Top 5 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and while we always want to love on those mommas, now is an especially important time to show them some LOVE! Our momma’s have been homeschooling, working full time, and managing the crazy, captive monsters lately, so let’s celebrate them this weekend! Mother’s Day always brings the best, so we have complied a list of our Top 5 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas!

Here are our top 5 Mother’s Day Ideas from local businesses!!

  1.  Erin Dorsey Photography – We all know us moms can be sentimental sometimes, but there is no better way to add to your mom’s memories than with a photoshoot! Erin has been our family photographer for 2 years now and she never disappoints! If you are looking for someone to catch the true love and reflection of your family, she’s your girl!
  2. Trends’ter Boutique – This little gem of a shop is in our old studio space and we can’t love the style more! They are a my go to for a cute little outfit for the kids, but they also have mommy and me matching shirts! What a great way to celebrate mom!
  3. Petaled Pail – If you are looking for the traditional gift of flowers in a unique way, Petaled Pail is your florist.  I used to tell me husband, don’t worry about flowers – I don’t want any! But, the truth was, I just hadn’t found a florist that could put together such unique and beautiful designs! They always have great partnerships with other local businesses and you can find them at the Goshen and Maryville Markets! They are local AND organic AND THE FLOWERS LAST!
  4. Seams for the Soul Boutique – A newer addition to the community, this shop has already made an impact! Not only do they offer cute clothes for great prices, They ALWAYS have the perfect little gift set! For Mother’s Day, that have beautiful custom baskets they can out together for you! It is a one stop shop for celebrating your mom!
  5. The Pilates Barre Studio – Of course we think our Gift Card deal is a great deal! We have gift cards for 10% FREE! You can get $110 for $100 or $220 for $200! BUT! It isn’t just about the deal.  Although we are still currently closed, we will be opening soon and when we do, it is about giving mom some time for herself! Pilates is a great way to feel better not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too!


We hope you love all the options for Mom this Mother’s Day! Don’t forget to shop local and support small businesses! If you purchase from one of these places, a great way to help the business is by snapping a picture and sharing on social media! Let us know what you buy!

Thank you to all the moms out there working hard and doing it ALL! We appreciate you!

In Strength and Confidence,


Healthy Habits with Harley – That’s a wrap!

Being a part of the health and wellness industry is amazing. The industry teaches, inspires, and empowers. It’s grounding and uplifting all at the same time. Often, it can feel a little bit overwhelming. There are many contradicting messages whether we’re talking about nutrition, daily habits, movement, etc. “Self care” is often romanticized which causes us to create expectations based off of how it’s displayed and talked about in the media. What if we viewed self care as our everyday habits? The chances are pretty good that we know what’s good for our bodies by now. How can you prioritize your health by doing one thing every day that honors your body? Our goal for our Healthy Habits with Harley at the Pilates Barre Studio, was to make habits feel accessible. It’s important to know that creating healthy habits is a journey.

Let’s take a look at our recent Healthy Habits with Harley topics: 

  1. Eating Seasonally 
  2. Snacks
  3. Morning Routines
  4. Smoothies
  5. Meal Planning/Prepping

Through each of these topics, we’ve covered morning and evening and a little bit in between. Take a second to think about which part of the day you have the most time and the most energy. Start there. Start by making a grocery list, by making yourself coffee, by unplugging from your phone, by making a smoothie.

Creating a habit is such an interesting thing and I’ve noticed that if I don’t bring a little bit of openness and ease to the table, I begin to take it way too seriously and then it ends up not being beneficial. 

I printed a super cute habit sheet at the beginning of February with the intention of introducing new habits into my daily routine. I was so excited about it that I got a little ambitious and chose seven tasks that I wanted to do every single day. Sort of as a challenge, but also because I felt like I needed to be doing all of these things to create more balance in my life. Before February I was very hit or miss on some of these things. As I would go to check them off each night, the competitive nature in me caused frustration because I couldn’t cross off all of the things because, well, I simply didn’t do them. Eventually, I was tired of feeling frustrated about not checking the boxes, so I just stopped checking them altogether. 

