The Snack Pack!

The infamous question: What’s In Your Pack?  I get this question a lot. For example, when I hike 8-10 hour, or a long day of biking, or my 50 miles. The common question is: What do you eat?

So, let me tell you all about what I eat and my idea of food in my “snack pack.”

First of all, anytime that I talk about food, I talk about what food does for our bodies. Food isn’t meant to just be a filler in our day. It isn’t meant to just make us feel good temporarily until the next meal. It isn’t meant to just “hold us over.”   Food has a function. Food is meant to fuel our body, to help our cells properly recover, to help us feel amazing and energized from the inside out.  These concepts stand true for meals and snacks alike. 

Thus, in this blog post, I want to touch on some of my SNACK PACK SUCCESS and what you may find useful to navigate your own SNACK PACK.  While this particular blog post will not go into the science, macros and/or calories of the snack pack, you are encouraged to explore more about macronutrients on my website and in workshops at

Since we are talking about snacks, let me start by stating that snacks should provide a balance of your macro groups as they aren’t meant to be “empty calories” such as junk food. That is why you won’t find snacks in this blog such as chips or candy, just real food. As long as your snack is real food, it has a function. A snack is intended to provide nutrition to your body between meals, time on the trails, or fuel you for a long day, and to suppress cravings.  Each of the foods mentioned is my own recipe and can be made in a small kitchen in a small amount of time. The recipes can be previewed in my cookbook “Recipes for Results.”

When I mention, the SNACK PACK SUCCESS – I am aiming to help the busy humans of all walks of lives. Whether you are literally packing a pack for a day on the trails, on your mountain bike, exploring ski slopes OR you are a nurse with a 12 hour shift, a mom a 5 playing taxi drive between events, or a teacher who runs between the classroom and bathroom between classes, this is for everyone. This SNACK PACK SUCCESS can be utilized in so many variety of ways. 

Let’s talk about the SNACK PACK as trail food. As you know,  I consider myself to be an endurance athlete, and many of my readers are endurance athletes as well. Therefore I would like to take a brief moment to talk about what we eat on the go, on the trail, and what we keep in our pack for real food, real fuel.  When I refer to trail food in this blog or any of my books, I am referring to the snacks that will properly fuel your body for performance during hiking, biking, running, or any other endurance activities. The main two trail foods I use frequently are my “waffles for wellness” recipe from the breakfast section of my cookbook and “Heather’s Homemade Gel” from the snack section.  With those two being my favorite, I also use the “energy bite” recipes from the snack section. 

The waffles and peanut butter gel fit really nicely in a day pack. Furthermore, I also use the homemade granola bars and DIY larabar bites in my running pack. I would suggest these if you are looking for trail food that you can make yourself and have less waste.  Oh, and, how cheap they are to make is just a bonus!  

For references back to the recipes for each of the foods mentioned, you may consider exploring my “Recipes for Results” cookbook on Amazon and/or Kindle. You can also preview it on my website.

Strategizing Your Training

If you’ve been following my blog and/or my social media for a hot minute, you know that running is my absolute passion, but workout classes and lifting are my hobbies as well. You also know, I like a good morning sweat session!!  Finding the balance between a good HIIT workout, a tad bit of lifting, and a whole lot of running is a daily struggle for myself and for others who also enjoy all areas of fitness. 

That being said, a couple common questions I get is, “when should I workout?” and  “do you prefer running first or do you do your weight/strength training first?” 

I give the full disclaimer that the answer to this question truly comes down to the person, their training, and their preferences. But I am going to write about my routine and my preferences, in hopes that it helps others who also work on strength + cardio sports together. 

To begin, let me explain that yes, a typical training day for me does include two workouts: one strength based, one cardio based. But it hasn’t always been that way. I did not wake up and jump right into double workouts. When I first began working out in 2015, I only started with one, 25 minute session a day. I actually didn’t start double workouts until I was training for a road marathon and trail ultra simultaneously in 2017. And, I only started double workouts because I truly enjoy a good lifting/strength session, and I love the endorphins of cardio rush that I get from running. 

The short answer (about workout routines/structure) is this: I prefer and highly suggest morning exercise. I strength train first, I run/bike second. I do my lifting and strength work first thing in the mornings and I get my cardio when I run and/or bike later in the day.  

The long answer and a few explanations: 

Why morning? There are so many reasons I firmly believe in morning workouts for all people. 

