how to get sh*t done in a modern world

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Ever since I started to hone in on my entrepreneurial ways and follow my own path, I’ve had to really focus on getting sh*t done. Without coworkers, deadlines and mandatory meetings, all that’s left is yourself to keep you motivated. I won’t lie: it isn’t easy. Some days you can feel lonely, confused and even a little lost.

But one thing that’s helped me push through is learning to better manage my time so I can actually do what I say I’m going to do. (Gotta love that procrastination that creeps in!) Here are some simple tactics that have helped me tremendously along the way:

1. Be Realistic: As a dreamer, it’s easy to get caught up in big ideas. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing…dreams are what keep us inspired after all! But it’s important to have a healthy balance of visions and realism. Set intentions that challenge you, but are realistic to achieve. This will help you gain clarity and focus, as you work toward taking one step closer to your desires.

2. Set Your Own Deadlines: Maybe Boss Lady isn’t shouting deadlines down your throat, but that doesn’t mean you need to toss all forms of structure and formality. I find it super helpful to set my own realistic deadlines, so that I’m staying true to my word. It doesn’t have to be super specific like “by Thursday at noon” but it could even be setting quarterly goals or making it your intention to finish a certain project by the end of the month. Do what works for you, but definitely pencil it into your calendar to keep you motivated & on top of things!

3. Be True to You: As you work toward accomplishing your goals & taking strides to work for yourself, it’s super important to remember to be true to yourself. This means saying yes to the things that light you up, and also being OK with saying no to those that don’t jive with you. Not every opportunity that comes your way is going to be a good fit (even if a good amount of money is involved)…and that’s OK. The more you do things in line with your core values & how it is you want to feel, the more like-minded opportunities will flow your way. The Universe works in magical ways!

4. Own It: As you venture into becoming your own Boss Lady, take ownership of your bad-ass self and rock it out! Own who you are by talking to others about what you’ve got going on (like that super fab e-book you’re working on), walking the walk, and being proud of yourself and how far you’ve come. Confidence speaks wonders, and is the key to pushing through old fears (“I can’t”) to bring in a life full of abundance!

5. Take Periodical Social Media Vacations: This is a biggie for me! As someone who is just a teeny bit addicted to their iPhone and Mac, I have to consciously remind myself to turn it off. My husband likes to call this “Airplane mode your life!” This means, taking the time to rid yourself from social media and other distractions, so you can be present with your creative mind. Perhaps it’s scheduling an hour each day to write in silence, or even taking a whole week sans social media. Figure out what it is you need to feel true clarity & peace of mind. The less distractions the better when it comes to getting sh*t done!

6. Quit Comparing: Along the same notes as social media also comes the comparison trap. This is by far once of the biggest buzz kills and road blocks when you’re working on a creative project. If you’re too busy comparing yourself to what she is doing, you’re going to lose your stride and get caught up in other people’s stuff. This is a big no-no, as comparison to others makes you feel small, stuck, and not good enough. Rather, focus on YOU since no one out there can do what you do better than you do. Trust that.

7. Get Real About What You Truly Want: Last but not least, it’s vital to get clear about what you truly want. This goes back to your WHY, that is how you want to feel. Let this guide you through all your decisions, so you can ensure you’re staying on the right path, that is your path (vs. chasing someone else’s dream).

Do you struggle with getting sh*t done? What are your top tips for productivity?


Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Badass, Blonde Fly Gal With a Mission

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Hey, ladies! Thanks for all the love on my personal story toward discovering peace in my body — through messages, insta comments, and tweets, I am overjoyed by all your kind words.

On to this week’s feature on Healthy Chicks in the Community! I am thrilled to introduce you to Christina — she’s pretty badass and knows how to get sh*t done like no other (especially when it comes to her workouts). I first met her when taking her class at Flywheel here in Boston. The beets were bumpin’, the studio was pitch-dark, and Christina surely  brought the energy!

I’ve had such a blast getting to know Christina throughout the past couple years, from my time at sweetgreen to catching one of her classes at Barry’s or Flywheel. If you’re Boston-based, and haven’t taken one of her classes yet…DO IT! You won’t regret it. But in the meantime, you can get to know her a little bit better over here!

