Fitness and Nutrition


 Training for Fitness

There are many benefits that can occur as a result of using resistance training which include prevention of chronic diseases, weight control, increased strength, better sleep, increased energy and self-esteem, stress reduction and decreased risk of depression. In contrast, lack of physical activity can increase the risk of elevated blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

As women age, resistance or weight training is beneficial for increased bone density and joint integrity.

Cardio or Weights for Weight Loss? BOTH! Dieting, without resistance training, often results in a loss of both fat and muscle mass. The decrease in muscle mass can have the effect of reducing your metabolic rate.


Fitness Walking – The Proper Technique

– Stand up straight

– Eyes up, chin parallel to the ground and looking to the horizon

– Lift and roll your shoulders back and down and relaxed

– Tighten your core. Keep pelvis neutral. Squeeze your glutes tight.

– Bend the elbows 80 to 90 degrees. This is essential to increasing walking speed.

(It also keeps your hands from swelling.)

– Keep your hands relaxed, cupped or in a handshake position

– Your arms/hands should not cross the body midline.

– Heel-down and toe-up foot placement facilitates a smooth heel to toe roll. Shorter strides.

– Drive elbows back and don’t punch forward


General Strength

Cardio            5-6 days, 30-45 minutes. Use cardio equipment of your choice.

Treadmill: vary incline (start at 2%) and speed. Do not hold onto handrail

Outdoor, vary intensity. Dress for weather conditions.


Resistance     3 days, 3 exercises per muscle, 2-3 sets, 10-15 repetitions

Specific large muscle group eg. chest/back, triceps/biceps, legs/shoulders.

Core, every other day.

Warm  up prior to resistance training and cool down after cardio and resistance. Peloton app has various warm up and cool down selections as well as cardio selections.


Ginger Chews – There is evidence to suggest that ginger may help reduce muscle soreness after exercise so if you suffer from delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) or want to nip it in the bud, try enjoying a few CHIMES’ Ginger Chews after your workout. Chimes’ has 5 flavors!  

Women’sHealth NO GYM REQUIRED, Special magazine. Great information and workouts! 

* I am not a paid sponsor of apps, books, magazines that I mention.


Based on my training and education of sports nutrition and whole plant-based nutrition, I will share what works for me. I have eliminated as many processed snacks/foods as possible from my diet. For example, crackers, cookies, tortilla chips, cereals, chocolate, desserts, candy.  Five years ago, I chose to eat vegan and did it “cold turkey”.  No meats, fish, dairy, eggs, oils, diet soda, desserts. This works for me but I have salmon occasionally. There are great plant-based cookbooks and recipes. Start out with a few meals. I will share a few favorite recipes of mine.

I include smoothies in my diet and you can find recipes on the internet. My favorites are Green Smoothie that includes a 3-day detox diet with a 21-day plan and The Vegan Inspiration. I also like the detox waters…Skinnyfit day detox blend and Zzz nighttime blend. Start your day with a cup of hot lemon water and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Flat tummy water: 1/2 of lemon sliced, 1/2 of lime juice, 1 sliced cucumber, 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, 5-6 fresh mint leaves, 6 cups of water. Refrigerate overnight.

3-2-1 Dancing Dressing. I use this on salads and sautéing brussel sprouts and kale salad mixes.

Prep time: 2 minutes – Makes almost 1/2 cup dressing

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar        2 Tbsp mustard, your choice              1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice        Chopped fresh dill (optional)

Combine vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice in jar and shake well. Add chopped dill. Serve over salad or cooked greens. Also great in a quinoa bowl.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Prep time: 10 min  Cook time 6 min or so

1 large sweet potato

1 c. cooked brown rice                                   ¼ tsp onion powder

1 c.  salsa                                                        ¼ tsp chili powder

1 c. chopped fresh spinach                             ¼ tsp ground cumin

1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed              6-8 whole wheat tortillas

8 oz. vegetarian no added oil refried beans   1 jalapeno pepper, diced

Pre-made or home-made guacamole

Bake sweet potato in microwave, prepare rice.  In a mixing bowl, mash the sweet potato with the salsa, rice and fresh spinach. Place the sweet potato mash in a saucepan and mix in the black beans and refried beans and heat the mixture thoroughly over medium heat.  Add the onion powder, chili powder, and cumin to taste, and stir to incorporate.

