Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Cheerful, Fit Foxxy Trotter Who Makes the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies You Ever Ate

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Happy Friday ladies! This week completely flew by for me, as I ran the Tufts 10K for Women on Monday and have been busy every since. I’m really looking forward to the weekend, as hubby & I are planning on escaping the city in his brand new car for a fall foliage adventure!

Now to this week’s Healthy Chick in the community, who I can’t wait to introduce you to! Jen is a very special person, and happens to be one of my mom’s best friends. She’s seriously one of the most genuine, cheerful gals I have ever met and she’s a good friend to all. When you’re around her, you just feel good.

That’s why it was extra motivating to have her there for my very first half marathon — the More/Fitness Magazine half in Central Park! In fact, she was our biggest cheerleader the entire weekend and the one who encouraged us to sign up in the first place. No wonder she’s the one that came up with the idea to form a run / walk group for her gal pals, “The Foxxy Trotters!”

My family & I are so lucky to know Jen, and now you all are lucky enough to meet her too!

NAME/AGE: Jennifer Fortin 54

CURRENT CITY: Marlborough CT

PHOTO TAKEN (WHERE/WHEN): Me and my bestie “foxxy7″ aka Rachel’s mom after the Newport half marathon. 2nd photo: foxxytrotters celebrating St Patty’s with 5k, green beer and corn beef

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I am a nurse case manager at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. It is a job I love! I have the privilege of helping children and their families through their journey from hospital to home.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: living life to the fullest, life is short need to enjoy the sweet moments

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: achieving a healthy work life balance

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: enjoy retail therapy

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: coffee, seasonal fruit, greek yougart

NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: occassional cocktail hour especially with an ocean view


1. I ran my first half marathon at age 49. I have completed 11 so far

2. I am usually one of the first ones on the dance floor. “Mustang Sally” is my signature song!

3. Nobody makes a better chocolate chip cookie

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: I love to start my day with a 3 mile run and watch the sun come up. If I start my day with exercise, I am a kinder, more organized and energetic worker

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: JGilbert’s augratin potatoes

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” -Oprah Winfrey

Big thank you to Jen 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 got your 6-pack…but are you happier?

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I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind of sick of people posting their diet tummies, full body selfies and before-and-afters on insta, and feel it’s sending a bit of a construed message.

Yesterday morning, I poured myself a mug of pumpkin coffee and browsed through instagram while I finished waking up. Immediately, I was bombarded by several body shots boasting extreme weight loss, 6-packs and ridiculous before-and-afters. (Trust me, your “before” picture looks just fine!)

I felt angry. For myself (I’ve been there) For other women struggling with body image. For those who are vulnerable + often compare themselves to other people’s bodies. For those who still believe that being thin is everything.

Sure, you can do the insane juice cleanse or 21 day “fix” and then maybe just maybe you’ll get a flat tummy, 6-pack & all you ever wanted. But is that really all you ever wanted? Are you happier? Do you feel good? What did it do for your soul?

And why the need to post your body shot publicly — is it for you?

Do you truly think it’s inspiring other women? (Ahem, it’s not.)

Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with posting your accomplishments. Relish the feeling of finishing your first 5K. Embrace how confident & sexy you feel in your new red dress or lulu tank that shows off your strong arms. Be proud of how strong you feel in your body after you reach a personal milestone. Share your brand-new recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin bread because it does good for the soul.

If you want to inspire others, post those moments. Tell these stories. After all, I’m much more interested in getting to know the woman behind the 6-pack.

A picture of your stomach doesn’t say anything. It’s just a picture. Of your body. Online. Think about the kind of message that is sending.

So many women are constantly striving to make their bodies look better, shed more weight & lose the extra fat by dieting, slaving away at the gym and doing more, more, more. (Trust me, I used to be one of them, I get it.)

But when we’re constantly busy trying to improve our bodies, are we really living?

Are you having fun?

Do you feel good inside — mind, body & soul?

These are the questions we need to start asking ourselves.

Restricting yourself to the max is not joyous nor feel-good. Telling yourself these are the foods I “can” and “can’t” eat is not instilling a healthy relationship with food or your body. Extreme dieting is not sustainable in the long run. And by all means having a 6-pack is not everything.

