Healthy Holidays: Stay BALANCED and savor the season.

All the holiday shopping, prepping, partying, and rushing around can often get in the way of actually enjoying the season. Cultivating mindfulness and balance is something we could all use more of, especially during this time of the year.  While it is difficult not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, if you are mindful of your thoughts and actions, you can slow down and find far more enjoyment in the season.  Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way. This year i want you to try slowing down so you can stay sane, healthy, and enjoy the holidays in a mindful way. Easier said than done, you say? Here are my tips for staying balanced,  present, and enjoying what’s important to you this holiday season.

Schedule exercise

Don’t let a busy holiday season schedule throw your exercise routine off; keeping fit is the best way to feel energized throughout the season. This is the time to create some structure around your workouts: Join a training group or enroll in a weekly yoga class. Set a regular date with your co-workers to attend fun fitness classes together. Go on evening walks with your family and loved ones. Sign up for a New Year’s Day race and commit to training at least twice a week. Plan ahead and make the commitment to feeling your BEST. Exercise endorphins will fuel your holidays with energy, strength, and a positive spirit – make TIME for it!

Embrace imperfection

We all know we’re not perfect. But we often spend valuable mental and emotional energy wishing we could do things better. This is especially true around the holidays, when we’re bombarded with images of the model family, the ideal kids, the perfect dinner, the museum-quality home decor. We hold ourselves to impossibly high standards. Take the pressure off yourself. What if you were to actually celebrate what you formerly saw as your shortcomings? The imperfect parts of your holiday may become some of your best memories. It’s okay if your house isn’t spotless and your stuffing isn’t ready for its close-up. Don’t let visions of perfection prevent you from enjoying the good in front of you.

Take an attitude of gratitude

The message of the holidays is a healthy one: Be grateful for the harvest, or, in modern phrasing, for what you have. Cue a daily ritual as a reminder of this throughout the holiday season: Before your first sip of coffee, take a few moments to recognize some things you are thankful for. You can also write in a gratitude journal or say thanks for specific things nightly around the dinner table.  Showing gratitude for what you have will produce good feelings and allow you to appreciate the season.

Schedule in solo time

With house guests and parties, parties, parties, it’s easy to drown out your own thoughts. You need time for YOURSELF in order to stay sane and balanced. Cultivate quiet time and schedule it in. Devote the first ten minutes of the day to journaling or go for walking meditation after dinner. Make sure you have the time you need to feel your best both mentally and physically.

Dress up your table 

Take the time to dress up your holiday dinner table. It serves as a reminder to SAVOR the meal and the time with your loved ones. By making the effort to prepare a nice holiday feast you are acknowledging the blessing of your time together and celebrating good food and company. Its can be fun to make a toast to those at your table and honor those around you. Make your get together an event to remember and cherish for years to come. Heres a fun photo of my family’s thanksgiving table this year, so much fun to be together!

Choose balance

Chances are there are some things you do every year that you don’t need to or even really want to be doing. Throw those out the window! You can’t be everywhere at once. Give yourself permission to decline some invitations so that you can truly enjoy the ones you do accept. It’s OK to honor what you need during the holidays. Take time for yourself and surround yourself withe the people you love. If it doesn’t bring YOU joy don’t give it energy, spend the holidays doing things that make YOU happy!

Prep for calmness

Planning goes a long way during the holidays. Stock up on pantry items early, before stores get crowded, and purchase extra nutritious snacks for surprise visitors. Buy a few hostess gifts to keep wrapped in your closet, ready for the last-minute event. When you plan ahead you’ll never be stressed about a last minute hostess gift or appetizers for out of town guests.

Update Your recipes and Nourish Your Body

Its so important to eat well and nourish your body with foods that make you feel good. It’s easy to make small, healthful changes to traditional family dishes: Switch to less processed ingredients wherever possible, and add whole grains instead of refined ones. Keeping foods simple is an easy way to keep a healthy lifestyle and feel nourished during the busy time of year. You can get great ideas from Cooking Light, Eating Well, and Whole Foods. But….

