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Shaping Her

Shaping and empowering every woman to be the healthiest sexiest her.

… but have you heard of Iron Dads?

This past weekend I went to a really great race. The night before the race was all about the kids. There was a kid’s duathlon for children 7 – 16 and then there was a run for the “seedlings” 3 – 6. Talk about fun! I signed my little guy up for seedlings race and then watched a crazy transformation. My little dude who was whining about wanting to go swimming he suddenly transformed in to a little athlete! He started stretching and jumping around to “warm up” he even got a nervous and a little snipish! Watching him was kind of like looking it to a mini me mirror.

It was so great watching my son in his first competition. What fun!

We stuck around to watch the other young kids compete in the duathlon. What a treat! It was such a blast to cheer those kids on. When the first wave of kids started there was also a wave of dads shouting out instructions and telling their kids to push harder. I had to chuckle. They are the “Iron Dads” the twinkie to the dreaded soccer mom.

We stayed by the transition area until all the kids had come through. A couple asked us if we were waiting for one of the kids or who of our crew was racing. Our answer? No one. We were there to cheer on each and every one of those little kids so that they would carry with them an awesome memory of people encouraging them no matter where they were in the pack
There was one especially awesome moment where the last two little girls were coming out of a transition, they weren’t friends before the race but they had teamed up during it, the one little girl was jogging with the other encouraging her the whole way. Another great moment was watching two slightly older boys race towards the finish line, giving it all that they had. It was great to see these kids participating.

There were a couple of things that I took away from that kids night. First I am so glad that my son gets to see me being active and competing and enjoying activities of all kinds. I am glad that he gets to see me handle the stress and how he gets to be a part of training and travel. Also, it was a reminder that every child will develop a love for activity if they see their parents doing things and if they are encouraged to participate BUT it might not be a love for the same thing that the parent is in to! Just because I love duathlon doesn’t mean that my son needs to be a duathlete. Maybe he will play baseball or maybe he’ll just want to stay active at home and not even play sports! My job is to provide the opportunity and the inspiration for my child and then to stand back in awe as he goes to places I never could have imagined.

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So I am going to take a little different tack today and talk about post partum exercise. Now of course this might not be the stage that many of you are in but you can still take away some valuable information because post partum care is just another phase of taking care of a woman’s body and many women could use a little help in the areas that we are going to discuss.

After being pregnant it is usually necessary to strengthen and bring the ab muscles back together. Also there is usually a need for strengthening the pelvic floor. Getting your balance back can be tricky and it is always nice to tone up a bit, drop a few of the extra baby lbs and start feeling energized.

First off I would like to recommend that you get Julie Tupler’s book “Lose Your Mummy Tummy“. This is really good stuff. You can start this very soon after having your baby and it will help bring your abs back together. Many of the “exercises” can be done while you are sitting and that is a good thing for a new mom!

Next I would like you to take a look at Aligned and Well. There are some great way to strengthen your ham strings and calves as well as improve your balance and even tips on how to walk so that you are being good to your knees and hips. You can order a DVD but there is also a blog with lots of information and you can also sign up for a newsletter.

A great exercise to help with your back and a gentle core exercise is the cat stretch: Perform these in a tabata style workout meaning that you begin the exercise and continue for 20 seconds, rest for a full 10 seconds and then begin again. Start with 4 repetitions and work your way up to 8.

It is important to strengthen your pelvic floor as well and there is no better way to do that than with squats and lunges! That and who doesn’t want a toned tush? And let’s face it, it goes a little mushy trying to be the counterbalance to your baby belly.
Squats and lunges can be performed while wearing your baby. If you have more than one child then get creative and do them outside while you are watching your other children play.

Before you do your squats and lunges walk a bit to warm up your legs and then do 20 seconds worth of the exercise, making sure that you have good form, and then rest for 10. Start with 4 repetitions and work your way up to 8.

Squats with baby:


Lunges with baby:
Start slowly with these few exercises. Remember to get out and walk. Go for a walk around the block or to a park, walk to the store if you are able, walk as much as possible and don’t forget to carry your little built in weight! Weather you hold your munchkin or carry them in a backpack, front pack or sling you have the perfect amount of extra weight to make things challenging.

It won’t be long and you will start to see your body respond to the exercise and you’ll be moving on to something more challenging.


