Downtown Dallas Pilates Testimonials and Reveiws

The Core Matrix @ Downtown Dallas Pilates,

1309 Main Suite #209, Dallas TX 75202


Tammy Gonzalez…on November 2009    30,      


“Downtown Dallas Pilates is excellent for your mind, body & pocketbook! You will meet the most wonderful people & get the workout of your life! Don brings out your inner potential & caters to any limitations. You won’t regret it!”

LChang…on November 24, 2009                                                                                                       
“DP has been great for me.   Don makes sure that everyone gets what they need from every class.    Since going to Don’s classes, my core has significantly improved and I am more flexible than I have ever been.  I love my new posture.”
mymanyopinions…on November 23, 2009                                                                                   
“Don is the absolute best!!!!!”
Misty Wehler…on November 19, 2009
“I have never seen anyone put so much personal effort into helping others feel better and healthier!”

Simply the best… 

by DaMetriaat Citysearch

I’ve always played basketball and or ran track.  Believe it or not, I hated going to the gym to workout. But when Don introduced me to Pilates I’ve been hooked every since. It really showed on my wedding day. I was taking Pilates classes twice a week from July to February and changed my eating habits.  Within two weeks I could tell the change in the way my cloths fit and I felt more energized.  When it was time to do the last fitting for my wedding dress in the second week of January, my dress was tight around the bust and waist.  I had to lean against the mirror in the dressing room to flatten my bust and have my sister zip me up.  The representative helping me asked did I need to have it let out a little I explained it would be okay on my wedding day February 18th. I was very optimistic. I continued Pilates and we incorporated some weight training in my private sessions.  The day of the weeding I was hoping the dress was not still tight.  Well as I put my dress on my sister zipped me up.  I said “What’s wrong do I need to suck in more?” She said “No it’s zipped and hooked.” Within that month apparently I toned up and lost more weight.  The dress was not only zipped and hooked, I had to have the dress safety pined to my bra. (LOL) I was not expecting that.  If you want to get in shape for the summer or just get in shape to improve your health; Pilates is a great way to go.  It is low impact and will get you toned without dreading to workout.

Pilates for All…

 by hain7 at Citysearch 02/18/11

I dropped in for a class while visiting my daughter in Dallas and SURPRISE! I had a wonderful time getting my first taste of Pilates. Since my definition of exercise consists of stirring coffee for three reps, a Pilates class was a little intimidating. Luckily for me, Don was attentive to my beginner status and took the time to point out the best positions for my level of inability. I actually got quite a lot of information from only one session. I find myself pulling my belly button in and lengthening my spine while I move about my daily routine. I suppose that is the beauty of Pilates…you can use the skills even when you are not in a class. You just can’t do that with salsa dancercise, can you?

Don would be an excellent choice for someone who wants to come in at a high level or as a beginner — he is patient and spends that litle extra bit of time that gives you the ability to improve from where you are. There were five in the class — all at varying levels and yet he gave useful feedback to each member. I would suggest you give Pilates a a try with Don. He is competent & skillfull and yet totally approachable and full of personality and positive energy. If you are thinking of
Pilates, think of Don.

Fabulous Pilates  Instructor! by cassandrads
at Citysearch 02/14/11

Don is the very best kind
of instructor… full of laughter, motivation and a kind heart and yet keeps you
motivated and inspired to go further. I can not recommend him enough!

Fun by AnnEff at Citysearch 02/11/11

Don is a great
instructor. His classes are enjoyable but challenging. He can effectively work
with different levels at the same time. I always feel that I get a great workout
but have fun at the same time.

Body by Don Kirby!
by Kim Garrett at Citysearch 02/09/11

Don is the perfectionista
of pilates! I was new to the reformer and every session with Don reminds me that
I’m on the right track and with the right instructor! Don knows exactly when,
and how tough, to be! I started to see changes in my physique almost immediately
and now can tell everyone that I’m flaunting a body by Don Kirby!

Best Pilates Instructor I’ve Ever Had by Sheri5 at Citysearch 02/09/11

Best Pilates Instructor!
by lenoresullivan
at Citysearch 02/09/11

Seriously, run don’t walk to Downtown Dallas Pilates! I’ve been training with Don for over two years. He’s the best. Our sessions blend pilates, yoga, strength training and more recently zone cardio – he keeps it interesting, challenging and lots of fun, always focused on how you are feeling and what you need that particular day but keeping your long term goals in mind. He takes a whole body and mind approach and is
really devoted to his clients. I highly recommend Don and Downtown Dallas Pilates!

Best Pilates Instruction
in Dallas area
by dreamland109
at Citysearch 02/09/11

I have trained with Don Kirby for about a year. He is an extremely talented instructor – thorough, motivating, patient, caring and fun! He focuses on your particular needs by building creative and intense workouts, which in turn help you achieve your specific goals. He also gently encourages a healthy lifestyle without lecturing or judgment. If you want to work hard, see results and thoroughly enjoy the experience, call Don Kirby.

I would recommend
Downtown Dallas Pilates to anyone!

Yay for Pilates!

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I never work out and care very little for staying fit. However, I started Pilates with Don about 3 years ago and with his encouragement, patience and fun learning environment, I really enjoyed something I thought I could never be interested in.

