Mama of the Moment: Joanie Johnson of Fit Pregnancy Club

Mama of the Moment: Joanie Johnson of Fit Pregnancy Club

Our current Mama of the Moment is Joanie Johnson. Joanie is the co-founder of Fit Pregnancy Club, a pre- and postnatal exercise expert, and mama to a beautiful daughter. We sat down with Joanie to talk about how FPC was "born," getting back into a fitness routine after having a baby, and what she's looking forward to most about spring! I think you'll enjoy Joanie's refreshing and honest attitude about health as much as I did!

Enjoy!

xx Sarah

 

Tell us a little bit about how FPC was "born".

FPC was "born" out of our (my business partner Carolina Gunnarson and I) frustration with the lack of fitness options during our own pregnancies.  We wanted to continue working out at a challenging level, gaining strength, sweating to good music and realized there weren't any places where a pregnant woman could go.  

What made you want to work primarily with women who are pregnant and postpartum?

I am knee deep in the perinatal stage of my own life with a 20-month-old at home and talk of adding another in the future.  Additionally, after being through the process of pregnancy, birth and now navigating the world of motherhood and postpartum care, I’m fully frustrated with the state of women’s health.  FPC is our way of empowering women as they navigate this stage of their lives by creating a community of support, surrounding them with knowledgeable professions and instilling strength and body confidence.  

As a business owner and working mom, how do you define balance?

Balance is not losing my shit at the end of the day.  (Am I allowed to say that?!) Also, wine.

How did you approach health and fitness while you were pregnant?

I became (unhealthily) OBSESSED with every morsel of food and exercising every day up until the very end.  I always tell our clients, I’ve learned everything the hard way. I didn’t embrace the changes happening in my body, and I certainly didn’t practice letting go.  If we go for round 2, my approach will be VERY different and will probably include a lot of meditation.

What is your number one tip to women who are getting back into a fitness routine after having a baby?

Don’t rush back into your routine.  Take the full 6 weeks that most care providers recommend to forget about your body and bond with your baby.  And when you get “clearance” to work out, your first stop should be to a women’s health PT. We firmly believe that physical therapy should automatically be prescribed to every woman after childbirth.  

What does your ideal food day look like ?

I follow the mantra, “Greens, grains and beans/protein” for every meal.  Ideally, I get in 4-5 small meals a day that meet that criteria with lots of water and fruit to snack on in between.  

What are you looking forward to most about spring in New York?

Commuting into the studio on my bike!  I live in Brooklyn and am over the MTA.  

How would you describe your approach to health & wellness?

I approach health & wellness with lots of education.  I’ve learned to ignore all “food fads” and “popular workouts” because at the end of the day, well researched science is always in style.   

Mama of the Moment: Alli Kasirer of Fertilegirl

Mama of the Moment: Alli Kasirer of Fertilegirl

Our current Mama of the Moment is Alli Kasirer, CEO and Founder of FertileGirl. Alli is a new mom to two twin boys. She is about to celebrate their 1-year birthdays AND the 1-year anniversary of her company. We sat down with Alli to talk about all things fertility and her favorite parts about being a new mom. 

Enjoy!

xx Sarah

What led you to start Fertile Girl?

When I was on my own fertility journey, I noticed there were no consumer brands speaking to the TTC (trying-to-conceive) community.  That realization came at the same time that I was feeling more empowered in my own pre-pregnancy lifestyle changes (especially diet & nutrition).  I decided to combine these two concepts into a nutrition company committed to changing the fertility conversation and providing a network of community and support for women during the pre-pregnancy period. 

What is the mission of Fertile Girl and where do you see the company going in the future?

Our mission is to empower women to make healthy choices and destigmatize the fertility conversation.  Through our proof of concept, we’ve realized that the market is a lot bigger than just pre-pregnancy.  We’d like to start making products for pregnancy and postpartum/lactation as well. 

How important do you think diet and lifestyle are for a woman's fertility?

I believe diet and health in general are intensely interconnected and that obviously includes the stages of pre-pregnancy and pregnancy as well.  For my personal journey, I needed to find balance through lifestyle choices in order to find success through ART (assisted reproductive technology).  I found it empowering to take control of my nutrition during a time that so much was out of my control.  Most of my TTC sisters that I speak to regularly feel similarly.

How did you stay healthy and feeling good during your own pregnancy?

