Larissa Polischuk, Editor
Larissa is all about the journey, whether it’s the 50 or more miles en route to the finish line, the 90 minutes of sweat leading up to shavasana, or the more than two hours it takes to cook a ratatouille (the right way). She believes being healthy doesn’t have to be a chore – it’s all about being present and enjoying the process.
Sweating is one of Larissa’s favorite things – in fact, you’d be hard pressed to find her taking a day offfrom working out. She makes time to eat well, too: she’d rather find a new recipe for the surprises in her CSA box than call for takeout. She prefers a tent to the Ritz and when she runs, she’ll almost always take the long way.
Fave food: Grapes
Fave indulgence: Wine
Fave workout track: Nature (I never wear an iPod)
Fave workout accessory: running skirt
What gets you out of bed?: a good sweat
Must-have beauty bag: moist facial towelettes
Biggest fear: Big waves
One thing people don’t know about you: I’m addicted to chewable vitamins
Jessica is all about finding ways to live life to the fullest! She loves to discover new things, from a new vacation spot to travel to, to an interesting festival in town, or an unknown vegetable at the farmers’ market. As part of embracing this philosophy, Jessica recently left her corporate job as an accountant to follow her passion of coaching others to live their lives to the fullest through obtaining optimum health.
Jessica is a Certified Health Coach and Founder of Beaming with Health, a Health and Nutrition Coaching Practice. She guides those looking to find a clear and enjoyable approach to health, and she helps her clients find a way of eating designed specifically with their body type in mind. She also specializes in working with those with digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, and women who are preparing their bodies for pregnancy.
Jessica encourages her clients to get into the kitchen and create recipes that incorporate real, whole foods. She believes that when people “play with their food” to create flavorful dishes, it makes healthy eating fun and sustainable! Jessica also helps her clients to learn how to listen to their bodies to determine what foods are best for them. Jessica takes a holistic approach with her clients and looks at all the factors that may be influencing their health including areas that cause stress, level of activity, and relationships in their lives.
Fave food: all things coconut (coconut milk, coconut butter, coconut oil, coconut water, shall I continue?)
Fave indulgence: Nick’s Crispy Tacos
Fave workout track: Bring Night by Sia
Fave workout accessory: brightly colored tank tops and sports bras
What gets you out of bed? A call from a friend, a beautiful sunny day, or a head-butt from my cat
Must-have beauty bag: Korres eye shadows
Biggest fear: In this city… being hit by a Muni bus
One thing people don’t know about me: My most ridiculous dance moves usually take place in my kitchen while I am cooking dinner.
Tasha Lanni is all about adventure and getting the blood pumping. She is more likely to find her nirvana while
shredding down a double black diamond mountain than finding her center in a yoga studio. With a
running “to do” list of national parks, beaches, mountains and forests to explore, getting outside is never
an issue. Running is her sanity preservation and the forest trails next to her house are her second home.
Food is one of Tasha’s passions. This hungry girl loves tasting local fare: from the vegan street cart in the
city to the fish and chips shack on the coast. Her kitchen is full of farmers market veggies because she
enjoys supporting her local farms. Although she likes eating healthy she’s not above rewarding herself
with a micro-brew and fries after a weekend of hard activity.
Fave food: Crunchy peanut butter – Hello my name is Tasha and I have a problem
Fave indulgence: A tie between french fries and rice a roni
Fave workout track: Muse, Knights of Cydonia
Fave workout accessory: My Nike dri fit pants
What gets you out of bed?: Coffee and my 20 page to-do list
Must-have beauty bag: Red nail polish
Biggest fear: Failure
One thing people don’t know about you: I love everything about pumpkin patches
Amie Valpone, Contributor
The Manhattan Gal Behind The Healthy Apple
Mission: To Change the Way People Eat “Feeding People Food – The Way Food Was Meant To Be”
Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is a Manhattan based Marketing Consultant specializing in Culinary Nutrition.
In addition to The Healthy Apple Culinary Nutrition work, Amie is the Culinary Nutritionist for the NBA Fit Program and writes the column, ‘Healthy Corner’ on the NBA website. She serves as a brand ambassador for many well-known healthy living companies, attending conferences and food expos across the nation on their behalf. And her insights and advice have appeared on such sites as YahooShine, StyleCaster, WebMD and Livestrong.com.
Not limiting her focus to companies and brands, Amie works hands-on with individuals and groups as a Health & Food Coach to guide them through their transition into a healthier lifestyle. She understands how difficult it can be to find time in our hectic lives to create a home cooked, nutritious meal, but is here to show you how easy it can be. Because Amie has struggled with lactose and gluten intolerance from a young age, her recipes cater to a dairy and gluten-free lifestyle, without sacrificing taste.
Amie believes in everything in moderation. Never using the word ‘diet,’ she stands by the truth that “each of us has control over what we put into our mouths and these choices impact our bodies now and in the future.”