First off, I firmly believe that one needs to give their full, undivided attention to their workouts – for sake of energy, form, and injury prevention. I believe that you can put better, higher effort levels into your training when you are fresh, first thing in the morning after a good night’s sleep. From personal experience and seeing client’s experiences – working out at the end of a long day often means working out when you are already fatigued physically and mentally. Working out while fatigued, even if just mentally fatigued, is a recipe for disastrous injury. 

Why strength training / lifting first? As I talked about, fatigue happens. And lifting or working on strength while fatigued is no bueno.  Cross training and lifting is where the majority of the injuries happen. Yes, some athletes have injuries while out working on their sport, but many many many (way too many) injuries come from poor form, lifting too heavy, or cross training through fatigue. Most athletes do not have time or patience for injuries. And, if we are being honest – the workout drills that happen in cross training take a whole lot more focus than the repetitive motions of our cardio exercise. 

Therefore, I believe that in order to give your full attention to the details of your form, your tempo, your weights, you need to perform your lifting/strength training BEFORE your cardio work. Whether your cardio work is running, biking, hiking, rowing or many other options, if you opt to do cardio first, you are likely to completely exhaust your body through that workout. Then, you are more likely to “half ass” it in your cross training, leading to injury.  

That being said, I feel that if you are going to do double days, starting with your cross training in the morning is key, and then add in your cardio directly after or throughout the day as it fits into your schedule. 

Again, these routines and suggestions are merely what works for me and what I suggest. Every person is very different. Whatever routine you are opting for, I suggest you do what works for your and your body for the safest options with the least possibility of injury. 

Dealing with Derailers

6 weeks into 2021 and you’re feeling strong and focused towards your intentions and goals for the year. You’re feeling determined and dedicated to carve out time for your meditations, journaling, workouts, meal prep and other elements of your wellness that you’ve listed as priority. You feel like you’re making strides and progress is showing. 

Then bam – other elements of life interfere: busy work schedules, career meetings, spouses who have different goals, kids’ schedules, friends with different agenda short term and long term, weekend plans, holidays and many other things. 

The reality is that no matter how dedicated we are to our wellness, we are going to encounter life obstacles that may possibly derail us from our straight shot to success. Or, they (the derailers) at least cause us to take the long route to our destination of victory. 

While I cannot tell you exactly how to navigate relationships, careers, family life and other situations, I can help you navigate your GOALS.   I am here to remind you of a mantra I spoke a lot about in 2020: “I am a strong, independent, determined & dedicated woman.”  (or man for the male following). 

In telling yourself this mantra, I want you to really remember and focus on the “I am independent.” Even for those in relationships, married, and committed to family needs, I want you to remember that you are your own individual. You are YOU. While the needs of others are important, you still have your own independent goals that look different than those of your spouse and of your friends. If your daily routines and meals don’t align with those around you, that absolutely does not make you any less of a person. You are strong and independent and fully capable of remaining dedicated to your plan.  It is just that YOU have to decide to be okay with saying no more often, advocating for yourself, and using your voice. Regardless of whether it is your workout plan, training for an event, eating right, meal prepping, or managing the fridge, I highly encourage you to focus on YOU, taking priority over the derailers that step into your path to achievement. 

Most common derailers & suggestions: 

Spouses/Family Need. No doubt that the people you live with have the greatest impact on you and how you live your life.  However, just because you live together doesn’t mean that you are all at the same points of your life.  For sure, you and your kiddos are at different points of life – they are growing up and you are adulting. Your schedules are going to look different. Your meals are going to look different. Your routines, schedules, workouts, lifestyles are going to look different.  Coming to senses with this will be the first step of navigating these differences and preventing them from derailing you. Understanding that how your teenager eats is significantly different than how you eat isn’t going to be easy. But choosing your battles will be crucial in the situation. You can fight with your family members to eat the same chicken salad that you’re having for dinner or you can spend less energy having a couple options available. But ultimately, you have to decide if the differences among family members, especially the spouse that chooses cookies and beer for dinner while you are enjoying your vegan tofu-topped salad. 

Friends: There is a meme on the internet that says you find out who your true friends are when you have a baby. I find that to be fairly accurate, but it is more along the lines of “you find out who your true friends are when your habits in general change.” No doubt, finding yourself and loving yourself isn’t easy on friendships. Friends tend to see you giving attention to yourself and your health and that is essentially energy that you could be giving them. Naturally, they are a bit envious of where you are focusing your attention. You’ll start to see which friends vanish and which friends become encouraged by your newly acquired lifestyle. Some friends will mock you and block you, some friends will eat and exercise with you while encouraging you.  Good and bad news here. Bad news: you will lose/distance some friends. Good news: you will gain a whole new tribe of friends, connections, like minded individuals. Whether on the internet, facebook groups,  running groups or other areas, you will slowly make new connections to people with commonalities to your new lifestyle. 

