What is healthy?

What is healthy? 

As a personal trainer, I would definitely say that I’m held to a higher standard when it comes to maintaining a lean physique.  I understand that.  If you’re trying to get healthy, you want the person advising you to be walking the walk.  You wouldn’t want your financial advisor to be broke.  You expect a Spanish teacher to speak Spanish, etc.  With that being said, it can be easy to fall into extremes and forget about what’s actually “healthy” when you feel praise or judgment depending on what your exterior package looks like.  

In the 2 pictures above, I can honestly say that I’m not necessarily unhealthy in either photo, and most commonly, I maintain somewhere in between these 2 physiques (leaning toward the right though, for sure).  The difference between left vs. right:   

On the left, I followed a program perfectly.  I followed a strict meal plan and I did not “cheat” one single time during my program.  Not one ounce of chocolate.  Not one bite of ice cream.  I drank every ounce of water.  I lifted according to schedule.  I did the assigned minutes of cardio on the assigned days.  If I went to a wedding reception, I pulled a can of tuna out of my purse and a baggie of green beans.  If I went out to dinner, I asked the chef to steam “this” and no oil or butter on “that” while my friends begged me to eat a cheeseburger.  People who didn’t have to spend much time with me would stop me and say “how do you get those arms” or help me get a 6 pack like that”.  People ask about the extreme. 

On the right, I ate healthy, real, whole foods.  I didn’t count calories.  I still chose a beautiful, colorful, fresh menu item when I dined out, but I took a chance with the oil and seasoning.  I was not afraid of avocado and goat cheese on my salad.  I’d put an entire banana in my smoothie.  If my family went out for ice cream, I’d eat some too.  When I’d workout, I would do what felt right for that day.  If that meant resting, or going for a hike instead of “lifting back” for an hour, then that’s what I’d do.  Basically, I lived a fuller life that was inclusive of the people I love.  I wasn’t stressed about packing meals when I traveled.  I could be a little more impulsive without having anxiety about it. 

I’m 5’3 ¾” tall.  On the left I’m about 114 lbs and about 15% body fat.  This is acceptable from a medical perspective.  It’s more than the essential requirement for normal body function for a female. 

On the right, I’m 122 lbs, 21% body fat. Also, still within a healthy parameter and considered “athletic”.  I have a softer look, but still feel strong and have better endurance. 

My point is that while both of these body types are considered healthy, and statistics can be a useful tool to measure progress, there are much better benchmarks to determine whether or not you are “healthy”. 

Pay attention to how you feel.  Journal your habits and corresponding symptoms each day to identify patterns in how your lifestyle effects how you feel.  Be honest with yourself.  For me, the body on the left was fine as a short term goal.  Having a strict protocol was what I needed at that time in my life to help me get through a season.  However, maintaining that long term, would have led to an isolated, exhausted version of myself.  Even if the stats are safe, you could be creating adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalance and a list of other related conditions.   

Being too extreme on the opposite side of the spectrum can be even more harmful.  Indulging every craving, being too sedentary, drinking excessively, sleep deprivation, etc. can lead to anxiety, depression, hormone imbalance, as well as other diseases associated with poor nutrition. 

Pay attention to things like: 

How much energy do I have? 

Do my joints feel stiff, swollen or achy? 

Is my skin and hair dry or brittle? 

What is my mood like most often? 

Can I get on and off of the floor with ease? 

Am I winded when I walk up a flight of stairs? 

Do I feel nervous or anxious? 

Do I have trouble focusing? 

You can add questions or symptoms to this list to determine if you are feeling the way you desire to feel or if you need to make a change. 

I’d love to help guide you in feeling: 







Let me clarify, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel/look good in a swimsuit or your favorite pair of jeans.  Feeling confident in your appearance is important to your overall health as well. But remember this: If you don’t like how you look , you won’t magically drop pounds and then fall in love with yourself.  In fact, it usually works in the opposite order.  Love yourself now.  Focus on what you adore about yourself now.  It’s much easier to properly care for someone that you love.  If you look in the mirror and think and say awful things about yourself, you aren’t going to turn around and properly nourish that self, you’re going to try to punish that person.  Start with kindness.  Start with love.  Talk to yourself like you’re your best friend.  Then treat yourself like you’re a precious gift. 

