• TUE



  • WED



  • FRI



  • SAT



Holiday Gift Guide | 10 DIY Homemade Gifts

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This year, my family decided to take a little consumerism break and instead give 
gifts that don’t involve shopping, buying, and throwing down serious cash. Not only 
are homemade gifts economical, but they are also extremely thoughtful and, in my 
opinion, a beautiful way to spread holiday love and spirit. 

So avoid rushing into a store last minute and buying a candle. Maybe instead put 
some time and effort into a gift. . Giving attention is cheap, it can’t be bought or 
given by anyone else. That’s what the holiday should be about, right? (along side 
holiday eating and drinking too ;)

Disclaimer: I will be buying my boys some of their favorite toys, but I am hoping our 
DIY/homemade gift exchange will rub off on them just a little bit. 

Here are some ideas that my family will be gifting this holiday season:

1. Party At Your Friends House. Cooking up a great meal for friends and 
family is something I like to do on a regular basis. This year, decide to host a 
dinner party at your friends place. Create the menu, go shopping and take 
over her kitchen. She will love not having to organize it and everyone will 
enjoy the festivities. Just be sure you clean up afterwards (otherwise it won’t 
feel like a gift ;)) Here are some easy dinner party recipes everyone will love.

2. Give Them A Night/Afternoon Off: Offer to Babysit for a friend or family 
member. Finding a babysitter on a Saturday night is no easy task, not to 
mention NYC babysitters these days charge up a storm and require a taxi or 
car service home. This adds up to one expensive evening out. Let your friends 
have a casual night out while you sit on their sofa and catch up on your 
Twitter feed. They may even exchange the favor!

3. Write a Love Letter.  Lately I feel like I don’t even have time to text my 
friends. Declaring my love and appreciation boils down to a heart emoticon 
<3 So sitting down and actually writing a card or letter to a friend or loved 
one with exactly why you love them so much feels extra special. Don’t worry 
about getting all sentimental and mushy, if it’s real and from the heart, they 
will love it.


4. Make a Scrub. I love me some extra fancy beauty products, but I also really 
love to whip up my own. Making a festive scrub for your gal pals is easy and 
they will absolutely love it. Here is a DIY holiday scrub you can make and 
package in your kitchen.

5. Host a Clothing Swap Party. I have a ton of clothes that never get to see the 
light of day but somehow I never really want to get rid of them. Swapping 
them with a friend is a great way to clean out your closet and get some 
threads that feel new. You know that blazer you’ve been coveting in your 
friends' closet that she never wears? Swap it for your designer boots that you 
bought half a size too small 5 years ago! It’s a win-win holiday bash.

6. Bite Me.  Forgo wrapping up a box of chocolates for a bake-less treat that not 
only looks cute but are also guiltless. My Raw, Vegan Bites are so easy to 
make. Wrap them up in tissue and place in an old festive tin for the perfect 
holiday warming present that your friends won’t recycle!
7. Get a Ride. Ok, so one thing I will actually be buying this year are gift cards 
to a Flywheel class with me. I will buying a bunch of these to give to friends 
and family.  It’s a way for me to share with them what I love to do! Plus get 
their asses in shape! 

8. Fit Date: along the same lines as above, schedule a time to workout together. 
I’m offering personal training sessions in my building gym, but if you are not 
a fitpro you can still do something similar. Figure out a fun, new workout 
you’ll do together, if it involves booking or scheduling take care of that and 
then make him a delicious smoothie afterwards.

9. Mix Tape: Obviously, this is my favorite DIY gift and one I’ve been doing since
i was a kid using a double cassette deck on an old school stereo! This year I’m
gifting custom playlists for a few friends, but you don’t have to be a DJ to do something
similar. Use sound cloud or spotify and pull together your favorite tracks or design a
specific playlist; for example, for a runner use upbeat music you know will keep them
moving like the one I did here. I’m gifting both music for yoga and danceparty custom mixes.

10. Give Your Talent: You know you have some. What are your skills? If you are 
an artist, draw a beautiful card. Writer, write a poem. Chef, make a delicious 
treat…. You get the idea.

Wishing you all a very happy holidays!



Top 10 Tips For Staying Fit Through The Holiday Party Season


So yessss, it is that party time of the year when the madness just does not stop. Just coming off an insane Thanksgiving long weekend filled with food, drink and nights out (kiddos were away ;) I feel like I need to clean up my act, but I’m actually facing a few more weeks of parties, dinners and other social obligations.

With all that in mind, here are a few easy suggestions I’m following to keep myself fit and together through the rest of the holidays. A few might work for you!! 

