Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bodega Dreams: Part 2

After Unique Force was created we never needed a reason to battle and we battled everyone. We would cruise the neighborhood for jams & house parties, then crash them. There we would scope out the spot for the dopest crew and step to them with NO Fear because we were that confident we would prevail. 9 out of 10 times we did and for those that might have gotten one over on us we would look for them again for round two. We were notorious for going into the projects park jams like we lived there and start cyphers.

As Re-run started to form the crew and set times for practice, putting routines together for the 9 of us… or even two on two combos. We always represented as the Unique Force! Practice would take place in the front of the building or hallway, and in the original P.A.L on Beck street right off of 156 street! Did not take us long to build a rep for the crew to beat, especially since there were not many girls at that time popping. We had our schedule for everyday. After school we would practice, play double dutch, hop scotch, Truth/Dare/Consequence/Promise or Repeat, cruise the neighborhood for parties & cuties and work on getting home before curfew (needless to say that rarely happened).

There was more to us then meets the eye. Once we were old enough to work summer youth it was a huge accomplishment for us. We were making our own money. So on payday we would shop together for matching outfits.

Our style the way we rocked our gear (fashion) was very important. Image/Attitude was everything to us and as important as our dancing skills in those cyphers.

Summers were amazing and fun for us we worked for the youth program to buy the latest gear… and would be in trouble half the time for spending the entire check on our gear. Try explaining that to your mom, I got paid but I am broke can I have $5 or $10 dollars to hang. I can still hear the lecture now, as I ran down the hall and the shoe my mom threw would turn the corner to hit me in the back of my head.

So when you stepped out the house you knew your gear had to be tight and you had to look Dope, Fly, Fresh and yes we are talking about the decade when it is was necessary to wear Lee’s with a Graff piece on the back of the jacket, AJs 2 tone jeans with the matching denim jacket; blue in the front gray in the back of the jeans. We rocked all flavors (colors) acid wash jeans and farmer pants that were 2 or 3 sizes bigger than your actual size that was best baggy, baggy, and baggy.

Budweiser hats & the sun-visors too, hats tilted to the side just so; with Over-sized Mickey Mouse T-shirts, or cartoon characters Fat Albert, just to name a few. If you didn’t own one of those shirts your style! you and your crew were straight WHACK! On the block everybody rocked the same thing, but it was more about how you could put it together, to make you and your crew stand out. The extra long shorts, these shorts would meet the top of your socks. There’s a science to this (put socks on straight up to your knee then you’d start to slouch them down making sure they are both even.) if they weren’t you’d get snapped on jokes from everybody! LOLs

Now you pair it up with some Kix (sneakers) the Unique Force rocked all the Latest from head toe Diadora, Tiger (baseball cleats), Lotto’s, K-Swiss, Nike Cross-trainers (Quarter top red, black, and gray with either a black strap or a gray), original Jordan, Pumas, Adidas with 45 inch laces; the laces should match the outfit. Sometimes we switched the colors of our kix, for example if the colors for the night were red & black we’d put one black sneaker on foot, and a red on the other with the matching slouching socks Unique Force being one of the first crews to mix and match our sneakers, and cross colors with the socks.

We would also spend money on accessories to go with the gear like, Louis Vutton pouch which you’d hang around your neck, Gold Caps with symbol or the letter of your name, four finger rings, and the big phat robe chains with door-knocker earrings, bamboo earrings.

It didn’t stop at just that we had to get the Fro right (hair).Lissette was always great for doing our hair the latest hair cut/styles mushrooms, Salt&Pepper, finger waves, etc, to go with our funky fresh dressed to impress ready to party selves.

When the season changed to the winter! Our gear continued to be dope, now we’d break out our flight jackets, eight ball, sheepskins, leather bombers, bear coats, triple fat goose (different lengths, short, mid length, and my favorite full length trench triple fat goose, and fashion style boots to match our clothes and coats.

During this time girls didn’t really wear Timberland boots… Timbs came out for girls later on in the 90’s.

Of course we were young so we had our moments when trouble found us and we needed to defend ourselves. Or if we were at a jam it usually got shot up and we had to run away from the trouble, only to return 20mins later to continue dancing. Something I would NOT do now;-) But when you are young you think you are invincible. But the music drove us. We had to go back for the beats. The music took over our mind, body & souls. We could hear a jam from a mile away. Then as got closer our favorite jams were always playing so we would run to get there. The running was our warm-up;-)

We won some, we lost some, we were mugged for jewelry, bullied by neighborhood bullies, only to strike back, we dated guys we liked, rejected by the ones that got away, performed at venues, theaters, streets, built a reputation for being the Get Along Gang because we were always together and did everything together, good & bad.

