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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Heart of the Week: Hum Nutrition Skinny Bird Capsules

I've been using HUM Nutrition’s Skinny Bird supplements for the past month and am loving the gentle energy boost they give me. If I'm drinking coffee that day, I’ll skip the supplement because I don't want extra caffeine, but if not, I’ll take a Skinny Bird after I whip up a Philosophie Smoothie. Once it’s kicked in, I find myself feeling much more energized and focused. Plus, it’s got green tea extract to help boost your metabolism.

What else is special about Skinny Bird? This non-GMO, sustainably-sourced supplement features 5-HTP, a naturally occurring amino acid and precursor to serotonin, that neurotransmitter that makes you feel oh-so-good. Serotonin is heavily involved in mood, appetite, and sleep–so everything that’s super essential to how you feel.

I've noticed when I’ve taken 5-HTP or a supplement like Skinny Bird that contains this amazing amino acid, I always feel more at ease, balanced, and happier!

Have you taken any Hum Nutrition supplements? Let me know on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie!

Coconut Oil: Friend or Foe?

The wellness world was turned upside down this past month when the American Heart Association announced that coconut oil is a no-no for heart health. As we at Philosophie HQ have a love affair with coconut oil, I felt it was important to chime in on this debate. Like most issues today, every expert has a different opinion, and I wanted to share with you ours.

Bottom line: There are healthy fats and there are unhealthy fats. Coconut oil is abundant in medium chain triglycerides (called MCTs) that deliver immediate energy because the body quickly turns them into fuel, which means that this oil is NOT stored as fat. Coco oil is a fat that is MUCH easier for your body to digest, as well as anti-fungal and anti-microbial. There are so many benefits to consuming coconut oil, and they’re all backed by studies.

We all know the buzz word “anti-inflammatory,” but did you know that the start of almost all chronic disease stems from inflammation in the body? It’s so important to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet to protect your insides and your overall health, and consuming coconut oil on the reg helps you do just that!

The AHA also claimed that there were “no known offsetting favorable effects.” On the contrary, research shows that fats in coconut oil can actually decrease risk factors for heart attack and strokes! Coco oil PREVENTS the hardening and thickening that happens to your arteries when you are about to suffer from a heart attack or stroke. Obesity is another major issue in our country, and coconut oil actually helps speed up your metabolism, as well as reduces your appetite.

I think it's important to note that the AHA was basing their inaccurate conclusions about coconut oil on studies that were conducted 50 years ago! The wellness industry is constantly changing, but one thing that remains the same is the incredible benefits of coco oil when it’s used properly.

We love to cook and bake with coco oil, we use it as a hair mask, as an eye makeup remover, in smoothies, and in bulletproof coffee–most importantly, of course! I personally rely on it to help strengthen my weakened gut lining in my stomach, due to food sensitivities! It also acts as a moisturizer for your body, and helps heal wounds. What can this superfood NOT do?

Knowledge is power, Philosophie Tribe! Arming yourself with accurate and current information is key in staying on top of your wellness game!


We’re love to hear your thoughts on coconut oil–let us know if you’re still riding the coconut train with us on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie!

Watermelon Pizza Recipe

On a midsummer night that calls for a light, magical dessert, forego the traditional fruit salad for this bewitchingly beautiful treat. All it takes is a crisp watermelon cut into a lovely moon, topped with superfood-infused yogurt, a handful of berries, and walnuts for some added crunch! On top of being simply swoon-worthy, this luscious pie is also abundant in antioxidants, probiotics, and omega-3s...which means that summer dreams should definitely be made of watermelon pizza.

 

Gather This:

 

Do This:

Mix the yogurt with the Berry Bliss. Spread the supercharged yogurt onto the watermelon slice. Top with berries + nuts, and enjoy!

I would love to see your beautiful watermelon pizzas this summer! Share them with us on Instagram with #MyPhilosophie + #PhilosophieSuperfoods!

Heart of the Week: Klean LA

As a busy mama on the go, having clean prepared meals that come straight to my doorstep and are catered to exactly what my body needs, is nothing short of a miracle!

