Good morning Healthy Chickies! Hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far, and enjoying this odd warm-ish weather in the Boston area. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with lots of new recipes, products and ideas. Here’s what I’m lovin’ this week:
1. Taste Nirvana Coconut Water: My friend Kelley introduced me to this coconut water last night at Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, and claimed it was “the best coconut water in the world.” I have to give it to her; she was indeed right. It tasted smooth, savory and sweet all at once and I found myself begging for more when I took my last sip. I love that it’s bottled in a glass container, and that the coconuts are sourced from the famous Thailand plantations. Definitely adding this to my favorites.
2. New Business Cards: I ordered new business cards a couple weeks ago on VistaPrint because I wanted to create something unique that screams “Rachel.” Since I love writing and feel-good quotes/inspirations, I decided to make a mini collage of words that describe me and my business Zesty Living on the back, as opposed to the typical blank backside. Check ‘em out.
3. Festive Holiday Nails: Lovin’ the new holiday lines by OPI and Essie, like these shades of red and green. My nails are the red, although I am color blind (with issues between green and red) so there’s not much differentiation for me anyway.
4. Health Coaching Shout-Out: Health Coaches got a special shout out in the December issue of Women’s Health magazine. They even wrote a special mention of Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I got my certificate from. Did I cut this clip out and pin it up? You bet I did!
5. Sprouted Sunflower Seeds: I purchased these organic, sprouted sunflower seeds by kaia foods with a credit I had from Swanson Vitamins. I went with the Garlic & Sea Salt and Sweet Curry variety. So far, I am a huge fan. Sprouted sunflower seeds make for the perfect healthy snack when you’re craving something crunchy and salty. Instead going for chips or packaged snack foods, treat yourself to a handful of these gems.
Note: I was given a complimentary $20 credit from Swanson Vitamins, a great outlet to buy discounted, healthy eats and products.
6. NatureBox: Strive to provide your family with healthy snacks, but simply don’t know where to begin or have the time to shop? That’s where NatureBox comes in! I discovered this unique company a few weeks ago, and actually signed up for the Affiliate Program* because I believe in their mission so dearly. Each month, NatureBox provides you with a box full of healthy snacks and goodies, and you can cancel your subscription any time if you aren’t pleased! Take a peak inside December’s box for yourself. If you’d like to try out their services for yourself, follow this link and use coupon code SPECIAL25 at checkout for $5 off your first order.
*Note: I will receive a small commission based on any orders purchased with my link
What’s been on your “hot list” for the month?
The weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful, but for some reason your holiday season is turning out to be complete chaos. From running around like a chicken with your head cut off to find the perfect gifts for your kids to the temptation and guilt that comes from work cocktail parties, you’re likely feeling completely out of control, and you’re not alone.
Survive the holiday season without gaining a muffin top (and completely losing your mind) with Zesty Living’s Healthy Holiday Crash Course.The course begins the first week of December, as I hold your hand and coach you throughout the holiday season.
Your December Holiday Crash Course includes:
- One initial 30-minute power session to discuss your goals, dietary restrictions, and health concerns with simple tips to get you started right away (Over the phone)
- Weekly emails every Monday (4 total) with recipes, tips, handouts and articles to keep you on track
- A healthy holiday shopping list to jumpstart your success!
- Unlimited email support to guide you along the way
- One 60-minute phone session upon completion of course to discuss improvements, Q & A, and anything on your mind!
- BONUS: FREE one-hour healthy shopping tour (limited to Boston area) OR workout DVD
Topics covered in this course include: Healthy Holiday Shopping, Easy & Delicious Party Recipes, Taming Your Sweet Tooth & Craving Control, Self Care & Stress Reduction, and Staying Motivated & Setting Your Intentions for the New Year.
Sign up for your Holiday Crash Course today for a special price of only $89. Consider it my holiday gift to you. Email me at email@example.com or visit my website Zesty Living to learn more.
P.S. Stumped on what to get that special someone this holiday season? Consider purchasing a high-speed Vitamix blender to make energizing green smoothies, heart-warming soups, and more all season long! Followthis link or enter code 06-00 7907 at checkout to recieve FREE shipping (a $25 value). I’m in LOVE with mine, and know it’d make the perfect gift for someone you love…
[colorful juices at Life Alive!]
Good morning ladies. I gave my blog a makeover yesterday: a facial, hairdo, the works! How do you like the new look? I’ve been looking for something a little more clean and fresh, that still shows off my fun, girly style and I think I found just that.
