Reaching My Goals & Get Real (About Food) Event Announcement

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[Big thanks to best friend/inspirer/other half Marybeth P. for designing my logo]

Happy Friday ladies! Remember a few weeks ago when I laid out my Life “Wish List” goals? Well, I’m happy to say that many of them are coming into full affect, particularly my business-related goals for Zesty Living.

I’ve been really focusing on networking, reaching out, and putting myself out there lately (even if that means writing and working on business ideas at the local coffee shop instead of at my apartment in my PJs.) It’s amazing how many  opportunities and inspiration you can find from other like-minded passionate people; the world really is a big place filled with many, many ideas!

Well, partly due to my positive vibes and vision board (I’m certain this is part of it), things have really been picking up lately. In fact, I’m hosting my very own healthy eating workshop all by myself (eek!) in mid-June , with another speaking engagement at the end of June (details to come).

Here are the ins & outs of my “Get Real (About Food)” workshop on June 14th at Oficio on Newbury Street:

Join Rachel Chemerynski, Health Coach and founder of Zesty Living, for a healthy, casual Girl’s Night Out on Newbury Street.

Forget about non fat, sugar free, carb-free, diet-obsessed living! During this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to incorporate a variety of flavorful foods made with real ingredients that actually taste good (and are good for your body too).

During the workshop, Rachel will touch upon deceiving marketing gimmicks (including a list of “healthy” foods that aren’t), analyzing food labels, and how to maneuver your way through the supermarket without having a mental breakdown in the baked goods aisle.

Oh, and be sure to bring your appetite! You’ll be provided with delicious drinks and all-natural appetizers to complement the discussion, as well as a healthy “goodie bag” for each attendee to go home with at the end.

Get ready for great conversation, delectable eats, and of course lots of laughs with an amazing group of like-minded ladies!

To learn more about my workshop, check out the event details on Eventbrite here.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Life Wish List

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I recently started a “Wish List” board on Pinterest featuring all things I want, from elegant  yoga-inspired jewelry to the Canon G9 PowerShot camera my sister has that will enable me to take much prettier pictures of food/life/everyday beauty. Perhaps that will finally encourage me to bring out my inner photographer? One can only hope.

During the process of “pinning” I realized I was a little bit constricted as everything I posted were just things, you know objects. And in reality, there are a lot of things on my “wish list” that don’t necessarily have a price tag, a fancy package or a tangible image. There are many things I wish for in life that involve events, actions, and happiness and these are the big things I’d like to focus on this month.

So yesterday during my two-hour bus ride home to Connecticut, I decided to make a list of things I both want and expect from myself. I call it a wish list, but it’s more or less a list of desirable goals I’ve had for myself for a while now and just need to implement.

Here’s What I’ve got on my plate:

Personal Wish List:

Yoga/meditation at LEAST once a week (aim for 2) Currently there is slim to none of this and I know it helps calm my restless mind tremendously

Run at least twice a week Again, I have been neglecting running for a while now because “It’s too cold” or “It’s raining” or “I already did Core Fusion” or “But I worked out yesterday” and it’s time to quit the excuses and suck it up. I love running. Running helps me think. It makes me feel wonderful about my body. It’s an incredible tool for finding clarity.

-Join the gym! Which brings me to this point; on days it’s raining/snowing/too sunny/too cold/too hot I will have the gym to escape to. Currently I’ve been sticking to at-home workouts, Core Fusion and yoga but sometimes it’s nice to have an outlet for everyday exercise that = the gym for me. Joining Monday after Easter. You can hold me to it.

Work out in the a.m. I know my body, and what works best for me. Morning workouts bring the greatest bliss to my day. Morning it shall be.

Pamper & love myself more often Be it a massage, a new pair of yoga pants, a cup of gourmet tea, an expensive lunch at Whole Foods that I truly enjoy, or a day to me, myself and I. It doesn’t have to be pampering myself with something monetary; even reading 40 pages in a new book will suffice. Work will always be there, and I need to remember to put myself first sometimes. What’s the point if you’re not taking care of yourself first?

Business Wish List a la Zesty Living:

Plan to attend at least one outside networking event per month. Bring business cards/ step outside my comfort zone I need to put myself out there more if I want to see big success. This I will do.

