Author Archives: reena fit

The Importance of Whole Grains and Complex Carbohydrates

When thinking about nutrition, I’d like to highlight the importance of including whole grains and complex carbohydrates into meals and snacks.

While many diets may encourage the restriction of carbohydrates, they’re actually essential to our health and found in many different foods, including fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, oatmeal, cereal and more.

When we restrict ourselves from eating carbohydrates, we might find that we’re craving and consuming foods that are more savory and higher in calories and saturated fat, in order to feel satisfied.

However, when we include healthy carbohydrates (with whole grains and not refined grains) in our meals in a balanced way, such as in reasonable portions within meals and snacks that are earlier in the day, we increase our fiber intake and energy levels, feel more full and satisfied, and may even burn more calories and consume fewer calories in the first place!

Feel free to talk to your doctor if you have any health concerns or dietary restrictions, including gluten allergies. There are great gluten-free alternatives available as well.

Overall, enjoy your food and enjoy those healthy carbohydrates for balanced nutrition and optimal health!

Four Tips for Boosting Your Metabolism

Metabolism is a complex scientific system of energy generation and expenditure and is impacted by various functions in the body and brain. It can also be impacted by hormones, stress, genetics, lifestyle choices and more.

Four ways to positively impact your metabolism include:

1. Eating every 3-4 hours and focusing on foods high in fiber, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and avoiding processed and enriched foods

2. Moving your body on a daily basis through cardiovascular and strength training to create energy outputs that allow you to burn fat vs. having your body store fat, especially visceral fat in the mid-section

3. Getting sufficient sleep of 7-9 hours per night in order to maintain a healthy metabolic rate and a regulated circadian rhythm

4. Reducing stress through mindfulness practices, time in nature and/or creating healthy personal and professional boundaries, in order to decrease the amount of cortisol in your body, which negatively impacts metabolism

I hope these tips are helpful. If you’re interested in more customized support, feel free to book me for a free consult and subsequent wellness coaching sessions at!

Four Health and Wellness Trends to Try This Spring That Are Actually Timeless

With the New Year in full swing and spring on the horizon, it’s a great time to consider adding some new wellness practices to your daily or weekly schedule to lead a holistically healthy lifestyle that focuses on your physical and mental health. Here are four health and wellness trends to try this spring, that I shared with NBC California Live in a TV segment  recently!

1. Sculpt workouts According to the Wall Street Journal, data from ClassPass and direct feedback from large gyms such as Lifetime Fitness and Crunch, show that bookings for sculpt workouts increased by 280% over the last year. Many people want a challenging, yet gentle workout that builds strength, mobility and flexibility. Sculpt workouts stem from a combination of Pilates, barre and yoga, and focus on spinal alignment, core stability, balance, light cardio, strengthening and lengthening your muscle fibers by working both big muscle groups and deep muscle tissues. In addition to other formats, I teach sculpt classes twice a week. It’s one of my favorite formats to teach because you work your body and mind from the inside out. Here are a few sculpt exercises to try:

  • Plie squats with dancer arms
  • Outer thigh, inner thigh and glute leg lifts with extended arms
  • Curtsey lunges with chest presses

2. Nutrient-packed smoothies: According to MarketWatch, the smoothie industry is predicted to grow substantially between 2023 and 2027. Smoothies are on the rise because with the right ingredients, they can be packed with nutrients. You can easily make your own healthy smoothies at home using a smoothie blender. My favorite smoothie recipe includes mixed berries, a banana, peanut or almond butter, spinach or kale, almond milk and dark chocolate chips. This recipe is simple, yet it’s filled with fruits, vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates and low fat dairy or dairy alternatives. It’s also low in added sugars and unhealthy fats. A smoothie is a fantastic breakfast or post-workout snack option and is convenient and easy to make, which is perfect for a busy, on-the-go lifestyle!

3. Breathwork: Breathwork is listed in Forbes as another big trend for 2023, but it’s already an important part of meditation, mindfulness and yoga practices. There are many different types of breathwork, but one of my favorites is known as abdominal, belly or diaphragmatic breathing. You slowly inhale through your nose as you expand your abdomen out, and then exhale through your nose or mouth as you pull or contract your abdomen back in. This deep breathing technique allows your body to relax and fill with oxygen, and it lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. It reduces stress, toxins and anxiety, improves your circulation and mood and allows you to think clearly and focus on the present. It’s very effective and is something you can do from anywhere and throughout your day.

4. Journaling for mental health: As the pandemic and recession continue to loom over our heads, many people are anticipating continued stress throught 2023, according to NBC News. One tool that’s becoming more popular for improving mental health is journaling. Journaling isn’t a new concept and can be a wonderful and cathartic release of emotions during difficult times. It can also be a pleasant experience when you’re writing about what you’re grateful for or other positive emotions or events that may be occuring in your life. Whether you’re writing about good or bad experiences, journaling allows you to process what’s happened and communicate in ways you feel most comfortable. There’s no judgment on the other side, and you’ll have a record of your thoughts and feelings, which could be a great reference point later.

‘Tis the Season to Help Staff Manage Festive Stress

The advent calendars are out; radio stations are digging out the Christmas classics; and the shops are in full-blown selling mode.

It can only mean one thing: The holiday season is well and truly upon us.

But while there’s much to celebrate and be grateful for, most people endure a great deal of stress during this time of year as well.

According to a recent survey in Healthline, 60% of respondents said they experienced some level of stress during the holidays.

And with workplace stress at an all-time high, the cost of living rising, Covid-19 still impacting the world and a recession looming, employees are unsurprisingly feeling under pressure.

So what is it that companies and leaders can do to improve employee wellbeing at this specific time of the year?

Here are a number of strategies to consider implementing:

To read the full article in TNLT, click here.

Interested In Running A Virtual Fitness Studio? Six Tips To Get Started

According to Global Newswire, the virtual fitness market is expected to reach $80 billion by 2026, with a growth rate of almost 50%. While many fitness enthusiasts have been enjoying being back at gyms and studios for in-person classes, the hybrid model seems to be here to stay, creating continued growth opportunities in the virtual fitness space.

If you’re a fitness entrepreneur and want to tap into this growing market, here are six tips to start running a virtual fitness studio, based on my experiences as a health, wellness and fitness entrepreneur, business professional, certified fitness, yoga and dance instructor and having my own virtual fitness studio. 

To read the full article in Young Upstarts, click here.

Total Health Interview: How We Can Optimize Our Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Wellbeing

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Wellbeing,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Reena Vokoun.

To read the full article in Authority Magazine, click here.

Surviving Covid

On June 2, 2022, I unfortunately tested positive for Covid for the first time. I had managed to escape it for over two years, from when we first went into lockdown on March 13, 2020, until this point. I frequently read up on the latest medical research and developments with the pandemic, was vaccinated, boosted and never really stopped masking indoors, especially as new and more contagious variants continued to emerge. My family and I also only dined outdoors when going to restaurants and continued to socialize with friends and family outside in backyards, at the beach and at outdoor events and gatherings.

But somehow I got Covid and didn’t see it coming. My husband, sons and I took at-home tests the Tuesday morning after Memorial  Day weekend before the kids went to back to school, and we were all negative. And on Thursday of that week, I taught a morning dance class at the gym (with my mask on as I always did), was on back-to-back work calls from my home office after that and felt perfectly fine. Then suddenly after my last afternoon work call that day and before I was going to pick up the kids from school, my throat felt a little scratchy. So I told my husband, who was also working from home, and he gave me another at-home Covid test. We were both shocked when it showed I was positive.

I immediately put on my KN95 mask, grabbed my laptop, phone, some clothes and toiletries and went to our downstairs guest room to isolate, while my husband went to pick up the kids from school for me. I cancelled, rescheduled or got coverage for my work meetings, calls and fitness and dance classes for the rest of that week and the following week and got in touch with all of my close contacts over the last week to let them know I had Covid. I called my parents and told my extended family as well.

The next four days were a blur. I had a persistent fever and a temperature of 100-101. I was experiencing cold and flu symptoms and felt dizzy and completely exhausted. I didn’t sleep well, because I kept waking up in the middle of the night with my heart racing, wondering if I was having any additional symptoms. A few days in, I lost my sense of taste and smell to a certain degree, though it thankfully didn’t completely go away. Over the next six days, my fever finally broke and my symptoms started to diminish, but I continued to test positive. On day 10, my Covid test was finally negative, and I was able to come out of isolation, but still wore a mask  around my family on the last day to be safe. It was a scary and unpredictable experience.

The other major challenge I faced, which most people don’t always talk about, was how incredibly difficult it was to be isolated for 10 days, especially for an extrovert like me. I was thankful I was able to isolate at home and didn’t have such severe symptoms that would require me to be hospitalized. Also, my wonderful husband and kids, who thankfully stayed negative, texted and FaceTimed me throughout each day, talked to me through the window from outside and brought me food, water, extra clothes and medicine whenever needed. And my parents, extended family and girlfriends called, texted and even sent me get well gifts, for which I was so grateful. However, it was still very, very hard.

Having Covid and being in isolation for one to two weeks, can take a huge toll on not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. I tried to think positively, pray, meditate, journal, read books, work, watch movies and documentaries and stay virtually connected to my loved ones. But nothing quite prepares you for this extremely lonely experience. I missed spending quality time with my husband and kids, especially with the start of summer break, being able to put 100%+ effort into my work, being active and outside, being social with friends and family and just living my life.