Maybe something similar has happened to you and maybe it hasn’t. I’m very much a person who likes to take on lots of things and February has been a little hectic, so I needed to reevaluate which habits were non negotiable for the remainder of the month and which ones I should consider adding in the future.

I ended up choosing two out of the seven of my original habits to focus on, which has been much more attainable and it’s allowing me to feel rejuvenated rather than depleted and frustrated. 

Throughout each season, sometimes the best form of self care is recognizing that you are busy and that balance might be achieved through letting go of what you think you need and finding what works. You’re doing the best that you can. Start small. You’ve got this. 

In Strength and Confidence, 



Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Oh My!!!

The age old question…What’s for Dinner?

This one is for all of you busy bees out there! We know first hand how quickly the day goes by and before you know it, it’s dinner time and you have no idea what kind of meal is going on the table. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! 

Keep it simple. 

Dinner is the meal that I actually plan for. I typically wing it with breakfast and lunch. Make breakfast short and sweet: A smoothie, a piece of fruit, maybe prepare some overnight oats, etc. Keep a rotation of your go-to’s for your lunch. I’m one of those people who gets kind of bored with food pretty easily, so I switch up my salads and quinoa bowls with lots of different herbs and spices. 

Take it one week at a time.

Not every week is going to look exactly the same. Take a look at your planner, google calendar, whatever you use to keep your life together. Get an idea of when you’re able to go to the grocery store. If you know that Sundays are always hectic for you, choose another day. Every week doesn’t have to look the same.   

Make a menu.

Even if you make a menu for 4 days out of the week, you’re still ahead. Baby steps, my friends. Menus are ideal because after you jot down a few days worth of meals, you can go ahead and make your grocery list. 

Seek out alternative options if preparing dinner seems impossible.

Whenever I was younger, between school, homework, and sports practices, fast food was often the answer. So, if you find yourself seeking out fast food, no judgement. BUT, you do have options! There are places in the area that prepare healthy, balanced meals and all you have to do is place your order and pick them up. Take a look below- they just might be right up your alley!

Here are a few: 

Plan Shop Live

Clean Eatz


Pick your favorite way of preparation. 

Personally, it feels a little bit daunting to prepare meals ahead of time. Meal prepping is for some people, but it’s not for everyone. If it is your thing, that’s great! If not, try washing, slicing, dicing, and cubing your fruits and veggies whenever you get them home. This takes away a big chunk of time before dinner. Plus, it makes it easier to choose healthier snacks if they’re ready to grab and go from the refrigerator. 

Meal time doesn’t have to be dreadful or hard. It also might take trial and error to find a system that works for you. Whenever you find it, stick with it. Repetition is the mother of mastery 😉 

In Strength and Confidence,


Smoothies Galore!

Smoothie Love!!

It’s the month of L O V E and one of the things I L O V E most, are smoothies- they’re fresh, convenient, and packed full of nutrients. 

Whether you’re not a breakfast person, you’re on the go, or you need a snack that will fill your body with the good stuff, you can’t go wrong with a smoothie. 

Step 1: Choose your liquid base.

You can use coconut water, nut milks, oat milk, or juice if you prefer that. Keep in mind that juice will increase the amount of added sugar in your smoothie. My personal favorite is oat milk! I often just eyeball this part. I like my smoothies kind of thick, so depending on what my other ingredients are, I use about  ¼ – ½ cup.  

Step 2: Choose your ingredients.

You want at least one item to add thickness to your smoothie whether it’s a banana, half of an avocado, a cup of oats, or 2 dates. The rest is totally up to you. 

A few ways to get lots of vitamins and minerals from the little additions? Yes, please. 

Flax seed: They are a good source of omega 3’s! They promote healthy digestion and help lower blood pressure.

Chia seed: These little seeds are high in antioxidants, a good protein source, and they’re high in fiber which is a magical combination in my book! 

Maca powder: This powder contains flavonoids that help boost mood and can increase energy.

Matcha powder: Serves as a natural detoxification aid and boosts brain function.