Pilates/Don has worked wonders for me. I’m extremely toned, my balance is great, my flexibility is awesome, my back hurts a lot less and my weak joints grow stronger with each class. One of my favorite things about Don is that he will alter his technique depending on your body type/aches/injuries. After a while, you know how to adjust positions to suit your needs and that is a valuable knowledge set when working out.

Don is knowledgeable, friendly, professional and the classes are always fun! A great Pilates instructor!

Great personal training
and pilates instruction
by lml2 at
Citysearch 02/06/11

I started taking pilates classes with Don a year ago. I had set a personal goal to exercise on a more regular basis. Don has been key in helping me meet my goal. I take both mat and reformer classes with Don. He is a very good teacher and works with you individually to get your best outcome. He is great at mixing things up and I have yet to bored. He is terrific at knowing just when to push me to the next level. I would definitiely recommend Don and Downtown Pilates. Especially if you
are in the downtown area……easy to get to.

Master Pilates teacher -
by VickiJones
at Citysearch 02/04/11

I have been taking Mat and Reformer Pilates classes with Don for over one year. He is fantastic and FUN! I am a devoted student and feel I get excellent work outs with personal attention. Don works hard to push you but to also consider your personal situation. He keeps the work out routines creative and challenging. It is a GREAT work out experience!!! I have referred MANY friends and co-workers which is a testament to the quality of Don’s Pilates instruction.

Quality Private Pilates
by Tadd McCullough at Citysearch 02/01/11

My partner and I have a duet session with Don twice a week. I have a lot of experience with the Pilates method, and my partner is learning fundamentals for the first time. Don does a fantastic job of bridging the gap between our skill levels, keeping us both focused and working hard.

We have a very active week of varied exercise and activities, including weight training and running. Don takes this into account, giving us techniques to use while working with him and in our other activities. I’ve had many Pilates instructors, and I am very pleased with the work I’ve been doing with Don over the last couple months. He’s fun and friendly, insightful, and a skillful teacher. You just need to try him
out for a few months and see for yourself! Thanks, Don.

Professional, personalized
by jblakeharris
at Citysearch 02/01/11

Friendly, professional – always challenging, but encouraging at the same time. Don does a great job evaluating your skill level and ensuring you get the best pilates workout possible – whether a beginner or more advanced. Great downtown location, flexible hours.

Don is Amazing!
by Lydia Zapata

I hesitantly joined Don’s class, thinking it was just another pilates class… but after the first session
I was hooked! Don brings such a great spirited energy! His instructions and one
on one with each of us sold me! He takes care of making sure body form is
correct and his clients all look fantastic. I started seeing results
immediately. He instills a can do attitude in us and his classes are intense yet
so much fun! I highly recommend everyone taking a least one session with him and
guarantee you will return and will feel fantastic and rejuvenated! Your body
will love you for it! LZ

I highly recommend
by Lindsay Seiders

I have been doing the private training with Don on Pilates and have been really enjoying the experience. I have back injuries and have finally found a work out method that helps with the pain by strengthening my back and not make the pain worse. I had taken a Pilates class during college but having the one on one really helped with learning the proper technique to get the very most out of each exercise. I would highly recommend Don to anyone that would like to learn more about

I think I have finally
found my exercise of choice
by Sisty

Don, I think I have finally found my exercise of choice in your pilates sessions. They are definitely effective, beneficial, and far from being routine. I love the change of pace and the endless ways you have to make me more flexible while becoming stronger. There is no way I can be bored and unchallenged with you, and the benefits continue to improve. I definitely feel I can obtain my goal of being on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue! [Maybe the Senior Edition in the wading Pool] Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!

Meticulous and thorough,
yet warm and caring
Jody Sims

Amazing work in Dallas by Anthony Maxwell

Don does amazing work in Dallas with his health and fitness program! I took a class while in Dallas and I was so glad to see such a class being offered in Dallas. I live in NYC and travel a lot. So, it’s good to know that other cities offer some of the same type programs as NY. Great job, Don!

Personal Trainer
Peggy Davion

Don is a very good
trainer, he knows his ‘stuff’ and cares about people… I recommend him

Best Pilates
by Sivadon at
Citysearch 11/30/09

This place is run by an independent instructor, Don Kirby. It’s located inside the Davis Building in Room 211. He’s basically turned a loft into a workout studio. It’s pretty cool.

Anyway, so Pilates is only useful if you do it correctly. And you can only do it correctly if you have a competent instructor. Enter: Don. Don is great. He really cares about his clients and he will work extra hard to make sure you are satisfied with your work out. His biggest goal is to provide the best customer service at a great price. The classes are small (5 people at most) so he gives a lot of 1-on-1
feedback, which is helpful. It’s a small business but he’s looking to make it grow so you should definitely give it a try.

Don’s prices are great
and the knowledge he offers is invaluable. Definitely give it a try!

Pros: great
price, experienced and helpful teacher, great work out

Cons: none!

