Life Updates: Spring/Summer 2014 Edition

Read full article | 1 Comment

Good morning lovely ladies, hope you are enjoying all of this sunshine! I’ve been a busy bee lately and it sure has been a while since I’ve given you some serious life updates so I figured you were due for a lil recap on this Healthy Chick. Hope you enjoy and know that while I may no longer blog every day, I’m still always here to connect + answer and questions you may have!

{Wedding Planning}

Wedding planning is in full gear! Save the dates have gone out, our venue has been booked for October (our reception is held in an old rustic barn in CT) and all of our vendors have been secured. I’ve also found the most perfect plum shoes to match my bridesmaids dresses to wear on our wedding day! Oh, and my first dress fitting was last month which put me at ease after a little freak out I had that my dress was “too big!” Man, those seamstresses are amazing at their jobs. Now it’s onto the little details like finding a pretty headband, creating our invites, and collecting decor for the big day. Oh, and choosing our HONEYMOON DESTINATION!!

Speaking of weddings, J and I are going to 3 weddings in the next 5 months…’tis the season to be wed!

{Work Hard, Play Hard}

This week, sweetgreen opened it’s third Boston location in Chestnut Hill Square (in the plaza with Wegman’s + Equinox) to join Back Bay and Fort Point. I couldn’t be more thrilled (and relieved) to finally be open, and have these past few months of hard work really pay off. If you haven’t taken a trip to sweetgreen yet, I highly recommend it. Kale Caesar + Avocado is my all time favorite. Serious game-changer.

I’m excited for this summer to bring more excitement to The Bean, including even more fabulous fitness passport classes and events!

{Self Care}

As I mentioned last month, during these busy times I kinda sorta let go of my self care routine along the way. Lately, I’ve been making sure to drink plenty of water, get ample sleep (most of the time), squeeze in workouts when I can, and breathe in essential oils whenever I’m feeling anxiety or lack of balance. Shutting down and spending time with my man is super important to my happiness, so I’ve been working on making more time for that too.

{100 Happy Days Challenge}

I am currently on Day 90 of my 100 Happy Days challenge. It seems like yesterday I just began! It’s been such a blast posting the little things that make me happy each day, even on those off days where you really need to shift your perspective and find happiness in your own way. You can follow along on my journey via instagram where I’ve been sharing my photos.

{Writing + The Book}

I’m not going to lie, I haven’t been writing as much as I would like and my e-book is still a work in progress. However, I am going to take my time and make baby steps to get this BHAG (Big Hair Audacious Goal) of mine conquered! I am excited to say that I have created chapters, decided on the general layout of the book, and have a lot of the writing done. It’s now about organization, putting my thoughts to paper, and making my dreams become a reality!

{New Fitness Obsessions}

I’ve still been loving yoga (for my body and mind) but haven’t been practicing as much as I would like lately. Now that my crazy-busy-schedule is a little less crazy, I plan to get on the mat more frequently. I also purchased an unlimited pass to Pure Barre a few months back, which I plan to get started sometime soon – likely June or July!

My latest fitness obsession: SoulCycle, which conveniently has a studio pretty much right next door to sweetgreen chestnut hill. I love the energy each and every instructor brings, the feel-good chill studio vibe, and the fact that it’s impossible to leave a class not feeling absolutely freakin’ amazing about yourself.

Oh, and I’m so incredibly excited and honored to announce that I’ll be teaming up with New Balance for their Girls Night Out campaign – stay tuned for some killer events planned for June and July and learn more about the initiative here!

{Latest Eats}

Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of green smoothies (with lots of superfoods from Organic Living Superfoods, the company J works for!), veggie egg scrambles with salsa and sweetgreen salads. For dinner we love having tacos, chicken sausage + veggie stir-fries, quinoa bowls, and sushi date-nights! Oh, and wine. I love a good glass of red wine.

I’ve also had the great pleasure of meeting the founders of two super-cool Boston startups: Perfect Fuel Chocolate and Aveyo Life, a vegan avocado “mayo.” Nicolas from Perfect Fuel hooked me up with some samples, which were just the pick-me-up I needed during this busy (and yes, a bit stressful!) month.

