Fit 4 Mom- Los Angeles

Helping moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life


September’s theme is “shapes.”  We will be introducing shapes (circles, squares & triangles)  to our little ones as we work on getting our bodies back in shape.  Each week we’ll focus on a different shape — incorporating the shapes into our workout and pointing out the shapes around us.  Bring toys with different shapes for your child to play with in their stroller to help reinforce the concepts! During our Friday Plum Mom’s Play Group the kids will have a hands-on lesson inspired by the shape of the week.

Sept 7th- Shape Place Mats
Sept 14th- Sticky Square Shapes
Sept 21st- Birthday Celebration
Sept 28th- Shape snacks

Get a jump start on teaching your child about shapes with this great activity or try this one.  Over at No Time For Flash Cards (one of my favorite blogs) they have TONS of great shape activities that you can do with your little one.  They have also put together a list of books about shapes.

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Hip Bridge Variations

DIRECTIONS: The standard hip bridge starts in a supine position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Engage the core and the glutes to push the pelvis up off the ground until the spine is in a neutral decline, then return back to start.

Perform the move with one leg in the air.  Then switch legs.

Keep the tube pressed against the pelvis with the hands firmly on the ground, activate triceps isometrically.


• Press the shoulder blades into the ground and open the chest by external rotating the palms up

• Engage the core musculature throughout
• Relax the neck and jaw
 • B R E A T H E

• To make this less intense, perform  at the lowest intensity (the first image shown above)


*content courtesy of Stroller Strides Corporate

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Meet Our Moms

Michelle Soffer (aka Dean’s mommy) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  We love working out with you and Dean.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?  My husband David and I have one child, Dean.  We both grew up here in L.A.
2. What is or was your career?  I was an art appraiser and advisor.  I still do some small art consulting projects but at the moment my full time job is being a mom.

3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?  I joined stroller strides about 6 months ago.  Not only am I in better shape, but I look forward to working out and hanging out with the moms.  It’s such a great social outlet and support system. Plus, I finally got to put away the maternity clothes!

4. Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?
I love to take a walk to LACMA, see some art and then hang out in the park with Dean and people watch.

5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?   I’m definitely surprised at how well I can function on very little sleep.  I’m also surprised by how much I laugh these days.  Before you have a baby everyone tells you how hard being a mom is, but no one ever told me how funny it can be too.  Dean does the most hilarious things that crack me and my husband up on a daily basis.

6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.  Meetballs paprika -Saute some onions and garlic in a little olive oil. Add a lot of paprika! Then make your favorite meatballs and brown them with the onions.  Add just enough water to cover and simmer until cooked through, about 45 minutes.  For thicker gravy, add a cornstarch/water mixture at the end of cooking.

7. Favorite website(s)?  It comes as no surprise that I’m always on and these days!

8. List three current obsessions.

  • Pilates
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Making Dean laugh

9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?  Dean loves when I read him books.  His favorite is flipping the pages!

10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never...whip out my phone and show people pictures of my baby. Overall I’ve been pretty good about not doing it, but there have been a few times where I’ve caught myself!

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Plank Competition

I love to plank!  Front plank, side plank, up up down down plank, swing plank, circular plank, planks with butt kicker…you know you love them too.  The plank strengthens the abdominals, back & shoulders.  It is the ultimate multitasking exercise! Perfect for the busy mom. Muscles involved in the front plank include:

Stroller Strides Los Angeles Plank Competition

Sponsored by Luna

Stroller Strides Los Angeles Plank Compition

During the first week in September we’ll all record how long we can hold a forearm plank.  At the end of the month we will do it again and whoever makes the biggest improvement on their own time will win a box of Luna Fiber Bars!

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5 Steps to A Healthy Home

Step 1:  Avoid Pesticides 

Use non-toxic or the least toxic pest remedies – like soapy water to kill ants and boiling water to kill weeds. Good sanitation and proper food storage help to prevent pests.

Step 2:  Use Non-Toxic Products 

Look for natural, non-toxic cleaners, body care, and home furnishings. Read labels to learn what’s inside or call the manufacturer.  See how your products rate by using this site.

Step 3:  Clean Up Indoor Air 

Ventilate the home by opening windows. Grow indoor plants that naturally absorb impurities (Arcea palm, lady palm, bamboo palm, rubber plant, and Boston fern are effective options.) Vacuum at least twice a week using a HEPA filter, and/or mop floors.

Step 4:  Eat Healthy 

Choose organic foods as much as possible. Select fresh, dried or frozen vegetables and fruits, and make foods from scratch to avoid synthetic additives and preservatives.

Step 5:  Be Wise With Plastics 

Use alternatives to plastic as much as possible and safer plastics when necessary – especially with food and beverages (look for those numbered #2, 4, or 5). Avoid using plastic in the microwave and with warm or fatty foods and beverages.

*content courtesy of Stroller Strides Corporate.