A phrase I always repeat is “mother yourself.”  That’s something I started doing during pre-pregnancy and continued that practice of self-care all throughout my pregnancy.  When you mother yourself, it’s much easier to stay healthy and positive. 

As a CEO and new mom (to twins!), how do you define balance?

LOL, balance!  No, just kidding.  For some people, maybe true “balance” exists.  For me, I just try to do my best everyday.  Sometimes that means spending more time at home.  Sometimes that means spending more time at the office.  I try not to overanalyze and trust my instincts when it comes to time management.

What’s your favorite part about being a new mom?

I love this new thing where the boys put out their arms to be picked up for snuggles.  It makes my heart melt every time. 

How do you carve out self-care time during the week?

I try to make time for a workout (SoulCycle and/or tennis as of late) or a manicure when I can.  While each day is extremely busy, I’ve been able to retain the flexibility that I need for self-care time. 

What does your ideal food day look like?

I’m a pretty simple eater!  Probably eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, a yummy salad for lunch, and a whole-wheat pasta dish (spicy red sauce!) for dinner.  I eat a lot of plant-based protein like nuts, beans, and brown rice.  I eat very little meat, but I haven’t cut it out of my diet altogether either. 

What does wellness mean to you?

Being my best self—physically and mentally.

What’s your favorite new wellness trend? Least favorite?

Loving mediation/mindfulness but still trying to figure out how to carve out time for a regular practice.  Not sure I have a least favorite honestly…anything super drastic is not my style.  I much prefer moderation when it comes to mostly everything.

What are you looking forward to most about the new year?

Seeing my little boys grow and interact with each other more.  In terms of specific occasions, celebrating their 1-year birthday as well as the 1-year FertileGirl anniversary. 

Mama of the Moment: Lisa Binderow

Mama of the Moment: Lisa Binderow

Every few months, I will be featuring an inspiring mother as the Rooted Wellness ‘Mama of the Moment.’ Our very first mama of the month is Lisa Binderow, CEO and founder of NicePipes, an apparel company offering a line of leg and arm warmers made from the same sweat-wicking fabric as yoga pants.

Besides running a successful business, Lisa is also a new mom to a four-month old daughter, Siena. We sat down with Lisa to talk about all things wellness and how she stays sane as a CEO and new mom.

Enjoy!

xx Sarah

 

What inspired you to start your business?

I am a Yoga teacher, and I have been a student of yoga for almost 15 years now. I am also a SoCal girl, and when I moved to NYC, I found myself running around the city, teaching classes and freezing cold in all my yoga apparel because they were all cropped leggings and light tops. I didn’t want to buy new workout clothes but there was no way that what I had was going to get me through the winter. I went on a search for leg warmers but could only find those acrylic knit legwarmers that are really itchy and don’t stay up well. So, I created my own pairs of updated legwarmers and arm-warmers from yoga pant material that was stretchy, soft, and sweat wicking!  I wore them to teach class and my students and teachers all wanted their own pair of pipes. So, I started small and it grew from there. 

As a CEO and new mom, how do you define balance?

I think life is full of ebbs and flows – sometimes you spend more time at your job than being a mom, or you are working hard at being a mom more than in the office.  I find balance by checking in with myself regularly. If I feel out of whack then I know I am either pushing or pulling in one direction too much, and I know I need to recalibrate.

How do you carve out self-care time during the week?

My daughter, Siena, is four months old so I am still trying to figure it out! A lot of routines that I used to have before don’t work with my schedule anymore. I used to meditate or stretch at the end and beginning of every day but now that time is dedicated to nursing, diaper changes, and bedtime routine. Now, I have to find still moments within the day, whether it’s going to a lunchtime yoga class or walking home from a meeting and listening to a great song rather than hopping in a cab.

How did you stay healthy and feeling good during your pregnancy?

I’m grateful that I love to eat healthy nutrient rich foods. Avocado, coconut oil, sunflower seed butter are eaten daily.  I also did a lot of prenatal yoga. Overall, I was conscious to really increase my self-care. I made it a major priority while pregnant. I made sure to get lots of naps, massages, and baths and kept myself in a state of R&R through diet, exercise and meditation as much as possible.

As a yoga instructor, do you supplement your yoga practice with other forms of exercise?

