Girl Boss Guide ft. Kelly Boring of Kale Me Kelly

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Full bellies of kale & salmon and a half a bottle of rose’ later (#BALANCE), it was pretty apparent that Kelly (the beauty & brains behind Kale Me Kelly) and I are pretty much the same person. From hearing her perspective on maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle to how to combat insecurities, Kelly is like a big sister you’ve never had – she’s relatable, compassionate and REAL. I’m so excited to bring you this interview with who I consider to be a great blogging mentor and friend (We first met up over a rooftop spin class and some insane BBQ if you were wondering…)

Yes Girl: Tell me about your blog and the inspiration behind it. 

Kelly Boring: Kale me Kelly came about because of my love and passion for food. I originally thought it would just be a food blog, but I realized how much I loved working out and going to different classes and since I’m such a foodie, that has really helped me keep a healthy balance in my life. Now, I’ve transitioned into more of a lifestyle blog and I’m really happy with it – I think your blog should be a representation of who you are.

YG: What does a day in the life of a blogger look like?

KB: I try to plan and curate blog posts whenever I have the time or the inspiration. In the evenings, sometimes I’m going to an event, working on planning an event of my own or getting together with other bloggers.

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YG: You always seem to eat super healthy meals. What does a typical day of eating look like for you?

KB: I try to stick to a “normal” eating plan Monday – Friday. Usually if I’ve done an intense workout in the morning, I’ll have two pieces of Ezekiel toast, a little avocado and an egg or Greek yogurt, fruit & Purely Elizabeth granola – I’m addicted. Then I’ll have an apple with peanut butter, hummus and veggies, nuts or half of a protein bar for a snack and try to get a lunch workout in. I love my Buddha Bowls for lunch! I’m experimenting with more vegetarian meals. Dinner is usually some sort of protein paired with a veggie.

YG: What does your workout routine look like?

KB: Right now, I love going to Pink Barre classes in the morning – the lower weights and high-reps are doing wonders for me! It totally lengthens you out. If I can, I’ll try to fit in another type of workout during the middle of the day to give myself a mental break.  I also like to incorporate spin or some other sort of cardio class. I like to mix it up and do what I’m in the mood for.

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YG: Let’s talk about balance. How do you manage a healthy lifestyle while still giving in to your cravings?

KB: Well, we’re conducting this interview over a bottle of rose’ sooo… obviously I appreciate balance! I used to be really hardcore with my eating, and I realized that just wasn’t the way to live. For me, it’s all about balancing out healthier meals with my indulgences. If you know you’re going to Happy Hour later that night, eat healthier during the day to balance it out. If you want a glass of wine on a Tuesday, go for it. If you’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating right & working out, one day or one meal is not going to make or break you.

YG: What advice do you have for people trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle?

KB: I’m learning that when you eat is very important. I also think it’s crucial to mix up your workouts – your body needs confusion.

YG: When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite healthy spots in ATL?

KB: I love True Food’s Quinoa Burger, or any of their fish or bowls. Juicy Jenny is my jam, too. It’s all healthy, vegan and you really get your bang for your buck. I also love getting a bunless burger at Zinburger with zucchini or sweet potato fries!

YG: Favorite indulgence?

KB: Mexican – hands down!

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YG: How do you deal with any insecurities and keep a positive body image?

KB: Anyone that says they don’t have body image concerns – I think that they’re lying. There is a lot of pressure to have the perfect body and there’s not a single girl who doesn’t feel that pressure at times. Ultimately, we’re all just normal girls trying to have careers and work out and maintain a social life – the last thing we need is this pressure to be perfect! For years, I was totally consumed with the idea of perfection and it’s something I continue to struggle with today. A lot of us are constantly thinking about attaining something else… we want this car, we want that handbag, we want to get down to this weight. There’s always something else we want to attain, and we can’t keep that up – it’s important to just try to be content with where you are in your journey.

YG: You’ve recently launched Girl Talk Series which is super exciting! What’s the story behind GTS? 

KB: Girl Talk Series actually started on my living room floor with two other bloggers who, at that point, we had maybe known each other a couple of months – but I knew we were like-minded women with similar interests who wanted to do something to benefit similar women in the community. The idea behind it was getting women together to network and build authentic friendships with one another. It’s really difficult to make girlfriends when you become an adult and maybe move to a new city, so we want to help women do that with these events. This year, we’re hosting mixers, brunches and other events that incorporate guest speakers who are all different in their experience levels and backgrounds. Toward the end of the year, we’re hosting our first retreat which I am so excited about! Our goal is to create a community of like-minded women that like to do things together.

YG: What advice do you have for other female entrepreneurs? 