1. INDULGE SMART: Decide when you are going to “indulge” and on the other days be super clean, whatever “clean" is for you. For me it is: no dairy, no red meat, no sugar, no processed foods, no white foods. If i’m going super DUPER light, I’ll avoid chicken too and only go for mostly raw veggies, seafood, nuts and seeds. For liquids, I’ll take my AM coffee with almond milk and then sip water and green tea for the rest of the day. I avoid bubbly beverages unless I'm drinking gin (see below).

2. DRINK ALCOHOL: Your #partytime indulging likely involves alcohol. Speaking as a wino, at parties I actually pass on my usual deep strong dark red wines because it makes me sleepy and sloppy. Instead, I order my second favorite: good quality gin with seltzer and extra limes. I try not to drink when I'm not out. My favorite time and place to have a glass of wine is actually at home - in the evening as I’m getting dinner ready for my kids. But because I have social obligations a few times a week this season, I’m cutting those out entirely and just sipping my water instead.

3. SWEAT BABY, SWEAT HARD AND EARLY: Make time to exercise every day. If you are a fit nut, then 2x a day is awesome (for example, weights for 45 minutes in the morning before work and maybe a quick 30 minute run during lunch hour). Trust me, it’ll make you feel SO much better, even if you are just doing it to counteract bad behavior the night before. Here’s the important piece, make it happen in the morning and/or mid-day. If you save it for the evening, other obligations, exhaustion, work, last minute plans are inevitably going to get in the way.
On that note, FYI, I’m teaching only early morning classes at FlyWheel!!! I hate working out at night, so why teach then? I’m on a mission to convert everyone into morning exercisers.

4. BE ACCOUNTABLE AND SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUTS: Make an appointment with a trainer, book a boutique fitness class, plan a fit date with your girlfriend, whatever, but schedule and plan this for the week ahead. Fit it into your social calendar and then stay committed to it.

5. DOUBLE UP YOUR WATER INTAKE: You must know this, but drink water like its going out of business. If you usually drink 2-3 liters a day, aim for 3-4. And of course, when out, drink water while you are drinking alcohol and have a few full classes an hour before bed. If you drink water too close to bedtime, it will wake you up to pee and disrupt your sleep. I stop drinking everything and anything about an hour before bed.

6. SNACK ON BITTER GREENS: Eating bitter greens like Dandelion Greens, is a great diuretic and helps digestion. I love to eat them all the time, but especially before going out for a heavy meal.

7. PRE-PARTY EATING: Before going out to an event that will mostly be drinking and heavy appetizers, I always have a small filling meal including light green vegetables and lean protein, like chicken breast with grilled asparagus. I eat only enough to fill satiated but not super full.

8. PASS ON THE GUM: In line with the above tip, avoid snapping the trident and instead have a mint. Chewing gum at parties is not that cute and, can bloat as well. In fact, I recently quit chewing gum altogether. Try to cut it out entirely.

9. DRESS BODYCON: Wear #bodycon outfits. No really, something that shows as much as you can confidently pull off. When I wear form-fitting outfits to a fancy dinner or out at a party, there’s no way I’m letting myself overdo the food/ drink situation and get that carb or sugar belly. I also tend to eat slower and chew carefully to avoid swallowing a lot of air.

10. ALTERNATE SLEEP AND SLEEPLESS: There are nights you are not going to get enough sleep. You know it. You have a party and work the next morning, travel, whatever it is. Try to plan your social calendar so you can alternate nights at home with nights out. On the nights at home, FORCE yourself to get to bed early, whatever that is for you. For me, its around 9:30-10.

Hope these tips help you get through the month of holiday parties!



My New Teaching Home - FLYWHEEL!!!


 As evidenced by the onslaught social media posts this week (twitter, instagram,
facebook, mass emails, etc etc) you could say I’m a just a little bit 
excited about the announcement of my new teaching home – FlyWheel!!!

My welcome into the FlyFam couldn’t have been warmer. 
From private messages to public insta blasts to lovely notes, I feel like I jumped 
into a sweaty lovefest.

Showing up does not do justice to describe the situation at my  “sneak peak” ride 
Wednesday afternoon, held at the gorgeous brand new Chelsea FlyWheel location. I 
was so honestly overwhelmed by the support of a beautiful fitfam who packed 
the house, including FlyWheel instructors AND managers, my incredibly NYC riders, 
fit industry besties (JT, JS, CL), the Bandier girls, The SweatLife team, Gotham Bandit 
and so many more. I had more fun teaching that ride than I can ever remember. 

I am grateful. I am humbled. I am excited. I am thankful.
And I want to see you in my classes starting next week! I will be teaching just two 
morning classes for now, but look for more time slots starting after the holidays.

Tuesdays 7AM – Tribeca

Saturdays 8:30AM - Chelsea


LEGGINGS X MENSWEAR: Four Looks To Dress Up Your Leggings


I have a massive love for leggings...

