Guest Blog: Tandy from PimpYourMat.com

Sophie and I have known each other for seven years now. A trip in the way back machine places us as trainers and regional manager for Equinox Fitness in sunny SoCal. Long before babies and husbands and our entrepreneurial spirits fully blossomed. In the time we have known each other we have run strangely parallel paths: each having two young boys under the age of 8, incredibly supportive and involved husbands and a clear passion/drive for sharing how to get healthy from the inside out.

 



Sophie asked me to guest blog and share my story and what I do and why.  I launched a subscription based lifestyle website February 2013. I had gone from full time working momma (teaching, training, Regional Pilates Manager at Equinox SoCal), to part-time working momma (training via Skype and traveling to teach workshops) to full time stay-at-home-momma, to I-want-to work-and-have-more-to-give-to-the-world-but-don't-want-to-be-away-from-my-boys very much. So, my husband and I created www.PimpYourMat.com. My subscription based website where I post a fresh 30 minute pilates based workout every three days that is stashed in your account to go back to for the lifetime of your subscription, over 300 dairy and gluten free recipes, the PYM Food Reset and access to me as your actual coach and trainer to go to for modifications, adjustments, motivation and support. Pimp Your Mat solved our family’s needs and the needs of every other busy person who is trying to stay or get balanced and fit in a tech savy, time efficient, budget honoring, intelligent fitness way. You have direct access to me via my Facebook Fan Page @PimpYourMat or email. I shoot 30-minute workouts from home (or if I'm traveling...on the road), I edit and upload to the site myself.


Whew. That's a lot. Now, other than it just making sense, being creative and still wanting to be able to pick-up, drop-off and make snacks for my kids why did we create PYM?


Because people think fitness and wellness is difficult and time consuming. Because people think getting healthy is hard, because I’ve spent 15 years in the fitness industry, many of those years with a 'dirty little secret' of being physically fit and lean but internally quite a health mess.


From the age of 18 I had thyroid nodules that kept multiplying. I had chronic fatigue, anxiety, panic attacks, chronic sinus infections, acne, mysterious belly bloating, gas, pain and lets just say it, chronic diarrhea.


I went to doctors and I went to therapists. I went to every alternative practitioner I could find or afford and they all basically told me I was 'stressed'. Um. Okaaaaaay. Seriously? Yes, I was a living, working person in the world but I loved the things I did and at my ‘gut’ level knew that was not the culprit. I didn't accept that answer ever. I didn't even accept it when they handed me antidepressants. I was busy but internally happy and thought, this is crap. I don’t feel well but not because my ‘head’ is wrong because something in my belly/system is causing the veil I felt like I was wearing on my vibrancy.


I was convinced it was food and self-care related and embarked on any and all variations of food, wellness regimes I could. God help my husband who stood by me at each variation and step. It was not easy on me but no easier on him as I sifted through regime after regime.


I had periods of time I was healthier in the inside, but I was never 'well'. I always required more down/recovery time then the people I was surrounded by and some symptoms just never went away. (Panic attacks, anxiety, acne and diarrhea was still the big kicker) I just 'managed' them, didn't address them and quit discussing or thinking about my internal health. I figured if I looked fit, that was enough. Most people didn’t even have that.


Fast forward to having my second son. The nodules on my thyroid had multiplied to total 9. One was actually bigger than my thyroid itself and my latest thyroid panel showed my TSH at less then  .0001. Let's just say that's really not what you want. Your endocrine system kind of regulates everything and if your thyroid 'burns out' of hormone your entire system can shut down. I had started having symptomatic 'stuff' that includes mild tremors, more frequent panic attacks, extreme fatigue and bouts of mild depression. I was having what they call small thyroid ‘storms’. I was scared for myself and I was even more scared for my kids. If I couldn't figure out what was going on with me how was I going to protect, teach and raise my children to be healthy and fit?


So, I put my momma warrior on and thought if this were happening to my kid what would I do? I needed to do that for myself.


I had my thyroid removed. For me, it was the right choice. At the rate it was going it wasn’t going to ‘last’ my lifetime anyhow and we were basically short-cutting the step of letting it burn out. I embarked on a lifetime of chemical meds to replace my little butterfly organ and marched towards writing my own food reset.  I knew my 'stuff' was food related. I have always believed you are what you eat and that your gut instincts are usually right. I believed, as I still do, that food is fuel and beautifully nourishing and absolutely healing. I had always eaten 'healthy' but the truth was it wasn’t working for me. I devoured food sensitivity, intolerance, leaky gut, celiac and thyroid dysfunction articles and books. I relentlessly searched symptoms in effort to put connecting pieces together and chatted with my endocrinologist about my suspicions. I took blood tests, skin tests and elimination diets and cleanses. In the mix of it all, I cracked my own code and saw very clearly how others could figure out the ‘perfect’ fit to balance their own systems.

