Coffee Deprivation And Fitness & Nutrition Insights At The LACTAID® x Flywheel Event In NYC

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I’m of the sweeter is better mentality when it comes to coffee. I recently attempted to forego coffee for a week to determine why my beverage of choice doesn’t always agree with me. I made it through 4 days – hey, I’m not patting myself on the back, but it’s a start for someone who worships coffee and creamer. After a few days of skipping my regular coffee and sweet additive (in its defense – it’s gluten and preservative-free), I noticed that I felt less tired and my stomach didn’t bloat. What prompted me to make this change? I recently attended the LACTAID® x Flywheel event in New York City. Before I challenged myself to this new indoor cycling experience and went sans coffee, I had a chance to chat with Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RD., a registered dietician and fertility specialist at TLB Nutrition http://www.tracylockwoodnutrition.com. Tracy was on hand on behalf of LACTAID® to provide facts and dispel myths about lactose sugar and food sensitivities vs. allergies.

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Photo: Courtesy of Tracy Lockwood Beckerman

DSMC: Can exercise help individuals with dairy and other food sensitivities? Is there any existing data?

Tracy Lockwood Beckerman  There is no evidence that exercising can combat dairy and food sensitivities.

 

DSMC: What are some common misconceptions about food sensitivities you encounter?

Tracy Lockwood Beckerman:  People often overlook food sensitivities because they think it’s normal to have symptoms of bloating, indigestion or headaches after eating certain foods. However, it’s abnormal to experience these crippling symptoms. I advise clients to consider removing it for a period of time to assess if the symptoms do resolve themselves. If you observe that lactose is the issue, I recommend that people who have an intolerance to dairy introduce LACTAID® products so they are gaining the benefits of real dairy, without suffering the consequences.

DSMC: What’s are the most common experiences your clients or individuals that have incorporated LACTAID® products into their diets have?

Tracy Lockwood Beckerman: Since LACTAID® is 100% real dairy minus the lactose, people don’t worry about experiencing gas, bloating or diarrhea after eating dairy because they aren’t exposing their bodies to lactose. Therefore, they are able to carry on their day without stomach issues and enjoy the moments that follow.

DSMC: What are some basic facts people should know about food sensitivities and allergies?

Tracy Lockwood Beckerman: There is a big difference between food sensitivity and intolerances versus a food allergy. A food allergy is an often severe physical reaction in the body upon exposure to that food source and may require need immediate medical assistance or medication in order to treat. A food sensitivity and intolerance are a more mild physical reaction that is often resolved within a few hours without any medical intervention. You can feel the symptoms of food sensitivities and intolerances in the forms of headaches, acne, brain fog, bloat, or acid reflux. If you want to learn more about your food sensitivities or intolerances, you can do an IGG test which tests 98 foods and can give you a road map for what’s going on internally. If you are curious about learning more about food sensitivities, talk to a registered dietitian-nutritionist who can educate and teach you how to handle certain foods.

DSMC: Does age or having a sedentary lifestyle contribute to food sensitivities? Particularly becoming lactose intolerant?

Tracy Lockwood Beckerman  Having a sedentary lifestyle doesn’t correlate to becoming lactose intolerant. However, as we age, our ability to digest lactose diminishes due to declining amount and ability of the enzyme, lactase, to properly break down lactose. So it is quite common to become lactose sensitive, as we get older. Older women still need vitamin D and calcium to maintain their bone health – which is why I often recommend LACTAID® to older women to reap the nutritional benefits of real dairy without suffering the consequences.

 

I was happy to undergo this coffee and coffee/creamer purge after chatting with Tracy, but first I was going to Flywheel it! I have friends that rave about indoor cycling and boutique workout classes and felt compelled to try out this trendy cycling class. My first impression: it’s small enough to cater to individual class participants, they provide you with a bike – make the necessary adjustments for your height, and strap in your feet with bikes shoes in your size. I liked that; a little handholding is always welcomed by me.

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Photo: Courtesy of Emily Fayette

Furthermore, the instructor who led the class, Emily Fayette – a seasoned fitness trainer and health coach made the class enjoyable. I didn’t clock-watch once, whereas at other gyms, I become antsy and can’t wait for cycling classes to end – either they’re too fast or the instructors drone on about achieving Lance Armstrong-type euphoria, pre-scandal, of course! It was Throwback Thursday at this particular Flywheel class, and Emily played oldies from the 80s, 90s, and 00s that got the class pumped. She routinely checked in to make sure everyone – either stepped up the pace or took a breather, complementing everyone’s efforts all throughout. Added bonuses; she added arms to the workout and promised a variety of LACTAID® smoothies would be waiting for us after class. I chatted with Emily about her fitness motivation, her Flywheel instructor gig and what led to the collaboration with LACTAID®.

