Good Eats Cookbook, Getting Over Gymtimidation and Building Community
Good Eats Cookbook, Getting Over Gymtimidation and Building Community

"Wellness is not just focusing on one thing. It’s truly all-encompassing." 

- Rachael DeVaux

Get ready for some good eats this week as Elizabeth is joined by Rachael DeVaux, author, content creator, registered dietitian, and lifestyle & wellness influencer. You probably recognize Rachael from her Instagram, @rachaelsgoodeats, where she has an active community of over a half million followers turned friends. Rachael talks about how she parlayed her passion for sports and nutrition into a career as a certified personal trainer and the ways she grew her brand, tips for creating community and engagement, and her nutrition philosophy that food is medicine that tastes great too. Rachael gives us a sneak peek into what we can expect from her new cookbook, Rachael’s Good Eats, tips for getting more protein and building in strength training in your routine, and how her new active and fitness brand Recreation Sweat can help us get over gym-timidation.

Pre-order Rachael’s Good Eats Cookbook here.



    Elizabeth Stein 00:00
    Hi, everyone. I'm Elizabeth Stein, Founder and CEO of Purely Elizabeth. And this is Live Purely with Elizabeth, featuring candid conversations about how to thrive on your wellness journey. This week's guest is Rachael DeVaux. You probably know from Instagram as rachaelsgoodeats, she is a health fitness and food creator with a cult following of over a half million Instagram followers. Rachael parlayed her passion for sports and nutrition into a career as a certified personal trainer and registered dietitian, building a coveted and dedicated community of followers online and through her website, rachaelsgoodeats. She encourages the practice of balance in all aspects of life and commitment to incremental change. She has several successful e-books on fitness and food and is also the founder of Recreation Sweat, her new brand of fitness bands and accessories and active wear. I had so much fun connecting with Rachael in this episode. We chat about how Rachael successfully grow her brand, tips for creating community and engagement, her fitness and food is medicine nutrition philosophy, the importance of protein and strength training, how to get healthy in the kitchen, and her process for writing her first cookbook Rachael's Good Eats, which is out April 18th. The cookbook is filled with over 100 gluten-free, mostly dairy-free, refined sugar-free recipes in every category from breakfast, salads, comfort mains, and all kinds of desserts like her famous cookie skillet. You can pre order her cookbook in the link in the show notes. Hope you enjoy the episode. If you haven't had the chance to try our Grain-Free Granolas yet, head on over to Walmart to now find them in the gluten-free healthy living aisle in select Walmart locations. Our Grain-Free Granolas have crunchy clusters of nuts, superfood seeds, and creamy nut butters all baked with organic coconut oil and sweetened with coconut sugar. They are gluten-free, paleo, and keto-certified. Use the link in the note section to find Purely Elizabeth products at a Walmart store near you. Welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited for our conversation today. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on.

    Rachael DeVaux 02:18
    Oh my gosh. Thanks for having me. We were just talking and we have met briefly. So how many years ago is that five or six years ago?

    Elizabeth Stein 02:26
    So long ago, but it's so funny because the amount of people that I've had on the podcast, who I met at Revitalize, like it really...yeah, what Jason and Colleen created there was amazing. I keep telling them, they need another Revitalize. So hopefully maybe 23 will be the year. So let's start with your journey and what inspired you to get into nutrition and personal training, and were they at the same time, or which came first?

    Rachael DeVaux 02:56
    So it's funny when I was growing up, I feel like I identified with fitness more because I played sports growing up. So I kind of knew that I always wanted to be a personal trainer eventually. And it wasn't until I think high school where it really clicked that I was like, okay, nutrition really has like this huge effect on your performance related to sports. And so that was kind of when I really knew that I wanted to focus on nutrition. So that's why I went to college, I went to Oregon State University, and studied dietetics. And some of the two years after I became a registered dietitian, I became a certified personal trainer, as well. So it was I feel like I always knew that it was going to be side by side.

