Tuesday, December 17, 2013

So, hi...

I just happen to be logged in to Blogger.  I had no plan to blog today AT ALL.  But, I just got back last Saturday from my comprehensive Pilates exam and now my life should be calming down a bit.  Yeah, right.
Now that I am officially a comprehensively trained classical Pilates instructor I have big plans, and small plans, for the months and year ahead.  I am hoping to carve out a little space to share it all with you, the readers.
Thank you for reading my posts, sharing my posts, and hanging tight while I went into blog hibernation in order to study and train.
xo xo

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

So, what is a Pilates certification, anyway?

I am currently working towards my comprehensive Pilates certification, with the test being on December 13.  For those of you that read this blog or follow me on social media, you know how firmly I believe that Pilates instructors should be well trained.  But what exactly is a Pilates training?  Shedding a bit of light on that today:

I am pursuing my Peak Pilates certification.  Peak Pilates is a classical certification, sanctioned by the Pilates Method Alliance.  Classical Pilates follows the specific orders and exercises created by Joseph Pilates.
Peak Pilates describes their training(s) as:
The Peak Pilates® Comprehensive Certification is a classical Pilates education program distinguished by an emphasis on Pilates as an integrated movement system as Joseph Pilates intended.

I have learned the Pilates mat work, Reformer, chair, ladder barrel, as well as other complimentary equipment, like the spine corrector and Ped-o-Pull

The more training I receive, the happier I am with a comprehensive, multi-level training.  Practice and studying most definitely makes perfect, and I never get nervous prior to teaching a class, a private session, giving a presentation on Pilates...my training has prepared me for all of it.

So, here is what I have been through:
2009:  Two 4 day trainings, 9 hours each day, followed with a full 8 hour day of testing.  The test includes a practical portion of teaching mat and equipment, being taught to in order to see that I can perform the work, and a written assessment covering Pilates instruction, anatomy and practical applications of the work.

2011:  One 4 day training, 9 hours each day followed with another full testing day, just like above, but with more in-depth training for the intermediate level.

2013:  Two 3 day trainings, 4-9 hours each day.  In December I will take part in another assessment day.  Scary but fun all at once.  After (hopefully!) passing this exam I will have gone through the beginner to advanced work and successfully tested out, showing knowledge in the exercise and method of true Pilates.  My education won't be over, though, the comprehensive certification is just my ticket into the interesting and fun world of advanced continuing education.  Learning to work with injuries, athletes, the super-advanced work...so much fun still ahead!

There are many Pilates certifications out there, some just as in-depth as mine, some more intense, some just one day in length.  Always check to see where and who certified your instructor.  The more training your instructor has, the safer you will be and the more effective the exercise will be for you.

Have you tried Pilates?  
Mat?  Reformer?
Did you know that a Pilates instructor goes through this rigorous of a training?

Friday, November 8, 2013

It isn't easy for any of us...

"It isn't easy for any of us, Pete."
This was said by Peggy to Pete in an episode of Mad Men.  He was lamenting about how hard it was for him to be a working husband and looked at Peggy's life as being single, fun, and no worries.  If you watch Mad Men, you know that that is far from the truth.  What Peggy said has stuck with me.  It truly isn't easy for any of us even though the grass always looks greener on the other side, right?
Today I woke up and was hit with a dizzy spell.  I had tubes put in my ears in 2011 due to chronic pressure and infection problems.  They are slowly growing out, I have one in, one out, currently, and I know that it is causing me to feel dizzy.  My first Pilates session today I went to demo an exercise where you bend to touch your toes. Whoa my gosh!  I felt like the room was spinning!  I then had to teach a 30 minute yoga class.  Wow.  Did you ever spin and spin until you couldn't anymore and then lie down on the floor?  The room felt like it was tipping.  I used to love that when I was a toddler.  That is how I felt today and I definitely can say that I don't love it anymore.  By the end of class I felt like I was going to vom.  But I still had to teach one more private Pilates session.  I was upright and started to feel better.  Once my client's hour was up I was faced with some free time due to a cancellation.  My first thought was to practice Reformer for my upcoming exam.  Then I realized how dizzy I had been and thought about just going home.  Nope,  Can't do that.  I need the practice, and since I am a working mom with an insanely busy schedule I have to grab up practice time when I can.
So, I did my advanced Reformer workout.  And I was fine.  Maybe the yoga had re-centered my balance.  Maybe the hour break from movement in my own body helped.  Whatever caused it, I powered through and wasn't more than a smidge dizzy.
So, while it may seem like me, being a Pilates trainer, can just breeze through any and every workout, I can't.  I want to just go home as often as the next guy.  I feel dizzy and blarfy just like everyone else has at some point.  Yes, fitness is my passion and love so it is my stress-reliever and tons of fun for me most of the time.  But it isn't always what I want to be doing.  It isn't easy for any of us.