Those were the days…

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tips for Healthy Cooking


You don't have to be Oprah Winfrey's gourmet chef or spend a fortune on expensive cookware to prepare food in healthy ways. You can make your favorite dishes without large amounts of fat or salt using basic cooking techniques.

Baking isn't just for breads and desserts. You can also bake poultry, lean meat, seafood, and vegetables. Baking usually doesn't require adding fat to the food, although you may need to baste the food to keep it from drying out. Simply place your desired food in a pan or dish and cook either covered or uncovered.

Roasting is like baking, but usually at higher temperatures. You can place your food in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. When roasting meat, poultry or seafood, put a rack inside the roasting pan which will allow the fat in the food to drip away during cooking.

Broiling and grilling are cooking methods which allow the fat to drip away from the food. Both methods expose the food to a direct heat source. To broil, place the food on a broiler rack in the oven below a heat element. To grill, place the food on a rack above either a bed of charcoal or you may want to use a gas grill. A grill basket is very useful when cooking smaller items such as vegetables or seafood.

Braising is a two step technique. The ingredient is first placed in a pan on top of the stove and browned. A small amount of liquid, usually water or broth, is added. Then, the ingredient and the liquid is covered and slowly cooked. The cooking liquid is sometimes used afterward to form a nutrient-rich sauce.

Poaching involves gently simmering ingredients in water until they are cooked through. You may also choose a more flavorful liquid such as broth, juice or vinegar. Be sure to use a covered pan that best fits your food which will enable you to use a minimal amount of liquid.

Steaming is one of the simplest cooking methods. Place the food in a perforated basket and suspend it above simmering liquid. You can use water with seasonings added, or you may choose a more flavorful liquid. Flavor the food as it cooks.

Stir-frying is a traditional Asian cooking method which requires only a small amount of oil or nonstick cooking spray. The food is cut into small, uniform-sized pieces and then rapidly stirred in a wok or large nonstick frying pan.

You can give your meal more appeal by adding color, aroma and taste to your food. An excellent way is through the use of herbs and spices. You can add dried herbs in the early cooking stages, or fresh herbs toward the end of cooking. Be sure to use fresh herbs that aren't wilted and that have bright color. If you substitute dry herbs for fresh, only use one-third the amount.

Now that you're armed with the proper cooking techniques, you can prepare your meals like the pros, making them healthier and more appealing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vitamin D: Herb Ready

Working with different people providing guidelines on the best way to incorporate Time Management, Herbal Remedies, and Fitness Plan, specifically to fit whatever needs they may have.

Brings me to this month’s article… I recently assessed someone (whom later I signed on as a client) come to me with many different problems.

One in particular was of vitamins, and a consistent tightness she felt in her joints, and muscles. One works with the other… if your body is lacking a certain vitamin! You’re going to feel the difference in your muscles, and joints, always feeling fatigue, etc cause at some point your body is going to scream out to you! The choice is yours… I hope that you are able to listen to your body.

She later explained to me her need for increasing the intake of vitamin D! per her doctor’s request. To my surprise he wanted her to intake about 6, 000 IU per day… when the minimum is 2, 000 IU through supplements for adult women, if this was the cold bitter winter I could understand such a high dosage of the vitamin. During the winter time we are less likely to expose our bodies to sunlight.

My client went to the doctor twice at the very, beginning of the summer. Only to come back after both visits not satisfied with the answers she was given.

She spoke to a few friends and found her-self being referred to me through a former co-worker. I sat taking notes as I assessed her and for the life of me could not understand why? He could not give her a valid answer (excuse) as to why she should continue with the dosages he recommended. She noticed she would feel sick after taking the second round of vitamins and medications. This same doctor insisted she continue to take all the medications and vitamins with no other alternatives.

I am not a doctor! But I was able to help her find alternative ways to get vitamin D, into her system “This person of modern medicine” could not put together a different way to get her back on the right track. I later questioned his work ethics… or was this particular Dr. just plain old lazy. I am not saying that all Doctor’s are like this but man oh man where did this person get his medical degree? a Cracker Jack Box perhaps.

I asked her to expose herself to sunlight during mid-afternoon for only few minutes, gave her some basic foods that I knew would help boost her Vitamin D and asked her to incorporate a few herbs like turmeric, ginger and supplements to help moisturize her joint and muscles.

Considering your body can generate vitamin D by exposing your body in the sunlight
for at least 15-20 minutes daily… it is recommended to do so during the midday, and it is suggested to use sunscreen on your face and hands (intake the sunlight in moderation).

My Client is on her road to recovery… I have been working with her for 30 days now. She is feeling better everyday noticing the difference with her endurance, stamina, and even her sleeping patterns with the feeling of being well-rested when she wakes up in the mornings. Once completed with the program she’ll be giving her testimony on how it changed her life.

