Don’t cry for me Gluten eating people

Categories: Happy, Healthy | Posted by: Suzy Shulman

I am writing this in response to a blog post I recently read. In it, the author is recounting  a dream they had about garlic bread. Seems innocuous, but the author, like myself, has celiac disease, and the dream described the horror and anxiety of eating something with gluten. I instantly understood and sympathized.


But then I had this overwhelming sensation. I wanted to yell and scream at the author. I wanted to tell them, “Get over it!” Not eating gluten is really not a big deal. I want others with celiacs—and those who have opted to not eat gluten as a lifestyle choice—to stop asking for sympathy. Stop writing about your loss of gluten like it’s your lovers untimely death. And I want other celiacs to stop giving non-celiacs ammunition to chastise or stereotype us. Do not feed their fire.


Let others understand that we are healthier and happier on our unique diets. I want people to stop asking me, with shame and pity in their eyes, “Oh my god! What do you eat?!”


The same fucking things you eat dummy.


I am like a lot of people who have digestive disorders. There are multiple food groups I cannot tolerate. In addition to celiac disease, I am lactose intolerant; I am allergic to eggs; I am allergic to tree nuts, and I can’t really eat rice or corn. I have innards made of porcelain. And you know what? I’m fine.


In fact, I’m more than fine. I am fucking fantastic. I have beautiful, blemish-free, wrinkle-free skin. I do not have a single gray hair. I have consistently maintained my weight for the last 10 years. I have incredible muscle tone, and I am strong—like really, really strong.


I sleep like a rock. I wake with ease. I got into bike accident about a year ago, I bounced back in a matter of weeks. I have no joint pain, and I have not been sick in so long that I can’t actually remember when the last time I was sick.


So when you ask me, “So, what do you eat?” and you shame me cause you can’t believe someone could live in this world without gluten/dairy/eggs/rice/corn/tree nuts, I’m gonna tell exactly how I feel. I feel fucking fantastic. I eat all the same things you eat, just homemade and free of offending ingredients.

And to all of you who need the world to validate your dietary decisions, stop. I can’t listen to it anymore. Find the silver lining. Find the awesomeness in how healthy you are, whether you are gluten-free or not.


Read more


Categories: Happy, Healthy | Posted by: Suzy Shulman


1. Always trust your gut instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, look right or smell right—run. Don’t look back. Just go.


2. Try everything on. That’s true of clothing, lovers, exercise, diets, underwear, especially underwear. There may be nothing worse than ill-fitting panties. Wait, I lied—socks that slip into your boots and bunch up at the bottom, that’s the worst.


3. You are a constantly evolving beast; remember this when deciding who you want to be and what you what you want to do with the rest of your life. Who and what you are today may be completely different in a month, and that’s OK.


4. Trust that you can guide yourself to always live your best life possible. Knowing that change is inevitable makes it awesome.


5. Dye your hair pink. Because why not?


 6. Be bold. Make political statements. Be unwavering. Just do the appropriate research to back up your loud mouth.


7. Don’t shave or wax anything on your body because somebody else thinks it looks better.


8. Never let a bigger ego out-ego you. You’re the tits. Bite back.


 9. Always wash your face before bed, and while you’re at it, use a moisturizer and lip balm.


 10. Don’t fight aging; it’s a losing battle.


 11. Invest in the best you can afford.


 12. Live within your means. Credit cards are a trap. Cash is queen.


13. Move—all the time. Lift weights; do pilates; walk. Understand what Kegels are; learn how to use them, and surprise the shit out of your lover.


14. Fluctuate, ‘cause it’s healthy. Gain weight, lose weight, gain 10 pounds back, lose 15 more and then gain some back. Then gain the knowledge that it doesn’t matter. Learn to love and accept your body for what it is today, not what it was or what you imagine it could be. Be fat, be thin, be whatever you want, but definitely don’t let these things define you.


15. Spend some time working in a restaurant. At least once. You will learn everything you need to know and then some.

Read more

This Is The Most Important Thing You’ll Read Today

Categories: Fit, Happy | Posted by: Suzy Shulman

I am incredibly lucky. I have the most amazing women and men attend my classes and fill my day with awe and respect. Many show up wanting to move but are trepidatious because of age or injury or combination of both. Every so often, a person comes to class who changes my opinion of what is possible.


This month’s post is about a specific woman who through hard work, determination and beautiful spirit overcame what would have set many mere mortals back a lifetime. This amazing woman sent me a testimonial that I felt compelled to share, partly out of shameless self promotion and partly as proof that anyone can do anything they set their mind too.


