Ambiance Smoothing Special

IMG_20170207_175600_805The weather has been anything but predictable lately – it is sunny and warm one day and rainy and cold the next.

The beginning of spring can be unpredictable, especially on how your hair reacts to it. If you are experiencing unruly, fly away or chemically stressed hair, a smoothing treatment is the answer.

This process improves the health and condition of your hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and shine and smooth the cuticle of each strand of hair. There is no damage, no down time and the results last up to 12 weeks. You are left with smooth, healthy looking hair with radiant shine!

In connection with the end of month Smoothing Special, all of the GK hair care retail line is on sale. Both specials are good to the end of March. Call or stop by the Ambiance salon today and book your appointment with Mila for the End of Month Smoothing Special. Also come in and check out the GK Retail Products sale!

From all of us at Ambiance salon, enjoy the beginning of Spring!

Writer: Mila Lopez

The Importance of Building and Maintaining Positive Relationships

“The single most important ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people” – Theodore Roosevelt


Why is it so important to create and maintain positive relationships?

One of the most important experiences that we can have in our lives is our connection with other human beings. There is compelling evidence that strong relationships contribute to a long, happy, and healthy life. As naturally social creatures, we crave friendships and positive interactions, just as much as we crave food and water.

Although we should try to build and maintain good relationships with everyone we encounter, there are certain relationships that deserve a little more attention. Thus, we should start by identifying our relationship needs among those that we interact with the most, those we can help, and those who can help us.

Four profound effects positive relationships have in our lives include: the encouragement of personal growth, support during tough times, encouragement of collaboration and partnership and the overall addition to meaning in our life.

Positive relationships encourage personal growth.

Our loved ones find joy in our own successes. Family and friends often double as our support system, encouragers and personal cheerleaders. It’s not rocket science that family, friends, coworkers and colleagues enjoy seeing us achieve our goals. Most of the time, in fact, those same loved ones are willing to help in anyway they can and will go out of their way to help us achieve our goals and make our dreams come true.

Positive relationships support you during tough times.

We all have times of struggle in our lives, whether it’s financially, relationally, or health-related. It is in those times that we so desperately need the support of our loved ones. Thankfully, having a strong support circle will help us through those tough times.

Positive relationships encourage collaborations and partnership.

We can’t be good at everything, so it’s important that we have good working relationships. Accompanied with our good working relationships, we can learn from each other, utilize others strengths and ultimately do what we do best. Strong relationships in our professional circle – customers, suppliers, and key stakeholders – are all essential to our success. When our relationships are good, life is more enjoyable, people are more likely to support us and we’re able to be more innovative and creative.

Positive relationships add more meaning to our life.

Building and maintaining positive relationships in our life increases our sense of purpose and meaning. When we are able to make a positive impact for someone, we feel like we are making a difference in the world – and we are.

How do we build long-term relationships?

It starts with us; we have to be kind, friendly and approachable. There should be a like interest. Either way, we need to accept others for who they are and celebrate the fact that we are all different. It is crucial we ask relevant questions and have a sincere interest in people and what they say, and always listen more than we talk.

We may even want to make a note of the small things that are important to others, so that we can later come back and surprise them by creating a magic moment. Trust is the foundation of every good relationship, so we must always be open and honest. This will ultimately help to build the bond. A few other characteristics that will help: be positive, respectful, mindful, and grateful.

What do you do when a relationship goes bad?

End any negative relationship, and do so as soon as possible! There is nothing worse than engaging in a bad relationship, or one that drains your energy. Notice a distinct difference between the positive and beneficial relationships in your life and the harmful and toxic relationships in your life. If you find that you don’t have many positive relationships in your life, you may want to look at improving your communication skills. Don’t harbor hate or bitterness in relationships; rather, harbor love and acceptance. It will have a significant impact on your life and well being.

What are the benefits to strong, long lasting relationships?

