Lifestyle Series Interview: Running on Real Food

November 16, 2013



In our first Lifestyle Series interview, I am spotlighting Deryn Macey from the popular healthy living blog, Running on Real Food.  She’s the real deal – wife, animal-lover, career girl and passionate about life.  Deryn is like many of us trying to fit a healthy lifestyle into an often chaotic life.  And, she manages to do it with the biggest smile on her face!


To start, tell us a little about yourself?

Hi everyone! First of all I want to thank Eat Life Balance for featuring me here today. I’m so glad Julie and I could connect through the wonderful world of healthy living blogging.

I currently live in Vancouver, BC with my husband and our two dogs, Domino and Benny. I work in design and marketing for a local nutritional supplement company and I blog at Running on Real Food in my spare time. I started my blog about a year ago as a place to share my experiences in healthy living.

The connections I have made through my blog over that last year have been incredible. The community of bloggers out there are an inspiring, motivated and supportive bunch, and I love being a part of it.

Before I went into graphic design and marketing, I was a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, so I’ve always loved sharing my knowledge of health and fitness with others. As for fitness, I attend CrossFit classes, I run and I practice yoga at home. Other than that, our dogs keep us busy with a lot of walking.


Deryn's Dogs

Deryn’s Dogs

Do you have a personal health and lifestyle philosophies?

If I really had to make a philosophy, it would be to eat mostly whole, plant-based foods, enjoy good meals with friends and family, get sweating every single day and in the famous words of Bobby McFerrin, “don’t worry, be happy.”

I started competitive swimming at a young age, began competing in triathlons at 10 years old and started lifting weights when I was 16, so fitness has always been there for me. It’s always been a passion of mine, which is why I pursued my personal training certifications and started working in the field training others. I eventually took a different career path, but I still love strength training, CrossFit, yoga and running.

I couldn’t imagine living without exercise, its just such a normal, everyday part of life for me, like brushing my teeth. I know it must be difficult for those starting out on a new exercise program and my advice would simply to not give up, eventually, you will start to enjoy it.


Tell us about your nutrition lifestyle?

As far as nutrition, if I had to put a label on it, I’m vegetation and mostly vegan. I know dairy sneaks into my diet here and there while eating out, but it’s not very often. At home and in day-to-day life, it’s strictly vegan. I love eating a plant-based diet. Although there’s often a lot of explaining to do, I don’t mind. Every time I get to explain veganism is another chance to educate someone on the merits of eating a primarily plant-based diet made up of whole foods. Just like fitness, eating a vegan diet has become quite natural. I know some may think there is nothing to eat but it’s actually quite the opposite.


What are a few of your favourite on-line resources?
With the rise of food blogs there are so many incredible online resources for vegans. Some of my favourites include Rawsome Vegan Life, Oh She Glows, The Detoxinista, Deliciouly Ella, Carrie on Vegan and Happy Healthy Life. And those are just a few!


What would we find in your (kitchen) on a weekly basis? 
I try to do a big grocery shop every Sunday. I find meal planning and food prep to be key in order to maintain a healthy vegan diet.

I always have almond milk, plenty of nuts and seeds, nut butters and tahini, lots of fruit, both fresh and frozen and of course, loads of vegetables. I eat a lot of greens such as spinach and kale, lots of cucumber, broccoli, onions, peppers, carrots, sprouts and sweet potatoes, vinegars, maple syrup, lemon, garlic, fresh herbs like cilantro and basil. And dates, I always have dates on hand!


Tell us about your snacks and go-to foods?
I usually have a big batch of hummus in the fridge, along with some no-bake vegan energy balls or bars for quick snacks. I usually do overnight oats made with almond milk and with some fruit, seeds and nut butter added in. I always have canned beans and lentils on hand for quick dinners and I can’t go without coconut oil.

Deryn is known for her no-bake protein treats!

Deryn is known for her no-bake protein treats!

Juices or Smoothies?
It’s always been smoothies for me, simply because I’ve never had a juicer. I’ll add in spinach, kale or cucumbers to get some greens. It’s usually an almond milk base, a banana, frozen fruit and some sort of fat like avocado, coconut oil, hemp, flax or chia seeds or almond butter. Or all of the above, yum! 


What time do you go to bed and when do you wake up?
During the week, I go to bed at 10pm. If I’m up later than that I definitely feel it the next day. Three days a week it’s a 5:30am wake-up call, two days a week it’s 6:30am and on weekends I usually get up at 7-7:30am. I might stay up until 11pm on the weekend (wild right?!), if I can even make it that late!



Do you have any daily health or lifestyle rituals?

I start every day with lemon water, I love a daily green tea, I dry skin brush, I drink a ton of water everyday, I sweat everyday and I write a small blurb in my journal. I have one of those “everyday for 5 years” journals with just a small space to write each day. It makes it more manageable to journal daily and I love looking back to specific dates and see what was going on at that time.


Where or when were you the happiest?
Honestly, I’m happier right now than I’ve ever been. I feel like I need to pinch myself sometimes! Maybe that’s too cheesy, but it’s true! I finally feel like I’m my true self and I have the confidence I never had when I was younger. I feel incredibly fortunate every single day to be able to live in this beautiful city, to have a phenomenal support system full of family and friends, to enjoy my work and have a caring, thoughtful husband whom I love deeply.

Not only that I have a roof over my head, a fridge full of healthy food and I wake up every morning healthy, happy and excited to take on the day. Yes, life is awesome.



How do you find balance in your life?

For me, being flexible and easygoing saves the day. I think it’s very important to have a positive outlook in order to maintain balance in your life. It’s something I’ve gotten better at over the last 5 years, just being calmer and more relaxed.

When things get a little too hectic, I love to spend time outside on the weekends, squeeze in some yoga when I can, meditate, listen to music, dance (not well..), meet up with friends and most importantly of all, laugh as much as possible, which isn’t always easy! Having a husband that makes me laugh also really, really helps.


What is your long-term vision for yourself and/or your website?
The long-term vision for myself is simply to enjoy a long, healthy and fulfilling life. There are so many things I want to learn and so many places I want to travel that I won’t begin to list them all here.

I think goal-setting is an important part of life and I have a long list of short and long-term goals. I want to be stronger and faster at CrossFit, I want to be a faster runner, I want to be more flexible at yoga, and I want to grow both professionally and personally.

My husband and I also plan to have a family soon so that’s definitely a part of my long-term vision!

My blog goal for 2014 is to really commit to building my brand, improving my photography skills and continuing to develop quality content that inspires people to be live their best lives. I would also love to put out an e-book, probably just a free one to start and then I’ll go from there!


Deryn Macey

Deryn Macey