this saturday will mark one month of living a healthier lifestyle for me. obviously i have setbacks and i’ve learned a few things about going 0 to 60. however, i feel like i’m still doing a good job staying motivated and striving to make real life changes.


joanie: bri skipped town on me last week so i was left to my own devices. i’ve gotten back into doing pilates which is pilates on steroids. the first class is really awkward because everyone knows the names of the exercises and it’s fast paced and overwhelming but if you stick it out it’s a great workout, and only 45 minutes. i also think there’s nothing better to lift your mood then running, i always leave the house at 7am grumpy and tired but come back feeling like a million bucks. getting out the door is always the hardest part, always.

bri: well, i had a setback that i’m pretty bummed about. after rolling my ankle last year it seems the pain is coming back in my knee and left ankle. i’m guessing it was the running, or not giving my body enough resting time in between workouts. after all, i was working out 0 days and then started doing 6 days a week. i was forced to take a working out break when i went to new orleans for a 4 day work trip, but stuck to doing 150 sit-ups in the room every night with my friend anna. and no, that’s not what i look like when i do sit-ups, i guess something was hysterical. i also made sure to do a lot of stretching when i remembered and walked a ton before my ankle started bothering me.

so after a 4 day rest time on my ankle, i’ve been wondering if i can incorporate working out again? i went to see a physical trainer who look a look at my hips, knees and ankles. turns out, i’m not in the best shape in those areas. i have reeeeally tight hip flexors and need to work on strengthening the muscles around my knees with a professional who knows how to help me do that. i think i am going to dedicate 1-2 days a week to seeing him so i can learn about the best way to workout for my body so i don’t injure myself long term. (it’s crazy how you take advantage of something as simple as walking without discomfort!) he did a lot of pressure and rolling out my muscles and it actually helped a lot. i am going to do some lower impact workouts this week like yoga (i got this ) or swimming (has anyone been to any cool pools in LA?!) and hopefully my ankle will feel better soon. i really want to stay on a good track with this health challenge, so i’m staying hopeful! what are your favorite workouts to do if you have had knee or ankle injuries?



joanie: some weeks i don’t really care about food and some weeks i want to eat everything in sight, this was one of those weeks. tried to keep things balanced with healthy snacking – have you ever tried making , i really don’t like it when it’s served in restaurants but homemade is an entirely different story, serve it with grilled chicken or sliced veggies. i had this coconut and turmeric tea at cafe gratitude and i’ve been making my own version at home with coconut milk, turmeric, honey, and cinnamon. it’s so soothing, you gotta try it. i also made this , it was good but definitely not as delicious as the version from .

bri: i mean, it was new orleans! i ate it all. eek. to me, travel is experiencing the local foods and unfortunately that meant southern comfort food. well not unfortunately, because it was delicious. at the very least, we would split 1 entree and do healthy sides when we could so we could monitor our portion control. i’m just so grateful that sweets aren’t a craving i have! all i need is one bite of donut and that’s enough for me.

when i got home i stuck to a super healthy diet (mostly because i was burned out on anything fried) i’ve been eating lentils, vegetables, quinoa, brussels sprouts…i just stocked my fridge with all the greens! i notice it’s so much better when i come home from a trip to get on a good track if i have healthy groceries. i ordered to arrive the day i got back so i could start off the week with a healthy breakfast. if i don’t do that i end up ordering thai food out of laziness!


a few websites that get me excited about eating better:
 (her photos above)


joanie: i was always committed to working out three days a week and since we started this challenge it has become four, which for me feels like the perfect amount considering i sit at a computer for almost 8 hours a day. there is definitely a balance to strike between working out too little or too often. especially when you live in a fitness obsessed city like los angeles. i find myself becoming really into the fitness side of things but i also want to maintain balance and remember that fitness is only part of the health equation.

bri: somehow with taking a 4 day break and eating kinda crazy, i am still at the same weight. hallelujah. so i am just going to keep on keeping on and see how this next week treats me. super inspired by the , thanks for adding to it!

maybe soon i will do an update on a body photo. joanie keeps saying i look thinner, but she might just be being nice 🙂

new to the health challenge? you can read about what we’ve been  up to, here!


Add your own

    Mekeesha says:

    I got really into working out last year and hurt my ankle (that I broke years ago) which in turn, hurt my knee. Sounds like a similar story to yours. However, you are doing it the smart way. I ended up compensating for my hurt knee and ankle by going too hard on the other knee and ankle and ended up hurting that side too. Stupid and really set me back. It’s so discouraging but you are doing a great job! Thanks for sharing.

    congrats on the one month mark! definitely take it easy on the ankle. i’m nursing an injury and after over doing it after previous injuries, i’ve really learned the value of rest. i’ve been swimming a lot and doing gentle yoga. when you started running did you get fitted for shoes at a local running store? shoes can make a huge difference for joint pain when you’re getting started and are a great investment. wishing you quick healing and continued progress!

    Sarah says:

    I’m sure you know this as you’ve done barre before…but I take barre3 and it’s amazing how well they adapt to injuries. They ask you about it before every class, and have so many modifications that there’s no way you couldn’t find one that works!

    Jess says:

    Well done on making it through the first month! I started on a fitness plan last year for similar reasons to you – I had just turned 30 and wanted to start that decade with a better mindset towards food and exercise.

    And like you, about a month in I ended up aggravating old injuries from my teens. I couldn’t do anything weight bearing because of my knees, and also had issues with my ankle and hips.

    I went to see a physiotherapist and a podiatrist to diagnose the problem and adjusted my workouts to be lower impact and include a lot of strengthen stretches. It took a few months but doing those consistently really helped to strengthen my body. I also started doing some targeted weights (again for strength) and added mat Pilates. Although doing the stretches doesn’t feel like you are doing as intense of a workout like you get with running etc, it is still working. I kept slowly losing weight during this period with a healthy diet to be honest!