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I don’t think that you should ever just take someone’s word for something. Really. I believe I am teachable. I always listen to people, especially the people that I see are doing things right or have something that I would like to have. I just don’t think you should swallow everything hook line and sinker without doing your own research or really delving in to the other person’s life to see if it really works for them or if you are getting a smoke screen of some kind. Then you have the job of being able to separate what you like or what you want from the things that you want to discard. Just like I was talking about yesterday. I am taking things from CrossFit, I am taking things from Paleo, I read Gary Taubes and took a little bit of that, I have read Nourishing Traditions, which you definitely should check out by the way, and took things from that as well as Susun Weed. I listen to my mom as she was a competitive body builder. I learn from the guys in my local bike club who have traveled the world cycling. I listen to my coach. But I don’t take everything and I make things work for me. To be able to do that though I have had to learn about my own body. I have had to face my own limitations and I have had to set goals for myself. I had to understand where I was at and where I was going. I also have had to experiment a whole bunch because you really don’t know if something works for you unless you try it! I should mention that I haven’t tried some of the things I was interested in but made a case study of other people, that works too!

OK. Enough of that. Here’s tomorrow’s tabata.

5 min warm up.

20 seconds on

10 seconds rest

5 min cool down and stretch.

Today’s tabata is… THESE COOL THINGS!

Switch which side you are doing them on, first 20 seconds with the left leg, second 20 seconds on the right leg etc.



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There are a few things I really like and glean a lot of stuff from right now but don’t really hold to completely. Make sense? I mean I like a lot of their principles and a lot of their reasoning and sound and there are entire chunks of their principles and reasoning that make no sense or I am completely not interested in. Two of those things are CrossFit and and Paleo. It is great that both are so popular right now because I can find all kinds of great recipes that are low carb (Paleo) and great exercises that are short and intense (CrossFit). I take these things and give them a good solid tweak and they work out great!

I wanted to share a great website I stumbled across last night while looking for some good recipes. The great thing is that there are so many kid friendly recipes on her site! Take a look…. HERE

And here is a tabata for tomorrow:

5 min warm up. Get that blood pumpin’!

20 seconds Plank. Straight up. Start with a high plank and then do a low plank the next 20 seconds.

10 seconds rest. Child’s pose is a good way to stretch out those arms!

5 min cool down/stretch



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I copied this entire article from Susun Weed. It is just a great piece of food and nutrients and really sheds some light on the whole cooking/not cooking debate.



c. 2004 Susun S Weed
Which is better: cooked food or raw? Taking nothing for granted or gospel, I set out to find out for myself the answer to this important question.

First, I asked, what is meant by “raw food” and what is meant by “cooked food?” One cannot simply say that raw is uncooked, for there are raw food “cookbooks.” Nor is cooking simply the application of heat through boiling, baking, or frying, as I soon discovered. Ripening itself is one form of natural cooking; others are described later.

Second, I wondered, what did my ancestors eat? And was it raw or cooked?

Third, I questioned, how do enzymes in foods affect digestion and health?

And fourth, I attempted to sum it up, is there an advantage to cooking?

The answers weren’t as simple as one might suspect, however. The answers to these questions combine in interesting ways, and open up other questions in their answering.

To begin with the second question: Our most primitive ancestors, those who lived several million years ago, most likely ate raw food. The majority of what they ate was animal protein: muscle meats, organ meats, eggs, and insects.

Present day examples of peoples who primarily eat raw animal protein include the Inuit of the far North and the Masai of Africa, known for their health and freedom from disease.

Research done by Dr. Pottenger in the mid-twentieth century revealed that raw meat and milk contained enzymes necessary for digestion. He showed that heat deactivated their enzymes ( His conclusion was that raw meat, fish, milk and eggs provide more nutrients and are more easily digested.

This is not true of plant foods, however. Vegetables and fruits do contain enzymes — if picked fully ripe — but their enzymes have no function in their own digestion, although papaya, pineapple, and kiwi fruit contain enzymes that digest meat (An interesting aside – these fruits are tropical fruits that help digest and destroy, in the digestive systems of people and animals, the parasites that are found in those regions, and only incidentally digest other kinds of meat). Many plant enzymes interfere with digestion, so our bodies destroy them.

Cooked food was the preference of most of our ancestors. Archaeologists have found evidence of fire in sites occupied by hominids as far back as a million years ago, but cannot say exactly when we began to use fire to cook food.

