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Favo rite G uilty Plea sure DECEMBER 2016

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Pg. 34

Best of 2016

Your votes are in! We are proud to present the most popular people and places in the health and fitness community—all working together to keep Austin fit.

Ahead of the Brain Game Pg. 58

How Austin is paving the way for plant-based supplements.

Yoga Poses for Family Festivities Pg. 76

The holiday season and unbridled chaos often go hand-in-hand; keep your crew calm with these relaxing poses.



photography by BRIAN FITZSIMMONS



74 Editor’s Letter / 10 Contributors / 12 #KeepAustinFit / 14 Exposure / 16


Recipe: The Best of Peanut Butter and Jelly / 18

A comfortable classic gets transformed into a decadent, to-diefor dessert.



Ankle Injury Action / 64

What to do when you suffer an injury but you’re far from help.

Raise Your Glass / 22

A common ailment uncovered.


FML Workout: Deck the Halls with Med Balls / 70

Medical FAQ: Shin Splints / 68

...without raising the number on your scale.

Biohacking your way to a better life in the new year.

A Day in the Life of a Podcast Junkie / 32

Get your fix and lead a more balanced life.


The Dangers of Deodorants / 52 The ingredients to lose and choose when buying a deodorant. AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM / 12.16

For the one who… forgot to buy holiday gifts.

Got Nut Milk? / 20

Non-dairy options are rising in popularity.

What the Hack? / 30


Last Minute Gift Ideas / 56


Who says your workout can’t be seasonal? Incorporate med bells into your routine and get ready to work off the holiday treats.

Insight Over Information / 74

Blueprint for Athletes uses blood-based tests to reach new performance heights.

Events / 78 Rides + Races / 80 Discover! / 82

photography by Weston Carls, illustration by Eleanor Grisebaum


Lump of Charcoal / 54

Finding coal in your stocking used to be every kid’s worst nightmare. Finding charcoal, however, may be at the top of the holiday wish list.






AFM STAFF PICKS Hardest Workout in Austin

GRIT “The AFM team took a trip to GRIT Strength and Conditioning earlier this year thinking it would be comparable to other garage gym workouts we had tried in the past. It was probably during the warm-up—which was a lengthy run while carrying chains—when we realized we had something else coming for us. Most gyms start you off with about a 400m run. GRIT makes you go 1000m with 10 pounds weighing you down. Founder and head coach Stephanie Taylor Twohey explained that she was going to put us through their most challenging class, the GRIT Stamina Workout. This particular session included a rotation through four different exercises, starting with 15 reps each, down to a round of 14 reps, then 13, and so on until working our way down to zero reps. And even though we were given a full hour to complete it, many of us didn’t end up finishing. Still, we walked away (actually, we hobbled) feeling accomplished.” — Gretchen


lthough the “Best of” results are exciting for us to reveal every year, I must admit that I was just as eager to read Carrie Barrett’s piece, “A Day in the Life of a Podcast Junkie” because I, too, am addicted. My current favorite is a series that was released this year—in September, actually. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the many well-crafted programs in NPR’s repertoire. Hosted by Guy Raz (of “TED Radio Hour”), “How I Built This” is a show that gives wildly successful entrepreneurs a platform to share their narrative journey with listeners. Industry disruptors like Sara Blakely of Spanx, Gary Erickson of Clif Bar, and Joe Gebbia of Airbnb discuss the moment of inception, major triumphs, distractions, regrets, and insight. Each story is so gripping (and sometimes serendipitous) that it often sounds like something out of Hollywood rather than real life. Raz allows his guest to take the lead, but always interjects to ask one question in particular: “Was there ever a moment you thought this venture would fail?” And so far, every single person has responded with some variation of, “No. There was never a doubt in my mind that this was what I was supposed to pursue.” I caught myself thinking about those answers when I was conducting interviews with the “Best of” winners. Some may argue that because the voting is done through a write-in answer survey, the results are nothing more than a popularity contest or good marketing. However, I can attest to the exceptionalism of the trainers, physicians, studios, gyms, and restaurants that took a podium finish in this issue. People like Rashanna Moss from Pure Barre, Tara Granberry from RIDE, and Mike O’Hara from Bigger Faster Stronger have a radiant passion and continual desire to serve their clientele to the best of their ability; I suspect the masses are drawn to that. As we wrap up 2016, the AFM team is making a resolution to enter the new year with a rejuvenated sense of inspiration. We welcome 2017 as an opportunity to grow and improve to produce what we hope is your favorite magazine. Keep Austin Fit, Gretchen Goswitz, Managing Editor



Favorite Newcomer

Crux “I was amazed at the finish and professionalism of this place. When you imagine what goes into building and operating an indoor climbing gym, I think a lot of people would run for the hills. The responsibilities are enormous: safety, building expenses, staffing, and of course, building a customer base that loves what you offer and makes the business sustainable. My first time in Crux was a delight. I visited a few weeks after they opened, and was impressed by the facility and its vibe. The climbing options are probably the best in town—top-rope or auto-belay climbing, and bouldering, with a first-of-its-kind “future wall”, a dynamic bouldering wall that can be reconfigured to offer fresh new pitches and routes to ascend. And lastly, the culture is wonderful. Everyone lends a helping hand, members and staff are friendly and social, and my favorite—dogs are welcome. Kudos to founders Kevin Goradia and Matt Twyman for literally taking climbing to new heights.” — Alex

Best Restaurant

Vinaigrette “This farm-to-table restaurant located in Travis Heights includes a fresh array of crisp salads, toasted sandwiches, hearty soups, and everything in between for the organic lover’s delight. You can also enjoy a classic or plant-inspired cocktail, beer, or wine under the historic live oak tree centered in their lit-up patio. My personal favorites are the arugula duck salad and the yam shoestring fries with blue cheese dressing.” — Devyn

Best Locker Room

Mecca Gym & Spa “I’ve known about Mecca for 10 years, but I never went in until this year. I met trainer Sarah Brannon when I was producing the July 2016 workout and I was happy to recieve a free class pass after the photo shoot was over. I signed up for the kettlebell class and when it was over I was able to take time to explore the space. After 10 years of all the locker room hype I had been hearing from the fitness industry, I walked in awestruck. It was like walking into a country club locker room. It was so spacious I probably could have brought in a circus elephant. The showers were bigger than mine at home and the soaps, shampoos, and beauty products left me feeling like a new me. Everyone needs to check out Mecca if not for the locker rooms, but the spa, gym, and food bar.” — Weston



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Thank you to AFM’s contributors who make this magazine a worthy source of health and fitness information in Austin.


Eleanor Grisenbaum

Darryl Payne, Jr.

Eleanor Grisenbaum

Eleanor Grisebaum graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Art History. Although born in Seattle, Washington, she did the majority of her growing up right here in Texas. Eleanor also spent a bit of time working in and exploring Mexico City. Eleanor's workout of choice is a healthy balance of resistance training and high intensity spin classes, and the occasional yoga class. For Eleanor, a good workout is one which challenges you both physically and mentally. When she is not in the gym, you can find Eleanor stirring up some trouble in the kitchen, out on the town, cuddling her puppy, or doodling in bed.

Darryl Payne, Jr.

Darryl Payne, Jr., a graduate of Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, is a personal chef with a mission to deliver good, upscale food through affordable means. When Darryl is not behind the knife cooking in a kitchen, he can be found on a track in Austin or at the gym training for a professional career in Track & Field. Food and fitness affects his faith and positively directs his behavior on a level that transcends even his own understanding. It is the fuel and the very purpose behind his lifestyle: Try Anything. Do Not Be Outworked. Never Stop.

Branton Box

Branton Box is a native of south Texas, who works as a personal fitness coach holding certifications with NASM, FMS and TRX. He is a proud graduate of The Ivy League of the South a.k.a. The University of Texas. After spending seventeen years away—mainly in Los Angeles, Calif. and Aspen, Colo.— Branton recently moved back to the fertile soil of central Texas. He owns The Ranch Gym, which is located in Bouldin Creek and specializes in circuit and functional fitness. While in L.A., Branton was a contracted personal trainer for Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, Ford and Elite. He has



Branton Box

Abby Nagler

trained Oscar winners (including Austin’s favorite son Matthew McConaughey), X-Men actors, Sports Illustrated models, Victoria Secret girls, but honestly prefers soccer moms and weekend warriors. (They don’t stare at themselves in the mirror quite as often.) While in LA, Branton also worked as an actor appearing in over 50 television shows and movies, as well as a national tour of the Broadway production “Lombardi.” Branton and his fiancé Joselynne are expecting their first child, a daughter, in February. He is beyond stoked about meeting this little critter of love.

Abby Nagler

Abby is originally from Houston, where at a young age she discovered the importance of staying active and eating healthy foods. Abby stumbled into her first yoga class upon moving to Austin in 2006 and has been practicing regularly ever since. Her love of yoga combined with her passion for the promotion of children’s health led to the creation of The Little Yoga House. Abby's kind, yet silly nature has allowed her to communicate well with children of all ages and truly feels like a big kid herself. She creates a special bond with each of her little yogis, and her classes are filled with magical yoga journeys, art projects, world music, as well as an educational component to compliment the theme of her classes. Abby is certified at the 280-hour level with Rainbow Kids Yoga. She also completed a 30-hour teen intensive with Karma Kids Yoga and a training to teach children with special needs. She is also a certified pre-natal, postnatal and baby yoga instructor through the Birthlight Foundation. Abby is grateful to have the opportunity to share yoga with everyone and is continually inspired by her students, teachers, friends and family.


GENERAL INQUIRIES INFO@AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM ADVERTISING INQUIRIES ADS@AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM 512.407.8383 EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS GRETCHEN@AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM FITFOCUS@AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM EVENT LISTINGS AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM/EVENTS SUBSCRIPTIONS AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM/SUBSCRIBE 2499 S CAPITAL OF TEXAS HW Y., B200 AUSTIN, TX 78746 P 512.407.8383 Austin Fit Magazine assumes no responsibility for the content of articles or advertisements, in that the views expressed therein may not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or any magazine employee or contributor. This publication and all of its contents are copyrighted. Austin Fit Magazine is the assumed name of its publisher, Louis M. Earle, who has no interest in the business of Denis Calabrese who operates an exercise program under the assumed name of Austin Fit, which trains individuals to improve their jogging or running skills to participate in marathons. The views, opinions and other representations published in Austin Fit Magazine are not those of Austin Fit or any of its directors, officers, employees or agents.


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We’re more than just a monthly publication. Join us online and on our social networks to see the additional awesomeness we’re up to.


Monthly Mantra: Community This month, set the intention to embrace your community. It is a time for gathering, sharing, and giving thanks for connection. The Latin roots of the word community translates to mean “together” and “gift” ...and isn't it so true? Giving is such a gift. Embrace each other. Invite those on the outside in. Create more community in your life. FOLLOW @MINDFULISH_

Cheryl Forberg, chef and nutritionist for TV’s “The Biggest Loser” sat down with AFM to reveal the secret behind helping contestants lose hundreds of pounds over the past 17 seasons. For the full interview, go to

More LastMinute Gifts!

Do you know someone who would be thrilled to receive a gift with a personal touch? Head to our website to see the bonus options, such as an aura photo, dog portrait, and craft workshop. 14


Thanks to everyone who worked up a sweat with us at our Trail of Lights Fit Crawl! Check out photos from the event on Austin Fit’s Facebook page and website.

photo by Jessica Frey Photography

Fit Crawl Photos

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FREE ENROLLMENT & NO CONTRACT Now with a 30-DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE EXPIRES 12/24/16 With select new Gold’s Gym memberships. Agreement and waiver of liability must be signed for membership to be activated. Must be at least 18 and a local resident with valid ID. Satisfaction Guarantee: If you are not completely satisfied with your Gold’s Gym membership, Gold’s Gym will allow you to cancel your membership during the first thirty (30) days of your membership. Gold’s Gym will refund to you any upfront monies paid where applicable (enrollment fee, prorated dues, and/or final dues), membership dues paid, and any unused Personal Training or GOLD’S STUDIO sessions on your account. See gym for details. Participating Gold’s Gyms only. Offer not valid at Gold's Gym Express. Offer expires December 24, 2016. ©2016 Gold’s Holding Corp.


2016 X GAMES

photo by Elizabeth Kreutz •

Congratulations to fitness couple Jessica O'Brien Cook, Pure Austin yoga instructor and former AFM employee, and Greg Cook, Austin Fittest Male Winner of 2013 and Pure Austin trainer, for tying the knot this fall! Check out their special event partner workout, 'It Takes Two,' coming to Rail on Dec. 10.

Send your hi-res, healthy lifestyle photos to for a chance to be published.


The Best of Peanut Butter and Jelly By Darryl Payne, Jr.

photo by Weston Carls

Is anyone ever not in the mood for a PB&J? It’s a quick and easy meal that requires no effort at all! The recipe is simple: slap some peanut butter on a slice of bread and jelly on another, then put them together. But, you already knew that. What if you turned that $2 sandwich into a $12 dessert? It’s much easier than you think.

How to Make It Scoop up 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter with a silicone spatula and spread it across a long plate in one stroke. Take a ½” thick slice of pound cake and punch a 3” circle in the center. Place your cake round on the right third of the plate then a 2 ounce or ¼ cup scoop of strawberry ice cream on top of that. Garnish with a ½ teaspoon of peanut brittle, a sprig of basil, and 2–3 basil flowers in front of the ice cream and one strawberry sliced thinly and fanned behind it. Finish off the plate by crushing one tablespoon of freezedried strawberries into dust and crumbles, dicing one blackberry finely, and 6–8 tiny basil leaves, then scattering them randomly among the remaining two-thirds of the plate.




Got Nut Milk?

Non-dairy options are rising in popularity. By Devaney Devoe and Shannon Smith



photography by Weston Carls

If you're making your own nut milk at home, you'll probably want to use a sweetener. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup to your nut milk. A popular alternative is a single tablespoon of vanilla extract or a blended mixture of 1 to 2 sweet Medjool dates.

Almond Milk PROS:

• Almond milk offers 30 percent of the daily recommended amount of calcium and 25 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin D. • It also contains 50 percent of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin E, the antioxidants that cause your skin to glow and protect it from sun damage. • Its low saturated fat and cholesterol content helps prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. CONS:

• With an abundance of the amino acid tyrosine, those who suffer from chronic migraines may see a spike in frequency and an increase in intensity in their migraines. These individuals should consult with their physician prior to switching to almond milk.

Macadamia Nut Milk PROS:

• Containing natural antioxidants such as manganese, vitamin E and zinc, macadamia nut milk is known for slowing down the process of aging by restoring damaged cells and lowering oxidative stress. • It also has been found to lower your risk of heart disease, due to its potent combination of heart-protecting nutrients including fatty acids, plant sterols and dietary fiber.



