Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing all you amazing Moms a VERY happy Mother's Day!  Having a baby changed my life in every way.  Life is no longer about what I want, but what SHE wants and needs. It's messier, busier, exhausting at times but 100% full of love!  I could write all day about #momlife but instead I'm going to point you to my fabulous friend Emily's blog so you can read how I feel about topics like confidence after baby, finding the time to eat well/workout and finding the almost impossible "balance" between work/baby/friends/fitness/family. You can read it all here and let me know if you have further questions or want me to elaborate!

Mom life is NOT easy but you are out there doing your best, keeping your baby, yourself, your family happy and healthy. This is a big job. You are the glue that holds it all together so please be kind to yourself and take some time to recharge your batteries and do something just for you.  A massage, facial, yoga/Pilates/barre class, an uninterrupted glass of wine or maybe just a nap in the middle of the day if that's what you want to do.  Take a second to breathe, feel the feels and know that you are appreciated and loved so very much.  And as my girl Beyonce says "Who run the world? GIRLS". Boom. 

Happy Mothers day gorgeous mamas! 

xo 

 

 

Feel like a "wellness failure"?

First things first, you are reading this so already you're a total winner ;).  But I'm wondering, do you FEEL like a failure when it comes to wellness and buzz words like "self-care"?  If so, I'm with you...keep reading. 

-You see your favorite bloggers or healthy instagram people raving about matcha and you're all...what the f is that? 

-You know bone broth is healthy but sounds gross and also...how do you even drink it? Or do you eat it? What IS it? 

-Bulletproof coffee is oh so hot right now but the idea of putting butter in your coffee is highly confusing. 

-You have no clue what turmeric actually tastes like, never mind how to use it.  

-A Vitamix would be amazing but a $500+ blender is literally last on your list of things to buy. 

-Wake up and meditate THEN journal? F no. How about finally get out of bed after hitting snooze 3x, get ready in 20 minutes and rush out the door with hopes of getting to Starbucks before you have to be at work. 

Even though I eat/sleep/breathe fitness & wellness, all of these thoughts have run through my head at one time. Especially now that I have a baby. I have zero time for added fluff. I will never be the girl that wakes up, meditates then journals (not saying that's fluff). It's just not in my DNA and here's the kicker...that's a-ok! 

Everything listed above is awesome and if/when you are ready, you will learn more about them and maybe try them for yourself.  I recommend you add one new healthy habit to your life every month. Even something as simple as going to bed 15 minutes earlier will positively impact your day.  I will have a part 2 to this email to help explain some of these wellness trends.

Here are some easy healthy habits to ADD to your daily routine:

*Lemon water in the morning. After you hit snooze and cannot fathom adding something else to your morning routine BUT I swear this will help jump start your day. Just a mug of warm water with a squeeze of 1/4 lemon will immediately hydrate you, help to flush out your digestive system, and rev up your metabolism. With the release of toxins comes clearer skin, plus lemon has the added benefit of Vitamin C which is needed for collagen production and immunity. There is also research that suggests water with lemon contributes to weight loss. I'm not going to hype that up, but I do know that it can't hurt! Don't forget to drink water ALL day. Hydration is essential to your body functioning properly - think: energy, hunger regulation, attention span etc etc 

HYDRATE

HYDRATE

*Fill half your plate with veggies. This is something I tell all of my clients. The more vegetables you can add to your diet the better. Some people respond better to cooked veggies rather than raw and vice versa, so take note of how you feel after your meal. It's also a good idea to experiment with different ways of cooking, roasting in the oven or sauteing with some evoo + a pinch of salt and pepper is my go to. Even easier...not cooked at all in a salad! The more colorful the veggie, the more nutrient dense it is. Kale, sweet potato, spinach, butternut squash and corn are easy to add to almost any meal.

Eggs are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Over tons of veggies of course.

Eggs are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Over tons of veggies of course.

 

*Move more. When you feel that afternoon slump coming, on rather than reach for a snack, head outside for a walk. Maybe grab a decaf iced tea or run a quick errand.  With the weather getting warmer here in New England, the sun and fresh air will give you the pick-me-up you need.  This is in addition to exercising at least 4x a week. Whether you take a class, run, ride your bike, or play a sport, moving your body is a HUGE factor in your health and happiness. Raise those endorphins, get some Vitamin D (outside). Notice your stress level decrease and your mood improve. 

This move is ideal for prego's too. Helps stabilize while lengthening.  

This move is ideal for prego's too. Helps stabilize while lengthening.  

*Mindset shift. This is a big one. Eat and move according to your goals. If you want to have more energy in the afternoon do not have a big, heavy lunch. Eat a filling salad then head outside for a green tea around 2 or 3pm. Have some fruit or nuts on hand to keep you satisfied and energized.  If your goal is to lose weight focus on what you CAN eat to get to your goal, not all the foods you might be staying away from. Eat real, whole foods that will nourish your body. Maybe your goal is to be more flexible. Get your ass to yoga or Pilates class and get stretchy! 

