Body Essentials Personal Training & Wellness

Nutrition & You or Me: Doing what you think you cannot do......

Posted on: September 4, 2019
By: Christie Garofano

I have been a student of health & fitness since the early 90's, before you could find your desired dietary answer on the google machine. Academically, experientially, additional education, studying, reading and learning from other professionals has kept me active in enhancing my life. In the work we do with clients, nutrition is critical and we are constantly trying to debunk poor nutrition information. Personally, I am constantly working to optimize my nutrition practice not because I want to improve how I look or lose weight (those are just bonuses) but because I want to be healthy inside and out which to me is do what I can do to prevent disease and stay out of the Dr's office and because I want to have abundant energy to keep up with my life and be a good role model for others in my daily work. SO,  in August, I did the thing I said I could never ever do! I went an entire 30 days with no alcohol. I LOVE beer, good craft beer (and wine).  But lets' face it, there is no nutritional value to alcohol in your diet, end of story. It is calories, gluten, and more calories. So I just decided, after feeling like I had had my fill, that I just wanted to take a break and reset my body a bit without the influence of alcohol for 30 days. I have heard it 100 times over in my studio and have said it myself many times, I just could never give it up entirely.  I am here to tell you, you can!!! My level of resolve may be pretty well developed when it comes to behavior change compared to others but anyone can do it.  I am strong believer in not "leaning" your life to the point of no enjoyment. Cutting all the "good stuff" sucks the fun out of life. It also has adverse short term impacts the one time you put something in your body that is not "clean" after a long period of clean eating! So let me provide you with my top 5 outcomes of abstaining from alcohol for 30 days:

  1. Energy: This is not necessarily an area that I struggle with, but give me a beer or glass of wine and the day is over. In the absence of alcohol I never got sluggish. Alcohol is a depressant and always drained me no matter how much or little I had.
  2. Improved overall nutrition: It is well proven that drinking alcohol leads to less optimal nutrition selection especially when in social settings. So in the absence of alcohol  I saved  on empty calories and ramped up my nutrition density by not having that slip in choices and decision making no matter the setting.
  3. Improved overall healthy behaviors: If I was not making alcohol part of my life for 30 days, what was I going to do with that time? I got more rest, I read more, I wrote more, I enjoyed nature more, I managed my time better, felt less stressed and when my husband finally asked why I was not drinking (it took 2 weeks), he started reducing his own consumption.
  4. Reduced Body Pain: A number of years ago an integrative medicine Dr. told me that 100% of people who reduce gluten intake will feel better. Gluten is found in anything made from wheat, barley or rye. So cutting my consumption of beer for 30 days meant no gluten (no I did not cut gluten from other aspects of my diet) which also meant none of that full feeling and reduced inflammation in the body. Of course not drinking alcohol meant I was drinking a lot more water because if I am not drinking coffee, I am drinking water. I am not going to give up alcohol and start drinking something else  because that would be sugary beverages. One of my personal nutrition rules is don't drink your calories and do not give up one bad habit for another. So increasing water (GOOD OL' FASHIONED WATER) is always a great way to make your body feel better and reduce pain.
  5. Apparently I look Younger: So after my 30 days was up I celebrated with a beer (not what I preach to clients about rewarding yourself). I went to the beverage store in search of a Maine Beer Company IPA, found exactly what I was looking for and was immediately carded by the cashier and when I assured him I was plenty old enough he proceeded to make my day and maybe even my year by telling it me I look far younger than what my ID indicated. So yes, how I look to myself and others still matters in some way shape or form. I had not been carded in quite a while! That beer was very good but I think I was more satisfied by not drinking!

Consider for a moment how easy cutting alcohol from your diet is compared to other nutritional change. You do not need to read any labels or consider any facts. You simply need to say no. When trying to cut processed ingredients or sugar from your diet or reduce calories, you need to scan labels and perhaps do some google searching on different foods and understand terminology to make good choices. Alcohol is alcohol, you either consume it or you do not. SIMPLE!

