Baby Strength Training

Tuning in today with sore legs and triceps from Baby Strength Training! That’s right, it’s a thing. New moms, dads, grandparents, caretakers, and anyone else with a baby, this class is for you!

This class is fun, cute, and challenging…and, yes, you use your babe as your weight, workout buddy, and motivation. Taught by Rachel Feldman, Baby Strength Training is new to Nomad Fitness in East Hampton (460 Pantigo Road) and it’s all the rage among the Hamptons babies.

From lunges to crunches, planks to pulsing, every class is different, but you can count on a great full-body workout every single time…and it’s only $20 a class! More relaxed than your typical group fitness class, (due to the fun unpredictability that is babies) there’s no judgement when a baby falls asleep, needs a diaper change, wanders off, or lets out a shriek.

Just bring a baby carrier and you’re good to go. No need for weights or kettlebells when you’re carrying baby weight, but in case your baby does fall asleep or isn’t feelin’ it, they’ve got ’em.

Just as important as the exercises is stretching, which Rachel incorporates throughout the class. You won’t be tight, but you definitely may be sore after Baby Strength Training!

One Healthy Breakdown: somethin’ about working out with babies makes a tough workout cute.

BumpEast Prenatal Wellness

Super exciting announcement for all baby bumps! Introducing….BEpurple BumpEast brings mothers-to-be private, personalized prenatal yoga, nutrition, and wellness counseling with Kiley DeMarco of OHH Nutrition & Erica Velasquez of Yoga in the Vines, Wölffer Estate Vineyard. We’ve teamed up to bring this unique service to enhance and prepare the mind and body of expecting mothers across the Hamptons. Together, we’ll explore, restore, learn, and play in order to maximize this amazing phase of life for your baby, your body, and your bump.

1Pregnancy and post-pregnancy is unlike any other experience in the world. BumpEast will foster healthy growth and development for both mom and baby alike. It is imperative for women to take care of themselves in all facets of wellness, from nutrition to relaxation to readying the body for labor and post-delivery. BumpEast will guide you through this amazing and complex process in a supportive, fun, and tranquil manner, from bump right through to baby and beyond.

BumpEastprintBumpEast offers single sessions and discounted packages ranging between four and 15 weekly sessions. All packages include customized sequencing, essential oils, optional foot massage, food label de-coding/pantry makeover, and a special bump gift. For pricing information, questions, if you’re interested in booking with BumpEast, or you’d like to give your favorite mama-bump the gift of prenatal wellness, please email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com.

One Healthy Breakdown: prenatal yoga, nutrition, and wellness in the Hamps = BumpEast!

Make Mom’s Day this Mother’s Day

Mother Kissing Her Daughter for a Present and Red Rose

Here are some special, personal gift ideas for mom:

  • write down best memories and make a collage or memory book
  • cook her a meal or make it a bonding experience and cook together
  • make a photo album (a real, tangible, real life one, not online!)
  • go to her favorite fitness class or activity with her
  • rent her favorite movies and watch it with her (make her popcorn for extra points)
  • take over the laundry, dishes, cleaning for the day (or week if you’re extra dedicated)
  • give a signed document that says “you were right all along”
  • if you’re crafty, make her something with love
  • take her to get a manicure/pedicure
  • a puzzle with a family photograph
  • a cookbook of your favorite family meals
  • a recorded Happy Mother’s Day video
  • send a jib-jab (who doesn’t like a jib-jab?!)
  • bring her breakfast in bed
  • give her favorite tea, coffee, or wine 😉
  • a subscription to her favorite magazine
  • whip her up a batch of Mom’s TLC Oatmeal Cookies
  • send flowers

One Healthy Breakdown: it’s the thought that counts, put some thought into making Mom’s day this Mother’s Day!