To me you already are beautiful darling; it’s how you feel on the inside that counts most.




Healthy Chicks in the Community: A self-published yogi who speaks from the heart

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Good morning ladies, and Happy Friday! I just got back from NYC on a work trip; I must say the city always wears me out but damn do they have good food.

I’m now back to my number 1 Boston, and ready to bring you this week’s feature on Healthy Chicks in the Community! I met Karen a couple years back over good coffee & conversation. This lady never fails to impress me with her accomplishments — she’s a yoga teacher, author and just recently launched her own wellness show. Not to mention she has her first yoga retreat coming up this spring in Tulum, Mexico! Pretty darn cool, huh?

But most of all, she’s a good person and she keeps it real. I’ll let you meet Karen for yourself!

NAME/AGE: Karen Fabian, 51 years old

BLOG/TWITTER: / barebonesyoga


PHOTO TAKEN (WHERE/WHEN): Charles River Esplanade July, 2015

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I’ve been teaching yoga since 2002. I started my own brand, Bare Bones Yoga in 2009 as a way to reflect my passion for providing challenging, yet accessible classes.

I host and produce my own TV show on wellness called “Living Well” on the Boston Neighborhood Network and wrote a book for yoga teachers called “Stretched: Build Your Yoga Business, Grow Your Teaching Techniques.” I teach anatomy to yoga teachers and write for some popular websites on yoga related topics. I teach classes and workshops in Boston.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: Teaching yoga, teaching the anatomy related to yoga

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Meditating, teaching, practicing yoga and running.

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: I color in my French coloring book!

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: Tuna, salad stuff, Vitamin Water


THREE FAB THINGS ABOUT YOU: I love to do karaoke, love to cook and love teaching yoga to kids!



MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Stand up tall and speak from the heart. Always.

Big thank you to Karen 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


Save time in the kitchen with Just Add Cooking Boston-Based Meal Delivery Service {+ a Giveaway}

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Last night, I was lucky enough to be invited to Just Add Cooking’s media event at Sur La Table in Back Bay. It was a lovely evening filled with an interactive cooking class, mingling, and of course wine & cheese!


For those of you who don’t know, Just Add Cooking is a Boston-based meal delivery service, which takes the stress out of cooking! Each week, subscribers choose from 7 different recipes (ranging from pork and beef to fish and vegetarian entrees) and a box is delivered straight to your door with everything you need to cook.

The best part? Everything is pre-portioned, right down to the teaspoon of cumin or 6 oz. piece of fish so all you need to do — literally — is add cooking. Not to mention, they do their best to source everything local as best they can, which I’m obviously all for! (Note: you won’t want to miss the giveaway & discount code offered at the end of this post.)


Yesterday evening, us lucky bloggers got to tackle one of the JAC recipes from start to finish! We made the Seared Prawns with Salsa recipe, which features fresh salsa from an incredible local company: Nola’s Salsa. With prep time just 20 minutes, JAC labeled this recipe as “easy,” ideal for those new to cooking or on a time crunch! (You can take a peek at all of their other innovative recipes here.)

The lovely Chef Holly guided us through each of the steps, making cooking easy peasy as it should be. She was incredible, showing us tips like how to properly hold a knife like you mean it, get the most juice out of a lemon, or cook rice without making it a “sticky” mess.

It amazed me that dinner was on the table less than 25 minutes from when we started prepping. How freakin’ amazing is that? It made me think of all the many things you could do if you didn’t have to go grocery shopping, meal planning or deal with unnecessary prep each week.

Once the shrimp was done cooking, we assembled it onto a platter with the rice for the ultimate presentation.

{dinner is served!}

The flavor combination was unreal…and the fresh flavors of dill, lemon and garlic really shined through, marrying together just perfectly.


If you want to get in on the fun, you’re in luck! One lucky Boston-based reader will receive a gift card for a 3-meal, 2 person box of your choosing delivered straight to your home.