What is something in your life that others think is easy for you but you have to power through?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Running the Gridiron

Okay, lets not pretend that me posting anything about football is normal.
If you know me at all you know that I am bored during games and, even when I try to engage, I just don't get the rules and can't stay focused.
But, sometimes a lack of interest can translate into a great workout, right?
When L is at flag football I try my hardest to watch and cheer him on.  Because of work I can't be at any of his games, so this is the only time I get to see him play.  Only, I can't stay focused.  You guys...football is just so weird and boring to me.  I seriously have an attention deficit for the sport.
So, I usually end up going for a walk or run while he practices.
And last night, magic happened!
I think I invented this great new workout but I would like to add the disclaimer that it runs in my family to think we invented things that have been around for years.  I remember my grandma cooking shrimp for us that was sauteed in butter and garlic telling us she had invented a new way to serve shrimp.  "You mean, shrimp scampi?" We all asked.  Oh, yeah...that.
So, anyway, if this workout already exists and you have been doing it and loving it since high school or something, let me know!  I actually did google it and came up with nothing, so I would love to hear if it has an official name.
Enough with my rambling, time for the workout!

Running the Gridiron
Start at one end of a football field.  Run straight down the yard line, turn and then continue to serpentine the entire field down each yard line.
I would sprint some and regular pace some.  The last half I ran backwards down one line, forwards down the next.  
Doing the entire field is about 1 mile, so down and back gave me a nice, 2.23 mile workout, with sprints and backwards training!  I also ran on a junior football field, so running on the larger "regular" football field would give you even more miles!
It was a great opportunity to challenge my pace, zone out and enjoy my music without worrying about cars, dogs or creeps, and just get lost in my happy running place.
Your GPS will look a little confused :)

Try it and let me know what you think!  The possibilities are endless when it comes to variations...you can goal yourself for 1 trip down and back, 2, 3...how ever many miles you want to get in.  And, like I said, sprint!  Run backwards!  Run sideways!  Skip, gallop, bunny hop...have fun with it!  But tell me about it, okay?  I love hearing about your workouts.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kansas City Guacamole

Today's recipe came from boredom or perhaps lack of ingredients, but turned into a tasty recipe that satisfies my love of avocados and my KC BBQ heart.

2 avocados
1 tomato, diced
4-6 green onions, sliced thin
1-2 tbsp barbacue sauce  (This KC girls used Gates...duh!)

Mash the avocado and add the other ingredients.  Stir to just blend.

Serve with tortilla chips, fresh veggies, or use to top a veggie burger or sizzling Kansas City strip.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

4 Tips to take in more water

We all know that we are supposed to drink plenty of water throughout the day.  But knowing and actually doing are two different things.  It is so easy to forget to grab a drink or to keep putting it off.
I often find myself thirsty but in my head think "let me just finish this email" or "as soon as I am done cooking dinner" and then I will grab a glass of water.
Here are a few tips on how to drink more:

1.  Know how much you want to take in.  
There are so many recomenddations out there on how much water we need daily.  I prefer to take in a half ounce for each pound I weigh.  So, 60 ounces of water for someone that weights 120 pounds.  Find an intake recommendation that works for you, make a note of how many ounces you want to take in each day, and do it!

2.  Pick your perfect container.
I notice that when I drink from a straw I drink a lot more throughout the day, so a tumbler with a straw is perfect for me.  I never go anywhere without my insulated tumbler filled with water!  There are so many options out there, from wide-mouth canteens to extra-large squirt bottler, that you are sure to find your perfect pick.

3.  Count your gulps.
Fill a glass with 4 ounces of water.  Drink it and count how many gulps it took.  Now, when you are out and about, you will still know how many ounces you are taking in.

4.  Drink and drive.
Water, that is.  Before I leave for work or to head home from work I fill my tumbler with water.  During my 20-30 minute commute I try to drink the entire thing.  This helps me stay hydrated and keep the munchies at bay.  This would also be a perfect way to help you if you are trying to quit smoking.  Replace your cigarette on the drive home with a tall glass of water!

How do you make sure you are drinking enough water?

Do you feel like you get enough or are you constantly thirsty?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Powered By Bits!

If you are reading this post it hopefully means that you took part in the Energy Bits Powered By Bits Twitter Chat.  If you are just stumbling upon this post on your own, that's fine, too! Welcome!

The topic of my chat was How To Eat Healthy With a Busy Schedule.
Questions about eating healthy are some of the most asked by my students and friends, so it only made sense to chat about it on Twitter.
I work 30-40 hours each week, managing a fitness studio and teaching about 20 classes per week.  This means I am on the go every day and rarely have time to sit down to a traditional one hour lunch break.  Even if I do get a lunch hour, I still like to keep it healthy.  So here, today, I would like to re-post the questions from Twitter and go a little more in-depth with my answers
To check out the Twitter feed simply search #poweredbybits and you can read through all of the questions and wonderful answers!