Yes, I have the luxury of being able to wear leggings for play and work, in the studio, 
at the gym and writing at my computer - but today lifestyle active wear is ruling 
women’s wardrobes and the casual work environment.  I don’t mind if they show off too
much of my curves (it happens when you have them). Leggings rule female asses all
over the country and no one is complaining.

As sporty and casual as they can be, I’ve dipped my toes into the menswear trend by 
combining my favorite leggings with pieces borrowed from the boys. 

So just for fun, here are four “looks” pairing my favorite leggings with menswear 
pieces. Yeah, no these outfits are not for actual sweating and lifting. This is what I 
wear to go out for dinner, chill with friends on weekends or just walk around my 
neighborhood with my mutt.

Teeki is a very cool company whose founding designer, according to some of my 
research, started out making costumes for Burning Man. Their leggings are made 
out of recycled water bottles!!!! They feel incredibly silky, like a second skin and are 
extremely flattering. These leggings reveal a LOT….as in everything, so they must be 
worn with high levels of confidence. My favorite pattern, Deer Medicine, is shown 
here, but I also have a pair in this red color that screams, “pay attention to me 
please.” Electric Love is definitely my next purchase.

I paired my Teeki leggings here with a Paige Black Label menswear-inspired vest 
and my Freelance boots.

Sweaty Betty is one of a few brands from across the pond over in the UK that has come 
state side. Previously only available online, last year they opened an incredible store 
in SoHo and I’ve had the pleasure of not only shopping there, but also teaching 
classes in their basement studio. I am loving their Level Workout Leggings, shown 
here. They are high waisted and almost feel like compression tights, so I feel very 
pulled in and warm. Perfect for the winter. 

I paired this with my windbreaker from an actual menswear line, Isaora. Isaora is 
based right here in NYC and the designing duo who own the company are extremely 
cool dudes. They told me their wives wear their stuff all the time. I threw on my 
high-healed hiking-inspired booties from Ash to top off this look.

I recently discovered this new line, Alo Yoga, and fell in LOVE with their Goddess 
Ribbed Leggings
(pictured here) that look like two pieces: leggings and leg warmers, 
BUT are cleverly just ONE piece. Alo makes insanely flattering pieces and they have 
very cool prints like Airbrushed and Lightning, but I really think it's their inventive 
Goddess Ribbed pieces that makes Alo stand out.

I draped my husband’s crisp white Brooks Brothers shirt over my favorite Natori 
Feathers Bra
and threw on my Ash sling backs to complete this look.

I’ve been buying David Lerner leggings for a few years now. They are very good 
quality, fit amazingly well and have a way of making you look a size or two smaller. I 
don’t know what they do in the manufacturing process, but I swear they have some 
serious butt lifting technology too. David Lerner has beautiful and trending 
prints and materials, but my favorite are these maroon coated ones. The color is 
deep and rich and they look great with black accessories. 

I threw my favorite Lucky Brand flannel over this pair in the picture because those 
boy print flannels just look amazing on us ladies, but I also wear these with low 
motorcycle boots and a black oversized hoodie.

Hope you get inspired by these looks. Have fun dressing up your leggings and let me know
what are your favorite leggings to wear out in the comments below!




 Photo Credit: Alisa Rauner Photography

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  - See more at: http://www.christiannephillips.com/#sthash.jXFNRRG4.dpuf

My Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty Products - CP Approved!


My mild addiction to lovely luscious products started when I was a teenager.  I
remember my dad coming into my bedroom room, getting a heady whiff of my 
experiments with lotions, potions, scented candles and various different sprays and 
say “Why are you putting all these fucking chemicals all over your body?!” Literally, 
that’s what he would say to me. Word. For. Word. Now you know where I get my 
potty mouth.

But he had it right. Back then in the '90s there was close to zero attention paid to the 
toxicity of most products marketed to us ladies. Now, of course, it’s a different story. 
I feel like every single newsletter I get, article I read, beauty story on the news, is 
about this subject. Just this past week alone, I received and read two solid pieces 
from online newsletters:
Clean Beauty 
Are Cosmetics Really Toxic?

Here are a few sites to research:
Environmental Working Group

With as much attention as I give to the food that nourishes my INSIDES, I figured I 
best get on the wagon and start to pay some attention to what I use for the outside. I 
have very high standards and love me some high end lines, so I’m not here to school 
you on the toxicity of beauty products (check the links above for background 
research), but rather give you a few recommendations of what I have been using. 

