health & fitness

This post is also available in podcast format in which I read the post. Search for "rising shining" on most podcast platforms and subscribe! In two years I will turn 40. (Wait, what?) Our culture has imbued that birthday with such significance and not necessarily a positive one, especially for women. So I will admit that sometimes when I think about turning 40 I feel some reluctance and kind of what to whine, "But do I have to?" Then I stop to think and interrogate the cultural messages we've been given about turning 40. I think about what an absolute... Read more →


During pregnancy something I looked forward to after giving birth was working towards my pre-pregnancy fitness level and weight. Before becoming pregnant with Maeve I was in great shape. Maybe the best shape I've ever been in. I felt healthy and strong and very comfortable/confident in my own skin. Those are all feelings I love having. I want to be explicit that I don't think I (or anyone) should be a certain weight or look a certain way to feel good and be comfortable in their own skin. Even heavier and less fit, I feel comfortable and confident in my... Read more →


This month my daily health challenge is to not eat any added sugar. Foods with naturally occurring sugars, like fruit and plain yogurt, are okay but nothing with sugar, honey, maple syrup, or even Stevia or sugar alcohols (a newer sweetener common in protein bars and all those high-protein ice creams). I knew that would eliminate a lot of foods but I was surprised by just how many! In the week before the challenge started, as I started reading food labels in earnest, it was disheartening to realize sugar is in e v e r y t h i n... Read more →


When it came to health goals for 2019 I couldn't get excited about committing to any one health habit. And so I picked 12! Here's how it will work: for each month of 2019 I will challenge myself to do a healthy habit every day, and each month will have a different habit challenge. The habits aren't cumulative so when the month is done I can stop doing pushups, stop tracking my food, whatever. I'll only focus only on the current month's challenge. In coming up with the 12 different ideas I wanted to pick challenges that were do-able enough... Read more →


Exercising feels like an essential part of my life for both my physical and mental health. When I workout consistently I have more energy, feel healthier, have a positive body image, and see the world more optimistically. Even during the most demanding years of having babies I prioritized making time for some kind of exercise (even if it was something easy just once per week), knowing that the benefits far outweigh the challenges of making it happen. My exercise phases have included: running with my dad starting in 6th grade; running track and playing basketball in middle school; going to... Read more →


Usually a resident on my bedside table, I've banished my phone from the bedroom. We go to bed together. We wake up together. We're hardly ever apart. To describe a relationship with a person in this way speaks of new love. But taken to describe another relationship, the one many of us have with our phones, the words betray a love twisted into dependency, and perhaps ring a bit too true. At times I could describe my own relationship with my phone in this intimate way, and it doesn't make me feel great. Even though I try to be conscious... Read more →


Chris bought me a rad yellow bike and bike trailer for Dash this past Christmas. They were that illusive perfect gift in that they were a complete surprise but I immediately realized that they were exactly what I wanted. Since December, family bike adventures have become our new favorite thing. This past weekend, we biked to the farmer's market as a family for the first time and it was the awesomest. We are able to ride along a beautiful multi-use trail for the 5.4 mile (one-way) trek and saw interesting sights and even goats, cows, and horses. Hi, animal friends!... Read more →


When I shared our Team Wharton workout calendar I mentioned that we've been doing some family CrossFit-style workouts. I'd love to share more! Surely you know someone who's obsessed with CrossFit; it might be our generation's Jazzercise (minus the awesome workout wear). CrossFit workouts consist of high intensity interval training. High intensity = it's really hard! Interval training = but you don't have to do it for long! During a CrossFit workout you'll do lots of functional fitness exercises. That's what Chris (the nutrition professor) told me. I said, "What the heck does that mean?" He said, "Multi-joint movements that... Read more →


Now that Dashiell has been sleeping better (happy dance, high fives all around) Chris and I are stoked that we've been able to exercise more frequently since we are less like zombies. This is huge. Exercising is a really important part of both of our identifies and when we're able to be active throughout the week we have more energy, feel happier and healthier and are motivated to keep exercising. Even though we're getting more sleep it can still be hard to find the time to work out. So, at the beginning of January, we set a goal of each... Read more →


I've got a new running buddy! Well, two actually: Dashiell and (the) BOB. I've been looking forward to taking Dash on runs with me since we got our BOB and last week I decided to try it out. The BOB instructions say to wait until a baby is six months old to transition them from their carseat, which can sit on top of the stroller, into the stroller seat. Since Dash has such great head and neck control and is a pretty long baby we tried out the regular stroller seat earlier. We've taken him on a few walks and... Read more →