Certainly by about ten thousand years ago, when cultivation of grains and beans — hard foods which absolutely require cooking — became widespread, our ancestors were regularly and routinely cooking their food.

Most current aboriginal people also cook their food; in New Zealand, for instance, I found the Maori jealously guarding natural hot pools used to cook their food.

Is there an advantage to cooking? It depends on how we cook – or, more basically, how we define cooking – and whether we are eating animals or plants. Animal cells are surrounded by a membrane. This thin membrane is easily dissolved by digestive juices, releasing the nutrients stored in the cell. Fast, high-heat cooking will toughen these membranes, thus slowing digestion and impairing nutrient uptake.

For an illustration of this, think of how tough an overcooked piece of meat can become; chewing, an important part of digestion, is much more difficult. Slow, low-heat cooking dissolves the membrane, making digestion and nutrient uptake much easier. If the idea of raw meat turns your stomach, eat soups and stews instead.

Plant cells are surrounded by a wall. This wall is designed to resist breakage and to protect the stored nutrition in plant cells. Digestive juices act on the cell walls of plants little if at all; take a look in the toilet the day after next time you eat corn on the cob to see how true this is. Cooking, which can be expanded to include her sisters freezing, drying, sprouting, fermenting, and preserving in oil, breaks the cell wall and is necessary to liberate nutrients from plant cells.

Cooked vegetables and fruits, grains, and beans provide more nutrients and are more easily digested than raw ones.

A Haiku-like verse that could sum this up is:

Chewing what is raw,
how can one smile?
Muscles of the jaw too tense.

A macrobiotic diet, the only vegetarian diet shown to put cancer in remission, consists of cooked food exclusively. Around the world, well-cooked meat broths — think chicken soup — are the food of choice for convalescents.

Cooked plants are far more nourishing than raw plants, whether we look at vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, or pulses (beans). Cooking not only breaks the cell wall, liberating minerals to our bodies, it actually enhances and activates many vitamins.

This is true especially of the carotenes, used to make vitamin A, and other antioxidants in plants. Research found that the longer the corn is cooked and the hotter the temperature, the greater the amount of antioxidants in the corn.

This also applies to vitamin C. A baked potato contains far more vitamin C than a raw potato. And sauerkraut (cabbage cooked by fermentation) contains up to ten times as much vitamin C as raw cabbage.

Some vitamins do leach into cooking water. Cooking with little or no water (for instance, steaming or braising) reduces vitamin loss in vegetables such as broccoli from 97% to 11%.

Note, however, that the vitamins aren’t lost or destroyed, but merely transferred to the cooking water. Using that water for soup stock, or drinking it, insures that you ingest all the nutrients, and in a highly absorbable form.

Transferring nutrients into water, such as by making nourishing herbal infusions and healing soups, and then ingesting them is far more effective, in my experience, than wheat grass juice, green drinks, or any kind of nutritional supplement. It is, in fact, one of the best ways to optimally nourish oneself that I have found in three decades of paying attention to health.

Even if some vitamins are lost in cooking, people absorb more of what is there from cooked foods. Several recent studies measured vitamin levels in the blood after eating raw and cooked vegetables. “Subjects who ate cooked veggies absorbed four to five times more nutrients than those who ate raw ones,” reported researchers at the Institute of Food Research in 2003.

There is no simple answer to the question “raw or cooked?” But for simplicity’s sake, I say, eat your food cooked. This is especially the case if you choose to eat a diet high in whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetables, and fruit. That’s the way I eat, so I cook most of my food. But I keep a herd of dairy goats so I can have raw milk, raw milk cheese, and raw milk yogurt. I do enjoy raw meat and raw fish on occasion, but more often slow cook my goat into barbeque, a special kind of healing “soup” I learned to make in Texas.

The cook dances with the element fire. The cook stirs the cauldron. The cook transforms the parts and turns them into our whole. Blessings on the cook. Praise to the cook. May your food be well cooked.