This short list, and short because I’m all about using as little as possible, are of 
course not only non-toxic, but also have my CP stamp of approval:  

Tata Harper: As a New England girl, I love that this line is manufactured in small 
batches in their Vermont laboratory. Just the thought of the fresh clean ingredients 
that go into these products makes me feel like I’m de-toxing my exterior. I’m heavily 
into face oil, especially during colder months. I adore both the TH Face Oil and 
Nourishing Oil Cleanser. I also use Purifying Cleansers with the former as a “double 
cleanse.” Check the website’s blog for more details on how double duty 
is the way to go. 

Shop: Tata Harper Beautifying Oil | Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser  | Best of Skin Set

RMS: By far my favorite clean make-up. I love the whole line, but I’m especially into 
their mascara (will not leave the house without it on), the delicious cocoa lip balm 
that I want to eat (and which I probably can), cover-up concealor and luminizer.

Shop: RMS Mascara | RMS Lip Balm Simply CocoaRMS Concealer | RMS Living Luminizer

Repechage: in my last post about food I wrote about a magical sea vegetable that I’ve
been eating. This impressive line has been a forerunner in using sea plant 
technology and seaweed treatments for decades. They also have lines dedicated to 
specific skin types, which is awesome because no one size fits all. I am seriously in 
LOVE with their Hydra 4 line, especially in colder months when my skin gets more 
sensitive than usual. It's extremely smoothing and calming for me. 
Another shout out goes to their incredible Perfect Skin Liquid Foundation. I am not a 
big foundation girl and usually just throw on moisturizer and mascara with some lip 
balm and call it a day. In the winter, however, with my tan and freckles faded, I need 
some more coverage and this make up is natural and makes me look flawless.

Shop: Repechage Hydra 4 Starter KitRepechage Perfect Skin Liquid Foundation

Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner: Aside from the fact that these hair products are 
organic, sulfate-free and include “antioxident-filled Rahua oil from the Amazon 
rainforest (already sold), they smell tropical with an especially strong coconut note, 
my favorite thing to eat and whiff.

Shop: Rahua Shampoo | Rahua Conditioner | Gift Set 

Zoya – Nail polish is a toughie. Nearly impossible to be totally free of chemicals,
however this line is “5-free”, meaning their polish does not include formaldehyde,
formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, and DBP. Zoya also features some of the coolest colors I’ve seen.
I like the Oswin Ultra Pixie Dust shade for some holiday sparkle.

Shop: Zoya Oswin Pixie DustZoya Pixie Dust Collection



Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 



If you know anything about me, it is probably that I love food, cooking and healthy eats. If you know a LOT about me, you might have learned somewhere that I’m first generation Chilean-American (both my parents immigrated to this country in the mid-70’s, right before I was born).

So you can just imagine my utter and complete joy when these two loves just collided in my life. I recently re-discovered COCHAYUYO, edible seaweed native to my country, Chile. I say RE-discovered because according to my mother, I definitely ate it as a child during my summers spent in her hometown of Vina Del Mar, Chile. Technically this stuff is called “bulk kelp” but how fun is it to say the Chilean term: Co-cha-you-yo? That word itself is a party in your mouth.

After a little bit of research, I learned how insanely nutritious and protein-packed this cool piece of seaweed is and was floored. But wait…then I cooked it at home and I really fell over. In a word: YUMMY.

Before I get into the specifics of how and why you should be eating this gift from sea, let me just say that I have no clue why it is not more popular and widely used here in the states other than the fact that you need to import it from Chile. I bought it from an online Chilean importer: www.tuchileaqui.com. There is also a Chilean store in lower Manhattan called Puro Chile that sells it. Check. Done. That was easy.

According to eatingchile.blogspot.com, nutritionally Cochayoyo is “remarkable.” From their website, I found out that it's:

  • Crazy high in protein (often used as a meat substitute)
  • Practically fat free (not that I have a problem with good fats) 
  • Super duper fibrous High in minerals, especially Iodine Rich in Omega 3’s and essential amino acids (like other seafood) 
  • Over 100% of US Recommended Daily Allowances for: calcium, iron, magnesium, iodine and sodium. The last one not so bueno, but hey nobody’s perfect.

    Before you run off and buy it, let me first tell you about the flavor.  I mention above that its delicious, but the caveat here is that I prepare it in a super yummy way. To make it edible, Cochayoyo has to be soaked and then boiled or just boiled for 20-30 minutes. Simply strained out of a water bath, it doesn’t taste that strong and certainly doesn’t hold the strong sea-flavor of other sea vegetables. I really dig the texture, which is like a cross between a sponge and very al dente pasta. What’s cool about it, is that it magically takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. So far I’ve used it as a pasta substitute, in a stew and just alone sautéed with garlic and EVOO, recipe for the latter below.

    Finally, there is something emotionally satisfying and – perhaps this is entirely psychosomatic but dare I say healing – to know that I’m eating something that my ancestors have prepared and eaten for millions of years. According to my research, Cohayuyo fell out of favor with the middle and upper classes in Chile because it was considered a food associated with the lower, indigenous class. Their loss. I’m about to stage a Cochayuyo comeback!