Last night, I met my friend Megan to celebrate her engagement! We started with hot yoga at Prana Power Yoga in Central Square for a Prana 2 Music class, which was an incredible 75-minute sweat fest. I loved the music, energy and general vibe of the class. Everyone was so concentrated on their particular practice, without any judgement or too much critique (I hate when the entire class is the teacher “fixing” your posture although I do appreciate some direction).
I set my intention for my practice to be ROCKING MY BUSINESS and wishing my boyfriend safe travels on his upcoming trip with his mother. His mother has been battling Early Onset Alzheimer’s for the past seven years, and with numerous medications and treatments she has continued to get worse. That’s why my boyfriend decided to take matters into his own hands, and is going to take her to the Living Foods Institute in Atlanta, GA for a 17-day intensive holistic program including colonics, massage, spiritual cleansing, detox, and a boatload of raw, living foods. I have high hopes that this treatment is going to help his mother heal and slowly get some of her independence back. You can read more about his trip here, or donate if you choose.
OK, back to last night. After yoga, I took Megan to Live Alive since she’s never been and I knew she’d fall in love. Live Alive is a beautiful organic cafe located in Central Square, with a number of healthy, feel-good dishes. We both ordered demi warm plates (the Lover for me, the Healer for her) and some fresh juice (Thrive Alive and Jive Alive). I always feel so relaxed and zen at Live Alive, and would go there everyday if it was up to me. I’m glad Megan felt the same!
Now, for a FALL SPECIAL announcement: I am running some specials for my business Zesty Living, on both 3-month and 6-month programs and my Healthy Grocery Store Tours (for those in the Boston area). Program specials expire 10/31 and store tours must be booked by 11/11. For more information, or to sign up for a FREE initial health consultation, visit my website.
Have a wonderful day!
Last week, I hosted my first workshop at Fitness Together North End for my health counseling business Zesty Living. On the second Wednesday of every month, I will be leading a wellness workshop on various topics, ranging from healthy snacks to a green smoothie demo. This month’s topic was Healthy Breakfasts for Busy & Active Professionals.
For those who missed out, I wrote a blog post highlighting the discussion:
You know what they say: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” While you may have heard this over and over again, it’s about time you listen up.
Not only is breakfast a great way to start the day off on the right (healthy) foot, but it’s essentially “breaking the fast” from not eating for 8 to 10 hours throughout the night. Therefore, when we awake, our bodies are screaming for food and nourishment, so the first meal we put into them—breakfast, that is—is extremely important.
Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast can increase the metabolism, promote clear, focused thinking, curb cravings, decrease mood swings, and potentially lower our LDL (bad cholesterol).
If that’s not enough reason to squeeze in some breakfast, I don’t know what is.
While we now know breakfast is important, you may be wondering, ‘where do we begin?’
[You can read the rest of this post here over at Fitness Together North End's blog...]
What’s your favorite breakfast? What makes you feel your ultimate best in the morning?
The other day, I ran into a friend on the street, and we caught up for a few minutes. As we both updated each other on our entrepreneurial lifestyles, we got into a discussion on our goals and to-dos.
In just a few minutes, we realized we both shared something in common: too many goals, thoughts and ideas! I’ve always been the type of many ideas, creativity one of my greatest strengths. I’d lead the creative projects at work, write my little heart away, and buckle down the big plans for the weekend.
While being creative is a strength in my book, it’s also one of my greatest weaknesses. Not creativity in itself, but more so the fact that I have a hard time focusing on just one thing.
I want to publish a book, travel the world, get certified in some sort of group fitness activity (kickboxing? yoga?), take cooking classes, hit my salary goals, start a group health counseling program, build a business with The Boy, get published in a women’s health magazine, start writing wellness newsletters for corporations; the list goes on and on.
As we discussed our endless “to-dos” my friend suggested writing everything down, then picking two to three things to focus on at a time. The big things. The things that inspire you. That drive you. That make you excited. Those are the things you’ll want to tackle first. And then, once completed, you can look back in your jar of goals and pick a few more. Not only does this make things much more manageable, but you’ll feel more successful completing two to three things, than working on a million little things at once without any big results.
I also recommended using your strengths to your advantage. If you’re a good writer, use writing as a way to build your business by sending out newsletters, personalized cards or flyers. If you are Miss Organized (think Monica on Friends) make use of your impeccable filing skills.
Once you focus on the qualities you’re best at, hire out or ask for help on those tasks that aren’t very you. For me, I lack organization and techy stuff, so I ask for help in those areas. Hence having my best friend design my business logo for me, instead of attempting to do it myself.
It’s OK to ask for help, you know. This doesn’t make you week; it makes you human.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you try to tackle too many things at once? What do you do to stay on track when you get in over your head?