I can help you by sharing workouts and recipes that focus on: 

Improving posture 

Developing muscle 

Losing excessive fat 

Increasing flexibility 

Becoming stronger 

Increasing endurance 

If you focus on one or more of the goals listed above, you’ll create a healthy body that you can sustain.   That’s the key to living a full, fun life.  Don’t let your body or your mind limit you from the adventures you were made for. 

The Yogi Assignment

How to go on a journey with me:

I recently mentioned that I was due for a new challenge.  By challenge, I wasn’t talking about the   typical diet and exercise challenge.  I’ve been working on staying focused, creating structure and doing a little less waffling around in my life.  I’m sure many of us can relate to that feeling of constant distraction.  For me, I’ve been feeling a little bit like I’m treading water.  I’m always busy, but I’m not really doing anything.  If you can relate, stay with me.

In the past, when I’ve committed publicly to a goal, I’ve followed through with it because I knew people were watching.  I’ve always performed better with an audience 😉

For this next challenge, I wanted to incorporate yoga because I had fallen out of my regular routine and practice.  I also knew that I needed to get my mind right each morning so that I stayed in a positive, productive and compassionate place each day.  It’s very easy to grow agitated and short tempered when you’re feeling scattered.  We are all busy.  We all get tired.  We all wish we had more time.  Equally, we are all given the same 24 hours each day.  You can’t buy time, you can only use it more efficiently.  Taking 5-10 minutes each day to fill yourself up with the right energy and attitude will make the rest of your minute feel more useful and productive.

That lead me to the selection of my next challenge.  Here is how we can all do it together.

I want this challenge to run more like a book club.  There is a book by Kino MacGregor called The Yogi Assignment.  Kino is an expert in Ashtanga yoga.  She has studied directly under the founder of Ashtanga, S. K. Pattabhi Jois.  She understands how the modern world is very different from the ancient yoga traditions and she does a beautiful job of connecting the 2 worlds so that we can apply those principles into our own lives.

In The Yogi Assignment, we will have a few pages to cover each day. Those pages will introduce a lesson/intention and incorporate a story or idea to expand on the lesson.  For example, one day the topic may be authenticity.  She’ll expand on the struggle and triumph to stay and be authentic.  Then she’ll relate a handful of physical yoga postures to that theme.  You can practice the poses as well as taking some moments to reflect on the lesson.  Then you can go about your day.  As you go through your day you may notice that the theme presents itself in many forms.

Final Thoughts

We will begin the 30 day Yogi Assignment on July 1.  That gives you enough time to go out and get the book if you want to have your own copy.   Click here for the link to buy on Amazon.

Being able to highlight, dog ear and write in the margins is a great benefit to having your own copy.  If you don’t want to get the book though, you don’t need to.  You can follow along with me on my Insta Story.  Each day I’ll give a little recap of the lesson and share my highlights.  I’d love for you to share back with me by tagging me in your posts and/or commenting on mine to let me know your thoughts.

If you’re not on Instagram but still want to participate, please let me know.  I will make sure you are included.

I hope this clarifies how the yoga book club will go down.  I am always happy to answer your questions and get your feedback!

Your last workout of the year!

Happy Fresh Start!

I hope that you had the merriest holiday season.  I know that tomorrow is just a turn of the calendar, but seeing that big number roll over to 2018 always give me a renewed energy.  Are you a resolution maker?  As far as resolutions go, I usually just pick something small and easy to achieve.  One year it was to master using chopsticks.  Another year I vowed to not go to Target.  Many years it’s been to just dropping or adding a single habit.  While I don’t get to hung up on the resolutions, I am a major geek when it comes to goal setting.  This is my Christmas!  I’ve had some years where I felt like I really nailed it, not only on achieving my goals, but merely on organizing my plan of action.  Other years I look back and think, crap…I’ve accomplished nothing!  Each year I get a little more clear on the system that works for me.  Let me share my process with you:


In order to know where you’re going, you have to look back at where  you’ve been.  I take a look at the previous year.  I think about what I did that made me feel successful.  I take some notes on what habits are holding me back.  I just purge those ideas on paper in 2 separate categories.