Question 1:
How do you eat healthy at work?
Answer 1:
I pack fresh cut veggies and fruits, nuts and whole grain crackers. I never head to work or an event without packing a lunch/snack. 
Great re-usable containers are a must.  I love bento-style containers!
My favorite packable meal:
Sliced celery
Carrot sticks
Cherry tomatoes (yellow are my favorite!)
1 Babybel cheese
A scoop of nuts ( I LOVE the Wasabi mix from Trader Joe's!)
Grapes or a Cutie Orange
Multi-grain chips (I love Food Should Taste Good brand)
Sometimes I eat this as my lunch or dinner, all at one sitting, but typically I pick a few to eat throughout my day.

The drive home from work can be dangerous.  What are your tips for avoiding drive-thru and gas station fare?
I always fill my water bottle before I leave for the commute home.  I goal myself to try and drink most of the 24 ounce container during my 25 minute drive.  This helps me to make sure I am getting plenty of water and keeps me from being tempted to stop for a burger or bag of chips.  When I am starving on the drive home I, like most, fantasize about pulling up to a fast food restaurant or running into a convienience store to grab whatever is nearest the cash register to munch on during the ride home.  What I do to keep this from happening is really think about how this will make me feel after I eat it.  Sure, the gooey bean and cheese burrito will satisfy my craving, but I know that I will feel heavy and full in a not-so-great way after I eat it.  I then think about the healthy meal waiting for me at home and how I will feel full in an energized and healthy way after eating that.  The drive home, with my big cup of water, is a perfect time to take a handful of Energy Bits.  The spirulina algae fills me up, revitalizes me and provides me with protein and so much more!

Do you allow yourself a cheat day?
I feel like labeling a day as a "Cheat Day" can cause problems.  I always envision a cheat day as eating everything in site like Cookie Monster.  Taking in an insane amount of bad calories in one day leaves me feeling yucky, inside and out.  So, rather than giving myself a cheat day, or recommending that to clients, I prefer the 80/20 approach.
80% of the week, lets say Monday-Friday, I eat very healthy.  My fresh foods, lean proteins, etc.
20% of the week, lets say Saturday and Sunday, I take a more liberal approach and may have dinner at a Mexican restaurant, an ice cream cone, or split a bag of movie popcorn with my boys.  Notice I used the word "or" not "and".  I try to remain pretty healthy even on my 20% days, but on the other side of that, I hate feeling deprived.  So, if I want a Cobb salad with blue cheese or a chicken salad sandwich on sourdough, I eat it, but I know that my next meal will be less cheat-like.

How do you eat healthy when traveling?
The first thing I do when I am traveling is head to the market.  I pick up fresh veggies and fruits, single-serving packages of nuts or dried fruit and big bottles of water.  This way I know that I will have healthy options.  I pack my purse/bag the same whether I will be wandering around a big city or hiking wilderness trails.  I also allow myself a few extra fun meals or snacks when traveling.  Why deprive myself of a Whattaburger or Rita's Italian Ice that I can't get in my hometown?  When in Rome, right?

What is your favorite on-the-go breakfast?
Sprouted grain toast topped with nut butter and bananas.  And a sprinkle of cinnamon!  Easy to eat during the commute or while sitting and checking emails.  My true, crazy-busy, no time to spare breakfast would be a banana or a Larabar :)

The point of the Twitter chat was to throw out my questions and receive lots of helpful answers, so, if you haven't already tweeted your answers, please use the comment section below to give your answers and tips!

As the host of the Powered By Bits chat I am lucky to get to host a giveaway!
One winner will receive an Energy Bits travel tin filled with 50 spirulina bits!
I just love Energy Bits and Vitality Bits, the fact that they are organic, just one ingredient (algae) with no fillers, chemicals, sweeteners...nothing but the good stuff.
A raisin is a dried grape, a bit is dried algae.  Simple.

Entering to win is easy!  Just post a comment below with your favorite healthy eating tip to be entered.  To gain an extra entry follow @EnergyBits and @forwardfrmheart (that's me!) on Twitter and let me know you did in the comment section along with your Twitter handle.

Good luck!

All readers can head to BitsOfHealth.com to order their very own bag of bits and use the code HEART to receive 20% off of your order!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Just Eat Real

Eat real food.  Sounds simple.  But it isn't.  Everywhere you look there is junk food, fast food, processed food galore.  We all know that we should stay away from that, right?  But companies are getting more sneaky by the second.  Food can be labeled "all natural" and have absolutely nothing natural about it.  This isn't a post about food labeling and the lies that are told to make a buck.  That would need to be a several hundred pages.
This post IS about eating real.  Using common sense.
Just yesterday a sales rep came to me with "organic" "all-natural" "healthy" pre and post workout bars, shake mixes and teas.  A quick glance at the label proved that that all of his claims were not correct.  Sugar and fake sugars make up the bulk of the products.  The rest is ingredients made in a lab.
Read labels.
If you don't know what it is or if you can't pronounce it, don't buy it.
If there is more than 5-10 ingredients that is probably a red flag, too.  Unless you are buying ratatoulle or trail mix ;)

I just love how the universe works sometimes.  Just as I was having a fed-up experience with food and product labeling, I received an email from my blog buddy Katherine.
She is currently hosting an AMAZING giveaway on her blog, The Real Food Runner.

