Executive Interview: Dr. Jodi Ashbrook

Open Doors Logo 2-2

We are thrilled to introduce Dr. Jodi Ashbrook, Owner of Open Doors Yoga Studios-Hingham, through a 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 Office of Educators Serving Educators, an educational consulting firm.

She is an inspirational author, blogger and speaker creating experiences for people to grow, reflect, and inspire them 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 travelling to new and exciting destinations, or relaxes through reading.

I asked Dr. Jodi a few questions to get us started, and here’s what she said…

For those who have never been to your studio, what exactly is Open Doors?

Open Doors™ Yoga Studios was established with a single location in Braintree in 2003 as the South Shore’s premier place for hot power yoga by the Founder and President, Richard Lanza. Over the last 12 years, Open Doors™ has evolved to offer a variety of yoga disciplines and averages 37,000+ students who roll out over 142,000 yoga mats at one of their 13 locations per year.

The Open Doors™ experience is designed to offer both heated and unheated classes for all levels of students.

The belief at Open Doors™ is that each of us has the potential to grow beyond our preconceived limitations. Each of us has the right to pursue those things that enliven and inspire us. Each of us has the innate ability to be happy and to discover the truth for ourselves. Open Doors is dedicated to providing the space and opportunity for individuals to transform their lives.

The Open Doors™ mission is to provide a vehicle for people to enjoy health and happiness, taught by Open Doors™ teachers who genuinely want to be part of a culture that is creating a positive force in the world. (From http://www.OpenDoors7.com)

When and what inspired you to start a franchise?

I moved to Braintree by way of Las Vegas in 2011. The Hingham studio was the very first studio I practiced at when I moved to Massachusetts. When the opportunity to take ownership of the Hingham studio presented itself, it was an easy decision for me because the space had already had such a special place in my heart.

My personal mission and part of what inspired me to take ownership over the Hingham location is to create a space and experience for people that is peaceful and eliminates all other life distractions. The hope is that at least for one hour, students who come to the studio are able to focus on their personal wellbeing.

Creating a space at the studio students want to come to is part of my mission to make yoga more inviting and less scary to people who are new to the practice. I know what the Open Doors™ community has done for me and my personal growth, and I want to play a part in giving that gift to someone else.

We welcome you to take a class at any of our Massachusetts Open Doors™ Yoga Studio locations: Weymouth, Hanover, Hingham, Duxbury, Taunton, Dorchester, Plymouth, Canton, Westwood, Easton, East Bridgewater, & North Attleboro.

Please contact Dr. Jodi directly at jodiopendoorshingham@gmail.com or visit the Open Doors™ website: www. opendoors7.com to learn more.

Chelsey’s Kitchen: Oatmeal Banana Muffins

From Chelsey’s Kitchen to Yours: Oatmeal Banana Muffins


Chelsey is our new Guest Blogger who was recently featured as a Movin’ Mama and is awesome and kind enough to regularly contribute her own unique clean-eats recipes from her kitchen to ours. You can get all of her delicious recipes on our Mama-Friendly Menu – ENJOY! I know I will…


  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups of oatmeal
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup of stevia
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prep your muffin tin with liners (12).

Then, mix the bananas, oatmeal, yogurt, stevia, baking powder, baking soda, eggs, coconut flakes, and cinnamon in a large bowl with a blender/mixer until banana is mixed in smoothly.

Add in most of the chocolate chips by hand to your mixture (leave some out for your topping).

Fill the muffin tray with mixture ¾ of the way in each muffin slot. Top with extra coconut or chocolate chips by preference, I prefer extra coconut!

Bake for 10 minutes, let them cool, and serve as a snack or dessert! 

Chelsey’s Kitchen: Stuffed Squash

From Chelsey’s Kitchen to yours: Stuffed Squash with Ground Turkey

stuffed squash

Chelsey is our new Guest Blogger who was recently featured as a Movin’ Mama and is awesome and kind enough to regularly contribute her own unique clean-eats recipes from her kitchen to ours. You can get all of her delicious recipes on our Mama-Friendly Menu – ENJOY! I know I will…


  • 2 medium size Squash
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • ½ cup chopped mushroom
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sirachi seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • Sliced olives for topping


Cut squash in half lengthwise and cut out middle as a scoop, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Saute 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil on a skillet and add the all of the chopped veggies (peppers, mushrooms, onion, and tomatoes) over a medium heat.