    Elizabeth Stein 03:46
    It was in your blood.

    Rachael DeVaux 03:48
    Yes. And they're just so related, where it just makes so much sense. You know, like wellness is not just focusing on one thing. It's truly all encompassing. So...

    Elizabeth Stein 03:57
    For sure, I feel like I in my early 20s started to do marathons and triathlons and I got up to doing a half Ironman which was crazy. But in that really like started connecting a the mental piece of it and then be the nutrition and that was kind of my entryway into being interested in nutrition was like wow, the effect that it has on your performance. Like this is real science. And it just really connected all the dots.

    Rachael DeVaux 04:27
    Right, and that's pretty much what I share on my Instagram page, rachaelsgoodeats, it started off with food, I created it when I was a senior in college. So it was 100% food focused for the first like year and a half. And then I started sharing more of my workouts so it's slowly evolved and now it's just more of my lifestyle and I just share a lot of healthy tips and wellness hacks that I personally do that work for me.

    Elizabeth Stein 04:57
    So let's get into starting the blog and Instagram. Like, what was that sort of than when you started the blog? Was Instagram around? Instagram was first.

    Rachael DeVaux 05:07
    So I think that was in 2015, like January. So I just had my, what, seven years? Yeah. And then I really just made my blog as a way to archive all my recipes. Yeah, it's just slowly progressed, it's been a slow build over the past seven years, which has been a lot of fun. And I can't believe it's already been that long, because you obviously started your Instagram after you started Purely Elizabeth.

    Elizabeth Stein 05:34
    Yeah. So we, the company started in 2009. And then I don't remember what year we started on Instagram. It was like the very beginning. I mean, I go back to like the very first picture, and it was some pictures that I would never post.

    Rachael DeVaux 05:49
    Well, that's the thing. It's like, I had such a low bar back then I was two to four times a day, without missing one day, which just still blows my mind. For two years. I think I went without missing one single day, and it was in college. So just the fact that I made time for it. It was just like a passion project. It was just me being creative. I love styling my food. So I think that's where a lot of the aesthetic comes from. But yeah, my bar was so low, that now you know, it takes something higher to be able to go on my feed.

    Elizabeth Stein 06:22
    Totally. Well, you really were an OG. And I feel like we even though we just met the one Revitalize time, but we connected so early on, and you were such a supporter, and we were a supporter of yours. So it's amazing what you have built over the years. And you say it's a slow build, but you've created an incredible following, and an incredible brand that you should be so proud of, and has so much exciting stuff coming on that we'll talk about shortly. But why don't kind of get into, you know, obviously, Instagram is different today than it was starting out in 2015. And certainly harder to get onto the platform and grow your following today. But what do you think really works and resonated with people then, and continues to today that's really allowed you to build this incredible brand?

    Rachael DeVaux 07:15
    I think that's a good question. First and foremost, I think it's being authentic to yourself, and just sharing what you're truly passionate about, because people can kind of sense if you're not kind of being truthful. And so I think from day one, it's all I've never looked at it in terms of like building this career out of it. So I think a lot of people now go into it just wanting the going viral, and just blowing up more so than just slowly building the brand over years. So I think

    Elizabeth Stein 07:46
    Yeah, when you first started, did you have any intention? Or was it like Instagram was not really than that it was just like, Oh, I'm posting what I ate.

    Rachael DeVaux 07:54
    100% It was zero idea that it would ever get big, which is so funny, because you know, when I started, it was more just for my friends and family, and me that was just my little creative outlet during college. So I just wanted to show people that eating healthy can be fun and enjoyable, and not take a lot of prep or ingredients to make something that is really good. And taste is king in my world. So all my recipes, I really focus on the taste and the flavor. And you're not going to regret your unhealthy options by choosing the healthier choice.

    Elizabeth Stein 08:29
    Yeah, love that. So what was the point? Do you remember the point in this seven year journey that you're like, okay, I think this is more than just my passion project and like I've made it. Yeah, I made this into a career.