Eating out / Taking Out: Eating out is America’s favorite pastime. When meeting up with friends, having a work meeting, traveling with your business partners, signing on a new work deal – so many things require meeting over a table full of five course meals. It doesn’t have to be this way. While you probably cannot change the eating out of your career and CEO’s choice of restaurants, what about the moments with friends and family. Can you suggest other ideas of meeting up: going for a walk, going to play a game, mini golf,  coming over to each other’s houses.  However, if you do opt for the eating out, you don’t have to choose the unhealthy options. There is no rule that says you must order beverages or cocktails. Eating out and choosing healthy options is something I could talk about for days – but to spare you the details I am going to link this “Traveling, Eating out, Reading Menus” video from my Nail Down your Nutrition package. It’s a simple 30 minutes of listening to my educational thoughts and suggestions to managing eating outside of your typical household situations.

Work Schedules: While many work schedules have shifted and even gone remote/virtual this past year, many work loads have also increased. I understand that whether you physically go to work or you have altered your work to be from your living room couch, it has become very difficult to set boundaries. I know that your work is your livelihood, your income, and what builds the stability in your life. As a former teacher and a coach that works A LOT and also struggles with work hours/boundaries, this is a difficult topic to speak about. However,  I can highly suggest that starting slow in creating a TIME FRAME and creating a healthy WORK SPACE will greatly impact your productivity. Whether working from home or an actual place of employment, knowing which hours are your most productive hours will be important. Creating structure within that time frame will be essential. Create a check list of which tasks need to be finished in those time frames and go from there. Following your checklist will allow you to focus on the tasks that are of the highest priority. Therefore as other tasks arrive to the table and in your inboxes, you stick to your list. Newly acquired tasks won’t derail you from your work priorities or your life tasks as much if you know which list, which tasks to stick to. When it comes to work derailing you from your own life, your personal goals it is important to do your work ONLY , in your time frames and ONLY in your workspace. Outside of those times/space, you focus on you and your family. It’s much easier said than done. But if you can try to accomplish this one day at time you will feel more on the straight route to succeeding in your work and personal life. 

Snacks: While I would love to say the answer to end snacking is to end purchasing them, I also understand that you have children, spouses, roommates and others that have the snacks in the house. Or maybe the snacks aren’t even in the house. Maybe they are in your place of employment or places that you visit often. Snacking has to come down to personal discipline. It has to come down to knowing that what you put into your body has a function. Fuel is fuel for your body to keep going and keep recovering from workouts and other tasks. Depending on what you are snacking on, the ingredients may derail you entirely for  a day or so depending on how it makes you feel. The ingredients in your snacks may be healthy and contribute to your success (veggies, fruit, guacamole, hummus, deli meat, other quick produce options) or the ingredients may cause you a migraine, constipation, bloating, cramps, gut pains, fatigue or many other symptoms. It has to come down to if you want your snacks to contribute to your route to success or derail you off path for a day or so. I highly suggest you take a moment to make a list of which snacks should be on hand for healthy options and then create a list of what you should stay away from. If you need a suggestion or ideas, I will give you an example of my list. Healthy options: chopped veggies with avocado or hummus, chopped veggies with shredded chicken or deli meats, bell peppers with taco meat, apples or other fruit with yogurt. Options that derail me: candy, chocolate, tortillas, bread, toast, quesadillas, any thing with flour in it, anything that is too much dairy in one sitting. 

Girl Scout Cookies: This one is just to conclude this blog with a little bit of humor and because I know it is Girl Scout cookie season. My opinion on this one contradicts the entire blog. I say, buy the cookies. Support your girl scouts. Help them out. But, eat them in portions. Ration yourself one cookie a day for a few days. Tuck them into a cabinet or back of the freezer so that if you want one, you have to actually get it. Put them out of site, out of mind. And leave a note on the box itself reminding yourself that you are a strong independent woman with goals and you are working towards them. 

Existing Emotions: You had a bad day.

As I talked about in last week’s blog – it is the dead of winter – winter in a year of social distancing, nonetheless. It is no joke, and should also be no secret that winter blues, anxiety, depression, COVID emotions and much more play a part of our daily lives.  

I promised to write more about this exact paragraph above and this topic of COVID emotions. So, here I am. As always, I like to start off with a hypothetical question of how are you feeling? This week’s questions to ponder are more along the lines of do you experience the winter blues? The stay at home loneliness? The quarantine boredom? 

