Hi! I’m Rachel Verdejo — a follower of Christ and lover of food on a quest to get fit and healthy, inside and out. Faithful Foodie Gets Fit is a personal lifestyle blog that chronicles my journey.
I live in Northern Virginia, and when I’m not blogging, I work as a nonprofit fundraiser in Washington, D.C. I am married to a wonderful man who puts life and laughter into my days, and we have two fur kids: Luna, a black lab mix, and Meena, a tuxedo cat.
My Christian faith is my foundation. I really started exploring the depths of my faith when I attended Grove City College, which is located north of Pittsburgh. I love learning about and exploring my faith, and I currently attend an Anglican church in Northern Virginia. I am committed to getting to know Jesus better in 2017.
I’ve loved good food for as along as I can remember. I love to both cook at home and go out to eat. My passion for food has been shaped by my heritage, travel experiences, and family:
- I am at least 50% Pennsylvania Dutch (which means I actually have German roots — “Dutch” is a mispronunciation of “Deutsch,” in this case). Although my palate has changed since my childhood, I have a special place in my heart for all of my favorite Pennsylvania Dutch and comfort foods — especially mashed potatoes and shoo fly pie.
- I studied abroad in London in 2006 and discovered Indian food in the process. (Chicken tikka masala is the national dish of the United Kingdom, after all.) I can’t imagine what my life was like before butter chicken!
- I used to claim that I didn’t like Mexican food. That all changed when I moved to Washington, D.C., after college and tried Chipotle for the first time. I’ve since branched out and could easily eat Mexican and Tex-Mex food once per week. There are few things that I love more than fajitas, refried beans, and guacamole.
- I married into an amazing Puerto Rican family in 2010, which brought with it new foods and new flavors. I’ve since learned how to make a number of my mother-in-law’s recipes and have an obsession with pernil, mofongo, and red beans and rice. Some of the best compliments that I’ve received from my husband involve comparisons of my cooking to his mom’s.
A few foods that I don’t enjoy: sushi, lettuce, and carbonated beverages.
I’ve been struggling to balance this passion for good food with taking good care of myself since my late teens. Overeating, emotional eating, chronic dieting, and negative self-talk are largely to blame. After years of repeatedly joining and quitting Weight Watchers, counting calories, trying the 21 Day Fix, and attempting to hate myself into submission, I am working to become truly healthy — physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally — no more diets allowed. My current go-to resources for non-diet, healthy living inspiration are registered dietitian nutritionist Rebecca Scritchfield and her Body Kindness book and movement; my life coach Jackie Dixon and her resources on Christian “Body Stewardship“; registered dietitian Heather K. Jones, who has served as the nutrition expert for the Skinnytaste cookbooks; the book Intuitive Eating; and author Geneen Roth, who battled her weight and eating disorders for years, until she made peace with herself and her body.
Regular exercise is a huge part of this healthy living journey, and fitness has truly transformed me. I discovered running in February 2014 when I started taking my well-being more seriously, and I’ve completely fallen in love with it! Although I typically run alone outside in my neighborhood, I love the energy and motivation of road races. (Visit my “Race Schedule” page for a snapshot of my upcoming and recently completed races, along with my times.) To alleviate stress, in October 2016, I also started doing yoga regularly, and I’ve fallen in love with it, as well. I love taking yoga classes before starting my workday, and Epic Yoga in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., is my go-to studio.
Other Fun Facts
- I double majored in English Literature and Communication Studies at Grove City College and minored in Religion.
- I affectionately refer to my home state of Pennsylvania as the “homeland.”
- I don’t watch much television, but I am (shamefully) an avid watcher of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Khloe is my girl.
- I am completely obsessed with Doug the Pug.
- Animal rescue is a cause very close to my heart. Our cat was adopted from the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, and our dog came from the Humane Rescue Alliance (formerly the Washington Animal Rescue League).
- I really, really need to learn Spanish.
- My hubby drives a 2010 Corvette Z06, and I will sometimes attend car events with him. (You can find photos of our car, along with other day-to-day happenings and inspiration, on my Instagram page.) My dream car is a Ferrari.
- The beach is my favorite place in the world.
- I have a terrible habit of buying books and letting them pile up around the house without reading them.
- India is the place that I want to visit more than anywhere else.
I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you! Thanks for stopping by!