The sky’s the limit! People don’t quit strong relationships. You will reap the benefits of unconditional love and support from those in your life and they will do just about anything for you, without even asking. You will be surprised – people will want to please you. We get more from giving than receiving, and the funny thing is that it comes back full circle in ways you could never imagine. A team of like-minded individuals can accomplish just about anything when collaborating and working together.

Writer: Tracy Stepp, Director of Human Possibilities 

Beat the Heat with Nutrition


Spring has officially sprung! With the change in seasons comes warmer weather, and as the temperature starts heating up you may find yourself reaching for cold, sugary sweets. Ice cream and popsicles are a common craving on hot days, but there are other, healthier, options to cool off and stay hydrated when the heat just will not stop.

The most important beverage to consume on a hot day is water. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and we need to replenish those stores as we sweat on hot days. Water is not just a key component of our bodies, but it is essential for proper nutrition and safe workouts. In general, most people are not consuming enough water, so I recommend you DRINK MORE WATER. If you are not currently drinking water, start off by drinking about eight, 8 ounce glasses of water each day. This is a bare minimum amount, and should be exceeded on hot days. If you engage in physical activity on a hot day, replenishing the water lost through sweat is essential. Aim to drink about 8 ounces of water every fifteen minutes during your workout.

Water is an essential part of hydration in the heat, but so are electrolytes. What are electrolytes? Electrolytes are minerals that help regulate fluid balance in the body. They help with major body functions, muscle contractions, and energy generation. Some common electrolytes in the human body are potassium, calcium, and sodium. During a workout, your body is losing all these electrolytes through the water in your sweat. For this reason, it is important to pre-hydrate before your workout, hydrate during your workout, and replenish electrolytes and water lost after your workout. Electrolytes can be found in many foods and simple sports drinks for those who exercise for durations longer than an hour; and are easily accessible.

For some people, drinking large volumes of water is not an easy task. Maybe water does not sit well with you, maybe you do not like the taste, or maybe it is simply annoying to incorporate throughout the day. The good news is that water can be consumed through your diet. Foods high in water content are great to eat on hot days, because they are not only refreshing but hydrating as well. One spring and summer favorite is watermelon. This delicious fruit is 92% water. Berries are another hot weather favorite. They are an easy snack to take anywhere, and can be paired with various foods. They can top a yogurt parfait, be placed on whole-wheat toast with nut butter, and blended into a smoothie. Apples, pears, cherries, and carrots also have water content around 80% just like berries making them a good choice on hot days. To introduce some more vegetables into the mix, broccoli, spinach, cucumbers, and arugula all have very high water contents, and are low in calories. So, if you are looking for more hydration without increasing your calorie intake these vegetables are a great option.

Whether it is hot outside or a normal day, hydration is equally important. Dehydration in the heat can lead to fever, nausea, vomiting, and mental impairments. Under normal conditions, the body is losing small amounts of water, but in the heat that amount can increase. If you are not properly hydrated, the first danger is dehydration. If dehydration progresses too far, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur.

To combat dehydration on hot days, it is important to introduce purposeful hydration. This is essentially properly timing your water intake throughout the day to insure hydration is maintained. In the morning, replenish water lost during sleep by drinking a full glass of water before breakfast. Every hour, aim to drink about one 8-ounce glass of water or more. About 20 minutes before a workout, try drinking 12-20 ounces of water, and during a workout drink about 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes. After a long workout lasting over an hour, replenish lost water and electrolytes with a sports drink. All these tips will help you to beat the heat and stay hydrated. Just remember: DRINK MORE WATER!

Writers: Tracy Granberry and Ashley Dougherty

The Benefits of Cross Training

Whether you are new to exercise or a competitive athlete, the essentials of cross training are the same. You can choose to vary your routine from workout to workout, or simply add a new component within your existing exercise program. Cross training adds variety to your workouts, making your routine more interesting and easier to stick with. For athletes, it provides a break from the rigors and stresses of single-sport training. Your overall fitness level will improve and ultimately, over a period of time, lead to improved performance.

conseils-musculation-cross-training-programme-1-mois-header_1For more information or a complimentary training session please contact Personal Trainer Bob Schlegel at ext. 366.

