Tag Archives: health

Live Your Healthiest Lifestyle Through Chitta Wellness

We recently had the opportunity to partner with Roma van der Walt, Owner of Chitta Wellness, a personal and group training program that provides transformative tools to achieve your ideal body. Read our Q&A below to learn about her impressive journey, and how you can be on your way to living your healthiest lifestyle.

Q: What has your experience been in fitness and wellness, and what inspired you to start Chitta Wellness? 

A: My own experience in fitness has been as an athlete from a very young age. I started with horseback riding and track and field before I went to elementary school, by the end of fourth grade, I was competing and by 6th grade I took up the Modern Pentathlon. Modern Pentathlon is a beautiful sport because it combines some very technical sports like fencing, shooting and show jumping (horses) with very linear sports like swimming and running. I think being a multi-sport athlete is what I still use in my work with Chitta Wellness to make sure people don’t get bored in their training. You would be surprised how many non runners I was able to start running a bit and now they love it and send me photos from their holiday running trails. Just as one example.

I started Chitta Wellness because after almost a decade of sitting at a desk, I realized that it wasn’t for me and it was actually making me sicker. I developed anxiety and back issues. Now that I make my own schedule and work with people, I’m much happier and much more efficient when I do work on the computer.

I want to help people be happy and healthy and make wellness and fitness an integral part of their life, especially parents because children learn from experience from a very young age.

Q: Talk about the “three Ps” Chitta Wellness focuses on. What do each of these mean and what can someone expect to learn in each of these focus areas?

A: The three p’s are pre-conception, prenatal and postpartum fitness. Each of these phases is a special one in a woman’s and in a couple’s life. When a couple decides to conceive, there’s often a moment of “OH!”, our life is about to change. Parents strive to be healthier whether it’s the woman carrying the child or her partner. During pregnancy, the general advice from the medical field is limited to not doing too much but women aren’t sick, they are “just” pregnant and working out has proven to be very beneficial to both the mother and the baby. I think my son really liked it when I ran with him in utero. Postpartum is usually when parents run into a whole new set of problems. Personal time and fitness are a rare commodity and have to be juggled with childcare, so offering them workouts 1:1 and in groups that are at convenient times or where they can bring their children has always been something that I offer. Babies and children are welcome in my workouts and you would be surprised how well it works out (pun intended).

Q: Some people thrive with 1:1 training and others in group training. Does Chitta offer both? What kind of atmosphere is best for beginners?

A: Chitta Wellness offers both. Beginners are usually most comfortable 1:1 I have found, especially if they are pregnant or postpartum and then eventually they merge in to a group setting or they choose to work out with their partners. I love working with couples. It’s almost like therapy, just more fun. In my groups, I don’t discourage talking. I try to bop in and out of the workout and partner exercises without interrupting the flow of conversation too much. It’s cathartic, people want to exchange themselves and I have learned a LOT about child rearing, body issues during and post pregnancy and there’s alway a point in every workout where someone either cries or laughs and then gets uplifted by their peers. There’s nothing more beautiful for me than to see people come together that way!

Q: What are some key takeaways you hope to leave your customers with after a class or session?

A: Inclusivity, fun and wanting to come back. I don’t tolerate unfriendly behavior of participants towards each other. We are all busy and stressed and rather than taking that out on someone else (or me) I expect people to discuss it and maybe we can all help find a solution. I also hope to see all genders, ages, colors and denominations in my workouts because again, it teaches me and everyone else a ton to hear diverse viewpoints and it gives so much food for thought. Inclusivity in an age of social media and often upsetting global news day-to-day, that discourse is something we don’t get in too many areas of our lives. Or we simply don’t meet people outside of our immediate circle. In a workout we’re all exposed and have to face some insecurities so it’s very real. Ultimately what I have noticed and people in my workouts, is that most of us really strive for the same values in life for ourselves and our families. So for me, that’s incredibly reassuring to see.

To learn more about Chitta Wellness, visit their website!

Chitta-Wellness

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Parents of Newborns Are Exhausted – How Everyone Can Get More Sleep

Moms and dads alike suffer from a lack of sleep with newborns.