However, I focused on getting better and taking it day by day. Also, as a health and wellness professional, I tried to use some of my favorite natural remedies during this time, including the following:

  • Drinking hot water with lemon and honey every day to ease my sore throat and congestion and ward off any coughing or asthmatic symptoms, since I do have seasonal allergy-induced asthma.
  • Doing a daily saline salt and water nasal spray to keep my nasal passages and sinuses as clear as possible.
  • Eating healthy meals, including lots of fruits and vegetables each day, while also allowing myself some treats and comfort foods like ice cream every once in awhile.
  • Taking my multivitamin every day, plus extra vitamin C, D, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which helped to strengthen my immune system and brain health.
  • Taking Tylenol when needed for my fever and heaches.
  • Practicing self-care when I was feeling a little better, including doing some light yoga and stretching, taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths to stay calm and centered, putting a skincare mask on my face, deep-conditioning my hair, painting my nails and doing a vitamin C body scrub in the shower.

All of these things made me feel better each day, and I highly recommend doing them if you’re in a similar boat.

At the end of the day, I’m thankful to have survived Covid. I do worry about the possibility of long Covid symptoms, getting it again and having my family and friends get it or get it again as well. However, those things aren’t in my control, and I have to move forward and live my life. That said, what I can control is getting my second booster shot when I’m able, continuing to mask indoors while cases remain high and new variants pop up and socializing outside as much as possible.

This was quite a learning experience for me, and I hope that sharing my experience can be helpful to you. Take care, and please stay healthy and safe!

Corporate Wellness Programs Need an Overhaul — Starting with These 3 Components

In the past, having an employee wellness program was a nice perk for companies to offer. But as we enter the third year of the pandemic, mental and physical health are stretched thin. Amid the Great Resignation, having a comprehensive employee wellness program has now become essential in attracting and retaining top talent. Now more than ever, companies need to create more effective wellness programs, as employees need these wellness programs in order to be resilient and still succeed during these difficult times.

According to a 2020 survey conducted by Deloitte, 80% of 9,000 surveyed respondents identified well-being as being important or very important to the overall success of their organization. Employees are some of the greatest assets an organization can have, and designing a workplace culture along with programs that keep them healthy, happy, productive and engaged, is critical for meeting company goals and objectives. Employees need to consistently feel their best in order to consistently perform at their best.

As we progress through the pandemic and experience continued uncertainty as to what the future holds, it’s critical for employee wellness programs to be prioritized and also evolve and grow according to the latest world developments, workplace trends and ever-changing employee needs. Providing employees with timely and useful well-being tools can strengthen their connection and loyalty to the company over time.

Here are three essential components every corporate wellness program should have in order to be successful.

To read the full article in Success Magazine, click here.

Five Reasons Why Having an Employee Wellness Program Is Now Essential

According to The Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment survey and Forbes, 68% of HR leaders gave employee mental health and wellbeing a top priority rating. This survey also revealed that the corporate wellbeing market is expected to reach approximately $20.4 billion in the U.S.  and is predicted to reach $87.4 billion over the next four years.

Based on these findings, investing in an employee wellness program is now essential for most, if not all, organizations. Below are five important reasons why.

To read the full article in CEO World, click here.

Health and Wellness Predictions for 2022

With 2022 just days away and the pandemic continuing to impact us all, even after it first began nearly two years ago, many may wonder what’s in store for the health and wellness industry in the New Year.

Based on my experiences as a certified health, wellness and fitness entrepreneur and professional and working with various individual and organizational clients and business development partners in this space, here are my predictions below.

  • Mental health will continue to be prioritized: While people are being encouraged through their healthcare practitioners to manage their physical health through exercise and nutrition to protect their immune systems from Covid-19 and its variants, mental health has and will likely continue to have a major focus as well. According to a Gallup research study reported in the Washington Post, 60% of Americans feel daily stress and worry, and according to the American Psychological Association, 78% say Covid-19 has been a significant source of stress in their lives. Therefore, dealing with ongoing stress and anxiety will be extremely important. Tools like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, journaling, talking to family, friends and professionals and disconnecting from technology, could be very helpful in managing mental health.  And many healthcare facilities, schools, universities, companies and other types of organizations will likely continue to provide these resources.
  • Hybrid fitness is here to stay: As gyms and fitness studios have had to close, reopen and frequently change their protocols over the last two years, and the demand for livestream and on demand classes, wearable devices, mobile apps and home equipment has skyrocketed, hybrid fitness has gone from being a trendy buzzword and experiment to being the norm. Many consumers are mixing things up and taking in-person classes where appropriate and safe, and still continuing to leverage online technology and at-home options as well. The flexibility, convenience, mix of online and in-person communities and cost savings, have made hybrid fitness a surprise silver lining of the pandemic.  And both online platforms and in-person studios are working hard to provide the right mix to meet their customers’ needs.
  • Hybrid work is here to stay: Similarly to fitness, the workplace has undergone many changes as well. Many companies have transitioned to remote work models since the start of the pandemic and are still going strong. While some companies and other organizations have had employees come back to work, many are offering hybrid models now or will be in the future. While in-person collaboration is important for maintaining company culture and employee engagement, companies are realizing that employees prefer having flexibility and cutting down or cutting out commute times. They can also hire talent from any location and reduce real estate costs by having employees work remotely all the time or some of the time. Meeting employee needs and providing various options in these ever-changing times, is critical to retaining and hiring top talent and creating strong performance in the workplace.
  • Disease prevention and management will take on a new level of importance: With Covid-19 impacting the health of our global population, the threat to those who are immunocompromised, is even greater. Therefore, for those with pre-existing conditions or who are at risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more, disease prevention and management is even more important now. Keeping up with healthy lifestyle choices such as stress management, taking medications, healthy eating, staying active, prioritizing sleep and scheduling regular check-ups with your doctor, will be critical to staying healthy and helping to protect against Covid-19.
  • Organizations will continue to realize the importance of employee wellbeing: For many years, employee wellbeing has been a “nice-to-have” for many organizations. I’ve seen this first-hand, as I’ve worked in corporate wellness throughout the last several years. Budgets for corporate wellness initiatives have often been limited, and many organizations have prioritized other initiatives that can produce results that are easier to measure. However, the pandemic has created a shift in thinking. With so many employees experiencing high stress, burnout, a lack of work-life balance, anxiety and depression due to the uncertainty of these times, leaders will need to continue prioritizing the health, wellbeing and happiness of their workforce. They’ll have to consider the whole person and the many dimensions to their lives, which could serve them well personally and professionally.

While time will tell what 2022 will bring in the health and wellness industry, the best thing each of us can do is find the tools, support and resources to take care of our own health and wellbeing to not only survive, but thrive in the New Year!

Stress Is a Normal Part of Life

Stress is an inevitable part of life and being human, and living a stress-free life is just not realistic. Everyone experiences stress on a daily basis just through everyday tasks. Taking a test at school, being handed a new project at work, playing competitive sports, or public speaking can all be sources of stress. And feeling a little anxiety in these situations is normal and totally expected. Major life events such as moving, marriage or having a baby, can also cause stress. Traumatic events such as living through a pandemic, or having a death in your family, can cause stress as well. The good news is that you can manage stress by channeling your energy into certain activities.

The key in managing your stress levels in these various life situations, big and small, is to pay attention to how they’re affecting you physically, mentally and emotionally. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, if you’re temporarily feeling your heart rate increasing, your breathing getting faster and your brain working harder, that’s normal. Your body is just going into fight or flight mode. You can use that stress as a motivator to perform at your best in the moment.

If you reach a point where stress becomes chronic and affects your sleep, moods, blood pressure and digestive system, or causes major anxiety or depression, it has become a bigger problem. These symptoms suggests you could be dealing with an unhealthy amount of stress. In this case, it’s important to deal with it right away so it doesn’t turn into bigger health issues later.

Here are six tools you can use to realistically manage any kind of stress:

To read the full article in Grit Daily, click here.

Having Passion and Purpose In the Work You Do Is Everything

Having passion and purpose in the work you do is everything. It allows you to make a positive impact in the world, feel fulfilled and potentially build a legacy. You don’t necessarily have to quit your job and start a company like I did (unless you feel compelled to do so yourself), but you can find ways to incorporate your passions and purpose into your current job, volunteer work or other projects you may be working on or would like to work on.

I’ve been passionate about health, wellness and fitness for as long as I can remember. What started out as a hobby and side-hustle, turned into a full-fledged career. After I experienced burnout as a busy working mom and wife, I left my job at Google and corporate America after 16 years, in search of greater work-life balance and the ability to pursue my passions and purpose. I then took a risk and huge leap of faith seven years ago and became an entrepreneur and launched my health and wellness company.

My mission is to empower women to flourish both personally and professionally through wellness. My vision is to continue to build and grow our local and global online wellness community, where women can have fun, make friends, feel supported and be encouraged to achieve their dreams and goals. I’m so grateful to have created the career of my dreams, as I truly love what I do. The good news? I believe it’s something that is within reach for anyone.

Here are five ways to find and incorporate your passion and purpose into your life and career:

To read the full article in Ms. Career Girl, click here.