Are you feeling a little uneasy with the ups and downs and back and forths of the virtual world versus doing in person activities? Are you feeling overwhelmed with attempting to run a household, manage your career, have self care time and take care of your health all under one roof now? I understand. It is a seriously tough year. It’s a tough world.  

Spoiler alert: I don’t have any of the answers. I have zero solutions. 

Spoiler alert #2: I am just writing this blog to share with you that you are not alone. Though we feel lonely, we shall not feel alone. 

However, one thing I want to gently remind you is that yes, you can absolutely do ANYTHING. You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. However, you do not have to do EVERYTHING. There is a large difference between trying to do anything and trying to do EVERYTHING. Remind yourself of that as you select what is most important to do, and what can be pushed to the side. Because at no point do you need to try and juggle everything.  

Last week I wrote to you in a blog about managing motivation, finding a rhythm of consistency and having a tribe for camaraderie. But in these days and moments, even the best of systems still yield moments of what I like to call “Covid Emotions.” It is like you just can’t describe how you are feeling or why you are feeling that way. 

Really, the best I can present you is a song that has worked for me and a concept I spoke about last year: So, you had a bad day. 

“You had a bad day

You’re taking one down

You sing a sad song just to turn it around

You say you don’t know

You tell me, “don’t lie”

From a wellness standpoint, the best I can tell you is you had a bad day. It’s not a bad life. It’s not even a bad month or bad week. It’s a bad day. And, being completely transparent, sometimes it’s just a bad moment that doesn’t need to take over your entire day. Either way, you had a bad day. Let it happen. Let’s not deny that emotions exist. Let’s allow ourselves to move through the existing emotions. Try to naturally work through and overcome these rollercoasters of thoughts. Even more importantly, avoid hiding or pushing these bad moments, bad days, bad emotions aways. You can’t hide them. You can’t put them under the carpet and pretend they don’t happen. Because, the reality is, they do. And, it happens to all of us. 

If I had to list out my top my top tips for overcoming these existing emotions would be : 

Meditative Movements in your body – preferably outdoors, taking in some sunlight, fresh air, and deep breaths. If you meditate, add some slow meditative breaths to your outdoor movements. This will help reset. 

Drink your water – hydrate your body, to activate all the internal pieces and as your flush your body with hydration, reset the mind

Eat & Nourish Your Body – nutrients run your body, including your hormones and mood. Eat a healthy, colorful meal

Disconnect – Take an hour or a day to just turn off the technology and disconnect from what you can disconnect from. Refrain from checking social media. 

Reconnect with only what matters: I know I just said disconnect. But once you re-connect, make it a connection with what matters. Whether a group text with  family or a video chat with friends, or a facebook group with a tribe of like-minded people, reconnect and keep that connection going. Lean on those connections for support. 

At the end of the day, the solution still remains: tomorrow is a new day. Take what you can in strides. Take it day by day. And when needed, take it moment by moment. 

Managing Motivation

The first month of 2021 has gone and passed super fast. How is the world feeling? How are YOU feeling? Hesitant to answer that? 

Not to worry. It is, of course,  the dead of winter – winter in a year of social distancing, nonetheless. It is no joke, and should also be no secret that winter blues, anxiety, depression, COVID emotions and much more play a part of our daily lives.  (more to come about that in next week’s blog.) 

Managing our motivation is a serious struggle some days. Whether you are struggling to feel motivated towards your own career, your household chores, family life, daily tasks or your wellness overall, you are NOT alone. We are all in this together.  Let me start by sharing my story with you. From there, I’ll share my top tips for Motivation.

Hopefully you at least feel motivated to continue reading this blog though, because I am going to give you the top 5 thoughts I have towards managing our own motivation, from within. 