And Aveyo Life’s product is the perfect alternative for mayonnaise on a sandwich, mixed with tuna, or however you typically eat your mayo. I absolutely love supporting local companies who are doing it right, and these two are absolute gems.

That’s all for now folks! I’d love to hear from you – what have you been up to lately? Any crazy plans for the summer? What are your go-to eats + exercises as we transition into a new season?

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

Monday Inspiration: Spring Clean Your Life

Read full article | 6 Comments

When you think of spring cleaning what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For some of you it may be cleaning out your closet, or perhaps dusting all the nooks ‘n’ crannies in your apartment. For others, you may think of cleansing, dieting or losing weight to get in shape for summer.

This season, I’m challenging you to to rethink the term “spring cleaning,” broadening it to include all aspects of your life: mind, body and soul. Here are some super simple tips to get started right now.

1. Drink more water. Period. Start your morning off with a cup of warm water + the juice of half a lemon, and hydrate yourself throughout the day. Currently, I’ve been loving Essentia Water, which is purified & enhanced with electrolytes with a pH of 9.5 to promote an alkaline environment. Learn more here.

2. Eat Clean(er). OK, OK, you’ve been hearing the whole “eat clean” thing everywhere lately, but what the heck does that mean and where do you even begin? Eating clean is easier said than done, until you get invited to 2 weddings in a row, and your co-workers burger starts staring at you during lunch break.

Don’t worry, you’re not a complete failure. Instead of setting the bar to eat clean ALL OF THE TIME, aim to eat cleaner. Start by swapping whole grains for processed crabs (the white stuff!), going for a handful of nuts vs. a processed granola bar and eating REAL fruit + vegetables instead of items that have been enhanced with fruit flavors or microwavable veggie-like meals. Which brings me to my next point…

3. Start Cooking: If you’re currently eating out 6 days a week, try cooking for yourself half of the time. If you typically buy lunch out, aim to bring your lunch to work with you by packing it the night before. You can never go wrong with flavorful salads, brown rice wraps, or even a protein bowl with a variety of hummus, veggie sticks, local cheese, a hardboiled egg and some raw nuts.

Use bottled dressings? Mix it up by making an at-home variation with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar (apple cider and red wine vinegar are also delicious) plus your favorite herbs. On this note, aim to eat with the seasons loading up on seasonal fruits and veggies like asparagus, tomatoes, strawberries and leafy greens.

Start small. Make big changes.

4. De-Stress Your To-Do List by making more time for yourself. Here’s how!

5. De-Clutter your physical space by cleaning out your closet, donating old clothes to a local charity, and re-organizing your desk space. Don’t be afraid to throw things out in order to make room for the new!

6. Take care of YOU. After all, a healthy mind = a healthy body and if you are not taking time for some good ol’ fashioned self care, you’re doing yourself a huge disfavor. Here are some ways to incorporate self care into your own life.

7. Let Go of toxic relationships, situations and energy-drainers that are bringing you down. If something in your life is in the way of your happiness, it may be time to re-access what you truly want & why.

8. Breathe. Meditate. Practice yoga. Attempt to find peace with your body + mind.

9. Listen and be kind to your body. After all, it’s the only body you have so you best be treating it with love! This means paying attention to your cravings, your wants and your needs without depriving or judging yourself. This also means filling yourself up with love and kindness, and releasing thoughts of hate, fat-talk or criticism. On this note, be sure to give yourself space when you need it including a day-off from exercise for recovery or some quiet time by yourself on a sunny bench in the park.

10. Move more. If getting back into your full-blown workout routine seems like a chore right now, simply start by moving more. Aim to go for morning walks before work, squeeze in at-home yoga, or go for a quick sweaty, 20-minute run on your lunch break. Find little ways to tie in movement throughout the day, in a way that makes sense for your schedule.

How do you plan to spring clean your life this season? For more info, check out my most recent article “Spring Clean Your Body, Mind & Spirit” published via KnowMore TV.

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

Are you trying too hard to be superwoman?