-Come up with a writing proposal & reach out to local magazines, publications, newspapers, companies, online brands for freelance work. I went to school for journalism after all, and now I am finally getting a degree in something I’m passionate about: holistic health. Apply your degree mixed with your fiery passion and start earning money and recognition for your hard work, Rachel! Just do it. Don’t think about it. Do it. Just think of how wonderful it will feel to see your name (not someone else’s name) in print under an article you worked hard on.

Organize my Calender, scheduling time for everything including personal time/networking time/marketing time/event time/client time/ you-name-it-time

What’s on your personal and/or occupational wish list? Do you make goals that you find hard to stick to? What’s something you’ve been wanting to cross off your list for a while now?

4 Ways to Feel Healthier, Happier & Altogether More Wholesome Right Now

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As you know, I’m usually not a fan of “quick fixes.” I believe in a whole, individualized approach to health & wellness (meaning small, gradual changes make big differences and many things effect our health in different ways) and I greatly despise the word D-I-E-T. Living a healthy, pure lifestyle isn’t just a checklist that you do once to see results; rather it’s the day-to-day that counts.

That being said, there are a few things I practice nearly every day to feel happier, healthier, and more whole in the moment. Yes, these little tips will work better if you combine them with other methods that personally work for you, but this is a great jump-start. Like I said, little changes = big differences.

4 Things I Do Every Day for My Health:

#1 I attempt to cook at least two, ideally three of my meals myself. Doing this allows me to know exactly what’s going into my food, and essentially into my body. I love dining out just as much as the next girl, but quite frankly it doesn’t always work for my budget not my taste buds. Cooking allows me to have delectable roasted veggie omelets for breakfast served with my favorite Ezekiel bread, quick & easy lunch wraps or homemade soups, heavenly risotto with grilled salmon and fresh lemon and dill for dinner. You see, in making meals for yourself, you have the power.

#2 I chug water like crazy, ideally with lemon in the morning, and then switching to herbal tea a couple hours before bed. This makes my body feel clean, well, and restored and my mind to feel clear, smart, and less foggy over all. Drinking water can improve digestion, tame cravings, among a number of other miraculous things. Are you drinking enough water?

#3 I dedicate ‘me’ time, even on my busiest of days. This is something I am working on improving every day, as I tend to be a do-it-all, shop-til-you-drop, glued-to-my-computer kinda gal. In effect, I’m a bit hard on myself sometimes. To prevent stress and make me a happier person in general, I like to give myself time each day for me, whether it be catching up on a favorite show, reading a blog, magazine or book I love, or even going for a 30 minute run. Yesterday, I treated myself to a facial due to my skin issues and now feel absolutely fabulous. Do what you love, and what makes you happy. If you had 30 minutes of nothing, how would you spend it?

#4 I laugh with my friends and sister over coffee, with my boyfriend over the phone, or even at myself. In all seriousness, I do. I see people every day who take themselves way too seriously, and almost have a permanent, stern, angry face on all the time. Let go. Be a little easier on yourself. Know that one day of imperfection won’t kill you; it’ll in fact help you. Attempt to lighten up and enjoy the little, pretty things in life. If it’s excess baggage from the past, reaccess if it’s really worth holding on to. If it’s a bad day or a missed train or a serious family issue, try to view it with a different perspective. What’s holding you back?…

Wellness Week: A Super Healthy Giveaway Up for Grabs!

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Speaking of cleansing (read my 3-day cleanse description here), I’ve totally been on a healthy, raw-food-loving, treat-my-body-well kick lately, and want to spread that cheer with you all (with a super sweet giveaway that is). Yup, I’ve got some exciting news for all my lovely blog readers this afternoon! ZICO Coconut Water and SpaFinder have teamed together in honor of Wellness Week (which begins March 19th), and are giving away a “Wellness Package” to one lucky Healthy Chick’s reader.

The Fabulous Package includes:

-ZICO yoga mat & bag

-Case of Chocolate Coconut Water (12-14 oz)

-$25 SpaFinder gift certificate

-Some other wellness inspired goodies (TBD)

I’m so happy to be able to (hopefully) make one of your days. So, let’s get rolling! To enter the giveaway, you can do one (or all) of these tasks below. Each task you complete, I’ll enter you in for the drawings that many times. For instance, if you tweet-tweet and like ZICO/ Healthy Chicks on Facebook, that’ll count as two entrees hence increasing your chance of winning.

