Pain Free Fitness

No, you’re not alone. Yes, you can have less pain!!

Ok, so we’re a couple weeks into the new year and many people may have started or resumed a workout routine. I applaud all of you for that, but I know that, with increased workouts, sometimes comes increased joint pain. Or, maybe joint pain is keeping you from working out in the first place…
First- you’re not alone. The number of clients I have who have a history of back, knee or shoulder pain is quite large. There are ALOT of reasons we are seeing so many pain conditions, but the important thing to know is- it CAN get better!!!
Here are a few of my favorite tips for promoting good joint health in general:

  1. Strengthen the surrounding muscles to relieve pain on opposing muscles and decrease the work on your joints.
  2. Stretch often and correctly- this increases your range of motion and prevents injury. Include a dynamic stretching routine before any workout and a static stretching routine (where you hold positions for 20-60 seconds per muscle group) after a workout. 
  3. Aim to achieve a healthy weight- every 1 pound of excess weight puts about 4 pounds of excess force on your joints. That adds up. BUT- the good side of this coin…every pound you lose equates to four pounds of excess pressure off your joints!! 
  4. Watch your form and posture, especially if you’re new to exercise of starting back up after a while. It really is worth investing in a personal trainer or some group fitness initially. 
  5. Use non harmful modalities. I get it- we all need the occasional NSAID to reduce pain, but chronic use is linked to GI problems, significant kidney problems, heart issues, cognitive impairment and slower muscle, tendon and cartilage regeneration (exactly what you don’t want to happen if you experience joint pain!). I love a nice mix of ice, heat, acupuncture, cbd, essential oils, epsom salt baths and meditation. 
  6. Try an anti-inflammatory diet- reason number 800 to transition to this form of eating (no lie)! It’s super important to limit processed foods (cereals, breads, crackers, packaged snacks…) and try more of these: cold water fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, olive oil, lentils, beans and whole grains 
  7. Sip some bone broth to support joint health and collagen production while also reducing inflammation. I love a cup of bone broth at night while I’m watching tv or reading- keeps me from eating junk, supports digestive and bone health and enhances the immune system too 👌👌
  8. Start slowwww. I know everyone wants to rush into exercising 5 days a week in the New Year, but focus on walking, stretching and foundational strengthening at first. Every few weeks, increase your intensity and the duration of your workouts. Better yet- work with a trainer who can do all this for you!! 

Here’s to a healthy and active year ahead, friends 🏃🏋🏻‍♀️🏊🧘🏻‍♀️🥾


Well hello there, 2023…

Can someone please tell me HOW 2022 is almost over already??? Like, how?!

Maybe it’s the fact they I have young kids and never enough sleep 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ Or that running the businesses and working my therapy job has my weeks flying by. Or maybe it’s that 2022 was the year we kind of started living again after the strange two years that preceded it. But anyway- here we are. New Year’s Eve and I’m doing what I always like to do- reflect, set intentions and smile at all the beautiful memories.

In so many ways, it was an amazing year for sure.Complete with our first family trip to Disney where we got to see the kids living in pure joy for 8 whole days and lots of other quick trips with family and friends. We started really hanging out with people again, which I’ve realized is essential to my wellbeing. We sent our oldest off to kindergarten and I cried so very very hard. And then quickly beamed with pride seeing how he has adjusted out there in the world without his mama for every moment (who knew??!)

A week of smiles with these kids was one of our best memories in 2022

I’ve also learned so much more about myself this last year. I’ve continued to realize how much my passion for wellness means to me- and how I need it to take a more dominant role in my life (more on that to come). I’ve learned more about my body and mind and resilience and fears- and it’s all shaping me to be stronger and to take control of my health and well-being, when that has felt a bit overwhelming at times in the past. I’ve learned that, in so many ways, I’m responsible for how I think and feel- I own that and I intend to keep on healing, growing and really living.