Indulge a little bit….. and SAVOR it!

Aim not to deprive yourself or over-indulge. Holiday foods are glorious and should be appreciated.  Skip the store-bought cookies and choose to enjoy the special foods you look forward to this time of year. Make it your goal to practice moderation, savor each bite, and give thanks!

Snooze To Win

Getting enough sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. While it’s easy to fall into an erratic schedule with parties, travel, preparation, and other seasonal events, you will feel better and actually be able to accomplish more if you cultivate a restful sleep routine. Don’t shortchange yourself by trying to squeeze extra hours into the day; recognize your own need to rest. Make a conscious effort to get in bed an hour earlier. Stop working two hours before bed and turn off the tv /computer.  Does your spouse snore or is your neighborhood loud? The quality of your sleep can have as much of an impact as the quantity. Make time to fit quality REST into your routine to have MORE energy throughout the season.

Soak in natural light

Fluorescent mall lights don’t cut it—sunlight is a better mood booster. Take a walk at lunch or duck out before making dinner to absorb the natural world. Heres a fun article to help you break out of the winter funk, and get more Vitamin D in your life! 

Drink UP!

During the holidays we can get so busy we forget to hydrate. That combined with festive holiday coffees and  cocktails is a recipe for disaster. Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired — even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated — and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms. Be mindful and make a conscious effort to drink up throughout the day. Click here to read some tips to help you drink up and stay hydrated this season!

Do Good.

Pitch in at a canned food drive or help feed the homeless at a local charity event. Participate in a holiday fundraiser  or community active event to raise money for those in need. Taking part in a charitable event is a great way to feel joyful and contribute to the world. Spread the cheer this year and DO GOOD!

My #1 suggestion for feeling restored and balanced  during the holidays is to put aside the notion that “you don’t have enough time”.  Honor your physical, mental, and spiritual needs and establish a sense of balance for yourself during this time of year. I believe doing this will allow you to feel peaceful and truly appreciate the beauty of the holidays. Whats your number one tip for staying healthy and sane? Leave a comment below with your suggestion on feeling your best during the season. 
Heres to a healthy, happy, and vibrant end of 2011. Looking forward to celebrating with you online and in class. Lets move, breathe, and GLOW this holiday!


Other things to Check Out This week:

READER Q&A: Why The Scale Lies.

Q: WHATS UP with the SCALE? Ive been consistently working out and eating right for 3 months. I feel better and my clothes fit great! I havent weighed myself since I started with these fitness changes, so I thought Id give the scale a chance after 3 months of healthier habits. I was really sad to see that my weight on the scale hadnt changed at ALL. How is this possible?! I look and feel better, but has all my work been for NOTHING? Please explain!

A: GREAT question. Many people on their quest to a healthier self get discouraged by the number on the scale. But believe it or not, the scale is not an accurate test to your health and fitness. Before you throw in the towel and head to the couch, I want you to read the below article. Think about it… does the scale REALLY tell you how healthy you are?


“Why The Scale Lies “

by Renee Cloe, ACE Certified Personal Trainer  

We’ve been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can’t resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can’t bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence it’s readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body’s water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don’t understand what’s happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it’s water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.


Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it’s easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn’t have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts. The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. That’s why, when it comes to eating, it’s wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it’s packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it’s stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it’s associated water. It’s normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you’re prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it’s wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It’s the actual weight of everything you’ve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you’ve finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it’s not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it’s likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. Generally, it’s only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it’s physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you’re really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale’s sneakiest attribute. It doesn’t just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose “weight,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you’ve lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you’re just sitting around. That’s one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of “Body Fueling,” compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn’t differentiate between the two. It can’t tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don’t be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. It’s a matter of mind over scale.


Readers, WEIGH IN! Do you use the scale to tell you how healthy you are? Leave your comments below!

Caroline Jordan Fitness Power Jams – The “Secret Sauce” To Your Training.

It’s an average day at the gym. Pushup here, squat there, maybe a little run. Nothing special, just another sweat session.

