Tag: boston

Lessons Learned: From the Desk to the Farmers Market

Lessons Learned: From the Desk to the Farmers Market

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend checking out my last blog post “My Journey from Corporate to Starting my Own Business” before diving into this one! The last one is truly my full story on why I left my job, how I got to launching BerryGood Bliss, and some of the challenges, fears, and successes I faced in that process. I really want to focus this blog post on the present, where I am now, and lessons learned.

The reality of starting your own business is that unless you get things handed to you on a golden platter, you truly need to start from the bottom and work your way up. It takes a hell of a lot of determination and believing in yourself and your company. I’ll be honest, going from working in a corporate setting to selling my products at local farmers markets is quite humbling. I no longer can wear nail polish on my fingernails because of working in the kitchen each and every day, to getting my hands and nails dirty while setting up and taking down my farmers market stand. I wear dirty converses, jean shorts, and a t-shirt every day. My hair is usually tied up in a messy bun. I usually smell by the end of the day (LOL). I’m running off of endless coffee, yet avoiding water since I don’t have time to run and pee during the market (also LOL). I can’t ever drive anyone in my car since it’s quite literally packed to the brim with a portable freezer, a 10×10 tent, a yeti cooler, tables, supplies, and so on. My beach weekends are now devoted to 5:30AM wakeup calls to work Saturday and Sunday markets. But guess what, I’ve never felt more fulfilled then I do now.

I’m not sharing the above to ask for sympathy or a pitty card, I simply just wanted to share the reality of the situation! This new lifestyle of mine certainly isn’t for everyone and that’s totally fine! It’s definitely not a glamorous job. It takes a lot more manual labor than you think. And honestly, had you told me this 3 years ago that future Calli would be selling popsicles at a farmers market I’d laugh in your face.

What keeps me motivated? Interacting with the customers. Learning about the people who are consuming my goods. What do they like? What don’t they like? Are they newly vegan? Have they faced health issues? Do they have a gluten allergy? Are they struggling to find healthy food that also tastes good? THIS is what keeps me motivated. Knowing that I’m positively impacting someones day, even if it’s through a simple, healthy popsicle! I LOVE that I’m able to touch every step of the process. From prep in the kitchen to selling directly to the customer. When you’re finally able to see your work appreciated by the consumers of your products, it feels as though I finally have a meaningful purpose, even if it’s through bringing simple pleasure to someones tastebuds!

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews

I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to work these farmers markets for so many reasons. The biggest and most meaningful has been the new friends I’ve met along the way. Through all the bad s*** going on in the world right now, I still see so much hope and potential in our little community here in Boston. I’ve met the kindest, sweetest, most personable, and supportive people. Sure, I’ve gotten a few negative comments here and there, but that comes with the reality of putting yourself out there. The positive people far make up for those few negative ones here and there. It’s amazing to see how supportive people are. They truly want to see you succeed and grow. Whether it’s women supporting women, young entrepreneurs, kind elders, or super ambitious college students who are just into healthy eating – you can tell they’re sincere in their support and interactions. I love getting caught up in conversations with folks who come by my tent. THIS is what I look forward to when attending the markets. I’ve had the opportunity to share my knowledge with folks and also have received a wealth of knowledge from those who have stopped by and started up a conversation.

I’ve always been taught that networking is KEY if you want to succeed. However, it’s important to be SINCERE in your networking verse being fake and trying to hard. There’s a fine balance between give & take. If you’re networking to quickly climb to the top, but never giving back what you get, karma can and will bite you in the bum! That being said, there’s 100% a right way to network. Let’s be honest, networking is part of human nature. It’s also a win-win for the BOTH of you if you connect and have things to share/offer to one another, while still establishing a meaningful relationship. That’s truly the power of building connections. It feels good to help someone out and most likely, there’s a future point in your life where that person will have the ability to then help you out in ways that you least expect. It’s especially important while building a brand and your own business to make these connections, show sincere interest, maintain relationships, learn & grown from one another, and ensure you’re portraying a positive reputation.

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke

My overall goal from attending these markets this summer was to establish myself as a legitimate company in the Boston area, build my brand, meet and connect with a diverse group of people, and hopefully establish relationships with other small store/market owners. I’d love to be able to continue doing a few small winter markets to maintain the connection with the community, work with various companies and fitness studios to host events, while also stocking my pops & energy superfood balls in local speciality stores. Although these goals may seem ambitious to some, I just continue to believe in myself and what I’m representing. Sure, plenty moments of doubt seep in nearly everyday, but I do my best to ignore them and focus on the future.