    Rachael DeVaux 08:45
    I feel like I still don't have that mindset like I've made it. I think it's been so many really great opportunities that have come from working so hard over the past seven years. But probably after my dietetic internship, which I took after I got my degree to become a registered dietitian, I created my own private practice. I feel like I always knew what I wanted to work for myself in some ways. So after getting my rd, I had probably five to seven clients that I just focused on grocery shopping with kind of editing their pantry, their fridge, kind of just sharing, you know, a foundation of nutrition and some movement, but moreso nutrition. And at that point, I was actually starting to make money through my Instagram page by working with brands helping promote their products. And I just thought my end goal is to be able to help as many people as possible on their wellness journeys. And so it was kind of a clear jump to go all into social versus just helping you know, as many people as I could in person, which was like five to seven people. So at that point I closed down my private practice which didn't really last that long, probably six months, and then just went all in on social media. So from there that was probably in 2017. Yes, two years after starting. And then in 2018, I helped open Toast Society Cafe, which was

    Elizabeth Stein 10:21
    2018? It's already been so long.

    Rachael DeVaux 10:24
    I know it's so long. So it's a healthy cafe in Las Vegas, that I own with my sister and our third partner, and we have gourmet toast. Everyone loves toast, smoothies, wellness lattes. And we I actually reached out to your team in 2018. And so we serve Purely Elizabeth OG granola. And it's one of the things that our customers love. So love that. And we just opened our second location in July of last year. And they're both in Vegas. Again, it's been so much fun, just seeing the different opportunities that have...

    Elizabeth Stein 11:03
    I love that and I love like being open and pivoting to what's coming in front of you. And taking the risks because a lot of people could have just said, this is more comfortable having my my clients and sounds like you must have really made that decision and kind of stepped out of your comfort zone to go for what you were dreaming at the time.

    Rachael DeVaux 11:24
    100%. And no one teaches you obviously how to build your own business. I had to learn everything for myself. So opening the private practice was such a challenge in itself. And yeah, when I saw that, the opportunity through social media and just being able to help thousands more people, it's just been so much more rewarding. And it is a big risk. And I think I've just always had that entrepreneurial mindset where you got to take big risks to make it worth it.

    Elizabeth Stein 11:54
    Totally, I feel like I can also really relate because I went to Integrative Nutrition and did their program and came out of it with a private practice that I had, you know, 8, 10 clients, and then Purely started to come into the world. And it was like, okay, I could help 10 people, or help thousands of people. And it's to your exact point, it's, it is very rewarding to have a private practice and that one on one, but it just makes it a whole other stratosphere of change.

    Rachael DeVaux 12:26
    Does it ever get old seeing all your products everywhere?

    Elizabeth Stein 12:29
    No, it doesn't. I still get like the same thrill honestly, like walking in. I still take a picture every time.

    Rachael DeVaux 12:36
    I love it. On it. Oh my gosh, I'm so I'm just so proud that you continued on like the amount of products that you have is, is crazy. And my whole family and all my friends are obsessed. So, keep going.

    Elizabeth Stein 12:49
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So what tips can you share now in building the brand and really like making a name and especially in this in this world today, which is not easy.

    Rachael DeVaux 13:02
    I think honing in and starting in a niche topic or a niche market is really helpful. I mean, obviously I started with only nutrition. I never showed my face for the first like two years of it. And so just by starting to build a community that really resonates with that one single topic first can be very helpful and then starting to expand a little bit more broad. I also think engaging is huge. I am in my DMs every single day, I try to answer as many messages as possible. I know a lot of people with bigger followings. That's not their first priority. But yeah.. a lot of these people have been with me since the beginning. And it's almost like we've grown up together. When I first created it in college, there's a lot of college girls who followed me. So we have just been honestly like social media friends, I build relationships with people. And I host in person events and workouts and I get to meet them. And so that's so cool. That's probably my favorite part about it. So just being engaged with your community and listening to them and asking them what they want. So much of my business is truly just by listening to their requests. Like if I didn't start sharing my fitness workouts on my Instagram stories when Instagram stories first came out, I don't know if I would have had, you know, my successful ebook business that I've had creating fitness programs because they're the ones who kept asking for more workouts. They've also you know, asked for more recipes, which led me to create my first cookbook, which is coming out this April 18th. Rachael's Good Eats, ties into them. So yeah, it's just truly a friendship through your community. So just being in tune with what they can resonate with and that their requests and what If they want.

