Body Image, Diet, Exercise, General Health, Motivation

How to Hack Your Hormones for a Better Mood

This year it seems World Mental Health Day got a lot more press in America. That’s a good thing because its really time to lower the stigma and thereby encourage everyone to get the help they need to to feel good.

So many of us have been affected by lifestyle changes brought about by Covid and I’ve seen many tip lists and articles about how to lower anxiety and increase happiness but some of it is dense and hard to remember so I created this handy dandy chart compiled from some of them. See if you notice what I did:
OK.  Technology wasn’t on the list.  
Did you see how often EXERCISE was on the list?!?

Exercise has multiple physical health benefits. AND it can have a positive impact on emotional well-being.Regular physical activity can increase your dopamine and serotonin levels, making it a great option to boost your happy hormones. In addition, you’ve probably already heard of the ‘high” that many feel from endorphin release intense exercise triggers. 

According to one article focused on using food to boost mood, here’s how to  Maximize the Mood Boosting Power of your workout:

To see even more benefits from exercise:

Include a few friends. A small 2009 study (of men) found evidence to suggest group exercise offers more benefits than solo exercise.

Get some sun. Move your workout outdoors to maximize your serotonin boost.

Time it. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at a time. Any amount of physical activity has health benefits, but research associates endorphin release with continued exercise rather than short bursts of activity.

The Home Edit: De-Culuttering & Refining for Fitness

Have you watched the Netflix show Home Edit? I know, me neither. Ok, its become my new obsession. I didn’t even have Netflix but I found some episodes of the show on You Tube and then took the book out of the Library on kindle (because I have committed to not giving more shelf real estate to books until I clear some out).

Even if I am very late to the minimalist trend and the pandemic did not send me into home organizing, as we’re emerging from it I find myself needing to have a fresh start. There’s something about clearing a closet or decluttering a drawer that brings a sense of calm; even more-so when it looks pinterest-worthy.

Authors, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin (yes, members of the tribe) sound like your close personal girlfriends as they declare their love for the low-bar lifestyle where applying heat to food is called cooking, a pizza is a kind of salad without lettuce, workout clothes are for everyday because getting though LIFE is a workout (my favorite), champagne is basically sparkling water, and trips to the store and cleaning up after kids are cardio, maybe even their main source of it.
They talk about how organizing your home can conjure up feelings of overwhelm. Once you follow the steps and its organized though, its a time saver, a money saver, a sanity saver and provides closure. Sometimes we need someone to hold our hand and guide us or a road map to get there.

They urge us to start easy – with just one drawer and to remember baby steps are small victories, so break things into small steps and reward yourself with a gold star.

Well, despite all these awesome tips I have to break it to you that trips to the store and cleaning up after your kids is NOT the best source of cardio exercise!!! While it counts as an activity of daily living and may be exhausting, it does little unfortunately to help you make it all look pretty on your body nor does it increase your cardio capacity in a way that makes all the other activities like it easier, more fun or efficient and doesn’t make muscles like your heart significantly stronger in an efficient way. Bummer, right?

I want to be that friend to help you go from safer at home body to rock it on the town mama. It too takes some decluttering to move out of fitness overwhelm and enter maintenance mode. Once you’re there, its so much easier. Instead of feeling weighed down, you have a road map and some victories under your belt to celebrate, you realize how much it saves you time, money, and sanity to have your fitness on point.

As we emerge from pandemic mode and lay social distancing aside its time to re-assess. I suggest you:

  1. Separate out what are you doing now that counts as cardio, as strength and flexibility.
  2. Is there a balance? Got enough of each, or is it time to restock?
  3. Figure out if any of it is joyful and if its not sparking joy consider editing it out and replacing it with some other activity that does bring joy.
  4. If all your activity is just moving things from one area of the house to the other consider taking a class or hiring a fit pro to bring some efficiency and good looking results for your efforts.
  5. Go for 80%. Don’t over-stuff your plate or work yourself too hard.
  6. Nobody is perfect. Perfectionism leads to overwhelm and lackluster results.
  7. Set the bar low. Short bursts of joyful movement count! Break it down into something manageable (Yes 5 and 10 minute workouts count!)
  8. Give yourself a reward for small victories.
  9. Put out-dated fitness ideas like no pain no gain and misleading ideas like champagne is like seltzer in the trash and get real with where you’re at now and what fits your goals and lifestyle.