Aiello, L.C.; Wheeler, P. “The expensive tissue hypothesis: the brain and the digestive system in human and primate evolution.” Current Anthropology. 36:199-221, 1995

Alvi, Shahnaz; Khan, K.M.; Sheikh, Munir A.; Shahid, Muhammad. “Effect of Peeling and Cooking on Nutrients in Vegetables.” Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 2 (3): 189-191, 2003

Blumenschine, Robert. “Hominid carnivory and foraging strategies, and the socio-economic function of early archaeological sites,” pp. 51-61. In: Whiten, A.;

Widdowson, E.M. (eds.) Foraging Strategies and Natural Diet of Monkeys, Apes, and Humans. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 1992

Bower, Bruce. “Ancient Origins of Fire Use.” Science News. 157(18): 287, April 29, 2000

Cobb, Kristin. “Processing Corn Boosts Antioxidants.” Science News. 162(9): 141, Aug. 31, 2002

Davidson; Noble “When did language begin?” p. 46. In: Burenhult, Goran (ed.) The First Humans: Human Origins and History to 10,000 B.C. New York, NY: Harper-Collins Publishers. 1993

de Pee, S.; West, C.; Muhlilal, D.; Hautvast, J. “Lack of improvement in vitamin A status with increased consumption of dark-green leafy vegetables.” Lancet. 346:75-81, 1995

Foley, Robert. Humans Before Humanity. Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell Publishers. 1995

Groves. “Our earliest ancestors,” pp. 33-40, 42-45, 47-52. In: Burenhult, Goran (ed.) The First Humans: Human Origins and History to 10,000 B.C. New York, NY: Harper-Collins Publishers. 1993

James, Steven. “Hominid use of fire in the lower and middle Pleistocene. A review of the evidence.” Current Anthropology. 30:1-26, 1990

Megarry, Tim. Society in Prehistory: The Origins of Human Culture. New York, NY: New York University Press. 1995

Oste, R.E. “Digestibility of Processed Food Protein.” Adv Exp Med Biol. 289: 371-88, 1991

Parker, R.S. “Absorption, metabolism, and transport of carotenoids.” The FASEB Journal. 10:542-551, 1996

Preet, K.; Punia, D. “Antinutrients and Digestibility (in vitro) of Soaked, Dehulled and Germinated Cowpeas. Nutr Health. 14 (2): 109-117, 2000

Rukang, Ru; Shenglong, Lin. “Peking man.” Scientific American. 248(6): 86-94, June 1983.

Sillen, A. “Strontium-calcium (Sr/Ca) ratios of Australopithecus robustus and associated fauna from Swartkrans.” Journal of Human Evolution. 23:495-516, 1992

Sussman, R.W. “Species-specific dietary patterns in primates and human dietary adaptations,” pp. 151-179. In: Spuhler, J.N. (ed.) The Evolution of Human Behavior: Primate Models. State University of New York Press. 1987

Tortora, G..J.; Anagnostakos, N.P. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, New York, NY: Harper and Row. 1981

Walker, Alan; Shipman, Pat. The Wisdom of the Bones: In Search of Human Origins. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. 1996

Young, V.; Pellett, P. “Plant proteins in relation to human protein and amino acid nutrition.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 59:1203S-1212S, 1996

Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.

Susun is one of America’s best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women’s health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world.

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I get to go on a walk today! I am so excited! Sad isn’t it? Seriously… going from training 14 hours a week to getting to go for a 20 min rehab walk. Oh well.

So what are you going to do to move today?

I am thinking that you should do sprints. Yup.

5 min warm up

20 seconds runnnnnniinnnnggg

10 seconds rest.

5 min cool down jog and then stretch out a bit



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Things happen. You know how I told you that I am on a mandatory one week rest? Well yeah, that is just going swell right now, I have 4 days left and I had to practice not freaking out today. I find myself reviewing every step of my race this past weekend and remembering every limp. It actually hurts worse thinking about it then it did actually doing it. I didn’t meet my goal. That is the worst part about the whole thing. OK. So I didn’t meet my time goal and I didn’t podium like I was aiming for but I did finish and I did qualify to go to France as part of Team USA for the World Championships. It’s just that I didn’t meet my own expectations, not even that I didn’t it was that I couldn’t.

There are times when that happens. In all areas of our lives. It is never a good time. It’s never convenient and it never feels good.

When life shoots you in the foot… limp it through and then all you can do is rest.

Not you. Figuratively. Seriously. You don’t need to rest. Get off your butt and do the tabatas I can’t do!

5 min warm up. I don’t care what you do just get that blood pumping!

20 seconds busting your tail! Power jacks –

10 seconds rest


I am taking on 3 more clients this month and next month is open, let me know if you are interested.