Here is a basic fact list:

Vitamin D keep our bones healthy, reduces the risk in developing “Breast Cancer”, Colon Cancer, High Blood Pressure, and Arthritis.

Eat Your Vitamin D – Some foods help to boost your intake of this vitamin

Foods and drinks like:
*8oz of a glass of milk contain 100 IU
*cold-water fish contain 250 to 650 IU per 3.5oz
*egg yolks contain 100 IU
*dried shitake mushrooms contain 1,600 IU of D2 per 3.5oz serving

I am not against modern medicine. I do believe in questioning the doctor when visiting for your annual check-up. Society has made it easy to take all the information doctors give us and accept it at face value.

It is a new age, people are more aware of their choices when it comes to health & wellness. Age of herbs, minerals and supplements, understanding that we can help ourselves utilizing the natural resources of the earth.

Remember Food For fuel Not Emotion-Herby Ready!

Helpful Tip preparing your skin for the winter:

For Dry Skin --- Use Hazelnut Oil this, this oil is like the natural oil our skin
produces. This lightweight moisturizer penetrates the upper layer
the epidermis. The best way to use the oil is to apply the oil at
night before going to sleep this will allow the oil to soak into
your skin.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bodega Dreams

'Unique Force'
By SnapShot & WandeePop

This is a new section we decided to add because lately we have been getting questions about who we are, where we come from and our history with hip hop.

We love that people are interested so we decided to share some of our personal stories and events here in this section called 'Bodega Dreams'.

WandeePop & I were raised on Longwood Ave. & Fox Street in the heart of the South Bronx before Hip Hop had an official name. She lived in the next building on the same floor from me. So we were able to see eachother from building to building. Which was convienent when we had to sneak in the house terrified of our mothers because we were late for curfew. Those were the days when kids were actually afraid of their parents;-)

We met through mutual friends and I was good friends with her cousin, Lissette, at the time. We were instant friends. We all enjoyed the same things; playing double dutch/double orange, Tag, skulles, Hop Scotch and going to the PAL 'Lynch' Recreation Center. They had pool tables, video games and arts & crafts. We especailly loved working summer youth as counslors for the day trips at the PAL. Every year we looked forward to 'Field Day'. That's when all the PAL locations compete in various activities. We always won the double dutch competitions. One year we competed for a National Double Dutch Competition and won the grand prize of being featured in a commercial.

Not too long after we met Re-Run. He was the PAL dance instructor who taught the kids the latest hip hop freestyle moves that were popular around the neighborhood. Hip Hop did not have a name yet so we were dancing without giving it a label so naming the moves was important, which is why there were names like Fred Sanford, Dale Webo, Bill Cosby, Smurfs etc. We mimicked characters we seen on TV and created moves.

Re- Run was looking to put a crew together for battles and performances. So we naturally got involved and 'Unique Force' was created with Re-Run as the manager/choreographer; Michelle, Lissette, Wandee, Millie, Myself, Baldwin, Jermaine and Calvin.

To Be Continued...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Top 7 Transformations Secrets

SnapShot's Fitness Corner

Here are my Top 7 Transformation Secrets that you can use to burn fat from all over your body.

Tip #1) Clean out the pantry.One of the biggest pitfalls in a weight loss program is added sugar and mindless snacking (especially between getting home from work and dinner). I can's stress enough the importance of minimizing the temptations from your kitchen. If's it there for the kids or significant other you will indulge. Get rid of the junk. Toss it. Better the garbage can eats it than you do.

Tip #2) Stop doing SLOW boring cardio.Increase the intensity of your workouts and switch to interval training. And yes, even beginners can do interval training when monitored for proper form and instruction.

Tip # 3) Use professionally designed, structured workoutsYou should be in and out of your workouts in less than 45 minutes,three times per week. On the other 4 days of the week, stay active,getting at least a 30-minute walk in each day.

Tip #4) Set up home gym with stability ball, medicine ball, workout bench, adjustable dumbbells, resista-bands and a jump rope. That's all you need. If you are feeling frisky, you can add a pull-up bar to your home gym.But to change your body, you only need a little bit of equipment athome. You don't need an expensive gym membership or one of thosecolossal home gyms, or even a pricey bowflex. Your body doesn't discriminate on price. It simply responds to thechallenge you put on your body, and you can do that on the cheap.

Tip #5) Learn how to do Training Bodyweight Circuits at home instead of using cardio machines. Do your research on the Internet or i suggest hiring a trainer to teach you the basics.

Tip #6) Plan, shop, and prepare your food at homeFinding the right nutrition program is CRITICAL to success, and sois planning. You can't out-train a bad diet, but you can out-planbad habits. So invest 2 hours on the weekend to prepare as many ofyour fat burning meals as possible for the week ahead.