 

My discoveries were that certain things absolutely didn’t work for me not matter how many articles said they were ‘packed with nutrients’ and ‘good’ or ‘best’ for your health.


My first step was to remove gluten. Although I had been tested for it and all tests always came back negative, I removed it from my diet and immediately (within 4 days) had a solid bowel movement. Gross, I know but bowel movements truly are the sign of your internal health. Wish is knew THAT fact much earlier in life. And I thought ‘AHA!’ This is it! I ditch gluten and the world is my Oyster! Not Quite.

 

I eliminated gluten and continued to eat things that were supposedly healing and healthy but things just didn't totally 'fix' and then went through a period of time where things got worse. Back to the drawing board. More reading, more experimenting. I knew Gluten was out but was becoming suspicious of nuts, nightshades and a myriad of other foods and ingredients. I kept thinking perhaps EVERYTHING was cross-contaminated with gluten, but no, I was actually not responding to many other things just as I had suspected, nuts, seeds, nightshades, any grain fed animal, ‘natural flavorings’ and ‘artificial flavors’, legumes and all grains plus any dairy containing casin. I went in a thoughtful and methodical way to research everything that was a possible gut irritant and took them all out. I kept in foods that I had researched to be healing and non-irritating to the digestive tract and easy to absorb nutritionally. I also researched how to get the most nutrients out of your foods, cooked or raw, and created a balanced map that had me feeling better than I EVER thought possible.


The research I did ended up becoming the PYM Food Reset. Within 21 days I had identified more foods that were triggers for my sensitive belly then in my entire lifetime! I felt empowered, vibrant, rested and above all armed with a road map for myself. It was absolutely about me, my system and what it responded to. Not what anyone else said it should be. Custom built by my own belly for wellness and fitness. I felt like a super hero when I eat the foods that I know work for me. Still do!


Pimp Your Mat.com is not just about pilates. PYM is about getting to your most vibrant and balanced self and working with your own needs and responses. Learning what works and doesn’t work for your body regardless of what any doctor, therapist, specialist, nutritionist or dietician says. PYM is about taking things at your own pace with a clear path to consistent health. PYM is about balance and real, busy lives and it’s about listening to your gut and getting connected to your own self. How do you approach your days, your weeks and years and how many of those do you enjoy and experience to the fullest, undistracted and unencumbered by the ailments, sounds and ‘funky bits’ of your body


I believe each body requires a little something different in order to thrive. I believe and know you can 'crack your own code' with the PYM Food Reset in a short and simple amount of time minus a ton of pricey testing (which I've done and you should do if you think you have genuine health issues triggered by food, but those don't always give you functional answers or real life help. ALL of my testing came back negative. I never did and still do not have any food allergies. I have however been diagnosed by my General Practitioner and Endocrinologist with Celiac based on my reactions to gluten).


Since doing my own food reset I know what sets my system off. I'm not perfect and I still trip up, but I am healthier than I've ever been, I'm no longer crazy fatigued or have to take a nap every afternoon with my boys (ok, sometimes I still so cause they are wonderfully snuggly and only small for so long). I no longer have panic attacks and I do not present the same extreme level of anxiety I used to. I feel safe in my body and generally happy, capable and vibrant in the world and above all capable of caring, teaching and raising my children to listen to their systems to create the highest health for themselves.


Our wellness and fitness is not just about our vanity. It's about our longevity and quality of life. PYM is my way of being there for those who don’t yet have a calm, balanced, healthy experience in their body. PYM is what I wished was around for me when I was going through my experience. I believe fitness and wellness should be about being of service and usefulness to the world we live in and the people we care about.

 

There are so many things in life to experience and I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss out on it because I was eating things the general world told me were healthy but simply not a fit for my personal system.


Pimp Your Mat is about marching to your own drummer, no excuses, 30 minutes a day of pilates based workouts on the mat, 2-6 days a week, gorgeous, simple, quick whole foods and increasing the fun you have in life because you’re body is in it’s sweetest balance of strength and flexibility. PYM is about hormone balance to allow your body to loose weight, gain muscle, create a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels without medications.


We all know we 'should' address our health and fitness but what we don't always know is our why or how.

My 'Why's' are named Milo, Sam and Mateo. My children and husband are more gorgeous and powerful teachers than I ever could have imagined and I want to be the most I can be, for them.