Good afternoon lovely ladies! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far. Lately, I’ve been feeling wonderful inside and out, mostly due to these three little new habits of mine:
- Going to bed earlier (and waking up earlier) which makes morning workouts that much easier and more powerful!
- Getting back into running. I start training for the Newport Half Marathon this week! I can’t believe this will be my third half…boy does time fly by. I’m torn between using Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 or Intermediate training program, which mixes in Speedwork.
- Shutting down completely (no phone, no iPod, no computer, no TV) an hour before bed for some pleasure reading. Currently I’m reading Bright Side Up: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now by Amy Spencer.
On other notes, my business Zesty Living will be hosting a workshop on craving control next Thursday, July 26th from 5:30-7 pm. at Oficio on Newbury Street, Boston MA. You may read the details below & register here. I am running a promo from now until Friday at 5:30 p.m.! Simply enter promo code summerfun50 for 50% off your tickets.
Are you a stress eater who craves things like salty french fries and cheesy pizza? Or maybe you’re the type who absolutely needs to have a bowl of ice cream or a bar of chocolate after dinner?
No matter what type of food you crave, there’s usually a deeper meaning behind those cravings.
Join Rachel Chemerynski, Health Coach and founder of Zesty Living, for an interactive workshop that’ll help you understand the underlying causes of your cravings and little tricks to prevent overeating and emotional eating that often go hand in hand.
During the workshop, Rachel will teach you how to deconstruct those cravings, asking your body, “What do I want and why?”
Get ready for a great conversation, Q & A, and lots of laughs with a group of like-minded ladies!
Each attendee will be provided with a healthy goodie bag to go home with at the end.
Register now or learn more: http://getrealaboutcravings.eventbrite.com/
[summertime and the livin's easy...]
June 20th officially marks the first day of summer, which at temperatures hitting the mid-90s today makes perfect sense. I don’t know about you but it seems as though life is moving at 1,000 mph, and that in the blink of an eye we went from fireside cuddling and cocoa to lemonade stands, summer ales and BBQs.
As I mentioned in my June Newsletter for Zesty Living (feel free to subscribe to receive my FREE newsletter each month if you haven’t already), for me summer is the perfect time to check in with myself and the life I am living. When you think about it, we are already half-way through 2012, so it makes sense to look back, reflect and re-access those goals you set for yourselves.
If you know me well, you know I’m not a huge fan of quick fixes, New Year’s resolutions or rigorous D-I-E-T-S, but rather making little everyday changes that lead to big results. After all, I know just as much as anyone that if you TELL someone to change their ways or beliefs, they’re most likely going to rebel by doing that something even more. That’s why diets don’t work longtime, and why little kids go for the cookie & candy jar even if it’s “off limits.”
Rather, we must take baby steps in order to create changes, incorporating new things one step at a time. As one of the IIN speaker’s Howard Lyman said during our lecture this morning, “You don’t have to do it all; you just have to do what you can.” These are words we can take with us in all aspects of life, be it starting your own business or straightening up your diet.
Here are 5 Little things you can do right now that’ll lead to a BIG impact on your overall health:
1. Cut out all forms of artificial sweeteners for one week, and see how you feel. That means no Splenda in your coffee, diet sodas, sugarfree candies and desserts. Be sure to READ THE LABELS as these, sometimes detrimental, chemical sweeteners can sneak their way into anything and everything these days. If you can do one week, try two, three, a month and so on. Take note on how this makes you feel, both internally and externally, mentally and physically.
2. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water, and actually do it not just say you’ll do it. If you think water is boring and can’t stand the taste, spruce is up with fresh mint leaves, grapefruit, lemon or lime wedges. Note how this effects your energy, your bloat, your digestion and your mood. If you’re craving sugar, drink a glass of water first. Before you go for that second Coke, fill yourself up with some good ol’ fashioned H2O and then see if you still want it afterward. 9 times out of 10, you will not.
3. Visit a local farmer’s market and purchase a full meal for you and your family/sweetie/self. While there, interact with the vendors and find out where your food is coming from, how it was grown, why they got into this business, and different ways you can prepare the food for yourself at home. It’s fascinating how much you can learn from taking to the farmers, and finding out how your food got from the source to your plate.
Step 2: Next time you are at the supermarket, read the label on every single item you put into your cart. If you can’t pronounce it or see a list that’s longer than your grocery bill, question where it came from. Ask yourself, is this worth it? Do I really want to put this into my body?
