Rachele Pojednic, Ph.D. is a powerhouse: She’s an assistant professor of nutrition at Simmons University, a co-chair on several councils, and has been an active member of the fitness industry for over 15 years.
This year, she also launched the Strong Process forum, a weekend wellness conference in Boston dedicated to the science behind how we move, eat, and rest (and where Zencare founder Yuri also spoke!)
Needless to say, Dr. P is busy! So we were thrilled she took the time to walk us through Strong Process, reveal how she stays grounded during any inevitably hectic days, and share a gem of advice she gives to those looking to navigate the wellness industry.
1. Why did you decide to launch the Strong Process Forum?
I’ve always been involved in the fitness/wellness world. My first job in college was as a personal trainer, and then a strength coach, and now I’m really into indoor and outdoor cycling. Through all that time, I was also working my way through the research world into a professional academic career.
“One thing that always struck me was that, even though these two worlds were moving in the same direction, trying so hard to keep people healthy, they rarely talked to each other.”
One thing that always struck me was that, even though these two worlds were moving in the same direction, trying so hard to keep people healthy, they rarely talked to each other. So, you have these incredibly passionate and driven wellness practitioners getting information second- and third-hand, because scientists suck at instagram.
And then you get all of these scientists and researchers doing groundbreaking work uncovering how the body operates, not able to get the information to the people actually implementing their discoveries.
But the worst part is that the wellness consumer is just left in a sea of conflicting and misinformation because they are being bombarded with clickbait headlines. The Strong Process Forum was designed to cut through all that.
It is an all-day wellness conference that includes three curated panels of scientists, farmers, journalists, athletes, clinicians and innovators, as well as breakfast, yoga, bootcamp, lunch and cocktails.
There is also an amazing marketplace where you can find passionate people offering services and products that work for you. Our goal at is to provide evidence behind the wellness claims – researched by true experts – that will guide us to make informed decisions. It is designed to be a day of unraveling and relearning to set you on an unwavering path for a lifetime.
2. You’re an assistant professor, a co-chair on several councils, and an active member of the fitness industry (am I missing anything? How do you find the time to prioritize your mental health?
Honestly, it is really challenging to set times for my mental health and I’m not super great at it. But, I have a few main strategies that I really try to stick to.
First, I have rituals at the beginning and the end of the day. In the morning, I make a pour over coffee — which sounds really indulgent, but really it just helps me slow down, take in the wonderful coffee smells, and enjoy a hot cup of caffeine.
In the evening, I try really hard to cook dinner. Being present with the food I eat – chopping, seasoning, tasting – helps me to unwind at the end of the day and be mindful of what is important to me.
My second major strategy is to have times when I turn off my phone and get outside. If I’m in the city, it may be taking my dogs for a walk without any technology in my pocket. If I can get away, I really like to get up north to the mountains, let my phone die and be out in nature.
Lastly, I practice a lot of yoga. The flow and breath really helps to center my brain and disconnect it from the frenzy of my days.
3. What is your advice for anyone looking to navigate what feels like a minefield of buzzy wellness trends?
If it sounds too good (or wacky) to be true, it definitely is. I’ve given up on guessing what the next major wellness trend is, because it’s all just one big cycle of extremes.
There’s always something insane that you never saw coming: Jade eggs, activated charcoal, the carnivore diet. I mean, who comes up with this stuff? The advice that I try to give people is, “Don’t do anything with your body – diet, exercise, self-care practices – that you’re not willing to stick to for the rest of your life.”
You will likely change your mind or tweak things as you find what works for you, but a three day cleanse only lasts three days and then you’re right back where you started.
“Don’t do anything with your body – diet, exercise, self-care practices – that you’re not willing to stick to for the rest of your life.”
4. What is your personal motto?
“Be for things, not against them.” In this space (and in life in general), you can scream till you lose your voice in opposition of the crazy trends based in no evidence.
But, that’s no way to change people’s minds or be a good teacher. I’d rather promote things that I know will work, and truly help people discover what is best for them.