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Success story : NADINE WENZEL

Taylor Carter

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I eat healthy and am fit. I have never smoked or done drugs and drink very little. I have never been sick. I am 37 years old and…. I have CANCER.

Here is my story…..
Nearing the end of 2014, I was ready to throw caution to the wind and try something new. I had been working out through lifting, cardio, HIIT type routines. The routines varied daily, so it was not so much about boredom in what I was doing, but I was mentally bored with the idea of having to lift, having to run, etc. each day. When I randomly came across Pilates ProWorks, I was anxious to learn what the concept was all about. I had done zero research on what Pilates was or the concept behind Pilates ProWorks. I took my first class (an essentials class) with a notoriously challenging instructor (of course I did not know that at the time) and could not believe how “out of shape” I was. I asked her after class, “Who can do this?” If this was only an essentials class, what was the pro class like? I was assured that I did great and could easily handle the pro class. I thought she was crazy, but jumped in feet first and have never looked back. After six months of coercing, I got my husband to join too. Together we go six days per week, rotating among Pro, Barre, and 30/30. We historically did MatBox too, but had to step away as you will see later in my story. The “pain” we endure during class is unexplainable to those who have never tried, but we certainly feel accomplished when it is over. Nothing beats that. 

We were three months into our joint routine, when the diagnosis of a lifetime slammed us in the face. May 1st, 2015 I was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer. I was in the best shape of my life, seven months into my commitment to Pilates ProWorks and never felt better. I thought my life flipped upside down. I do not know why, but I made a decision very quickly that this diagnosis was not going to change my life. Therefore, Pilates ProWorks continued to be a staple in my life. I had to endure four months of aggressive chemo (including hair loss), a double mastectomy (including reconstruction), and eight additional months of a different chemo regimen (one that allowed my hair to grow back). Throughout all the rigors of chemo and rehabilitation from multiple surgeries, Pilates ProWorks was present.

I continued to work out six days per week. I had no reason not to move my body. I knew how to make adjustments on my “bad” days, but convinced myself that the more normal I felt on the outside, the more normal I would feel on this inside. To me, that meant staying strong. It turned out to be a message of strength both physically and mentally. The longest gap I had in class attendance was a two week period following the mastectomy. When I came back to class, I still had drains in. My doctor stopped telling me my limitations because she knew I was not going to listen, but she also knew I understood how hard my body could push. She trusted me. To give perspective, I was supposed to take 4-6 weeks off post surgery, but only took two and was back to full strength by week six. 
My health journey has come to a close and I am grateful for what I was able to accomplish, maintain, and celebrate this past year. It was a bump in the road, albeit a big one, but it was never something I could not overcome under the same pretenses I lived my life every day before I was labeled. I have no idea if working out (specifically with Pilates ProWorks) helped during this journey, but I have no reason to believe it did not. STRONG IS BEAUTIFUL!!!

Ellie Houston : PPW Master Trainer

Taylor Carter

We are excited to introduce, Ellie Houston, our Brand Master Trainer. In this new role, Ellie will be responsible for maintaining the overall brand standards of Pilates ProWorks while inside Studio A + B. She'll be working with our studios across the country to ensure the PilatesPro Method continues to remain consistent, effective and hardcore!

What was Ellie up to before entering the PPW world?
I began my career in 2007 as an adventure guide for Outward Bound in the jungles of Costa Rica teaching kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing and rock climbing. From there I moved to Hawaii, leading kayak trips in the summer and performing in the Hawaii Volcano Circus in the winter. Upon returning to the Bay Area in 2010, I continued my work as a kayak, paddleboard and rock climbing instructor in Marin, Point Reyes, and San Francisco. In 2010 I attended the National Personal Training Institute in San Francisco, earning my Personal Training, Nutritional Consultant and Pilates certifications. After a few seasons juggling the demands of both vocations (ask me about my stint teaching Paddleboard Pilates classes), I decided to focus solely on fitness and began teaching at Pilates Proworks in 2011.

