Q&A SERIES: HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ENTREPRENEUR, LEE HERSH
You guys… I’m kind of geeking out over here. Today’s Q&A Series guest, Lee Hersh of Fit Foodie Finds, was the first blogger — food, fitness, wellness, or otherwise — that I ever found! I immediately connected with Lee’s hilarious sense of humor, interest in all things food, fitness, and health, and her Wisconsin charm (Ryan is from Wisco, after all!).
I followed her from college student, to her first social media/marketing job working at the HQ for a national gym, to leaving to run FFF full-time. She has achieved SO much since then, but above-it-all she remains totally accessible and down to earth.
For example, when little old me reached out to Lee to ask if she would be willing to let me interview her, she gave me an almost immediate and resounding “YES!”
But more than anything, what I love about Lee (besides her hilarious Instagram stories) is her attitude towards food and fitness. Not surprisingly, it probably helped to shape my wellness philosophy, too. Although loves fitness and food, she takes a super balanced, healthy approach to all things wellness.
Before we turn to her interview, I wanted to mention an important role that Lee played in my journey to leave my job as an attorney to start my own business. I actually just spoke with a client about this in our session this morning. She asked me how I knew that wellness was my passion back when I was working as an attorney. I told her when I read The Happiness Project, the author wrote about how Justice Ginsburg told her (she clerked for Notorious RBG!) to make a career out of what she did in her free time.
For the author of The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin, it was writing (spoiler alert: Gretchen never practiced as an attorney and went straight into writing for a living). For me, I was totally and completely immersed in food and wellness blogs (like Lee’s!), cooking, exercise, writing and thinking about food, attending food classes, etc.
When I stopped to think about it, it was actually pretty obvious. Lee was one of those bloggers who I just “clicked with” and loved her message. Plus, we have a mutual love for Lucky Brand shoes which, to me, says everything 😉
Now, I help busy women through my signature 3-month private health coaching program and I work with brands & companies on corporate wellness and food + beverage consulting. If you’re interested in working together, I offer a free 50-minute consultation & coaching call! All you have to do is fill out this short form & I’ll be in touch right away.
I won’t keep you from getting to know Lee any longer. I can’t wait for you to “meet!”
Q: Hi, Lee! Thank you so much for joining me & my hygge tribe today. As you know, I’ve been a huge fan of yours for years & years, but for those that don’t know you already, please introduce yourself:
A: Hi, I’m Lee Hersh I am the founder of the food and lifestyle website Fit Foodie Finds and the co-founder of the Healthy Glow Collective. I live and work out of Minneapolis, MN with my team, that is made up of two other amazing women. Emily Stickler is our Brand Manager and Linley is our Community Manager + Recipe Developer.
Q: You are an absolute rockstar on the food blogging & healthy lifestyle scene. Tell us a little about what your typical day-to-day routine looks like these days:
A: One thing I really love about my job is that every day is different. If I’m not traveling for work or visiting my boyfriend in Milwaukee, I’m probably in Minneapolis testing, developing, and photographing content for Fit Foodie Finds and the Healthy Glow Collective. At the beginning of each week, Linley and I look at our content calendar to determine what recipes we have to test and/or photograph that week and then do a lot of planning based on the weather. I like to get a lot of my writing and admin done first thing in the morning or after dinner, depending on my workload. When I am traveling, I do a lot of writing and overarching strategy work, while Linley is back in Minneapolis testing recipes!
Q: I love to write first thing in the AM, too! That’s great that you have figured out a system that works for you. So you are so successful with FFF and seem to be having SO much fun with your business, but even exciting things can be super stressful. What do you do to blow off steam and manage your stress in a healthy way?
A: Yes, it is definitely a wild ride. When I’m feeling stressed, I like to take a step back and slow down. Routine helps me a lot, so scheduling time with my friends, getting in regular workouts, and making time for acupuncture have been really nice for this. I have recently gotten back into throwing pots, which is a pastime of mine. I love pottery, so Thursdays and Sundays have become days where I leave my phone in the car and spend time in the studio creating new little homes for my succulent plants.