To enter, simply complete the following by EOD 10/13:

1.) Leave a comment on this post with your favorite time-saving kitchen hack, or what you would do if you didn’t have to grocery shop, prep & meal plan each week (required)

2.) Follow Just Add Cooking on Facebook here. (required)

3.) Tweet the following “Yum, @Healthy_Chicks is giving away a FREE two-person, 3 meal box to @AddCooking! Enter here: (Bonus point, leave additional comment below once you tweet)

Ready, set…JUST ADD COOKING! I will choose a winner EOD Tuesday, October 13th. Note: you must reside in the Greater Boston area to enter the giveaway. Check to see if JAC delivers to you here!

Big thank you for Just Add Cooking, Sur La Table & Nola’s Salsa for hosting such a lovely event! If you’d like to give Just Add Cooking a go, for the month of October you can use code HC50 for 50% off your first JAC order. New customers only, offer expires 10/31/15.


Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Fit, Passionate, Sangria-Loving Entrepreneur

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Well, it’s finally starting to feel like fall (and I’m totally OK with it!) Check out my post on cleansing your mind, body & soul as we tackle yet another seasonal shift.

Anyway, moving on to this week’s HC in the Community! I first met Sarah at a fitness event (of course!) last year, and was immediately drawn to her passion. You could tell this girl had a lot of love for what she does — a gal after my own heart! ;) Because of this love, Sarah has been able to create a whole community around fitness + wellness for college students. It’s pretty cool stuff..see for yourself!

NAME/AGE: Sarah Gaines, 22

BLOG/TWITTER: Personal twitter: @sarahjgaines / Business twitter: @gofitu

CURRENT CITY: Somerville, MA

PHOTO TAKEN (WHERE/WHEN): Me doing “ninja burpees” (new favorite exercise) this past summer at a Nike workout.

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I help college students get fit and stay fit! I am the founder of Fit University, a college student’s go-to source for all things health & fitness. Through our online content – think recipes you can make in your dorm room, workouts to squeeze in between classes, how to balance mental health & fitness – and our campus chapters, Fit University is an all-inclusive community of fit & healthy students.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: Changing the way college students view and experience health & fitness.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: already done with my workout, enjoyed a delicious breakfast (preferably eggs, avocado & toast) and showered by 9am. There’s nothing like getting in a great workout before the start of your day to really get you going!

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: Enjoy a glass of sangria or some ice cream. Or both….

1) Greek yogurt
2) Chicken
3) Anything green

NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: Can I say sangria and ice cream again? Also, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.

1) I’m a sucker for nail art. I get pretty festive around the holidays. Turkeys and skeletons have made appearances in recent years!

2) I competed in a bodybuilding competition in the fitness division.

3) I loooove to sing. I was in an A Capella group in college and I have a secret desire to sing jazz & blues at a club.

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Weight training makes my strength shine, yoga makes my heart shine :)

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Mint chocolate chip ice cream in a cone, please!

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: You are who you spend the most time with. Do what you love and find people to support that love. Surround yourself with positivity and ignore the naysayers.  And whatever you do, have fun with it!!

Big thank you to Sarah 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


My Journey to Reach the Beach with NBGirlsRunBeta {Full Recap}

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As you know, last week I officially Reached the Beach on New Balance’s media team #NBGirlsRunBeta. I couldn’t be more proud of myself doing something that scares me, and really stepping (well, running!) outside my comfort zone.

You can check out this super-sweet video to get an idea what it was like to spend 48 hours in a van running 200 miles with my teammates. It was pretty freakin’ fabulous if you ask me!

Here’s a full recap of the action-packed, energizing 3 days I spent with my team:

Tours of New Balance HQ + Factory {all day Thursday}

I woke up bright & early Thursday to kick off the incredible weekend of go-go-go! First stop: New Balance’s brand new Headquarters in Brighton.The team recently moved down the street, and their new office is absolutely stunning (it’s part of the brand-new Boston Landing Development.)

Their offices are fully equipped with a show-room, cafe, coffee shop and everything you could ask for! After munching on some egg sandwiches & organic cold-brew coffee, it was time to set out to to our next step.

We squeezed into our van, and set out to tour the NB factory in Lawrence!

While there, we got to see the entire process of how the sneakers are made — from start to finish. It was wild to see how a little bit of fabric and leather transforms into a beautiful sneaker. It was super impressive to see how quick & efficient the employees worked — you could tell everyone really loves what they do (that’s oh so important)!