Why PPW?
I immediately loved the PilatesPro Method and it's focus on form, precision and body awareness. Offering a genuinely challenging workout that is low impact and maintains an element of fluidity is a tall order, but it's one PPW fills with style and diligence. Beyond that, the committed and tenacious clientele along with the dynamic, spectacular staff of instructors has always been a community in which I'm thrilled to take part.

Favorite class to teach at PPW:
Mommy & Me. I love to see the dramatic changes in both the babies and the moms week to week- the transformations are amazing and happen in such a short amount of time.

Pro Tip:
Take the following pointers from Ellie to help make your practice more effective in her favorite move. PPW Move: Straddle Pike/Straddle Crab Variations I love on this move include static holds as the knees contact the elbows in straddle crab, almost like a crow pose in yoga. In the static hold, you can challenge stability by lifting one foot at a time to focus acutely on the obliques and serratus anterior, which strengthens the core and promotes scapular stability. Make sure to shift the weight forward into the hands and cup the hands actively on the front platform to protect the wrists. Scoop the belly and round the back to hold.

Fave workout gear:
Onzie leggings because they stay put while you move and have weird awesome patterns so I don't have to dress like a grown-up EVER.

Find Ellie in studio delivering up hardcore classes!
Thursdays @ the Marina Studio:
9am Classic
10am Pilates Pro
11am Mommy + me
12:10pm Pilates Pro
And coming soon to Mill Valley & Fidi!

NutritionPro Q&A with Haley Whitley

Taylor Carter

photo credit: Rosa Delgado

photo credit: Rosa Delgado

Have you been wondering if NutritionPro is for you? Read our Q&A with NutritionPro master mind, Haley Whitley, and learn why this digital meal plan is for anyone, anywhere! It’s simple, straight-forward, easy on the pocket book and makes cooking fun and delicious! After reading these FAQs, you’ll be wondering “How do I sign up?”

Q. What is NutritionPro and what does “digital meal plan” mean?
NutritionPro is a monthly subscription program that delivers a 4 dinner meal plan every Friday. Our program is designed to simplify the meal planning process for you and your family by providing a unique strategy that involves bulk cooking and prepping ahead of time. NutritionPro will transform the way you think about food and show you how to nourish yourself while cutting back on stress and saving money. Upon signing up you will also get a packet of invaluable information from the Program Guide, Health Breakfast Guide, Hydration Guide, Eating Out Guide, and Snacks and Traveling Guide.

Q. Who creates the meal plan?
Are the menu items/recipes all original? All the recipes are original and created by me! I’ve had years of experience teaching cooking classes to children and adults, as well as nutritional consulting and creating individualized meal plans.

Q. What is your background and experience in nutrition and healthy lifestyle?
A. I grew up in Eugene, Oregon with very health-conscious parents, which helped foster a love of healthy food at a young age. It’s hard to pinpoint when my interest in health and nutrition really became a passion, but I think it was when I lived in Costa Rica. After graduating from Seattle University in 2006 with an undergraduate degree in psychology, I moved to a small beach town in Costa Rica to teach English. For almost four years I lived the “pura vida” lifestyle. I learned how to surf, hiked in the jungle, cooked fresh foods, and ate simply. I was in awe by the power of food and how it fueled my active lifestyle. There’s nothing quite like fresh mackerel caught the same day, coconut water straight from the tree and ripe papayas! In 2010 I moved back to the states — the land of plenty! — and really dove into learning to cook whole foods. Shortly thereafter I embarked on a Masters of Science in Holistic Nutrition from Hawthorn University, started my business, 18grains Nutrition, and began working with clients around the Bay Area.

Q. Each Friday I receive 4 dinner recipes, correct? What about other meals? What kind of recipes are they?
Yes. Each weekly meal plan provides you with 4 dinner recipes for the week ahead. You can shop and prep your meals over the weekend and be ready to go Monday morning! We recommend making extra dinner and saving the leftovers for a quick easy lunch, and you will receive the Healthy Breakfast Guide upon enrolling with several options to choose from.