Its ALWAYS ok with me to wear yoga pants because LIFE is a workout..

….and if you’re not sure where to start, I’m here to help.


Personal Life Update

Its a little known secret that my Passover/spring cleaning begins in January. I was inspired by a class I attended nearly 20 years ago on Passover preparations made easy led by professional organizer Esther Simon. Easy? Starting in January?

I know that sounds a little crazy but hear me out. 

Esther explained that once we already start cleaning the cheerios out of the bedrooms and under the couch cushions, and goop from inside the fridge, its so easy to get sidetracked and start sorting old books and figuring out what clothes need to be replaced, which chair legs need tightening and re-upholstery,  and, basically, it snowballs into a full-on de-clutter and deep-clean. However, Passover cleaning is supposed to be just the search for leavened products. I find that once I finally get into motion prepping with the goal of Passover in mind, I can feel dejected, not uplifted when I realize I don’t really have time to do the much-needed deep clean and de-clutter…or I go full-hog, do it all, and wind up rushed, uninspired, and exhausted by the time the holiday arrives. 

I learned at the seminar that having systems in place makes the process less painful and less overwhelming. In 21 years, I have made 20 Passovers and it only really works because I have a system. Part of my system is beginning in January. 

Now, that doesn’t mean I am kashering my countertops and eating only matzo right now but what it means is that I start with the end in mind. The end goal is to arrive at the seder feeling like a queen and not a rag.  That the week before should be spent cooking in my kashered kitchen and that I have finished my cleaning well in advance. Furthermore, knowing that once I get going I will discover shiny distractions of other things that need to be repaired, replaced and more…that I will have the time to do that only if I do it well in advance. Having done it before, I know that there will inevitably be bumps in the road- catching a cold or needing to replace or repair or declutter things. Also, having done this a few times, I know there’s a sort of recipe of what to clean first, and second so that its do-able and less overwhelming.

Similarly, when we think about beginning an exercise program we sometimes envision ourselves at the final stretch, with our new fitness buddies, in our well-fitting leggings and workout top, with the energy to climb Mt Everest…but if we start a week out and notice we’re overwhelmed or sidetracked with other exciting tasks, at the end of the week, or in the spring or whatever our imagined deadline is we’ll just feel exhausted and dejected and maybe not have anything at all to show for it. We need to start well in advance and have a plan- a road map and maybe even the help of someone who has done it before- many many times.  Preferably with the guidance of someone who has overcome some of the common obstacles to help guide us and cheer us on.

That is one of the reasons its so important to yes, have a trainer, a workout buddy or a whole tribe of fit-minded folks to help you clear the clutter and get you to your goal. 

If you work best one-on-one and have a springtime fitness goal, or you just want someone to help you make self-care a priority you can book a series of personal training sessions or join a community of women in the double-chai fitness challenge. Whatever you choose know that I support you and applaud your decision to not leave it all to chance and instead plan for success. To your health.

Book a personal fitness training session now

Exercise, Motivation

We’re Doin’ It Again

A body in motion tends to stay in motion! So much fun you won’t want to stop. This is THE challenge to finally turn you from couch potato to joyful regular exerciser. 18 workouts, each only 18 minutes long + accountability + group support only $36. BUY NOW


The February 2021 Challenge has an OPTIONAL companion E-journal (purchased separately for $5) with motivational quotes, tips, space for logging nutrition and exercise, and journal prompts for reflection.


CHALLENGER FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


Video vault access begins on Feb 3 and concludes feb 23rd at midnight PST.


The video vault comes pre-loaded with at least 18 recordings available 24/7! 


