Baby Registry Regrets: Getting the Scoop from Seasoned Mamas



I still remember how overwhelming it felt registering for baby number one. When you don’t know what you don’t know…it can feel almost paralyzing trying to make decisions.

Like…how do I choose from literally three gazillion types of baby bottles? What’s up with all the different breast pumps, let alone all their accessories? And are the more expensive car seats and strollers actually better – i.e. will they keep my baby safer?!

Ultimately, I avoided big box stores like the plague and went straight to a local boutique here in Portland that helped me streamline “needs” from “wants” and cut out most “totally unnecessary crap” (i.e. a wipe warmer – don’t waste your time or money).

That strategy helped, yes, but now that we’re prepping for numero dos (and especially since s/he is coming a mere two years later), there are still some things I wish I would’ve known – like to buy a stroller and a monitor with the capability of converting for two.

Hindsight may be 20/20, and it’s true that each family and baby is different (so there will always be some tweaking)…but I thought it’d be fun to ask some seasoned mom friends (with two to four kiddos each!) for their regrets, wish lists and best advice when it comes to gearing up for that little person who’s about to enter your life…

First up, moms share their “woulda-shoulda-couldas” learned along the way. 


Feeding Time

“I would have held off on buying baby bottles and borrowed some to try. We ended up going through six types of bottles before we found one baby would take. Now I have a lot of extra bottles.”

Bottles! Each baby is different. You may need one bottle of a few kinds to try out before something really kicks in.”

“I wouldn’t bother with a bottle warmer. It’s better they don’t get used to warm milk so they are more likely to take milk cooler when you’re on the go.”

“Most of my registry “regrets” come from preparing for things that ultimately didn’t happen. I prepared for vaginal births and breastfeeding…I had two c-sections and boobs that didn’t work. I had ALL the breastfeeding/pumping supplies and didn’t need anything. ”

Breastfeeding stuff. I think that is good to have nourishing cream, pads, etc…but it ultimately it’s hard to buy all the stuff only to realize you can’t.”

“The one thing I regret not registering for was baby formula. I was not able to produce milk, and we had to go to formula sooner than planned. We did not know how expensive formula was before we had to get it. If people put it on their registries and end up getting some and not using it, they can always donate it!”

Catching Some ZZZ’s

“I wouldn’t have invested in a convertible crib. With two kids two years apart, we didn’t want to buy two cribs. So instead of being able to use the toddler bed, we ended up just moving our two-year-old into her big girl bed by the time baby came.”

“I wish I would have registered for the Baby Bijorn Travel Crib – two kids in, and I still wish I would gotten that!”

“We ended up needing a camera I can access from my phone. I love that I can see her at work, plus if the monitor is in the other room, I can just check my phone.”

“A camera monitor! With multiple cameras! I thought I would always be by his side.”

Keeping Warm & Cozy

Clothes. That’s the fun thing for people to go off-registry for, but it’s impossible to know what will fit when (my four kids ranged in weight at birth from 6#8oz to 9#11oz and grow at remarkably different paces).”

“Fancy swaddles. I didn’t realize I had a child that would only be lightly swaddled for two weeks before moving to a sleep sack.”

“Please NO more blankets. I have about three favorites and two huge bins full of them!”

On the Move

“I wish I would have bought a stroller that converted to a double from the beginning. We knew we wanted at least two, but it never dawned on me to have a stroller that accommodated both of them.”

“I didn’t even know that they made convertible strollers… that would have been good to know!”

“I don’t suggest a double Bob. They’re huge, and running with two in tow is actually a challenge.”

“I would get a different car seat – one with more easily adjustable straps!”

“I wish I hadn’t registered for a pee pad for/under the car seat. When I had the baby car seat safety class in the hospital they scared me into not wanting to use them.”

Next up, moms weigh in on what they found to be the most lifesaving products when it comes to keeping baby happy. 


Items Getting Rave Reviews 

“I would definitely get a Dock-a-tot! I co-slept way more then I expected (aka I said I would NEVER do it…ummm yeah that lasted like two hours).”

“I literally put my son in a short basket in the middle of the bed. It had a tight sheet on it and was like $10 on Amazon.”

Dock-a-tot! I am obsessed with ours and tell all of my friends about to be moms to invest in one.”

“I wouldn’t have been able to live without our Nest camera for a monitor – easy to access from my phone from anywhere, and we pack it with us whenever we sleep somewhere overnight.”