Our group got to see a sneak peek into some future innovations, and learn about the technology that goes into the creative process. We were even taken into the “Smash Room” where they test to see the type of resistance a shoe can withhold on all sorts of surfaces from a mock basketball court to real turf. Super cool indeed!

After a yummy lunch (I had salad from Panera), we climbed back into the van to get on the road!

Our Beautiful (but Haunted!) Hotel {5:00PM Thursday night}

First stop: Market Basket! We stocked up on all the essentials from wipies and car fresheners to bananas and peanut butter. We also snuck in a few not-so-healthy items like cheez-its, chips and even gummy bears. Hey, you never know what crazy, over-tired runners may crave!

After our very intense grocery trip (our van went a little overboard!) we set off to the Omni Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods.

While on our way there, one of our teammates Karla let us know that the hotel is haunted, as she just saw it featured on one of those ghost-hunter shows. We did a little research, and found out that the haunted room was 314. (It belonged to the woman who owned the hotel.) All of us were giggling, but I was dead serious: I did not want that room!

Once we got to the hotel, we were given our room assignments and crazy enough, our teammate Jess was given room #314! WHAT?! She ended up bunking up with another runner, and we decided to throw our video guy Ian in the haunted room. Turns out not too much went down, although he did say when he checked in, the TV and lights were all on — creepy!

After the haunted shenanigans, we had some much-needed down time, where I explored the hotel grounds which were absolutely gorgeous! I ended up hunkering down on a comfy chair with a gorgeous view of the mountains. Not too shabby!

Team Dinner {7:30 PM Thursday night}

After some R & R, it was time to fuel up for the big race! We were invited to a lovely buffet-style family dinner at The Lodge at Bretton Woods with all the other New Balance teams. I enjoyed a tiny glass of red wine, and filled my plate up with chicken, veggies, mashed potatoes, salad and a little bitt of pasta. I also drank lotssss of water. Gotta get that H2O!

The New Balance team played a video from last year’s race, and got everyone amped up for this year’s! Each team was even given specially made tees based on their team name. What a sweet surprise!

While lots of folks were ready to party, team #NBGirlsRunBeta wanted to hit the hay so we head home to get some sleep for our early-morning wakeup call.

Van 1 Takes Off! {6:30AM Friday}

We woke up bright & early to cheer on our first runner — Karla — at the start! I loved all the energy going on, even at such an early point in the day. I knew we were in for a long day of lots of excitement!

{Let’s go Karla!}

Karla pretty much had to run straight up a mountain (no joke!) and our team was super proud of her for rockin’ it.

My 3 Legs {8:30AM Friday, 8:30PM Friday, 8:30AM Saturday}

Karla was followed by Kylie and Carrie, and then I was up as runner #4! I was a bit nervous since I was warned my run would be straight down-hill and I didn’t want to hurt myself early on, but it ended up being much better than I anticipated.

I crushed the easy 2.9 miler with a 8.5 minute/mi pace, and soaked in the beautiful views along the way!

My two other runs weren’t as smooth as the first; in fact they were labeled as “hard” in the RTB info book. My toughest run was my night run — super hilly 6.5 miler! Running in the dark (my initial fear) wasn’t the problem, but the hills definitely took a toll on my body and mindset. Once I hit the halfway point, my adrenaline kicked in and I kept telling myself, “I can do this! Only a 5K left!”

My team stopped a few miles in to see if I was OK, and I kept on trucking along! My dad’s team also came out and found me in the middle of one of the painful hills. Knowing they were close by and rooting me on definitely helped keep my spirits high.

{cheesing with our videographer Ian before my night run…all geared up!}

The last of my legs was a 5.7 miler the next morning. While it was still before 10:00am, the heat and humidity was super strong! My tummy also started feeling a bit funny, so this run was a tough start. After the first mile, my body was feeling good and I started to get in the groove. I can’t tell you how good it felt to turn my last corner and slap that bracelet onto Jess…I was officially finished with my legs!