  1. Goal Oriented Habits. Motivation doesn’t come naturally. It doesn’t just arrive at your doorstep, knocking, asking to be welcomed in like an old friend. It doesn’t show up daily. It may not even show up weekly or monthly. Motivation comes along every once in a while as goal oriented habits are created and put to action in our days. Developing goal oriented habits of course, are not easy.  I could write an entire blog just on that. However, if you are thinking about creating 3-5 new goal oriented that will develop into motivation, I suggest waking up an hour earlier to live an hour longer, creating a power hour somewhere in your day, drinking water throughout your day, eating healthy energetic breakfast, and smiling at yourself daily to get started on your motivation. 
  2. Routines/Rituals. Creating routines and rituals, whichever you like to refer to them as, take a little practice and personalizing to your lifestyle. But, once routines/rituals are established, it is really motivating to keep going and feel accomplished each day. Obviously in my power hour, I talk about morning routines. But I also very strongly believe in creating daily routines – like knowing when you plan on drinking your water, fitting in your exercise, and when you’re taking your walk break, lunch break, and so forth. How do routines/rituals relate to managing motivating? Well, regardless of which rituals you start implementing, it gets motivating to feel the inner change happening in the mindset and the brain overall.  Personal development sources will often tell you the importance of creating morning and day time routines. But I also very firmly believe in an evening routine as well. How you finish one day, determines how you start your next day in your mindset and your motivation. If you can create a calming routine for your evening, such as drinking a tea, turning off technology and lights, reading a book and feeling mellow, you will start your next day with less stress and greater amounts of motivation. Routines and rituals will generate positive energy flow.
  3. Consistency: Finding consistency stems from routines. Once you determine a morning, day, and evening routine that works for you and you repeat it several times, consistency gets easier. Once you’ve repeated your routines 3-5 times,  you know you can do it for a week. Once you’ve done it for a week, you know you can do it for a month. Once you’re consistent for a month, you’ve really circled back to implementing goal oriented habits.  Days when it is really hard to feel motivated within, you have to rely on your consistency, your calendars, your checklists to keep going and keep strong. With consistency, you have that extra push that giving up isn’t an option. 
  4. Discipline:  Along the lines of being consistent in habits and routines, discipline will eventually come knocking as well. I know some days you really want a friend or coach or gym buddy to give you an extra push. But the reality is that motivation has to come from within. And when motivation starts to fade, discipline takes a stronger appearance, reminding you of why you started. Whether you’re not motivated to get your daily exercise in, or you’re not motivated to stay hydrated, or not motivated to continue your meal routines, discipline reminds you that you have a plan of action, you have routines, you have developed habits and that it is important to stick to those.  As I said, that discipline will come knocking; it will ask if you’ve drunk your water, got your exercise in, eating healthy. It will be on YOU to answer the knock with an honest response and keep up on those consistent routines we talked about.
  5. Community & Camaraderie: While this whole blog has been about finding and generating your own motivation from within, the reality is that the motivation is easier to manage when doing it with someone. Community and camaraderie from others will absolutely help. In a world that has physical distanced and virtually come together, it is fairly easy to find buddies, at least in an online setting. So, finding the community and accountability buddies can not be an excuse. We have adapted to our new world to sharing our goals and ambitions on the internet in community “tribe” like settings. If you have not found your niche, your community – do let me know and I will absolutely get you set up with the community we’ve been working with together in our facebook world through facebook groups such as “Actively Ageless” and “Wellness Workshop.”

Rest. Recover. Rejuvenate.

Being your best, strongest, healthiest self does mean resting, recovering, and rejuvenating each day. Instead of choosing one specific day as your “rest day” why not learn about how to rest and relax everyday, how to eat right everyday, how to sleep right every day.

Let me start by asking: how are you feeling? How is your body feeling? What is your heart, soul, and flowing energy telling you these days?  Hopefully your physical body and mental body and flow of energy is feeling amazing. I sincerely hope that you do feel recovered and well in whatever busy lifestyle you lead. And, if not – I have your back as I cover all my favorite tips to recovery. 

Over the last couple of days/week, I have seen various posts and heard from different people about soreness, fatigue, overwhelm, and just feeling tired in general. This is very normal after the holiday rush, the new year, winter blues, change of pace in society/country and so many other things going on. 

While we are reaching the three week mark of 2021, this is the time when individuals want to give in or give up on their goals.  This is when we begin to slowly skip a workout here and there, bail on a walk there, accept less than our best, and simply go through the movements without solid intention.  

Let’s talk about and address what is really happening here. It can be a variety of elements: soreness, fatigue,  overwhelm, pain, aches or other hiccups in the journey. These are normal. These things happen. No wellness journey or fitness journey comes easy served on a silver platter. 

I do think it is important to be proactive in the mindset and understand that these complications come up. It is important to welcome these mixed feelings, welcome them with open arms. If you can welcome obstacles into your journey, you can address them in more optimistic manners with a plan of action to over 

As I talk to you in this blog, I am going to mainly address recovery, in the area of normal soreness and normal fatigue. I am not a physical therapist or doctor that can address or solve pain. Although I can help you navigate general soreness and general fatigue in areas of workouts/nutrition. 

First, it will be important to recognize if you are experiencing soreness or true pain. It will be really important to distinguish between the two. That is hard. Only you know your body to know if it is sore, in the muscles/tightness/range of motion or is extreme pain, excruciating, shooting throbbing pains. 