I trade off between running, going to Tracy Anderson Method, and going to yoga. To me, that helps me to find a well-rounded active lifestyle, so I’m never going too far in one direction. The more I work out, the more I can appreciate yoga for what it is meant to be for – a meditative, relaxing and introspective practice, rather than a workout. It is great that yoga can be athletic and active, but I use it more for restoration, knowing that following day I’ll get my butt kicked at Tracy Anderson.

What does your ideal food day look like?

In the morning, I also always have a cup of soaked chia seeds first thing and a coffee with coconut milk. Then, I have a huge bowl of gluten-free oatmeal with coconut oil, maple syrup, collagen proteins, cinnamon and salt. I’m nursing, so I’m really hungry and look forward to a huge bowl every morning. For lunch, I found these gluten-free wraps that I love and use those to hold together organic, antibiotic-free, hormone-free chicken or turkey with spinach and avocado. My snack is usually an apple and sunflower seed butter. Dinner is ever changing right now because I am still getting used to putting a baby to bed. Sometimes, it’s as simple as sunflower seed butter and jam on gluten-free bread, but if I have time I love ordering from Mulberry & Vine, a healthy restaurant in my neighborhood.  I’m still figuring dinner out!

You appeared on Shark Tank and walked away from a large deal. What inspired you to make this decision?

There were a couple of reasons I walked away. One, Barbara Corcoran (one of the investors/hosts) wouldn’t come down from wanting to acquire 40% of my business. After two and a half years of hard work, I didn’t want to give away 40%. Two, I realized in that moment, during taping back in June, not only would I be giving away almost half of my business, I would also be giving away the balance in my life. What I would be taking on would rock my world and take away the chance for balance and wellness, which is more important to me than having a multi-million-dollar business. I am very happy with the success of my business and where I am now.  Maybe it’s not the biggest it could possibly be, but it fits me really well.

What’s your favorite part about being a new mom?

Being a new mom has opened up my capacity for loving someone because I am fully responsible for their wellbeing. I have this newfound massive appreciation of moms. My sister and friends are moms and now I fully understand the intensity of it.  I see other moms on the street and I want to stop them and say “good for you! You are doing it!!”

What does wellness mean to you?

Wellness has definitely come up a lot for me as someone who started their own business because as every entrepreneur knows, the tipping scale starts to go way more in favor of taking care of your business over taking care of yourself. I do think it is very hard to be as successful as you could be without sacrificing your wellness. So, for me, it comes back to the idea of balance – when I feel imbalanced, exhausted or anxious – feelings that are not cohesive with a well-balanced life – that’s when I know I have to pull back on a lot of different things like over doing or over worrying about everything. I examine where I need to allow space for softness and then adjust. For me, I find wellness when I allow things to just be and stop giving so much meaning or stop judging everything that I am doing.

What’s your favorite wellness trend? Least favorite?

My favorite wellness trend is bone broth. I’ve been doing it for so long. I love it and think it is so healing. I guess I would say my least favorite is that there are a lot of products out there that say they are good for you but actually are not at all. I hate that there are people out there thinking they are being healthy, but are actually being tricked by false advertising!

What are you looking forward to most about fall?

I love the weather, it’s my favorite season! The temperature, the warm drinks, wearing light jackets and the changing leaves.  If only winter wasn’t around the corner...

Can you summarize your approach to health in a word or phrase?

Creating balance through a non-judgmental view of yourself, your work or your role as a mother, wife, friend and daughter.

Breaking Down The Fertility Diet

Breaking Down The Fertility Diet

Let’s get’s this out there right off the bat, there is no magic diet that will ensure you get pregnant. However, with so many factors out of your control when trying to conceive, eating the right foods is a non-invasive and natural way to boost your fertility that is 100% within your control. Sounds too good to be true? The tenets of “The Fertility Diet’ are based on eating patterns that are scientifically proven to be effective at increasing fertility. These findings are the result of a large Harvard study that examined the diets of over 17,000 women attempting to conceive.

But instead of having to sort through all these boring studies, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you! Below are five fertility boosting strategies. The best part about these tips? They make for a healthful diet regardless of whether you are trying to conceive!

 

1. Whole grains for the win

Just like your closet, when it comes to carbohydrates, it’s all about quality over quantity. Focus less on how many carbs you are eating and more on selecting high quality carbohydrates. Quality carbs = unprocessed, full of fiber and digested slowly – like whole grains. Ditch the refined, processed carbohydrates (think white bread, pastas, cookies, sugared sodas), which are full of sugar and lacking fiber.