The 'How' is getting on the mat with pilates based workouts that balance your body with equal length and equal strength without over-taxing or ‘burning’ out your system. Balance brings your optimal body and results. Strength and length. Activity and Rest. Food and Hydration. Pimp Your Mat teaches and guides you through all those steps in a fun, simple, calm manner. PYM is $32 a month to have me as your pocket trainer and coach via any Wi-Fi connection to calmly and consistently balance your body, teach you how to listen and connect with your own system without it getting 'sleepy' or lame. Plus, PYM has a thriving community of ambassadors and subscribers world wide that all support and motivate each other along their wellness journey via the Pimp Your Mat Fan Page on Facebook.

 

 

Pimp Your Mat is a virtual, boutique online studio. I know my subscribers by name, their stories, their wins and fails. I’m in it with them. Everyday. I want to be an advocate for all those who feel lost along their fitness way and for others to know they don’t have to be at the mercy of their bodies. You can be fit and well without beating up your body.

 

Whether your interested in the workouts, the food, the reset or me, it’s all there at www.pimpyourmat.com when you want it.


If you're interested in getting on the mat with me, I offer Philosophie’s fans and followers a 30 day gift code you can activate anytime you’d like to test drive the site. Just reach out to me at Tandy@pimpyourmat.com or the Facebook Fan Page PimpYourMat

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Green Dream Kelp Noodle Salad Recipe

Summer salads are on the brain. These are the best mid-day nourishments in between a day of meetings, events, outings with the kids, and lazy poolside naps. I love making a bowl of greens, superfoods, fruits and grains for lunch because it makes me feel so good and gives me all the energy I need to carry me through the rest of the day.

Salads are so easy to make in a pinch and you can make a big batch for a family potluck or a single serving for just yourself. This one, in particular, is full of warm, savory flavor and very filling. You won’t suffer from the 3pm lull.

We mixed in our Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend for an extra punch of superfoods with all these amazing veggies. So good!


Gather This:

1 package of kelp noodles

Cashew cheese (recipe below)

Pea shoots

½ cup Kalamata Olives

½ sprouts

1 tbsp Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend

Hemp seeds


Do This:

Take kelp noodles out of the packaging and let them soften in hot water with a squeeze of lemon, for about 30 minutes (you can use a large mixing bowl). Drain the water and add in the cashew cheese mixture, Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend, hemp seeds, pea shoots, Kalamata olives and sprouts. Mix well with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Follow this recipe here for cashew cheese: https://cleanfooddirtygirl.com/cashew-cheese-easy-recipe/

What summer salads do you love with our Philosophie superfoods? Share your dishes on Instagram using #PhilosophieSuperfoods or #MakeEveryFoodASuperfood.

Fig + Honey Waffle Toast

As beautiful as these waffle toast creations look, they taste and feel 10x better! We’ve been really digging whipping these up for your #ToastTuesday inspo. Sure, it’s not exactly a piece of bread but that makes it all the more fun. They make such wonderful brunch treats, might I add.

This particular waffle toast takes your morning nut butters to a whole new level. We mixed our fav Cacao Bee Honey with Georgia Grinders Cashew Butter (obsessed!) for this great nutty/chocolate flavor. The cashew butter is made with two ingredients: cashews and sea salt. It’s so clean and good for you. Figs are in season right now so of course we’re putting them on everything. Figs are super rich in fiber making in a great morning treat to help with digestion. It’s a must!

Gather This:

1 Kitchfix Grain-free Waffle

1 tbsp Georgia Grinders Cashew Butter mixed with 1 tsp Cacao Bee Honey

2 Figs (sliced in half)

1 tsp Cacao Magic Superfood + Protein Blend

A sprinkling of Kitchfix Cacao Granola


Do This:

Toast waffle. In a bowl mix nut butter + Cacao Bee Honey then spread on the waffle. Slice a fig in half and place on top of the waffle. Sprinkle some granola and Cacao Magic Superfood + Protein Blend on top for an extra protein boost! Enjoy!

Come back next week for more of our waffle toast recipes!


Do you have a favorite nut butter you enjoy with our Cacao Magic? Share with me on Facebook using #PhilosophieSuperfoods or #MakeEveryFoodASuperfood.

Sophie’s LA Food Guide

Coming at you with another one of my “Sophie’s Favs” in LA! I don’t even know how I’ve gone this long without sharing my favorite food stops in the city of angels but here we are! I’m constantly sharing what I’m creating, loving and eating in the kitchen it’s only natural that I share my favorite restaurants and cafes to enjoy with friends and the fam.