Flourishing Through Food with Tapp Francke

It was 12:29pm when Tapp Francke (local registered nutrition counselor and founder of TappsTips.com) and I realized that our one-hour session had run a little longer than planned…by 29 minutes to be exact. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of Tapp’s wealth of knowledge on all things food.

me with breakfast shakeSkilled artist and photographer, Tapp Francke’s journey into nutrition counseling began while pregnant with baby #1. Her desire to contain baby innocence lead to a search for “pure” baby products. After examining countless labels, (at the health food store, mind you) Tapp concluded that there weren’t any “pure” baby foods on the market that met her standards. As a loving first-time mother, she wasn’t about to feed her perfectly healthy baby something she wouldn’t even eat herself. And so her journey began with making her own baby food. When her baby grew, so did her curiosity and she went back to school to learn how to empower herself, her family, and others to flourish through food. Now, Tapp balances life as a nutritionist, artist, mom of two, wife, and chef for her clients and family. While she wears many hats daily, talking to Tapp is surprisingly calming, soothing, and totally intriguing (hence those extra 29 minutes.)

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My convo with Tapp kicked off with normal bodily functions. First things first – I gave a run-down of a typical day in my diet. Though I was expecting critiques throughout, Tapp’s response was instead: “and how are you feeling?” Life’s everyday processes, as Tapp states, are the “basis of health.” If your body is running smoothly, you’re probably fueling it right. If not, you’re probably not.

How refreshingly simple is that? Tapp’s mission is to spread awareness, most of all, that we should not put up with life as we know it. Most people live day-to-day feeling mediocure, blah, tired, sick, bloated, moody, in pain, etc. Instead of putting up with it, we can find out why we feel less than perfect and change! Tapp’s mission is simply to help people feel their best day after day. If we learn to fuel and heal our body naturally, like Tapp and her family do, we too can flourish through food.

In order to do so, it takes some “digging,” a process Tapp associates with the job of a detective. Once Tapp gathers all of the facts from a client about their diet and bodily processes, together, they follow the clues, eliminate the mysteries, and pinpoint the ‘culprit.’ There’s no better way to identify our sensitivities than to rid them from our diet and reintroduce them with awareness of results. Case closed.

As much as I learned from Tapp about nutrition, (a LOT) the most valuable lesson was a simple, yet profound, reminder of self-awareness. Awareness of how foods make us feel, awareness that we can feel better, awareness of the power of food, the quality of the foods we choose, ingredients in our fuel, and how they affect us individually. Education is huge. Research is huge. But nothing beats awareness.

Chatting with Tapp also gave me a renewed perspective (aka awareness) on why I do what I do. Even in a world of fast food, disease, obesity, malnutrition, overmedication, contradiction, and a food & drug administration built on money, not health, Tapp remains confident and hopeful as the minority. Although we can’t change the system from the top down, we can create change from the ground up through word of mouth and spreading awareness, individual to individual. Not only is it the goal of One Healthy Hamptons to spread health throughout the Hamptons, motivate and connect people, but also to encourage YOU to create small windows of change. Creating change throughout small groups and communities is what adds up to larger transformations. Together, we’re pretty powerful, huh?! What can you do? Be self-aware and spread the word of health. Tell someone you know about One Healthy Hamptons, try out Tapp’s nutritious recipes, or better yet, chat with her yourself – just email Tapp@tappstips.com to set up a consultation. Trust me, you’ll learn…a LOT!

One Healthy Breakdown: Thanks, Tapp, for being an amazing Hamptons resource and reminding me of these simple super powers. And thank YOU. If you’re reading this, you most likely care too and you will be part of a healthier future.

It’s ALL about B A L A N C E

When I came home from Anastasia Gavalas‘ – who you may recognize from OHH’s One Healthy MomHamptons Wellness Week lecture, “Rebalance Your Family,” I felt more balanced instantly!

balanceAlthough I don’t have a family of my own yet, (though we are adding an addition in a few weeks…more to come on that!) better balance is definitely a goal of mine and Anastasia’s insight is valuable for anyone and everyone. I preach about balance a lot and clearly, I want to practice what I preach, so better balance is a huge goal of mine, in 2014 and beyond!

Practicing and attaining balance makes us happier and healthier human beings. Balance isn’t necessarily permanent, but the feeling of balance is one we can learn to continuously strive for. Whether we have two things to do or 39, it’s about our approach. It’s about US. If we don’t first work on ourselves, everything around us will feel unbalanced too.

When we feel balanced, everything is more doable, things naturally fall into place. We go with the tides instead of against them. We’re able to feel good about what we get done and not beat ourselves up for what can probably wait until tomorrow. We’re content and realistic, and in turn, more present and efficient. Sounds good, right? So, how do we get there?