An amazing prize pack from MacroLife Naturals of:

  • Macro Green nutrient rich super-food dietary supplement (56.7 g)
  • Miracle Reds -- cardio antioxidant super-food (56.7 g)
  • blue hat
  • Macro Greens -- chocolate super food (3.3 oz)
  • Macro Reds -- all natural super-fruits & berries (3.3 oz) 
  • 2 of each:
    • Chocolate & Cinnamon raw bars
    • Fresh Berri-Berri
    • Apple Lemon Ginger 
Real food.  Real ingredients.  Check out Katherine's post for even more details on the products and enter here or there to win the amazing package of good food goodies!

Speaking of giveaways:
I am hosting my first-ever Instagram giveaway!  I am giving away a tin of Energy Bits to one lucky IG'er.  Head to my profile @SallyLouWho to check it out!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Running Baggage

I used to head out for a run with nothing but myself.  Once music became more portable, that was mandatory to bring along.  Then came a house key.  A cell phone.  A whistle (post dog-bite).  Thanks to Pilates and Yoga I became able to run farther.  More miles = a longer time running so I had to start bringing water with me.  A few spooky stories of runners and dangerous situations and I finally decided it was time for pepper spray.  JF ordered a hand-held bottle for me.
There are days when I head out for a run and I feel like I am packing for a cross-country hike.  A big difference from the days when it was just me and my hands were free.  I now feel unbalanced when I don't have something in each hand.  So crazy.
My baggage:
Handheld water bottle held that I wear on my wrist.
iPhone held in one hand.  The arm bands are always too big.  Plus I sometimes change songs based on my mood, so, yeah...
House key around my wrist.
The new addition, pepper spray in the other hand.

The first few blocks felt strange as I was getting used to my new add-ons, but by the time I hit the first half-mile I felt just fine.

What do you take out on a run with you?  How has it changed over the years?

Monday, August 26, 2013

A mini-rant

It is so amusing to me when people think that I am a stay-at-home mom or that my job allows me to work out all day.  Yes, even though "everyone" knows that I manage a fitness studio, with a staff of around 15, teach no less than 10 classes per week at two different locations, some people still think that I basically am home all of the time and head to a gym to "work out" and then go home.
There may be fitness instructors that look at teaching a class or two as a workout for themselves and that they are getting paid to workout.  Those people are NOT well trained and they are definitely not the type of instructor you want to go to.
When I teach Pilates, I am standing the entire time.  Spotting, watching form, guiding bodies to do what they need to do.  From properly placing a toe to catching a 200 lb person, I do a lot in an hour.
When I am teaching a class that requires me to do some of the workout with the student, like Piloxing or cycling, I cannot work out at an intensity that would give me my best workout.  I still need to talk and teach, look at form, keep everyone else motivated and moving.  When teaching yoga, yes, I do enjoy a stretch here and there, but as a demo and then I am back to eyeballing knee caps, gently adjusting shoulders, and again, keeping the class flowing, my thoughts and words one, or three, steps ahead the entire time.
I am not complaining.  I love what I do.  I do get to be very active, I am not sitting at a desk, I am able to interact with people and see their bodies and lives change.  I more than love it.  But it is annoying and frustrating when my peers, acquaintances, and people I meet on the street think that I "work out for a living" or am basically home all day.  

Do I look like I am working out?  Or working?

I clock nearly 40 hours a week, not including drive time.
I spend just as much time and money, if not more, than the average 9-5'er on continuing education.
I have to be focused, physically engaged, and mentally aware the entire time I am teaching.
And I want to be.  I don't want my students to leave with a sore neck, a potential injury, or even just a bad experience.  Pilates, yoga, all other forms of fitness, can be life-changing and I am honored to be a part of it.
So, at the end of the day, it isn't so bad that most some people don't get what I do.  I know what I do, and that's enough.
End rant.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How Energy Bits can make you feel