Coconut Milk PROS:

• High in healthy fats, this non-dairy alternative fills you up and prevents you from snacking or over-consuming throughout the day. • Coconut milk nourishes digestive lining through its composition of fats and electrolytes, improves overall gut health, and relieves constipation. CONS:

• The majority of coconut milk brands come in cans. To prevent corrosion, this packaging is often lined with the synthetic compound bisphenol A, also known as BPA. BPA can seep into the package, and has been known to cause changes in hormone levels and disrupt the endocrine system.

Cashew Milk PROS:

• Cashew milk is low in calories and fat, compared to other non-dairy options. • Store bought products are typically fortified with vitamins such as vitamins A, B12, D and calcium. CONS:

• Cashew milk is lower in protein than soy or cow’s milk, which may result in you not feeling as full afterwards.

• Keep in mind that this nut milk lacks calcium, so it is not recommended for infants or children, who depend on calcium for proper bone growth.

Pecan Milk PROS:

• Pecans are recognized for their high fiber and monounsaturated fat content that promote cardiovascular health and jumpstart weight loss. • Rich in magnesium, pecan milk is also noted for having anti-inflammatory benefits. CONS:

• This option is hard to find at grocery stores, so chances are you’ll have to make it at home. Be cautious when adding sweeteners, as to not add unnecessary sugars to your diet.

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• It is cholesterol-free, and an excellent source of B1, B2, B6 and vitamin E. Together, these nutrients work to boost heart health and blood flow. • Hazelnut milk is also very shelf-stable, and does not require refrigeration. CONS:

• This option is low in protein and fiber, and is often flavored with additives that can add an extra eight to 15 grams of sugar per serving. When choosing or making a hazelnut milk, be sure to go easy on the sweeteners and look for those low in sugar and additives. afm

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RAISE YOUR GLASS ...without raising the number on your scale. By Shannon Smith ’Tis the season to celebrate, and nothing says celebration more than a “cheers” with the ones you hold dearest. But as the glasses add up, so do the calories. Do you know what you’re drinking?

Raise a Glass WINE

The amount of alcohol in a wine is directly related to its calorie count. For the most part, white wines tend to be lower in both calories and alcohol content than reds. Light whites will have around 140 calories per glass, while a high alcohol content red like a pinot noir can have more than 200. Pro tip: There is a basic formula to calculate the calories in your wine: % of alcohol x ounces x 1.6= calorie count Always be sure to check with your server if the size of your pour is not clearly listed on the wine list.



Color is key. The color of wine is often a good indicator of its caloric and alcohol content. This Chardonnay on the left is the lightest, both in color and content, while the Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Blend on the far right is the heaviest. Keep this in mind when you’re pouring that next glass.

photography by Weston Carls

Serving size: 6 oz. Alcohol content: anywhere from 9 to 17 percent, depending on the type Calories: 100-200 depending on the type


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Rewrite your cocktail rules— don’t be afraid to sneak your daily dose of vegetables into your drink. Vinaigrette is no stranger to this new mantra. Their Kale Mary puts a green twist on a classic, while their Raspbeeta incorporates raspberries, beets and tequila into a vibrant margarita your taste buds won’t forget… hard to beet that!

Poppin’ Bottles CHAMPAGNE Serving size: 4 oz. Alcohol content: about 12 percent Calories: approximately 90

Champagne has added sugar and alcohol; known as “le dosage,” it’s added during the production process. This added sugar is important to keep in mind when you’re having more than one glass. Luckily, serving sizes of champagne are typically smaller than other alcoholic beverages, keeping the calorie and sugar count lower. Pro tip: Look for labels with “brut zero” or “brut nature,” which both mean hardly any extra sugar was added.

Crack Open a Cold One BEER Serving size: 12 oz. Alcohol content: 3 to 10 percent; depending on the beer, most fall between 4 and 6 percent Calories: 150 calories on average

Because beer doesn’t appear to be as strong as shots or cocktails, people tend to drink more in one sitting— causing a serious caloric overload. This can lead to the ever-dreaded beer belly. Pro tip: Choose a light beer, which can have as little as 60 calories.

Beer’s Gluten-Free Brother HARD CIDER

It’s bottled like beer, but offers an alternative for gluten-free drinkers that still want to be a part of the party. Yet, unlike sugar-free beer, cider has a high sugar content, due to the apples in its composition. This means higher caloric and carbohydrate counts in cider. Pro tip: Look for brands that are lower in sugar such as Harpoon Craft Cider or Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider.



photography by Weston Carls

Serving size: 12 oz. Alcohol content: 1.2 to 8.5 percent Calories: 150 to mid 200 calories on average Popular brand Angry Orchard has 210 calories per serving for their Green Apple variety



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NUTRITION Down the Hatch SHOTS Serving size: 1.5 oz. Alcohol content: typically 40 percent (80 proof) Average Calories: Vodka: 97 Rum: 97 Whiskey: 105 Gin: 110 Tequila: 69

With no vitamins or minerals, hard liquor has no real nutritional value to be gained. Yet, served on their own, shots are the lowest caloric option when drinking alcohol. Just be sure you don’t overdo it, because shots are sure to leave you regretting them the next morning. Pro tip: To avoid extra calories, drink your hard liquor with mixers such as seltzer or water and ice, with a spritz of lemon or lime. Avoid sugary sodas and juices.

Whisler’s Colibrí Recipe: 1.5 oz El Silencio Espadin Mezcal 1 oz Fresh squeezed orange juice .75 oz Golden beet syrup (1:1) .25 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 barspoon Helbing Kümmel Glass: Cocktail Garnish: None Inspiration: One day after grabbing a bottle of Juiceland’s Golden Glow fresh juice from Cuvée Coffee before a shift, I was incredibly impressed how delicious it was. It then got me thinking how much better it’d be if it were turned into a cocktail. That’s what sparked my little experiment to come up with a wellbalanced cocktail with a similar taste profile. The end result being the Colibrí!


The mixers necessary to create the perfect marg are filled with unnecessary sugars and calories that can quickly add up. Further, margarita mixers are often laden with sodium, even if you skip the salted rim. It’s best to avoid margaritas, especially in restaurants where they typically aren’t using fresh ingredients. If you simply can’t resist… limit yourself to just one. Pro tip: Frozen margaritas tend to have more calories because of their high content of fruit juice. Go for a marg on the rocks when you need your Mexican beverage fix.

Why does alcohol make us gain weight? When you drink, your body receives the alcohol as toxins and puts all effort into processing it—stopping the processing of the nutrients and what you ate for lunch, in the meantime. Your normal digestion is put on the back burner, meaning it’s likelier for your body to store excess fat. At the same time, drinking can leave us feeling hungrier. Studies support that drinking alcohol suppresses leptin, the hormone that functions for appetite suppression. Without our body telling us we’re full, we tend to eat and eat and eat, unaware just how much we overate. Further, drinking lowers inhibitions, making that slice of pizza look more enticing than ever.



photo by Mark Weatherford

Serving size: 6 oz, Alcohol content: 40 percent Calories: 300


New to Austin Studios and stores for fitness-minded folks

Flower Child

11721 Rock Rose Avenue Austin, TX 78758 The restaurateur behind the beloved establishment True Food Kitchen has introduced another healthy concept that Austinites are sure to embrace. Flower Child at Domain NORTHSIDE is inspired by the fundamental desire to deliver healthy food for a happy world. With a variety of organic, glutenfree, vegetarian, and vegan options available for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, the menu is thoughtfully designed to support a balanced life. The space is reminiscent of a modern bohemian abode that’s fully equipped with a dedicated yoga mat “parking” area, seasonal iced tea and lemonade station, kombucha, local beer and wine on tap, and a buzzy open kitchen exuding energy through the space where guests can watch as chefs swiftly prepare orders to-go or for the table.



Baby Greens

1508 W. Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78757 Who says drive-thrus are unhealthy? Baby Greens, a former foodie favorite, has returned to the Austin culinary scene after a six-year hiatus and is giving fast food chains a run for their money in the reopening of the local salad and wrap-focused cafe. With fair pricing and a brand-new, convenient location off of West Anderson Lane, customers can expect delicious, healthy food without the wait. The menu includes old favorites, but has also been revamped to include several new dishes. Owner Sharon Mays is excited to once again offer healthy on-the-go food to Austinites, and even more excited about the building’s eco-friendly features, like a rainwater collecting roof that aims to reduce floodwaters.

Apex Manual Therapy

15901 Central Commerce Blvd, Suite 502, Pflugerville, TX 78660 Apex Manual Therapy is an orthopedic physical therapy clinic, specializing in active individuals as well as non-athletes over the age of five. Whether you’re right out of surgery, an elite athlete mastering performance, a recreational runner with discomfort and popping, or sedentary with a desk job, physical therapy can assist in optimizing recovery, preventing injuries, arthritis, joint replacements, and degenerative conditions. Owner and therapist Dr. Alicia Shugart guarantees faster recovery in fewer visits, and less overall cost, by treating patients one-on-one and utilizing the most up-to-date treatment techniques. 12.16 / AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM



What the Hack? Biohacking your way to a better life in the new year.


By Radhika Sud

n a time where the world seems to move a mile a minute, happy hour is constantly calling your name and the box of donuts lurking in the office won’t stop taunting you, it’s easy to feel stressed and like you have little control over your own body. Biohacking, the process of “hacking” your body to achieve goals, could be just the answer you’re looking for. Biohacking uses technology and science to help regain control over your body and upgrade your mental and physical health. It can promote sleep, healing, performance, enhance cognition and reduce inflammation, among other things. We often train our bodies for optimal performance, but forget it is equally as important to train our minds. Ailments can arise from stress and negative thinking; biohacking can help break those negative thought cycles and improve mindset and cognition. But fear not, you don’t need a background in computer science to do this kind of hacking. Chances are you’ve probably already done some in your lifetime. Meditation, ice baths and saunas are all biohacking methods, and they are by no means novel. Humans have been been using these tactics for hundreds of years and reaping the health benefits. Yet with new technologies and scientific advancements, biohacking has been elevated to a new level. With science-based practices, biohacking trains our mental and physiological reactions to optimize functionality. Using this technology, we can biohack our lives to sleep, think and live better.



One such recommended tool is the Inner Balance Application by HeartMath. Once clipped onto your ears, the sensors send a tiny amount of infrared light that measures the speed of blood flow within your ear. The signal is then sent to the phone app where HRV is mapped, and in return provides the user with their heart rhythm pattern and a breathing pacer. The app aims to train users to alter their heart rhythm patterns in order to achieve a more coherent state. This can be a helpful tool to use as a morning ritual, before an important meeting or exam, or even at work. Health and performance coaches often recommend this tool to their clients who have goals of managing stress and achieving a flow state. Consistent use can lead to a calmer mindset and improvements in anxiety and depression, in addition to a strengthened heart-brainmind connection. Semi-extreme temperatures, found in saunas and cold water, have been used for centuries as components of a healthy lifestyle. Scientific evidence supports the idea that using extreme temperatures can improve health. Hack Detoxification with Near Infrared Sauna Near Infrared saunas are similar to

photography by Camille J Wheeler

Hacking Your Heart and Mind: Heart Rate Variability Heart rates can speak numbers about health. However, heart rates vary with every beat, so it’s often hard for an average person to understand the importance of their everyday rhythms. Heart rate variability (HRV) is the variation of beat to beat intervals, and a highly coherent HRV is indicative of an impressively efficient mind-body system. Meditation has been linked to achieving highly coherent HRV, as dropping into a state of meditation can help regulate your heart rate pattern. To facilitate this state, one needs access to scientific tools that provide real -time feedback as to what is occurring in the brain. This is where HRV tools come into play.

standard saunas, but operate from temperatures of 100–120 degrees Fahrenheit and have specific wavelengths that penetrate skin and improve function of mitochondria. According to Harvard University, all saunas improve circulation; additional benefits include anti-aging, increased detoxification, injury healing and energy. All of this is a result of optimum mitochondrial function. Since mitochondrial health is key to longevity, optimizing their health is central to biohacking.

For everyday, more personal access to these near infrared rays, purchase a safe pocket sauna made of bamboo at Cryotherapy Cryotherapy is a process that cools the body to reduce inflammation and improve function. The most ancient form of cryotherapy is the traditional ice bath. Today, however, cryotherapy has advanced, and can include one to three minute sessions in specialized liquid nitrogen tanks that can reach -250 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooling the body, especially injured areas, can reduce inflammation and stimulate cellular level healing. Cryotherapy has also been known to increase energy and provide temporary pain relief. Try a cryotherapy session locally at EvolVe Cryo + Wellness, where your first full body session costs only $35. Find them at 3411 S. Lamar in Austin. Hack Your Skin with Red Light Therapy Although similar to infrared light therapy, red light therapy does not penetrate

the skin quite as deeply, and is used mainly as a spot treatment to support energy. Red light improves the structure of cellular cytoplasm, which provides notable functional benefits to all cellular processes, directly impacting our bodies. It also increases mitochondrial health, helps with inflammation, boosts energy, and stimulates collagen. Studies on athletes have also shown links to stimulation for muscle regeneration. Commonly, this therapy is found at spas or wellness centers. Local Austin spa, Milk + Honey, offers red light LED therapy as an add-on to their facials. Visit them on their website at milkandhoneyspa. com, or at one of their four convenient locations.

Eliminating Blue Light at Night Blue light exposure found in sunlight is necessary during daytime for increasing the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. However, when it’s time for bed, blue light actually reduces melatonin and impacts metabolism, making it harder to fall asleep and setting you up for a night of tossing and turning. For better sleep, it’s recommended that at night you use specialized glasses that block the blue light radiated from fluorescent lights, TVs and phones. Swanwick’s Swannie glasses help you sleep better, burn fat, get focused, and feel energized. Purchase them online at products/swannies-bluelight-blocking-glasses. For the best results, wear these glasses one to four hours before bedtime, especially when looking at screens. Alternatively, switch the light bulbs in your house to amber or red colors.

