"I’m a professor in the humanities—I research and teach about the US South, gender, foodways, and culture. I love to walk, hike, make things with my hands, cook, and hear people’s stories. After ten years of living and working in Austin, Texas, two years ago I moved back to my home state of North Carolina. This year I’m working on writing my next book, which means lots of time in archives, doing interviews, and logging hours at the writing desk."
"I love my new home in Chapel Hill, but when I was thinking of making the move, there were two things on the “con” side of the pro-con list: that I had crazy seasonal allergies last time I lived in North Carolina and that I would have to leave behind my time in the RedBird studio and with the Redbird community. So I jumped at the chance to join the online program.
I love the precision of the RedBird teaching style. I value learning the scientific explanations of form. I am in this for the long haul, for whole life practice, and I love that RedBird is a system of movement that I won’t age out of. I also love the little things: I can jump over to the facebook community or the discussion boards and get answers about modifications I need or next steps I should take; the low-impact or various modifications are always presented without judgment as positive means to get your best results; and I definitely feel like I’m part of a community. "
How do you stay accountable?
"I’ve actually found it’s the other way around. Because I can work out with RB360 pretty much any time, any place, I use it as my reward for the rest of my to do list. Sit in the chair and do two hours of hard writing? Body Engineering or Pilates mat session to stretch out at the end of it. Hard day ahead in the archive? Cardio HIIT before I go. I don’t have to keep my eye on the clock for when class starts or factor in the travel time to get to the studio. I can just dive in. I even use the short educational videos as 10-minute breaks in the middle of the workday. I love the physical results, and they definitely keep me going, but more than that, it’s become “just what I do”—my new normal."
"Stress-triggered immune system diseases run in my family. So I have to make sure that I am centered and grounded, that my innate stubbornness doesn’t cause me to push past what my system can do. Pilates, for me, is a very meditative practice. I turn off my phone; I make sure my email notifications are silenced; I let myself just focus on being a student in the class, in my body, in the moment. (As an aside: as a professor, it is a joy to be a student now and then!) But—and this is perhaps the best part—through RedBird I have gone well beyond what I could do before in terms of strength, coordination, and mind-body connection. Seriously, ten-year-old Elizabeth who sneezed all the time and hated gym class is amazed at 46-year-old Elizabeth who is this close to a perfect form teaser."
"I love repeating the classes. Elisabeth and Lee often use the phrase “bake it in” to describe the process of really integrating the movements and the form into our practice. The online program makes it easy to revisit and relearn along the way. At the same time, I’ve been experimenting with taking one day each week to challenge my body and brain—so that’s my day to try one of the videos slightly above my current level. Sometimes I find myself modifying like crazy (following the modifications that are always in the videos) and sometimes I find hey! I’m ready for this."
I’m a snacker. I have food with me pretty much all the time. I had been looking for something a little crunchy, with some protein, but where I could control the salt and flavors. So I’ve been making a lot of roasted garbanzo beans this year.
Drain and rinse two cans of no-salt-added garbanzo beans. Dry them between two dishtowels. Toss them in a little olive oil and seasoning* and spread onto a sheet pan. Cook in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until they are browned and crunchier. Shake the pan a couple of times while baking.
*Seasoning: Really, this is the fun part. Try black pepper + lemon zest + kosher salt + rosemary. Or try orange zest + chile powder + salt. Maybe cumin + white pepper + lemon zest. Other fresh herbs, such as sage or thyme can be in the mix too.
They are great right out of the oven (that’s when they are crunchiest). Once they totally cool, you can store them in a jar and they’ll be a little chewier but good on the go. I just discovered you can re-crunch them by giving them a quick warm in a cast iron skillet on the stove top later.