A mere 5 percent of parents with babies under six months old get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. In fact, many aren’t even getting a few hours of uninterrupted sleep at night with 43 percent of new parents only getting an average of one to three hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Nighttime feedings, colic, diaper changes, and other needs can keep parents up at night. Even when the baby is sleeping, parents may lose sleep to other factors, including housework and worrying about providing a good life for their child.

Even for stay at home parents, the age-old advice of sleeping when the baby sleeps doesn’t actually happen: 41 percent say they can’t sleep during their baby’s naptimes.

New parents are so desperate for sleep that half of them would pay $100 or more for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. One in ten says they’d pay $1,000.

Healthy Sleep for the Whole Family

Sleep deprivation is a fact of life when you have a new baby. Sometimes, the only way out is through. Most babies start sleeping through the night by six months, so there is an end in sight. But there are ways to get better rest and improve the quality of your sleep in the early months with your child.

  • Practice healthy baby sleep habits. When your baby sleeps well at night, so can you. Start healthy sleep habits early, maintaining a consistent bedtime and naptime routine. Follow predictable patterns throughout the day, such as wake, eat, play, and sleep, so your baby learns that after playtime comes time to rest. Make bedtime more restful than naptimes, allowing household noise and light to persist during the day to reinforce daytime cues. At night, reinforce nighttime cues by keeping your baby’s nursery cool, dark, and quiet.

  • Say yes to help. Accept offers from friends and family members who want to help. Don’t be too proud to let someone bring dinner, or do your dishes or laundry, or just hold the baby while you take a quick nap or practice self-care.

  • Go to bed early. Don’t feel silly about going to bed when your baby does. Even if it’s 8 or 9 p.m., you may need those hours to fit enough sleep into your night.

  • Take shifts or alternate nights. When both parents can’t sleep through the night, everyone suffers. Uninterrupted sleep is best, so you’re able to get into deep, restorative sleep rather than shallow, choppy sleep that isn’t as restful. Try taking shifts, such as 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., then 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., with one partner on call to get up and tend to the baby’s needs for the entire shift while the other can sleep uninterrupted. Or, take the one night on, one night off approach so you can get a full night of uninterrupted sleep every other night. These approaches work best when the sleeping partner is isolated and able to rest without being disturbed.

Focus on your health. When you have a new baby, self-care can fall by the wayside. But it’s important to keep up with healthy habits including diet and exercise when you’re sleep deprived so you don’t fall into unhealthy patterns. Splurge on a new mattress and enjoy those few hours of sleep all the more. Make time to get exercise, such as walking with your baby in a stroller or carrier, and pay attention to what you’re eating. Casseroles dropped off by friends and family might be delicious, but take a break and have a salad or smoothie now and then so you’re not suffering from sleep deprivation along with poor dietary choices.

Sleep-help

Article written by the team at The Sleep Help Institute.

Childcare Tips for Children With Behavioral Challenges

We spoke with a couple Bell Family sitters who have years of experience working with children with behavioral challenges or special needs, and wanted to share their tips, so you too, feel comfortable and confident in the same situation.

Bell Family Sitter #1: Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who has been working with children with Autism and other special needs for over nine years.

Working with children with special needs is just like working with other kids in many ways. These children need you to care for them, help them, play with them and more! I think it is important to keep in mind that these children and kids like everyone else. However, depending on their needs, it may be hard for them to communicate, follow directions, get around or tolerate less preferred things. 

If you are working with a kid with special needs, always speak to the parents about their limitations so you are prepared. For example, if the child has trouble communicating, they may be more likely to have behaviors when they want to ask for things they need. The more information you can get from the parents regarding the child’s needs and routines, the better!  Also, ask about any safety concerns you should be aware of. This is a very important question! You want to make sure you know what to do in case of an emergency since the child may not react like other children, or may be more prone to danger because of his or her special needs. 

If you can, try to observe how the parents interact with the child before they leave you for the day. This will typically give you a good idea of the ways to communicate with the child and what the child may enjoy. It is possible the child prefers to be alone and wants to read in the corner, that’s okay too. Let the child show you what they want to do! 

