Introducing... The Second Breakfast Podcast

"People have lost the ability to imagine possibilities for their bodies" -- a conversation with yogi Margarita Smith

Today’s newsletter is an “audio extra” and marks the launch of the Second Breakfast podcast. New episodes will be released monthly, and I’ll post the transcripts in the newsletter. You’ll be able to find the podcast soon on the podcast app of your choice soon, and the audio will always be available here too.

The podcast will contain interviews in which my guests and I talk about our personal experiences with food and fitness and technologies. Thanks to the paid subscribers of this newsletter, I will be able to pay my guests for their time and contributions.

Audrey: Welcome to the Second Breakfast podcast, where we talk about food and fitness technologies and our own experiences eating and cooking and aging and grieving and moving and monitoring our bodies.

My first guest today is Margarita Smith, a yoga instructor and baker in Portland, Oregon and also one of my very best friends.

I am thrilled to have Margarita be my first guest on here because, she was instrumental to my becoming an athlete over the past few years. At the beginning of the COVID lockdown, I started doing yoga with her via Zoom. This was just a few weeks before Isaiah died. It was a few months before my health really spiraled downwards. And Margarita was there for me throughout, helping me find some stability — literally and figuratively — and gain confidence and strength (before moving on to weightlifting and running).

As a Black queer person living in a larger body with a transplanted kidney, Margarita has a very different experience with yoga than, well, almost everyone else doing yoga in the Pacific Northwest. This is a political practice, not just a movement practice.

Like me, Margarita is a grad school dropout. We didn't fail at academia; it failed us. So we'll talk today about how the experience of critical thinking and progressive politics might (or might not) transfer to fitness. We'll also talk about food and yoga and technology.

Technology and yoga looks a lot different than technology and, say, running. The running community sort of expects now that one wears a watch and tracks a bunch of data. Yoga? Not so much…

Margarita: I feel like technology comes into fitness spaces in a way that takes you out of that space. So many people come into my class with smartwatches. When they're supposed to be in restorative yoga, they're checking their pulse on their phone. I want to tell them, "if you sit still and let your mind go silent and focus on your breath, you can hear your own heartbeat. You don't need an appliance." It's so frustrating, because if you're looking at your watch, you're not in the moment anymore. And I'm trying to get you to get into your body.

Audrey: That's one of the things that I try to write about — all of this tech promises that it's going to help us understand our body, but it's almost the antithesis, right? We're offloading all of our self-knowledge and self-discovery to a tool that collects a lot of data, but it doesn't mean shit, right?

Margarita: I just want everybody to move their body. And I know yoga isn't necessarily for everybody. I want people to who come to yoga to decide if it's for them or not. And I don't think you can do that if you're not paying attention, if you're  always looking at your watch. You're seeing "oh, there's a result here!" But you're missing this whole moment.

I also think that people don't know how to not continue to compare themselves to other people, how to just be on their mat and do what works for them and figure out what works for them. Because that's the hardest part. People don't even know; they're so out of their bodies.

Audrey: Most of us were taught when it comes to moving our bodies that you have to listen to the teacher and obey the teacher. Traumatic PE experiences make people conditioned to hand over the decision-making of what to do with their body to coaches, to teachers. We're not really taught how to listen to our body because that that's not on the agenda. The agenda is: how many pushups can you do.

Margarita: That's the other problem with PE so much in this country, and especially when we were coming up: that it was rarely an individual practice. So if you weren't an athletic person, you were really humiliated because you were disappointing an entire team. That's why I hated it and well into adulthood I hated exercise because it had always been humiliating for me. President's physical fitness exam? Like, no preparation for president's physical fitness exam and then one day, you're told "okay run a mile." I have crappy shoes, flat feet, and I have not tried to do this since last year when you humiliated me. And also pull-ups? What the hell?

There's always that shaming component. I had the coach that wouldn't let you be done until you did it. So I was, like, it's not gonna happen. I'm a fat kid. I read. For recess, I sit under a tree and read. This is not gonna happen.

Part of my whole teaching thing is I often feel like I'm Cassandra. I know what's going to happen. "Please let me share my experience with you so that you don't have to go through what I went through." As a child, fitness seemed inaccessible because I wasn't naturally athletic. And then growing up, you just stopped playing after a while; and you're encouraged to stop playing because, you know, that's childish.