Pilates is Addicting!
by Tammy Gonzalez at Citysearch 09/06/09

Don Kirby will challenge you to go beyond what you think you’re capable of while at the same time take into consideration any physical limitations you might have. Don is an empathetic coach who will make you feel proud about what you accomplish. Without a doubt,
I’m more flexible, stronger, and am overall more toned – And sometimes I can’t believe I’m doing what I’m doing! I didn’t think it was possible! All of this in a clean, bright, non-stressful environment where you always feel welcomed. Just one warning: feeling like this is addictive!

Pros: Best workout for the best price!

Cons: none

by Lindsay Seiders at Citysearch 08/31/09

I have been doing the private training with Don on Pilates and have been really enjoying the experience. I have back injuries and have finally found a work out method that helps with the pain by strengthening my back and not make the pain worse. I had taken a Pilates class during college but having the one on one really helped with learning the proper technique to get the very most out of each exercise. I would highly recommend Don to anyone that would like to learn more about Pilates!!

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Coming Soon! Pilates Equiptment we recommend…

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The Adolphus Hotel
(214) 742-8200
1321 Commerce St
(214) 761-0000
1033 Young St
Crowne Plaza Hotel Dallas
(800) 948-0424
1015 Elm St
Dallas Grand Hotel
(214) 747-7000
1914 Commerce St
The Fairmont Dallas
(214) 720-2020
1717 N Akard St
Hotel Indigo-Dallas
(214) 741-7700
1933 Main St
Hotel ZaZa Dallas
2332 Leonard St
(214) 922-0200
The Joule, Dallas
(214) 748-1300
1530 Main St
The Magnolia, Dallas
(214) 915-6500
1401 Commerce St
Maple Manor Hotel
2616 Maple Ave
(214) 871-0032
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
2121 McKinney Ave
(214) 922-0200
Rosewood Crescent
400 Crescent Ct
(214) 364-0104
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd
(214) 559-2100
2101 Stemmons Fwy
(214) 747-3000
Springhill Suites Dallas
Downtown/West End
(214) 999-0500
1907 N Lamar St
Stoneleigh Hotel
(214) 871-7111
2927 Maple Ave
2440 Victory Park Ln
(214) 397-4100
Warwick Melrose Hotel
3015 Oak Lawn Ave
(214) 521-5151
The Westin City Center Dallas
650 North Pearl St
(214) 979-9000
The Mosaic
(888) 631-7109
300 N Akard St
Gables Republic Tower
(866) 722-0824
350 N Ervay St
The Davis Building
(877) 590-3761
1309 Main St
1900 Elm
(866) 602-3561
1900 Elm St
1001 Ross Apartment Homes
(214) 954-4131
1001 Ross Ave
The Shores Apartments
(214) 265-5072
1100 E Lamar Blvd
Downtown Dallas
(214) 444-9185
1102 Jackson St
1505 Elm Condos
1505 Elm St 2220 Canton Lofts
2220 Canton St
3030 Bryan Lofts
3030 Bryant St
509 Elm St
The Beat at South Side
Station 1001 Belleview
BUZZ Lofts
1111 Akard St
Coombs Bridge Lofts
2401 Ervay St
DPL Flats
1506 Commerce St
The Davis Building
1309 Main St
Interurban Lofts 1500
Jackson St
Live Oak Lofts of Dallas
2502 Live Oak St
Museum Tower Dallas
Condos 2112 Flora
One Arts Plaza
1722 Routh St
South Side on Lamar Lofts
1409 S Lamar
For information on Pilates, Pilates equiptment, Reformer Pilates, Chair Pilates Mat Pilates, group fitness, nutrition, yoga and Thai Yoga Bodywork call us at 469.995.0874
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Online Nutrition

Let our software help you design your own weekly meal plans that meet your performance and nutritional needs by recommending the best foods for you to eat, their nutritional value, and the calories

The Core Matrix

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How will the Downtown Dallas Guilt-Free
Nutrition Software help improve your diet?
Using our basic food search, you’ll have access to the entire USDA government database of nutritional information.
Get instant feedback on your food choices and receive customized recommendations based on your favorite foods.
Chart your progress with our automatic graphs measuring your results.
For a quick start, you can use and modify thousands of top meal plans created by other users with your same needs.
To save time, just save your favorite meals and reference them anytime for easy planning.
Like to make your own foods? Our software helps you keep track of healthy recipes and their
nutritional content. Now with one-click you can track all the ingredients in
your favorite homemade meal!
Use the Custom Food feature to enter and save the nutritional information of any unique foods that
may not already exist in the USDA database.
Learn to apply the standards published from the “Institute of Medicine” to make the most of your
diet. Our Nutrition Learning Center will teach you the science behind our nutrition software.
To make sure your fridge is stocked up with healthy food, just use the “Shopping List” feature to
automatically generate a custom shopping list based on your specific meal
Just enter the foods that you normally eat into our online system. Our software then points out
opportunities and problems in your diet, and teaches you how to improve by
removing or adding foods. For example, if you’re eating too much cholesterol, or
saturated fat, our program will show you which foods are causing you problems so
that you can remove them from your diet and find other more healthy substitutes.
If you’re missing certain vitamins or minerals, our software will help you
balance your meal plans by suggesting foods to add or replace. Our system helps
you feel, look, and perform better.
Research shows that individuals that actively journal and plan their meals achieve better results than those
that simply follow a published plan. Our online software works like your own private nutritionist, helping you build balanced meal plans using foods that you normally like to eat. We do not force you to radically change your eating habits, our online program simply points out ways to make your meals better for
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The Benifits of Pilates