Always follow the child’s typical schedule and try your best not to change the routine too much. When transitioning between activities, it is often helpful to give a warning. For example, you may say “Okay, five more minutes until we eat lunch” while the child is playing a video game. Try to use simple language and be direct when you are giving instructions. 

Lastly, if your child is having a tantrum, remember to stay calm. You may not always understand the reason but try not to get flustered. Make sure the child stays safe and try to redirect their attention to something else and get back on schedule. Always remember these are just kids so just have fun!

Bell Family Sitter #2: Masters from NYU in Social Work with a focus on clinical social work with children and families. Currently working as a social worker at a hospital in Manhattan.

When working with children with behavioral challenges such as ADD and ADHD, certain adjustments may be necessary to your caregiving practices. Each child has their own set of needs, and what might be a useful practice with one child, might not be helpful with another, and thus it is important to gain a sense of individual differences of what has worked in the past from the parents themselves before you begin your time with families. 

Providing rewards and consequences for behaviors that are either positive or negative, providing consistency in routines and expectations, and being extra diligent with safety precautions, are all things to keep top of mind. It is important that when working with children with certain differences, we do not treat them drastically different than we would treat their siblings who are without challenges. We should instead adapt certain practices in order to ensure they continue to learn, thrive, and grow in the safest environment possible. Children who are older and have behavioral challenges may require enhanced supervision, more structure in their daily routines, and more assistance with tasks such as completing their homework.

Look to think outside of the box to find ways in which we can help children – for instance – by taking breaks in between tasks and limiting electronic use until after certain items are completed.

I worked with a family where one child had both ADHD and dyslexia, and completing homework was quite the challenge after school. We initially tried to work on assignments together right when she got off the bus in order to get it out of the way, however, it was clear that wasn’t working when she could barely sit still and complete a single question on the sheet. I realized it was important to allow some time for relaxation and mind stimulation in ways other than homework after a long day in the classroom. We began to spend some time after school kicking around a soccer ball, playing board games, and engaging in other recreational activities. Then, we designated a certain time to begin homework with additional time to wind down in the evening. I found this to be an effective way to meet her halfway, and before I knew it, she was able to focus on the assignments with a clear mind.

Such practices might not be of use with all children, but this is just an example of how we can be flexible and adjust our days with little ones in the hopes that getting through the day for them is that much more feasible and pleasurable.

CPR Party

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Stretch. Sweat. Breathe. Repeat

It’s always a good time to focus on the wonderful you, and a great way to do that is through one of our favorite wellness and health groups, Just Like Om.

We recently teamed up with Christina Cervantes, Studio Manager and Pilates & Yoga Instructor, to learn more about the great things offered by the Just Like Om team.

Q: What kinds of services to you offer in your space? Are there classes available for both beginners and those who are more advanced? 

A: Just Like Om offers Pilates, Yoga and Wellness classes, workshops and private sessions. We have classes for all levels, each group class is defined by a level from 1-3 from absolute beginner to advanced. Our teachers are able to accommodate for a range of levels in each class. We also offer specialty classes including Parent(s) and me, Baby-wearing, Pre- and Post-natal, as well as Acro-yoga. Just Like Om has monthly workshops – some of our upcoming workshops include Introduction to Inversions, Sound healing and Childbirth education.

Q: Do you always need to a book a class in advance, or are walk-ins welcome? And how does someone sign up for a class? 

A: We encourage clients to book ahead as we can’t guarantee a spot for walk-ins. Our classes are limited in size which allows the client and teacher to have more efficient and focused class. Our schedule can be viewed on our website and through MindBody app. You can book through the MindBody app, however you are welcome to call the studio or send us an email at hello@justlikeom.com. Our Instagram (@JustLikeOM) is a place to see what’s new at the studio, meet our instructors, and see what specials we are running.

Q: Tell us about your space: Where are you located? What can people expect to see when inside?

A: We are located in the heart of Chelsea at 147 W. 25th between 6th and 7th. A half a block away from Buy Buy Baby, for all those parents out there. When you look down 25th, look for the purple awning.

When a client walks through our door they may notice the beautiful natural light. We want each person to feel comfortable. We want our studio to feel like home, a place where you can focus on yourself and your wellness. We intentionally have small, intimate classes and knowledgeable, focused instructors that love what they do. We provide your mat and props. We also have complimentary filtered water and unique boutique with locally designed clothing and handmade products from a local farm.

