Monthly Archives: November 2016

You need these!

November is about gratitude

We have so much to be thankful for.  I should be writing a post about all of the people that I love and cherish.  There are so many of you out there, and I fully intend to pay homage to all that I am grateful for.  But for today, I want to pretend like I’m Oprah.  She is 90% love and gratitude, but 10% of the time, she just wants to tell you about her most favorite things that are “things”.  Now, because I’m just pretending to be Oprah and I’m not actually Oprah, I won’t be giving every reader a giant Santa sack full of said things, but you go ahead a pretend with me and let’s act like I am (readers proceed with screams of glee).

OK, ok.  Now that you’ve all settled down, let me begin my list of fitness related products I cannot live without.

  1. Alo Yoga’s Airbrush Leggings


Image source: Alo Yoga

These leggings are the ultimate yoga pant.  They have just enough support.  They stay in place.  No tugging or adjusting needed while you workout or practice.  They come in a variety of colors that change seasonally.  Best of all, you can get them with a high waist or a mid-rise, to appeal to all of us.  I love a super high waist!  I cannot get enough of these.  They also come in capri length and shorts.

2. Spiritual Gangster’s Varsity muscle tank.

(image source and link to purchase)


This is a lightweight and super-soft tank that works at the gym, on your mat or over your bikini at the beach.  I love these muscle tanks! Wear it loose and comfy, or tie it in a not for a fitted look.

3. APL Training Shoes


(image and purchase source)


Now I’m really channeling my inner Oprah, because if you read her list of favorite things, you may remember this brand being featured.  APL stands for Athletic Propulsion Labs.  The name alone makes you think “scientific revolution!”.  I did not order the style featured above. I got a lightweight trainer.  At first I wasn’t sure I was going to keep them, but I gave them a chance a wore them around the gym while I trained.  My feet were like “Yes!”.  They are lightweight yet supportive.  They have a flexibility to them so they stay comfortable even on the longest of days.  I am a fan of the ones I ordered, but now that I’ve seen the ones pictured above, I have major shoe envy.  How did I miss these yellow balls of sunshine?  They are the color of a perfectly ripe banana.  They are screaming “happy feet”.  If you don’t prefer yellow shoes, don’t worry.  They offer a color palette ranging from incredibly subtle to completely electric.

4. Yoga Wheel


(source and purchase link)

If you’re looking at this thing like Huh?  I don’t blame you.  Initially, I was not a fan.  Here is how I was converted: Someone told me that they didn’t like yoga wheels and didn’t see the point in using one.  I felt like I had to defend the yoga wheel, so I grabbed it and started demonstrating all of the wonderful things you could do with it.  In my demonstration, I was not only changing the mind of the hater, but I was selling myself on my new favorite prop.  You can use the wheel for balance, strength , flexibility and core work.  Stay tuned, because I’m going to be sharing an entire workout using the yoga wheel.  If you Google “yoga wheel” you’ll find tons of brands.  They also come in multiple sizes.  Mine is 12 inches in diameter and 5 inches wide.

5. Rimless Cat Eye Sunnies 🙂


(photo source and purchase link)

I know that sunglasses aren’t technically a fitness product, however, eye health is a key component to overall health.  So put some UV protection over those peepers.  Winter is coming and snow can produce quite a glare.  I am an uncontrollable sunglass snob and a self proclaimed eyewear connoisseur, so you can trust my judgement on this.  Quay Australia’s sunglasses are not only high quality, but they are trendy and very reasonable priced.  You won’t feel guilty about buying a new pair each season 🙂

Let’s wrap this up!

There you have it.  My top 5 must haves for the Basic Fitness Gal (I refuse to say the “b” word) in your life.  Let me wrap this up with something else that is my favorite 🙂  If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know that hugging has never been my strong suit.  But, I’ve been practicing and it’s becoming more natural.  So, this holiday season, as you start to feel the joy convert to stress, take a step back and breathe.  A close embrace will release oxytocin for you and the recipient.  A warm hug can cut the winter chill.  You can’t walk arm in arm with someone while stifling a smile.  And best of all, hugs are free and never run out of stock.



You know how this has to end…

You get a hug!  You get a hug!  You get a hug!  Every body gets a big bear huuuuuuuuuuuuuuug!!!!

Peace & Love,

Yo-prah 🙂

We are America

Can someone tell me who won the presidential election this week?

I’ve been really busy.  I totally missed it.

Obviously, I’m kidding.



We did our thing 🙂

I see you.  I hear you.  I know that the world is currently divided.

