Endorphins Fitness

Train Happy!

My name is Lindsay Frankel, and I am a NSCA-certified personal trainer and mom of 3. My goal as a fitness professional is to help women, specifically pre and postnatal women (postnatal = anyone who has ever had a baby!) reach their training goals by making exercise fun and accessible for you.

 "Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy!" Who doesn't want to be happy?! 

How does exercise make you happy? Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, and when they are released through exercise, your mood is boosted naturally. Physically active people recover from mild depression more quickly, and physical activity is strongly correlated with good mental health as we age. 

So welcome-- click around and hopefully you'll find a program that will work for you. I look forward to helping you take the steps toward being the best you that you can possibly be!

Your Own Personal Baby Bootcamp

A big hurdle that a lot of moms face is finding time to fit in exercise. Between jobs, caring for kids, housework, grocery shopping, etc. etc., a lot of people struggle to find the time for exercise. While health and wellness is a priority, going to the gym drops down to the bottom of the list in your daily schedule when you've got so much going on already. As a mom and a fitness professional I am here to tell you that it shouldn't. Exercising should be at the top of your list, because, in my opinion at least, you will do your job as a parent better if you are healthy. You will be present for your kids. They won't tire you out as easily. You will have more energy. And the real kicker: they will notice that you put an effort into your health, and they will strive to be like you and move more too! 

Being a new mom (or a mom with a 2nd or 3rd baby...) presents another host of challenges. You cross the 4-6 week postpartum mark and are physically able to get back into the gym, but there are some obstacles in the way of getting your pre-baby body back. Babies nap. A lot. Your fitness center might not have childcare. Babies eat. A lot. They cry, you are exhausted from lack of sleep. And lets not forget that some moms actually want to spend time bonding with their little ones. So how do you reconcile all these factors with your desire to be a fit mama? Incorporate your baby into your workout.

This isn't a novel idea that I am coming up with on my own, there are tons of baby bootcamps out there. I have already done a post about fun ways to "work out" with your kids, but that was assuming your kiddos were at least walking. Here I am going to highlight some great exercises you can do with your newborn babe, up until the point where said infant will no longer cooperate. All kids are different and some will last longer than others :) 

Squats

Babies make for great counterweights when doing squats. You can use them in place of a plate when doing a more traditional squat, or in place of a kettlebell when doing a goblet squat. If you choose the former, hold your baby at chest height. As you squat down, extend your arms out in front of you. When you stand back up, bring your baby in to your chest. If doing a goblet squat, hold your baby close to the chest with your elbows flaring out to the sides, but be sure not to let them go higher than shoulder height. Squat down as low as you can go, ideally you would get to at least a 90 degree bend in the knee. 

Curls

Ever heard of "mom arms?" The constant lifting of a baby gives us moms an edge in the toned arms department just by the nature of our everyday activity. But for a bonus arm works, use your little guy or girl in place of a dumbbell or barbell, and "curl" them up and down. Just hold your baby out in front of you and do some bicep curls, raises the baby up and down. Bonus is your baby might find this one to be kind of fun!

Overhead Press 

Pretty much exactly what it sounds like- you would use your baby here in place of a dumbbell. This exercise can be done either kneeling, standing, or reclining. Hold your baby and push him up over your head. Caution: watch out for drool and/or spit-up. This one is a favorite of my little girls, so we do it often :) 

Pushups

This gets trickers as your baby gets older and more mobile, but while they are really little and not rolling around, its really an excellent motivator. Lie your baby down on her back and get into pushup position over her. As you do each rep you get closer to her, and if you get deep enough, give a kiss! This is such an awesome way to bond with your baby, and you'll tone your arms and chest as well. 

Crunches

Along the same lines as the pushup, in that when you crunch up you bring yourself face to face with your baby and experience some great eye contact. I don't advise doing crunches right out of the gate, as there are issues with core restoration after giving birth, so approach this with caution and only when ready. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Your baby rests perfectly in the hammock-like space you've created with your thighs and stomach. Lift your shoulders up and "crunch" your abdominals in, and as your raise yourself up you come face to face with your baby. 

