Menu

Wellness Spotlight: Amanda Freeman

SLT’s founder (and single mama) shares her top healthy advice.

Wellness Spotlight: Amanda Freeman

When most people get sick of their old workout, they switch fitness studios, google the latest trends or even give up on a fitness routine altogether. But when former editor Amanda Freeman couldn’t find the “challenging, but fun workout” that delivered the results she was looking for, she found the right equipment, the right people, and opened up SLT in 2011. She’s now delivering one of the most challenging workouts available to New Yorkers (not to mention long, lean beautiful muscle tone), making her the perfect fit for our latest Wellness Spotlight with SmartyPants Vitamins.

We had the pleasure of spending the day with Amanda and seeing how this single mama of 7-month-old daughter Flynn incorporates wellness into her daily lifestyle. Read on to find out why healthy living is a topic close to her heart, what her biggest piece of healthy advice is for new mamas and how she juggles mom’ing and owning her own business.

FEATURED VIDEO

How has your fitness routine changed since becoming a mom? Dramatically! I used to work out first thing in the morning. Now that time is prime Flynn and mommy time. I used to work out on an empty stomach, prior to eating anything. Now, I have to figure out ways to sneak it in between meetings, meals and work hours.

How did you decide to take the leap to be a single mom? It was a decision I made over the course of many years. I was never the type of girl who dreamed of getting married, but I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I was open to having a baby on my own, but it wasn't the ideal scenario. I wanted to find a man to have a baby with. But when that didn't happen and I turned 38, I had a bit of a crisis and that's when I decided I had to move forward on my own. I had met with a few other women who had made the same decision before I did and learned about the experience and what to expect. It seemed like something I could handle. It took a few months for a pregnancy to stick, but on the 3rd try it did. Flynn is almost seven months old and she's the best decision I've ever made.

We know everyone must ask, but how do you balance being a single mom and entrepreneur? Balance is definitely not the word I'd use to describe it, it's more about choices and time allocation. I'd say it's harder to be a working mom than a single mom, as long as you have amazing help. That is key. It took me about 3 months (and no longer breastfeeding) to get the hang of being a working mom, but now I try to be regimented about how I spend my time on a daily basis. I wake up and hang out with Flynn for 1 1/2 hours-ish. I get ready for work and then for the next 8 1/2 hours-ish, it's SLT time. Some days, I sneak in a workout and take time away from one or both. I'm home around 6 pm to hang out with Flynn, do bath time, her last bottle and bed time. Then I either go back to working or I go out a see friends for dinner or something.

Why is healthy living so important to you? There were personal and professional reasons that healthy living became my focus. Personally, I learned how important health is when both my parents passed away in their mid-50s. Professionally, I was a trend forecaster at the time and I was noticing a shift in general mindset among my peers away from just treatment-based health and towards preventative health and healthy living.

How has taking a multivitamin become part of your mom routine? It's one of the daily habits I've developed to keep me healthy and my life moving. Being a mom has made what I eat a little less of a priority each day. I can't always eat the healthy foods I would ideally like to, so taking a multivitamin ensures I still get all the vital nutrients I need. I love SmartyPants Vitamins because they double as my post-meal sweet and pack in good stuff like omega 3s which are hard to get from my diet.

How does NYC help you stay active? In so many ways! One of the best parts of living in NYC is how much walking we do. I love not always having to get into a car to go places. The time it takes to get to work or home or wherever is also time spent exercising. And I find my walks to and from work very meditative.

There is no city in the world that has more fitness offerings, so the options for working out are endless. And because it's so easy to get around, I find myself making many plans every day. Weekends are spent running around the city with Flynn seeing friends and family, shopping, looking at art, etc.

What’s one thing you hope your baby learns about what you do and why you do it? I hope I can install the value of hard work in Flynn. I hope she eventually picks up on the fact that my work gives me a great deal of fulfillment and joy. It also makes me self-sufficient and I believe that's important for women. I've seen too many women stay in bad marriages or situations because they are reliant on men or their parents for resources.

What’s one piece of healthy advice you'd give a new mom? I think it's all about planning. If you can schedule out the healthy things you want to do each day, they are more likely to get done. Pre-book a class, a meal, an appointment and take those commitments as seriously as you do your other commitments. Write them down, so you have to cross them off when they are completed.

*This post was sponsored by SmartyPants Vitamins. Enter below to win a 3 month supply of SmartyPants Women's Complete Gummy Vitamins, including 15 essential nutrients, omega 3 DHA and EPA fish oil, and vitamin K all in one!

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

    So, what's new this week?

    Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

    Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

    WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

    WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

    Codex Beauty: Exceptionally effective sustainable skin care

    Codex Beauty's line of sustainable plant-based skin care blends the science of plant biology with biotech innovations, to create clinically proven, state-of-the-art products for all skin types. They're all vegan, EWG and Leaping Bunny verified and created in collaboration with Herbal Scientist Tracy Ryan who uses concepts dating back to the 8th century leveraging plants like sea buckthorn and calendula flower. Not only are we totally crushing on the innovative formulas that are in the packaging but we're in love with the sustainable sugarcane-derived tubes as well.

    Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

    Keep reading Show less
    Shop

    In a recent survey shared in the Reproductive Health journal, one out of six women in the United States reported being mistreated while in labor, where mistreatment included, "loss of autonomy; being shouted at, scolded, or threatened; and being ignored, refused, or receiving no response to requests for help."

    One out of six.

    To make these numbers even more sickening, mistreatment was more common among women of color, women with partners of color, women with lower socioeconomic status, and women under the age of 30.

    (And yet people still question the validity of stating that black mothers are at a higher risk of pregnancy and birth-related complications.)

    FEATURED VIDEO

    Rarely at a loss for words, I find myself almost unable to speak.

    I am a midwife, and I am disgusted.

    Keep reading Show less
    News