You’ll find that our meal plans use seasonal produce and seasonal cooking styles with tons of variety. In the summer, for example, you’ll see lots of fresh salads, sweet corn, and ripe tomatoes; in the winter you’ll see more stews, soups, and cooked veggies like sweet potato and Brussels sprouts. All of the recipes are composed of whole foods with some lightly processed foods such as sprouted bread, corn tortillas, rice crackers, and hummus.

Q. Are the menu items/recipes every “reused”? Will I ever receive the same menu as from a previous weeks’ plan?
Nope, none of the recipes will ever be repeated. You can look forward to new, creative recipes each time.

Q. What if I’m gluten free? Are there options available?
Every recipe has a gluten-free option that is easy to implement (e.g. “use quinoa instead of bulgur in this recipe”). Keep in mind many of the recipes are already gluten-free because we utilize a variety of whole grains.

Q. I have strict eating limitations, would NutritionPro be a good fit for me?
Our meal plans use all types of whole foods and each recipe provides a gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian option. Those with egg, nut, or other food allergies would have to modify further.

Q. Is this a diet?
No, this is not a diet, but more like a lifestyle change. The beauty of NutritionPro is that is doesn’t feel or taste like a diet, but you get many of the benefits of one. Just like any successful diet, you will have structure and food recommendations to help you clean up your diet and lose weight. You will, however, have more choices, freedom to eat out on “Free Meals” and tools to make long-term and sustainable changes.

Q. Does this come with any guarantees for weight loss?
There is no guarantee for weight loss, but luckily it is a very common “side effect” of eating a clean, whole foods diet!

Q. I am looking to lose weight, is following the meal plan enough? If not, what else do you suggest incorporating into my diet or daily routine?
Many factors can influence an individual’s ability to lose weight such as age, activity level, genetics, and stress. Definitely the first step to losing weight is eating a whole foods diet and cutting out processed foods and “empty calories.” Not eating the right balance of protein, carbs, and fat — or not eating enough, period! — can be really detrimental for weight loss. We make sure to provide dinners and lunches that have balanced macronutrients and snacks and breakfasts that can be combined to create balance within the day.

Many people have food sensitivities that they’re unaware of, which makes trying to lose weight feel like an uphill battle. Following an elimination diet for 2-3 weeks sometimes can pinpoint these sensitivities. Of course, exercise is crucial. Regular cardio workouts and building lean muscle mass will fuel the weight loss process and support a healthy metabolism. Other things that help the weight loss process are drinking plenty of water, watching your sugar intake, and getting plenty of sleep.

Q. Are nutrition facts/serving sizes included for each menu item?
Yes. Each recipe comes with a serving size and tells you the amount of calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, fiber, sugar and protein in the meal. The lunches and dinners are 400-600 calories, the breakfasts are 300-400 calories, and the snacks range from 50-200 calories. You have a lot to choose from and you are coached how to combine meals in order to maximize your macronutrient and micronutrient intake.

Q. What if I workout a lot- do these meal plans sustain an active lifestyle?
Definitely. If you are a highly active person — not to worry! There will be plenty of complex carbohydrates, protein, and high-quality fats in the meal plans to fuel you through the day. If you’re an athlete or had a particularly strenuous workout, stick to the meal plan but increase the portions or eat more snacks to supplement.

Q. I’m not a good cook, are these recipes easy to follow? And do you use common, easy to find ingredients?
Yes. Even though they’re simple and easy to follow, the recipes are creative and packed with flavor. If you’re new in the kitchen you’ll learn basic cooking strategies and build your inventory of go-to recipes you can use again and again. The ingredients are basic enough to find at stores like Safeway or Trader Joe’s. You may be using foods you’re not accustomed to or be introduced to new foods altogether (like chia seeds, miso paste, and bulgur!).