Cacao: These nibs are high in calcium for healthy bones, high in magnesium for a healthy brain and heart. They’re also the highest plant based source of iron. 

Step 3: Blend it all up.

Don’t worry about messing it up! If the final product turns out too thick, add more of your liquid base. If it’s not sweet enough, you can add a little bit of local honey, a few more berries, or a date! 

When it comes to smoothies, you can pretty much do whatever you want. We all love to hear that, right? 😉 I encourage you to play around with some of your favorite fruits and veggies. If you need a few prompts, here you go:   

If you’re feeling tired and need a little boost- 

Grab some more hearty, nutrient dense foods for your smoothie. Carbohydrates = energy.

Bananas, Sweet Potatoes, Nut Butters, Oats, Avocados

If you feel like you want a boost of nutrients- 

Go Green! Spinach, Kale, Cucumber, Blueberries, Beets

If you feel like you’re coming down with a cold-  

Vitamin C! Kale, Orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible), Kiwi, Strawberries

If you want something tasteful and fruity-

Strawberries, bananas, pineapple, mangos

If you want to increase your greens in your daily diet-

Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Beet Greens, Carrot Tops, Avocados, Green Apples 

If you’re having your smoothie post workout- 

Protein powder, bananas, cherries, greens, coconut water for extra electrolytes

Here’s our smoothie recommendation! We want to know about your smoothie experiments! Post about them on social media and tag us!

In Strength and Confidence,

Healthy Habits with Harley

Finding the Perfect Morning Routine!

Perfect Doesn’t Mean SAME.

Because we’re in the middle of a world that is full of DOing, morning Routines can be a little intimidating. First things first, they don’t have to be perfect. They also don’t have to look the same every single day. Let’s be honest, life happens. As long as you feel good about your morning routine, BE with it. 

My personal morning routine changes from day to day and it looks a lot different than it looked 3 years ago. At the Pilates Barre Studio, we aim to create an environment that allows you to move your body in ways that feel good and move your mind and soul toward being the best version of you that you could possibly be. But really, being the best version of you, starts with your morning routine. 

4 things you should know about morning routines:

Keep it reasonable. 

If you know you’re not a morning person, don’t make a list of 18 things to do before you need to be somewhere. If you know it’s not really realistic for you to wake up at 4am, don’t expect that you’re going to try it one day and just pop out of bed. Instead, try waking up 20 minutes before your alarm typically goes off and add one thing that’s important to you into your morning. 

If you don’t already have an established routine, start small.

Think about what makes you feel alive and energized. Start incorporating those things, but set a limit. If time with your coffee is what soothes your soul, do that! 

Your morning routine doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. 

Social media can place expectations on us that seem out of reach, which could leave us feeling overwhelmed and failed by what our routines are “supposed” to look like.  Find something that works specifically for you and roll with it.

If you’re struggling to keep with your morning routine, make a nightly list of what you want to accomplish when you get up. 

Your morning routine doesn’t have to look the same every single day. Make a list at night of what you want to accomplish the next morning before you “start your day”. I like this tactic because rather than rolling over and grabbing my phone, I grab my list. Also, because I find a lot of satisfaction in crossing things off of lists.

We wanted to show you what our morning routines look like in hopes of inspiring you to find what works for you! 

Stephanie: This time of year my morning revolves around keeping myself and my kids healthy! I start the morning with drinking about 12oz of water before I’m even out of my pjs. Two mornings of the week, I get right on the bike, then start the rest of my day.  The other mornings, I try to get in a daily devotional before I go straight into mom mode (this doesn’t always happen!). After getting the kids ready, I have elderberry syrup, an emergen-c with my digest plus probiotics mixed together, and last I have a coffee throughout the morning. I wait to eat until I’m hungry which is usually around 11:30/12. My workouts then happen throughout the day because I have the flexibility in my schedule! 

