January Movin’ Mama: Jessica

Meet Jessica!

Boylen, Jessica - Feature Photo 2016

In honor of the New Year, we’re tossing another awesome Movin’ Mama into the January mix! Jessica is in her late thirties, residing on the south shore of Mass. with her husband and 4-year-old daughter. When she’s not working as a career Hypnotist (stop, SO cool!), she loves to curl up with a good book. We asked her how she’s living well today, and here’s what she said…

With a new year ahead, what are some of your personal wellness goals for 2016?

Physically, I would like to run a 10k and increase my yoga practice. I would also like to incorporate more meditation and feng shui into my life – toys are everywhere! I live near the beach and great parks but don’t take nearly as much time as I should enjoying them and I hope to change that this year.

How do you typically start and end your day?

It may sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. I begin each day with self hypnosis and setting my intention for the day with affirmations. I then do 7 poses to balance my charkas. I end the day reading whatever book is hiding under the covers and fall sleep mid-sentence.

What has been your most effective form of exercise since having your daughter?

Running. I started in a running club in London, UK and though I have stumbled, been injured, slacked off and started over more than once, it has been the number one mental and physical activity that keeps me light.

What is one of your recent go-to healthy dinners that you like to cook at home? 

Broccoli and soft polenta. It’s really quick, easily modified and everyone loves it!

*NOTE: Check out this recipe from Catherine-Craig.com to try at home!

What do you do when you want to have “Me Time”?

I love to browse antique shops even if I never buy anything.

What is one thing you’d like to change this year with regards to your wellness?

I would like to get out and exercise together more, hikes, biking, walks.  I would also like to declutter our home of toxic chemicals and items as much as we can.

Who do you lean on most for support when it comes to wellness, and why?

I lean on my husband as he is healthy, athletic and always easily choosing apples over cookies. I am the opposite, I’ve never been much of an athlete and I love cookies! He is my health mentor.

What do you love most about being a mom so far?

The love. I love the love I feel for my daughter, it’s so much larger than I would ever imagine. That and being able to be silly and play without being judged is just so fantastic.



January Movin’ Mama: Sarah

Meet Sarah!

Gadbois, Sarah - Feature Photo

We’re excited to kick off 2016 with Sarah, our January feature. Sarah is a 28-year-old Movin’ Mama based on the south shore, MA with her husband and first born son who is edging on 5 months old. She has just returned from a snuggly fall/winter maternity leave to her full-time career as an Account Manager for a local software company. We asked her how she’s Living Well today, and here’s what she said…

As we ring in the New Year, I have to ask, what’s your resolution for 2016?

Right now, my top resolution is to get my son, Ben, sleeping in his own bed! Right now, he’s having a tough time sleeping independently and just to get a few hours of straight shut eye, we have been letting him sleep with us most nights. It’s not recommended and it’s a hard habit to break, but ultimately you know what’s best for your family. At this point, I think we are both ready to stretch our legs out at night, though!

How do you typically start your day? 

I have actually just gone back to work this week, so we are in the middle of coming up with our new normal. Before, Ben and I would usually do a little cuddling when we first woke up, followed by some cooing back and forth at each other. Once out of bed, it’s a change of clothes and heading downstairs for some coffee for me and playtime on the mat for my little guy. We both move a little slowly in the morning so we used this time to bond and enjoy some quiet moments together while we still had them!

What are some of your best practices for balancing nutrition as a busy new mama?

It’s hard. I’m still breastfeeding, so I want to be sure I’m getting enough to eat, but not eating junk! I definitely try to make sure I get fruit in each day as well as a few good sources of veggies. My favorite since I gave birth have been avocados. I’ve always liked them, but now they’re a staple in my diet.

The easiest lunch (and a few times, breakfast) is a slice of whole grain toast topped with turkey, mozzarella cheese, avocado and salt and pepper. It’s delicious, healthy and fills you up.

What has been your most effective outlet for stress relief since you had your son?

I think the best relief of stress for me has honestly been spending time with other moms, venting and sharing war stories. One of my good friends has a little girl who’s 10 days older than Ben, and we have a blast whenever we get together. Sometimes we go for walks or shop at Target and other times we just let the babes lay on a blanket and play. Whatever we are doing, it’s really a great reminder that you’re not alone in whatever you’re going through. Also, a nice hot bath accompanied by a glass of wine doesn’t hurt either.