Slather half of the tortilla with the sweet potato-bean mixture. Add jalapenos, a few fresh spinach leaves and fold in half. Place in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat and press down on the top with the spatula, then cook in the pan for 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook opposite side for 3 minutes more. Cut in 2 or 3 sections, serve with additional salsa and guacamole

Panana Cakes

Prep time: 25 min, Makes 1 dozen pancakes

2 c. whole wheat pastry flour                          1 c. water

1 tsp baking soda                                            1 c. nondairy milk

1 tsp baking powder                                       2 egg replacers (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

½ tsp sea salt                                                      with 6 Tbsp water)

1 tsp cinnamon                                               2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 banana, mashed

  • Combine, flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix mashed banana, water, milk, egg replacers, and maple syrup.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir just enough to remove any lumps. The batter should be pourable; if it seems too thick, add more milk.
  • Preheat a nonstick skillet or griddle
  • Using ¼ c. measure, pour small amounts of batter onto the heated surface, and cook until the top bubbles. Turn with spatula and cook the second side until golden brown. Serve immediately with fresh fruit, maple syrup or raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce

10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed           1 tsp balsamic vinegar, or more to taste

In food processor, combine both ingredients and process until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Mindy’s Cacao Balls

½ c. walnuts

½ c. cashews or almonds

1 c. pitted dates

1 tsp. vanilla

½ c. Cacao Powder

  • Add nuts to food processor – pulse until chopped well
  • Add 1 c. dates, 1 tsp vanilla – grind until you can make a ball
  • Add ¼ c. cacao powder and mix well
  • Make balls – freeze

Great energy source before working out or needing a late afternoon pick-me-up.

My favorite vegan cookbooks:

The CHINA STUDY Cookbook, Leanne Campbell, PhD

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn

PLANT-STRONG, Rip Esselstyn (Plant Strong food items available online)

Be a PLANT-BASED WOMAN WARRIOR, Jane Esselstyn and Ann Crile Esselstyn



In good health,

Rasa DeLafosse,



Fitness and Nutrition2023-03-21T15:50:16+00:00

Are You Ready to Start Getting Healthy?


Are you ready to start a health and fitness program? Great! Let me help you get started.
Hi! My name is Rasa DeLafosse and I am certified through W.I.T.S as a personal fitness trainer and have 11 years experience. I also have experience in small group training and aqua fitness. It is my mission to help women achieve their level of fitness and feel more confident and happy. I’ve had my own struggles in food choices and exercise and know how challenging it can be to start again.

– Set a reachable short term goal. If you want to lose weight, start by losing five pounds. Eliminate some processed snacks (chips, chocolate, crackers), reduce the amount of alcohol beverages and sugar-filled sodas. Instead, eat more veges and fruits and healthier option snacks e.g. celery and hummus, have some dark chocolate.
-Prepare your own meals and eat out as a treat. Helps save money too.
– Prepare meals without beef, pork, chicken or fish a few times a week. Basically, if it has eyes, don’t eat it. I went vegan 5 yrs ago and it’s great but difficult too. Send me an email for recipes of quesadillas, cookies, and pancakes too.
– Drink half your weight in ounces. If your weight is 140 lbs, drink 70 oz. of water.

Start an exercise program but see your doctor first if you have medical issues.
– Start by walking. Get 30 minutes of activity each day. Break it into 15 minutes segments if time is short. Find a local 5k race and walk it.
– Find a real fitness app and not influencers. My favorite is the Peloton app. I’ve used it over 5 years. So many options and levels. It includes, strength, walking, running, mediation, cycling, cardio, boot camps as well as various programs. Walking will never be the same 🙂 I love my Peloton bike. Friend me on Facebook and you can get a 30 or 60 day free trial.