Work-Life Balance Looks Different for Everyone – Here’s How to Define Yours

Over the years, there’s been a lot of debate over whether work-life balance is possible. And new and related terms and concepts continue to pop up each year, including work-life integration, which focuses less on compartmentalization and more on cohesion, and more recently, work-life negotiation, which focuses more on advocating for your needs at work and home, according to an article in Forbes by Dr. Chris Mullen, Ph.D.

In any case, burnout is a real issue. As I cited in my recent TEDx talk, the World Health Organization classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon in 2019. And this past year of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, has made it even more challenging for various job types, family and childcare needs, ever-changing workplace arrangements

involving remote, hybrid or in-office work or needing to be out on the front lines.
Regardless of your situation or the term or concept used, work-life balance will look different for everyone. It’s important to determine how to define yours so you can maximize your productivity, engagement, fulfillment, purpose, and happiness in your personal and professional life.

Here are five considerations to help you define how to allow your work and life to coexist in a way that works for you, your family, your employer or your own business:

To read the full article in SWAAY, click here.

4 Ways a Wellness Community Can Inspire Us All to Be Healthy and Successful In Life

The last year of the pandemic has created uncertain and isolating times, which have impacted our wellbeing in many ways. It’s made us more aware of just how important our health really is, and what can happen when it’s not intact. And as vaccine rates continue to rise, Covid-19 cases continue to decline, and the world continues to open back up, we’re emerging into a new normal. Two important components of this new normal, for many, include a desire for wellness and community.

According to a Gallup Active Living Study and a Texas A&M Wellness Community Study featured in Fast Company, those living within active environments and communities experienced lower rates of obesity, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and depression, and higher rates of social interaction and cohesiveness. Studies show there’s a clear and positive link between wellness communities and health and wellbeing, which could also lead to being successful in many aspects of our lives.

Here are four ways a wellness community can inspire us all to be healthy and successful in life.

To read the full article in SWAAY, click here.

Wellness Tips Help Deal With Return-to-Work Anxiety

As we continue to progress through the pandemic, and California prepares to reopen June 15, many employees will be returning to the office in the summer or fall. While these are positive changes as we work toward finding our new normal, for many, they are prompting stress, anxiety, fear and uncertainty.

To deal with the challenges, below are four wellness tips for reducing return-to-work anxiety.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

4 Ways the Pandemic Has Impacted Our Health and Lives In the Last Year

It’s hard to believe we’ve been living through a global pandemic for over a year now. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a day that that would change the world forever.

Following, is a look back at four ways the pandemic has impacted our health and lives in the last year and also some thoughts on where we go from here.

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.

4 Tips For a Healthy Heart

February is American Heart Month, so it’s a good time to take stock of your heart health.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease in the past few years. And now that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, COVID-19 poses an even greater risk to the heart, given it can damage the respiratory system, which makes it even harder for the heart to work.

Following are four tips for maintaining a healthy heart during the month of February, the pandemic and beyond.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

4 Ways Working Moms Can Level Up in 2021

According to Mckinsey and as many of us have experienced since early 2020, the pandemic has intensified the challenges women have already been facing. As working moms, we’re all familiar with the double shift of putting in a full day at work and then having a full set of additional responsibilities at home with caring for our children and the household.

And with most support resources being unavailable over the last 10 months, along with many of us working remotely or on the front lines and having children who continue to be in virtual and/or hybrid school, all of our worlds have completely collided. While spouses and significant others may be helpful for those of us who have them, it still has been a stressful situation nonetheless.

However, with the New Year in full swing, it’s important to take control of our careers and home life as much as we can and level up. Below are four ways to do just that in 2021.

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.

Why Rest, Reflection and Relaxation Are More Important Than Ever This Holiday Season

With the holidays on the horizon, the world continuing to be stuck in quarantine with many travel and social gathering restrictions in place to help fight the global pandemic, celebrations will be looking very different this year. Many people won’t be able to keep up with their annual holiday traditions and see loved ones they usually see within their families this time of year.

While this is a harsh reality everyone has to face, there are things we can all do to take care of ourselves and those we love during these challenging times. Below are reasons why rest, reflection and relaxation (i.e. what I like to call the 3Rs) are more important than ever this holiday season.

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.

Take Action to Protect Against COVID-19 and the Flu

We’re about to embark on what health officials are calling a “twindemic,” where we’ll face the overlap of the flu season and an increase in COVID-19 cases over the fall and winter.

Health Magazine reported that doctors are concerned with not being able to distinguish between the flu and COVID-19, as many of the symptoms are similar – cough, fever, chills, breathing problems, body aches, sore throat and runny or stuffy nose. Also, health professionals are worried about medical systems being overrun by patients coming in for both the flu and COVID-19.

It’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect your and your family’s health and keep everyone safe. Following are five actions you can take to do just that.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Five Reasons Why Breathing Fresh Air Is Vital to Our Health and Well-being

The year 2020 has tested people in many ways, including impacting our ability to breathe fresh air.

COVID-19 has put us at risk of upper respiratory illnesses, which could have long-term effects on the lungs and breathing. We’ve had to shelter in place and wear masks both in public indoor facilities and outdoors to protect against the virus, which has made it hard to breathe fresh air in day-to-day life. And most recently, much of California and the West Coast has had to deal with wildfires, smoky skies and poor air quality, which has made it dangerous to venture outside for nearly a month.

While it’s been hard to take on these challenges this year, we certainly have perspective and an appreciation for the basic necessities and joys in life, including the importance of getting fresh air. Following are five reasons why breathing fresh air is vital to one’s health and well-being.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

How to Choose Effective and Breathable Masks for Workouts

We’re now over six months into the Covid-19 pandemic and the reality is, we’re going to have to continue to deal with it for many more months to come. Therefore, the best thing we can do is keep adapting and changing accordingly, especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), wearing a mask while exercising can negatively impact your breathing. Therefore, as of right now, it’s ideal to work out virtually from home or outside when others aren’t around, so you don’t have to wear a mask.

However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if you plan to work out in public outdoor spaces where it’s difficult to maintain six feet distancing from others or in indoor gym facilities that have been approved for safe reopeninings, wearing a mask will be extremely important towards helping you safely continue with your fitness regimen, while also protecting yourself and others from Covid-19.

And while masks can undoubtedly be uncomfortable to wear, especially while exercising, below are some tips for choosing the most comfortable, breathable and effective masks out there.

1. Choose a trusted brand: Brands like Under Armour, Reebok and Athleta have been developing masks specifically for use during exercise, such as running or cross-training. Designers from these companies are creating really interesting features for the present and future, such as fun and fashionable designs, colors and prints, integration with fitness apps, the ability to see facial expressions through the mask and more. You can trust that these companies are investing into this product category in order to be socially and medically responsible during these challenging times.

2. Pay attention to fabrics: Choosing fabrics is also extremely important because you want them to be thick enough to prevent against Covid-19 transmission through heavy breathing, water droplets, saliva, sweat, etc, while also being breathable during exercise. High quality cotton fabrics seem to work well, along with fabrics that are water-resistant and have moisure-wicking capabilities to protect and keep your face as dry as possible when you sweat.

3. Find a comfortable fit: The fit of your mask could also make or break your workout experience. Therefore, find masks that are shaped to fit and contour well on your face, depending on if it’s long or wide or somewhere in between and also cover your nose and mouth properly. In addition, you’ll want to ensure they’re not too tight or binding, but also secure enough to stay in place and not fall off during your workout.

4. Pay attention to washing instructions: Just like workout tops, bottoms or socks, your masks are going to get sweaty and dirty and must be washed properly after each use as well. You’ll also want to especially wash and wear a fresh mask each time you work out to protect against Covid-19 germs and bacteria. Check the washing instructions based on the fabric and colors and determine the best detergent, temperature and drying options to ensure the masks maintain their size, cleanliness and condition.

While you may have a few more considerations to make before exercising these days, it’s worth it to maintain your health and also stay safe against Covid-19. So go ahead and put on your mask and go crush your workout!

Taco Tuesday Recipe

Taco Tuesday for dinner tonight, anyone? If you’re like me and want to consistently prepare healthy meals for your family, but are also often short on time because you’re busy with work and your kids, then this recipe is for you!

Defrost organic ground turkey meat and brown it in a pressure cooker for about 5 minutes. Then add 12 teaspoons of low sodium taco seasoning and stir in 15 ounces of salsa including fresh organic tomatoes, tomato paste, peppers, onions and garlic powder and stir it all together.

Then turn the pressure cooker on high and let the meat cook for about 15 minutes or until it releases steam and beeps.

While the meat is cooking, bake whole grain tortilla shells in the oven at 325 degrees for 6-7 minutes.

Next, slice up organic avocado, tomatoes and lettuce and shred or buy pre-shredded organic and low-fat Monterey Jack cheese and carrots.

Once the meat and taco shells are done, then build your tacos and fill each shell with the meat, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and carrots and before you know it, you and your family will be ready to eat a delicious and healthy meal!

Four Ways to Maintain Personal Connections During the Pandemic

Americans are experiencing elevated levels of depression, anxiety, fear and social isolation during the pandemic, according to recent data from Healthline.

This is truly an unprecedented time, and the path forward remains unknown. Medical experts, scientists, researchers and government and business leaders continue their efforts to make sense of the coronavirus, figure out how to get it under control and eventually rid the nation and world of its negative health, economic and social impacts.