Q: Why is it so important for moms to take a break and focus on their health/wellness?

A: We think it is so important for Moms to take some time to focus on their health and well-being because it is so easy to get caught up in the daily business of being a mom you forget that you also need to take care of yourself.

I am a Mom of a 16 month old who has endless amounts of energy, and I feel like I get a workout everyday from chasing after her. However, at the end of the day I start to feel stiff, and know that my body was accommodating a small child. It is very important to take some time, stretch and strengthen the areas of your body that may be getting compressed or overly used. In addition to creating a healthy body, we also teach parents how to move more efficiently and utilize your intrinsic muscles in a way that supports everyday activity. Then, hopefully you can run around with your great-grandchildren. Yoga and Pilates also offer a Mom some time to focus on her breath and calm her mind.

To learn more about Just Like Om, visit their website!just-like-om

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Find Your Pediatrician Through Battery Park

If you have a little bundle on the way, then that means it’s time to find a Pediatrician near you! And don’t wait, because your newborn will need to visit his or her Pediatrician in their first week of life.

We had the opportunity to learn more about Battery Park Pediatrics through Dr. Melissa Morrissey, in the Q&A below. Read up, and get your appointment scheduled today!

Q: What sets Battery Park Pediatrics apart from other offices?  

A: Battery Park Pediatrics is a welcoming place where children can receive comprehensive medical care. Parents enjoy our convenient location and open schedule, accommodating urgent and same day appointments when they most need us.

BPP quickly became popular soon after opening in 2011. Our office attracts not only local residents but also families from all NYC boroughs and New Jersey. We are ideally located close to the West Side Highway, express and local subways, both the Hugh Carey and Holland Tunnels, as well as walking distance from anywhere in Battery Park and Tribeca (including the Oculus and World Trade Center Transportation Hub).

At Battery Park Pediatrics you can expect prompt, personal, comprehensive care and access to a wide range of our recommended local and hospital based subspecialty providers.

Q: What moment in your life did you realize you wanted to be a pediatrician?  

A: As a young child in the second grade, I doctored my dolls and declared my intention to become a doctor. I remained undeterred despite facing the challenges of unrecognized ADHD, and a general underestimation of my commitment. I studied psychology and neurology, but ultimately gravitated to pediatrics. I have a natural empathy for children and parents. When I trained with Dr T Berry Brazelton, I discovered a kindred spirit and a mentor who, along with a personal study of temperament, has shaped my practice into something unique.

Q: Emergencies often arise with children; do you offer same day appointments to help with emergencies? Are you available on the weekend and after hours to help, too?

A: In 2018, we are expanding our hours. We are open 7 days a week and are open later on weekdays to accommodate the busy schedule of working parents and school age children. We are planning a community based initiative to educate new and expectant parents about infant behavior and temperament to guide their parenting style. We will maintain our high quality standards, seek to improve our efficiency and increase our participation within the community.

Battery-Pediatrics

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

NYC Pediatricians We Love

Did you know your newborn baby needs to visit the doctor during the first week of life? That means you need to have your pediatrician determined before the baby arrives. Ask your mom friends, ask your OB, and do your research to come up with a good list of local baby doctors (you’ll want them in walking distance if possible, so you don’t have to worry about taking a car).

We asked around, and here’s a short list of the pediatricians our families love:

  1. Battery Park Pediatrics
  2. West Side Pediatrics 
  3. Premier Pediatrics Brooklyn & Chelsea
  4. TriBeCa Pediatrics
  5. Carnegie Hill Pediatrics

 

We recommend making a consult appointment to each, and then making your decision after that. It’s a process, but you’ll want to have it done before your little bundle arrives.

Baby

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Riding Solo: Stories of Women Enjoying Me Time

Similar to the author of the article below, I did not take my first solo trip until after I graduated from college. She took a flight to Greece, while I took a bus to Philadelphia – that’s close, right?

Even though my travel time was much shorter, the feelings, thoughts, and new found confidence I felt was exactly the same.