Fitness clothing.
– sports bras should support the girls
– for walking, I prefer Mizuno wave rider and ASICS gel Keyano. These both offer wide widths.
Socks – Wrightsock Double layer Coolmesh II. No blisters.
Pants – lululemon with side pockets. Great place to store your phone while walking using the Peloton app.

“Be motivated by what you can do, not defeated by what you can’t.” Remember, the best exercise is the one you can actually do.

In health, Rasa DeLafosse,

Are You Ready to Start Getting Healthy?2023-01-23T02:02:39+00:00

Tracey Gobla talks about hair loss.


My Thoughts On Hair Loss

I recently began a new chapter in my Hairdressing career. I became certified in the Karen Gordon Method of Hair and Scalp Analysis (KGHL) and The John Renau Blending Method for hair piece additions or Hairtoppers as a response to topical hair loss. This is an issue I have become thoroughly acquainted with through my many years in the hair and fashion industry.

Hair loss is a deep concern for many, as I am constantly being asked about scalp issues and hair loss. As I have tracked the tremendous growth in this field, I invariably see misinformation being advocated on multiple platforms. Many believe there is nothing that can be done, (which is not necessarily correct) or they aren’t sure who to trust and even where to begin.

I am now available and equipped to offer in-depth private consultations. When looking at hair and scalp issues its always best to begin with a comprehensive analysis into the possible root causes. By narrowing the probable cause(s) it is easier to identify what options for treatment(s) may be available. It is usually advised that this should be done prior to the purchase and use of any hair loss products, scalp treatments, laser devices or nutritional supplements. The use of any one of these treatments, may in fact, serve to only exacerbate the problem or at the very least do nothing.

The Consultation 

Hair Loss Treatment

The consultation will begin with the client responding to a questionaire to help determine any factors that may be contributing to the current hair or scalp condition.

Next, using an instrument known as a tricoscope, magnified images of the hair follicles and scalp are downloaded onto a computer to be further analyzed. These images will help to identify a possible plan of action and create a client history with a reference point to better track their progress.

Hair Addition or Hair Topper

The consultation proceeds with an overall assessment and recording of the client’s individual characteristics and measurements, such as head size, for overall integration, hair color and style of the Hair Topper. These are crucial for the confidence and self- image of the client moving forward.

Finally, there will be a discussion pertaining to the proper care of the Hair Topper. It is essential to remember that these are made with real human hair, so a proper maintenance routine will only increase its vital look and longevity.

Appointments & Fees

Consultations may be scheduled, by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Fridays by calling 219.865.6515. A credit card and 50% deposit is required to reserve your appointment. A one-hour consultation fee is $95. My standard policy requires a 48hour cancellation notice with full charge to your credit card for a no call/ no show.

Tracey Gobla talks about hair loss.2022-12-07T23:47:29+00:00

Let’s Talk About Hair Loss -2


There are many health related and personal reasons that people struggle with hair loss. We also know men and women’s hair loss issues can be brought on by a variety of controllable and non-controllable factors. While men, more commonly, tend to follow genetic markers, women, on the other hand, often have a more complex set of triggers that may lead to thinning hair or hair loss.

We can begin with a situation that is very current and it is the relationship between the Covid 19 pandemic and hair loss. Recent studies have shown that many individuals are faced with some amount of hair loss two to three months after recovery from the Corona Virus. Their hair eventually returns, but the period until its regrowth varies as does its uniformity.

So Covid 19 is one factor, but let’s not stop there. Here is a list of twelve other possible influential factors that can affect your scalp and hair:

  1. Genetics
  2. Age
  3. Alopecia
  4. Hormones
  5. Vitamin D Deficiency
  6. Vitamin B 12 Deficiency
  7. Stress
  8. Iron Deficiency
  9. Trauma
  10. Overworking the hair
  11. Pregnancy
  12. Weight Loss

You may research each of these individual topics and find helpful information of how they may affect hair fragility or loss on the internet.

