14 Sep 15-Minute Workouts for Pregnancy


At Holistic Wellness, we believe that healthy women are the hub of a healthier world, and as healthy women, we bring forth healthier and happier generations. Dr. Kate Naumes, ND, is a naturopathic doctor specializing in women’s health and wellness. Carina Parikh, MScN, is a holistic nutritionist.

Optimizing your health during pregnancy is critical for the long-term health of both you and your baby. Ensuring adequate sleep, stress management, proper nutrition, and a consistent exercise routine are all ways for you to maintain optimal health throughout the course of your pregnancy. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what exercises are safe during pregnancy and how to properly scale movements. The American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG) recommends starting with as little as 5 minutes per day of exercise and working your way up to 30 minutes as you feel comfortable. The guidelines suggest avoiding performing exercises on your back after the first trimester, avoiding exercise in hot or humid weather, and drinking plenty of water. Avoid exercises that require jumping, jarring motions, or quick changes in direction; your joints are more fragile during pregnancy and therefore more prone to injury. Keep in mind, even walking for 15 minutes a day in fresh air can provide benefits to your mind and body during pregnancy. You could start each of the workouts listed below with a short walk as a warmup. Lastly, we recommend emphasizing proper nutrition during the course of your pregnancy, which will help the workouts listed below be as effective as possible for your health and the health of your baby.

We offer nutritional consults, pantry clean-outs, grocery visits, and meal planning services for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. Find us at our website, through twitter, or on our instagram. Below are a few 15 minute workouts that can be completed at home to help you achieve optimal health during your pregnancy journey. Enjoy!


Workout 1 (any trimester)

3 rounds:

minute 1: air squats (

minute 2: 30 second plank hold (

minute 3: bird dogs (

minute 4: alternating lunges (

minute 5: rest


Workout 2 (any trimester)

minutes 0-4: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off – plank (

minutes 5-9: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off – air squats (

minutes 10-14: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off – TRX bicep curls (


Workout 3 (any trimester)

3 sets of 10: calf raises (

3 sets of 10: lateral lunges (

3 sets of 10: tricep dips (

3 sets of 10: TRX bicep curls (


Workout 4 (mainly 1st trimester) – core focus

4 rounds:

minute 1: 45 second side plank (L) (

minute 2: 45 second side plank (R)

minute 3: 45 second plank

minute 4: rest

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10 Sep The Benefits of Cinnamon for PCOS


At Holistic Wellness, we often get questions about spices and herbs that can be used to help support the body’s healing processes. One amazing spice we love to recommend to people is cinnamon. Cinnamon is a great addition to your daily routine, and here we outline why!


Health benefits of cinnamon:

Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory spice that has been used throughout history for its healing properties. Cinnamon can help improve digestion, fight the common cold, and lower blood sugar. Cinnamaldehyde, a main component in cinnamon, has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is rich in antioxidants, which provide much of the anti-inflammatory properties.

Cinnamon may have a positive impact on symptoms of Type II Diabetes by improving serum glucose, lowering fasting blood glucose, and reducing triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. It also raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. Regular intake of cinnamon may also help mitigate the effects of high-fat meals by slowing the increase in blood sugar post-meal.

Evidence suggests that cinnamon may have anti-carcinogenic effects as well, although the research thus far is limited to animal studies. These experiments demonstrate that cinnamon extract slows the growth of cancer cells and induces cancerous cell death.  

Research shows that cinnamon extract may help fight the HIV virus by preventing the virus from entering cells. Therefore, cinnamon extract could potentially contribute to the management of HIV.

Lastly, cinnamon may have health benefits in relation to women’s health and wellness, which is our primary focus at Holistic Wellness. A recent pilot study found that cinnamon reduced insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Cinnamon can also help mitigate heavy menstrual bleeding associated with common conditions of female health, such as endometriosis, menorrhagia, and uterine fibroids.


Who can benefit?:

Anyone can benefit from incorporating cinnamon into their regular diet. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon helps reduce overall inflammation in the body, which can help support the majority of people. Especially in the Western world, systemic inflammation is a prominent problem that has lead to the rise in chronic disease. Cinnamon consumption also can be preventative, in addition to helping reduce symptoms that are already present.

People diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, or PCOS may especially benefit from consuming cinnamon regularly because of the positive effects on blood sugar and lipid profiles. Individuals with digestive issues may also see positive results from consuming cinnamon regularly.

There does not appear to be any significant difference in the activity of cinnamon based on gender, age, or race.


Dosage & Administration:

Cinnamon can be ingested through cooking with the spice, using the extract, or taking capsules. The recommended dosage is 1-6 grams per day, taken with meals. This can be done by using 1-1.25 tsp cinnamon powder, one drop of cinnamon bark essential oil, or up to 6 grams worth of capsules. Variance is recommended to keep from getting bored, and to prevent overconsumption. It is also suggested that people only take this dose up to 5 days per week. It is always a good idea to consult with a qualified practitioner before starting a new supplement regimen.