Read full article | No Comments

Do you strive to be a real life version of Superwoman? I don’t blame you; I mean she is pretty darn badass. Why wouldn’t we all want to be just like her?

Oh, that’s right, she’s a fictional character. She has special, magic superpowers. She isn’t real.

If you find yourself suffering from “Superwoman Syndrome” trying to do it all (all of the time), it may be time to take a deep breath, and a step back.

I know I had to the other day. I found that I was putting far too much pressure on myself with work. Old habits were coming back, where I was telling myself things like “You’re not good enough.” “You must keep working harder if you want to be appreciated,” “Saying no makes you weak.”

I know now that’s all a bunch of hogwash, but at the time it felt real and I felt the need to over-deliver, over-achieve, and in turn over-work. I got a big hard dose of reality when I broke down one night, realizing it had been weeks since I had some solid “me time” nor time with my man (the future hubby).

As this time, I reached to my oracle cards to gain some clarity, and pulled the most perfect card: Green Tara. It read, “Ask others (including me) to help you instead of trying to do everything by yourself.” Various meanings of the card included stop trying to be superwoman or superman, accept assistance as it’s offered, release guilt/the belief that it’s weak to ask for help.

Boy did that hit me hard.

I had to laugh: it all made complete sense & I was finally seeing the situation clearly with a fresh perspective.

I began to realize that working 14-hour days and burning myself out trying to be SUPERWOMAN wasn’t doing anyone any favors, especially myself. That doing it all myself (even when I needed help) wasn’t admirable in the least. That asking for help is human, and it’s respectable.  That I was the one creating this pressure, essentially doing this to myself. That it’s OK to have “off days” and ask the Universe for a little guidance, a little love.

It suddenly hit me that in my crazy quest to be Superwoman, I was actually doing more harm than good. I wasn’t feeling so super after all; I was far from being (nor feeling) like “Superwoman.” In fact, I realized I no longer even want to be Superwoman when all is said and done.

We must all remember that each and every one of us has the power to be who we want to be, and do what we want to do. And no one will judge when you fall short of living up to Superwoman standard.

In fact, I find even more admirable those who strive for the best and keep it real through the sunshine and rain; those who make mistakes and learn from them; those who are “imperfect” and perfectly OK with that. Now that? That’s what’s truly super.

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

New Balance Kicks Off Healthy Girls Night Out Campaign: Light Up the Night with NB Boston

Read full article | 4 Comments

If you know me well, you know I love a good, solid girls night out. There’s nothing like getting all dolled up, sipping cocktails or going out dancing (er, trying to dance) with your favorite gal pals.

Mix in a sweaty run + healthy apps + being surrounded by empowering women? Um, I’m sold.

You heard me right. This week, MA-based company New Balance launched their very own Girls Night Out campaign, bringing a refreshing new meaning to “Girls Night.” In their own words, “Less primping, more pavement pounding. Lipstick’s optional, footwear’s not.”

By signing up online you are given all the tools needed to plan your perfect “Girls Night Out” no matter where you live, or who you run with. Map your routes based on fave running hot spots, get alerts on other sweet runs going on in your area, and even share upcoming runs with your lady friends! Because, I mean c’mon, running & sweating is always better with your best friend followed by a solid catch-up sesh.

Oh, and it gets even better! This one-of-a-kind brand is actually hosting a series of special, 100% FREE “GNO Celebrations” in cities near you including our very own Beantown!

Next Thursday May 15th they’ll kick off the celebrations with “Light Up the Night” including a 3.6 mile fun run, live music, guest speakers by local fitness experts not to mention cocktails & apps.

Registration is complimentary, but you must RSVP to attend. (Scroll to the bottom of the page and click RSVP next to Boston) The event is held at the New Balance Experience Store located at 583 Boylston St in Copley Square at 6 p.m..

Stay tuned for more GNO celebration events coming soon to Boston! Little hint: I’m going to be helping with the upcoming summer events and couldn’t be more thrilled. See you ladies on the road! Question for you – what’s your dream girls night out?

