Exercise in a New Era

The tail end of January brings a few things most of us can count on each year: the coldest part of winter settling in, a favorite sweater on heavy rotation and often, waning progress on new years resolutions. I think it’s safe to say that resolutions people struggle with the most are those related to health and physical activity. It’s hard to work exercise into packed days and many times, the gym memberships we’re not using or the yoga punchcards gathering dust tend to make us feel even more anxious or shameful about our lack of progress. If you find yourself in this boat, I cannot recommend the work of Gretchen Rubin enough; knowing how to successfully form habits and embrace your own personality and preferences is key to any kind of lasting change. Her website is a wealth of information and if you need one title to start with, I’d steer you towards Better Than Before.

It took me such a long time to accept that I do NOT enjoy exercising inside, other than yoga or pilates classes and, on that note, if time for physical activity feels like more time engaging in chit-chat and pleasantries, I will often skip simply because my days with young kids feel so heavy on casual encounters already. I’ve learned that I appreciate exercise most when it allows me to be quiet and deliberate and, most importantly, can be worked in whenever I have pockets of time to spare. This insight has brought me a new attitude towards dedicating time each day to running, strength training, yoga and movement in general. I know there are so many benefits to trainers, memberships and classes but I feel more motivated to workout when I know it centers around my schedule and I won’t be throwing away money if I have a busy week (or month) and can’t make it to a class due to scheduling conflicts. Making this possible is the huge gift of apps and instagram!

Below are my favorite sources for workout content that are inspiring and, better yet, FREE!

  1. Nike Training Club - I started using this app over a year and a half ago and really like it, especially when traveling or when I’m short on time. You can select workouts by time, equipment, target area or athlete workouts (Ellie Goulding, Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams, Chloe Kim to name just a few). The app is not overly noisy or busy and you won’t be bombarded with spam emails or excessive push notifications.
    BONUS: The app tracks which exercises you’ve done and you can save ones you like to a “playlist” style feature.

  2. Katy Bowman @nutritiousmovement - I’m a huge fan of functional movement and doing small things throughout the day. Katy Bowman is the master of this! Her “Exercise Advent” is a great place to start - she gives you a whole series of creative exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere…all with a rock!
    BONUS: Katy is a wealth of information and you’ll likely find tips that you can integrate into playtime for kids, too. All while playing!

  3. Kira Stokes @kirastokesfit - Checking in with Kira Stokes will definitely keep you inspired to move! She’s great about posting frequently on stories throughout the day and often shares snippets of her personal training sessions with Norah O’Donnell (who is up at 4:30am everyday so really, what is our excuse??) and Hannah Bronfman. You can follow the hashtag #smotd to see the Stoked Move of the Day. These moves are always effective and Kira is a stickler for form so you’ll know you’re getting very precise instructions. There’s an app/program coming soon but Kira Stokes offers so much free content you’ll definitely have plenty to choose from.
    BONUS: If you like your intense exercise with a nice side of entertainment, watch for special guest appearances from Gary, Kira’s husband, who brings much appreciated Larry David style deadpan to her audience.

  4. Julie Montagu @juliemontagu - Full disclosure, I first learned about Julie Montagu as a viewer of Ladies of London. Fascinated by her back story and her husband’s family estate, Mapperton, I occasionally visited Julie’s website, The Flexi Foodie. You can find her straightforward yoga videos on youtube or stream on Amazon. She also has two books that are worth checking out: Superfoods and Superfoods Superfast.
    BONUS: Maybe the most inspiring thing about Julie is the content of her instagram stories - she’s constantly cycling all over London, teaching yoga, drinking green things, etc. And if she can swing it with 4 kids well, then…

  5. Zehra aka The Fitnest @zallibhai - If you like to mix it up with cross fit style workouts, body weight moves and bursts of activity throughout the day. Zehra shares workouts both at the gym and in her home, most of which can be done with minimal equipment. She also offers very reasonably priced fitness challenges/programs and the 7 Day Jump Start is just that; straightforward and manageable even when you’re short on time.
    BONUS: Every once in a while Zehra smiles into the screen and gently orders you to go exercise . Right now. Which is really effective because sometimes we all need a gentle reminder to put down our phones and make something happen.

  6. Kait Hurley @kait.hurley - Founder of the Move and Meditate method, Kait now has an app that is $9.99/month with access to 2 week programs like “Restore + Renew” and “Present Pace” for endurance. If you want to ease in or try one of her workouts, I highly recommend “The Ass Class + Pranayama with Kait Hurley and Alison Wu” - you can find it on youtube. It runs about 36 minutes including the meditation time at the end and it is a killer!
    BONUS: Even the briefest scroll through wellness/fitness personalities on instagram will show you a lot of the same but Kait’s going deeper and having introspective, thoughtful conversations that lead to action and personal growth.