And then you hear it. A familiar beat coming through your headphones. Instantly you have a surge of energy. Unstoppable, you power through every workout drill harder, better, stronger than you ever have before. Its as if someone flipped the switch and turned you ON. Completely focused you are in the “training zone”.

Musical moments like this can transform average workouts into mind-blowing sweat sessions. I call these special songs,  “power  jams” and use them on my playlists to motivate and inspire my workouts into action.

Cold, winter weather and the busy holiday season can make it hard to stay motivated to train. Thats when you need the power jam secret sauce to keep your spirits up and your body movin.

If you’ve been doing the same iPod shuffle every time you hit the gym or your workouts have become un-motivating,  Its time to PUMP UP THE JAMS. Ive put together a list of Caroline Jordan Fitness Power Jam Hits to bring out your inner athlete. Excuse proof your workouts by putting these songs on your playlists. Turn it up and BRING IT ON. Its training time.

Caroline Jordan Fitness Power Jams – The “Secret Sauce” To Your Training. 

Disclaimer: It can be difficult to quantify such a list of top workout songs, because everyone has different tastes and opinions. Thats why I asked YOU via the facebook page to put in your requests and tell me what your favorite workout songs are no matter the speed, genre, or artist. After many different responses I put together an eclectic mix of  some top picks. All the songs might not be your personal choice, but hopefully you’ll get a few unique song ideas to power your training! 

  • REPUBLICA – Ready To Go – U.S. Mix
  • 2 UNLIMITED – Get Ready for This
  • AC/DC – Thunderstruck
  • FLUKE – Absurd
  • BEASTIE BOYS – Sabatoge (YouTube)
  • BLACK EYED PEAS – Hey Mama (YouTube)
  • BLACK EYED PEAS – Pump It (YouTube)
  • BRONSKI BEAT – Smalltown Boy
  • LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It
  • LMFAO – Party Rock
  • BODY ROCKERS – I Like The Way You Move (YouTube)
  • C & C MUSIC FACTORY – Everybody Dance Now (YouTube)
  • KERNKRAFT – Zombie Nation Remix
  • HOUSE OF PAIN – Jump Around
  • DAFT PUNK – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (YouTube)
  • DAFT PUNK – Technologic (YouTube)
  • DANZEL – Pump It Up (YouTube)
  • DARUDE – Sandstorm – Best Techno Club Mix (YouTube)
  • ELVIS vs JXL – Little Less Conversation (YouTube)
  • EMINEM – Lose Yourself (YouTube)
  • TIMBALAND – Oh Timbaland
  • FATBOY SLIM – The Rockafeller Skank (YouTube)
  • OK GO – Here it goes again
  • FRANZ FERDINAND – Take Me Out (YouTube)
  • GNARLS BARKLEY – Crazy (YouTube)
  • JAY-Z and LINKIN PARK: Numb / Encore
  • ERIC PYREZ – Call On Me
  • ADELE – Rolling In the Deep (Joe Maz Of Disco Tec Remix)
  • ICE CUBE – You Can Do It (YouTube)
  • CHEMICAL BROTHERS – Block Rockin Beats
  • INXS – Pretty Vegas (YouTube)
  • JENNIFER LOPEZ – Let’s Get Loud (YouTube)
  • JET – Are You Gonna Be My Girl (YouTube)
  • JIMMY EAT WORLD – The Middle (YouTube)
  • JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – Sexy Back (YouTube)
  • KELIS – My Milkshake (YouTube)
  • KILLERS – All these things that Ive done
  • KYLE MINOGUE – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head (YouTube)
  • KID CUDI ft. JIM JONES – Day and Night Remix
  • LINKIN PARK – One Step Closer (YouTube)
  • JOHN LEGEND FEAT ANDRE 3000 – Green Light
  • FORT MINOR – Remember the name
  • MADONNA – Die Another Die (YouTube)
  • MADONNA – Give it to me
  • MOBY – Bittersweet Symphony Remix (YouTube)
  • THE PRODIGY – Mindfields
  • MUSE – Stockholm Syndrome (YouTube)
  • NITTY – Nasty Girl (YouTube)
  • NO DOUBT – Spiderwebs (YouTube)
  • NO DOUBT – Running (YouTube)
  • OUTKAST – Hey Ya! (YouTube)
  • LENNY KRAVITZ – American Woman
  • YVES LA ROCK – Rise Up
  • RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – Know Your Enemy (YouTube)
  • RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – Can’t Stop (YouTube)
  • JUSTS BOYZ – Hey
  • RIHANNA – S.O.S. – Rescue Me (YouTube)
  • SALIVA – Click Click Boom (YouTube)
  • SCOOTER – Faster Harder Scooter (YouTube)
  • SEAN PAUL – Get Busy (YouTube)
  • SEAN PAUL – Temperature (YouTube)
  • SHAGGY – I like To Move It Move It (YouTube) YES. Love this one!
  • LADY GAGA – The ENTIRE “The Fame” Album (anything works well in my opinion.)
  • SIR MIX A LOT – Baby’s Got Back – I Like Big Butts (YouTube)
  • SNOOP DOGG – I Wanna Rock
  • SNAP – I’ve Got The Power (YouTube)
  • TAG TEAM – Whoomp! There It Is (YouTube)
  • TECHNOTRONIC – Pump Up The Jam (YouTube)
  • TOM PETTY – Running Down A Dream (YouTube)
  • TRAPT – Headstrong (YouTube)
  • MIKE POSNER – Cooler Than Me
  • TYKWER/KLIMEK/HEIL – Lola Rennt – Run Lola Run (YouTube)
  • U2 – Elevation (YouTube)
  • KINGS OF LEON – Use Somebody Chew Fu Festival Mix
  • WILL SMITH – Getting Jiggy With It
  • BOB MARLEY  – Im A Rainbow Too (Fatboy Slim Remix)