Add the sirachi and Italian seasoning to skillet while sautéing.

Once the veggies are thoroughly cooked (10-15 minutes depending on how much crispness you prefer to taste), set aside in large mixing bowl.

In a skillet, lightly brown the turkey sausage on each side on a low to medium heat for about 7 minutes with a tablespoon of coconut oil.

After the turkey sausage is browned, add to the bowl of veggies and mix in the goat cheese and egg along with your pepper. Do this until turkey and veggies are evenly mixed with your hands.

Once mixed, you are ready to add the filling to your squash boats which should be in a low casserole pan. Fill each squash with the mixture and add sliced olives on the top. Once the squash is filled add 4 tablespoons of water to the bottom of the pan and place in the oven for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

Ready to serve for dinner that night or for work the next day when reheated!




Featured Movin’ Mama: Katie

Meet Katie!


Katie is a 26-year-old Movin’ Mama residing on the south shore of Mass. with her husband & two little ones [girl, 5 & boy, 4.5 months]. As a Full-Time stay at home mom, she certainly has her hands full–but she especially enjoys playtime, like teaching her daughter how to kick butt on the soccer field! We asked Katie how she’s Living Well today and here’s what she shared…

How do you typically start your day?

After my personal alarm goes off (which is my son), I usually start with a bottle of water, coffee and whole wheat toast with avocado. Once my daughter gets up, she has breakfast while I feed my son who is bottle-fed.  After everyone has had breakfast, I usually tidy up the house or start a load of laundry before we leave the house.

What is your favorite workout right now?

As of right now, my kids are my favorite exercise. If we are not home, we are usually at the park playing soccer or taking a walk around the new legion field track in weymouth.  My daughter loves to ride her bike so I try to keep up with her while pushing my son or even putting him in the baby carrier which is a whole different level of a workout…they get heavy after five minutes, which is when I start breaking a sweat! however I do prefer to jog after lunch while my daughter is at school…that’s when I get my good run in for the day!

What do you wish you knew when you first became a mom, that you know now?

I wish I knew how to stress less about the little things that come along with having a baby. I used to get so worried about schedules and how much they’re “supposed” to be eating or sleeping, that I’d over think it and drive myself crazy!

This time around with my son, I’m learning that everything will be ok if they don’t finish the bottle or if they are not sleeping through the night early on.

What has been your biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of your last child, and how are you overcoming it?

My biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of my son is definitely snacking. My family and I do love our snacks, I’ll be honest! However, if I snack healthy then my family will too, so right now we are substituting an apple for the chips or a tangerine instead of the cheez-its.

What is your favorite go-to healthy weeknight meal?

My favorite go to healthy meal is a good pesto pizza.  I use a whole wheat dough with pesto instead of sauce and lots of veggies such as red and green peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and onions. It’s also entertaining for my daughter to help with the preparation and cooking!

*Check out this delicious veggie pesto pizza recipe to try at home via CookingLight.com! 

Can you share a few of your must-have wellness products today?

My running sneakers, lots of water (I don’t drink soda!) and I just started using Ava Anderson products which are all non-toxic.

What are some best wellness tips you can give new moms?

Eat as healthy as you can because when you eat good you feel good!; Don’t stress about the small stuff; and take lots of walks outside when possible!

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

My “Me Time” varies from dinner and drinks with my husband and friends, and I also love getting my hair done or getting a nice quiet lunch.

Anyone you’d like to thank for helping you through motherhood thus far?

I’d like to thank my husband and friends who are always supportive and helpful and have helped me along the way!

Featured Movin’ Mama: Beth

Meet Beth!

Skowyra Pic

Beth is a 33-year-old Movin’ Mama residing south of Boston with her husband and two sons [ages 3 & 1]. When she’s not finding her Zen at her local Yoga studio, she’s workin’ it out as an Account Manager for an IT staffing company. We asked Beth how she’s Living Well today, and here’s what she shared…

How do you typically start your day?