    That it comes from the sea, where a lot of my favorite things come from, is yet another reason I adore this cool, magical thing called Cochayuyo.

    Easy Sautéed Cochayuyo:

    This is my “base” preparation for Cochayuyo. I’ll make this and then toss it in stir fry, add to stews or throw a fried egg over it for breakfast. My current favorite way to use this base is Cochayuyo “Alla Norma:” I simply pour my homemade tomato sauce (see my instagram for details), roasted eggplant, fresh basil and ricotta salata over it and I don’t even miss the pasta! Delish.


    Dried Cochayuyo


    Garlic – 2 cloves minced


    Boiling water


    If you can soak the cochayuho overnight great, but I rarely plan that far in advance, so I usually just boil it for about 20-30 minutes.

    Strain and reserve a little water in case you need it add more liquid later.

    Cut it up into whatever size pieces you like. I’ve chopped it into small chucks or longer strips to make it feel more like a pasta substitute.

    Heat up EVOO in a pan over medium heat and sautée the cochayuyo until is gets slightly crispy.

    Add the garlic and toss around for about 30 more seconds.

    Combine into any other dish or just enjoy solo!

    The Verdict: My son taste-tested this recipe and thought it was yummy!  So glad I can pass on this family tradition to my boys.... 


    As much as I love to travel, I hate coming home feeling unhappy about having gotten 
    out of my healthy eating and exercising routine. So I just don’t anymore.

    On my most recent trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, where I held a super intensive 3-Day 
    Teacher Training Workshop for PowerCycle Studio (amazing group of instructors, 
    worth the trip alone to hang with these people), I managed to stay on course despite 
    my PowerPeeps keeping me pretty busy. 

    Of course I packed my running sneakers; 8 mile run along Salt Creek, check. But I’m 
    just not the same if I can’t hit the gym and get a little plyometrics, HIIT and 
    straightforward weight bearing activity going. Most people look at what is usually a 
    pathetic, sparse hotel gym with dread. I kinda love them. They are almost always 
    totally empty, so I get to sing out loud to my music and do dances in the mirror. But 
    it’s also an opportunity to shake up a usual routine and get creative with what’s 
    available. In my case, as you can see above, there was nothing more than some cardio
    equipment (I’d rather run outside on cardio intense days), a few medicine balls, free weights  
    and two benches. No problemo.

    The basic format of how I work myself out at home in my Brooklyn apartment building gym 
    was the same here: 5-10 minutes of cardio with intervals, then 3 sets of 4 exercises – 
    repeat that cardio/ exercises situation 3 times with different exercises each round. 
    What I managed to do at this Lincoln Hyatt can be replicated in most hotel gyms
    So for that reason, I share so you can travel excuse free too!

    For my first cardio, I did 20 minutes on the elliptical (any machine will do) to make 
    sure I was warm. For the first 10 minutes it was easy to moderate and I multitasked: 
    typing up what exercises I was going to do for my first round on my phone. Then, for the 
    last 10 minutes, I alternated 30 seconds HARD with 30 seconds of moderate work. 
    So I ended up doing 10 intervals. 

    ROUND 1 EXERCISES: (3 sets)

  • Straight forward lunges holding 10 lb weights (30 total, 15 each leg). Because 
  • the room is not big, I went back and forth a few times.

  • Kneeling hinged back flys: kneeling on the bench with feet up and upper 
  • body hinged forward 45 degrees (core must be engaged to stabilize!) using 5 
    lbs in each hand, perform 15 lateral flies bringing shoulder blades together.

  • Decline Push Ups with Med Ball: Feet on the bench with med ball under one 
  • hand, perform a push up. Roll ball over to opposite side and continue. Do 12-
    16 total, but make sure its an even number so you hit each side same number 
    of times.

  • Scissor kicks with med ball: do this on the bench, alternating a tap with the 
  • ball to the leg that is kicking up. 

    10 minutes on any cardio machine going into the 30-second intervals right away.

    ROUND 2 EXERCISES: (3 sets)

  • Side to side lunges over the bench: with med ball in hand, standing to the side 
  • of the bench, jump up and over to opposite side. Repeat 30 times.

  • Curtsey lunges, bicep curl and side leg lift: using 5 or 10 lb weights in each 
  • hand, curtsey lunge one leg behind and to the side. While holding the lunge 
    static, give it a bicep curl. Coming out of the lunge, balance on the stabalizing 
    leg while lifting the opposite one to the side (this targets the outer thigh). 
    Repeat opposite leg. Perform 24 total, or 12 each side.