Harley: Whenever I wake up, I do some sort of movement. Whether it’s stretching in bed or getting on my yoga mat and doing a little movement there. I drink a cup of water; I like to switch it up. More often than not in the winter, it’s hot water with lemon in it to help cleanse my body. In the summertime, it’s typically water with fruit in it. No matter what kind it is, I try to drink at least a cup before I have my coffee. I practice mindfulness each day whether it’s reading a few pages of a book, writing in my journal, or meditation. I’m one of those people who thinks about food the moment their eyes open, so I’ll make breakfast. My favorite is a smoothie and a slice of avocado toast with turmeric powder and sliced tomatoes. Then I’ll open my planner to start checking off my daily list! 



Olivia: Wake up- protein, plants, + planning! 

My morning consists of waking up my brain with a warm cup of joe with my favorite protein powder frothed in.

I prepare my shaker of greens, reds, collagen, & mushroom powder to have for later in the morning when I need a boost of brain power.

I then check my calendar and reminders list to prepare for my day. Knowing where I need to be & when to be there, is an important part of my daily teaching schedule. This helps me optimize my in between time, to get other life tasks done too! 

Some mornings are tough to get out of bed, others I spring up and get right into action. It’s important, I think, to have some sort of consistency, but to know that no two mornings are the same. Healthy habits at least help keep you moving through the slower mornings with a little more ease!

Place priority on your morning routine. Rachel Hollis says if you need to show up for a meeting at 9 as your best self, you can’t wake up at 7:45, rushing and scrambling through the morning, and expect to have your head on straight once you get to work. Take your YOU time. Regardless of where you need to be, you want to show up as your best self. It’s your job to figure out what gets you there. 

In Strength and Confidence,


The Pilates Barre Studio

Let’s Talk About Snacks, Baby!

They have the power to provide more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into your diet. They can give you a little extra umph in the middle of the day or offer a boost before or after a workout. How can we make the most of what we’re putting into our bodies? When it comes to snacking, sometimes it’s hard to know when to eat or even what to eat. Life gets busy, but fueling your body doesn’t have to be complicated. If you need tips on fueling your day, we’ve got your back. 😉


  • Listen to your body. If you feel hungry, EAT. 


This one is my favorite. There’s a big focus placed on eating 3 meals a day with snacks in between. You’ve learned it. I’ve learned it. It’s the traditional way to do things. But, here’s the thing, everyone’s body is different. Everyone fuels in different ways. Maybe some days you eat breakfast and an hour later your stomach is growling. Hunger cues are a result of the endocrine system and the digestive system interacting with the brain, saying we’re not satisfied here. Don’t ignore hunger cues: tired, cranky, lack of concentration, empty belly. It’s your body telling you that it needs something.


  • Use snacks as a way to fill up on nutrients.


Rather than viewing snack time as an “in between” time where you can splurge or just grab what’s easily accessible or convenient, think of it as a supplement. What can you eat that will fuel your body in the best way? If you didn’t have a veggie with your breakfast, have one for a snack. Grab some baby carrots, snap peas, baby bell peppers and dip them in your favorite flavor of hummus. Make a piece of avocado toast.

Snacking Side Notes:

  • I’m not here to tell you that you need to cut out meat, gluten, dairy, or complex starchy carbs.
  • Be mindful of eliminating food groups from your diet. Educate yourself using reliable sources. It might work for someone else, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. 
  • No matter what you’re consuming, eat local and seasonal when you can. You can find tips about that here:
  • Limit your intake of processed foods. 
  • Be aware of sugar content if you’re having yogurt, granola, granola bars, smoothies, etc. When it comes to those things, I try to keep the sugar under 6g per item.
  • Oh, Nuts! Take a look at the serving size of your nuts and make sure you’re buying them raw. When they’re roasted, there’s usually oil added. 

As I mentioned before, listen to your body. It will tell you exactly what you need to know.


  • Use your meals as a guide for your snack choice. 


Reference what you’ve eaten in your previous meal that day and have an idea of what you might eat for your next meal. Think big picture. For all of my fellow one-step-at-a-time, detail-focused friends out there, I know this might be challenging at first. Whenever I eat breakfast in the morning, I create a mental picture of what I might eat for the whole day. It doesn’t have to be specific or exact. Just a rough draft. 