This is her full testimonial:

I’m a 53-year-old woman that is finally able to start enjoying life again.


Five years ago I was a gym rat. Monday through Friday, 5:00 AM, I was there. I worked out on the machines religiously. A year in, I began having back problems; turns out I had both a compressed disc and a bulging disc. I put on bed rest for three months, then only allowed light work and some walking. My weight was spiraling out of control from a lack of exercise and menopause. I was working my way back, but due to continued pain, I was significantly limited in what I could do.  


My sleep was also significantly impacted as well. The most I was getting was four hours before the pain woke me up. My doctor’s only and very frustrating response was, “It’s going to take time.” Then I broke a toe.  


Once again, my movement and ability to workout was seriously altered. By this time, my core strength was gone, my back was worse than ever, and my quality of sleep was abysmal. More weight gain, and less muscle. This was a horrible downward spiral, I was resigned to just live with it.  


Through all of this, I lost the ability to do all the things I loved—horseback riding, snowmobiling, fishing (the back twist when casting would put me in spasms), and gardening. I started working out again and re-broke the toe. Back to square one.


After an additional four month of healing, I was determined to try again.  A co-worker mentioned Suzy’s class. It’s during lunch, and I felt secure having a buddy to go with. At this point, I was shaped like a weeble and thought “WTF.”


The very first class I was impressed. First, Suzy came and welcomed me to the class, and she meant it.  Second, she asked if I had any injuries. When I gave her the short version of what had been going on, she didn’t flinch; she didn’t snicker; she just listened. It felt good to be heard and not dismissed.


As class progressed, I discovered that there was no “You must do it this way and this many times.” It was empowering to have alternatives for the moves that weren’t working for me. She would call out, “Lois, do it this way instead.” I may have been pitiful at planks and squats, but with Suzy’s encouragement, it all seemed very doable.


I continued to go to the classes, and slowly I found that I was able to do more and my form had dramatically improved. Suzy noticed every improvement, and let me know: a quick thumbs up or a quiet “Nice.” If I am having trouble with one of the moves, she is right there showing me a better way or correcting my position. When she introduces new moves that are hard, she will quickly quip, “Just try it,” and if it doesn’t work or feel right, she is right there with alternatives. And then just like that, I can seemingly do anything.


Suzy creates a positive atmosphere without a whiff of competition; do only what you can do. Listen to your body is the mantra. I have found that the goal for Suzy’s classes is not how much weight you have lost but rather what you can achieve at your own pace.


Did I mention there’s laughter? Lots of laughter. A fitness class where you laugh? Who knew? We groan at some of the moves, or giggle, or some weird and funny groan/laugh combo, and that is OK. Actually, it’s encouraged. We are there to improve ourselves, and we get to have fun. It’s a win-win.


Within the first six months of attending Suzy’s classes bi-weekly, I was able to sleep for six or seven solid hours a night. I’m unable to put into words just how significant this is.


I was also able to start helping with chores around the house, stacking wood and gardening. This past winter, after being in the class for eight months, for the first time in years, I was able to go snowmobiling with my husband. It was a four-hour trip on a glorious bluebird sky day. The next day, my husband and I had to clean the snow off the roof with roof rakes. Monday I woke up and was just a little stiff, but no pain. None.


Wanna know why I had no pain? Suzy. Her method works.


I have regained parts of my life that I thought I were gone forever. I have gotten my life back. What else could you ask for? Going to the gym doesn’t even come close to the full body workout that I get and enjoy with Suzy’s method.


And now you know why I had to share. Her words reinforced my belief that my method of exercise really is for EVERY BODY.
She is why I do what I do.

Read more

Best Face Forward

Categories: Happy, happiness in life, Happy, Healthy | Posted by: Suzy Shulman

Everyday, regardless of the weather, I am outside with my dog Tal. We walk in the subarctic negatives(thanks Vermont), we sprint in the humid 80s and trudge through mud season. It doesn’t matter, the movement is as important to me as it is for him and nothing, especially not the weather, can stop us. I always protect him the best I can. Booties for when there is salt and sand that bloody his tender paws, a sweatshirt to protect him in -25 degree temperatures and sunscreen on his nose in the blaring July sun. Whatever he needs I try my best to give to him. I work on doing the same for myself. I believe that good skincare is a cornerstone of healthy lifestyle. I love that my skin is clear and vibrant and reflective of  the hard work I put in. I exercise for my body and brain, and my beauty routine is my workout for my skin.