So in summary, here are a few lessons learned from this summer so far in launching my business:

1. Be Open Minded & remain humble.
2. You need to start from the bottom & work the grind.
3. Assess EVERY opportunity. Don’t shut anything down right away.
4. Don’t beat yourself up if someone gives you negative feedback. See how you can use that feedback to only improve.
5. Reach out! Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
6. BELIEVE in what you’re doing. If you are truly passionate about your product/company, people will instantly be drawn in. Positivity is contagious.
7. You need to be put in money, to make money.
8. CONNECT. NETWORK. BE KIND. PERSONABLE. This will go a long way.
9. Social Media is your friend (and also FREE marketing).
10. Interact directly with your consumer. Learn from them and adjust accordingly.

XO,
Cal

My Journey from Corporate to Starting my Own Business…

My Journey from Corporate to Starting my Own Business…

Hi there!

First off, I want to apologize for my summer hiatus from writing. Though I have not been active on the blog, I’ve been keeping up with my instagram daily as it’s all I’ve had the capacity for! To be honest, my creative juices have been exhausted through instagram posts and cooking, yoga, and…well, my new business I started back in May. Yep, you heard it here first! I’m finally ready to share my latest endeavors, from leaving my job back in November, to starting my own food business. It’s been quite an interesting journey and until now, I haven’t felt ready to share it with you all. If I’m being completely honest, I kept a lot of what I was doing on the down-low, even to close friends and family. Why? Mostly out of the fear of failure.

Failure is a scary thing. Especially when you spontaneously take the leap of faith and leave your stable income and structured 8-5 desk job. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something. But it’s even scarier to actually take action on that and make an idea come to life. Myself and those close to me had doubts, and for good reason! I was about to enter into a world of the unknown. Who am I to declare myself an entrepreneur in the food business? I’ve had 0 experience with any of the above. So, what was the biggest motivating factor knowing that so much could go wrong with this dream? Living with Regret. The fear of living my entire life in regret vs. the fear of losing 1-2 years of my young 20’s as a Sr. HR Generalist greatly outweighed the latter. So here’s my story on the WHY, the HOW, and WHERE I am now in the midst of this crazy new chapter of my life…

The WHY.

To keep this story from becoming a short novel, I’ll try and break things down as easily as possible. I was working as an Human Resources Business Partner at one of the largest information technology companies. I started as an intern there, quickly fell in love with the company, the people, and my opportunity to grow and progress as an individual. My transformation from an intern to where I was just just 10 months ago never seizes to surprise me. I worked with fearless and empowering females, who quickly became role models and mentors in my life. This company shaped me and equipped me with the interpersonal tools, business mindset, and confidence I now have today. Like most companies in the technology industry these days, we were bought out by yet another large tech company. It was at this point when my role changed and I had to take a step back to assess my future with this company. The same excitement I used to have waking up in the morning and coming into work was lost. I began to evaluate my current situation. Was having a stable desk job and salary worth my happiness? It sounds like an easy answer, but there’s more to it. There’s risk. There’s doubt. There’s fear of walking away from something that became “comfortable” to me. Where was I going to go next? What would I do? Will I be happy in yet another desk job?

It seemed as though all of this came at a right time in my life. I like to look at situations like this as a sign from the universe (as hippy-dippy as this may sound, I firmly believe it). Our company being bought out was truly the extra push I needed as part of this self-realization I was experiencing. It all seemed to come at the right time. I began to turn what was initially an extremely negative situation into something that could open up so many new possibilities for me. I thought to myself, this is the perfect time in my life to truly follow my passions, which have always been in the health and wellness world. At the time, I didn’t exactly know what I would do next. Obviously there were some important questions I had to address, the biggest being can I financially support going off and starting my own business? After some serious conversations, a lot of break-downs and crying on the phone to my mom, dad, and fiancé about how un-happy I was, and a little bit of soul searching, I had a plan (well, to some my plan was just a vision, but to me, it made sense, in it’s weird, fractured way).

The HOW.

