I’m Addicted to Chips – Here’s What Happened When I Gave Them Up For a Week

Most people would say I'm a very healthy eater. I've been doing the (mostly) vegan thing for years, and I rarely eat processed food. Except chips. For the life of me, I cannot part with my beloved nightly snack. Usually, just before dinner, I'll pop a few heavenly tortilla chips in my mouth and relish in the crunch, the saltiness. Everything about chips makes my mouth happy.

Unfortunately, I know eating chips every single night - even when they're organic, stone ground, made with beans, whatever - isn't a great habit. Sometimes I'll overdo it, and then my appetite for dinner is negatively impacted. And I'll end up feeling bloated and kinda gross about myself. So I decided to try my very best to give up chips for an entire week. I hoped that by eliminating this indulgence from my diet, I'd stop craving it so much. Read on to find out if I was able to nix my chip dependency and what I learned during my cold turkey, er, chip experiment.

Spoiler: They Were Hard to Resist

The first day I was officially off chips was right after the Thanksgiving holiday. Since I was pretty stuffed and (whispers) kinda hungover, I didn't feel tempted to snack. But the next day, I think I literally heard my heart break when I forced myself to pass the chip aisle during a grocery run. Sniff. And then, OK, confession time: Sunday, I cracked! We'd gone out to dinner to my favorite Mexican restaurant, and there they were. Glaring at me. The chips were so shiny and golden and warm. A nearby bowl of salsa beckoned me to just. take. one. dip. Sigh. I took so many more dips than one.

I felt badly after that dinner and swore off chips for the rest of the experiment. I swear. Until I found a bag of chips lurking in the back of the pantry one night. There was nothing else to eat, my hand to God. So I sneaked just a few.

On the last night of my chip purge, I was desperately craving chips, but I managed to call upon my willpower and opted for the satisfying crunch of broccoli with tangy dressing. That combo totally satiated my desire for a predinner snack, and I didn't even want the chips. Looking back, I should have been more prepared with healthy snack options to counteract cravings the entire week. And yeah, maybe I should have suggested another restaurant on Sunday.

What I Learned

By the end of the week, I decided that maybe it's not worth fighting something as strong as my love for chips. Instead, I think my energy would be better spent swearing off foods I wouldn't miss as much, like bread, pasta, and cookies. OK, I have to eat a cookie once in a while. But seriously, if you have one food you just can't say no to, allowing yourself to enjoy it isn't the end of the world if your eating habits are mainly healthy. Going forward, I just want to be more careful not to oversnack. Because the day after my no-chip week, I totally binged. I was just so happy to be reunited with my darling chips. So in the end, moderation seems far healthier than chip feast or famine.

I Took a Dance Class With the Rockettes, and Incredibly, It Taught Me to Be More Confident

I'm not a dancer by any means. I performed all four years in my high school's musicals, but it was clear that I wasn't cast for my moves. However, one of my fellow cast members and friends was a lifelong dancer who went on to become a Radio City Rockette on the national tour. So when I got the chance to take a class with the Rockettes, I figured I owed it to her to step up to the challenge.

But there's another piece of the puzzle you should know: Ciara was also taking the class. That's right, the "Level Up" and "One, Two Step" singer would learn the troupe's famous eye-high kicks right alongside us, in celebration of Pandora's Exclusive Holiday Charm and Ornament Gift Set inspired by the Rockettes. Both Ciara and the Rockettes have partnered with the jewelry brand before, but clearly this was no ordinary launch party.

I arrived at the executive entrance of Radio City Music Hall with a group of editors and writers that I could tell were just as eager (and maybe a bit anxious) to get started. We were taken to a dance practice room, where I took a spot right up front behind the six Rockettes who would serve as our instructors and a few feet to the right of Ciara. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I'd be damned if I didn't at least try to get the best seat (or, in this case, kick line spot) in the crowd.

The Rockettes had their hair slicked back in their signature French twist and bright red lipstick swiped on. They sported black Radio City Rockettes tank tops, black leggings, and dance shoes. Ciara also followed the all-black attire along with sky-high black booties. I'm not sure if I was more excited to learn the dance or see Ciara working it in pencil-thin heels.

We jumped right into a routine from this year's Christmas Spectacular. For the first eight counts, we stood in the classic Rockette bevel pose, which was certainly my speed. Then we swiftly raised our right arms straight up - also my speed. So far so good, right? The dance was taught pretty quickly, only running through a new step a couple times before adding it the counts we had already learned. The moves were precise - right arm here, left arm there, put your weight on the front of your foot - and ended with the Rockettes' famous eye-high kicks. I was surprised how easy it was to remember the moves. I have to give myself some props, I wasn't doing half bad.