  • Skull Crushers on the bench: lying down on the bench perform 15 skull 
  • crushers using 10-15 lb weights. I like to hold my legs straight up at a 45-
    degree angle and lower/lift them slightly while I’m doing this. 

  • Bicycle Crunches on bench

    10 minutes on any cardio machine, going into intervals right away, but Tabata ones. 
    So 10 seconds easy, 20 seconds as hard as you can go.

    ROUND 3 EXERCISES: (3 sets)

  • Side lunge jumps: I use 5 lb weights in each hand and make this as plyo as 
  • possible 24 total, 12 each side

  • Plie Squats with bicep curl and shoulder press: As you can see in the photo 
  • above, I brought the benches close together so I can do the plie squats 
    balancing on them (remember there was no one in there the WHOLE time I 
    was working out ;) This further helped me keep my posture upright because I 
    did NOT want to fall off.

  • Spider Push Ups: I love these, the harder version is the bring one knee to 
  • same side elbow as you are down in the push up, but you can also do that 
    oblique move in the straight arm position of the push up. I did 12, 6 each side.

  • Walk the Planks or Commandos: Love these. As fast as you can do without 
  • form failure, in plank position bring forearms down one at a time, then go 
    back up to straight-arm plank. I did about 20.

    And there you have it!! I WISH I had video or more photos to demo these moves, but 
    I’m not kidding when I say I did not see a SOUL the entire time I was in there. And 
    I’m not above asking the cleaning people to do photo shoots with me.

    Because I wanted to focus on a take-with-you-to-any-gym workout for this post, I 
    also decided not to include what I packed in terms of my food. That’s a whole other 
    story…and I’m not quite sure I should divulge my slightly strange and, ok fine 
    neurotic, habits of bringing food on travel. This is enough for now!
    Safe journeys to those on the road and happy sweat to everyone.




    It's not even Halloween and my entire family have already been hit with a bad cold. I 
    am not the best role model when it comes to working out when sick. I hate missing 
    my workouts. My body doesn’t feel right if I haven’t moved and broken a sweat 
    in some capacity everyday. Despite feeling run down, despite my sore throat and 
    headaches, despite knowing better, I am still breaking a daily, albeit, sick sweat.

    I am, however, taking it down a notch because that’s pretty much all my body is 
    capable of and I'm listening to it. I’ve replaced my fast, endurance runs and intense
    studio classes (Tone, House, Brooklyn Body Burn and Modo’s hot flow yoga), with super slow,  
    shorter runs, easy elliptical / treadmill cardio and low key core and stretching exercises. 
    I’m avoiding hot yoga as much as I’m dying to go, because I’d prefer not to spread 

    Here are a few “expert” articles with advice on working out with a cold, which, it turns out,
    is not such a bad idea:
    Is It OK To Exercise If I Have A Cold? 

    Got A Cold: Should You Work Out? 

    They all pretty much say the same thing, “neck rule, no fever, listen to body, blah 
    blah blah.” Also hugely important that I didn’t read in many of the articles I perused 
    online, is sleep. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night is so massive to feeling 
    better and fast.

    Fighting a cold also happens in my kitchen. I swear by a smashed up concoction of 
    raw garlic, raw ginger, lemon and honey downed several times a day. Just because it 
    feels warm and cozy to cook something hot with chicken, I also made an immunity 
    boosting chicken stew featuring turmeric as the main ingredient. Turmeric is a 
    pretty amazing spice, known to have anti-inflammatory qualities, but is also an 
    immunity booster. Check out #5 in the following article: 10 Health Benefits of Turmeric

    Both of my cold beat down recipes are below.
    Sending healthy and germ free vibes to you and yours!

    Rundown but still running,


    CP’s Garlic Ginger Cold Cure:
    Using a mortar and pestle, smash up 1 clove of garlic with 1” chunk of peeled fresh 
    ginger. Squeeze in the juice of a lemon, add some cayenne and about a tablespoon of 
    honey. Hold your nose and gulp up to 2 tablespoons several times a day.

    Moroccan Chicken Stew

    Olive Oil and few pats of butter
    Organic good quality skinless chicken pieces (2 breasts and 3-4 thighs and legs. I 
    either cut up a whole chicken or the pieces from the butcher.
    Flour for dusting
    1 onion chopped finely
    2-3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup chopped fresh fennel
    1 tablespoon sweet paprika
    1 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon coriander
    1 teaspoon ground fennel
    1 teaspoon ground pepper
    1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 1⁄2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    Up to one cup chicken broth (depends on how saucy you want it)
    I whole eggplant, cubed, salted and roasted
    Head of Romaneco Califlower, cut into chunks (optional and when in season)

    Sliced almonds
    Fresh cilantro

    Preheat oven to 400, cube and salt eggplant and place to “sweat” on papertowels 
    or dishtowels. Cut up Romanesco Califlower. I sometimes add more of the spice 
    mixture to these veggies as well. 