Breakfast: Oatmeal with granola, cinnamon, peanut butter, flax seeds, and blueberries

Lunch: Black bean burrito with salsa and avocado

Dinner: Spinach and Kale salad with golden beets, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds


  • Because I didn’t have a veggie for breakfast, I could make a green smoothie with spinach, kale, avocado, etc.
  • Maybe I took a barre class or did yoga in the morning, so I’d have a boiled egg to increase my protein + half a grapefruit.
  • If I’m on the go, I might grab some sort of bar or a few power bites to keep me full.

Here are a few extra snack ideas: 

– Peanut Butter + Apple/Banana

– Hummus + Snap Peas

– Hummus + Carrots 

– Celery + Peanut Butter

– Power Bites (See video posted for one of our favorite recipes at the Pilates Barre Studio)

– Nuts(almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.) + Grapes

-Half an Avocado on Toast, garnish with Tomatoes, Turmeric Powder, Orange Slices, etc. 

-Boiled Egg + Fruit of Choice

-Rice Cake + Peanut Butter/Almond Butter/Cashew Butter

-Yogurt (regular/almond/cashew/oat) + Granola 

-Tortilla Chips + Guacamole or Salsa 


Stay Healthy and Happy. 




Interested in reading more of my work? Head over to my website:



January Client of the Month, Betsy Butler!

January Client of the Month, Betsy Butler!

Congratulations to the amazing Betsy Butler! She is our January client of the month and has been working so hard!

When I was trying to convince my husband to let me quit my teaching job, all I could say is, “I just feel like I am supposed to be doing something bigger.”  That was the only way I knew how to articulate the fact that I loved movement, fitness, and Pilates, and that I wanted to create a community of like minded individuals who would become friends, shoulders to lean on, and people I could call up to help hold me accountable. 

After three years, the studio has become more than I could imagine. The friendships and people that I get to hang out with are exactly what I needed! For the year 2020, we are going to spotlight these wonderful people each month and Betsy Butler is one of those people!  She is our first client spotlight of the year and I couldn’t be more excited to highlight this beauty!  

When Betsy started, she was struggling to fit exercise in with her busy life as a working mother.  She was trying to piece together workouts from Pinterest fitting them in whenever and wherever she could. Since starting at the studio, she said that she has been more present, has a better mind-body connection, and she feels strong and confident!! The membership style helps her to stay accountable and focused in her workouts.  

After classes, she feels energized and has loved the changes she has seen in her body! She said it is more than a workout, it is a balance and confidence in life!

It has been a joy to watch her get stronger, more confident and make healthy changes in her life! I am glad to call this beauty a friend! Thank you Betsy for being authentically you! Thank you to Blow it out on Main for the complimentary Blow out for our amazing client, Betsy!

In Strength and Confidence,


3 Reasons to Eat Seasonally

3 Reasons to Eat Seasonally

Seasonal Eating is simply like it sounds- eating with the seasons. Living in the midwest, it is a little bit harder to eat strictly with the season because of our cold winters, but now is a really great time to get in the habit of being mindful of where your food is coming from and learning which foods grow best in certain seasons. 


  • Higher Nutritional Quality + Better Taste


The taste of tomatoes in the summertime from your garden or the farmers market versus the tomatoes from the grocery store in the winter months… It’s a world of difference! Taste and nutritional quality go hand in hand- produce that is growing in its season is much more nutrient dense. There is typically a rotation implemented by the farmers for each of their crops to keep the soil at its best to create an environment that allows produce to flourish and soak up all of the essential nutrients. When produce is out of season and still grown, it is not able to follow natural growing and ripening patterns. Some farmers may use extra chemicals to speed of the process so it can be shipped to grocery stores to be purchased. Your taste buds and your bodies will thank you for eating seasonally! 



  • It’s Cost Effective


In season produce is cheaper, you guys! Have you noticed how the price of berries skyrockets during the winter months? That’s because it takes more work and energy to grow those berries and have them (most likely) imported to the grocery store in your area! 