Tip #7) Get Social Support This is the most important Weight Loss Secret that no one pays attention to.

But the bottom line can't do this on your own. You need support from others (family, friends, co-workers, forums, chat boards) to stick to your workouts, to make the right diet choices day-in and day-out and to have someone prop you up when you are feeling down and also to "call you out" when you are feeling like cutting corners.

Get social support on your side today with help from SnapShot & WandeePop. If you are starting a nutritional plan or workout regimen and need some guidance feel free to email us at

Put these 7 Secrets to use today and you can be on your way to meeting your health and wellness goals.

Herb Ready - SAGE

Sage is a native to northern Mediterranean coastal areas of Europe. We all know this herb to be known for its wonderful fragrance and taste. There’s more to this herb then meets the eye.

In the 1800’s Americans thought this herb cured warts. They also claimed Sage cured epilepsy, insomnia, measles, seasickness, and worms.

At this time we have no real evidence of such findings.

In this day and age Sage is an herb than can be used for many different things… it can be used for cooking, aromatherapy, and for medical purposes. Some of the attributed medical properties go as follows.

The oils in Sage contain antiseptic, astringent, and irritant properties.
Treating such ailments as sore throats, mouth irritations, possibly cuts and bruises to heal.

In 1939 an experiment was conducted and showed Sage had estrogenic properties
which may have some connection to the herb’s ability to dry tip milk?

The research also showed set herb to be very helpful in lowering blood sugar in diabetics.
Sage is great for easing the mind during a time when feeling mentally exhausted, soothing nerves, and strengthening concentration. Using this herb in lotion form is a good thing to do when treating sores, or skin eruptions.

Here are a few helpful tips when using Sage

*Tea – Great for all stomach troubles, diarrhea, gas, flu and colds.

*Mouth or Sore Throat – Chewing fresh Sage leaves helps to soothe sore mouth, and sore throat.

*In Combination with Sage – Peppermint, rosemary, and wood betony provide helpful remedies for headaches, regulating menstrual cycle.

*Essential Oil – in oil form Sage is great for aromatherapy to cleanse and purify the air.

*Cooking – Some people find the pungency of Sage to be overpowering, its astringent, “grease cutting” attributes make it a perfect accompaniment when preparing fatty food, and meats.
Sage goes well with foods like carbohydrates, butter beans, and vegetable soup.

So the next time you are putting to together your grocery list. Add Sage to the list not only is it good for you, it’s good in helping you heal, and has a wonderful fragrance.

Herb Ready – Food For Fuel Not Emotion.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Exercising In the Heat

Exercising in the Heat?

It is very important to remember the potential dangers that come with exercising in hot conditions. As long as you know the do's and don'ts of working out in the heat, then you can fully take advantage of all the fun of summer.

What you should do

Drink plenty of fluids. It's extremely importantto stay hydrated. If you're thirsty then you are already dehydrated; drink before you feel a need to. Be sure to drink throughout the day (stick to non- caffeinated beverages, preferably water). Also, drink15-20 minutes before beginning your workout and every 15 minutes throughout the exercise.

Eat regularly. The heat can decrease your appetite, but it's importantto eat normally. Try to eat small meals 5-6 times a day. Include lots of fruits and vegetables. Aside from being nutritious, fruits also tend to help with hydration.

Wear light, loose fitting clothes that can breathe. Cotton is alwaysa good choice. If your outdoor activity produces a lot of perspiration, consider clothing that is designed to wick the sweat away.

Wear sunscreen. Even if you exercise early in the morning or late in the evening, if the sun can reach you then you can get burned. Not only is a sunburn bad on the skin and potentially dangerous but it also hinders your bodies ability to stay cool.

Use common sense and don't attempt strenuous activities that your b ody is not accustomed to. Stick to exercises that you arevery familiar and comfortable with.

Check the weather forecast. It's best not to participate in intense outdoor exercise sessions when the heat index registers in the dangerous zone.

What you should not do

Don't try to diet by sweating. Excessive perspiration is not the key to permanent weight l oss. Any decrease in the scale would simply be a result of water loss, not fat reduction.

Don't adapt the "no pain, no gain" motto. Ignoring your body's signals could be dangerous. Heat-related illnesses come with warning signs. Be sure to learn how to recognize them and what actions to take.

Don't forget to drink plenty of liquid when swimming. Just because your body is surrounded by water does not mean that you are well-hydrated. As with any land exercises, you need to regularly replenish lost fluids when in the pool.