  7. Hannah Bronfman @hannahbronfman - If you like your workouts to vary from dance/cardio to boxing and intense weight pulls, then Hannah is your girl. You’ll also get a hefty dose of nail art and vacation envy when you follow along. Hannah authored the recently released book Do What Feels Good that I’m sure embodies her laid back vibe and wide ranging tastes.
    BONUS: Hannah is not afraid to share her myriad skin care treatments, which can be fascinating and soothing. Plus, if you’re someone whose life is a bit more, uh….regimented? it’s fun to live vicariously through her globe-trotting adventures.

  8. Lizette Pompa @lizette_pompa - Equal parts yoga and strength/body weight training, Lizette Pompa’s videos are nice and sparse, just like I like it! She gives clear instruction without a lot of chit chat but don’t be fooled, her yoga sequences are challenging. If you’re thinking about incorporating more weight training, her kettle bell/weight moves are my favorite. You can get lots of ideas from her stories or subscribe to Yogateket for more workouts.
    BONUS: I love Lizette’s free youtube yoga sessions, particularly the 30 Minute Vinyasa Flow Class and the Vinyasa Morning Bliss.


RUN FAST. EAT SLOW. by Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky

Whether you're a seasoned runner, a newbie doing a Couch to 5K or just someone looking for good recipes to fuel your goals, you'll love this book. A collaboration between college friends and running buddies Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky, The New York Times Bestseller RUN FAST. EAT SLOW. sets out to dispel the myth that athletic performance is tied to a food life of deprivation, "off limits foods" and well, misery.

Shalane has become one of the world's foremost marathon runners while her college friend, Elyse, would live abroad and later attend culinary school. Ultimately, their friendship and shared passion for good food would give them a perfect reason to team up and write this book. As Elyse states in the introduction, "We shared ideas and thought: What if we wrote a book for athletes unlike any of the "light and lean" running cookbooks out there. Our book would celebrate all whole foods instead of obsessing over carbs verses protein or the latest diet trend. We would show runners everywhere that by indulging - yes, indulging - in real food, they will not only train and perform better, but also improve their overall health, all while enjoying what they eat more than ever before." YES! 

I love the easy to read meal plans offered in this book and the helpful categories for each recipe, including: digestion, for rejuvenation after a winter run, vegan recovery, nourished snacking and so many others. Even if you never run a marathon, you'll learn how to eat like one without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

I'm thrilled to be able to offer someone a free copy of this book to help YOU stay excited about real foods and keep you looking forward to each meal. From the Kale-Radicchio Salad with Farro to the Greek Bison Burgers you'll find inspiration and new favorites that will become staples in your kitchen, just as they have over here. 


Leave a comment below sharing a health or fitness goal you are currently working towards or someone you know who could use some extra motivation from this book. It would make an awesome and very thoughtful gift for someone who is chipping away. Contest closes at 5pm MST on Saturday, March 31, 2018. A winner will then be chosen at random and the book will be on its way! We can also gift wrap it for you. :) Good luck and in the meantime, enjoy these delicious Superhero Muffins below! 

Superhero Muffins


  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if sensitive)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate chips (optional)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
  • 1 cup grated carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups. 

In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and walnuts, raisins, dates, or chocolate chips (if using). 

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrots, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy! 

Makes 12 muffins. 

A huge thanks to Shalane Flanagan, Elyse Kopecky and RodaleWellness Publishing for offering this giveaway! 

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent*

*that actually works

I know this seems unbelievable but it's true - this homemade version is the best I've found that actually washes dishes as well as you can expect for any detergent, homemade or store bought, "natural" or chemical-laden.

Years ago we bought a new dishwasher, thought it was great and then quickly started having problems. Leaks, grinding noises, you name it. Several repairs, a significant amount of money and distress over the spongy-squishy feel of some floorboards and we took the advice of our repairperson, who suggested that LG dishwashers are basically junk and the best thing we could do was put ours down.

Prior to the arrival of our new (seemingly functional) Maytag I had realized that I was already doing so much work before the dishes went into our awful dishwasher that I may as well give the homemade stuff another try. And if it could do a passable job in that useless machine? I knew I had a winner. The thing is, I think we have a somewhat unrealistic expectation from dishwashers; they are not magical. They do not contain garbage disposals (despite a lot of common misconception, according to my wonderful appliance guy) and if you can't scrub dried egg off with a sponge, the dishwasher likely won't fair much better. So, don't expect a miracle but DO enjoy the freedom from that liquid stuff that promises to leave your dishes smelling like a mojito but doesn't usually get them spotless, either.