Then I had kids and I had work and I had school; and everything about being an American encourages you to push through. You just get really good at not listening to your body. You feel a little tired? Have some coffee, smoke a cigarette, take a stimulant and keep on moving through your day. Who even has the time to sit and listen to their body and figure out if your body is doing okay?

Everything about being an American encourages you to push through. You just get really good at not listening to your body. You feel a little tired? Have some coffee, smoke a cigarette, take a stimulant and keep on moving through your day. Who even has the time to sit and listen to their body and figure out if your body is doing okay?

Audrey: God forbid something isn't okay, as you know, right? In some ways, it's just better to be in denial especially when you have the sense that maybe something's wrong. Because you know that you're going to be facing insurmountable medical bills.

Margarita: Exactly. So what if I found that I'm sick? How will I pay for it? Who will take care of my kids? Who will pay all the bills that have to be taken care of when I'm not capable of doing it because I need to rest?

I don't think that's an accidental thing. I think it's very much by design in a capitalist society: if you don't have time to sit still, you won't get to listen to your body, but you also won't be able to demand the right to the things you're entitled to a reasonable work day or a long enough lunch break to actually linger over a meal and digest your food properly or paid sick days.

If you don't have time to sit still, you won't get to listen to your body, but you also won't be able to demand the right to the things you're entitled to, like a reasonable work day or a long enough lunch break to actually linger over a meal and digest your food properly or paid sick days.

And I can't believe after three years of a freaking global pandemic, we still can't just let people not go to work when they're sick. Now we're actively encouraging people who have positive COVID tests to just go to work anyway. As an immune-suppressed person, I just find that… so many feelings. Throughout the course of this whole thing, I felt really invisible. As a person who lives with multiple chronic illnesses and is immune suppressed — it's as if everybody imagines that people like me are disposable because they're really old and they're already really decrepit. But no, you can be seemingly healthy.

And that was why I ended up so sick in the first place, because I seemed fine. Everybody, including me, especially me, was really shocked when I ended up in critical care with only 6% kidney function. But there comes a point where you can only push your body so far. Your body's just, like, "yeah, I'm going to die now, like literally."

I was 38 years old. I was 38 years old, and I felt fine. But that's the thing, so many of the things that most often impact Americans — these things are asymptomatic and have very subtle symptoms: kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension. They don't have any symptoms until you're really a mess. I was feeling like "maybe this is just like heat stroke, go to urgent care."

Audrey: I mean, you were in grad school. It is part of the regimen of grad school: they just grind you up into little pieces, you know?

Margarita: Yeah, nothing is allowed to come before grad school, even your own wellness. And I definitely believe that the rigors of grad school masked a lot of my symptoms because I remember laying in a hospital bed in East LA, looking at the symptoms of kidney failure, and thinking, "I thought this was anxiety." All of the symptoms of kidney failure just look like depression and anxiety. I had nausea, I was tired all the time, I was thirsty all the time, but I was also drinking so much, so much alcohol to cope with the stress of a really sadistic dissertation chair.

Plus, I had two kids and nobody in grad school gives a fuck about your kids. (I'm sorry, can I say fuck?) As if I could put them in a box until I finish my dissertation, as though they aren't a part of the person I am and deserve the same support I deserve and … we could go off on a tangent about why the academy remains so homogenous.

Audrey: When you were in grad school, did you do yoga or is yoga something that was tied up with your recovery from the kidney disease?

Margarita: Oh, very much. When I was in grad school, my self care was… um, not. I was either dealing with kids or I was dealing with school. And the closest thing I got to anything resembling self care was putting the kids to bed and walking two blocks to the karaoke bar. Um, which is, I mean, its own kind of release.

I think if I had a yoga practice in grad school, I probably wouldn't be sitting here, you know, six and a half years post kidney transplant. Or maybe I would have. I have a lot of pre-existing factors genetically in my family. Hypertension runs in my family. But I thought I was doing great. I was eating better than the food I was raised on, and I felt like I was more active than anybody that I grew up around. Maybe I'm just a perfect storm of bad genetics. But I mean, honestly, I can't think of anything that could have repaired my grad school experience. It was an ordeal and not something I would be willing to revisit or wish on anybody.

While I was on dialysis — because I was on dialysis for four years before I got the transplant — I started doing meditation. So I didn't have a movement practice. And you know, dialysis is hard. I was just really exhausted most of the time.