NO. There’s a plethora of licensing issues related to music usage in the virtual space. I pay for rights to the specially licensed music I use because that’s required or YouTube will silence it, block me, or force me to take it down. Jewish music is not designed on the 32 count phrase (which helps u follow and helps me teach) and I can’t buy it by beats per minute (technical aspects of teaching- I need 128 bpm for strength, 140ish for kickin’abs etc). Also “Jewish” music isn’t preferred by the majority in this challenge. We are a mixed group-not all local and not all Jewish. You can hear the instrumental music that comprises most of what’s used in the challenger workouts in the video sample before you purchase the challenge. Some recordings (maybe 4) do contain lyrics.


You can do as many as you like. Recreational activities such as hiking, biking outside of the challenge class offerings can also count toward your daily accountability. Each participant is allowed Only one check-in per day , regardless of how many more minutes of exercise you performed. The purpose of this challenge is to build consistency, not duration or intensity.


A good formula for healthy lifestyle of optimal fitness generally is 2-4 days of cardio + 2-3 of resistance training + 1 mind-body/ stretch day. The live schedule has a mix but you don’t have to follow it, nor do you need to do the workouts in a particular order. The goal of the challenge is consistent habit forming joyful movement just about every day (hopefully 18x). In fact you can do all yoga (or whatever format(s) you like the most) the whole challenge!


The Double Chai Fitness Challenge Class Instruction takes place over live ZOOM which is recorded. Speaker view is used so the instructor is the focus and each video is edited before posting. However, your image may be seen/recorded during the live session. The these recordings will be available on a private You tube or similar for this challenge or for future programming and retained by Kayla/Get Fit with Kayla. You could choose to leave your camera off. You could choose to use only the recordings.  You are also able to opt-out of having your image used for marketing.


My site is integrated with PayPal processing whereby you can use a credit card, or your PayPal balance.BUY NOW


Registration fee is per person. (These classes come out to less than $2 each!) All minors will need an adult to register them for the challenge. You do not need to pay for a minor who takes an occasional class, but you should pay for and register any minor who is partaking of the challenge classes regularly. 


Yes! You will miss out on the group support of seeing and contributing to the check-in process and my cheerleader messages, though. The science of behavior change has proven that visual tracking helps assist in becoming a regular exerciser. You can duplicate some of the effect for yourself by placing marbles in a jar and moving them to another jar for every workout completed or marking workouts completed on a calendar and celebrating the achievement. Purchasing the optional companion e-journal is highly recommended for everyone but even more so if you are not doing the what’s app accountability group.



Pros and Cons of Zoom LIVE vs. In-Person Fitness

There are both pros and cons, gains and losses when going from in-person classes to virtual and they are different.  Some of it has to do with the technology, and some of it also has to do with who the instructor is and how they teach. 

I was once that person in class who felt new, nervous, shy and intimidated so I get it. Sometimes students want to be guided to do the moves correctly and sometimes they want to be invisible to others and when I am a participant now in other instructor’s classes I still feel that way. 

The complexity of novel technology adds yet another layer of barrier to fitness that now must be overcome for those already intimidated by fitness. So I try to be the kind of instructor who never loses sight of that because there will always be someone in class who is new or feels insecure about their body or their coordination or the setting. 

There are a few things I do right at the start to make things easy:

I have taken the guess work out of registration with my automated signup and zoom link process;  You will have your zoom link immediately after registration and you’ll get an email reminder automagically with that link again 15 minutes before class.

When you arrive in the zoom class, I welcome you by name. 

I announce what the format of the class will be (and if you’re in the wrong class you can just bail right there and then).

I let you know about how I will accommodate different bodies and different abilities in the course of the class: usually offering a variety of options or expressions of a yoga pose all of which are equally acceptable nurturing you to find which expression feels best within your own body. In trauma-informed yoga for resilience the concern is less about the ideal posture and more about finding your own expression and presence and breath in the posture in that day and that moment- which in many cases IS the most advanced posture regardless of what it may look like in the variety of shapes the body makes. If it is a cardio or strength class, you will be told that there are level 1, 2 and 3 options given. You are told how to measure your intensity to stay within a safe zone.