Breast Stroke
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Welcome to The Core Matrix
Downtown Dallas Pilates
Pilates, Pilates Equitment,Core Fitness and more…
A Mind-Body workout – Pilates brings mind and body awareness. Connecting a rhythm and flow of movements by emphasizing proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, [Centering] and complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, you become aware of how your body feels, where it is in space, and how to control its movement. The quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions which develops concentration as well as coordination. Pilates helps you perform movements with maximum power and efficiency. Last but not least, learning to breathe properly can reduce stress.
Build strength without “bulking up” – gain long, lean muscles and flexibility. Conventional workouts tend to build short, bulky muscles – the type most prone to injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
Develop a strong core – flat abdominals and a strong back building on the principles of Joseph Pilates. Pilates exercises develop a strong “core,” or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle.
Create an evenly conditioned body and prevent sport injuries:
In conventional workouts, weak muscles tend to get weaker and strong muscles tend to get stronger. The result is muscular imbalance – a primary cause of injury and chronic back pain. Pilates conditions the whole body, even the ankles and feet. No muscle group is over trained or under trained. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities and sports with greater ease and less chance of injury.
Learn efficient patterns of motion:
Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion – invaluable for injury recovery, sports performance, good posture and optimal health.
Be confident and safe and be challenged:
No other exercise system is so gentle to your body while giving it a challenging workout. Many of the exercises are performed in reclining or sitting positions, and most are low impact and partially weight bearing. Pilates is so safe, it is used in physical therapy facilities to rehabilitate injuries.
Pilates is also an extremely flexible exercise system. Modifications to the exercises allow for a range of difficulty ranging from beginning to advanced. Get the workout that best suits you now, and increase the intensity as your body conditioning improves.
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Prenatal and Postnatal Pilates

By Don Kirby

Prenatal and Postnatal Pilates




For best results you should start your exercise program before becoming pregnant:

For best results and easiest delivery it is best to plan ahead and start exercising before you become pregnant, especially if you are without any  prior fitness experience. If  you become pregnant and are very deconditioned your Dr. may even suggest that you wait until after the delivery before beginning any exercise program.

Pilates may be one of the best ways to get started.

Why? Here are 12 reasons

  • It concentrates on breathing ( diaphragmatic breathing)
  • It concentrates on the pelvic floor ( Kegel exercises)
  • It concentrates on the abdominal wall connection
  • Its Gentle ( in my opinion as a Pilates and yoga instructor it’s even more gentle then yoga with less stress on joints. Yogi and Yoginis please do not get me wrong I love Yoga and think Yoga is also wonderful for pregnancy.
  • It may help to prevent Diastasis  Recti
  • It helps with lordotic posture associated with pregnancy
  • Better posture from exercise aids in digestion
  • It helps eliminate back pain commonly associated with pregnancy
  • Woman who exercise bounce back quicker and are able to better take care of there new bundle of joy.
  • Exercise may help distrabute weight more evenly wich also helps with strains in arches, calves
  • May help with a smoother delivery with less labor time and complications.
  • Healthy moms usually make  healthier babies

You may also be interested in the articles below

Fight Depression with Food

The Adrenal Glands: Nature’s Roller Coaster or the Source of Your Fatigue?

What Pilates is What Pilates isn’t.” Part 1

What Pilates is and what Pilates isn’t Part 2

The History of Pilates

The Benefit of Pilates

Is Pilates right for me?

Pilates is not right for you if…

Athletes and Celebrities who do Pilates

All about Spinal Health

Some Pilates Anatomy


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Welcome to The Core MatrixDowntown Dallas Pilates

Posted in All About Food & Nutrition, BODY, Bodywork, Core, Exercise, HEALTH, LIFE, Moms, Motivation, Pilates, Pilates Anatomy, Prenatal and Postnatal, Reflexology, The Abdominals, The Back, The Chest, The Feet, The Feet, The Hips, The Knee, The Neck, The Shoulder, The Spine, The Spine, Yoga | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Personal Training

Personal Training
Downtown Dallas Personal Training

According to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness:Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. Physically inactive people are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease as regularly active people.

37% of adults report they are not physically active. Only 3 in 10 adults get the recommended amount of physical activity.

Poor diet and inactivity can lead to overweight/obesity. Persons who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems and some types of cancer.

41 million Americans are estimated to have pre-diabetes. Most people with pre-diabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless they make changes to their diet and physical activity that results in a loss of about 5-7 percent of their body weight.

Here at Downtown Dallas Pilates, our personal training services ensure that your personal fitness program is geared towards your personal fitness needs.

Personal Training is Fitness in all it components: Weight Training / Pilates / Yoga / Group Fitness / Detailed instruction on Alignment and Biomechanics / Consultation and Posture Assessments / Core Strength / Full Body Strength / Endurance / Cardio Respiratory / Endurance / Flexibility / Body Composition / Nutrition / Biomechanics / Speed / Power.

