3-Minute Journaling

3-Minute Journaling

Do you ever feel like you’re completely, utterly STUCK?

I remember feeling like I was swirling down a helpless sink hole during my first winter in Chicago.

I was in my early twenties (which feels like a lifetime ago) and I was working 12-16 hour days, commuting on public transit to four different gyms and studios all over the city,  and I was creeping towards my heaviest weight ever. It’s always difficult to not feel at home in your skin, but I felt an extra layer of shame because I was a fitness professional. It was my job to help people live healthier lives… and here I was, approaching severe exhaustion and extreme hopelessness about my own health. 

I don’t know when or how, but one beautiful spring day, a LIGHT BULB switched on in my head. Out of nowhere, I realized:

I don’t have to live this way. This doesn’t need to be my reality any longer.

Money had been my biggest concern, and I let the concern over earning “enough” cloud my vision of how sick, puffy and sad I had become. 

Within a month, I decided to quit two of my jobs – the jobs that were draining me most – and decided to start my own fitness business. It was time for me to lean into my personal wellness philosophy, which had less to do with “go hard or go home” or selling clients on extended training packages, and more about fitness as a form of therapy – an act of self-compassion.

I was quite young, I made mistakes, but I learned by taking messy action.

The sadness lifted, the hustle turned to flow, and my winter pounds started melting off. 

I was genuinely happy.

Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. I would go on to yo-yo in weight, work-life balance, and happiness for nearly the rest of my twenties, until I stumbled into the value of mindfulness.

When I look back at my 20-something self, I still cringe. Even though I owned a business that supported me more than my splattering of jobs ever did, even though I felt like I was making a real difference in others lives, even though I cut my working time in half, even though I had the best clients in the world…

I continued to feel itchy in my own skin.

I couldn’t find balance.
This feels awfully raw to admit, but I didn’t want to face my own loneliness at a time when my heart was ready for growth, but I couldn’t get out of my own way.

I drank and ate too much most weekends and spent my entire week atoning for my Friday, Saturday and Sunday Funday sins, eating extra “clean,” attending all the yoga classes, restricting myself from food I perceived as a “treat,” and berating myself for falling so far off track. 

The weight of my guilt was unbearable, almost as unbearable as the indulgence, guilt, restriction cycle itself.

Once again, I was stuck. Painfully stuck.

On the outside, it looked like it took a move to Boulder, Colorado, a 30-day meditation retreat, enrollment in grad school and meeting my husband to find my true path.

However, I know that one internal shift changed everything.

I gave myself the space to be myself.

What does that mean?

I reflected on why I craved the escape of the weekend… or food… or the strangely satisfying return to my regimented weekdays.

I began to listen to my body and my heart about what I need. Slowly, the “shoulds” and the shame in my mind started to fade into the background.

I faced tough emotions. I acknowledged and eventually released the self-sabotaging patterns. I broke down and I broke through. 

Often, we forget how far we’ve come, especially when we feel STUCK in our current situation. We fail to recognize that this season of life is just that: a season. Finding morsels of light and truth in this season will allow us to emerge when we are truly ready, in mind, body and heart.

Today, sweet friend, rather than beating yourself up for where you’ve been or how far you (think you) have to go, use this 3-minute journaling practice to uncover authentic gratitude for this very moment.

It’s not about ignoring your past or stifling future growth, but rather appreciating the true beauty in who you already are.

The video below will teach you my 3-minute journaling method that I have the honor of sharing with our Strong Mama VIP Experience this month.

Watch this video to:

  • Learn how to manifest your strongest desires
  • Cultivate a gratitude mentality
  • Begin healing the relationship between your mind and body
  • Learn the transformative 3-minute Strong Mama journaling technique

If you’re curious about the Breakthrough, doors are currently closed.

However, the principles — gaining true strength, healing your relationship with your body and  becoming more present in your life — are available to you NOW!

Join the LIFT UP, RISE UP Butts, Guts & Body Image Challenge to begin filling YOUR cup again today.