Whole-body Vibration (WBV) Picture this: you have 15 minutes to work out, stretch, recover, increase and maintain strength, or even balance your hormones. Hack this effectively with a whole body vibration machine. Originally created to test bone densities on astronauts, this machine uses a constant speed motor ~30 Hz. This vibrational energy is transferred to the user, causing muscle contraction in the user. Stand on the vibrational plate while you stretch, squat, plank or even practice yoga. The vibrations cause lymphatic circulation, which is beneficial, as the lymphatic system doesn’t circulate as well without being stimulated by muscle movement. This whole body vibration helps increase that circulation, which sends muscles firing in the whole body—helping to improve strength, flexibility, and encouraging weight loss. Many weight loss centers offer these machines, but buy your own personal WBV at whole-body-vibration-plate. The options for biohacking are endless and you don’t need to buy fancy equipment to take advantage of the benefits. Try employing simpler methods such as spending time in the sun, practicing deep breathing, meditating, taking cold showers, or even just getting your body moving. Regardless of the hacks you try, it’s undeniable that the future of biohacking is bright—and, as technology advances, we can only expect to see more and more new ways to take control of the body and optimize its physical and mental health. afm 12.16 / AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM


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A Day in the Life of a Podcast Junkie By Carrie Barrett



Early Mornings at Home Wake up and meditate to the Meditation Oasis Podcast or Hay House Meditations. I’m not perfect, but at least four days a week, I try to start the day with some guided meditation and deep breathing before going from zero to 100 miles per hour. Eating Breakfast Who among us couldn’t benefit from discussions on becoming our best selves and mastering our potential? It sure beats hearing about how bad traffic is on MoPac at this (or any) time of day. Mornings are prime for channeling positive energy, and favorites include Finding Mastery: Conversations with Michael Gervais Show or The Tony Robbins Podcast. Both are conversations with coaches, athletes, business leaders, and others who talk about journey to mastery.

Morning Commute Sitting in bumper-tobumper traffic is the perfect time for comic relief. Enter The Nerdist and WTF with Mark Maron. These popular podcasts feature interviews with comedians, actors, musicians and writers. Both have turned me into a fan of people who I have never heard of, and made me a bigger fan of people I have. The TED Radio Hour is another brilliant podcast. Do you ever get lost in the online TED Talk abyss? Me too. According to their website, The Ted Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create. They had me at “create.” Heading to Lunch On my way to JuiceLand (as you do), I catch up on this week’s edition of The Rich Roll Podcast. He’s a wellknown, vegan, ultra-endurance ath-

illustration by Eleanor Grisebaum


’m a bona fide radio geek. I interned at my first radio station when I was 18 years old, and would go in at 7 p.m. and help the night jock (who was far from being a jock in the athletic sense) pull commercials, CDs (yep) and take calls for requests back when people used phones. If we were looking for caller 20, I was the voice on the other line that said, “Caller number four, try again!” Occasionally, I would also get to read dedications and requests on the air, and it was the biggest thrill to hit the red button on my mic, slide up the volume control and say, “Hey John, Stacy wants you to know that she would walk 500 miles for you any day. Here’s the Proclaimers on Hot 105!” I knew I had made it, however, when the overnight DJ called in sick and I was given my first solo shift. “Carrie-oke” (my radio name in 1993) was born and I was the eyes of Waffle House employees. A radio gig is what brought me to Austin and, while I’ll always love that medium, times have certainly changed—I’ve now become an obsessed podcast junkie. It doesn’t matter your hobbies, occupation, or areas of interest. There is a show for every topic. Click your podcast app button, search your topic, and instantly download hundreds of shows to your heart’s content. Now, not all podcasts are great quality. Let’s face it, anyone can hit “record” and start talking, but if you want to keep up with current events, ease into your morning commute, or get some workout inspiration, there is plenty of quality programming to go around. Here are some of my favorites on auto-download each week:

Want more suggestions? Here’s a few more popular shows on Austin Fit Magazine’s favorite list of topics: Nutrition The Fat-Burning Man Show The Nutrition Diva No Meat Athlete Radio Culture Modern Love Podcast Stuff You Should Know Serial Podcast Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Pop Culture Happy Hour Style The Art of Manliness RuPaul: What’s the Tee? The Style Success Podcast Vogue Podcast Wellness Health, Nutrition and Functional Medicine The Healthy Moms Podcast 10% Happier with Dan Harris Fitness Ben Greenfield Fitness The Tim Ferriss Show The Joe Rogan Experience 40+ Fitness

lete (as well known as vegan endurance athletes can be), and, while he does pontificate on the merits of a plant-based diet, his guests are thought leaders, athletes, and characters from all walks of life. Working Out Turn the beat up with the Podrunner Podcast. I first discovered this gem about six years ago when I was training for a marathon. It’s an hour of techno/house music programmed to various BPMs (beats per minute). The optimal BPM for runners is right around the 180 mark (90 foot strikes per minute per foot), so I search for those first in order to drown out the world and run to the beat. Other great fitness podcasts include the local Earn that Body podcast with Kim Eagle, and the Tower 26 Be Race Ready Show which focuses on, of all things, swimming for triathletes. I need all of the pointers I can get on that one! Evening Commute and Meal Prep Ready to unwind and ease into your evening? Creative storytelling podcasts get my mind off traffic and the stress of the day. Kids love stories because they enter a fantasy

world. Why shouldn’t adults allow themselves this same pleasure? This is Actually Happening is a firstperson podcast that explores what happens in your life when everything changes. Some of the accounts are scary, horrifying, funny, and charming. All of them are riveting. This American Life is the most popular podcast; it explores a theme and then tells real-life stories around that theme. It’s easy to get wrapped up in these tales, and I’m often home before I know it! Bedtime and Time to Unwind Can’t get to sleep because your busy brain is still in active mode? Try the Sleep With Me Podcast. I’ll admit, when I first heard about this one, I thought it was a joke since it’s literally described as a “Lulling, Boring, Droning Bedtime Story to Distract Your Racing Mind.” You’ve got to hear it to believe it! The reader’s voice is unlike any other, and there’s no doubt you’ll be counting sheep long before he gets to “the end.”

As you can imagine, I literally have hundreds of hours downloaded and will never be caught up, but I guarantee that they’ll get you through your workouts, your commutes, and even your “me” time. afm



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Health, Fitness, Wellness, & Lifestyle Categories

Best Nutritionist

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t ss Even e n t i F Best

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Best Smoothie Shop

1. JuiceLand Will JuiceLand’s reign ever come to an end? Although they have an extensive menu full of juices, hot drinks, and healthy shots, the smoothies reign supreme by allowing customers to keep it fresh (in more ways than one) with every order. Continuing its undefeated streak, it remains Austin’s favorite place to grab a smoothie. 2. Daily Juice 3. TKO Nutrition

What are your best-sellers? Originator (fresh apple juice • banana • blueberry • cherry • peanut butter • brown rice protein • flax oil • spirulina) Wundershowzen (almond milk • banana • spinach • hemp protein • peanut butter) What makes JuiceLand so popular in Austin? At JuiceLand, we source the highestquality ingredients, keep the music super fresh, and dedicate time, money, and juice to supporting various local nonprofit organizations. Our shops have a unique vibe spirited by creative and conscious employees, and we're all about feeling better all the time. How does JuiceLand extend beyond juices and smoothies? We have recently had the opportunity to offer a submission-based scholarship program to our employees, to be used toward going back to school to create a more sustainable future, or getting a yoga teacher certification to share mindful living with our community. Our goal is to make the the world a better place by creating happy, healthy, sustainable communities. photography by BRIAN FITZSIMMONS

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nutrition Favorite Brunch Spot

1. Snooze AM Eatery Newly opened in May, this brunch spot has quickly made a name for itself in Austin. Treat yourself to the scrumptious pancake flight or get your hair of the dog fix with one of their boozy breakfast beverages. 2. Kerbey Lane 3. Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Best Food Truck

Best Coffee Shop

1. Starbucks This powerhouse international chain beat out local boutique java shops this year. With numerous locations around the city and delicious seasonal specials, a Starbucks is never too far out of reach. 2. Summer Moon 3. Caffe Medici

Favorite Guilty Pleasure

1. Amy’s Ice Creams With more than 30 years of history in Austin, Amy’s Ice Creams has mastered the craft of making sweet treats worthy of your cheat day cravings. The menu changes frequently, and the employees are as funny as the treats are delicious. 2. Lick 3. Gourdoughs

1. Chi’lantro Fusing Korean and Mexican flavors into all of their dishes, this unique food truck keeps you coming back for more. The food truck has seen immense success, going on to open three brick and mortar locations, as well as securing a deal on Shark Tank to continue the expansion. 2. Torchy’s Tacos 3. Veracruz All Natural

Best Healthy Restaurant

1. True Food Kitchen Another new kid on the block, True Food Kitchen has become a fan favorite since its opening in February. The menu is full of food options for every kind of diet and palate, while keeping a focus on local, sustainable produce. 2. Picnik 3. Casa de Luz

Favorite Bar

1. Whislers Offering one-of-a-kind craft cocktails in a hip,

airy space, Whislers is exactly where you need to be during happy hour… or any other hour of the day. 2. Moontower 3. Dogwood

Favorite Local Beer, Wine, or Spirit

1. Deep Eddy Vodka Naturally gluten-free, and offering six different flavors, Deep Eddy gives you the ingredients you need to be creative with your cocktails. 2. Tito’s Vodka 3. Austin Eastciders

Favorite Grocery Store

1. HEB This grocery chain offers a variety of products and brands, all at a reasonable price. With locations around Austin, HEB is convenient and reliable for residents citywide. 2. Whole Foods Market 3. Central Market

Best Nutritionist/Dietitian

1. Carly Pollack (Nutritional Wisdom) If you have long struggled with your relationship with food or you’ve (unsuccessfully) tried every diet in the book, Carly gets it. Working with Carly goes beyond nutritional advice; she provides motivation, education, and support. Plus, a little bit of tough love when you need it! 2. Meredith Terranova 3. April Stone

lifestyle Favorite Store for Fitness Apparel and Gear

1. Lululemon High-quality athletic apparel and athleisure wear meets functionality and comfort at Lululemon. Whether you’re aiming to get sweaty or get stylish (or both!), the options for workout staples are abundant. 2. Academy 3. RIDE

Favorite Hotel

1. W Austin Hotel Located in the heart of downtown Austin, The W boasts chic and stylish rooms with impressive in-house amenities like a full spa, swim-

ming pool and sun deck. Not a guest? You can still check out their creative happy hour menu Monday through Friday 5-7 p.m at The Living Room Bars, Trace Austin, and the WET Deck. 2. Hotel San Jose 3. JW Marriott

Best Veterinary Clinic

1. Corner Vet With a passionate staff and a steadfast mission to unite the city through a love of animals, Corner Vet not only cares for your animal—they care for you. 2. Westlake Animal Hospital 3. Firehouse Animal Health Center

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Best Bike Shop

1. Bicycle Sports Shop Serving Austin’s cycling community since 1983, Bicycle Sport Shop has had ample time to stake its claim as the leader in bike retail and service. The store is run by passionate folks who have a love for cycling that is contagious. 2. Mellow Johnny’s 3. Bicycle World Austin





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lifestyle Best Spa Experience

1. Milk + Honey For an unforgettable pampering experience, check into Austin’s born and bred Milk + Honey. All four locations extensively cater to your utmost relaxation and healing needs. 2. Viva 3. Lake Austin

Chase Alexander—Lead Stylist at Milk + Honey What should you consider when finding the right stylist? A few things. Personality fit—for me, consultations are really important. The first time I meet someone I always want 15 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment so that we can talk and I can understand their lifestyle, because I need to give them a look that will match that. Connecting with someone that understands what you want is important. I also suggest finding someone that believes in the products that they have. I love our color and product line, and you need good stuff at home that will give you whatever hair you want. Everyone here at Milk + Honey is really talented so it’s not a concern of whether you’re going to find someone who is going to be able to give you a great haircut. The difference comes down to tiny details of personality, preference of product and stuff like that.

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What’s in your bag? Kevin Murphy Anti-Gravity Styling Liquid Everyone in Texas wants volume. This is a heat protectant and volumizer—it gives the hair a lot of bounce and movement without being too heavy. Davines Love Hair Smoother It’s a hair crème, pre-blow dry lotion since we all have frizz because we live in Texas. I chose that because it gives silky soft beautiful blow outs. Kevin Murphy Night Rider for Men It’s a matte finishing paste that gives you texture. You can run your hands through your hair throughout the day and you won’t have a hand of goop— that’s something I don’t like in my products. Kevin Murphy Doo Over It’s a dry texturizing spray, because everyone wants texture. It’s the “thing” to work with what you have; letting your hair dry naturally, putting in a few loose waves, nothing overly styled.

What are the best practices to keep your hair healthy? It starts with shampoo and conditioner. You have to have something that has quality ingredients. I also do glossing treatments for my clients a lot, almost every time they come in and especially during seasonal changes. They are semi-permanent colors with or without pigment and they just give your hair that extra shine and silk. Plus, they last 6–8 weeks.

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The spray is a dry shampoo mixed with a hairspray, so you have more movement, but it still looks like you. Kevin Murphy Young Again Oil This is a great finishing oil for little pieces that need a some extra love. It’s perfect for frizz—one drop is all you need. You can use it on wet or dry hair, and I use it a lot on women that want a silky soft blow out. It finishes the look and makes it look extra expensive and polished. BaByliss Volare V1 Hair Dryer The engine in my hair dryer was designed by Ferrari, so it’s incredibly powerful. Even after using it everyday for two years, it’s never failed me.

Milk + Honey’s Hand Purifier No. 08 It’s a lavender-eucalyptus scented hand sanitizer, that I always have with me. Most hand sanitizers freaks me out, it makes me feel like I’m at the doctor. This one smells lovely, it softens your hands—everyone in my family gets one as a stocking stuffer.

Fittest CEO

What are some things to consider prior to adopting a new animal friend? Your housing situation—whether you live in an apartment or a home—the size isn’t really an issue, it’s more about your lifestyle. If you are active and you want your pet to do that with you, look for that kind of animal. Also, if you are in an apartment or somewhere you don’t own, look into their pet policies. You don’t want to adopt something that you’re gonna have to end up giving back. Financially, there are things to consider: can you afford adding a pet to your family? You have to factor in regular vet visits, their yearly check-ups, and heartworm and flea medication. You need to be prepared for some emergencies in case that happens. Make sure you’re in a good financial place and you know you’re ready to have an animal for a certain number of years. A cat can live on average 15–18 years, small dogs can live 15–18, and large dogs have a shorter lifespan of 10–12 years.

1. Ally Davidson The former champion of “American Gladiator” built a fitness empire under Camp Gladiator’s name and has fiercely led the company into popularity and prosperity. 2. Jess Martin 3. Aubrey Marcus

Best Hair Salon

1. Milk + Honey Milk + Honey wins yet another top spot in the year’s “Best of.” There’s a reason Austinites are crazy about their services, but we suggest finding out why for yourself. 2. Jose Luis 3. Urban Betty

Best Camping Spot

What are the major sources of funding? So, we don’t have any city support—our funding comes completely from donations, whether it’s the public or single donors. We’re also blessed to have so much community support, like Austin Subaru putting on Paddle for Puppies, which solely benefits the parvo puppy ward. We have third-party events across town all the time with different companies and organizations. We’ve even had kids run lemonade stands for us!

