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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4 Rituals for the Fall Equinox + Jewish New Year!

Happy Fall Equinox + Jewish New Year!
This is a time for reflection and refinement. Let the light pour in on this Autumn Equinox and New Moon in Virgo. This period marks the transition from old into new. We now have the opportunity to release old thoughts, beliefs, and habits as we let go of the old year.
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Together we can ride the rush of the new energy of the Lunar New Year to renew, reset, and rewrite the story of our lives. Here are 4 rituals you can do to bring in the new year with grace + intention:
1) Light a candle. The candle's glowing light will symbolize the reflection of your past year.
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2) Free write or journal about a few things you want to let go of from the years past. As we move into Fall, shorter days, and darker energy, what shadows do you want to embrace and focus on in this moment? Write a few sentences about your shadows and what you've learned from them.
3) Set intentions for the coming year. How can you utilize the Virgo moon + sun energy to create healthy new rituals for the New Year? 
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4) Light palo santo and walk around your home, to every single corner, saging yourself, your family, your entire space to start fresh and new. Take time for self care + reflection. 

We love you all so much! Please give yourself the time you deserve to celebrate this oh-so-special moment 
What intentions are you setting for this new period? Share them with us on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!

Celebrating the New Moon

I always find the New Moon to be such a magical time for setting intentions, listening to your intuition, and allowing yourself to cleanse + reset. Tomorrow night I'll be doing a  Full Moon Celebration + New Moon Temple with Free People in Santa Monica. I would absolutely love to see you beauties there, especially if you're new to celebrating the beautiful changes that come with the moon!
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Read on to catch my interview with Free People, where I share everything from my favorite crystal to how the new moon affects us!  
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Your astrological sign:
Taurus Moon, Taurus Sun, Virgo Rising (earth mama!!!)
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Your spirit animal is:
 My son, Leo the Lion
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You are a yogi, raw food chef, healer, health coach, mother. What can you NOT do? 
We can all do anything we want. Truly. We are all standing in our own way because we think we have to do it perfectly or "right". There is no right. There is just showing up and doing.
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Best piece of advice you ever got:
Learning the word "no". That saying "no" to others is actually oftentimes saying "yes" to yourself. 
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Worst piece of advice you ever got:
I get all sorts of unsolicited advice from other mothers. They loveeeee to share their two cents even when it isn't asked ;) 
Go-to superfood:
My Berry Bliss Superfood + Protein Blend. It's packed with Vitamin C so it works on supporting and strengthening our immune system while helping our skin glow from the inside out. I add it to smoothies, juice, oats, yogurt, and just about anything else! 
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Your upcoming workshop in Santa Monica is about the new moon. How does it affect us?
As women, we are all affected by the moon and her shifts. The new moon is a time to start fresh, set new intentions for the month ahead, connect inward, and check in with our shadowy side. This is a time to journal, take long baths, meditate, rest, and cleanse. Solo time is necessary. 
What should we be learning from this experience?
That it's completely normal to feel more emotional around the new moon, that it's vital to connect with other women to be truly "seen" and felt, and that we are always supported and held by our sisters, even if we don't always see it or feel it. 
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Your favorite crystal and why: 
Citrine is so beautiful. It also manifests abundance + brings energies of generosity so that the prosperity + success is shared. Citrine is a solar plexus chakra stone used metaphysically to increase, magnify, and clarify personal power + energy.
What does free mean to you?
Free means expressing + living without restrictions – mentally or physically – so that I can feel open, vulnerable, and fully connected. Free is a state of mind, and I can get there as long as I'm focused on the moment + not future tripping or living in the past. 
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How do you celebrate + embrace the New Moon? Tell us on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!

Heart of the Week: Fall Equinox Cleanse + HUM Nutrition

Now that fall is upon us, we’re beginning our gentle cleanses to welcome the new energy of the season. The best part about nourishing food-based cleanses is that they naturally detoxify the body without making you feel hungry all of the time, which is super common during juice-only cleanses. Instead, you restore your body with vibrant, healing foods and supplements like Hum Nutrition that further amplify the benefits of your cleanse!

The Philosophie Cleanses provide LOTS of fiber, so while you're cleansing, I recommend taking Hum Nutrition’s Flatter Me, which helps your body digest what you eat, as well as reap all of the nutritional rewards of these foods. If you aren't digesting your food properly, you’re not getting all that you can out of these high vibrational fruits, veggies, and superfoods!

While cleansing, I also love taking Hum Nutrition’s Beauty ZzZ, which ensures that I get a night of quality sleep. A full 7-9 hours of sleeps is SO essential to our day-to-day routines, let alone when we’re doing a cleanse.

If you're looking to feel lighter or gain more internal clarity, definitely check out our line of cleanses + email me at sophie@thephilosophie.com if you need help choosing the right cleanse for you!

Do you have any questions about your Fall Equinox Cleanse? Share them with us on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie! 

5 Tips for Cultivating a Walking Meditation

The simple act of walking can be one of the most blissful and serene moments in your day. It’s an opportunity to clear your head and be mindful of your surroundings – to celebrate and savor the small, beautiful things in your community. The vibrant marigolds, the toddler and her mother playing in the sprinklers, the mailbox with the flamingo whirligig bobbing up and down in the wind. The sweet things that are not to be missed and won’t be missed when you fully embrace the practice of walking.