If I’m going to work, my day starts with a shower, my chocolate Shakeology and leisurely train ride with my Nook. If I’m home with the kids, I skip the shower, keep the Shakeology and move right on to whatever activity is on the agenda that day.

What is your favorite workout right now and why?

Power Yoga. I used to practice 3-4 times a week before I became pregnant 4 years ago and stopped after my first trimester with my oldest. Joining a gym just didn’t make sense for my hectic life, so being able to hit up late night (7:30pm) yoga twice a week is a way for me to unwind, turn the noise off, and just sweat.

Plus, I have found it is easier to motivate myself to leave the house for a scheduled yoga class rather than changing into my workout clothes and putting on an exercise video at home.

What do you wish you knew when you first became a mom that you know now?

That I should have always made myself a priority. It wasn’t until my youngest turned 1 that I was at my wits end with the terrible work/home balance I was living with. So I registered for a night-time yoga class and told my husband he was in charge of bath/bed time 2 nights a week!

What has been your biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of your last child and how are you overcoming it?

I had to have a c-section with my youngest, so recovery was noticeably different from my first vaginal delivery. After my first pregnancy, I was back at the gym just two weeks after delivery…but with two kids to juggle and major surgery recovery after my C-section, exercise was not even on my mind until I stopped nursing my youngest recently when he turned 1.

Working full-time and nursing/pumping full-time left pretty much no extra time to squeeze in anything else (okay, maybe the occasional shower!). Plus, I was zapped of any and all energy. The second I stopped nursing, I felt like a whole new person, immediately dropped 20 pounds and have been able to fit in exercise 2-4 times a week.

What is your favorite go-to healthy snack right now?

Hard boiled eggs. I always have them in my fridge, sometimes after I make them I will shell them too and pack them into a container for easy grab-and-go.  The kids love them, too—so they make for a great snack or an easy breakfast paired with a banana.

Is losing the baby weight harder or easier this time around than before?

Easier this time around, but only since I have stopped nursing.  I was not one of the lucky women that was able to lose weight while nursing. I literally stopped nursing my oldest son and got pregnant with my youngest the same week, so I was never in that place where I could lose the remaining weight until my youngest turned 1 and I stopped nursing.

He is now 19 months old, and I am finally back to my pre-pregnancy weight, even a couple pounds lighter—however it is definitely distributed differently so I still have a ways to go before being total pre-pregnancy!

What are some Wellness best practices you can share with new Mamas?

  1. Don’t lose yourself: Always carve out some time to do something just for you.
  2. Prep food beforehand: I make my lunches and snacks for the week on Sunday so I can grab-and-go during the week and my husband will also prep/cook dinner on the weekend for the whole week, making dinner time a little bit easier and allowing for more play time with the kids before bedtime.
  3. When in doubt, get up and GO: I often found myself just getting up and planting myself on the couch for the day with my little one during both of my maternity leaves, so I really had to force myself to find story hours, other drop in classes, or even convince myself to just go roam around Target or the mall for an hour to help get me up and out…and feeling human!

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

I have my yoga nights pretty well-established in my family’s routine, but if I do want that extra time (a trip to Target by myself), I will plan it for the weekend during nap time, so I can have my time away from things and my husband can still do what he needs to around the house and both kids are sound asleep.

Who do you lean on most for support when it comes to Wellness?

I lean on my husband the most for general Wellness. He is at the gym every morning after dropping the kids off at daycare and is always game to cleaning up our eating habits if we get into a rut of snack foods.

He also knows how grumpy I get when I am not exercising and eating poorly, so he is more than accommodating when I need a boost of motivation!

Featured Movin’ Mama: Molly

Meet Molly!

Hall, Molly - Feature Photo 2015

Kicking off November with Molly, our 37-year old Movin’ Mama residing on the south shore of MA with her husband and three children [ages 8, 5 & 1).  As you can imagine, Molly stays super busy as a Realtor, on top of chasing around her three young ones! We asked Molly how she’s Living Well today–and here’s what she said…

How do you typically start your day?

Coffee, banana, slice of Ezekiel Bread with peanut butter and strawberry jelly.

What is your most effective form of exercise since having children?