"Your desire to change must be greater than your desire to stay the same."

*More sleep. As a night owl I need to follow my own advice here big time. Sleep is essential in brain function, memory, energy, metabolism, avoiding illness, and cell regeneration. Limit screen time 30 minutes before bed and turn that little "night shift" button on your iphone ON. Start a nighttime routine that signifies winding down. Maybe a chamomile tea and a few pages of a book. Think of ways to quiet your mind and your body. 

Notice all of the things listed above are ways to ADD to your lifestyle. No deprivation, no overwhelming cutting of dairy or gluten, no sugar detox. Easy, everyday additions that your body and mind will thank you for! 

You've got this and let me know how I can help!

xo

Meagan FitzgeraldComment
Are you over those resolutions???

It's February...are you over those resolutions?  Maybe you are sticking to them and seeing positive results (get it!!!). OR maybe you're frustrated and just OVER IT. Either way, I'm here to help. Promise. By now, you've celebrated the New Year, made your resolutions, partied for the Patriots (if you're in New England) and since you're subscribed to my wellness newsletter, my guess is you've been attending the very crowded gym and stepped up your eating game for the past month. LOVE IT!

That's the good news. The not so good news is that only about 9% of people stick to their resolutions and achieve them. Ugh. 

The old me was absolutely one of the 91% of people who said "This year I'm going to lose 15 lbs", "I will go to the gym every day", "I will not eat carbs...because carbs make you fat" (insert eye roll here). I will torture myself until I reach my goal. No dinners out with friends, no late night eating, just gym, grilled chicken and salad.  By February I had already failed miserably. I had lost all my positive momentum, my goals were out the window and I would beat myself up about it. Just 31 days later when I should have been building on my new habits, I was feeling worse than ever. Not fun. I want you to avoid this negative cycle. It's not productive and can make you cray. 

I failed for a few reasons: My goals were way too extreme, I LOVED going out and was super social (loved it a little too much), I cut out all the things that were "fun". Going to they gym alone and staying on the elliptical or treadmill for an hour does not jive with my personality.  Neither does eating bland food alone and swearing off alcohol.  I like my adult beverages ok?!

My mission is to help you achieve your goals AND keep your sanity.  I want to help you change your mindset about resolutions/goal setting and avoid that shitty feeling of failure. 

Big smile here but I'm really saying "take the pic already!!!".

Big smile here but I'm really saying "take the pic already!!!".

Tip 1: Change your perspective and put a positive spin on it. Example - Rather than "I will cut out carbs" how about "I will add more veggies"? That sounds doable right?  Fill at least half of your plate with veggies, more if you can.  Raw, sauteed, grilled, steamed, any way you like em'!  Or "I can't drink wine during the week" how about trying new smoothie recipes. Replace the negative thought with a positive statement and everything changes. 

 

Tip 2: Adjust your goals so they are achievable. I'm not saying totally slack off and forget about the original plan, just remember small changes can go a long way.  "I'll go to the gym every morning before work" is a HUGE feat if you're not a morning person. How about "I'll go to the gym or a class at least 3x a week when it fits in my schedule".  Make fitness fun. I'm aware that sound super annoying BUT trying going with a friend and make it social. Try something new like rock climbing or arial yoga. Challenging your body in new ways will build confidence and who knows, you might find something you love. 

 

Tip 3: Even the small changes make a difference.  It takes 30 days to form a new habit so give yourself a break if you're not where you want to be yet. KEEP GOING.  Celebrate the small victories. Are you drinking more water? Maybe you've added more healthy salads to your diet?  Cooking more rather than takeout? Tried a new class?  Every positive change counts! 

Tip 4: Stay Inspired.   I recommend you look to healthy/positive/motivating sources to stay on track.  Consider using social media to tap into like minded people who will offer up ideas and words of wisdom.  Try to find relate-able sources, not supermodels but people that know your struggle and have overcome some obstacles to reach their goals.  Look to instagram (find me! Meg_thrivebody) for #bodypositive or #foodisfuel type of hashtags. Maybe even join a healthy eating or fitness challenge to stay accountable and feel a sense of community.  Pinterest is another great tool that has TONS of recipes, exercises and motivating quotes. You will 100% find inspiration there.  Below is my wellness board from Pinterest if you want to follow :).

 

My goals for the year (which I will achieve and stick to within the next few months) are to increase flexibility, working on it daily, and to finally get organized!  The organization thing is NOT my strong suit and I'm sure my husband, friends, and former coworkers would agree.  Sorry I can't be perfect!!! Kidding.  I'll continue to work on it and send updates so I stay accountable.  Off to look at "organization" boards on Pinterest ;).