If/when you’re falling into that category ‘I’m so darn sore I cannot move, I am going to skip my workout, and I will not continue this program”– keep reading. If you fall into the “I want to feel better after a workout so I can kill the next workout even better,” then continue reading also. 

I am going to give you all the tips and tricks that work for me to make it through “exercise streaks” or what we often call the “no-zero days.” This simply means that we move our body a minimum of 30 minutes a day in a variety of ways. 

Recovery Tips & Tricks: 

First of all, I firmly believe in the following order of operation to care for our body for longevity: hydration, sleep, nutrition, movement

Hydration: Whether training for a big athletic event or simply working on your body movement and mobility for 30 minutes a day, hydration is an absolute must. For any human body that is active throughout the day, I highly suggest aiming for that 100 ounces of water a day. Starting with 12-24 ounces in the morning, another 12-24 ounces before lunch, another 24 ounces between lunch and dinner, and a final few ounces between dinner and bedtime routines, your body will be hydrated enough to fulfill daily life tasks, run the internal organs, keep your muscles happy, generate overall flow in the body. 

Sleep: With sleep, your body will be able to come into rest and recovery mode, allowing the internal organs, tendons, ligaments, muscles and mind to gently shut off for a few hours and rejuvenate for the next day.  Not only do you want to aim for a descent amount of hours (7-8+ hours) of sleep, you want to aim for a schedule. It will be important that your body is on a schedule, similar to babies and children. Plan to turn off your electronics about one hour prior to sleep, create an evening routine, and go to your bed without electronics. Try to do this at the same time each evening. Over time, your body will start to fall asleep and wake up at similar times day to day. 

Nutrition: Eating real foods, anti-inflammatory ingredients and following a macros-based nutrition plan will provide your body with the necessary ingredients needed to treat your body right from the inside out. Following a plan and knowing what to eat is going to combat the fatigue faster than anything. Eating right is what is going to generate energy in a positive way. On the contrary, eating sugary foods, breads, sodas, and high inflammatory foods is going to contribute to your soreness. It will lead to your soreness becoming aches and chronic pains. Eating a poor diet is going to inflame your joints and make movement very difficult.  

Truthfully, eating right is the biggest component of recovery and overcoming fatigue and chronic pain. Knowing what to eat pre-workout and post workout will be key to fueling your body to work your muscles properly without fatigue. Knowing what to eat directly after a workout will be even more important for recovering worked bodies – muscles, blood flow, hydration, ligaments, tendons and even the mind.  The following video was filmed at part of my Nail Down Your Nutrition program, but addresses the pre/post workout meals. 

Seminar 8: Eating & Exercising:

The WHY, WHAT, HOW of the pre/post workout meals: 

Typically the pre/post workout meals are packed with protein, carbs, and fats – meeting each macros group. Fruit and veggies can also contribute to these macros. When it comes to fruits,  choose the most anti-inflammatory fruits that also aid your muscles – such as pineapple, mango, cherries and apples. These will contribute to your carbs and healthy glycogen, key components of your nutrition. 

These three macros working together will accelerate recovery time so that within 24 hours so that you are ready to tackle your next workout even more efficiently than the day before. After the pre/post workout meals, of course you do eat all your other meals throughout the day  to keep recovering at all times.

Movement: When it comes to movement on a regular day, I always suggest warming up or stretching prior to workout and after your workout. I also believe you need to and can stretch periodically throughout the day. This movement can come in any form: 60 second walk or stretch each out, 10 squats each time you go to the bathroom, standing stretches as your coffee brews or many other ways.

As a coach and athlete, I stand behind the importance of 30 minutes of movement every single day, even rest days. When it comes to rest days, I firmly believe in active recovery: walking, stretching, foam rolling, or meditative movement for the mind and muscles both.  As I have talked about before, you have to distinguish between pain and soreness. Pain = rest and listen to your medical professions. Soreness: we have to move through the soreness.

When feeling sore, I’m a strong believer in active recovery such as walking, biking, stretching, yoga, and pilates. When you are dead tired, feeling fatigue, and simply don’t want to move, opt for the seating stretching while watching a TV show. The stretching usually leads to walking or stepping in place, a walk outdoors or maybe even feeling well enough for a recovery bike ride. biking. 

Active recovery doesn’t need to be strenuous. Lay down & stretch.