    Elizabeth Stein 15:00
    You've done an incredible job really building that community, I think that I see it like instantly and is there anything that's been surprising that they've asked for that, that has, that you've maybe like pivoted, what you're going to do? Or like you said, is that what made you come out with ebooks, or

    Rachael DeVaux 15:19
    I don't know if it was surprising. I think what you said earlier about being able to adapt and kind of just pivot with the times is one of the most important things you can do, especially if you have an online business, you just have to be willing to kind of roll with the punches, like during the pandemic, when none of us were probably used to working out from home, I had never worked out from home before that. And I felt like it was my responsibility that I kind of lead people through live workouts on Instagram. And I think that's when I got a lot more followers or community members through the pandemic, because I did put on two live workouts a week before, it was intense, but I didn't think about it long term. And, you know, I kind of just started off, okay, guys, like let's do this to get we're all in this together. Like, we're gonna figure it out. All you need is five feet of space to get a good workout. And so, yeah, man, my husband Bridger, we worked out in our kitchen, two times a week we put on live workouts, it probably took him a few weeks to really join in. But that was funny, because then I feel like a lot of boyfriends and husbands joined in. Yeah, through the live. And at one point, I think we had like 40,000 viewers on one of the live workouts like it was. And that turned into one of my, I think my best selling fitness program, which is my good sweat at home. So at home workouts, all you need is five feet of space, like I was saying, and dumbbells. And so I guess my fitness philosophy is more just showing people that you just focus on movement, focus on what you love. And yeah, just stay consistent.

    Elizabeth Stein 17:14
    Love that. So I think you just launched another ebook on strength training. Is that right?

    Rachael DeVaux 17:20
    Yes. And I watched your stories earlier this week, I was doing your poll.

    Elizabeth Stein 17:24
    Now. I'm like, super into strength training. So I want to hear about your philosophy on this. And then we'll tie that into nutrition. But I guess for starters, like for someone who's not ever done strength training and might have a fear of going to the gym or or home, how do you navigate encouraging people to start something in fitness that might be intimidating?

    Rachael DeVaux 17:45
    I think that's where a lot of people's mindset is.

    Elizabeth Stein 17:48
    Yeah, it's like, scary.

    Rachael DeVaux 17:51
    We came up with this word, Eden from my team, gymtimidate. Because it can be a scary place if you're, you know, walking in. But lately I've been showing on my Instagram Stories, I'll just go into the gym and, and take a photo in the mirror. And basically, I want to empower women and the girls who follow me that you go into the gym, no one is caring about your workout. No one's watching. You think all eyes are on you. But truly, like they're only focused on their workout. So put your earphones in blast music, just stay in your own world and kill it. But I think after the pandemic, it was such a constant working out from home type of mindset, where once we kind of got more access to leaving our house and going into the gym, I wanted to do something different. And I think that just goes with different phases of life about being interested in different things. Yeah. And I was craving more lifting heavy more gym workouts. Again, my community was asking for more strength training workouts. So I thought, Okay, this is the time that I'm going to come out with a gym program, test it, essentially from May of 2022 through November. Oh, it's a long time to make a fitness guide. I have different testers. everyone on my team does the whole program from start to finish. It's eight weeks long. It is strength training with a focus on progressive overload. And..

    Elizabeth Stein 19:18
    Which means what for people that don't know?

