Category

Posture | Movement | Exercises

FAQ’s: How my Naturally Healthy Programs can Empower You

My Naturally Healthy programs are customizable, one-of-a-kind, life-changing, innovative and fun. I’ve shared the top questions I receive regarding my programs. To read all FAQ’s, visit my program page.

Be Empowered.

Lead by Example.

Live Authentic.

 

This is my promise to you and myself. Be empowered with your health. Lead by example and be a positive role model for others. Honor yourself by being true to your values and purpose. We’re going beyond talking the talk. We’re going to walk the walk together!

Get ready to see BIG changes in how you feel simply by making small changes in your lifestyle. As your guide along the way, my lifestyle “hacks” will help you make the shift you want to a more natural, simple, stress-away and empowering lifestyle.

I offer 3 programs to choose depending on your goals and needs, with additional customization options available.

These programs are near and dear to my heart. As you might guess, I do what I do because of the powerful and positive impact these changes have had on my own life!

A Naturally Healthy Program is like a RIPPLE EFFECT. Your new lifestyle choices will positively impact your family, community and environment.

What is my METHOD?

No matter the topic, I teach Foundational & Empowering Practices. In other words, I don’t just tell you what to do. There’s no longevity or sustainability in this approach. You can read something on the internet, but information is not enough to make and maintain a habit change.

Instead, I show you how (and why) to bring a new practice into your life, switch something up or swap something out. Then you give it a go on your own, and I help you through any roadblocks you may run into. Roadblocks happen, by the way. And that’s okay! There is no golden formula for healthy living. And it’s constantly changing depending on your environment and YOU. It’s important to honor where you are at in this moment and respect that what works best for you may not work for another. This is why I personalize your program (including programs specialized for expecting & new mama) and offer 3 options to choose from.

My approach creates sustainable and empowering lifestyle change. I like to think of myself as a friend who opens the door for you, yet it’s YOU who has to choose to walk through and act on it.

Remember, even the smallest of changes can make an enormous impact on your lifestyle. It’s like ripple effect – throw a small stone into a lake and you’ll see the ripples expand far beyond.

What TOPICS can we cover?

My extensive background in health and wellness offers a wealth of inspiring lifestyle solutions.

During your consultation call, we will discuss your goals so I can best support you with my guidance and handy resources. Depending on your goals and the amount of time we have together, we might focus on one area or “sample” several topics.

Here is a detailed list:

EATING CLEAN

  • Shopping & sourcing the best quality foods.
  • Making your own quick and healthy meals.
  • Eating well while on-the-go.
  • Easy (and healthy) snack prepping.
  • Growing your own fruits, herbs and veggies.
  • Healthy solutions for athletes and weekend warriors.

SELF CARE

PERSONAL WELLBEING

  • Find personal direction and purpose.
  • Goal setting and visualization.
  • Boost energy and focus.
  • Shifting to a more holistic lifestyle.
  • Decrease stress and create life balance.

LIVING TOXIN FREE

  • Introducing essential oils into your life.
  • Swapping out household cleaning or personal care products for more natural, toxin free alternatives.
  • Composting.

FEEL AWESOME (PAIN FREE)

  • Office wellbeing: Swapping out your conventional office set up for a healthier alternative.

  • Rebalance with restorative yoga therapy and active stretching.

  • Improve your posture with lifestyle solutions & corrective exercises.

  • Injury prevention and recovery for athletes and weekend warriors.

Who are my programs best designed for?

With my Olympic background, being a new mom and entrepreneur, I specialize in working with:

  • Youth athletes

  • Professional athletes

  • Expecting & New Moms

  • Those going through transition / change

  • Business Professionals

  • Young & Adult Women

While I have worked with such a broad spectrum of clients, I do feel my programs are best suited for the individual who is ready to explore or dive deeper into whole body wellness. You are curious about natural and holistic health, yet not exactly sure where to start. Now you do!


How is a Naturally Healthy program different health, life or nutrition coaching?

I have to be completely honest with you. I haven’t seen anything out there in the universe like what I do. My program is unique because of my all-encompassing approach while taking into account the impact our modern lifestyle has on our whole body health. My expertise is so broad, I am able to assess your lifestyle in a way that goes beyond just your health or nutrition. Addressing your entire lifestyle, I see where there are opportunities to make small changes that lead to big (and positive results). I find the “gaps” and guide you in bridging them. We focus on areas like daily habits, posture (in a variety of settings), self care, daily mindset or transitioning to cleaner products for your body, home and family.

Are you ready? Pick your program here!

Do you have a question of your own? Ask away in the comment section below.

Total Core Strength: What is my core & how can I strengthen this core-tastic pillar of wonder?

As featured on myVega.com, written by Jaime Komer

You have a body. Surprise! I guess you didn’t need me to tell you that, yet bare with me here. I’m going somewhere with this, I promise. Let’s continue…You have a body. And your body has a torso of awesomeness. This torso of awesomeness, more officially referred to as your core or powerhouse, needs to be agile, strong, supple, fluid, and sturdy. Wow, apparently we’re quite demanding of this pillar of stability and mobility!

What is the core?

As the core is not a specific muscle, there is some discrepancy on what is included. I like to think of the core as all the muscles and connective tissues that support your spine. Yep, your entire torso area, sans limbs. Together, these muscles allow you stabilize your spine while doing, well, everything. From moving your furniture around to transferring energy while swinging a golf club to extending your back to get up on your surfboard.

