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In The Heat Of The Moment

Heels To Laces is on a mission to break through the clutter of health and fitness and make it easier to live healthier – and have a ton of fun doing it.

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“It may take some courage and faith for you to find your gifts, and then a little more courage and faith to share them. Follow your heart. The universe has a way of confirming your direction with open doors.” ~Richard Carlson (Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff)

Each week we will present you with a truth or dare. It’s your job to tackle it with gusto and make it happen. Often, by just focusing on one change…just one, it’s much more palpable and achievable and becomes the jump start you need. This week, here’s your truth:

Truth: When’s the last time you did something for yourself?
We go about our crazy lives…hours turn to days, days to weeks, weeks to months…and before you know it, you realize you have not made any time for yourself. Or worse yet, your body fights back with fatigue, medical issues or ailments. Let’s set the record straight. Self care is not selfish. It’s necessary. We all need time to recharge and taking time for yourself is OK.  Just as we fit in all the meetings and the to-dos and the laundry, it’s critical to fit in me-time to create more balance and peace in your life.

Self-care is crucial for our physical, emotional and mental well-being. It allows you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself (your needs are important too), it allows you to avoid overworking (read: stress, exhaustion, emotional depletion and illness), it elevates your mood and boosts your energy level, it allows you to start living and stop just “existing” and offers you better physical health.* Life is short – take those moments.

Find something every day – whether it’s sipping a tea before you go to bed, scheduling that long over-due pedicure (we like the colors “All the hot spots” and “Best face forward”) or just meditating for 5 minutes before you start your day, to put yourself ahead of your to-do list and take care of yourself.

*Source: Forbes.com

We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts.

We all know exercising is good for us – and most of the focus is typically on health and weight loss…but did you know the benefits go far beyond those simple ideas? K2 Fitness, one of our on-going partners, chimes in on the extra goodness:

There is an important side effect of exercising – how you feel after doing it. Every workout has an immediate impact on your energy, mood, body chemistry, and even mental functioning. The endorphins released are specifically designed to make you feel good. All of these factors combined create your overall feeling of well-being.

The tricky part is that most of us are habit driven, and so our activity level (or lack thereof) is fairly consistent day-to-day and week-to-week. This makes the impact of each sedentary day less noticeable, since another similar day causes no obvious change. It simply perpetuates your current state, with a slow decline.

Why this matters: You could begin feeling a lot better than you do today by simply adding exercise. By maintaining a consistent, challenging exercise plan:

  • Your aches and pains can disappear.
  • You can feel light and your energy levels can soar.
  • Your mood can naturally become more optimistic.
  • You can avoid illness and disease.
  • You can think and process information quicker and with more clarity.

All of a sudden, once you’re in the groove of exercising regularly, you’ll forget about the pain, the sluggishness, and the discomfort that you used to live with. It’s a gift that you give to yourself with each workout. K2 Fitness offers private and group fitness classes. To learn more visit their website.

Naomi Parker Fraley.

Or otherwise known as the infamous Rosie in the Rosie the Riveter poster. 

This 96 year old powerhouse passed away this January, but her legend lives on as she continues to inspire us as one of the most recognized icons of our time. Would you believe she went unrecognized for 70 years? A report entitled “Rosie’s Secret Identity”, authored by Dr. James J. Kimble, revealed her true identity. The original wartime industrial poster hung in Westinghouse Electric Corporation plants in the 1940’s and was never meant for public display. It was intended to deter absenteeism and strikes against Westinghouse during war time. In the 1980’s it was rediscovered and became what is recognized today as a feminist symbol of power.

The “we can do it” message rings truer than ever today – in a time were women have risen to the top and fought for equality.

You may have noticed this image on our home page – where it continues to shine, symbolizing our passion to unite and empower women everywhere to live the best lives they can live. We adorn you, Rosie.

Sometimes, you just gotta have it.

Live It Up
We all need them (life reminders) and a daily dose is just the way to get it. We peel away the pages of this calendar day by day, as we continue to get inspired and start each day with words of wisdom.