Spin (Rhythm Ride Method at Cycle Town) and Bar Method (barre). The earlier in the morning, the better for me!

What are your top wellness products” as a new Mama?

My must-haves include: Great sports bras, cute workout clothes and a good bottle of wine opened after 5PM!

Can you share a few best practices as eating as a new Mama?

I don’t discriminate against any fresh fruit or vegetable.  Healthy fats are a priority (such as avocado, olive oil and salmon). However, I feel the need to treat myself to one great Bacon Cheeseburger (with french fries on the side of course) weekly.

Anything you forgot to do with your first that you’re doing now?

Due to exhaustion….I don’t remember much from the first!

What is your go-to healthy meal on a weeknight?

Salmon, Spicy Brussel Sprouts and Whole Grain Rice….and some chocolate for dessert. *Check out this delicious and easy one-sheet salmon with brussel sprouts recipe found at Diethood.com – enjoy at home!

Was losing the baby weight harder or easier this time around?

Definitely easier this time around with my youngest! Chasing three kids around is much harder, and they are always stealing my food!

How do you typically relieve stress?

Exercise always works wonders, plus time with friends and family…and wine doesn’t hurt…did I mention wine doesn’t hurt?!

What is one wish for your children?

I’ve been thinking about this question for days and I truly just want them to be happy–Cannot ask for anything better than that!

Featured Movin’ Mama: Emilie

Meet Emilie!


Emilie is a 28-year-old Movin’ Mama residing in Portland, ME with her husband, 3-year-old daughter & brand new 3-month-old son. When she’s not killing it in her day job as a Realtor, she loves to coach swimming! We asked Emilie how she’s Living Well today and here’s what she said…

How do you typically start your day?

A typical day is started at 6:30 AM when my daughter wakes up. I’ve already been up at 3 AM feeding my new baby boy, and then fall back asleep for a bit until she comes in to get me up for the day. We immediately go get something to drink in the kitchen and then start our morning routine to get ready for school.

What has your most effective form of exercise been since you’ve had children and what time of day do you prefer to work out?

When I have time to go to the gym, I go and do a short cardio workout then lift light weights, most of the time it’s really hard to find time, so I’ll do little mini-workouts through out my day…an abs set here, short jog around the neighborhood block if I have 10 minutes or so just something to get my heart rate up. I always stretch well in the mornings to kickstart my metabolism for the day.

Finish this sentence: “Being a Mom has made me…”

Appreciate any and all free time I may have and to use it wisely!

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

Tea…it wakes me up, keeps me hydrated without as much sugar or caffeine in coffee or lattes; A good protein shake (quick & easy to make on the fly!); Drink tons of water to keep your energy up and prevent getting sick; I also swear by getting a massage once a month because lifting, kids, bags, and being bent over all the time with the little ones is definitely wearing on your body.

Can you share a few best practices for healthy eating as a new mama?

Anything that is easy goes a long way, I always like to have a good salad in the middle of my day so I try to have that prepped and ready a few days before for the week.

Anything you forgot to do with your first that you’re doing now?

Take more videos! I took tons of pictures of my first but you learn quickly how fast they grow and change. I make sure I take short videos a couple times a week on my phone.

What’s your go-to healthy meal for a weekday night?

Steamed veggies, rice & salmon…it cooks quickly, and it’s easy to store and is super healthy.

You look fantastic! Was losing the baby weight harder or easier this time around than before?

Easier! Life with an energetic 3-year-old doesn’t give you a moment to sit during the day or after she gets home from school, so I was up and moving almost immediately in the weeks following having my new son. Just staying active and keeping a busy schedule helped me a lot in losing all the weight quickly.

How do you typically relieve stress?

The biggest stress relievers for me are working out or getting a little extra sleep. Having kids made me realize how important and vital the power of sleep is and to try to sleep often whenever I can!

What is one wish for your children?

I want them to get as many experiences as they can as they grow up. We are constantly thinking of places to take them & activities we can all do together, staying active and getting out of the house daily is huge for our family. I wish for them to smile their way through life and not take life so seriously.

Featured Movin’ Mama: Chantal

 Meet Chantal!


