As an assistant professor of nutrition, researcher, spin instructor and founder of Strong Process, it's easy to see why Rachele is our latest Inspiring Instructor! Rachele's work focuses on physical and nutrition interventions to prevent and treat non-communicable chronic diseases like diabetes. Her passion for accessible, evidence-based nutrition led her to create Strong Process, a one-day wellness conference designed to integrate evidence-based knowledge to health and wellness spaces.
Rachele has a truly unique perspective by being a part of both the fitness and nutrition worlds. We had the opportunity to catch up with Rachele and ask her all about her health strategies, predictions for future wellness trends and more!
You’ve been an indoor cycling instructor at FlyWheel Boston for over ten years. Wow! What do your health strategies look like? What do you do to stay mentally and physically fit?
My main health strategy is to keep moving and fuel right so I can always bring my A-game! That doesn’t meant that I’m going full out all the time, I think you consciously need to work in workouts where you are pushing through your edge, as well as recovery days when your purposefully let your body regenerate. This means high quality food (...and red wine) and sometimes ice-cream!
What prompted you to start Strong Process and what is its mission?
I’ve always been involved in the fitness/wellness world. My first job in college was as a personal trainer, and then a strength coach, and now I’m really into indoor and outdoor cycling. Through all that time, I was also working my way through the research world into a professional academic career. One thing that always struck me was that, even though these two worlds were moving in the same direction, trying so hard to keep people healthy, they rarely talked to each other. So, you have these incredibly passionate driven practitioners getting information second and third hand because scientists suck at instagram, and then you get all of these scientists and researchers doing ground breaking work uncovering how the body operates, not able to get the information to the people on the ground. And the worst part is the wellness consumer is just left in a sea of conflicting and misinformation because they are being bombarded with clickbait headlines.The Strong Process Forum is an all-day wellness conference that includes three curated panels of scientists, farmers, journalists, athletes, clinicians and innovators, as well as breakfast, yoga, bootcamp, lunch and cocktails. There is also an amazing marketplace where you can find passionate people offering services and products that work for you. Our goal at is to provide evidence behind the wellness claims - researched by true experts - that will guide us to make informed decisions. It is designed to be a day of unraveling and relearning to set you on an unwavering path for a lifetime.
Your research focuses on the physical and nutrition interventions to prevent and treat chronic disease. Why are you passionate about research and what are you currently working on?
I’m passionate about research because it provides real answers to purposeful questions (and also results in many more questions to be answered!). I love the discovery process. I love testing a theory and maybe learning something that nobody has ever known before! It’s thrilling! Currently I’m working on two projects: one study is in its early phase where we are outlining a protocol to test two different diets in a group of subjects with type 2 diabetes. The other has more of an educational focus, and we are looking at the effects of teaching health care providers how to council on exercise and nutrition, as well as other lifestyle behaviors.
What do you think will be the next big trend in the wellness industry?
Haha...I’ve given up guessing on this one. There’s always something insane that you never saw coming - jade eggs, activated charcoal, the carnivore diet - I mean, who comes up with this stuff?
What do you look for in your health and wellness products/what is important to you and why?
I look for evidence that they work. Period. Don’t give me some “all natural” tincture or ointment or pill and tell me that it does some magical thing. Nothing does that. Show me the evidence that it can help an issue that I care about, that is actually happening in my body, and then I’ll think about trying it.
What would you like to see in the future of the fitness and wellness industry?
My greatest wish for the wellness industry would be that we would come together behind the evidence and stop tying real people in knots over all the crazy schemes that are being pitched and sold as miracles.
What products would you like to see from VitalFit in the future?
The thing that I love about VitalFit is that they’ve created a select few products, very thoughtfully sourced with some solid scientific evidence behind them, to solve very specific problems people have. My favorite example is the tart cherry recovery! I would just love to see VitalFit stay true to that mission!
Liked this post and want to get in touch with Rachele? You can find her on Instagram @rachelepojednic. Also look out for information on the next Strong Process conference happening this Novemeber!