Beam Me Up, Scotty
We are consistently asked about multi-vitamins and which ones to take. Many believe that if you are following a balanced diet, you do not necessarily need a vitamin. However, we all know how challenging that can be and most of us are lacking in sufficient levels of essential vitamins and minerals. Women are specifically low in Vit D, Iron and Vit B’s. So, we do believe taking a multi helps your body function at optimal levels. This vitamin is one of the purest, most well sourced and nourishing options we have found and includes balancing, strengthening and immune health blends. Their motto is “farm to table” as they only use real, fresh, whole foods and blend them into their tablets. There are no additives (gluten free, soy free, vegetarian, dairy free, farm fresh, kosher). Farmtastic!

What The F
Fill me with some fiber. Fiber helps keep things…shall we say, regular. It is the indigestible part of plant foods that travels through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements. There is soluble – dissolves in water and binds with fatty acids to slow down the time it takes to empty the stomach and the rate of sugar absorption by the body;  and insoluble fiber – does not dissolve in water and stays in its original form and moves bulk through the digestive tract & controls pH (acidity) levels in the intestines. Foods with fiber: oats, brussels sprouts, oranges, flax seeds and beans. This is one cereal we have always loved, with 10 grams of fiber and only 4 ingredients.

All of our recipes will always be quick, healthy, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, SCD legal and Paleo friendly. And yes, all sorts of deliciousness.

We know we promised most recipes would be super-easy. This one takes a little more effort – but believe us when we say it is all worth it. This is the real deal. You will not believe it is healthy.

Sticky, Ooey, Gooey Paleo Cinnamon Rolls
(approx 10 small rolls)


For The Dough
For The Filling
  • 1 tbsp organic cinnamon (see previous post)
  • Honey, for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup pitted organic Medjool dates, finely chopped (Trader Joe’s or Costco)
  • 1/4 cup organic walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
For The Glaze
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream (Trader Joe’s)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Whisk together the coconut oil, egg, honey, and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir well to combine.
  • Transfer the dough onto a sheet of wax paper. Cover with another sheet of wax paper and roll out into a long rectangle. Remove the top sheet of wax paper. Drizzle the dough with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with the chopped walnuts and dates.
  • Use the wax paper to roll the dough into a log. Place the log in the freezer to harden for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Slice the log into individual pieces, about 9 or 10 rolls. Place onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.
  • Meanwhile, make the glaze by stirring together the honey, coconut cream, and cinnamon. Once the rolls are golden, remove from the oven and drizzle with glaze. Serve warm.
You’re welcome.
Source: PaleoGrubs.com

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Disclosure: some product recommendations are affiliate sites, which simply means we get a small compensation from the companies that sell the products we endorse. We will never endorse a product we do not personally use or love. Opinions expressed are solely those of Heels To Laces.


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Rump Shaker

“All I want to do is zoom-a-zoom-zoom-zoom, and a poom-poom, just shake ya rump.” this-is-why-we-squat

What do we want more than almost anything? To have a nice rear. It’s on the top of the list for most fitness enthusiasts. Hell, we all wanna look good walkin’ away.

There’s more to having a perfect bum than you realize.

Your glutes are the biggest and most important muscle you have – they are the cornerstone of our bodies. The harder you work your glutes and the more you build them, the more it will benefit your body. Your glutes help keep your hips and entire body in alignment and allow good posture.

Your glutes are instrumental in rotating your hips and legs while supporting your pelvis during everyday movements and exercise. If your glutes aren’t strong enough, your spine has to over-compensate (hence the back pain). In addition, weak glutes cause weaknesses in your knees – causing them to turn inward when landing on the ground and placing additional pressure on your kneecaps. This can also affect your IT band – the ligament that runs outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin.

The dilemma is in the modern day scenario, we are often sitting so much on our rears we are not activating them enough and they lose strength. Without active, strong glutes, we experience an imbalance in the front vs. back side of our body. This leaves the hip flexors overactive and tight and pulls your pelvis forward.

What to do, what to do….

Work ‘em. Added bonus – since your glute muscles are so large, working them (as with working other large muscle groups) raises your metabolic rate.