I have heard so many wonderful things about Klean LA that I couldn’t wait to try it. I’m especially stoked that they’re gluten-free, soy-free, preservative-free, as well as local AND sustainable (they have FANTASTIC eco-friendly packaging). I also feel that it’s important that I teach Kai + Leo to support local, small businesses!


I’m not someone who labels the way I eat, or how my family eats, so the fact that Klean La offers us plenty of paleo AND vegan options is super helpful. I practice intuitive eating, which means that I eat based off of how feel that day. Sometimes, I’m craving an animal protein, while other days I want a heaping plate of quinoa +  fresh veggies!

The convenience factor of Klean LA, along with their delish food, makes keeping my family healthy really easy. I can’t get enough of their roasted veggies and brown rice–and their housemade sauces are to die for! Kai couldn't stop sneaking their yummy quinoa, and Leo was OBSESSED with the roasted chicken.

On busier work days, I definitely don’t always have time to go out and purchase fresh food and then prepare a yummy, nourishing meal for my family that evening. Klean LA though helps me do just that (well, minus the shopping + cooking parts)! But that’s what life's about – finding a system that works for YOU, and this absolutely did the trick for The Jaffe Family!

What are healthy eating hacks do you use for you or your family? Share them with us on Facebook with #MyPhilosophie! 

5 Day Pre-Festival Cleanse

Festival season sparks those magical moments that you’ll be reminiscing about in decades from now – blissing out to artists on your favorite playlist performing only 10 feet in front of you, drinking dreamy cocktails, and spending dawn to well after dusk with your tribe dancing, laughing, and living wild and free.

To ensure that you begin your festival with open, radiant energy (not drained and desperate for a vacation), prepare your mind, body, and soul for your packed weekend of magic with a 5-day pre-festival cleanse.

This holistic, revitalizing cleanse will not only support you in detoxing from the taxing energies in your life, but will also make you feel rejuvenated, refreshed, lighter, and truly ready to celebrate all that’s to come.

To get started, integrate the three following practices into your week for 5 days before your big weekend:

1) Cultivate a morning ritual to promote a peaceful mind.

Create your ideal morning and fresh start by making your own altar space, a special place for you to find stillness, meditate, and dig deep. It helps to place your journal, crystals, essential oils, intention cards, and candles on a beautiful tray that you can bring to your favorite rug or sofa – or even take outside so that you can open your morning amongst soft sunlight and calming birdsongs.

In 5-10 minutes, light your candles, apply your oils, picks up your crystals, and then connect to your breath and meditate, allowing thoughts to come in without judgement and leave freely. Even if your neighbor’s dog barking starts barking, the mailman stops by, or a firetruck with a blaring siren passes your street, don’t get frustrated. While we don’t live on top of the Andes Mountains, we do live in a place that’s active, dynamic, and also beautiful – this is your home. Simply acknowledge the sounds and then get right back into it.

Once you’ve completed your meditation, pick one of your intention cards (like this Own Your Awesome Deck) – a card that feels good to you and feels right in that moment. Soak in the wisdom of the card and then take note of the love, joy, and inner tranquility you’ve just cultivated.

While this practice is a must in the 5 days leading up to your festival, it’s also a beautiful ritual to integrate into your everyday routine!

2) Do a 15-30 minute HIIT workout at home, the gym, or your local park.

Hard and fast HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts are a fitness staple – especially if you have a regularly packed schedule. The beauty in HIIT workouts is that they’re so short and sweet you can do them daily!

Whether you’re new to rapid cardio circuits or are a HIIT champ, the key to these workouts is giving it your all and really taking yourself to your edge.

Dive right in with this HIIT sweat sesh made up of 3 super intense circuits of high knees, air squats, burpees, and elevated leg crunches. In each of these exercises, you’ll only have one minute so make the most of that minute.

Your heart rate will be pumping by the end so make sure to drink a bunch of water and then cool down with some restorative yoga stretches.


3) Do the Philosophie 5-day food-based cleanse.

While festivals like Outside Lands and FYF now have an array of wholesome options, it’s likely that there might be some curly fries and craft beer in your weekend as well. You can give your body an energy boost going into the festival by doing a simple food-based cleanse in the days before. This type of cleanse is unique in that it doesn’t promote deprivation, but rather focuses on giving your digestive system a well-deserved break.