Love Your Body

shutterstock86020333We all want toned arms, a bubble butt, lean legs, and a flat tummy. It’s that vision of having a perfect body. We think that having that perfect body, will make us happy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be perfectly shaped and toned. But would that really make us happy? Is that all the fulfillment that we really need in order to achieve that? Of course those aren’t bad goals to have but loving your body isn’t about having the hottest or best body or about any physical appearance at all. It’s loving who you are starting from the inside and having that confidence about yourself, loving yourself enough to give your body the care you need and the attention your body deserves.

We all workout with a goal set in mind, whether it’s too lose weight, tone up, or build muscle. Our goals are usually set by something we don’t like about ourselves. While the idea of improving is always important, why do let what we don’t like motivate us instead of what we do like? The negative start vs. the positive start. It’s our choice to be proactive and chose how we feel. So let’s choose to workout because we love our bodies, not because we hate them. We love the way our body feels after a tough workout, because we just accomplished something. We usually leave our workout feeling happy, so why not start your workout that way? Or better, start everyday that way, and how do we do that? Balance.

Life is about finding balance. You have to give your body the work its needs but also the rest it needs. It’s taking your Pilates class Monday, Wednesday, Friday and working your body so all your muscles remember the hard work your body put in the day before.  It’s also about giving your body the recovery and rest time so you can make working consistent and not overwhelming. We want to look forward to workouts, and by giving your body a chance to miss working out, maybe you’ll look forward to when you do.

I know when I go to workout I want a balanced work out routine. During Pilates I know my core work is always being maximized, and my arms will burn while working on my posture. I know during my workout I’m hitting all parts of my body, never leaving a muscle under or over utilized. I leave feeling balanced and I love that feeling. So why not carry that feeling you love and create a well rounded and balanced lifestyle that you’ll love.

We deserve to love our life we live and the body we live in. We only have one body so let’s take care of it, treat it respectfully and be nice to the body we were given! Finding what we love to do that feels good for body and leaves you feeling better. Knowing that tough Pilates session you had, you did because you care enough to keep your body healthy. Be happy, workout, eat healthy, make time for you, and be nice to yourself. Find that balance, because you deserve to love your body!

Writer: Layne Garner, Pilates Director

Does exercise cause acne?

maxresdefault.jpgAcne: the occurrence of inflamed or infected sebaceous glands in the skin; a condition characterized by red pimples on the face or body.

Ever wonder where your acne comes from? What could be the leading culprit of the pesky red bumps that just won’t go away? Could you, as an avid exerciser, be causing the issue of those unsightly nodules?

According to Web MD, “exercise helps cut stress, which may contribute to acne outbreaks. Physical activity also helps your skin by increasing your blood circulation, which sends more oxygen to your skins cells and carries cell waste away. But keep in mind that sweat from exercise can also lead to breakouts by irritating your skin” (Web MD).

As an esthetician of over 9 years, I can confirm that there are many factors to acne. Hormones playing a huge part along with environmental tactics and life events can irritate and cause acne. For example if you are diligent with exercise you are sweating more than the average person who doesn’t exercise at all. Leaving more sweat residue on the skin can compact in pores along with normal skin congestion caused by oil, make up, dead skin cells and environmental pollutants.

The solution: do not let sweat sit on your skin for too long! Cleansing and maintaining a good skin routine is key along with using professional grade products such as Rhonda Allison or Dermalogica. Going for a skin analysis with a professional esthetician, such as myself or another fine esthetician at the Ambiance Day Spa is a good place to start.

If you have a good skin care regimen and are still having acne issues, make sure you are exfoliating. Try Dermalogica’s new super microfoliant that helps combat pollutants in the skin or Rhonda Allison exfoliating pads, with salicylic acid are great to have on hand or in your gym bag.