My “plan” certainly didn’t make sense to some, but to me, it all seemed to fit together like a puzzle. My last day at my company was on November 30th, 2016. On that same day, I took off on my travels to Mallorca, Spain for my 17-day intensive 200HR yoga teacher training. Before you ask, yes, this was ALL part of the plan. Yoga teacher training somehow all aligned with where I wanted to go next. I knew I wanted to do something for MYSELF, mostly to clear my head, detach from reality for a bit, and like most who set off on this journey, I had hopes that in the midst of this training, I would realize what I was meant to do. Though I didn’t come out of the training with a clear vision on where the next 10 years would bring me (wishful thinking LOL), I did come out of this with a greater sense of self-realization, which ultimately, is what yoga is about. Union, bliss, oneness. You can read more about my yoga teacher training journey on my post, here. Before I move on, one thing that surprised me most was that on the first day of our arrival, as we went around a circle and introduced ourselves, I was extremely relieved (and pleasantly surprised) to hear that a number of us had literally just left our jobs. I thought to myself, GREAT! I’m not the only crazy one here! Not that I needed any kind of confirmation…but this certainly helped to ease my mind. We were all here for a purpose.

Okay so here’s the quick & dirty on how a few emotional phone calls with friends and family turned from an idea to a reality. You may remember a few years ago, I was temporarily living in California for work. It was there where I fell in LOVE with acai bowls. Now keep in mind, a few years ago, acai bowls were not a “thing” here in Boston. The only time prior to my experience there of indulging in an acai bowl was on a family vaca in Hawaii (go figure)! I was even more surprised by how popular acai bowls were, when I eventually made my way to San Diego. You’d get lucky finding a cafe on every corner! It was HEAVEN there. Why did I fall in love with these deliciously hearty bowls? They brought me BLISS.

I finished feeling so happy, energetic, satisfied, and full of life. You can bet I had acai bowls up until my last few days in CA. It was a sad day when I moved back to the outskirts of Boston and the only “smoothie” options were Smoothie King or Jamba Juice (no offense to either, but not exactly my idea of a nutritious smoothie). So, from that point, I started making my own acai bowls. I got my fiancé, Justin hooked. I got friends and family members hooked. Slowly but surely, I noticed health food cafes in Boston pop up and begin to serve acai bowls. However, the one thing I struggled most with at these places, was that they were loading them with unneccesary sugars. From the generic sugary granola, to already sweetened acai, to heaping spoonfuls of skippys peanut butter. This wasn’t what acai bowls were, nor were these the bowls that gave me oh so much life back in California.

I went back and forth with wanting to open my own cafe, but was then lured back into the idea of beginning with a food product first. Through a lot of brainstorming with friends and family, the acai pop came to life! This popsicle had the potential to solve a few of the problems I noticed with the food industry. For one, I wanted to created a pop that wasn’t loaded with sugar. A lot of the frozen treats you see at the stores, even Whole Foods for example, are packed with refined sugars and other unknown ingredients. I also struggle with pops that read “90 calories” on the front, yet there’s nothing nutritiously satisfying in the ingredients. In addition to the nutrition factor, I also wanted to put an alternative breakfast, snack, or dessert option out there for those who are on-the-go. These days, we are all moving so quickly, with little to no time to sit and eat proper meals. Now, I don’t think this is IDEAL, but it is reality. My goal was to put something out there that could be eaten conveniently and also satisfy your hunger through hearty, REAL, CLEAN, ingredients.

WHERE I AM NOW

Fast forward to January, 2017, BerryGood Bliss LLC became official. I had taken the first step needed to creating my own company. I wish I could say starting your own company is as easy as that first step, but I’d be lying! There is so much more to it than I even realized. Of course, I reached out to a ton of different friends, family members, and mentors to get advice from those who had maybe done something similar or who had knowledge in this area. This was absolutely a critical step for me. For anyone considering starting their own business, it’s so important to leverage your connections and reach out. Putting yourself out there can be scary, but it’s so worth it, and for the most part, the people you contact, usually really want to help you and see you succeed. During those winter months, I gathered research, recipe tested, got my logo, found a commercial kitchen, applied for food permits from the city, applied to farmers markets, got my servsafe certificate, designed my tent layout and purchased necessary equipment, built out my website and other social media sources, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch of things! At the end of the day, I had to accept that things weren’t going to be perfect right off the bat and I really just had to jump into things and improve as I go.