What song would you add to the list ? Send me YOUR request by leaving a comment below with  a song suggestion. Together we can share the “secret sauce” to great training – MUSIC that MOVES you!

Update on the November Challenge: The Gratitude Journal. This months challenge has been a life changer for me. I have loved keeping a daily journal of gratitude. It has allowed me to see the world through the positive and find JOY in every moment. Wanted to share a few entries from the pages of my gratitude diary, thought some of them might make you smile 🙂

  • M2 Revolution. Coach Michael McCormack has been a beautiful gift to my life. The M2 Studio is an inspiring place to work, every day I feel fortunate to have found it. THANK YOU Michael for the inspiration, training location, and the incredible ANTI- Gravity Treadmill!
  • Sweet potatoes. Any dish with a sweet potato is a hit with me. Just tried this recipe without the soymilk – it was incredible.
  • Friends with cars who share rides with me – THANK YOU from saving me from rainy days in the city!
  • The POOL. My “moving meditation”. It might take me FOREVER sometimes to jump in, but once im moving im in HEAVEN.
  • SF Custom Chiropractic. I was dealing with a nagging neck pain issue that was disrupting my lifestyle. Dr. Adam Jacobs and his team have helped me come back to 100%. I am pain free and smiling 🙂
  • The OK GO Treadmill Music Video. Its impossible NOT to smile. Watch NOW.
  • My Mom. Every day I am grateful to have such an inspiring woman as my parent. She has always encouraged me to go for my dreams and supported me every step of the way. Thanks to her I began the gratitude journal – it has been a wonderful challenge and has made my life more joyful.


More to come next week! What are you grateful for this month? Have you tried keeping a gratitude journal?

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!! Sick of the cold, dreary winter weather? I am planning my very first wellness retreat in Maui, HAWAII in FEBRUARY. Enjoy paradise with good people at one of Maui’s most renowned resorts. Celebrate living a healthy life with fitness, fun, and SUN. Email me at if you are interested in joining me for this exclusive getaway. ALOHA HAWAII here WE COME!! 

Thank you for being an incredible fitness family. Hope to see you this week for a pre-holiday workout to good music!!