 If at any time anyone needs assistance, during the course of the class they can un-mute themselves and say that they need help or another option.

 I wear a headset with an ear piece so it is like you are speaking right into my ear (something you probably couldn’t do in a in-person class in the middle of class). Other ways to get my attention include putting a note in the chat or physically waiving your hands. 

You will know that I come close to the screen a few times during class to observe even if I spend a lot of it demonstrating. 

We go over the basic orientation of camera positioning if you wish for me to comment on your form or you do not want me to comment. Some folks choose to turn their camera off once class begins for privacy.

We leave some time at the end for people to schmooze too or ask questions. We also have a what’s app and/or a Facebook group for schmoozing so nobody feels held up for leaving as soon as class ends.

There are other things I do when teaching online to help students which are slightly different than in-person; I try using more verbal imagery to help participants feel in their bodies the particular muscles we’re working. I try and change the angle I’m demonstrating from as well as demonstrating something other than the most complicated version of a move.

As for hands-on assistance: its always been my last resort even in person and I’m not a toucher in my yoga classes. I never used scented oils or massage in class for a variety of reasons (allergies/boundaries etc) either. The lack of hands-on to some degree is just me and my personal preference and my teaching style and that’s not new. Many scandals involving inappropriate touch that have become exposed by the media. It’s generally not used as much as it once was and we want students to learn what it is to find those positions in their own bodies and feel it themselves not be pushed into it- which can also cause potential injury.

So that’s how I do my part..and then there’s the technology:

Here are some PROs:

#1 pro of virtual= convenience/ time savings

No parking, no gas, no getting a babysitter. Big time saver.  Practice any time, any where, on vacation, in the yard, at the park,  in your pjs or even naked (hopefully with camera OFF), 

#2 pro of virtual= access

If price was a factor before, virtual has made things far more accessible. High priced and  exclusive teachers limited to one city -no longer an obstacle. Train with the best in any city or anyplace in the world. You’re not limited to your local studio or gym. You may have access to formats that weren’t available near where you live or work that you can discover. Maybe your favorite teacher moved out of the country and now you can take her class in your own bedroom

#3 pro= more control over the experience

Thought the class could use a better soundtrack? Mute the zoom volume and jack up the home stereo. Make it hotter or cooler in the room.  Add candles. Dim the lights or jack up the brights. You can choose to look at others in class or not. Choose to have your image to be displayed to others or not.  Use speaker view.

To cut down on comparisons and help you have your own personalized experience. Privacy might allow you to experiment with something more daring. If the instructors drives you nuts 20 minutes in, its easy to leave or turn the camera off, make some tea and wait till the end to exit- something I wouldn’t have done in a live class without being really rude. 

Then there are the Cons:

#1 drawback of virtual= option overwhelm leads to commitment issues.

Too many choices can lead to overwhelm and inaction. For some of us, knowing we’ve got just one shot  to take that class because that’s the only day and time that instructor is teaching it mean’s we’ll definitely be there. If that’s you, then sign up in advance for your classes and pay up front so you’ll be more committed.

#2 con of virtual= lack of quality control

Internet outages can affect service, wifi service can fail, some instructors simply hang a virtual shingle without the credentials and experience to back it up. You can develop bad form habits because it went un-noticed because you’re the size of a thumbprint on the screen. You might be more shy to try new things knowing someone isn’t there to reach out and catch you or you might go so crazy trying new things because nobody is watching that you push too far. You are in charge of your environment and if you’re in a small cluttered space it can be dangerous or impossible to do certain workouts. The options might make for a lack of continuity and lack of consistency can mean a lack of progress. (VIP membership includes coaching and program design to solve this issue.) You may not see the instructor as well or in 3D like you could in person (A solution may be to hook up to a computer or tv screen and not a mobile device for class so the teacher is bigger than a thumbprint)

#3 con- distractions

It can be challenging to plug into class mentally when there are doorbells ringing, phones and paperwork, or household pets or kids demanding attention or interrupting so make sure to pre-arrange your situation for minimal interruption or distraction.

