all barre, all the time

I’m trying to live up to Carol’s energy level (can’t) at the community center this month and next  while she’s temporarily out.  Unfortunately, I’m not as talented or versatile as she is, so even though she teaches a multitude of different classes, while I’m subbing for her…the classes are mostly barre.  Because that’s my thang.  (Except for the Pump classes…I am trying to, you know, pump instead of pulse during those hours.)  So, if you’ve been wanting to try out a barre format, March and April may be a good time to come on over.  Monday nights, as usual, at 6:30, then Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30am (except for March 27th), and Fridays at 9am.  And of course there are so many other classes to try! Different kinds of yoga, HIIT workouts, toning classes, cardio, cross-training, Pilates…

It’s easy to get caught up in the Spring Breaks, and our kids’ extra-curricular activities, etc this time of year and sort of…fade out of the gym/exercising.  Don’t forget to take care of yourself.  Make your health a priority and a year-round habit.

Just a little update…

Soooooooo……Looks like my Insta or Facebook pages are the way to go if you want updates.  [Big, sheepish grin.] But here’s an update:

I’m doing personal training through LeConte/Covenant Health in Pigeon Forge at the LeConte Wellness Center, which is on the second floor of the Pigeon Forge Community Center. I’m scheduled to be on the floor usually 2-3 times per week, but I can come in and train at times other than my scheduled work times if need be.  I work with several other trainers who are all wonderful, caring, very knowledgeable people, and any of them would help you if you’d like to start training.

I’m also available in Knoxville through the Lindsay Young Downtown Y.  I’ve been doing some aquatic training sessions there, but the training options there are wide open, so it’s whatever you prefer.  And, again, I’m not the only fish in that bowl, either.  They have a staff of great personal trainers who exist to help you, yes you, meet your fitness goals.

For both LeConte and the Y, you can either contact them, ask for me, and they’ll contact me, or you can message me and I’d be happy to help you out (although you’ll still have to purchase training directly from either facility). To avoid a conflict-of-interest, I’m limiting in-home training to the Maryville area at present, since Maryville is still part of my stompin ground, but not within convenient distance to either of my employers.

I’m still teaching barre classes (and still loving it) for the City of Pigeon Forge at the community center there.  Those are Mondays at 9am and 7pm.

I’m always available for corporate wellness/fitness consultation, should you be interested in implementing a comprehensive program to help address the $4000/year more that you’re spending on each one of your obese employees versus your normal-weight employees.  And there’s a lot more to it than telling people to eat less and move more.  You, employer, may be creating a toxic environment for your employees.  And you, employer, need to lead by example and start to listen to your employees.  [Little step down from my soap box.]

In late November/early December I’m slated to start teaching yoga on Tuesday/Thursday evenings in South Knoxville at Knoxville Martial Arts Academy.  I’m really happy about this, and just looking forward to being able to regularly practice my “brand” of yoga.  My brand of yoga is, basically, yoga with ulterior motives.  As in: What can I do on my yoga mat to help me run better/lift better tomorrow?, or How can I use this yoga session to stretch out what I’ve just kinked up by running/lifting?, or What can this yoga session do to help me completely calm down and de-stress and relax in the midst of chaos?  Yoga isn’t my god, my life, my cure-all, but it’s a big part of my health pie, and, bruh, does it not feel gooood after a long day?? So excited about this.

What else….?  Ah, OK, my husband and I are training for a half marathon in January (and then at least I, maybe he too, will, hopefully, do a full in May), so come rain, snow, sleet, or hail, we have to get our miles in.  So…if you ever want to run with us, holla.  Train leaves at least three days a week, and we’d love for you to come step in goose poop by the river with us.  We’re also doing CrossFit at Forge Fit in Pigeon Forge, and although it is kicking. our. butts. it’s, admittedly, a great workout and making all the difference in our running.  Also, the owner, Carina, has become a friend, and she’s been running with me and helping me meet my distance/time goals.  She’s a hard core marathoner/triathlete/Spartan racer, so if you ever need a running coach, or a CrossFit coach, this girl will get you where you need to be.

I’ve started working toward a Masters in Public Health, and that, along with my high-maintenance dalmatian, pretty much eats up the rest of my time.

A year ago I was in India loving on elephants; I wish to be there now, but it can’t happen–too much going on, but I’m thankful for busy days to keep my mind off worrying about my kids (one is in college here, one is in college in Chattanooga) or my family.   I’d love to get back to Rajasthan sooner than later, and I’ve got my eye on a few non-profits there.  But I’ve also got my eye on some corporate wellness stuff, and some prison ministry stuff…. Trying to take it one day, one adventure, one beautiful person at a time.  I’m still an innate introvert, but I’m surrounded by sooo many people now–so unique, so amazing in their talents and perseverance and hope and kindness.  Just wow. I love what I do.