While you’re here, I want to remind you that I posted a roundup of my favorite yoga studios, my favorite places to hike in LA, and even my favorite spots for the kids. If you want to see more guides for LA comment below or message me with what you want to hear. I want to provide all I can for my beautiful Philosophie tribe.

So here’s a quick look into my favorite go-to food stops.

 

Vegan and Plant-based:

Cafe Gratitude - Beverly Hills and Venice

I’m absolutely obsessed with this cafe stop. I’ve hosted events here and have tried almost everything on the menu. The atmosphere is inspiring and is filled with feel-good energy. I’ve brought my girlfriends here after trips to the beach and know I can count on it for a mid-day lunch that fills me with nutritious, high-vibe foods. I highly recommend one of their salads paired with a matcha latte. To die for!

MAKE OUT - Culver City

This hidden gem in downtown culver city has it all for plant-based foodie lovers. It’s a small business and has a cozy home feel to it. I love stopping here after a morning yoga sesh or after I pick up the boys from school. I love their kelp noodle salads. It’s so delicious and filling.


Sage - Culver City, DTLA, Old Town Pasadena

A completely organic and plant-based eatery with plenty of LA locations to choose.They offer breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and family style meals. They offer it all: nut-free, gluten-free and vegan. Some plant-based/raw food options are limiting and not a wide variety but you can get everything from a taco to a burger here. It’s so good!


Plant Food + Wine (Matthew Kenney Cuisine) - Venice

Matthew Kenney is a beautiful human and his food creations are beyond words. Everything is locally sourced and completely organic. The dishes here are such a treat. I recommend saving an experience here for an anniversary or birthday.


Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine - Little Ethiopia

Rahel Ethiopian is amazing. I have yet to come across any other place like it. Vegan food can usually be very similar across restaurants (salads, raw, etc.) but here you can find traditional Ethiopian dishes with vegan substitutions. Dishes like the Hudae Special Combo, which is a chickpea stew and split lentil stew with veggies and stuffed peppers. It’s so yummy.


 

Places that offer something for everyone:

Catch - West Hollywood

This place is beautiful! It’s a seafood restaurant so you won’t find all too much variety but they do offer a vegan menu. It’s a tad sceney but really delicious food and clean options. I go here on date nights or nights out with the girls when there’s a reason to celebrate. They also have a really great wine menu.


Gjusta - Venice

Gjusta really has it all. This a great option for some daytime lunch food. They have sandwiches, meats, fish, and salads. It’s a great place to go with the family when no one can decide what they’re in the mood for because you’re bound to find something here. They also offer smoothies, pastries and breads if you need a little pick-me-up.

Photo from LA Weekly

AOC - West LA

Who doesn’t love a good wine bar? AOC does it up right. The place is beautiful and very cozy. I’ve been a fan for years and love the options they offer. They have everything from farm to table dishes and a wide variety of meat and fish dishes. My mouth is watering just thinking about their food! They also have the best dessert menu. A bittersweet chocolate torta is calling my name!


Little Door - West LA

Okay, ladies. Why not take charge and plan date night? This is the PERFECT place. The ambiance is next level and so, so, so romantic. I love going here with Adi. They have small plate options that range from steak, chicken and veggie dishes. It’s upscale so definitely save it for a special night.

Photo from EventUp

Sqirl - East LA/Silverlake

The thing I love most about dining in LA is the many different types of restaurants available. Whatever you’re in the mood for you can find a place that offers it. I don’t often travel to the eastside but when I’m there I love stopping for a bite at Sqirl. This seasonal kitchen changes up their menu with a wide variety of vegan, plant-based, gluten-free and meat friendly options. Their website is a little funky but trust me, it’s delicious!

 

 

What are some of your favorite LA dining options? Share with me on Twitter using #MyPhilosophie or #PhilosophieLove.

Tips For Traveling With A Newborn

After a vacation with the family to Tel Aviv, we are FINALLY home and let me tell you, mama is happy! If you follow me on social media you may know that it wasn’t the easiest trip and I think I may have pushed myself too hard to travel with a newborn. I loved getting away with the family and soaking up the sun on the warm beaches, but I definitely learned a lot from this trip.

You may be a new mom facing travel on the horizon so I want to provide you the best tricks + trips for traveling with a newborn and what helped me with baby Noa and our boys.

I recommend requesting a travel stroller or umbrella stroller from your place of stay. Most hotels offer sitter services and I highly recommend finding one through the hotel. It’s safer and more convenient. Bring activity books for your kids and books for reading with your newborn. Try to keep day-trips (i.e. museums, tourist attractions, etc) to a minimum, maybe 2-3 per week. Save these for when your newborn is older and will remember the trip. Look into a local camp or immersion programs for your kids so you can spend some alone time as parents.Then you’ll feel like you’re really on vacation!