The 30-Minute Postpartum Workout SECRET that Changed Everything

The 30-Minute Postpartum Workout SECRET that Changed Everything

The Story Behind the Movement

When I first decided to get back into working out 
with an unpredictable newborn schedule, I had three notable options:

a) Randomly piece my own workouts together, praying that I’d “make” time or “find” energy. I had an idea about what I “should” do, but I couldn’t quite get there. I lacked an intentional plan, so I ended up feeling frazzled, frustrated and like I was wasting precious time rushing through a workout that left me feeling more stressed out than when I started.

b) Drop serious money on a gym membership, yoga classes or maybe even a personal trainer. Sure I’d appreciate the structure, but I couldn’t afford that time away from home and I didn’t have it in me to research the most cost effective option. Great resources, just not my path at this season in my life.

c) “Press play” on a video workout. Honestly, this method worked on and off for me, but that was precisely the problem. With my hangry, explorative baby, I had to start and stop so many times. I felt frustrated, even though I was working my tail off. I questioned whether working out was worth all that negative energy.

I needed a quick win – not a quick fix – but something to help me feel like myself again.

I needed something that would go beyond getting me started… something that would launch me forward. More than anything, I wanted to rekindle my strength and give me the push to do something for myself each day, even if that “something” was as small.

And that’s when I started dreaming about that glorious “F” word. Freedom.

I fantasized about a workout program that didn’t have me bound to a gym, limited to a class schedule or glued to a TV, but that instead gave me the freedom to workout on my own terms. I dreamed about a legit full-body program that I could do in pockets of time throughout my day… That I could do anywhere – including my disaster of a living room…  That I could customize so that I’d feel empowered from Day 1, and that I could adjust as my fitness grew…  That wouln’t leave me wondering if my efforts are “enough.” (Oh what an ugly word.)…

And as I talked with more women, I realized that I wasn’t alone.  So many of my friends, from new moms, to busy students, to full-time working women felt the same desire to rediscover their strength, to reclaim their time and to find a workout that was truly meant for their individual bodies at this particular season of life. That’s when it clicked. Busy women need this freedom + strength. Busy women need to move more with less hassle. Busy women need this program.

I’m determined to give people a simple path to feel stronger and more comfortable in their own skin 
without feeling like they’d need 26 hours in a day (or a nanny, personal trainer, in-home chef combo) to get there.

That’s why I created this program and the corresponding community page;  I’m excited to help you discover a customized workout rhythm and, most importantly, to empower you to live in a body that you love!

Want to sample the workout that you can literally do ANYWHERE, at any time, with any (little) one?

I’ve created a sweet sample for you, which includes the ins and outs of the circuit in the video above… plus some bonuses I won’t share anywhere else. You will feel AT EASE, yet EMPOWERED in your workouts as you learn how to create “Pockets of Time” circuits, how to enhance your workouts, and how to give yourself a mind-body experience with one simple shift.

Sign up below to gain access to the {FREE} Strong Mama Insider experience. 

You’ll get:
* 3-Total Body Workouts complete with exercise descriptions, video tutorials,
 and multiple modification options
* 3 Beautiful Mantras (downloadable & printable)
* Clear directions on how to create your very own 30-minute workout sequence with recovery intervals and Pockets of Time circuits

Egg Roll Bowl

Egg Roll Bowl

Egg Roll Bowl

If you’re a busy parent who’s hellbent on serving your children the healthiest, organically grown, nutrient-rich food… yet you’re floundering when it comes to making your own healthy meals, you’ll find so much value in this recipe.

Now, I know cabbage isn’t the sexiest vegetable, but it is beautifully practical. It rivals kale in health benefits, and it absorbs flavor like no other Brassica. Whether your goal is to find more healthy meals for your family, to get in the habit of simple meal prep, or to begin a lasting weight loss journey, this recipe is a refreshing place to start. Refreshing because this cabbage-filled recipe is:

  • filling and satisfying, yet it doesn’t leave you feeling overly full.
  • like a classic black top: you can dress this dish up or down by altering the toppings, base, or both.
  • incredibly satiating; it contains the perfect combination of sweet, salty and astringent flavors to leave your taste buds happy until your next meal.