    Lightly salt and dust chicken pieces with flour and salt (if making this gulten-free or 
    paleo use almond flour).

    In a large oven-proof heavy or cast iron pan, heat few pats of butter and olive oil and 
    brown chicken on all sides. Do this in batches if your pan is on the smaller side.
    Remove chicken and set aside in a dish.

    While browning chicken, toss eggplant and califlower in EVOO and roast on a coated 
    pan in 400 degree oven. After 8-10 minutes turn so that they are brown on two 

    In same pan that you browned the chicken, leave remaining liquid and add more 
    olive oil only if needed. Sauté onion and fennel until soft (about 5 minutes), then 
    add garlic and all the spices. Continue cooking for a few minutes to blend flavors. 
    Add lemon juice and tomato and as much of the chicken broth as you want (use less 
    if you don’t want it to be too saucy). Let that come to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
    Return chicken to the pan and turn over a few times to combine the pieces with the 

    Put in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (juices 
    run clear or use a meat thermometer). 

    Once out of oven add additional lemon juice, eggplant. Combine gently, Garnish with 
    cilantro and sliced almond.

    Dishing On My Own Marriage


    Marriage advice is kinda bullshit in my opinion. There is no one size fits all. Relationships are so unique, complicated, uneven and confusing just like the people in them. I’m certainly not on a soapbox when it comes to this department. That's not what this post is about. Perfection is unattainable in every aspect of life, especially this one.

    I’m unconventional, as is my husband, so naturally the way we work, or not work, together mirrors those qualities. I’m also extremely straightforward. Please be advised if you feel judgmental thoughts seeping in as you read this, close the browser. This is not where you should be.

    All that said, I occasionally feel a need to get personal and write about things that many people won’t say out loud. This is one of those times. So, (cue deep breath) here’s my CP list of a few "secrets" that have gotten us through 10 whole years of marriage, presented here for no better reason than for classic CPstyle over sharing ;) :

  • Fucking. No, not love making. I’m talking about just the very very very physical act of it. More importantly, doing it as often as you can manage in your schedule. Once a month is not good for business. Kids should not be an excuse, nor should the headache or exhaustion. You do it even when you don’t feel like it. OK fine, I’ll give you a good story. When my twin preemies came home, we were miserable and numb with sleep depravation. We had more sex in those early days they were home, than when we were trying to conceive. It was the only respite, the only escape that afforded us some release, joy and feeling. It kept our sanity and our marriage together. And I don’t need a roommate.
  • We take care of ourselves physically and emotionally. We are 110% for enabling each other’s workouts, time with friends, time alone, etc. He gets that I need two hours on a Saturday morning to run and take a yoga class. I make sure he puts on those boxing gloves and hits the bag or lifts as soon as I get home. (Mine are usually prioritized.) We live a "lifestyle" together.
  • Touching. Almost every single night we are together, we massage each other. Its not sexual, its not romantic, it doesn’t involve oils and its often done while we are chillin on the couch watching one of our favorite shows on TV. Yeap, we are both sore from working out and rubbing it out is super helpful (and often painful). But our nightly ritual is also an act of simply connecting on a daily basis at the end of a day when we don’t need to use words anymore.
  • We go to bed angry occasionally. It doesn’t mean our marriage is doomed.
  • We are both hot heads and have insanely intense fights. Sometimes we fight “well” but usually we’re total assholes to each other when we’re in the thick of it. Here’s the important part: WE GET OVER IT, try to talk about it or just move on. Everything passes.
  • We are both free. Seriously. He doesn’t own me and vice versa. We do our own thing and it makes us better together.
  • My husband molests me. No seriously, he’ll grab my ass when I’m trying to put the kids to bed or handle my hips when I’m wrangling some hot pots in the kitchen. Sometimes I get annoyed and feel objectified. Sometimes I’m cool with it. Sometimes I love it. But there would be something SERIOUSLY wrong come the day my husband doesn’t manhandle me. He’s similarly effusive with the compliments. I’m not sure they are 100% honest some of the time, but you know what, that doesn’t really matter. Its just SO lovely to be told nice things, physically or verbally, every day.
  • Our children have not “taken over.” Honestly, our best vacations since those two lil guys were born have been the ones we’ve had alone. We actually still like chillin together without them around. Our boys are going to want little to do with us in no time (growing up too fast) and what will be left? Two people who can hang tight and not just co-parent.
  • The realization that our journey together is not always smooth sailing. In fact, it hardly ever will be because of our personalities: we are thrill seekers, have a high tolerance for risk and constantly invite challenge into our lives. Some years are terrible. Some are incredible. None are boring.
  • Deep respect for the other despite the fuck ups. We are NOT perfect and we have done bad things to each other. That’s because we are real, imperfect, emotional, sensitive, loving, human beings. Despite our missteps, at the end of it all, we still respect each other.