DSMC: What inspired you to get into fitness? What are some of your earliest recollections of becoming fit and immersing yourself in the fitness world?

Emily Fayette: Growing up I played soccer, basketball and lacrosse. I always love being part of a team. I’m a huge community person. In college I played lacrosse for the first year, but I wasn’t sure if the sport was for me, so I started running marathons and half marathons while studying to be a teacher. Education was huge for me. After I finished school, I moved to New York City. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in the classroom – but I knew I wanted to educate in some way or fashion. I knew I had a passion for fitness and landed a role as a Managing Director for My Gym – kids fitness centers in New York. I loved it, but I ended up getting stuck behind a desk and wasn’t doing fitness. Then I began teaching cycling and boot camps outside of that 9-to-5 job. I realized I live in a city where this is possible. I can do adult fitness – teach these classes and feel amazing myself – before and after. I started doing more adult fitness, became a trainer and a health coach.

DSMC: As a health coach and self-described foodie, what misconceptions do you frequently hear about fitness and nutrition?

Emily Fayette: There are so many fads that come and go. I’m part of a wellness community. As I health coach, I can’t give out nutrition plans and we hired a dietician. What I’ve learned through her is that every single person has an ideal diet for themselves. Testing out foods. Making sure it feels right for them. I don’t ever want to consider myself a vegan, vegetarian or plant-based person. I’m Emily and I found these foods that make me feel amazing all the time. As a health coach, I don’t give out nutrition plans. I rely on learning lifestyle changes. It’s not the fact that you – should or shouldn’t – eat certain things. It’s about seeing the patterns in your life. I had this client that ate French fries all the time and I didn’t suggest removing this thing that she loved, instead I told her to treat it as a special item, create small little habits, have these fries once a week and not everyday – maybe consume it once every other week. I’m all about making these small little habit changes in your lifestyle that ultimately becomes changes in your overall healthy lifestyle. Most diets don’t work for the long term. You have to want a healthy lifestyle. You can have a friend that goes on a diet loses 30 lbs., is killing it, but you don’t know if the weight is going to stay off. They may have different body than you. You have to test out what will work for your body and stick with what’s right for you – whether it’s incorporating new foods into your diet or a new fitness routine.

DSMC: With the popularity of Flywheel and other boutique studios opening up around the city, what advice can you give newbies to indoor cycling, how not to get discouraged if they’re not great at the sport right away?

Emily Fayette: What I love about Flywheel is that it’s a very inclusive environment. That’s part of our mission statement – you are part of a team. Any time I meet someone new and it’s their first time, I make sure they feel comfortable. Before every single class, I go over everything that’s about to happen. I encourage them to try everything three times, have a ton of fun and listen to their body – if you need to take a break, take a break, you shouldn’t be afraid or discouraged – this is a new thing for your body. It all starts with the vibe of the studio – of Flywheel; we try to keep it motivational.

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Photo: Mercedes Vizcaino

DSMC: How did the collaboration with LACTAID® come about?

 Emily Fayette: I haven’t been eating, drinking dairy for years just because of the way it made feel – and it stems from the need to drink and eat things that make me feel good; I know I need a lot of energy throughout the day. I would get terrible stomachaches. I took it out of my diet, knowing I would lose out on a lot of nutrition. When I found out Flywheel and LACTAID® were partnering, they reached out to me, knowing I didn’t eat dairy. Before I put my name to something, I had to make sure the products made feel good. I’m a firm believer of that. They sent me their ice cream and milk products and now I substitute back in dairy – it’s real dairy without the lactose. It doesn’t make me feel sick, makes me feel good. I created the Chocolate PB&J And Oats Smoothie. I love to have it post-workout, gives me my protein. I feel lucky I found LACTAID® through Flywheel because I don’t know if I would’ve found them otherwise.

DSMC: What emerging fitness trends do you foresee in the near future the public will be gravitating to?

Emily Fayette: I think at-home experiences. We see waves of boutique being big, at-home being big. It does go up and down throughout the years. You think Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda – that was a ton of at-home workouts. At Flywheel, we have the at-home bike now and I’m one of the instructors on that platform. Bringing the Flywheel experience you had for instance – bringing that into people’s homes so they can feel they are part of the experience at their own time and leisure – is the goal.