Finish this sentence: Being a Mom has made me…

Appreciate how quickly time goes by and cherish every second. It sounds so cliche, but every minute with my son is such a blessing and I can’t believe how fast he’s growing and changing. It’s also softened me up quite a bit. I have always been an “in the moment” type of person, but since I’ve become a mom, I find myself looking ahead and imagining what our lives will be like as he gets older and as our family grows.

What are your top must-have wellness products as a mama?

I have never been much of a product person. I’m the type of gal who changes my shampoo brand every few months. What I have discovered as a new mama, is that there are times you have to choose between shower, sleep and food…  and for me, shower almost always wins!

If there’s one piece of sanity advice I can give to anyone with a new baby it’s make sure you find 5 minutes a day to shower! You will find time to eat and at some point you will have to sleep, but taking those extra few minutes to get cleaned up and throw on some mascara and blush will give you a much needed energy and morale boost.

What’s your favorite healthy snack on-the-go? 

Nothing beats a piece of fruit and a greek yogurt.

What is a piece of candid advice you’d like to share with a fellow brand-new mama?

Soak up every moment and trust your gut. The first few months with a new baby are unlike any other experience and no matter how much time you’ve spent with babies before, there will be days where you feel like there’s nothing you can do right.

Stick to your gut and be patient and you’ll get through the tough times. Take every piece of advice with a grain of salt. There are a million people who will want to tell you how they did it and how their way is the best way, but at the end of the day, every baby is unique and you know your little one better than anyone.

Lastly, have fun! The best way to get through your 3rd diaper blow-out of the day is with a good hearty laugh!

Executive Interview Part 2: Dr. Jodi Ashbrook

Open Doors Logo 2-2

We welcome back Dr. Jodi Ashbrook, Owner of Open Doors Yoga Studios Hingham, for part 2 of our short series of executive interview posts that will help us all get better acquainted with our next Wellness Workshop sponsor. Our “Meditation Mixer” will take place on Friday, January 22nd from 7:30-9 PM at the Open Doors Hingham location, Register today as space is limited! 

Meet Dr. Jodi Ashbrook!

Ashbrook is not only a studio owner, but also is the Founder and CEO of The Be Brand  clothing line, and Chief Product Officer of Educators Serving Educators, an educational consulting firm based out of Albany, NY.

She is an inspirational author, blogger and speaker, creating experiences for people to grow, reflect, and inspire to believe in their dreams. Ashbrook herself is a certified Yoga Instructor, accomplished business leader and entrepreneur dedicated to leading projects and creating businesses that make a difference in the world.

Ashbrook believes we are all leaders, leaders of our own personal journey. As a leader in business and in life, she lives by the philosophy, “be the leader you would follow.”   When she’s not working around the clock, she loves traveling to new and exciting destinations, or relaxes through reading.

I asked Dr. Jodi to share a little bit more with us, and here’s what she said…

What has been your biggest challenge in introducing Yoga to the community?

Helping people who have always wanted to try yoga (heated or unheated), to overcome their fears, and find the courage to come and take their first class. We offer a Free Week of yoga at our studios so that students can try out different classes and teachers. After the week, there are several options and types of classes for students to continue their practice.

I often hear people who are new to yoga say:

“I tried that once, I am not good at it.”

“I am not flexible, so I can’t do yoga.”

“I am afraid I will pass out in a hot class.”

“I will feel like I am doing it wrong.”

“I can’t do what the person next to me is doing, so I am not good enough.”

These engrained beliefs that are self-imposed by what we see on commercials or in society are self-created and untrue. The practice of yoga is just that…practice. It provides an opportunity to spend time with yourself on your mat to move and breathe. Connecting physical movements with breath while allowing all other life distractions to fall away.

I often say to the classes I teach, “if you do nothing else than show up to your mat and breathe, you are doing yoga.”

I have personally been practicing yoga for over 7 years. I began practicing yoga in 2008. I was close to 200 pounds and had all of the same fears I just mentioned most others have about being in a yoga class.

Over time, my yoga and meditation practice became the one thing I looked forward to every day, as it was a place of peace, hope and provided a sense of self-confidence because I was seeing progress in how I was able to move and, most importantly, how I felt physically, mentally and emotionally.

We all struggle with different things in life. My hope is that more students can experience yoga as  a place of peace, serenity and self-discovery to release self-judgement and increase self-confidence.