NAME/AGE: Christina Lodde/34

INSTAGRAM/TWITTER (If Applicable): @xlodde


PHOTO TAKEN (WHERE/WHEN): Comm Ave in Boston during a photoshoot for Flywheel’s Fall retail line last year.

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: Lead Master Instructor at Flywheel Sports Boston. Trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp Boston. Nike Trainer.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: Professionally:  Leading people to find their inner athlete.  Im a huge fan of the saying “good things come to those who work their asses off”. Personally: Discovering new ways to challenge myself mentally and physically.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN: I have balance in my life.  Finding the right balance between all the things that get challenging as we get older like managing stress, getting enough sleep, eating clean, staying hydrated, and finding the time to enjoy the things that make us happy, like traveling or hanging with family and friends.  We may never have the perfect amount of each all the time but finding the right balance is key.

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: Have one or THREE too many margaritas or give into my cravings for pizza and chocolate.  I don’t stress though because I work hard and truly believe consistency with a health diet and exercise pays off.

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: This is tough because I’m not in the kitchen as much as I want to be, especially in the summer.  When I am in the kitchen I am usually on the phone with my mother who is desperately trying to help me from Florida. Top 3 food staples would be 1- eggs.  I make them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner some nights. 2- quinoa. When in doubt one of my quick and easy go to lunch or dinner options is a bowl of quinoa with fresh vegetables, chicken or tuna. 3- peanut butter.  I just can’t live without it as a snack on a banana or apple, or just a scoop if I need to satisfy a craving.


- I’m a natural blonde and have never dyed my hair.
- After college I studied martial arts and am a blue belt in Kenpo Karate.
- I love being on stage! I was a natural performer from the age of 3. I studied many different forms of dance but the most unique was Hawaiian and Tahitian. Tap was my favorite form of dance growing up though and I have won national competitions for my tap solos.

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: I teach what I’m passionate about. Hitting the beat on the bike at Flywheel, sprinting on the treadmill at Barry’s, and strength training have always been my favorite forms of exercise.

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: My Mother’s Italian meatloaf and mashed potatoes. She makes it for me every time I’m home to visit.

Scales don’t measure health. Being healthy is a lifestyle choice and consistency is key. Splurge on yourself. Treat your body well inside and out and it will love you back! “If you a fly gal get your nails done, get a pedicure, get your hair did.” :)

Big thank you to Christina for taking part in this week’s Healthy Chicks in the Community. Miss last week’s? Catch it here! And if you’d like to nominate yourself or a friend in the future, just email me at rachelAThealthy-chicksDOTcom.


It All Starts with Love (Not Weight Loss)

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Alright, I’m about to get real REAL over here on the blog. While I absolutely love all my fellow fitness professionals, coaches, yogis, etc. out there, I think lately there’s been a bit of a mixup when it comes to the whole body love thing.

Here me out. I see a lot of this:

“I lost those stubborn 15 pounds, and was able to finally love my body!”

“Work with me so you can lose the weight and then feel proud of who you are when you look in the mirror!”

“Look at my body!!!”

I also see a sh*t-ton of “body selfies.” And girl, more power to you if you’re able to get that 6-pack or you love the way your arms look when you flex. But is that really what it’s all about?

Is this really depicting body love?

Personally, I think we’ve got it all backwards.

For me, I wasn’t able to lose the weight (let alone transform my skewed relationship with food) until I gained some self-respect. I could run for miles & miles, and nosh on kale all day, and still look in the mirror and think I was fat.

You see, it wasn’t until I began practicing self-love that I was able to truly embrace my body and naturally fall into my “happy weight.” And like me, many of my clients experience the same revelation when working with me. They begin their journey with a goal of losing weight in mind, and often want some kind of quick-fix, diet solution. By session 2, they begin to realize that it’s not really about the weight loss or the scale or the number of calories in that turkey sandwich they “cheated” with at lunch after all.

It’s about learning to truly nourish ourselves, and treat our bodies with love.

Because here’s the thing: self-love does not have a set pant size, number on the scale, or ideal body type. Rather, it comes from within.

Let’s began to shift that message now, shall we?




Then & Now: My Personal Journey Toward Finally Discovering Peace in My Body

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The photo on the left is me right after graduating college. At the time, I weighed myself roughly 5 times a day, counted every calorie I put into my mouth, and ate mostly bland diet food.