The nerves I had coming into the class quickly dissipated - the Rockettes were as stunning and professional as I imagined, but they couldn't have been nicer or more encouraging. Even Ciara asked questions during the class, a reminder that even a seasoned performer doesn't dance perfectly out of the gate. Did I mess up a couple of times? Of course. But then I remembered what the Rockettes told us from the very beginning: to just have fun and smile through it.

This class was just a small glimpse into their world, and it's hard to imagine just how many dances they have to remember. There are 80 Rockettes in all, 40 in each cast, with 36 onstage during a show. One show includes more than 160 kicks, and with up to four shows a day, that number quickly climbs to 650. Talk about stamina.

I'd be lying if I said that my thighs weren't hurting a day or two after the class. Never underestimate the muscles you use even for just a few dozen kicks. I probably won't become the first 5'4" Rockette, but I had one hell of a time pretending.

I Got My Metabolism Tested, and Here’s What I Learned About How My Body Burns Fat

Take a read through my author profile, and you'll quickly learn that I love to write about strength training, ways to improve your health, fitness gadgets (these are a few of my favorites), and cute and functional workout gear. That's why I'm a fitness editor.

I've recently begun to get really into metabolism; it's to the point where I find myself reading scholarly articles at leisure. I didn't just wake up one day and become interested in metabolism. It all started when Laila Zemrani, cofounder and CEO of Fitnescity, contacted me about getting a resting metabolic rate (RMR) test done.

What Is a Resting Metabolic Rate Test?

Before I jump straight into my experience, I've got to give you the 411 on what a RMR test is and how it works. According to Fitnescity, the RMR test, "uses state-of-the-art technology to measure the number of calories your body needs at rest." To be clear, this is the number of calories your body needs to perform basic functions, like breathing, that keep you alive.

From that number, a specialist (an endocrinologist or a clinical dietitian) can help you determine how many calories you need in a day to support your lifestyle. You can also use this information to learn how many calories you need per day to lose, maintain, or gain weight. The test also tells you your estimated total energy expenditure - the number of calories you burn in a day - and whether you burn more fat or carbs (hint: this is one of the important things I learned).

How the RMR Test Works

Now for the details you need to know before you get a RMR test. The test is $250 at Fitnescity, and prices will more than likely vary depending on your location. Before getting your test, you'll have to fast for 12 hours (you can have water). Why? Because the objective is to find out how many calories your body needs at rest in the basal state (before exercise and eating). My advice: make a morning appointment so that the possibility of you becoming hangry is less than a midday appointment. Along with fasting, you have to avoid moderate and vigorous activity 24 hours prior to the test so that your results are as accurate as possible.

Day of, your height and weight measurements will be taken. Then you'll be instructed to lay on a chair followed by the canopy hood being placed over your head (gorgeously modeled by yours truly above). Your only job is to stay awake and stay as still as possible while the machine works its magic. If you get chilly, a blanket will be provided, but I think you'll be really cozy. The test takes approximately one hour to complete from start to finish and requires zero physical activity.

What I Learned From the RMR Test

Because the specialists have to analyze your data, it should take a few days for you to receive your results. From my test, I learned that my body needs 1,288 calories a day (my resting metabolic rate) before doing any type of physical activity and eating. I also learned that my respiratory exchange ratio (RER) is 0.77. This means that my body burns more fat than sugar, which according to Dori Arad, the endocrinologist who explained my results, is ideal for a healthy person.

He explained that healthy people should ideally be burning fat, because our bodies store 90 percent fat and preserve the sugar for brain functions and "really fast, aggressive activities." A RER closer to one indicates that there are limitations on burning fat and have a "very strong correlation to weight gain, to obesity, to diabetes, to heart disease, and to inflammation," Dr. Arad said. By knowing your RER, an expert will be able to determine the best workout you should be doing to burn fat.

Why You Should Consider Doing a RMR Test

While there are many workouts and diets that can help improve your overall health, if you're looking for something specific to you and your needs, you need information specific to your body. For instance, if you feel like you've tried everything and still aren't losing weight, this test will be able to tell you more on why that is as opposed to starting a random diet you read about once. You'll learn if you have a slow metabolism (if you do, here's how you can boost it), and you'll learn exactly how many calories you need in a day and how well your body burns fat.