Fave food: Veggies, yes…it’s true
Fave indulgence: Dark chocolate
Fave workout track: Gotta love the 80′s Madonna…it gets me going everytime!
Fave workout accessory: Hair Ties, can’t leave home without them..I’d just give up on the whole exercise thing..
What gets you out of bed?: Morning yoga n’ pilates
Must-have beauty bag: Bronzer
Biggest fear: Sharks…yes, I grew up on the beach but I’m petrified of sharks
One thing people don’t know about you: I love cookin’ while listening to Frank Sinatra and dancing around my tiny Manhattan apartment
Andrea Ratulowski is a Health Coach living, running, and eating in Columbus, OH. She believes a healthy and fulfilling life can be one and the same. Proving that it is possible to eat extremely tasty and healthy meals has become her passion. She also enjoys wine, craft beer, and won’t turn down some good BBQ.
Anna V. Zulaica is the founder and head chef of Presto! Catering and Food Services. Anna started Presto! Catering and Food Services in early 2010, eager to spread her love for food and healthy cooking to the community. Her dishes are influenced by the culinary courses she took in Tuscany, Italy as well as by her travels through Europe. She also likes to give a healthy twist to traditional Mexican dishes she grew up eating. Her mission with Presto! Catering and Food Services, is to teach people that healthy cooking CAN be delicious and that cooking is simple if you put your mind to it.
After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area for college, Anna discovered the fresh ingredients the Bay Area had to offer, as well as countless restaurants and cafes with creative menus. Anna completely revamped her lifestyle, learned how to cook healthy, started exercising more, and lost 40 pounds and was the happiest she had ever been.
For the past seven years, Anna has been cooking and hosting for private parties in the Bay Area, as well as teaching various healthy cooking classes and clinics multiple times a year. Anna participated in the 8th annual Crabby Chef Cook-off hosted by Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto in Berkeley, California and won first place with another contestant. They were both interviewed and featured in several Bay Area newspapers. In 2010, Anna’s recipes were published in a book on nutrition called, The Antioxidant Counter: A Pocket Guide to the Revolutionary ORAC Scale for Choosing Healthy Foods. Currently, Anna is working on a cookbook which focuses on lowering high blood pressure through dietary approaches and lifestyle changes, due to hit the shelves in early 2012. Anna’s true passion for food is reflected in her devotion and participation in community events as often as she can.
In her free time you can find Anna in the gym, doing yoga, biking, running, reading, and spending time with her family, friends, and boyfriend.
Sugandha shares her thoughts and moments from her life as an Aussie Indian chick in Melbourne. She’s random, complicated, loyal to the end. She’s a closet nympho and self-confessed shopaholic. A wannabe fashionista. Coffee addict. Emerging cook and fitness nut, messy and highly neurotic. Be ready for random Bollywood musings, her life in the corporate jungle, her journey towards health, food porn, and an unwavering love for all things chocolate .
Rocky is an all-around self-care expert who helps people at all fitness levels connect to their inner Super Hero. As a certified personal trainer, certified life coach, and certified massage therapist, Rocky specializes in helping her clients discover their best selves and get started chasing their dreams. Over the last fifteen years, she’s helped clients ages 12-83 lose weight, sculpt their bodies, increase their fitness, recover from injury, and help them reach their full potential.
Rocky brings a vibrant, inspiring energy to everything she does, and tailors her approach to meet her clients where they are (while giving them a healthy challenge, of course!). She believes that fitness and living can and should be fun, and commits to making every session an inspiring, enjoyable experience for her students.
Currently, Rocky teaches TRX and bootcamp classes at Flying Yoga, and Inside Outside Fitness, her classes include; TRX, core conditioning, calisthenics, muscular endurance, functional fitness, stretching and more. She also does one-on-one personal training and massage therapy throughout the east bay. As a life coach, she meets with clients around the world anytime, anywhere.
Through her classes and one-on-one training and coaching, Rocky transforms her clients’ lives and sense of well being. Her holistic approach to developing her clients’ minds, bodies, and spirits have led people to call her the “personal trainer of the soul.”
Rocky’s certifications include:
- Certified personal trainer (NASM, AFAA, IFPA, 24 Hour Fitness)
- Certified TRX trainer and instructor
- Certified Life Coach (IPEC)
- Certified Massage Therapist
In her spare time, Rocky enjoys Acro Yoga,working out, dancing, and reveling in the outdoors, often with her dog, Frank. She’s also a founding member of Yoga Motion, Laurie Broderick Burr’s yoga dance troupe in Santa Cruz.
Caroline Gick is a national level figure competitor (what’s that?), coach, writer, fitness model and, in her spare time, works forty-plus hours a week as the manager of a public library in northern California. Not an athlete by nature, Caroline started on her path to health and fitness at the age of 34, going from 0 to 26.2 in three short months to run her first marathon. After several years as an endurance athlete, she hung up her running shoes and turned her focus to a new passion – strength training.