Rethinking the power of “crunches”

Culturally, we have placed an exaggerated emphasis on the 6-pack (rectus abdominus) as representing strong abdominal muscles. There’s more to your core than how your abs look! Striving for this image of a fit stomach has fueled the obsession of doing abdominal crunches (also known as abdominal curls, as we curl or crunch our spine into flexion, bringing the upper body towards the lower body). Yet let’s be honest, focusing on strengthening only one area is like building a house with a thick oak door and weak walls made of hay. It just doesn’t make sense. Dr. Spine is the man to listen to when it comes to back health and why ab crunches are not the best option for most folk. Oh, his name isn’t actually Dr. Spine, it’s Stuart McGill.

It’s never just about the core

Your entire body is connected through meticulously woven tissues (fascia), creating a web of influence from your toes to fingers. What you do with the rest of your body while working your core is just as important as the movement itself. I know, like you didn’t have enough to think about already!

AWESOME ALERT: You can find heaps more videos and exercises for your core-tastic core here.

Important: During these exercises, you can discover your very own compensation patterns and where you hold unnecessary tension. The better you understand your own habits, the easier it will be to improve muscular balance and prevent injury.


Exercises to embrace your CORE & improve body awareness

 

 Full Body Crawl

Our body is designed to move dynamically, hence why we need to train dynamically. Exploring new movements in the body can improve your blood circulation, muscular balance, body awareness, strength, and range of motion. Get ready to roll!

Go slow or go home

To best address and recognize your own alignment during movement (which will determine how safely and efficiently you’re moving), these exercises emphasize slow, controlled, and small movements. Notice if anything changes between movements (e.g. breathing pattern, clenching of toes, tucking of pelvis, flaring of ribcage, tensing of jaw, etc.)

By the way, if you find reading exercise instructions to be a bit challenging (you prefer visual instruction), head straight to my YouTube channel.

1. Lil’ Leg Lifts = Lots o’ Work

leg-lift-1

Set Up Lay on back with legs parallel to each other, pelvic-width apart.

  • Pelvis: We’re going to use 3 bony points as markers to help position your pelvis, your ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine—we have one on each side) and your pubic bone. To find your ASIS, place your hands on each side on the top crest of your pelvis, follow the curve of the bone towards the front and downward and you will hit a ridge/slightly bony protrusion. These are your ASIS.
  • Self-Check: Place your palms on your ASIS and fingers reaching towards your pubic bone. You want these 3 bony markers to be level. (If your pelvis is tucked, these points will not be level, as the pubic bone will be lifted higher than your two ASIS.)
  • Your Spine: Envision the natural curves of your spine and try to simulate this while on your back. There will probably be a small gap between your lower back (lumbar spine) and the mat. The back ribs (thoracic spine) will lay on the mat (if you’re a notorious “rib thruster” like myself, the ribs may pop up instead. Yet you can still envision reaching the back ribs towards the ground – without tucking the pelvis).

Movement

  • Upper body stays relaxed. Inhale to prepare.
  • On an exhale:
    1. Solidify your core by creating a tense tube-like sensation around your spine. Your tube should not suck inward. If anything, let it expand outward slightly.
    2. Do a self-check on any compensation patterns–did you tuck your pelvis, curl your shoulders inward, or tense your jaw?
    3. Hover feet 1mm off the ground. Seriously. 1mm. You should be able to feel the texture of your mat–that’s how close you are.
    4. Hold for 1 to 3 breaths. Slowly lower. Repeat until fatigued and your compensation patterns arise. Remember, quality over quantity.

2. Lil’ Leg Lifts + Arm Extensionsleg-lift-arm-lift

  • Follow Set Up and Movement steps in Exercise #1.
  • Once legs are hovering (on an exhale), inhale and glide your arms slowly to the sky.
  • If your spine has maintained its shape (make sure your ribs aren’t flaring outward, thus arching your back), lengthen your arms as far back as comfortable.
  • Exhale lower the arms slowly, followed by lowering your feet. Repeat until fatigued and your compensation patterns arise. Remember, quality over quantity.

3. Lil’ Leg Lifts + Lateral Flexionleg-lifts-lateral-flexion

  • Follow Set Up and Movement steps in Exercise #1
  • Option for arms to remain at sides or create “goal posts.” Be mindful of what happens to your rib cage if you lift your arms into goal posts.
  • Initiating movement from the torso (instead of legs), exhale and hinge lower body to the right. Repeat on left. Make sure that your bottom and ribs do not lift away from ground as you hinge from side to side.
  • Here’s the doozy: keep your feet hovering 1mm above the ground at all times while keeping the legs apart and parallel.
  • Repeat until fatigued and your compensation patterns arise. Remember, quality over quantity (yep, I’m going to keep saying it over and over. Come on, you know you love being a quality kid).
*click here to see the blog post on Vega’s website

Oh hey, what do you know! I’m doing the “best warm up ever” right here in this pic! Yep, it’s pretty much my favorite thing…so fun for young kids, too!

Defunk your gunk & junk: from your connective tissue to digestion to movement.

Warning: The following content may prove to be inspiring and thought-provoking. Reading, absorbing, and acting on this following information can create contagious symptoms of happiness, enjoyment, drive, ambition, clarity, introspection, and motivation.

(photo and recipe featured in Vega’s “Recipe Center” by Jaime Komer)

We all have “gunk” in our body. At least that’s what I like to call it. You know what I’m talking about; the trigger point, the sensitive area, the limited range of motion. By bringing fresh movement into your body, you can find some of this gunk and literally release it. This is one of many reasons why I love incorporating different activities into my daily life. Oh the benefits! One activity I never plan to give up is walking. And there’s so many different ways to do it! Read on to see how you can mix up your routine and bring new life into a regular activity like walking. Now back to feeding your gut health!

After your chosen activity o’ fun, how can you continue to nourish your body and mind? When thinking about what to eat, I want something that is easily digestible, soothing to the stomach, yet energizing, to satisfying. I created this smoothie with that in mind.

