Chatting with North Shore residents Kristen Rajewski and Alex Delger is a breath of fresh air. The two friends, who recently launched a start-up health and fitness business, 2 Clean Chicks, share a passion for all things related to health and wellness and want to share their expertise with others.
“2020 was, needless to say, a challenge for everyone and many found themselves having to take on more responsibilities—like remote learning,” says Rajewski, a Glencoe mom of two young children. “It’s OK that for many they had to let self-care slide, but the best way to ensure a successful 2021 is to prioritize our health and wellness. And 2 Clean Chicks is a road map to do just that—we hold your hand every step of the way.”
What exactly is 2 Clean Chicks? It’s the equivalent of embarking on a new clean eating and fitness regime for a specified amount of time (usually four weeks) with two bubbly, knowledgeable and encouraging leaders and a whole community sharing the experience with you.
Signing up for a four-week, clean eating and fitness overhaul is called a “challenge” in health and wellness speak, and while not a new concept, what sets 2 Clean Chicks apart are the unique ways in which they are providing participants with the tools to ensure lasting success. After participating in, and leading, these types of challenges for the past six years, Rajewski and Delger launched 2 Clean Chicks last fall to much success.
“A week before the challenge starts, we send a Challenge Guide to each participant which includes an enhanced meal plan with recipes and nutrition information,” says Delger. “It’s also important to identify what foods are causing inflammation in the body, so inflammatory foods like, soy, gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and processed foods are eliminated for the four-week challenge. After that, participants can reintroduce them slowly one at a time, noticing if they have an affect on how they feel.”
Knowing how difficult it can be for participants to change their eating habits, 2 Clean Chicks is collaborating with local chef, Jamie Bisioulis. A specialist in cooking with dietary restrictions—including paleo, Bisioulis posts a weekly meal plan to the group’s private Facebook page (for breakfast, lunch and dinner items) that participants can choose to order in from for those days when they’re too busy to cook themselves. Ensuring success after the program ends, Bisioulis also hosts live cooking classes on Zoom, and has created video cooking tips for clean eating, which is also posted to the group’s private Facebook page.
“Many participants tell us that not only are they feeling better than they have in years, with their skin clearing up, their sleep undisturbed, but they are also eating more than they have before,” says Rajewksi. “Many people start off the new year looking to lose weight, and that is the case with many of our participants, dropping over 10 pounds over the course of four weeks. We encourage eating real whole foods and balanced meals.”
Rajewski and Delger started their fitness careers in boutique studios, guiding clients through specific exercises to achieve maximum results. As American Council on Exercise-certified fitness instructors, they know that healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand to achieve the healthiest version of yourself. Each week they post online a variety of types and lengths of fitness videos, from barre to HIIT to yoga, for participants to do on their own at home (for all ability levels). “We are making it easy, and enjoyable, for participants to carve out a time for themselves to work up a sweat, no matter how much time they have to dedicate to a workout that day,” explains Delger.
The first thing you notice about both women is how warm and welcoming they are—unlike the intimidating kind of coaches that can stop one in their tracks from even attempting to start a new health routine. Their accessibility and knowledge is easily felt via the online community of participants that they have created on a private Facebook page. Which, in part, explains why they have participants from the North Shore to Colorado, California and Texas joining their challenges. The online community lends support and expertise to participants. Want to know how to get past that 3 p.m. chocolate craving? Need motivation for a workout? That’s where the community, and the coaches, step in. Providing participants with a constant support group to ensure a successful challenge.
Participants are encouraged to post daily to the group’s private Facebook page and share how they’ve moved that day and what they’ve eaten. “It’s an accountability check-in,” says Rajewski, “and also allows us to look at your meals and see what’s missing if you’re not feeling great. For example, if a participant wasn’t feeling their best one day, we could look and see they only ate a salad and did a 60-minute HIIT class. We would then be able to suggest they add in a healthy carbohydrate, like a sweet potato.”
While they will be running challenges multiple times throughout 2021, their first one is slated to kick off on January 11. “Lifestyle changes don’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. Our motto at the Chicks is to keep things simple, sustainable, and most importantly, fun!” says Rajewski. “Those hard-earned results are the icing on the cake.”
For more information, visit 2cleanchicks.com