Chantal is a 34-year-old Movin’ Mama based outside of Boston with her husband and new 6-month-old baby girl. When she’s not on Mommy-duty or working part-time as a Senior Quality Specialist in the Biotech/Pharmaceutical Industry, she loves hunting down the best bargains around and cuddling with her bundle of joy! We asked Chantal how she’s Living Well today and here’s what she shared…

 How do you typically start your day? 

My routine depends! I used to work full-time in the city with a 3-hour commute on top of an 8 hour work day.  I returned to my job after maternity leave and it was the worst 6 weeks of my life. So, I resigned and became a part-time consultant in the same industry. Now I can be home 3 days a week with baby (while my husband works a standard 9-5 job, outside of a couple days where he can work from home as well). It’s not perfect, but it works for us!

On work days, I wake up early, exercise, shower, breakfast, dress and am out the door before my daughter is awake. These are rough as I don’t get to play with or hold my daughter before leaving for almost 11 hours!

On the days that I am at home, I try not to set an alarm unless we have appointments. My daughter wakes up between 9-9:30am and some days we will go for a run in the morning, relax at home, or I’ll take her to the park or to a library for story time. I cherish these days! On the weekends, my husband gets up with the baby so I can sleep in.  My morning routine doesn’t exist on the weekends. These days are absolutely wild cards, but I always manage to get a run in at least once a weekend.

What is your current workout regimen like?

When I am at home 3x per week, I typically take my daughter for a 5-mile run (all hail the jogger stroller!) before I do anything else. This ensures that I get my exercise 3x a week.

I make it a point to do another 5-mile run with my daughter at least once every weekend. That makes it 4x a week and I wish I could exercise more often.

On the days that I work I come straight home to play with baby as I don’t get to interact with her in the mornings.  By the time I’m done playing with her, it’s dinner time and after that I’m too wiped out to run.  I refuse to spend the money on a gym membership and I don’t have the time to drive to/from one anyways.

I recently starting doing the Bikini Body Mommy Challege on the days that I work and the weekend day that I don’t run.  It’s only 20-min a day but it’s intense!  As the weather is starting to change, I am thinking I’ll be giving up running over the winter if it’s anything like last winter was in Boston – and do the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge every day.

What has been your biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of your baby and how are you overcoming it? 

My biggest challenge with wellness since I had my daughter is definitely finding the time to exercise. When she was smaller, I couldn’t get out of my own way and and get settled enough to go for a walk, much less a run. When I went back to work at my full-time job after maternity leave, I didn’t have the time as I was gone 11 hours a day and when I got home I played with the baby and then was too tired to exercise.

I have been overweight my entire adult life and have struggled with my weight and lack of physical fitness since I can remember. I made a promise to my daughter when I changed my career–to spend more time with her and watch her grow; and to be around to see her grow for as long as possible.  In order to do this, I had to get into better shape. In order to do that, I had to find the time to exercise. Not exercising and maintaining my own personal health is just no longer an option.

I had her late (33 years old) and I want to be an active parent. I want to be able to run after her, to crawl around with her and to race her as she hits all the different stages of development. I owe it to myself and more importantly, I owe it to her.

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

I love the unpredictability of everything and the gummy smile.  The gummy baby smile is my favorite sight in the whole world!  I’ve always been a “fly by the seat of my pants” person and this parenting thing definitely jives with that style of living.

I have been with the same awesome guy for 11 years (formally married since ’06), living in the same house for about 6 years, in the same career for well over a decade and at the same job for awhile. Everything was stable and had settled down. Everything was almost too easy.  I needed a change of pace and you know what they say – variety is the spice of life!

What are some beauty products you cannot live without right now?

Origins Checks and Balances (face wash); EOS Lip Balm (like chapstick, but way better) & Coconut Oil (moisturizer, skin softener, diet aid).

What are a few best wellness tips you can give to new Mamas?

Make time for yourself and focus on YOU: If you are not happy and healthy (mentally as well as physically), your family unit will not be happy and healthy.  Do whatever you have to do for yourself so that you can be the best mom you can be – the mom your baby deserves!

Create a routine, not a schedule (there is a difference): You don’t need an alarm to have a routine. Have a way of doing things in a certain order so your days will be less chaotic and more balanced and relaxing.