Best Local Nonprofit

How is APA! different from other shelters? We are focused on the animals most at-risk for euthanasia. Every single animal that comes here comes from a different shelter where they were on a euthanasia list. We have programs that are here solely to answer the reasons animals are being killed in shelters, like the parvo puppy ward, neonatal kitten nursery, and feline leukemia sanctuary. Our mission is to help these animals that are dying in shelters every year. We also do our canine good citizen program, where we take pitied dogs, such as pitbulls who are often overlooked because of the stigma attached, and train them. We list their skills so then people do a double look and see that they are adoptable. These dogs can walk through a crowded room without being distracted, or accept a friendly stranger. That’s what sets us apart—we have programs that are actively fighting these reasons for killing, more than just being an adoption center.

1. Inks Lake With over 200 campsites and 22 available for rent cabins, Inks Lake offers fun both on and off the water. Fish, kayak or scuba dive on the lake, or put your feet to the test on the nine miles of beautiful, hilly hiking trails. 2. Pedernales 3. Enchanted Rock

1. Austin Pets Alive! Founded in 2008, APA made a promise to increase live outcomes from shelters in Austin. Since then, they’ve saved more than 25,000 dogs and cats from euthanasia, and spearheaded both pet health and adoptive programs. Stop by their shelter and you might just find yourself a new furry friend. 2. CG Victory 3. Flatwater Foundation (tie) 4. Mobile Loaves + Fishes (tie)

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What kind of volunteer opportunities are available at APA? You name the skill you want to use and we can probably put you to work. If you want to do data entry, we have data entry. If you want to walk dogs, you can walk dogs. For that, you have to go to volunteer orientation—which is a program that can be done online. Anything outside of walking dogs includes laundry, stuffing rubber toys with peanut butter, and helping out in the neonatal kitten nursery. We have bottle baby feeders—those are very dedicated volunteers because it’s at least a six-week stint of feeding by bottle in the nursery. There’s all kinds of grounds work like mowing and cutting trees, too.

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How often do you recommend that patients come to visit you? In most cases, with an acute injury, I’d recommend twice a week for four weeks. Then, we see where we are and make adjustment from there.

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How do you know when it’s time to see a chiropractor (versus a physical therapist or an orthopedist)? I’m an athlete and I work really hard to keep athletes doing what they love to do. You need to go to a doctor that understands you, and I think athletes like that about me. If you have a soft tissue complaint, I’m your guy. For example, if you have pain from a posture problem, you’re going to have some imbalances in your muscles. We’ll work on correcting shoulder posture, getting good range of motion in joints, and strengthening your upper back.

Best Chiropractor

1. John Tuggle 2. Family Health Chiropractic 3. Spinal Sports and Rehab

Best Physical Therapist

1. Texas Physical Therapy Specialist Home to more board-certified specialists than any other practice in Texas, Texas Physical Therapy Specialist is the place to go for injury rehabilitation. 2. Mondo Sports Therapy 3. Jeff Potts

What’s in your bag? I do a little bit of everything, but I mostly do running, mountain biking, and triathlons. • In my bag is my Trigger Point grid for post-workout. • I’m a big fan of Hokas. • BASE Salt to replenish electrolytes. • Mountain bike shoes and helmet. Safety first!

DEC 2016


What are some of the major causes of injuries in your patients? I treat a lot of plantar fasciitis. Also, a lot of hamstring problems, gluteal, and hip flexor issues. About 80 percent of my patients fall under those. It’s very common among runners. You see it with triathletes, too; we often work on imbalances in the glutes and the hip flexor. That translates into a hip problem, where you have pain, but they’re all really caused by the same thing. Do you have a preferred workout? I never thought I’d be saying this, but running used to be my least favorite and now it’s my favorite. So, I’ve transitioned over the years. But really quality workouts, because they hurt the most but make you feel the best when you’re done with them. I love speed workouts. Swimming is probably my least favorite, putting that long distance in the pool.


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Best Mental Health Professional (Psychologist, Psychiatrist, LPC) 1. Tracy Carver 2. Casey Lepper 3. Jennifer McAdams

After seeing patients how do you unwind? Yoga is a great therapy and it’s so helpful for me to come to classes. I see clients and then I come to the yoga studio; it helps me feel more centered. Yoga has been instrumental in helping me become a more compassionate counselor, because I’m not carrying around a bunch of my own stuff. Instead, I can be really present with my clients. Is there a common issue you see in your patients? A common issue that is nearly universal with all of my clients—whether they’re dealing with addiction, depression, or anxiety—is self-esteem issues. With nearly all of my clients, we work on cultivating greater self-acceptance. So if someone comes to see me I can almost guarantee that it’s going to be woven into the session in some shape or form. What is your personal approach to therapy? So, I’m a graduate of the UT Counseling Psychology PhD program. The program didn’t just teach us one way of approaching therapy—there was an underlying humanistic approach, which simply means being non-judgmental. Then, I did some training in Boston where I got more exposure to a psychoanalytical modality. So I combine both of those in my approach, which, in layman’s terms just means I have a strong theoretical background where I can listen to what someone is saying, go back to the literature, and try to cultivate a deeper understanding of

DEC 2016



their issues. It also means I don’t come in with an agenda or impose my own beliefs on my clients. I really try to meet them where they’re at, whether it’s through humor or whatever resonates or has meaning to them. Even with spirituality, I really try to step inside their realm, rather than impose just what I learned in grad school. How do you know when you’ve found the right therapist? Friends and family ask me that all the time when they’re looking for help. I think it’s a very personal decision, but the No. 1 thing for me is someone you can trust. Hopefully they’re qualified and credentialed and good at their job, but if you don’t feel comfortable opening up and sharing with that person then the therapy is not going to go anywhere. It’s kind of like dating—there might be some trial and error. I offer consultations so people can meet me, see my office, and see if they think we’re going to be a good fit. I also tell people you should feel empowered! Especially here in Austin, there are so many therapists and counselors that if you do end up with someone that isn’t a good fit for you, there’s probably another one down the street. What are some good methods of mental health care outside of professional help? I recommend meditation to almost all of my clients. It’s usually the ones that are the most scared of meditation that need it the most. Someone who is already calm and zen-like probably doesn’t need it as much as someone who has a million thoughts running through their head all the time. Those are the people that can really benefit from meditation—and it’s free. You can do it anywhere. The internet has provided so many resources for us, they’re accessible to anyone. Podcasts are another great resource. (I have one of my own coming out soon.) That’s another great outlet for mental health, because it’s helpful to feel connected to others. You’re not the only one dealing with this, you’re not the only one struggling. There are people suffering in the same way as you, but they’re actually talking about it. I think that can be so fulfilling and nurturing to hear.

Best Acupuncturist

Best Massage Therapist

Best OB/GYN Doctor

1. Carly Thompson A Texas Ex, Carly works in the community that helped foster her passion for childhood healthcare. She understands the costs, side effects, and struggles of medications and treatments, and therefore works to maintain a comfortable, conversational practice that limits unnecessary treatments and gives parents a fair voice in the path of their child’s health. 2. Daniel Terwelp 3. Ari Brown

1. Matthew Kirsch Formerly taking first place in the “Best Eastern Medicine” category in years past, Matthew still holds onto the winning title. His approach to healing is unique—both bodywork and acupuncture are implemented in his practice. 2. Ann Mowat 3. TigerLily Wellness and Acupuncture

1. Christopher Seeker Austin Area OB/GYN is lucky to have this repeat winner on staff yet again! His compassionate approach to women’s care makes him a standout physician in Central Texas. 2. Robert Cowan 3. Lisa Jukes

Best Orthopedic Doctor

1. Matthew Driscoll His résumé is full of honors and accolades, and his work is reflective. But, the real reward for Dr. Driscoll is the ability to “provide patients with the same level of excellent service and compassionate care that I would offer a member of my own family.” 2. Shelby Carter 3. John McDonald

Best Dermatologist

1. Amy McClung Dr. McClung’s ultimate goal is to help her patients in any way that she can. Her approach is nonjudgmental, and as an avid runner, she connects with fellow fitness lovers. 2. Renee Snyder 3. Westlake Dermatology

Best Dentist

1. Nazim Shahi Another repeat winner, Dr. Shahi is constantly striving to further his knowledge in the area of dental health. His South Austin office is posh and inviting, making it a comfortable environment for patients. 2. Summer Rydel 3. Bryan Smith

DEC 2016



1. Michelle Hittner Michelle’s experience as a triathlete, CrossFitter, and cyclist helps her more personally connect with clients that come to her with fitness-related soreness and pain. 2. Tammy Marquez 3. Sue Fegelman

Best Pediatrician

Best Cosmetic Surgeon

1. Ned Snyder A recipient of St. David’s First Humanitarian Award and recognized in 2014 as a Best Doctor in America, the Austin community continues to regard Dr. Snyder as one of the best in his industry. He works to create natural looks, reflective of the wants and needs of his clientele. 2. Ed Buckingham 3. Rocco Piazza

Best Med Spa

1. Ideal Weight and Skin On a mission to “help you receive the compliments you deserve,” Ideal Weight and Skin’s clinic combines skin care, body contouring treatments and weight management programs. The spa is clean and the staff is committed to helping you achieve your personal goals through non-surgical means. 2. Westlake Dermatology 3. Austin MedSpa


What’s in your gym bag? My supplements from Total Nutrition, my GoPro, usually an EPIC bar, head phones, shaker bottle, water, a toy or two of my kids, my special socks for the trampoline bootcamp classes I teach at Altitude, and a few other random items!

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Best Strength & Conditioning Gym (non-crossfit)

1. Bigger Faster Stronger Located slightly outside of Austin in Manchaca, Texas, Bigger Faster Stronger turns everyone who walks through the door into an athlete. Their HIIT classes have put them on the map. 2. CG Arena 3. Dane’s Body Shop

Best Gym

1. Pure Austin Pure Austin sets itself apart from competitors with special amenities and activities, like a two-story rock climbing wall and lake access exclusive to members. This is the kind of gym that will help you change your life for the better, thanks to award-winning nutritionists, dedicated personal trainers, and a performance testing center. 2. CG Arena 3. Gold’s

Best Bootcamp

1. Camp Gladiator Camp Gladiator’s four-week adult fitness boot camp will get your blood pumping and your muscles moving. With a focus on equal

parts strength, stamina, and speed, CG’s workout will provide positive results in a short time. 2. Stronghorn Fitness 3. Relentless Bootcamp

Best CrossFit Gym

1. CrossFit Central As one of the first 50 CrossFit affiliates in the world and 11 years in Austin, it’s safe to say CrossFit Central knows how to give you a serious workout. The coaches at both locations radiate positivity and plan to continue building a brand of health and happiness through well-rounded programming. 2. CrossFit Woodward 3. CrossFit South Lamar

Best Yoga Studio

1. Black Swan The donation-based yoga studio is a fan favorite, as it remains on top for the third year in a row. Feel free to take a drop-in class or purchase an affordable unlimited membership to get your yoga fix with charismatic instructors and unique classes. 2. Wanderlust 3. CorePower

Mike O’Hara — Bigger Faster Stronger, owner, and winner of 2016’s Best Personal Trainer. What do you expect out of a new client when they sign up? I've been blessed to have trained people of all walks of life, and I've learned that it’s hard to “expect” any one thing while every athlete is so different. What I hope for, more than anything, is an open line of communication and trust. I ask my clients to trust me completely and to never hesitate with any questions, comments, or concerns. I've never had a client put all their trust in me, do exactly as I ask, and not have incredible results. It's all about trust and communication. What are some pieces of gym equipment you can’t do without? I often joke and tell people all I need is a ball, band, and a corner and I can take someone through the workout of their life! My favorite piece of equipment is, hands down, the human body. But if I had to pick one thing it would be the BOSU ball. It's such a diverse piece of equipment with a laundry list of uses and limitless benefits. How are your workouts unique to the others found in Austin? I pride myself in being every athlete's one-stop shop. So much so that I recently designed a HIIT program with 10 classes per week so my clients can come in and knock out their cardio. In all my years of training, two of the most common problems I've come across is clients having trouble with knowing how to properly eat and people having issues with not only doing their cardio, but actually pushing themselves during their cardio. My HIIT classes are intense but last only 25 minutes, so you're in and out within 30! It's a great standalone program to shred fat and tone up, but combined with my personal training, you're bound to take your fitness to the next level! I take great pride in being able to offer both top-notch personal training and high-quality classes, as well. What’s your approach to personal training? I approach each client with an open heart and an open mind. In order for my clients to succeed, I have to be willing to adjust my sails as often as needed. Some athletes are motivated by being yelled at, while others will shut down. My coaching tactics shift from athlete to athlete. I can't be a hard-nosed drill sergeant for everyone—something that fatherhood has certainly taught me. Not every body type will see the same success from the exact same nutrition plan, or the exact same cardio program, or the exact same supplement recommendations. I do have a specific and precise program that I progress all of my clients through but there are certain phases throughout that I can and will modify if necessary. My approach, although deliberate in that we get results, is as open and varied as you'll find!

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Best Pilates Studio

1. Pure Pilates Not your average Pilates studio, Pure Pilates works hard to give you a personalized full body workout on their megaformer Pilates machine. 2. kor180 3. Mauro Pilates (tie) 4. Castle Hill Fitness (tie)

Best Barre Studio

1. Pure Barre Sculpt and tone your body and stimulate your mind during this ballet-inspired workout. No dance experience is required, so bring your two left feet and give it a go. 2. MOD 3. Barre3 Austin

DEC 2016



Best Indoor Cycling Studio

1. RIDE Indoor cycling classes can sometimes feel redundant and boring—but not here. A combination of high energy, great music, and trainers beaming with enthusiasm encourages you to work hard and have fun while doing it. 2. Love Cycling Studio 3. kor180

Best Personal Trainer

What do you want newcomers who have never taken a barre class to know? Newcomers should know that Pure Barre is one of the most efficient and full-body workouts that there is. It’s a challenging workout that is very dependent on your upper body movements, so it’s important to understand that. It’s something that you commit to and stick with. What sets you apart from other barre studios? We are set apart because of the fact that we are such a family and invested in our clients from a personal standpoint. It’s not just about the workout or the techniques themselves (even though those are huge aspects) but we are so invested in our clients as people, and that’s why they stay and become a part of a true community. What inspired you to start Pure Barre? I actually was inspired while discovering it in Nashville, Tennessee when I lived there. I took a class and it kicked my butt. I consider myself a pretty fit person that understands a lot of different workout techniques (kinesiology is my background) so the fact that I went to a studio and got my butt kicked with these tiny movements, and it was an intimate experience, and I saw results so quickly—I was sold. What are your goals for the future of Pure Barre? My goal for the future of Pure Barre is to maintain a really strong community. I think six years in, it becomes harder to be as relevant and as fresh and the “it” thing, so every single year that is my goal—to remain on top, to stay invested in our clients, and just keep growing an authentic community. What are some ways you do that? We hire staff that are true, open, big-hearted people, and that makes a huge difference, because the staff translates into the clientele. What you put out is what you attract, so it all marries together. Then I think also it’s making sure that we stay in tune with our clients and their interests, so that we continue to do events and invest in philanthropic efforts that align with our community.