Here are your tasks:

1. Comment on this post letting me know what wellness means to you OR why you want to win, along with what task(s) you’ve completed. (Mandatory to enter)

2. “Like” ZICO and  Healthy Chicks on Facebook (if you haven’t already)

3.Tweet “Check it out, @Healthy_Chicks and @ZICO are running a sweet giveaway for #wellnessweek http://tinyurl.com/87tv5gz”

4. Bonus point for checking out my health counseling site Zesty Living (a light browse will be just fine…this ones totally based on honor code)

Best of luck! I’ll be picking one random winner by the end of the day on Sunday, March 18th.

XoXo,


Workout Woes: 3 Feel Good Moves When You Just Aren’t Feeling It

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We all know exercise is beneficial not only for our body (who doesn’t love a little extra glute-toning), but for our mental health as well. Many women track hours at the gym, have a strict running routine, or even take several group fitness classes (such as core fusion) in one day. But what’s a girl to do when she’s simply not feeling it? Do we really need to be so strict on ourselves?

Let’s face it, we are only human. While many of us strive to be superwoman at times, even the fitness fanatics among us have their “off” days. And guess what? That’s totally OK and get this…normal.

I know what it’s like to feel guilt for skipping a workout. Heck, I even skipped my 6:15 a.m. Core Fusion Cardio class this morning because the gloomy weather was a huge turnoff, and well, my need for a good night’s sleep was much more important to me. I had a busy week, I was tired and I needed some good old-fashioned beauty rest. Old me would have beat myself up over this for days, but new me simply let’s it go. Now I don’t skip my workouts every day, but when I’m not feeling it I don’t force myself to go.

Anyway, I’ve got some good news for all of you guilt-prone ladies out there. There are little moves you can do that’ll help you to be a little less hard on yourself, while not feeling like a bump on a log.

1. Make it a Clean Day: Just because you’re skipping the gym doesn’t make you “fat” or “unhealthy” at all. If you’re letting this guilt get to you, why not make it a clean day in the kitchen? Eat a hearty breakfast filled with whole grains and protein, like rolled oats with flax seed, almond butter and sliced banana or peaches, or maybe a cage-free egg white omelet  like this Vegetarian Farmer’s Omelet filled with sauteed veggies and a slice of Ezekiel bread.

Then drink lots of water throughout the day to flush your system of toxins, and get rid of any extra belly bloat. For the rest of the day, fill yourself up with lots of green leafy vegetables (think kale, spinach, or collard greens), healthy fats like olive oil or coconut oil for cooking,fresh fruit,  and lean proteins like antibiotic-free natural chicken or fish. As I always say, the more real and simple the food is, the better so try to avoid anything that comes from a package especially items that have dozens of ingredients.

2. Move It Along: Just because you’ve made the decision to take a break from that whole working out thing  doesn’t mean you have to sit around and eat pizza on the couch all afternoon, although we all have those kinds of days too and that’s completely OK.

If you’re feeling up for it, why not go for a walk with a friend around town? As you chat away, you won’t even realize you’ve walked nearly 3 miles around the city! If you’ve been running like a maniac lately and have really been feeling it in your knees, a local yoga class may be a good alternative for you. Maybe it’s just the weather is what’s keeping you from going to your favorite class. Whenever this happens, I chose to do an at-home workout DVD or On Demand exercise instead so I can still start the day on the right food, and get a mini sweat session in.

3. Relax Alright, so you took a day (or even a week) off from running and you’re feeling a little blue. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe your body needs that break? Have you been to hard on yourself lately? Did you find yourself in a workout rut where you become angry instead of excited to take a class? These are all signs that maybe your body is craving a mini vacation from strenuous exercise.

When you find yourself feeling this way, it’s best to just take some time for yourself. Cuddle up after work with some peppermint herbal tea and a good book. Close your eyes for ten, even five minutes and just breathe. Meditate. Take a long bath or shower with some aromatherapy oils. Taking care of our mental self is just as important as taking care of our physical body, so try to give yourself a little leeway.