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

An Assignment for YOU: How to De-Stress Your To-Do List For a More Productive Day

Read full article | 2 Comments

To do-lists are great. I won’t lie: I love them.

Grocery lists.

Getting-ready-for-vacation lists.

Wedding lists.

Office lists.

Life lists.

There’s something about checking something off that list – be it asparagus, buying my veil (yippee!), or hitting that deadline – that feels so rewarding.

But do your to-do lists ever 100%, completely stress you out? OK, I won’t lie (really, this time). What I meant to say is I love them most of the time. Waking up to a to-do list a mile long (with 5 different colored pens screaming at you!) can be a little scary. OK, a lot scary.

In comes the HAPPY to-do list. In the morning as you sip your cup o’ tea (or coffee) or whatever feel-good beverage you so choose, take some time to write down all your “stuff” you need to get done for the day, you know, your typical “to dos.” Then after you get it all out (the good, the bad & the ugly) write down 2 to 3 things you’re going to do for yourself. A-hah, there’s a catch!

Just as rewarding as crossing all the things off your to-do list, is the ever so satisfying feeling in knowing you took care of YOU today. ‘Cause like I said, how you start your morning is how your day will flow so if it starts with a monstrous, overwhelming to-do list, well, you paint the picture.

OK, YOUR TURN! Your “assignment” today is to add 2 things to your to-do list that are solely for yourself. It can be anything from painting your nails to phoning an old friend but you have to actually WANT to do it. There should be no “need to” involved. Circle those 2 things and DO THEM by the end of the day.

For accountability you can announce your to-dos on social media and give me a little shout out @healthy_chicks (on twitter) or @HealthyChicksGroup on Facebook. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

Xoxo,

Rachel


                 

I Dare you to: spend more time with family

Read full article | No Comments

{cuddle sesh feet pic!}

I often discuss the importance of self care and making more time for yourself. But almost just as important is making more time for your family. Try as we might to spend ample time with our loved ones, sometimes life just gets in the way. That doesn’t make us a bad person by any means; it actually makes us human.

The beauty of it is that we can always work on improving, on become a better person not only for ourselves but for the people we love most. As my man said last night, “We have our whole lives to grow & improve as people.”

Seeing as though I’m getting married in less than 6 months (eek!) I’ve been thinking a lot about taking care of myself & being the best fiancé I can be. It couldn’t be more fitting that this month’s dare for UnitedHealthCare’s Source4Women campaign is We Dare You to Spend More Time with Family.

And what better way to get you to do something than by a good ol’ fashioned DARE? 

To participate, all you have to do is enter here, sharing a picture of you spending time with your family. Oh, and did I mention your entry puts you in a drawing to win a $400 gift card?

Bad news is there’s only one day left to enter April’s dare, but the good news is you’ve still got time to enter and win this month’s grand prize!  And if you miss out, there will be another healthy dare for you in May!

I want to know, what are your favorite ways to spend time with your family? Cooking together or sitting down at the table for dinner? Going on family vacations? Taking a trip to the park?

Share below and then post your “dare” here by the end of the day on April 30th to enter the sweepstakes. I’m also going to start a chain on the Facebook group here so we can all inspire one another!

XoXo,

Rachel


                 

Morning Rituals: Why how you start your morning can make or break your day

Read full article | 5 Comments

How do you start your day? Take a moment and think about that for a few minutes. Do you rush straight to the coffee pot? Do you check your email on your phone before you even get out of bed? Do you go for a run? Do you hit “snooze” 10 times on your alarm clock?

While I’ve had a pretty solid morning ritual down in the past, I’m not going to lie I haven’t been keeping up with it of late. If I’m being perfectly honest, these past few weeks, I’ve been starting my day with work. And not inner work like meditation or writing, but work work.

There’s nothing wrong with loving the work you do and wanting to jump right into it first thing in the a.m., but if you don’t take the time for your own work (you know, that inner soul work), you’re setting yourself up for disaster. After all, how you begin your day is most likely how the rest of your day is going to pan out.