I really do love how Energy Bits make me feel.  Those tiny little tabs of spirulina have helped me to have more energy when running, teaching Pilates, and living my busy mom-life.
As a brand ambassador for Energy Bits I get the awesome opportunity to tell people in person and online about how great adding spirulina and chlorella can make you feel. 
It is not a caffeinated, jittery feeling at all.  Because there are so many caffeine products out there and so many supplements that are filled with additives I have noticed many people are a little hesitant to try Energy Bits. 
One of the greatest parts of what I do is seeing the lightbulb go off as I show someone the nutritional info on bits.  A giant list of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein...all the good stuff.  And then the tiny little sentence:
"100% spirulina, no additives, binders, fillers or preservatives"
That's right, folks.  O N E ingredient.  Dehydrated spriulina.  Or chlorella if you have Recovery Bits.
That's it.  Think of dehydrated apples or bananas...same thing, only packs way more of a nutritional punch.
So, if it's 1 ingredient, algae...how will you feel after you swallow a handful?
  • Refreshed.
  • Comfortably not hungry.
  • Like you just had the best sleep of your life.
  • Like you are 18 again.
  • Good from the inside out.
  • That feeling after you have a big, green salad or a fruit smoothie.  Energized and happy!

I also tell people that there have been days where I hit my evening slump, where I could just lie down on my couch and veg out.  But I can't, because I have work, or a little league game to attend, or dinner to make...the list goes on.  So, I will have 10-20 bits, a big glass of water and before I even realize it I feel ready to go.  Not amped up like after a shot of espresso.  But like I am not tired.
From my experience teaching Pilates, where I use imagery and descriptive cues, I know that the more description, the better.  So, just for you, I asked my fellow brand ambassadors how they feel when they get their bits:
  •  Like my body is clean on the inside.
  • Alive.
  • Naturally awake.
  • Focused, productive, healthy!
  • Sustained energy and alertness without the crash of caffeine or sugar.
  • My body feels healthy.
  • A better version of myself.
  • Like I am a couple feet off the ground when running.
  • Less anxious, more calm and centered.
  • Ready to take over the world!
  • Clear and spacious.
  • Abundant with energy that is free and ready to be directed.
Thanks to Ray, Sloane, Morgan, Megan, Leigh, and Jessica for their awesome descriptions! 

A friend of mine said that Energy Bits have helped her step away from Red Bull.  (AWESOME news!)
Another friend forgot her lunch on the second day of nursing school and had 10 bits at lunch and 5 more before her sleepiest class and said that she never felt starving and made it through class with more energy than usual.  

Check out the Bits of Health website for even more information.
I love both Energy Bits and Recovery Bits.  Spirulina for instant energy and Chlorella helps me to stay energized and I notice my blood sugar stays at a good level when I take chlorella.  I tend to get low blood sugar from being so active, so this helps me quite a bit.

Want to know even MORE?

Just ask!  I love to talk algae!

When you head to the website to order, make sure to use code HEART for 20% off!  Every purchase, all the time!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Irrational Thought Thursday

This is only the second of these posts that I have done.
I think they are fun because it really helps to hear other peoples what-if's and it can help to feel less weird to know I am not the only one with random fears and worries.
An irrational thought or fear can be fleeting or can take over your everyday.  The latter would be considered OCD.  I have been there, but am fortunately in a place now where my irrational thoughts or few and far between and very fleeting.
We ALL have irrational thoughts or fears.  It is being able to know that it is irrational and improbable that is important.
So, I would absolutely love it if you share yours below.
It could be therapeutic, funny or just plain fun.  Similar to the "5 Random Things About Me" posts from Instagram, except it is a quirky thought that flew in, and right back our, of your head.

My allergies have been really bad this week so last night I decided to try an epsom salt bath.  I know, I know, epsom salts aren't really shown to improve allergies. BUT, they may pull toxins out of the skin, they relieve aches and pains and so I thought it couldn't hurt.
I had also taken two Advil to relieve the aches and pains I suffer with seasonal allergies.
So, what is the irrational thought?
Well, the warm water felt so good (I also tossed in a minty bath salt) and my pain was going away and, I thought:

"What if I fall asleep in here and drown?"

Have you noticed all irrational thoughts start with a "What if?"

I quickly told myself that I would most definitely not fall asleep.  Yes, I was comfy.  Yes, the bath was relaxing.  But I had taken Advil, not Nyquil.  And I am usually so antsy in the tub that I read for 2 minutes, stretch a few minutes, move my neck around and then it's time to get out. 
This was my first official Epsom Soak and I did enjoy it.  The warm water did help to clear my sinuses and my skin feels great.  If the massive amounts of blog posts I Googled are correct, then my body should have soaked in some extra magnesium and had toxins pulled from my skin.  And, I stayed awake the entire time.