Do the thing you have been telling yourself you could never do. Do it just because change does a mind and body good. Do it to see how you look, feel and how others respond to what you are "working on." Do it because you never know what will other great things will manifest in your life! Stay tuned as I am on to two other challenges over the next couple months!


(Picture Credit: Anchorage Brewing Company, AK Owned & Operated by a former Rutlander. This beautiful brew was enjoyed on our last day in Alaska in 2017 and has stuck with me as one of the best beers I have ever had aged in a red wine barrel with rose petals).

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…..the anticipation of an upcoming event or travels is said to do wonders for the everyday routine that we otherwise follow! 

What has been on my mind this week is my love for simplicity. 

🏋️‍♀️ Exercise: We just do not have to be excessive about how much we workout, the amount of weight we lift, and especially on how forcefully we move. Benefits come from just enough of each ………

🧘‍♀️ Personal: Going thru not around, living in a state of wonder and gratitude, and minimizing the trivial when it comes to things & others….

📆 Professional:  Take a pause, slow the pace and let the simplicity in other areas of life flow into your daily work ………

Abundance can flow …… less can become more…. If we just let it and stop forcing …… stop trying to please everyone…

…..because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind ……

#wellnesswednesday #simplicity #attitudeofgrattitude #abundance #livethelifeyoulove #lovethelifeyoulive #wellnessjourney #fitnessjourney #bodyessentialspt
Right⁉️ Enjoy every moment! 

We start with a Spin at 7am 🔥 


a Total Body Blast at 8am 💣 

The rest is up to you‼️

#tgif #weekendvibes #summer2022 #summerinvermont #fitness #workout #behealthy #exercise
Here we are…..just into the 2nd half of the week….how is it going? 

We mark mid-week with a yoga practice. And at the end of the month we do a restorative Yin practice. Slowing down, holding, breathing, releasing.

It is just good self-care to fit yourself in and find whatever balance it takes to do you when there is time but starting with you in the midst of all the other obligations. And perhaps there are things you allow to be obligations but are not. 

Do you feed yourself with any of these proven (over & over & over) health giving practices… need not be elaborate but make it personal and beneficial for you. 

🌻  A mindful morning routine ….
🌻 Movement like walking outside, yoga, strength training ….
🌻 Feeding yourself life giving food
🌻 Feeding your mind with positive thoughts, actions, people
🌻 Resting……days off, vacation time, peace & quiet

If you do not or have not done any of that recently, I invite you to pick one thing for 20 minutes and feel the difference it makes….. ❤️

#wellnesswednesday  #restup #energize #health #healthimprovement #wellnessjourney #restore #rejuvenate #womenshealth #exercise #nutrition #mindfulmovement #energyiseverything
As We wind down our programming for a long weekend and a week of workouts balanced woth recovery ❤️‍🩹 & intensity 🏋️‍♀️ It makes my heart happy to see how passionately everyone shows up, tries new things, expands beyond their comfort zone & gives 100%+

Working our core is not just strengthening our body but about feeling all the feels…..showing up  when we may not feel like it, trying a workout that may not be our favorite but knowing it will be good for us, and working thru all the hard stuff as it arises.  Listening to our heart and not that pesky judgmental voice in our head! 💜 

We walked a lot of miles in June, logged dozens of Zoom workouts, intentionally picked up and set down thousands of  pounds. And now we rest, reset, restore and return on Tuesday for a mew adventure! July is for mobility & flexibility on top of our usual work. 

My heart is full & grateful as I rest, celebrate, & prepare………….

#fitnessfeels #workitout #strength #resilience #flexibility #selfmastery #wellness #weightloss
#independence #summer2022 #bodyessentialspt #longweekendvibes
Whether health, career, state of mind or anything else, changing  our habits take time, engagement and understanding of ourselves. 

21 days is what you will see as a supposed sweet spot for creating a new habit but that is simply the beginning that can be created with sheer will power and perhaps that will power will turn into sustained long term change. 

But for anyone who has tried and then returned to old behaviors, there is more to it on that journey because stressors will take us off course, events, and that dirty, no good voice in our head will play games. 