If you’re prone to guilt when you skip a workout, find it hard to relax and be at peace with yourself, or are looking for a way to revamp your diet without going on a diet, I may be able to help you. As a health coach, I work with women who are looking to get that “zest” back into their lives & escape a lifestyle of yo-yo dieting. To learn more you can visit my website here or schedule a FREE initial health consultation with me today.

Have a wonderful day,

My Super-sized Vision Board: Relationship, Career, Personal & Financial Success

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Remember when I told you guys I made a vision board with The Boy last month? Well, I decided to revamp it completely! You see, my first vision board was on a scrap piece of white-lined paper and it didn’t give me enough room to really express every little thing I want in life. Plus, with all the focus lately on my new health counseling business Zesty Living, I’ve been thinking a lot about goals and what I want for myself.

That’s when the vision board construction went down. For the past few days, I’ve been tearing witty words, motivating pictures, and inspirational phrases out of magazines, as well as surfing the web for ideas.

Voilà! This is the result:

I decided to break it down into sections: career, relationship, and personal well-being.

Career/Financial:

  • Create and sell some sort of wellness product, be it inspirational greeting cards, all-natural body scrubs or innovative spice blends!
  • Be financially stable, with a comfortable salary that I can support myself with & not have to cringe every time I “treat” myself to something nice
  • Have a successful, positive, buzzing health counseling business a la Zesty Living with 1-on-1 coaching, group workshops, and (HOPERFULLY) some corporate wellness mixed in
  • Be published in a women’s health magazine featuring an article on holistic health & wellness…a dream come true to have my own byline!
  • Speak in front of a group of people regarding health, happiness and finding balance

Relationship

  • Move in with The Boy in an adorable little Boston area apartment where we’ll wake up together each morning, sip coffee, make tasty dinners, and stay up drinking wine and laughing our faces off!
  • Be a “power couple” both reaping the benefits of being successful entrepreneurs, making our own schedules and ultimately working for ourselves
  • Happy & in love

Personal

  • Feel more calm & at peace with myself
  • Do more yoga – practice regularly!
  • Have enough money to be able to treat myself to monthly massages, gym memberships, yoga retreats and other wellness activities
  • Travel more! (Oh, and be able to afford it and not feel bad about it!)
  • Trouble-free, energized, motivated go-getter
  • Super healthy, happy, fit & feeling my best self
  • Have a plethora of delicious, wholesome, all natural food to cook with each and every day

Have you ever made a vision board? What do you want for yourself this year? What positive steps are you taking to get there?

Organic Broccoli Feta Salad & Recipes Galore

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I am a huge fan of experimenting with new recipes, and I’ll try anything at least once. I remember when I was a young girl, I would love joining my grandmother in the kitchen, carefully watching her every move. I was fascinated (and still am fascinated) by how quick she was with her hands, and by the incredible meals she’d create solely with fresh, simple ingredients.

I also remember what a picky little girl I once was! As my grandma would hand me a “taste test” of whatever she was cooking, be it glazed carrots, celery soup, or venison, I’d always shout out with a disgusted face, “But I don’t like that!Her go-to response: “How do you know if you don’t like it if you don’t try it?” So I’d try it, and at least I’d learn if the taste suited me or not. And 99% of the time, guess what? I liked it.

That’s when I started to expand my taste buds, and experiment with food. My childhood years helped me overcome my fears of the “unknown” and programmed me to try everything…at least once. It transformed me into the woman I am today, and for that I am thankful. I can now say I’ve tried everything from my mom’s chopped liver to sweet bread, Thai cuisine to Indian, raw food to ultra hot spicy food, and can honestly say I’ve enjoyed the journey.

Well today at lunch there was nothing crazy on the menu, but instead of going with my typical bland humus & veggie wrap, or my go-to salad toppings, I decided to think a little outside the box, and it was definitely worth it.

Organic Broccoli Feta Salad

  • 1 c. organic broccoli, chopped
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 c. black beans, rinsed
  • 2 TB crumbled feta cheese
  • dash of chili powder
  • dash of cumin
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • Spritz of fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Mix up in a big bowl and enjoy with a side of hummus and pita or fresh fruit!

