My Book Has Been Published: Restoring The Pelvic Floor For Women

I am thrilled to announce that I published a book, Restoring The Pelvic Floor For Women


This book is for any woman who has avoided the trampoline or yoga class for fear of urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. If you have pelvic pain, dyspareunia, vaginismus, vestibulodynia, vulvodynia, lichen sclerosis, endometriosis, androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), MRKH, or tailbone pain (coccydynia), this book is for you. If you suffer from constipation, urinary urgency, urinary frequency, or overactive bladder, this book is also for you.

This book quickly and easily teaches you how to manage conditions related to the pelvic floor, bladder, uterus, and bowel directly from a certified pelvic floor physical therapist who regularly treats women just like you in her clinic.

With a dash of humor I explain how to cure urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse using different types of Kegels. If you’re prone to urinary urgency, you’ll learn which foods to avoid. Constipated? I’ll show you how to solve it.

The pelvic floor muscles are a vital system of muscles that support the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, and rectum). These muscles can be too weak, too tight, or have poor coordination that can lead to issues with urination, defecation, pelvic pain, and intercourse. The good news is that these issues are solvable with natural remedies. Furthermore, learn how a pelvic physical therapist in your area can provide additional one on one help and specific kinds of treatment to address women’s health issues.

Chapters include:

1. Introduction to the Pelvic Floor, Organs, Kegels and Women’s Health
2. Urinary Incontinence: Why Do I Pee When I Sneeze?
3. Urinary Frequency and Urgency: Why Do I Have to Pee Every Time I Turn Around?
4. Bladder Irritants: Why What You Eat and Drink Can Be Irritating
5. Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Why It Feels Like Your Organs are Falling Out of Your Body
6. Kegels, Pelvic Floor and Core Strengthening
7. Constipation
8. Pelvic Pain
9. The Importance of Breathing
10. To Infinity and Beyond: Thoughts on Women’s Health for the Future

If you are trying to find a natural way of curing common women’s health issues and avoid surgery, this book is for you. Find out how breathing, down training the pelvic floor, vaginal dilator training and specific pelvic exercises can help with pelvic pain. Pelvic floor exercise for beginners and more advanced kegel exercises for progression are demonstrated, and most importantly which exercises are most beneficial to women’s health.

Curious about kegel exercise products, such as which kegel balls for beginners are best? This book will explain that too.  I’ll also discuss which kegel trainer and pelvic floor strengthening devices for women are best to help you achieve your goals.

Chapter 6 discusses abs, core, and pelvic floor while chapter 8 helps you heal pelvic pain.

Chapters end with real world, anonymous examples of patients I have healed with the techniques found in this book.

If you have issues related to pelvic floor dysfunction, this pelvic floor book will teach you the pelvic floor therapy necessary to feel results.

Posted in Pilates, Running, Uncategorized, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pelvic Floor Strengthening After Baby

Whether you delivered a baby vaginally or by C-Section, the pelvic floor muscles can become strained and weak from pregnancy. This weakness can be exacerbated by vaginal delivery which can result in tearing of the muscles and episiotomy. The good news is that these muscles will heal just as any other muscles would, and they will respond to certain exercises with improved strength. The following exercises isolate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles following child birth.

Immediately Post-Partum Exercises:

Pelvic Floor Muscle Activation

This exercise may be done within 24 hours of delivery in the hospital bed or at home. Begin lying on your back with knees bent and feet shoulder width apart. Imagine that your urethra is a telescope and your body is a submarine, pull the urethra up and into your body. This activates the pelvic floor muscles and is also known as a Kegel.  Childbirth can result in significant stretching or tearing of the pelvic floor muscles, which can make it difficult to sense the muscles contracting. A mirror can be a helpful tool to determine whether or not the pelvic floor muscles are squeezing and drawing inward as they should be. Your gluteal muscles should not be contracting, and your pelvis should remain perfectly still, not rocking or tilting.

Hold the contraction for 5 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds.

Repeat 10 times. Do this  at least 3 times per day.

Progression: After 3-4 weeks post-partum, progress this towards a 10 second hold for each repetition.

Pelvic Brace Exercise:

This exercise combines the pelvic floor and  deep abdominal contraction exercises. Begin lying on your back with knees bent and feet hip width apart. Find a neutral pelvic and low back alignment by gently rocking your pelvis until you find a position that is pain free and allows a slight window of space between the low back and the floor. Ideally the pelvis will be parallel with the ceiling. Inhale through your nose, then exhale as if blowing out birthday candles while simultaneously contracting your pelvic floor muscles and very gently contracting your abdominal muscles down and inward as if you were being shrink wrapped around your abdomen.

Hold 5 seconds. This bracing contraction should also be done when lifting your baby. 

Repeat 10 times. Do this 3 times per day.

4 Weeks Post-Partum

Bent Knee fallout:

Begin lying on your back with knees bent and feet planted shoulder width apart. Contract your pelvic floor muscles and gently draw in the abdominals as done above. Slowly bring one knee out to the side 45 degrees, then slowly bring it back up to starting position maintaining the kegel the entire time the leg is moving. The primary intention of this exercise is to keep the pelvis and low back still while the leg is moving. 

Repeat 5 times on each side. Do this 2 times per day.


Begin lying on your back with knees bent and feet planted shoulder width apart. Contract your pelvic floor muscles and abdominals. Then lift your hips gently off the floor without rocking your pelvis. Pause, then gently set your hips back down onto the floor, maintaining the kegel throughout the entire movement. .

Repeat 10 times. Do this 2 times per day.

8-12 Weeks Post-Partum:

Once the previous exercises become easier and your pelvic floor muscles have healed, you may progress these basic Kegel exercises by adding a vaginal weight. Vaginal weights have been shown in research to be effective in strengthening the pelvic floor and reducing incidence rates of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.  The great thing about vaginal weights is that as the pelvic floor becomes stronger you can progress the weight as you would with strength training of other muscle groups-remember, these are muscles too. More information about Intimate Rose vaginal weights can be found here. These weights are covered in a smooth and safe silicone that is easy to wash and comfortable on the body. The set comes with discreet packaging, instructions for use, and excellent customer support. 

Enter the code RUNNINGYOURBODY for a 5% discount. 

Posted in Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Rules for a Happy Bladder

If you have experienced urinary urgency and frequency for awhile it can be easy to forget what “normal” bladder function used to be. Here are 5 rules to regain control of your bladder for a happier you, and a happier bladder:

1. Using the bathroom to urinate 7 times in 24 hours is considered normal. This ends up resulting in a trip to the bathroom to urinate approximately every 3-4 hours. Additional trips may be added to this total right before bed, during a bowel movement, and immediately after sexual intercourse.

2. Do not go to the bathroom “just in case”, this creates bad habits. Contrary to what our parents taught us when we were three years old, you do not need to go to bathroom “just in case” every time you leave our house, unless you are embarking on a long road trip. The reasoning behind this is that the bladder can sufficiently hold 400-600 ml. This is about 14-20 ounces! If you go to the bathroom “just in case” repeatedly, the nerve endings in the walls of the bladder will become sensitive to even minor stretching during the normal process of the bladder filling, and will begin to give the sense of urgently needing to go to the bathroom even though it is not even near full. For example, if you repeatedly go the bathroom “just in case” and your bladder is only half full, your bladder will start to “reset” and think that amount is indeed full, and it will tell you to go to the bathroom, even though it has plenty of room left.

3. Sit on the toilet and let your muscles fully relax, don’t hover! The pelvic floor muscles cannot fully relax if you are hovering over a toilet seat, thus they may not allow your bladder to fully empty. This can result in needing to use the bathroom frequently as well. If you are concerned about germs, wipe the seat down and lay paper down for protection. Furthermore, do no strain when urinating, or push urine out. It is common for busy people to rush into the bathroom, push urine out as quickly as possible and dash out to save time. This can strain the pelvic floor muscles leading to leakage. Take your time, and allow all of your muscles to relax, and allow a steady stream of urine to flow. Your pelvic floor will thank you.

4. Avoid foods and beverages that irritate the bladder. This includes caffeine, alcohol, citrus fruits, smoking cigarettes, tomatoes, artificial sweeteners, and chocolate. Two thirds of daily fluid intake should be water. This is equivalent to 48-64 ounces of water per day. This is important not only for proper cellular function throughout the body, but to assist with cleansing the bladder of irritants consumed in the form of foods and beverages.