Yes, I know $250 is a lot of money, and there are a lot of other ways you could spend it, but this information is 100 percent individualized to you. In my opinion, it's worth the investment because you'll save money in the long run by learning exactly what works for your body and what you can do to achieve your health goals.

All expenses for the author were covered by Fitnescity for the purpose of writing this story.

I Ate Kourtney Kardashian’s Avocado Pudding For 1 Week and, Yep, I’m on Board

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Hajar Larbah

If you follow Keeping Up With the Kardashians, you're likely familiar with Kourtney Kardashian's healthy lifestyle. The mom of three has a pretty strict diet and workout routine, starting her morning with apple cider vinegar and probiotics to aid with digestion and a curious sweet avocado pudding she says gives her energy before exercise.

As a huge avocado-lover myself, this "power meal in a cup" sounded worth a try. I decided to eat the recipe every morning for a week to see if it really could power me through my early morning workouts and make my sweet tooth disappear with its dose of healthy fats and fiber.

The Recipe

This is Kourtney's 5-minute recipe, according to her app:

  • 1 organic avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup organic coconut milk
  • 2 tsp manuka honey

Blend all ingredients until smooth, and eat with a spoon.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Hajar Larbah

The Experiment

The smooth pudding tasted pretty good, and I enjoyed eating my breakfast slowly with a spoon as opposed to my usual smoothie on the go - it really does make all the difference when it comes to savoring every bite and feeling fuller.

After eating the pudding on day one, I actually felt very nauseous. I train immediately after waking up, and the only thing my stomach can handle before is usually coffee - I should have known having the pudding pre-workout would create some problems. For the rest of the week, I decided to have it as a post-workout snack instead of overnight oats, and that's when I started to reap the benefits.

I was expecting to feel hungry within an hour or two after, just because of the lack of carbs, but my body shocked me. The healthy fats kept me going all the way until lunch. That's because our satiety hormones are released much more in response to fats to help tell your body you're done eating. And like Kourtney says, the pudding gives you energy. I didn't experience my usual midmorning crash and even found myself reaching less for a cup of coffee.

The best part was that by the end of the week, my morning sugar cravings vanished. I never felt the urge to reach for sugar, and my skin was showing it, since sugar can cause breakouts, inflammation, and dullness. Avoiding sugar also meant I was eating healthier and fewer calories.

The Pros and Cons

The health benefits of the avocado pudding were what really kept me focused. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of manuka honey fueled my body in preparation for flu season. The high-fiber content of the avocado aided in digestion to keep away dreaded belly bloat.

I love lots of texture in my food, so the smoothness of the avocado pudding did get a bit boring after day three. On day four, I added chia seeds, hemp seeds, and grain-free granola on top. I don't know if that's Kourtney approved, but it definitely made me stick to the experiment.

Although I loved the taste of Kourtney's avocado pudding, I think overnight oats and avocado toast with eggs take the breakfast throne for me. Maybe it's because I'm a creature of habit or maybe it's because I couldn't really get used to the texture of the dish, but at least I know the toast with smashed avocado and a fried egg allows me to get healthy fats in with a source of carbs to fuel up. I'd prefer the pudding as dessert, so I'm inspired to freeze it and keep it handy to snack on every once in a while instead.

I Drank Celery Juice For a Week, and Here’s What Happened

If you're a health-conscious individual who's been on Instagram lately, you've probably seen or heard of someone drinking celery juice. It's everywhere: influencers and holistic health gurus alike are all toting their green juices like it's 2011, and I was curious as to why. For a little bit of context, the celery juice trend was popularized by a man named Anthony William, also known as the Medical Medium. He is not a doctor, but an author of four books including Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal, and a holistic health practitioner who simply raves about how celery juice is a magical cure-all. Intrigued? I was too.

If you're going to drink celery juice, it needs to be first thing in the morning, and it needs to be juiced. I haven't been a big fan of juicing since it takes all the fiber and much of the nutrients out of the produce you're consuming, but celery is different. According to Anthony, in removing the fiber and putting celery through a juicer, you're getting access to something called cluster salts, which help flush toxins from the liver, hence why it needs to be consumed on an empty stomach. The benefits of celery juice are reportedly astounding, and include lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation. With the way everyone raves about it, I was ready to be a brand new person by week's end. And the short version is: I do feel different. These are the three key takeaways I've learned in my week on celery juice.