Too often, we react out of fear.  We get louder when we aren’t heard. We don’t tolerate what we don’t understand.

Current situation: Half of the US population did not get what they wanted.  60 million people “won” and 60 million people “lost”.

I’m an Ohio girl, so let me speak O-H-I-O for a minute.  If you know anything about the Buckeyes, you know Michigan is our biggest rival.  What happens when we beat Michigan?  People light their porch couches on fire and riot in the streets.  What happens when we don’t beat Michigan?  People still light their porch couches on fire and take to the streets.  Same outcome.


(Sorry, dad.  I had to)


We have somehow managed to treat the democracy of our country like a 120 million person football team.  Even the candidates behaved like coaches (player compensation, “locker room” abuse, etc),  We, as a nation (team) followed suit and got behind our red or blue with the passion of a double overtime championship game.  Basically, no matter who won, half of the world was going to light some dumpster fires and get tear gassed.

With such strong, divided opinions, people’s hearts are hardening.  If you’re feeling fearful, angry, disappointed or defeated, please don’t let that feeling last for long.  We are America.  Opportunity is everywhere,  When you openly identify what you’re grateful for, it multiplies.  When you focus on fear, it grows.  You become what you constantly think about.  Don’t manifest hate, fear, or anger.


If you are experiencing fear or anxiety, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.  Additionally, you may find this book to be a valuable resource.  It is part of my daily ritual 🙂

Order a copy here.

America, let’s take off the cleats and helmets.  Save your tackles for Black Friday.  I invite you all to join me for a yoga practice.  In fact, if you are feeling anxious, I challenge you to do yoga for the next 3 days in a row.  Just try it.  See if it helps 🙂

If you don’t have access to a yoga instructor near you, try alternating between these 2 classes:


I have one word.  Regardless of your party affiliation, I say: Namaste.  The light within me honors the light within you. I will not judge you based on your political opinions.  I will not even judge you for being a Michigan fan.  Take a brief sabbatical from solving the worlds problems.  Breathe.  Clear your mind.  Give someone a hug.  Then you can go back to passing bills, balancing budgets and reforming health care…or rioting in the streets.  You do you…but first, do yoga.




Your Wellness is Top Priority

On a Serious Note:

An organization recently reached out to me called in an effort to raise awareness and offer support to those who may be suffering from an eating disorder.  As someone who works in the fitness industry, I want people to feel empowered by their strength through balanced nutrition, exercise and community. For some, this area is isolating and dangerous.  If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, you may find this article a valuable conversation starter or a sign to get help.  This article was contributed from Michelle at  If it speaks to you, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

A Look At Eating Disorders And Their Effects


Photo via Pixabay by Mark_Mook_Fotografie


Eating disorders come in many different forms, but they have similar effects on the body and mind. Extreme weight loss, hair loss, confusion and memory issues, organ failure, heart attack, stroke, and death have all been associated with these disorders, making them extremely dangerous for the individual. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating are a few of the most common disorders, and while much study has been done on the cause and effect surrounding them, there still remains a stigma attached to the words that keeps many people from understanding their nature. What many people don’t know is that eating disorders begin in the brain and take hold as a mental issue, which must be addressed at the same time as the physical problems during treatment.

Some who suffer with an eating disorder believe that they must deny themselves food as a form of punishment, either for a wrongdoing that is real or imagined. These individuals may also cut themselves or practice other methods of self-harm. For others, an eating disorder may come about after suffering trauma or living in a dysfunctional environment. Whatever the cause, eating disorders can wreak havoc on the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of an individual and often, their families suffer as well. It’s imperative that a person living with one of these issues seek help rather than try to get healthy on their own or self-medicate with substances, which is common with eating disorders. In some cases, the individual might use drugs or alcohol to suppress appetite or cope with the physical pain that comes with extreme weight loss. In reality, substances only add to the problem and do more harm than good when it comes to a person’s emotional state. They can also lead to isolation, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Some of the warning signs of an eating disorder include:

  • Severe restriction of food intake
  • Eating a big portion at the dinner table but going to the bathroom immediately afterward
  • Hiding food, binge-eating
  • Keeping up a hardcore exercise routine
  • Excessive use of laxatives
  • Obsessed with weight loss and the number on the scale

These behaviors can lead to issues with the esophagus and teeth, bone density, electrolyte balance, and dehydration. If you suspect a loved one is living with an eating disorder and their health is declining, don’t hesitate: reach out to them. Let them know you care about what happens to them and that you are listening. It won’t be an easy road to recovery, but it’s imperative to try and introduce treatment as soon as possible.