Speaking of recipes, I just updated my recipe page over at Zesty Living with 50 nutritious, energizing, zesty combos. Feel free to take a look. Hey, you’ll never know if you don’t try it…

Do you think outside the box when it comes to cooking, or do you stick to your usual daily menu? Are you a daredevil or do you tend to play it safe?


My Top 3 Get Healthy Tips & Introduction to Zesty Living

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Good afternoon ladies! I hope you’re all having a bright, sunshiney week so far. As for me, I’m dedicating this week solely to my health, that is taking care of myself inside and out not only foodwise, but also physically, mentally and spiritually.

Trust me, I understand how chaotic life can get at times with work, friends, relationships, children and other plans, making it seem nearly impossible to make time for yourself.

Unfortunately, during these crazy times, we tend to put our health on the back burner (re: skipping meals, nighttime bingeing, letting stress get the best of you, flaking out on yoga class because you “don’t have time”). You get the picture. What we don’t realize is that by doing this, we’re ultimately hurting ourselves in the long run.

Well, we want our health to move from the back burner to the front burner; yup right in front where everyone can see it. You see, no matter how crazy/impossible/frustrating/stressful our lives can get, we at the very least owe it to ourselves to take care of our health. And I promise it’s not impossible to do!

Here are my Top 3 Get Healthy Tips, and none of them include counting calories, weight loss gimmicks or hitting the gym two hours a day.

1. BREATHE. Yes, I said it. Breatheeeee. Take a second out of your impossible, schedule-driven day to simply check in with yourself. I highly recommend taking weekly yoga classes, but if yoga’s not for you, try meditating or practicing deep breathing before bed. Not only does this help you focus, but you’ll also decrease stress levels (in turn promoting weight loss and a healthy metabolism) find balance, improve your mood, and gain energy.

I also enjoy drinking 16 oz. of water (with lemon if you have it) right upon waking up to get my digestion flowing and start the day fresh.

2. Read the Ingredients While I’m not a fan of defining yourself by the tag on your jeans, I am a fan of the labels on our food. It’s not simply just calories, carbs, and fat. It’s a little more complex than that, and that’s why we need to learn to read the labels of everything we’re putting in our mouth. We all know soda and chips aren’t the best for our health, but do you ever read the ingredients in your everyday bread, favorite snacks, and even your “healthy” vegetable burger. You’ll be shocked by what you can find! If it’s longer than six ingredients or has strange names you can’t pronounce, you can bet your body won’t recognize it either.

You may be inclined to grab a low-calorie, fat free cheese stick but just because it’s “only 60 calories” does not make it healthy. On the same note, a 200 calorie raw, organic bar or a 300-calorie roasted chicken meal does not necessarily mean “high calorie! weight gaining! will ruin my diet!” Like I said, read the ingredients. Ingredients are what matter.

3. Stop Fearing Food The minute I stopped fearing and stressing over food, the weight started coming off. Instead of making a list of all the things you CAN’T HAVE EVER, try to include more fresh, wholesome, energizing foods. If we have a “no” list, the minute a craving sets in, guess what we’re going to go for? Yup, that frozen pizza or ice cream.

Instead, focus on expanding your selection of whole, natural foods (think: whole grains, fruits, vegetables) but allowing yourself a treat here and there if you want one. No foods are “off limit” completely. This approach helps you get control over your cravings, without going overboard.

Recap & Exciting News:

You see, it’s really as easy as 1, 2, 3! However, know that that’s what works for me, and what works for me may not work for you. Speaking of, I’m oh so excited to announce the launch of my new health counseling business Zesty Living, with a holistic, personal approach to living well and reaching your individual goals.

As I mentioned here, Zesty Living specifically caters to savvy business professionals and busy moms who are looking for natural ways to gain energy, reduce stress, lose weight and ultimately get that “zest” back into their lives. If you’re interested in more information or simply want to come along for the ride, I’d love for you to follow me on Twitter here or “like” me on Facebook here.

NOTE: I will be able to start taking clients next month, but in the meantime would love to schedule a FREE health consultation with you to discuss your personal goals and concerns.

 
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