In the meantime, while it’s critical to obey the shelter-in-place orders and protect our physical health, it’s equally important to safely maintain personal connections amid the pandemic to protect our mental and emotional health. Following are four ways to do just that.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

The Power of Journaling

Journaling is such a powerful tool to have in life and now more than ever, it has the potential to help us get through the challenging times we’re facing in the world today. According to Pyschology Today, journaling is beneficial for our mental and emotional health and it can also have a positive impact on our physical health as well. Journaling can reduce stress, anxiety and blood pressure and can boost our immune systems, moods, mindset and self awareness.

I’ve been journaling for over 20 years. I recently went through all of my old journals for inspiration as I’ve been working on writing my first non-fiction book this summer. It was a deeply emotional, sentimental, enriching and motivating experience and really took me down a path of self discovery and rediscovery.

Throughout the years, I’ve journaled about my personal relationships, faith, core values, college and graduate school experiences, internships, jobs, motherhood, the struggles and opportunities I’ve experienced with being first-generation-born Indian-American, insecurities, fears, burnout, career transitions, goals, dreams, passions, travel destinations, bucket list experiences, dissapointments, failures and broader topics around racial injustices, women’s rights, affirmative action and more.

In reading through these entries, it’s been amazing to see how much has changed within myself and the world and yet, how much is still the same. What was powerful for me to see about myself is the fact that my faith, core values, personal relationships, passions, career dreams and desire to help others and make a positive impact on the world haven’t wavered at all over the years and are still every bit as important to me today as they were back then. Those are the foundations of who I’ve always been and always will be and that was a very empowering realization.

I also realized by journaling, I was manifesting all the wonderful things that have happened in my life, such as moving to and living in California, meeting and marrying my husband, going to college and graduate school, becoming a mother to my two sons, pursuing my passions around health, wellness and fitness and communications through speaking and writing, becoming an entrepreneur, founding and building my company, Passion Fit and the exciting corporate career I had for many years prior in digital media and marketing.

These were not accidents. They were all a part of my destiny and came into existence through hard work, a belief in myself and faith that I was capable of making these things happen, despite the fears and insecurities I had along the way.

From a broader perspective, I also was able to see that while we’ve made some progress in areas like women’s rights and racial injustices, we still have so much further to go and there are still so many glaring issues in these areas within our society today. It made me realize how long it can truly take for deep change and growth to occur and how many lives are still being impacted every single day. It has made me want to do more to help promote change, justice, respect, equality and peace for everyone in society and the world and I truly hope we’re able to continue to grow and get to a much better place in this lifetime.

With that, I want to encourage you all to journal and write about the things that mean the most to you and even look back at what you may have written about in the past. It will help you be more reflective during this pandemic, economic crisis and difficult time within our society. And hopefully you’ll be able to look back in 20 years and marvel at how much has changed and how much has stayed the same as well.

3 Tips for Productivity in Quarantine for Working Moms

Happy Wednesday! Since we’re at the mid-week point, I wanted to talk a little bit about productivity. With all that’s happening around us in the world, many of us working from home and having our families home with us this summer as well, it can often feel hard to be productive.

A typical day for me often involves teaching a livestream fitness class for my students in the morning, then doing a video conference call with one of my wellness consulting/coaching clients and spending the rest of the afternoon and early evening working on my marketing plan for my company, writing for my book and blog, taking a call with a vendor or business development partner and preparing for and doing a virtual speaking engagement.

On top of that, I’m planning and preparing meals for my family for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the day, helping my kids with questions on summer school or online summer camps, playing referee when my kids start fighting or arguing, doing laundry, doing dishes, spending time with my husband and kids in our backyard and more. Whew – I’m exhausted just typing that all out!

However, in order to stay motivated and productive, I highly recommend these three tips that work really well for me and many of my clients:

1) Make a list of your top three most important goals each for work and home and get laser focused on only getting those things done for that day before you move on to anything else.

2) Block time in your calendar to stay organized and map out what your day will look like.

3) Remain flexible and expect interruptions to come up with work, the kids, within the household, etc., but don’t let that throw you off task. Work through the chaos and then keep going!

I hope that helps and I hope you all have a productive day. Now let’s all get back to work!

Healthy Protein and Vegetable Meal Ideas

Two important elements of any healthy eating plan include vegetables and protein. Therefore, I love marinating and baking chicken and making healthy salads, as these are staples you can build into any lunch or dinner meal and are easy to make when you’re busy trying to balance work and home life. And if you’re vegetarian or have any other dietary restrictions, you can always substitute any of the foods you see here with alternatives that fit your preferences.

The recipe for this meal includes a low-sugar, Hawaiian BBQ marinade, paired with organic, boneless, skinless chicken. After applying the marinade to each piece, you bake the chicken in the oven for 20-25 minutes on each side at 425 degrees.

The salad includes organic spinach and mixed greens, sliced cherry tomatoes, avocado and low-fat shredded cheese. And I usually like to top my salads with a low-fat balsamic vinaigrette or avocado dressing.

I hope this idea is helpful and you’re able to incorporate healthy proteins and vegetables into your meals as well!

Healthy Smoothie Recommendations and Recipe

Happy Monday! If the last few months have caused you to put on some weight in quarantine, there’s no time like the present to start making healthier choices. I love smoothies and I’m always playing around with different recipes that minimize sugar and calories and maximize nutrition and taste.

The key is to keep it simple and incorporate whole and natural foods from the key food groups rather than including processed foods that are likely high in artifical ingredients and are loaded with sugar.

Here’s one of my new favorites that I made this morning. Combine the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup of organic blueberries
  • 1 cup of organic baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of dark chocolate chips

And then mix it all together in your blender…and that’s it!

This smoothie has about 300 calories and helps you start off your day with fresh fruit, vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, calcium, fiber, iron, vitamins D, K, A, B, E and C and lots of antioxidants.

Let’s start the week of strong and healthy you guys…we can all do it!

Post-Workout Meal and Snack Ideas

Happy Friday, Passion Fit Crew! Did you know it’s important to eat within 45 minutes of working out in order to refuel your body, boost your metabolism and repair your muscles?

Therefore, here’s a great post-workout meal or snack idea for you guys: egg cups! I love making them and it’s a creative way to eat eggs and get in some protein and vegetables.

You start by mixing several organic eggs together in a bowl and slicing, adding and mixing in whatever organic vegetables you’d like along with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I added cherry tomatoes and broccoli florets in this example here, but you could also add bell peppers, spinach, zucchini, mushrooms and more. Then you lightly grease a cupcake pan and pour the eggs and vegetables into each cup and can sprinkle some low-fat shredded cheese on top. This pan makes a serving of six. You then bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees and then you take them out, let them cool and enjoy!

If you went to learn more about how to pair exercise with proper nutrition for optimal health, energy and performance, feel free to book me for a wellness consulting session or consider joining my transformational women’s wellness coaching program. Click here for more details!

Have a great weekend and remember to refuel your body after your workouts!

Tips On Changing Behavior During Challenging Times

In many cases, these challenging times – COVID-19 pandemic, economic strife and racial unrest – can be impacted by our behaviors, especially with regard to education, collaboration and action. There are also other health, medical, social and financial changes and shifts we all may need to con-sider making over the next several months and years, which will take time and effort.

Following are tips on behavior change, based on my certifications in this area, that may help you continue to survive and thrive during these challenging times and beyond.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Why Education, Empathy and Kindness Are Now More Important Than Ever

I love this picture. It represents what life should look like — a diverse group of children holding hands, smiling, playing outside and peacefully enjoying life together as friends.

Unfortunately, we aren’t always seeing pictures like this in 2020. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, economic crisis, political upheaval and continued racial tensions and injustices happening across the country on a daily basis. The reality of our country and world right now truly breaks my heart. And while we can’t control everything happening around us, we can each do our part to control what we can, which includes education on important topics such as African-American history, pandemics, medical science and economics, practicing empathy and kindness towards others and standing up for causes we believe in.


In addition to what we may have already learned in school, taking the time to continuously educate ourselves can increase and improve our understanding, perspective and decision-making in various life situations. For example, if we truly take the time to research and read about slavery, racism and the amount of inhumane treatment African Americans and other minorities have faced throughout history and in many cases, are still facing today, we can help educate others, lead by example and treat everyone equally and with respect, volunteer our time and donate to causes to ensure history doesn’t keep repeating itself over and over again.

If we study the history of pandemics and medical science to understand how previous viruses and illnesses had spread, how they were medically treated, how vaccines were researched, tested and administered and how societies eventually dealt with them in day-to-day life, we can be more aware of the similarities and differences to what we’re experiencing today with Covid-19. This level of knowledge can hopefully ease our stress and worries and give us hope and faith that we’ll figure it out again and eventually overcome the hardships we’re facing now.

If we educate or refresh our knowledge of economics and the history of increasing unemployment rates, stock market crashes and the downfalls of many businesses, we can work together as a country and world to figure out how best to balance slowly opening up the economy in stages, while still maintaining sheltering-in-place a little longer to further control the spread of Covid-19. As we know, trying to solve for two competing priorities isn’t a black or white scenario and will likely require further education, collaboration and some trial and error.