We also practice no more than an hour a day on technology devices which can sometimes include a special movie with the whole family. For jet lag, immediately regulate to the the new time zone. Use holistic sleep aids like melatonin and plan fun activities during the day when you first arrive.

Mamas, YOU CAN TRAVEL WITH KIDS! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Listen to your intuition, be flexible, remain present and practice patience.

Baby Essentials Packing List:

Bassinet (or request one from hotel)

Changing pad (to lay on bassinet and floors)

2-3 swaddles / blankets

Covering BF native wilds

Diapers, wipes (more than you think you need!)

3 changes of clothes (warm with footy)

Hat

Essential oils

High-nutrient snacks for possible layovers or delays (perfect bars, apples, sandwiches)

Accommodations:

Try out Airbnb if you want to live like a local. This way you can also go grocery shopping and make meals at “home” which saves money and is WAY more fun. You also have all the amenities of a home (i.e. access to laundry, cost-effective, and much more space). While we stayed a hotel, we have family that we visited so we had the amenities of home too.

Naps and Bedtime:

These are just as sacred while traveling as they are at home. We do our best to acclimate to the new time zone, and really honor their sleep. Although they are feeling really off kilter with a new time zone we try and keep them awake the first day as long as possible and get them on that time zone. They may still wake up in the middle the night and we just go with the flow - play with them, feed them a snack and then try and get them back to sleep as quickly as possible. It can be hard to honor nap times when you’re on vacation with the baby, but it can also give you some time to rest middle of the day if you do nap them in the hotel or Airbnb. Most of the naps my kids take when traveling are in a stroller or or in the carrier instead of at home so we can continue having adventures.

Traveling + Vaccinations:
We asked our pediatrician about vaccines at Noa’s young age, since I’m spacing out the travel anyway she said it was completely fine to travel without getting vaccines. She advised to be super careful to protect her on the plane from germs and keep her covered up. I kept her in the carrier on my body or in the bassinet as often as possible, or in a blanket wrapped up, and washed my hands often.

Do you have any other tips for traveling with a newborn and young kids? Share with me on Facebook using #MyPhilosophieLove and #PhilosophieLove.

 

Coconut Berry Bee Waffle Toast

It feels so good to be back home in my kitchen surrounded by all the superfoods! We whipped up this sunshine superfood treat for your #ToastTuesday brunch. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer while biting into this delish, high-vibe snack. We’ll be surprsing you all with a new waffle

Is there anything better than my fav Coconut Cult yogurt mixed with our Berry Bee Honey? I think not! We mixed in a little plant-based food coloring to make our morning just a little bit brighter. We deserve it and so do you!

Create and experiment in the kitchen. There’s no other better stage!

Gather This:

1 Kitchfix grain-free waffle

1/4 cup Coconut Cult yogurt

1 tsp Berry Bee Honey

1 tbsp plant-based food coloring (yellow)

1/2 banana

shredded coconut and bee pollen


Do This:

Toast the waffle according to instructions, in a small bowl mix coconut yogurt, 1 tbsp food coloring, and 1 tsp Berry Bee Honey. Spread the mixture on top of toasted waffle, slice a banana and use star+moon cookie cutters to create the fun shapes (optional). Place the shapes on top of the mixture, sprinkle with bee pollen, gold star flakes, and coconut shreds.


Come back next week for another fun Waffle Toast recipe!

What summer superfood snacks do you whip it to make your days brighter? Share with me on Instagram using #PhilosophieSuperfoods or #MakeEveryFoodASuperfood.

Heart of the Week: Luludew Diapers

I love finding new amazing mom tricks to share with my beautiful Philosophie community. If you follow me on social media you know how much I’m obsessed with this Luludew and their products. They have been literal godsends since baby Noa has joined us earthside.

Life gets messy and complicated enough even without a newborn. It helps to rely on products that make life so much easier as a mom. I especially love being able to be sustainable with all the wipes and diapers baby Noa goes through when we’re able to go reusable.

These Luludew CLOTH diapers are absolutely adorable and made of the best material. On a scheduled weekly delivery/pick up date of your choosing they come and pick up the dirty diapers and replace them with clean new ones. It’s so easy!

They also have reusable cloth wipes that I absolutely love and use like crazy! It feels so good helping out Mother Earth and giving the best to our little angel.

Do you know of other must-have sustainable newborn products? Share with me on Twitter using #MyPhilosophie or #PhilosophieLove. I love hearing from you!



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