Thing to avoid: 

Just as there are essential elements and ways to accelerate recovery, are some that slow down recovery. Being sedentary, using soreness as an excuse to give in or give up, sugary foods, low quality breads, and many others are things that cause soreness and fatigue to linger around longer than needed. As stated earlier, high inflammatory foods, processed foods, sodas, juices, alcohol and many other ingredients will aggravate your joints and muscles. They will make soreness much worse than it needs to be.  (Spoiler: they also make weight loss much harder.) So, as always, try to stay clear of processed sugars such as candies, condiments like bbq sauce and ketchup, extremely processed granola and fiber bars (pretty much almost any granola bar that comes in a box), cereals, flavored yogurts and more. Stay clear of white breads, rolls, and tortillas.

Thank you for reading thus far. Please do comment on the blog, social media, or message me with any questions/concerns.

Part 2 of – Bringing Your Health Home: Home Workouts

Last week, (in previous blog, right below this one), I wrote to you guys about my most-grabbed-gear + the gear we will be using in 2021 zoom classes……

The photo here is my favorite items of workout support: blocks, balls, bands, towels, rollers, pushup stands, sliders, dumbbells and my bike of course.

While the photo may look overwhelming at first, please note and understand that I started home workouts using body weight resistance and nothing else. I did HIIT workouts that didn’t require a single piece of equipment. These are simply the tools I have acquired throughout the years.

The following video talks about the how, why, and when I use these tools as ASSISTANCE to improve moves, but also RESISTANCE to increase the challenge of certain moves.

Once you watch, I would LOVE to hear about which exercises and tools you see yourself using over the course of 2021.

Bringing Your Health Home: Home Workouts

My most-grabbed-gear + the gear we will be using in 2021 zoom classes……

Looking at these two picture below, you wouldn’t really recognize that this is the exact same space. It isn’t quite as cute in one photo as the other, but I can guarantee you that it is just as effective.

I know on social media it looks like the space I work out in has been a home gym for a very long time. It looks like I have always had every tool available to me to workout from home forever.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. While the space I currently workout in and teach fitness from is very equipped, I’d like to share other space/equipment that is just as effective.

Did you know that just two short years ago my husband and I were living in a such a small home that the entire house didn’t have one single real door. It was basically a “studio style” home with a kitchen, living area, and sleeping area. As you can see in the photos below, I completed my home workouts on a yoga mat on the kitchen floor. I had a mat, a couple sets of dumbbells and bands. That was the extent of it. Yet, I managed to move my body, get my sweat on, and get results.

To this day, I still say that even without equipment, I could have got the job done. I didn’t need beautiful equipment or matching gear. The number one tool any person needs to be successful in their home workouts is discipline. With discipline and drive to get the job done, you can complete a solid workout. Between discipline, the drive to do something, a calendar to follow – you can and will be successful.

But in all seriousness and talk of gear – I used the very basics. You can see that I didn’t even have a real, full size yoga mat. I streamed my workouts off from aps on our Apple TV. I stored my mat, dumbbells, and bands underneath our tiny table. I pulled them out each morning for a new/different routine that I watched on the TV.

Side Note: at the time, I was not an instructor. I was a school teacher.

Furthermore, using the very basics, I was able to get short and effective workouts right from home, and managed to lose 50+ pounds right in that kitchen!

The weights below were the very first, mis-matched items I added to my stash of equipment. Extremely random, but they worked for me.

Moving ahead, in 2018 we made the move from our tiny 1 bedroom home to a larger home with two bedrooms and a loft. When we decided on a two bedroom house, we decided we’d like a home workout area and we’d use the loft as a guest room.

Fast forward to the transition below:

Well, first of all, I took over this room as a step up from my kitchen floor in the older house. You can see here, I still have my TV to steam workouts, a couple yoga mats in the corner and dumbbells/bands in the baskets. I stuck with that equipment for a couple months and did just fine. I could stream a body resistance workout, strength workouts, yoga, and other variations to get my sweat on.

Over time, I chose bright and energetic colors to paint the walls. This was important to me for low energy days. I covered the windows and even the top portions of the wall in my race shirts and race bibs. I acquired a Schwinn Spin bike that I had intended to ONLY use on bad weather days to cross train for marathon training. I did not intend to become a spin instructor, but I fell madly in love with cycle!

Moving on to the gear that took a few years to aquire. I did not purchase a ton of stuff over night. I took advantage of buy/sell/trade sites, second hand stores, and a lot was given to me.