My total mileage? 15.1, which is the most miles I’ve ever ran in a 24-hour period. GO ME! :)

Van Excursions + Everything in Between

When Van 1 finished their legs, we were able to relax for several hours before it was our turn to run again! During this time, we went out to breakfast to a super cute diner (Sunrise Bowl all the way!), ventured to a beautiful park with a lake that literally looked like Aruba, took a nap in a sleeping bag in the park, and visited New Balance’s Tent City for some much needed sleep at night.

But by far the coolest part about doing a relay race is that you have your whole team behind you, cheering you on and acting as your support system. When you spend two days in a van together, you get to know your team pretty well! I miss these girls already so much, and they each brought something unique to the table.

Carrie from New Balance is super sweet & she even brought homemade rice crispy peanut butter treats for our team to enjoy! Not to mention she was our designated “Van Mom” and driver. Seriously, what would we do without her? Jess took one for the team and traded (long) legs with the lovely Kylie because she had been training for her half marathon!  She also kept my nerves down since we’re Boston blogger pals! Karla was my #1 cheerleader — she not only led the van by being runner #1, but she was always there for me with a water bottle, a hug, or a high-five when I finished my runs. I loved her energy + positive attitude throughout the race!

Dani was a ray of sunshine, and also ran the most miles in our van…mind you in the HOT weather. But she kept it cool, ran in a sparkly skirt and made everyone laugh the whole way through. Not to mention she’s a speedster, and huge inspiration to all! Kylie was absolutely adorable, and also my main nap buddy. She’s super cool and works for Shape magazine, so it was fun hearing about her day-in-the-life in NYC.

And while we didn’t get to spend as much time with the Van 2 ladies as I’d like, it was a pleasure getting to know them along the journey. Ashley ran the most miles of us all — thanks for taking one for the team! She’s also a RTB graduate, so she filled us in on the ins & outs of the race so we knew what to expect. Marla was a major champ, as she rolled her ankle on her first run but charged through like a pro…girl’s unbelievable! Mary from New Balance was “Van Mom” #2, and took great care of our group all weekend. She’s such a badass and was so supportive of the whole crew (not to mention super organized)!

Sashea was our final runner, and such a sweet gal! We walked each other to our room’s at the hotel after we got spooked by the haunted stories ;) Meg works for Self magazine a.k.a. my younger self’s dream job. I had a great time getting to know her and soaking up the mountain views together before dinner on Night 1! Last but not least Evann was such a sweetheart — she’s one of those girls you feel like you’ve known forever, and super easy to chat with. Lots of love for all you ladies!

Reaching the Beach! {3:00PM Saturday}

At 3ish on Saturday afternoon, it was finally time to REACH THE EFFIN BEACH! Our team gathered at Hampton Beach to cheer in our last runner Sashea as she brought it on home for #NBGirlsRunBeta. Once she got to her final stretch, us ladies joined in so we could cross the finish line just as we started: together. It was such a wonderful feeling, and it felt so good to be around such supportive, strong, positive women!

We reached the beach. We did it together.

Huge shout out to New Balance for giving me this incredible opportunity; it was truly a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget! Note: New Balance sponsored me to take part in Reach the Beach, however as always all opinions are my own.


Feel the Seaonal Shifts: 7 Ways to Cleanse Your Mind, Body & Soul This Fall

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Fall is finally in the air, and I couldn’t be more excited! Along with pumpkin lattes, hayrides, and sweater weather also comes a major seasonal shift. During this transition, it’s the perfect time to kick your wellness into full gear!

No, you don’t need to go on any crazy juice cleanses, diets or workout regimes. Instead, try these simple tips to cleanse your mind, body and soul this fall.

1. De-clutter Your Space: Out with the old, in with the new! Fall is the ideal time to let go of anything that isn’t serving you – both physically and emotionally – so you can make room for positive, seasonal shifts!

2. Set Your Fall Intention: New Year’s resolutions are so over-rated. Rather, it’s more productive (and enjoyable!) to set intentions throughout the year. Spend some time alone & ask yourself what you truly want to manifest in your life, and then get clear about the WHY behind it.

3. Fill Up on Seasonal, Whole Foods: Eating with the seasons not only makes sense, but it’s also good for your overall wellbeing. After all, our bodies naturally crave what’s in season. This fall, load up on seasonal fruits and veggies like pumpkin, spaghetti squash, apples, pears, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Hit the local farmer’s market for creative inspiration!

4. Slow Down: It’s important to slow down, and truly take care of your body. Practice self-care by making time for yoga, meditation, DIY facials, journaling, naps, and simply being easier on yourself. Your body will thank you!

5. Start Your Day with Warm Lemon Water: One of my favorite ways to start the day is a mug of warm lemon water! Not only is it delicious, but it helps promote digestion, detox the liver and invigorate your body! Just squeeze the juice of ½ lemon into a mug of warm water, sip and enjoy!

6. Tame Your Sugar Cravings: During the fall, our sugar cravings tend to come into play with all that outside temptation – pumpkin pie, apple cider donuts, caramel lattes! Tame your sugar cravings by filling up on naturally sweet items like sweet potatoes, carrots and fresh apple slices. A dash of cinnamon also helps add a touch of sweetness to your meals!

7. Nourish Your SOUL: How are you feeding your soul? We often think about what we eat, but spend little time on satisfying our other cravings. Do more of the things that light you up like writing, running or even signing up for a photography class!

Are you feeling this seasonal shift? How do you keep yourself healthy in the fall — mind, body & soul?


Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Strong + Beautiful, Wellness-Minded Entrepreneur

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Happy Friday, lovely ladies! Hope you’re all having a wonderful start to the new season. Fall is my absolute favorite — from pumpkins and hot tea to boots + leggings and cozy sweaters, I am in love with it all.

Now to this week’s Healthy Chick in the community! I am so excited to introduce you to the lovely Kerri. She’s a fellow health coach, wellness guru, entrepreneur and PR queen who is on a mission!

When I think of Kerri, one word immediately pops into my mind: strong. I love how she’s totally taken control of her own health, and has learned to ride the waves & conquer all the battles that may come her way. This lady is a mover + a shaker. I’ll let you see just how fabulous she is yourself!

NAME/AGE: Kerri Axelrod, 32

WEBSITE/TWITTER: Twitter & IG: @KerriAxelrod Facebook: KerriAxelrodWellness


PHOTO TAKEN: Photos was taken a few months ago in Fort Point

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I live and breathe all things health and wellness. During the day, I’m a publicist for health and wellness companies. I’m also a holistic health coach and yoga instructor.

I love the balance of being able to work with aspiring entrepreneurs in the health and wellness space to help them amplify their voice and working one-on-one with women to help them find their own voice.  In my health coaching practice, I primarily work with women dealing with auto-immune diseases and chronic fatigue issues and those feeling stuck, weighed down and with a desire to live more fully.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: Living an optimal life and helping others do the same, which looks different for every individual. We are all unique. It’s what makes the world a beautiful place.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: When I am moving my body and connecting to community

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: Love a good glass of red wine

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: This is a tough one and it changes depending on the season and how I am feeling. Currently, I’m eating an autoimmune protocol diet as I have Hashimoto’s and managing it through my diet, so right now my answers are a little lame, but can’t live without:

1.) Grass-fed local beef
2.) Licorice root tea
3.) Sauerkraut



1.) I’m always up for an adventure
2.) I’m committed to living an open, honest and authentic life (seriously, just read my blog to get the lowdown on my life)
3.) Before dedicating myself to a career in health and wellness, I worked in national politics and am really proud of the work I did.


FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Peanut butter and dark chocolate (can’t keep either in the house)

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Wellness is a journey. You’ll have ups and downs, days and periods of time where you feel great and times when you’ll be dealing with a set back. It’s easy to feel frustrated when you feel like you’re not in optimal health, but each set-back is your body telling you something and it’s an incredible opportunity to learn more about yourself and what makes you thrive.

Big thank you to Kerri 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


8 Lessons I learned Running 2015 Reach the Beach Relay with New Balance {Team #NBGirlsRunBeta}

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This past Friday, my alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. to kick off Reach the Beach weekend! Our first runner was about to begin her first leg, and our team woke up bright & early to cheer her on at the start of the race!

For those of you who don’t know, Reach the Beach is a 200-mile relay race, starting in the Bretton Woods ski area and ending at Hampton Beach. A traditional team is made up of 12 runners, where each teammate runs 3 legs of the relay. I was lucky enough to be a part of New Balance’s media team #NBGirlsRunBeta with 11 other fabulous bloggers and editors.

15.1 miles run, 2 vans, lots of peanut butter, hills galore, 11 new friends, loads of laughs and 200 total miles to the beach later, I’m now back in my Boston apartment recovering and reminiscing on one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while! If you’re considering running a similar relay race or perhaps want to participate in Reach the Beach next year, here’s what you should know. (Stay tuned for a full recap on the blog soon!)

1. Pack more than enough outfits! Seriously, you are going to sweat a lot. You are going to think maybe just 1 or 2 sports bras will do, but they won’t. Come prepared for any & all situations! Rain…Wind…Humidity…Being freezing in your van at 2:00 a.m…Soggy sneakers. You must take all of this into account, as a 200 mile relay race is very different than your usual one-day event.

Have fun with colors, and most importantly pack apparel that you’re most comfortable in. Lucky for us, we were given multiple outfits courtesy of New Balance to sport throughout the weekend, including tanks, tees, running capris, shorts, sports bras, socks, and even sweat pants to lounge in between legs!

We were told to pick our outfits out ahead of time, and place them in oversized plastic bags. That way, you’re not scrummaging through your duffel at the crack of dawn, and you’ve got an empty bag to stash your dirty clothes post-run. Win, win!

2. Pace yourself This one’s a biggie. With all the excitement & hype, you may be tempted to run much faster than you normally do! I totally experienced this during my first leg, which was just 2.9 miles and mostly downhill. But you need to remember that you’ll still have 2 legs left..and you don’t want to kill your batteries too quickly!

Try to maintain your normal pace, and check in with how your body feels. No need to push yourself over your limits!

3. Teamwork is everything. One of my favorite parts about Reach the Beach was the fact that you do everything with your team! There is so much teamwork going on throughout the two days, from communicating to the other van to tell them where you’re at to supporting your fellow runners when they’re feeling tired, hungry, sore or simply in need of a hug ;) .

In our van, one of our lovely runners Jess (Little Miss Runshine) traded legs with the beautiful Kylie (of Shape magazine) so Kylie wouldn’t have to run more miles than she had trained for. Teamwork at its finest!

4. Stretching between legs is key! To be completely honest with you, I’m usually really bad at stretching. In fact, I typically don’t do it at all before or after my runs…unless you count my yoga classes! Not good, I know.

This past weekend, however, I knew that stretching was going to be key if I wanted to survive my 3 legs. So stretch I did! I made sure to get outside of the van, stretch between my runs, and move around. Having a foam roller and stick on hand in our van was also pretty clutch, and I highly recommend it for any of you taking part in a similar relay race!

5. Be sure to properly hydrate + fuel I was a bit nervous about how to fuel throughout the weekend, as I’ve never done anything quite like this. Sure, I know what my body likes to eat before a half marathon, but never have I had to run 3 times in 24 hours. This was totally something brand new for me!

For breakfast the first day (around 7:00 a.m.) I decided to keep it simple with some fruit, a little bit of banana bread and lots of water since I had a run coming up in the next couple of hours. After my run, I enjoyed a delicious “Sunrise Bowl” with scrambled eggs, cheddar, onions, mushrooms, spinach, avocado and garlic served on top of some homefries. It was absolutely delicious, and fueled me until the afternoon, where I had a peanut butter rice crispy treat one of my teammates had made. I was now ready for my hilly 6.5 mile night run, the most challenging of the 3!

After that, I enjoyed a string cheese and an apple before I took a 4-hour “nap” to get ready for our morning runs. Before my last run, I had some peanut butter and a banana which was just what my tummy wanted. Between runs, we enjoyed some not-so-healthy snacks too including Cape Cod chips, pretzels and Cheezits. I will say, they totally hit the spot as salty snacks were just what I craved post-run!

Once I was finished, we went out to lunch and I thoroughly enjoyed my salad topped with chicken salad, with a side of fried calamari. YUM!

Moral of the story? Do what works for you, and don’t try to experiment with anything new for your first relay race! Also, make sure you’re eating enough and drinking a TON of water throughout the 2 days. I can’t stress that one enough!

6. Keep it clean. Living in a van for 1.5 days can get pretty messy! To keep the stink to a minimum, our van came prepared. For one, we bought several air fresheners to use throughout the weekend, which made a huge difference! I also made sure to pack wipies, facial cleansing cloths and of course deodorant to freshen up between legs. Once I finished a run, I made sure to wipe down, and then change into a fresh pair of clean sweats so I never felt super gross throughout the weekend. Come prepared with all your favorite essentials, and you’ll be just fine!

7. Try to get some sleep I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to sleep in the midst of all the excitement but it’s oh so crucial. I made sure to take quick naps between runs, and our team was lucky enough to get about 4 hours of sleep during the middle of the night while Van 2 finished up their second legs. Big thanks to New Balance for bringing along sleeping bags for us to use throughout the weekend! It wasn’t like sleeping at home in your queen bed, but considering the circumstances, it felt pretty damn close to it. Rest up…your body will thank you later!

8. Have fun! Last but not least, remember to have fun! Don’t take yourself too seriously, and do your best to enjoy the ride. Driving around in a large van with 5 other girls you don’t know can sound a bit intimidating at first, but it’s actually a blast! Try to let go of your competitive edge a bit, and remember Reach the Beach is about teamwork, supporting one another and doing the best you can.

Have you ever participated in a relay race? What are some must-know lessons you learned on your journey?

Note: I ran on the New Balance media team, and we were given all accommodations, gear, food and amenities free of charge. However, I was not paid to write this post and as always, all opinions are my own.


Healthy Chicks in the Community: An Ever-So-Creative, Playful, Nike-Trainer Mama

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Happy Friday, ladies! I’m off running Reach the Beach Relay right now (perhaps in the middle of one of my legs as we speak ;) ) but I wanted to make sure I brought you our weekly Healthy Chicks in the Community series!

This week’s spotlight is someone I totally admire. She has a way with words (and music!) like no other, she’s a killer Flywheel instructor, and she’s a brand new mommy to a beautiful baby girl! I’ll let you see just how fabulous Miss Jessica Latshaw is for yourself…

NAME/AGE: Jessica Latshaw/35



WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I teach spin/barre at flywheel sports, toning/sculpting at Boston Body, and work for Nike as a Nike trainer. My writing was also recently published in The Village Magazine. I toured with Broadway shows and performed my own music on stages around the world; this season, I’m in a loud, ridiculous show every single day, just trying my best to keep my nine month old daughter entertained.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: living my best life and encouraging others to do the same.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: There’s a few factors that need to happen: I’m making time to be creative (writing, playing music, painting, etc); I’m purposefully cultivating my relationships with my husband, family, and close friends; I’m praying and giving myself quiet, meditative time; I’m regularly sweating and challenging myself physically.

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: go shopping (I love Sephora, Free People, and Nike) and read mama chat rooms on my phone when I should be sleeping.

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: I feel like a very rich girl indeed when my kitchen is stocked with fresh fruit, soft bread, and peanut butter.

NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: I literally just had five things flash into my mind, so it’s really hard to pick just one…but probably ice cream. I could eat it any time, any place, and in any mood, instantly becoming happier because of it.

THREE FAB THINGS ABOUT YOU: I toured with Broadway shows. I played a show of original music at NYC’s iconic blues club, The Blue Note. My favorite thing about life is that I get to come home to my husband Tj, baby girl Charlee, and Labrador Retriever, Luna every day.

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: I really can’t pick just one–I LOVE to move and cannot imagine life without the gift of rhythm and movement.

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: freshly baked bread.

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Whether you feel good or bad is actually irrelevant. Feelings change all the time, which is why we don’t build our house on feelings. Think about the life you want to live, the steps that lead up to it, and move forward. Do this again and again. Do it when you feel inspired, yes, but especially do it when you feel like doing nothing more than eating cheese and watching Friends marathons every day for the rest of your life. Keep walking forward; the scenery changes and the best is yet to come.

Big thank you to Jessica 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


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