Your skin is the largest organ and should be properly taken care of and maintained.
Be sure to fit facials in on a regular basis. Being proactive in getting facials can help. Professional products only used in the room help to minimize acne and smooth away dead skin cells.

Bottom line exercise can be a cause of acne if you are not taking the proper measurements to maintain healthy, clean skin.

Blog writer: Emmy Munnis, Ambiance

Nutrition Tips by Tracy and Ashley

eatrightJanuary began the start of a new year, and maybe a new you. The new year brings about the annual practice of resolution making. Resolutions are a great way to make big life changes starting January first, and can encompass anything from finance to health. Making a positive life change is awesome no matter what aspect of your life you choose. Also, resolutions do not have to begin January first. A resolution is simply a goal to make a change for the better in your own life, and you can start anytime. Some may have made resolutions to eat healthier, choose better foods or any goals related to diet. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some tips to help you along? Well, here they are; a few nutrition tips to get you started or keep you going on a resolution to a healthier you!

Every person is created uniquely and as individuals we all have different preferences in food. Some preferences stem from culture and others from experience, but none-the-less everyone has a specialized taste. This brings us to the first nutrition tip: Individualize. No new healthy diet will ever stick if you do not like the taste of food, so pick ones that suit you and your families’ preferences. Do not be afraid of disliking one food because usually there is a replacement. Say spinach is not your favorite, well in place of spinach can be kale, field greens, Swiss chard, collard greens and many more! Beginning to eat healthy is hard enough, so pick foods you might actually enjoy. The next tip is: To start slow. Eating a healthful diet can seem like a daunting task, but breaking the day up into smaller pieces will make the change easier. For example take a look at the snacks you are consuming. Begin replacing chips with crudités, cookies with crackers and sweets with fruits. After tackling snacks move on to breakfast, then lunch and finally dinner. Starting slow will ease you into a habit of healthy eating.

There are many tips more tips I would like to share, but I am just going to leave you with a few more. The third tip is to: Balance macronutrients. Dietary guidelines recommend 45-60% of daily calories come from carbohydrates. That does not mean go out in eat a plate of cookies. What it does mean is eat a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 20-35% of calories from a fat source. Yes, fat can be healthy. Nuts, eggs, fish, avocado and coconut oil are some great healthy fat sources. Lastly protein should make up about 10-35% of total calories. As for source try lean meats, fish, beans, legumes and poultry. A healthy diet is about finding which percentages work for your lifestyle and exercise style. There are many aspects of a healthy diet which brings me to the next tip: drink water. Many people have a dislike for water, but it is time to change that. Water is a key component of the body and dehydration can negatively impact it in many ways. If you are not drinking water, start. If you are, then keep going. Aim for eight glasses a day; drink more if you can. The last nutrition tip I will leave you with is: don’t eat fake. Processed foods, artificial flavoring, unpronounceable ingredients, fake sugars, etc. all fall under “fake.” The biggest nutrition tip I can leave you with is this: eat real food. Humans were not designed to eat out of a can or a box. We were designed to actually go to the produce section of the grocery store and cook our food. So, individualize your nutrition journey, begin is slowly, balance out the macronutrient, drink lots of water and stray away from “fake” foods.

Writers: Tracy Granberry, R.D. & Ashley Dougherty, Dietetic Intern

For Beautiful Shiny Hair with Safe, Smoothing Treatments by Ambiance

mila_agave1I choose carefully the products that I work with — not only for my own health and safety — but most importantly for the health and safety of my clients.

I customize my smoothing treatment according to the texture and current condition of the hair fabric before I decide on the best smoothing system for the client. There are two different systems that I have had much success with and continue to keep the integrity of the hair priority.