I will say none of the above came easy. I faced a lot of obstacles, the biggest being finding a commercial kitchen in Boston and then acquiring the necessary permits. This process at times drove me absolutely crazy, heightened my anxiety and certainly led me to have a number of breakdowns. But, through some miracle, it all worked out. Through all of these challenges, I did my best to continue manifesting my own outcome through positive thinking, determination, and trying to balance out the high’s and low’s as the came. I had my very first farmers market in June and have been selling my goods locally throughout the summer at various farmers markets.

Since this has turned out to be quite lengthy (I had a feeling this would happen), I will end here and then pick up where I left off sometime in the next week or two to share how things have been going this summer, challenges faced, successes, and next steps/my plan for the fall when things come to an end with the summer markets.

I’m so excited to have finally shared this with all of you! My true hope is that you read this and leave inspired. Perhaps there’s a passion of yours that you’ve always wanted to pursue but have been afraid to take that next step. I can ABSOLUTELY relate to that and would love to be able to connect and chat further if that’s something you’re interested in. It’s so important to support and help one another out. Feel free to email me at calli@berrygoodbliss.com or send me a DM on instagram!

Interested in learning more on BerryGood Bliss?

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Smoothie Time with Organic Living Superfoods

Smoothie Time with Organic Living Superfoods

Hey guys!

Let’s talk all things smoothies, superfoods, and …supporting your local food friends in today’s blog post! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find that this word “superfood” can be a bit overwhelming. It seems as though each month brings a new superfood that is hyped up around it’s unique nutrients and benefits. With all of these new superfoods being introduced to the wellness community, how do we decide where to spend our money and understand what OUR bodies need? Let’s be honest, these superfoods aren’t exactly “cheap”. They are after all, a SUPER food for good reason! They’re usually rare to find, extremely labor intensive, and often come from indigenous locations – therefor driving up the cost for high quality products. With that, how can we make a wallet-conscious decision on which superfoods to invest in?

Honestly, I didn’t really have the answer to this until I was introduced to Organic Living Superfoods. Before I tried their product, I would usually dabble in 1-2 superfoods, depending on what items were on sale at the time. However, I couldn’t have been more excited to hear from Organic Living Superfoods, a company local to the Boston area and super passionate about providing high quality, 100% organic superfood powders to the community. I’m all about supporting local companies that are authentic and transparent in their process of sourcing real ingredients and OLS definitely sets the bar high here!

Not only are they transparent in sourcing the best of the best ingredients, but I’m quite honestly OBSESSED with their customized superfoods blend. This solves so many of my dilemmas around which superfoods to buy and invest in. Through their website, you have the opportunity to choose 10 of the 28 different superfoods they have to offer. Not only are their options endless, but they provide thorough descriptions on where it comes from, the insane amount of nutrients it obtains, what the well-known benefits are, and so forth. I found this part to be so helpful in choosing which superfoods I felt were right for me. PS – don’t be concerned with mixing different flavors – honestly, when it’s all blended together and then mixed into a smoothie for example, you would never be able to detect a funky taste! Once you’ve decided on your superfood smoothie blend of choice, it’s then packaged in a 10oz bag and sent your way!

Here’s what I ended up going with for my superfoods of choice (PS – these benefits were taken directly from the OLS site):
A S H W A G A N D A: you be familiar with this one from my latest blog post on my superfood coffee. As a reminder, Ashwaganda can aid in lowering stress & anxiety levels, improving sex drive, mood, menopausal support, fertility, and memory support.
B A O B A B: has been known to increase energy and stamina, improve sexual function in men and women (often called “herbal viagra”), reduce hormonal dysfunction during menopause, regulate hormonal imbalance, and enhance mental ability.
B E E P O L L E N: Bee pollen contains 96 known nutrients, and they’re all highly bioavailable. Bee Pollen contains 40% high quality protein, it’s packed with live enzymes, and is the highest dietary source of rutin, which helps controls blood pressure and increase the strength and integrity of cell walls and the heart. It’s also a natural antibiotic, it increases energy levels and endurance, and is an excellent free radical scavenger.
M A T C H A: known for having preventative cancer, anti-aging, and heart disease properties, as well as being a helpful weight loss aid, detoxifier, mind enhancer, and energy booster.
S P I R U L I N A: is high in chlorophyll, plant blood which has magnesium as its central atom and gives plants their dark green color. Human blood has iron as its central atom, which aside from that, they have basically the same chemistry and can readily repair tissues, strengthen immunity, boost energy, support cellular health, cardiovascular health and eye function.
M O R I N G A: contains powerful antioxidants and inflammatory compounds. It is also a good source of protein and dietary fiber. Moringa helps with balancing cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels (hence it protects against diabetes), boosting immunity, stimulating metabolism, aiding in digestion, promoting a feeling of well-being, and assisting in weight loss. It’s also a great energy booster, anti-bacterial, it protects the liver and kidneys, provides fast recovery after grueling workouts, and it can be used as a water purifier and due to its amino acid content.
L U C U M A: It’s been a symbol of fertility for millennia. It also helps to curb cravings and appetite. Lucuma is high antioxidants, fiber and B-vitamins like beta-carotene and niacin (B3).
G I N G E R: used as a digestive aid, helps to promote healthy sweating, a form of detoxification which is often helpful during colds and flus. Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds — these substances have been shown to provide relief for those suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis – as they can help reduce pain levels and improve mobility.