We offer in-home fitness training in downtown and uptown Dallas TX.

Our services are personalized to your individual needs and we train you with your personal fitness progression in mind. No matter your age, physical condition or athletic ability, you will be safely challenged.

One of the many great benefits to training with Downtown Dallas Pilates is there are no membership fees. Instead of paying a member fee we encourage you to get the results you want at the pace and timing that works best for you.

We offer Pilates, Personal Training, Fit Camp Matrix [Boot Camps], Yoga, Cardio, Fusion Classes and more.

Our Nutrition Software  Like us  on FB for 7 days of our Free software

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Welcome to The Core Matrix

Downtown Dallas Pilates

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The Zero Project Plus 100 Calories or less anytime snacks

Looking for a way to keep your caloric intake down during the Holidays? Me too!

That is why we have created our holiday campaign this year called
“The Zero Project” Here is how it works. We are offering our
Nutrition Software and 3 weigh in from now until January 14, 2012. We will
track your goals along with your nutrition software all for $25. This is an amazing value.

I believe our nutrition software to be the best on the market!
Not only does it help with heart health, diabetes, cholesterol and all the other
countless issues of the “American Diet”, it also helps with recipes,
and customizing your diet perfectly for your everyday foods.

But, it only works if you are honest and you use it. That is where I can help you most. I can help in accountability in your use of the program.  People are even more succesful if they do the program with a partner. In any case I am happy to help. below are some demos of our program and some ideas for snacks. most are less than 100 calories!

100 Calories or less anytime snacks     

100 Calories or less anytime snacks “Weight
Control during the Holidays” 

Food    PORTION SIZE                                      CALORIES
Apple 1 med 60
Apricots 3 med 53
Bean Salad ½ cup 88
Applesauce ½ cup 60
Banana 1 med 65
Blackberries ½ cup 39
Cauliflower 1 cup 25
Blueberries ½ cup 80
Bran Cereal 1 cup 65
Broccoli 1 cup 25
Asparagus. ½ cup 25
Green Beans ½ cup 25
Carrots ½ cup 25
Pepper ½ cup 25
Cantaloupe 1 cup cubed 60
Cherries 12 large 63
Grapefruit ½ large 61
Grapes 17 61
Honeydew 1 cup cubed 60
Nectarine 1 small 57
Orange 1 med 72
Peach 1 med 63
Peaches ½ cup canned or frozen 60
Pear 1 med 65
Pears. ½ cup canned or frozen 65
Plums 2 small 60
Raisins 2 Tbsp. 57
Strawberries 1 ¼ cup 58
Cottage Cheese 4 oz. 96
Reduced Fat Cheese ¾ oz. 50
Fat Free cheese 1 slice 31
Fiber One ½ cup 60
Puffed Kashi 1 cup 70
Whole grain total ¾ cup 97
All Bran ½ cup 80



Posted in All About Food & Nutrition, All About Where Vitamin Supplements Come From, • Appetizers, • Breakfast, • Dessert, • RECIPES, BODY, Bodywork, Dairy Free, Diabetes appropriate, DIET, Dinner, Gluten free, HEALTH, Heart healthy, High Protein, Inspiration, LIFE, low calorie, Low cholesterol, Low saturated fat, Lunch, Motivation, Snacks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Check out our Online Nutrition Program

Check Out our Online Nutrition Program

Click Here Online Nutrition Program

It is included for our Personal Training Clients who come two times or more a week!

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Sugar Daddy: A Year Without Desserts

by Ryan
, March 29th, 2011.
“Without attachment, suffering does not exist. Let go of your
attachments, little by little. By and by you will see the freedom, the happiness
that is there.” – Buddhist motto
On March 22nd, 2011 — almost on the first day of spring, which seems fitting
for rebirth — I ended one year of dessert-free, sweet-free, and candy-free
living. Twelve months. No cake, no candy, no gummi worms, no Twinkies, no crême
brulée — no added sugar of any kind.

Am I somehow a better human being? Do I have exceptional self-control?
Neither.  I simply wanted to explore what it would be like to live without
something that most North Americans take for granted.

Month 1: The initial experiment

This whole experiment started back in March of 2010.  It was my goal to live
30 days without any added sugar in my diet.  [Remember, this means no
added sugars.  I was OK with the naturally occurring sugars in

At the time, several things were on my mind.

  • I was working on the All About Natural Sweeteners article.
  • I was working on the All About Gluttony article.
  • I was reading about Buddhism and attachments to food, material items,
    alcohol, etc.
  • I was reading about addictions.
  • My sister eliminated most desserts from her life (and she used to eat them
    every day).

Like you and everyone else, I’m a product of my environment. What I read,
what I do for work, and who I hang out with influences what I do.

I also started to notice how I felt and acted around sugar, and I
didn’t like it.

Sugar changed my physical and mental state.  Whenever I ate dessert my energy
tanked, I got really thirsty, and I felt bloated.

Sugar also changed how I thought about food rewards. When I ate dessert, I
wanted more dessert (thanks be to dopamine). And this led to more internal dialogue (e.g.:
Should I have another piece? Life is short – maybe I should? blah blah

I think I spent at least 2 hours each week just debating whether or not I
should eat dessert. Not exactly productive.