Empathy and Kindness:

In addition to being educated, taking the time to reflect upon our own experiences can go a long way towards practicing empathy and kindness towards others. For example, I grew up in a mainly Caucasian community in the Midwest, as a first-generation-born Indian-American, in the ’80’s and ’90’s. Therefore, I know first-hand, what it’s like to experience discrimination, have periods of your life when you want to look like everyone else to fit in and be judged or treated differently at times because of the color of your skin. Therefore, I have so much empathy for African Americans, Indians, Asians, Latinos, Hispanics and other minorities who have had similar or even worse experiences and as a result, I support causes and organizations that promote diversity.

Also, my husband is Caucasian and our kids are mixed, therefore, we focus a lot on teaching about empathy, kindness and respect towards all people in our household. I’m thankful we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is diverse and filled with people from all over the world, interracial marriages and mixed kids, so our kids can grow up in an environment where they don’t feel singled out or different from everyone else in the way I often did as a kid.

If we’ve ever experienced illnesses or diseases ourselves or through our loved ones, we can also learn to practice empathy and kindness towards others, especially while Covid-19 continues to spread across the world. I’ve experienced upper respiratory illnesses, including sinus infections, allergies and asthma, on a pretty ongoing basis and feel so much empathy towards anyone experiencing Covid-19. Therefore, I want to do everything I can to practice kindness and contribute to charities and research funding to help physicians and other health care workers, patients and any other groups of people working on the front lines to fight the virus and keep everyone healthy and safe.

In addition, if we’ve lived through an economic crisis before and/or had our jobs or companies impacted as a result, we can put ourselves in the shoes of those who have lost jobs or who’s companies are struggling or shutting down. I lived and worked through the dot com boom and bust in San Francisco and Silicon Valley in the early 2000’s and know how difficult these uncertain times can be. Therefore, I’ve been trying to support and promote local businesses, help loved ones find jobs through my professional network and continue to build and grow my own company to help others. I also hope and pray for the economy to recover in time.

While it’s no doubt a difficult time in the world right now, let’s all do our part to get educated, practice empathy and kindness towards others and leverage all of these things to take action and stand up for what we believe in. We owe it to those in our communities, our families and ourselves to make this world a better place.


Ways to Stay Holistically Healthy During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus diagnoses and deaths are still on the rise in parts of the U.S. The statistics are changing every day, but one thing remains certain: It’s more important now than ever before to take care of our holistic health to protect ourselves and our loved ones from contracting the virus or to en-sure a quick recovery if we do. Below are ways to do just that.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

5 Positive Mindset Shifts to Help Cope With the Coronavirus Outbreak

According to the NY Times, over 10 million U.S. jobs no longer exist and there are over one million Coronavirus cases worldwide. We’re facing extremely difficult times and it can be easy to be overtaken by fear, anxiety, grief, sadness and negativity. However, as a world, nation and society, it’s important that we stay strong, resilient and hopeful. Therefore, here are five positive mindset shifts we can make to help cope with the Coronavirus outbreak we’re currently facing.

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.

5 Potentially Positive Outcomes of Being Quarantined for Working Moms

Approximately 158 million Americans have been told to stay home for the next few weeks and possibly months due to the new coronavirus outbreak, according to The New York Times. While times are certainly unprecedented and challenging, there are some potentially positive outcomes of being quarantined for working moms. Here are five of them:

To read the full article in Working Mother Magazine, click here.

Ideas for Making Behavioral Changes Stick in the New Year

The start of a new year and a new decade means many of us are focused on making resolutions and positive changes in our lives. And while we may have the best of intentions, why is it that so many of us fall short and end up giving up on our goals?

According to U.S. News and World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. While this can sound disheartening, there is hope. Success in keeping and reaching New Year’s resolutions often lies within the simplicity of the goals and the behaviors that accompany them.

Following are four ideas for making behavioral changes stick in the new year. These ideas are based on a behavioral research model conducted by B.J. Fogg, Ph.D., a research associate at Stanford University, which I studied when obtaining my certification in behavior change coaching.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

4 Lessons I’m Teaching My Kids as an Entrepreneurial Working Mom

According to a survey conducted by 99 Designs and featured in Entrepreneur, three-quarters of women who are entrepreneurs juggle being the primary childcare providers within their families as well. As an entrepreneurial working mom myself, I can tell you first-hand, this is no easy feat!

However, despite the daily chaos and challenges, I feel it’s completely worth it because I’m able to teach my kids some very valuable life and career lessons. Here are four of the most important lessons they’re learning from my experiences. 

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.

Reasons Why Giving Back is Good for Both Society and Your Health

Holiday season is here, and it’s a natural time to think about giving back and donating to charities. In fact, according to the Blackbaud Index, as featured in USA Today, approximately 34% of all charitable donations are given in the last three months of the year, and 18% in December alone.

While giving back should first and foremost be for the purposes of helping those in need, it also can provide health benefits for those on the giving end, in addition to those on the receiving end.

Following are four reasons why giving back is good for the world and our health.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Why Practicing Gratitude is Good for Our Health

Thanksgiving and the holiday season are just around the corner, providing a nice reminder to think about what we’re grateful for. Gratitude is something we can and should focus on throughout the year to look at life through a positive lens. It also can create amazing benefits for our health and well-being.

Below are five scientifically proven reasons why practicing gratitude is good for our health.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Pumpkin Packs Surprising Nutritional Benefits

Now that Halloween and Thanksgiving are on the horizon, pumpkin season is officially here. While many people simply think of it as a treat to enjoy in pies, ice cream and spiced lattes, or a decoration to carve and put out on the porch, pumpkin, a type of winter squash, is considered a superfood.

Pumpkin has many surprising nutritional and health benefits you may not be aware of. Be sure to check with your doctor for any dietary restrictions, but following are five benefits to take note of that may encourage you to add more pumpkin into your life all year long.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Six Ways to Minimize the Risks of Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 245,000 women get breast cancer and over 40,000 women die from this disease each year.

While age, gender, genetics and family history can have a strong correlation to the disease, many women who get it don’t actually have any history in their families or any known risk factors.

However, here are six lifestyle factors women can control to reduce their risk of getting breast cancer and for busy women and moms who may not have the time to do their own research, this article summarizes the key factors to focus on.

1. Breastfeed your children if applicable and possible: If you’re in your childbearing years, able to produce breast milk and nurse, in addition to helping strengthen your baby’s immune system, you could also be reducing your risk of breast cancer. According to Medical News Today, for every five months you breastfeed, you reduce your chances of getting breast cancer by 2%. The reasoning is that your menstrual cycle is delayed when you breastfeed, which decreases the amount of the hormone estrogen in your body, which is linked to breast cancer. Lactation can also have an impact on the expression of breast cell genes, which can create a long term impact toward reducing the risk.

2. Get regular exercise: Getting a mix of cardiovascular activity, strength training and flexibility work for at least 30 minutes or more, most days of the week, can help protect your immune system and regulate hormone and insulin levels. And according to Susan G. Comen Breast Cancer Research Studies, regular exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 10-20%. Find activities you enjoy, that are realistic to fit into a busy day and that can possibly be done with others for the purposes of accountability.

3. Eat plant-based foods: According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and featured in Medical News Today, plant-based foods can cut the risk of breast cancer by 15%. Focus on fresh, organic fruits and vegetables such as berries, peaches, kale and broccoli, whole grains found in quinoa and brown rice, healthy monounsaturated fats found in olive oil and avocado and lean proteins found in fish, eggs and beans. These foods contain antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, beta carotene and more to help fight breast cancer.

4. Maintain a healthy weight: If you’re exercising regularly and eating plant-based and nutrient-rich foods, hopefully you’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight. However, having consistent access to data points, such as specific numbers on the scale, your BMI (body mass index) and body fat percentage, are also important to take into consideration. The more knowledge you have, the more you can develop solutions to maintain a healthy weight and hopefully lower your risks of breast cancer.

5. Avoid smoking and avoid or minimize alcohol consumption: While most people know smoking can cause lung cancer, according to, it may also cause breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women. In addition, second-hand smoke may cause breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Alcohol can also increase the risk of breast cancer for women and as alcohol consumption increases, so does the risk. Ideally avoiding smoking altogether and avoiding or minimizing drinking may be the best ways to lower the risk.

6. Get a mammogram as often as recommended by your doctor after the age of 40: According to the Mayo Clinic, getting a mammogram annually in your 40’s and 50’s can decrease the risk of breast cancer deaths by 15-29%. Therefore, be sure to talk to your doctor about starting and continuing your mammograms regularly after 40 (or sooner or later if needed) and be sure to do your own self-checks as well.

While there are certain elements of breast cancer that are beyond control, the best way for women to be empowered in the fight against it is to focus on the above lifestyle factors that can be controlled and practice them as consistently as possible.

5 Ways a Consistent Yoga Practice Can Transform Your Mind, Body and Life

According to a study by the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal, the number of people doing yoga over the last several years has increased from over 20 million to 36 million. While yoga has become a very popular form of exercise, it’s not just a passing fad, as it’s been around for centuries and originally was founded in India. Therefore, in honor of National Yoga Awareness Month, here are five ways a consistent yoga practice can transform your mind, body and life.

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.