…One more thing – did I mention that you can use my discount code at check out – CALLILOVESOLS for 20% off ANY of their products!

Now that you have a pretty solid idea of why superfoods can be such a great addition to your daily diet, here are some ideas for how to incorporate these friendly ingredients in day-to-day meals! Simply click on the photo and follow the link to the instagram pic for details on ingredients. I’m happy to go into detail on measurements in a later blog post if folks are interested! Unfortunately, I have a tendency to just estimate!

Green Superfood Smoothie
Warm Coconut Superfood Chia Bowl
Green Superfood Smoothie BOWL
Green Superfood Smoothie II

Enjoy!!

go FLOAT

go FLOAT

Weird title, right…?

No, I’m not referring to the kind where you grab yourself a donut floatie and chill poolside. I’m referring to a float tank or what can also be referred to as a deprivation or isolation tank. My boyfriend and I first heard about these so called “deprivation tanks” via the Joe Rogan podcast. Joe Rogan is a regular when it comes to floating and certainly swears by it’s benefits. This “deprivation tank” may also ring a bell if you’ve binge watched the series “Stranger Things” on Netflix (I’ll get to this later in my post)! Anyway, if this is your first time hearing of such thing, let me try and do my best to give you the low down on what it is and it’s benefits.

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a FLOAT TANK?

Well, it’s essentially an isolated pod or tank that is filled with water (it’s pretty shallow – I’d say shin height) almost entirely saturated with 850-1,000 pounds of epsom salt. The water temperature is kept around 95 degrees to match your body temp, which thankfully feels like you’re jumping into a nice warm bath, but after just a few minutes, you realize that the feeling becomes almost imperceptible. The idea here is that it’s replicating the dead sea – as soon as you make your way into the tank and lay on your back, you automatically float weightlessly and effortlessly. As if you couldn’t pile on any more sensations to the mix, now take away all light and sound. You are now floating in a dark, quiet tank for 60 minutes. WOAH. And when I mean quiet, you literally can’t hear anything but your own breath (PS – they provide you with earplugs so that you can comfortably float in the water without any distractions like getting salt water in your ears).

So, what’s the benefit of floating in this type of environment?

Well for one, it is SO relaxing and if you can, even for just a few minutes, find yourself in a deep meditative state, the outcome is SO incredibly rewarding. As I was reading through the FLOAT Boston’s FAQ page, I stumbled across this term known as “Flotation REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) (which) triggers your physiological relaxation response directly, so you don’t need to meditate or focus or manage your thoughts in any way.” Pretty crazy!!

So in addition to the float tank being well, insanely relaxing, there are also a number of other beneficial outcomes. As you likely saw from my post last week on yoga moves to help with stress and anxiety – these feelings and emotions seem to be a highly talked about topic lately, which is unfortunate. It seems as though it’s almost become OK to be stressed, like if you’re not stressed, then maybe you’re not working or trying hard enough. With all of these added social pressures around us, we haven’t taken enough time to think about ourselves. Luckily, I’m starting to see a change here, especially in the blogger community where people are truly beginning to put themselves first. Self-care, self-love — all are BIG words and resolutions of 2017, which is AMAZING! Anyway, I know I’m a little off topic, but that’s an area I’ve felt really passionate about lately.

As I was saying above, taking 60 minutes of your day to literally just float in a dark tank seems crazy, right? Especially for those who have busy, non-stop schedules? Yes, I realize 60 minutes is a lot, but this is a great way to cut out any and ALL distractions and truly disconnect from everyone and everything. Also, I found out that a regular visit can help improve sleep as well!