Q: Ah, I just started acupuncture, too! I’m loving it so far. I love that you throw pots, too. What a great hobby. And I think it’s so smart that you leave your phone in the car to give yourself some unplugged time. What’s the hardest part of being an online entrepreneur & what do you do to cope with it?:
A: I think the hardest part about what I do is balancing my time. Social media makes my job look easy, but I work 60+ hours a week most weeks. If I spend a full day in the kitchen shooting recipes, then I’m working a 12 hour day to catch up on email, write content, etc. I’ve gotten better the last few months at closing my computer at a reasonable hour, but with the amount of projects I’m working on it’s hard to fit everything in in under 40 hours/week!
Q: That’s great that you’re finding a balance that works for you! I can definitely see how stressful it would be to manage social media with so many followers. Can you describe a typical day of eats for you & how you eat healthy on-the-go?:
A: If you follow me, you know that I am an oatmeal fanatic. I usually wake up early, make my coffee, and have some oatmeal (I’m obsessed with all the recipes from our most recent Oatmeal Week.). What I eat in a day depends on what we are making in the Fit Foodie kitchen because no one likes wasting food. Yes, sometimes this means I’m eating brownies for lunch 😀 I try and stick with a protein, carb, and lots of veggies likely followed by a handful of chips and something sweet.
If I know I am going to have a busy week or have people over, I try to meal prep a Fit Foodie meal for the week. Some of my favorites right now are Cilantro Lime Chicken with Cauliflower Rice, Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken, and Naked Spinach Quinoa Lasagna Casserole. My favorite meal prep snacks on the go are definitely Fit Foodie’s Peanut Butter Energy Balls and our Whole Grain Chewy Oatmeal Cookies. I usually keep a bag of each in my freezer for healthy on the go snacks.
Q: You have the best oatmeal recipes! Not to mention the fact that all of your photographs are stunning. You’re also a super inspiring fitness guru. How do you fit in fitness with such a busy schedule? What are your go to classes or routines?:
A: If I don’t work out before noon, it’s not going to happen and that’s just a fact. I workout 4-5 days a week at a local boutique gym called Switch Minneapolis most mornings. When I’m not working out at Switch, I’m hiking, walking around the lakes, or doing something active with friends. I try my best not to skip out on workouts during the week because I find that it gives me more energy than if I do skip a workout. However, I do make sure to take one or two rest days on the weekends because that’s just as important as the actual workout!
Q: I’m the same way with workouts! It’s not that I don’t have the time later on, but I just know myself and know I have to fit it in early or never. What are biggest personal benefits or growth you’ve experienced since you took a leap and made such a big change in your life (starting/going full-time with FFF)?:
A: I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and my journey to get where I am right now wasn’t easy. One thing that I am very thankful of is the fact that I took a risk so early in my career. When I jumped ship from my corporate job, I was only 23. I didn’t go to school for blogging or entrepreneurship, so I think that the skills that I have are very unique. A few things I’ve learned from running my business is that: 1. Hard work pays off. 2. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. 3. Work can be meaningful and FUN.
Q: But you’ve learned the best way! By doing. And as a reader, it has been so fun to follow your journey. And I love your 3 tips – so helpful! Finally, what are some tips for someone out there who might want to make a big change in his or her life and doesn’t know where to start:
A: This might sound cliche, but JUST DO IT. So many people are stuck on the notion of perfection and sometimes you just need to go for it because in all honestly, no time is the right time. Surround yourself with like-minded, hard-working people and I promise their energy will rub off on you!
Thank you so much, Lee! I hope you enjoyed Lee’s responses because I did!
I hear from so many of you at various stages of different careers. But you all have one thing in common: wanting change. And that was the point of starting this Q&A series — to inspire you to make the change you’ve wanted to make. Whether you want to change your diet, fitness, career, relationship, or self-care routine, I want to inspire you to make moves.
I work privately with busy women who want to get unstuck and live fully. If you want to learn more about health coaching or work together, schedule your free 50-minute coaching call (consult) with me today.
P.S. If you or someone you know would like to be featured as one of my Q&A series guests, please email me! I’d love to hear from you (or the person you know) if you’re following your passion or purpose in life, have made a change & taken a leap of faith, or are a bada$$ girl boss.
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