Best Boxing/MMA Gym

What’s in your bag? I’m always going from workouts to meetings, so carrying something that’s a little nicer just helps me transition. The S’well bottle is my most favorite thing ever. It holds the temperature, it’s sleek, it matches my style, and it fits perfectly in my car. My phone is always with me. I’m constantly texting and answering e-mails. I have this phone case because it matches my color scheme. (That’s very important to me, if you can’t already tell.) And same thing with my computer—it’s my life, so that’s why it’s often in my bag. Sunglasses, because I can’t stand to be outside without them when it’s sunny. Lip gloss. You always gotta have a little pop on the lip. I carry smaller wallets because the reality is that when you’ve got something this big, sometimes you need to quickly transition into something smaller. I recently founded Moderna Muse as a network and resource hub for women. It’s a way to bring everything full circle with becoming exactly who you’re meant to be, which is your inner muse. It’s not just barre; it’s how you show up, how you present yourself, where your inspiration comes from, what avenues you’re pursuing, conversations you have with people. We want to give women a place where they get all of those things, so our events always bring in elements of creativity, health, and fashion.

1. Lion’s Krav Maga This gym accepts all ages and skill levels, with classes that educate kids and teens in comprehensive self-defense and antibullying programs. For adults, Krav Maga and conditioning are available at all times of the day. 2. Fight Club Austin 3. Impact Strong

Best Youth Fitness Organization

1. CG Victory Youth Adventure Camp Gladiator’s nonprofit program motivates kids to get active and be adventurous. It’s a great way to keep kids busy, have fun, and get them excited about healthy living. 2. YMCA 3. Young Guns

Best Free Community Workout

1. Stronghorn Saturday Sweat Sessions The Stronghorn Saturday Sweat Session (also known as #SSSS) will kick your weekend off right. You’ll bust your butt to earn your shower, and make new friends in the fitness community. 2. Camp Gladiator Saturdays 3. Dane’s Body Shop Sundays

DEC 2016



1. Mike O’Hara 2. Kim Eagle 3. Ashley Rollins

Best Yoga Instructor

1. Gustavo Padron Gustavo shares his lively and passionate spirit with Austin’s yoga community through classes, workshops, and philanthropic events. We highly recommend taking his YoStrong class at Wanderlust Yoga if you want a great burnout finished off with a deep stretch. 2. Amelia Raun 3. Brittany Michelle Collinge

Best Pilates Instructor

1. Maja Kermath The founder behind kor180 isn’t just a savvy business woman and compassionate community leader, she’s also a favored Pilates teacher. She created the one-of-a-kind korFormer machine used in the Reform classes; nobody knows how to get the most of out it like she does. 2. Liana Mauro 3. Vlada Sheber

Best Barre Instructor

1. Kathryn Holleman Part of the Pure Barre family for over six years, Kathryn has found her groove as an instructor through a focus on form and fun. Try her classes for a full body shakedown (literally!). 2. Hollie Collins-Dean 3. Casey Lepper

Best Running Coach

1. Gilbert Tuhabonye Hailing from Burundi, and heading the Gazelle Foundation, Gilbert inspires us to be charitable, grateful, and encourages his students to “run with joy!” 2. Valerie Hunt 3. Steve Sisson

Best Triathlon Coach

1. Natasha Van der Merwe Her résumé touts her as a former professional tennis player, a coach at Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy, and a professional triathlete. No doubt that Natasha is a demonstration of outstanding athleticism. If you want to be the best, train with the best. 2. Peri Kowal 3. David Garza


What’s in your bag? Ditta (pronounced Dee-tah) is my dog. She’s 18 years old so she’s been with me through all stages of life. I take her everywhere. I love music and festivals. It’s one of the main reasons I love Austin. I drink coffee everyday—it fuels my body. And Jo’s is a short walk from RIDE so it’s convenient. I enjoy reading when I have the time. I prefer non-fiction.

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win How did you get into teaching indoor cycling classes? It was an instructor in Dallas that I loved. She was so motivational and encouraging. How she made me feel is how I wanted to make others feel. What workout pairs well with indoor cycling? I would say Lagree Pilates. It lengthens the muscles and it’s all about slow, controlled movements. Whereas here, it’s faster and mostly cardio. It’s always important to have some strength training. How many classes a week do you teach? How many do you take? I normally teach 7–8 classes a week. I try to take 1–2 classes a week. What advice do you give to newcomers? I always tell them that the more you come, the better you get. It doesn’t necessarily get easier. Focus on something they were able to do in class—even if it’s just for five seconds—that is an accomplishment. Build from there. The coordination is challenging, but it can definitely be learned. It takes a little bit of time, but when you finally get it, it’s a really gratifying “a-ha!” moment. How do you set yourself apart as an instructor? I think each individual instructor is different. I try to make it a performance. So you’re not just getting a workout, per se, but you’re getting something that’s fun and engaging. [At RIDE] we strive to encourage and motivate people, but I think it’s more about the interaction in the room. A lot of instructors will just stay on the bike and talk the talk, but I’ll get off and dance with you and be in your face.

DEC 2016



Best Cycling Instructor 1. Tara Granberry 2. David Garza 3. Caprice Richards

Best CrossFit Coach

1. Dave Appel With over 20 years of experience as a coach, Dave Appel doesn’t shy away from jumping in with his members and participating in the workout. His hands-on method, mixed with his loyalty and drive for success, makes him the ultimate CrossFit guru to learn from. 2. Justin Adams 3. Nader Issa (tie) 4. Tim Rawlings (tie)

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fitness Austin’s Best Fitness Ambassador

1. Caprice Richards This bright and bubbly cycling instructor approaches fitness as something beyond a way to get in shape. Caprice turns her workouts into a celebration, a boost of inspiration, and an opportunity to give back to the community. 2. Jess Martin 3. Mike O’Hara

Hardest Workout in Austin

1. Camp Gladiator Another win for Camp Gladiator proves that this program is too legit to quit. This is one bootcamp that has found the perfect balance of super fun and extremely challenging. 2. Stronghorn Saturday Sweat Session 3. Love Cycling Studio with David Garza

Best Short Distance Road Race (10K or shorter)

1. Statesman Cap10K The largest 10K in Texas, this race is held annually in April. All money raised is donated to local non-profits. 2017’s race will celebrate its 40th anniversary in Austin. 2. Turkey Trot 3. Run for the Water 5K

Best Long Distance Road Race (Longer than a 10K)

Mountains in west Texas. Spectrum wastes no time or effort conjuring up an impressive (and often whimsical) experience. 2. Rogue Trail Series 3. Bandera Trail Race

Best Cycling Event

1. Driveway Series This cycling facility and event is a no-nonsense, real-experience practice method to improve your racing dynamics and handling skills. Located on the east side of Austin, Driveway Series holds training and practice races every Thursday night from March through October. 2. Livestrong Ride 3. MS150

Best Adventure/MOB Race

1. Spartan Spartan Races put your health, fitness, and mind to the test. With different difficulty levels and events all around the country, there’s no excuse not to give it a try. 2. Tough Mudder 3. LEEF’s Mudstacle & Family Adventure Run

Best Fitness Competition

1. AFM FITTEST We’d be lying if we said we weren’t flattered! Thanks to everyone who voted for our event. We are always working to make adjustments and looking for new ways to keep this as Austin’s favorite fitness competition. 2. The Fittest Games 3. Horrible Hundred

1. Austin Marathon + Half Marathon Run through green, tree-lined city parks, cross bridges over the Colorado River, and trek through Austin’s city streets and neighborhoods in this race. Advertised as walker-friendly, you don’t need to be an experienced runner to join the fun. 2. 3M Half Marathon 3. Run for the Water 10-Miler

Best Bodybuilding Competition

Best Triathlon

1. Kerrville Triathlon Experience the beauty of the Texas Hill Country in this race held annually in September. The event features eight different distance events, so there’s a race for every kind of athlete. 2. CapTex Triathlon 3. Rookie Triathlon

1. Naturally Fit Games Although the Naturally Fit Games are a multitude of fitness competitions all under one roof, the bodybuilding competition draws the best contenders who practice bodybuilding, while abstaining from performance-enhancing drugs. 2. Texas Shredder 3. Adela Garcia

Best Trail Running Race

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1. Spectrum Trail Races If you’re a runner who can appreciate creativity and community, it’s past time to sign up for your first Spectrum trail race. The locallybased company hosts races all over the state, including the first ever run through the Davis

DEC 2016



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The Dangers of Deodorants The ingredients to lose and choose when buying a deodorant. By Devaney Devoe


hen pursuing a healthier lifestyle, it is important to not only be aware what you are putting in your body, but also what you’re putting on your body. An estimated 90 percent of Americans use deodorant on a daily basis, however, most individuals are unaware of the potential consequences of using this product. There are two forms of widely-used personal hygiene products for sweat and odor: antiperspirants, which are intended to stop perspiration entirely, and deodorants that are intended to neutralize odors. Many brands on the market have created a spray or stick that combine the two; that’s not always the case, though. Antiperspirants are commonly

thought to be the harmful out of the two. This is attributed to the aluminum found in most antiperspirants. Aluminum is the ingredient used in antiperspirants to completely stop perspiration. These aluminum-based compounds can take the form of aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex glycine, and aluminum hydroxybromide. Although the label “aluminum salts” may not sound harmful, these compounds can have severe longterm effects on your health. Aluminum has been linked to several health issues, including Alzheimer’s Disease, kidney problems, seizures, and bone formation disorders. There has been much debate as to whether aluminum has direct links to breast cancer. Although several scientists

have researched this issue and have developed different findings, aluminum has been shown to cause DNA mutation. DNA mutation is a precursor for uncontrolled growth of cells, which can lead to cancer. Considering all of the toxic chemicals contained in these products, one would think that these antiperspirants are successful in doing so. However, the The Food and Drug Administration only requires that an antiperspirant brand reduce sweat by 20 percent in order to claim that their product provides all-day protection. Similarly, companies that state their product is ‘extra strength’ are required to only cause a 30 percent reduction in perspiration. Surprisingly, deodorants that are not combined with antiperspirants can also contain several harmful ingredients that may impact your long-term health. Among these are propylene glycol, parabens, triclosan, and phthalates. Luckily, there are natural alternative products that can protect you from odors, with no risk to your health.

Propylene glycol is another frequently used ingredient with health hazards. Propylene glycol is used to increase absorption. However, it is a skin irritant and a neurotoxin, which may cause liver and kidney damage. It also may cause damage to your central nervous system. Be careful when purchasing natural antiperspirants; propylene glycol is still often found in these products. Parabens, although used as a preservative in many personal care products, mimic estrogen levels in your body. Parabens can disturb your body’s hormonal balance, which can have many negative effects on your body. These parabens are labeled on deodorant products as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, benzyl paraben, or propyl paraben. They can increase your risk of hormonal cancers, cause an onset of puberty, or even cause birth defects in your future children. Triclosan is intended to kill the bad bacteria in your body. However, it also kills the good bacteria that your body needs to function properly. Not only can triclosan irritate your skin and cause contact dermatitis, but it is also classified as a pesticide by the FDA and a possible carcinogen (a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue) by the IARC. Phthalates, another hormone-disrupting chemical, should also be avoided when choosing a deodorant product. Phthalates are hidden on the label as a “fragrance,” making this a loophole that many companies rely on. Because fragrance is categorized as a trade secret, companies aren’t obligated to reveal this information.

Purely Great Cream Deodorant $10 Scents: citrus, lavender, unscented A little goes a long way! This cream deodorant lasts up to 24 hours, depending on how much you’re sweating, of course. To reapply the next day, simply wipe your underarm clean and apply a small amount. The only concern with this deodorant is that it is, in fact, a cream, so you’ll need to have a tissue handy to wipe off any excess on your fingers. It does come with an applicator, though, if you need it. The only thing new users might not be used to is the stickier gel-like feeling that comes with wearing this, but this is easy to get used to. This deodorant does a great job in eliminating odors and lasting throughout the day. Remember: a little goes a long way. EO Organic Deodorant Wipe $0.69 each Scents: tea tree, lavender Although this product is ideal for those of us who are “on the go,” this deodorant wipe did not seem to work nearly as well as the others. This product smells nice and the application is extremely convenient; however, these wipes did not protect against perspiration, and the nice scent only lasted a couple hours. The good news is that this product does not contain any aluminum salts, propylene glycol, or zinc salts. These deodorant wipes could be useful for someone who just wants to freshen up, but they do a weak job of providing long-lasting odor control. Saje Natural Wellness Deodorant Spray $13 Scents: floral, exotic This product was definitely the easiest, application-wise. Although it does fall behind Purely Great Cream Deodorant as far as sweat protection goes, it still did a good job. For someone who carries their deodorant with them to the gym, for example, this certainly is the product for you. It’s easy to apply, lasts throughout most of the day, and smells great!

Saje Natural Wellness Crystal Fresh Deodorant Stick $11 This all-natural product is non-sticky. It will not clog pores, nor will it stain clothes. The mineral salts found in this deodorant stick fight unwanted odors by neutralizing odor-causing bacteria, rather than just masking them. To use this product, run crystal under warm water, then apply. Although this product does keep you fresh, it wasn’t the most effective deodorant in terms of helping with sweating. Because of this, I found myself reaching for the Saje Natural deodorant sprays more so. The sprays might also be better for someone who carries deodorant in their gym bag or car, and the stick might be best for morning application before leaving the house.

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Lump of Charcoal Finding coal in your stocking used to be every kid’s worst nightmare. Finding charcoal, however, may be at the top of the holiday wish list.

HACIENDA’s Spicewood Charcoal Cleanser $16 With a fragrance reminiscent of wood, pepper and smoked leather, this cleanser leaves you smelling fresh and your skin feeling even fresher. The secret ingredient? Activated bamboo charcoal, known for its ability to extract skin impurities. LOCAL

Latika's Activated Charcoal Soaps for Men $15 Made from 100 percent pure essential oils and organic activated charcoal, show your skin some holiday love with this handmade soap that pulls dirt, sunscreen, and other oils from your pores. LOCAL

Latika’s Charcoal Lump of Coal Package $8.50 These cheeky little “lumps of coal” moisturizing soaps are made with organic activated charcoal and boast a delightfully rich, smoked wood aroma. Perfect as a stocking stuffer or holiday gift! LOCAL

The Guv’ner Lush Powdered Charcoal Deodorant $10.50 Isn’t it the pits when your BO is too much to bear? This powdered deodorant is super absorbent and keeps smelly odors at bay. Don’t be intimidated by the color; the gray powder blends evenly into your skin. (And if you see a shadow, you’ve used too much!)

