What to Look For in a Gym + a Paleo Nom Nom

Yes, I know. You don't need a gym membership. Not when you have the outdoors for a run or a laptop for an at-home workout! But new moms: (and anyone else this applies to, I'm just a mom so this is my perspective) consider a gym with childcare. It is a game changer. In the one week since joining a gym with childcare I've gotten more sleep since I don't get up at 4 or 5 to workout, I have a lot more "me" time since I now have nap-time free to do whatever-the-hell-I-want and I get to switch up my routine (muscle confusion=amazing results).

So, consider it for your sanity. And do the math; often it is more affordable than you think, and gyms are often more flexible with pricing than they initially let on ;) So if you're considering a gym membership (whether or not you have kids) then keep these tips in mind:

1. What are you using the gym for? Do they have a pool? If so, find out how deep it is! Yeah, it sounds dumb, but if you love aqua jogging (a MUST for injured runners), it's going to be embarrassing when you strap on a waist floatie belt, and hop in the pool ready to jog only to find out the whole lane pool is about 3 feet deep. So make sure the pool is adequate for your needs. If you only wanna swim laps or could care less about a pool, then keep reading! I've been tricked by the creepily-hot, super shallow pool by gyms twice now. Never again.

2. Are you comfortable there? Yeah, let's be honest. Unless it's a women's only gym, there might be a meat-market aspect. Is it mild enough to ignore? During the times you would be going, is it packed, or calm enough? Is it a bunch of preeners or pick uppers? Tour the gym during the time you would be working out for an accurate vibe!

3. Is there free wi-fi? Is it fast enough? Test this out. Moms: workout, shower, then hang out in the lobby to get any online work done, and the gym membership is instantly priceless. If you work remotely, this is amazing, and the wi-fi must be fast enough for you. Speaking from experience, if I can get paid for part of my time spent at the gym, then I am one happy mama! Alternately, if you feel like downloading music or a YouTube workout to do in an empty studio room, it's also a plus then, too.

4. Are the classes appealing during the times you'd go? Yes they may offer barre (woo-hoo!) but it only is at 6 am or 7pm, neither of which work for you. Maybe the only available class during your free time is aqua jogging or senior fitness. Make sure the classes available are ones you would actually go to, to really get your money's worth!

5. How is the management team? How are they with feedback and sincerity? Yeah, they want you to sign up and yeah, they want your money but genuine kindness (NOT sleaziness) is always a good sign. Did the membership consultant ask you out on a date through your personal email address you provided to tour the gym? Buh-BYE. Did they ask your input on what classes you'd like to see, return your calls promptly and look you in the eye? Fantastic!

6. Date Nights! (For those of you with kids). Does the gym offer date night--where you can leave the kids at the gym and go to dinner nearby, etc. OR even if they don't, you can both take a class together while the kids are being babysat without paying a babysitter. You get some alone time together AND get a good workout in. Win-win!

So there you have it; a few simple tips you may not initially think of. Yes, definitely see how the machines are (what's broken? Anything? How long has it been out of service?), and see how clean the facility is and make SURE the childcare area is clean, the carers are kind and accredited and anything else you desire before you sign on that dotted line.

And have FUN!

Speaking of fun, here's my fave gym bag. I'm obsessed with the shoe pocket for my pointe shoes for the studio or sneakers or flip-flops for the gym. Shop through this link for a great deal and free shipping for Prime Members as always!

Okay, the promised a nom-nom-nom.

(Named after the sound Ivy made when trying one: MM NOMMMNOM).

nom nom paleo cookie

vegan paleo potato cookies

sugar-free paleo cookies

Paleo Nom Nom Cookies:

yields 10-15


1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened; I like this organic reduced-fat one)

1 cup white sweet potato or Japanese sweet potato

2 tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (alcohol-free, corn syrup-free like this one)

1 tsp cinnamon

dash sea salt

*optional: 2-3 nondairy chocolate chips (I like this soy-free corn-free one)

**optional: 1/2 cup gluten-free oats and 2 eggs or 2 chia "eggs" which is simply 2 tbsp chia meal mixed with 6 tbsp water and set aside to thicken and gel

*it's better with chocolate for obvious reasons but for a sugar-free version, omit it!

**I do this version for my girls to increase their carbs and protein and other nutrients, but it's lighter and still yummy without. I prefer no oats!


1. Cook sweet potato in oven or microwave, and mash.

2. Combine all ingredients. Put dough in fridge to cool before adding chocolate chips if using, or stir in chocolate chips to melt and "marble" the dough as it melts from the heat of to potato.

3. On a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined cookie sheet, bake 10-11 min,

silicone baking mat

paleo vegan coconut potato cookies

Recent Posts