     In the spirit of TMI, there ya go!!




    We are inundated with information on healthy food – raw, organic, farm to table, 
    vegan, paleo, etc etc etc etc to infinity!! Yeah, I get it, eat kale, avocados, nuts, eggs, 
    drink green juices and down smoothies on the regular.

    TRUST ME when I say that I’m all for eating glorious, nutritious, organic food that 
    makes me feel amazing, tastes delicious and fuels my body in all the right ways. 

    I also want to have a hot slammin' body. 

    To be super honest, health comes first, but vanity comes in a close second people!!!
    To that end, despite all my herculean efforts (working out 1-2 hrs/day, eating 
    “clean” and limiting alcohol & sugar) I have not been entirely satisfied with the 
    results. I started thinking that perhaps what I was eating, albeit good for me, was 
    not helping me attain my physical goals – maybe even sabotaging them.

    My biggest culprits, I believe, and here is when I may get controversial on you all, are 
    the green juices and smoothies: many of theses drinks, especially the ones you buy 
    at your juice joint, are packed with calories and are NOT filling, at least for a weight 
    lifting / bootcamp crushing lady like me. For example, a Juice Press Doctor Green Juice
    17 fl oz bottle is 240 calories, while a Liquitaria Skinny Smoothie is 466 calories!

    Same deal with the almonds. I MEAN WHO SAID ALMONDS WERE FILLING AS A SNACK?
    Especially the recommended 5 we’re suppose to limit ourselves to???????

    So to this end, I’ve made some tweaks, substitutions to my diet that I’m in the mood to 
    share with you. Take 'em or leave 'em, here's my plan leading up to the holidays:

    I’m eating smaller, more frequent and more FILLING meals and feeling much better.
    Sugar spikes are now non-existent and this has really helped me avoid overeating (and drinking) at night. 


  • Early morning green juice with fruit & green vegetables
  • Late morning post-workout smoothie with protein powder, avocado,
    nut butter, coconut oil, nut milk, fruit, etc etc 
  • Salad toppings like nuts, seeds, avocado and hard cheeses
  • Red meat or pork as a protein 
  • Almonds or almond butter as a snack 
  • Apples and pears as snacks


  • Hard boiled eggs (1-2) with small amount of
    whole green vegetable, raw or cooked in the early morning
  • 2-3 chicken tenders (recipe below!) or turkey meatballs (recipe coming)
    with some broccoli or asparagus instead of smoothies
  • Salads with cooked veggies as toppings & lean protein
  • Lots of fish and poultry as protein sources
  • Vegetable-based soups instead of green juices
  • Blueberries and Oranges (to get that vitamin C) instead of bananas and apples

    Here's what's KEY for me: Having lean protein easy bites on hand to pop in when i start to feel hungry.
    To that end, l'm including my favorite most delicious recipe for Almond Curry Crusted 
    Finger Tenders. It's kinda paleo, but definitely not vegetarian or vegan! I make a 
    massive batch that lasts for only a few days in my house. I eat these for dinner when 
    fresh, then put them on salad for lunch and combine a few with some green veggies 
    like left over asparagus, as a post workout or 4PM snack; the latter being absolutely essential to 
    avoiding my evening food festival for one.


  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Spray or very lightly coat a large roasting pan or baking sheet with olive oil.
  • Cut up 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast and/or thighs into 2-3” 
    pieces. The smaller the crispier they will get. The bigger the juicier.

  • NOTE:
    I am getting amazing chicken from The Meat Hook in Greenpoint. Trust 
    your chicken source please. Dickinson’s, Marlow and Daughters and farmer’s 
    market vendors also great.

  • Wisk two eggs in a large bowl and add chicken, toss to coat.
  • Mix the following coating ingredients together:
  • 2-2 1/2 cups Almond Meal – I use Bob’s Red Mill Finely Ground Almond Flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Using tongs or fingers (latter will get wet and clumpy so I use tongs) cover 
    the egg-coated chicken pieces in the almond mixture and then spread out on 
    the baking sheet.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, check to see if they are browning a bit. If so, flip and 
    cook for another 10 minutes. If not, wait 2 more minutes, depending on oven 
    and location.
  • Cool and store in fridge

    Sooooo, binge eating and drinking season is upon us starting with that 
    Halloween candy that is right around the corner. Getting into this real 
    #masticatingfood swticharoo habit now and having those lean protein / whole 
    green combination small meals on hand, may just help you reach some goals and sail through 
    the holiday season feeling incredible, avoiding those extra liquid calories while still enjoying the festivities and LIFE!! :)



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