Answering readers recent questions. Nothing is off limits!
Is there a best time of day to workout?
The short answer is no. It doesn't matter what time of day you work out when we're strictly talking about results. But, the best time of the day to workout for most people is when they're most likely to get it in. For many people that means morning - before obstacles of the day might interfere with a planned workout.
I encourage my clients (and everyone!) to schedule workouts in their calendar. And then view that time as an appointment.
I used to be a big time morning exerciser, but lately -because I'm primarily working from home -I like breaking up the day with a lunchtime workout. Do you with the timing.
You can also play around with different times of day, and see what feels best to you. One caveat is I don't recommend an intense workout two hours or less before bed.
What are some healthy desserts for when I have a sweet tooth?
I relate! I like a little something sweet after dinner at least 50 % of the time. If you like dark chocolate I love the hu kitchen brand, eco alter chocolate is really good too (my favorite is the the burnt caramel bar) or JoJo's is a brand I've been enjoying lately. It's low sugar, and gluten free.
Some other ideas are chocolate almond milk pudding single serve cups - add a teaspoon of chia or hemp seeds if you want some texture or a crushed piece of dark chocolate for crunch - so good!
Rice cakes with all natural jam or frozen grapes can cure a sweet tooth if you aren't into chocolate.
It's been awhile but I used to buy the single serving chocolate muffins from Vitatops, and add a little peanut butter So good when you heat them up!
What foods should be encouraged or avoided when trying to conceive?
This depends on a few factors. But I'll give my perspective based on what I learned during our struggles to conceive. I worked with fertility doctors and acupuncturists during that time, and got a lot of opinions. (I also did a lot of my own research. )
The consistent advice I received was to make sure my diet included plenty of healthy fats - avocados, nut butter, quality olive oil, and salmon are some examples. A wide variety of vegetables and fruits are also always a good idea to make sure you are getting plenty of nutrients.
As far as things to avoid - an excess of sugar, or foods made with processed soy (check ingredients - soy is sneaky) can mess with hormones for some women.
Before I got pregnant with Sloane I loaded up on warming foods after being told by a Fertility Acupuncturist that I might be eating too many "cooling" foods like salads, smoothies and raw vegetables. I aimed to eat a lot of roasted veggie dishes, plenty of healthy fat, and nourishing soups and stews.
When you're short on time and energy what's your favorite workout to do?
My favorite workouts when I don't have much time are circuit style where I'm hitting multiple muscle groups. Here are a few ideas. This metabolism no equipment workout, this 7 minute abs workout, or this quick resistance band upper and lower body workout.
If my energy is low I'll do one of these (usually does the trick!), or go for a walk if it's a nice day.
Any advice for natural supplements to balance hormones?
Supplement wise I think the best thing to do is talk with a hormone specialist and get tested.
That said there seems to be more and more options on the over the counter market. I actually just started taking these mood pills which claim to lessen PMS symptoms - they contain B6 (shown to help reduce PMS symptoms), ginkgo leaf powder, and wild root powder. I've only been taking them for a few weeks, and not super consistently yet but will report back if they're good.
Also I do believe in the power of stress reduction and quality sleep to help balance hormones!
What are the "active calories" that are counted on my Apple Watch? Different than regular calories?
Active calories are the calories it's tracking that you burn through regular activity - walking up the stairs, cleaning or playing with your kids. I've heard there is some room for error here (as with all trackers) but it gives you an idea!
What can I do for cellulite? I'm on the thinner side, but still have it?
Cellulite is tricky! But it's also natural, and because of our hormonal makeup shows up on women - even if we're in shape or on the thinner side. A few things that can lessen the appearance include:
+ Dry brushing. This helps stimulate lymph flow and circulation. I love dry brushing before a shower!
+ Exercise. Staying active, and toning muscles will help firm the skin.
+ Hydration. The more hydrated you are the smoother and plumper skin appears.
+ Diet. Eating a nutrient dense diet of protein, vegetables and healthy fat will help promote cell regeneration.
Would you rather live at the beach or in the mountains?
The beach! The beach or anywhere near water is so calming to me. I wouldn't mind a beach near a mountain though because I love to hike :)
How did you and your husband meet?
If you ask Brad he'll say we met a SuperBowl party. If you ask me I'll tell you my good friend (and roommate at the time) and I walked into a bar in Philly to watch the game - and we both(!) met our husbands that night. It wasn't a linear path though, there was some off an on dating and even though I KNEW in my gut he was a great guy and a serious catch I resisted getting serious for awhile. I'm 7 years younger than him, and worried about the age difference (not a big deal now !) But back then it felt like a lot.) The rest is a story for another post ;)
But I will say sometimes it's ok to take the longer road, and it's definitely ok to not know exactly what/who is right for you off the bat (especially in your early 20s!)
If you have a question for the next series email MissModernWellness@gmail.com with the subject line "Q & A" or DM me on instagram.
*All questions are kept anonymous