I've tried several variations I've found on the internet but I found the key was to up the washing soda a bit.

** Some sources recommend using gloves when handling citric acid. To learn more about the uses and benefits of citric acid, look here



1 cup Borax
1 1/4 cup washing soda
1/2 cup citric acid** Some sources recommend using gloves when handling citric acid.
1/2 cup kosher salt
20-30 drops of essential oil, if you choose. I'm liking a blend of fennel, rosemary and lemon.

*Dish soap, if desired, with each load


Combine the Borax, washing soda, citric acid and kosher salt in a container (I like a gallon glass jar) and shake to get it thoroughly combined. Add the oils, if using. I use about 2 tablespoons for each load and I add about 5-6 drops of dish soap on top of the powder to each load.

Devil Be Gone! Killing the Cold You Can't Shake

I'm not really one to get sinus infections, I'm more of a cold and cough kinda gal. But right before the kids' winter break I started to have a lot of congestion, look slightly feverish and wasn't feeling great. Within a week I was constantly blowing my nose and had a terrible sore throat. With Christmas just around the corner and three kids now home everyday I knew I had to go through my bag of tricks - and fast - to get rid of this ick. A few days later I'd gone through bottles of saline solution, doubled probiotics, enough Wishgarden Kick Ass Sinus to line the bottles up like bowling pins, acupuncture, foot stomping, wailing, essential oils, Sudafed, Mucinex and, even though I despise it, pulled out the neti pot. Nothing. I got worse. I ended up starting a round of antibiotics in desperation, still...nada. Heading into week three and functioning on little sleep I decided to do what I'd put off for ages and get my own primary care naturopath (the boys see a wonderful Anthroposophic doctor). After an hour and a half consult I came away with a targeted plan for getting rid of the acute sinus issues and a larger plan for dealing with the root of a lingering illness (getting back on my adrenal management plan, increasing my Vitamins A and D).

She explained that when you have something hanging on this long and seemingly getting worse, renewing the blood flow to that area will bring a new army of lymph cells, which is just what is needed. In order to do this, the best answer is hydrotherapy; warming socks and sinus packs. I'd previously used lemon warming socks on my middle kiddo to bring down a nasty fever when we were up in the mountains and they worked well but I'd never considered them for myself, and certainly not for sinus issues. Now, after two nights, I'm starting to feel better and have stopped using all my over the counter meds.

Warming Socks

The thought here is to increase blood flow and encourage lymphatic drainage down to your toes. You're going to start with very warm feet, then put on a pair of wet, cold cotton socks, then layer over a pair of heavy wool socks, jump into bed and go straight to sleep. Or, jump into bed and watch Sherlock. When you wake up in the morning both pairs of socks will be completely dry and warm. It really is like magic.


-Warm your feet; either take a hot bath/shower, put feet into a tub for 10 minutes, use a heating pad (I use a heated millet bag under the covers until my feet are super toasty).
-While your feet are heating, fill a sink with cold, cold water and put your cotton socks in to soak and make sure your wool socks are laid out.
-After warming your toes, rush to the sink, quickly wring out the cotton socks and hop back into bed. Slip cotton socks on, lament about how awful they feel then throw on those wool socks. It's uncomfortable for a few minutes but then you really don't notice.

Repeat for three nights

To read more about the benefits of warming socks and see a really cool diagram of the lymph system, look here.

Immune Boosting Garlic Lemonade

Originally a trick from a midwife, this is a great drink to sip on whenever you feel something coming on. I like that it can be made stronger or weaker depending on steeping time and adding honey to taste makes it incredibly palatable for those who associate lemonade with the more traditional variety. You know, the good kind.


-2 heads organic garlic (large)
-2 organic lemons
-1/2 gallon glass jar or large pitcher (you'll need 2 containers)
-kettle full of boiling water


Scrub your lemons with a bristle brush, then cut in half horizontally and squeeze juice into the jar. Drop the lemons in. Cut the heads of garlic horizontally and drop into the jar. Fill the jar with boiling water, put the lid on and let steep 20-30 minutes. Strain the mixture into another container and store for a day or two. I'm guessing it can go into the fridge but I try to sip on mine throughout the day so it goes pretty quick. To serve, drink warm or hot with raw honey to taste.