Firstly, I have SO. MUCH. ENERGY! I have Hashimoto's, an autoimmune thyroid disease, and one of the side effects is that I get tired easily. I spend a lot of time exhausted, but I have to say, I've never had more energy than this past week. Those classic walls I hit three to four times a day are only coming around once, and I am so much more productive, it's crazy. I'm a skeptic, but it's literally the only thing I've changed in my routine, and I feel amazing. I also get bloated easily, and feel like I go to bed and wake up as two different people. Well, since I've been drinking celery juice, my bloating has subsided significantly. Yay! And lastly, I'm not breaking out. My skin is GLOWING. And during dry, chilly months, that's a win.

Here's the deal: I tried this trend ready to call BS. How could juice really be this magical? But after a week, I'm convinced. My increased energy, decreased pimples, and flatter stomach are all I need to say, "I'm hopping on the bandwagon!" Want to know what I'm asking for this holiday season? A juicer.

I Meditate Regularly, but Nothing Has Eased My Anxiety More Than This Sound Bath

Until recently, I had never even heard of a sound bath, but after reading about the benefits - reduced stress, anger, depression, and fatigue, according to one study - I decided to give it a try. If you're unfamiliar, a sound bath is a meditation session in which an instructor plays singing bowls, filling the room with beautiful sounds. It's an ancient practice that is thought to alter brain waves, allowing you to slip into deep relaxation. Still, I didn't quite know what to expect.

I felt as though I had been meditating for only a short time when suddenly the music ended.

When it was time for the session to start, everyone was told to lie down on the floor with our eyes closed. The yoga instructor began playing crystal singing bowls, and at first, the music was a bit overwhelming. It felt like the sound was bouncing around in my ear, and I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to relax. However, a few minutes into the meditation, I started to find it very soothing. I meditate regularly on my own and found myself entering a deep meditative state much quicker than I'm able to at home.

The beautiful waves of sound washed over and through me, and I felt as though I had been meditating for only a short time when suddenly the music ended. Forty-five minutes had passed.

I left the studio with a sense of peace I didn't have when I walked in. I could tell that my anxiety was greatly reduced. (A friend who had joined me said she felt calm as well.) The effects seemed to stick with me for a couple days, which is impressive with two children and so many things on my plate. I loved the sound bath so much that I bought a singing bowl to use during my private meditations. While it is relaxing, it doesn't compare to the sound bath experience - something I can't recommend enough. Moving forward, whenever I feel stress piling up, I'll turn to a sound bath for relief.

I’m a Nervous Flyer, and Only This 1 Thing Has Ever Helped Me Relax on a Plane

I don't come off as a nervous flyer. When it comes to air travel, the days leading up to departure fill me with excitement and delight. Getting the window seat is a must when booking, because I'm constantly in awe of the views from above the clouds. Even more so, I'm thrilled by plans to visit new and beautiful places. But, without a doubt, these feelings of exhilaration are always met with repeated bouts of nerves as it's time to board the plane.

I'm aware of the statistics. Plane crashes occur far less frequently than car crashes, and you're more likely to meet your end by being struck by lightning. But I still can't shake preflight jitters and the internal panic that comes with flying.

I've seen one too many airplane films go south, which has left me with a constant uneasiness towards flying. Couple that with the feeling of being off the ground - not to mention turbulence - and it adds up to nervous shakes and in-flight rituals. I reach for my boyfriend's hand at each and every lift-off and touchdown, and letting go is not permitted until we've been in the air (or on the ground) for several minutes. I've adapted subtle breathing techniques I do after boarding in an attempt to clear my mind. I say the same simple prayer, asking for safety over everyone, before takeoff. It's a whole thing.

I've tried out various other calming methods that seem to work for others, from tailored playlists to CBD oil. While these have momentarily distracted me from my stress, nothing came close to diminishing my nerves or calming my flying anxieties, until I starting using a weighted blanket.

Related: 24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free

I didn't originally purchase a weighted blanket specifically for flights. I get cold and restless most nights (thanks, anemia!) and, after researching their known benefits when it comes to improving sleep, bought one to help me fall asleep at home and during the occasional hotel stay. Imagine my relief when I brought it on a six-hour flight from New York to San Diego and found myself drifting off to sleep under it - something I hadn't ever done before while flying, thanks to nerves.

The Magic Blanket ($179) has given a whole new meaning to "comforter." At 36 inches wide and 60 inches long, my weighted blanket serves as my personal item (albeit a heavy one at 10 pounds - a travel version might be easier for you to carry), and, when folded, fit the airline requirements to fit under the seat in front of me. As soon as we took off, I wrapped myself in it.

It was reminiscent of being held in a large embrace, in which I could feel my anxiety melting away. My stiff breaths slowed considerably. My muscles, previously rigid and tense, loosened up.

At first, I thought my weighted blanket to be effective because it made me feel as though I was at home in my bed, wrapped in my usual blanket. But it was really the beads inside of the blanket, which are responsible for providing the pressure or weight that gives you that safe feeling, that allowed the blanket to successfully mold against my body and fill every gap of the plane seat without creating uncomfortable restriction (which would have made my nerves in the cabin even worse). On top of that, the beads created a soothing stroke-like sensation when I moved. It really made the small amount of space I had in the plane feel noticeably more comfortable, like I had been tucked in. It was reminiscent of being held in a large embrace, in which I could feel my anxiety melting away. My stiff breaths slowed considerably. My muscles, previously rigid and tense, loosened up. Most notably, though, my thoughts stopped racing and the familiar drumming of my heart faded. I eased into a relaxation mode I hadn't known before while flying.

Related: I Have a Crippling Fear of Flying, but It Doesn't Stop Me From Traveling

My experience isn't a one-off case, either. The relaxing effects of weighted blankets are backed by research. Deep touch pressure, or DTP, is all about placing gentle, distributed pressure on your body - think weighted blankets, weighted lap pads, massages, stuffed animals, and, to my delight, hugs - to regulate the secretion of cortisol, the hormone that makes you feel stressed. Using a weighted blanket, in particular, has been proven to have both mental (lower anxiety and a calm feeling) and physiological (decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and activity in the nervous system) effects. It makes sense that all these benefits will work on nervous flyers. They certainly worked on me.

My weighted blanket is now a travel essential, guaranteeing some emotional relief, lowered nerves, and a few hours of shut eye. It hasn't erased all of my flying anxieties - I still get preflight jitters as I approach the gate and reach for my boyfriend's hand at takeoff - but it's improved my in-air experience tenfold. Just knowing I'll have an easier time calming down and catching some zzz's is reassuring. Now, when I'm faced with the choice of fight or flight, there's no question: flight.

I Floated Away Back Pain and Stress in a Sensory-Deprivation Float Tank – and Loved It

When a new mom friend told me about her experience at a sensory-deprivation float tank spa and how relaxed and awesome she felt afterward, I didn't need any convincing. I jumped on the idea and booked my first appointment for 60 minutes and $70. What did I have to lose? I've suffered from back pain for as long as I can remember, have anxiety and tend not to handle stress very well, and, on the top of my list, I've suffered from exhaustion for about five years now - easy math for me, as it's how old my first child is.

Floating in silence and in the dark offers your brain a break from stimulus, decreasing anxiety, depression, and stress levels. The salt water also helps joint and muscle pain, as it relaxes muscles.

Before going into the appointment, I read about the benefits of float tanks on the internet, and the more research I did, the more getting inside a chamber filled with Epsom salts and water sounded just like what my body and mind needed. Research backs my friend's joyful full night of sleep after only one 90-minute session in the tank, since floating in silence and in the dark offers your brain a break from stimulus, decreasing anxiety, depression, and stress levels. The salt water also helps joint and muscle pain, as it relaxes muscles.

My appointment day came, and as I was excitedly checking in, the owner of the spa told me other visitors described the hour of floating I reserved as "a three-hour nap." I wanted to kiss this man! I'm pretty sure I haven't had anything resembling restorative sleep since before my children were born.

Related: This Unexpected (and Simple!) Tip Has Eased My Anxiety - and It Could Work For You Too

He led me to my float room, which had a little door leading to the small tank, a changing area, and a shower, and he explained I could wear my bathing suit or choose to go naked. He showed me where to step into the tank, where to lie down inside (head at one end, feet at the other), and how to shut the door, then told me that when my 60 minutes were coming to an end, I would hear light music to signal my time was over.

I peeked at the tank, and there was about a foot of water in there and a solid metal door to shut behind me. My heart started racing a bit, thinking about being in the tiny space for an hour in the dark. I think the owner saw the concern on my face, because he reassured me by saying some people choose to leave the door open and mentioning I could get out of the tank at any time if I felt uncomfortable or claustrophobic. He also said that, more often than not, once people get in, their nerves go away. My heart rate slowed, and I talked myself into the full experience - no open door for me.

