Category Archives: Wellness

Be Intended.

It’s the first Monday of 2014 and many of us have probably set (and maybe even fallen off with) New Year’s Resolutions. April shares some interesting insights into New Year’s Resolutions 

The way I see it, at the end of each year, we take a look back on the past twelve months and breakdown our successes and failures. Yes, we like to highlight and maybe even brag about our accomplishments, but we also spend too much time reflecting on the things we didn’t do, or didn’t do well enough. Then we decide to make all sorts of resolutions. Maybe we plan to lose weight, eat better, quit a job or a bad habit, start something new, become more organized. The list is endless. But on January 1st, that’s the day that these changes will go into effect. Now, it’s not that these aren’t good things. It’s just by placing such high demands on ourselves and the year ahead, we also place added stress to our already hectic lives. A few weeks or a month go by and we begin to fall off of the wagon and once again we feel defeated.

New Year's Resolutions

What if we set intentions for the new year rather than making resolutions? According to Merriam-Webster, a resolution is the act of resolving something. Resolving something, as in a past problem perhaps.  Merriam-Webster defines an intention as a determination to act in a certain way. An aim or a purpose. An intention sounds more hopeful, more positive. It doesn’t sound like we’re trying to fix something that is broken. It sounds like we are living in each moment fully and looking toward our future with endless possibilities. In my opinion it’s a pretty awesome way to help guide you through your lifelong journey. And just in case you fall off the wagon, it’s okay. You brush it off, remind yourself that you are in fact human and use it as another great experience and stepping stone for a new beginning. And it doesn’t matter if that new beginning is on January 1 or December 31 or anywhere in between. That’s the best part – every day we wake up we have a chance to do something new and to live our life to it’s fullest potential. In fact, every moment of every day is a brand new moment. Another moment to be more aware, more present, more fulfilled. Maybe a moment to be more mindful of our beautiful planet, more respectful of others and more compassionate of yourself. Another moment to be the very best YOU.


So go ahead, celebrate yourself and ring in 2014! Make it the best year yet for your body, your mind and your spirit. Send those intentions out to the universe and let the universe respond.

Happy New Year!

Namaste.  ~April Pascarelli

Join April for Yoga at A Healthy Balance Tuesdays at 12 noon or Sundays at 9 am.



Filed under Wellness

Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 1

Kathleen has apparently survived week 1 because she sent me a write up! The outpouring of support after her initial post was inspiring and we can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring.  

When I first agreed to do this, it seemed easy enough: train hard, eat well, write about it. But here I am, trying to document my first week and I realize this may be a little harder than I thought. It’s not like I am learning all of these concepts for the first time. I’ve done this, and pretty well if I do say so myself.

So in thinking about what’s brought me to this point, I came to this conclusion: This “thing” – working out, eating well, my “healthy balance”- it’s a full time committed relationship. (This would be the point where I apologize to my fiancee, but luckily I have a fantastic guy who’s openly accepted that there’s “someone else”). In the beginning, my healthy balance and I were pretty hot and heavy – we bonded over logging meals, it soothed me when I woke up unable to move the morning after a workout, and we celebrated together: 1 pound, 5 pounds, 25, 30. As with many relationships, we seemed perfect together.

But, as many relationships can witness, lately things have gotten…stale. Sometimes logging every single thing I eat seems absolutely tedious and annoying. After a night out that involves a few too many drinks and an unknown amount of snacking, we get into a hazy, late night fight- which we try to mend in the morning with a run. The pounds that we used to cheer about together disappear slower now.
This first week has been the start of a rekindling for my healthy balance and I. With the help of Maisie, one of the dietitians, we began to tackle the first part of our relationship. After giving her the rundown of my history, I told her that basically I’m bored. I am a Catch 22 when it comes to food: I hate trying new things, yet I get sick of repetitive foods at an obnoxious rate. You can only get excited about an English Muffin with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for so long. One meal at a time, we’re going to put some pizzazz back into eating. This week: breakfast. Part of my problem seems to be that sometimes I’m not eating enough in the morning which can have a snowball effect on the rest of my day. Maisie suggested switching hings up with oatmeal with nuts and fruit (genius, I know). The first morning I excitedly put together my oatmeal with diced apples and walnuts. Unfortunately, I didn’t add enough water and it ended up becoming a ball  of paste. THe second morning I tried honey and almonds. This time I put in too MUCH water and had a water logged mess.

