Belle on Rogers TV

Here’s a peak at us on a Rogers TV show called “Culture Conduct”! It was shot during class at our High Park location in the beautiful Boomerang studio on Roncesvalles.  This episode aired in late 2012, and I’m thrilled to say we have grown since then! Even MORE classes being offered this Fall 2013! Here’s a link to our Fall schedule. 

The woman from Rogers TV interviewing me was lovely! We did a whole rehab thing off camera for her knee. I wanted her to do the class so badly but she couldn’t get too sweaty before her next shoot later that night. Next time!

Dudes in Pilates

First off, let’s agree that Pilates can benefit everyone: Young and old, triathletes and exercise virgins and of course, males and females. While we are known as a “Fitness Philosophy for Women”, men are most welcome (and sometimes taunted by their female counterparts) to join our Belle Method classes.

I admit that our purple and pink website isn’t exactly sending the message to men, “Hey dudes, grab your tights and register now ’cause this is for YOU!”  That said, it actually kinda is.

Full Disclosure: Any men reading this, know that we totally don’t think it’s weird if you come to class. The more the merrier, and frankly, you could use it. We actually like seeing you sweat profusely in plie and hip lifts cause it reminds us that this sh*t isn’t easy!” 

Below is an example of what we like to call the “Mr. T” syndrome. Some (read: many) guys tend to overwork their pecs and arms and underwork their lower body. This becomes VERY evident in class when we start doing plies, butt lifts and booty band work. Sure, guys don’t tend to care about the perkiness of their booty in jeans, but here’s why they (and all of us) should care:

1) Glutes are part of your core. Strong butt muscles stabilize your lumbo-pelvic region, prevent back pain and provide you with more power and control in movement.

2) Your legs contain the largest muscle groups in the human body. Fire up your legs are you’re spiking your metabolism, working on balance and stabilizing your knee joints.

3) Your quadriceps in particular are related to longevity. Ever see an older person not able to stand up out of a chair? Weak, atrophied quads are a big issue as we age and lose bone density.


So the moral of the story is: when it comes to training, go outside your social comfort zone. Try something new and remember to work those legs. (Running and biking doesn’t count FYI . You need sitting and standing type squats to work the right muscle fibres. Here’s why.)

This post was inspired by an amazing student who is the sole male at his company who takes our Core Fusion class. We run the classes every week in his company’s office after work and he captured the moment this past Tuesday. I’m happy to report that he’s far from a Mr. T!

Pass the Butter Please


Here’s a little tidbit of info that everyone ought to know!  It’s gross…get ready. Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put invested into the research wanted a payback so they brainstormed to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back…

butterIt was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow colouring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. Don’t be tricked into those “heart healthy” proclamations on Big Brand packaging. It’s all a crock. Truly.    

Here’s a short video ( nutrition geeks we love you for this!) explaining why margarine is NOT a good choice.

The moral of the story is learn to read food labels!

Margarine is but one molecule away from being plastic.     HINT: Anything that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance, ie what they do to make margarine solid like natural butter) increases the risks of heart disease by raising bad cholesterol. In fact, a recent Harvard Medical Study showed that eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter.

Still not convinced?  Try this little experiment. Open a tub of margarine and leave it open on your balcony or backyard. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

1) No flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)

2) It does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to  grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic .

And to those people who say that butter is “bad” because of its high saturated fat content, we say…no way!

Many of butter’s saturated fatty acids are short and medium chain lipids that our bodies use up quickly and easily and that don’t get stored as fat on the body. Butter’s butyric and lauric acids boost our immune systems while stearic and palmitic acids lower our LDL cholesterol. Lastly, butter contains vitamins E, A, K and D, zinc, copper, iodine, selenium and lecithin.

It’s not the butter, it’s the refined carbs (cinnamon bun, bagel, raisin toast, etc) you’re slathering it on that’s the issue.

So pass the butter please!