Avoid physical activity during the hottest part of the day, which usually is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you want (or need) to be working in very hot temperatures, don't do it until you become acclimated. Try to spend only a few minutes a day in the hot conditions for the first couple of weeks and then add time gradually each day.

Avoid extreme changes in temperature. Don't hop from being extremely hot and sweating excessively right into an ice cold, air-conditioned environment. Try to cool your body down slightly before exposing it to the extreme temperature variation.

Whether you have to work outside or do it for enjoyment, following the above tips will help you stay cool and safe during the dog days of summer. So, don't spend the season cooped up, get out there and have some fun!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Food For Fuel Not Emotion - Herb Ready

To finalize our Allergy series we are bringing you two different Herbs for the month of July; Nettles and Gingko.

I am a firm believer in mixing and matching my herbs either when I’m brewing my tea, or when I am cooking my food. I find it to be fun and challenging! Yet the end result can be very rewarding and healthy for you. So why not get your Vitamins in the purest form.

Nettles have a long history of being a potent herb. It contains protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium, beta-carotene, along with vitamins A, C, D, and B-complex, which are all in a form that your body can use and digest.

Nettles extract are a reliable source of diuretics which is helpful with excretion of uric acid, that simultaneously discourage night time bathroom urges, which makes the herb useful in solving bedwetting problems, overnight urinary woes of benign prostate enlargement.

Not only is it good to help fight allergies, and all the other vitamins it contains. Studies show Native American women would use the herb throughout pregnancy and as a remedy to stop hemorrhaging during childbirth! To the Native American women Nettles is considered one of the best all round women’s tonics.

Ginkgo Leaf is recent, and has been studied for different things… but showed to be beneficial to cardiovascular. Gingko contains many constituents: Gibberellin, cytokinin-like substances, ginkgolic acid, bilobol, ginnol aspartine, calcium. This herb is considered to be a tonic.

This new herb is great for many things! One of the greatest things it is known for is balancing whatever maybe going on in your system. So for example: if you are tired, it will energize you, and if you are stressed it will relax you. Cause of its constituents and other substances it helps to restore the blood flow to all parts of your body but particularly to the brain, allowing improved use of oxygen.

Ginkgo helps to increase circulation which also allows maintaining energy level, giving you full benefits of all the foods you eat, vitamins and herbal supplements you take.

Please note: Our bodies don’t all react the same to Food, Vitamins, and Supplements.
Use this as a guide and if you need more help contact us we will be happy to help get you started on a program designed for you!

Please read chart below and you’ll understand how and why theses herbs can be helpful:

The Best Natural Supplements for Controlling Allergies

Vitamin C w/bioflavonoids
*Natural Antihistamine, adrenal function
*up to 5000mg daily, depending on bowel tolerance
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
*Adrenal function, defends against stress
*up to 1000mg, 2 or 3x daily

*Immune booster, counters histamine
*60mg, 3 or 4x daily
Vitamin A
*Anti-infammatory, immune system
*10,000 IU, 2 or 3x daily

AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound)
*Immune system booster
*500mg, once daily

Vitamin B12
*Reduces inflammatory response
*1,000 mcg daily in morning
*Produces coenzyme A, stress
*300 mg 3times daily w/meals
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
*Reduces allergic reactions
*1000mg daily
*Helps neutralize histamine
*up to 2000mg daily
Vitamin E & selenium
*Immune booster
*400 IU daily & selenium 50 mcg twice daily

Grapeseed extract
*Immune booster
*100mg 2x daily
Raw adrenal
*Immune booster
*500mg, 2x daily

*relieves bronchospasm
*400mg, daily
Full spectrum digestive enzyme supplement enhances assimilation & utilization of nutrients
with each meal.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Healthy Eating Tips by SnapShot

Healthy Eating Tips

Everyone knows that we have to eat healthily in order to stay healthy. Yet many people find it hard to do so. One useful way to get you into the habit of eating healthily is by applying a few principles to the way you eat. I've outlined 7 of them below.

I. Eat small portions of food for each meal.

II. Eat frequently. Most adults get hungry about 4 hours after their last meal.Aim to eat at least 5 small sized meals each day. This keeps your metabolic rate high.

III. Eat foods that you enjoy eating, making sure that each meal contains all the essential nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins).

IV. Eat only when you’re hungry.

V. Stop eating as soon as you feel full: practice pushing away your plate with food still on it when you’ve had enough. Don’t aim to wipe the plate clean, and don’t eat until you feel stuffed. Eat until you’re comfortably satisfied.

VI. Drink a lot of water. Scientists recommend that we drink roughly 8 (250mls) glasses of water each day. Water helps you stay full, and if you’re eating only when you’re hungry, it means you’ll eat less without feeling like you’re depriving yourself. It also helps you flush out toxins from your body which otherwise could interfere with your body’s normal metabolism.