Now that you’ve gotten the down low, I’ll briefly share with you my experience…

As you know, I’m living in the Boston area. There aren’t too many options, but I did stumble upon the amazing FLOAT Boston – located in Somerville, MA. Justin and I booked our float tanks for the same time, each for 60 minutes. They advise you not to drink any coffee before hand, nor to eat a heavy meal, as you want to be as relaxed as possible. As soon as we walked in, we were overwhelmed by a pleasing, spa-like calmness. We had to remove our shoes and replace them with terry-cloth slippers. We then took a seat in the small common area, where we were offered water. They were super friendly and informative upon our arrival, especially knowing we were new to this. Though we booked our tank for the same time, each person is directed into their own float room.

Once we entered our individual rooms, we were advised to shower off, strip down (so FREEEEING!), and put our ear plugs in. You then open the dark tank and make your way into silence. I found myself a bit tense at first and it took me a few minutes to totally let myself go. You truly do float weightlessly with your head just comfortably above the water. After probably 5 minutes or so of feeling my way around, playing with moving my arms and legs back and forth, I finally got over the “discovery” stage and began to try and free my mind and really embrace the full 60-minute experience.

I’m obviously not going to walk you through all 60-minutes of my thoughts but here are some ideas that I experienced.

Circa 2003 when Finding Nemo came out and there’s that scene deep, deep in the ocean where it’s literally dead silent and completely dark. Dory and Nemo see a light and Dory goes “hey conscience, am I dead?” Yep, that’s how I felt at one point.

Another thought that came up was, I wonder if this is what it feels like to be floating in space…like no destination, no idea where you’ll end up, you’re literally just floating there. Hard to describe, but the thought of space 100% came up.

Another thought was, Oh crap, am I going to fall into another dimension? Yes, this is where watching Stranger Things before hand was a bad idea. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you plan on watching it, do the float tank BEFORE hand 🙂

Besides my thoughts that came in and out, I definitely know for sure that I fell into a meditative state a few times during the span of the 60 minutes. It’s hard to say how long for, but I really tried my best to get there. I find it helps me concentrate by focusing on my third eye. I’m definitely new to meditation, so for beginners, you may find this as a helpful tip!

Towards the end, not going to lie, I think I slowly fell into a bit of a sleep which is not exactly where you want to be, but luckily I think it only lasted for a few minutes! They bring you back to awareness with some light classical music when your 60 minutes finished up. This was also a strange feeling as I couldn’t tell if I was beginning to make noises and music up in my head OR if this truly was the cue to get out haha.

Overall, I REALLY loved this experience. I came out feeling SO incredibly relaxed and definitely high on happy endorphins. If the price wasn’t so high, I’d be back weekly for sure. Unfortunately, given my tight budget, I’ll likely only be going every few months. Regardless, I definitely recommend the experience at least ONCE! Let me know if you have any further questions or comments 🙂

Happy Floating!!

*Featured Image taken from: http://superiorfloattanks.com/experience/

My Favorite Boston Health Finds

My Favorite Boston Health Finds

So I decided I would do a post for those who are either local to Boston or looking to book a trip to this beautiful and active city! I grew up 30 minutes outside of Boston, but rarely made the trip into the city unless I was heading to the Reggie Lewis Center for track meets or the North End for some hearty Italian food with the fam! Otherwise, I would not have ever considered myself a true Boston native.

Fast forward several years later, post my 4-years spent in Baltimore for college and my 9-month stint in Palo Alto, CA …I’ve now spent a full year and counting with my boyfriend, living in one of the neighboring Boston towns. So far I’d give this city a healthy 8 out of 10! Honestly I’d say the two biggest downfalls are the harsh winters (I’m VERY much so a summer girl) and the lack of health food joints when compared to the Manhattan’s and San Francisco’s of the world. Otherwise, I’ve seem to fallen for this city! Now, I most certainly DO NOT consider myself a Boston pro by any means, but I figured I’d go ahead and share a few of my insider tips for those who are looking to come to the Boston area for healthy food and indoor/outdoor activities!

Health Boston EATS –

Dig Inn – This is a brand new café in Boston, however, if you’re local to NYC, you’ve probably seen a few of these in passing. It’s a cafeteria style café serving seasonal and locally sourced breakfast, lunch, & dinner items. Their grain bowls are out of this world.
o Located on 557 Boylston St., Boston, MA.