Excellent glute strengthening exercises include:

  • Lunges – do repetitive lunges on one leg, then switch
  • Squats – load up on the weight so your body works harder and go deep for a full extension!
  • Squeezing your glutes when you work out – keep the contraction tight at all times (when you lift up from that squat)
  • Contracting your glutes when you are standing (all those soccer games will pay off exponentially if you work your rear while watching)
  • One-leg exercises (one-leg squats and lunges will work your muscle 1/3 as hard)
  • Bridges – lie on your back and perform double and single leg bridges (squeezing your glutes the entire time you lower and raise)
  • One-leg step-ups onto an elevated surface (step/bench, etc) – squeeze at the top of your raise
  • Bulgarian split squats – put your back toward a weight bench and lift one foot onto the bench behind you and squat
  • Kettlebell swings (again, squeezing tight at the top of the movement)
  • Side walking squats (with a band around your legs) – squat low!

Try these exercises as frequently as possible to help improve the activation of your glute muscles and in turn, see the difference in your post rump shakin’. You’re welcome 😉

To leave a comment on this article or any other blog entry, please fill in the “Leave a Comment” box under each blog entry on our site: Heels to Laces.


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Keepin’ It Real

If you are reading this, chances are you are a fellow gym enthusiast. Whether it is at a boutique gym or big box, following are myths debunked for everyday gym situations:

You try to a new boot camp class and within 3 minutes you realize you bit off more than you can chew. You should leave now.gym-newbie-confused
Keep calm and carry on.  Try not to be intimidated – you can handle most any class, you might just need to make modifications. Make eye contact with your instructor and ask them for alternate moves.

If I wait to get the equipment I need for a class until the class starts, I’ll be fine.
Not so much.
Try to prep your gear prior to when a class starts.  Not only is it a bit disruptive to your workout to try to grab your apparatuses (weights, bands, gliders) when the exercises begin, you may get behind and a little lost and it will cut your workout short. It’s OK to ask the instructor what you will need prior to class starting.

I can get sick from using sweaty equipment someone used before me.
There are lots of bodily fluids exposed at the gym… and yes, you can catch a sickness. Not to mention we are headin’ into the sick season. Try not to assume someone else will wipe the equipment when you’re done. Just as if you would want it cleaned before you use it, wipe it clean after you’re done. Better yet, wipe it before and after you use it. Most every facility has wipes or spray bottles close by.

Stretching is not important.
At the end of a class or session, it is very important to stay for the stretching. Your body is all fired up and your muscles will coil up like a slinky on a staircase if you don’t properly stretch. This is the optimal time to stretch and elongate your muscles and keep some of the next day ache away. In addition, when someone from class leaves during the stretching (relaxing) portion of the class it can disrupt the vibe.

Chatting during class is fine. It’s a social atmosphere, isn’t it?
Total no-no. No one wants to hear someone having a conversation in a class – whether it’s on the phone or in person, especially when the instructor is giving instructions. Plus, it’s pretty indicative your not working hard enough. Be mindful. Save it for before or after class.

Always mute or turn off your cell phone during a gym session.
Turn-it-off or put your phone on silence. For you and others around you. This is your time.

It’s ok to show off all my assets when working out. After all, I look hot.
Uh, False.
Keep it tucked in – pick a workout outfit that holds it all in tight (read: bras). It will help with your performance. Last thing you want is someone gawking at your goodies while you are working out.

Gum is dangerous to chew when working out.
There is really no good reason to chew gum while working out. Most likely, it will end up being swallowed and you can choke or lose your breath during your strenuous sessions. It actually can affect your breathing pattern. Plus, no one wants to hear someone crack-a-lackin’ away during their workout.

Flying through my workout can actually have adverse effects.
Slow it down. Moving as quickly as possible during exercises can be detrimental – not only to your workout but to your form (aka injury). You are MUCH better off contracting and focusing on each movement then racing through. You will see definition much quicker.

Exercising is so much more important than how well I eat.
Diet is 80% of the equation. Working out is extremely important for cardiovascular, muscular and emotional health, but eating can make or break your results. Try to keep your diet as clean as possible. It will double your efforts and you will see a much faster, more noticeable impact on your body.

To leave a comment on this article or any other blog entry, please fill in the “Leave a Comment” box under each blog entry on our site: Heels to Laces.

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