VII. Eating should be a pleasure, not a pain. For any food plan to work, it has to be practical, enjoyable, flexible and nutritious. Any plan that's based on depriving you of some food or other is almost certainly doomed to fail in the long term.

Try incorporating the above tips into the way you eat. BABYSTEPS! Start with one of them, practice it for a week (or until you're used to it), then start on another one. If you make changes in small steps, you won't be overwhelmed and easily discouraged by your progress. So make a small change each time; celebrate (or reward yourself) for each success, no matter how small you think it is. Remember, every baby step is bringing you closer to your desired goal of being a healthy eater. With persistence, you will find that eating healthily is not only possible, but it's fun.

So go for it!

Tips to Increase Your Wellness Motivation


Staying motivated to reach your fitness goal can be difficult for everyone. Sometimes it is just so easy to say "Oh I'll start again on Monday." Wrong approach!

The right time to take the plunge fully into health and fitness is TODAY. Make a conscious decision to stop making excuses and to start making some serious progress NOW. "I’m too busy." "I’m too tired after work to get to the gym." "I don’t have the right genes to have a lean, muscular body." Blah, blah, blah . . . When it comes to getting and staying in shape, excuses are a dime a dozen and are addictive. Anyone can make excuses, but in order to reach your goals you need to make a conscious effort to NEVER make excuses. Just get it done.

Constantly remind yourself that this is the one life on earth you have . . . why not live it to your full physical and intellectual potential? It may sound harsh, but so many people never achieve what they want in their professional and personal lives simply because they refuse to understand that this is it. This is your chance . . . your moment in time. "Seize the day" means today not tomorrow!

Top 10 Ways To Get Motivated

1. Set realistic goals. You need a target to know what you’re gunning for. If you have a big overall goal, set up a series of smaller goals first.

2. Think positive. Let enthusiasm and confidence dictate your mind. What you actually believe you can do, you will.

3. Buy yourself an outfit you want to look great in when you reach your goal.

4. Get Tuned up. Listening to your favorite motivational music can really help intensify workouts.

5. Try exciting new exercises to add a healthy variation. Use barbells instead of machines, use the stepper instead of the treadmill. Try to a new fitness program that you can be excited about. (Check out the "Hardgainer Secrets Training Program" if you are looking to gain muscle mass or "The Guide To Building Muscle While Losing Fat" if you are looking to get ripped) available for instant download at:

6. Keep track of your progress. Keep a journal so you can jot down your thoughts and accomplishments each day.

7. Join a new gym for a while for a change of scenery. The great outdoors also makes for a refreshing gym.

8. Find a great workout partner, one who will inspire you, not tire you.

9. Focus on your workout. Block out those nagging distractions.

10. Find a picture of someone with a physique you would like to emulate (be realistic), and hang the picture up as a reminder of what you're working towards.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

TruEssencia Dance & Wellness Bio

Deena ‘SnapShot’ Clemente
Wanda ‘WandeePop’ Candelario

New York Ricans, Dance collaborators, business partners and childhood best friends, Deena Aka: Snapshot & Wanda aka: WandeePop, share a passion and a history created during an historic era. Both were raised in the South Bronx (Longwood and Fox) on the same block during the early 80’s. The Bronx was where they developed their dance skills and strong dance culture in neighborhood house jams, outside park jams, block parties, talent showcases in the Police Athletic League (PAL Lynch Center) and local cable station programs, with their dance crew “Unique Force”. SnapShot & WandeePop learned about discipline and focus for their craft through daily practice sessions at the PAL Lynch Center and battles with other neighborhood dance crews that posed a challenge. They were a strong force to be reckoned with. But it was not until years later they realized how important those days on Fox street really were. Deena and Wanda began their journey on the streets to discover what is known today as Hip Hop. Today you can find them taking their street knowledge and history into the studio teaching Organic NYC style Hip Hop.

One major pivotal career point was the help, teachings and encouragement from SnapShot’s brother Steve ‘Mr. Wiggles’ Clemente, and honorary brother Jorge ‘Popmaster Fabel’ Pabon that put them on the path to study Funk-Styles (Popping, Locking) and B-Girl Skills (Breaking & Rocking) in combination with their hip hop party dancing.

Their Second inspirational pivotal career point was meeting and working with Robin Dunn (EDEntertainment/Rhythm Technicians) on various stage productions. It was with Robin they learned about hard work, committing to one’s spirit, energy, focus, dedication and discipline to the art of dance in more depth then they ever imagined. Not to mention putting counts to choreography and learning how to break down the moves in a class setting.

