Health Hacks to Round Out 2020

By Ashley Danielson, RDN, LD

I know, I know.  Here I am, talking about goals to become healthier as the year comes to a close and 2021 takes off. I’m not going to ask you to make complete changes on January 1st, because that just isn’t realistic.  Follow along with me on some tips to navigate your holiday season, so you feel good, refreshed and ready to take on the New Year (because who isn’t, at this point?!)

Eat those fruits and veggies! Here’s the deal: 1 in 9 Americans actually eat enough fruits and vegetables.  If you love shopping in the produce section as much as I do, then this may be easy for you.  If this is something you need to work on, try to incorporate them at every meal. Half of your plate should be filled with colorful, nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. They bring in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and help fill you up when you eat them first. Try a new vegetable each week to broaden your palate, make it simple, and have fun with it! Take a shot at some of my favorite ways to eat vegetables:

Jicama Fries

Autumn Vegetable Buddah Bowls

Hydrate! Holiday gatherings, whether in person or virtually, incorporate food that you may not be used to. Delicious? Yes! These meals, snacks, appetizers, desserts and beverages are typically higher in sodium and sugar.  Filling up your water bottle can help decrease that “bloating” feeling you may feel after a sodium-induced meal, can increase your energy levels, and helps keep your gut in check. If you are back in the yoga studio or sweatin’ it up at home, you need additional water. Take the color check! If your urine is darker in color, add more to that cup or water bottle! If pale, you should be good to go! Keeping a functional water bottle that you like makes it easier to keep on sippin’. Here are some of my favorite water bottles:

Swell Water Bottles

Motivational Water Bottles

Plan, plan, plan. If you are like me, you like to make lists and get fulfillment by checking things off.  Meal planning isn’t everyone’s forte. I am the first one to say that I continue to work on meal planning, all of the time.  It helps to spend one night a week planning out the week to come, it can help you save money as well. Things can change throughout the week, and if I don’t take the time to do it, it doesn’t happen. Take 20-30 minutes each week and plan out simple meals that you enjoy. As a bonus, plan to have leftovers for another day. After grocery shopping, take extra time to chop up your fruits and veggies, boil eggs, prep meat, or whatever else you need to do to feel successful.  Yes, it does take time. But, it reduces stress when you are feeling frantic that you haven’t prepped anything.  Some of my favorite storage containers make it easy for us to prep meals and store leftovers. I love that you can see through them so you know what exactly you are grabbing.

Bento Box Glass Food Storage

ZipTop Containers

Stasher Bags

Rest. This one is also hard for me.  Anyone else see a trend here? 😉 As a new Mom, our 8-month-old is tackling 12 hours a night.  Mom and Dad, though? There are things to do at home after babe goes down to bed! I struggle with allowing myself to sleep in, take a nap, or just take some time for myself.  But, when I do it, I feel good.  You work hard – this year has been more than what many people can handle.  The load that everyone juggles is different, and you need to give yourself some grace.  Rest allows our body to rejuvenate, and to become stronger for the next day.  Try going to bed a little earlier each week (just even 10 minutes can do the trick). If you are having a hard time going to sleep at night, here are some of my favorite apps for rest and relaxation.

Insight Timer


Time on your mat. During a normal year, the holidays are A LOT. They are an exciting time, they are joyful; but they can also be emotional, and a time where you grieve more often than others may. Spending more time on your yoga mat can help you work through those feelings, and that is a part of your health journey. Sure, spending time on your mat doesn’t mean that you are eating your fruits and vegetables at the same time – but, the time that you do spend on your mat influences how you spend other parts of your day, the choices you make, and how you feel, mentally and physically.

Of course, a lot of my full-time gig as a Registered Dietitian is talking about food! How to navigate the grocery aisles, the best recipes to cook, how to enjoy food, and much more.  It doesn’t stop there.  I’m constantly asking clients what else is happening in their life – how much sleep do you get? What is your stress level? How much time do you take for yourself? As humans, we may not notice it, but all of these intertwine and work together. It is important for us to acknowledge everything in order to be the best person we can be, for ourselves, and for others.  Check in with yourself and see what changes you may need to make, or if you need to reprioritize so you can be YOU next year. I hope that this holiday season brings you hope, light, and grace.



