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Divine Intervention

Sometimes, in the course of your life, you cross paths with people who amplify your sound, literal and figurative. They dovetail into your mission so solidly that it seems like it was laid out in a plan for you to connect. That’s how Shekyra DeCree felt when she connected with Lisa Griffin and Rina Reid [...]
Jeni Ruisch



Sometimes, in the course of your life, you cross paths with people who amplify your sound, literal and figurative. They dovetail into your mission so solidly that it seems like it was laid out in a plan for you to connect. That’s how Shekyra DeCree felt when she connected with Lisa Griffin and Rina Reid Dunkin. The three women were attending a fitness class together and became fast friends, leading each other to push themselves. The lightning bolt moment came one day when Griffin looked at DeCree and launched a little spark that would soon catch fire.

“What we are doing is so much bigger than us,” she said. “We need to be empowering women everywhere.” Decree remembers that moment like it was yesterday. “We had no clue how we were going to do it; we just knew we needed to move. This happened to be during the #metoo movement, when women began speaking out and using their voices and living their truth. We wanted to connect to that energy—that climate. That’s what continues to motivate us almost a year later. We still recognize this is so much bigger than us.”

The three women have now teamed up and combined their powers to launch a revolution, tiny but mighty, in the form of pop-up fitness classes built around their shared mission and combined talents. Decree, a licensed professional clinical counselor and mental health therapist; Dunkin, a software development specialist; and Griffin, a nurse, all feel a larger force propelling them to build community within their classes.

Divine Impact Fitness focuses on not only the outer, but the inner. They collaborate with local businesses, do community outreach, focus on women’s wellness and empowerment, and of course, lead bangin’ fitness classes. DIF offers cardio dance fitness experiences and strength training classes throughout the week. But they pride themselves on setting their classes apart from other popups.

“Our environment is infectious,” Decree said. “The yelling, screaming, dancing, acting a fool in the name of fitness, empowerment, and freedom is phenomenal. You can feel the energy from the parking lot; you cannot help but to move when you’re in our classes. Our environment inspires such liberty and freedom. The members and participants cheer on and encourage one another. You see hugs, high fives, and hear ‘You go girl!’ all the time. At the end of every class, the members are instructed to turn to their neighbor and remind one another of how beautiful, valued, and loved they are, and that they are ‘enough’ as they are.”

Elevating each other is more than just lip service. Classes are often led by members, ranging from 10 to 63 years old. They choreograph routines, and lead their fellow classmates to the beat of Jay-Z and Ariana Grande.

“Everyone shines, not just the instructors; everyone’s a star in our sky. A 14-year old young woman even choreographed one of our most popular routines. It really is something beautiful.”

DIF has no brick-and-mortar as of yet, so they host pop-up classes in existing businesses. Their high-impact classes can be modified to accommodate all fitness levels. Strength training and conditioning classes assist with total body toning, and they even have “Heels” classes, which is a more sultry, sexy side of fitness. They are flexible, mobile, and offer al la carte classes.

“We’ve led family reunions, we do bridal boot camps, bachelorette parties, you name it. Bottom line, we act a fool and have a lot of fun.”

They promote other businesses by offering vendor space and exposure to local makers, movers, and shakers. DIF holds “Vision Board” events to cultivate confidence and inspiration, while supporting one another. They recently partnered with Franklin County Children Services for a fitness initiative.

“Considering the climate in our country, we’d be remiss not to support organizations who aim to protect children and families. We are currently working on developing partnerships with Center for Healthy Families and Amethyst Inc. We hope to be Central Ohio’s leader in promoting Women’s Health and Wellness. We also offer mental health support by promoting Mindfulness, and mental health and wellness education.”

The cornerstone of DIF is women working together to make a better world for women.

“We want to remedy the ugly senseless stigma of women competing with each other instead of completing each other. We need each other, and are stronger together. We aim to celebrate our differences, hence our slogan “DIFference is Power.

“We want the women we serve to discover their super power every time they are with us, and with each other. That’s our vision. That’s what we believe makes us DIFferent.”

For more, visit, or find them on Facebook.

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: “His” vs “Her” portions

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC



It’s not uncommon to scroll through Instagram and see beautiful plates of food labeled “his” and “hers.” Typically the “his” plate is larger in all portions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

But, this depiction of portioning is inaccurate and can be damaging to the way women satisfy their hunger.

Gender does not determine the quantity of food people “should” eat. From a science perspective, there are so many variables that affect metabolic rates that are not specific to sex, such as amount of muscle mass, fat mass, location of these deposits, physical activity, and more. 

For example, a very active, self-identified woman with high lean body mass can have significantly higher maintenance caloric needs compared to a more sedentary male identifying person.

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you that gender determines the amount you deserve to eat. Listen to your body and your hunger cues. Fuel your body for what you need!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Late night eats at Steak ‘n’ Shake

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC



Waist trainers, crash diets, colon cleanses—all things touted as the next miracle solution for weight loss. With the help of our new Registered Dietitian columnist, we’ll sort out the truth from the trash when it comes to health trends on your social media feeds, and provide healthy, sustainable alternatives for those to-good-to-be-true fixes. Welcome to Truth or Trend.

