My Mars is really into lollipops. Like, his love affair rivals my love for chocolate. Lollipops totally make his day but giving him sugar-laden treats everyday gives me anxiety. He's inspired me to create a better, healthier lollipop - Lithe Pops! Our natural, healthy lollipops are delish, made from our Lithe Foods cold-pressed juices, are free of HFCS, contain no artificial coloring, and are less than 75 calories per pop. Great for Lithers, kids, and anyone with a sweet tooth. Available in-studios and on-line in September.
Image of Mars enjoying a Greenie Lithe Pop via Lauren
Hey Mama, check out our modified late Summer babysitting schedule, and stay tuned for our expanded Old City & Rittenhouse Fall childcare schedules (beginning mid-September)! A friendly reminder that our childcare service is BARE-BONES, meaning we will watch your child for one hour, provide fun, reading and toys, but we will not provide: feeding, diaper changes, or administer medicine.
The Sitter: Lauren's CPR certified nanny and other CPR certified childcare providers
When: T/W/TH 9:45AM class
Where: Lithe's Rittenhouse & Old City small studios
Drop off/Pick up: Arrive as early as 15 minutes prior to class, Pick up immediately, post-class.
Reservations: Reservations are accepted by calling the studios: RH: 215-545-5144 OC: 215-625-4919
The latest you can reserve: The day of class by 7:30AM.
Cost: $7/hour CASH ONLY
Maximum Capacity: 10 children per hour
Age Range: 5 weeks to 6 years old
Structure/Rules: Feeding is not provided; naps are not provided (exception: infants in a carrier), diapers will not be changed and medicine will not be administered. Our service is BYO - If your child needs a blanket, lovey, pacifer, particular toy, iPad, etc., please bring it with you. Lithers are not permitted to leave class to "check on" children. No sick children, please. We reserve the right to come get you in class if your child has fallen ill, or is uncontrollable.
Image of Mars at 9 months via Dom
Our next Lithe Mama is Simone Nadav. What makes her awesome? For starters, not even midnight nursing sessions can deter her from getting to classes first thing in the morning.
Children: Bayla, 3.5 and Lev, 16 months
Tell us your Lithe story: I was looking around for early morning classes for awhile and knew I didn't want to go to a gym. I Lithed here and there before I got pregnant with Bayla. About 7 months after she was born, I started going 4-5 times a week and continued up until I was 35 weeks pregnant with Lev.
How do you fit it into your schedule? I always go to 6AM classes. Usually, I can sneak out while my children and husband are sleeping (unless I step on a creaky floorboard). And if I'm really lucky, they're still snoozing when I get back. Plus, I don't have to pay for a sitter.
Sounds like you're hooked: Definitely. I've considered moving to the suburbs, but I think I would miss Lithe too much. And the 6AM students at Old City are a tight knit group. Many of us have been going for years.
Anything that you did to really get your body in gear post-baby? The challenge this past October helped me lose that last five pounds. The sculpting classes helped build all the muscles I need to pick my babies up out of their cribs. I'm also a big believer in eating clean and I juice every day.
So, chicken fingers aren't in the rotation at your house? Luckily, my kids eat whatever I eat. I cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for them. But ... I don't hesitate to eat sweets every now and again.
Being a Lither takes commitment. But being a mom and a Lither calls for serious dedication. Between early wakeup calls (5 AM? Again?) and rushing to pick the kids up at preschool, it's not always so easy to squeeze in a class. In our new column, we'll shine a little light on the mamas that make it happen.
First up is Nicole Andreola, the South Philly mother of two.
When I was kid-free, what was I doing in my string bikini? Nothing! I laid out, sipped my drink, took a walk, etc. You get the picture. And right now, there's no sitting, sunning, or reading magazines. My Mars is all over the place, and a day at the beach, or at the pool just SO not what it used to be.
Swimsuits have an entirely different meaning with an almost three year old in tow. In order to keep up with the physical demands of a super active kiddo, you need a suit that can withstand everything: running, squatting, pick-me-up, tantrums, building sandcastles, lifting, chasing, falling, being pulled on, and playing catch. Basically, you need a mom-suit: An iron-clad, no wardrobe-malfunction bathing suit. I still want to feel chic and sexy, and I still believe that I can wear a bikini, and chase after my boy.
I like to invest in pieces that truly crossover from studio, to street, to swim. These days I'm chasing Mars in Lithe's Performance Bra or Michi sports bras (above). I love this one because it's sexy, but there's not a chance that I'm being exposed regardless of what he does. What are you Lithe Mama's wearing to the beach? Are you wearing a two-piece, swim-skirt, tankini, one-piece or swim-dress?
Selfie of Lauren sitting for a (rare) hot minute via Lauren
This recipe leaves Mars begging (above) for more. It's meat and hormone-free and tastes just like candy. I use Exotic Superfoods young coconut meat, but you can DIY and purchase 5-6 young coconuts and extract the meat utilizing a Coco Jack.
If you like it savory…
Ingredients: 1 half bag of Exotic Superfoods young coconut meat (you can buy it by the single, $10 bag at Whole Foods) 1/2 cup of Braggs or Tamari, 1tsp olive oil & 1tbsp nutritional yeast
If you like it sweet…
Ingredients: 1 half bag of Exotic Superfoods young coconut meat, 1 tbsp coconut sugar & coconut oil spray
Directions: Slice coconut meat into thin strips and then dehydrate for 4-6 hours at 118 degrees. If you don’t have a dehydrator, set your oven at its lowest temperature, place the coconut on a rack and place a wooden spoon in the oven door to keep it slightly open. The surface should feel dry, but you want it to still be chewy on the inside.