Then I’ll make a list of actions that I can do to maintain Column A and Improve in Column B.

For the areas that I am lacking in, I have to think about why I struggle in those areas.  Then I look at what I can do to make those actions more accessible.  If I can’t establish a working routine, then I need to decide if I’m forcing something that is outside of my skill set, or modify until it becomes accessible.

One of my 2017 goals: 200 hr RYT (Teacher Training at Core Power Yoga)

Goal set in 2015, completed in 2017 (take my daughter to France)

Looking forward:

I make columns for short term goals (30-90 days), mid-range (1 year) and long term (5-10).  Right now I’m just purging dream accomplishments. Be as far fetched as you want.  You can reel it in later if you change your mind,

Once the purge is done, take a look at what really stands out to you. then make a category for each of those major ideas.  Now, instead of just closing shop here, you’re going to instead make a list of actions that support the results you just wrote down.

Those list of actions are now your goals.

For an easy example: If you wrote “Lose 20 lbs”, that’s fine, but that is a result.  Your goal is to consistently practice habits that result in a 20 lb weight loss.  Think about what it takes to reach that goal.  You might write something like:

  1. Drink 75 oz of water each day
  2. Eat fresh vegetables with every lunch and dinner
  3. Complete at least 20 minutes of vigorous activity each day



You’ll want to go through a few separate rounds of this, dividing your life into sections like Family, Professional, Spiritual (or whatever categories you find applicable).  Don’t worry about getting everything sorted out today.  When the ball drops, your year doesn’t have to be set in stone.

Share your goals:

Accountability is key in accomplishing your goals.  I’d love to hear about what you’d like to achieve in 2018, but if you don’t want to post it publicly, think about who you trust the most, and share that information with your biggest cheerleader.

Fitness goals or not:

Whether your goals are fitness related or not, practicing good nutrition and regular exercise is proven to support achievement in all areas of life.  If you’re ready to take action and get your fitness in check, Ive got you covered.

Beginning January 8, 2018 a completely new program will be up on the site.  Monthly subscribers, you’ll have complete access to it.  If you aren’t a subscriber, you’ll still have an opportunity to join in.  The program will go live on January 8.  This gives you about a week to sort your intentions and invite your friends to join.  Once the program is live, we’ll spend a week reviewing it.  You can test out some recipes, try the workouts and ask me as many questions as you can think of.  Then, on January 15, let’s start it together as a group.  I’ll be doing it along with you, that way if we find that something isn’t working, we can amend it and make it better right away.

Meanwhile, try one of my favorite 30 minute workouts.  The only equipment needed is a hand towel.

I look forward to sharing this new series with you!  I’d love to have as many progress pictures as possible, so don’t forget to take them, and please share!



Managing Stress (workout and pancakes included)

I’m lousy at moping

I had every intention of moping today.  My week was a little tense because BOTH of my kids lost their marbles.  I thought there was a universal rule that said only one kid could go nuts at a time, but apparently, that’s not a thing.  Anyhow, we survived but I was still feeling a little drained from it, so I preplanned that I’d come home after training today and lay on the couch with a pillow over my head and ignore everybody until I felt satisfied with the quality of my pity-party.

I finished work and was ready to head home for the moping, but decided I’d first do some yoga because I didn’t want my hips to be tight when I was trying to feel sorry for myself.  Then, I got home and threw a blanket on the couch to get my space “mope-ready” and I showered off my sweat because I didn’t want to stink while moping.  Then I decide to unload the dishwasher and put a load of laundry away.  I didn’t want an unkept house to be on my mind while I was trying to stew over “real” problems.  Then I  put on some Crest whitestrips and an eye mask.  I let those process while I organized the pantry and vacuumed.  At this point my day of moping is out of daylight and that’s when I realized I haven’t blogged in a while.  So here we are.  I’ve yet to mope, but fully intend to as soon as I’m done sharing this valuable information with you:

Are you feeling  stressed?

