Time flies! Recently I got a slew of ‘happy work anniversary’ emails from LinkedIN. Turns out, Healthfully Ever After, or the first iteration in the form of the blog, is five years old! Because so much has changed over the past five years, I figured it might be a good time to share a behind the curtain look at our business with this interview I did with Borrowed & Blue, the online resource for planning Washington DC weddings.
“I came across Healthfully Ever After when I was looking to learn more about pre-wedding health and wellness. I can’t stand the diatribes about weight loss and fitness regimes that are all over the internet! When I found Healthfully Ever After, though, I knew Carlene and Chris’s work was different. Carlene is a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of the Wedding Wellness Workbook, which is an awesome resource for people who are looking to feel awesome without feeling like they’re depriving themselves of amazing food. Borrowed & Blue readers will love Carlene’s fun, accessible writing style, her holistic approach to health, and her DC/VA local knowledge. I’m so glad I was able to get the deets of her wellness journey, her favorite spots in the District, and her tips for how to feel awesome on your wedding day. Enjoy!” - Helen, Borrowed & Blue’s Washington DC Market Specialist
1. Some of us are new to your blog; share six words that give us a sense of your personality.
I’ve been called sassy, driven, loyal, passionate, clever, efficient.
2. You’re a registered dietitian nutritionist (and the president-elect of the Virginia Dietetic Association—so cool!). How did you get started on your wellness journey, and how did it morph into Healthfully Ever After?
I grew up in a culinary loving family but my Grandma is a personal trainer and physical therapist (and basically my life idol. She just got her yellow belt in karate at age 85). When I learned what a registered dietitian was and the fact that it was food and health combined, I was all in. During the most intense portion of my education (clinical rotations), I got married. I was seeing ridiculous, extreme information about wedding and diets so after some intense research, I filled a niche. From there the business has morphed into something my husband and I do , together as we work to create recipes, photos and videos with food and beverage companies. In short, as a couple, we help people find delicious, healthy food in visually appealing ways.
3. We love that you focus on overall health in your Wedding Wellness Workbook. What is one piece of advice you’d give to a person who would like to develop some wellness goals before his or her wedding?
Be realistic. Please tone down the internal insanity. It’s easy to get caught up in the mania surrounding a wedding and planning, but realistically evaluate what you truly want to change and how you’re going to change it. Don’t go into this saying “I’m going to be X weight!” when the only time you weighed that was in middle school. Let this be a personalized journey where you do what’s best for your health and well being.
4. What is one way that you create balance in your life that you think would be helpful to share with others?
Evaluate your life and listen closely. When I first started in business I would go-go-go and only stop when my body was completely done. I would be out for a week just completely sick and exhausted. Hustle is important, but so is taking a break. You can’t ‘do’ if you’re done.
5. For our friends who are getting married soon, do you have any tips on how to manage stress in the months before a wedding?
Ask for help and determine what is most important to you. People WANT to help you but you need to be okay asking. I was really, really bad at that for a long time. The more you can delegate with aclear end goal in mind the easier your life will be.
6. Speaking of weddings… how did you and Chris meet?
Fourth grade. HA! We have known each other since elementary school. Chris then moved away a few years later, and my family ended up moving to the same place. So we reconnected, became best friends and eventually started dating in high school. It took some convincing, but luckily he’s stubborn and kept after me.
7. What is it like to collaborate with your husband so closely?
It’s awesome. I’m not even saying that to be nice. When people hear what we do they’re pretty surprised we are not divorced and also similarly surprised to see we are not visibly insane or weird. We round each other out. Chris is highly creative and artistic but hates to write. I love to read, write and I manage the ‘people’ and business side of things. In short, he tells me we should create a floating fruit salad and I figure out how it fits in the editorial calendar, who we can collaborate with, and how to put a nutrition story spin on it.
8. Want to share some memories from your wedding?
Well, it POURED (but stopped and became beautiful for the outdoor ceremony). Chris’s razor died in the middle of him shaving that morning on location. Someone’s cell phone went off in the middle of the ceremony with Jenifer Lopez music (and the pretended it wasn’t theirs…so it kept going off). We thought this was hilarious. I think guests way more upset than we ever would be.
Probably my favorite part was the bouquet (made by Holly Chapple) which was filled with produce. Holly is a family friend (she and my Mom shared a hospital room when they were both having babies!) and was all in for my crazy plan of wanting vegetables in the bouquet.
Note: the photo above is just one little glimpses into the wedding. Here, Chris is stepping on my wedding dress. Please note the rain. (photo Bob Updegrove)
9. In addition to being a health expert and a happily wedded lady, you’re also a DMV local! Describe your dream day in DC.
National art gallery followed by National History Museum (I love the gem exhibit). I need to eat at both Rose’s Luxury and Le Diplomate somewhere in there too…. And depending on the humidity I also wouldn't hate being at a Nats game. Also, not driving on 495.
10. What’s something that sets DC apart from other places you’ve lived?
Chris and I have always been DMV area people (minus college further South in VA). Those 4 years in college showed us we were really meant to be back up in the DC suburbs. There’s so much food and culture here. Within 50 minutes you can be in downtown DC or in a vineyard. It doesn’t get better than that.
So that’s that! I hope you guys enjoyed seeing a little bit about the business in an updated way. Make sure you check out Borrowed & Blue, your guide to finding DC wedding catering and more!
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.