Deadlift

You'll find that you're doing these without even realizing it, almost every time you pick your baby up off the floor. Actually, any time you lift anything off the floor, you are likely doing a deadlift. Keeping your knees soft, hinge at the hips to reach down and lift your baby up. If you are feeling really fancy and adventurous, and you have good balance, try a single leg RDL, where you would balance on one leg while lifting the baby off the floor, with your raised leg extending behind you as you hinge downward. PLEASE only do this more advanced move if you have the proper balance. 

and last, but definitely not least:

Plank

lso a great way to get some face time with your baby. Lie your baby down and hold yourself up on your toes and forearms above your baby. Your baby will love gazing up at you (assuming he doesn't roll/crawl away) and you will get the bonus of working your core while staring into his adoring eyes. Whats not to love? 

With these exercises in hand, it is impossible to use your baby as an excuse not to work out. Your baby becomes your excuse TO work out. Your Welcome. 

Some food for thought

With Memorial Day behind us, summer, and barbecue season, is in full swing. Of course that means a lot of people are hitting the gym to get swimsuit ready. But it also means we are firing up the grill for some awesome outdoor cooking. Need some healthy ideas to go along with the classic burger? Try some of my favorite dishes for your next cookout:

 

Avocado Mango Salsa

I find this to be the perfect topping to a great burger, but also pairs well with chicken or fish. For less kick, omit the habaneros or just substitute with red bell pepper. From allrecipes.com 

  • 1 avocado- peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 mango- peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt to taste

Place the avocado in a serving bowl, and mix with the lime juice. Mix in the mango, onion, habanero pepper, cilantro and salt.

Roasted Beet and Wheat Berry Salad

Makes a great side dish, if you’re a beet person (and I know a lot of people aren’t). From Bon Appetit, I’ve also made this with quinoa instead of the wheat berries and its just as good.

  • 1 pound medium beets (4–5 beets)
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat berries
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
     

Preheat oven to 400°.

Wrap beets in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Unwrap beets and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Remove skins and cut beets into thin wedges.

Meanwhile, place wheat berries in a medium saucepan and add water to cover by 3". Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until wheat berries are tender but still chewy, about 45 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve and transfer wheat berries to a baking sheet. Spread out in a single layer and let cool.

Whisk oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and shallot in a small bowl. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.

Place beets, wheat berries, parsley, dill, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over and toss to evenly coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Skirt Steak and Arugula Salad

Adapted from Smittenkitchen, I left out the cheese to make it kosher, and omitted the worchestershire sauce from the dressing. It is still delicious and whenever I make this there are no leftovers.

  • 1 pound skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat if necessary, halved crosswise, at room temperature
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 pound baby arugula

Vinaigrette (below)
3 tablespoons minced chives, 2 thinly sliced scallions or 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion, for garnish

Pat steak dry and season on both sides 1/2 teaspoon salt and many grinds of black pepper.

In a cast-iron skillet: Heat skillet on medium-high to high and add olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, place steak in skillet and do not move it for 5 minutes. Turn it once, and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare. You may need to cook your steak halves separately, depending on the size of your pan.

On a grill: Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal or high heat for gas. Oil grill rack, then grill steak, covered only if using a gas grill, turning once, 4 to 6 minutes total for medium-rare.

Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for five minutes. Arrange arugula on a large platter. Thinly slice steak on the diagonal, across the grain. Arrange over arugula, then toss halved cherry tomatoes and blue cheese over platter. Add vinaigrette to taste, then sprinkle with chives, scallions or red onion. Serve with additional vinaigrette on the side.

Steakhouse Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon coarse Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Whisk ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and adjust ingredients to taste (usually more Dijon and vinegar for me).

Sweet Potato Fries 

Looking for a healthier alternative to traditional french fries? Look no further. Sweet potatoes are surprisingly rich in nutrients that serve as anti-inflammatory agents, blood sugar regulating agents, as well as antioxidants. So swap out your greasy white potato fries for these yummy orange tubers, courtesy of foodnetwork.com and Paula Deen.

  • Olive Oil, for tossing
  • 5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips, using a crinkle cut knife
  • 1 tablespoon House Seasoning (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with House Seasoning and paprika. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Bonus Dessert: Berry Salad

This ones an easy one, and a serious crowd pleaser in my experience. I've been eating and making this one since I was a kid, and have brought it to countless cookouts, always returning home with an empty bowl.

2 pints strawberries, sliced
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries
1 bag frozen raspberries, thawed
Truvia sweetener, to taste

In a large bowl combine all the fresh berries. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the frozen raspberries until they reach a sauce-like consistency. Pour through a strainer to remove all seeds. Add Truvia (or another stevia-like sugar substitute) to sweeten to your taste. Toss berries with sauce and serve.