PS – This is totally Alicia’s oatmeal fail, not Kathleen’s, but we thought it was fitting to include. Oatmeal can get the best of everyone 🙂

So much for eating a better breakfast. I ended up throwing most of it away. I guess this will take some time. I can only imagine what working on dinner will be like, when we try to move out of my comfort zone of chicken, chicken…and more chicken.
As far as the workouts go, it seemed to me for the most part that my healthy balance and I always saw eye to eye. We do burpees in the pouring rain, we often get up to run before the sun rises, and we faithfully make it to several bootcamps a week. But I’m now realizing that lately it’s been a lot of just going through the motions. While I love bootcamp, this new addition of one to one personal training is the breath of fresh air that my healthy balance and I needed. The last time that it was just me and Alicia, and some free weights, I was forty pounds heavier and dying after 15 seconds of an exercise. I’m excited to see what my body can do now, and as much as I roll my eyes and complain I know that Alicia is pushing me to do what she knows I’m capable of. When I started to get the familiar heavy feeling in my arms the afternoon after my session, I smiled to myself and thought “I’m back.” My healthy balance and I are ready to jump start this relationship.

I’ve decided to keep a chart of “successes.” While they might not be typical forms of measurement, they are things that I struggle with and hope to see some serious improvements in by the end of this adventure:
# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: 15-20? (I think that’s already an improvement!)
# of days I logged my meals: 3
# of times I ate chicken: 5? I need a chicken intervention.
# of “real” pushups: Zero. Sadface.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


Filed under AHB Rockstars, Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness

Be Rewarded (with $$)!

Have you ever paid for a gym membership and not used it? Wouldn’t it be easier to get to the gym consistently if you got paid to do it? As a personal trainer, I kind of get paid to go to the gym, but even then that sometimes isn’t enough motivation. Let me introduce you to GymPact.


GymPact is an iPhone app that rewards you with real, actual money for going to the gym as many times as you say you are. Don’t worry Droid users, they’re in the process of developing a Droid app too.

How it works: At the beginning of each week you select how many times you are going to commit to going to the gym that week. If you don’t change your commitment or Pact, the same pact from the previous week rolls over. Then you wager how much you are willing to pay if you miss a gym session (the minimum is $5). Each time you go the gym you check in and must stay for at least 30 minutes for the workout to count. At the end of each week, every GymPacter who didn’t get to the gym as frequently as they said they were pay the amount they wagered into a pot and then the pot is divided amongst those Pacters who went to the gym with the frequency they committed. They also just released an update that has a Runkeeper integration so you get credit for outdoor activities that are at least 30 minutes in length and .5 miles.



Seriously this app is awesome. And it gives you real, honest to goodness money, not gift cards or points or rupees from Zelda. Thanks for the $60 GymPact! Now go download the free app and start earning some moolah

Leave a comment: How do you stay motivated to hit the gym?

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


Filed under Fitness, Wellness

Be Good. Do Good. Look Good.

Want to know what’s better than a sparkly headband that actually stays on your head while you’re exercising? A sparkly headband that stays on your head while exercising and that when purchased, not only donates $1 to St. Baldrick’s Foundation but also donates another awesome sparkly headband to a young girl who is going through cancer treatment.

My hair is frequently quite unruly and finding the perfect headband is a glorious moment, so imagine my joy when I discovered that this headband not only tamed the fly-aways, but was also for such a good cause.

Rocking my blue Glitter band post run

Headbands of Hope was founded by Jessica Ekstrom after she completed a summer internship with the Make a Wish Foundation. Make sure to check out Jessica’s story and the history behind Headbands of Hope. (Fair warning: Have a box of tissues handy). Jessica makes a bunch of different styles of headbands in a bunch of different colors ranging in prices from around $10 to $18. And while there are many different styles available, the hope behind each headband is the same: make every little girl going through cancer treatment look and feel as beautiful as she truly is.

Image source:

So I don’t normally do posts like this on the blog, but I just thought this was such a great organization and truly do love my new Glitter Bands so feel free to head on over to Headbands of Hope and check them out for yourself. Also September is childhood cancer awareness month so what a better time to order a Headband of Hope than now!

