This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.
Living and promoting a healthy lifestyle is something I have always been passionate about. I’ve had too many friends and family members endure illnesses and disabilities to take my health for granted. As a mom, I consider it one of my primary responsibilities to model and instill in my children healthy habits.
Of course, we all WANT to be healthy. The difficulty in BEING healthy is that it requires some effort and sacrifice. We have to make choices that are difficult sometimes (e.g. “I’m really comfortable in bed and would love to sleep in but I should probably get up now so I have time to workout”). That’s why I am always looking for ways to make the hard choices easier – tips to make being physically active fun and recipes to make eating healthy easy and delicious. In other words, I want to be a fit foodie.
John Hancock Hosts the Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Race Weekend
When I discovered that John Hancock hosts the Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Race Weekend near me, I was eager to participate. The “race” is a 5k Run/Walk. The event is meant to inspire participants to be active and eat healthy so I expected participants of all skill levels, which put me at ease since I hadn’t been running much and didn’t want the pressure of racing. On the day of the race, I was nervous that only the true die-hard runners would be out since it was an unseasonably cold and VERY rainy morning. I was stunned at how many people were lined up at the starting line. Runners and walkers alike, old and young, men and women – all with the goal of being active.
I was less than halfway back, so there were even more runners behind me at the starting line. And side note – See that building on the right just past the start? That’s where the free event parking was located. I was delightfully surprised to find that runners had an entire parking garage less than a block from the event. If you live in the DC area, you understand why this was practically a miracle.
The race itself was pretty miserable, especially the part that is my only criticism of the event – running us right past the finish line at the halfway point. It’s slightly demoralizing to see runners crossing the finish line in a 5k when you are just past halfway! Despite my rain poncho and hat, I was completely drenched at the end of mile one. Of course, so was everyone around me, which made for fast friendships bound by the mutual discomfort and admiration for each other’s perseverance.
You’re probably wondering if it was worth it. YES! We were greeted at the finish line by cheerful volunteers with these goodies:
And Vitality Village – a street lined with tents, manned by friendly and generous sponsors who stuffed our finisher bags with even more goodies plus entertainment at the demo stages.
Here’s a sample of what I came home with – a wide assortment of items to help me be active, eat nutritious food, and live healthy:
Even though we were soaked and cold, there were so many great sponsor booths full of healthy treats, we stood in line and visited them all. Do you know what you get when you put hundreds of people through an early cold, wet run and then shower them with healthy snacks and fun swag? – An entire community of confident, happy, and energetic individuals. For example, how many running events have you been to where runners stick around after the race to do yoga?
And since its Fit FOODIE, right next to the John Hancock Vitality Fitness Stage was the culinary stage where chefs did live demonstrations of healthy meal prep.
I had so much fun chatting with other participants after the event. Dorothy and Diana (who we affectionately nicknamed “Double D”) were two of my favorites since we kept running into them in Vitality Village and they were always smiling.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
If you happen to have a Fit Foodie event near you, I encourage you to participate. For me, it was the kick in the pants I needed to get running again and it was such a fun way to get started! Plus, I found so many healthy food options, really tasty snacks I probably wouldn’t have spent the money to try if I hadn’t gotten to sample them. After all, fitness without good nutrition is only half the equation for a healthy lifestyle.
Aside from this event, there are many other ways to make steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
- Partner Up – We are social creatures so find a fitness buddy to help make workouts fun and to hold you accountable.
- Compete – If you have a competitive nature, let it help you be healthy. Use a FitBit to compete with friends or register for fitness events/races.
- Read – Whenever my diet starts to consist more of unhealthy, convenience foods the easiest way for me to get back on track is to pick up any one of the dozens of books I own on healthy eating to remind me exactly WHY the foods I choose to eat matter or simply skim a few articles on the effects of an unhealthy diet. It’s really hard to consume empty calories with the image of the damage it does to your body fresh in your mind.
- Post Visual Incentives – Whether you’re motivated by a picture of someone in peak condition, a dress you hope to fit into, or motivational quotes, place these things in spots where you can’t help but notice them to inspire you to make healthy choices every day.
- Limit Unhealthy Choices with Rationing – If your healthy habits are often sabotaged by something unhealthy (e.g. Netflix binge, cheesecake) then allow for it in a controlled, limited amount. I allow myself dessert after every meal by limiting myself to one piece of chocolate.
- Earn Rewards for Healthy Choices – John Hancock life insurance with Vitality has a HealthyFood Program that not only helps you save money on nutritious foods (up to $600 per year!), they reward you with lower life insurance premiums and rewards from a variety of retailers. Learn more by watching the video below and by visiting www.JHRewardsLife.com.
I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.