I didn’t want to gain any more weight, and I constantly told myself I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough. (Note: this did nothing for my physical or mental health!)

I was self-conscious, afraid, living in fear.

Flash-forward 6 years, and I’m still the same girl but the only thing that’s shifted is my MINDSET. I don’t own a scale, and the last time I weighed myself was at the doctor’s office. The number meant nothing to me.

I don’t even care to look at the calories, as what I care most about is the ingredients and what it is that I’m putting into my body. I eat according to what my body wants & needs; some days this is kale salads, green smoothies and roasted veggies, and sometimes it’s a juicy cheeseburger, slice of homemade pizza or some decadent dark chocolate.

I listen. I breathe. I allow my body to feel different things. I am happy. I am content. I am 1,000 x more confident in who I am.

I won’t lie, this journey through self-love and peace in my body wasn’t easy nor was it something that happened overnight. But I will say, this feeling of freedom around food & my body is so worth it. I hear you.

You are not alone.

You are not ruined or hopeless or crazy.

You are real, and it’s ok to struggle.

But you CAN break this vicious cycle, I promise.

If this resonates with you or someone you know, feel free to email me at rachelAThealthy-chicksDOTcom to chat or schedule your free BODY LOVE Nourishment Session here. I’d love to meet you!


Soul Sisters Island Getaway: An Empowering Day of Yoga, Journaling, Crafting & Bliss

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This past Saturday, Kelley & I hosted our first Soul Sisters Day Retreat. Destination? Spectacle Island. For those of you who don’t know, Soul Sisters is a monthly retreat for women looking to escape the city, reignite their passion and re-connect with their soul’s truth.

Our first official retreat (away from the city!) could not have gone any better, and I think I can speak for anyone who was there that it was purely magical. The theme of our mini island getaway was empowerment & bliss, and we let that shine through in everything we did throughout the retreat.

Here’s a quick recap of our beautiful day:

11 a.m. The women joined us at Long Wharf to check-in and meet everyone. Upon arrival, they were given energy squares from Organic Living Superfoods and an organic, cold-pressed juice, courtesy of Cocobeet! Big thank you to Onur from Cocobeet for keeping us hydrated & rejuvenated all day long…my favorite juice was Green Genes, but other creative hits were Kickstart, Watermelon Quench, Forbidden and Black Rose. I think it’s safe to say the snacks were a huge hit! We also gifted the ladies vegan lip balms from Hurraw! Balm (my absolute fave) for delicious, smooth lips.

11:30 a.m. All aboard! We boarded our ferry and set sea to Spectacle Island! This was a perfect time to get to know one another a bit better, share some laughs and of course snap some photos. We seriously couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day weather-wise, although I will admit: it was a HOT one!

12:00 pm. We landed on Spectacle Island, and lugged our stuff up to land. We took a much-needed bathroom break (which ended up taking much longer than anticipated with 13 ladies!) and filled up our reusable water-bottles to prepare for the heat. It was now time to hike up the hill for our secret yoga destination!

12:40 pm. We reached the top of the hill, with a beautiful view overlooking the city, other harbor islands, and the endless sea. It was absolutely breathtaking! As the ladies set up their yoga mats, I walked around with some invigorating doterra Citrus Bliss essential oil to get the energy flowing.

Kelley then led us in a long, powerful yoga sesh with lots of twists, squats and salutations! Then during shavasana, we went around and placed ice-cold lavender-infused towelettes over the women’s eyes. Talk about pure bliss! After yoga, I passed out paper towels and all-natural yoga mat cleanser I had prepared (made with tea tree, lavender and grapefruit essential oils) so we could wipe down our sweaty mats. Namaste.

2:00 pm. Lunch time! We certainly worked up an appetite during the flow, and food was on our minds. A part of the Soul Sisters retreats (and something that makes us super unique and unlike other events or retreats) is that everything is made clean, home-made and as farm-fresh as possible. We believe that what we put into our bodies is super important, and that food changes everything.