Apparently, everyone has problems.  I admit that this week I was slightly insensitive to this fact as I assumed no one’s problem were as “real” as mine.  Obviously this is completely untrue and in hindsight my problems are almost too mild to even be categorized as such.

My point:  We all get stressed.  We all have moments where we think that one more tiny little thing is going to be the thing that sends us of over the edge. Those moments in life are inevitable.  As sure as they will arrive, they will also pass.  But what should you do when you’re in the midst of it?  When it seems like pacing and wringing your hands is the only option, know that you’ve got tools and actions that might not erase your problems, but will help prevent them from doing chronic, long term damage to your body.

Here are 5 healthy ways to manage a period of high stress:

1) Workout

You definitely knew I was going to say that.  What is the absolute most effective workout for stress reduction?  Honestly, this can vary from person to person.  Going for a walk, hike or run, especially out in nature, is a great place to start.  Boxing, weight lifting and yoga can be equally effective.  Increasing your heart rate and circulation is key.  Consider the extra blood and oxygen that is circulating around your brain to be flushing out any fears or thoughts of worry and self doubt.

Try this basic do-anywhere circuit for a clear mind and a tight core:

1 minute of each:

Moutain Climbers
Prone Pikes
Supine Pikes
Saw Planks
Legs Up the Wall Crunches


2) Eat Carbs

Believe it or not, carbs are your friend when managing stress.  They help raise your serotonin levels (which helps manage anxiety and depression) and improve your quality of sleep.  This doesn’t mean refined, sugary carbs all day long, but having a banana, a baked potato or even a bowl of whole grain cereal can help you keep your sanity.

Try this pumpkin pancake recipe from well plated.com:


3) Listen to Music

Have a playlist ready to go.  Anytime you hear a song that pumps you up, add it to a playlist in whatever music app you use.  Then, when you really aren’t in the mood it’s already there for you.

I doubt my playlist is your cup of tea, but I love mixing a few empowering show tunes into my list.  Here is a top pick from me:


4) Be a friend

Often when you’re stressed you feel isolated or alone. Instead of waiting for someone to reach out to you, seek a friend that you can assist.  If you don’t have a friend in need, a random act of kindness to a stranger can be just as rewarding.

5) Clean something

This might be the last thing you feel like doing, but have you ever regretted organizing a closet or scrubbing something to a new level of shine once you’ve actually begun?  Start with something small.  Tackling an overwhelming project can sometimes add a whole new level of stress.  But cleaning out your linen closet or organizing you bath products can set you up for a quick success and can be a cathartic way to sort your thoughts at the same time.

Those are my top 5 stress busting strategies

I’m sure you’ve got some effective strategies that I’d love to hear. Share with me!  You might be changing someone’s day!

Side note: Isn’t it interested that the best way to manage a problem isn’t always to solve the problem?  It’s often just a matter of changing our mindset while the problem works itself out organically.

For your comic relief, remember, no matter how many problems you have…a bridge doesn’t have to be one of them.  Watch my YouTube video then join me for yoga on Saturdays at 11 or anytime online:


This definitely works…

Are you confused about diet and exercise?

I love reading books about fitness and nutrition.  I follow many dietitians, doctors and trainers.  If a new book or program is being released, I want to know every detail.  While I find the science of exercise and nutrition to be fascinating, it is equally frustrating.  Each book released contradicts the one before it.  Each training fad can be replaced with a new style or technique before you’ve even mastered the last one.

One day it’s all about protein, the next day it might kill you.  One minute you’re supposed to eat and lift like a caveman, the next you should be training like a ballerina and avoiding nightshade vegetables.

With all of the controversy surrounding the wellness industry, I want to help you ease some anxiety with my favorite fitness rules that stand the test of time, without disagreement.  These are wellness tips that you can count on:

1) Eat Slower


Chewing is the first step in healthy digestion.  Chew your food thoroughly and take your time when eating.  A tip that stuck with me from Deepak Chopra was to wait until your current bite reaches your stomach before taking the next bite.  I’m certainly guilty of bringing the next forkful to my mouth while I’ve still got half a mouthful.  Eating should be an enjoyable experience, so savor it.  If you don’t have time to chew your food, then you’re better off making a smoothie or sipping broth.