The purpose of this blog is solely for guidance and enjoyment.The information included on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider before altering your diet, changing your exercise regimen, starting any new treatment or making changes to existing treatment.


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Built with 🤍 by Blink Wellness

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About Kirk: 

Kirk was working 80-hour weeks and wearing his shoulders as earrings when he found yoga in 2005. Forever the competitive athlete, he loved the physicality of yoga. When the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga were exposed to him, Kirk was hooked. Yoga provided him with what other activities couldn’t -- the ability to foster the benefits of practice both on and off of the mat. Yoga was something that Kirk could bring into all aspects of his life. 

Kirk knows that yoga can be intimidating, so he crafts a class that is playful and inviting, while still being challenging and safe. His creatively planned classes build strength and flexibility in your body and mind while establishing clarity, giving you more confidence to overcome obstacles in your life, and keeping you injury-free. His classes are themed with a message that is relatable and will inspire you to take it with you off your mat. Kirk has been teaching yoga since 2008 and lead his first teacher training in 2012. Where Kirk truly shines is in coaching, developing and bringing out the best in others.  

Kirk enjoys traveling (40+ countries to date!), snowboarding, and cherishes time with his wife and two daughters. 

About Christen: 

Christen Bakken’s yoga journey began in 1998 in a Bikram studio that provided a safe and secure place to practice. She saw the yoga mat as a place to remember her purpose and a place to play. As she continued her studies and began her journey to teaching in 2006, Christen infused yoga classes with devotion and the yoga mat became a place of personal transformation and healing. Her classes are filled with laughter, song, sweat, and usually heart openers. In 2013, Christen began training yoga teachers. This is the place where she finds the most joy - in community with folks looking to grow and be of greater service in their homes, on their mats, and in the world. Over the years, she has led trainings in Denver, the Midwest, Florida, and now abroad. She has trained in continuing education modules, 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour programs. Beyond the mat, Christen is a passionate adventure seeker - she loves to bike, snowboard, and spend time with her husband and pups. She sees each day as a blessing and hopes to remind all who interact with her of this truth.  

Two Light Studio Parking Information

We validate parking for THREE garages in the area!

  • Two Light garage located directly north of the studio. Please bring your ticket inside for validation.

  • Three Light garage at Main and Truman. Garage entrance on Truman. Please bring your ticket inside for a validation sticker.

  • Power & Light garage at 13th and Grand. Please ask for a parking pass at the studio front desk. (Hot tip: the Power & Light garage has a ton of space! But be sure to give yourself a little extra time to walk to the studio.)

If you find that you are running a couple minutes late due to parking, please call the studio to let the instructor know to wait for you before locking the doors.

Blackstone Studio Parking

  • We have partnered with our friends at Greenslate to provide 1 hour and 15 minute validated parking for Power Life students in the lot at 36th and Harney (just south of the Cottonwood Hotel). Read below to learn how to take advantage of this perk:

    • Step 1: Scan the QR code located in the lot.

    • Step 2: Select your destination (i.e. “yoga studio”).

    • Step 3: Ask for the validation code at the Blackstone studio front desk and enter it on your phone.

    • Step 4: You are all set! Have fun at class!

    Please note:

    • The validation provided by Power Life and Greenslate is for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Need to add additional time to your parking space? You can do that conveniently from your phone!

    • This option is valid once per day per license plate.

    • Please do NOT park in the Crescent Moon lot − you will be towed!

East Village Studio Amenities

  • There is a paved lot and gravel lot on the West side of the building.

  • Meters on Court and 4th (by Peace Tree) for $0.25/hour, 9am-9pm Mon. – Sat. 12-hour max

  • Meters on 4th (to the North) for $1.25/hour. Mon – Sat. 4-hour max.

  • All meters are free on Sundays and major holidays.

Health Hacks to Round Out 2020 Info