My Magic Mud Tooth Powder People’s Pharmacy $25 Rid your teeth of toxins and stains and restore those pearly whites with this detoxifying powder. Easy to use and effective, trade in those chemically-laden whitening strips for a more natural whitening experience. LOCAL

Cleanse yourself from the inside out with these charcoal-based drinks Juice Society's LOCAL Charcoal Lemonaid Revolucion’s Charcoal Lemonade Juice Shots

What’s the goal with coal? Activated charcoal is made by carbonizing bamboo shoots during a special type of oxygen-less heating process. One of the most important characteristics of activated charcoal is its ability to absorb both organic and inorganic materials. It can attach to and retain harmful chemicals and impurities, making it ideal for deep cleansing.



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For the One Who Needs to Unwind Kalologie 360 Spa



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Ahead of The Brain Game

58 / 12.16

Austin is paving the way for plant-based supplements. By Shannon Smith “Man is not going to wait passively for millions of years before evolution offers him a better brain,” said Romanian chemist and psychologist, Corneliu E. Giurgea in 1972. Now 44 years later, his premonition has manifested itself into a niche market of the American supplement industry, last wholly valued at $37 billion in 2015. This growing market caters to athletes, businessmen, students, and busy parents alike that are looking to better feed their brains and seek improved cognitive ability in the process. The idea of taking a daily vitamin is anything but new, yet right here in Austin three different companies are redefining wellness and proactive health through their plant-based supplements.

In order to further delve into the science of these local products, it’s necessary to understand the categories in which they function. Nootropics, also referred to as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers, are simply substances that affect cognitive functions. If you’ve ever drank a cup of coffee, you’ve already encountered nootropics, as the caffeine in this morning drink provides your body with energy and increases productivity; but, oftentimes is associated with a crash later in the day. Researchers and scientists have now come to recognize nootropics in more than just caffeine, but also in earthgrown compounds that, when combined, directly and proficiently enhance memory, mental speed, and clarity—without that dreaded crash later in the day. Two Austin-based companies have taken advantage of this science to create unique supplements that are helping clients not only locally, but also around the world. AlternaScript, a health tech company founded in 2013, is on a mission to advance the human species by relying on natural ingredients and herbs. Their daily cognitive enhancing supplement, OptiMind, offers users a twopill a day regimen designed to increase energy, focus, mental clarity, and memory. The secret behind their supplement? High concentrations of bacoside, an active compound found in bacopa—an herb that’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. “Most supplement companies have small concentrations of the active ingredient and they just sprinkle it in so they can have it on the label, without having the clinically effective dosage,” said co-founder and CEO of AlternaScript, Lucas Siegel. He stressed the importance of being a smart consumer and understanding exactly what you’re putting into your body; it’s often easy to get lost in the jargon of over-complicated supplement labels. With a rapidly growing customer base and clinical studies supporting all ingredients, Siegel believes he and his team have created a product that is backed by science

Ahead of The Brain Game

“Eventually nootropics are going to be akin to having a cup of coffee, it’s going to be fully integrated into everyone’s lives and people are going to be able to really accept the brain—not just as the mind—but as an organ that can be supported, upregulated, and altered in a way that can help performance.”

Aubrey Marcus, CEO of Onnit

60 / 12.16

and of the highest quality. The future of his company lies OptiMind in its strong connection to the scientific world, and the $43 goal of helping people achieve whatever they want to do or be with the aid of natural ingredients. In the next year, the public can expect to see the release of weight AlphaBrain loss supplements, and a unique online automated form for personal yet virtual dietician appointments. $35 On the other side of town, Aubrey Marcus, founder and CEO of Onnit, has created his own unique nootELISE ropic concoction in AlphaBrain. Growing up, Marcus remembers starting each day $60 with a napkin of different vitamins and supplements, presented by his nutraceutical stepmother. He began to notice the difference in napkins on test day versus game day, and got used to feeling the effects of those different supplement combinations. His interest in nootropics, this ability to better feed the brain, was sparked. Through his research, he found neurotransmitters were the key to an effective nootropic. Unlike other companies, he wanted to focus on upregulating the neurotransmitters, rather than stimulating the entire body through use of caffeine and comparable compounds. Dialing in on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, he combined other nutrients and botanical compounds to create AlphaBrain’s special formula. “The beauty of relying on largely botanical and earth-grown nutrients is that they have a history of use that is a thousand years old. So interaction with humans has been well documented,” said Marcus. He also noted that there have been no negative effects associated with the supplement. Beyond the positive user testimonials of AlphaBrain’s effectiveness, Marcus is most proud of the double blind clinical trials that yielded statistical significance, letting the science do the talking. Through the trials, AlphaBrain showed improvement in focus, executive functions, and reaction times. According to Marcus, this hard data sets them apart in the market. As for the future of the nootropic industry, both Siegel and Marcus feel the surface is just beginning to be scratched, and there is much more ahead for the world of cognitive enhancement. “Eventually nootropics are going to be akin to having a cup of coffee, it’s going to be fully integrated into everyone’s lives,” said Marcus, “and people are going to be able to really accept the brain—not just as the mind—but as an organ that can be supported, upregulated, and altered in a way that can help performance.” Siegel also predicts that these special supplements will become mainstreamed in the next few years. “I think 90 percent of Americans will be actively and knowingly taking nootropics, because if they don’t, they’re getting left behind in human evolution,” he said. While the idea of nootropics continues to gain popularity and press, an Austin-based company merely eight months old is pioneering a new niche supplement market with the science of phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are plant-based compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a group of receptors known for maintaining overall health and homeostasis. The science behind phytocannabinoid supplements lies in the idea that you can feed your body these plant-based compounds that are biologically similar to the ones already produced in the body, benefiting stress response and inflammation. Mineral Health, with the launch of its first product, ELISE, aims to create a multi-product line that features plant-based cannabinoids. When cofounders Evan Caron and Matthew “Mills” Miller founded their company in May, both were going through rough times, dealing with anxiety and stress. Together they began looking for natural products using calming cannabinoids to cope with this; they were unimpressed by what they found—essentially a space that had no dietary supplements to offer. They took advantage of this and created their own brand. As far as legality of cannabinoids go, Caron and Miller assured their product is 100 percent legal in all 50 states. Both Caron and Mills saw a need for their supplement to be immediately

“I think you’ll see

The city as a whole tends to focus on health effective; in certain cases, you have to take them in coffee, beer, as a lifestyle, but the Austin community is also supplements for years to even begin to see the wine—I think the educated and willing to experiment with beneffects. They found that with high dosages of industry is moving efits of newfound health concepts. phytocannabinoids, energy levels could be aftoward, rather than “The cannabis plant is very science-based fected. They combined this with the compound treating illness, and if you understand the science of inflampterostilbene, known for benefiting the central keeping your body mation, you’ll understand why you should be nervous and cardiovascular systems, and a stress positioned for taking ELISE everyday. We feel like Austin is a response compound known as Ashwaganda. wellness.” very informed community that’s willing to acTogether these ingredients create a day-long cept new ideas in the market rather than just lasting supplement that provides enhanced energy levels, followed by mental clarity and sense Evan Caron , co-founder of taking pharmaceutical industry and medicine’s word for it,” said Caron. of calmness. Although everyone is different, the Mineral Health Mineral Health was not the only company supplement typically kicks in within five to ten that received love from its hometown. All three minutes of ingestion. companies specifically credited Austin as being a place that is While considering themselves pioneers in the industry, concentrated on health, well-being, exercise and mental clarity. Caron believes cannabinoids will start to be put into everyFurther, all of the founders felt like Austin was a smart city, thing within the next two years. with a myriad of educated people, which made hiring employ“I think you’ll see them in coffee, beer, wine—I think the ees and laying down business roots easy. industry is moving toward, rather than treating illness, keeping Whether experimenting with nootropics or phytocannabinoid your body positioned for wellness,” said Caron. “Rather than supplements, it’s evident that there is a social and intellectual waiting to get sick, you’re supplementing your body with things movement of using earth-grown nutrients to improve the mind, it needs so you can age gracefully, and be healthy throughout body, and overall well-being, and that Austin is playing a major the aging process.” role in promoting it. If you can improve mental clarity, cognitive Although they currently only offer one supplement, both functions, and relieve stress… why wouldn’t you? founders already have ideas in the works for future cannabinoidSiegel said it best: “We used to champion the Gladiators and based products. The feedback from their first shipment of ELISE the Spartans; the people that used their bodies to find glory. received glowing feedback, from users all around the world, alNow that we’ve evolved, the mind is the next frontier of glory though a majority of the orders came locally. It’s no surprise that a for the human species.” afm community as health and wellness focused as Austin is providing Mineral Health with the support it needs to get going.



Convenience Meets Care: Austin’s All-in-One Integrative Pharmacy


he Victory Medical Center has been Austin’s home for traditional and holistic healthcare for over two decades, and in the last six years has provided an inviting and accessible pharmacy for any nutraceutical needs. As expected, the pharmacy stocks and refills prescriptions, but VMC also boasts a wide and detailed “wellness wall”—a selection of vitamins, nutritional supplements, and the most effective over-the-counter remedies on the market—not to mention custom-made medications produced in VMC’s compounding lab. At VMC Pharmacy, their wellness department includes trained nutrition coaches and supplement specialists who provide an integrative and preventative health approach alongside the traditional pharmacy practices. Victory Medical Center has always been a well-known resource to receive prescribed medicine, but the pharmacy is a gem that few Austinites realize is at their disposal. Located off of Highway 71 and South Lamar Boulevard, the pharmacy is located on the south side of the

62 SPECIAL SECTION / 1 2 .1 6

18,000 square-foot facility. Upon walking in, there is a cozy cafe where you can order a coffee or smoothie, and even choose your own protein enhancers to personalize your drink. If you’re looking for a quick stop-and-go, VMC Pharmacy’s drive-thru saves you time on your errand. But at least once, it’s worth parking your car and taking a stroll inside for a lesson or two on methods to benefit your overall health. Before you have the chance to be intimidated by VMC Pharmacy’s wall of nutraceutical and medicinal needs, one of the many wellness consultants will assist you and answer any questions you may have. Under the direction of the wellness director, each consultant has been comprehensively trained in new programs and workshops, and will help determine which whole food vitamins, minerals, energy shots, local honey and bee pollen, sports performance inducers, etc. would best suit your body. Because VMC is a compounding pharmacy, specially trained pharmacists can prepare custom medications prescribed by their doctors and for-

mulated for your needs, and the needs of whoever else you’re shopping for (hello, flu season). There are even easy-to-read charts available to point you in the direction of which vitamins could possibly be depleted in your body due to medications you may be taking. If shopping online is more your thing, VMC Pharmacy offers free delivery within Austin’s city limits. Could they make your one-stop shop for beneficial heathcare any easier? Victory Medical Center has always strived to anticipate patient needs and provide a full-spectrum of medical care, and this did not fall short with the pharmacy. Its unique, “home-style” experience—all of the in-house services, such as hormone creams (sterile and non-sterile) and its promotion of natural agents against deficiencies from certain meds—makes Victory Medical Center Pharmacy the highest quality and dedicated shop for the generally healthy community that is Austin.




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Ankle L Injury Action

ying on your back now looking up at the clear blue sky, you begin to reflect on the circumstances that brought you here. First, there was the well-intended leap over the downed tree lying across the trail. Then, there was the unintended landing on the small boulder, the less than graceful mid-air spin, and finally the immodest collapse onto hard ground. Somewhere in the middle of this was the unambiguous snap in your ankle. You have time to review these events in surprising detail before the adrenaline rush gives way to searing pain—and the realization that you are miles from help. A precarious situation like this requires clarity of thought and deliberate action in order to prevent further injury. Too often, as athletes, the urge to get up and start moving after an injury is immediate and irrepressible, as though we want to see how much dysfunction we may have just incurred. I’m going to discourage you from this—instead, employ the temperance of cautious assessment.

What to do when you suffer an injury but you’re far from help. By Bill Hanson



First take an inventory of yourself and your surroundings. Ask yourself the following questions: 1. Am I safe where I am? Did you fall on an ant hill, in an avalanche zone, or in the path of a stampeding longhorn? So long as you’re not in any immediate danger, you are probably better off staying put until you can answer the next question. 2. Can I feel and move everything? You can make a necessary exception for the affected ankle for now; however, if you feel numbness or tingling somewhere else,

your options. Only move as a last resort. In 1985, two climbers were descending an extremely remote mountain in South America when one of them shattered his tibia (lower leg bone). They were separated when the same climber fell into a crevasse, and had no possibility of rescue. To make one of the greatest personal survival stories in modern mountaineering history very short, let’s just say that he crawled out— through crevasses and talus fields—in a snowstorm. It took him three days. Attempt to create some kind of splint. Almost anything with rigidity and flexibility will do. The climber mentioned above eventually wrapped

or are unable to use other body parts, you may have a more serious problem and should try and stay put until help arrives. 3. Can I move the ankle? That snap you felt could have been a bone breaking, or a tendon snapping, or a joint dislocating. In the latter case, the shape of the thing and the complete inability to use it will tell the story. Between the fracture versus the sprain or strain, however, it can be hard to tell. No need to fret over the difference, the sprain can take longer to heal from than the fracture anyhow. If you feel what seems like bones grinding together, however, you are more likely to cause further injury by any unnecessary movement. The prescription in this case is again to stay put. Try to summon help. If you have a cell phone, a whistle, or a smoke grenade, now may be a time to use it. If you are on the Austin greenbelt, just wait and someone will likely come by. If, on the other hand, you are in a more remote location, you may need to consider moving somewhere, and will want to stabilize your injury while you consider

his sleeping pad around his lower leg. Once, when I was a ski-patroller, I saw a woman come into the patrol room with a broken wrist. Her boyfriend had splinted it using a curled up phone book and her ski parka as padding. If you are running or hiking in truly remote areas, then you should carry something with you (not a phone book). Lots of camping materials work well, including ensolite pads and internal frame backpacks. If the foot downstream—or distal, as we call it in medicine—is turning pale, or you cannot feel it, this could be a sign of absent or impaired circulation. If this occurred after you applied the splint, then loosen it. If it was present before the splint, then you may have a pinched or a ruptured blood vessel, and you need to get to a hospital as soon as possible. Taking short cuts on the trail is one thing, but don’t let unexpected tragedy cause you to make shortcuts in your decision making. Consider each move carefully and your path to recovery will be a safe one. afm

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It’s not just in your head—you’re gaining weight during the holidays. The first 10 days after Christmas lead to the highest weight gain, an average of 1.3 pounds in Americans, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. And don’t think your New Year’s resolution will be the answer to your prayers: the study also found that it takes people about five months to lose their holiday weight. Although it’s natural to pack on a few pounds during this celebratory time, health professionals suggest making an October resolution rather than pushing it off until Jan. 1. SOURCE:

December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month The holidays are a time to spend with family and celebrate age-old traditions. Take a moment to learn about dangerous toxins that may be lurking in vintage holiday items, or decorations that could be exposing your friends and family to health risks.