2) Moving is better than not moving

(click on image to see his moves 🙂

We can all agree that being sedentary does not contribute to creating strength, muscle tone, heart health, or brain health.  While rest plays an important role in fitness, you’ve got to move and move often in order to benefit from a solid rest day.  Use it or lose it.  The movement that will work best for you is the movement you’re willing to do most consistently.

3) No SSB’s

It’s all over my dentist’s office and I preach it to my kids daily.  SSB stands for sugar sweetened beverage.  They’ll rot your teeth and add empty, sugary, nutrient void calories to your diet.  This includes soft drinks, sugary juices, and sports drinks.  Even artificially sweetened drinks are hazardous to your health.  My kids’ pediatrician tell them at every visit, “If it tastes sweet, don’t drink it”.  On the flip side, drinking plenty of clean water is a healthy habit the world can agree on.  You don’t need to flood your system, but staying well hydrated with clean water and avoiding sugary beverages can help you keep your waistline down and your enamel strong.  Few will argue with that logic.

4) Catch your Zzz’s

Sleep is solid gold.  It’s debatable what the perfect amount is, but quality rest is certainly good for your brain, metabolism, adrenal system and so much more.  If you think your too busy to prioritize sleep…then it’s time to make some cuts elsewhere.  Deciding you’re too busy to sleep is like saying you don’t have time to put gas in your car because you have too far to drive.  You’re going to find yourself on empty at the worst possible time.  Stop trying to fit a duffle bag of stuff into a tiny clutch handbag.  You’ve got to prioritize and reorganize.  You will be amazed at how much for efficient and effective you are when you’re well rested.

5) Think/Know You Can

Negative self talk or a permanent chip on your shoulder is bad for your health.

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.-Henry Ford

Whatever your goals may be, fitness related or otherwise, having a positive attitude and self image will allow you the confidence to keep going.  People who repeat positive mantras or focus on what they are grateful for often practice better self care, have more energy and are less likely to suffer from depression.

Become your own scientist:

I’ve been the guinea pig for many fitness programs and diets.  I love jumping in with a deep commitment to follow a program 100% for the sake of research.  That’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  Because of that, I’m always happy to share my honest opinion about other plans with you. Of course, we are all unique beings and your experience may be different than mine.  Sometimes there is more than one right answer.  I encourage you to journal your daily habits and how you’re feeling.  This will help you connect the dots and become more aware of what works best for you.  As always, reach out to me with any questions.  If you’re really overwhelmed with where to begin or what might help you get on the right track, start with those 5 things listed above.  They don’t require extra time or resources from you.  They’ve held credibility without controversy.

As always, share your thoughts with me.  I love hearing from you!

Is your deodorant making you gain weight?

If you’re focused on fitness, chances are you’re interested in preserving or improving your health and wellness overall.  I get asked a lot of interesting questions about all things related to our bodies.  Some, I’ll be the first to admit, I am not qualified to answer.  But I can certainly give you my recommendations on products that work for me or things that have been game changers in my life.

(Let’s call these “pop-tops”, short for popular topics, and see if that name sticks.)

Pop-top of the Day

Natural deodorant:

Q: Do you use it?  If so, what brand?

A: Yes!  I do use a natural deodorant.  Here are my thoughts:

Most big brand deodorants contain ingredients like aluminum compounds, parabens, triclosan, and other known carcinogens.  Many of these ingredients are skin irritants.  Your skin is your body’s first line of defense.  If it’s bumpy, itchy, red or rashy, it’s sending you a message.  Not only is that skin irritation a nuisance, but it’s also your body telling you that something is in your system that your body is trying to filter out.

Your Armpits are like a cave that lead straight to your bloodstream.  Because they are often warm and prone to sweat, the pores are often open and ready to absorb anything on their surface.  So, when deciding what to put on your pits, you have to keep a few things in mind.

  1. It should be something that’s as safe internally as it is externally.
  2. It should not prevent your pits from sweating
  3. It should prevent bad odor from forming

If you are sensitive to an ingredient in your deodorant, it could be causing long term or short term problems.  The most common issue is inflammation.  Chronic inflammation can lead to exacerbated autoimmune disorders that could otherwise stay in remission.  Most autoimmune disorders lead to fatigue of the entire body or specific systems (like your adrenal system) making weight loss difficult.