Alright.  How about you?
Have any irrational thoughts lately?  Care to share?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thankful for my teacher

Last month I went to Yoga on the Steps.  At the beginning of the yoga class the instructor asked us to think of someone that has been a teacher to us.  A teacher we are thankful for.
Hearing the word "teacher" I of course pulled up the names and faces of my teachers...from kindergarten through college.  Some were great, some not so much.  But I couldn't imagine dedicating an entire yoga practice to them. 
My mom.  Well, yeah.  She was my first teacher and continues to teach me to this day.  But choosing her would have felt like taking the easy way out.
JF.  Obvs.  He has taught me how to relax, how to be responsible, how to enjoy the moment and so much more.  But, again, easy way out.
My Pilates instructors?  Sorta weird to dedicate a yoga class to them, eh?
The instructor then said to think of someone that has taught us how to live a better life, how to appreciate the world around us.
Ah ha!  Dr. S.
My therapist.  That is totally who I thought of.  He taught me how to be at peace with my mind and my fears.  I walked in his office over 3 (!) years ago a puddle of anxiety, stress, overused emotions and fear.  And now, 3 years later, I see him every few months and I am calm, confident and able to go about my daily life without anxiety bothering too much at all.  Just don't ask me to go to see The Queens of the Stoneage, k?
But that would be creepy, right?  To dedicate a yoga class to my therapist.  The universe and the energy swirling around me in yoga land may decide to get a restraining order or something.

So, I thought of him, Dr. S, as my teacher, but then dedicated the practice to me using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to better my life.  I dedicated the practice the the teary-eyed nervous wreck that used to patch herself together just to run to Target.  She needed a yoga practice dedicated to her.
I see so many posts--blogs, Instagram posts, tweets, Facebook statuses--with my peers and friends saying how stressed, anxious and overwhelmed they are.  It doesn't have to be that way.  CBT worked wonders for me and gave me a new way of thinking and living life.  It may just work for you.

At the beginning of this post my intention was to mention that I saw Dr. S today for the first time since March.  M A R C H!  I used to go once a week and was terrified when he suggested that we try every other week.  Sure, that was 3 years ago now, but still.  I am totally normal now!  Certified, grade A normal!
I was also as excited to go see him as I was to see an old friend.  So, more advice here.  If you have tried therapy and hated the therapist, keep trying.  Find one that works for you, someone that you can relate to and actually listens to you.
I thought I had new problems to talk with him about.  I am flying quite a bit this fall.  I like flying, airplanes and even airports.  My fear is that I will have a panic attack boarding the plane or in flight and just...freak out.  But it turns out I am using all of my CBT skills from last time just fine.  
More on my upcoming trip soon.
For now, just breathe.  And find a good psychologist :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to school

I so did not plan to take the summer off from blogging.  But, besides just a handful of posts, I did.
Last summer I felt like I had so much more extra time for blogging than during the school year.
This summer, it was the exact opposite.  I don't think I had any extra moments for blogging AT ALL.  It was non-stop running from ball games to fun activities to just getting through the work day.
And, despite how society says I am supposed to feel, I am actually pretty happy that my boys are back in school.  Of course I miss having them at home.  Of course I feel pangs of sadness at time passing so quickly.  But I am also so very happy to have my own time again.  I have had my days of peeling grapes, potty training,  story times and play dates.  I enjoyed them, I will miss them, but I don't want to do them again.  The last couple of days I have wistfully watched parents with small children and realize that that part of my life is over.  It is a bit sad, but it is also very exciting.  I have two big boys that are self-sufficient and now I can have fun with them, talk with them, and enjoy seeing the people they are becoming.  They are also small enough that they still hold my hand, want me to read with them or cuddle before bed and laugh at goofy stuff.  This will be the only year they are at the same school.  It is going to be so fun and I intend to try and slow down and enjoy it as much as possible.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Many of you have asked me to do a post about Piloxing, so here it is!

I first heard about Piloxing a little over a year ago when an instructor came to me and asked if I wanted to offer it as a class.  
Piloxing is a hybrid of boxing, Pilates and dance.  Created by Hollywood trainer Viveca Jensen to give her Pilates students a great cardio workout as well.
Being the lover of Contrology classical Pilates that I am, I first cringed when hearing about this modern hybrid class.  I also am not the most coordinated person in the world, so the idea of yet another dance inspired class made me nervous.
But we set up a demo class, I put on a pair of Piloxing gloves, and LOVED it!  The choreography is easy to follow.  The Pilates portions of the class really speak to me and challenge me, and it is just so much fun.
My first-ever Piloxing class!
We were just getting ready to add Piloxing to the schedule when the instructor had an unexpected move for a new job.  Bummer.  No Piloxing.  Then 2013 rolled around and my boss decided it was really time to bring Piloxing to the Studio On Main.  She wanted me to get certified to teach it.  Gulp.  Being a student in Piloxing is one thing.  Teaching a dance/choreography based class is a completely different thing altogether! It is so not in my comfort zone to lead a dance class.  The ever-watchful, spotting, form-correcting Pilates instructor.  That's me.  Waving my arms, dancing about, being the Energizer Bunny...not so much.

