worth taking note.  Specifically, the use of natural remedies to treat the source of disease as opposed to managing symptoms once diagnosed, taking your workouts with you always including while on vacation, and tracking your fitness progress with wearable technology.

Using Turmeric to Fight Inflammation

Turmeric isn’t just a key component to Indian food anymore—it’s one of the best ways to naturally fight inflammation in the body.  Diseases including arthritis, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer are all believed to be caused by chronic inflammation in the body—oh, and general muscle soreness is also the result of inflammation, although this is the less serious kind called, acute inflammation, which eventually goes away.

The active substance found in Turmeric called curcumin, is what makes the herb so powerful and anti-inflammatory.  I’ve been taking Turmeric daily for about nine months and have experienced some great results including less muscle soreness after working out and quicker recovery in between workouts, almost no headaches or migraines, and the chronic pain in my lower back has almost gone away (sometimes when I push my workouts or sit for a long period of time with bad posture, it comes back briefly).  I’ve been using Youtheory Turmeric capsules that I buy at Costco or here on Amazon.  This particular brand also contains a black pepper which improves the absorbability of the turmeric into the body.  Turmeric can be a little messy (it stains), so I find the capsules to be really easy to take, but there are also great recipes for turmeric teas and the this one for a turmeric latte, that will help you get more turmeric into your diet.

Folks, I am not a doctor, and simply informing you of something that has been working for me, personally.   I checked with my doctor before taking turmeric, so you’ll always want to check with your own doctor before taking any supplements to make sure they won’t cause you adverse side-effects or interfere with your prescribed medications!

Staying Fit on Vacation

Ever go on vacation and come back dreading getting back into your daily healthy routine of clean eating and regular exercise?  Me too!  More and more people are choosing to plan vacations with their health in mind including staying on track with their eating and exercise while away from home.  And more companies are starting to take note … The Westin hotels has a partnership with New Balance so you can borrow workout clothing and shoes and some rooms event have Peloton bikes to log a few rides during your stay.

Pure Barre has always been easy to take “on the go” because there is little-to no equipment involved.  You could really complete a Pure Barre workout anywhere you can keep your balance!  But now Pure Barre has made it even easier to keep up with classes with the new Pure Barre On-Demand (PBOD) streaming service.  Simply log on and follow along for classes of 5, 10, 15, 30, 45 and 55+ minutes.  The best part … PBOD is available for every client with a 12-month membership at no additional cost.  How fun will it be to log on your phone and take a class at the beach?  Or get invigorated with a quick workout in your hotel before a work presentation?  PBOD won’t include your favorite teacher driving you to work just a little harder with that subtle correction, but it’s a great way to add more value to your membership and keep your workout routine away from the studio more consistent.

Taking Collagen for Joint Health and Better Skin

Collagen is another supplement that has incredible health benefits but also makes you look great too.  Um, yes, please!  After taking collagen for about a month, I’m convinced it must be the secret of every actress that looks amazingly youthful.  Again, you’ll want to consult your doctor before taking any supplements—what works for one person might not be the best thing for you.

Collagen is what gives your skin strength and elasticity—it’s also the “glue” that supports your joints and tendons keeping your body together.  Pretty important stuff.  Collagen is naturally produced in your body, but unfortunately, as you age, that production slows down.  In fact, your collagen production starts slowing in your 20’s and you can lose up to 1% a year going forward.  After a while, that can really add up and you’ll start to see visible signs including wrinkles, less firm skin, and creaky joints.

It’s easy to take a collagen supplement in pill form or get a powder to mix into coffee or smoothies.  I use this one from YouTheory that I buy at Costco or you can get on Amazon. You can also naturally ingest collagen through bone broth—which you can also get at many grocery stores and Costco.  It’s right by the chicken stock.

After taking collagen for a month, I’ve experienced greater recovery between workouts.  I’ve actually been pushing my workouts over the last month and feeling really good especially with my shoulder injury—no re-injury or pain through my shoulder.  But let me tell you about my skin and hair.  OMG.  My hair is out of control—it’s grown at least 3 inches yet is somehow fuller.  I’ve also received several compliments on my skin.  Some scar tissue I have has really improved in appearance as well.  Again, check with your doctor to see if adding a collagen supplement is right for you.

Wearable Technology to Track Workout Progress

It seems like just about everyone has an iWatch or FitBit to track their workouts.  Wearing a heartrate monitor is a great way to measure the intensity of your workout, keep track of daily activity, and calories burned.  But what do you do with all that information?  And what zone should your heart rate be in when you work out?  Pure Barre is actually launching a brand-new cardio-based class in August, and one of our clients, Dr. Joey Christiano with Wake Forest Baptist Health, as graciously offered to educate us about how to properly track your heart rate and use heart rate as a measure for your workouts.  Dr. Christiano will be at Pure Barre Winston-Salem on Monday, August 14th in the evening and at Pure Barre Clemmons on Tuesday, August 15th in the evening (we’ll announce the exact times in a few weeks).

One of the great things about owning a fitness studio is that the industry is always changing and evolving.  That keeps things exciting, but with change sometimes comes confusion about what trends will become widely accepted and what trends will simply fade away.  The use of natural remedies to treat the source of disease as opposed to managing symptoms once diagnosed, taking your workouts with you always including while on vacation, and tracking your fitness progress with wearable technology all seem built-to-last.  At a minimum, you might want to at least do some research on and see if they’d be of benefit to you.

I cannot stress enough that you shouldn’t just start taking supplements without consulting your doctor, so make sure you take that step before adding any new supplements to your diet.