I laid back as my whole body began to float . . . I closed my eyes and let the sound of only my heartbeat lull me into a deep relaxation.

I undressed completely, put my hair up (as suggested, so it wouldn't float on the water, touch my body, and distract me), stepped into the warm water (water is kept around body temperature, a range of 94-96 degrees), and shut the door behind me. There was a very soft glow of blue light reflecting off the water, and I reminded myself to breathe slowly. I laid back as my whole body began to float. I smiled, thinking this felt really cool. I focused on relaxing each vertebrae in my lower back, where I have chronic pain, and relished in the weightlessness the water provided. I closed my eyes and let the sound of only my heartbeat lull me into a deep relaxation.

Before I knew it, I heard light music begin to play, and I opened my eyes to the same blue glow I saw before I shut them. I didn't want to get out. I felt so awesome - truly like I had just had a long nap. I stretched in the water and slowly began to come back to my senses before opening the door and climbing out. I felt a little euphoric as I stepped into the shower and washed the salt water off my body and out of my hair with the sweet-smelling soaps and shampoo provided by the spa. All my movements felt looser, my body moving with more fluidity, and I hoped the void of lower-back pain would last at least a little longer. I took my time in the shower and slowly got dressed before leaving the room and immediately booking my next float.

Related: Before Soreness Sets In From Squats and Pull-Ups, I Reach For These CBD Products

I can't say my back pain stayed away permanently or that I don't still falter in the face of a stressful situation, but having a float gives me back that little bit of euphoria every time. I suggest it to anyone who will listen, explaining how I never felt claustrophobic or anxious while in the tank, and how sometimes just thinking about floating helps me relax. A moment to relax while doing something good for my health and well-being? That is enough for me to keep going back.

I Traded CrossFit For 80 Day Obsession For 1 Week, and This Is What Happened

After hearing so much about Beachbody's 80 Day Obsession and seeing the amazing transformations, I felt compelled to try the workouts. With my experience doing CrossFit three to four times a week for the past two years, I needed to see how these workouts compared. Would they be as intense and effective at building strength? Would they leave me as sore and as inspired? Would I trade my CrossFit obsession for the 80 Day Obsession? I decided to give it a week and see.

I Tried Goat Yoga, the Class Beloved by Celebs, and It’s as Fun as It Sounds

If you're a yogi or just someone who's up on Instagram culture, you've probably heard of goat yoga (or "goga"). The idea got its start after Yoga Girl founder Rachel Brathen began posting videos of herself in various yoga poses with her baby goat, Penny. Before long, celebrities like Amy Smart and Kate Beckinsale were flooding our Instagram feeds with Vinyasa hilarity, and goat yoga classes began popping up on farms and in studios all over the country.

So, what happens when you combine the adorableness of baby goats with the benefits of a calming yoga class? Up for anything - including an hour of literal sh*ts and giggles - I decided to give it a try.

Inside the Class

Goat yoga classes are fairly traditional in the sense that you move through a basic flow, guided by an instructor - with one obvious distinction, of course: goats roam the class.

Upon entering the room, we were warned to hide all our belongings; otherwise, the goats would eat them (naturally). We kicked things off with a little meet-and-greet with two friendly Nigerian Dwarf goats - one fully grown and one still a baby - then it was on to standard Cow/Cat stretches and Downward Dogs.

The goats wander around the room, crawling under and around you as you move from one pose to the next, and often hopping from one person's back to another. While the poses were simple enough that anyone could master them, the added weight from the goats (though lighter than I expected) pushed me to dive deeper into the poses and work a bit harder to maintain my balance.

Understandably, my classmates and I were more focused on snapping selfies with the goats than actually perfecting the moves, but it was all in good fun. Even when the goats pooped on us (twice). The instructor smartly referred to this as getting "blessed."

So, Would I Do It Again?

Goat yoga is definitely an experience I think everyone should try at least once. Prices are comparable to that of a traditional yoga class, depending on the host or studio, and obviously these classes deliver more belly laughs. Some (like mine) come with a calming sound bath, while others offer beer tastings or other fun activities. And most carve out at least 15 minutes for you to get to know the goats before the class starts.

I wouldn't say I got a killer workout, because I'm someone who appreciates a good yoga class that leaves me limber and a little sore the next day. However, it's not really the type of class you go to for a good sweat. Save that for a hot yoga day and just come ready to play around, laugh, and make some memories with some new friends. (That kind of happiness has health benefits, too.)