Reasons to Change Up Your Workouts and Try New Fitness Activities

According to the American Council on Exercise, research shows that people who vary their exercise routines can increase their chances of sticking to their regimens and avoid reaching a plateau in training. Following are four additional reasons to change up your workouts and try new fitness activities.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.


When You’re a Working Mom, Change Is the Only Constant

I’ve been a working mom for 11 years now. While I’ve had successes, failures and everything in between, I’ve learned many lessons on this journey. However, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is this: change is the only constant as a working mother.

Over the years, I’ve gone from working for Fortune 500 companies, to a start-up, to now building and running my own company. Through each of these stages in my career, my personal and professional needs have evolved and changed. I used to have a rigid schedule of time in the office, meetings and travel to see clients when I worked for large companies. My schedule became more unpredictable and even more stressful when working for a start-up and constantly being in growth mode. Now that I’m building and running my own company, I still have an extremely busy and varied schedule, but I have more control over it, which is different from what I’ve experienced previously.

To read the full article in Working Mother Magazine, click here.

5 Ways to Fight or Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Promote Brain Health

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month and today, June 21st, people all over the world will be using the summer solstice, the day of the year with the most light, to join together, raise awareness and fight this horrible disease in the #LongestDay campaign. People are being encouraged to wear purple, share stories of loved ones or other impacts of the disease and participate in fundraising for the cause. This cause is near and dear to my heart because my grandmother died of Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, below are five ways we can all fight or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and promote brain health every day and month of the year.

1. Nutrition: According to Harvard Health, following a Mediterranean diet if possible, can help prevent the disease or slow its progression by nourishing the brain and helping it function most optimally. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocado, whole grains found in brown rice, quinoa or whole grain bread and fish poultry and eggs in moderation.

2. Exercise: Regular exercise, including cardio, strength-training and flexibility work, ideally 30 minutes a day for up to five days a week, can improve memory and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 50%. Exercise reduces inflammation, insulin resistance and promotes the release of growth factors that are chemicals in the brain, which impact the health of brain cells.

3. Sleep: Sleeping seven to eight hours per night, without the distractions of screens or light and at a comfortable temperature just under 70 degrees, can allow the brain to rest, restore and flush out toxins. It also promotes memory to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

4. Mental Stimulation: Continued learning and growth through reading, studying a new language or subject matter or playing a musical instrument can promote mental and brain stimulation and prevent or reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. These activities also can create engagement, hope and purpose, which are always good for overall mental health.

5. Social Connection: Connecting with others through get-togethers, events, phone calls, texts and social media in moderation, can promote a feeling of love, safety, comfort and fulfillment. These feelings and interactions can help maintain not only mental health, but emotional health as well. These are all ways to prevent or minimize the impact of Alzheimer’s.

Hopefully today’s campaign will help more people to be aware and if you can, wear purple, donate and spread the word.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Five Ways to Leverage Positive Psychology

According to the recently released Gallup World Emotions Report, Americans are among the most stressed and worried people in the world at 55% and 45%, respectively. Causes for these negative emotions include workplace pressures, especially for women and working moms; increased competition within companies, schools and universities; frightening news events; political upheaval; and an overuse of social media and technology.

Now more than ever it’s important to prioritize health and well-being to overcome these statistics and help create a brighter, healthier and happier future for our country. While stress is an inevitable part of life, it can be managed effectively with the right tools.

Following are five ways to leverage positive psychology to decrease stress and anxiety and increase happiness and well-being.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

4 Tips for Better Sleep for Working Moms

According to the CDC, one in three American adults aren’t getting at least seven hours of sleep per night and that stat is likely even higher for working moms with kids under the age of 18.

Every stage of motherhood poses a threat to our sleep. Obviously the newborn phase is the toughest, when we’re nursing and changing diapers around the clock. Then the infant stage arrives and poses challenges when we’re working on sleep training. The toddler stage is next and is often filled with bedtime tantrums, potty training and bad dreams about scary monsters. The preschool and elementary school stages may still involve some bedtime protesting and bad dreams and the teenage stage may involve worrying throughout the night about missed curfews, peer pressure, getting into college and more.

And this doesn’t even include all of our work stresses that impact our sleep, such as working late nights to finish a quarterly business review presentation, catching an early morning flight at the crack of dawn for an important client meeting and never-ending deadlines and administrative tasks to complete, such as writing performance reviews and submitting expense reports.

However, there’s hope for working moms to take back control of our sleep. It just involves a little organization, planning and discipline. Here are four ways to do just that.

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.

Step It Up: Dance Brings Communities Together

It’s no secret that dancing is good for us. According to research, dancing provides strong cardiovascular activity, improves memory, helps with balance and coordination and boosts emotional and mental health.

I’ve been dancing since age 7, starting with ballet training and moving into training, performing, competing, choreographing and instructing in hip-hop, modern, jazz, Latin and Bollywood dance throughout my childhood, teenage and adult life.

I can tell you from firsthand experience that dancing is a form of self-expression, a wonderful confidence booster and a creative outlet. And when we dance with others within a community, the benefits are even greater. There’s a sense of social connection, energy, camaraderie, fun and pure joy.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here

Self-Love vs. Self-Care and Why We Need Both

We often hear about the importance of practicing self-care in order to enhance or improve our well-being. While self-care is extremely important, it’s critical to understand how it differs from self-love. Ultimately, to be whole as people, we need both.

When we practice self-care, we’re likely taking care of ourselves by doing specific things. That might include activities like exercising, getting a massage, taking a nap, eating healthy foods, getting together with friends, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee, reading a good book and more. These are all really important ways to prioritize our needs, our health and our happiness at a high level. We should absolutely make the time to do these things on a regular basis, especially if we lead busy lives that involve not only tending to our careers or volunteer work, but also taking care of others in our family.

However, if we don’t truly love ourselves unconditionally from the inside out, these activities won’t allow us to fully feel at peace with ourselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Self-care, in and of itself, may provide a temporary sense of happiness and wellness in the short term, but we need to have a deep sense of self-love in order to have true joy, happiness and peace in our lives in the long term.

Self-love isn’t always easy to obtain and can often be dependent on or influenced by life circumstances, past events, personality traits, family dynamics and other natural tendencies. It may take years to truly feel a sense of self-love, but the more we can prioritize it and practice it, the better. This could come through regular self-reflection, journaling, practicing mindfulness, talking to family, close friends and possibly even a professional. It can also come from reminding ourselves every day of our positive traits and being empathetic towards ourselves for our negative ones.

Different life situations can also test our self-love, but staying authentically true to who we are, loving and believing in ourselves, having confidence in our abilities, having self-respect and not allowing self-doubt to take over, are all ways to allow our self-love to still shine through, even in the toughest of situations.

Remember that we’re all human and we can often be our biggest critics. However, the more we can practice self-love each day and couple it with ongoing self-care as well, the more we can create long-lasting love, happiness, peace and empowerment in our lives!


Nutritious Meal Planning Benefits Busy Families

Daily life has become busier than ever for most families, which can often make eating nutritious meals more challenging. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, typical American diets far exceed the recommended levels of sugar, sodium, saturated fats and refined grains, and fall short of the recommended levels of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

While it may require a small time commitment, organization and planning, it’s possible for families to beat these statistics and eat healthier foods on a regular basis. Below are four meal-planning ideas for busy families to do just that, all strategies I use for meal planning and cooking for my family as well.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Five Ways Functional Fitness Can Help Increase Quality of Life

According to a recent survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine on fitness trends in 2019, functional fitness ranked in the top 10. Being physically fit isn’t a nice option to consider – it’s vital to maintaining a high quality of life at any age. Therefore, here are five ways functional fitness can do just that:

1. Core strength: Participating in functional fitness exercises that are in a standing position or on the mat and that strengthen the core, can help protect your lower back from injuries. The core is such a central component of the body and strengthening it and using it when you do things like bend over, get up from a seated position or sit down, can allow you to move more easily and reduce the chances of any strain in the lower back area.

2. Upper body strength: If you’re a parent who needs to lift a heavy baby or toddler, car seat, diaper bag, outdoor chairs, coolers or other items, having upper body strength can really go a long way in making these daily tasks easier. Using light to medium sized hand weights or your own body weight to work the biceps, triceps, pectorals, deltoids, trapezius and latissimus dorsi, can really help build muscle and increase bone density.

3. Lower body strength: You may often find yourself in situations where you have to walk up several flights of stairs if an elevator isn’t available, walk up a hill to get to a certain destination or climb up a ladder to reach something. Having lower body strength and stamina in your legs can really help make these tasks easier. Doing squats and lunges to work your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, inner and outer thighs, can train your body for these tasks and also build muscle and bone density.

4. Cardiovascular strength: If you want to be able to chase after your kids at the park or go hiking, biking, swimming, dancing or skiing with your family and friends on the weekends or on vacation, these activities will be much more enjoyable if you have the cardiovascular training and strength to do them. Taking circuit training, HIIT or bootcamp classes, running or walking are all great workouts to prepare your body for these activities.

5. Flexibility: Being able to do household chores, gardening, reaching for things and simply going about your day to day life is easier and pain free when you have increased flexibility. Stretching on a daily basis in the morning or after a workout or taking yoga classes a few times a week, can help with reducing tightness and increasing flexibility in your body to enjoy your daily life and prevent injuries.