“Definitely a Rock-n-Play…we have two one upstairs and one down. And a white noise machine…for keeping #1 asleep at night when #2 is fussy!”

And finally, moms get real with what helps the most when it comes to transitioning into parenthood.


Most-Appreciated Items

“Consider neutral colors of items like seats, sleep sacks, Boppys, etc. that work for both girls and boys.”

“My recommendation would be to lock in as many hand-me-downs from co-workers/family/friends BEFORE setting up a registry to know what things might be available.”

“While all the frou frou stuff is undoubtedly appreciated, money is the best gift ever. I ended up not needing most, if not a lot, of what I received as gifts…and the toys we got were destroyed within the week if not ever played with again out of boredom.”

Target and Amazon gift cards were the most appreciated gifts because I was able to chose things myself when I needed them.”

Gift cards to restaurants were great because I couldn’t cook since I had a c-section. It was hard to move, and my recovery was long!”

Starbucks gift cards were awesome since I needed help staying awake to take care of big brother while the little one slept.”

Gift certificates to Buy Buy Baby or your favorite local baby store go a long way.”

“It would have been nice to have more bed sheets because my kids always threw up or soiled our sheets while we were co-sleeping. I never had enough!”

“The best registry gifts are when several people go in on an expensive item, like a dream stroller (note: those HUGE strollers are great in the city…suburbia so heavy to get in the car), a nice car seat or a nice high chair.”

“It’s worth it to acknowledge that the first few months are full of emergency Amazon orders so gift cards are a great idea!”

“I am almost certain that I’ve made a purchase from Amazon every day since my daughter was born. So, gift cards!”

“A baby nanny. I see celebrities have them, but give the baby nannys to us common folk!”

“You don’t need as much STUFF as you think you do. Get gift cards and diapers, the rest will work itself out!”

First-time mamas and repeat mamas-to-be, hopefully you’ve been able to glean some good information from the wisdom of these seasoned pros! 

Do you have any registry regrets that didn’t make the list? What about newer products you can’t live without? Or advice for mamas who are navigating their registries for the first time?




How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Ultra(wo)man Ailie Coulter


Meet Ailie Coulter, an endurance athlete whose self-described likes include running, swimming, surfing, riding, reading, socializing and red wine.

But if we’re being totally honest, that list is a bit misleading — or, rather, it’s correct in that Ailie strives to live a balanced life…but it just doesn’t do justice to her focus, work ethic and the all-out guts she’s got that have allowed her to accomplish great things.

How? Well, first you’ve gotta familiarize yourself with Ultraman, which is basically an Ironman triathlon (140.6 miles: 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bikes ride and 26.2-mile run) DOUBLED. And then tack on another, oh, 40 miles or so for good measure.

That’s right; we’re talking 320 miles total, including a 6.2-mile swim and a 261.4-mile bike ride followed by a 52.4-mile double-marathon run. Put simply, it’s a race that’s “challenged and defeated the world’s fittest athletes for nearly three decades,” as aptly described by Triathlete magazine.

And second, all you need to know is that Ailie placed second at Ultraman Australia last year (watch the video about it here), which means she’s been invited to compete at Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii this year.

The prospect of undertaking (and crushing!) this kind of endurance feat — one that takes stamina, heart and determination to a whole new level — blows my mind. So, needless to say, it was an honor to take a few minutes with Ailie (a fellow Coeur Sports ambassador) to find out what makes this incredible woman tick!

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? Think that would have to be long-distance trail running. Nothing better than getting out of the city early morning, alone, in nature and experiencing all the different seasons. Normally start in fog and can’t see a meter in front of you and by the end of a 4-5 hour run session you have wolfed down all the food in your pack and replaced it with the layers of clothing you have taken off as the day has heated up!


2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? Running: Used to wear Asics but then they changed them and made the toe box really small and I started losing toe nails and getting horrid blisters. Then Pearl Izumi introduced their run collection a few years ago, and they made the toes wider than the heel and it is the best thing to happen to the world of running!!

No more foot problems; I went and bought four pair in case they never made them again. Doesn’t have to be Pearl Izumi (although they are my favorite, support, cushioning, colors, etc.) as long as it has a large toe box, meaning it doesn’t taper off small and pointy and your toes can be free to spread out in the shoe each foot strike.