Try this post-activity smoothie to balance your body after you’ve defunked the gunk. The recipe is so simple. It’s a fantastic starter to adding things on and getting creative! (see preparation section for modifications in sugar intake)

Ingredients

Serves 1

  • 2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 serving Vega All in One Shake Vanilla Chai
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Hearty handful of spinach
  • 1 Tbsp cacao nibs for garnish

Preparation

Add ingredients to a blender and blend until well combined. Pour into a glass and top with cacao nibs.

Do you want to minimize the sugar? Reduce the maple syrup to 1tsp or less.

Do you want it creamier? Add a half banana. 


Get movin’ & groovin’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Not all movement is created equal. I’m hearing a lot these days that “sitting will kill you”. Geez, so morbid. But fair enough, I don’t think our body was designed to sit for hours at a time. Or let me rephrase that, I’m pretty gosh-darn-doodly sure that your body does not thrive when you sit for hours at a time, every day. Let’s face it, your body is designed to move, groove and get wild!

Yet is all movement created equal? Of course not. That’s like saying all food has the same nutritional quality. We need to make sure we consume a variety of nutrients. But that doesn’t mean variety should include things like Snickers, McDonald’s, and Gatorade. (all of which are sponsors for major sporting events, I might add. Hmm, that’s weird. Or maybe I should say, hmm, that’s strategic.)

So back to movement. Let’s look at walking. The act of walking. Walking is awesome. Yet is all walking created equal? Should we be getting different types in? Walking on pavement vs. grass vs. hills vs. rocks? Hmm…You probably know my answer (variety is way more fun for my body and brain!). Yet let’s go to the Biomechanist for this one…

Let’s look at the big picture – how your body thrives. Biomechanist Extraordinaire, Katy Bowman, breaks it down for us in her upbeat blog on “Junk Food Walking”. Here’s the first paragraph to wet your appetite and click link to read in full.

“Junk Food: Something you eat that provides short-term satisfaction at the expense of long-term health.Junk Movement: A way of moving that provides short-term fitness benefits at the expense of long-term health.Food, like movement is a complicated issue. I hope that by this point in your internet-reading career you understand the difference — at least in principle — between whole food and junk food. Fresh, organic, unprocessed foods are now recognized in many circles as superior to their preserved, extended shelf-life, highly processed counterpart. Then, to make matters even more complicated, it turns out that even fresh, organic foods (like grains) eaten extensively and repeatedly throughout a lifetime aren’t so hot either.”

ps: Nutritious Movement is where I go to nerd out on whole body health. It completely shifted my perspective on healthy living. I’m in the middle of the 2-year program to be certified as a Restorative Exercise Specialist with Nutritious Movement. Curious about it? Let me know!

How to feel your best while traveling – My Top Travel Essentials

Adventure is out there, my friends! We best make sure we’re ready for it. When Matt and I explored Europe for 5 weeks last summer, I did my best to keep my packing list small. I did my best, is the key phrase here. I had two incentives for keeping my luggage to a minimum. One being that I’d have to lug it all around Europe. Being a minimalist gal, that’s not my bag, literally. And two, I figure the less I bring, the more space and reason (excuse) to buy unique and worldly finds! That’s what I call strategy, friends. Matt calls it abusing the system. Ha!

Having lived on three continents and traveled extensively to six (Antarctica, you’re on my list), I have a solid gauge on what my body needs. This goes for a flight from LAX to Greece or a 5-hour road trip to my hometown, Fresno. I don’t know about you, but I want to feel as awesome as possible when I arrive to my destination. So what have I learned from years of global adventures? Believe it or not, for once in my life I can sum my needs up in one word. HYDRATION. Ahhh, but this may not be the hydration you’re thinking of. Or at least, not solely that type of hydration. This goes WAY beyond water. To me, I see hydration as liquid moving, flow of an energy or tangible thing, or the act of stimulation (not that type of stimulation…well, I guess that counts, too, come to think of it). Hydration is the act of nourishing and helps bring balance to your internal systems.

After years of world traveling,

here is what I’ve discovered…

This is the whole body & mind hydration I need to feel balanced & healthy while traveling:

MOVEMENT: I move my body a LOT. In a LOT of ways. Even if I’m sitting on a plane for 14 hours. Movement is like hydration for my body’s tissues, muscles and organs. This way, I don’t feel stiff and achy after sitting for hours in the same position. Why? Because I DON’T sit in the same position.

I’ve had a blood clot before in my leg, so I am particularly mindful to keep the juices flowing, so to speak. (The specialists said my blood clot could have come from a combination of things: flying a lot before the Olympics, surgery on my hip post-Olympics and the type of birth control I was using. Whatever the cause of this clot, I’ve chosen to do my research on why blood clots appear and much of it has led me to my changes in moving more often. And yes, I changed my birth control!)

MENTAL STIMULATION: I hydrate my mind by getting my mental juices flowing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my brain dead moments where I just stare at the movie screen and watch 3 cheesy action flicks in a row. But my body, eyes and brain pay for it after. So I do my best to intermix more off-screen brain stimulating activities.

HYDRATING FOODS & DRINKS: I’m adding food into this section as the foods we eat can be deceivingly drying. Think: roasted salted nuts, baked goods, cooked meals, protein or snack bars. These make for delicious breath, too. Yikes! Whatever I put into my mouth will make a big impact on how I feel during my adventures. Yep, that’s what she said.

NOURISHING BODY CARE: Hydrating body products are a must. Yet I want clean and natural products that can withstand the test of heat on a road trip and the dry cabin air at 30,000 ft. I know, I’m asking a lot. But it IS possible! I’m going to show you a couple of my multi-purpose DIY products.

Well, great Jaime, you say. How on earth shall I obtain movement, mental stimulation, nourishing body care and hydrating foods & drinks on my travels? THIS is how. Here are my top Travel Essentials.