Try to incorporate these functional strength, cardiovascular and flexibility exercises into your schedule a few times a week and you’ll start to see an increase in your quality of life in no time!

Importance of Mindfulness for Children and Teens for Battling Stress

According to a 2018 survey conducted by Globe Newswire, 45 percent of teens said they’re stressed out all the time, and based on data from the American Psychological Association, 44 percent of children reported trouble sleeping due to stress.

While we often hear about the impact of stress on adults, the impact of stress on children and teens is just as prevalent and real these days, and is something to pay attention to. Children and teens are facing different types of pressures than ever before, including more competitive academic environments; increased use of technology such as mobile devices, social media, video games and on-demand programming; bullying in school and online; and notably busy schedules that include homework, several after-school activities and sports.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

6 Wellness Tips for Daily Success

According to a recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, less than three percent of adults in the U.S. meet the standard requirements for leading a healthy lifestyle in terms of fitness, nutrition and other factors. While it does take time, effort and commitment to lead a healthy lifestyle, the positive impact it can have on your life and ability to be successful, could make it well worth it.

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.

4 Mantras to Repeat When Working Motherhood Gets Rough in the New Year

As we enter the new year, many working moms might be filled with mixed emotions because we can be our own worst critics, often feeling like we’re not doing enough at home or at work. According to the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of adults say women face a great deal of pressure to be involved parents—and the pressure is probably even higher for working moms.

But there’s so much to celebrate as a working mom, and sometimes we just need a little reminder. That’s why it’s worth repeating these four mantras to ourselves whenever working motherhood gets hard in 2019.

To read the full article in Working Mother Magazine, click here.

Unplugged: Strategies for Relaxing Over the Holiday Break

According to a research study conducted by UC Santa Cruz, unplugging from technology and spending more time in nature can lead to a 50 percent increase in creativity and problem solving.

The holiday break may be the ideal time to truly unplug. Below are four ideas for how to do just that to close out the current year and ring in the new year feeling healthier, happier and more fulfilled.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

5 Ways to Get Organized and Minimize Stress Over the Holidays

According to a research study conducted by Healthline, only 10 percent of respondents reported typically experiencing no stress during the holidays, which means 90 percent feel stressed in some way.

While the holiday season can be challenging for many, following are five tips for getting organized and minimizing stress during this often complex time of year.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Creative Ways to Squeeze Exercise into a Workday

You may often feel like your workday is so busy that you barely have time to breathe and are utterly exhausted by the time you get home. According to a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, daily work stressors and long work hours can have a negative impact on health behaviors.

That’s why it’s important to break up the workday and get in some exercise to counteract the negative impact. Following are four creative ways to squeeze exercise into your work routine, no matter how busy you may be.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Is Work-Life Balance Realistic for Both Women and Men?

There have been many headlines lately in Forbes, The New York Times and USA Today to name a few, on whether or not it’s possible for both women and men to attain work-life balance. While many companies in major metropolitan cities and regions are providing more work-life balance related perks, such as generous maternity and paternity leaves, onsite childcare, corporate fitness centers and more, there still seems to be a gap, especially for women who have children.

While we’ve come a long way in providing more opportunities for work-life balance, more awareness and steps can be taken to continue to close the gap, not only between employee needs and company policies, but between women and men as well. The more men can also take advantage of work-life balance perks, the more it frees up women to take advantage of them on a level playing field and it allows spouses to alternate and better collaborate to manage their work and family lives. Therefore, below are four ideas for organizations to consider to create even more opportunities for work-life balance for both female and male employees:

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.

5 Ways You Can Have Higher Performing Employees by Adopting a Wellness-Centric Culture

It’s well documented that a corporate wellness program can impact a company’s bottom line by reducing medical costs and insurance claims. While we all know this is a strong and important possibility, having a singular wellness program can only take an employer and its employees so far.

Instead of stopping there, what if your company could adopt a wellness-centric culture that would produce higher performing employees and positively impact your company on a much deeper level?

Below are five ways you can improve employee performance by adopting wellness-centric programs and policies in your company.

To read the full article in Thrive Global, click here.



Research Study Reveals Young Women and Girls Lack Recommended Exercise

According to U.S. News and World Report, a new research study that includes data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Survey concludes that girls and young women ages 12-29 aren’t meeting the recommended guidelines for exercise.

The American Heart Association recommends teens get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day and adults get 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.

Many young women and girls may not be playing sports or taking part in athletic activities in the same ways their male counterparts do. Exercise is critical for preventing obesity, heart disease and cancer, and can improve moods, decrease anxiety and depression and produce a positive body image.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

5 Ways Working Moms Get in Our Own Heads and How to Stop it

Being a working mom is often complex, exhilarating, confusing, rewarding and a whole mix of other emotions. Not everyone can relate, but for those who can, it’s a special bond and one that connects us all and helps us to feel as if we’re not alone.

To read the full article in Working Mother Magazine, click here.

Get Fit for Fall and Back to School Season

It’s hard to believe summer is nearly over. The days will soon be getting shorter, the weather will eventually be getting cooler and the kids will be heading back to school.

According to the American Council on Exercise, changing seasons can impact our health, sleep, mood and general behavior. While it may be tough to say goodbye to the carefree days of summer, there are ways to embrace the new season with our physical, mental and emotional health intact. The key is to focus on fitness, nutrition, sleep and mindset.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.


Wellness Communities Offer Motivation to Stay Healthy

When we’re not feeling motivated to exercise, we often come up with a laundry list of reasons why we can’t do it. Perhaps we’re tired, hungry, have work to do or are sore from a previous workout.

There’s hope, however. According to a 2011 research study in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, fitness habits are often influenced by others who are close to us. Our own perceptions of the type of social support we might be receiving also can be pivotal

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Exercise Can Help Achieve Work Goals

If you’re looking for new ways to up the ante on your work performance, exercise can do more than increase your energy and relieve stress.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular exercise can ensure that your thinking, learning and judgment skills remain sharp. If you want to achieve your goals at work, following are ways exercise can help.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Every Day is a Gift and a Chance to Give Back

Hi Passion Fit Crew!

I hope your summer is off to a wonderful start. Over the last several months, I’ve been writing so much for third party magazine and news publications that I haven’t had as much time to write in my own Passion Fit blog lately. Therefore, I wanted to take some time to do just that, because I’ve had a lot on my mind these days and enjoy sharing my thoughts and ideas with you guys. I tend to get more personal in these posts as well, which is always nice for me to connect with my readers on a deeper level.

In today’s post, I’d like to share my thoughts on why every new day is a gift and a chance to give back. In my opinion, this is a perspective that can serve us well, no matter what our life circumstances may be. In essence, it can encourage us to practice empathy and gratitude, which can provide our lives with more fulfillment, a rich perspective and deeper meaning, in good and bad times.

Over the last few months, so much has been going on in my life and the world around me. Yesterday was my birthday, which was wonderful, but it also marks the four-year anniversary of when my grandfather passed away, which makes it an exceptionally bittersweet and reflective day for me each year. Also, my dad had been sick and in the hospital recently and after a few long and tough months of working hard with the support of his doctors, nurses, my mom and our whole family to get his strength back, he’s thankfully strong and healthy again.

I’ve also had a few different friends who have recently experienced the loss of or serious health issues pertaining to their parents, grandparents or children, which has been truly heart breaking. In addition, while the end of the school year and beginning of summer mark an exciting time for many people, it’s also a bittersweet time for parents, as our kids are growing up so quickly before our eyes, that it’s sometimes hard to bear.

Since all of these life situations could be difficult for any human being to endure, having a sense of empathy for others can really go a long way in facing and learning from these situations. We never know what someone might be going through in their life, which is why I believe it’s so critical to put ourselves in their shoes, give them the benefit of the doubt and lend a helping hand in times of need. We all go through ups and downs and remembering that can help us all feel more connected and understanding of one other.

Empathy is a key focus in my sons’ elementary school and is something my husband and I are trying to teach them at home as well. If children can learn this important skill early on in life, they may be that much more able to make a positive impact on others and give back when they become adults as well.

Gratitude is another important aspect of living a meaningful life and an important skill to learn early on in my opinion. While some days may provide more challenges in our lives than others, no matter what we may be going through, there’s always something to be grateful for. Sometimes it just requires digging deep, looking at the world around us with our eyes wide open and talking to people who are close to us and who can provide us with that perspective.

Being thankful for the big things in life such as our health, family, friends, faith, love, careers or homes, are some of the best places to start in my opinion. However, also being thankful for the little things in life, such as a sunny, warm day, beautiful flowers, a delicious meal, getting to sleep in, looking at the stars or going for a run, could also put us in a gracious state of mind.

Life is never perfect, but I truly believe it’s a miracle and a gift. It also provides an opportunity to practice kindness, spread joy and love and give to others. If we can all take more time to view life in this way, the possibilities of what we can experience in our lives are endless!

That’s it for today, Passion Fit Crew. I hope you consider every new day of your lives a gift and have a chance to give back to others in ways that are meaningful to you!

With love, empathy and gratitude,




Tips for Incorporating In-Season Fruits and Vegetables in Your Meals

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in 10 adults in the U.S. gets enough fruits and vegetables in his or her meals.