Month 1: The initial experiment

This whole experiment started back in March of 2010.  It was my goal to live
30 days without any added sugar in my diet.  [Remember, this means no
added sugars.  I was OK with the naturally occurring sugars in

At the time, several things were on my mind.

  • I was working on the All About Natural Sweeteners article.
  • I was working on the All About Gluttony article.
  • I was reading about Buddhism and attachments to food, material items,
    alcohol, etc.
  • I was reading about addictions.
  • My sister eliminated most desserts from her life (and she used to eat them
    every day).

Like you and everyone else, I’m a product of my environment. What I read,
what I do for work, and who I hang out with influences what I do.

I also started to notice how I felt and acted around sugar, and I
didn’t like it.

Sugar changed my physical and mental state.  Whenever I ate dessert my energy
tanked, I got really thirsty, and I felt bloated.

Sugar also changed how I thought about food rewards. When I ate dessert, I
wanted more dessert (thanks be to dopamine). And this led to more internal dialogue (e.g.:
Should I have another piece? Life is short – maybe I should? blah blah

I think I spent at least 2 hours each week just debating whether or not I
should eat dessert. Not exactly productive.

Make no mistake, my original sugar experiment had little to do with body fat
and health – well, at least not my physical health, although I
was starting to wonder about my psychological health. I wanted to test
myself and see if I was attached to desserts.

Everyone says they have a “guilty food pleasure.” But isn’t this an
artificial idea created by modern society (and food companies)? Do we really
require a food vice?

In the end, my 30 day experiment was a success. So, what did I do at the end
of the experiment?  Did I spend day 31 crushing cake?

Nope. Instead, I found myself not missing desserts. And really, I felt better
physically and mentally.  So I figured I would roll with the no-dessert theme
and see where it took me.

Fast forward 11 months – past birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas,
and Valentine’s Day — all the candy-centric holidays.  It’s now been one year
and I’ve had no desserts.

During this time I’ve realized a few things. Maybe you’ll find them useful on
your own eating journey.

Lesson 1: Desserts are addictive

Addiction: an overpowering craving to repeatedly
engage in an activity that provides temporary relief at the expense of terrible

Yikes. Doesn’t this describe most North American eating? It’s easy to get
attached to processed foods. And by attached, I mean addicted.

  • You crave it.
  • You think about it.
  • You rely on it.
  • The food takes over.

Sound familiar?

As powerful as attachments/addictions can be, during the past year I was
reminded of something even more powerful:

We get to choose what we do.

If we have enough incentive to eliminate a food (or include a food), we get
to choose accordingly. We are in control.

Now, while it’s easy to place dessert in the “addictive” category, I also
realized just how trivial dessert is. Think about it.

  • Not eating cake is easy when compared to raising kids.
  • Not eating cookies is easy when compared to running a business/non-profit.
  • Not eating ice cream is easy when compared to maintaining a marriage.
  • Not eating a candy bar is easy when compared to 60 minutes of box jumps,
    Power Wheel crawls and jump rope.

Seriously, isn’t it about time we put food in its place?

Lesson 2: We don’t eat sugar “in moderation”

The standard American diet is composed of over 60% processed garbage. Nearly
90% of the carb-dense foods we consume are highly processed, and mostly in the
form of refined flour/sugar.

This looks more like the only thing we’re not eating in
moderation is processed food.

Our view of moderation can get skewed because we often think of eating as
“one-off” occasions. A dessert here, a dessert there.  But these desserts add up
faster than we imagine.

Three bowls of ice cream per week isn’t a big thing, right? Well, three bowls
of ice cream each week means 156 bowls each year.  Is that moderation?  I don’t

Lesson 3: Isn’t this a habit?

From the previous example, it seems to me that eating 156 bowls of ice cream
a year, 3 bowls a week, whether moderate or not, constitutes a habit.

Unfortunately, we don’t often realize the compounding impact of our food
habits until it’s too late (e.g., 42-inch waist, heart attack, cancer,

Our habits catch up with us – sooner or later.  And it’s important to make
sure we’re monitoring our habits, making sure they match up with our values and
our goals.

Lesson 4: It’s hard to get fat on whole foods, particularly plant foods

Without desserts (and other processed carbs) in the diet, it’s tough to gain
body fat. Really.

If we listen to hunger/fullness cues and eat, in particular, whole
plant-foods (without added sugars), it’s challenging to get fat.

On average, each of us eats about 4 pounds of food every day.  So, for most of us, if our 4
pounds are made up of whole, energy-dilute plants, we’ll be set.

Another bonus: I found that my hunger/fullness cues were much clearer with
desserts out of the eating equation. With lots of sugar comes lots of drive to
eat. This is great if you are trying to gain weight (or even maintain weight).
But not so great if we want to get (or stay) lean.

During my last physical exam (where I do my annual weight check), after only
a few months without desserts, I was already down several unintended pounds.
Why? I just wasn’t as hungry. Without dessert, you might be surprised how your
appetite changes.

Lesson 5: The all-or-none approach can work

Most of us agree that the all-or-none approach doesn’t work. But I’ve used it
successfully many times in my life. I’ve used it with alcohol, drugs, smoking,
animal products, car ownership, credit cards, cable TV – and now desserts.