If you’re interested in trying a natural deodorant, I have one that is my ultimate favorite.  Hands down, this brand is the best (for me).  It does not give me a rash.  I have no bumps or irritations under my arms.  It keeps me odor free for 24+ hours.  The brand is Native.  It comes in a few different scents or unscented.  I prefer Coconut Vanilla.

Compared to most supermarket brands, you do pay more for a natural product.  If you are looking for a natural alternative that’s cheap, you can try some of these products on their own.

  1. Coconut oil: You can spread straight coconut oil right under your arms.  It’s antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal and it won’t clog your pores.  Add a drop of your favorite essential oil if you want a scent to linger.
  2. ACV: Apple cider vinegar and be applied with a cotton ball just as if you were using a toner or astringent.  This is a great way to keep your pit skin clear and free of dead skin and bacteria.
  3. baking soda: You can pat a small amount of baking soda under your arms to keep the area dry and odor free.  Some find this to be too drying.
  4. Arrowroot powder: Use this just as you would baking soda.  This is an alternative for people that are sensitive to baking soda or to use if you can’t find aluminum free baking soda.

There are loads of other brands out there for you to try.  I’ve tried most of them.  Native is the one I stuck with.

If you have a favorite, let me know! I’d love to hear about it.

Vis ta Vérité: My trip to France and what’s to come!


I just took the trip of the lifetime across France!  It was amazing! We roamed the countryside and spent days exploring hills topped with cottages and the most beautiful cows.  We visited memorials and monuments paying homage to those who fought for France in WW2.  We saw the bunkers where the German’s hid and the craters that were formed from he bombs of the French allies.


We worked our way into Paris and saw the city of love.  We admired art, architecture, and historical places that are royal and regal beyond what I’d ever imagined.  We went 85 ft underground and tiptoed through the catacombs of Paris.  We ate macarons and baguettes and cheese and sipped espresso.



We finished in the South of France where when swam in the Mediterranean Sea from the shores in Nice and Cannes.  We strolled through Monaco and gawked at the real estate and checked out the palace where Prince Albert resides.  We filled bags with a bounty of colorful produce from the farmers markets.  We shopped and laughed and took over 400 pictures.  It was absolutely amazing!

It was much more amazing than my photography skills will allow me to convey.  I would relive every minute of this trip if I could and I indeed hope to go again!  When I began the journey home I got to thinking about lifestyle, and when I feel my best.  I was thinking about you and what you like and dislike about nutrition and exercise.  It lead me to some new ideas and ways to do what I do better.  Ways to make our meal plans and workouts even more effective and enjoyable.

What is LYT?

With all of that in mind, I am so, so, SO excited to share a new program with you.  On July 15, I’ll be releasing a plan called Eat LYT, Move LYT.  The menu is designed much like the DOIT.  Simple, easy to follow, delicious.  You’ll get everything that you get out of a DOIT, but even more delightful.   I’m going to present you with some amazing ways to move your body to get results that you’ll love. Of course, it will get you toned, lean, limber and strong.  Additionally, it should feel amazing while you’re doing it.  This is not designed to be torture.  It’s designed to energize you!  You’ll feel light, tight, and right 😉 .  I’m not trying to be the Dr. Seuss of fitness, but it’s just so true.  To me, this new plan feels like vacation.

It’s officially farmer’s market season!

For access:

How do you get it?  If you’re a monthly subscriber, you don’t have to do a thing.  It will show up in your account with all of your other content.  If you are looking to try just the Eat LYT, Move LYT plan, you’ll get special instructions the week it launches.


As I put the finishing touches on this plan, I’ll be looking to you for input.  I always appreciate your feedback when I reach out to you.  The more opinions the better.  If I post something and you feel compelled to share it with your own network, I’m always very appreciative.  I learn from your questions and requests.  Thank you for always helping me grow!


Astragalus. What can’t it do?