Bike: I wear Specialized S-Works road shoe, as they look the goods and make me feel pro. Also super comfy and can buy a pair new and feel like I have had them for years. Would happily knock out a 200k ride in a brand new pair with no issues. Before these I used to get hot feet, pins and needles, etc.

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? SOCKS!!! I have a bit of a sock obsession and love to sock dope on the bike. Bright, kit-matching, etc. on the bike, and I’m loving the MAAP range at the moment. Sometimes you gotta look good doing what you do!

4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” Hill sprints, running or riding and swim sprints. You can get an awesome work out in half an hour!


5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: Rough water, everybody else complains when the swell picks up and there is white wash, I fist pump the weather gods.

Ride: Um… my socks look the best.

Run: I’m a diesel engine. A lot of people use this as an excuse to go slow; I can just maintain my consistent pace for a really really long time.

Overall, I’m not really better than others at any of these things; I think I just know how to hurt more than others and love it.

6. What do you listen to while training? I often don’t listen to anything. I have a hugely hectic life with lots of responsibility and training is my switch-off time. I like to take in the world around me, it’s almost meditative and leads my mind in so many cool places that I don’t want to take that away with music. For gym sessions, love a bit of Presets or something with a heavy beat that makes me feel like I can dominate the world.


7. What are you currently training for? Ultraman Wold Champs in Hawaii in November. Will try to save some $$ and probably not enter any events in the lead up but will throw in a few big 3-4 day training camps where I completely punish myself in the hills. That way I can include a bit of time away with the man and friends and training partners, too, as its not all-consuming like racing can be.

8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? They are more crucial than any training I could do! I ensure I get 8 hours sleep; the moment I cut this, I start to have issues with hormones and cortisol levels, which leads to getting sick, sinus infections, fatigue or injury, which leads to less training. So if I have had to work longer hours or have an important social function, I tell the coach in advance so we can plan around it.

For females, especially, this is absolutely crucial in being able to train consistently. In terms of recovery, in high-volume weeks my coach and I schedule in an afternoon power-nap between work and my arvo session; if my long ride goes for 8 hours, I tack on another two when making social plans so I have time to got home, make real food and have an hour of couch time before doing anything. Nutrition is a big part of all of this.


So many female athletes can’t figure out why they are constantly sick or injured, and it is all because of hormone imbalances in the body. If you want to train consistently, we need to remember that we have three sources of stress in our lives as athletes: mental (work, relationships, finances, etc.) physical (training or other work-related physical strain) and nutritional (what we put in that our body needs to deal with).

If I have a family issue, I will dial down my training and eat perfectly. If I am eating horrible and for some reason including alcohol, I can’t be stressed at work and high-volume training. Given we can’t often control the mental stress, it is the nutritional and training stress that we need to modify when we can not control the mental.

9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? Consistency is key!!


10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Would have to be Ultraman Australia in 2015. I finally did what I went out to achieve. We spend so many years in this sport and put so much pressure on ourselves to perform, but the hard fact is that so many external factors out of our control can impact the result. At this race, I finally got it right and it was the best feeling in the world.

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with ______. My friends!!!

12. Anything else you’d like to add? Life can sometimes be challenging; find out what makes you happy, and make that your priority. No matter what it is, find it and own it and smile your way through life.


Thanks, Ailie! Not only do you exemplify #heartandcourage, but you’re a true inspiration for everyone to get up, get out and get moving. We’ll be rooting for you at this year’s Ultraman World Championships!

Friends, if you’re interested in being featured here (all levels & abilities welcome), please drop me a line at info(at)kineticfix(dot)com.

Triathletes: The Secret to Avoiding Injury This Season


In theory, making the move from a single sport to three adds variety to your exercise regimen and will reduce injuries, right?

Well, the reality is a bit different, thanks to the “compound effect” of doing three activities: “What we have to compare it to other sports is the injury rate, and triathletes have one of the highest incidence rates of any sport,” Dr. Joshua Burns, a researcher and podiatrist at the University of Sydney in Australia, who has studied the nature of triathletes’ injuries told The New York Times in this article.

The bad news? Triathletes, in particular, are susceptible because they not only engage in a highly-repetitive stress activity, but also only move in one plane of motion (and likely sit all day at work), which contributes to limited range of motion in the mid-back and hips. The good news, though? With the right approach to strength training, you can correct imbalances, resolve weaknesses and vastly improve performance.