Enjoy your baby: Bask in the glow of your baby. They are truly a miracle in each and every way.  Let the dishes pile up – buy paper and plastic.  Let the laundry grow mold – send it out. Let the housework fall behind,  It’ll all get done eventually.  I have a standing joke at home – “Excuse the mess.  This mommy/baby team are making memories.”

Take your own Advice: You spent 9 months building the perfect baby. You know your baby better than anyone else. Hear everyone’s advice, thank them for it and then do whatever YOU think is best.  No apologies needed.  Tell anyone that doesn’t like your way of doing things that you’d love to take their advice in person; but only between the hours of 12-5amSundayThursday. And, immediately cut ties with anyone who is not supportive of the way you have chosen to raise your baby.  The end. You’ll be a lot happier and less stressed.

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

I’m not much of a cook these days, but I only allow healthy foods in my house. Not having junk food at the ready makes it a lot easier to eat well.  Anytime we are not cooking at home, we are going into a sit down restaurant and having a proper meal – with baby or without. I also always make sure we have eggs at home.  They’re great for protein, healthy and quick/easy to cook.

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

I decided before I had my daughter that until she was 40 weeks old, I would be kind to by body…that I wouldn’t stress out about the way I looked, but I would make changes based on how I felt instead.  I actually went to 42 weeks, so I’m giving my body at least that long to rebound.

For “me time” I sometimes just turn the phone off and cuddle with baby in bed all day, or get together with friends who have similar aged kids, or leave baby with the husband so I can go get “work done” – AKA professional massage, mani/pedi, etc.

What’s your biggest wish for your baby?

I wish that she grows up to be the perfectly happy and healthy person she is destined to be – wherever that takes her.

Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?​

I would like to thank my amazing husband.  He’s been my rock through all of this insanity we call life!  I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to do this without him. He’s been an amazingly supportive partner and an even more amazing father to our little angel.

Executive Feature: Kristen Grossman, Owner & Operator of Cycle Town

DSC_0137 (2)

Kristen Grossman is a Mamapreneur who recently launched her new indoor cycling studio, Cycle Town in Hingham, MA where she currently resides with her family. Off the bike, she loves adventure travel, wine & cheese, and walking her dog at Bare Cove park. I’m absolutely thrilled to partner with Kristen and team  for our upcoming Wellness Workshop on November 8th and look forward to seeing you all there! Here’s a sneak peek at our hostess with the mostess…

For those who have never been to your studio, what exactly is Cycle Town?

Cycle Town is a dedicated indoor cycling studio.  We offer a modern style of indoor cycling that is high energy, a great work out and a lot of fun.  We ride to the beat, we ride as a group, and we have an awesome time doing it. We like to call it cardio heaven on a bike!

When and what inspired you to start your business?

I craved indoor cycling where you ride to the beat of the music and there was none around here!  Also, there were few options for high cardio–but low body impact exercise, that I thought was fun.  And for me, “fun” is a huge part of the equation – exercise should be a release, not a chore, and the more music-centric the better.

I believed there was a market in Hingham and the surrounding towns for a ride that was both incredibly fun and physically challenging, so I developed one, with the help of a West-Coast studio called Rhythm Ride. It was my hope to create a community environment that was inclusive, supportive, and upbeat.  Cycle Town is built on the premise that together we get stronger, and we rock out along the way.

What has been your biggest challenge in introducing this kind of workout to your community?

The “newness” of it all…of our method, of working out in a dedicated studio, and, for some, of indoor cycling in general. Spin was around, but most often as an adjunct to a traditional gym. Our method of spin, where the rider’s pedal strokes and movements on the bike are powered by the rhythm of the music (and to great music), was new to many people.

Of the people who gave us a try in the early days, I would guess that only a handful had already experienced riding to the beat somewhere else, like in the urban studios. For many riders, this was new, and part of our challenge was showing them that our ride offers so much more than traditional spin. It doesn’t take long.  Half way through that first class you get the hang of it and after a couple of visits we see riders attack with confidence and power that’s outstanding.  It’s so rewarding to see!

What would you say are the top health benefits of Indoor Cycling for new mothers in particular?