One of Anastasia’s top tips, which I’ll share with you, takes just ten minutes a day, and makes a huge difference. Get up in the morning and ask yourself: What is most important for me to accomplish today and what will make me feel happy if I get it done? What do I need to do today that will allow me to go to bed tonight feeling content and balanced? What are my top priorities today?

I LOVE this strategy and I’m going to incorporate it into my morning routine starting TODAY. I see it as a combination of list-making and meditating, rolled into one (which is good for a busy person seeking balance!) It’s not about making a never-ending to-do list, it’s about weeding out the ‘stuff’ and surfacing the big priorities. It’s not about the number of checks on the list, it’s about accomplishing the tasks that will make us truly satisfied at the end of the day. Personally, I’m making to-do lists left and right. I have pads, post-its, and pens all over the house and a list of notes on my phone. Anastasia reminded me that it’s not about ALL of these tasks, big, small, immediate, future, etc. It’s about the top priorities that turn a busy day into an accomplished day, a successful day, a BALANCED day.

Maybe one day, what comes to mind is going to three meetings, making 10 phone calls, and writing two articles for work. Maybe another day, it’s just attending a long yoga class or spending the day with family, reconnecting with a friend, or taking a walk outside. Depending on what your mind, body, and soul really need to feel balanced, those things will make it to the top of the list. I love it, thanks Anastasia!

One Healthy Breakdown: Life really IS ALL about B A L A N C E.

One Healthy Mom

Enjoy this refreshingly honest and inspirational interview with local family life teacher, parenting coach, and amazing mother of five, Anastasia Gavalas!

meee1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a mom, family life teacher, author of WING IT: 6 Simple Steps to Succeed as a Modern Day Parent, and founder of the WING IT PROJECT. I live in Bridgehampton with my husband and five children (ages 15, 13, 11, 9, & 7.) Helping parents make life with children easier is such gratifying work and making a difference in the world through the WING IT PROJECT is something I’ve always dreamed of doing. I live my life in a wholehearted way where I am happy with myself and confident with the choices I make.

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2. How did ‘life as you know it’ come to be?

After I had my 2nd child I felt exhausted and couldn’t get out of bed. I was quickly diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, an autoimmune disease, that had been manifesting in my body for years. I took the prescribed medicine and it just didn’t help much. I kept plugging along but felt overwhelmed and emotionally drained. In 2003, we decided to move to the Hamptons and found out we were expecting baby #4… surprise! With all that was going on, on top of not having family or friends around for support, I quickly learned that I needed to change. I began searching for alternative methods that would support what I knew in my heart was best. I tried acupuncture, homeopathic remedies, and a new overall wellness approach for my health and for my family. It was out of necessity that I found a more organic way of living life. This included making my well-being a priority as well as teaching my children to be more independent.

3. What’s something you overcame and how?

My need to do everything perfectly and my fear-based reactions. Once I was able to recognize that the display of the “perfect” children or my role as the “perfect” mother was wearing me out and preventing me from living authentically, I let those ideas go. Perfection is based on other people’s judgements. I made a decision to separate myself from the concept of perfection to be happy. I practiced meditation starting ten minutes a day, carved out me-time every single day, and (just like I explain in the chapter, “Build Your Village” in WING IT) I began to surround myself with more supportive people who encourage my growth.

4. What is your favorite workout? Favorite family activity?

Dancing is one of my favorite things to do and I mix it with a brisk walk a few times a week. I get bored easily with exercising so I need to change my workout routine up all the time. As far as a family we like to swim (although 2 out of 5 kids hate the beach – not sure how that happened?!?) take bike rides, and go skiing. I have high-energy kids who are constantly moving and ready for adventure at all times so, we’re always moving & grooving.

5. As a career woman, mother, and wife, and how do you maintain balance in your life?

First, I redefined the concept of balance. Standing upright at all times isn’t realistic or worth the effort. But, remaining focused on a goal with a trusting, more joyful attitude will help balance appear in the most challenging of roles. I believe balance is about remaining flexible and knowing that, just as the mightiest of trees will bend and sway with the winds of world, so will mothers who strive for balance. At the end of the day, people just have to appreciate the flexibility and positions experienced.