DSMC: What’s on the horizon for Emily Fayette? What do you see yourself doing in the next couple of years?

Emily Fayette: I want to continue what I’m doing in a bigger way. The Flywheel at-home platform allows me to do that. As we continue to sell bikes, there will be more people I can inspire – bring my energy and positivity to. My girlfriend, Sherica Holmon and I created a wellness company called Elevate Together, a community of people, with a Facebook page, that feel safe to share recipes, workouts, and questions. We have a dietician that can lay down the law on what fads – we can and shouldn’t – follow. It’s a matter of being around a ton of people that want to find their healthiest lifestyle. Social media is a blessing and a curse. We get to see what everyone’s up to in the world, but also get down on ourselves if we don’t look like a certain person or celebrity. We see someone that’s doing a diet/fad and think, if I try this, I’m going to look like that. That’s not the case. Granted, I used to be someone that followed that mindset. I’m very happy that I’ve found within myself, ways to make me happy and find my healthiest lifestyle. Within the last year, I’ve readjusted my mantra to: eat to live and not live to eat. I used to live for my next meal. I thought: Can I eat that today or should I? Now, I create my own little diet  that works for me and I fuel my body to live my life. I’m not worried anymore about counting calories or macros. And if using my and other people’s experiences I’ve helped, to assist others in finding their happy place and make significant healthy lifestyle changes, is very rewarding to me.

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Photo: Courtesy of Emily Fayette, From L to R, Sherica Holmon and Emily Fayette

The 277 billion health and wellness industry with an emphasis on mind and body is projected to be the next trillion-dollar industry. With so many products and services to choose from – what do you do? Experiment, experiment and experiment some more. Don’t be afraid to try a new class, whether it requires equipment or not. Trainers and instructors are more than happy to lend a hand and give you background and member testimonials on a particular fitness class or equipment. Most gyms will give you a one-day or one-week pass to see if it’s a good fit for you; gyms and fitness classes, like foods, are so varied, it’s inevitable that they can subscribe to one-size fits all categorizations and false expectations.

After I tried the smoothies at the LACTAID® x Flywheel event, I was content and surprised the ingredients were filling. I didn’t need to have dinner as it was already past 7:30pm EST. And usually I’m ravenous after any workout. I still need coffee and I still need creamer, but instead of going cold turkey with them, I’m going to opt for LACTAID® lactose-free and other products to substitute my dairy intake. Stay tuned!

To learn more about LACTAID® products, click here. To schedule a visit to Flywheel Sports and take a cycling class, click here: 

 

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Cafés and Career Insights with Photographer Extraordinaire: Monica Buck

 

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courtesy of Monica Buck

Meeting a colleague, friend or interview subject for coffee and learning about their drink order provides you with a glimpse into their personality. Large translucent, refreshing iced-tea with lemon – understatedly simple with no fuss is what Monica ordered. I imagined how she would shoot her drink. With a plate of lemons on the side or multi-colored plump tea bags, whimsically arranged with beautiful porcelain tea cups, perhaps some natural light too – streaming in overhead. If you see Monica’s work, you’ll know what I’m referring to. I, on the other hand, ordered an iced-latte with everything added under the sun. I try to make my coffee beverages taste like anything, but coffee!

The San Francisco-born photographer began to tell me about her career trajectory as a photographer; her German engineer-by-trade and adventurer-by-spirit dad, who motivated her to pursue a career in the arts. The industry’s highs and lows and what inspires her to stay in the photography game.

MV: What drew you to photography? 

MB: My father was a big photography enthusiast. He photographed all sorts of people – sailors, exotic animals. Usually beautiful exotic birds and monkeys. I would love to sift through the images classify them for him.

MV: When did you get your start as a photographer?

MB: I became involved with photography 23 years ago. My family moved from California to Miami and I received my training in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. I did apprenticeships with numerous photographers. My mentor at the time, Laurie Hale, pushed me to achieve my goals; she really believed in me.

MV: Did you have a particular style of photography you wanted to pursue?

MB: I went through BlackBook (Photographer’s bible) and started searching for different types of photographers in my area. I called up Greg Heisler and Craig Cutler and ended up assisting them and learning so much. Initially, I wanted to shoot fashion. I loved this type of photography, but as I started getting gigs, I quickly realized it wasn’t for me; I didn’t fit in. The over-the-top personalities are pretty extreme.