In my last post I scratched the surface a wee itty bit about adaptogens.  I’ve had a lot of questions since then, so I thought I’d break things down a little bit more.  Let’s focus on astragalus first.

Astragalus has been known to improve circulation, improve your immune system, and balance blood sugar.  Because of it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial affects, it more specifically has been shown to help combat common colds and disease, improve skin health, and promote cardiovascular health. It has been known to increase blood circulation and strengthen blood vessels thus improving symptoms caused by anemia, side affects of chemotherapy, and more. (source).

As with all herbs, check with your doctor before consuming them.  In this instance it’s possible that these herbs can be harmful to someone who has an overactive immune system and/or someone who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or MS.

Now that you know what it does, here is how you can use it:

Of course, you can take a pill.  Easy and cheap, but where is the fun in that?

You can make a tea (what I have been doing).  It’s delicious.  It’s so easy.  One tablespoon in 16oz hot water.  Steep 10 min and strain.  It smells and tastes light and nutty.  It’s smooth and comforting to sip on hot, but you can definitely drink it cold too. Order here.


You can cook with it.  Getting it in powder form makes it compatible with most recipes you’ll find on “the Google”.  Here is one of my favorite recipes:

Super-power Balls:

(image source)

2 Tablespoons Astragalus root powder

1 Tablespoon Maca root powder

½ Tablespoon Spirulina or any powdered greens

1 cup sesame butter (tahini)

½ cup honey

½ cup crushed almonds

Shredded coconut to roll the balls in

Directions: Mix the first 6 ingredients until well combined (using a blender, food processor or mixer).  Roll into 1 inch balls.  Roll balls into coconut.  If batter seems dry, add 1 TBSP of melted coconut oil and mix again.

Not interested?

If you have no interest or have been advised to avoid astragalus, that recipe above is just as delicious without it.  It’s also full of nutrients, healthy fat and tons of antioxidants.  Let me know if you try it!

Should you be using adaptogens?

Have you heard this fancy word get tossed around by wellness experts?  Adaptogens have been buzzy for years, but have never been more accessible than they are right now.

(image source)

Just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about: Adaptogens are herbs used to support balance and your bodies ability to manage chronic stress.  Many people use them to reduce cortisol levels, manage inflammation, and improve the aging process*.  Other benefits may include increased energy and improved sleep quality.

If you are someone who suffers from:


Adrenal Fatigue

Frequent colds

Severe allergies

Weight loss resistance

Thyroid disease

Hormone imbalance

Pre-mature aging

Or basically anything that makes you feel “meh”, then you might benefit from using adaptogens.

Side note: Adaptogens alone will not solve all of your problems.  If you are sedentary and eat garbage, adaptogens are a waste of your time and money.

Next question: Which ones should you be taking?

The most popular herbal adaptogens are:

  1. Ashwaganda

This herb is known to help regulate your immune system and ease anxiety.  It’s also known as Indian Ginseng.

2.   Holy Basil

Often in tea form, this is known as an anti-aging elixir.  It is suggested that this herb can help you fight fatigue and stress, boost your immune system, balance your hormone levels and regulate your blood sugar and blood pressure.  I have also used it in capsule form.

3.    Astragalus

Boosts immunity and buffers the affects of stress.  Whereas many adaptogens are shown to reduce cortisol, astragalus is shown to increase anti-stress compounds that help prevent and repair stress related damage.

4.  Rhodiola

This is the one I’ve taken for the longest amount of time.  Many athletes use it for increased endurance and energy.  It’s been shown to decrease mental and physical fatigue.  It contains a phytochemical called salisdroside.  This is used to relieve anxiety and reduce the affects of aging.  It is known for balancing appetite and improving sleep patterns.  It has been used to help the body tolerate extreme conditions and treatments like radiation.

5.   Licorice Root

This one is a front line of defense for your Thymus.  While this one has been shown to boost energy, endurance and immune response, it can also affect blood pressure, so, as with any supplement, check with your doctor before using this.

6.  Cordyceps

This is a family of mushrooms (reishi, shiitake and maitake).  They aren’t technically adaptogens, but they do have adaptogenic affects and are used in the same manner.  They are anti-oxidant rich fungi know for their anti-tumor and immune enhancing properties.