5. Any great healthy tips for busy moms?

Yes, take time for yourself: get enough sleep, eat good food, sit down and take time to meditate so you can be the woman you were meant to be and the best mom for your children.

6. What food items do you always keep in the house?

Fresh vegetables and fruits – organic as much as possible, olive oil, different cheeses, good meats, gluten-free foods, and always a bottle of chilled champagne for those special occasions…because moms are people too!

7. What is your favorite indulgence?

Drinking tea in the morning, sleeping in (that’s happened maybe three times in the past 10 years… but, a girl can dream!) and long hot showers (alone.)

8. How do you make health a priority in your family without going overboard?

Practicing being healthy is a lifestyle choice. We spend a lot of time outdoors. I talk to my kids about nutritional balance. Four of my children are responsible for cooking one night per week. So, every night, we have a really good, balanced, colorful meal. Children learn by what they observe and I try to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle with the choices I make instead of badgering them with health talks.

9. What is your FAVORITE thing about living in the Hamptons?

The ease of living out here. There is an organic way to life. I love the diversity of people and the experiences it provides. It is a really special place to live with the most amazingly kind people. It’s a great place to raise children because you can be as tuned-in to what’s happening or tuned-out of the busyness of life as much as you want to be.

1094944_578046278901282_1736507745_nOne Healthy Breakdown: Love, laugh, play, learn, and live your life for YOU.

Yoga’s Gift to Me

Young Woman Meditating on the FloorMoms have the hardest job! With five kids of my own, I’m guilty of bellowing “I can’t take another minute of this!” Not so positive, I know… But I have to be honest, I meant it! I meant this and…many other negative, self-defeating thoughts and statements through the years. General stress topped with ‘end-of-day-mommy-exhaustion’ can do that to a person. Am I right or am I right?

Then one day, I heard my daughter shout in an awful, guttural, honestly horrifying way, “I can’t TAKE another MINUTE of THIS!” I couldn’t even try to deny where she got it from, everyone in the house looked right at me. It really is something when we face ourselves in our children isn’t it? The good, the bad and the ugly. Ugh.

In my highly-energized (some may say ‘wound-up,’ I prefer ‘highly energized’) way, I shared this latest exclamation with one of my serene, calm, always-balanced friends (we differ in some ways…) She suggested I join her for a yoga class. Yoga? Not fast enough for me. I spin, I run, I lift, I swim, and I do triathlons. I am fit. Yoga? I don’t think so. Truly the teacher would not want me there. I will squirm, mentally go thru my grocery list, watch everyone else, count how many ladies are wearing LuLu…nah, it won’t be good, it’s not for me.

My friend persisted….she spoke of things like breathing, (duh, I do that!) listening, slowing down, (slow is not usually my style) and sweating (now that’s what I like to hear!) So I went to yoga. And to this day, I have a dysfunctional relationship with yoga, but I did I get one of the biggest life-changing gifts during that yoga class.

My mother always said: “f you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.” In life, that saying has always stayed with me, but there’s more to it. What I learned in that yoga class was the power of positive thoughts. Pay attention, this is actually life-altering. Take it from me, the skeptical mom of five who will try anything to make life flow a teeny, tiny bit smoother.

At the end of class, the teacher had us close our eyes and lay on our backs. She continued to quietly talk about self-kindness and the power of positive thoughts. (I should probably mention the fact that she was going from person to person massaging each of our feet – THAT may have helped!) Anyway, she suggested, when we go home, to hear our negative thoughts and try to replace every negative thought with a positive thought, recite the positive thought aloud, take 3 big inhales and exhales, and then recite the positive thought again.

The payoff? That yoga teacher claimed many; serenity, calm, happiness, hope, gratitude, improved immune system, improved overall mental health, improved concentration, and more! What mom isn’t looking for a little of that? So I tried it. And it worked. Not overnight, it takes time, but it helps. A lot. It’s something I am mindful of everyday, and it works.

While I can become a bit discouraged about the number of times a negative thought still floats through my mind, I’m in awe of my ability to press ‘rewind’ and turn a negative into a positive. I’ve discovered positive behavior follows positive thinking! You know what else? Positive energy attracts positive energy! I’m constantly amazed at how greatly this one exercise has empowered me. Finally, I live a life full of positivity. And the change is actually doable. It’s free, it’s personal, and it’s mind-blowing.