Keep going guys and let me know how I can help you have your healthiest/strongest/most confident year yet! xo

Meagan FitzgeraldComment
"What the f do you eat?"
Whole Foods veggie masterpiece 

Whole Foods veggie masterpiece 

This is one of my favorite questions.  As a fitness instructor and new mom (who is nursing multiple times a day) I need a lot of energy and therefor super nutritious/easy meals and snacks.  I am constantly preaching that "food is fuel" and now more than ever I believe this to be true.  You can't expect to have energy, be clear headed, and feel good in your body if you are filling it with crap.  Honestly I am often low on energy and live in a fog but I think that's part of being a new mom/lack of sleep.  When I eat well I know I am doing whats best for my bod and working to clear the fog that way less sleep brings. 

Hers and his weekend breakfast. Eggs and avocado toast :).

Hers and his weekend breakfast. Eggs and avocado toast :).

When many of my clients come to me they are often overthinking their food and constantly counting calories, fat grams or carbs. They have a destructive, unhealthy relationship with their bodies and think of food as the enemy. UGH!  It doesn't have to be this way! Food is your fuel, your nourishment, what keeps you going.  Food is a necessity and it doesn't have to be complicated!  Food can bring people together and be delicious/healthy at the same time.

Below is what a typical weekday looks like for me.  I am not saying this is whats best for you since everyone is different but hopefully helps make your food choices a bit easier.  It has taken me a loooooooong time to get to the point where I feel confident in my choices and I can honestly say I do not count anything (except nutrients but if you're eating whole foods you know you're getting what you need) when it comes to my meals.  Every meal contains fruits and or veggies, grains and protein. Done and done. 

Breakfast: Oatmeal with 1/3 Perfect bar sprinkled on top.  Fruit, cinnamon and splash of almond milk. 1-2 cups of coffee (depends on how the babe slept) with almond milk. 

Snack after class: Apple with almond butter 

Lunch:  A big salad with everything I have in the fridge!  Usually topped with tofu or tuna.

Dinner: Chicken Sausage or Salmon served over veggie noodles, usually sweet potato, quinoa and salad on the side. 

Lunch from Dig Inn...my absolute favorite spot. 

Lunch from Dig Inn...my absolute favorite spot. 

Each day is different but I know if I fill my body with fruits/veggies, healthy fats and lean proteins I will be good to go. If I am still hungry before my evening classes I'll grab a kind bar or finish the Perfect Bar from the morning. Yummmmmmmmmm.

Can't fully express my love for these. 

Can't fully express my love for these. 

I do not eat red meat, dairy or gluten.  This is whats best for ME. Before I was pregnant I ate a mostly Vegan diet with fish and eggs occasionally.  I plan to get back there but for now this is what I need. I still consider my diet to be plant based.

Eating this way has helped me lose all the baby weight with ease. I now weigh less that I did when I got pregnant. Weight is just one measure of progress but I am very proud to say I have not stressed about it like I would have in the past.  The number on the scale would have consumed me.  Now, I check in and keep it moving.  Entire post on this coming soon...

Hopefully this helps quiet your food noise! Eat according to your goals my loves!  I'm legit so hungry now after writing this. 

Love this studio and positive energy it brings. 

Love this studio and positive energy it brings. 

 

xo 

Meagan FitzgeraldComment
Not ready? Do it anyway!

"Next month I'm going to start my juice cleanse. I'm just not ready yet."

"I want to lose weight but I'm not ready to give up my social life to diet."

"I'll get to the gym after the holidays.  I'm just not in the right state of mind this month."

I've even heard "I can't go to the gym until I lose weight." 

BOOM! This is written on the wall at Liquid Art House in Boston.

BOOM! This is written on the wall at Liquid Art House in Boston.

I hear the "I'm not ready" excuse ALL the time especially when it comes to changing lifelong habits. It's tough, I get it!  Back in the day I would psych myself up to start my newest fad diet almost monthly. The Sunday before my diet started I would eat pretty much everything I craved knowing that I'd have to deprive myself and be miserable for months. I'd have anxiety the entire week before and beat myself up for not being the size and weight I wanted.  This was me getting "ready" and probably driving my friends crazy as I stressed about food. These diets lasted for maybe a week. Unfortunately the negative body image and hours on the elliptical seemed to last forever without any results. I had it all wrong even though I thought I was ready. 

Here's what I wish someone would have told me: Taking care of your body is not a death sentence.  Break it down into smaller pieces, your next meal, make a healthy choice.  Your next snack, grab a piece of fruit.  Tonight, go to that class at the gym you've been wanting to try.  Take it meal by meal, day by day. That way it doesn't seem like an overwhelming task.  You're just making this next choice a good one.  Turns out you ARE ready. 