    Rachael DeVaux 19:21
    Yeah, so over we're starting lights, building that foundation of focusing on your form with lightweight and then we build up over eight weeks so you're kind of tweaking just little things versus not really going into it with a plan so I have made this super strategically by just tweaking the reps the resting times the amount of rounds you go through, like everything is laid out in this program and I am so proud of it. I saw the biggest difference in my just overall physique, how I felt and building muscle when I went through it first. And starting January 9 of this year, we all started as a community. And we're going through the eight weeks together, which I think is still fun. Because how cool is it when you can have not just one accountability partner, but entire community to do it with and we have this private Facebook group, which we've been building over the years, and it's the most positive place. I think that's one of the most proudest moments for me is this accountability Facebook group, everyone is so great to each other. I think unlike a lot of Instagram, where it can be kind of negative, yeah, everyone just uplift each other. And it's very motivational when you log in, and you see people sharing photos, their tips that they're focusing on for the week, and just pushing each other. So that's the best part is these community challenges.

    Elizabeth Stein 20:48
    That's so cool. That must make you so happy to go in there and see like, how you're truly affecting people and changing and I think, particularly with strength training, what I'm finding is like, you feel so good about yourself after a workout when you push through hard things that it sets the tone for the rest of the day and just sets that ripple effect positivity. So to see that from so many members of your community must be really gratifying.

    Rachael DeVaux 21:14
    Oh my gosh. And when they like I just got a message last night that from a girl who said she was in the gym earlier that day. And there were two other girls talking about good sweat strength. Oh, that's so cool. So they all started talking. So it's like the friendships that people make through this community, like all across the world, which is wild. But that's the best part hands down.

    Elizabeth Stein 21:36
    So will you continue to do these, like all together programs, a couple times throughout the year?

    Rachael DeVaux 21:43
    Yes, I typically switch off I mean, depending which guide I launch that year, we'll go through that entire guide. And then I don't know every few months. It's just fun to start another challenge together.

    Elizabeth Stein 21:57
    Totally. All right. I gotta get on your next challenge then. Or I could start late, I guess too.

    Rachael DeVaux 22:03
    Yeah, your pull ups are crazy.

    Elizabeth Stein 22:08
    Smoothies are one of our favorite meals or snacks here at Purely Elizabeth. But you know what we love even better a smoothie bowl. That's why we've partnered with Smoothie King to add our organic original granola on top of their new smoothie bowls. For the perfect salty, sweet crunch. All six new smoothie bowls, features and acai or pitaya base with a variety of fresh ingredients such as locally sourced fruit, dried coconut, goji berries, honey, or peanut butter and our granola. It's super easy to order directly through the Smoothie King app, or you can order in store starting April 6, can't wait for you to try it. I know you're gonna love it. Enjoy. So before getting into your whole philosophy on food, I, for personal reasons when I'm talking about protein, because I feel like I have been so little protein for so long. And on this journey of strength training, really trying to focus on protein. So I would love to hear your take on protein consumption with strength training and any tips for adding protein into your diet. Because I think for so many women, we're under eating our protein

    Rachael DeVaux 23:19
    100%. Even I have gone through phases where I kind of pay attention to protein intake over just a few days. And it's wild how much I'm under consuming. So that's one of my biggest tips, even when you're having snacks to include some sort of protein, whether it's nuts, nut butter, maybe it's just a quick protein smoothie. But yeah, I think that's definitely one of the biggest things that people are under consuming is protein, it can really have a huge effect on you know, seeing results in the gym, building lean muscle mass maintaining muscle mass. And so that is a big part of my good sweat strength ebook in the beginning, I have this big nutrition section that kind of gives people some tips and tricks. And my recommendation although I don't count calories or macros, I think it's important if you just track your protein intake just for two days, kind of gives you a good idea of kind of where you're at and where you can start incorporating more and a good goal to work towards. Research shows that if you consume about one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, that can get you closer to your fitness goals. If you're looking to build lean muscle mass. Of course, if you're just looking to maintain it's going to be a little bit less than that. But I think having a goal of that protein intake is a good kind of indicator for increasing your muscle mass. And so if you focus on consuming about 20 to 30 grams of protein per main meal, and then supplement additionally, in your snacks in between those, that can be a big benefit. So in the mornings, I am such a smoothie person, that's where I get probably 30 grams of protein in immediately after my workouts. So I'll wake up, maybe I'll have half an RX bar, maybe I'll have, like I just did this morning, bowl of cereal, just something that's gonna give me a little bit of energy for the gym. And then I'll work out do whatever type of movement I do, because that's like a non negotiable in the morning. And then I'll come home and make a protein smoothie. And if you build them, right, they can be the best meal replacement.