Images via Lauren
Lithe Instructor Elizabeth Tomkins seven months post-baby via Dom
I think that some of the best activities to do with your kids are the simplest ones. Mars and I love chasing bubbles. It holds his interest, keeps him active and I adore blowing bubbles and watching him chase the big "bouncy balls" around the house for hours. What about you guys? What are some of your favorite simple indoor/outdoor activities that you do with your kids?
Images of Mars via Lauren
Her Results: This picture is my results 3 1/2 months postpartum after my 4th child. I had been Lithing for over a year when I got pregnant with my 4th. Lithe had completely transformed my body. I finally got to the point where I felt I was in the best shape of my life and felt healthier, faster, and stronger then ever before. When I found out I was pregnant again I knew that I wanted to stick with the program and Lithe until the end. I was so worried about losing all the time and hard work that I had put in. I am so glad that I continued. Lithing during pregnancy kept me sane, gave me more energy, and helped keep my weight gain in check. It also kept my body strong and toned which which I was very happy about!
What surprised me most was postpartum. This time, my body started to recover quicker then with any of my three previous pregnancies. Knowing that this was my fourth child and that I wasn't getting any younger gave me serious doubt that I could return to how good I felt. Well, I was wrong. My body even looked better in those first few weeks then it had with any of my other three kids. A few weeks later I was starting to see some of that definition back in my stomach that must have been from the workouts that kept my core strong. This time was definitely the easiest and quickest recovery I have experienced! I know for sure that it was all thanks to Lithe.
Kids: 4 (8 year old boy, 5 & 3 year old girls and a baby girl born in November, 2013)
Her Fit.Hip.Healthy: Lithe has really changed my feelings on being fit and healthy. From classes that seem to be constantly changing and always challenging, to the instructors that are motivating and always approachable. Before I just worked out just to lose weight, now I workout for my body. Having the foods and juices available in the studio has been a bonus for me. Grabbing something after class keeps my diet on track. Even reading the blog helps me stay motivated. I enjoy the class descriptions by Sayeh's living Lithe (when I first started I always checked her description before I tired a new class!).
Fell off the wagon: Since starting Lithe, NO! I only stopped postpartum for about 8 weeks. I did get cleared from my doctor to start exercise at 5 weeks, but did not feel ready.
How I Lithe: I started Lithe in 2012. Before that my exercise routine was running outside and on the treadmill. I felt my body had plateaued though. I had 3 kids and of course my body wasn't the same as before. A friend had told me about Lithe and I decided to give it a try. After my first 101 I was hooked. My first class out of 101 was skinny jeans with Lauren. It was the hardest workout I had ever done. After class when I got home I remember my legs still shaking and I was addicted. Lithe is now an important part of my life. I love being able to disconnect for an hour, its a little mental break!
My schedule now includes Lithing 2x a week, 3x if I am lucky! I also run a little in-between Lithing. Of course I would love to Lithe more if I could. I love to sweat, so some of favorite classes are weightless, spirit, step rally. I also love anything with a great CCS like Barlesque, Rock Steady and Stems. I also love how classes like Higher Power, which emphasizes the arms kills my abs, too. I try to constantly mix it up when my schedule allows me to. Other classes I look to get in are freestyle and split. I like not knowing which classes they will incorporate. While I like all the instructors and have never taken a "bad" class, for some reason Elizabeth's classes really kill me in a good way!
Sculpting is key for her: While I do love cardio and love to sweat, sculpting just works. It really pushes me. After taking a sculpting class I feel like I can see and feel the change, even if its all mental in my head. I also have a love/hate relationship with sculpting at the barre, especially with fold over work. I always try and pick classes that incorporate it; it's so hard and never seems to get any easier! When I started Lithe I avoided heavy sculpting classes, because I used to believe in the "sculpting can make you bulky" myth. I was so very, very wrong. Sculpting is the key to changing your body!
My Diet: Truthfully right now it isn't the best. I do always make the effort to eat and choose healthy things, but sometimes it can be tricky with our family. I stay away from fast food, I snack on fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water. Right now I am focusing on portion control and being aware of how much I am eating. I feel like I pick at my kids food way too much!
She used to weigh in: I have a small frame. When I started doing the Lithe I actually saw the scale creeping up slightly. I chalked it up to muscle that I so desperately needed, so that is when I stopped weighing myself. Personally weighing my self drives me crazy and stresses me out! I usually just go by how my clothes fit. That being said, when I went back for my six week postpartum check up my curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to know how much I weighed before I got pregnant, how much I gained during this pregnancy and of course what I weighed then. I was 110 before I got pregnant. I weighed 134 when I gave birth. At 6 weeks postpartum I was 118. Now I am 3 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight.
She feels: I don't feel that my strength and body is back to where I was before this pregnancy, but I see a difference every week. I know from experience that my body will never look the exact same as it did before, but I know as long as I work hard I am going to see awesome results. I am excited to continue to see my body change from here. Lithe has helped me be much more excepting and proud of my body, even with its flaws. I hope that feeling will rub off on the three little girls I have at home.
Image of Christine H. via Stuart Goldenberg
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