Fertility foods to eat: brown rice, oats, quinoa, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta as well as fruits, vegetables and legumes

 

2. Stick to the good fats

Don’t fear fat! Healthy fat, that is. Include foods high in unsaturated fats every. single. day. Avoid trans fat, which is mostly hidden in fried foods, baked goods and margarines, at all cost.

Fertility foods to eat: olive oil, nuts, salmon, avocados, nut butters, flax seeds

 

3. Plant power

Women who eat more animal protein are at greater risk for infertility, and the reverse is also true — women who eat more plant-based protein are less likely to struggle with infertility. Include more plant-based protein in your diet and eat lean protein (think chicken, fish, turkey) a few times a week.

Fertility foods to eat: lentils, quinoa, nuts, seeds, beans, nut butters, chickpeas

 

4. Yogurt and Cheese and Ice Cream, Oh My!

Yep, we are suggesting the occasional bowl of ice cream can increase your chances of getting pregnant. Women who eat more full-fat dairy are less likely to have trouble getting pregnant compared to women who select low-fat dairy products. This may be a result of additives in low-fat milk, which can disrupt our body’s natural hormonal balance.

Fertility foods to eat: 4% yogurt, whole milk, ice cream (in moderation!)

 

5. Size matters

Being both underweight or overweight can affect your ability to get pregnant. If you are trying to conceive, aim for a weight that falls within the ‘fertility sweet spot,’ or a BMI that falls between 20 and 24. Don’t fear if you aren’t in this zone. Even small changes in the right direction can increase your chances of getting pregnant. For example, a 5-10% loss in total body weight can lower your fasting insulin levels, which will in turn decrease testosterone levels and increase frequency of ovulation.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Articles / Studies Referenced:

Newsweek, “How Diet Affects Fertility”

J.E. Chavarro, J.W. Rich-Edwards, B. Rosner, W.C. Willett; A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility. Hum Reprod 2007; 22 (5): 1340-1347. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dem019       

Pandey S, Pandey S, Maheshwari A, Bhattacharya S. The impact of female obesity on the outcome of fertility treatment. Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences. 2010;3(2):62-67. doi:10.4103/0974-1208.69332.

           

Rooted Wellness' Sarah Rueven Featured on FertileGirl's iFundWomen Campaign

Rooted Wellness' Sarah Rueven Featured on FertileGirl's iFundWomen Campaign

We hear plenty about what to expect when we’re expecting. But what about what to expect when we’re expecting…and expecting…and expecting? 

FertileGirl founder Allison and her husband Jonathan think it’s time to start talking. After many rounds of medications, procedures, and negative pregnancy tests, they went back to basics. Allison focused on managing her stress, exercising more, and eating healthier, even making her own snack bars after researching the best nutrients for women trying to conceive. She also stopped shying away from the F word: fertility.

Allison shared her story with other women, heard their stories, and along the way, decided to turn her own journey into a company that encourages women to support each other, and to take control of what they can control during the pre-pregnancy period–their nutrition.

FertileGirl is committed to real talk, which is why they don’t shy away from telling you what is in our products and more importantly what’s not. They won’t replace prenatal vitamins or your doctor’s advice, but they are formulated with superfoods to give your body extra support. They are focused on giving you the good stuff–plant-based protein, omega 3s, calcium, and iron while free from gluten, soy, and GMOs.

Rooted Wellness' Sarah Rueven is proud to serve on the Advisory Board for FertileGirl and be a part of their amazing mission. Since the launch of FertileGirl's Superfood nutrition bar, there has been an outpouring of support and excitement. Because of that response, founder, Alli Kasirer, decided to launch an

iFundWomen rewards-based crowdfunding campaign to bring FertileGirl's second product, a peanut-butter flavored folate nutrition bar, to life. Its also a way to support women-run businesses as 20% of iFundWomen proceeds get passed on to other female entrepreneurs on the site. To learn more about FertileGirl, click here.

Nutrition Myth Busting: Carbohydrate Edition

Nutrition Myth Busting: Carbohydrate Edition

Every day, I am assaulted with nutrition advice, whether it be at the supermarket, on my television, or on the web. I get an ulcer just thinking about all the new “nutrition rules” that are constantly being flung around. That’s why I consider it my mission to help cut through the BS and give you all the real deal (as in, information that is supported by real scientific evidence).

MYTH: Carbs are bad. And you definitely shouldn’t eat carbs at night.