Go get them. Pack ’em up.

Hydrate the heck out of your body and mind so you can make the most out of your adventure!

Like I said, Adventure is out there. Now you’re officially ready for it!

Hiking along the many miles of rocky trails in Sifnos, Greece.  

Balancing Serum

This balancing serum rejuvenates my face, hands, lips and anywhere else that needs a nourishing pick me up. I choose to use an Infinity Jar with a roller top. They have the best quality glass containers I’ve seen out there. The glass is so dark that the essential oils are protected from the sunlight and thankfully will not lose their medicinal benefits. Phew!

Here’s how I made this Balancing Serum:

Mental Hydration: Travel Journal

Traveling in Italy last summer, I helped an owner of an Agriturismo (organic farm + bed & breakfast) lay out plans for sustainable gardening…using my journal to draw out ideas, of course! I love jotting anything down from the restaurants we visit to the prices of typical fare to hilarious antics with locals. It’s not only therapeutic, but resourceful and handy to look back on the details of previous adventures.

What a delicious quote! “Not all those who wander are lost.” This describes me to a T when we travel. You never know what you might discover when you allow yourself to simply wander around a new place. This is usually when I experience a trip’s most memorable moments. Like that time I went running along the beach while living in Australia. I unknowingly trotted into a nude beach to discover old men playing beach volleyball. That scene is forever burned in my memory. Ha!

A “free write” is a beautiful way to clear your mind, release tension and worries, while creating the brain space to be present. All you have to do is write for 5 minutes straight. Keep your pen to paper and jot down whatever you’re thinking, even the ahhs or umms that pop up. Notice how you feel after the 5 minutes. I often feel more at ease, relaxed yet inspired, and excited to keep writing!

Physical Hydration

Did you know I have an entire YouTube playlist dedicated to helping you feel awesome while traveling? You definitely need to check out these travel tips, friends. There’s a plethora of easy-to-implement ideas, from posture tips to how to carry your bag to how to sit on the plane. I even have a 10-minute yoga session you can do in the airport or hotel room. All you need is wall space! Give it a try (see below).

Ease the Tension Body Serum

My natural and toxin free concoction to ease my muscle and brain tension (read: physical and emotional tension). I call it, Ease the Tension. (Ha, the name reminds me of a quote in Harry Potter…are with me my HP nerdies?)

Okay, back to Easing the Tension, we’ve got:

  • Panaway Essential Oil
  • NonGMO Avocado Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ultraviolet glass Infinity Jar to protect the nourishing qualities of each oil

Panaway contains a few different types of Essential Oils and has a wintergreen-ish scent. It feels cooling to the skin, creating happy blood flow to the area. I use this concoction on any spot that’s feeling, well, tense. Go figure. And it feels great on a warm day or after a long flight. I love using a reusable bottle like this Infinity Jar, too. I’m all for earth-friendly options!

Diffuser Jewelry to balance your mind & energy

 

I swear this stuff seems to hydrate my brain. Adding a drop of an essential oil to my diffuser bracelet and inhaling the rejuvenating scent immediately puts me at ease. For travel I make sure to wear my “I Lead by Example” with Green Aventurine for its energy properties of openness, embracing change, luck and humor.

Hydrating Raw Snacks

 

NUTS. Don’t leave home without them.

My favorite nuts for travel:

  • Raw pumpkin
  • Raw walnuts
  • Raw almonds

Container:

  • 500 ml ultraviolet glass screw top Infinity Jar
  • I’m using this type of jar to protect my food. This way, my nuts and goodies will last longer on my travels. Now that’s an awesome quote. My nuts and goodies will last longer on my travels. Extra bonus, I can reuse this container as I buy more goodies on my adventures. I’ve stacked our handmade Happy Dough in here and it’s worked fabulously.

REMEMBER: SOAK your NUTS to absorb all their delicious nutrients. Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors, which get in the way of nutrient absorption, plus this makes it much harder on your digestive system to break down. Have you ever gotten cramps after eating a bunch of nuts? I sure have. Doh! I only learned about soaking nuts when I took my Plant Based Sports Nutrition Course with Matthew Kenney Culinary. I wish I had known this years ago!

How long do you soak nuts for? Typically the denser the nut, the longer you soak it for. I soak my raw almonds 8-10 hours and the softer walnuts only 2-4 hours. Typically, the darker the exterior, the more soaking it needs.

 

Ready for more travel tips?

Keep your inspiration flowing with

EAT CLEAN for TRAVEL + Eco-Friendly Practices

 

 


Enter to Win a customized Lifestyle Guiding Package!

Are you ready for this?

Enter to WIN a customized Lifestyle Guiding Package with me, your curious Lifestyle Guide. Woohoo!

To enter, all you have to do is answer this question in the comment section,

“Why do you want to make positive changes in your lifestyle?” 

 

WHAT IS LIFESTYLE GUIDING?

It’s about making small and simple changes to a more naturally wholistic lifestyle. From making raw plant based treats to using Essential Oils to going toxin free in the home to self care for your body to postural changes. What inspires you?

We will explore where, why and how you can make positive changes in your daily life. I will guide you in (re)Connecting to your best self, Navigating your healthy lifestyle, while gaining the tools to be your own guide.

You deserve to be the Keeper of Your Body, Curator of Your Health, Cultivator of your Wellness, and the Director of Your Day. 

Your customized Lifestyle Guiding Package will include:

  • a 20 minute Get the Party Started Call
  • 2-hour In-Home Lifestyle Consultation
  • 1-2 hour Follow UP Session
  • Plus a tools-for-change goodies along the way. Yay!

In exchange, I am asking for feedback on your sessions, so I can continue to grow and fine tune these packages and my business. Thank you!