  1. Allen RW et al. Cinnamon used in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. 2013. Ann Fam Med;11(5):452-459.
  1. Beejmohun V et al. acute effect of Ceylon cinnamon extract on postprandial glycemic: alpha-amylase inhibition, starch tolerance test in rats, an randomized crossover clinical trial in healthy volunteers. 2014. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine;14:351.
  1. Filho JR et al. Effects of plant extracts on HIV-1 protease. 2010. Current HIV Research;8(7):531-544.
  1. Fink RC, Roschek B, & Alberte RS. HIV type-1 entry inhibitors with a new mode of action. 2009. Antivir Chem Chemother;19(6):243-255.
  1. Hamidpour R, Hamidpour M, Hamidpour S, & Shahlari M. Cinnamon from the selection of traditional applications to its novel effects on the inhibition of angiogenesis in cancer cells and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, and a series of functions such as antioxidant, anticholesterol, antidiabetes, antibacterial, antifungal, nematicidal, acaracidal, and repellent activities. 2015. J Tradit Compelement Med; 5(2):66-70.
  1. Ka H et al. Cinnamaldehyde induces apoptosis by ROS-mediated mitochondrial permeability transition in human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells.
  1. Khan A et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with Type 2 Diabetes. 2003. Diabetes Care;26(12):3215-3218.
  1. Lu J et al. Novel angiogenesis inhibitory activity in cinnamon extract blocks VEGFR2 kinase and downstream signaling. 2010. Carcinogenesis;31(3):481-488.
  1. Rao PV & Gan SH. Cinnamon: a multifaceted medicinal plant. 2014. Evidence Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine:642942.
  1. Sartorius T et al. Cinnamon extract improves insulin sensitivity in the brain and lowers liver fat in mouse models of obesity. 2014. PLoS One;9(3):e92358.
  1. Skulas-Ray AC et al. A high antioxidant spice blend attenuates postprandial insulin and triglyceride responses and increases some plasma measures of antioxidant activity in healthy overweight men. 2011. Journal of Nutrition;141(8):1451-1457.
  1. Wang JG et al. The effect of cinnamon extract on insulin resistance parameters in polycystic ovary syndrome: a pilot study. 2007. Fertility & Sterility;88(1):240-243.


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26 Jul Getting Pregnant Naturally & the Benefits of Natural Childbirth

Most expectant women will go out of their way to prepare for a healthy baby and to ensure the safest and healthiest birthing experience. However, today epidurals are de rigueur, and many women mistakenly believe that a hospital birth is the best – or only – option. The fact is, for most women a natural birth is statistically safer than a medicated or Caesarian birth.

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24 Jul A Holistic Approach to Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue, similar to the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus, also grows outside of the uterus. The tissue inside the uterus is called “endometrium” and the tissue outside of the uterus is called “endometriosis”. The most common places where endometriosis occurs are the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the bowel, and the areas in front, in back, and to the sides of the uterus.

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22 Jul 5 Things Restaurants Don’t Want You To Know About Their Food

Holistic Nutritionist, Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR

Holistic Nutritionist, Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR

  1. There is a LOT of butter involved. And not small amounts of high quality, grass fed butter, but rather a ton of low-quality butter from cows that are likely treated with hormones and/or antibiotics. Butter is added to proteins, vegetables, sauces, and desserts to enhance the flavor and make things creamier.
  2. They add more salt than you would guess. Salt is a natural preservative and a flavor enhancer. Most restaurants are not concerned with their diners looking to watch their sodium levels, but rather on making sure the customers love the food and think it tastes great. Salt helps with this. Steaks are salted before cooked, vegetables are blanched in salt water, and a lot of salt finds its way into soups and sauces. Some salt is better than others. Table salt is heavily refined and processed with added chemicals, while unrefined sea salts are harvested by hand and have greater mineral content, and thus lower sodium. These sea salts don’t have added ingredients either. However, chances are that the restaurants are not using the more expensive, higher quality sea salts.
  3. They cook at very high heat. High temperatures are necessary to get the perfect sear on a steak, or cook vegetables fast enough to keep them from getting mushy. Using this high heat is generally impractical at home, which is why you most likely cannot get a perfect sear at home the way you do at a high end restaurant or steak house. The problem with this ultra high heat cooking is that it produces Advanced Glycation End-products, or AGEs, that research shows to be carcinogenic.
  4. You can almost always bet that your steak is grain-fed. Grassfed cows have less fat, and so the steak cuts lack that fat marbling that makes your steak so flavorful. Even if restaurants say that their steak is grassfed, it is likely grain-finished to add in that fat at the end. Now, a high end steak house is still going to have higher quality cuts of meats than fast food or more mediocre restaurants, generally using USDA prime beef, but that does not mean that nutritional value is necessarily a lot better.
  5. Chefs tend to go heavy on the cream. Cream adds flavor and richness to sauces and soups. When you add this to all the butter used to cook, you end up consuming a lot of saturated fat in one sitting, and paying a lot more money for it than you would at a lower end restaurant! Again, it is unlikely that this cream is organic or from grassfed cows, meaning that you are probably consuming dairy that contains antibiotics or synthetic hormones.



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