Now- for intentions. I owe one of my awesome personal training clients for this idea: “23 in 23”-

Maybe some of you have already heard of this- I’m sure the idea is floating around. But basically- you make a list of 23 things you’re going to do 23 times this coming year. Of course it can align with your goals (23 HIIT rides on the Peleton), but it can (and should!) also align with what brings you joy. I can’t wait to read 23 books, call friends and family for long, deep phone conversations, get together with friends more, take long family walks and bike rides, cook 23 new meals, write 23 actual letters to people I love). What about what helps keep you centered? 23 household organization tasks for this girl!

Anyway, as I’m setting my intentions for the year, it feels so good to focus on things that foster joy, relationships, peace…all of which will bring greater health and wealth in time 🙏

My wish for you all is that you are also smiling at a few things that brought you joy in 2022, validating and then moving on from what didn’t, and scheduling in health AND happiness in 2023 ❤️

Cheers! 🥂🥂


Just breathe…

But really…just try it

Ok friends- it’s the last blog in this “Surviving the Holidays” series and I have one last piece of advice…that I’m reminding myself to do each day too…

You might think a Trainer/Health Coach might tell you how important it is to exercise when you’re going to be sitting for long hours of travel or eating and drinking more indulgently than usual and you would be right. I do think that’s important. Like, really, super helpful.

BUT, if I’m being real here, I think a bigger threat to our health during a busy holiday season is stress. Anyone else have a constant running list of “to do’s” going through their mind all the time this month? Add that to added financial stress, non stop social engagements and general overstimulation/lack of sleep. I LOVE the holiday season but I can still feel my health taking a toll as the days go on.

So, while I think is important to squeeze in a walk in the fresh air and sun each day and get in workouts when you can (10 minutes goes a long way!), I think it’s more important that we all find some time to breathe, be present and be more mindful each and every day. Stress is stress- good or bad- and the one of the best ways to counteract it is through mindfulness.

According to research from the American Psychological Association- and definitely confirmed in my own life- here are some of the benefits of mindfulness:

✨decreased rumination of thoughts

✨stress reduction

✨improved working memory and focus

✨improved cognitive flexibility

✨decreased emotional reactivity

✨higher relationship satisfaction

✨improved immune function

I know what you’re thinking… “I can’t wait to start a great mindfulness practice on January 1st” And, while I think regularly implementing some type of mindfulness consistently in the new year is an amazing goal, why not start now?? I promise you that taking 5-10 minutes a day will not keep you from getting done what you need to- in fact, I think you’d be surprised at how much more productive we can be after taking some time to meditate, journal or breathe.

So take some time now to light that (non toxic) candle, throw on a cozy blanket, sit by the fire or near some sunlight and do a ten minute meditation or fill out this gratitude journal:

My goals for the next few weeks are daily meditation and walks, writing in my gratitude journal for five minutes a day and squeezing in some acupuncture too. I’d love to hear how you’re committing to some self care from now til the New Year.

Happy Holidays to those who celebrate and peace and joy to you all!!

To your health,


The one healthy habit you CAN implement this month

I get it- it’s December and life seems to be getting busier by the minute. The shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the baking, the parties…need I say more?

My clients always feel guilty about all that they can’t get to this time of year- the extensive meal prep, long workouts, long walks…all of it. But I remind them of two things:

1. Can you just celebrate ALL that you ARE doing?? It’s a lot. Like, an overwhelming amount.

2. What are easy activities you can squeeze in this month. We’ve talked about a simple 7 day reset and healthier baking swaps- now let’s talk about something you have to do everyday anyway- drink (water, that is)! Hydration is important for SO many things- circulation, digestion, muscles, joints, metabolism…and much much more.

Now- I get it. Holidays bring with them the temptation to drink lots of other things too- seasonal coffees, hot chocolate, egg nog and likely a bit too much alcohol. I’d never tell a client not to indulge in the seasonal drinks they enjoy- but maybe choose wisely…if you’re drinking a sugary coffee in the morning, skip the booze at night. Also- ALWAYS drink a glass of water in between alcohol drinks. Better yet, enjoy the one and stick to water or seltzer after that (I’ve learned so much about the inflammatory effects of alcohol lately and they’re pretty significant).

And, while you’re working on implementing those changes, sip, sip, sip throughout your day!

Why not start with this soothing lemon water recipe:

Why is lemon water is great for you?