For fine to medium texture hair that tends to have unmanageable frizz and curl wave pattern, I use a professional product that instantly and safely smooths out up to 100% frizz and volume and reduces curl retention by 80%. This product contains no formaldehyde or formaldehyde derivatives, making it one of the safest salon treatments available. With an exclusive Amino Acid Complex called Carbo-C, it gently alters the hairs disulphide bonds, reforming them to make the hair sleek and smooth. Agave plant sugars help hydrate and condition.

Agave Amino Acid Sugars lock moisture in the hair, restoring and maintaining moisture balance. Amino Sugars form complex bonds with internal proteins to add strength, resiliency and elasticity to hair. Agave natural oils nourish and transform the outer cuticle layer of the hair, making it softer, smoother and shinier for up to 12 weeks. Same day hair coloring can be done AFTER the smoothing service. This system can be used over previously chemically straightened hair, including hair treated with Thio, Formaldehyde, Sodium Hydroxide and Keratin type treatments.

This system makes the hair smooth and silkier, easier and faster to blow dry, resistant to the effects of humidity, results last up to 12 weeks, rejuvenates and revitalizes the hair and is gentle enough on all hair types.

If you have fine to medium hair that is not easy to manage, call and make your appointment today with Mila Lopez in Ambiance for this fabulous service and enjoy your beautiful hair!

Writer: Mila Lopez, Ambiance Stylist

3 Unconventional Tips to Losing the Holiday Pounds

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 3.31.32 PM.pngThe holidays come and go and the extra pounds of weight on the body come… and well, sometimes those pounds don’t go. With the temptation of delicious foods, a few too many cocktail parties, and a busy schedule that had you wondering where you could possibly fit a workout in, you are probably feeling ready to get back on track this New Year.

However with a whopping 80% of New Year’s resolutions going unfulfilled, it doesn’t feel all that promising.
Does this mean that we should forget resolutions altogether? No, it would be crazy not to take advantage of the positive energy that is floating around this time of year.

Yet the traditional advice of drastically restricting calories and doing insane amounts of exercise, though well intended, is misguided.

Today I am going to share with you 3 unconventional pieces of health and fitness advice to tackle your weight loss goals going into 2017 and help you shed those unwanted holiday pounds without sacrificing your happiness and enjoyment in life.

  1. Don’t go super strict with your diet.

Yes I said it. Don’t resort to eating strictly egg whites and broccoli for breakfast and salmon and spinach for dinner. Sure, these are excellent choices from a nutritional standpoint but this approach is missing a crucial factor: sustainability.

I know it is tempting to eat clean, try Paleo, or attempt The Whole 30. However, at some point you will be faced with a giant piece of cheesecake and wonder how in the world you are suppose to fit it into your diet. While going super strict with your diet may initially generate quick results it is not a good formula for long-term success.

What to do instead? Include foods that feel satisfying to you in your weekly diet. This will look different to everyone but may come in the form of an extra piece of toast at breakfast, a little cheese on your salad at lunch, or a little piece of chocolate after dinner.

DO still eat your nutrient-dense veggies, lean proteins, healthy carbs and fats and all the food you know you should eat. Still try to avoid large portion of foods loaded with fat and sugar, but remember the following:

The more deprived you feel now will directly affect how much you overindulge at a later time.

Finding a moderate approach with your diet that you can implement consistently is the key to long-term success. The Club offers a nutrition program overseen by our Registered Dietician called Nutrition Master Pro, which is designed to help you learn to eat in a way that is balanced, healthy, and you actually enjoy.

  1. Prioritize weight training over cardio.

Cardiovascular exercise is great for your lungs, heart and can be a great mood booster, but is a mediocre strategy on it’s own for weight/fat loss. Weight training, on the other hand, promotes muscle building and a healthy metabolism.

Building muscle (this does not mean getting bulky) has a huge impact on your RMR (resting metabolic rate). This determines how many calories you burn throughout the day that is a much greater contributor to your overall calorie burn than just what you use during exercise.

This is exactly why burning 700 calories on your hour run may not be as beneficial as an intense 30 minute weight training session that leaves you utilizing more calories throughout the day.