Details:
• The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Thursday, May 25th at 10am PST (via my Facebook, AYTlifestyle Facebook page, and Instagram: aytlifestyle).
• Winner must live within the area of Orange County up to South Bay, CA.

Ready, go!

Self Care & Motherhood: My practices for finding balance as a new mom

Self care and motherhood. Is this an oxymoron or do they go together like two peas in a pod? I’m 3+ months into motherhood and I’m voting the latter. But how and why should I take care of myself when I have a newborn? Isn’t Kovy the priority? Well, yes. But this is where it gets tricky. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Either way, you need them both.

The HOW: To me, I’ve learned to be multi-functional with my time. That doesn’t mean multi-tasking. That wears the poop out of me (even though there never seems to be a shortage of poop with a baby). I can actually feel my head getting fuzzy when I try to do too many things at once. By multi-functional, I mean creating an opportunity that can serve many purposes. An easy example might be our changing station. Matt and I change Kovy on the floor, which means we have to get up and down from the floor. Watch this video to see how we set it up. While he’s laying on his back or tummy, I have the opportunity to lay down too. Do I need a restorative pose as I lay next to Kovy? Or should I wake up my body by rolling around like him? What do I feel like stretching or moving?

The WHY: If I’m not taking care of myself, what is that teaching Kovy? How does that influence him? If my hormones and stress levels are totally out of whack, how does that affect my breastmilk quality and production? And if I’m not taking care of my physical health, I can more easily injure myself when carrying him or picking him up.

I think this goes for any human being of any age. If you proactively invest in your holistic health, you’ll reap the benefits down the line. You’ll pay much less in the future in money, energy and time.

Here are just a few of the ways I like to practice self care while balancing motherhood and my work with AYT lifestyle. You might notice a theme throughout, much of my self care is blended with my AYT lifestyle work. That’s not a coincidence folks…

  • I ALWAYS eat breakfast. Whether Kovy is in my arms, still upstairs with Matt or laying on a yoga mat nearby, I prep our morning smoothie or other invigorating concoction. If you need some inspiration, download our Wee and Free Recipe eGuide or search my blog for smoothie recipes.
  • I practice SELF-COMPASSION. And I say practice, as it’s sometimes a challenge for me. But boy, I enjoy my day so much more when I’m kind to myself. I’ve accepted that even though I might be a perfectionist, that doesn’t mean I have to be perfect.
  • CREATIVE EXPRESSION. This is why I’m writing this blog while Kovy spits up on my shoulder. Man, I’m always misplacing those burping cloths. Writing fuels my soul, whether it be journaling, blogging or doodling in my notebook.

  • While Kovy chills on his play area with homemade hanging doodads, I sit next to him at the tatami table (a low rise Japanese table) MAKING JEWELRY. What started as a fun hobby in 7th grade with my best friend Rachel Roellke, hand making gemstone jewelry has grown into a passion and business for me. Putting happy energy into natural gemstones that already resonate with their own energy properties is such a balancing experience for me. How balancing? It satiated my creative spirit and balance me during my strict and structured time training for the Olympics. And those were some tough days where I was in need of a LOT of balance. Have you seen my most recent handmade pieces on this website? These blend my love for natural gemstones and healthy living.  
  • I find NATURE. I keep getting this quote on the tag of my Yogi Tea (what a clever idea, by the way) that says something along the lines of if you truly love nature, you will find it everywhere. And it’s true. I may be in a suburban neighborhood, but we go on daily walks and search out the hummingbirds, plants, shading trees, blooming flowers and rocks to step on. Here’s how I go off roading in our suburban neighborhood. There’s something about being outside that soothes both me and Kovy. We chill out. I guess you could say we find our zen. I definitely think we’re meant to be outdoors more, surrounded by earthy things. Not just Kovy and I, but all of us.
  • I KEEP EATING food throughout the day. Yes, it takes preparation when going out and about. Yet it’s totally worth it to me. And for Kovy, since what I’m putting in my body is going into his body. By prepping and making my own food for the day, I know what I’m putting in my body and don’t get stuck either with nothing to eat (eek!) or having to get something that’s super expensive or totally lame (aka not good for my body). I post many of my recipes on this blog (ahh, serving my creative expression while eating good food. 2 in 1 fun!)

Well, I’m going to practice self care and finish my blog so I have time to prep my food before we all head out for the day. I have to stop myself when writing, as I’ve been known to go on a tangent or two (say, what?). Let’s be honest, there’s countless ways to practice self care as a mother or any human being. How do YOU like to practice self care?

Okay, I’ll add one more. I MOVE MY BODY. Instead of doing a full 30-60 minute yoga or other fitness session, I break up my movement throughout the day. Did I say this is actually BETTER for your heath and body? Yep, it’s true friends. Anyhoo, one of the ways I get my moving in (and practice self care) is while changing his diaper or during his floor time. I move with him! I try not to poop with him though. Ha. This is why I started filming Diaper Sessions, mini workshop-like sessions for me, you and anyone who’d like to move well and mindfully! I’ll leave you here with Diaper Sessions #3: “Tummy Time” to awaken your core and back extensors:

Hey, these images look pretty gosh darned similar! What do ya know, Joe!

 

 

Don’t start your day on the right foot. Start it on two Balanced Feet.

What do your feet have to do with your whole body health? Are they that important? Can’t I just wear orthotics or cushy shoes and call it a day? Aren’t my toes supposed to be smushed together in the shape of my favorite shoe?

Why am I so enamored with feet these days? Uhh, why wouldn’t I be!

(Body nerd alert! Body nerd alert! Come on, you know you’re one too, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this!)

Let’s start with baby feet. We all started with baby feet, after all.