Making the decision to change and the. Starting to design our human, built and  behavioral environment around what we are seeking and continuing to reinforce and create helps knock out those things that take us off track . 

Knowing why we want to change has to be strong to surpass the other options and continue to build the new. 

We are talking months here………

Do mot throw in the towel. Remember what made you decide to make the journey. The journey os worth  it and once you get there, every decision to change and the journey will be easier.

On Friday a client was stressed feeling as if the week got off track and things were not going well with nutrition and exercise. We worked out, talked, got back on track and on Monday determined that pesky voice was the culprit not her action. 

Just stay the course………

#transformationtuesday #behaviorchange #wellnessjourney #weightlossjourney #lifebydesign #bodyessentialspt
I think it is normal to feel a blend of emotions as we pass thru years of our lives. I believe in sitting with that and making some meaning and then moving on instead of just being our age or condition as if it is the only choice. 

🖤 Age is a number. We do not have to let the number identify when we stop trying at life.

🖤 Menopause is not a disease or a sign of end of life for women. Sure several things happen but like in other seasons of life we just have to adjust

🖤 We have a choice how to think & act in the aging process and that can make all the difference

🖤 With age comes wisdom, let’s use it to our advantage and never stop learning & improving. 

In my latest blog post (link in bio) I talk a little bit more about all of this written off the belief that I have 100% control of how well I will age and who I will partner with as needed & when needed. 

#wellnesswednesday #wisdom #activeaging #mindset #bodyessentialspt
This #wellnesswednesday let’s marinate in kindness to and about ourselves & towards others. We can never give or receive too much…..

🏋️‍♀️In fitness I always say there are certain exercises that never go out of style so you just need to learn to love them as resistance just make them harder! Any guesses to any of the exercises I am referring to? 

💃Self-loathing & body shaming ourselves or others is simply disempowering. Thinking, acting, and speaking kindly engineers our brain to a positive state of mind and working from a positive place allows us to work with the tide instead of against it. 

Todays yoga 🧘‍♀️ practice is all about loving 🥰 kindness & opening the heart sending goodness to ourselves, those we love, those that challenge us and to the world 🌎 as a whole. 

Make it a great day for yourself & those around you. 🙏 

#selflove #lovingkindness #health #wellness #fitness #innerstrength #loveyourbody #mindfulness #yoga
ahhhhhhh the weekend! ☀️ 

we always start with the workout! 

7am - Spinning 🚴 ….. A scenic guided ride around some favorite Vermont spots! 

8am - Total Body Blast 💥……. A mix of the best moves from workouts all week ….some may say the worst moves 😂

every weekend someone different for fresh energy & inspiration leaving us ready for the best weekend AND the week ahead and the next layer of programming in our 4, 8, or 12 week plan…..

#fitness #exercise #saturyay #weekendvibes #workitout #shakeitoff #butfirstweworkout #healthyliving #spinning #strengthtraining #beenergized #beinspired #bodyessentialspt
This is 47. 

My #feelgoodfriday is a whole lot of gratitude 🙏 for…….

💃 taking the path less traveled, listening to myself, not the crowd, not the expected, and simply stating what others think but do nothing about, taking action and changing what does not work. 

💃 being a warrior for my own health & wellbeing, physical & emotional. This means not just accepting Dr’s words as gospel. It means realizing how valuable all the journaling of nutrition, exercise, sleep is and knowing that “it is just aging and getting older” is just a reason not to take action. 

💃 never settling for good enough or beating myself up for mistakes and imperfection. Always improving and learning and soaking up as much of this life as possible. 

Why am I saying all this? Because women experiencing menopause or peri-menopause can have every aspect of their life turned upside down and not even realize why because it is talked about so little because lets be real when is it natural to bring it up in conversation?! 

All of the things that I celebrate today allow me to weather the change with confidence, energy, appreciation, stability, balance, wonder, and possibility. 

To anyone who needs to hear it, you are not crazy. Lean in and know there are countless ways to become or remain the best version of yourself during the change as long as you do not say, oh it is menopause, that is just part of the deal. 