I think that meditation definitely got me through that period of time because it felt so depressing. I had this whole life scheme: by the time the kids are grown, I'll still be in my early 40s. And I could just still have a vibrant life. I'll have a degree. And you know, we all have plans. And all that got yanked out from underneath me. And so I had four years. Well, I think probably the first year and a half was just me being an asshole because I was pissed and I was sad and I was grieving a whole life that I imagined for myself. I got kicked out of grad school and then I almost died. So that was a shitty year.

I spent a lot of time just being a miserable person to be around and reading Rumi, which was really actually quite helpful.

Every step of the way with yoga was very much by accident. I started doing meditation because I had a friend who was just always super chill, and she just had this vibe. I wondered, how do you get like that?

And I started weekly meditation and then started doing more meditation on my own. And it did make difficult people more manageable. I tell people, my yoga has saved so many lives and kept so many people from having their feelings hurt. Because after several years of practice, I can take a breath and my whole body says, "okay, we're going to all just unclench now." That took a lot of practice.

The movement practice came afterwards, after transplant, because they basically send you home with this huge binder — how to check your vitals, what you should eat. Eat a Mediterranean diet, watch your salt, and exercise. But what though? Because I never had. Once I started researching the drugs I was on, so many of them are bone-depleting. So weight training, definitely. But that just seemed so onerous, because weights are expensive, and having a trainer is expensive.

So I ended up coming into the movement aspect of yoga through a Groupon of all things. I found a Groupon for a yoga studio near me. It was $30 for 30 days unlimited. It was about a mile from my house. And I went and I just started going to classes all the time and starting out with slower practices and gradually working my way up. And then when the Groupon ran out, the studio manager said, "so we need somebody to clean the studio once a week and then you can have all the classes you want." It took two hours to clean the studio and then I could go to all the classes? But I don't think that they realized how many classes I was going to show up to because at this point I was still recovering. I was only  six or seven months out from transplant. A lot of my core muscles were still healing. And I wasn't very strong coming into it because I had suffered a lot of muscle loss while on dialysis. I was taking two, three classes a day some days, but I was definitely there seven days a week.

I just remember, almost as soon as I got home from the hospital — I was only in the hospital for four days after transplant — people from grad school were emailing me, like, "so you can apply to go back to school!" and I said “no, like God no.” Or sending me job announcements for things I could do with a master's degree and I told them, okay hey though, pause, because I still can't lift more than 10 pounds and it still hurts when I sneeze. So not yet.

Then I really started thinking about what my priorities were because, for so long, it was always somebody else. I had my son when I was 20. I spent all those years prioritizing my kids and everything I was doing was about making a future for them.

And then they were grown. And I needed to figure out what I wanted to do. And I just remember talking to somebody — maybe it was you — about going back to grad school. People would say "you were so close to being done." But to me, it just felt like I had been drinking from a bottle of poison, and maybe I was almost done with it, but it was just gonna make me sick again to finish it. And so I knew, I can't do that.

I just really liked doing yoga. I liked the way it made my body feel. Finally I had a way to move my body that didn't make me feel awkward or weird or embarrassed because I could literally go to the yoga studio and not look at anybody else. And even in a room full of people, it was just me and the teacher, and I would get encouraging feedback and I started to feel so much stronger than I'd ever felt in my life.

I think the tipping point for me when I decided to become a teacher, ironically, was the same tipping point for why I decided to become a professor. Because when I went to undergrad, initially, I was going to go to law school, because I had been working with domestic violence survivors. Then I got into undergrad, and I had no Black professors. And I thought, we should get to see ourselves. We should get to see that this is possible.

It was very similar with yoga. There had been another shooting of another Black man who was very close in age to my own son. And my first impulse — because it's always my impulse when I feel stressed out — was, I need to meditate, I need a yoga class. But I also felt like I cannot deal with a bunch of white people right now. And I live in Portland, Oregon, so you can take yoga or you can avoid white people; you cannot have both.

I live in Portland, Oregon, so you can take yoga or you can avoid white people; you cannot have both.

So I decided, okay, I'm going to do my thing. I'm going to go to yoga and I'm just going to make a beeline through the lobby, not talk to anybody, get on my mat, do my thing and then make a beeline out. And I did that. But of course, the whole drive there, there's this tension: "get past the white people."

Nice white lady yoga (Image credits)...

And I was thinking, how nice would it be if I could just go to a class and there were more people who looked like me who are also having this experience, where it's like "This shit again." Because that's really where I wanted to be: a place of people who wanted to do yoga but also were like, "oh my god, this shit again."

And so I thought, I guess I have to make that space. I started looking for yoga teacher trainings and found one. I was the only person of color in my yoga teacher training. That was weird. I mean, I guess it was weird that I was under the illusion that somehow white people in yoga could not, you know, be racist and even like subtly racist. Everyone in that room, they would be deeply offended if I referred to anything they did or said as racist, but I think, those are the sort of microaggressions that just heap on until it's exhausting.

I intentionally picked the social justice yoga teacher training, and it wasn't. Basically the social justice aspect was the leader of the training just doing MLK's greatest hits. But you know, happy MLK. None of the Marxist “nonsense.” None of his later works. No deep cuts.

I remember very distinctly getting into an argument in a yogic way, which is super passive aggressive. We were talking about projection, because you do sometimes have to help your students manage their feelings in yoga. A lot of times, moving your body creates a lot of emotional release. But we were doing a session, and she was really steering everyone into being empathetic with oppressive people. And when I say “oppressive people,” the examples were Hitler and Pol Pot. I'm just, like, "No." As if the problem with Hitler and Pol Pot was they were projecting their own insecurities? They did genocides though, so I think that we can pull back from feeling empathy for them because that's insane literally.

I was getting more and more frustrated. And so I said, "No, I can't, I feel like that's not reasonable. And what I'm more interested in is how do I handle the people who've been subjugated? How do I support them in the practice?"

I asked, how do I support a student who comes into class and got pulled over by cops on the way, or is having a bad day like me because another person that looks like them has been the victim of police brutality? That's what I wanted to know. I don't think it's my work to manage the feelings for oppressors. I want to support and empower the subjugated.

I don't think it's my work to manage the feelings for oppressors. I want to support and empower the subjugated.

One of the people in our training, her husband, is a cop. And she's said, "well, what if a cop comes into your class?" Which is so outside of the point of what I'm even asking about. And I said, "well, first of all, I shouldn't know what my student's jobs are."

But if a cop comes into my class, into my studio in full uniform, he can't come in anyway because legally he can't leave his stuff. What, is he gonna put his taser in his sidearm in a cubby and then take a yoga class? And I don't think that those police trousers move like that. That is a red herring.

If somebody wants to come to my class, I'm not going to turn them away. If a cop walks into a studio, yeah, I'm going to say "none of this is appropriate. A taser, a nightstick, a gun, mace, none of that is appropriate in this space. You're going to have to leave and change into something else and put all that crap away."

I'm glad to say in my four years of teaching yoga, a cop in full uniform had not come into the studio demanding to take a class because that would be insane.

I just feel like that was a way for a group of white women to not look at the very different experience that they might have to confront with students of color in their class. I don't think anyone's thinking about that because I know they're not. Because even after four years of teaching, I still have to explain to people that I work here when they go to the studio.

It's still a space where I don't always feel like people expect me to belong for a lot of different reasons, because of the color of my skin, because I'm just like this all the time. Even when I'm teaching yoga, I never fall into that yoga cadence that works for some people.

I teach yoga for the fat kids who tried to get out of gym class basically, because that was me. And so sometimes when I'm demonstrating an asana, I'll fall out of it. And I say to my students all the time, like, "I can show you this or I can explain it to you. I cannot stand on one foot and talk to you at the same time." I still can't do that. And so usually we pause class. I give a demo or more frequently lately, because I'm getting more regular students in my more active classes, I'll have a student do the pose while I adjust them and talk the rest of the class through what's going on with the pose. Which I find is better for me too just to avoid injury and overworking my body.

But yeah, I mean I talk a lot, I make jokes, and I mean I don't make jokes just because I'm nervous. I mean I make jokes because when people are laughing they're more relaxed and when they're more relaxed, they can really be comfortable in their bodies and they can surprise themselves with what their body can do once they actually just get over feeling self-conscious or nervous about falling over or being seen. And so my class is always “be a weirdo, be a little bit awkward because even when you fall, your body, your brain is learning how to do it better next time.”

It's learning first how to fall safely, for the next time you do that. Because your nervous system is constantly just background noise, trying to figure out, like, okay, you're out here doing weird stuff. Why won't you just put both your feet on the floor? Okay, I guess we have to figure out how to keep you up on just one foot because you keep doing that. And you get good at that in the controlled environment of a yoga class so that when you lose your footing out in the world, your nervous system says, "oh, I know this one. I got you! This is why you kept doing that weird thing for no reason."

Because the really deepest parts of your nervous system, reward you for exercise, but they don't understand why you do a task without accomplishing something. What makes sense to your nervous system is, for example, when we chop wood, we make a fire. We stand over a stove, we have food, but, the most primitive parts of your nervous system wonder, "so you're just jumping around? You're not going anywhere! You're just getting your heart rate up! I mean, I'll give you some endorphins. But I'm not really sure what's happening here. Because there's an easier way to do this and I feel like you're making it hard for no reason."

But that only works if you're really present in your body when you're doing yoga and if you have a good savasana, because that's the thing about stillness and your brain continuing to work. When you sit still, your brain starts to process all the stuff you did while you were moving.

I found too for my students who are really struggling with poses, even if we take a little bit of savasana in the middle of class and then try again, even just taking like about a minute or two to be still. They're not even necessarily thinking about how to work the problem, but their brain is on its own. Their body and brain are like having a conversation. And then inevitably, when we come back into it, they do it better.

Maybe in another life I would have been a neuroscientist, but I'm not going back to school — unless it's a teacher training at this point.

Audrey: I love that. Kin and I just finished listening to the audio book of Naomi Klein's new book, Doppelganger. And I want to talk a little bit about misinformation and yoga, which she kind of gets at with, of course, her doppelganger, Naomi Wolf.

But one of the things that she talks about in there is this idea that she draws from John Berger, that calm an act of resistance. And I think that you're talking about the physiological effects of savasana. It's also just that ability to understand and be calm in the face of all of the chaos, both real and orchestrated and constructed in our world around us. This is incredibly important, to set aside that time and to work on the practice of being calm when everything else has got us all wound up, whether it's from the news or like the way which capitalism makes us agitated. That practice of calm is crucial.

Margarita: Absolutely, absolutely. And Tricia Hersey talks about this too — the Nap Ministry. And I do think that it's such an important thing and really, I mean, and it's not even just something neuroscience figured it out too. Even Einstein talked about  the benefits of letting your mind be idle and daydreaming. That is why it's so revolutionary because when you can sit calmly in stillness, you can imagine a better world. You can imagine so many new possibilities. And you know, there's a reason that we discount being idle. "Idle mind is the devil's workshop." If you're a capitalist, it definitely is the devil's workshop.

When you can sit calmly in stillness, you can imagine a better world. You can imagine so many new possibilities.

Definitely a big motivating factor for me as a yoga teacher is to be able to connect with people of color and poor people, people who normally wouldn't be able to access yoga, and just give them the tools, because we can't change the world if we're exhausted and if we're constantly fixated on how to pay our rent. I want to help people figure out that it's possible to both be aware and even be proactive. We know that movement can help us manage our feelings, manage depression — which is not to say that you shouldn't seek out mental health care if you need that. I have a therapist too, because there's only so much yoga can do with your weird family or whatever you've been through, whatever trauma you have. But I think that definitely yoga can — or any movement practice that you are really committed to and make a regular habit of, and don't make it weird and competitive. Just make it about really empowering your own self, your own body — it can be a really revolutionary act. Because there's a reason that we make people put work before everything else, before self-care, even their own wellbeing.

And I always tell my students at the end of the class, like, "congratulate yourself for making this time in a society that's always trying to drive you to be outside of yourself and do more and not stop to think about if you're okay at all." Because it is a really big deal. There's this whole societal push to just not pay attention to yourself. It's considered selfish to do so, to prioritize yourself, but you can't give anybody water if your well is run dry. You have to stop and nourish yourself.

You can't give anybody water if your well is run dry. You have to stop and nourish yourself.

Audrey: We're supposed to always be productive, highly efficient. And I think that that's why yoga runs counter to so much of that, even the sort of attempts on people's watches to sort of try to quantify — it's not quantifiable. Like when I go for a run, I can quantify it in lots of different ways: how fast I ran or how far I ran, but yoga doesn't quite fit into that same kind of model, right?

Margarita: I also feel like it just it asks you to use a sort of mental muscle that we've all been made to allow to atrophy, which is like actually being aware of what your body is doing. That's why people think it needs like some sort of external monitor.

External monitors (Image credits)...

Audrey: I think it ties back too to what we were talking about beginning with our experiences early on in elementary school where no one ever said to us, I see you're struggling with X, Y, or Z sport. It was always like, either you can do it or you suck at it. There was no explanation. There was no onboarding people. Nobody took the time to teach you how to do these things, really. You were sort of naturally gifted at — fill in the blank — baseball, basketball, volleyball, the sports you play, or you sucked at it, and I felt like there wasn't any kind of idea that if you just worked at it, maybe you could improve.

Margarita: Yeah, and not only did nobody teach you how to do it, they graded you. Like, what the hell? And I think that's a big part of why people are so acculturated to just keep pushing through in yoga class. I always tell people, you're not gonna fail yoga. There's not gonna be a midterm. And so just do what feels good in your body. And if you don't know what feels good in your body, take this opportunity to learn.

But even when I give people a cue and say “okay, so just do whatever feels good in your body,” most people just either do whatever the prescribed movement is, or they just don't do anything, because they have lost the ability to imagine possibilities in their body.

Audrey: So, we are gonna run out of time, and instead of talking about yoga and misinformation, which would be talking more about white ladies, we have to talk about food.

Margarita: Well suffice to say there's a lot, and especially in COVID, it's been crazy because I'm still masking and ugh, the looks.

Audrey: But we have to talk about food, right? We have to talk about food. And I have to say that you and I have known each other for a long time and our boys were friends and Isaiah would always love to spend the night at your house and he loved hanging out with Diallo, obviously, but the highlight of the time was always what you made for breakfast. Then when I picked him up, it was always some amazing thing that you would come up with for breakfast. And I think you are probably one of the best cooks I know.

Margarita: It is my favorite meal. Breakfast is legit my favorite meal of the day. I have dialed back my breakfasts because when Isaiah was little, it was always biscuits and gravy or something like that, something that could really stick to the kids' ribs and was cheap. But lately for many reasons, because of hypertension, because I can't nap all day.

Lately I've been really into crispy rice bowls. So just whatever leftover protein from dinner the night before and some sauteed veg and just make leftover rice, which is weird because rice to me is the hardest thing to cook. I do not know why, but crispy rice bowls are perfect because even if I overcook the rice, I can just make it sticky on the bottom and just throw in some whatever is on hand and then put some sriracha mayo on top of it, and it's awesome and really filling and satisfying. I can go on and  have my active day. I'm just throwing a bunch of leftovers together and dumping a little bit of soy sauce — a little bit of soy sauce because watch your sodium.

Yesterday was a really good one. I had some leftover pork and some zucchini that I had roasted the night before and some avocado and some pickled onions and then just the crispy rice. Then I put a fried egg on top of it all, and it was just the most pleasant and quick breakfast. I could have everything done in less than 20 minutes and just super satisfying.

I still like my carb-heavy breakfast, but only if I don't have anything else going that day.

Audrey: Are you baking? Are you baking bagels?

Margarita: I have not baked bagels in a while. I need to bake some bagels. I made some English muffins yesterday because there are some days where I just need to have a quick on-the-go breakfast sandwich. And bagels are a three-day process.

But yeah, bagel sandwiches are still my jam. And if it's a bagel sandwich day, it's going to have to be kimchi, spam and eggs on a bagel. Just cook the spam until it's really crispy on the outside, because it renders fat so beautifully too and it sort of caramelizes and then just before you take the spam out throw the kimchi in the fat. It's really nice and it caramelizes a little bit too. I've been making these gochujang and roasted garlic bagels.

They're beautiful because the gochujang is so oily, it doesn't fully incorporate so when you cut it the crumb it's all kind of swirly with red and white. Super tasty. That is my favorite bagel sandwich for sure.

Audrey: I mixed gochujang with brown sugar and made scones with it. They had the gochujang swirl too. Just like a regular cream scone, but with gochujang in it.

Margarita: I've learned that about myself. I have to have big calories ready for me because if I have to choose between sleep and eating, I'll sleep and then just wake up in the middle of the night, and my stomach says "okay, we gotta punish you for this. That doesn't work for us." Really just having food I can grab that has a good amount of calories is key for me.

Audrey: Yeah, same. Same. Awesome, yay, thank you. This has been perfect. It's been so great. Thank you so much.

I am so pleased to have kicked off this podcast with you. And I want readers to know that they can find you on Instagram at @m_permanentone and they can contact you for more information on private classes or ask you for information about where and when you teach in Portland. (Or of course they can contact me too and I can forward your contact information.)