Recently my skin was hurting, I had gotten a bit of frostbite on my cheeks. It had mostly healed but I was left with rough, dry patches of skin that seemingly couldn’t and wouldn’t heal. I kept looking in the mirror and being saddened by what was looking back at me. I looked old and dry so, so dry. The only thing to do was call on Therin Pohley (respected aesthetician and friend) for a much needed facial. Therin got me an appointment right away and on short notice (which, if you have a hectic and somewhat unpredictable schedule like mine, you know is a feat of amazingness). I was welcomed into a beautiful and tranquil room, clean and removed from the loudness of the world outside. Therin really heard me when I said my face was hurting and didn’t suggest that I was to blame ‘cause I was using the wrong products or that I didn’t care for my skin in the “right” way. She was polite, knowledgeable, and soothing. She understood the stresses of being a Personal Trainer, a full time fitness instructor and a doggy mom. She exercises regularly and prioritizes her needs, so much so that she builds her busy work schedule around the classes she attends, LIKE THE BOSS SHE IS. Yet another reason to respect and adore this woman.


An hour later, I was me again. My face didn’t hurt for the first time in weeks. The skin on my cheeks was soft and dewy. My brain was calm and my neck and shoulder muscles were far less tight than when I came in.  Not only is Therin an amazing esthetician, but one hell of a massage therapist too. I returned to the world, quite literally, with my best and freshest face forward.


It’s not just about working and pushing and working and pushing, there must be time downtime and space to restore, refresh and rejuvenate. My frostbitten face brought me in to see Therin, but my calmed and reseted frame of mind at the end of the facial was what I was really needing. Also, having bebe soft cheeks was awesome.


ps Go see Therin.











Read more

A Recipe And a Life Lesson. A Lecipe

Categories: Fit, Happy | Posted by: Suzy Shulman

Many of you are unaware that I am in the midst of putting together my first Teacher Training in the method I created. It has been a long, often rocky, usually broke road. I worked 2(or more) jobs, 7 days a week for over 3 years. I always knew that I wanted to teach teachers. I would go to other classes and be unable to do what was being asked of me because I was so aware that the teacher wasn’t teaching; they were doing. I wanted someone to correct my form, or give a way to make a move mine because they could see and understand that my body wasn’t getting it. I realized that this was where I was needed. I made the decision to start recording the moves I was teaching and the order they went in. And so my training manual was born.


If you’re all like, what does this have to do with a recipe, hold on, Im getting there.

I spent roughly 5 hours yesterday putting the final touches on the verbiage for the manual. I was cross eyed when I finally got up from seat. I got some sage advice from my counselor (i.e. Mike ) and called it a day. I would get up early the next day and finish before my work day started.


I got up this morning and did my usual thing. I was ready to destroy and conquer, I sat myself down in front of my computer and…. nothing. I need to write a mission statement. This should have spilled out of me like a gushing river. This training was all me, all that I preach, all that Ive done for years. I_couldn’t_get_a_single_word down. Frustrated, I did the next best thing, Pintrest! I came across a recipe that a friend of mine had posted. Cauliflower “bread.” Yummy I thought.


Im not one for following orders, a recipe none the less. I scanned the post and set out to make it the Susannah Shulman way ( you know, the only way)  Amazingly, I had all the ingredients I needed. I closed my laptop and stepped into the kitchen. I love cooking and baking. I love the freedom and the attention to detail. I love that when Im creatively stuck, I can go to my kitchen and just flow.


This was the easiest thing I have made in a long time. I set the oven to 400 degrees, Food processed the shit out of 2 heads of cauliflower, added salt and paper to taste, 1/3 cup flax meal, 1/2 cup Romano cheese and 1 cup Daiya Mozzarella cheese( you can use real cows milk chesse if your innards aren’t made of porcelain like mine) I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly, it resembled a flat bread.Bake for 25 to 30 min, flip so both sides are browned. Let sit for up to an hour and then shove into mouth. I put Avocado on mine.

So heres the life lesson: I lied, there really isn’t one. Or maybe, when in doubt make Gluten Free, Grain Free Cauliflower Bread and write an exercise manual.




Read more
  • @strengthxbalancevt
    25 Winooski Falls Way
    Winooski, VT 05404
    Get Directions
    (Next to public parking garage and Winooski rotary)