Not feeling your best is a choice. Life is too short to make that choice. 

Get in touch if you want help! 

#gratitude #menopause #perimenopause #womenshealth #wellnessjourney #lifebydesign #mybestself #healthyliving #celebrateyourself
As great as exercise is for us, so is rest and active rest or recovery. In our mission to serve all parts of healthy living whether fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle, our studio closes for major holidays for a long weekend encouraging our clients to take an exercise break and be active in other ways outside in life.

This weekend that may include……
🪴 gardening
🏔 hiking 
🏊 water based activities
🧘‍♀️ unplugged weekend
🚙 roadtrip 
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦💃🕺social events
🏕 camping or other time in nature
🎾 other sports like tennis, golf, or biking 🚴‍♀️ 

We reopen on Tuesday kicking off the 2nd half of 2022 programming reenergized, repaired and rested…..

Enjoy your weekend 🇺🇸 

#rest #relax #restore #recreate
#health #wellness 
#fun #nature #socializing
Life can feel like a real grind a good deal of the time if we let it. Work, home, kids, family, business, education rinse and repeat whatever the cycle is for you. No one will ever tell us to slow down or if we don't listen to those we do or tune into our body telling us to pull back and slow down life will just pass us by.This weekend, I invite you to take some time to step back, slow down, enjoy the sights and sounds of summer AND do less to accomplish more!

Feeling grateful for the extra time, space with no specific to do list for the next four days. Simultaneously, looking forward to see and feel the outcomes ………

Happy Weekend Friends! 🇺🇸 

#nuture #mayshowers #mayflowers #nature #justbe #listen #hear #mindfullness #nonjudgement #meditation #summer #evolve #wellnessjourney #memorialdayweekend
Sometimes, having no words is way better than thinking the answers and the commentary is simple. 

Hold the space, send the love. Some day we will know better and do better. For now take the time, be grateful, find your own way to do better, be better for yourself, your family, community etc. 

❤️‍🩹 🙏 

#wellnesswednesday #silenceisgolden #holdingspace #peace #bodyessentialspt
Happy Monday ❤️ 🌺 

As long as we consistently act and put ourselves in the presence of work and individuals, habits and attitudes that promote outcomes we are seeking, failure and lack of time is not possible. 

Of course we must know precisely what we are seeking …….

#mindfulmonday #springflowers #gardening #lifebydesign
What does that mean for you? It is 100% worth figuring it out and navigating your way there. Now go, live well in body & mind! #lifebydesign #healthyliving #wellnessjourney #bodyessentialspt
another from the collection of lets  not take ourselves too seriously…..a legitimate form of being well in mind, body & energy. 

make it a fantastic Friday‼️ ☀️

#fridayfunnies #fitnessfriday #rule6 #artofpossibility #wellnessjourney #bodyessentialspt
This is the best way to flow into the 2nd half of an absolutely gorgeous week……

#wellnesswednesday #yogaflow #onewithnature #secondhomegym #yogawiththebirds #workitoutoutside #lifebydesign #wellnessjourney
Energy is everything! 

Psychologically we can condition ourselves to 
to work hard and be energetic in theory. Here are a few other repeatedly well-documented ways to thrive energetically. 

☀️Vitamin D - Supplementation is critical for New Englanders. Do you know your number? Good for bones & your emotional spirit. 

🛌 Sleep - Quality & quantity. We may think we can be optimal on 5-6 hours but really….can we? Making sure your environment is set for sleep not work is critical. Lighting, temperature, peace, screen free. Power down 1-2 hours before sleep time. 

🥗 Food - That fuels not just fills. Nutrient dense in just the right amount and frequency that does not leave you stuffed and tired. 

👥 Relationships - Surround yourself with those who bring about the best in you. Laugh plenty. Hug & kiss your loved ones. 

✨Clarity & Purpose - Know yourself & your wants/needs, work purposefully & positively. Intention without action is just spinning your wheels will be exhausting over time. 

This just scratches the surface of energy drivers that crossover to our health improvement as a whole. 