Deena `Snapshot' Clemente was born the youngest of seven and her family has always been a source of inspiration behind her education and career. After obtaining her BA in Communications she worked for MTV Networks as a Pre/Post Production Coordinator. During this time Snapshot continued to build her resume in dance education, auditions and projects. During her undergrad years at CMSV (College of Mount Saint Vincent) she and WandeePop were founding members of the very first dance squad on campus. Presently that squad, Flava, is now an official club and still going strong. They remained the teachers and choreographers of the squad from 1991 until 1999. SnapShot was also given the best opportunity to tour with `Jam on the Groove' (the very first and best hip hop theater show out of NYC) with GhettOriginal Dance Productions. She had her first choreographers’ credit for Aaliyah’s (RIP) ‘Got To Give it Up’ and II the Extreme’s ‘Got Me Going’ featuring Cormega from WuTanng Clan & Nas shot in NYC. Other credits include Japanese television show with popular Japanese recording artist, 'MAX' in NYC and an Oxygen Networks commercial. Snapshot is currently established as a Certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach in the NYC/NJ area. You can also catch her competing on stage for fitness and figure competitions.

Wanda “WandeePop” Candelario remembers her sister Ceci as being very instrumental in her decision process to pursuit the arts; while continuing her education in Business Management. She has a long line of credits that range from films Hav Plenty, Box Marley, to music videos, commercials and industrial video for House Film which she is the feature dancer.

Even as teachers of their own open hip-hop party dances and funk-styles’ class Snap, PoP & Lock, which they teach at the Ailey Extension, they are still disciplined students of technique and performance. One of their more recent performances was in the New Victory Theater ‘Legends of Hip Hop’ with Rennie Harris. They also collaborate with four other inspiring B-Girls (HoneyRockWell, Miss Twist, Pauline & Seoulsonyk) on a company called TruEssencia (TEC). Representing the true essence of women in Hip-Hop they perform and work on projects ranging from the Rock Steady Anniversaries to opening up for La Kalle Block Party in Madison Square Garden, where WandeePop was given creative rights and you can find them in the book ‘We B-Girls' written by Martha Cooper. Since then they have opportunities with the most elite teachers, choreographers, dancers and mentors in today’s industry.

TEC is also affiliated with The International Hip Hop Speakers Bureau created by Saidah Brown, where they are producing workshops educating through Hip Hop for Health. The HH4H Workshops consist of Health and Wellness education combined with hip hop choreography, strength training, cardio combos, flexibility drills and nutritional tips.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

FOOD for FUEL not EMOTION by WandeePop

Keeping up with Snap Pop & Lock's signature class of captivating energetic Hip Hop dance, Health, Wellness, & Fitness can be challenging! We've decided to take it a few steps further and offer two additional sections of our newlsetter!

*Food for Fuel not Emotion
*Herb's Ready pack

This will teach how to utilize the earth's natural resources + juice cleansing for optimum health benefits.

Did you know Beans contain eight key nutrients that are an excellent source of Protein which contains high levels of it and is low in fat? For those who don't know protein is key for building bone and joint protecting muscles. If you are building muscle than you are on your way to lowering the fat count in your body.

How does protein help us? Please read the list below for nutrients and benefits:

1.Folate: Helps the body form red blood cells; may reduce the risk of Birth Defects

2.Fiber: Studies show it may reduce the risk of Heart Attacks and certain Cancer's help maintain a healthy intestinal tract.

3.Manganese: Needed for building strong bones and for a healthier metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrates.

4. Protein: Essential for growth and maintenance of bones and muscles.

5.Magnesium: This nutrient is necessary for building bone and releasing energy from muscles.

6.Copper: Key for iron absorption and efficient use of oxygen.

7.Iron: Needed to carry oxygen in the blood.

8.Potassium: Aids in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Now you have all eight key factors we in-courage to incorporate beans (a rainbow of them) in your meals and ask you to plan your meals wisely. We bring this information to you through our own research and studies.

**For more information on Food for Fuel not Emotion and Herb Ready Packs please email WandeePOP at email below**

Train with Purpose by SnapShot

Some Basic Rules In order to achieve the maximum benefits and to strength train effectively and safely, always observe these principles:

Warm Up & Cool Down:
This cannot be stressed enough. Most workout-related injuries can be avoided by proper warm-up and cool-down. Your muscles need a 5 to 15 minute warm-up as well as a brief cool-down. This holds true for all weight training workouts.Start At The

Appropriate Level:
If you begin training at to high a level you risk serious injury.You will also develop poor form, which will hinder your efforts and discourage you. Use this as a guideline: If you cannot lift the weight your working with 10 times with proper form, the weight is too heavy. Similarly, don't choose too light a weight; the last 2-3 repetitions of your set should be difficult.