I’m going to step away from the cabbage for a moment, and share the following with you only because most of the women I know, myself included, have struggled with their relationship with food and/or their bodies at some point in their life (or know someone who has).

When women reach out to me about weight loss, postpartum health or a strong desire to make lasting nutritional shifts, two particular aspects are completely overlooked and underrated: awareness and satiation, and the two go hand in hand. On a physical level, satiation prevents the discomfort of over-eating, mindless post-meal grazing, and cravings that distract you from your wellness goals. Satiation, the sense of satisfaction during and after a meal, happens when nourish our bodies with combinations of food that satisfy both our palate and our stomach. When we are satiated and feel like we received just enough, we are more likely to give our bodies a break between meals. Not only does this signal our nervous system to “rest and digest,” but it also facilitates healthy weight management/loss. Satiation gives us the opportunity to get to know our bodies again, to pay attention to true hunger signals, and to step back and remember what it feels like to be content with what is in this moment.

In my experience, it’s not one particular diet or food trend (gluten-free, dairy-free, veganism, paleo, raw, etc) that brings lasting change to one’s body and one’s life. It’s the awareness of what your unique body needs. It’s flexing our muscles of patience, when we’d rather take the quick, easy, fleeting path. It’s learning to listen to our bodies. It’s trusting the wisdom within.

…and this “cabbage” recipe will empower you to learn all of this, lose the weight and transform into an intuitive Supermom?

No. But, it will open the doors to satiation… and you have the option to walk through, giving yourself space to release patterns that no longer serve you. The satiation sensation grants you the space to pause just long enough for your mind to witness the “why” of particular desires, cravings and eating patterns. If you choose to open up to this awareness, whether you want to call it intuitive eating, mindfulness or simply “watching,” know that you will also give your hard working body the opportunity to rest and absorb all the goodness within your meal. In our impossibly fast, high-stress world, rest is an invaluable gift.

Maybe you want to call bullshit, maybe this is striking a cord in your heart. Either way, I’ll let you in on one simple mindfulness exercise that keeps me from (continuing to) mindlessly snack. When I find myself grazing through the late afternoon or mindlessly searching for something more after dinner, I ask myself one question: why?  Why am I searching? Why do I want more (food)? Why do I want this particular snack? What am I actually feeling? Not always, but on many occasions, I discover that I’m actually bored, under prepared or dissatisfied. Sometimes that dissatisfaction is as simple as: I didn’t have enough fat in my last meal… and sometimes (the ugly, I-don’t-really-want-to-admit-this truth) dissatisfaction is rooted in an aspect of my life that needs attention, healing or release.

Whether or not you’re in the same boat, I challenge you to ask the question next time you notice yourself scooping up a handful of mixed nuts, mid-stride. You might be surprised by your answer, and if you’re open, that answer could lead you down a path toward a healthier, more mindful and more joy-filled way of eating. My hope for every woman working toward any goal, from baby-weight-loss to finding a purpose-filled career is that, as she works toward her goal, her strides bring her presence, joy and nourishment throughout her entire being.

Alright, let’s dig into these Egg Roll Bowls!*
*Inspired by Clean Eating Magazine‘s vegetarian bowl.

SERVING: 8+ (servings increase when you use one of the base options)

2T sesame oil / olive oil
1lb ground pork
3T pure maple syrup
3T tamari
Pinch ground black pepper
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1/4 head red or green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
4T peeled and minced ginger
5 cloves garlic, pressed
5 carrots, grated
1 bunch green onion, chopped (divided)
2C Cashews (divided)
Serve over brown rice, egg noodles or a bed of spinach


  1. In a large skillet on medium-high, heat oil. Add pork and sear until browned, stirring frequently. Approx. 5-7 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrum, tamari and black pepper. Pour over pork and stir to coat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add cabbages, ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Stir in carrots and heat through, about 1 minute.
  3. Divide among bowls and top with green onion and cashews. Serve over brown rice, egg noodles or a bed of spinach… or enjoy as is.