  • It’s Better for the Environment


The list below is seasonal produce in the United States in January and February, which means while the produce has to travel to get here, it isn’t being shipped from other countries. That decreases the amount of travel time and less fuel emissions going into the environment. Farmers also do not have to preserve the vegetables as much for travel time which also helps the environment. 



Collard greens








Sweet Potatoes


Winter Squash


  • Check the labels on your produce- try buying produce grown in the United States
  • Shop at the local farmers markets during the spring and summer months
  • Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new recipes with your seasonal produce!


Harley’s Blog:

In Strength and Confidence,


The Pilates Barre Studio


Problem Areas…They’re NO problem

We all know that you can not just workout certain spots to fix those pesky problem areas.  If we want to see results, we need to loose weight all over.

HOWEVER!!  Pilates and Barre do tone and work areas of the body that tend to be problem areas, DIFFERENTLY than traditional exercise!

For example, many of us have a little less tone in the back of our arms and shoulders.  Because we tend to be tight across the chest and front deltoids, it is harder to train those posterior muscles.  Pilates and Barre have certain exercises that can train the back of the arm while simultaneously opening up the front of the shoulder and chest.

Our bodies tend to settle weight where we have trouble toning. Here is a list of traditional “Trouble Areas” and a list of Pilates and Barre exercises that can help these areas!

  1. Rear Shoulder/arm (rear deltoids and triceps)- We are weak in this area because we spend our days unintentionally rounding our shoulders forward when we work, drive, and sit.  We need to train these areas to maintain proper postural alignment, and to limit or correct tight neck and trapezius muscles.
    1. Equipment: Arm pulls and T; Key thoughts: widen collar bones, pull arms apart while pulling back
    2. Barre: tricep press, arm lift
    3. Key thoughts: widen collar bones, pull arms apart while pulling back

  1. Outer thighs (abductors)-   We are weak in this area because we sit a lot and that contributes to tightness in the front of the hips, while weakening the posterior chain.  We need to train these areas to maintain healthy hip function balancing out the muscles of the leg.
    1. Equipment: side splits, (green spring)
    2. Barre: side leg work with or without straps
    3. Key thoughts: Make sure knees are in proper alignment lining up over your second and third toes. The movement should not come from a movement in the pelvis, but rather the actual hip.  Make sure pelvis isn’t hiking towards the ribs!
  2. Inner thighs (adductors) – We are weak in this area because we rarely do adduction.  We need to train this area to maintain health hip function and to aid in the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles.
    1. Equipment: side splits and leg straps (red spring)
    2. Barre: lunges with knee squeeze, squats with the ball
    3. Key thoughts: when bringing the legs together, think in and up as if your inner thighs could draw all the way up through the pelvic floor and out of the top of your head!
  3. Low belly (rectus abdominis and transverse abdominals)- We are weak in this area because we tend to use our backs for the functions of the low belly.  We need to train this area to maintain a healthy and pain free low back, hips and core (and pelvic floor).
    1. Equipment: overhead (bonus works back of shoulder too),
    2. Barre: Bear hover walking back to plank
    3. Key thoughts: NO MOMENTUM! If you can’t get all the way over, just do little controlled lifts of the tail.  Belly should feel like it is doing the work NOT your back (or swing of your legs)!

4. Glutes (Gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and gluteus minimus)-  We are weak in this area because we tend to not bend at our hips, but rather our back.  If we don’t bend at the hips, then we aren’t using the glutes to extend the hip! We need to train this area to maintain a healthy back and hip function while also supporting our spine health

  1. Equipment: side lying footwork, side lying jumpboard
  2. Barre: bridge work on ball, one legged bridge work
  3. Key thoughts: think about where your glute turns into your thigh, make sure that you are feeling that transition do the work.  Lengthen the low back, so you aren’t using your low back to find the height of your bridge.

Although we want to continue to be active, work the whole body, and get in appropriate amounts of cardio, it is ok to give a little extra attention to those areas that weaken due to our daily lives.  Pilates and Barre are efficient ways to tone and target the body while also giving a total body workout. Let’s stop the pinching, poking and pulling on those pesky areas, love ourselves where we are, and train smarter!