Kelley, our in-house “Healthy Cooking Specialist” prepared a beautiful lunch for the group that did not disappoint: a cool cucumber soup topped with roasted chickpeas to start, an authentic Greek salad (with heirloom tomatoes and olive oil straight from Kel’s boyfriends’ families farm in Greece!) and Spanakopita (a Greek spinach pie.) We also snacked on kale chips that Cocobeet had donated for our group…holy yum! Oh, and did I mention the ginger & lemon infused ice water Kel brought along? Lots of happy bellies over here!

3:00p.m. After lunch, we trekked back down the hill to a grassy area by the gazebo. We set our yoga mats down for our Signature Women’s Circle…this is where things get juicy! We started with a quick meditation, a little Singing Bowl action, and then each women was given a journal and personalized Soul Sister pen. It was officially time for our journaling sesh!

I led the women through a series of 12 questions, all with our theme in mind: bliss & empowerment. While the women were told their words were meant for themselves, we did have a mini sharing circle and discussion time. One of my favorite questions to discuss openly with the group was “At the end of the day, how is it that you want to feel?” Oh so juicy!

3:50 p.m. Time to get crafty! We head inside the gazebo to take a break from the sun & decorate our “mantra” sea shells. We brought lots of paint, glitter, glue and markers for inspiration! Each women then wrote their word (a.k.a. how they want to feel or a mantra they want to bring into their life) on the inside of the shell. I loved watching how creative the ladies got! While crafting, we were lucky enough to enjoy some raw coconut balls Kelley’s mom made for the group…she’s seriously the best!

4:15 p.m. Sadly, it was time to start wrapping things up and head back toward the ferry. At this time, we had intended to allow the ladies to take an optional dip in the water, but unfortunately we lost track of time and actually almost missed the boat! I sprinted to tell the captain we had a dozen girls coming down the ramp and begged him to wait for us. Thank goodness he did…we all appreciated it!

4:30 p.m. We set sail back to Boston, making it into the city around 5:00 p.m. for hugs and final goodbyes!

Thank you for everyone who was a part of our first official Soul Sisters Retreat! Stay tuned for the next one coming this fall. I’ll be posting updates here, and you can also follow along via our Facebook Page!




Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Margarita-Pizza-Loving, Spiritual Yogi

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TGIF my loves! This week has been fabulous indeed, as I’ve been training for two fun races (exciting announcement coming soon!), adding final touches for tomorrow’s Soul Sisters Retreat to Spectacle Island (which just sold out this a.m.!) and lots and lots of writing and personal soul-searching.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring you this week’s spotlight on Healthy Chicks in the Community — one of my best friends and Soul Sister Kelley. I first met Kel 4 years ago when we were working at a spa to make ends meet while completing our Health Coach Training at Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

We became close quickly, bonding over our love for good food, spirituality, and empowering others to feel healthy in their own skin. 4 years later, and Kel was a bridesmaid at my wedding last fall, and we’ve recently teamed up to launch Soul Sisters: a monthly retreat for women looking to re-ignite their passion and re-connect with their soul’s truth! I love Kel’s calming presence, delish home-made goodies she makes, and that she’s just a straight up genuine, no BS gal. I’ll let you see for yourself…you’re going to love her too!

NAME/AGE: Kelley Walsh/29

BLOG/TWITTER (If Applicable):


PHOTO TAKEN (WHERE/WHEN): Concord MA- Private shoot

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: Health Coach, Yoga Teacher

NUMBER ONE PASSION: There are so many things I am passionate about: family, friends, food. I have the utmost passion for what I do in my career; I love helping people to achieve their goals to be their ultimate self and live a healthy, balanced life. I love sharing skills and demoing in the kitchen for families to expand their knowledge on food combinations and opening their eyes to delicious meals the whole family will enjoy.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Balanced-Yoga-ing every day!

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: Enjoy a nice cocktail or glass of red wine once in a while in good company

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: Its difficult for me to pick 3!

1. Olive oil (from my Greek lover’s home!)

2. Garlic

3. Lemons for days!

4. Greens are always in our kitchen as well



1. Warm, compassionate, spiritual

2. I can cook and I LOVE doing it!

3. I love dancing and have danced all my life and it all began with irish step dancing!

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: High intensity interval training

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Thin crust, well done, margarita pizza

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: No matter what life throws your way, Always Live Your TRUTH!

