We want to introduce you to us!   Today we will be highlighting Jessica, one of our RiseVT Advocates.

What is your favorite aspect of RiseVT?

RiseVT has given me an outlet for things that I have always been passionate about. I love the idea of creating a healthy supportive environment so that it becomes ingrained in our community’s culture. Our businesses become healthier places to work. Our school environment encourages more activity and healthy foods for kids. Our towns are given tools to help develop new walking trails or support breastfeeding mothers in parks. RiseVT is able to work with all aspects of our community – schools, businesses, municipalities and individuals. By having such a wide scope, RiseVT is able to link existing initiatives and programs with entities that could benefit. Franklin County has many incredible programs and resources. It is an opportunity to help amplify what people are already doing and be an advocate for healthy change.

What is your favorite vegetable and how do you like it prepared?

I am a kale fan. I used to work in the Department of Agriculture and joined a CSA in 1999. The CSA farmers were new to farming and gave me kale every week! I had to come up with a variety of ways to make it. Now I grow it myself, enough to eat all summer and freeze for most of the winter. It is easy to grow and is the first plant to produce in the spring and the last to stop in the fall. It is delicious in smoothies and stir fries, as kale chips and kale pesto – yum!

What do you like to do for recreation? 

I enjoy all recreation. Movement is meditation for me, especially when I am outside. It keeps my mind clear and my outlook positive. I can get a little cranky if I don’t move most days of the week. I love being on my bike – it makes me feel like a kid again. I love all things on the water – in the summers, I am in the lake every day, swimming, paddleboarding or rowing. I love to run or hike. In the winter, I ski as much as possible, mostly downhill, but I do like to Nordic ski and snowshoe too. And of course, I love yoga!


How do you overcome barriers you may face when trying to embrace a healthy lifestyle?  

I have three busy kids, so I have to schedule and plan to stay on track. Monday through Thursday, I get up early, before the kids, and exercise. Some days, I am lacking motivation, but I tell myself just to do something for 20 minutes and many days, I end up doing more. I prefer to be outside, but when it gets dark and cold, I go in my basement, where I have some weights and cardio equipment that I have accumulated over the years, mostly from Craigslist. I also have exercise DVD’s and internet access for when I need motivation from someone else. I try to plan out my workouts, so I don’t waste time in the morning, trying to figure out what I am going to do that day.

As far as nutrition goes, I only grocery shop once a week and I make a list and try to stick to it. We generally eat the same things for breakfast and lunch, so I plan all of our dinners each week. I try to eat “close to the farm”, buying a lot of whole foods. When I buy packaged food, I check that it is low in sugar and doesn’t have any fake sugars or ingredients that aren’t recognizable as being a real food. My kids do complain from time to time, but they know that most of what is in the cupboards or prepared for meals is pretty healthy. I try to stay away from making “kid meals” and if it’s close to meal and they want a snack, I try to give them fruits and vegetables, so they will still eat dinner. I do have a weakness for dark chocolate, but “everything in moderation” is also a motto of mine.