On Thursday, I’ll be writing about health and wealth—is there a correlation?  How can you ensure both?  And then on Friday, I’ll share how I’m eating more veggies—by drinking them!  I’ll share some great smoothie and cold-pressed juice recipes.

Until then, stay on your toes!

Take the Steps to Become a Business Athlete

For the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of the “business athlete.”  I’m not talking about how to apply the principles of successful high-performing athletes in business—we get it; you worked hard on the field and now you work hard in the office.

What I mean is, that in order to run a successful business, you have to treat your body like a professional athlete.  If you want your body and mind to be working at peak performance, then you have to fuel it accordingly—especially if your business is fitness.

If you own a boutique fitness studio, you are expected to be a leader of your fitness community and you are also expected to literally work yourself to exhaustion during your own workouts.  If you thought Pure Barre was hard, try taking class with everyone staring at your every move!  Must not come out of thighs.  Must not come out of thighs.

How are you going to do that subsisting on protein bars, pots of coffee, handfuls of Cheezits, or whatever is convenient?  Are you sluggish all the time?  Do you blame it on just being overworked from owning your own business?  How much refined sugar are you eating each day?  Let me tell you a secret … refined sugar is in f*cking everything.  It’s in almond milk, oatmeal, protein bars, and countless other seemingly “healthy” foods.

One thing that separates business owners from the rest of the general population is a heightened level of stress.  Stress is a leading cause of chronic inflammation.  Chronic inflammation leads to all kinds of bad diseases like, diabetes, arthritis, IBS, general aches and pains, or in some cases, heart disease and cancer.

I’ve been struggling with two aliments as of late.  First, I’m tired all the time—like I can never get enough sleep.  And second, I’ve been suffering from a lingering shoulder injury that just doesn’t seem to get better.  I started to wonder if changing my diet might solve these problems.  Specifically, I started researching whether adopting the Whole30 would work to reset my body and help it heal.

What is the Whole30?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  It’s better to think about all the good, amazing things that you can eat while on the Whole30, otherwise, it gets a little overwhelming.  By committing to the Whole30, you eat only real food including meat, seafood, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils and seeds.  All foods are natural and unprocessed.  So, that means you’re cutting out all sugar, processed foods, dairy, grains, alcohol and legumes/beans.  You’re also not supposed to re-create junk food by making it healthy.

That’s a lot of rules.  But several of my friends have recently done the Whole30 and most of them had really positive things to say about it (minus the not drinking alcohol part).  I decided to try it out—but only for dinner.  If I liked the recipes, then I would add breakfast and lunch and officially take the Whole30 plunge.

For one week, I ate Whole30 dinners made from the recipes in the Whole30 books (see links below).  I stopped consuming dairy—no milk or cheese.  I did eat oatmeal for breakfast and a few sandwiches for lunch when I didn’t have leftovers from dinner or couldn’t get home to make something.  I also increased my veggie intake by drinking 1-2 juices a day, which I made in my new cold-pressed juicer (a gift to myself with American Express points).  And … I felt amazing!  I had tons of energy.  I didn’t need more than one cup of coffee.  My workouts improved and I felt stronger.  I got compliments on my skin.  I don’t know if I lost any weight, but my pants were looser.  And the best part, my shoulder no longer hurt when I was taking class.  This is all after 1 week of just dabbling in the Whole30 and increasing my veggie intake by drinking cold-pressed juice.  Amazing!

If that wasn’t enough to convince me how important food is for your body’s performance, when I went to Houston, I went back to my normal diet, ate whatever I wanted and felt terrible when I got home.  I had a headache towards the end of my trip and I didn’t sleep that well.  Of course, I ate fajitas at my favorite Mexican restaurant—wasn’t going to turn those down—had drinks with some great friends I hadn’t seen in years, and had to celebrate winning my award with a whole bunch of Coronas, so a headache and little lost sleep was worth it.

This totally unscientific experiment raises an interesting point.  How much better can my business be if I start to act like a business athlete?  How much more can I get done?  Will I be happier?  Will I lower my risk for heart disease or cancer?  Who knows?  But the recipes in the Whole30 books are pretty amazing, so I’m going to keep up with my Whole30 dinners at the minimum.  I’ve included links to the Whole30 books as well as the SKG Juicer I purchased and find super easy to use and clean.

When I was at the business conference in Houston last week, I heard an incredible speaker, Paul Dunn.  I even got to eat fajitas with him.  I’ll tell you all about his company, B1G1, and how his presentation has influenced me to make some changes in my business to matter more.

Until then, stay on your toes!


The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom-  Everything you need to complete the Whole30 is in this book including some great recipes.  So far, I have loved the Butternut Squash Soup (p. 266) and Cauliflower Mash (p. 270).  I eventually got tired of messing up my poached eggs and purchased some Perfect Poached Egg Cups.

The Whole30 Cookbook- More great recipes!  I especially enjoyed eating the Turkey Curry Meatballs with Roasted Vegetables and Lemongrass Cream Sauce (p. 174) and the One-Pan Herb-Crusted Roasted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli Steaks (p. 201).

It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways- This book delves more into the science behind the Whole30 and why some foods may negatively impact your body.  A must read.

SKG Wide Chute Anti-Oxidation Slow Masticating Juicer- I read reviews on reviews on reviews and decided this cold-pressed juicer was my best option.  It’s easy to use and easy to clean and reassemble.  I’ve had great success making kale, celery, cucumber and parsley juice.  Next up is carrot, apple and ginger.

 Epica 18-oz. Glass Beverage Bottles, Set of 6- These glass bottles were a recommended purchase and I’m glad I bought them.  Wasn’t thinking ahead to where I was going to store all this juice!  Easy to fill and clean.