  • While this recipe stands on its own, without a base, I prefer a smaller serving with a heap of baby spinach, 1/4C noodles and 1/4C cashews.
  • I also divide half of each batch into single-serving containers (without extra toppings or the base) and freeze for future use.

Leave a comment below, sharing what your favorite combo is! What toppings and base(s) do you love?

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8-months postpartum: wellness starts somewhere

8-months postpartum: wellness starts somewhere

The difference between these two?

One year.

Our bodies change DRASTICALLY when we have babies (DUH) but I have found that the shift within our MINDS can be even more significant.

Just in case you’re anywhere near where I was 3 months ago, don’t YOU DARE settle for “I guess this is just how I am now.” (As in cranky, tired, apathetic, giving up on myself, did I mention irritable?) HIDING behind cozy flannels, behind my exhaustion, behind my excuses was quickly becoming my new MO.

GOODNESS, the shift did NOT happen all at once, but it DID take ONE simple but CLEAR “I need something to CHANGE” moment. That made THE difference for me.

Start with nourishing food.
Or start with empowering workouts.
Or begin with a gratitude journal.

WHEREVER you start, just make sure you begin.

Because, life is too short, a year passes in a flash and the truth is: you DESERVE to feel your best. No matter what.

YOUR BEST might not mean feeling comfy in your favorite shorts or even silly side by sides like this… it might mean chasing after your daughter without feeling breathless. You know what that uh-huh thing is for you. And you have an inkling about how to get there.

And man oh man, if you ever need a friend on this journey, I am right here.💙 Just keep reminding yourself that you are CAPABLE of so•much•more than you give yourself credit for…

4-steps to transition into a postpartum fitness program

4-steps to transition into a postpartum fitness program

The recovering perfectionist, extremist, yo-yo-queen, in me wants to tell you a secret that you PROBABLY already know in your heart:

The question has NEVER been “will x, y or z work.” I mean… the reality is that any pill, wrap, chemical powder, extreme diet or crazy workout program WILL work. For a little while.

But what I know is that most of us don’t have the time, energy or emotional resilience to ride that roller coaster anymore. We deserve so•much•better. Can we just be DONE putting our bodies through those crashes and disappointments?
D O N E.

And I’ll admit: I was afraid, coming off of the (breast-feeding friendly) cleanse that I did this Spring. I feared that I’d return to my eating-while-standing-with-my-baby-on-my-hip habits, grabbing whatever I could put together with one hand and hoping his extraordinarily long {and freakishly STRONG} arms wouldn’t intercept my next bite.

Rather than letting that FEAR eat at me, I chose to do what I recommend almost every single day:

I found RHYTHM that isn’t necessarily easy {planting my bod on the couch to Netflix & chill #literally #andONLYliterally is easy}.

But what I found IS a RHYTHM that I can SUSTAIN: 

I can MAKE time for a 20-30 minute workout. Daily. With my baby. It’s not easy, but I can do that. (I may have to play catch while lunging to entertain my munchkin, but I can do that.)
I can have food in my house that gives me energy. That makes me feel nourished rather than depleted. That is a long-term win rather than a short-lived pleasure.
I can plug into a community that lifts me up on the bad days and celebrates with me on the better days.
I can feel good. Darn good. In my own skin. As a mom. As a human.

And tell me:

Don’t we all deserve a life filled with movement, nourishment, a little fun and a whole lot of compassion? Even when we’re tired… ESPECIALLY when we’re tired?

Change is possible, when we believe we deserve to feel our very best.

5 months postpartum: FORGET diets

5 months postpartum: FORGET diets

If I could tell you about the GAP between these moments – the tears, frustration, sleep deprivation, teething… oh the teething – then it would make a little more sense when I share this:

F*ck diets, hot trends, and OTHER PEOPLE’s side-by-sides (including mine).

YOU need to find what works for YOU.

And (WARNING: tough love comin’ at ya) you need to STICK•to•that•plan.

I struggled for the first 5 months of my little man’s life because I KNEW what worked well for MY body. I knew what I needed, but I told myself that I didn’t have the energy, time, motivation, etc to IMPLEMENT.

Maybe that was true. It sure FELT true.