** Disclaimer: Sadly, I am not a doctor. I'm just a lady in her kitchen dropping granola down her shirt. My recommendations come with the best of intentions and personal success but that never replaces the counsel of a trusted doctor, nurse or health care provider. Always use common sense and ask questions, especially in the treatment of illness for babies and children. **

Scent of a Woman

If you are a Sweater, I feel your pain. I can still recall the awfulness I felt in middle school when I sat down in Spanish class and discovered a round, wet, mushy spot on my homemade brown bag book cover from where my sweaty little hand had been holding it. The horror! Years later, a friend and I would bond over our mutual ability to wreck white t-shirts after one day and our seeming deafness to any sort of alarm clock. The latter would prove to be very problematic when we became roommates, at least until he got an alarm used by truck drivers. 

But the sweating. Yuck. Pre-internet, this friend and I were known to troll the aisles of various Walgreens and Duane Reed stores looking for any new innovations to give us a bit of a reprieve. I still remember the day he showed up on my porch proudly holding out two plastic roller bottles of something called "Certain Dry"...and it actually worked! Well, for awhile anyway. Keep in mind, we were both drinking fairly often and smoking at the time so our BO was especially problematic. I was not above buying those awful armpit pad things or, in dire circumstances, shoving wadded up tissue in my pits. The intensity of my sweating was sporadic and I eventually just learned to live with it and work around it. Admitting all this is giving me a very "Chunk" moment and I'm imagining that a Fratelli brother has a gun pointed at me. 

Sometime after the birth of my third son I felt like the sweating came back with a vengeance. And now I wasn't smoking, rarely drank, drinking tons of water and eating well...so what gives? I swear that for every book on a shelf extolling the virtues of motherhood there could be another tome dedicated to the unintended side effects and by-products of child rearing. It would be titled, More Shit the Kids Broke: A Handbook for Living in a Stranger's Body. So now, even though I lived very healthy, I didn't smell great. And I was exhausted from having three kids. I had long ditched the Certain Dry in favor of other, natural solutions, including my own homemade deodorant but none of those were a match for my hormone related sweatiness and I sometimes imagined the headline when I was found dead -  "Local Mother Drowns in 3-Inch Pool of Flop Sweat. Authorities Claim She Was Too Tired to Swim Out." 

Around this time I started to notice that I had some major reactions to caffeine, specifically coffee, and had to eliminate it. Once I totally cut out coffee the sweating lessened, which I found to be highly unfortunate, even though it did help fill in a large piece of the puzzle. Over the last year I've made a conscious choice to start drinking regular coffee again and I wanted to take some preemptive measures to reduce the sweaty grossness I knew it would bring. I started trying out lots of different natural deodorants and although I really like the Primal Pit Paste products and scents, they didn't work great for me. The search continued. It really wasn't until I heard about a morning chlorophyll cocktail that I started to find a protocol for protecting against sweat that really worked. So, years of trauma and embarrassment have brought me here, to this moment, when I can say, "Go. Go buy the white Everlane t-shirt of your dreams. It will be safe." 

What you need: 

  • Fresh, organic lemons or organic lemon juice, cranberry juice (unsweetened) and liquid chlorophyll - Liquid chlorophyll is known as Nature's Internal Deodorant and while there don't seem to be definitive studies vouching for this, anecdotal evidence was enough to make me try it. I highly recommend the liquid over the capsules and notice a big difference in my skin and sweat when I run out or don't take it. 
  • A strong deodorant containing activated charcoal, such as PiperWai
  • A good stick deodorant that travels well - I like Native Deodorants

I originally started trying this as part of the protocol in a Healthy Hormones group. While I didn't love the group overall, the few nuggets I got from participating have been really helpful. FIRST thing in the morning, I stumble out of bed and pour two tablespoons of liquid chlorophyll into a mug along with a splash each of lemon juice and cranberry juice. I pour hot water 1/2 of the way and then add filtered water to top off. I drink pretty quickly as I'm not one for really sweet or sour things right when I wake up. From there, I apply my stick deodorant. Then I move on with my day and enjoy my coffee. 

At night, I apply the activated charcoal deodorant, allowing it time to absorb. The logic here is that it's pretty pointless to try and combat sweating and body odor once you're already a soggy mess. And yes, I definitely still sweat. And I hate it BUT, I think of it as my very annoying reminder to drink lots of water, limit my coffee intake and move consistently throughout the day. If I know I'm going to be running around a lot, I'll bring extra deodorant with me.

To learn more about the benefits of chlorophyll, read on here and here

If you're also a recovering Sweat Monster and have suggestions I would love to hear them. I get the feeling it's an arsenal that constantly needs replenishing. 

** Disclaimer: Sadly, I am not a doctor. I'm just a girl in her kitchen dropping granola down her shirt. My recommendations come with the best of intentions and personal success but that never replaces the counsel of a trusted doctor, nurse or health care provider. Always use common sense and ask questions, especially in the treatment of illness for babies and children. **