But, you know what they say, that if it is something that scares you it is probably really good for you...or something like that.
So, I took the training.  And it was fun.  And challenging.  And something I knew I would need to practice.

From the training class.  So much fun!

For each class there are several blocks of boxing, Pilates and dance.  At the end of class there is mat work that focuses on the core and glutes (booty).  Turns out the the order of classical Pilates that I love so much is somewhat there for Piloxing, too.  With required boxing and Pilates exercises that every class needs to include.  A well-rounded mix of boxing for cardio and endurance, Pilates for sculpting and balance and dance for cardio and FUN.  I am always sore exactly where we all want to see improvement:  abs, booty, triceps (good-bye wiggle wave!) and thighs. Wearing the 1/2 pound Piloxing gloves ads a cardio boost and trims and sculpts my upper body. Also, the class is done barefoot and I have seen a big improvement in my plantar fasciitis symptoms.  I haven't had pain for months.
Half-pound gloves to mimic actual boxing gloves.
You definitely need to try the class to really get an idea of just how fun it is.   Piloxing is popping up everywhere now.  Head to Piloxing.com to find a class near you!

Oh!  I almost forgot!  I just did a local TV spot about Piloxing.  Check it out!

Fitness Focus: Piloxing - KCLive.tv

Monday, July 15, 2013

Healthy Eating Tips From For Everyday

This was originally published on A Complete Waste of Makeup on June 29th.  I am currently hanging out on Neely's sidebar.  Go check out her blog!

As a Pilates instructor and fitness trainer I get asked all the time for recommendations on a healthy diet. Thanks to 24 hours television, the internet, magazines, e-books and blogs we get a nearly steady stream of diet advice, tips and tricks.  Just a quick glance at my Twitter feed at any given time and I would see advice to go vegan!  Cut carbs!  Paleo for the win!  No fruit, no wheat!  All produce and grains!
Phew.  It is enough to confuse anyone.  So, that is why, when I am asked, I recommend a healthy, balanced approach:

Eat smart
Monday - Friday eat a healthy diet of mostly fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, lean protein of your choice and, if you like, healthy grains.

Saturday and Sunday remain on the same healthy track but if you want a cookie crumble frappucino or sushi or a steak dinner, go ahead.  One meal will not set you off course.  I don't mean a weekend spent eating anything and everything in sight, just a little more relaxed than during the week.

Eat real
If it grew at one time, eat it!  Stay away from anything pre-packaged.  When eating packaged food, read the label.  If it has more than 5 or six ingredients and/or ingredients you would have to Google to know, don't eat it.

Stay hydrated
Drink 1/2 ounce of water for every pound you weigh.  Example: if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water each and every day.

Cut out soda
Ouch.  This one was hard for me.  I love bubbles.  And I still indulge in a good, old Coca-Cola Classic every now and then.  But it is once or twice a month rather than once or twice a day.  How did I do it?  Every time I crave a soda I drink a glass of water first.  Then I think really hard about it.  If I am tempted to stop at a gas station, I tell myself to wait and then, while driving, think about all of the negatives of soda.  I usually am able to talk myself out of it.

Cut our the fake stuff
This is really important.  Don't drink diet sodas.  Don't drink or eat diet anything.  Google the names of all sugar substitutes (aspartame, stevia, xylitol, sucralose, sugar alcohols, etc.) and STEER CLEAR of them!  I tell my clients that real sugar is better than fake.  Not that you should eat sugar all the time, but on your 20% day(s) have a cookie made with real sugar rather than a chemical-filled "sugar-free" cookie. Sugar substitutes have been linked to things like bloating, headaches and even some cancers.  It just isn't worth the risk.

Pack snacks
I am hungry quite often.  I am also on the go all of the time.  The number one tip I have is to never leave the house without a few healthy foods.  When I go to work I take celery, carrots, grapes, berries and nuts.  I like to keep a Larabar or small bag of nuts in my purse at all times.  This way, when I am out and about and starving I have something healthy to grab and will not be tempted to go through a fast food line or grab a bag of chips.

For more tips on healthy eating, workouts to do at home or anywhere, and more, visit me at
Forward From The Heart!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Week In Clicks 7.13.13

JF and I were outside with Ivy last night and came in to find L sound asleep, DS still on, light saber stylus in his summer-scratched hand.  L is known for partying until he drops, right in the middle of an activity.  I love these little moments and wish they could last forever.

I love these Warrior Bracelets.  New words and a sale!

Living a balanced life.

I say both, but advice on picking Pilates or Yoga.

I remember finding out my dear friend had carried a single twin to term.  This post gave me the same fluttering heart beat, feelings of sadness and happiness, that I got back then.  

I met a gnome name Jerry Yardcia and I fancy him.

Mommys and Daddys will relate to this bittersweet post on the "firsts" our children make without us.

I love planning and setting goals!

Homemade Pretzels!

Fascinating (and beautiful) Fibonacci Spiral.