But here’s the catch. To make the all-or-none approach work, we need strong
incentives. The all-or-none approach will probably fail when incentives are
weak/superficial. But when incentives run deep, the all-or-none approach can be
a useful tool.

Weak incentive:

I want to completely eliminate desserts to look better in a tank

Strong incentive:

I want to eliminate desserts because it will benefit me spiritually and physically. It will promote peace of mind — I’ll have less daily attachment and internal dialogue.

Maybe Dan John is right: If it’s important, do it every day. If it’s not
important, don’t do it at all.

The final bonus of the all-or-none approach is that the thing you eliminate
becomes a non-issue. This eliminates the regular internal dialogue that goes
with it. And speaking of internal dialogue…

Lesson 6: Internal dialogue sucks

Food tension is the worst. You know the self talk:

  • Should I have the cookie? Or shouldn’t I?
  • I’ve eaten mostly nutritious foods this week; I deserve a cookie.
  • The experts say to eat everything “in moderation”. I might as well have a
  • It’s only one cookie (for the fifth time this week).
  • I only live once.

Mayday mayday……

Those internal debates are a bitch. When this tension develops, the way we
solve the tension is by making a choice: eat it or don’t eat it. “Eat it”
usually wins.

Lesson 7: Taste re-calibration is possible

Recently I was at a friend’s house and asked for some peanut butter. The
peanut butter was natural and organic, so I was happy. But after my first bite,
I immediately knew something was different.

It was the “no-stir” variety. Apparently this means there is added sugar and
oil to smooth it out. Holy sweetness. It tasted like candy. The friend I was
with couldn’t tell sugar was added.

Introduce yourself to taste bud re-calibration.

Fruit wasn’t sweet enough when I was eating a dessert each week. Now it is,
because my taste buds changed.  Everyone’s do when they change their eating
habits, especially when dropping certain foods, like I did with sugar.

Eat more sugar and fat and that’s what’ll taste best to you.  Get rid of the
sugar and fat and you won’t even like the stuff if you go back.

Lesson 8: Some people aren’t addicted to desserts/sweets

Yes – it’s true. Some folks can eat a reasonably sized piece of dessert,
enjoy it, and move on to the next thing. I’ve witnessed this first hand over the
past year.

If this describes you, maybe eliminating desserts isn’t something you need to
do.  Seriously, don’t read this article/post and get any weird ideas about
dessert elimination.

My suggestion? Be your own nutrition expert and find what works for you.  And if there’s an area of your life where your attachments are becoming overbearing, perhaps you can apply this article to that area.

Lesson #9: Change occurs at the desire level

I’ve made some substantial eating changes in my life that have stuck for the
long-term. After some reflection, I’ve noticed the following theme among my
successful long-term nutrition changes:

Change must occur at the desire level.

What do most people do when making a food change? They resist. They think
about all of the “off-limit” options they’re missing out on. And deep down, they
haven’t truly acknowledged or embraced that the new way of eating is best for
them and the world.

Most of us desire a cookie but settle for an orange. But what if we started
to desire the orange, enjoy the flavor, and know that consuming it aligns with
who we are and what we believe in?

Back in my bodybuilding days, I’d go 4 months without desserts leading up to
a contest. But I still desired desserts. I dreamt about them at night and
sprinkled packets of Equal on everything to get my fix.

I built up a stash of sweets to immediately consume after the “diet” was
over. Since I still desired desserts, nothing really changed long-term, things
just changed while I was “dieting.”

Now, I choose fruit instead of cookies because that’s what I truly want. And
importantly, desserts aren’t off limits. If I really want dessert, I’ll have

Will I ever eat dessert again?

Will I ever eat desserts again? It’s a good question.  And the answer is that
I probably will.

I just know that for the past year it’s been a privilege to eliminate them
from my decision catalog. But life circumstances change.  And I don’t want to
put the pressure on myself that comes with saying never.

Of course, some of you reading this probably can’t fathom the idea of no
desserts for a week, let alone a year. Trust me, I was the same way.

If you would have asked me 3 years ago to cut desserts, I would have laughed
with you as we held hands and skipped to the bakery.

Fortunately, we can allow our eating to evolve. You never know what might

Summary: What my dessert-less year taught me

In the end, here’s what my year of dessert-free eating taught me.

  • Desserts are addictive
  • I don’t like foods that cause withdrawal symptoms when I stop eating them
  • The more desserts I eat, the more I want
  • We don’t eat desserts “in moderation”
  • It’s hard to gain fat on whole foods, particularly plant foods
  • The “all-or-none” mindset can work to your advantage if you have enough
  • It feels good to eliminate internal dialogue
  • We can recalibrate our taste buds
  • The key to making big eating changes is changing at the desire level
  • When we care about something enough, we can choose to do it

Quite a few great lessons there, at least for me.  Well worth giving up a
little sugar.

Posted in All About Food & Nutrition, BODY, Core, Diabetes appropriate, DIET, HEALTH, LIFE, Low cholesterol, Low saturated fat, Meditation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment



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The Authentic Mat Pilates Sequence

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Welcome to The Core MatrixDowntown Dallas Pilates

Pilates, Pilates Equitment,Core Fitness and more…

Authentic Mat Pilates

We will be taking an in depth look at the authentic Mat Pilates. Stay tuned more to come…


1.Perform exercises on cushioned mat with shoes off.