That’s where my friend Al Painter of INTEGRATE Performance Fitness comes in. Not only has he been teaching endurance athletes how to dodge the injury bullet for years, but he also knows. his. stuff. As you can see below, there’s a reason why he’s been named “Best Bay Area Personal Trainer” by CitySports Magazine, so I always love picking his brain about the latest workout crazes and geeking out together over the greatest fitness gadgets.

As training seasons begin to ramp up, I thought it’d be fun to sit down with him and talk about the not-so-secret secret for avoiding injury when it comes to multi-sport endeavors.

1. Triathlon is in endurance sport, so why is strength training important for triathletes? It helps to reset the body from the repetitive stress nature of training in one plane of motion. It can also keep the hips strong, which goes a long way for happy low backs and knees.

2. How much about it is preventing injury versus being able to perform better (i.e. faster!)? Yes to both! I think one leads to the other. Keep the muscles balanced, and you can reduce your chances of getting hurt and improve your chances of performing well.

3. If body weight is the only thing being “lifted” during a triathlon, why do triathletes need a training program that uses free weights, machines or other equipment? It can lead to more speed in the pool, more power on the bike and more efficiency running.

4. How does strength training for triathletes differ from programs used by bodybuilders, powerlifters and the general public? Triathlon training should emphasize split-stance and single-leg lower body moves while incorporating single and alternate arm patterns to work on diagonal loading of the hips and shoulders working through the core. I’ll definitely get into more of what endurance athlete specific strength training should like the night of the talk.

5. What do you think is the biggest misconception about triathletes and strength training? That it will slow them down, add bulk and take away from swimming, riding and running.

6. So is it enough to go lift weights at the gym a few times a week? No, there needs to be a program dialed in to address what endurance athletes need: solid mid-back, shoulder and hip mobility. It has to have a plan, a purpose and specific outcome as the goal. Plus, if there is a performance gap in the pool, on the bike or on the run, strength training can help to close it.

7. What’s the biggest mistake you see most triathletes make with their current strength training routine? Not enough emphasis on the back half of the body which is the powerhouse for performance and proper posture.

8. If there’s one exercise triathletes absolutely cannot afford to skip, what is it? I don’t know if it’s an exercise as much as it is a movement: Learning the hip hinge is critical to opening the front half of the body and strengthening the back half to help with both injury prevention and performance improvement.

9. Should triathletes adjust their program when training for different distances? How? My stance on this is that the longer the distance, the more hip dominant movements (hinges, bridges, etc.) they should do. It should be the majority of the lower body work to keep the glutes as “online” as possible. Once they shut down, the whole operation can go south.

10. Say someone’s deep into training and short on time; is there a minimum amount of strength training they should be doing each week? Two days a week for at least 30 minutes using compound movements. Exercises combining hinging + pulling and squatting + pressing work really well. Especially using a split stance with single or alternate arm exercises.

Thanks, Al — great info, as always! 

Attention Bay Area friends: Al’s doing a *free* triathlete-specific strength training workshop at Sunnyvale Sports Basement from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 11. Swing by, say hi, and pick up some of his tips on the best kinds of strength training exercises to help you race stronger, recover faster and reduce the chance of getting injured this season. 

Click here for details on the event, and visit INTEGRATE Performance Fitness to learn more.

Triathletes, is strength work part of your regular training regimen?

Don’t Fall for These Six Holiday Diet & Exercise Myths


‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry!

But indulging with abandon has a way of backfiring around this time of year — especially when we’re full of reasons for  getting back on track tomorrow.

Only the problem is that ‘tomorrow’ is almost a month from now. 

So to help separate fact from fiction, Marsha Hudnall, president and co-owner of Green Mountain weight management program, shared with me her top five myths about diet and exercise around the holidays.

Christmas Hips

Bottom line: It’s cool to partake in all of the festivities, just keep your wits about you!

Myth No. 1: Diet before and during the holiday season.

Reality: Learn to eat mindfully instead (i.e. listen to what your body is telling you and try to be aware of when you are full or satisfied). Make decisions that leave you feeling good about yourself and your choices, even if one of those choices is to have that delicious dessert. It’s not about ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ foods. It’s about eating in a way that makes you feel satisfied — both while eating and afterwards.

Myth No. 2: Double up on your workout to shed those extra calories.

Reality: Regular physical activities that you enjoy are as beneficial for optimal health as they are for weight management. It’s less about burning calories and more about moving to feel good, which sets you up for making better choices. Exercise in excess is usually not healthy — and even worse, an injury could keep you from feeling less than merry this season.