This statistic is based on federal guidelines and recommendations stating that adults should eat 2-3 cups of vegetables and 1 1/2-2 cups of fruit per day. Fruits and vegetables contain nutrients such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants, folate and more to prevent many diseases and infections and also keep our bodies functioning optimally.

As we are now in the spring season and heading into summer, there are more fresh, organic fruits and vegetables available that can be incorporated into nutrition plans and meals in creative ways.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

4 Ways to Convince Your Boss to Give You a More Flexible Work Schedule

After my younger son was born, I knew I needed to scale back. It was the spring of 2011, and I was on maternity leave from my digital advertising sales job at Google. I loved my job and had been promoted right before I went on maternity leave—when I was eight months pregnant—so I knew they valued my work and me as an employee.

To read the full article in Working Mother Magazine, click here.


Why You Should Never Skip Your Post-Workout Cooldown

One of the biggest culprits for skipping your workout? Not having enough time. That not only translates to missed classes and training sessions, but it usually means that when you do manage to get to the gym, you’re more inclined to cut corners (like reps, sets, stretches, warm-ups, and cooldowns) to save some precious time.

To read the full article in Shape Magazine, click here.


Seamless Ways to Fit Exercise into Your Schedule this Spring

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, only 21 percent of adults in the U.S. are meeting the weekly guidelines for exercise. Not only are many people too busy to exercise, but the number is probably even lower in the winter months, when the weather is colder and people fall ill during cold and flu season.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Debunking the Myths about Dance Workouts

Many people are under the misconception that dancing isn’t a very effective workout.

While there may be variances by individual, according to research conducted by the American Council on Exercise, dance classes like Zumba can burn on average between 300 and 400 calories per hour and are considered effective, full-body regimens.

Based on this information, following are four myths about dance workouts that can be busted.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

The 5 Biggest Health Mistakes Working Moms Make

According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, women are more likely to experience physical and emotional symptoms of stress than men are, and it is often due to women trying to balance work and family needs. This juggling act can also cause working moms to make errors when it comes to managing their physical well-being. Here’s a list of the five biggest mistakes often made and how to correct them for optimal health in the future.

To read the full article in Working Mother Magazine, click here.

5 Sneaky Tricks That Make Being a Working Mom Easier in Peak Cold and Flu Season

Sure, cold weather may not be responsible for your kids’ colds—but it certainly doesn’t help keep them away. According to the CDC, elementary school-aged kids get, on average, eight to 12 colds or cases of the flu each year. As a busy working mom, it can derail your entire week when your kids get sick. While there are many things that can be done throughout the year to prevent colds and the flu, here are tips for how to deal with them when they’ve already happened, so you can quickly get your kids healthy and get back to work.

To read the full article in Working Mother Magazine, click here.

Tips for Busy Moms to Claim a Little “Me Time”

According to a study on WebMD, many people, especially women, are less happy than they were 40 years ago due to a lack of time for themselves.

Moms, in particular, struggle with finding balance because they’re so busy meeting work and/or volunteer deadlines and tending to the needs of their families and homes.

Following are some ideas to help busy moms claim some time for themselves, especially during this busy time of year.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

End of Year Reflections

As as the year is coming to a close, I wanted to write today about end of year reflections. No matter what is currently happening in your life or what happened earlier this year, in my opinion, it’s important to take some time to reflect on the past year and take note of what went well, what was challenging and what you learned from your experiences. I also think it’s important to take the time to focus on what you’ve been grateful for this year. To encourage you all to do these things for yourselves, I’ll take you through this process with my own end of year reflections as an example for all of you.


This year was off to a busy start for me, as I was working full-time as the Director of Enterprise Sales for a Silicon Valley start-up called Grokker, while also continuing to build my company, Passion Fit (which I had originally launched in 2014 after leaving Google) on the side. I was also busy with my family, as my husband and I have two busy boys in fifth and first grade, who are active in school and sports. I was in an interesting place as a working mom, because I knew getting start-up experience was invaluable for my career and also contemplated staying in the tech space and possibly going back to a large Fortune 500 company again, but having already left Google to launch and build Passion Fit, I knew deep down, that’s where my heart was and had always been. I also was spread pretty thin and knew it was not sustainable to work full-time, build my own company and continue to be a hands-on and present mom and wife, especially given my husband also has a busy, full-time career in the tech space.

In addition, I’ve always liked having the flexibility to manage my career and personal life in a way that works best for my family and me and have experienced for many years, the stress that comes with working full-time for another company, while managing school drop-offs and pick-ups, soccer and basketball practices, volunteering at school, homework, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. Therefore, in March of this past year, I decided to leave Grokker and focus full-time again on Passion Fit and take my company to the next level. And nine months later, I can tell you it was absolutely the right decision for me and I’ve been so thrilled to have flexibility for my family and home life again, while also following my passions, career dreams and mission to help others flourish from the inside out by focusing on their health, wellness and fitness. I’ve been so incredibly busy with designing and teaching my fitness and dance classes, growing the Passion Fit community locally and online, writing for my own blog and third party publications on fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and healthy lifestyles, launching my fifth video series for my YouTube channel, conducting wellness workshops and speaking engagements for companies, universities and non-profits, developing local business partnerships, launching my wellness consulting practice and landing media appearances on TV, online and in print publications. Also, I’ve been serving as a proud and active alumni board member, vice chair and student mentor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Business School.


I’ve enjoyed being able to focus on my own health by exercising most days of the week through teaching and prepping for my classes and sometimes taking other classes, training myself and others for and running a half marathon, getting more focused on my mindfulness practice through daily yoga, deep breathing and/or meditation and taking my nutrition focus to the next level for myself, my family and my Passion Fit clients. After obtaining an additional certification in nutrition through the American Council on Exercise this year, I’ve felt even more empowered to make even healthier choices.

Family and Travel:

My family and I were able to take some fun trips to Lake Tahoe, San Diego, LA, Orange County, Madison, Milwaukee and Phoenix this year for family get togethers, to help my parents move from the Midwest to the West Coast, the holidays and family weddings. We’re now hoping 2018 will allow for more East Coast and international travel.

Global Landscape:

Overall, 2017 has been an interesting year. As a nation, we’ve experienced much political and societal upheaval, shootings, natural disasters such as hurricanes, droughts and fires and an increased focus on empowerment and respect for women and people of all backgrounds.

Personal Reflections:

For me, there were definitely ups and downs personally and professionally in 2017. I had moments of joy, peace, growth and happiness and some moments of stress, burnout, worry and frustration as well. I had days when I had full confidence in myself and everything I was doing and other days when I was unsure of myself in some areas and questioned things. I had days of pure bliss as a mom and wife and other days of exhaustion from all of my responsibilities within these roles. I had days when I felt really strong and healthy and other days when my health suffered (i.e. such as this fall/winter when my seasonal allergies and asthma really kicked in and have been tough to deal with). However, through it all, I’m grateful for my family, health, faith, friends, home, career and life. No one’s life is perfect because that’s just not what being human is all about. That said, in my opinion, the key is to work hard, have good intentions, help others, be kind and empathetic, stay positive, have faith, be persistent yet patient when trying to reach your goals, be flexible, learn from mistakes, have passion, use your head and heart, love unconditionally and never, ever give up.

That’s it for today, Passion Fit Crew! I hope you all take some time for your end of year reflections and wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and a prosperous New Year. I look forward to connecting with you all again soon and can’t wait to share what’s in store for Passion Fit in 2018 and beyond!

Lots of love and best wishes,


3 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Based on research conducted by Stanford University’s BeWell program, Americans on average gain one pound per year during the holidays.

While that may seem minimal, it can really add up over time and lead to more serious health problems in the future, such as diabetes and heart disease.

According to a survey conducted by Healthline, 60-65 percent of respondents admitted to feeling stressed over the holidays. Stress is a big, and sometimes overlooked, culprit in weight gain because it can lead to overeating.

Following are three simple tips for staying healthy during the holidays and avoiding weight gain.

To read the full article in the Los Altos Town Crier, click here.

Fitness + Technology: Leverage Both for Optimal Health

These days, fitness and technology go hand in hand. While technology is often responsible for keeping people overly connected, busy and stressed, it also can be used for good when it comes to health and wellbeing. There are so many great new apps, tracking devices, watches and online videos out there to help you be healthy and informed. Therefore, in today’s post, I’d like to share my thoughts on fitness and technology, my favorite resources and some additional ones for you to check out.

Living and working in Silicon Valley means I see, touch and experience technology all day, every day. These days, I’m sure this is the case for everyone, no matter where you live. It can be daunting at times to be in an environment that moves at lightning speed and to always feel the need to be connected and online by checking email, social media, text messages and apps throughout the day. However, as long as you build in regular breaks from technology and stay balanced every day, here are some ways to use technology for good, as I like to say and the resources I use regularly.

Apps: I love to use MyFitnessPal for nutrition by entering in goals, foods and calories consumed for awareness and tracking purposes. There are also some great healthy recipes and other articles on nutrition within the app. It can be used for entering workouts as well and tracking minutes exercised, calories burned, etc. Another app I love to use for meditation and sleep purposes is Deepak Chopra’s Ananda – Conscious Health. It has a wonderful library of soothing music and instrumentals as well as guided meditations, which help for practicing mindfulness, body awareness, internal connection, breathing and providing the foundation for a good night’s sleep.

Social Media: When it comes to socia