Holiday Decorations Make sure that any fake snow, vintage wreaths, statues, and keepsakes that are chipped or damaged do not contain asbestos.

Stocking Stuffers & Gifts Stay clear of crayons and toys containing asbestos, as well as beauty products with ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde.

Around the Home

Cookware & Cooking

When bringing decorations down from the attic be sure that you are not damaging any asbestos containing materials such as insulation, ceiling tiles, and flooring.

Retire any crock pots or oven mitts containing asbestos and teflon cookware. Buy organic fresh fruits and veggies on the “Dirty Dozen” list, and avoid canned goods containing BPA.

For more information, please visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance:



LONG YAWNS Winter months can be such a bore—cue the yawns. But, there’s no reason to ever hide your yawn again! A recent study suggests that the length of a yawn can indicate how big your brain is. A team of researchers studied over 205 yawns across 24 species of animals and found the only correlation to be differences in brain sizes. They found that mice, on average, had the shortest yawns and humans had the longest. Camels and dogs followed closely behind humans. SOURCE: longer-yawns-might-signifybigger-brains

New Year’s Resolutions They are easier to make than they are to keep, but New Year’s resolutions are a tradition as old as time. With a chance at actually keeping your 2017 resolution right around the corner, let’s take a look at last year’s top 5. 1 Enjoy life to the fullest

2 Live a healthier lifestyle

3 Lose weight

4 Spend more time with family and friends

5 Save more, spend less

SOURCE: personal-finance/enjoying-life-2016stop-new-years-resolution-survey/

illustrations by Eleanor Grisebaum

Holiday Weight Gain

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By Devyn Bernal

Shin Splints What do a trail runner, a soccer player, and (probably at least once) you have in common? Shin splints. It’s a cringe-worthy truth, but don’t endure the pain any longer! Dr. Shine John of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists is here to save the day on what causes this painful injury and how to prevent shin splints from delaying your active lifestyle.

What are the most common sports and activities where shin splints can occur? Soccer players and trail runners tend to have the most common issues with MTTS, but it can affect anyone whether they’ve just started working those muscles or have been active for a while. The difference of terrain, the constant moving and pivoting, and especially up or downhill variables cause change



in position and can cause inflammation. Your body is constantly adapting, so it’s important to train and prepare your muscles for that type of activity. What is the best way to heal a shin splint? How can you prevent them? If you experience a shin splint, I recommend having it evaluated fairly immediately. Allowing it to linger and attempting to work through the pain can only cause more damage to that inflammation. If the cause is something you are not doing correctly, it’s best to identify it as soon as you can. Even if it feels as though your muscle is healing, one day an activity could lead to the pain again, so you want to break that cycle and heal from the root of the problem. If certain exercises aren’t good for you, let’s figure out ones that are. If your usual brand of shoes isn’t helping, let’s upgrade. If it’s a matter of symmetrics and one limb is longer than the other, that’s something a physician will be able to help you with.

Can you continue in your regular workout regimen when suffering from a shin splint? In most cases, I recommend taking at least two weeks off to heal your injury. If you attempt to keep working out as you try to heal your shin splints, the pain will always be ahead. It’s important to bridge that gap and get to the point of being more healthy and comfortable before you go back into your routine. Any last advice to fight off shin splints before race season? When it comes down to it, it’s best to slowly integrate into an active lifestyle rather than jumping into it. If you go from being inactive to “going for it,” it’s very likely you will hurt yourself. It never hurts to get an evaluation and ensure everything is in good order and there aren’t any causes for potential injury that could delay you. Lastly, there are specific strengthening exercises you can integrate into your practice that help your chance of avoiding MTTS, such as wall shin raises, single-leg raises, heel step-downs, and rhythm bounding. afm

illustrations by Eleanor Grisebaum

What is a shin splint? The technical or medical term for shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), which essentially describes a “bone pain,” and refers to an inflammation of the lining on the tibia bone. When that area of the bone becomes inflamed, it almost feels like a pull or tear from the inner part of the tibia. This can create a sharp and achy sensation, a tearing sensation, or even feel as though someone has repeatedly taken a hammer to your shin. High arch, no arch—the foot-type does not relate to shin splints, as it can affect anyone who potentially overuses that muscle or employs bad mechanics.


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1. Elevated Rear Foot Split Squat with Shoulder Press


2. Half–Kneeling In– Line Stable Lift Set-Up: Kneel on right knee with the left foot back and toes curled under to form a 90-degree angle. Hold medicine ball in both hands close to body with core engaged. Action: Bring the medicine ball towards the right hip, while keeping the rest of the body forward and upright. Lift ball diagonally up and across the body. Hold this position for one count before returning to the start position. Repeat the movement in the opposite direction with the right foot forward. Keep arms fully extended through movement to increase difficulty. 15–20 each side

3. Squat–Toss– Burpee Set-Up: Assume traditional squat position with knees slightly bent at shoulder-width. Engage core while holding medicine ball close to chest. Action: Hinge hips to a squat position with thighs parallel to ground at bottom of movement. Drive upwards through heels and throw ball straight up as high as possible. Catch ball (be careful) and immediately dive into a burpee. Perform close grip push up at the bottom of the movement. 15–20 reps



photography by Brian Fitzsimmons; performed by Branton Box, NASM, FMS, TRX


Set-Up: Cradle ball at chest level and assume split stance position with rear foot elevated on bench. Ensure top of rear foot is flat upon bench versus toes down. Feet should be in line with shoulders and about 3–4 feet apart. Action: Drop the back knee to the floor while keeping weight over the heel of the front foot. Avoid shifting forward over the toes. Pressing back up through the heel, come to starting position. With scapula retracted, drive the medicine ball upwards and back down in a controlled conscious manner. 15–20 each side

4. Push–up/Press/ Plank (performed as a superset) Set-Up: A) Assume plank position on top of medicine ball. Retract shoulder blades and engage core. Action: With elbows close to torso (not flared out) lower body to ball, maintaining a rigid plank position. Drive palms into ball, pushing torso upwards. 15–20 reps B) Holding medicine ball to chest, lay supine on the floor with scapula retracted. Keeping elbows close to your torso, press the medicine ball upwards. Complete as many reps in rapid succession without sacrificing form. C) Position body back over the medicine ball in a plank. Push heels together, tighten glutes, and press downward on the ball as if trying to push it through the floor. Maintain these three points of tension (heels, glutes, ball) and hold for 30 seconds or until failure.

5. Goblet Squat/ Jump Squat/Wall Sit (performed as a superset) Set-Up: A) Cradle the medicine ball against chest with palms up. Engage core and drop into squat position in slow controlled manner, making sure to extend hips as you return upward. 12–20 reps with a 2:1:2 ratio (2 seconds down, 1 second pause, 2 seconds up). B) Drop medicine ball and perform jump–squats next. Drive heels through the ground and land just behind the balls of your feet. Perform movement as fast as possible without sacrificing form. Challenge yourself to shorten the time actually spent on the ground between landing and propelling back upwards. 15–25 reps. C) Holding medicine ball out and away from your body, lean against wall and slide into a position where thighs are parallel to ground. Dig heels into the ground while pushing backwards into the wall with as much force as possible. Hold for 30 seconds or until failure






call for call for estimates estimates

JEEP MASTERS JEEP MASTERS 326-3555 326-3555 2617 soUtH 2617 soUtH first st. st. first


6. Alternating


30K-60K-90K 30K-60K-90K Lateral Slams TUNE-UPS TUNE-UPS Set-Up: Hold ball with ENGINES•BRAKES ENGINES•BRAKES both hands and stand TRANSMISSIONS TRANSMISSIONS with feet at shoulder EXHAUST EXHAUST width. Engage core and CUSTOM CUSTOM MODSMODS connect to breath. COllISION, COllISION, Action: Initiate the pAINTpAINT & BODy & BODy countermovement by raising the ball above

call call for for your head and fully extending your body. estimates estimates

Reverse the motion by slamming the ball into the ground directly in front of you as hard as you can. Receive the ball and repeat the set–up, 2617 2617 soUtH soUtH only this time slam the first first st.ballst. down to your left side. Repeat action again, finishing on the right side. To make more challenging, maintain full extension through arms during the lateral throws. 15 reps in each direction


7. Hanging Horseshoes Set-Up: Standing beneath a pull-up rack, place a medicine ball between your knees and squeeze. With a pronated grip, initiate a pull-up, but hold once you’ve attained the midrange position. Action: Maintaining the half pull-up, twist from your core, allowing the medicine ball to flow down and to your left. Make sure to initiate the movement with your core, allowing your hips and legs to follow. Hold for a second at the bottom and then crunch the ball upwards, allowing the hips and knees to follow to alternate side. The pattern of movement from side to side should mimic the trajectory of a horseshoe-up and over. 10 reps each side



photography by Brian Fitzsimmons; performed by Branton Box, NASM, FMS, TRX

! ion ite at Wh c Lo n w Be Ne o @ C So


What You Don’t Know About Fitness


t stands to reason that if you invest your time and money in taking on a new challenge—say, learning Spanish—you would expect that if you attended your classes consistently three times a week for a year, you would be able to speak more Spanish than when you started, correct? But this metaphor doesn’t work with fitness. Even if you train three times per week for an hour over the course of a year, you would initially improve but inevitably hit a frustrating plateau. What I see through my lens as a fitness professional are people who are investing considerable time and money on gym memberships and fitness services, yet not seeing the results they expect. Here’s the dilemma. When you first begin a fitness program, seeing progress comes easily and fairly quickly. In the first weeks, you can train the same routine of bicep curls, jumping jacks, and rowing and notice an improvement in body composition, increased upper body strength, and conditioning. But, what do you do when you are no longer seeing results? This is a common scenario in the current fitness scene—an industry dominated by a new breed of micro-gyms offering group classes and boot camps, as well as traditional globo gyms like Gold’s, 24-Hour Fitness and Lifetime. In between these two extremes, we have seen the

popularization of exercise videos and non-functional exercise machines, in addition to infomercials propagating trends like Tae-Bo, The Gazelle and The Ab Belt. What I’m advocating is a shift. Onsite training: a new model of fitness that speaks to aligning what you are doing in the gym with the results you expect. This is a client-centered approach that is built from the ground up—working with clients from different walks of life, with varying goals, starting points, and schedules for a quarter of the price of personal training. Here’s how it will help you achieve your fitness and health goals:

Step 1: 1:Fitness FitnessAnalysis Analysis Step

Determine the objectives of the training Determine the objectives of the program and current level of fitness, training program and current level of nutrition and lifestyle. fitness, nutrition and lifestyle.

Step2:2:Coaching CoachingConsultation Consultation Step

Review long-term priorities and shortReview long-term priorities and shortterm milestones to reach goals. term milestones to reach goals.

Step3: 3:Training Training Step

Train at our onsite training facility, locatTrain at our onsite training facility, ed in downtown Austin, or train remotely located in downtown Austin, or train with your individual regimen scripted and remotely with your individual regimen delivered on a daily basis. scripted and delivered on a daily basis.

Training is where the magic happens. If you come to our on-site training facility, we will have a coach present during peak training hours to help you perform in a safe, personalized, and effective manner. Downtown doesn’t work for you? Your training will be communicated on a daily basis, and will be adapted to available equipment and time limitations wherever you are: home gym, hotel fitness facility, local gym, etc. Your coach will keep you consistent—even with an unpredictable schedule. It all boils down to the poignant words of Michael Keeler: “I don’t care about elite performance, but I do care tremendously about living long enough to know my grandchildren. I care deeply about having a solid quality of life and aging gracefully. I want my later years of life to be filled with beautiful memories of close friends and family, and not full of doctor’s visits, endless bottles of pills, and long hospital stays. I want to take long walks on the beach when I’m 80, holding hands with my spouse without being afraid of falling down. I want a tribe who cares about that.” If you take fitness seriously and are looking for more value in your journey, please visit to find out more about our free fitness analysis and a new model of fitness. 12.16 / SPECIAL SECTION



photography by Weston Carls

Insight Over


y alarm goes off at 4:45 a.m., and I stumble my way into the living room where my gym bag is stuffed with necessities for the arduous day ahead. I slap on my Garmin 920XT with the heart rate monitor, make sure my Milestone Pod is securely fastened to my shoes, and I make my way to Luke’s Locker to run with Gilbert’s Gazelles. The first few miles always feel a bit uncomfortable, my heart rate rises above 140 bpm as my pace drops below a 7:30/ mile. After miles of running, I get back to my car to upload my workout to Garmin Connect and Training Peaks. Slews of data populate the graphs for me to interact with and evaluate my performance. It tells me my average cadence is 189, my stride is 1.12 meters and I spent 80 percent of my time in Zone 4. I measure everything that happens outside of my body, because data pieced together



to improve their within context performance, avoid and applied to a injury, and support vision provides overall health. powerful insights Even better, the unique to me. report includes Every comdetails on what petitive athlete the health markis in pursuit of ers are, how they their “personal relate to the sport, best” through the and what ranges use of tools and the athlete’s gadgets. What if results should idethere was someCortisol levels for muscle status. ally fall. thing more roSo, how did it help me? As a five-year bust that was at one point only available veteran I thought I had it all figured to pros? What if your blood could unlock out. I knew how much rest I needed, the key to your greatest performance? how many grams of carbohydrates and Here enters Blueprint for Athletes, a how much water to drink; my body was science-based tool for athletes that want functioning properly. Any athlete's worst to perform at their peak. Blood-based nightmare is feeling “stuck” and plateauhealth markers, called biomarkers, are ing despite the effort and hours put in tested to produce personalized and every day. The time on my watch wasn’t actionable insights. Athletes can use it

Information Blueprint for Athletes uses blood-based tests to reach new performance heights. By Angela Vega

The question is, what package do you start with? BPA currently offers six packages ranging from endurance to recovery. Each package has a set of biomarkers that can uncover information you might be missing from your training, and provides the insights to help you understand why and what do next. The tests can be pricey, but are well worth it if you have someone to explain the actionability. Secondly, this information is only useful if you are willing to implement the insights provided and retest a few months later.

Muscle status and dehydration.

getting any faster, my energy level was dragging and I was losing muscle. I had no idea what was going on until I got the results from BPA showing I was dehydrated with normal level of electrolytes, and I was breaking down my muscle as fuel instead of carbohydrates. After reviewing the insights in the report and speaking with their expert, I was told my issue was with my timing. I was not eating enough during my events, so my body was breaking down muscle as fuel, and in the morning, I was abnormally dehydrated. I increased my carbohydrate intake before and during my events, and focused on drinking more water, without electrolytes, at night. The insights got me to my first sub 8-minute-mile off the bike and a 4th place podium at Ironman Austin 70.3.