The article goes on to share stories from women who dine, socialize, travel, and move into a new home all by themselves. Below, you’ll find intros provided by Brit + Co to set-up for the full article and stories on their website.

How to Dine Solo

We all do it every now and again. Lunch on a park bench. A croissant and coffee in a cafe on a lazy Sunday. In these instances, dining solo is easy. So why is it that once a menu and a waiter get involved, the experience becomes so much more intimidating?

Three women were challenged to take themselves out for a meal and report back. The only rule: no social media allowed! Diving into Facebook and Instagram during those initial, uncomfortable moments prevents you from truly learning to be by yourself.

How to Travel Solo

Brit + Co’s creative content producer Maddie Bachelder decided to kick off 2018 by facing one of her biggest fears: traveling alone. For her first foray into the intimidating, but ultimately rewarding world of solo travel, she jetted down to New Orleans for a weekend of jazz, donuts, and a few self-revelations.

To read the full stories of these brave women, click here!

Brit + Co

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell, and repurposed from Brit + Co.

 

Reclaim Your Health and Increase Your Joy

Make 2018 the year of taking control of your physical and mental health. Whether you’re looking to eat healthier, increase your energy level, or shine a little more light at the end of this motherhood tunnel, Thrive Hive Wellness is here to help.

See what all the buzz is about through our Q&A with Jennifer Khalaf, Founder of Thrive Hive Wellness.

Q: It sounds like an important lesson you learned in your journey was making time to focus on yourself as a woman, and not just your role as a mom. Why is it so important for moms to take time to focus on themselves, too? 

A: Mothers are incredible and have the ability to give and care for others on a level that always amazes me, but no matter how happy we are to do it, I don’t believe you can pour from an empty cup.

Before we have children we have many components that make up our sense of identity – our passions, our careers and our relationships, to name a few. After we have children, there is often a shift in “who we are” and how we define ourselves. Many of us feel that we lose the woman we once were and have a hard time making this new woman a priority – either because we don’t have enough time and/or resources or because we feel guilty being away from our family.

I believe we all deserve to be happy and take care of ourselves – both in terms of nutrition and in terms of self-care. Self-care is not a luxury, it’s essential to your health and happiness and it looks different for everyone – it doesn’t mean you have to get a weekly facial! For me, it can be anything from a workout I enjoy to getting tea with a friend.

It’s important to remember that while “mama” may be our most cherished name, it’s not our only one. We are wives, sisters, friends, coworkers, neighbors etc. and we deserve to fulfill our passions and interests. When we don’t nourish our bodies and minds, it often takes away from other areas in our lives. A fulfilled mama, is a happy and present mama and at the end of the day, that’s good for the entire family.

Q: What are some of the plans/services you offer moms looking to join, and how can they join? 

I work with moms in a variety of ways – I customize programs based off each client’s goals. For some women that may be focusing on nutrition to fit their bio-individual needs and lifestyle and for others it may be helping them work through areas of their lives that they’re feeling stuck or unfulfilled. We work together twice a month over a 3 or 6-month period (either in person or via video conference) and take steps each week towards making the changes to get them to where they want to be. Sustainable change takes time and let’s be honest when something goes wrong in the family, it’s mama to the rescue! These programs allow for the inevitable (a sick child, a school break, etc.) to happen and not sideline the progress they worked hard to achieve.

In addition to one-on-one coaching, I also offer family nutrition consultations, cooking demonstrations and pantry makeovers where we go through the family’s cupboard and swap out not-so-healthy staples with healthier alternatives that are equally delicious, but more nutrient dense.

To work with me or for a complimentary consultation, you can reach me through my website, or by email at jen@thrivehivewellness.com.

Q: What are a couple key takeaways moms will get when joining Thrive Hive Wellness? 

I recognize that every woman is different and it’s why each of my clients receives support tailored to their unique strengths and challenges. As such, their takeaways depend on their goals, but every client gains a better understanding of what foods support their bodies and gives them energy and balance. Additionally, they are equipped with tips and tools to help them make more space for themselves and feel more joyful and present in every aspect of their lives.

Motherhood is crazy and amazing all at the same time and sometimes we need a little reminder that our health and happiness is important too. If we know how to keep filling up our cups, we’ll have plenty to pour into our families!