Catching up on low energy is nearly impossible so stop borrowing from your future to serve your present…… 

#restup #energize #health #healthimprovement #wellnessjourney #restore #rejuvenate #womenshealth #energyiseverything
….work life balance is in the eye of the beholder…..

How do you “be~friend” yourself daily, weekly, monthly, annually? 

Do you like being in your own company? 

Are you ok being in silence with your own thoughts? 

Do you have hobbies that you engage in outside of life responsibilities? 

This is simply something to consider especially if you constantly feel like you have no time or space for just you. 

Remember that “you time” is not selfish. It makes us better spouses, parents, colleagues. 

I know that sometimes I can be doing around home like cleaning and it will feel like it is my time and quite fulfilling as it just me in silence but other times the last thing I want to do is anything that has to do with care of the home. And sometimes I like to exercise on my own in my own way with no one else and other times I want nothing to do with exercise. 

#wellnesswednesday can be a great day to take a break for you to do something or nothing at all but what you choose. 

#humanbeing #humandoing #wellnessjourney 
This is my goal each & every day……..

Not putting off life until “retirement” …… for so 

many reasons ……

On the other hand I will never create a life that I 

will not want a vacation from ……

If it is too easy, I am not working hard enough. If 

it is draining my well-being I am not working 

smart enough. 

We all deserve physical and mental well-being. It is within us but something that also has to be worked out by us and not delayed until the kids are grown or until we retire……..

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. How do you tend your health as a whole on a daily basis? 

#healthiswealth #lifebydesign #healthyliving #wellnessjourney #mentalhealthawareness #personaltrainer #nutritioncoach #healthcoach #lifestylecoach
In an effort to not take oneself too seriously lets finish the month laughing and owning that sometimes a fake it till you make it mindset is a’ok. Adulting can be hard….

Have an amazing weekend 🥳🤣☀️

#weekendvibes #fridayfeels #laughterismedicine #rulesix #artofpossibility
what do you do each day to create the best version of yourself? 

do you even feel like know what the best version of you is? 

Our daily responsibilities blur our belief of being able to create our best self. 

Doing work I love 💕 is a part of my best self. 

Creating time & space for leisure pursuits and learning is another part ✨

Being a loving & supportive spouse is a priority 🥰

Maintaining physical & emotional health allows the other three to flow 🧘‍♀️ 🏃‍♀️ 🏋️

Adventure & fresh landscapes breathe fresh energy 🏔 

Everything else is noise and distraction ….

If you are not sure for yourself, take some quiet time to identify 1-2 things & work from there ….

#transformationtuesday #vision #lifebydesign #health #love #adventure #peaceofmind #lifeonpurpose
My belief is that the more positive I think, even in moments of adversity or days that just don’t feel great, the better the outcome I will have compared to if I had a bad attitude about anything in my day or life not working out as planned. 

This is a script that can be flipped at any moment but has to be continuously cultivated and practiced in order to create a more automatic response, in difficult times. If not practiced, it is easy to say that a positive outlook does not work. When practiced as a way of life, bad days are few and far between and there are always solutions to challenges of any kind. They may just take a while to get to but it is sure better than seeing the negative in every person or situation. 

Happiness & Resilience are as good for our health as exercise and nutrition. 

What is your day to day outlook? 



#motivationmonday #earlybirdgetstheworm #selfcoached #fitness #mindset #resilience #practicewhatipreach
the prettiest view for today………

Have a great day! 

☀️ 💐 

#aprilshowers #springinvermont #tulips #chooseyourview #enoughisenough
How do you Monday? 

I am 110%. They are always packed full.

It takes some self-coaching to get pepped up but after that first hour of being up, I am all in! 

We can let others impact our Monday mindset but the bottom line is that it is only us that makes the choice of how we respond to what comes our way at any given point of any day‼️

Not perfect, no filters, but 100% me………

#motivationmonday #earlybirdgetstheworm #selfcoached #fitness #mindset #practicewhatipreach
Happy Friday. That is all. 🌺 #weekendvibes #easterweekend #tulips #restandrestore #fitnessfriday

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