Plus weight training offers the benefits getting stronger, improved functionality in everyday living, and can be used as a preventative method of exercise as you age. The more balance, core strength, and overall strength you have will help with fall prevention and in turn help prevent broken bones. This is a highly overlooked aspect of resistance training. If aesthetics are your jam that is fine too as it will also be your golden ticket in changing body composition.

Cardio may help you lose weight; weight training will help you change the shape of your body.

  1. Lastly, identify your biggest struggle.

What gets in the way of doing what you know you need to do? Do you forget to eat all day and binge at night? Focus on eating breakfast and packing healthy snacks for the day.

Is it hard for you to get up in the morning for your workout because of your Netflix marathon the night before? Limit yourself to one episode.

Do you open your cupboard to unhealthy choices because you don’t pick those items up at the grocery store? Make a grocery list of healthy choices.

Do you wander aimlessly around the weight room trying to figure out what to do? Hire a personal trainer to help put together a program for you.

Find a solution for your biggest struggle and focus on that alone until you have conquered it and then focus on your next obstacle.

You don’t need to try to do everything perfectly, just a couple things really well.

For more information on helping you reach your goals, contact personal trainer and Pilates instructor, Adele Jones, at extension 449 and set up a complimentary session.

Writer: Adele Jones

The Pilates Way to a New Year and New You


Every New Year, January serves as our fresh start. The month of January gives everyone a clear mind and a new beginning to be who we want to be, achieve what we want, and strive for a happier new year. We start out strong, working out everyday, eating clean and only focusing on the positives.  However, as the months go on we tend to let those strong New Year goals of a “new you” as they slowly lessen and lessen.

I think we can all agree that this happens to all of us in one way or another. So the question is: How do we make this new idea of us stay? I’ve noticed a couple key components that help me maintain my happiness and keep what I’m striving for when those times get tough.

First and foremost, we must adjust our mindset and outlook – our joy, passions, and a creating a vision – looking forward to the process of achieving our goals and being the “new you” all year round.

A healthy and happy you is the best you!  Working out is something we all need to do, so finding a program that fits your goals is a must, but enjoying it is just as important. We all want a tighter body, stronger core, and better posture. With Pilates, I know I’m going to get just that.

Pilates offers that growth and continued challenge with each workout. Every session is different, so every vigorous workout will be something new and never boring. It’s something to look forward to. All exercises are core-based and target the small supporting muscles, working your body in ways your muscles have never worked before. I always leave class feeling not only physically healthier, but also mentally healthier. Your whole body feels worked out in a balanced way with no muscles ever left under- or over-worked.  Nothing beats that feeling after successfully completing a challenge, especially when it comes to your body.

I’m always in a good mood after my Pilates workout. My endorphins have kicked in and I’m ready for the next part of my day.  My mindset is positive and I know feeling this way helps me keep my consistency. I always try to remember this feeling on those hard days when my body is not in the mood to get up and workout. Sometimes my body just feels lazy, my muscles feel tight and sore, or my body is exhausted. Every person’s body is different and probably feels different everyday, so everybody needs to be worked to his or her personalized needs.

This is when I go back to that post-workout feeling and utilizing so many different exercises I know I will get what my body needs. It could be getting my cardio in on the jump board, stretching out my hamstrings with my feet in the straps, or working on my obliques.  The movements and exercise progressions make me feel accomplished but challenged at the same time. As I got to be more advanced with my workouts, my body feels so much stronger from the inside out. I not only feel, but see the difference in my body which helps me feel good about myself and allows me to be a better me.

Getting into the rhythm of working out and making it your life style will keep this “new you” all year round. Pilates changes your body in every aspect. From balance, posture, strength, to flexibility, the key to a “new you” is helping your body to feel its best! No matter your goal, age, or needs, Pilates not only is beneficial but it’s important for every body to keep HEALTHY, which leads to us being HAPPY! Joseph Pilates once said: “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a new body.” Let this year be the year for you!