2.Keep movement controlled and fluid, not jerky or stiff.

3.Avoid locking elbows or knees when straightening
arms or legs.

4.Keep low back “imprinted” (pressed flat) when lying
on back with legs in air.

5.Keep pelvis and shoulders in place during movement
of arms and legs

6.Keep abdominals flat (navel to spine).

7.Usually exhale when bending torso and inhale
when straightening torso.

8.Inhale through nose and exhale through mouth,
emphasizing the exhale.

9.Use the diaphragm and pull breath into side and
back of lower ribs.

10.Avoid tilting skull forward, chin to chest,
when rounding spine.

1.The Hundred

Lie on back, straight legs slightly turned out. Inhale, reaching arms over head. Exhale, pressing arms downn
to sides, lift legs up to 45°, curling up head, upper torso.
Hold. Keep low back pressed to mat. Pump arms in
small flutters up and down.
5 pumps per inhale, 5 pumps per exhale.

Repeat 10 times.

Note Keep head on floor and legs bent if necessary.

2.Roll Up

Lie on back, legs bent, arms over head. Exhale, bringing arms forward, curling up from top of spine. Inhale, sitting up straight. Exhale, rolling slowly back down.Repeat 5 times.  NOTE: Hold onto thighs, if necessary.

3.The Roll OverLie on back, legs straight up, arms by sides. Exhale, rolling onto shoulders, extending legs over head. Inhale, opening legs hip width. Exhale, slowly rolling onto back. Inhale, closing legs straight up.Repeat 4 times.
Roll Over
Roll Over /    
4.Leg CircleLie on back, one leg bent, other leg straight up. Inhale, circling leg across body, and exhale while circling down and around to beginning. Maintain still pelvis; avoid rocking. Keep circle small.Repeat 5 times clockwise, then counterclockwise.
Single Leg Circle
Single Leg Circle /    
5.Rolling like a ballSit with knees to chest, holding ankles. Lift feet off mat and round spine. Inhale, rolling back to shoulders. Exhale, rolling back to seat.

Repeat 5 times.  NOTE:  Avoid rolling onto neck or head.

6.Single Bent Leg StretchBEGINNER – 10  Single Leg StretchLie on back, opposite hand holding knee to chest, other hand on same shin, other leg at 45°. Exhale, curling up head and upper torso. Holding curl, inhale and change leg and hand positions. Exhale,

changing back.

Repeat 20 changes
with single breaths.
Repeat 10 changes in
double time: 2 per inhale,
2 per exhale.

NOTE:  Keep navel to spine, back flat.

7.Double leg KickLie on back, hands holding knees to chest. Exhale, curling up head and upper torso to knees. Hold curl, inhale and extend arms and legs toward ceiling. Exhale, bringing legs and arms back in.Repeat 8 times
with single breaths.

NOTE: Keep navel to spine, back flat. Progress to
extending arms and legs

to 45°.

8.Spine Stretch ForwardSit straight, bent legs open slightly wider than hips, feet flexed, hands behind on mat. Inhale. Exhale, rounding torso over. Inhale, sitting up.

Repeat 5 times.
NOTE:  Progress to legs straight, arms forward before rounding torso.

9.Open Leg RockerSit straight, hands under thighs, legs hip width apart. Press navel to spine and lean back to balance on seat, legs bent in air. Exhale, rounding spine and head. Inhale, rolling to bottom of shoulder blades. Exhale, returning to balance with rounded spine.

Open Leg Rocker

Open Leg Rocker

Repeat 5 times.

10.CorkscrewLie on back, legs straight up, slightly turned out, heels touching, hands under lower hips. Inhale, reaching legs out to one side. Exhale, circling with legs. Maintain legs above 45°. Avoid arching spine off mat.

Cork screw

Cork screw


Repeat 8 times,
alternating direction.

12.Rocking Swan(Neck Roll to prepare)
13.Single Leg Kick
14.Double leg kick/ Kick 3 times and lift
15.Neck Pull
16.Jack Knife
17.Spine Twist
18.Side Kicks /Beats/ Side Kicks
20.Hip Circles
22.Leg Pull Front
23.Leg Pull Back
24.Kneeling Side Series
25.Chest Expansion
26.Thigh Stretch
28.Snake Twist/Repeat
32.Around the clock
33.Push UpPush walk down/ Claps Hands/Clap Legs
34.Standing Twist
35.March Knee to elbow front
36.March Knee to elbow side
Posted in Adrenal Glands, All About the Spine, Bodywork, Brain, Core, Exercise, HEALTH, Heart healthy, LIFE, MAJOR MUSCLE GROUPS, Meditation, Motivation, Muscles of the Back of the Body, Muscles of the Front of the Body, Pilates, Pilates Anatomy, Skeletal System, The Abdominals, The Arm, The Back, The Chest, The Feet, The Feet, The Hips, The Hips, The Knee, The Leg, The Neck, The Shoulder, The Shoulder, The Spine, The Spine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment