Who's That Gal: Rachele Pojednic, PhD, EdM
Name: Rachele Pojednic, PhD, EdM
Occupation: Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Simmons College; Flywheel Instructor
Hometown: Barre, MA
Current ‘hood: Charlestown
Currently reading: Beach Music, Pat Conroy
Favorite workout song: I Lived, One Republic (Arty Remix)
For being in the fitness industry for 15 (16?) years, you have quite the resume! We heard on your SGO podcast that you considered medicine before getting into your current field. What was the “a-ha” moment that you should be in the fitness and nutrition field?
When I was working in the hospital, I realized that working 80+ hours per week, constantly attached to a beeper, with very little opportunity for self care was NOT for me. It took me a few years to recalibrate, and during that time, I returned to my exercise physiology roots. As I started becoming more aware of health and performance, I began to realize how interrelated food and movement were. I was really lucky to find a lab at Tufts that was doing great research on both and that was the catalyst to defining my career!
What are the most rewarding parts of teaching students at Simmons? Leading classes at Flywheel?
I love teaching. I love being in front of a group of people and sharing knowledge that I’ve gained, with passion and enthusiasm. I am definitely at my best in a classroom (or a studio), because I feel like I’m giving something of myself that is unique and valuable.
For those starting (or restarting, as most of us do) their clean eating journey, what is your first piece of advice?
Don’t do something with your diet that you’re not willing to commit to forever. The more you obsess over what you put in your mouth (especially in tiny extreme bursts), the less reward you are going to feel from the true benefits of a healthy diet over the long haul.
Speaking of, you’re big on being mindful. How do you define this?
I think I just mean, pay attention. You don’t have to meditate over your food, but just be aware of what you’re putting into your mouth throughout the day and recognize that you have choices. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to find a balance that works for you.
On your instagram account, we’ve seen you switching up fun fitness via cycling trips, paddleboarding and much more! What is your favorite method of “non-traditional” exercise?
I love being outdoors! I cycle and paddle in the summer and I ski in the winter. For me, it’s not just about the exercise, it’s about enjoying the fresh air, or having a great conversation on the road, or freezing my butt off with my favorite people in the middle of a snowstorm. It’s about the whole experience.
Where do you think Boston stands on health knowledge? Why are we more or less progressive than other cities?
I think Boston is a pretty Type-A city that’s definitely progressive on health knowledge. But because we are so health-conscious, I think we tend to get ourselves into trouble by freaking out about tiny details that don’t really matter in the context of a truly healthy life. My inbox is full of stressed out emails written by people so worried that they don’t know what “the right” food is, or the “best” exercise class to go to. I think it would help a lot of we could all figure out how to make moderation a little more sexy, especially in the context of our already high pressure days. Exercise and good food should add to our day, not add more anxiety!
What was your experience like speaking at WELL Boston this past March?
Coming together with people that really care about their health is always a great day! I loved answering people’s questions, and I was psyched to have the opportunity to ask a lot of my own!
What is next for you?
I’m on a mission to bring the best information and experiences about health to as many people as I can! I have some plans in the works for some pretty awesome active and academic shindigs, writing, and speaking. Stay tuned!