Our principle haircare brand is Davines which includes within it, a group of products designated as ‘Naturaltech’ which is dedicated to the scalp and its complexities.  Naturaltech systems labelled products include the Energizing Line that specifically target thinning or fine hair and are supported by natural ingredients like Mung Bean and Crimson Clover Extract each of which aides in the first phases of hair loss prevention. Because the hair follicle is one the last tissue groups to receive nutrition, ‘Energizer’ helps stimulate the scalp and increase blood flow, resulting in a thicker hair strand and the slowing of hair loss.

Some other helpful hints include massaging the scalp regularly, softly brushing your hair using a good boar bristle brush, refraining from over washing your hair, refraining from the use of excess heat, scheduling regular haircuts, eating a balanced diet that include natural supplements that correlate to the health of your hair and nails. (I might recommend ‘Viviscal’.)

Reach out to me with any questions you may have concerning the health and care of your hair and scalp as it relates to hair loss. I am always available for consultation.  Check here, in the future for further information concerning this topic.

Let’s Talk About Hair Loss -22022-12-09T03:04:24+00:00

Movement, Meditation and Conversations


By: Carrie Waller

In Reverence of Lake Michigan

“Gratitude bestows reverence . . . changing forever how we experience life and the world.” ~ John Milton ~

If you’ve spent any amount of time around Lake Michigan, you know the lake’s magic can carve out a special place in your heart and calls you back again and again. I grew up in the beachside town of Michigan City, IN. After college I moved away but many years later moved to Chicago. One summer evening I was on a crowded CTA bus heading northbound on Lake Shore Drive looking out at the lake. The setting sun turned the color of the water to a shade of blue that spurred a deep sense memory for me. That shade of blue was unique to Lake Michigan, at least in my brain’s catalogue of colors. And it brought back a rush of wonderful memories.

Last summer I spent time at Beachwalk, a lively beachside vacation community in Michigan City. The lake called to me again and asked,

How about a yoga retreat here? I answered, yes.

In partnership with Bloom Yoga Studio*, we began planning for an August Beachwalk Retreat and an idea came to me to offer a nighttime restorative yoga practice on the beach under the stars. I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to offer a guided meditation incorporating some of the geological story of the lake. It could be an offering of reverence to Lake Michigan – a kind of prayer of gratitude. So, I started doing some research and began writing.

We all learn in grammar school that the Great Lakes were formed by glaciers that gouged out deep basins that filled with water and became what we now know as the Great Lakes. I think most of us appreciate that the lakes are very young geologically, only about 10,000 years old. But I didn’t realize the stones and sand that form the lake’s foundation are 300-400 million years old. They were originally formed in northern North America and carried down and deposited during multiple ice ages. Now every time I hold a lake stone in my hand, I marvel at its age and wonder how it survived for hundreds of millions of years compared to my short time on earth. It brings special meaning to the Mary Oliver quote, “Each stone is a tiny church locked up tight.”

While humans have sadly and dramatically damaged the lake’s ecosystem, there is still such beauty there. I’m hopeful that with awareness and the right actions we can revive the Great Lakes. I’m grateful this retreat will generate only a minimal carbon footprint. No jet fuel is needed to get us there, it’s just a short drive from Chicago to Michigan City. We’ll enjoy locally grown food, and we’ll keep it simple.

If you are interested in joining the retreat, a few spots are still open. It will be a small, intimate group. I hope you’ll join me under the stars for a guided meditation in reverence of Lake Michigan, morning yoga on the beach, long walks along miles of unobstructed shoreline, and the company of a wonderful group of individuals. How blessed we are to have this magical piece of nature right in our backyard.


Recommended reading about the Great Lakes:

• The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas, Jerry Dennis

• The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, Dan Egan

• A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach: One Woman’s Trek of the Perimeter of Lake Michigan, Loreen Niewenhuis


* Special thanks to Julia Means, Studio Manager at Bloom, who has worked so hard organizing this retreat.

Movement, Meditation and Conversations2023-05-10T16:25:34+00:00
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