But the MOMENT I started OWNING my excuses + GIVING a little more to ME, my body AND MY MIND started to shift.

I felt a little less anxious.
I felt energy slowly return.
I felt my moods even out.
I felt stronger.
I felt capable. Finally.
I felt content in my skin. Confident even.
I felt like I get beyond survival mode.
I could think about issues outside our tiny family unit.

But it wasn’t just one walk or one healthy meal or one workout that got me there. It was a very simple, intentional plan that I stuck to… adjusted, stuck to… reassessed, and stayed committed to.

Past me would hate this fact BUT: it’s just not about one A-HA moment. A-HAs are so•freaking•powerful, but they don’t make a sliver of difference if we don’t do something WITH that insight.

So… advice? From one recovering crazy, anxious, sleep-deprived mama to another:
Find what works for you. Move a little more. Eat a lot more mindfully. And stick with it.

If you do THAT you will•see•change. Best case scenario? You’ll see it radiate from the inside-out and you’ll want to share YOUR path with others.

2-months postpartum: honor the journey

2-months postpartum: honor the journey

My sister and I were talking about how frustrating it can be to only see “the end,” particularly “the end” of the postpartum journey.

It’s definitely easier to share the “I MADE IT” moments.

While that can bring others, who are in the thick of the journey, hope, ONLY sharing the finish line can also leave the rest of us feeling alone…. like we’re moving forward at a snails pace… questioning if we’re even moving forward….

Some days I barely know the day of the week, I HOPE I’ll get through my embarrassingly small checklist, and I feel blessed beyond measure to get 30 minutes to myself to MOVE.

Other days are better, BRIGHTER, easier…
*and I have to be careful that I don’t ONLY share the light.

So, this is me today.

Still ON the journey.

Often feeling like I’ve barely begun.

Working my HARDEST to let go of that “not good enough” feeling.

Doing my best to become STRONG over thin, HONEST over surface-y, and KIND with my inner dialogue rather than plain old mean. ((Remember, we’re ALWAYS our first own worst critic.))

Let’s honor our freaking journey this year.

If for no other reason than because THAT is what is real and THAT is what can empower each of us to LIFT one another UP as well as ourselves.

6-weeks postpartum – the new beginning

6-weeks postpartum – the new beginning

Alright, Team NO Judgment if you continue to read. Deal?

I hated being pregnant. Yes, OF COURSE it was worth it – OF COURSE.

But we have the option to own or truth despite the highlight reel on social media and my truth is: growing this sweet peanut drained me mentally, emotionally and physically more than any other phase of life.

So, this isn’t about a “before and after.” It’s about the freaking journey.

40 weeks pregnant vs. 6 weeks post-Max

TODAY I feel squishier and much weaker than I’ve been in a long time (just being real) BUT then I remind myself:

You birthed a (pretty sizable) human being.
You (somehow) feel energized again, despite that little sleep situation.
You ARE strong, just in different ways than before.
You are evolving simply by recommitting to yourself WHILE nurturing your baby.
You get practice compassion with yourself by being consistent with your self-care.
You survived the first six weeks.

I’m one of those crazies who’s excited to start moving again mostly because it makes me SANE and makes me feel empowered to change what’s no longer serving me (like watching all the Gilmore Girl episodes)! So, this is week 1 of the returning to my yoga mat. Week 1 of getting to know my bod again.

Why tell you all this? Well, believe it or not, it’s bigger than the belly & even BIGGER than abs. (Although, I’ll be real: if I happened upon abs, i wouldn’t send them away… I mean, anything to help me lift my milk monster!)

I am committed to sharing my postpartum journey OUT LOUD, no matter how uncomfortable. BECAUSE I’m absolutely positive I’m not the only woman who feels squishing, weaker or a grab bag of other adjectives this time of year (orrr after birthing a human).

It’s important to me to share the FULL journey rather than just the sparkly “after” moments in life.

As far as I’m concerned, friends, we’re all in this life game together, and I’d prefer to travel with folks who aren’t afraid to show their squishy, weak, uncomfortably vulnerable moments as well as their highlight reel.