Beginning of the Season Get a baseline of where you are in your overall fitness to help optimize your athletic performance, with personal insights into health, nutrition, hydration, recovery, and endurance status with the Performance Package.

To this point, we have only used biodata that skims the surface, like BPM, BMIs, and VO2 Max. Each of these only gives us a snapshot of our body’s current state, and little of its ensuing capability. Imagine getting contextualized information that went beyond an impressive presentation and told you what the data meant as an athlete, then gave you a plan for future victory. My watch tells me what I did, my body can tell me how I feel, but Blueprint for Athletes told me what was working and what more I'm capable of. And as an athlete, that type of information is very impactful and encouraging. afm For those who feel inspired to give them a try, you can use this code (DSGNVC86) to get $25 off your package.

Middle of the Season After 2–3 months into your training, gauge whether it is time to turn up the intensity or taper back in order to reach your goals with the Recovery Package. Before your Event Nutrition is key to hit a PR—identify nutritional deficiencies that may interfere with your ability to reach peak performance with the Fuel Package.

Disclaimer: Blueprint for Athletes service is offered by Quest Diagnostics through their Sports Science and Human Performance Diagnostics division. Angela Vega is a sponsored athlete for Blueprint for Athletes and this article was written independently of her relationship with BPA.





Eagle Pose

The holiday season and unbridled chaos often go hand-in-hand; keep your crew calm with these relaxing poses. By Abby Nagler



Lounge Chair

photography by Brian Fitzsimmons


arenting is challenging. Making sure everyone's needs are met (including your own) can often seem overwhelming and exhausting. Stress, anxiety, and chaos are all emotions most parents experience daily, yet we often don't consider that stress can have negative psychological and physiological effects on our children, as well. Multiple studies confirm that practicing yoga and meditation can provide real, concrete benefits for kids and families dealing with the stressors of everyday life. By emphasizing the importance of being truly present, yoga can foster a new sense of peace during the chaos. Consistent practice in a group class or in the home leads to stronger academic performance, more emotional stability, healthier children, and a stronger family dynamic. Yoga and mindfulness can seem daunting and a bit unfamiliar for families who have never practiced before, so we have put together a list of a few easy poses to practice together in the comfort of your own home. While most yoga poses create an overall sense of calm in the body, there are certain poses that work specifically to release stress and anxiety. These five poses can be done before bedtime, in the morning, before a big event, during the holidays (when stress and chaos is at an all-time high), or whenever ​feels right for your family.


Partner Cat/Cow

Lounge Chair

(Seated forward fold with a partner) Benefits: Forward folds are a great way to calm the brain, which can help relieve anxiety and fatigue. Practicing this pose with a partner not only creates a deeper stretch, but is way more fun! Parents can be the lounger—just make sure to use your hands to hold your body weight! Partner 1 • Sit up tall with your legs stretched out in front of you Partner 2 • Come to seated back-toback with your partner • Place the soles of your feet on the ground with your knees pointing up to the sky • Gently lift your hips up, lean back, and lower down onto your partner’s back • Place your hands on the ground beside you to help balance • Take a deep breath in, and deep breath out

Eagle Pose

Benefits: This somewhat challenging balance pose can be stress relieving and often healing, due to its ability to take the focus away from the busy mind and more toward what’s happening in the body. • Come to a strong standing pose and take your arms out to a T shape • Lift one leg up and find your balance on the standing leg • Wrap your lifted leg around your standing leg and either place your big toe on the ground (to help with balance), or wrap your toes around your ankle • Give yourself a big hug with

your arms or cross one arm over the other, bend at the elbows, snuggle one elbow into the crease of the other, and then raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor. • The make sure the back of your hands are facing each other….and smile!

Puppy Pose

Benefits: This pose is a cross between child’s pose and downward facing dog. As this pose lengthens the spine, it also calms the mind and invigorates the body. Practicing puppy breath while in this pose by sticking out your tongue and panting elicits the sense of play—a wonderful stress reliever. • Place your hands and knees on the floor • Tuck your toes and send your hip back towards your heels • Stretch your arms out in front of you and press your palms into the ground • Lift your bottom up toward the sky

Partner Cat/Cow

Benefits: Cat pose provides a gentle massage to the spine and the belly organs while acting as a great stress reliever. Pairing it with cow pose creates a nice flow, as it stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands, creating emotional balance.

Cow • Place your hands and knees on the floor • Make sure your wrists are under your shoulders, knees are under your hips, and your fingers are spread wide • Drop your belly toward the ground, roll your shoulders down your back, pull your chest through your shoulders, and look up toward the sky • Bonus: For added fun/ weight, have your little one lay on your back. This will give them a calming back massage and is a fun way to connect!

Legs Up the Wall

Benefits: Legs up the wall is so great because you don't have to be super flexible or strong to practice it, and it is very relaxing and calming for the nervous system. This is a great pose to do before bedtime to help you sleep through the night. • Find an empty wall and sit next to it, with your right hip as close to the wall as possible • Lean on to your left forearm and slide your legs up the wall • Your bottom should be as close to the wall as possible

Cat • Place your hands and knees on the floor • Make sure your wrists are under your shoulders, knees are under your hips, and your fingers are spread wide • As you push the ground away from you, arch your back and hollow your belly

The First Yoga Mat with Alignment and (Drishti) Focus Point graphics designed to Enhance the Physical and Mental Benefits of Yoga, all within a Fashion-Influenced look and feel. Perfect Your Postures Stabilize Your Balance Deepen Your Concentration

Austin, TX @serenefocusyoga 12.16 / AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM






Ice Skating On The Plaza at Whole Foods Market





Anyone can learn to play! Hockey Leagues for Youth and Adult, Beginner–Advanced Instructional Hockey Classes for Youth and Adult. NORTHCROSS MALL 2525 West Anderson Lane | 512.252.8500 WWW.CHAPARRALICE.COM

Downtown Let your winter wonderland dreams come true when you spend time ice skating on the rink at Whole Foods Market. If it gets too chilly, head inside for a cup of cocoa or cider and live, local music on the weekends. The rink is open daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. DECEMBER 3

Austin Fit Crawl: Trail of Lights Edition Austin Join Austin Fit Magazine for



an evening of fun, running, and workouts through the twinkles of the Trail of Lights before it opens to the public. Waves 1 and 2 are sponsored by Texican Cafe and Twisted X Brewing Company. DECEMBER 2

9th Annual Lights of Love Austin Join us for an evening of holiday festivities! Friends, family and even four-legged companions will enjoy an evening of traditional holiday fun including a walk around Mueller Lake adorned with holiday lights, a visit with Santa Claus, a snow slide, gingerbread house decorating, kids crafts, hot choco-

late, photo booth, holiday music and much more under the Hangar. DECEMBER 11

Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis Camp Mabry The Arthritis Foundation’s long-running Jingle Bell Run is a festive race that helps champion arthritis research and brings people from all walks of life together to say yes to furthering a great cause. Put on your reindeer antlers and running shoes – and bring your friends and family to a fun-filled day of holiday cheer. If you’d rather just walk, no problem! jingle-bell-run/

photo courtesy of Ballet Austin



Submit your event online at



Other Worlds Austin

Austin The German-Texan Heritage Society's annual market offers shoppers handmade crafts, decorations, ornaments, and more. Browse the market, visit Sankt Nikolas, listen to traditional German Christmas music, and enjoy a cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), gingerbread cookies and other sweet baked treats.

Round Rock Other Worlds Austin is one of the premier SciFi Film Festivals in the US, championing filmmakers and writers and bringing the best films to the Geek Capital of the World. With a diverse and approachable team of programmers, we are building a network of sci-fi fans and filmmakers, leading a loyal community, and launching sci-fi films into the wider world.



Austin Join in on the fun at the largest and ugliest bar crawl in the city of Austin. Get that Goodwill sweater, find those tacky holiday pants, and get ready to jingle bell ROCK.

Austin Ballet Austin kicks off the season with the 54th annual production of "The Nutcracker." This familyfriendly show brings a fresh experience to the beloved holiday tradition.



Palmer Events Center This holiday shopping bazaar is an Austin institution; for 11 days leading to Christmas, visitors can shop national and local art, gifts, decor, and more while enjoying local food vendors and live music.

Texas State Capitol Join hundreds of carolers in front of the Capitol as the tree is lit before heading down Congress Avenue for live music, shopping, art, and much more.

German-Texan Heritage Society Christmas Market

Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar



ZACH Theatre Presents: "A Christmas Carol" and "The Santaland Diaries" Austin "A Christmas Carol" is back to ring in the holidays! This rockin' show provides a modern twist on the classic tale. David Sedaris' "The Santaland Diaries" is a holiday comedy that will make viewers laugh until they cry.

Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker”

Holiday Sing-Along & Downtown Stroll


Luminations at the Wildflower Center Austin Thousands of luminaries and twinkling lights turn the hill country gardens into a holiday vision during Luminations, one of the most classic Austin holiday traditions. NOVEMBER 25 - DECEMBER 24

Blue Genie Art Bazaar

Austin The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a fixture of the Austin holiday season. Shoppers can browse thousands of unique and original works ranging from serious art to fun and kitschy items. This is a great way to buy hasslefree holiday gifts and support local artists. DECEMBER 31

Austin's New Year Auditorium Shores This alcohol-free, familyfriendly event celebrates the diversity and creativity of the city with visual art installations, jugglers, storytellers, fire dancers, and other festive performances.


Holidays at the Domain

• Rent and sell water purification machines

The Domain Holidays at the Domain provide fun events for the whole family throughout the holiday season. Take a picture or enjoy breakfast with Santa, ride horse-drawn carriages, watch holiday lights shows, and listen to strolling carolers.

• Steam distillation purification process • Replace 5 gallon bottled water cooler 602 West 13th Street | Austin, TX 78701 512.472.9393 12.16 / AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM



Lights of Love 5K Austin DECEMBER 3

Austin Fit Crawl: Trail of Lights Edition Austin Trail of Lights Fun Run Austin Old Town Rudolph Run Leander Sights & Sounds of San Marcos 5K San Marcos The Circus – McKinney Roughs Trail Run/Relay Austin


Mission to Mission Charity Bike Tour San Antonio

Pico de Gallo Century Bike Ride Weslaco Spicewood Vineyards Half Marathon and 10K Spicewood Jingle Bell 5K Cedar Park Holiday Stroll Jingle Bell Run Seguin DECEMBER 10

Girls on the Run 5K Austin St. Judes Jingle Bell 5K New Braunfels Real Ale Brewery 5K Beer Run Blanco FEATURED AUSTIN MARATHON & HALF MARATHON // FEBRUARY 19



Reindeer Run Georgetown

(top) photo courtesy of The Somerville News Weekly; (bottom) courtesy of Blary Photo,

Pico de Gallo Weslaco

12.16 – 02.17

Submit your event online at



ARC Decker Challenge Austin

Goodwater Loop at Lake Georgetown Georgetown

Jingle Bell Run Austin

Madeleine Memorial 5K Christmas Stroll New Braunfels Vern’s No Frills 5K Georgetown DECEMBER 19

Insane Inflatable 5K Austin

Paramount Break-A-Leg 5K Austin

Vern’s No Frills 5K Georgetown



Get Your Rear in Gear Austin


Race to the Pantry Canyon Lake

Noah’s Wings 5K Pflugerville

3M Half Marathon Austin

Run Feed Love New Braunfels


Austin Gorilla Run Austin Dance Unlimited’s Tutus & Tennies 5K Buda




Kyle-O-Meter Resolution Run Kyle

Game Day 5K New Braunfels FEBRUARY 11


Commitment Day 5K Austin

Creepy Crawlies & Critters Trail Races Buda Cupid’s Chase 5K Austin


River Road Run New Braunfels

Run For The Love Of It Buda

Rachel Cooke Memorial Run Georgetown


EGE Eagle Run Buda


Lifetime Indoor Triathlon Austin

Love Your Heart 5K New Braunfels


No Ego Perfect Love 5K Cedar Park

Bruises & Bandages Trail Race Georgetown JANUARY 15

Purgatory Trail Run San Marcos


Austin Marathon/ Half Marathon Austin





“I like this idea of Longhorn fans being able to watch him grow.”

BEVO XV Get to know The University of Texas at Austin’s new mascot. By Devyn Bernal



photography by Weston Carls


n the land of Longhorns, Bevo XV rests comfortably at the end of his first regular season as the famous mascot for The University of Texas at Austin. Even an opponent against the Longhorn football program would be unable to ignore the majestic and powerful stance Bevo holds. And not just because he is the 15th steer to represent UT as its mascot and celebrate the position’s 100th anniversary, but because Bevo XV begins his reign with a Grand Champion Show Steer title under his belt (or rather, his halter). At only 19 months old, this five-star recruit has a Texas-sized career in front of him. “I like this idea of Longhorn fans being able to watch him grow,” says Executive Director of the Silver Spurs Alumni Association, Ricky Brennes. “He’s now a part of tradition, and family.” Since 1916, UT Austin has declared a prized steer as their beloved mascot to watch over the Longhorn students, players, and fans. Contrary to Aggies’ belief, Bevo’s name derived from the plural word for ‘bovine,’ and a journalist for UT Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, added the ‘o.’ Since then, Bevo has strived to become the most charitable mascot in the nation by raising contributions for the Neighborhood Longhorns Program (NLP), an incentive-based learning program that helps 5,000 economically disadvantaged youths build strong academic futures. None of this would be possible without the Silver Spurs, the honorary organization of undergraduate students who care for Bevo during his transportation and event appearances. “It’s probably the biggest honor I’ve had in my life, representing the university and being involved with the Texas Longhorn

tradition, I mean this is the Texas Longhorn,” says Jake Horowitz, senior accounting major and one of four Silver Spurs handlers. Peter Thompson, a fellow handler and senior economics major, agrees. “Its unique—we’re operating as the face of Silver Spurs, and next to the face of UT Austin.” Just don’t stand too close to get your foot stomped on or shirt accidentally torn. Bevo XV has a path of true legends to follow, but with his first season behind him, he’s already accustomed to the love and adoration of the exuberant Longhorn Network. As long as safety criteria permits, he attends

all home games and several road games, plus every bowl game. Against urban myth, this beloved mascot is never drugged, but is instead docile by nature and experienced with long periods of travel by trailer and standing in front of large, loud crowds. And in case you wondering how he maintains such an impressive physique, Bevo XV consumes nearly 40 pounds of feed every day. With a larger than life support system, and the Silver Spurs always watching over him, may Bevo XV have a long, healthy, (and maybe even a championship-laden) life. afm







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