KB: The three tips I would give someone who wants to get out there and be a #GirlBoss are to keep every door open – you never know who you’re going to meet. Going to networking/young professional events is also great – it helps you cast a larger net and again, you never know who you might meet. Last, use every opportunity to discover or pursue your passion.

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Thanks to Kelly for being an awesome interviewee & for her friendship and mentorship – check her out at http://www.kalemekelly.com. 

 

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Girl Boss Guide ft. Mallory Hope Schwartz of HopefullyPlated

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Beauty, brains & bubbly personality — That’s the best way to describe Mallory Hope Schwartz, founder of HopefullyPlated, a concierge nutritional planning service here in Atlanta, GA. As a fitness and food enthusiast, Mallory Hope married her passions together and created HopefullyPlated to make buying, preparing and eating healthy more accessible to her clients. I sat down with her to learn a little more — from her background to her favorite indulgent meal to how she maintains a positive body image. Read on for the full interview:

Yes Girl: Start off by telling me a little bit about your background and how you came up with the idea for HopefullyPlated.

Mallory Hope: I’m originally from Richmond, VA and growing up, we had a mixture of Southern culture and Jewish tradition. I always loved being in the kitchen so around the age of 9, I found a big passion for food, cooking and making everyone feel welcome. We started our weeks with family dinners and that’s something that really stuck with me. When I went to college in South Carolina, I felt most welcome by enjoying dinner with friends. After school, I moved to Los Angeles and on Sunday nights, I would host family dinners for my friends. That’s when the day-to-day passion of food really came into play. I was also teaching barre and spin in LA, and food and fitness truly go hand in hand. I took an intense 90-day food challenge and started asking myself: “How does food really affect our bodies?” From there, this idea of HopefullyPlated just started to brew. I tried a lot of different jobs on for size, but was always more passionate about fitness and food than any other career I had, so I always kind of felt like something was missing. When my dad had to undergo ankle fusion surgery, I moved home to help out and told my parents, “If I’m moving home, we’re eating how I would eat.” As a result, my family was healthy, my dad lost weight – I just truly saw what I could give. When my time at another job ended, I gave myself a one-day pity party and two days later, I purchased the domain!

YG: Walk me through how HopefullyPlated works.

MH: All of my meal plans are inspired by gluten-free options, limited sugar and no dairy. I want my clients to be inspired by having a healthy fridge. When starting out with a client, I’ll sit down with them and have a consultation where we’ll go over a special questionnaire I’ve created. I’ll have them walk me through their day and what it looks like – when they’re most hungry, what their weakness is, what their favorite foods are, etc. From there, I’ll move forward with the planning, grocery shopping, prepping, cooking and delivering! We also have a great new client discount and referral benefits.

YG: You’re also passionate about fitness, teaching specifically. Tell me more about how that passion came to be and your philosophy on working out. 

MH: I have always loved group fitness, but wasn’t ready to be brick-and-mortar and open my own fitness studio, so I wanted to go somewhere I believed in. Pink Barre is a great brand that supports my own goals and values so I knew it was a great fit for me. Right now I’m teaching 7-12 classes per week, taking my own yoga classes 3-5 times per week and then I’ll usually try and get in one swim or one strength training session a week. I’ve always diversified my workouts because that’s what works for me! I think each woman’s workouts are her own, and you’ve just got to find what works for you.

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Cooking insights from Mallory: “I use four different types of onions in my veggie pans, because they all have different flavors.”

YG: Going off on your own and creating your own business can be scary – Tell me a little about that experience and how it’s been for you.

MH: Coming from a very strong family, you always had to find your own moment to shine. I came from working in events and marketing where you give a lot to someone else’s brand. After a few years, it can get exhausting because you also want to market yourself and who you are… so I said “This is my chance” and if I didn’t take it now, I would’ve always wondered “what if?” Sure I’ve had failures, but at this point in my life, it just feels like the right time.

YG: What has been your biggest challenge in this venture?

MH: Getting rooted in the right city, with the right roommate, with the right comfort level and people around me, has really been my biggest challenge to this point. I had the mindset that all of the right pieces would come together and if they didn’t, then it wasn’t meant to be. Once that all came together, I haven’t looked back.

YG: What advice do you have for other female entrepreneurs?

MH: Don’t close any doors. I’ve met four people just today! You never know what can happen. Sometimes I’m talking and sometimes I’m just there to listen and soak it all in. You also can’t be too hard on yourself.

YG: What does a typical day look like for you?