MV: What was your next move, knowing fashion wasn’t your ideal type of work?

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courtesy of Monica Buck

 

MB: I began with a still-life book. I loved arranging props and products and creating interesting compositions in the studio. Plus, I was in control of the shots – to some degree and really enjoyed that freedom. But, after doing it for some time, I found the in-studio work to be constricting. I started to venture into different photography genres. Lifestyle, people, interiors and exteriors and found my groove. I started shooting for more editorial, catalogue and commercial clients. It was great.

MV: What are some the current challenges you face with editorial and commercial clients?

MB: There are many more photographers than there are magazines today. And many of these magazines are shutting down at an alarming rate. Like my parents, I’m a hustler and have embraced the fact that you have to pursue new ways to stay relevant and keep shooting projects that won’t just pay the bills, but are worthwhile and will enable you to grow as an artist.

MV: What recommendations would you give to aspiring photographers? 

MB: Assist the people you admire. Look for apprenticeships in your area and outside. Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone. Constantly research to see what type of styles you like. Go out and shoot! I follow few photographers on Instagram to see what trends are currently out there. I’m inspired by beautiful things and love to interpret their existence with photography.

To see Monica’s work and to hire her for your next creative project, click here: http://www.monicabuck.com/about/1

 

 

Latte, Red Bull and an Iced Coffee…

This isn’t some new concoction from one of your favorite coffee establishments. This is the amount of liquid caffeine I consumed in one day to relieve me from my tired state last Wednesday. Big exam? Fear of flying? Couldn’t stay awake? None of these reasons fit the bill for my caffeine overload. The funny thing is: I’ve never been a coffee drinker. At my last full-time job, I was in awe of the frequency and voracity in which my coworkers chugged their multiple cups of coffee by 10am, while I stood by and drank my Red Bull.

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I am becoming one of them! My caffeine threshold has increased dramatically and I hadn’t realized. My new addiction stems from the anxiety of being unemployed. Sure, I’ve had some freelance gigs here and there, but they have run out and I’m getting antsy. Yeah! And it’s evident with my new go-to-pick-me-ups! But, Red Bull you say. Why? I just love the taste. My BF thinks it smells and tastes like gasoline. Whatever! He smokes. You decide which is the lesser of the two evils. For me, Red Bull reminds me of the Cuban soda, Materva. It tastes like sweet little golden goodness in a 12 oz. can I was given – beginning at a young age to accompany the pork, rice and beans I was fed for most of my childhood. When I sip Red Bull, it immediately takes me back to festive birthdays, family gatherings and all-around, carefree good times sans the stresses of adult life. I just can’t have too much of the stuff, even though I want to. At work events, where the Red Bull was flowing aplenty, I once ingested two of these drinks in less than an hour and my heart started beating unusually fast. On another day, I bought its 12oz. older cousin, because I thought I had graduated into the “big-boy” energy drink league and, no, it wasn’t for me – or better yet, my body decided and rejected the extra 3.6 oz.; it wasn’t used to breaking down. I heeded my body’s advice and stuck to the regular 8.4 oz. can. But then I started drinking them every day because I discovered BJs. The price club warehouse that lets you buy large quantities of food and drink in bulk; Red Bull included. 48 little cans of deliciousness were stocked in my apartment. Every morning I’d wake up and reach for a red, silver and blue can. It would get me through – at least half the day – then I’d crash and feel sluggish. But, hey! Aren’t most people productive the first half of their day anyway?

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I had managed to wean myself off of Red Bull because I stopped buying the cases in bulk. Who needs this energy drink taking up space in their apartment? I thought. I would occasionally buy it 3x a week – ONLY if it was $2.00, though – I refuse to spend the marked up $2.50 price tag found in most New York stores. I feel better about my indulgences, if I can get a discount on them. Although lately the little can has crept back into my life like an unwanted wart that you can’t get rid of. Yet, now the 8.4 oz. isn’t keeping me caffeinated half of the day. What gives? I’ve developed an immunity to the stuff and need to supplement with lattes and iced coffees and end up watching old Charles Bronson movies – which by the way – are incredibly violent, and more so at 4:30am. I will not repeat this experiment and keep my caffeinated beverages to something manageable so sleep won’t abandon me or try to conform to the 2.1 cups of coffee per day Americans consume, as recorded by the latest national average studies. I’m now a coffee drinker.