Today, she is single-handedly redefining the stereotype of “librarian,” adding muscles and a bad-ass attitude to the standard bun and buttoned-up-blouse image we all know and love. She isn’t afraid to throw around a lot of weight in the gym and she shares her passion for strength training and a healthy approach to life as a coach for general lifestyle transformations and women seeking to hit the stage as bikini and figure competitors. And as a lover of research, words and writing, coupled with a strong desire to bring solid, relevant information on diet and training to others, she shares her thoughts, ideas, and experiences in the world of training, nutrition, and general fitness as a writer on Beautifully Hardcore – the Beauty, the Brains, and the Brawn – a website devoted to providing women with information, insight, motivation, and ideas from female athletes. She also blogs and shares random musings about daily life as a competitor, writer, coach, librarian and regular gal at carolinegick.com.
Catherine McChrystal is an editor and writer living in San Francisco, serving as the Editor-in-Chief for, an online magazine that enriches critical dialogue for the Bay Area visual arts. She received her MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago and holds undergraduate degrees in Classical Civilization and English Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She spent her youth hanging out in the library, rollerskating to “Pump Up the Jam,” and not learning how to play any sports; not too much has changed since then. She is most fit while taking care of the wolf-dog Bumby and when exercising pure, sheer willpower.
Fave food: nectarines and lemonade
Fave indulgence: eating potato chips in bed (no, really) AND THINKING ABOUT CIGARETTES [um, maybe not that last part...]
Fave workout track: circa the Detroit Cobras
Fave workout accessory: the dog leash
What gets you out of bed?: coffee and snuggles (tee-hee)
Must-have beauty bag: Benetint
Biggest fear: finding out that all those years of not taking care of myself is going to have actual and serious ramifications
One thing people don’t know about you: if you didn’t know me in fourth grade, then you probably don’t know that I am the four square queen.
Terri Eaton is an Advanced Massage Practioner at Senspa Wellness Center located in San Francisco. She is a graduate of Boulder College of Massage Therapy’s 1000 hour program with an emphasis in Neuromuscular Massage, Sports Rehabilitation, Zen Shiatsu, and Integrative Holistic Healing. Her advanced training continued through an internship with University of Colorado’s Athletic Department. Terri is an avid outdoor enthusiast with her passions residing in skiing, mountain biking and running.
Jennifer Sobel has been a professional belly dance instructor and performer for over seven years and has studied with some of the most renowned dancers from both the United States and the Middle East.
Jennifer’s vision and mission is to help women experience the joy of belly dancing and its profound healing benefits. She believes that belly dance centers and grounds us in our bodies and helps us to experience our most fundamental feminine energy and power. Her goal as an instructor is to make belly dance approachable so that women will easily feel successful and quickly experience the freedom and joy of these movements.
In addition to being a belly dancer, Jennifer also brings knowledge and expertise in holistic medicine. Having practiced acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in an integrated holistic health center for over five years, Jennifer incorporates this background in alternative medicine into how she teaches belly dance and believes that belly dance is a powerful form of healing movement for women.
Jennifer is also a certified personal trainer through the National Association of Sports Medicine and loves sharing with her students effective exercises for strengthening the muscles that will make them better dancers and create a stronger, leaner body!
Casey is the author of The Hippie Health Nut, a blog which details her journey to finding peace and health in a nutty world. As a graduate health studies student, she has a passion for education and disease prevention, and enjoys the opportunity to share healthy living strategies that can be incorporated into everyday life. She’s on a mission to make the world a healthier and happier place, and she believes that means more than teaching people to exercise and eat well.
Prior to becoming a health nut, Casey earned a master’s degree in journalism, a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a certificate in volunteer and community resource management. Monday through Friday, you’ll find her providing event planning and communications assistance to nonprofit associations or freelance writing.
Casey holds a personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a group exercise instructor certification through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.
In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, traveling on a budget, and walking for miles with no destination in mind. Given the choice, she’ll pick an experience over a material item anytime, and her bucket list is ridiculously long.
Fave food: Avocados
Fave indulgence: Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss ice cream- Mint Galactica flavor!
Fave workout track: I work out without an Ipod, so whatever’s playing at the gym that day
Fave workout accessory: A good water bottle is a must
What gets you out of bed?: Goals, goals, goals! There are so many things I want to accomplish and I never want to feel like I’m taking life for granted.
Must-have beauty bag: Chapstick- I’m pretty simple.
Biggest fear: Not accomplishing everything I want to. I have to constantly remind myself to enjoy the journey no matter the outcome.
One thing people don’t know about you: My dad calls me Mate because I loved the movie “Crocodile Dundee” when I was little.