Initially, new mothers will most benefit from re-developing cardiovascular strength. We’ve seen this happen relatively quickly within our new-mom crowd.  It’s all about consistency.

Cardio is the foundation for burning calories and shedding pounds. Our method is also incredible at developing lean, toned muscles.  It’s a full body workout with emphasis on core strength.  It’s amazing to see the body transformations some of our riders have achieved, and the positive impact the endorphins can have on clearing your head.

Who do you personally lean on for Wellness inspiration?

It takes a village! Our instructors are a like-minded group of fitness warriors who never cease to amaze and inspire me. Some of our beloved riders are yoga gurus and they’ve given me the courage to get into yoga and reap amazing stretching and calming benefits.

Lastly, critical for Wellness is taking a step back, stop doing so much myself and get more help.  I have a few friends who are really good at delegating and outsourcing and I am slowly learning this art!

As a mother of young children, what is one piece of candid advice you’d like to give to new mamas?   

Listen up new moms: No matter what it takes, make time to give yourself exercise.

Whatever exercise you like to do, make sure you do it. Exercise is the foundation for feeling good and can stabilize your mood, sleep, eating, etc. Schedule it, make it happen, whatever it takes!

After I had my daughter (2nd child), I was not working and not exercising very often.  There was no time and I didn’t have much babysitter support. It was 24-7 kids, and my daughter never slept….Not pretty.

In my anguish, my mom gave me a gift of 6-month membership at a gym that had a beautiful babysitting facility, complementary shampoos and creams, and relaxing classical music in the locker room. Sounds silly, but I was in heaven and I credit (frequent) trips to this gym for maintaining my sanity.

It was time to myself, exercise for my body, and a shower. What more could a new mom ask for? And I was only called one time over the loud speaker to report to the daycare to retrieve my screaming child! 🙂

P.S – Now she sleeps like a champ, so hang in there.

Featured Movin’ Mama: Crystal

Meet Crystal!

Crystal James - Feature Photo

Crystal is a 30-year-old Movin’ Mama residing on the South Shore outside of Boston, MA with her brand new son & husband. When she’s not working hard as an Application Coordinator for a large healthcare organization, she’s on the go traveling, zen-ing out with Yoga, or spending time with her family. 

How do you typically start your day?

COFFEE, snuggles with my little guy, laundry and a morning walk.

What is your favorite workout right now?

I have been going to a half spin/half circuit class that I love. The spin part is exhilarating and I love the (good) soreness of my muscles after.

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

I like to make a healthy chicken stir fry with lots of fresh veggies over rice or spaghetti squash with homemade sauce. Yum!

*Check out this easy chicken stir fry to try at home from Cookinglight.com! 

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

Sometimes even errands alone feels nice! For “Me time”, I like to workout, enjoy a glass of wine with friends or get a manicure & pedicure!

Can you share a couple of your recent fitness goals?

One is to lose the last 5 pounds of baby weight! And another is to regain my strength that I had before becoming pregnant. I want to be fit and healthy for my family and myself. The weight will be an easier goal – less sweets! But I will need to make time and a schedule in order to do weights.

It isn’t realistic for me to spend a lot of money on a fancy gym membership, so a class here and there mixed with lots of home workouts will be how I get back on track.

What has been your biggest challenge with wellness since the birth of your son and how are you overcoming it?

It has been hardest for me to eat healthy like I used to. Trips to the grocery store need to be quicker (often with a screaming babe!), so shopping is rushed and it is harder to be selective. Also, with breastfeeding and tending to a 3-month-old, I tend to eat whatever is available to me – which is not always the healthiest option.

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

I have a few girlfriends who love to workout and eat healthy with me. If I am feeling not great about myself or lazy, they will lift me up and offer to go for a walk or workout class together.

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

Being a mom is the best job I’ve ever had! Seeing the milestones, big or small, that my son is making is one of the best feelings I have felt. I think my heart melted the first time he smiled at me!

What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms regarding general wellness?

People say it a lot, but you need to have your own time and not feel guilty about it! Mommy-guilt is a very real thing and sometimes I think new moms feel like they should be doing everything without complaint. Its not selfish if you want a little alone time or need a few minutes to vent… its well-deserved!