The Perfect Bento Box

Our kitchen is like a circus right now.  I’m learning how to Instant Pot, and all my Instant Pot paraphernalia is everywhere, and my daughter has decided to do the Whole 30 plan on her own, so all her Whole 30 stuff is also everywhere.  And then there’s our combined bento box stuff, and that’s what I’m writing about here.  We’re trying to do more meal prep on the weekends for  (opens in a new win upcoming weekday lunches, and are always searching for recipes/ideas/things to make all that easier.  A few weeks ago we discovered these bento box lunch kits on Amazon, and I have to say they’re just the best.  I’ve used little containers in the past, but they’re either not dishwasher safe, not stackable, or not easy to fit into a cooler.  This little system has it all–lots of compartments, it’s freezer/microwave/dishwasher safe, stackable, BPA-free, and they come with their own insulated cooler.  And they even have a spoon and chopsticks!  I know, nothing earth-shattering, but they have made my life easier, so I thought I’d share.

And these are a trusty fall-back, just no dedicated cooler.  I still like all the separate compartments, though.  I hate it when my lunch becomes an unintended casserole.




Do you bento?  What do you like to pack for lunch?




Is MuTu for you?

OK, so this is just the coolest thing:

I’ve recently learned that a friend of mine, Dee Macolly, is certified in a world-renowned specialized fitness system for recently (or not-so-recently…their website says it’s for women who’ve given birth “6 weeks ago or 6 years ago or more”) postnatal women.  The system is called MuTu (“moo too”), and it is a progressive program that works to heal Diastasis Recti, and strengthen the pelvic floor, core, and then some.  Dee is the only MuTu Pro listed in Tennessee, and she’s right here!  She is a director at a local Women’s Care Center, has a heart for helping prenatal and postnatal mamas, and is a mama herself.  I wish that I had had a kind, gentle soul like Dee to help me get strong after childbirth.  If you or anyone you know could use some post-baby strengthening, Dee is 100% your person.  Reach out to her; you will not regret it.

Dee Macolly:

you really need a steamer, you do


I am generally not into gimmicks or props or fads, especially when it comes to dieting or exercise.  I prefer bodyweight exercise to machines.  I like good old-fashioned free weights instead of kettlebells.  And I really don’t think costly Vitamix or Ninja mixers, or, don’tevengetmestarted, juicers, are the key to good health.

That being said, may I please suggest one kitchen item that I find absolutely indispensable in my sometimes-successful strategy for healthy living?

An electric steamer.

They’re inexpensive, easy to use, and make life so, so much easier.  I had one that finally gave up its ghost after 19 years, and I just got another one that will hopefully last another 19 years.  Put in the eggs, set for 22 minutes, walk away…boiled eggs for the week.  Dump in a few big bunches of broccoli…or carrots…or green beans…walk away…delicious veggies for days.  I can steam veggies on bottom, fish fillets on top–dinner in like 20 minutes or less.  You can steam shrimp, chicken breasts, even hot dogs/kielbasa.  You can steam hot dogs on the bottom, buns on top…or kielbasa on the bottom, cabbage on top…or chicken cutlets on the bottom, tortillas on top.

You get the picture.

And steamed foods just taste good, because they get to keep their juice, instead of the juices getting boiled away.  And that makes it more nutritious, too.

Just an all-around handy thing to have on hand.  If you don’t already have one, think about getting one this year.  Definitely worth it.

gearing up

Oh, you guys, you guys….

I’m getting really excited about this upcoming study.  These words:

Just because a woman finally fits into her skinny jeans doesn’t mean she’s won her battle with food. Too often, women overlook the spiritual component to their physical struggle with healthy eating. Made to Crave taps into the desires God gave you to consume food without letting food consume you!

Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. The reality is we were made to crave. Craving isn’t a bad thing. But we must realize God created us to crave more of him. Many of us have misplaced that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction. If you are struggling with unhealthy eating habits, you can break the “I’ll start again Monday” cycle, and start feeling good about yourself today. Learn to stop beating yourself up over the numbers on the scale. Discover that your weight loss struggle isn’t a curse but rather a blessing in the making, and replace justifications that lead to diet failure with empowering go-to scripts that lead to victory. You can reach your healthy weight goal – and grow closer to God in the process. This is not a how-to book. This is not the latest and greatest dieting plan. This book is the necessary companion for you to use alongside whatever healthy lifestyle plan you choose. This is a book and Bible study to help you find the “want to” in making healthy lifestyle choices.

I just love this so much.  Until this starts in mid-January, I’ll be praying that God will use this to speak to me and so may other women in my community.  Will you pray with me?