So if you start by checking your bajillion unread emails (been there!) or rushing to the coffee pot running on empty (totally been there too!), you’re likely going to have an overwhelming, exhausting day. If you hit snooze a dozen times on your alarm clock (you guessed it, been there too!) you’re likely going to have a procrastinating-running-late kind of a day.

Last week, I set an intention for myself to amp up my self care. And a big part of that is starting your day with something for you, something really juicy that lights up your soul and makes you feel good. Because just as you can set your day up for disaster, you can also set it up for something really beautiful.

Yesterday, I began my day by lighting one of my favorite candles and taking a moment for Heather Waxman’s “Raise Your Vibration” meditation from her  Soul Sessions album (which you can snag here!) I then took out my journal to release my thoughts, over a cup of yummy lemon verbena rose petal tea. How do you think the rest of my day went? Pretty happy + zen to say the least.

Today I am starting off with a little writing, by far one of my greatest passions that makes me feel me. The beauty of it is that you can start your morning however your little heart desires as long as it’s something for yourself.

Yes, you do have time for yourself…you just need to create that time. Work can wait. Emails can wait. People can wait. Favors can wait. You can say “no” to those things that suck your time and energy, and you can say “yes” more often to yourself.

Ask yourself, what is 15, 20, 30 minutes of your morning going to cost you? Then ask yourself an even deeper question, what is is costing you not to take these 15, 20, 30 minutes to yourself?

I’m telling you: don’t let your “to dos” get the best of you; make that time for yourself each morning and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Oh, and be patient with yourself too; this type of transition is not easy and can take some time for adjustment but it’s well worth it on the other side.

How do you start your day? Do you have a morning ritual? What’s one thing you could do each morning for yourself?

                 

{Guest Post} It’s What’s On the Inside That Counts The Most

Read full article | No Comments

I’m honored to feature a guest post by my lovely friend + yogi Cara Gilman on the blog today. (You may remember her from my “Healthy Chicks in the Community” post a while back.) Aside from being the most genuine, smiley gal I know, she also gives killer advice on mindfulness and looking within your soul to find the answers. I mean, she is a yogi after all!

Today she shares her thoughts on why it’s what is on the inside that matters most. I’ll let Cara take the floor from here.

Growing up we were constantly told to not judge a book by it’s cover. To let go of physical appearances and to look deep within ourselves and others to find love. Even in our yoga practice it can be challenging to not get caught up in the physical appearance of the practice. That’s why it’s essential to remind ourselves that our practice gives us so much more if we open ourselves up to it and let go of self doubt and negativity.

Growing up, I was not the nicest teenager to myself.  I felt so uncomfortable in my physical body that I did not allow myself to feel any true love. The only love I would feel would be from compliments or attention. No connection was made with myself. The only voice I heard was negativity. I was never good enough. Even when something good happened, I was too focused on the next thing or positive attention that I never took the time to be grateful. Interestingly enough, I was almost afraid to love myself in a way. If I let down my guard and let love in, how would I motivate myself to keep growing and to be better?

This all changed for me when I ran my first marathon. There was something about the training and doing something I never thought I could ever do that lit a flame within me. To even get to that starting line, I needed to believe in myself and the training process allowed that to finally happen. Crossing that finish line gave me a sense of confidence that I will never forget. Wow, I CAN DO ANYTHING I put my mind to. Love was finally there. A connection within myself was finally made.

To this day, what keeps this fire going is my yoga practice. It keeps me real. Sometimes it brings awareness of the ridiculousness of my thoughts when I’m not being very nice to myself. Sometimes it lets me know what exactly what my body needs that day (a longer childs pose instead of a sun salutation or early savasana) or sometimes it brings my mind back to focus by realizing what “stories” I’m wrapping myself up in. All these lessons reminds me that, Its really what’s on the inside that counts.

Let go of the perfection. Let go of what things look like and ask what does it feel like? The asana of our yoga practice is fun but don’t let it be the focus of your practice. Challenge yourself to make it more than just physical. Allow it to work inward and you’ll open yourself up to so much more. Give yourself some true love. Namaste!

What do you to keep your spirits high and to get in touch with yourself?