Since we all get busy and don’t always have time to shop for and prepare healthy, wholesome foods, we’ll often turn to picking up fast food or ordering the deep-fried item at dinner with friends. The issue with this is that we’ll be filling ourselves with foods that are much more likely higher in trans fats and high-glycemic sugar, possibly sprayed with pesticides, and lower in nutrients.

A food-based cleanse like this 5 Day DIY Philosophie Cleanse provides just the opposite and consists of protein-rich smoothies, nutrient-dense salads, whole food snacks, superfood energy bars, fresh juices and fiber-filled soups—all of which are gluten-free, vegan, low in sugar and high in plant-based proteins. Check out a typical menu of the yummy, nourishing foods you’d be eating during the cleanse or even get a jump start:

Breakfast:

Berry Mint Bling Smoothie

Gather This:

  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1 cup organic frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon Philosophie Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend
  • ½ banana
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries
  • 7-8 fresh sprigs of mint
  • ¾ cup fresh organic baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ice to taste

 

Do This:

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

 

AM Snack:

Coconut Water


Lunch:

Mermaid Salad

Gather This:

  • quinoa
  • wakeme
  • arame
  • hijiki
  • sesame oil
  • turmeric
  • cayenne
  • salt + pepper
  • avocado, sliced
  • lemon juice
  • sesame seeds

 

Do This:

Prepare quinoa as directed and set aside. Soak wakame, arame, and hijiki in 2 cups water for 20 minutes, drain well and add to cooled quinoa along with sesame oil, turmeric, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Slice avocado and bathe in lemon juice for several minutes. Add all the avocado and lemon juice to quinoa mixture and toss. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish.


PM Snack:

Snap Peas + Hummus


Dinner:

Green Power Soup


Gather This:

  • 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed or olive oil
  • ½ avocado, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Philosophie Green Dream Superfood + Protein Blend
  • 1/2 cup carrot juice


Do This:
Blend all ingredients in blender. Garnish with parsley leaves and avocado chunks.

Any questions about doing a pre-fest cleanse? Please ask away on Twitter with #MyPhilosophie! 

The Bee’s Knees: 5 Reasons Honey Makes the Perfect Sweetener

Raw honey is hands down one of my favorite ways to infuse sweetness into my smoothies, toast, yogurt, salad dressings, and savory cooking. This golden liquid comes straight from superfood heaven – after 2 MILLION flower blossoms are visited, 1 pound of honey is created! A bee also makes about 1/12 teaspoon in its LIFETIME, so this is a true delicacy. And when our superfood + protein blends are swirled into jars of raw honey, you have a low-glycemic, high-vibrational, nutritionally-dense nectar that is pure bliss. Read on for 5 more reasons why honey is the bee's knees! 

1) It's bursting with vitamins + minerals. 

Raw honey contains an assortment of vitamins including Vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid, along with minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium AND zinc! This definitely makes it one of the most nourishing ways to sweeten your eats + drinks.  

2) It's full of antioxidants. 

Micronutrients called polyphenols in honey contain antioxidants, which are SO essential for radiance + wellness. Antioxidants help combat free radicals, those bad atoms that contribute to cellular damage and can lead to disease.

3) It provides an all-natural energy boost! With 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, it's a great way to support muscle recovery after you've had an intense workout. I like to add our Berry Bee Honey to this oh-so-yummy DIY Coconut Pineapple Sports Drink

4) It can enhance your shampoo + conditioner. With its humectant properties, honey makes a great addition to shampoo by helping your hair maintain moisture. The nutrients and enzymes in honey also give your hair a gorgeous shine without weighing it down. I like to mix a small spoonful of raw honey into my shampoo or conditioner! 

5) It makes a lovely face mask, especially after a day out in the sun. The healing benefits of raw honey have been recognized for centuries. Ancient Egyptians and Ayurvedic traditions used honey to treat skin infections, burns, and wounds since this sweet gift from nature possesses antibiotic properties. I love mixing it into this hydrating DIY mask with aloe and cucumber (video below) since it reduces both redness and swelling!  

What are your favorite ways to use our supercharged honeys? Tell us on Facebook with #PhilosophieSuperfoods on Facebook!