There are differences from in-person but I think there’s more social contact in a zoom live than in a Facebook live or a IG live or in a recorded YouTube class or video. We need the social aspect as much for our emotional and mental well being as we need the physical exercise. You may prefer in-person classes to virtual but even if we go back to in-person, due to some of the benefits listed above I believe virtual fitness is here to stay. 

Speaking of staying connected, why not book a class right now with a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while and set up a time after to chat? When life is more unpredictable or stressful is when we need the mood boosting benefits of exercise most. 


VIP Signature Membership

Flipping through my own Facebook feed, I saw many fellow colleagues demonstrating what they thought was going to be uplifting and inspiring images of themselves flipping tires, doing single leg deadlifts on the wrong side of a Bosu ball with heavy weight, pull up challenges, or setting a timer for like as many reps as possible in a minute of Burpee’s– things like that. I’m sure that spoke to their folks but I’m not their folks. That stuff doesn’t speak to me and I’m a Personal Trainer. That stuff makes me just want to hang out on the couch eating a bunch of chips. Iif I had to do that stuff for an hour a day, that would not be a life with living.  I want to fill you in on a little secret… you don’t have to do that kind of workout to get fit!  You don’t have to be miserable.  You don’t have to go on a restrictive diet, and you don’t have to do a bunch of really boring routines, or dangerously strenuous athletic feats to get fit.

I have 10 years of experience as a personal trainer and have a different kind of solution for you. You have already heard about my fun safe and effective workout classes that help women go from being the kind a lady who doesn’t like to work out to someone who doesn’t want to miss a workout because its fun and they feel stronger and energized, but I have something new that I’m excited to tell you about.More than a workout class, it is actually a total body transformation. It’s the whole deal.

This VIP Signature Membership is for you if you can’t get yourself to work out, you can’t work out regularly, you don’t stick to a program, or you tried joining a gym and working out with some trainer who yelled at you and made you feel bad and you are ready for something different. 

This VIP Signature Membership  includes a program design specific to your needs goals and to work around your injuries. You are going to finally going to learn how much cardio,  how often, and how intense to get you results without being miserable,  You’re going to finally learn how much resistance training, what type of resistance training, how often, and how intense, what modalities are going to work for you. Actually enjoying it means you will actually stick with it and you’re going to get those results without restrictive dieting, boring workouts or super athletic feats. Besides, how many times do we see that the exercises given by some trainers might be right for the trainer who offered it but not right for you and your goals and your body and your history and your likes and dislikes?!? Enough.

Fact is most folks quit a new exercise routine in three weeks because there’s no real accountability. In this program you get access to me, your Trainer. You can call me, text me and ask me your questions and get encouragement and guidance.  Also you have group support of other committed ladies who are there to cheer you on. 

You also get the Atomic Habits seminar included (a $100 value) which teaches you the mindset and skills to make healthy habits that stick. You are going to  learn good form that you will take with you for life in any class anywhere that you ever take and  you’re going to get a natural high. When that natural high kicks in, it’s going to keep you craving those results and those feelings are gonna keep you committed. 

So if you have a looked in the mirror and you’ve been disappointed. If you feel sluggish. If you started and stopped exercise programs before or never really started– this programs is for you. if you have negative tapes playing in your brain, we can change those tapes one work out at a time. Did you try diets and gym memberships and the frustration of trying to figure it out on your own? Were you overwhelmed with so many options that three months ago you thought you would make a change but you’re in the same place right now as three months ago and nothing has changed?

You are worth it and I will help you. I’m going to give you the skills, the coaching,  the community, the accountabilty, and the mindset with the one on ones and the atomic habits seminar and the tools all the classes both live and recorded that you already paid for so you know you have to show up. Show up, do the work, get results.

With the coaching, you’re gonna find your WHY. Maybe your why is to look better, to feel stronger. Maybe there’s another why that you don’t even want to admit to yourself because you’re ashamed of it but it’s meaningful to you? We’re gonna find out. Maybe it’s to be able to chase your kids or your grandkids without being so breathless. To kick cancer’s butt?  Maybe its just to feel better and accomplish something you set your mind to. Maybe you want to have a better mood so you can get along better with the people at home that love you. It’s really time for measurable transformation.