I am in the middle of my 2 year biomechanics-based certification as a Restorative Exercise Specialist with Nutritious Movement. What is Nutritious Movement? It’s a “whole-body movement program that utilizes exercises, alignment adjustments, and habitat (lifestyle) changes to better move all trillion of your body’s parts.” Or as I like to phrase it, (re)discover how to use and move your body while adjusting the lifestyle habits that got you in this pickle. Or something along those lines. I began nerding out on feet several years ago when I was introduced to the Nutritious Movement blog of Biomechanist, Katy Bowman. She’s the creator of this program and best-seller author of many o’ books, including Whole Body Barefoot and Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief. As you read through her blog posts, listen to her podcasts, take an online movement class or read one of her many books, you’ll begin to notice a trend. If the focus is on one area, say “foot pain relief”, she’ll spend much of the time on other areas of the body. Say, the calves, hamstrings, standing alignment and posture. Say what? Why?

Let’s compare your body to a ball of yarn. If you pull on a string, it will tug down the line and you’ll notice the ball changing shape somewhere else. You tug on another string and the ball changes shape in another unforeseen spot. You can’t really see where it’s connected, but you know it is. This reminds me of how your body works because you’re made up of trillions of cells. And all the cells touch other cells. Together, these cells create tissues, which form into things like organs, muscles and all the stuff in between (including fascia). It’s all connected.

With that said, let’s give your hamstrings some love…

So how you treat your feet will influence the happiness of your knees, pelvic floor, back and so on. So cool!

I do not know how everything is connected (where do all those strings in that ball of yarn attach?), but I do know that everything is connected. I think this “everything is connected” approach gives you a sense of empowerment over your health. It certainly does for me. It creates a broader perspective for you to apply when dealing with any health issues.

When I had plantar fasciitis, I learned that this was the symptom (where I was experiencing pain) caused by a bigger issue. My right gluteus muscle was no longer firing properly. Meaning, it wasn’t doing what it was supposed to be doing. So every time I walked, stood, sat, squatted, sat on the toilet, ran or anything else where my gluteus muscle should be playing a role, it wasn’t. And the rest of my body had to take the slack for that. Important to note: I went to  professionals who also approach health from a whole body perspective. Always do your vetting. Don’t know anyone? Ask around. I saw Dr. MaryAnne Harrington and Dr. Stephanie Tyson. Two very different styles yet both approach an issue with your whole body health in mind (they focus on the cause of the issue, not just the symptom, yay!).

Even though you need to address how you use your entire body when it comes to your foot health, you still need to address your feet! Try this one on for size…

 

The Diaper Sessions: free yoga-ish movement classes

Welcome to Diaper Sessions!  These short movement classes infuse yoga therapy, body alignment, restorative annnnnd dynamic movements, all aimed to help you find balance in your body (and hopefully lifestyle). I find these help me, so I hope they can do the same for you, my friend.

I recently spoke with a lovely gal who has 4 month old twins, along with 3 other kids (she was with her husband and their new twins on a date night at the Ecology Center’s Lay of the Land event. Clearly, they’re rockstars). We got to talking about fitness classes, recovering postpartum, and that feeling of finally wanting to move more (and knowing that your body is ready for it). She said her body was finally able to unravel itself, so she could focus on releasing the physical tension and tightness that comes with holding babies, breastfeeding, repetitive movement, childbirth, etc. I think that’s a great way to describe what your body goes through postpartum. An unraveling period that takes place after you’ve gotten in the swing of things and ready to move more. Or as I like to call it, desticking the sticky spots or defunking the gunk.

So here we go…Diaper Sessions!

These sessions are called Diaper Sessions because, go figure, I film them during Kovy’s diaper change. We made our changing station on the floor, which makes it super easy for us to move around while changing him. There’s other benefits too, including these (plus why we’re transitioning our lifestyle to moving more throughout the day – creating big change!). If you feel like a diaper changing station on the floor is too much on your body, try out this savvy (and vital) way of moving to help prep your body for more floor time and help strengthen your back, core, glutes, eyeballs, eyebrows. Ha! But seriously. Your body is all connected. So in some capacity, your eyeballs and eyebrows are influenced by how you move.

You don’t need a floor changing station to do these classes, let alone a baby. All you need is some floor space and an eagerness to move your body and stimulate your awareness!

If you want to stay up to date with Diaper Sessions, subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can get notifications of new videos. Have you looked at our channel? We’ve got all sorts of shenanigans on there, from nutrition to travel to eco-ideas to lifestyle tips. Yay!

#1: You want to stretch out your body. It feels tight. Your baby is sleeping (who knows for how long). You know you feel better after you move around a bit. Your mid back is especially achy from how you’ve been standing, walking, carrying things (read: baby), looking at your phone and sitting in bucket seats. What can you do? Well, this is what I do when My body needs some love…a short therapeutic yoga session focusing on releasing mid-back tension…

#2: In this session I share 3 mindfully magnificent movements, focusing on unsticking your sticky spots, particularly in your mid back and shoulders. Yum!

Are you ready to be your own Guide in navigating a healthy lifestyle?

 

Then I made this for you…

 

 

 

 

Why & How to Make a Diaper Changing Station on the Floor

I’ve been transitioning my lifestyle into one where I’m moving more often throughout the day. Why? In a nutshell, it improves my health right down to the cellular level. And believe it or not, moving throughout the day is more beneficial than compressing my workout into selective sessions (as I used to). Why? Because you adapt to the position you’re most often in. And when I was teaching / taking my varied fitness classes, I hadn’t brought this other varied movement into the rest of my day. Because I was tired. And I thought these workouts were enough. In other words, fitness classes aren’t bad at all. I find them quite fun. It’s just that it’s not enough if you really want happy cells (which equals a happy body) (which correlates with a happy head).