Proper Technique:
To get the most out of training and to reduce the chance of injury, use proper lifting techniques. These include working with your muscles through their full range of motion (Not locking out any joints), lifting at a speed at which you can control the weight and easily stop if necessary, and maintaining good posture.

Exercise Large Muscles First:
You should work your large muscle groups first-your chest, back, and legs - before you exercise your biceps, triceps and smaller muscle groups. Because our bodies naturally recruit large muscle fibers first, these muscles will be the first to fatigue.

Progress Gradually:
Increase reps before increasing resistance. Reduce rest interval between sets to increase workload.

Breath Correctly:
Do no hold your breath. Exhale at the moment of highest effort. Breath in through your nose, Breath out through your mouth.

Challenge Your Muscles:
All training should begin progressively, using increases in weight until your goals or a plateau are reached. Then, change your workout to include increased reps with lowered weights at the end of a set, change the order of exercise, or add sets, etc., to reach new goals. (workouts should change about every 6-weeks).

Give Your Muscles & Mind A Rest:
You'll get the most out of your training if you give your muscles at least 48 hours rest between weight training workouts to recover and rebuild.

Personal Training with SnapShot

*one on one
*small PT group (2 - 4)
*group bootcamps (2 and up)

*Basic with strength/endurance training
*Snap, Pop & Lock with hip hop dance choreography

*at your home
*gym in the city or apt building

*Weight Loss
*Strength & Conditioning
*Muscle Building
*Cardio Conditioning
*Sports Specific (track & field, golf, fighting sports etc)
*Pre/Post Natal
*Fitness & Figure Contest Prep
*Most Aliments

*kids (8yrs and older)
*Young Adults

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tips for Allergy Season By WandeePOP

This month we are featuring two naturalpathic remedies in our Nutritional program and the utilization of Earth's natural resources.

For the past year I’ve been researching different foods (snacks), herbs (plants) and I’ve come across interesting findings with these two in particular; Sunflower Seeds and the Eucalyptus plant… So for six months I decided to add Sunflower seeds to my meals along with placing the eucalyptus plant in my home and office.

Let me start by telling you how helpful and effective the seeds can be. Sunflowers Seeds have five key components that are super in helping with Energy, relief from seasonal Allergies, lowering bad Cholesterol, and ladies studies also showed sunflowers to be extremely helpful in healing Cramps.

Why you may ask? Sunflower Seeds are known to be one of the highest forms and sources of vitamin E and is an excellent choice for daily snacking. Snacking on ¼ cup
Of set seed will deliver 55 percent of the daily dosage recommended of thiamine. This seed is also rich in Folate and Pantothenic acid which are known as good B-complex! vitamins and play key roles in converting carbohydrates into energy, glucose and yes in-turn will provide up to four hours of energy.

Sunflowers Seeds are helpful in curing seasonal Allergies: Because they are so high in vitamin-E! the vitamin has been known to alleviate the symptoms in five days. That’s because antioxidants neutralizes inflammatory which will free radicals through out your body, dampening susceptibility to any allergic reaction.

Sunflower Seeds help with lowering “BAD” Cholesterol: Because it is such a powerhouse of a seed that contains Phytosterols and has a plant compound that displaces LDL cholesterol particles in the intestines speeding through your body lowering the LDL count.

Sunflower Seeds helping to ease Cramps: If you eat at least ½ cup of the seeds it will provide 413mg of Tryptophan and 255mg of Magnesium this can be help to heal the discomfort of Cramps, PMS. The amino acid in the Tryptophan can prevent cravings by revving production of your appetite and because the seed contains Magnesium which is known to reduce muscle cramps. Plus it help’s to raise levels of the mood balancing the body’s chemicals.

At this point and time I decided to incorporate my sense of smell… and my continued mission to alleviate my on going battle with Allergies and Sinus problems. Placing the pretty Eucalyptus Plant in my immediate space was most important and helpful after reading and researching how it effective it can be in clearing congestion I took the chance and placed the plant in my home (living room, and bedroom) and at work. As I researched more about the plant I came to love and understand how helpful the plant truly is. The Eucalyptus plant is known as a prime defense against Spring Colds!

The plant contains great chemicals that when are inhaled raise the level of Healthy periciliary fluid in the body’s airways, and breathing the wonderful scent of this plant can raise the fluid levels in the respiratory tract thinning and loosening any, and all Phlegm.

By the end of the six month time period I was looking and feeling better!!
No congestions (nose, chest) ,or fuzzy hay fever feeling, natural sneezing not that on going allergy sneeze or running nose, and best of all no eye irritation.

This is the best medicine ever! I was feeling great then and still am till this day.
All I did was allow Earth's natural resources to help me.

Who would’ve thought that one simple plant and seed could be so POWERFUL.