4. Get Outside as much as you can, even if that means going for a 20 minute walk on your lunch break at work, or going for that far-too-long-delayed jog while the sun is going down. Better yet, pack up your stuff, buy a tent, and go camping for the weekend. You’ll be able to get some fresh air, unplug for a few days, and simply be at one with nature.
5. Set aside five minutes every day to breathe and simply be alone with yourself and your thoughts. If you have more time, try practicing yoga or guided meditations. But even for those who say “I don’t have time,” anyone and I mean ANYONE has time to give up five minutes of their day to just be. Close your eyes, be thankful for what you have and what you’ve done, and let all those worries float away. It’s amazing how much five minutes can actually do.
While I was slightly nervous during the week leading up to the event, everything went as smooth as can be and I’ve never felt more confident in the work I am doing and growing my business. I truly feel I have finally found my calling, and am doing the work I feel most passionate about. It also didn’t hurt that I had the support of my wonderful friends and my sister, who captured pictures and videos (and helped me lug all of my heavy bags!).
While you can read a bit more about the event description here, I wanted to share a few highlights from the evening with you.
As attendees trickled in, I had appetizers on the table to snack on like Mediterranean Snacks lentil crackers, Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snacks, organic sliced celery & carrots, and artichoke hummus.
To break the ice, everyone went around the room to share their #1 guilty pleasure or greatest health concern, which ranged from late-night pizza to Mike’s Pastry’s Amaretto cannoli. I then shared my personal story of how I escaped a lifetime of dieting to where I am today (happy, confident, and 20+ pounds lighter) all thanks to loving and appreciating my body, and just as importantly: eating real food.
I kicked off the workshop by discussing the top 12 food additives to steer clear of, many of which are frighteningly enough found in most packaged foods today! This includes things such as artificial sweeteners like Aspartame (which is appallingly found in Dannon Light & Fit yogurt), MSG, artificial colors (straight up synthetic chemicals), partially hydrogenated oils (hello trans fat!), and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), all of which have numerous detrimental side effects.
Everyone was completely shocked by some of the statistics, many saying they’ll think twice next time they’re grocery shopping. I then went into a discussion of my “Top 7 Healthy Foods That Aren’t Healthy,” offering up healthier, more natural alternatives for each. I covered everything from Diet drinks like Crystal Light and Diet Soda (both containing numerous artificial sweeteners and colors hence drinking CHEMICALS), foods with health claims (low fat! sugar free! all natural! made with ‘real’ingredients!) to reduced fat/nonfat foods and wheat products claiming they’re “made with whole grains.”
For each topic, I gave a number of real-life examples, stressing the importance of READING THE LABEL and knowing the ingredients you’re putting into your body. For instance, did you know Skinny Cow ice cream contains high fructose corn syrup, a highly refined sugary substance derived from corn starch that’s linked to diabetes and obesity? Or that Vitamin Water is actually owned by Coca Cola and was sued for advertising their product as healthy, even when it contains over 30 grams of sugar, essentially sugar-induced water? Oh, or how about the fact that most veggie burgers out there contain over 60 ingredients, many of which aren’t vegetables at all?
While these factoids may seem shocking, it’s unfortunately the truth. When sugar-laded breakfast cereals like Lucky Charms have health claims all over the box, and fake packaged cheeses, breads, and snacks stock 99% of the supermarket, we know we are in HEALTH CRISIS.
Throughout the session, I shared healthier alternatives for the group to try including Vita Coco Coconut Water, a homemade Quinoa & Wild Rice Salad, garlic & basil goat cheese from the Copley Square Farmer’s Market with Mary’s Gone Cracker’s herb crackers, a variety of Truebars and KIND Bars, and almond butter with sliced organic apples. I guess it’s fair to say I feed my people well!
[quinoa & rice salad with goat cheese, celery, cherries and toasted pecans]
After our discussion, I shared my personal tips on how to eat real food in a society where real food is hard to come by, including one of my favorites: eating whole fruits and vegetables that don’t come in a package and shopping from local farmer’s markets. We then concluded the workshop with a quick Q & A session, where I answered any last minute questions that weren’t covered during the evening.
Each attendee left with a little brown goodie bag including:
- Vita Coco Coconut Waters
- Exhale pass for a comp Core Fusion or Yoga class
- a variety of herbal and green teas
- Kind Bars
- organic chocolate
- An Eventbrite notebook
I can say with 100% confidence (and a huge grin on my face) that the event was a success. I look forward to hosting additional workshops in the Boston area, and will keep you posted on my next one in July! Big thank you to Eventbrite for inviting me to take part in their Week of Wellness in Boston.
What’s your diet like? What are areas you wish to improve on? Do you eat REAL food?