Big thank you to Kelley for taking part in this week’s Healthy Chicks in the Community. Miss last week’s? Catch it here! And if you’d like to nominate yourself or a friend in the future, just email me at rachelAThealthy-chicksDOTcom.


Quinoa Stuffed Peppers {Gluten Free}

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When it comes to dinner, we’re all about simplicity in this household. (Oh, and flavor of course!) These easy-to-make gluten free quinoa stuffed peppers did just the trick for our Monday night dinner this week. Hubby approved!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers {Gluten Free}

makes about 4 servings (2 peppers per person)

What ya need:

  • 8 medium bell peppers (mix of yellow, orange & red!)
  • 1 c. quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1 jar all-natural marinara sauce
  • 1 package ground turkey
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • about 2 c. shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or monterey jack best!)
  • salt & pepper to taste

1. Rinse quinoa & add to pot with about 2 c. water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover for about 15 minutes.

2. In the meantime, sauté onion in olive oil on medium heat until cooked through. Lower heat, add in crushed garlic, and stir for another minute. Set aside.

3. In same pan, cook the turkey burger on medium heat. Once cooked, add in the marinara sauce, lower heat and let simmer. Mix in cooked quinoa, onion & garlic, and can of black beans. Add salt & pepper to tsate.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Cut tops off of the peppers, remove cores & seeds, and line onto baking sheet. Stuff each pepper equally with the quinoa mixture, and a sprinkle of cheese on top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. (Note: save any leftover “stuffing” for a delicious meal the next day!)

Enjoy! What are your favorite week-night recipes?




Dear Body: In Case You Forgot, Your Are Perfectly Perfect Just As You Are

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Last month, I got really fed up with all the “Get Beach Body Ready!” stuff in the media and on the internet, so I decided to run a 21-day Beach Body Confidence Program.

Each day, the group was given a motivating mantra, lesson/challenge to to focus on and a journaling activity. It was a blast, and all the ladies were such a pleasure to work with!

At the end of the program one of the woman posted this message to our Facebook Group:

“Truly had some beach confidence today. Guess what I did? Sat out at the pool with a girlfriend wearing shorts and a SPORTS BRA. That’s right – let my belly soak up some sun with nothing covering it. Truly a first for me. And you know what? No one laughed or pointed or asked me to cover up.”

My eyes welled up with tears, and my heart instantly overflowed with joy + gratitude. I was so proud of her.


Because you are beach body ready.

Your body is beautiful…as you are.

You don’t have to hide or cover up anything…it’s your body!

You don’t need to do/fix/change anything in order to be seen as otherwise.

Yet we all feel these things from time to time, don’t we?

On the very first day of the program, I spoke about this controversial beach body ready ad from Protein World. The giant ad boasts a thin woman wearing a yellow bikini, asking the world “ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY?” Bellow they introduce their new weight loss line.

I found the ad to be insulting, gimmicky, tacky, unnecessary and yet oh so typical. In a world where we’re surrounded by weight loss ads, quick fix diets, “lose-the-last-5-pounds-fast” workouts, and fitness professionals who tell us they can “fix everything bad about you and make you hot“, it’s hard to remember to honor your body.

It’s easy to forget about all the wonderful things she does for you each day, and how much it’s done for you thus far.

It’s easy to dwell on your said “flaws,” and push aside your adorable dimples, bright green eyes or the fact that you look like a rockstar in hot pink.

It’s easy to want to cover up your “fat thighs,” when really those beauties are looking for a little Vitamin D love (and no one is looking anyway.)

It’s easy to treat our body with hateful thoughts, and forget to nourish ourselves with hot tea, home-cooked meals, naps, yoga and good ol’ self care!

It’s easy to pinch our belly fat, count calories or let the scale dictate our mood, when in reality your soul is sparkling from the inside out.

It’s easy to compare our body to other “prettier” woman, and forget that you are enough, as you are. In fact, you are lovely.

So just in case you forgot, your body is perfectly perfect just as you are. I promise.



Are you treating your body with negative self-talk, feeling blah, or need a little reboot? Schedule your free BODY LOVE Nourishment Session today!


Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Hot-Pink Loving, 5-K Walking Southern Sweetie

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Morning ladies, and TGIF! I don’t know about you, but this week went by slooow for me, most likely because last week we went away to VA for a good friend’s wedding and now we’re getting back into the groove of things. But now I’m officially ready for the weekend…and my good friend’s bachelorette party! (Holy wedding season!)

Anyway, it’s time for this week’s Healthy Chicks in the Community Spotlight! I’m stoked to introduce you to Glenneth — she has the warmest heart, vivacious personality, and she’s simply an all around rockstar! I first met her through the blogosphere (she’s a fellow wellness blogger and coach!) and I got to know her even better when she took part in some of my group e-programs that I run seasonally. I always admired Glenneth’s fearless attitude & positivity for herself and other women…she’s a bundle of fun. I’ll let you see for yourself!

NAME/AGE:  Glenneth Reed / 45

BLOG/TWITTER (If Applicable):  Your Path To Fit / @yourpathtofit (twitter) / @yourpathtofit (instagram)

CURRENT CITY:  Knoxville, TN

PHOTO TAKEN (WHERE/WHEN):  Color Me Rad April 2015 – Knoxville, TN

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK:  Adwords Specialist and Project Manager for an Internet Marketing Company

NUMBER ONE PASSION:  Helping other women find their path to fit!

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM:  Walking consistently and drinking tons of water!

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES:  I have ice cream during the day!  Our office has been known to shut down and head to the nearest ice cream place for a treat!

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES:  Peanut Butter, Apples, My KitchenAid Blender to make smoothies


THREE FAB THINGS ABOUT YOU:   I’m a good friend, I have walked over 100 5Ks, and I look great in PINK!  (which is my signature color)

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE:  Leg press – I can currently do 415 pounds!  Second would of course be walking!

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD:  Shrimp Altruda – a spicy fettuccine alfredo from a local Italian restaurant

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: You are good enough exactly as you are!  Learn to love the body you are in for it is the only one you have!  Enjoy life!

Big thank you to Glenneth for taking part in this week’s Healthy Chicks in the Community. Miss last week’s? Catch it here! And if you’d like to nominate yourself or a friend in the future, just email me at rachelAThealthy-chicksDOTcom.


So, you wanna be a health coach? {My Personal Experience with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition & all your qs answered}

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So, what’s a health coach, anyway?

What was your experience like at IIN?

I want to be a health coach…where do I begin?

What’s a day in the life look like for you?

Is health coaching right for me?

As a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), these are the types of questions I get each week both online, and in real life. While I love a good ol’ coffee date and certainly don’t mind typing emails, I figured it makes more sense to have all this good, juicy info in one place: here on the blog.

My journey all began back in the Summer of 2011. I was jumping from part-time job to job (everything from barista to spa concierge), searching for my purpose. I had all the passion in the world, but couldn’t figure out how to turn it into my career.

At the time, I was regularly blogging here on Healthy Chicks, and had just gone through some major body breakthroughs. That year, I learned that I didn’t need to count calories, go on restrictive diets or give up bread to be healthy. I learned that nourishing your body (through good food and soulful activities) is the best thing you can do for yourself! It’s as if a huge weight was lifted off of my chest, and I was finally free…I felt alive! I had recently broke up with the scale for good, and felt glowing in my skin. For the first time in a while, I felt beautiful. I was happy.

And then a kind o’ crazy thing started happening: I began losing weight, almost effortlessly. The weight I had held on from years of dieting, bashing my body, and weighing myself 5 times a day. The weight I kept as I told myself “You’re not pretty enough, skinny enough, or good enough.” The weight that haunted me when the nutritionist told me I needed to cut back even more on calories if I wanted to lose the weight for good. When I stopped depriving (and trying so damn hard), everything began to fall into its place.

I became one of those girls, the kind that didn’t own a scale, who skipped the gym sometimes, and could eat a piece of pizza without feeling guilty. And this whole holistic health thing suddenly became super intriguing to me — that there is more to life than counting calories and that this whole “you must be happy in your own skin” thing may actually be legit.

As I continued to feel better about myself & exude confidence, I naturally started receiving questions (everyone from my readers to my college besties to my mom’s friends.) So I got to talking! I began sharing my little positive mantras, words of wisdom and favorite recipes. I shifted the focus on the blog to discuss more than just “health stuff,” but also lifestyle, happiness and general wellness.

The more I shared, the more I realized this was more than just a hobby. That maybe just maybe, I could turn this into a career.

That’s when I discovered IIN.

I enrolled June 10th 2011 for the fall course, and haven’t looked back since. The rest is history (well kind of!) Below, I answer all of your burning questions…

What’s a health coach, anyway?

I get this question a lot, especially right after graduating! “Health coach” was a foreign word at the time, and it took a bit of explaining to do. In short, it’s someone who helps guide & support clients through making healthier lifestyle changes. You can totally cater your health coaching niche & style to the kind of people you’d like to work with. (For me, I work with women who are looking to break free from dieting & depriving so they can start living a life full of bliss!)

Unlike a doctor or dietician, you don’t prescribe meds, complete medical reports or have your clients weigh in. Rather, it’s more holistic-based, focusing on general wellness and lifestyle.

Why did you want to become a health coach?

As I mentioned above, I knew I had sooooo much to offer, and just didn’t have the platform nor profession to do it. I was super passionate about helping other women make positive lifestyle changes, and wanted to share that with the masses! Not to mention, entrepreneurship is in my blood, and I wanted to be my own boss lady!

What is the Institute for Integrative Nutrition?

IIN is the wold’s largest Nutrition School! They offer a cutting-edge online training program geared toward those looking to improve their own wellness, as well as those with an interest in launching a brand new career as a Health Coach. Founded by Joshua Rosenthal, the program was built on the premise that food changes everything, and that through holistic education the world can be a much happier, healthier place!

Why IIN? What’s unique about the program?

When I decided to get after a certification in the world of nutrition & wellness, I did tons of research first. I was super curious to see what was out there! There were times when I considered becoming a nutritionist or dietitian, and I also looking into various Natural Food Chef programs, and other coaching certifications.

At the end of the day, IIN was the best fit for me — almost like when you find your dream college (ahem, JMU)! I wasn’t interested in the medical side of things, and knew there was much more to wellness than counting calories and tracking someone’s BMI. And while I love food (and learning about food & dietary theories!) I wanted more than that. You know, like understanding cravings, overcoming emotional eating, and finding your passion.

Once I discovered IIN, there was no turning back. I just had to do it…I knew I was meant to! I also knew several graduates I admired, who only had the best things to say about the program.

Get the curriculum guide here to see if IIN may be a the perfect fit for you too!

How long does it take to get certified?

The course takes 1 year to complete, and at the end of the year you’ll officially be a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Did I mention the entire program is done online? (That was a huge perk for me since I had no interest in moving to NYC!)

What are the lectures like & how does this whole thing work?

As a student, you’ll get access to IIN’s cutting-edge learning center, which can be accessed from your laptop, tablet, and even your phone! Each week, a new series of lectures are released that you can take at your own pace to complete. You can also connect with fellow students & staff throughout the program, which I highly recommend to make the most of your experience!

You’ll learn about a variety of topics, including mindfulness, raw food, women’s health, superfoods and craving control, hearing from renowned experts like David Wolfe, Deepak Chopra and Christiane Northrup to name a few.

Bonus: the entire program is done online, and can be done from anywhere (during your commute, late at night when the kids have gone to bed,  on the beach!)

Listen to a sample class here so you can get the gist of what the program’s like!

Do I have to quit my full time job during the course? What did you do?

No, most definitely not! I have several friends who worked full-time throughout the program, then slowly transitioned out as they began to take on clients. I also know others who quit their full-time jobs once they enrolled, and went gung-ho!

For me, I kept a part-time job throughout: I worked at a spa and picked up freelance writing gigs when I could. Throughout the year, I took the program very seriously, and spent quite a bit of time each day listening to the lectures, studying, reading and participating in the group discussion boards. I was all in.

At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for you & your schedule! However, I definitely recommend keeping your day job while you figure it all out so you’re not stressing about money.

Is coaching right for me?

That’s a question you have to ask yourself! If you love empowering others, want to be your own boss, and are passionate about helping others live a healthier, happier life, you’re on the right track! As a coach, you need to be OK with not having a set schedule all the time, rolling with the punches, and taking your own emotions and “stuff” out of it; at the end of the day you are there to guide your clients rather than “fix” them or tell them what to do/eat/be.

What’s your favorite part about being a health coach?