    Elizabeth Stein 25:48
    How do you build your smoothie and what's your favorite protein powders?

    Rachael DeVaux 25:51
    Oh, I have a few. I like Ritual protein, Be Well by Kelly, Roots Nutrition Collagen, those are probably the three that I switch off from, but I like to have a full serving or serving a half of protein powder, you could do plant based, you could do whey based and then I include fiber, so any type of hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, then I do unsweetened almond milk, ice. And then I really focus on lower fruit then probably a lot of people do, because that's where I feel like a lot of people can make mistakes is just overloading their smoothie with tons of fruit, and it's just so much sugar. So I like to do a half a frozen banana, and maybe like a few strawberries, maybe like two. And then I like a healthy fat. So I'll add unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter, probably some cinnamon. But that's usually the base for my full smoothie in the mornings. That's like a P and J smoothie for me.

    Elizabeth Stein 26:55
    Love it. Love that combo.

    Rachael DeVaux 26:57
    Are you a smoothie person?

    Elizabeth Stein 26:59
    I am. I mean I had that exact smoothie this morning with Be Well vanilla. Half banana, couple frozen berries, I added in a tablespoon of flaxseed. Because I feel like now that I'm getting trying to have more protein. I feel like I'm not getting as many like veggies for some reason.

    Rachael DeVaux 27:19
    I kind of feel that too. I have to focus on that as well, like more sides of veggies.

    Elizabeth Stein 27:24
    Yeah. And I do think to your point about tracking for like two days, because that was what was so eye opening to me was like, Woah, I was hoping like two ounces of chicken or just a lot.

    Rachael DeVaux 27:35
    I mean, if you have more protein, you are going to be more satiated and more full throughout the day, just like if you include more fiber and healthy fats throughout your day. So if you're lifting more, if you're focusing on strength training, you will get more hungry throughout the day. I think that takes people by surprise, a lot of the time especially the girls going through my strength program right now is they're like, oh my gosh, I'm so much hungry throughtout the day. But that's good, because it means that your body like needs that energy to continue growing, especially lean muscle mass. So incorporating more protein is going to help you.

    Elizabeth Stein 28:10
    So let's hear your nutrition philosophy. In addition just to the protein in the smoothie, what what does that look like?

    Rachael DeVaux 28:18
    I feel like you and I have the same kind of philosophy with food is medicine. I look at food in terms of fuel, not in terms of calories or numbers. I look at the nutrients. So how can this food benefit me? Or maybe if I'm eating some type of package, processed item, that's probably not going to make me feel my best, which in my eyes. That's the main goal is how you feel after you consume ingredients. Yeah, my philosophy is really just eating for fuel eating to live a healthy and happy lifestyle and eating foods that make you feel really good. So how does that come alive in your new cookbook coming out? I can't wait.

    Elizabeth Stein 29:03
    So huge congratulations, you must be so excited.

    Rachael DeVaux 29:06
    My first debut cookbook I can't believe

    Elizabeth Stein 29:11
    How long has it been in the making for?

    Rachael DeVaux 29:13
    I've always wanted to create a cookbook but I kind of in my mind just always kept pushing it out, pushing it out. And then I just kept getting requests for more recipes, more recipes. And I'm like, this is actually the perfect time to put out a cookbook. I'm going to put some OG recipes that I know my audience loves and then I'm going to include 75 Plus recipes that are brand new that I've never released

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