[Now is the time to stand up on your two feet and make things happen]
Good aftenoon chickies! Sorry I haven’t posted in quite some time, but I’ve been super busy living the life, which is what it’s all about after all right? From working (and attending) some pretty amazing events like the Top Chef Tour of Boston and the Boston Organics Food Festival (recap on the blog coming soon!) to writing and publishing my little heart away, growing my business and planning my first workshop, I’ve been one busy lady.
Now that summer is just around the corner, I’m dedicating these next few months to making it happen. More specifically, that is putting my “wants”, “needs” and dreams into effect.
Last night while at the Dave Mathews Band concert with The Boy, the lyrics to one of their new songs Gaucho really struck a chord with me:
“We gotta do much more than believe if we really wanna change things
We gotta do much more than believe if we wanna see the world change…
I know its hard to imagine
But we could do anything
Under the stars.”
I know it’s easier said than done, but what I took away from these meaningul words is that if you want something badly enough, you need to go out there and make it happen. No one ever accomplished their biggest dreams and aspirations by sitting in an office (or behind a computer) waiting, wishing and hoping. And I’ve also come to realize that complaining, stressing, or whining about a particular situation does no good either.
If you know me well or read my blog often, you can tell that I’m a woman of many wonderful ideas but that sometimes I struggle with following through and making it really happen. But now is the time to stop all that contemplating and thinking and just do it.
While I’m not ready to fully announce what’s in store, some of my plans include starting a walking/running club for women in Boston featuring healthy snacks and weekly wellness meetings to build confidence, vent about life, and most importantly: laugh. I’m also taking part in an island yoga retreat series, where I’ll be assisting my good friend and business partner Kelley in cooking holistic, nutritious meals for the group.
So what’s a gal to do when she’s not clear on her dreams, or simply needs a little push? How will I (and you too) go about getting exactly what you want effectively? Whether you’re looking to make a big career change or have a personal goal of running a half marathon, here are my personal “words of wisdom” that have worked in the past:
1. Check in with yourself every now and then. Ask questions like, “Am I happy?” “Are there any changes I need to make?” “What do I want to change?” “What’s holding me back?” “What am I missing?”
2. Once you’re clear on exactly what’s going on internally, it’s time to Set some clear goals. Write down exactly what you want on a sheet of paper, and post it to your bulliten board. Or post some inspirational photos to your fridge of places, people you admire or even pictures of yourself at your happiest time. Better yet, create a vision board of all things you want in life and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day to remind yourself what it is you’re working toward.
Try not to be too vague about your goals, but rather create real landmarks that are easy to envision. For example, on my vision board you can see that I posted a picture of Natural Health magazine and wrote “Be published in a women’s health magazine featuring an article on holistic health & wellness…a dream come true to have my own byline!” instead of just “Get published.” And instead of writing, “Make more money,” I wrote down exactly how much I want to be making and what I’d want to use that money for. “Have enough money to be able to treat myself to monthly massages, gym memberships, yoga retreats and other wellness activities”
3. Take Action. Vision boards and lists are a great way to visualize what it is you want, but it’s up to you to make that happen. So get out there and take action! At Nutrition School, the teachers always remind us that we’re not going to get any clients sitting behind a computer all day, or hiding inside. Rather we need to step outside our comfort zone, get outside and begin talking/networking/building relationships if we want things to start changing.
This has forced me to get outside and attend networking events, talk to people who are older or in higher positions than me whom I’d normally be too shy to do so, and build confidence in my work.
4. Give it Time. Learn to be patient, and understand that the greatest things in life don’t transpire overnight. If we all got what we wanted as easy as that, we’d be a big bunch of bored women. Work hard at it, want it, and I can assure you it will happen for you.
In the meantime, pamper yourself with love. Take yoga classes, go on long, thought-provoking walks, meet up with friends who make you feel good inside. Little things like such can sometimes be just as important as the big things.
Alright, I’m out. About to go step away from my Mac and make it happen, reallllly happen.
Good afternoon, and Happy Memorial weekend! I hope you are all out enjoying this beautiful weather, BBQing, beaching and sipping on refreshing, summery drinks.
Attention Boston friends & readers: I just wanted to remind you that I’ll be hosting an interactive workshop called Get Real (About Food) for my business Zesty Living at Oficio on Newbury Street on Thursday, June 14th. You can read more details below, and purchase your “Early Bird” tickets here on Eventbrite. It’ll be a wonderful night of networking, socializing, learning and eating delectable (healthy) treats. Yes, I’ll even feed you!
Special Bonus: To all my blog readers and friends of readers, you can use promo code blogperk for $2 off your ticket!