MH: *Laughs* Nothing is typical – and I’m okay with that! I’m an early bird, so on one day I may wake up at 5am to go to yoga, teach a double at Pink Barre, go to the market by 9 and be home by 11 to grab a snack. I’m fluid in my day, but also determined. I don’t beat myself up if things don’t get done, because I know tomorrow’s just another day. In a typical week, one day will be a market day where I go pick up all of the groceries I’ll need for that week. I get all my food from the Dekalb Farmers Market – for me, it is the most locally-supported shop. I started going there on the weekends (their busiest time) when I first moved to Atlanta and I even loved it then. It is my zen! If my clients have specific dietary needs or preferences, I can navigate through the market with those in mind, so it provides customization for my clients. Normally, the following day is all prep – cutting, shredding and whatever else needs to get done for the following cooking day. Just to give you a sense of what that looks like, I’m typically roasting 5-10 plates of veggies on a cooking day so it gets pretty crazy! The next day or two are delivery days where I’ll drop off all meals to my clients. After that, I spend some time with recipe creation. I pull a lot of my inspiration from seasonal trends, the weather and food bloggers. I also take a couple days to really just build up my content and take a refresh, whether it’s blog posts, photos or (very necessarily) cleaning up my kitchen!

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Mallory’s philosophy on not finishing your meal: “It’s weird when you meet someone that doesn’t take home a goodie bag!”

YG: What’s your all-time favorite indulgent meal? 

MH: Oreo brownie sundae, all the way. I also have a weakness for French fries.

YG: How many times a week do you let yourself indulge?

MH: Usually if I’m baking cookies, I’ll eat a couple myself and give the rest away. I haven’t found a great Oreo brownie sundae to replicate my old favorite yet, otherwise I’d probably have it every day! I’ve found that I’m good with sampling the foods I love and I really don’t need to overly splurge.

YG: What are your favorite healthy food joints in Atlanta for when you’re not cooking?

MH: I do feel guilty when I eat out because I can pretty much cook everything at home – besides sushi! I’ll never feel guilty with sushi – Doraku and Genki are some of my favorites. Healthier options are usually anything non-American. Le Fat is probably one of my favorite options – Guy Wong is one of my mentors and he has definitely become a close friend of mine. He’s so warm and welcoming and always giving me positive feedback. Try their Clay Pot Chicken, “Shaking Beef” or Shrimp Spring Rolls. Chai Pani in Decatur packs a lot of veggies and spices. I’m also a sucker for Yeah Burger. Sean’s Harvest Market probably has my favorite smoothies in Atlanta. I have gotten healthier options at The Porter, too – they have such a cool menu! They’re one of my top restaurants in Atlanta.

YG: What would you say a normal day of eating looks like for you?

MH: I like to eat by using all of my senses – and this is how I plan for my clients, too. I really look at what colors are on my plate, what textures are there – “does it crunch?” and overall presentation of a meal. I think most people’s days are better suited when they start with a lot of protein. I’m a big egg person for breakfast and will usually add a 5 oz. piece of chicken or steak and some spinach or avocado. Snacks are usually fruit, homemade trail mix or a rice cake and peanut butter. My lunches are as colorful as possible – today’s lunch was leftover gluten-free chicken parmesan with sautéed zucchini and shallots. Dinner depends on how I need to refuel my body – usually something like quinoa or half a sweet potato with some more protein like steak, chicken or lamb. My lamb meatballs are like, the best thing ever. If I’m craving something sweet, I’ll put all-natural vanilla ice cream into a teacup so I get my fix while controlling my portions. As a little side tip, I like eating everything in bowls because it helps control my portion size.

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The baker in her says: “I literally buy four dozen eggs a week in fear that I may run out!”

YG: What’s your top tip for staying healthy and fit? 

MH: Have a plan – with wiggle room, of course. I typically know what meals I plan to eat, what barre classes I’m going to teach and how I’m going to work out that day. If I know I’m leaving for a noon flight, I know I need to squeeze in a 6am workout. I also pack snacks for the day when I leave my house. I wig out if I’m going to be somewhere without snacks!

YG: Let’s talk about body image. You seem to radiate positivity and self-love… Teach us your ways!

MH: I definitely grew up a little shorter and a little chubbier – but full of personality! As I slowly grew into my body, I could say “I trust in who I am.” Every single girl has insecurities – supermodels, girls on TV… we all are our own worst enemies and social media has made it even worse. Self-love comes from something deeper because we allow a lot of outside influences to play into how we feel about ourselves. So I gave myself a rule a few years ago: I will talk about my insecurities while I’m home getting ready, but the second I leave my door, I’m not allowed to talk about them any more. That burger I ate yesterday is not still hangin’ on me or that pimple – well I covered it up the best I could! Sometimes you’ve just gotta be your own cheerleader. Not every day is gonna be great, but how else are we gonna get through if we don’t love ourselves?

Want to learn more about how HopefullyPlated can help make a healthy lifestyle easier for you? Head over to www.hopefullyplated.com or email Mallory Hope at hopefullyplated@gmail.com.