Cara Gilman is lover of movement. She is a yogini, a marathoner, a cyclist and a bootcamp enthusiast. This combination of strength, endurance, flexibility and mindfulness bring balance and grounding to her life and she incorporates these same elements into the yoga and cycle classes she teaches. You can visit her website at CaraGilman.com

                 

10 Little Ways to Amp Up Your Self Care

Read full article | 8 Comments

Try as we might to keep it all “together” 24/7, sometimes life just gets a little nutty. Whether you’re busy working a full time job you love, chasing your dreams or putting in the hours at a 9-to-5 job you can’t really stand, every now and again we need a little mental breather.

Unfortunately when we lead action-packed work-hard, play-hard lifestyles, one of the first things that tends to go is our self care. You know, that precious time we have with ourselves to feel a little bit more sane, a little bit more you.

This past year, I’ve had nothing but love + luck come into my life including 2 big life events: an engagement, an offer at my “dream job.” While I’ve been full of passion, joy and everything in between, I can’t lie that my self care has been put on the back burner (well maybe not all the way on the back burner, but at least pretty close). When you love the life you are living, it’s easy to forget about the most important person out there, that is yourself.

Heck, I’ll be the first to admit that it can be exhausting trying to do IT ALL all. of. the. time.

And that’s where the good ol’ self care comes in. The good news is it’s never too late to start up again. Just like anything (eating well, developing a healthy exercise routine, treating your body with love), each and every day can & should be treated like a blank canvas.

Here are 10 little ways to incorporate self care into your life each week:

1. Journal first thing in the morning and/or again right before bed to release any negative thoughts or tension that may be fogging up your mind. This also helps with clarity and getting real about your emotions.

2. Take a cat Nap: There’s no shame in taking a nap. Sometimes on my busiest days, I come home for a 30-minute “power nap,” which gives me just the spark I need to make it through the rest of the day with energy + focus. On this note, make sure you are getting enough sleep each night. We all know we’re not the best versions of ourself when sleep-deprived living off coffee.

3. Play with essential oils: Take a trip to a local health store and purchase some essential oils aligned with your particular wellness needs. I am in love with blends with lavender for better sleep & to ease tension, or citrus fruits for energy. I also recommend “Rescue Remedy” Bach Flower Remedy to relieve tension on-the-spot.

4. Give yourself a makeover: It’s amazing what a nice blowout, freshly painted nails and a little makeup can do for your mood.  Take the time to make yourself feel pretty in the morning (whatever that means to you) for an instant confidence boost.

5. Move: Sure, maybe you’ve been slacking on the fitness front of late, but that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Start small by aiming to move – in any capacity – every day. You’ll be surprised how quickly it raises your spirits, and your body will be thanking you for taking the time for yourself.

6. Gift yourself some quality “me time:” whether it’s curling up on the couch with a good book and a springy candle, journaling or having a yoga date with yourself, me time is an absolute must when it comes to self care.

7. Let go: Let go of any negative energy or mental blockages so you can think more clearly and be a better you! Some of my favorite ways to let loose is going for a long run, practicing deep breathing, writing or mediating. Speaking of meditation, it doesn’t need to be this big ordeal with pillows, blankets, music and an uncomfortable cross-legged position. To me, meditation is simply working to still your mind and be alone with your thoughts. The best part? It can be done anywhere and first and foremost should be about Y-O-U. No need to overthink it.

8. Be kind to your body: Often times when we neglect our self care, we’re not so nice to our bodies either. If you find you’re calling yourself fat or bashing your weight, it’s time to give your bod a little love. Honor your body. Tell yourself “I love you.” Dance. Walk around the house in undies and embrace it all.

9. Cook more meals at-home: One of the best ways to bring self care back into your life is through the kitchen. Cook yourself nourishing meals filled with foods that hum to you, and slowly ween away from those that suck from you or leave you feeling “blah.” Dedicate the time to cook for yourself with a little extra love. Your body will thank you later.

10. Craft your nourishment menu: Make a list of the things that nourish your mind, body and soul and actually make the time to do these things. Be honest with yourself on what truly lights you up and makes you feel your best.