Look at what some of my clients have said after training with me. (You’ll see their complete testimonials on 

Sarah Barrett says, “I’ve gotten stronger in the time that I’ve worked out with her and I’ve noticed a difference in the shape of my body. Kayla always challenges me to push harder but knows my limits as well. Kayla sometimes acts a little goofy and that allows me to feel more free, less worried about anything.”

Bracha Magid says, “ I never thought I could get this far and it’s all thanks to you! ..You’ve not only helped me feel good about myself but you’ve given me skills to keep going on my own.”

Runya wagner says, “She creates a warm atmosphere snd makes you feel comfortable any level that you’re on. Kayla personalizes your program to fit each person‘s individual needs. Just after a few weeks I feel stronger and healthier.”

Elizabeth Gottlieb says, “Thank you for helping me get to a place of I can do this.”

So what is it going to cost you to not join the VIP signature membership? Will you be in the same place three months from now? Will you still be contemplating maybe taking up a fitness class but not hitting play because that class doesn’t feel like playing?  Fitness is play time for grown-ups! Are you going to be three months closer to your goals of feeling better, stronger, more confident, having more energy, maybe moving away from health risks. Maybe not taking medication? 

This is an investment is a commitment. It is not just a bunch of fun classes. It is a total body transformation and that doesn’t happen after a one hour class. And it doesn’t happen after just 10 sessions. This membership program is for a select group of ladies who are ready to get signature classes, signature coaching, and have a signature personalized result of that is measurable at the end of our hopefully at least three months of working together. 

Whether you want to have more energy and finally break through and become a regular exerciser we’re going to measure your energy level your stamina your strength your flexibility and get tangible results. That’s my commitment to you. But I cannot do the work for you. You have to show up do the work. 

You know why am so sure that I can get you results? Because I did it. So I can show you how. I was skinny fat. I was 33% body fat and my cholesterol was so high that the Doctor wanted to put me on a statin drug. He asked me what I did for exercise and I told him the truth.. ( this was many years ago, before I became a trainer)  and I told him I had two kids 14 1/2 months apart. I chase toddlers. All day, every day.  He said it wasn’t enough. It was activity and  it was exhausting but it wasn’t exercise that was getting me results in terms of a lower cholesterol level and lower body fat that was going to stop putting me at risk. Even though I was wearing a size 12 and I don’t think anybody knew that I wasn’t healthy but I wasn’t. I did what any responsible new Mommy would do and  I walked over to the gym I put down my credit card and I joined and I showed up. I showed up four or five days a week for an hour each time and worked my butt off.  I went back to the doctor and, you know what? No. Nothing. I hadn’t changed size there was a little movement in the numbers but it just wasn’t enough. So I hired a trainer. After six weeks following the simple tweaks she gave me to work out smarter not harder, I lost 10 pounds and I dropped my cholesterol by 13 points. Then I realized I could do her job and I can do her job better. 

See, she gave me the point in the right direction- how much and how intense but I felt like I wanted to know more and asking her questions might be a bother.  A sense of humor helps. Maybe even a decent soundtrack. A trainer should show you that special personal trainer love that pushes you just the right amount (not like a drill sergeant) but also teaches you to learn to love yourself in the right way.  I also think women don’t necessarily need their trainer to be their best bud but they should get you, and you should feel comfortable with the trainer.

I got you. I am not sending you work outs in a tank top and short shorts where you’re embarrassed to have tour husband or sons come in the room.  I get your holidays and all the messages out food and mixed messages about working out that we get in our community and our culture. The other ladies in the group also will get you and you will not be alone on your journey.

 If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and if you are ready to decrease the risk of diseases like stroke and heart disease and diabetes, its time to make this investment in yourself. Can you envision what your quality of life would be if you would have the energy,  good mood, strength, flexibility and stamina and know deep inside that you deserve to feel good in your body? I’m going to leave a link so you can join this special signature VIP membership program

Enroll Now