The best part? The other day…my daughter was running across the playground and a little boy bumped into her. She took quite a spill. As I approached her, I braced myself for her response. Perhaps she would cry, want to go home, or even lash out at the other child. Guess what? She slowly got up and while wiping all the sand off her knees, I heard her mumbling “It’s ok, little boy. We are fine. We are strong kids! We are positive! Want to play?” And off they went!

I am inspired by that yoga teacher. She taught me that being fit is about more than just my body. It’s about being strong enough to listen to my thoughts, breath thru them, make a choice to change them, and believe in the power of positivity. It’s a great gift we can give ourselves and our children. Try it for yourself…if I can do it, you can do it!

*Norah Benincasa is the owner of Pedal and Pose Fitness Studio in Concord, MA. She is a certified personal trainer, spin instructor, TRX trainer, Body Pump trainer, more…and mom of five! Norah holds a masters degree in social work and is an expert in all things fitness!

I’m Coming Home…#weddingvenueshopping

Whew! Touring wedding venues is EXHAUSTING! Super fun, special, and exhausting! Over the past week, my mom and I checked out seven wedding venues in The Hamptons and Boston (where I’m from.) It’s been an exciting few days for sure and I think I’m ready to return to my normal routine back in The Hamps.

photo 3I’ve quickly learned that wedding planning includes a hell of a lot of champagne and desserts. Not complaining! But, it’s a lot. Even without a wedding to plan, we all have weekends, celebrations, parties, meetings, traditions, and vacations. While it’s important to enjoy these events to the fullest and live a life of balance, not deprivation, it all adds up. The drinks, the clinks, the cals, the bubbly, the courses, the birthday cake, cake pops, pies, and so on.

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Who wouldn’t want to dig right into this?! You better believe I did. I tasted almost everything because it’s not everyday a girl is offered a sampler of fresh desserts involving carrot cake pops, chocolate covered strawberries, macaroons, and pumpkin whoopie pies…now is it? But, a taste is a taste and I do want to be able to fit into a wedding dress over the next few months! Yes, I had my cake and ate it too, but I also focused my enjoyment of this whole process on seeing the venues, enjoying the beautiful city of Boston, spending quality time with my mom and the rest of my family, and meeting new friends along the way!

photo 5I took advantage of this mini-vaca and enjoyed the time and these indulges. However, I did not sleep in and I did not forego my workouts. Balance is about enjoying what life has to offer, but not unraveling, or straying from goals. My goal is pretty loosely a body and mind that feels good, strong, and healthy, and a balanced, fun life. While my afternoons and evenings have been spent touring venues, getting drinks, lunch, or dinner with family, and, of course, the occasional frozen yogurt, my mornings have been spent running, spinning, at the gym, or on the yoga mat. And I love it that way. Work hard play hard, that’s really the message here.

Whether you’re in or out of your normal routine, do what you can and enjoy it. The weather is amazing this time of year, perfect for outdoor walks, runs, hikes, or bike rides. Choose something you love and do it. That way, exercise isn’t a chore but an activity. Something you know will pay off in the end, whether it’s to negate that cake pop, strengthen your muscles, stretch your body, refresh your mind, or all of the above, it’s always worth it if you ask me. Did I want to get up early yesterday morning to go to yoga? Not necessarily, but once I hit the mat, after a few downward dogs, I couldn’t have been happier that I did. That yoga class was exactly what I needed after lots of spinning. And, I enjoyed that yoga-zen for hours afterwards, an added bonus. Strive for balance, not perfection. It’s possible to enjoy every celebration, big and small, while living a healthy life. A healthy life is a longer life! More moments to enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: When all else fails, take the stairs!

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A Mother’s Day Tribute

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”

momandme

Happy Mother’s Day! No matter how old I get, I always need my mom just the same as when I when I was little. Thank you, mom, for being there, always, anytime day or night. You’re the best mom and friend a girl could ask for, love you more than words can say.

One Healthy Breakdown: If you’re a mom, have a great, relaxing day today knowing you gave your children the best gift possible!