Q. I don’t live near a Pilates ProWorks location, can I still sign-up?
Anyone can sign up! You do not need to be a member or have ever stepped foot in PPW to subscribe to NutritionPro.

Q. How much does NutritionPro cost and what do I get for that?
It’s only $12/month, charged in three months increments (that’s $36 every three months). Your credit card will be auto debited at the end of the three month cycle, but you can cancel anytime before each renewal. Upon enrolling you get a Welcome Packet, which has the first set of downloads (the Program Guide, Healthy Breakfast Guide, Hydration Guide, Eating Out Guide, and Snacks and Traveling Guide). Regardless of what day you sign up, your first meal plan will arrive on the soonest Friday, and you will continue receiving meal plans until you choose to cancel. In other words, each three month cycle provides 50+ dinner recipes.

Q. What inspired you to create NutritionPro?
Over the years I have seen many people struggle with weight loss, get frustrated when diets don’t work, and develop unhealthy relationships with food. Food becomes the enemy when it really should be a positive and enjoyable experience. I wanted to show people that wholesome, nourishing food can be delicious and satisfying and — most importantly — make you feel good. I believe that a whole foods diet is the foundation for long-term weight loss and can prevent chronic disease down the road. And guess where it all starts? In the kitchen! Most of us can’t afford to eat out all the time or buy expensive ingredients, so home-cooking is crucial. The constant "What-should-I-eat-for-dinner?" dilemma can be an ongoing problem for many people, which often results in making poor choices and overall having poor health. This is why NutritionPro brings you back to the kitchen, but totally de-stresses and simplifies the process. Many Pilates ProWorks clients are already somewhat health-conscious and have the exercise part down, but it’s the nutrition part that is a source of confusion. Now we can confidently say we have a program that fixes the "What-should-I-eat-for-dinner?" problem effectively and affordably!

Q. What’s your favorite recipe?
This is a hard one… it’s a tie between Avocado Mousse (I have a sweet tooth!) and Cheesy Polenta Stuffed Poblanos. YUM.

If you have any further questions, or want to get started with the plan, visit the NutritionPro section on our website at: or email

SUCCESS STORY : JEN SCHEER (and Parker, too)

Taylor Carter

After three and a half years, not only did PPW totally transform my body and increase my strength in a crazy way.... but it means so much that you all took me safely through my entire pregnancy (all the way up to my last class at 39.5 weeks - haha!) I felt so strong and healthy and sometimes a great pilates class was the only thing that made me feel better. And now, four months after having Parker, I owe so much of my bounce back to you all! Okay, and Parker gets some credit for helping me in the Mommy & Me classes :)

THANK YOU to all the teachers that really have helped me in so many ways and through some major changes in my life! PPW love to.... Skipp, Ellie, Stephanie, Sara D, Clarissa, Brittany, Kim, and so many others from the past!

Thanks for everything and keep kicking butt!
xxo, Jen Scheer


Taylor Carter

I have been around fitness nearly 30 years as an instructor and student. A few years ago I had a personal set-back with the passing of both my parents that took me away from the fitness life that was so much a part of my life. A very sad and difficult few years in my life followed only to be bombarded with the lost of my identity, my teaching, and my students. Last fall I decided that I wanted to get back in shape and tried numerous classes and clubs, but it was never quite right. Something was missing.

This past Christmas I was gifted with a monthly membership to PPW and little did I know at that time, this would be a life changing month for my family and me. From the first class to the class I took this morning I feel that I’m in a special place with special people. I’m HOME again and am so grateful to you all.

Thank you!

Announcing a Killer New Class: matBox is Here!

Taylor Carter

It's a hit - literally. 

Go three rounds with this hot knock-out workout that incorporates Kickboxing, Pilates and Yoga.

We are proud to say we are the first to create and offer a fusion class, combining the best of kickboxing, what we already know and love about pilates, and a dash of yoga for good measure. 

You can have it all in one workout.  Introducing matBox: 1 part Kickboxing, 1 part Pilates, and 1 part Yoga for a knock-out workout that will have you looking like a featherweight in no time.  
A Pilates ProWorks original, matBox is a powerful workout that starts with a round of high-intensity kickboxing with a punching bag.  Then, the gloves come off and you hit the mat for a round of Pilates to strengthen your core.  The final round incorporates Yoga to leave you aligned, balanced and fully invigorated.
The Marina and FiDi classes will officially launch May 26th, followed by a roll out plan for all other studios. Gloves and hand wraps are required, but you can watch this video to get up to speed.

As part of the launch, we are holding a contest to WIN A FREE MONTH at Pilates ProWorks! Just post your best boxing-related pose on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for a chance to win!
You must follow and tag Pilates ProWorks @pilatesproworks with your photo and #matBoxMug until June 5 for entry.

Success Story : Tony Bellisimo

Taylor Carter

My name is Tony Bellisimo I am a 48 year old husband and a father of two boys. I have been an athlete my entire life, playing two different sports at a very high level – baseball and boxing. I can not remember a time in my life that I was not training or preparing to compete.

Both sports required explosive movements, so as a result, my training regiment was to one: lift weights, and two: practice consistent repetition of explosive movements.

About two years ago, my lower back finally could not take anymore explosive movements. I have had six surgeries due to sports injuries but this was my first back issue. I can take a tremendous amount of pain. However, I have never experience the persistent, relentless pain from a lower back injury. I was unable to function and lay on the floor of my living room for six months. 

After what amounted to two years of no exercise and at my wife's insistence, I decided to try Pilates. The results were not immediate.  It was not a one or two class thing and then I was cured. However, it was not an extended period of time either. It took about two months of consistent (5 times per week) effort. I am now really strong, especially my core.

The instructors are incredible. They encourage, motivate and challenge the class. They are also very knowledgeable as it relates to proper form and safety for those students who do have injuries. I also really like the way the instructors tell the class what muscles to focus on when doing particular exercises. I find that it really helps me to engage the proper muscles to create greater core stability. I also like the reminders from the instructors in regard to breathing, sounds simple right breathing... But I have found that I am able to work harder when I follow the breathing instruction.

The first day I could barely make it through the class. In all fairness I still have days where I can barely make it through the class but I am pain free. I sleep better and I am getting a six pack. I wish I did Pilates when I was competing because I have also noticed that my balance is the best it has ever been. 

When a client gives you meyer lemons...

Taylor Carter

…make Lemon Bars!

One of our generous members brought in a couple bags of meyer lemons from her tree and I was inspired to make a lemony treat!

I made this lemon bar recipe from Tasty Yummies and it turned out really well. It was easy and delicious! I also like that it's Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free + Refined Sugar-free and you use the WHOLE lemon. Peel and all!

One 8-inch Square Pan – Makes 16 squares


• 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/8 teaspoon salt

Lemon Topping:

• 1 whole organic Meyer lemon, washed (organic or unsprayed)
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 1/3 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (approx 2 additional lemons)
• 4 large farm fresh brown eggs, at room temperature
• 4 teaspoons tapioca starch
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (make sure it isn’t too hot when you add it in, you don’t want it to cook the eggs)
• Unsweetened shredded coconut for topping

Follow the instructions here...

30 minutes of daily exercise is enough

Taylor Carter

The same effect in only half the time: scientists have demonstrated that 30 minutes of daily exercise gives an equally effective loss of weight and fat mass as a full hour’s daily exercise.

If you want to lose weight, exercising for more than 30 minutes a day may be wasted effort, a new study from Denmark suggests.

In the study, participants who exercised for 30 minutes a day for three months lost just as much weight and body fat as those who exercised for an hour a day for the same time period.

This difference in weight loss was seen despite the fact that the 60-minute group burned twice as many calories, on average, as the 30-minute group.