Follow us on instagram for videos and workouts specific to these areas!

In strength and self confidence,

The Pilates Barre Studio

How to Stay Healthy this Summer! (Without Missing Out!)

Sunshine, summer vacay, and boating!!!

That is what summer dreams are made of! But what about that swimsuit, or shorts, or tank? We don’t care what you look like in those pieces of clothing, but we do care how you FEEL in those items.

We were on the boat as a family this weekend and I found myself in a swim suit having fun with just my kids and husband…until other people showed up! (Eeek!) I am bound and determine to not miss fun in the sun with my kids because of not feeling comfortable in my swim suit or clothes.  For me, that means continuing to eat healthy and exercising for me to feel my best.

Here are 10 ways to stay healthy this summer!

  1. Bring your own food/plan ahead – We go boating with other families just about every weekend in the summer.  This usually means meals out, quick grabs, and bad choices.  When we plan ahead as a family, it makes healthy choices much easier and makes me feel confident instead of bloated and guilty.  I challenge you to really think about how the foods you eat makes you FEEL. If you are good at journaling, I recommend a food journaling through My Fitness Pal.
  2. Make Healthy Swaps – What are you favorite summer foods? Ice cream – eat nice cream; Eat a healthy heavy salad instead of fried foods or heavy foods; Add avocado – it’s a great way to make a meal feel indulgent without adding something bad for you.
  3. Fit in exercise with the play – Boating, water workouts, walks with kids, and active trips are all ways you can easily fit in exercising with the family without feeling like you are missing out! This also helps with summer boredom!  When we are boating, I try to get in deep water, so I have to tread water while I’m planning with the kids! Talk about a workout!! This kids also love to ride their bikes, or ride in backpacks while my husband and I hike.  We are lucky to have several parks and great hiking within an hour or two of us, so it is fun for a quick getaway!
  4. Find community workouts – In the Edwardsville and Maryville Communities, there are several offerings of FREE Yoga or other workouts in conjunction with the local markets! What a great way to fit in an outdoor workout while building community!
  5. Make summer fruit a sweet tooth swap – There are so many yummy things in season during the summer, it is easy to substitute a fruit to satisfy that sweet tooth.  Adding a healthy dip makes the sweet treat even more enjoyable
  6. Hit the local Market – After yoga, don’t forget to pick up some fresh dinner options! Often times the people selling the produce at the market have their favorite ways to cook the ingredients, or sell their own cook books. Don’t be afraid to ask!
  7. Rehydrate – It is easy in the heat and humidity to become dehydrated quickly.  You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces each day.  Sometimes I need a little more than just water to replenish what I have lost.  Instead of sugary electrolyte drinks, I go for a coconut water because of all its benefits.  Read the labels when it comes to coconut water!  Many brands add extra sugar, or “other natural ingredients” and those are no bueno!
  8. Break out the grill – Grilling is an easy way to make an entire healthy meal with little clean up!! My favorite on the grill is salmon, seasoned squash and zucchini in a foil pack, and corn on the cob (still in the husk while grilling).
  9. Wear sunscreen – don’t forget to keep your skin healthy this summer! It’s best to use a moisturizer with sunscreen in it to make sure that your covered!
  10. Journal – Mental health is important too! Journal during your morning devotional time, or upon waking is a great way to find things to be grateful for, process emotions, and stay connected to the important things in life!

The most important thing to remember is that being healthy is a lifestyle. It is the accumulation of smaller, everyday choices in order to meet a goal. Each decision is independent of each other, so if you make one bad decision, that doesn’t mean that the whole day is ruined. It means that you made one bad decision, own it, and move on.

My kids will not remember how I looked in a swimsuit, but they will remember if I joined them in the fun, or sat out because I was too self conscious to participate. I want them to look back on their childhood and remember us having fun, playing tag, jumping in the water, and enjoying laughter together.

In strength and self-confidence,

Stephanie and The Pilates Barre Team