Do you ever feel like self care gets pushed aside when life gets busy? Which of these tips will you implement this week? What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself?

                 

Cooking in the Bean: Just Add Cooking Review

Read full article | 29 Comments

I have a confession: While I do love eating healthy meals + cooking, sometimes I just don’t feel like putting in the work. Ever since I started working a full-time job, I’ve found it a bit trickier to do as much home cooking as I used to do.

To be honest, sometimes when I come home from a long day, all I want to do is put up my feet, plop on the couch, grab a cup of tea (or a glass of vino) and order takeout sushi. I’m a real girl, after all.

That’s why when I heard about Boston start-up Just Add Cooking (JAC), which delivers pre-portioned meals to your door all ready to go, I was intruiged.

The Scoop

Just Add Cooking is exactly what it sounds like: a meal delivery service that takes the stress out of cooking. Instead of worrying about the stress of prepping and grocery shopping, you can really focus on the fun part, that is cooking.

You get to hand-pick which recipes you + your fam will love, and then the friendly folks from JAC deliver a box of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients directly to your door each week, chock-full of meals for the week. No meal-planning. No stress. No grocery shopping. No mess.

The Box

I was so excited when I received my first box, perfectly packaged and full of all the fresh produce, herbs, condiments and proteins needed for my 3 recipes. I absolutely loved their packaging, and the fact that each ingredient is pre-portioned for your recipe so you don’t need to worry about measuring or “messing up” the quantities.

Another great perk is that JAC includes just the right amounts of spices + herbs so that you don’t need to buy an expensive jar or spices or large bunch of fresh rosemary that’ll only go to waste.

The Details

Since I live with my man, we opted for the 2-person meal box which included the ingredients for 3 meals. As I mentioned above, you can choose your own favorite recipes to make, and each serves just the right amount for you + your roommate/boyfriend/best friend/husband/sister/fill in the blank.

There are a variety of options available each week to choose from, so that you won’t get bored eating the same meals every week.

As for the pricing, it depends on what type of service you opt for. Currently, you can choose between four-person or two-person boxes, with either 3, 4 or 5 meals worth per box. As I mentioned above, I received the 3 meal two-person box for my man and I, but it depends on your living situation. Hate cooking + prepping? Perhaps you want to go with the 5 meal selection? Love to cook but just a bit crunched on time? The 3-meal box is probably best for you.

Pricing is as follows:

4-Person Boxes
5 Meals: $139
4 Meals: $129
3 Meals: $109
2-Person Boxes
5 Meals: $99
4 Meals: $89
3 Meals: $79

The Meals

Speaking of the food, for our 3 meals we opted for the Mexican Cod, Couscous Marrakech and Pork Loin Africana for a nice variety. Each meal comes with its own recipe sheet complete with directions, ingredients and cooking order to simplify the whole process.

While all of the meals were good, I personally liked the Couscous Marrakech the best, which was the first meal we prepared together.

It consisted of:

  • chicken
  • couscous
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • chorizo
  • tumeric
  • chili
  • green beens
  • fresh parsley
  • Greek yogurt
  • pickled jalapenos
  • lemon
  • salt

I absolutely loved the unique flavor, especially the bold chorizo and kick of lemon. It was super filling, and refreshing to cook something a bit outside the box.

In a Nut Shell + a Surprise for YOU

In a nut shell, I really love the concept of Just Add Cooking and think it’s a great option for busy, social city-goers like myself. I also love that they source ingredients locally or organic when they can, which is important to me as someone who really cares about where my food comes from. If you’re interested in giving JAC a try yourself, you’re in luck! New customers can use promo code SPRINGBLOG to receive $20 off their first order when placed by 5/31/14.

Note: I received a complimentary meal box for review, but as always all opinions are my own.

Do you enjoy cooking + grocery shopping or does meal planning completely stress you out? What kinds of things do you do to take the stress out of cooking?

                 

 
Loading...
Get on my list to receive FREE weekly bursts of healthspiration (plus my 11 Secrets For True Weight Loss!)