That I feel like I’m living my life’s purpose! I feel such a sense of joy and gratitude when I get to work with other women who have gone through what I’ve gone through. For years, I struggled with food, body image and feeling like I wasn’t enough, and I was able to overcome that (without dieting, restricting or doing anything crazy!) I want to help other women do the same, to show them that they are so worth it.

I also LOVE LOVE LOVE my group programs that I run throughout the year. There’s nothing quite like bringing a group of women together to share, laugh, cry and just be together…judgement-free.

Oh, and it also doesn’t hurt that you can make your own schedule, and work with clients on your time!

But there are so many coaches out there already…how do I stand out?

It’s all about finding your niche, baby! When I first started out, I wanted to work with everyone. I didn’t know who my ideal client was, and would work with anyone who would give me money. I quickly learned that’s not the best way to roll. Finding your niche means digging deep and asking yourself, Who do I want to work with? What’s my special sauce? Who can I best serve?

Usually, it’s something you’re passionate about and has to do with a personal struggle you went through yourself. For me, it was plain to see I needed to work with women who were obsessed with dieting, and constantly comparing themselves with others with very little confidence in themselves. This woman was me…8 years ago. The more I began to honestly share my story (without jazzing it up or trying to make it into something more), I began to attract clients who could relate.

Oh, and do your best not to compare yourself to others (this will actually work against you)! They can’t offer what you do because, well, there is only one you.

So I graduated, now what? What are the different career paths?

This is the beauty of having a career as a health coach: there are endless options and there really is no one, right answer! I know of several graduates who have went on to launch their own wellness products (like the gals at NibMor Chocolate!), others who have a successful online businesses & travel all over the world, and then those who pair their coaching with another specialty like yoga, massage therapy or personal training.

You can be a full-time health coach and made a solid salary, or work part-time while you take care of your family, hold another side job or even keep your full-time corporate job. I really do mean it when I say the options are endless!

For me, my road as a health coach has been quite the journey! By the end of school, I already had several clients in both my 6-month and 3-month programs I had at the time. As I gained confidence, I began to re-define my niche and opened up the gates to work with clients who I could really resonate with. Throughout the process, I also hung onto several part-time freelance gigs to support myself financially as I built my business. One of these part-time gigs unexpectedly turned into a full time job offer with sweetgreen, which I accepted in 2013. My job was flexible, creative and allowed my to live out my passions for healthy living and empowering others (but there was a piece of me that deeply missed focusing on coaching)!

This past June, I left my job to go back to pursuing my health coaching business & writing full time. I always knew it’s what I’d do eventually, and I can’t think of a better time than now!  Working for yourself can be scary, and it takes a lot of work, long days, and dedication. It’s definitely not easy, but at the end of the day, it’s all worth it!

How do you make money as a health coach?

I get this question a lot! Again, this depends on the type of work you want to do and who you want to work with. You can make money in many ways from one-on-one coaching, group programs, and even retreats! Right now, I’m focusing mostly on my one-on-one clients, seasonal group e-programs (done 100% online!), and Soul Sisters retreats I recently started with my friend & fellow health coach Kelley. Check out our next day retreat coming up on Spectacle Island here!

Clients will pay good money when you are helping them make meaningful, positive shifts in their life. (You can check out some of my client testimonials here to see what people are saying!) At the end of the day, I believe that if you have the passion and ambition, the money will come.

What’s your #1 piece of advice to someone who is on the verge of signing up?

My #1 advice is to close your eyes, and envision what you want your life to look like in 3 months, 6 months, 2 years. If this kind of career is speaking to you, I suggest listening to that little voice! Also know that you really can do anything you set your heart to…and don’t ever give up. There will be times when things will get hard, when money fears or comparisons to others hold you back, but once you forge through those self-limitations you’ll be able to experience the true beauty!

If a career in health coaching is something you’d like to pursue, feel free to reach out with any questions via email at rachelAThealthy-chicksDOTcom! You can also contact me directly for an exclusive savings offer on your tuition if you’re ready to enroll! In the meantime, get the curriculum guide here to see if IIN may be a perfect fit for you too.

On other notes, if you’re interested in working with me as your health coach, I’d love to meet you! Sign up for your free BODY LOVE Nourishment Session to see if we may be a good fit.


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