fit foodie event
How I ran the race with zero training

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links

This summer is shaping up to be an awesome one, but also a challenging one.

Case in point: This is the third week in a row that my husband and I are living out of suitcases at Airbnb’s because our house is undergoing last-minute semi-unexpected renovations. Which means, yay! our house (aka, the barn we live in that’s been made mostly livable) will no longer have unfinished concrete floors, but boo! we’re totally unsettled for at least another couple weeks.

And let me tell you, it’s a challenge to stay on top of your workouts when your life is all amuck. The thing is, that’s reality. Life is rarely as smooth-sailing and predictable as we’d like it to be, which means overall consistency with making healthy choices – prioritizing daily activity and healthy food choices, rather than obsessively planning and scheduling insanely restrictive workout programs – are what ultimately pay off in the long run when it comes to maintaining and sustaining a healthy lifestyle.

My recent reminder: The John Hancock Hosts the Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Race Weekend

I had such a great reminder of this fact the first weekend we were living out of suitcases. In addition to having no time to enjoy a “real” workout that week (I spent two days moving and I walked my dogs the rest of the week instead of hitting the gym), I hadn’t gone for a legitimate run in months due to some persistent low back pain. Instead of hitting the pavement, I’d been spending my time doing lower-impact cardio and strength training at the gym.

And yet, I was signed up to participate in the John Hancock Hosts the Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Race Weekend in Austin on June 25th. I was determined to try to run the entire 5k despite not having run in two or three months, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to.

After a fun warm up and stretch at the event’s John Hancock Vitality Village, I headed to the starting line and…

I ran the whole thing!


Granted, I didn’t win any awards for speed, but the very fact that I kept running the whole way was a reminder that making healthy choices consistently – finding alternative ways to exercise when you’ve got an injury, choosing healthy foods even when you’re living out of a suitcase – is always better than an “all or nothing” attitude about health.

The reminder was further hit home after the event while I wandered through the John Hancock Vitality Village, where a series of healthy cooking presentations and food booths were set up for race participants to enjoy as part of the race weekend’s “where calories are burned and earned” concept. The purpose is to reward racers and event attendees with deliciously healthy food after a tough workout to highlight the importance of combining healthy food choices with an active lifestyle.

And you better believe I enjoyed the food samples (ummm – avocado and strawberry salad? yes, please!).


What I found really interesting as I toured the Vitality Village is that John Hancock life insurance with Vitality’s new HealthyFood program is designed specifically to reward people for making healthy choices.

It’s about time a life insurance company offers such great benefits, amiright?!

For instance, you can save up to $600 a year on healthy food choices (which, let’s be real, would make a huge difference in my life – we spend about $800 a month at the grocery store for just the two of us). Plus, you can save on your annual premium for making other healthy choices, such as exercising and going to the doctor. John Hancock even provides a Fitbit to policyholders as a way to keep track of their goals.

Lance and I recently let our primary life insurance lapse, so we’re in the market for something new, and this program really piques my interest. Given how we both prioritize healthy living, we’ve often commented on what a shame it is there’s not much of a reward from insurance companies for making smart choices. Looks like times may be a changin’ and that’s a good thing.

You can visit for more information on how you can be rewarded for the small steps you take toward a healthier life… and while you’re there check out their Vitality Age calculator. According to the site, 79% of people surveyed have a Vitality Age older than their actual age due to lifestyle choices – yikes! I’m happy to report my Vitality Age is 32 – a couple years better than my chronological 34. Hooray for healthy choices!

Remember – small steps really do pay off, and consistency is key to long-term positive health benefits and a #RewardingLife, especially when you combine healthy foods with an active lifestyle.

I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

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