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Whole Heart Provisions – Luckily for me, this vegan-style café is located just a few minutes down the road from me! They offer the most BOMB vegan “Buddha Bowls” – not to mention their “street style” Brussel sprouts & seared avocado are out of this world.
o Located on 487 Cambridge St, Allston, MA.

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Live Alive “Urban Oasis & Organic Café” – All around great vibes at this place! They offer a huge variety of nourishing, super food smoothies, as well as grain-based, customizable bowls & sandwiches – something for everyone!
o There are 3 Locations – 194 Middle St, Lowell, MA , 765 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA , and 281 Essex St, Salem, MA. {not my photo}

Mother Juice Boston – They’re your go-to for nourishing smoothies, fresh juices, acai bowls, almond butter toasts, and more!
o There are soon to be a total of 3 locations – 625 West Kendall St, Cambridge, 100 Hanover st, Boston Public Market and new location opening on 291 Newbury St, Boston! {not my photo}

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Energize Boston – Brand new location just opened up in Brighton, MA. Great atmosphere, offering customizable salad bowls, nutrient/superfood packed smoothies, juices, and acai bowls.
o Located on 618 Washington St, Brighton, MA

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FoMu – If you’re craving something sweet AND vegan – this is your place. “Ice Cream” that’s completely coconut milk based, but tastes AMAZING.
o Located on 481 Cambridge St., Allston, MA {not my photo}

Tatte Bakery – their Avocado toast on sourdough w/ a poached egg is BAE. Also love their matcha lattes. Perfect place to meet a friend for coffee, a pastry, or just to chat! Outdoor seating on Beacon St. is IDEAL too.

Pressed Juicery – Fro-Yo Style “juices” and freshly made juices. So many options to choose from! All ORGANIC and CLEAN. Their “froyo” is the best guilt-free dessert you can get your hands on in the summer.

By Chloe – You know when you’re craving something deliciously unhealthy, but healthy at the same time? Whether you’re recovering from a night out or just need to please your growling belly, By Chloe is the place for you. This trendy, fast-casual, vegan restaurant, is still fairly new to the Boston neighborhood (locations in both Seaport and Fenway), yet the buzz around these tasty eats is still going strong, and for good reason! By Chloe is a burger-joint from the 50’s meets New York late-night diner, all with a modern, clean, and crisp spin that makes you want to hang out on their swinging chairs all day long, while overhearing the roaring cheers from the neighboring Red Sox Game. As if things couldn’t get better, By Chloe has their liquor license and conveniently offers beer and wine for those who are feeling a little more wild and are looking to pregame before the big sox game. So while the boyfriend chows down on pizza and beers, you’ll pride yourself on a healthy meal to hold you over, all while getting your buzz on before the game.

**Two Locations – Fenway and Seaport

Additional Boston Juice Bars (Fresh pressed juices, smoothies, acai bowls, etc.) Include:

Pressed Boston – 120 Charles St, Boston, MA
CocoBeet – 100 City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA
Liquiteria – 1430 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA
Jugo’s – 145 Dartmouth St., Boston , MA
Juice Press – 33 Boylston, St, Chestnut Hill, MA
Pure Cold Press – 326 Harvard St., Boston, MA
Revolution Juice – 150 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA

Juice Press / Build you own Salad

Feel free to comment if you have any healthy suggestions! I love discovering new places 🙂

In Light of Boston…Top Summer Road Races

As part of a recent project I did for one of my classes on the Baltimore Marathon, I stumbled upon a letter on their site directed to the Boston Marathon and the recent tragedy on April 15th. A quote I pulled from the letter follows…

“While the tragedy that occurred will impact every major running event in the future, what
the perpetrator or perpetrators of this crime will never understand is a runner’s spirit and
sense of community can never be broken.” The letter than ends by stating that “…we will all move forward
with the fortitude to get up and finish.”

I pulled those quotes because I felt they truly portray not only how supportive the running community is, but how no matter where you are in the world, there’s comfort, dedication, and positive energy beaming from one person to another. On that day, we remember the heros, the runners who finished the race and continued to run towards the hospital to give blood, the runners who trained and worked their butt off for months, and those running for charities to raise money for those less fortunate. Being a Boston native, knowing friends and family running the marathon, and lastly being a passionate runner myself, I feel so proud of the thoughts, prayers, and support from the running community to countries around the world to neighboring cities and so on. It’s amazing to see how the country and the rest of the world suddenly comes together as one community and proves just how STRONG we are as a nation.