First off, I’m sick of demonizing carbohydrates. Carbs are good! They are a great source of energy, fiber, and essential vitamins and nutrients. Carbohydrates aren’t just in bread — they are in fruits, some starchy vegetables, grains, beans and even dairy foods. So, cutting out carbohydrates means that you are missing out on a lot of healthful foods.

Second, eating carbohydrates  at night will not make you fat.  I cannot stress this enough. There isn’t a magical “fat burning switch” that turns off after 4 pm. What’s more important to maintaining a healthy weight is the amount of calories you are consuming OVERALL. It’s easy to subscribe to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss, however, while this type of diet may help you lose weight in the short-term, much of the evidence shows that this effect is often short-lived.

I like to look at eating carbohydrates in a common sense kind of way. Sprinkling carbs throughout your day, rather than eating a huge amount in one meal, is a much more effective strategy to maximize your energy and stay healthy. When you have a small amount of carbohydrates in each meal, you keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day, rather than that post-lunch afternoon slump that has you reaching for caffeine or sugar to get an energy boost.

Depending on your schedule and when you will be MOST active, you may want to consider tapering your carbohydrate intake throughout the day. If you are most active earlier in the day, eating your largest portion of carbohydrate in the morning is a good strategy. However, if you have an evening workout planned or you are more active in the afternoon, an afternoon snack with some form of carb (an apple and almond butter for example) will help keep you fueled for the rest of the day.

It goes without saying that some carbohydrates are healthier than others.

Here’s your cheat sheet….

Healthy Carbohydrates = NATURAL AND UNPROCESSED

Complex carbs break down in the body less quickly, which leads to more stable blood sugar levels throughout the day.

  • Whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, barley, wild rice, farro, amaranth, buckwheat, and whole grain cereals such as oatmeal and oat bran
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole wheat pasta and bread
  • Low fat dairy products
  • Beans and legumes

Unhealthy carbohydrates = REFINED AND PROCESSED

Simple carbohydrates break down quickly in the body leading to a sugar “spike” and eventual crash.

  • Anything white: white breads, pizza crust, pretzels, hamburger buns, and giant muffins and bagels
  • Anything with added sugars (this includes so-called "healthier" sugars like agave, coconut sugar, etc): baked goods, cakes, candy
  • Soda

Recipe: Mommy + Me Pancakes

Recipe: Mommy + Me Pancakes

Serves 2 (if one of those 2 is a little human)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole banana (use ripe to overripe)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tbsp almond flour (hazelnut or coconut flour also work)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • drop of vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp sunflower or coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  • Mash banana in a medium-sized mixing bowl with a fork
  • Add all the other ingredients, mixing well to create a smooth batter
  • Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat
  • Drop batter in and cook pancakes on each side until they are golden brown and you don’t see any gooey bits
  • Serve with any or a combo of the following: 100% pure maple syrup, fresh berries, unsweetened applesauce, nut butters, or greek yogurt (use whole milk yogurt if serving to baby!)
  • Eat and enjoy!

*Recipe adapted from All Good Eats

Postpartum Trend: Placentophagy, What’s The Deal??

Postpartum Trend: Placentophagy, What’s The Deal??

Placentophagy, the practice of eating one’s own placenta -- either cooked, encapsulated, or raw, is becoming trendy among certain mommy circles. Health advocates and the media assert that the placenta retains hormones and nutrients that are beneficial to the mother and can aid in postpartum recovery. Some of the proposed benefits include prevention of postpartum depression, reduction of postpartum bleeding, more rapid uterine recovery, increased lactation, enhanced maternal bonding and boosting of the immune system.

So what’s the real deal behind this practice? Is it really the “magic bullet” to solve your postpartum woes? Usually, if something sounds too good to be true, it is. In a recent scientific review in the Archives of Women’s Mental Health, researchers determined that to date, studies that have investigated placenta consumption remain inconclusive. There is very little research on the effects of placentophagy in human populations. Not to mention, consuming one’s own placenta may be potentially dangerous to mother and baby.

One of the main functions of the placenta is to protect the fetus from exposure to toxic substances such as mercury, lead and pathogenic bacteria. Because the placenta isn’t sterile, toxic substances may remain in the placenta post-term. Bottom line: placenta ingestion may be more harmful than helpful, and until there is more scientific evidence to support this practice, your best bet is to steer clear.