First, let’s talk about the ceiling “x-mounts” and the straps hanging – these are off-brand X-mounts that are mounted to sturdy area of the ceiling. I mention these because I have gotten questions about how I use my TRX, but also how I use my aerial yoga swing. I use strong carabiners to take put them up and down as needed. The straps hanging are off brand versions of TRX connections and have loops so I can connect bands, straps, and yoga swing at various heights.

In the photos above:

The first basket is a few different brands of sliders. I love using sliders in lunges, squats, and plank variations. Com 2021, I will be putting more slider moves into my zoom workouts.

In the second basket is a couple different types of “roll and release” balls. While these are used for myofasia massage rolling techniques, they are not super popular in my home gym. I rarely use them, though I do like them. The towels shown are super cute Dollar Tree towels that bring energy to the room and assist in the sweaty days.

Photo 2 is obviously dumbbells. Thank you buy/sell/trade sites for acquiring various sizes from 2 pounds to 25 pounds. No explanation needed on how useful these are. HOWEVER – dumbbells are very expensive these days. If you are unable to find/purchase dumbbells you may consider using plastic jars filled with various items such as water, sand, stone or other heavy material.

In the 3rd photo all the way to the right is my mess of baskets and gear. Every time I get something new it seems to end up there. I have years of bands I have collected – all colors, all resistances. Bands are a great substitute for weights. The very essential of this corner is the 36 inch foam roller. If you have ever tried one of my foam classes, you know that we use the 36 inch roller for full body stretch and spinal alignment. I use it almost daily. (And if you haven’t done one of my classes, message me for a recording.) Another essential from this corner are two yoga blocks. Obviously you can use them in yoga sessions, but also for shoulder and hip work in my stretch classes – another recording you definitely want.

Moving onto the questions of….what do I use in my zoom workouts, what we using in 2021?

Currently my classes use various equipment to enhance our exercise. In case you are shopping for gear/class accessories this Black Friday let me break it down by classes:

Barre: a chair or railing or counter top as the bar, light dumbbells, loops/bands, and occasionally sliders

Spin: a home spin bike, your bike in a bike trainer, or a recumbent bike

Get Fit While You Sit: we may progress to using a large stability ball, dumbbells, resistance loops

Strengthen and Lengthen: dumbbells, loops/bands, and occasionally sliders

Stretch: a strap, yoga blocks

Foam Rolling: 36 inch foam roller

Now…. If you have made it this far into my blog, I appreciate you taking the time to read about my home gym, my go-to-gear, and my virtual workouts. If you have never tried my workouts, I offer you a recording of each style format I teach. The links below will take you to sample workouts. If you try them, I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you decide you want to try even more workouts recorded or live, be sure to check out my services page.

A link for each style of zoom workouts that I teach:





Get Fit While You Sit:

Full Body Foam Rolling:

Cardio HIIT:

Cauliflower Cookies?!?! Yes, Please!

If nothing else, quarantine will leave us with an abundance of new recipes and new ways to test out vegetables.

I feel like it is easier to find vegetables in stores than most baking ingredients and boxed foods, so I am super satisfied with that!

Today I decided to try out easy “blend it up, pour it out cookies” that could also be an easy chocolate pancake recipe for your kids!

Cauliflower Cookies:
2 cups cauliflower
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder (I use vegan chocolate shakeology so that they taste amazing)
1tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup water

Blend all of the ingredients listed above until super smooth. Then add in 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Stir instead of blend so they don’t get too chopped up.
Pour into 12 cookies, about 2 inches in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Remove and let sit before you try pulling them off a pan. Because there is not flour in these cookies, they remain very moist. You can’t just grab them off the sheet pan. Remove them carefully.

You can eliminate the chocolate chips and go for healthier options such as almonds, pistacios, pecans, cranberries or anything else. You can also consider adding peanut butter or almond butter for a more savory taste.

If you try this recipe, I’d LOVE to hear how it works for you. Tag Heather or Heather Rose Health & Wellness online. On instagram: heather_rose_health_wellness

Let Lunch Cook Itself!

I mean – if you’re going to be busy at home with all the family and a ton to do, why not let lunch cook itself in the crock pot, right? Because this soup feels so much like chicken noodle soup, it’s so comforting, especially in times of the unknown.

What’s great about this soup is that you can pick up large amounts of onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, and kale without worrying if they’ll go bad. I mean seriously, you can pick up 2-3 weeks worth of veggies, make this soup and freeze it.

And yes, before you ask – can you switch out the kale? Yes, you can use any greens you want. Spinach, bok choy, broccoli or anything would work. It’s just that kale is so extremely healthy for you. Plus, a little bit goes a long way.

Try this out, let me know. Take some pics. Post on social media and tag me.