In regards to the terrible event on the day of the Boston Marathon, the quote just comes to show that this will not stop anyone. We will prevail and continue to run. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a just someone interested in staying fit, running can be seen as an outlet and a safe haven. In light of this, I have put together a list of road races in the New England/East Coast area for you to participate in during the summer and prove that no one is giving up.

1.) As previously mentioned in a blog post, the Falmouth Road Race is an amazing summer event and one where thousands of New Englanders and participants across the US and even from other countries come together to cheer on, accomplish, and support one another through a grueling 7 mile course.

FRR1

Location: Falmouth, MA
Date: August 11, 2013

2.) Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race: Though I’ve never personally run this 6.2 mile course, Maine is a beautiful location, especially late into the Summer when the weather is just right. The founder and former olympian, Joan Benoit Samuelson, explained how she “always wanted to create a race that brings runners to some of my most favorite training grounds, so that they can enjoy the same beautiful environment, sense of community and rich history that has played such an important role in my life.” With 6,000 plus runners and over 10,000 spectators, this is one race you don’t want to miss!

Location: Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Date: August 3, 2013

3.) If you’re in for a real challenge, than the Mount Washington Road Race is the one for you! This road race literally has you running up 7.2 miles of Mount Washington, which rises roughly 4,650 vertical feet. The told claim to faim is the “unique attraction” of the trail and the challenging course is what draws attention.

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Location: Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire
Date: June 16, 2013

4.) Run Gloucester — So for those of you have been to Cape Cod, this here is the Cape Ann version of the Falmouth Road Race. There are even rumors that “Down the road, the idea is to create a triple crown series in New England with Beach to Beacon, Falmouth, and Gloucester.’’ Anyway, the draw of this road race is the destination and beautiful beaches.

Location: Gloucester, MA
Date: August 19, 2013

5.) If you’re a night owl instead of an early bird…run the Darcars Rockville Rotary Twilight Runfest! This race winds 8K through the streets and neighborhoods of Montgomery College Rockville campus IN the dark with about 2,000 other participants!

Rotary10bandDS

Location: Rockville, Maryland
Date: July 1, 2013

6.) B.A.A. 10K — otherwise known as Boston’s Back Bay 10K road race, is run throughout historic attractions and notable areas/neighborhoods of Boston. The course runs past the famous Bull and Finch Pub from the classic television series “Cheers”, through Boston University, and Kenmore Square. If you’re a Boston local or just visiting, this race is for you and 5,000 other dedicated participants!

Location: Boston, MA
Date: June 23, 2013

7.) Stratton Faxon Fairfield Road Race Half Marathon: This race has been in existence since 1981 and has continuously been picked and/or nominated as one of the Best Running Races in America according to a number of popular running magazines across the board. This race starts along the beach and runs through beautiful scenic areas during the entire race.

Location: Fairfield, CT
Date: June 24, 2013

8.) Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon: Interested in ending your race with a refreshing class of wine? Go run through the rolling hills of Virginia’s own vineyards and wineries, also know as the “D.C. Wine Country”! This race is picturesque as you run miles and miles through beautiful fields and vineyards.

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Location: Purcellville, VA
Date: June 1, 2013

9.) If you’re spending some time on the Vineyard at all throughout the summer, be sure to sign up for the Vineyard’s famous Murdicks Fudge Around the Chop (i.e. the vineyard bluffs) 5 Mile Road Race held in early July. Or if you’re around Oak Bluffs during Memorial Day Weekend, the official kick off for summer, be sure to sign up for the Memorial Day 5k Road Race! Lastly, for those of you who are around in August and are familiar with Scoop’s Ice Cream, they’ll be hosting a 5k event along South Beach! The vineyard is a great summer destination for everyone, the beaches, the atmosphere, and the downtown shopping area!

marthas-vineyard-beach

Location: Martha’s Vineyard
Date: May 26th, July 4th, August 5th

10.) Plan a destination race for this summer as part of you’re run AND vacation! There are so many races in California, the Mid-West, across Europe, and other parts of the world!

So, get going and sign up for those races! Enjoy the summer road racing community and at the same time use these races as motivation to stay in shape throughout the summer! Have fun with it and enjoy 🙂


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