Substance abuse is a separate issue and must be dealt with as such. Contact a doctor, therapist, or counselor to see about starting a treatment program and finding healthy ways to cope and recover.



Should You Try a Cleanse?

Your Squeaky Clean Routine

I’m often asked about cleanses.  People want to know if they are effective, safe, necessary and most of all, they want to know which type of cleanse is best.

My honest opinion:

If you are healthy and not experiencing any undesirable symptoms, then it is unlikely that you need or will benefit from a cleanse.  Just keep doing what you’re doing.  However, If you are experiencing mild symptoms like bloating, acne, fatigue, dry hair and/or skin, etc. then you will benefit from making some lifestyle changes and a cleanse and be a good jumpstart or maintenance plan while you proceed to make more permanent lifestyle improvements.  First things first, let me boldly state: I strongly proclaim that you should A) check with your doctor if you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, and B) tell your doctor about the cleanse that you are considering.  The good new is, the different types of cleanses that I am going to recommend are not supplement based, are easy to follow, and you won’t hate them!

Most people hear cleanse and think detox tea or lots of pills or just juice for days.  There are cleanses like that, but I’m going to share my 3 favorite types of cleanses with you.

1. The Yoga Cleanse

Many may surprised that this is even a thing, but cleansing doesn’t actually have to be food based.  Cleanses are designed to help the body eliminate toxins.  Anything that supports your circulatory system, lymphatic system and digestive system is going to help you to detoxify the body.  Stretching, twisting, and intentional breathing is an incredibly powerful way to to support and engage all of these systems.

To complete a Yoga cleanse, I suggest doing Yoga 6 days per week for 28 days.  Of course, it would be ideal to continue to incorporate yoga or functional stretching into your life for the long haul, but to complete the cleanse, commit to 4 weeks to allow your body to recognize the full benefits of this type of cleanse.

  • Practice for 20-60 minutes first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (with the exception of 6-8 ounces of warm lemon water so that you aren’t parched while you practice)
  • Begin with gentle postures and build up to more intense ones
  • If you are an inexperienced yogi, seek guidance from a yoga professional first
  • Complete another 5-15 minutes of yoga or meditation before bed

While it’s always important to stay hydrated, while on a yoga cleanse it becomes even more imperative that you drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of clean water each day.

Try this class to get you started:

2. Whole Food Cleanse

The whole food cleanse is a commitment to eating only whole, unprocessed, organic foods for a period of time.  To receive the full benefits of this cleanse, I suggest you stay on it for at least 14 days.


  • Keep the number of ingredients included in each meal to 5 or less
  • Snacks should be a single ingredient (ex. an apple or a serving of walnuts or a sweet potato. Not all of those things, just one thing)
  • Animal products are fine, but should be limited to 1 serving per day, as they slow digestion and the purpose of the cleanse is to keep things moving
  • Because you will be eating more plant based foods, consider steam most of the veggies you eat to aid in more gentle digestion

3. Juice Cleanses

Juice cleanses come in countless shapes and sizes.  People either love them or hate them.  Because we’re all coming from a different place with goals that vary, I’ll just tell you about my favorite type of juice cleanse, then you do you 😉


  • I prefer a cleanse that lasts 1-3 days.  Longer cleanses are difficult to transition out of and I find that I feel worse instead of better.
  • Have 6 freshly made juices each day.  Avoid juices that contain preservatives and have been bottled and shelved for months or more.  Most juice companies that specialize in cleanses are acceptable as they do not add preservatives and do make sure that you know the optimum shelve life of their product.
  • If you are active (or even if you aren’t) make sure that 2-3 of your juices contain more than 15 grams of protein each day.
  • Drink juices that contain more vegetables than fruit.
  • If you feel weepy, foggy or like you might have a complete meltdown, try added a TBSP of flaxseed, coconut oil, EVOO, or sesame oil.
  • Don’t be a hero.  If you have to eat something solid, don’t think you’ve failed.  This cleanse is for you and no one else.  If you need a few slices of avocado or some nut butter on the side, so be it.  I’m a huge fan of staying sane 🙂

There are so many types of cleanses that can treat many types of ailments.  Your best bet is always going to be well rounded nutrition for life, but cleanses can offer a great jumpstart.  If you’re going to try one, find a cleanse companion or crew.  It’s always for fun and easier to stay on track with you have a community. Or, just ask me 🙂 You know I’m game!