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Meet Our Moms

Jennifer Ponder (aka Everly’s mommy) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  We love working out with you and Everly.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!
1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from? My husband Danny, our daughter Everly, and our dog Bama. Danny is from Las Vegas and I am from Alabama.
2. What is or was your career? I am a professor in the College of Education at Cal State Fullerton
3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you? I joined Stroller Strides in December, 2011 when Everly was only 11 weeks old. Besides helping me lose all of my baby weight (plus an additional 4 pounds and counting – woo-hoo!), Stroller Strides has also provided me with an invaluable support group. I look forward to our classes every week because I get to connect with all the amazing mommies in our group who always share reassuring stories and great advice.
 4.  Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.? Everly loves to go to the park and swing. I often forget that we live in an urban jungle so something as simple as crawling in the grass is pure joy for her. Pan Pacific and Griffith Park are two of our favorites!
5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood? Everything! I had no idea motherhood would be so hard, yet so rewarding all at the same time. The lack of sleep is probably the biggest surprise.
6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.
Taco-Pasta Salad. I recently discovered this recipe and it is the new “go to” in our house. It is REALLY yummy, easy to make, and healthy too!
  • 8 oz of whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 1 1b of lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 pack of Taco seasoning
  • 4 Tbsp Salsa
  • 4 Tbsp fat-free sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded.
1. Prepare pasta according to the directions on the box.
2. While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef or turkey. Drain the beef of excess fat.
3. Add water and taco seasoning; simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
4. While the meat is simmering, combine salsa and sour cream in a small bowl.
5. Place the pasta in a bowl, add a portion of the meat, sprinkle with cheese, and add a dollop of salsa-sour cream.
7. Favorite website(s)?  Pinterest, Amazon Mom,, and Zulily
8. List three current obsessions.  Eating healthy, coffee (I didn’t drink coffee until I had Everly), and watching Big Brother.
9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do? Everly loves it when I say, “I’m Gonna Get You”. I usually get down on the floor and crawl over to her really slow and she thinks it is hilarious. She lets out the loudest squeal every time I say it and tries to get away as fast as she can. Of course when I catch her I give her tons of kisses and hugs, which makes her squeal and giggle even louder.
10. Finish this sentence…Before I was a mother I swore I would never be “that” person on the airplane with the screaming kid! The last flight we took with Everly was a nightmare. The flight was 4.5 hours and Everly screamed and cried for at least 4 of those never-ending hours. I guess that is what I get for rolling my eyes every time a kid misbehaved on a plane before I had a baby. Karma stinks!
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You Know You’re an LA Strider When…

  • You walk with your shoulders back & down and abs engaged while pushing your cart at Target
  • You sing the ABCs to your toddler and they get into a wall sit
  • You Kegel while changing your baby’s diaper
  • You recognize people’s outfits from The Grove’s window displays
  • You are used to shooing away the “paparazzi” while working out
  • The first colors your kid knows are red and green
  • You know how to navigate the sea of camera crews & tourists, keep your baby content, and chat with your mommy friends all while getting a workout
  • You consider having another baby just to continue striding…

Did I miss anything?

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Spiced Apple Walnut Baked Oatmeal

Here’s another great recipe from Jennifer Smigelski of WellThy Families
The underlying basic recipe (taking out the applesauce, apples, spices and nuts) can be flavored an infinite number of ways.  Mix it up – try different fresh, canned, dried fruits, or thawed frozen nuts and spices!  As always, be sure to use organic ingredients.
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Yields:  8 servings
1/3 cup canola oil (or try coconut oil)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 eggs
4 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (dairy or dairy alternative)
1/2 cup applesauce
2 medium apples cored and chopped
2 teaspoons apple pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cream oil, sugar and eggs.
  • Add remaining ingredients.
  • Poor into greased 8×11 glass baking dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
*image courtesy of Getty Images
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Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Jennifer Smigelski, the founder and director of WELLthy Families.  Provided this delicious Quinoa recipe.   It’s full of  flavor, and will have you coming back again and again.  For more of Jennifer’s recipes check out her website or follow her on twitter.
Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Prep Time:  10 minutes l Cooking Time:  20 minutes l Yields:  4 servings
**Use Organic ingredients when possible.
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon honey
1-2 finely diced jalapeo pepper(s), optional
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, give quinoa a quick rinse under running water.
  • In a large pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil.  Stir in rinsed quinoa and cook until broth is evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.  Pour quinoa into a medium bowl and fluff with a fork.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, honey, jalapeos, lime juice, and olive oil.   Add remaining ingredients and toss until combined.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Serve warm or cold, by itself or over greens.
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Layered Push Up

This is an upper body and multitasking exercise…both of which are needed in motherhood!

DIRECTIONS: Get into push up position on either the knees or feet. Place one hand directly under the shoulder joint and the other out into a traditional position. Lower down into the push up with one elbow shooting straight back while the other bends to the side. Switch hands and repeat on the other side.


• Keep elbows soft at the top of the movement
• Keep belly tight and body in a straight line
• Head stays in alignment with the spine
 • B R E A T H E

To make this less intense, perform the push ups on your knees and/or stick with one version of the movement — not both. For wrist pain, opt instead for a chest press with the tubing.

*content courtesy of Stroller Strides Corporate

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