These are not the only adaptogenic herbs out there.  These are just a few that are fairly easy to find and have been well studied for safety and effectiveness.  Here are a few tips for successful supplementing:

  1. When taking herbal supplements, always check with your health care provider first, especially if you take other medications or supplements.
  2. Don’t take more than 3 adaptogens at once.  If you go hog wild using all the herbs they may cancel each other out.  Additionally, if you have an undesired reaction, it will be easier to determine which one you should eliminate.
  3. Taking one to get started is perfectly fine.  However, some of them play very nicely together, so you may prefer combining them for a more complete affect.  Knowing which ones to combine takes time and research.  Some that are commonly combined can purchased as a blend, for your convenience.
  4. You are a unique individual,  What works for someone else might not work for you.  Listen to your body and focus on your own process rather than someone else results.

Non-herbal adaptogenic benefits:

Yoga Is one of my favorite ways to achieve many of the benefits that you seek from adaptogens.  Yoga massages your organs and helps move blood to areas that need healing.  It supports your sympathetic nervous system which helps manage fatigue, stress and many of the issues listed above.  If taking herbs isn’t for you, then think about practicing yoga more consistently.  Try including this new 8 minute series into your week:

Feel free to slow this down to fit within your practice.  I was definitely trying to fit a specific amount of postures into 8 minutes.  After a few practice rounds, you’ll have a better idea of what pace you prefer.

This flow focuses on deep core engagement and conditioning of the low back, abs, chest and arms.

Related articles:

Everything you need to know about adaptogens, explained

Hack Your Stress and Sex with these 7 Adaptogens



*I hate saying “anti-aging”.  We can’t stop aging.  That would mean dying.  We want to maintain the healthiest appearance possible for our age/reduce/reverse the undesirable signs of aging,

Heavily Meditated

200 Hours Later

I’ve been teaching yoga for years, and I’ve certainly gotten comfortable in the style in which I teach.  If you know me, you know I don’t like staying comfortable for long, so when I set my goals at the beginning of 2017, I added 200 RYT to my list.

When I started researching my options for teacher training, I was floored when I saw the number of studios that offer 200 hour programs.  It’s pretty amazing to see how yoga has impacted so many people.  I thought the choices might overwhelm me, but actually, when I started making calls and visits to local providers, the decision was easy to make.

CorePower Yoga felt like home immediately.  I started my 200 hour teacher training program late February and in 8 weeks I took 62 yoga classes, plus 72 hours of lectures and practice teaching, plus an undetermined amount of self-study, reading and writing about yoga.

This was a lot to fit in, no doubt.  On top of training full time and remembering to feed and water my 2 kids, there were definite moments of panic.

Me, 8 weeks ago:

Nonetheless, each day made a little more sense.  Pockets of time that I didn’t know existed were uncovered and the friendships and connections made on this journey were invaluable.  We were all making the most of every minute of every day.  One very apparent benefit of taking that many yoga classes: You are constantly being guided to set an intention, remember to breathe, and meditate for at least a few minutes every day.  It was almost like an intense training program for chilling out.  Who doesn’t need that.

Me, 8 weeks later:

Of course, even though the completion of this course is just the beginning, it is very hard to say goodbye to the wonderful people I met through teacher training.  I hope that we stay connected with each other <3

Now that I’m done, I’m ready to share what I’ve learned with you!  I’m looking forward to adding  new elements to the online programs and cannot wait to share new adjustments and sequences with you in studio.

Why Yoga?

Yoga can be something different for everyone.  You may start for one reason and a completely different purpose may be uncovered a day, week, year or years later.  It doesn’t matter if you are flexible or have good balance.  It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old.  It’s accessible to everyone in some form.

Below is a brief sequence designed to help you build a home practice.  It includes some basic elements that lengthen you body (front, back, sides and even you feet).  It  massages your organs and relaxes your posture.  This is a great way to start your day, end it or perk up in the afternoon.  After you follow the video a few times, you’ll likely have it memorized and be able to practice it wherever you are 🙂


Shout out to my amazing TT group!  Love you all!!