With all this mumbo jumbo said, the type of movement you’re doing is super important, as well. Doing the same activity or workout everyday plateaus your metabolism. You adapt. And on top of that, we get so much less movement in our life with our modern conveniences (read: any person, place or thing that makes your day easier. e.g. driving instead of walking, smooth sidewalks instead of rough terrain, grocery stores instead of growing your own food, etc.). Personally, I’m crazy grateful for our fantabulous conveniences. I’ve been able to visit countries on the other side of the world thanks to technology and airplanes. I have time to write this blog because I can walk up to the grocery store instead of tending to crops for all my food. You get the picture. We’re all very lucky to have the time and conveniences that we have! I sure hope people don’t take them for granted. That wouldn’t be cool.

Here’s a few of the transitions we’ve made in the Komer Posse: We’re not using a stroller so we’re carrying Kovy either in our arms or in a baby wrap. I often opt to walk to the grocery store instead of driving, even if it means it takes longer. This also gives me the opportunity to work my upper arms as I carry the groceries home. In our previous home, we got rid of our couch entirely and used pillows to pop a squat on the floor. It’s amazing how much of a change this brings to your body in how you feel and even, yes, how you look and carry yourself. As we currently live at Matt’s parents’ home, we don’t think they’d appreciate us chucking their couches to the curb (ya think!?). So we do our best to:

1) Minimize chair / couch sitting.

2) Create alternative spaces to hang out and play on the floor.

3) If we do sit on the couch, we change our position often. And get up often to do things (or let’s be honest…to get more food.)


This brings us to a new way we’ve been moving throughout the day…Diaper changing! Say what? How does diaper changing get you to move more? Ahh, well, this is where you can get super clever pants McGee, whip out your minimalist skills and nourish your trillions of cells! Changing Kovy on the floor has been so much fun. I can’t believe I just said that. Changing diapers are fun? Well, in this case, they are. Not when you’re cramped in the back of a Prius trying to balance a ginormous baby on your lap as he releases a wrath of fresh poop. Thank goodness for water (and poop) proof material. I know it’s not organic, but I’m still grateful for it.

Enough poop talk. It’s naked time. That’s right. Naked time. Here’s why & how we chose to create a diaper changing station on the floor…

Are you ready to be your own Guide in navigating a healthy lifestyle?

 

Then I made this for you…

 

 

Say Adios to Routine & Repetition: Sneaky ways to stimulate your life, brain & body

“If you think Adventure is dangerous. Try Routine. It’s lethal.” 

I may not have written this quote, but I sure feel like it was written for me, a gal who comes alive with new experiences, traveling, creating and exploring. So what happens when your daily “adventure” is now packed full of repetitive, or somewhat routine, experiences? Read: changing diapers, breastfeeding, doing laundry, changing diapers, breastfeeding, doing laundry, making meals, shopping for food, doing the dishes, feeding the dog. Eeeeeeeek! Sound the alarm! Call out the guards! Run for the hills! I’m yawning and freaking out at the same time. I’m a learner, a curious kid, an explorer, and adventurer. How am I supposed to awaken my senses and embrace my zest for life during these non-stimulating tasks? 

IS YOUR ROUTINE FOR A GOOD CAUSE? Hold up. Rewind. Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. When I’m speaking about routine, I am solely addressing the tasks, chores and repetitive duties we take on. I am not addressing the purpose of the duty or whether they’re worth doing in the first place. You and I wouldn’t be doing these repetitive duties if we didn’t deem them worth our time. Of course they are! (I like saying duties, can you tell? But you have to say it like, doooodies. Ya know, like poop.) Please don’t mistake this blog as a means to complain about doing duties. That would be silly. And energy sucking. You know, like energy vampires. Those people who are always complaining and sucking the energy out of you. I say no thank you to their drama-rama.

THINK LIKE AN INVENTOR + PROBLEM SOLVER + CURIOUS KID. Being and inventor, problem solver and curious kid, you should probably have a cool detective-like name. I’ll be Himay Ponderosa. Got yours? Good. Now let’s get out a pen and paper. Write down any repetitive duty you do throughout the day in which you’d like to add a little zest, pizazz, stimulation or learning experience. You get the picture. Here’s my list:

  • breastfeeding
  • Preparing our meals (we spend a lot of time in the kitchen!)
  • changing diapers

Now being Himay Ponderosa, I’ve come up with opportunities to liven up these duties. Using these videos as a take off point, write out ways you can liven up your own daily tasks. If your hands are busy during a task, watch the first two videos. During your daily duty, if you’re looking at something and have to actually focus on thinking about it (like writing this blog), check out the third and final video.

Housebound? That’s exactly what these videos are geared towards. In-house time. There’s heaps of great ways we can stimulate our life, brain & body outside of the house. And often times we can take our daily tasks outside, which provides a refreshing change in itself.

And if all this talk of inspiring yourself, livening up your day, and adding good quality zest to your life, gets you all, well, inspired, awakened and zesty, then sign up on the waitlist for my upcoming eCourse, Center Your SELF. It’s right up your alley.

Stimulation Station

BREASTFEEDING & PREPARING MEALS…Is this a hidden opportunity to inspire yourself, learn more about the things you love and continue exploring your passion? Heck-eee-doodle-eee-doo-doo! (That means Yes) It takes initiative on your part and it’s totally worth it. Here’s how I stimulate my brain, even during things like breastfeeding or preparing meals…

CHANGING DIAPERSCan you make changing diapers fun? Can you do it in a way to benefit your own body? How about your brain? Is it actually possible to make it stimulating for both you and your wee bebe? We think so! This is how we roll…literally.