    I have also found swimming and water aerobics really help because they are active but low impact. For me they are also great for relieving anxiety and stress!

    Good luck & keep at it! Just listen to your body!

    Kate says:

    I hear the Echo Park Deep Pool is a nice place to swim: . You should check it out, and good luck!

    Alison says:

    Have you ever tried running on the beach? The sand has just the right amount of give so you don’t hurt your joints, it’s harder.

    That girl says:

    Why don’t you use capital letters at the beginning? It is sad that people, who desire to create culture and influence the others are not able to be a positive pattern to follow. If you want to be so individualistic, please remove also comas and dots. Lack of capital letters is not cool in the articles. Moreover, makes reading less smooth and quick. Please bring them back.

    Anna says:

    I have both a previously broken heal bone that likes to act up in the rain and humidity and a knee cap tracking issue (most likely due to my dynamic duo of scoliosis and a longer left leg than right)… When I have previously tried to run more than I do other strengthening and yoga-type stuff my body is unhappy. I got specific exercises to help my problematic parts and I also try to have an even balance of yoga (I do ashtanga and power yoga) and running or another cardio and my body feels great most of the time!

    Bri – have you looked into collagen supplements? I don’t mean an injection the thing! But I’ve heard great things about drinking collagen to support joint health, also my mom drinks turmeric tea to help with inflammation in her hips.

    Happy Healthing!

    Shayna says:

    i used to be an a do runner (five miles every day) until I started to develope knee pain several years ago. Just last year I was finally diagnosed with tendinitis and had to cut running out of my routine. My solution has been biking. I bike everywhere in the summer. (I used to live in LA, so I know it’s scarier there) BUT i would recommend looking into a stationary bike. I found one relatively cheap ($400) on Amazon. And you can sit, bike, watch Netflix or read while you work out. Which I personally love. Good luck with your ankle!

    Danielle says:

    Aww Bri, It’s actually really common for new fitness enthusiasts to get these kind of injuries. It happened to me too. Take it easy some days! 6 high impact/intensity workouts a week is overdoing it just a little bit for someone just starting out. I now do low intensity workouts every other day to keep it balanced. Keep at it though and remember to take your measurements!

    Danielle |

    I injured my knee back in 2009 while choreographing a musical theatre show, but didn’t realize the seriousness of it, so I reinjured it again in 2010 and 2011, when I finally got an MRI done. I still have some issues with it now, if I’m not careful.

    You mentioned it above, but my absolute favorite form of cardio — particularly for someone with a knee injury — is swimming. It’s relaxing, but it’s a fantastic workout that’s a combination of cardio and strength, especially if you switch it up and do something other than just freestyle (hellooooo shoulders when you’re doing butterfly!). For non-cardio stuff, I tend to do a fair amount of pilates, because it doesn’t put any pressure on my knee.

    Kit says:

    Can’t believe I’m revealing this secret but: try the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center. The pool’s amazing for just swimming, but best of all are the classes–things like Aqua Kickboxing and Aqua Pilates. You get there and there are all these adorable old ladies in swim caps and you think “oh, this is a joke,” but the instructors will push you according to your fitness level so it actually turns out to be a serious workout. Plus, if you’re still feeling you need more, you can swim laps after.

    Amanda says:

    i’m glad you’re working with a trainer. when i started and committed to working out consistently, i hired a trainer and the first few weeks was just getting me aligned. i didn’t realize that things like sitting in a swivel chair all day, or always throwing my purse over my right shoulder really fucks up your back and hips. now that i’m aligned i feel so much better overall, and any workout i do is that much better. good luck!

    Katie says:

    I second the suggestion of biking! I, too, have issues with my ankle and knee, and I bike everywhere. And yes, I also live in LA. Let me know if you want to start a bike club! If you don’t want to get on the road, of course you can do spinning. I was looking at Class Pass last week and I believe they have a ton of spinning studios included.

    Anonymous says:


    I totally agree with you about non-homemade boba ganoush … it’s not nearly as good. Thank you for including a link to my recipe!

    Kanni says:

    Absolutely love this health challenge section! It’s so fun to read. And so inspiring! I wish I had a friend to work out with. Still waiting for my motivation to start with my own health challenge (must get fit before my vacation!). Best wishes and keep going! 😉

    Sienna says:

    I love this series Bri! I started working out and hired a trainer two years ago. I also had a massive set back last year when I got very serious pneumonia on my honeymoon and took 6 months to recover and ease back in to training. Just today I smashed a fitness goal by touching my nose to the ground when doing push ups and using the big box during box jumps (whhhhy is the box such a mental challenge!) I put the scales in a place too high for me to reach easily so that I can start to look for my development in other ways. Thank you for being so honest during this series. Your readers comments are also amazing!

    Jackie says:

    Swimming, rowing, light yoga, spin, and mat pilates might be best for you right now.

    Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply excellent and
    i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your feed
    to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a
    million and please continue the rewarding work.

    Regan says:

    Hi Bri! Thanks so much for this series. Your honesty is super inspiring and helps me see nobody’s journey to a healthier lifestyle is perfect. I like to think I’m doing this challenge right along with you. I even tried a barre class (and then couldn’t walk for three days.) Something I wonder if you’d consider is a round up on gym bags. I’m most likely to go work out if I leave right after work, without having to go home to change first. So, I’d love a pretty gym bag to pack all my stuff in, but I can’t seem to find one that really appeals to me. You always seem to be able to find cool stuff. Any ideas?

    I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve offered for your post.
    They’re very convincing and can definitely work.
    Still, the posts are too quick for newbies. May you please lengthen them a little from
    subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

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