Myth No. 3: Weigh yourself daily to help control your eating.

Reality: Lets face it — we all fluctuate on a daily basis when it comes to the numbers on the scale. Weighing yourself often only has a negative impact on self-esteem and decreases motivation for self-care. Focusing on how your state of mind and your energy levels helps you make smarter, more sustainable eating choices.

Myth No. 4: With a little planning, you can successfully navigate six holiday parties in one evening.

Reality: Over-committing can cause stress, which often leads to emotional overeating. Try committing to fewer parties and hosting simpler celebrations. Being more relaxed will help you actually enjoy the holidays, which also helps set you up for success in the New Year and beyond.

Myth No. 5: It’s okay to overindulge during holiday celebrations; you can “get back on track” tomorrow.

Reality: Eat what you want to avoid the feelings of deprivation that drive overeating, but try being more of a foodie during the holidays (and year-round!). By being particular about what you eat, you’ll choose only those items that truly delight your taste buds and leave you feeling like you indulged without going overboard.

Myth No. 6: When it comes to leftovers, it’s ‘the more, the merrier!’

Reality: If having extra food or leftovers lying around drives you to eat more than you need, considering donating it to local shelters or giving it away to family members, neighbors, etc. It’s a great way to share the love during the holiday season without packing on those unnecessary pounds.

How do you keep holiday weight gain at bay?

Navigating a Changing Pregnancy Body and Preparing for Birth with an Open Mind


Courtesy of MYMA

In my last post, I introduced Angi Purinton McClure and her longevity-based workout program, MYMA Movement. Today I’m posting the second part of our chat, which delves deeper into her work with mamas-to-be — yours truly included! — from exercises to help avoid injury to self-massage techniques to relieve common aches and pains.

Angi believes that pre-natal maintenance is important during pregnancy because it helps bring the focus inward and discover a new, changing body. Her MYMA Mama classes connect the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ to movement during such rapid change.

Not only does she develop a pre-natal movement routine that will rejuvenate her clients’ bodies during pregnancy, but she also helps us prepare for birth with an open mind. Something easier said than done, in some cases, I’m sure!

I’ve been working with Angi for a few months now, and I can’t say enough about how great it is to have someone to lean on who is both super knowledgeable about the body, as well as focused on long-term, sustainable results. Here’s her take on the ins and outs — and do’s and don’ts of pre-natal fitness.

5. Whats your overall philosophy on pregnancy & fitness?

While many women hear “make sure you exercise” during the pregnancy, many are misguided in wondering ‘what type of exercise’ and ‘what is right for my body?’

Unfortunately, there aren’t many smart, safe, and balanced Mama pre-natal classes. So what happens is that many women continue exercising they way they have been, not knowing how to listen to their changing body until there’s pain — or many women will jump into a pre-natal yoga class thinking this is their only option.

It’s not true. There’s a balance. If you work out, you need to know that you have to predict how to soften your routines while your body changes. You need movement, but it has to be kind movement that will help your body feel open, loved, and prepared for the birth.

6. We hear a lot about “body after baby,” but you emphasize pre-natal movement. Why’s that piece so important?

We need to move. We need to mentally, emotionally and physically connect before we give birth. This is the time in a woman’s life when she learns more about her body in a nine month period than most do in a lifetime.

Moving and maintaining the body during pregnancy will not only help you during the labor experience and help you heal faster postpartum, but it also benefits the body during the pregnancy. Exercise during pregnancy will help fetal development, connect you to you baby, and it will also aid in a healthy pregnancy and lessen aches and pain.

Besides, what a fun time to get to know your body while you’re growing a baby! So exciting and empowering.

Courtesy of MYMA

Courtesy of MYMA

7. Walk us through what goes on in one of your MYMA Mama classes.

In a MYMA Mama class, we exercise with corrective exercises to keep your body strong and loose. We address aches and pains and move through some self-massage exercises that you can take home to use whenever you need. We also open up the conversation of how the body is changing and how you can adapt through: sleeping positioning, partner massage, self-massage, acupressure points, mantras, pre-birth education and more.

We move, we roll, we laugh, and we share stories. It’s a beautiful time in a woman’s life to learn the life-long skills for body care and body awareness. It’s always an honor to meet women and learn their stories, fears, questions, hopes and, of course, meet their baby later on!