BONUS DUTY. SINCE WE ALL STAND SOMEWHEREDo any of your duties allow you to be standing? Say, working at a standing desk, writing emails at the kitchen counter, preparing dinner. Here’s a little something you can do to stimulate & awaken your body (from the feet up)…

Get Creative with your Approach to Exercise: Videos to spice up your day (life)

I love doing chores. Sign me up to pull weeds from the garden, move your furniture, rearrange a room, clean the floors or build a raised garden bed. Is it weird that I love this stuff? Case in point…The other morning, I hopped on a conference call. Instead of sitting or standing during this 45 minute discussion. I skated through the house, cleaning the floor with wet rags under my shoes. It was seriously invigorating and let’s be honest, quite productive. This skating action is new to my body as I don’t skate very often (or at all), so it was challenging in this sense. But it was also repetitive enough that I could concentrate on my phone call.

Movement is stimulating.
Repetitive movement adds a sprinkle of meditative focus to the mix.

When it comes to doing chores and manual labor, it’s not just that feeling of satisfaction of knowing I completed a project that I enjoy…it’s the physical movement. My body craves movement. Unpredictable, fluid, random, varied movement. I feel my best when I do different things. Hmm, this might explain why playing water polo felt so physically satisfying for me. Not relying on padded shoes, clothing or any apparatus, I could use solely my body to move in the unpredictable and varied ways the sport demands. Somehow, moving through the water felt so natural. I do like to pretend I’m swimming like a dolphin, after all.

Au Natural Side Note: Granted, any sport isn’t “natural” if you’re speaking from an evolutionary standpoint of the human body and the environment it was designed in (think: hunter gatherer environment). So I’m using the word “natural” in a slightly different context.

Extra Au Natural Side Note: You know what would be REALLY natural and awesome for your body? Actually moving naturally. I really do think that’s what the human body craves. Not working out at the gym. Not going to spin class. Not cleaning the floors while on a conference call. But real, forage for your food, chase down prey with your endurance running skills, squat by the fire, squat to poo, you get the picture. Since you and I aren’t quite ready for that phase of our life yet, let’s focus on working with what we’ve got. A handy resource to “reclaim your nature” check out MovNat, Natural Movement: fitness for the real world. I have yet to partake in one of their workshops or retreats, but they look amazing and I love their approach.

By the way, you can squat and poo in your home. Here’s how. And why.

In the featured image above, Matt and I harvested barley for a family in Northern Italy, which they use to make their homemade bread. Yummmm. We were volunteering on an organic farm while WWOOFing. It’s an incredible way to immerse yourself in the local community, learn about organic farming, connect with others and of course get a solid helping of varied physical movement in. Some may call this manual labor or doing chores. I call it an opportunity to experience the lifestyle of another. It was so rewarding to sit back with the family, soak up the view and company, while snacking on local bread, cheeses and meats after such an active and productive morning along this hillside. (Not familiar with WWOOFing? It’s where you can volunteer on organic farms in exchange for room and board. Each country has their own organization, including USA.)

Do you want to introduce deliciously fluid, random and varied movements into your day but not sure where to start? Well, you can always do those projects I mentioned above. But if cleaning the floor or building a raised garden bed don’t tickle your fancy, here are a few ideas to get your brain brewing and body moving differently. Enjoy, my fellow movers and shakers!

 

 

 

Welcome to Lifestyle Exploring (with our new addition: Kovy Zealand Komer!)

New blog focus. New videos. New eCourse coming your way. Oh ya, and a brand new baby! Geez, we’ve been busy.

I’m really excited to be writing this blog to you. Why? Because it’s my first since Kovy Zealand Komer was born on 1.6.17. We have so much to talk about! While I’ve been journaling before and after Kovy was born, there’s something about writing to you (whoever you may be) that’s uniquely fun and therapeutic for me. So thanks for being here, it honestly means a lot to me! I hope I’ve returned the favor in some capacity with my quirky humor, random knowledge, curious perspective and lifestyle adventures. In fact, that’s what I’m writing about…lifestyle adventures. More specifically, lifestyle exploring! What is lifestyle exploring? Well, I made a video to answer this and introduce you to our lifestyle approach and why we do what we do (what do we do, anyhoo?).

If you subscribe to our YouTube channel, you’ve noticed I’ve been on a video kick. Well go figure, it’s easier (read: more efficient) for me to post videos than write blogs. Why? Because I can hold Kovy while doing a video and I can’t hold him while writing a blog. Don’t worry, this blog won’t disappear. It will, however, begin to include more of my personal experiences to navigating a healthy lifestyle. Consider this more of a “this is what I do and why I do it” space instead of a “this is what you should do and why”. Besides, you don’t want to be told what to do. You’re a clever and accountable kid. I do hope that by sharing my experiences, I can inspire you to take charge of your own health and wellbeing (remember, health to me means: balance, awareness and connection within your entire lifestyle, or something along those lines). This is definitely my goal. My other goals for you include: Get to know the whole-istic connection with the health of your body, mind, community and planet • cultivate the gumption to create your own path • ask why • find balance in your life • build a positive legacy. Those are big goals! Well, what can I say, I’m ambitious. I’ve also been rambling on a bit. So let’s watch this video and see what Lifestyle Exploring is all about!

You can also be sure I’ll be sharing bits of my pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience here. I hope to be a handy resource for women interested in a non-invasive, natural and peaceful birthing experience (seriously, I do mean peaceful. It’s all about perspective, friends), as well as the lead up and post-birth experiences. I’ll just say this for now: your approach to a situation is everything.

Oh wait, you were looking for baby pics? Well in that case, here’s an official welcome to Kovy Zealand Komer…


And a ridiculously special thank you to Beach Cities Midwifery as well as our BirthWorks teacher and Doula, Janell Bartzatt!