Other Things To check Out This week:

ROLFED. Week 2.

Rolfing: Session 2. Fancy Footwork!

I went in excited and ready for my second Rolfing appointment with Marie. I didn’t know what to expect, and was looking forward to continuing my journey towards a balanced, pain free body . Before we began,  Marie quickly gave me the  session #2 “run down”. According to Marie, the aim of the second Rolfing session is to create a more stable base of support for the upper body. Session two centers around the feet and the lower legs. The goal of the work is to improve the function in your foundation joints (feet, ankles and knees)  giving you a greater sense of ease in walking and a feeling of ‘groundedness.’ This helps to bring awareness of your individual walking patterns and to help you learn how these affect the structure and function of your entire body. Session two also includes some work on the upper, middle and low back, in order to provide more length all along the spine.

Did you ever stop to think how HARD your feet work or how they move when you walk? Take a minute and check it out (lots of GOOD feet info on THIS POST). Everything from your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and head moves from your base of support: Your feet. If you aren’t using your feet correctly, its a good chance nothing else is working right either. Everything starts from the ground up. Just like a tree and its roots, you’ve got to make sure you’re planted correctly if you want to live a long healthy life. Before we began I knew session two would be an important and eye-opening one for me.

It was all that and MORE. We started right away with my right foot and calf. Since I use my feet everyday, I figured it would be intense, but OH MY GOODNESS. Theres a LOT going on down there!   Marie spent twenty minutes working on my right foot, calf, and shin. The amount of stress and imbalance that my body had accumulated over time was suprising. Trust me, this is no pedicure massage. Session two gets IN THERE.

Twenty minutes later (oof! still breathing… kinda), Marie had me walk around and compare the actions and differences between the two legs. The leg that had been Rolfed was sore, but oddly enough felt stronger and more secure. I felt as if I could articulate throughout the entire foot – from the tips of my toes to my heel. I could spread out through my toes and my walking stride seemed lengthened. It was a dramatic difference between the two. I was ready to share the love with the left. After a few deep breaths I laid back down for Marie’s work on the other side.

Marie taught me that typically, most people carry their weight on the outside edge of each foot, even though the inside appears better able to support the stresses of body weight. Apparently, most people walk by allowing the legs to pull the upper body along after them. This habit puts too much pressure on the heels and can reduce flexibility in the toes and metatarsals. If, on the other hand, the upper body initiates a step by “falling” lightly forward, the legs can easily swing forward in response, the body’s weight “caught” on the whole foot. After both my right and left had been worked, Marie had me get up in the massage space and practice properly walking. The rolfing work left my feet feeling grounded and stretched out. We took it slow and picked apart my foot stride, paying attention to how I hit the ground and how that influenced the movement of my entire body.  Its AMAZING what you notice when you take the time to pay attention. The rolfing combined with Marie’s movement session helped me learn a new way for my body to walk through the world. Session two taught me to step strong from the ground up. It might take some time for me to learn this new movement pattern… but I have a feeling in the end it will be worth the work 🙂 We finished our 90 minute rolfing appointment with a bit of work on my neck and spine. Neck work is always delicious, and it was a nice treat after the intense work on the feet.

Since session two I have been much more MINDFUL of how my feet move and how I walk through the world. I pay attention to my feet when I walk to work, during cycling class, and even during yoga. I cant say I’ve completely changed my walking stride, but with this new knowledge it gets better every day. As the days pass, Ive continued to notice subtle changes and shifts. Its an experience that has allowed me to slow down, pay attention, and develop healthier movement patterns.

Up next is session three, which according to Marie is all about the upper back and neck. I cart a heavy purse around San Francisco day in and day out…. I am beyond excited for my next appointment.

Have you ever had a foot massage this intense? What was your experience?

For more on Marie and the Rolfing technique, check out this POST, or Marie’s website at:

More Fun Foot Info: How Fit Are YOUR feet? Great Article

Looking for a free foot exercise video? CLICK HERE.  Kinda just want a foot massage? Try my favorite technique with a tennis ball.