A healthy lifestyle doesn't have an end date. It's for the rest of your life. Not ready for the rest of your life?  That doesn't even make sense ok?  This doesn't mean you can't have ice cream or a hamburger ever again, life is all about balance after all.  If the majority of your meals are greens, proteins, and grains and you are feeling good then you can enjoy those occasional "treats" without feeling any guilt or beating yourself up.  Food guilt is worth an entire post. Ugh what a waste of an emotion.  Anyway...

Stay focused on your goal and keep it positive.  Before you go to bed think about all of the good things you did for your body that day.  Set goals and reward yourself when you reach them.  Food is not a reward fyi.  Buy a new outfit, get a massage or maybe new gym sneakers.  

SO TRUE!!! From @wearesoulsparks...find them on instagram after you finish reading my post of course. 

SO TRUE!!! From @wearesoulsparks...find them on instagram after you finish reading my post of course. 

Here's a little story...a couple weeks ago I received an email at about 9pm on Wednesday night saying there was a photographer available the next day for updated professional pics at the studio I was teaching at.  I was NOT ready.  It had only been 4 months since Marlowe was born so my body was not "photo shoot ready", I hadn't washed my hair in 6 days (common practice for me but again not great for pics. I'm gross I know.), my nails were a mess and I didn't have a cute new outfit to wear.  Also Thursdays are a busy teaching day and I knew hair, nails, shopping was NOT going to happen.  Again...not ready. 

BUT I wanted new pics and thought what the hell, worst case scenario I don't like them.  The old me never would have done it.  I would have been petrified that people would judge my soft tummy and look at me like "who does she think she is".  Cut to real life where nobody would think like that and if they do they can go f themselves.  

Long story short, I did the shoot and even though I wasn't "ready" I'm so happy I did.  It's a moment in time where I can look back and think how proud I am of my body for not only carrying/birthing a baby but also being strong an allowing me to go back to teaching after 6 weeks. I have reached my pre-pregnancy weight (thanks to nutritious meals and exercise) and so what I don't have six pack abs....I made a human! Hair, nails, and makeup? All far from perfect (more like chipped, dirty and minimal) but we got it done!  Shout out to Nick Cosky the photog for beautiful shots and making me feel like I actually had my sh*t together. You're the best!

Basically, if you have something that's calling you...a healthier lifestyle, a new job, a dance class your dying to take etc etc go for it. Start now even if you're not ready.

xo

Changes are tough...

So I've ALWAYS had a hard time with changes which is weird because I'm constantly making them.  Whether I was moving or changing jobs (back before I made this awesome wellness world my full time gig), even if I knew it was for the best and I made the decision, I had such a hard time letting go.  Legit cried leaving every job, again, it was MY choice and I was leaving for something bigger and better but I knew I was letting go of some people I had grown to love and a routine that had become normal.  

Example: when we bought our beautiful new condo in South Boston you'd think I would be happy to move out of the tiny Back Bay apartment that had become a new home for mice and bugs but instead I was a sobbing mess leaving our old place. Almost irrationally sad. Bizarre. 

SO what I'm saying is, change is sometimes so hard but it's almost always necessary.  Since having Marlowe I've become very aware of time and need to make sure I'm spending it wisely.  Being a mom is #1 but I absolutely love what I do and am often torn between my desire to work work work work and then to be with my babe.  For as long as I can remember I've been a hustler, saying YES to everything.  When in transition between careers I was working full time in sales M-F from 8:30am-6pm then teaching 4 nights a week plus Saturday and Sunday.  If you think that led to burnout...you're right.  

Up until Marlowe was born, I was still teaching 7 days a week. This go-go-go mentality helped me achieve my goals but also wore me the F out. I need to take care of my body now more than ever. After all I'm feeding and caring for a rapidly growing tiny human in addition to all of life's other responsibilities. 

All this rambling to say....SCHEDULE CHANGE!!!  I had to give up a Thursday night class that I've LOVED for years and am moving on to a different time and space.  

Every Thursday you can find me at North End Yoga - 6pm Pilates Fusion and 7:15 Barre Fusion.  Holy sh*t I'm excited!  This space is beyond beautiful and the vibe is like no other. You can feel the amazing energy the second you walk in the door.  Even though each room is full of sweaty bodies you can only smell the invigorating incense in the air.  

While I had to give up a a class that I love, I know it's the best move for me and my fam.  I have some really big shoes to fill on Thursdays as the amazing Jennifer Phelan taught on this night for years. To the NEY students, I promise you a sweaty class that will make you stronger and leave you happily exhausted. 

Also new: Mom and Baby Barre at Asana Charlestown.  I plan to have Marlowe with me as my co-teacher every week. 10:30am Thursdays and make sure to sign up in advance!

Yay for new changes!  Even if it's scary and the next step is unknown, change will always lead to growth and who knows what other good stuff is on the way!

xo 

Meagan FitzgeraldComment