5. Avoid constipation. Constipation with backup of the colon places pressure on the bladder which can lead to a sense of needing to urinate, even though the bladder isn’t full. Drink plenty of water (48-64 ounces per day), and maintain physical activity to help improve bowel motility.

Posted in Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Moms in the Raw Delicious Gluten Free Snacks

I have been a Two Moms in the Raw fan since 2009 when I first stumbled upon their gluten free snack bars in Starbucks cafes. I was drawn to their pure, whole ingredients, and delighted to find the bars as a sustaining snack to get me through busy days.

Since then, the brand has expanded exponentially. Two moms founder Shari Koolik Leidich has published a positively mouthwatering gluten free, dairy cookbook:Two Moms in the Raw: Simple, Clean, Irresistible Recipes for Your Family’s Health. I discussed her amazing journey of managing her MS symptoms here.

Most recently, Two Moms released diverse and snacks that are gluten free, dairy free, and comprised of whole foods with minimal processing. The kind folks at Two Moms sent me some snacks to review and they did not disappoint. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are mine alone.


The Jiv’n chive crackers were a savory snack, and could easily be paired with a non-dairy spread such as tampenade, or a simple sliced tomato

Two moms in the raw Jiv'n Chive Crackers

Sweet on you grahams are a delicious rendition of a gluten free graham cracker. These could easily be eaten alone, or with a swipe of almond butter and a slice of banana.

Two moms in the raw grahams

The Cacao Almond Nut Butter Truffle is a protein packed guilt free indulgence. It tastes like dessert, but eats like a healthy protein snack. These are also available with a cayenne twist that was a perfect marriage of sweet and spicy.

two moms in the raw cocao almond

Two moms in the raw gluten free snacks

For work or for play, these easy snacks are a smart choice for the health conscious!

Enjoy, and make your day great!



Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Treadmills!

I have written in the past about the benefits of running on the treadmill here. There are a myriad of reasons why one might find themselves in need of treadmill training. This mode of working out can bring with it a wide range of benefits. I have found myself consumed in treadmill training largely due to extremely hot temperatures here in Southern Oregon during the summer, and in the winter when daylight is hard to come by and snow and icy conditions lend to unsafe running surfaces outside. Here are somethings about the efficacy of treadmills that you may not be aware of:

While most treadmills are electric, some can be used manually. Both treadmill types make use of a circular belt which can loop around a stationary base. Although every treadmill is different, the majority of models have a variety of features such as incline and speed options. This enables the user to customize his or her exercise experience quickly and correctly.

There are numerous reasons that using a treadmill can be beneficial to an individual. Some of them include:

1. A Good Surface: The treadmill surface is flat, making it easier for an individual to run on than something like an outdoor terrain replete with uneven surfaces, dirt, and rocks. 

2. Variety: Treadmills enable you to complete a wide range of distinct workouts. For example, you can use the settings feature to walk uphill, sprint, or jog. 

3. Safety: When running outdoors, people can face numerous safety hazards. Some of them include inattentive individuals, cars, unruly pets, and rain that makes the outdoor terrain slippery and dangerous. Yet by running indoors on a treadmill, people can avoid the potential injuries and illnesses which result from exercising outdoors. 

4: Workout Information: Many if not most treadmills come with features that enable you to see how far you’ve run, how many calories you’ve burned, how many miles per hour you ran, and much more. Accessing this information can enable you to access your current level of fitness and make positive changes that in turn optimize your physical performance.

5. A Mental Challenge: Treadmills enable you to run long distances as well as jog in different zones that elevate your heart rate and subsequently bring it back down. 

If you’re interested in optimizing your physical and/or mental well-being, it’s important to note that exercising regularly can help you do it. And while there are numerous forms of physical activity you can engage in to attain positive results, running on a treadmill can be particularly effective. If you’re considering purchasing one, check out They researched and tested 65 treadmills, comparing them and making recommendations for the best treadmill for you.

Make your day great!


Posted in Running | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

October is Health Literacy Month; Let’s discuss Mesothelioma

October is health literacy month, and there are several campaigns to raise awareness on deadly diseases. The idea behind this movement is that people have the right to accurate and truthful information regarding deadly diseases, possible causes of these diseases, and preventative measures in an effort to lead a healthy and productive life.

As a health care provider, health literacy is a passion of mine. I spend my days educating men and women in pelvic floor dysfunction, and I write about various health topics here on this blog. This month I have the extreme honor of partnering with Heather Von St. James, a 9 year survivor of mesothelioma cancer. You can learn her story here.

Mesothelioma cancer is directly linked to asbestos exposure, and is the most deadly disease associated with asbestos. It is a highly aggressive cancer that attacks the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen. Treatment options include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy (1). It effects thousands of Americans each year through direct and secondary exposure (2). From 1999-2010 there were 31,000 deaths in the U.S. associated with asbestos exposure. Here is the kicker: over 60 countries have banned the use of asbestos. The United States is NOT one of them. Most of South America, almost all of Europe, Australia, and countries in Africa have banned asbestos, but not the U.S. Frightening.

Heather was a brand new mother in her mid thirties when her symptoms arose. Her daughter was still an infant when she was diagnosed with mesothelioma and began a long and arduous process of traveling around to various physicians for treatment. Her cancer was due to secondary exposure to asbestos as a child. Her father worked in construction and would come home covered in asbestos. She recounts wearing his coat outside to play- a coat covered in while asbestos particles. Asbestos exposure is thought to have been the highest during WWII and from 1970-1984 (1). The risks of asbestos exposure were unknown at that time though they are certainly understood in 2015.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Heather is that when faced with a 15 month life sentence, she not only persevered and lived, but she maintained a positive attitude and outlook on life. She is now sharing her passion for life with the world by raising awareness about mesothelioma and preventable diseases.

It has always been my thought that we as people do the best that we can with the information that we have. Maya Angelou said it best when she said “Do your best until you know better. When you know better, do better”. It is my great hope that with continued learning, awareness, and action, that dangerous chemicals will be banned in the united states, and curable diseases will diminish. Unfortunately, we have to be our own advocates. We have choices in the products that we purchase and in how we vote to support safer, healthier homes. Let us do the best we can, and always be learning more.

I would like to give the most sincere thank you to Heather Von St. James for reaching out to me, and for involving me in her project. I have a lot to learn from her spirit and her courageous endeavors to make her story known for the benefit of others.

Make your day great,


  1. Mesothelioma Cancer. Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Available at:
  2. Mesothelioma Statistics. Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Available at:
Posted in Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Paleo Squash Spaghetti with White Wine Marinara Sauce

I must admit my skepticism prior to trying this dish. I was suspicious of squash noodles, or anything masquerading itself as a gluten item that in fact is not. As a woman living with Celiac disease I cut my loses with noodles a long time ago. Rice noodles were a sad disappointment.  Quinoa was mediocre, bless the hearts of the individuals trying really hard to manufacture gluten free noodles…I know that they are trying. But I gave up.

Until last week. My husband and I had a very rare and impromptu date night at our favorite little bistro style taphouse in Ashland. Out of curiosity I ordered a promised gluten free, vegan veggie spaghetti dish with a white wine sauce. The meal was truly extraordinary and this is exceptional, considering I have become somewhat of a harsh food critic. So my dear friends, I am proud to say that I have recreated an Amanda version of the dish with the help of a vegetable spiralizer and fresh vegetables from my garden, and the gardens of some wonderful friends.

White Wine Marinara Sauce

For folks with food allergies, this is a treat. It is gluten free, dairy free, vegan, grain free, and paleo. Initially I dreaded making this because I felt that it may be time consuming, but it was a much quicker dish that I thought. Furthermore, my gluten eating husband loved it, so a winner all the way around.


Paleo Squash Spaghetti with White Wine Marinara Sauce


2 medium sized zucchini

4 cups of chopped and de-seeded tomatoes*

1 tbs. olive oil

1/3 cup water

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 scallion, minced

1/3 cup shredded fresh basil

1/2 cup white table wine**

*I used a variety of tomato breeds for a wonderful flavor: roma, heirloom, and grape tomato. I was very pleased with the interesting slightly sweet flavor that this created in my sauce.