🍋 Lemon is a natural antiseptic, which cleanses bacteria, impurities and even decomposed tissue from your lymphatic system
🍋 provides a potassium boost
🍋 helps prevent kidney stones
🍋 gives you a healthy dose of vitamin C and has phytonutrients helping your prevent oxidation (basically prevents you from rusting from the inside out).
🍋 It helps the digestion process, speeds up waste elimination and promotes healthier bowels.
🍋 Lemon also stimulates the liver’s detox process, which makes every cell in your body healthier.
🍋Supports weight loss
🍋Improves your digestion
🍋Improves your body’s ability to absorb nutrients
🍋Helps to keep your colon healthy.

I love drinking hot lemon water with meals. For variety, add ginger and/or raw local honey to your warm lemon water.

I’d love to hear how you’re staying hydrated this holiday season 🫖💦

To your health!


Give me allll the cookies!!

In the spirit of staying healthy through the holidays, let’s chat about baking! 🍪🍪🍪

Baking and staying healthy might not seem to go hand and hand, but there are so many ways we can continue this common holiday tradition without completely burying our bodies in extra sugar, salt and fat. No really- it IS possible!

I absolutely LOVE baking with my kids. We do it pretty much in every weekend in December- and then the kids love to help me deliver the goodies to the neighbors, family, teachers, etc…And, as a pediatric Occupational Therapist, I know baking is an activity that inherently includes many excellent skill building areas for the developing brain (executive functioning skills, math, science, fine motor, visual perception…I could go on and on).

We’ll be baking our traditional and VERY indulgent chocolate chip cookies this year, but we’ll also be making lots of cookies, muffins and breads with healthier oils, sweeteners and flour alternatives.

So, what are some of these healthier baking methods??

✨use coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup instead of sugar

✨try to avoid inflammatory oils whenever possible! I’m still learning about the dangers of seed oils, and we’re making a conscious effort to bake with olive oil or avocado oil

✨we use flax eggs instead of eggs in recipes like muffins and I really strive for organic, cafe free eggs whenever possible

✨applesauce can often be substituted in recipes as well

✨whatever I do, I avoid margarine, “spreads” and shortening. I’ll always choose butter over those options

✨add in healthy and seasonal options for some extra antioxidants, fiber, etc. This time of year, cranberries and pumpkin are awesome add ins

If you need a fun recipe to whip up for Christmas morning or a hostess gift, I highly recommend this banana bread 🍞🍞🍞. Not only does it use healthier ingredients, but it’s free of refined flours and packs some extra protein, fiber and vitamins 👌👌

Banana Protein Cake Recipe

✨4 scoops IsaLean® Shake Creamy French Vanilla (you can find it here: )

✨2-3 bananas, mashed½ cup muesli or rolled oats

✨ 2 eggs

✨1/2 cup almond milk

✨1/3 cup chia seeds

Mash bananas in large bowl. Mix in the rest of the ingredients until combined. Pour into a cake pan and bake on 375 F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

I’d love to hear your favorite holiday recipes and maybe one health swap you’re trying this year ⬇️⬇️

Cheers to a busy, happy (and maybe even relaxing) December!! 🍪🍞🧁🍫🍩

To your health,


Holiday Survival- Part 1!

✨How to feel your best this holiday season ✨

Ok guys- holidays have officially started!! Anyone else still working off the Thanksgiving bloat??

Listen- the holidays should absolutely be enjoyed- but that doesn’t mean we have to feel terrible for 2-3 months either. Which is why I focus on consistent habits to keep my body feeling it’s best throughout these busy, stressful and indulgent few months.

Each week this month, I’m gonna try to pop on and share about one tool I use to combat holiday stress, fatigue, bloat, etc…
And this week, I’m gonna talk about one of my fave topics- NUTRITIONAL CLEANSING!!

Now, before you start thinking this is some crazy buzzword and not for you, see how many of these numbers might apply to you today:

9 signs you are READY for nutritional rebalancing:

1) You can’t button your favorite pants 👖

2) You can’t control your cravings 🍕🍟🍪

3) You eat a full meal & still feel hungry 😜

4) You aren’t regular💩

5) You don’t want to try ANOTHER diet 🍎

6) You want real results, not a quick fix 🙌

7) You have to take naps everyday to function 😴

8)You live to eat food, instead of eat food to live🍧

9)You survive the day drinking a ton of coffee, soda, or inhaling handfuls of candy. ☕🍭

You’re not alone in any of this, btw… But…

Holidays are here and it doesn’t have to be the same this year. Join my next 7 day reset (starts Dec 5th). Even better, take advantage of some incredible sales (BOGO on the 7 day reset kit) by shopping here:

And stay tuned for next week’s tool in your Holiday Survival Toolkit! 🧰

To your health, ~Jess

How NEAT!!

Todays health focus is NEAT!!

I mean, it’s a cool topic AND it’s also about Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

Say what??

NEAT is the energy expended by our bodies when we are doing anything this is not sleeping, eating or performing traditional exercise. That amounts to about 110-115 hours of our week that affect our weight, that happens outside of the gym or the kitchen.

These 110 hours a week can work for OR against you. When spent intentionally, they can help you achieve a more active metabolism, which is what so many of us are looking for. Higher levels of NEAT are also linked to lower risk of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and all cause mortality.

So, how can we use these hours to our benefit??? So glad you asked….

✨stand instead of sitting while on the phone or texting and consider raising the height of your work surface so you can stand for portions of your work day.

✨find opportunities to walk often during your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away, walk to a co workers office instead of emailing. Set a daily step goal and increase it gradually

✨think like a child. You know how kids are often moving and fidgeting? That’s not always a bad thing…run around the backyard with the kids, play fetch with your dog, tap your toes or stretch while sitting and change positions often

✨ include strength training as part of your workout regimen. Building muscle speeds up your metabolism which equates to more calories burned when you’re NOT working out

✨tidy up the house in between zoom calls, meal prep instead of eating prepared food or take out and go to the grocery store instead of getting groceries delivered.

I’d love to hear how you’re all choosing to up the NEAT factor today ⬇️⬇️⬇️

To your health!


Halloween with a little less fright 🎃🎃

I hope you’re all dancing in the sunshine this Halloween weekend

Hi friends!!

I’m writing this on a sunny Saturday afternoon as watch my son bounce around in his Ninja Warrior class- all full of that natural 6 year old energy that seems truly endless. And I’m sort of wondering…what happens when we add candy to this already endless energy in two days 😂😂

But truly- Halloween is something to talk to my clients about every year. Because, let’s just be honest here…it’s NOT just one day of indulging, is it?? It’s the candy we sneak in when we buy the Halloween candy early, it’s the extras around the house and office for weeks afterwards…

I’ll (mostly) spare you my speech about his truly toxic candy can be. Take it from a recovering obsessed Resee’s fan. Beyond the rush of the sugar high, the ingredients in many popular candies is linked to kidney and liver problems, tumor growth, attentional difficulties and skin concerns (to name just a few). And don’t get me started on the effects to our microbiome- that’s truly a topic I can talk about forever…

But I’m also a sucker for any celebration and Halloween is fun! I want my kids to enjoy it with the carefree nature they should. But I also want us all to feel our best in the days after all that fun. So let’s chat about enjoying this holiday with a bit less of the frightening consequences of eating too much candy…

1. Give me alllll the stickers! First- THANK YOU to all the wonderful people out there who offer non edible Halloween treats!! This is so important for kiddos with food allergies, but many of us moms really appreciate it too. If we can get our kids to collect 1/4 less candy this year, that’s a win! And it’s great for handing out too- I’d sure rather my kids be playing with leftover stickers, stamps, tattoos and spider rings than eating excessive sugar for weeks on end.

My six year old concentrating hard on filling our teal pumpkin – shortly after, he and his sister took EVERYTHING out to play with 😂😂

2. Give it a few days and then give it away! This is an important rule for me. There are so many organizations that take leftover candy, or you can bring it to work. But truthfully, I don’t feel guilty throwing it away- like I said, it’s kinda toxic and no one deserves that.

3. Choose healthier brands– I don’t wanna knock any particular candies, but I implore you to read ingredients. If you don’t know something on the label, do your research. Maybe you’ll still eat it, but maybe you’ll have a few less this year. Or, you can look for healthier versions of your favorites- I love the UNREAL brand for peanut butter cups, m&m like candies and peppermint chocolates 🍫🍫🍫

4. Plan ahead– Halloween is on a Monday this year, which may have you complaining as much as me! But let’s be proactive- I’m taking time this Sunday to meal prep for healthy dinners, breakfasts and snacks- so eating well and packing food for Monday night and Tuesday morning can be as easy as possible.

5. Don’t leave your house hungry- Fuel up on healthy protein, fiber and healthy carbs before heading out trick or treating (and this goes for the kiddos too). A nice warm bowl of chili or brown rice with roasted veggies and some pumpkin seeds can be prepped the night before and reheated super quickly before heading out the door.

6. Never miss a Monday– this is my mantra every week, but seems especially important this year. Plan your workout- and this might mean planning for a morning workout this week, to be sure you get it in. Working out can help facilitate better decision making the rest of the day and raise your energy levels in ways that sugar never can. So let’s all get up and get moving early tomorrow 💪💪

Whether you’re trick or treating with the kids, handing out candy, or binge watching Halloween movies this year, I wish you a super happy, super fun and super healthy day!!

To your health!


What’s Eccentric Training and Why Should I Care??

Always the goal- we strive for progress, not perfection

If you’ve trained with me for any amount of time, chances are you’ve done an eccentric workout with me. Maybe you didn’t know it, but you have- and there’s an even greater chance you’ve gotten stronger because of such workouts.

Why do I make all my clients do eccentric workouts at some point?? Well, there are so many reasons, but let’s talk a bit about what the heck this means first…

Eccentric exercise essentially means working the muscle harder during the lengthening phase of a muscle contraction. This is achieved by slowing down the rate of movement to provide greater resistance.

Let’s break down the phase of a muscle contraction:
A. Concentric Phase – this is when the muscle you are working is shortening against resistance/gravity.

B. Isometric Phase– this is when the muscle is technically stationary. It often occurs as the “transition” stage between the muscle shortening and lengthening.

C. Eccentric Phase– this is when the muscle lengthens under load (gravity/resistance).
Eccentric exercise would mean slowing down that last phase, thus working the muscle harder in two phases of the muscle contraction. Win/win!
Example: during a biceps curl, it would take about 2-3 seconds to bring the weight up to the front of your shoulder. At this point, most people just let the weight “drop” (well, hopefully not “drop”, but most times we lower it somewhat quickly and without much thought. When you’re doing eccentric training, you’re gonna intentionally lower the weight slowly (I usually do it to a count of 3-4 seconds). So, double the work!!


Yep- yay for sure. Here’s why we wanna practice eccentric movements:
For one, being able to slow down your body against gravity is actually super important for many FUNCTIONAL moves. Think walking downhill safely and with control or lowering yourself into a chair without just falling into it (working in various rehab centers as an Occupational Therapist, I can tell you this one is important for protecting your bones, spine and joints)! If you have trouble rising up and getting down to a chair unsupported, you are not alone, but you should work with a professional sooner than later. But I digress…

Some other benefits of eccentric training:
✨it makes your muscles stronger. It just really really does.

✨it’s a beneficial type of training for many sports (skiing, soccer, basketball, running).

✨it’s a great type of workout to do if you’re strapped for time. Because your muscles are essentially working 2x as hard with each exercise, you definitely get more bang for your buck.

✨when performed correctly, it can actually decrease your risk of injury by adding more control to your movements and making you stronger at the same time.

You definitely don’t need to do this type of training every time you work out. But, it’s helpful for many of us, so I have my clients do it as part of regular strength programming. You should consult with a trainer or physical therapist before initiating this type of training on your own, so that you understand which phase is the eccentric phase of each movement (as it changes with every exercise) and so that you know your form is good. But, once you’ve learned this format, I highly recommend integrating it in your routine.
Here’s a quick eccentric circuit to try on your own (I usually do 10 reps of each, twice through):

  1. Biceps curls 
  2. Squats 
  3. Shoulder press
  4. Right side lunge
  5. Left side lunge 
  6. Chest press 
  7. Tricep extensions (I prefer to do these supine- meaning on my back)
  8. Hammer curls 

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried eccentric workouts before and what your favorite exercises are.
And, as always, if you could benefit from a session or free consult, make sure you click on the “contact me” section of this page.

Here’s to a STRONG week ahead 💪💪💪

To your health!

~ Jess

But first, coffee…

It’s National Coffee Day!!!

I can’t keep up with all these made up holidays, but this is one I can get behind 😂😂

I LOVE coffee. I love the smell as my husband brews it first thing in the morning (he’s the best ❤️❤️), I love holding a warm mug in my hand on a cool morning, and I really do like the taste of good coffee.

But I get questions from clients a lot about whether or not coffee is good for them, good for their workouts or how much they should be drinking.

Like most things, the answers for this vary for individuals, but here are a few guidelines:

☕️Coffee can be a great source of energy in general, and before a workout. Coffee creates stress in the body, but for many of us, it’s the “good” kind of stress (when consumed in a reasonable amount). So having caffeine as a preworkout (in the form of coffee or another caffeinated beverage) can definitely give you that energy before your workout 🏋🏻‍♀️

☕️Is coffee good for you?? Maybe/likely/for some of us 🤷🏻‍♀️. Sorry for the lack of clarity on this one, but this is where individual characteristics come into play. Does coffee contain antioxidants? YES. Do those antioxidants ward off Alzheimer’s? MAYBE. Does coffee lead to anxiety? IN SOME PEOPLE, DEFINITELY

☕️Should I buy organic? Truthfully, I would 🤷🏻‍♀️. For one thing, many of us consume coffee regularly- so, if you’re ingesting something every day, you should likely pick the cleanest form of it. Also, coffee is notorious for containing mold, myotoxins and solvents. I just don’t want that in my body.

☕️Is it ok to add stuff to my coffee?? I get this question a lot, and again, the answer varies. Some of my clients don’t feel well drinking black coffee, so they add a little unsweetened milk. Would I add sugar? Personally, I wouldn’t, as we know sugar is pretty toxic. Would I add a ton of cream or highly processed plant based milk? Probably not this either. Honestly, if you feel like you need to add alot to your coffee, I might suggest looking into some other clean sources of caffeine or energy suppprtive products- and I have lots of good ideas for that (adaptogens anyone?? 👌👌)

☕️What about coffee “desserts”? You know what I mean here, right?? Next time you wanna order a frap/mocha craziness- just take a peek at the calories and sugar content (and the price!). I just don’t think it’s worth it. BUT, you can probably concoct something amazing and delicious at home, like this:

𝐖𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐞, but make it a vegan, protein-packed healthy snack🙌🏼
This delicious, creamy, fancy coffee drink that supports my goals instead of derailing them, & this whipped coffee creation is no exception!
Like the whipped coffee recipe floating around the internet, but removed the sugar & added in Vanilla Plant-Based IsaPro for a little extra nourishment 💪🏼
2 Tbsp instant coffee
2 Tbsp hot water
8 oz unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Vanilla Plant-Based IsaPro (

Combine the instant coffee and hot water in a bowl, whip vigorously, using an electric stand or hand mixer if you have one.
Whip for 5 minutes (seriously) or until your coffee becomes nice and fluffy!
In a shaker cup add 8 oz of almond milk and 1 scoop of Vanilla IsaPro, shake until combined.
Pour over ice and top with the fluffy whipped coffee.

So, do I think you should continue to enjoy coffee if you appreciate it as much as me?? Absolutely!!
Do I think it’s worth gradually reducing the number of coffee deserts you buy? Absolutely!
Do I think you can also gradually reduce what you add to your coffee and gradually switch to organic, mold/mycotoxin tested? YEP!

Bottom line- keep enjoying what you love and reap the many potential health benefits. Choose one way to make your coffee healthier this month, if it’s not super healthy yet. And experiment with healthy brands and recipes.

If you’ve made it this far in this post, I’d love to reward one lucky reader with a free batch of my favorite clean coffee. Comment below with one takeaway and I’ll choose a winner tomorrow!!

Cheers! ☕️☕️☕️