Steak ‘n’ Shake; a long-standing staple for a greasy, late night bite to eat. While "Eat This, Not That!" calls their signature items “two of the most precarious foods on the planet” on Instagram, is their fear mongering all it claims to be? Stick with me as I explore the truth behind a post by the account comparing the healthiness of two popular menu items: a Single Steakburger with Thin 'n Crispy Fries v. Portobello and a Swiss Steakburger.

First, the nutrition information provided for the two options shown in the post is inaccurate (click here to see more). Additionally, the caption claims most shakes are more than 500 calories and most salad options are 600 calories or less which is an incorrect generalization.

And while the Single Steakburger with Thin 'n Crispy Fries is the lower-calorie option like "Eat This, Not That!" says, what the post doesn’t account for are some other important nutrient factors that set the two options apart.

The Single Steakburger with Thin 'n Crispy Fries combination has 1380 mg sodium, which is 60% of the maximum recommended daily intake (2300 mg) in one meal, compared to just 890 in the Portobello and Swiss burger. The “Not this” option also boasts a higher protein content of 29 g compared to 17 g in the combination and about half the carbohydrates at 36 g v. 62 g.


There are pros and cons to each of the menu items here, so saying to “Eat this, not that” is painting broad strokes. If you’re a patron of fast food chains, remember to review and weigh all the nutritional facts before making a decision about which one is "healthier." Or, if you’re out for a special late night treat, choose the option that is going to satisfy you!

Becca is an Ohio native and University of Cincinnati graduate who works as a traveling consultant dietitian, currently living in Juneau, Alaska. She owns Centum Cento Fitness LLC, a company dedicated to using evidenced-based practice to help empower clients to build sustainable and healthy lifestyles through nutrition and fitness.Follow Becca on Instagram!

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Health & Fitness

Twerk it! Studio Rouge combines dance and exercise for booty-lifting benefits




Studio Rouge in Grandview isn’t your average fitness studio. Here you’ll find classes in pole dancing, aerial fitness, and exotic dancing—including the aptly-named “Twerkout” class. And it’s not just for those who want to be on stage.

The butt-lifting Twerkout class doubles as both sensuality and body positivity lessons for all. Taught by Tracy Ruby, she prides herself on being aptly coined “twerk technician,” having taken lap dance and pole dance classes at Studio Rouge before becoming a regular instructor.

“It’s so much fun to see other people who come in, not sure what’s going to happen, and find that they can do it,” Ruby says. “The idea behind Twerkout is to take ‘twerk’ and make it a workout—to give people a new dance environment where they can come and they can learn new skills. [They can] take those home or to the club or wherever they want to do their new booty-poppin’ moves.”

Photos: Stef Streb

Ruby first assesses the physical needs and limitations of the class, combining twerk moves with traditional exercises as a mash-up with the ideal butt lift.

“If you go through Instagram, you can plug in ‘twerk’ and see all these different people coming up with different moves that work really well for their bodies, but during Twerkout, there are certain moves that’ll work for one person that won’t work for another,” she says. “Our booties are all shaped differently; our bodies all work differently. When you see people on Instagram, they’ve found all these moves, put them together, and they got their booties to twerk in these magnetical, amazing ways.”

While visitors may scroll through Instagram before class to get a gauge of what they can expect from Twerkout, Ruby insists upon using repetition in areas where guests may feel they’re lacking. “You build natural muscles with, for instance, twerk, where you’re working specific calisthenics to enhance your sense of your motions,” she says. “It’s healthier. I mean you’re building your muscles. You’re not just implanting new material. We do a lot of squats in class, because that’s where you’re going to help get your leg joints, back joints and muscles in these areas to be more responsive and stronger.”

As Ruby encourages doing squats outside of Twerkout, she also stresses the importance of proper form with an extensive warm-up to match. “We do quite a bit of warming up of the spine so that your back is ready for all that we’re going to ask of it. Then we’ll go into some twerk drills, which is where the workout kind of kicks up and we’ll have some traditional exercises along with learning new twerk skills,” she says. “We will go through some core moves for twerk, that are specifically for a twerk and then we’ll start putting together some choreography […] based on those core moves, maybe adding in some new ones. Once we have our choreography built, we will run through it a few times so that you’ve got something to take with you, and then there’s a cool-down period.”

Twerkout guests may struggle during a session, but Ruby firmly assures that she won’t let her class fail. “Say one move is not working for you in class. If it’s not working for you there, keep working on it. It may just never be your move, you may not care for it. That’s fine. That happens in all kinds of classes,” she says. “Burpees, for example, [are] not everybody’s favorite. Some people are good at them and love them. Other people do not, but you can keep working at it, get better and eventually master these skills.”

Ruby indulges in plain yogurt and granola as a protein-oriented go-to snack following a session of Twerkout, and she encourages her class to enjoy any food that nourishes and energizes their bodies, er, booties. Following this downtime, she looks forward to amping her class back into gear.

“There is never a moment where I’m not encouraging you. Everybody has a moment every day when they wanna give up. My job as the instructor is to help motivate that person and everyone else to keep moving, just keep going. The studio itself is built around self-love and finding ways that you appreciate your own body and can share that with yourself and others,” she says. “Come in and see what it’s about! It’s an hour, okay? So you’re not going to spend five hours with me doing something you don’t like, and I promise you’ll have fun.”

Find out more about classes at Studio Rouge in Grandview at

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