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Heath, Wellness, and the Demands of Motherhood

A Nutrition and Fitness Check-In Helps a Busy Mom Reset

Dr. Kristi Wrightson with Nest Integrative Medicine Spa | Credit: Paul Wellman

Most mothers and caregivers tend to put themselves last. According to a Healthy Women survey, 78 percent ranked their own self-care behind the well-being of their children, pets, elderly relatives, and significant others, in that order. Some women didn’t even rank themselves at all. 

I was among that 78 percent. I needed a reset. With a little research, I found Nest Integrative Medicine and Alaris Fitness. 

Nest was founded by Dr. Kristi Wrightson, a board-certified and licensed naturopathic doctor and registered dietitian. At an initial consult, we discussed my sluggishness, forgetfulness, crankiness, and anxiety. Dr. Wrightson said that nine out of 10 of her patients arrive with the same symptoms. She ordered some labs, and then I met with Luna Paige, part of the wellness team at Nest. We talked about exercise, meditation, and how good nutrition is an integral part of hormonal balance. 

A week later, my labs showed that my progesterone and estrogen were very low. It was concerning but also a relief to hear that my body is on a natural aging course and that I could help ease that transition. Dr. Wrightson recommended bioidentical (plant-based, not synthetic) hormone therapy. Consulting weekly with Paige, we discussed a diet with more fats, skipping coffee, and regular exercise. Luna also suggested seed cycling, the practice of incorporating certain seeds during different phases of a woman’s cycle. For more info, visit nestspasb.com.

Heeding Paige’s exercise advice, I contacted Alaris Fitness, owned and operated by Kristiana Almeida. Alaris focuses on beginner-to-intermediate running programs and small-group kettlebell training. 

Among other physical setbacks, I had been running with an injured knee and feeling very frustrated. Keeping my injuries in mind, Almeida and I discussed my fitness goals. She put me on a workout schedule and also took me to Santa Barbara Running — one of the few remaining family-owned athletic shoe stores in the nation — for a fitting. Turns out, I had been running in shoes that were a half size too small. Because I was signed up with Alaris, I got 10 percent off a new pair of properly sized New Balance. 

Photo: Paul WellmanAlaris Fitness owner/Head Coach Kristiana Almeida (left) and General Manager Raquel Hernandez

Since I have been practicing yoga for about 20 years, mindfulness and attention to detail are ingrained in me. I really appreciated the Alaris team’s focus on technique and guided support. My body responded to it well, and that usual pain in my knee never surfaced as I ran at a healthy pace within my abilities and goals. Almeida’s approach to fitness checks all the boxes: building injury-free strength and technique with a supportive team. “You show up, and we will do the rest,” Almeida likes to say.


4•1•1 | Alaris has teamed up with She.Is.Beautiful and Santa Barbara Running to coach a training program for the She.Is.Beautiful race in September. The program starts July 16. All levels are welcome.

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