Thrive Hive

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Breath Confidence from EATWHATEVER®

I have a habit of liking foods that tend to leave my breath a little less desirable. I’m looking at you everything bagel.

It’s especially alarming when I’m out in public with friends or significant other, and I need to keep myself within an arms length distance so they can’t smell my breath.

To solve the bad breath problem, I tried out Eatwhatever® . Eatwhatever®  is a revolutionary breath freshener that assures confident fresh breath in two quick steps—swallow a gel, suck on a mint. Unlike other breath fresheners, Eatwhatever® works in your stomach AND your mouth. It’s all natural, vegan, gluten free, kosher certified and made in the USA!

I was lucky enough to team up with Jacqui Rosshandler, President of Jacquil LLC, and creator of Eatwhatever®, to try both the peppermint and ginger flavors. They were both great!

What I was really impressed by was the ginger flavor. One night I had an upset stomach, and remembered I had a stash of Eatwhatever® mints in my cupboard. I took a ginger gel cap followed by a mint, and my stomach felt much more at ease minutes later. An added bonus for expecting moms, the ginger flavor does wonders for helping with morning sickness and nausea.

To snag some of the Eatwhatever® products, checkout their website. And for those dog lovers, checkout Woofmints! Now both you and your pup can stay kissable!

EatWhatever

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

The Woman Inside the Mom

It’s important for moms to focus on the woman that lives inside being a mom. It can be easy to forget about who you are and what you want when you are caught up playing the role of mom, and looking after your little one(s).

Beyond Mom is a community of over 6,000 creative and productive women that focus on seeking Self within motherhood. We had the chance to get to know Randi Zinn, author, mindfulness and wellness expert, and founder of Beyond Mom, to learn more about this great organization.

Q: What was your greatest influence or drive to start up Beyond Mom?

A: Intuitively, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy just focusing on motherhood. I love my kids beyond measure but somehow inside I knew that if I was fueling myself and giving to the world, I would be a better mother. I met so many women who felt the same way and I wanted to create a space that honored this perspective and encouraged it. Plus, I want to show my kids what it looks like to work hard and go for your dreams. Just the other day, my son asked why I had to leave to go to an event for my book, and I told him that I wanted him to know that he could write a book one day….he seemed to like that answer.

Q: The name Beyond Mom is great! Why is it so important for moms to realize that there is value in life “Beyond Mom”?

A: When we shed all the titles, the expectations, the daily schedules and to-do lists, there is an essence that is made up of the truth of who we really are. The more time that we are in touch with that essence, the happier we really are because then we are in the flow of our lives. Our culture tells us that we should look perfect, act perfect and raise perfect children, and yet, tells us that we’re selfish for nurturing and investing in ourselves. I’m hoping Beyond Mom changes that cultural mindset….quickly.

Q: What are the most successful ways Beyond Mom works to support/encourage moms and their individual pursuits?

A: I hold regular events to bring women together for information, inspiration and community – I think magic happens in real time! What is most successful though are the day long retreats that I hold for moms to refuel themselves with yoga, meditation, discussion, speakers, and best of all, free time. Moms desperately need time to themselves and rarely get it. I’m super excited that our first Urban Day Retreat is happening on February 10th here in NYC and there’s still some spots left! Sign up here and invest in yourself and you will experience the rewards!

Q: You’re also the author of the recently published book, Going Beyond Mom. What are a few tips readers will learn by picking up a copy for themselves?

A: My book walks a woman through the layers of who she is and the layers that most typically experience upheaval as a mom. I walk you through how to rebuild these parts of yourself so you feel more solid and are able to be more present in all parts of your life – especially if you want to launch an idea. (second part of the book). A few of my favorite tips: move your body – moving your body reminds you that you are alive (very important when you are exhausted), use mindfulness techniques to calm mental overwhelm and intense emotional reactions, make sure the community in your home (anyone who walks in to help keep your home and kids safe and happy, is aligned with your values and overall needs, surrounded yourself with like-minded, inspiring people, and befriend change! (don’t struggle against change – accept it – and experience the unexpected beauty on the other side). How to do all of the above? Buy the book and dive in!

Beyond Mom_edited-1

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell