Peg Moline has been involved in health and fitness journalism for 30 years. As the founding editor in chief of Fit Pregnancy magazine, she has been giving trusted advice to pregnant women and new mothers for more than 20 years. A competitive sweep rower and outrigger canoe paddler, Moline also practices yoga and loves to camp and hike with her daughters, Maggie and Lily.
How did you become a Health and Fitness Editor?
In the 1980s, the aerobics and running boom was in full bloom – right around that time I started my career as a reporter for The Tahoe World, in Tahoe City, CA. They needed someone to cover feature stories such as Jazzercise, yoga and the annual Polar Bear Swim (yes, I did it on December 31). So when a job came up as an editor for City Sports magazine in Los Angeles, I jumped at it, knowing that participatory sports – triathlons, running, swimming, cycling – were hitting big.
My beat included covering races — 10Ks and triathlons — and also anonymously reviewing aerobics classes as “The Phantom Dancer.” A Boston edition was started, I moved there, and then eventually down to New York as the fitness editor at Self magazine. In 1993, I went back to Los Angeles as editorial director at Joe Weider’s Shape; that same year we started Fit Pregnancy, which eventually became successful enough that I edited that exclusively. Then, my company (American Media, Inc.) brought Natural Health to LA, and my staff and I did both.
The lesson I learned is to specialize in something no one else is covering, if you can.
What are your favorite activities for staying fit?
My favorite ways to stay fit are mostly outside: Right now, I’m a competitive rower; I row with the Los Angeles Rowing Club, with a couple women’s and mixed crews. Our practices start at 5 a.m. four to five times a week, so we’re rowing in the dark a lot. We race several times a year, which I love because of the camaraderie of training and competing together, and also because I think we as adults need to find ways to play and to challenge ourselves. The adrenaline is addicting, too. And so much research on exercise shows that the social aspect, the outside, the rhythm and the competition combine to make rowing the perfect sport for me.
I also walk, hike and camp, and do lots of yoga. Meditation, while it isn’t technically a fitness activity, is very important to me, too.
Tell us about your book! The Doctor’s Book of Natural Health Remedies. Is there a section of that book that’s nearest and dearest to you? Why?
My book, The Doctor’s Book of Natural Health Remedies, was such a blast to work on! I got to write about all the topics we covered in Natural Health magazine, and dig down even deeper into some of them, including healing therapies such as hypnotherapy (enjoying a huge comeback now), the benefits of massage, and Ayurvedic and naturopathic medicine.
The chapter on Botanical Medicine was especially interesting; learning about the herbs — from China, India, America and all over the world — that can treat conditions that might confound conventional doctors, was eye opening. I definitely have expanded my daily supplements to include turmeric and boswellia (to beat inflammation), omega 3 fish oil, a good probiotic and plenty of milk thistle (to keep my liver healthy!).
And I think the book is really fun to read. My editor at Galvanized Press inspired me to be thorough with the research and information, but with an amusing presentation.
Looking back on your earlier career, is there any health advice you wish you had taken more seriously?
When I look back on my career as a health and fitness editor and writer, and remember all the times I “laid out” in the sun without sunscreen, I cringe a little. I do wish I had known then what I know now about sunscreen. I also would have started eating a lot more vegetables much earlier in my life, especially the calcium- and fiber rich ones like spinach and kale, although I was told by a doctor that I have the bones of a 30 year old because of my years of rowing and hiking – and probably all those aerobics classes, too.
In the magazine world, you’ve got to keep up with the pace and with the style. What’s one Vionic shoe you can’t wait to get your feet into this Spring?
I’m a real boot girl, so I love the Adrie Ankle Boot — as well as the Georgia Bootie with such a cute heel and snug fit around the ankle – they both give you this strong, confident stride, which helps me walk tall. I’m still amazed that Vionic has made these shoes look so great, while being good for your body and feeling heavenly on your feet.
For sandals, the Enisa Backstrap Wedge is my go-to, because it looks great with skirts and jeans, and makes me taller (yes, I am just 5’5”) – while preserving the integrity of the built-in orthotic. And I can barely get up in the morning without my Relax Luxe Slippers; when I have them at my bedside, I fairly bound out of bed! I also love the active Mary Jane, the Ailie.
Is there a particular diet/way of eating that you follow and recommend?
With all the research I’ve read and the experts I’ve interviewed over the years, I’m convinced an anti-inflammatory diet that mixes in elements of the Mediterranean is one of the healthiest you can follow. The rules are simple:
1. Eat plants: Most food comes from plant sources, including fruits, vegetables, bread, grains, potatoes, seeds, nuts and beans. Look for whole grains, and instead of buttering your bread, dip it in fresh olive oil.
2. Easy on the sweets: Fruit should be the typical dessert, and sweets with large amounts of sugar and fat should be consumed infrequently.
3. Keep it simple: Processed foods should be avoided, and whenever possible, steer toward seasonal local, fresh and organic foods.
4. Lean on the meat: Chicken and fish twice a week and red meat just a few times a month; recent research recommends to 12 to 16 ounces per month. If you are vegan or vegetarian, be sure to take a B12 supplement.
5. Moderate moo: Low and moderate consumption of dairy, including yogurt and cheese, and choose lower-fat versions when possible.
6. Move it: Get regular exercise, 30 minutes at least three times a week (preferably every day) that gets your heart pumping.