**I used a Pinot grigio, others cooking wines are white blend, chardonnay, or pinot gris. The rules of cooking with wine is to use a wine that you wouldn’t mind drinking later- if you drink wine. This enhances the taste and leaves you something wonderful to drink instead of cooking with 1/2 cup and dumping the rest of a garbage wine. Waste not, want not, friends!!!


In a large sauce pan, warm the olive oil on medium heat. Slice and de-seed the tomatoes. For added nutrients leave the skins on, and add them to the sauce pan once olive oil is warm. Add 1/3 cup of water and place a lid over the pan. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, utilize the vegetable spiralizer to make you squash noodles. I love my Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer, Makes Veggie Pasta.

IMG_6269 (2)

Squash spaghetti noodles It is wonderfully easy to use.

Then, add scallion, white wine, basil, garlic salt, and pepper to sauce pan containing tomatoes and reduce to low heat, stirring occasionally, allow to simmer on low for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add squash noodles and allow to boil for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes remove, strain, and place into a heat safe ceramic bowl. Serve with sauce on board.

Serves 2-4. Enjoy!

Paleo Squash Spaghetti with White Wine Marinara Sauce2

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Speedwork: Advanced Pyramid Intervals

Speedwork is coming to you on a Friday today, instead of the usual Tuesday. This workout is later training season edition of the pyramid workout that I posted here. It requires that you hang in there for a longer distances with your speed.


Do a Dynamic Warm-up:

-Walking and pulling each knee into your chest for 20 ft. (gluteal stretch)

-Walking while kicking each leg up at waist height 20 ft (hamstring stretch)

-High skipping 20ft. (entire lower leg and abdominal warm up)

-Bottom kick jog

-Grapevine 20ft. in each direction (also referred to as carioca drills, for hip stretch and foot work)

-Strides: run approximately 50 m building speed up gently from 0-70%, do this 4-5 times

The Workout:

Run 200m at 90% sprint effort, jog 400m

Run 600m at faster than 5k pace, jog 400m

Run 1000m at 5k race pace, jog 400m

Run 600 m at faster than 5k pace, jog 400m

Run 200m at 90% sprint effort, jog 400m


Posted in Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strawberry Daiquiri Protein Smoothie-Vegan and Alcohol Free

This is a sure way to perk up a hot summer afternoon. Easy to make, and reminiscent of vacations in the Caribbean, its a crowd favorite in my household.


Strawberry Daiquiri Protein Smoothie2


1 cup sliced strawberries

1 banana

1 cup sliced pineapple

1 can light coconut milk

1 cup rice milk

1 tbs. Everlast Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder


Blend until smooth!

Use the code RUNNINGYOURBODY at to receive a 15% discount on your product order!

Strawberry Daiquiri Protein Smoothie

Enjoy, and make your day great!





Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Indian Turkey Burgers with Cucumber Polenta Sauce

This delicious summer grill meal is a bit of a FODMAP spin-off of Two Moms in the Raw’s Indian Turkey Burgers. It has a unique blend of sweet and spicy seasonings and of course the requisite gluten free, dairy free, low FODMAP recipe that makes it accessible to the food allergy crowd. I included apples this time because I was feeling a little rebellious, however  those who are following the FODMAP very strictly should omit them.


Indian Turkey Burger with Polenta Cucumber sauce



1 lb ground turkey meat

1 apple, diced into small pieces

1 tbs. ground turmeric

1 tbs. minced ginger

1 jalapeno seeded and minced

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. coriander

1 tbs. chopped basil

 Cucumber Polenta Sauce

1 cup polenta

1 cup rice milk

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tsp. sea salt

1 medium cucumber, diced

Indian turkey burgers with polenta cucumbersauce3


To make the polenta cucumber sauce: add polenta, lime zest and juice, salt, rice milk, and half of the cucumber into a food processor. Mix until consistent and smooth. Pour contents into a small bowl and combine with the remainder of the cucumber. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for approximately 15 minutes.

To make the burgers: combine ingredients in a medium sized bowel, mixing thoroughly. It is my recommendation that fingers work best to get this mixture consistent. This mixture forms roughly 8-10 meat patties that are approximately 1 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Grill on medium high heat for approximately 4 minutes per side. Serve with the polenta cucumber sauce.

Indian Turkey burgers with polenta cucumbetrsauce1



Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment