Bostonians Get Rewarded for Making Healthy Choices {Via The Blue Box Truck}!

Read full article | 4 Comments

As you know, I’m a big fan of making small, simple changes toward living a healthier lifestyle. I don’t believe that you can look at someone and decide if they are healthy or unhealthy; rather it’s the little things you do every day which add that extra chunk of change to your “wellness bank.”

You know, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator at work.

Going for a peaceful walk on your lunch break.

Adding some organic, chopped veggies to your lunch wrap.

Hitting up the farmer’s market.

Cooking…from scratch…with your family.

Setting your alarm clock for 6:00 a.m. so you can squeeze in that yoga sesh.

You see, when you incorporate simple, little acts of wellness, you feel better all around and you become healthier. Oh, and you can afford to skip the gym or have that extra margarita once in a while…you deserve it. After all, being healthy isn’t about being perfect 100% of the time. It’s about doing what works for you and makes you feel good…most of the time.

Who’s with me on this?

Great! For my fellow Boston-based Healthy Chicks (and Guys!), you may have gotten to experience this first-hand last month. For the entire month of September, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts went around the city rewarding everyday people (that’s you!) for making healthier choices.

That’s right, they trucked along in their brand-new ride (the Blue Box Truck), doling out rewards and perks for those who exemplified living well!

And their team went out with a bang, making there way around the city and wowing Bostonians left and right! Earlier in the month, they surprised the November Project with an obstacle course for their super early-morning Monday workout. The course included favorite childhood games like tug-o-war to a rope climb, and NP tribe members showed ’em what they’ve got!

The truck also scooted along to different playgrounds around the Bean, delighting kids with a motion-activated bubble machine! The more the children ran around, the more bubbles there’d be. So sweet to encourage kids to move more & stay healthy at such a young age! And mid month, the kind folks at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts woke up bright and early to surprise the fabulous, super-fit moms of Fit4Mom during their morning workout. After the workout, each mom was given a brand new UPPAbaby stroller to reward them for their hard work! How amazing is that?

One of my favorite events involved something all Boston sports-lovers adore: the Boston Celtics! The truck rode around to various basketball courts around the city, surprising lucky athletes with cool swag during their pick-up games. Giveaways included everything from basketball equipment and posters to backpacks and jerseys. Can you imagine the look of excitement on their faces? It surely was a special moment to be a part of!

The sweetest part? You didn’t necessarily need to do anything different to get rewarded! Rather, the fun folks of The Blue Box Truck focused on recognizing people for everyday choices, stressing the fact that your health care should be there for you all the time, not just when you need it most.

Want to get in on the fun? If you are already a member of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, you can share your mini health story for a chance to win your own Blue Box perk! Simply visit their site, click “Enter to Win” and fill out this super quick form.

Be sure to check out the Blue Box Truck Facebook Page and Twitter to follow along and see where the Blue Box Truck may have popped up around you! Now I want to hear from you…what are simple things you do every day (big or small) to stay healthy?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts . The opinions and text are all mine.

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

Read full article | 7 Comments

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!

JUST ADD COOKING INS & OUTS

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.)

COOKING CLASS AT SUR LA TABLE

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.

WANT TO GET IN ON THE COOKING FUN? IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!

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: http://healthy-chicks.com/?p=6949 (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.

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

Read full article | No Comments

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!

XoXo,

Rachel

5 Healthy Finds I’m Loving Right Now {Beauty, Fitness, Wellness, Fashion + Food}

Read full article | 2 Comments

Well, it’s officially Daylight Saving Time, and I’m praying/hoping/dreaming that we really do indeed “spring ahead.”

But in the meantime as I continue to freeze my butt off, share Ubers with strangers to work, and recoup from the Boston Blizzards of 2015, I’ve also been having a lot of fun navigating some new + exciting healthy finds. Hey, when the weather gets rough, spend your paycheck on things that are good for your health. Am I right or am I right? Hey, at least it makes things seem a little sunnier! Below are my latest obsessions.

BEAUTY FIND: Love Lettuce Face Mask, LUSH, $6.95

Last week while visiting my lovely friends at LUSH Cosmetics, I was given a tub of their “Love Lettuce” fresh face mask. Made with natural, soothing ingredients like lavender, almond oil, and honey, this mask is intended to give dull skin a renewed glow while balancing oily t-zones.  The product also contains ground almonds for an all-natural exfoliating effect!

Since my skin can be on the sensitive side, I tested it out on my nose and neck last night and fell in love. I can’t wait to try it out on my entire face tonight. The best part is you keep it in the fridge so it’s super cooling + calming! Not to mention the smell is nice with notes of lavender. Ahh…spa in a jar.

FIT FIND: FlyBarre Class, Flywheel Sports, $28

The ever-so-popular Flywheel recently launched their just as popular barre class, FlyBarre, in Boston! Obviously, I had to check it out and was lucky enough to attend a class during grand opening week. Ladies, it was epic.

Let me start by saying I’m a huge fan of bar classes and have tried pretty much everything from Core Fusion to Pure Barre to The Bar Method all a little bit different but with similar technique.

What sets FlyBarre apart from the rest is their killer music (seriously, these instructors have the best playlists) and their unique, challenging athletic-style routine. Bar (or barre) can become rather predictable (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!) and typically have sort of ‘blah’ playlists but Flybarre’s fresh style is just what I was craving. I can’t wait to get my butt back to the barre!

WELLNESS FIND: Balance Essential Oil, DoTerra, $26.67

While most people consider me to be quite “chill,” (perhaps it’s because I hate drama and am pretty low-key for the most part), I actually tend to be a pretty anxious person. I’m extremely hard on myself when it comes to work, and I worry…a lot (which I think is something I picked up from my beloved Grandma Carol). In comes balance essential oil by DoTerra to save the day! With grounding + soothing oils like spruce, Ho Wood, frankincense, and blue tansy, balance is perfect for creating a sense of calm.

I love using this oil when I’m feeling particularly stressed or “busy,” or when my mind starts spinning. It’s also a perfect life-saver for public transportation nightmares, traffic and any other stressors life may throw at you. Anxiety, be gone (just a few drops will do it)!

I recently became a DoTerra Wellness Advocate, so if you have any questions definitely reach out or shoot me an email. You can shop directly from my website here!

FASHION FIND: Chaturanga Floral Flow Tight, Athleta, $74

If you know me, you know that I pretty much live in leggings…99% of the time. From gym to work to coffee dates and meetings, leggings literally carry me through my day-to-day activities. While I’m pretty much a walking advertisement for leggings, I’m also very picky about what I wear; they have to be just right. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Athleta’s new chaturanga tight prints which I now own in a variety of patterns.

My latest purchase were these floral flow chaturanga tights – perfect for spring! I love the funky color combination, and super soft material that fits to your body just perfectly. They’re comfortable, lightweight, and just the right amount of stretchy — great for yoga, errands or pairing with an oversized sweater. Seriously ladies, get on ’em (or in ’em). They’re simply f-a-b.

Oh, and did you know that Athleta offers FREE shipping on orders over $50, and hassle-free returns + exchanges if you’re not 100% in love with the product? Now that’s customer service!

FOODIE FIND: Sprouted Buffalo Almonds + Ranch Cashews, Organic Living Superfoods, $3.75

Fun fact you may not know about me: I have pretty much a zero sweet tooth. Yes, I love my dark chocolate and berries, but I’ll always choose something savory (ahem, cheese!) over sweet. Perhaps I’m fortunate that I don’t crave cake or cookies at midnight, but before you say I’m lucky let me tell you I’m a sucker for all things cheesy, salty and crunchy (Like, it’s bad and the struggle is real.)  And while I indulge in these savory not-so-healthy snacks  from time to time, my body doesn’t like me when I do so too often.

That’s where these raw sprouted buffalo almonds + ranch cashews by Organic Living Superfoods come in for the win! They are 100% vegan, raw, organic and gluten free and the best part: they are made with real, simple ingredients. Combining sun-dried tomatoes, dill, onion and garlic powder (to give me that cheesy flavor I know + love!) with tantalizing flavors like sea salt, lemon juice, coconut nectar and extra virgin olive oil, this snack is everything I wanted and more — spicy, tasty and healthy without compromising flavor!

Want in on the fun? All Healthy Chicks readers will receive 10% off their first order with code [healthychicks10]. Choose from a variety of healthy superfood snacks from sprouted nut mixes and energy squares to superfood powders and dried fruitsBrowse products now! (Note: this code is not valid on gift certificates or “snack pack samplers.”)

Now, I want to turn it over to YOU. What are you loving lately? What do you take with you in your gym bag / purse / work bag to keep you healthy + energized throughout the day? In the meantime, don’t forget to snag your 10% discount for Organic Living Superfoods using the promo code above.

xoxo,

Rachel



GNO Recap: Self Expression + Freedom to Be Fit

Read full article | 7 Comments

This past Tuesday, I helped host the third (and final!) GNO Celebration in Boston this summer as part of New Balance’s Girls Night Out Campaign.

The theme this time around was Self Expression: Freedom to Be Fit. You can read all about my thoughts on self-expression in my blog post over here. I think this was my favorite themes yet as I’m all about encouraging women to express themselves (be it through fitness or creativity) while discovering what works for YOU and your body. After all, what works for me may not work for you or your best friend (which I’m sure you’ve heard me mention before on the blog).

In honor of the theme, each woman was able to choose their own workout for the evening: an outdoor spin with Flywheel, a signature bootcamp with Equinox or a fun 3-mile run. I helped organize and plan the 3-mile fun run (using the GNO Meetup tool), which we dubbed “Freedom Fighters Fun Run Plus.” The run was definitely hot (in the low 90s) but our group had a blast cheering one another on and stopping along the way for pics!

After sweating it out, all of us met back up at New Balance for the party. I won’t lie: bottled water and moisturizing face wipes never looked so good! As the ladies gathered in and munched on tasty bites (like BLTs, rolls ups, and Deep Eddy vodka mixed drinks), I welcomed everyone and spoke about my thoughts on self-expression and being YOU.

I told my story about how in college I was all about doing what was “right” or the norm according to celeb magazines (i.e. Score Jennifer Anniston’s abs! Get that Pilates body! Lose 15 pounds!). I’d beat myself up at the gym, and spend hours at the gym burning away calories on the treadmill. I didn’t feel inspired or motivated, and I most definitely wasn’t expressing myself.

It wasn’t until after college where I became in tune with my body, began running and practicing yoga (for my mind!) that I really felt myself. Suddenly, fitness felt empowering and right. I was doing it for me.

You see, the thing is you don’t have to be a marathoner to be a runner, you don’t have to be #1 on the Torq board to try Flywheel and you most definitely don’t need to do headstands or bend into crow pose in order to be a yogi. You just gotta do what works for Y-O-U.

After my talk, I made some exciting announcements including filling in the girls on what was in their swag bags. They were packed with goodies, including a fitness towel that each of us could customize at the Self-Expression Transfer Station with various inspiring phrases like “Girls Run this Town.” We also got a thumb-drive loaded with a 30-minute running playlist specially mixed by DJ Brek One, as well as some discounted vouchers.

Once again, New Balance was kind enough to offer 20% off everything in the store. But this time there was a special added bonus! Women had the chance to customize their own shoes – everything from laces to mesh color to specific words placed on the heels – while taking advantage of the 20% off special. Check out the pair I customized for myself. Don’t they just scream summer?

The back of the heels say “choose happy,” as I believe happiness is a choice, and sometimes all it takes is a simple shift in perspective to find your happiness. I had so much fun creating my dream shoe, but I must say it was quite overwhelming with all the color combinations you could choose from. I kept it simple by sticking with lemonade + burnt orange.

After I was done speaking (I must say this whole public speaking thing is getting a bit easier), I was able to mingle, grab a bite and catch up with friends both old & new.

I was especially excited to see my long lost friend and Pilates guru Jennifer Phelan, as I haven’t seen her since she became a mommy!

Overall, it was a wonderful evening filled with great people, good eats and a fabulous sweat session! I am so grateful to have been a part of New Balance’s GNO Celebrations here in Boston, and look forward to more fun, empowering events in the future.

I’d love to hear from you! What workouts make you feel most vibrant + in tune with your body? What color combos would you choose for your custom shoes?

XoXo,

Rachel…

A GNO to remember: Express yourself with new balance Boston

Read full article | 6 Comments

Remember when last week I mentioned I’d announce the next GNO event on the blog soon? Well, my friends, I don’t break my promises.

And since I consider you officially in my social bubble of girlfriends, I wanted to give you the insider scoop. Registration for the third Boston New Balance GNO event goes live tomorrow, Monday the 7th, and ladies you won’t want to miss out. (You can scoop up your free tiks here starting tomorrow!)

The event will be held on Tuesday July 22, and is once again held at the New Balance Experience Store on Boylston St. The theme this time around? Self-Expression!

Festivities include choosing your own workout that fits your personality including a spin at Flywheel, signature Equinox class, or pre-mapped-out run utilizing the GNO Meetup app. Plus there will be music, healthy apps and cocktails to keep the party going afterward!

And if you’ve attended any of the past GNO Celebrations or read my review, you can bet New Balance has a few sweet surprises up their sleeves (like the premium gift bags each lady will take away at the end of the evening!)

If you’re itching to squeeze in some solid time with the gals before then, I highly encourage you to check out the GNO app where you can join meet ups in the area or create your own GNO in your city. What’s better than sweating it out & mingling with your girlfriends?

I hope to see you in a couple weeks for the third (and final) Boston GNO Celebration this summer. Get ready to sweat, party and EXPRESS yourself! My question for you – when do you feel most in your element, passionate and true to yourself?

XoXo,

Rachel…

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

Read full article | 5 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

Cooking in the Bean: Just Add Cooking Review

Read full article | 90 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?

ClassPass launches in boston: 4 reasons why you need to get on it (like, now)

Read full article | 1 Comment

It’s no lie I have a love affair with fitness, particularly group fitness and boutique classes. Actually, I’m kind of a serial fitness fanatic, bouncing around from studio to studio. Hey, a girl has her needs.

So when I was informed that NYC-based fitness startup Class Pass was launching in Boston, I was immediately intrigued!

What is Class Pass, you ask? It’s exactly what is sounds like: a “pass” to various fitness classes near you. Essentially, they’re a gym membership but for boutique studios. With the membership fee, you have access to 10 classes a month, up to 3 classes at any given studio. Pretty cool, huh?

This week, I attended their Media Launch Party at Flywheel Sports in Boston, and completely fell in love with the brand (and the girls behind it). Such a fun-loving, cheerful bunch! Plus, who doesn’t love a good sweat session at Flywheel, I mean c’mon?

After class, we all enjoyed tasty goodies from sweetgreen and bolocco, and mingled with the group. Plus, we were given little goodie bags packed with a water bottle, natural energy drink, muscle rub sample from mio scincare, and an adorable tee that I may or may not have claimed as my go-to PJ top.

Bottom line? I’m sold. I love it. I’m all about it. Here’s why:

1. It’s flexible + convenient: With 25+ studios featured in Boston, ClassPass lets you pick ‘n’ choose those that are most convenient for you. Not a fan of a.m. workouts? No problem. You can actually search classes by time and date to find those that suit your exercise needs. Are you a spin and barre addict, but not really feeling the bootcamp-style? Great, you can also conveniently sort by studio to view upcoming classes in your area.

2. It can help your wallet: For $99 a month, you get access to 10 classes each month, up to 3 visits per studio. With drop-ins averaging around $25 or $30 these days, you can save some mad cash when you’re a serial boutique fitness addict like me. Cha-ching. Not to mention, ClassPass features some of my favorite Boston studios including Exhale, Flywheel and Recycle (plus many more I’m drying to try).

3. It’s fun (and you can cheat on other studios without feeling guilty about it): One of the reasons I love working out at different fitness studios is because I like to keep things fresh ‘n’ fun; I could never commit to just barre or just spin or just yoga; I’d quickly grow bored and miss my other classes. But a gym “membership” that lets you bounce from one studio to the other (without breaking the bank)? Now we’re talking. And ClassPass allows for just that. Plus, you don’t need to feel guilty about cheating on your go-to barre studio with a little afternoon yoga because, I mean, you have ClassPass. You can have it all.

4. It’s good for your bod: To go along with my above point, I’ve never been one to do ONLY yoga or ONLY running because I love variety, and so does my body! With ClassPass, you can break up the week with barre on Monday, bootcamp on Wednesday all wrapped up with a rejuvenating yoga sesh on Sunday afternoon. This way you can enjoy fun & challenging workouts in your city, while not over-exerting any one muscle group.

To learn more about ClassPass or get started on your monthly membership head on over to their website to request an invite. Note: I was recently given a complimentary one-month trial membership to ClassPass, but as always all opinions are my own.

Back Into Running: New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Review + Giveaway

Read full article | 47 Comments

It’s no secret that it’s been a really rough winter for us New Englanders; I honestly don’t remember a time with this much snow in years! That being said, I still love to stay active & keep my body moving through yoga, spinning, zumba and various indoor group fitness classes.

Unfortunately because of the temps, I’ve let one of my all-time favorite workouts fall by the wayside: running. And try as I might to fall in love with the treadmill, it’s just not really my thing.

I need the outdoors. The fresh air. The people. The nature. The sunshine. And I know outdoor winter running is possible with proper gear and all, but I just wasn’t doing it.

So when the lovely folks at New Balance sent me a pair of their brand new Fresh Foam 980 running shoes, I took it as a sign to go back to my running roots & get back into it. (This was also around the same time as Chestnut Hill True Runner’s “Ladies’ Night Out,” where I bought a new running headband, socks and some other apparel.) Running Rachel was about to make a comeback!

I was super excited when the sneakers arrived at my door in the “Blue Aster with Hot Pink & White” color. How fun!  And the feel of them…so soft and foamy. But as you know, it’s not all about looks, especially when it comes to running shoes. So I immediately looked into what these bad boys were all about.

Key features include:

  • specialized foam midsole making for a plush, natural ride
  • 4 mm drop to encourage natural movement & continuous ground contact for a smoother run
  • reduced drop heal for soft, bouncy ride
  • spray-paint finish with eye-catching design!
  • lightweight with breathable mesh for added comfort + great fit

Not to mention they come in a variety of fun colors (for both men + women) including women’s “Dark Heather Grey with Green Gecko & Blue Bell” and “White and Purple Cactus Flower & Neon Yellow.”

I was sold. But what better way to really see how they move than to take them out for a test ride? On my first run, the first thing I noticed was their super lightweight feel; I absolutely hate when running shoes feel heavy and bulky like they’re weighing you down. Not the Fresh Foam! The run felt smooth and comfy (especially for someone who had been slacking big-time).

Also, given that I have flat feet and sometimes need to buy specialized running shoes, my feet actually felt surprisingly supported by the Fresh Foam 980. I also noticed this when wearing them for the day just walking around the city…pure blissful comfort. That being said, I still have yet to take them for a long run, but so far so good!

Oh, and I’ve absolutely been rocking them out for spin classes, Zumba and long walks to add a pop of color + comfort. I was super pumped to see the banner ad for them in Boston Marathon Sports when I stopped by one chilly afternoon…those are my shoes!

One of my favorite runs was on The Charles River one chilly winter morning. It felt great to break ’em in at one of my favorite running spots of all time, while letting loose and clearing my mind. Running (closely followed by yoga) is by far my favorite exercise for stress relief and “zenning out.”

Not to mention I got to take a trip down memory lane, popping by my favorite willow tree where The Boy popped the question. Boy does it look different in the wintertime!

Naked willow tree!

After breaking in my new kicks, I realized winter running really isn’t that bad… when geared up properly that is. Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to spring running weather! I’ve already got my eye on on some upcoming 10Ks and possibly another half marathon. I’ll keep you posted!

OK, let’s get to the fun part now shall we? I’ve got some exciting news for you ladies: New Balance is going to be gifting one lucky Healthy Chicks reader a brand new pair of Fresh Foam 980s of their own!

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

1.  Simply leave a comment on this post with why you heart running (or why you want to get into it)!

2. Post on social media (twitter or Facebook):

Twitter: “Check it out, @NewBalance + @Healthy_Chicks are giving away a free pair of #FreshFoam 980 running shoes! http://healthy-chicks.com/?p=5876”

Facebook: “Check it out, New Balance + Healthy Chicks are giving away a free pair of #FreshFoam 980 running shoes! http://healthy-chicks.com/?p=5876” (Be sure to tag Healthy Chicks and New Balance)

Note: This review is open to US & Canada readers only. I will choose a random winner by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, 2/28.

Best of luck!

Happy running,

Rachel

Big thank you to New Balance for my new pair of sweet kicks! Note: I was given a pair of Fresh Foam 980 running shoes from New Balance for review, but was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own, as always!

 
Loading...
Get on my list to receive FREE weekly bursts of healthspiration from yours truly (+ my 10 A-Hah Moments)!