8. What are the most common misconceptions you’ve run across when it comes to pregnancy & fitness?

A common misconception that I witness is to ‘take it easy’ and ‘don’t exercise.’ You should always listen to your body (and some have doctors order for bed-rest) and know that if you don’t feel like exercising that day, fine. However, don’t make a habit out of it; walking is good, stairs (going up) are great for opening up the pelvis, and dancing is great, too.

Our bodies are changing and getting tighter, so don’t allow muscles to get weaker at the same time. Move in moderation, move within a time frame that doesn’t fatigue you. Movement should invigorate you. Be it a quick dance with a song you love or choosing to take a 15-minute walk with a set of stairs, you should feel like you got a breath of fresh air and you don’t ache as much. It’s minimal but so, so important to keep moving.

9. Which exercises are the biggest no-no’s that make you cringe when you see pregnant women doing them?

Well, crunches make me cringe but for many who feel their womb grow, it becomes a no-brainer. So the other no-no is over-exercise. People sometimes like to start a new fitness routine while pregnant. It may seem bizarre but it’s true.

I had a client who came to MYMA Mama after a terrible injury while learning kettlebells at 26 weeks pregnant. Yes. They are out there.

If you have been running, weight lifting, biking, etc. before you got pregnant, keep going! Just do it in moderation and listen to your body. Know that you won’t move the same while pregnant, but allow yourself to exercise your mentality by slowing things down. If it feel enjoyable, continue.

Courtesy of MYMA

Courtesy of MYMA

10. What should all moms-to-be be doing more of in their pre-natal fitness routines?

More maintenance work. Those who come to my MYMA Mama class leave with tools for at-home self-care, and they need it.

My moms always thank me as their back pain lessens from the MYMA Mama classes. Their swelling went down because they knew the methods to calm the body. Their labors were more empowered due to faith they restored in their body as they learned how their body has the power to heal (and give birth).

I also feel that pre-natal fitness needs more mental preparation, such as mantras to soothe the mind and open the body.

11. If nothing else, what’s the one exercise moms should be doing during pregnancy & why?

First I have to say, that you should always consult your doctor because certain exercises won’t be good for certain bodies.

That said, my main exercise that women forget to do is Kegels. Yes, even during the pregnancy, you want that Qi (“chee”) or energy of intention to move upward to hold the baby and pelvic floor. If you have pubic symphysis, you’ll love this even more because you want to keep a strong pelvic floor.

Don’t worry — you won’t get so tight that the baby can’t come out! This is the beauty of our bodies. They adapt. Balanced, our bodies are to be loose and strong.

Kegels can also help with breathing: Breathe out and let go of the body, then with the next inhalation, feel the pelvic floor lift. (It’s as if you are going to the bathroom and then you stop the flow of urine.) As you inhale, keep the body relaxed as you feel the ‘lift’. Hold the lift as you exhale, then slowly and gently let it go until the next inhale. Don’t ‘drop it’ — you would never just collapse after a squat, so don’t just ‘drop’ the pelvic floor. Think of it like an elevator lifting and taking time to go down as you release.

This is such an amazing time for a woman. These exercises are so important in our later years and to begin them NOW is a head start on living a long, healthy, happy life!

To learn more about Angi’s MYMA Movement and related classes, visit

Have you added smart, safe balanced movement as part of your workout routine?

Learn How to ‘Make Your Mind Aware’ with MYMA Movement

Courtesy of MYMA

Courtesy of MYMA

“Ok, can I tell you something?” I said between labored breaths mid-run with my friend Anabel a few months back.

It was before I officially broke my own pregnancy news, but she was already a few months along herself. And since we’re both pretty in-tune with our bodies, I figured it’d be nice to commiserate with each other about our usually-predictable systems going somewhat haywire while growing tiny humans.

Since then, we’ve swapped stories, traded tips, and I’ve listened to her advice with all ears since she’s got a few months’ heads up on how this whole thing works. Sharing this experience together has created a special bond, but having a “pregnancy mentor” who isn’t afraid to show you the ropes and call it like it is has proved invaluable.

Case in point: Early on, Anabel introduced me to Angi Purinton McClure, creator of MYMA Movement here in Portland. Like me, Anabel’s eager to get back on the proverbial “race” horse post-baby (her: triathlon, me: running), but we both know that it’s going to take some planning and preparation ahead of time — not to mention some recovery, rehab and ramping up after.

Luckily, Angi’s come to our rescue. Not only is she a licensed massage therapist, fitness instructor and trained doula, but her use of Chinese Medicine, evidence-based exercises, and self-massage techniques also translate to a more innovative and balanced approach to fitness.

But best of all? This ain’t your mama’s prenatal workout; while Angi does work with new mamas and mamas-to-be, what she really specializes in is working with people through every phase of their life in order to make them more aware of their bodies and help them learn how to properly move so they can move forever.

Angi calls it ‘body longevity,’ and I wanted to pick her brain more about the topic, so we sat down to chat about her approach in a two-part interview. Read on for more on the importance of adding safe, smart and balanced movement into your fitness routine!

1. Tell us about MYMA and your mentality towards fitness.

MYMA is an acronym for Make Your Mind Aware, it’s a movement-based education service that focuses on body longevity. Based around fitness theory and Chinese Medicine, MYMA offers classes, workshops and online programs to help empower your body awareness so you can move in a smart, safe and balanced manner.

I feel that there’s a gap when it comes to long-term movement and fitness. We see 21-day results as a natural outcome from dedicated fitness efforts; however, no one is looking into the future wondering, how can we continue to move well as we age?

We need to learn balance in our movement and maintenance within our fitness routines. And MYMA is here to offer the tools and knowledge to set you on the right path. What we do today shapes our future, so let’s move now to move forever.

2. Your work blends Eastern and Western modalities; what’s the benefit to that approach?

I love to talk about balance, and Chinese Medicine is the root of how we move and care for our bodies. Within the fitness industry, many people can better relate to science-based methods; however, it is important to understand that the individual cannot be measured as a whole, so it’s vital that we learn how our minds and bodies may benefit from ALL perspectives of both eastern and western philosophy.

Besides, Chinese Medicine is the missing piece towards healing movement. Many use Chinese movement methods throughout the world, yet it’s not incorporated in our western fitness society. Until MYMA.

Courtesy of MYMA

Courtesy of MYMA

3. In a world of quick-fix gurus, why did you choose to focus on things like longevity, self-care and maintenance?

Working with seniors for over a decade now, I have ‘seen our future’ or so I like to say. If we are short-sighted in our approach to health, we’ll expend all our energy in our youth. Over-exercise, burnout, adrenal fatigue, injury, wear and tear, etc. are just a few instances of where we are headed in our bodies. I tell my clients, I want to continue standing to put on my underwear (a task that is not easy in your later years!).

Balance, suppleness, strength, proprioception, foot health, back health, etc. all apply to the ability of putting on underwear while standing, and yet many of my 30 year-old clients are sitting to put their shoes on after a session. This gets you thinking…you realize how in the ripe age of thirty people are already on their way to sitting down while dressing.

We have to think long-term in our movement and self-care.

4. You’re a holistic movement therapist, licensed massage therapist and doula — how did your MYMA Mama program come about?

While I was attending Pacific College of Oriental Medicine I was also teaching as a fitness instructor. While training to become a bodyworker I was also training in my own time to become a holistic movement educator because I realized people were not balanced in their ideas of fitness.

MYMA was the base I needed for people to have access to self-care tools, workout tips and mental guidance for those who knew that they needed to alter their current fitness habits and rethink how they want to continue to move in their later years.

Courtesy of MYMA

Courtesy of MYMA

Stay tuned for part two of my interview with Angi — in Friday’s post, we’ll be talking specifically about her recommendations for mamas-to-be with pre-natal prep and post-natal maintenance.

And if you’re interested in more information on Angi’s MYMA Movement in the meantime, check out for details.

Are you thinking long-term when it comes to your health and fitness? 

How I’m Celebrating National Girlfriends Day


No, really. It’s a thing!

National Girlfriends Day is commemorated every year on August 1st, thanks to the CDC. Not only is the day meant to celebrate female friendships, but it’s also about empowering your girlfriends to take health into their own hands and live a healthier life.

But (sorry, ladies!) there will be no cliché spa days or shopping trips this year. Instead I’ve got a different challenge for each of you: Focus on women’s health and the importance of getting necessary medical check-ups. Take a moment to show your girlfriends how much they mean to you by helping them stay safe and live well.

And no, this is not a sponsored post; I just love the information below from Oscar Health Insurance Company and wanted to help get the word out about doing something simple, yet meaningful, for the ones you love. Because you never know when a conversation like this could save a life!


Will you celebrate National Girlfriends Day with your girlfriends?