Use promocode: iwearhope for free shipping between now and September 1st!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


Filed under Wellness

Be Selfish.

When was the last time you took time for you? And I mean really took time for you, without reservation, without guilt. We run around all day doing other things for other people, convincing ourselves that there is no time left over. It is so easy to get stuck in this hamster wheel, but not quite as easy to get off.  We all need time to recharge. And we all need to make that time.

I recently went on a mini-vacation and the weather was crappy the whole time we were away. So I sat on the couch and read a book. I know, right?!?! An actual book! And guess what…I didn’t feel bad about it, at all! Of course, I was on vacation so I should have been relaxing, but it made me realize that I need to do that more often. Do something for me, without feeling bad about it. Like I should be doing laundry, or work, or spending time with friends.

So this is your permission slip…

Feel free to print it out and present it to anyone that you have to. I am giving you permission to make some you time, even if it is just a few minutes a day.  You can use it to read a book, go for a run, sit quietly in a coffee shop, sign up for that yoga class, whatever you want, just USE IT!

Leave a comment: What do you like to do during “me” time?

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

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Be Fearless.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?- Robert Schuller

Setting off on any new journey or making major life changes is really scary! A lot of times it comes down to a blind leap of faith. Most of my clients, in one way or another, are on the edge of a cliff, ready and willing to make lifestyle changes, but not sure how to do it, what to expect, if anyone will be there to pick them up if they falter


Watch out for that first step, it’s a doozy


I have never gone through any major personal experiences that I felt like I could use to relate to my clients in this way. But I do now! I just quit my well-paying, secure job to pursue my passion full-time. I am committing myself to A Healthy Balance completely and am scared out of my mind, but also so excited! I know deep down that this is the best decision for myself, for our company and for our clients. I am so passionate about growing A Healthy Balance and being able to reach more people and help them on their personal paths to health and wellness.  Dedicating more time to my passion will hopefully allow me to do just this. Over the coming months, as I am able to dedicate more time, I hope you will notice changes to the blog and come along for this exciting ride!

Leave a comment: What is one thing in your life that you have taken a blind leap of faith on? 

-Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Adri’s Journey Week 7

Sorry this post is a bit late (hey, it happens!) – so without further ado, checking in with Adri on week 7 of her journey. Check in on Friday for her two month update and measurements!

I feel great. Liberated, even. And guess what – I’m bloated and my pants feel tight, I had no weight loss last week and I ate a bunch of bread and cheese two nights ago.

But I’ve never felt okay with that. And on this journey with Alicia, Nikki and Meg, I’ve finally gotten to the point, in all my 28 years, that I can bounce back after life happens.

I got to this point because I had a week that didn’t adhere to my goals for fitness and nutrition. And for the first time EVER, the following week I forgave myself and got right back on the health horse.

And that’s how my life is – I’ll have good weeks and bad weeks. I’ll have great self control most of the time, but sometimes, yeah, I’ll have a slice of pizza with my friends.

But now I’ll choose vodka seltzers if I’m out for cocktails. I’ll get a salad with black beans and avocado and lots of veggies if I’m out for Mexican. I’ll wake up early to make sure to get my cardio in because I know it makes me feel awesome.

I’m making healthier choices for the long haul, is my point. My quest for fitness has always been spurts of short term goals that I do, actually, reach – but can never maintain. And then I’ll repeat the cycle…over, and over, and over again. For years.

Even though it will probably be more impressive, there’ll be no more rush to lose 15-20 lbs in 3 months. It will happen on its own while I’m making these healthy choices, whether I’m weighing myself obsessively or not.


Here’s my new goal: work out hard and consistently 3-5 times a week. Make healthy food choices intuitively and mindfully that keep me around 1,800 calories a day without having to obsessively count.

So, hello. I’m Adri. I take good care of myself. I work out several times a week, I eat really healthy and sometimes splurge, I’m okay with being curvy no matter how much I weigh, and I’m always a work in progress. I like it that way.

Leave a comment: Do you find yourself obsessively counting calories or checking the number on the scale? What do you do to shift your mindset?

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

A Healthy Balance
14B Alleyne St
Quincy, MA 

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