The researchers were surprised by their results. It's possible those who were assigned to the 30-minute exercise group saw their training as more doable, and had the desire and energy for more physical activityafterward, the researchers said.

In addition, the people who spent 60 minutes exercising probably ate more, and therefore lost slightly less weight than anticipated, said study researcher Mads Rosenkilde, a doctoral student at the University of Copenhagen.

The study is published in the Aug. 1 issue of the American Journal of Physiology.

The study involved 60 overweight Danish men who had previously lived a sedentarylifestyle. About one-third were assigned to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day at an intensity level high enough to produce a light sweat, one-third were told to do 60 minutes of aerobic exercise a day and the rest remained sedentary.

Participants in the exercise groups wore heart-rate monitors and calorie counters during training, and the program lasted 13 weeks.

On average, men who exercised 30 minutes a day lost nearly 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) in three months, while those who exercised for a whole hour lost about 6 pounds (2.7 kg). The reduction in fat mass was about 9 pounds (4 kg for both groups).

Interestingly, the participants who exercised 30 minutes per day burned more calories than they were expected to, based on the training program that was set for them, the researchers said. And the men who exercised the most lost less weight than expected, based on the amount of calories they burned.

To exercise for health, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.

Pass it on: Thirty minutes of exercise a day works just as well as an hour of exercise for weight loss, a new study suggests.

This story was provided  by MyHealthNewsDaily

Protein Power!

Taylor Carter

Pilates ProWorks classes can really work up an appetite! We’ve made a list of surprising protein sources that you can add to your meals without having to repeat the same protein day in and day out


Eggs: Try making savory oatmeal instead of sweet, or make an omelet full of veggies to keep eggs exciting! They are full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and contain sulfur which is known as the beauty mineral.


Quinoa: This is a power grain to say the least! Quinoa can be eaten cold, hot, under veggies or mixed with fruit. It’s also a great way to get some extra protein without all the carbs! Try soaking it for a few hours before cooking, it will help your body to get more of the great nutrients it has to offer!


Chia seeds: Top of your favorite smoothie recipe with chia seeds, or mix with your fruit and yogurt for a great protein source packed into a 1-tablespoon serving!

Check out for more ideas to add healthy protein sources to your meals!

Healthy Eating With a Budget in Mind

Taylor Carter

Although San Francisco has many delicious options for dining after your favorite Pilates ProWorks class, sometimes you just want a home-cooked meal. It seems like a daunting task to grocery shop on a budget while still purchasing clean, quality food. It doesn’t have to be! Here are some quick tips to help you make quick and healthy choices at the grocery store!


–> PLAN. By organizing your grocery needs and making a list, you will make the process SO much easier. Then you won’t be adding unnecessary things to your grocery cart. Who knows, you might just enjoy yourself a little bit.

–>EAT. Have a meal or a snack before you hit the grocery store. Otherwise, everything will look good and you will end up leaving with 5 times more food than you intended on.

–>FREEZE. Kale sale? Reduced prices on your favorite berries? Stock up! You can easily purchase these items and store them in the freezer until you need them. This is also great for smoothie making so your ingredients are already super cold and refreshing!

–>BUDGET. By calculating a budget for your shopping trip, you’ll be able to prioritize what you actually need vs. what you just want. This also makes for a quicker shopping trip by just being prepared!


For more tips visit MindBodyGreen 

Crisp Mornings

Taylor Carter

Fall is in the air! Are you tired of apples yet? Apples can be a great addition to oats, bread, salads, or even mashed into applesauce and served hot. Here’s our favorite yum-tastic way to eat them!

Apple Chips

You’ll Need:

2 Medium apples, clean and dry

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

Heat the oven to 275°F and core the apples. 

Slice each apple 1/4 inch thick, a mandoline may make the process faster.

Put the slices onto a cooling rack and set the cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.

Sprinkle the cinnamon onto the apple slices and bake for 1 hour, flipping them halfway through baking. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


For more fun ideas, check out