A slice of real life.  I feel like it's a page from my journal.

Confession session.

I can't part with my boys books.  Ever.  

Are we losing sight of what women fought for years ago?

May I be kind to myself right now.  And more on how to not let guilt grip your daily life.

Just 20 minutes of yoga can help your brain!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fresh Summer Friday

What a week!  I have been so busy with work that my brain has been on fire the past few days.  That is okay though.  Busy is good, and we have some really great events coming up!  I will be embarrassing myself teaching Piloxing on TV next week so stay tuned for details a good laugh.

Time for the Fresh Friday link-up with Katherine.  I still think it is just so fun and inspiring to look back on the week and think of 3 things that made it great!  Join us here.
Time for the 3 things that made my week fresh and fun!

Shrimp and cactus in a garlic tomato sauce.  I think I want it for dinner tonight, too!

Summertime craziness with my boys and our puppsy.

Long summer evenings.  I just love it when the sky is still light after 9 pm.

So, how about you?
What has made your week fresh and fantastic?
What do you love about summer?

Let me know!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

5 Reasons I Love Energy Bits!

Thanks to Energy Bits and Vitality Bits I have had spirulina algae and chlorella algae as part of my diet for several months now.
These little bits are not a supplement, they are food.  100% dehydrated organic algae.  No side effects, no chemicals, no filler.  Just great algae.  For more info on bits, click here.

I love adding bits to my diet SO much and I am sure I will continue to share, but for today, here are the top 5 reasons that I love Energy Bits:

1.  I never worry about being hungry.
I deal with low blood sugar and when my blood sugar is low, I start to feel "not real."  This triggers my anxiety and it just isn't a fun situation.  I try to pack healthy snacks and to make sure to eat small snacks throughout the day.  But you and I both know that it is easy to run out the door without grabbing anything or to get stuck at a ball game or in traffic and being starving.  Thanks to my travel tin of bits I know that I will always have a great source of fuel with me.  I will have 10-20 bits when I am hungry but not in a spot to eat a full meal.  The bits fill me up, regulate my blood sugar, and keep me feeling great until meal time!

2. Plant Protein!
That's right, algae is really high in protein.  All of the bits contain at least 60% protein per serving.  A steak or piece of chicken typically contains 20-30% protein.  So, not only am I getting more bang for my buck, so to speak, I am also getting protein without eating an animal, something that I am always on the fence about.  So, to all of my vegan and vegetarian friends...you need bits in your life!

3.  I have stamina and energy.
When I have a handful of bits between classes or before a workout I feel great.  It isn't a jittery, crazed feeling like energy drinks, etc, provide.  I just feel great.  You know, that feeling that it's your best workout ever, you aren't tired, you just feel good.  And I love that.  As much as I love a good cup of coffee, I hate feeling nervous or overly energized.  EnergyBits are all natural so it's basically like I sat down to a giant salad, not a giant bucket of chemicals.

4.  My hair, skin and nails are so healthy!
I didn't really pay attention to that part when I was gathering information, but after adding bits to my diet I noticed how strong my nails are now.   And how I don't need to put lotion on my hands, that are normally chronically dry.  And my hair is growing faster, it seems...take a look at my roots if you don't believe me :)  It was an unexpected bonus for me and I am really enjoying it!  I noticed the benefits in less than a weeks time.

5.  They come in handy when I am at work.
A typical shift for me looks something like this:  teach a private Pilates session, teach a group Pilates session, teach a cycle class, teach a yoga class, teach a private session.  With less than 3 minutes between each of those it is difficult to grab a bite to eat and I used to end up starving and feeling horrible.  (See #1)  Thanks to bits I can pop 10-15 in my mouth, sip some water, and I am good to go.  It's a meal in astronaut form!  I don't feel very professional, even if my students understand, munching on nuts or carrots during their warm-up.  It is hard for me to talk, spot, etc.  Energy Bits have allowed me to get past this without starving.

Have you tried Energy Bits or any of the bits line?

Do you have questions?  Let me know!  I love talking about bits and the benefits.
Check out the bitsofhealth.com site, also Google away.  I am a googler and before giving them a try wanted to do as much research as possible.  The only negative I can possibly find or think of on my own is that bits taste like fish food.  But you can swallow them whole, so that negative doesn't really count, does it?  :)  

Forward From The Heart readers get 15% off of their order, just use the code HEART at checkout!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pilates and Running

Hi friends!
I just love doing guest posts on blogs.  It is a way for me to meet and get to know even more of you out there in the blogosphere.
So, a few months ago, when I saw on Twitter that Robin was looking for guest posters I jumped, or ran, for the chance!
Check out my post on Pilates and Running here.

Also, I want to know:

What has helped you with your running?

What has Pilates helped you with?  Do you run faster,  sit more comfortably, hike farther thanks to Pilates?