To cultivate a walk that is both meditative and rejuvenating (and in every sense, a chance to stop and smell the roses), follow these 5 tips before you step out the door.

  • Hydrate with a nourishing superfood smoothie. It’s important to keep your body properly hydrated, especially if you’re taking a walk in the heat of summer–nor do you want to be hungry! Blend up coconut water, leafy greens, a frozen banana, mango, and pineapple, along with some chia and flax seeds, for a nutrient-rich, tropical drink that will help you focus on your walk.

 

  • Wear cute, comfortable clothes and shoes. Slip into a workout top and tights that will let you move freely (and not overheat), along with a pair of kicks with good support.

  • Keep your phone at home (or in your pocket). When you begin you walk and step outside, think of it as entering your yoga studio. Let your phone rest. Leave your list of to-dos, your dinner plans, that spreadsheet you’ve been working on all morning behind. Limit distractions that would bring you back into the daily grind of your life and – instead open yourself up to the “distractions” of the outside world – the fireflies, the oak trees, an old jazz tune floating out of a neighbor’s cracked window.

 

  • Set an intention for your walk. Again, think of this as a yoga practice, where you set an intention, a guiding light that helps you stay on the path you’d like to walk. It could be an intention to find gratitude, to be open and receptive to your surroundings, or to find calmness and serenity during your steps.

  • Walk with a friend or your four-legged pal. Ask a friend to join your walking meditation. Instead of swapping work stories or recapping the latest episode of your favorite show though, take the time to explore your environment together. Dogs also make wonderful buddies for walking meditations since they’re fully tuned into the moment (squirrel!) and can help you connect to it as well. If your dog is being extra good on your walk, be sure to reward him or her with these Superfood Doggy Biscuits!

Do you ever go for oh-so-calming, meditative walks? Tell us on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie! 

Green Dream + Berry Bliss Layered Pudding Recipe

This spectacularly layered yogurt pudding recipe brings together the detoxifying, beautifying powers of Green Dream + Berry Bliss! Make this dreamy creation on a weekend morning when you have plenty of time to savor the gorgeous green and magenta hued pudding OR as a midday treat when you need to boost your energy levels, fight any hunger pangs, and allow your mind to meditate on the relaxing task of preparing a high vibrational food.

So what goes into making this beauty? It's actually quite simple! Each layer only features 4 ingredients – a superfood blend, a superfood-infused honey, yogurt, and leafy greens or juicy fruits. Just blend up each protein-packed layer and pour into a tall glass, along with any granola or fave toppings! 

Gather This:

 

Do This:

In the blender, combine one cup of yogurt with spinach, Green Dream, and Green Bee Honey. Set aside. Blend a separate cup of yogurt with the berries/pitaya, Berry Bliss, Berry Honey, and set aside. Layer a jar with the two yogurt blends + sprinkle with granola or more fruit! 

It always makes my day to see your beyond beautiful superfood creations – especially when they feature lovely layers! Share yours with us on Insta with #PhilosophieSuperfoods! 

Philosophie Babe Recipe: Hazelnut Cacao Cookies

We have another ridiculously delicious Cacao Magic cookie recipe this week from talented Philosophie Babe, Caroline of Caroline's Kitchen! Not only do her chewy chocolatey cookies pack in the protein, they're also filled with crunchy bits of hazelnuts and cacao nibs. DREAMY. 

These Hazelnut Cacao Cookies are slightly cakey, rich in flavor, and have the perfect amount of sweetness. The base of these cookies is a mix of almond flour and coconut flour. The combination of these two flours keeps them from being dry or dense like many “healthy” cookies, and they’re also grain free!

I added Cacao Magic, a mix of cacao, superfoods, and hemp protein with no added sugars, to add more protein and nutrients to each cookie. Unlike most protein powders, the Cacao Magic is completely unsweetened and contains no additives, fillers, or emulsifiers, just 100% pure goodness!

The flavor of these cookies is seriously amazing! The cacao powder gives them an amazing rich chocolate flavor, while the coconut sugar, one of my favorite low glycemic sweeteners, adds just the right amount of sweetness. Each bite contains bits of chopped hazelnuts and cacao nibs that add the best texture and crunch. Hazelnuts and chocolate is always a winning combination. Nutella fans, this is for you. 

Gather This:

  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons Cacao Magic Superfood + Protein Blend
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

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Do This:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix the almond flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, and Cacao Magic in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the coconut oil, egg, almond butter, coconut sugar, and vanilla to a medium mixing bowl, and whisk to combine. Make sure the coconut oil is cooled and the egg is at room temperature, otherwise the coconut oil will harden!

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold with a spatula to combine until a dough forms. Add the cacao nibs and hazelnuts and fold again.

5. Scoop the cookie into 11 or 12 balls, depending on how big you want them, and place on the lined baking sheet. Flatten the balls slightly with your hands. The cookies will spread a little, but not a lot due to the coconut flour.

6. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, then place them on a cooling rack to cool. Enjoy!

Do you have a Philosophie Babe recipe that you'd love to share with our tribe? Share it with us on Insta with #PhilosophieSuperfoods + send it to sophie@thephilosophie.com!