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Asked & Answered: Adjua Fisher of REAP Wellness

Photo by Lauren McGrath

Reap Wellness has been a game changer for me personally. I love eating veggies, but hate cooking, which generally translates into a fridge filled with salad greens and me ordering Caviar last minute. I tried the REAP delivery service on a whim and quickly became OBSESSED. It's absolutely delicious, comes delivered to your doorstep and did I mention it's delicious? In the end, it saves me time and money and everyday I have the cutest insta worthy vitamin packed breakfast and lunch. Adjua is half of the duo behind REAP and a genuine beauty. Read along for her philosophy on food, wellness and starting your own business.  

Mark your calendar for a Pop Up with Adjua Fisher of REAP Wellness! 
Saturday, January 25th
12pm - 4pm

Join us for some tasty samples and learn about all things REAP Wellness from the program itself to the lifestyle. Adjua will be on hand offering complimentary wellness consultations. All are welcome to come taste and learn, but space is limited for the consultations, so be sure to sign up here!                 
        

Hometown: Washington, D.C. 

What brought you to Philly? After a sunshine-seeking year at the University of Arizona, I realized pool parties are fun and all but I’m a walkable-city girl. I took a gap year back in D.C., then transferred to Temple and have been here ever since.

What was your inspiration for REAP? Ironically, when I was the health and fitness editor at Philadelphia magazine, I started experiencing some really frustrating skin and health issues that forced me to examine my diet more closely than I had before. My fiancé Zach, a chef, started making me really thoughtful lunches that were plant-forward and delicious, and helped to remedy some of what I was experiencing with my skin. After realizing just how much what we eat can impact how we feel, both inside and out, I wanted to help empower more people through food. I got my health coaching certification and started working with clients, then realized that many of them—despite their best efforts—were never going to make cooking a priority. I thought: If only they had a Zach. And that’s how Zach and I came up with the idea to team up and launch our REAP meal service. 

What is the one thing you want people to know about REAP? That—not to toot our own horn, but—our food tastes really good. I feel like people are often disappointed with the taste of the food when it comes to meal services, which is why we aim to create dishes with great flavor that just also happen to be nutritious and packed with plants.

What do you always keep in the fridge? My fridge always has oat milk for my matcha lattes, some sort of greens (usually spinach) that I like to have around to sauté alongside dinners, mushrooms (I am a full-blown mushroom addict, and I add maitakes, trumpets or shiitakes to just about any dish I make), our REAP coconut yogurt, which I usually have with our Maca + Maple Granola for breakfast, and Honey Mama’s chocolate bars, AKA the best chocolate bars on planet earth. 

Favorite quick meal or snack on the go? When it comes to a quick meal, I love tomato toast—literally just a good slice of sourdough toasted and topped with a spread (think: hummus, mayonnaise, or avocado), tons of halved cherry tomatoes, salt and hemp seeds. I pretty much always have the ingredients to throw this together and usually eat with a side arugula salad. My all-time favorite on-the-go snack is chile-lime dried mango, which you can get from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. I also love snacking on carrots and peanut butter, which sounds weird but is truly a delight.

Photo by Lauren McGrath

What is your morning (or night!) routine? I don’t really have a nighttime routine, but I try to maintain a solid morning routine when life allows for it, because I find that it really helps to set the tone for my entire day. First, I try to wake up around 5:30 a.m. to run over to a 6 a.m. spin class at the City Fitness Fishtown location. I find that moving my body in the morning helps to energize me, makes me recognize that I’m capable of doing difficult things (because something I’ve learned: A lot of being a small business owner is actually doing the grunt work that isn’t fun at all), relieves anxiety and makes me happy. When I get home, I like to take a quick shower, sometimes do a face mask—I love the Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant—while I make a matcha latte, then take my dog for a walk while listening to a bit of a podcast. Then my workday begins! This is a good morning. On a more hectic morning, I’ll skip the workout, try to journal for a bit on what is stressing me out (because something likely is), then do the rest of the things mentioned above.  

What keeps you motivated? Motivation is tricky and I think if anyone says they feel motivated all the time, they’re lying. That said, when it comes to REAP, my motivation is often pulled from clients’ responses to our food—knowing that our food is helping others to feel better and better enjoy their lives pushes me to want to get it into as many people’s hands as possible. When it comes to staying motivated for my own personal wellness, it’s all about knowing what makes me feel good, because simply feeling good is really motivating to me. I know that I feel better mentally and physically when I’m eating lots of plants, drinking lots of water, moving my body regularly, getting quality time with my friends and Zach, and not overthinking life too much. All easier said than done.

Favorite herbal remedy? I am a huge fan of ashwagandha for stress. I also really like kava kava tea for nighttime—my college roommate made a cup every night and it rubbed off on me. If I’m feeling anxious, I like to reach for that before bed. 

What are your thoughts on how food relates to beauty? I think beauty really is an inside-out job. When you’re nourishing your body in a way that makes you feel good, it shows. And then there are all the obvious science-backed perks from food, especially plants: antioxidants help to fend off the breakdown of cells; plant fiber keeps our guts healthy (and gut health is linked to our skin health in a slew of ways); certain vitamins, like vitamin C, help to promote collagen production, and the list goes on and on. 

What has been the most surprising thing about starting your own business? The amazing and unexpected support we’ve received from fellow business owners, and the impact it’s had on the way I think about my own personal consumption. Knowing what it takes to run a small business makes me appreciate fellow small business owners so much, and I’ve become much more conscious of always making the effort to support small, local businesses over the Amazons of the world whenever I can. 

A tip for budding entrepreneurs? Don’t let the quest for perfection stop you from ever putting yourself or your creations out into the world. Get okay with knowing that you can (and likely will) start with an imperfect product or service—and it will evolve and become better as it grows. A great idea that only lives in your brain isn’t helping anyone, including you.

Photo by Lauren McGrath

Best kept Philly secret?  The $1 bags at Riverwards Produce! Zach and I always look in this corner for produce that can be pickled, juiced or transformed into a delightful jam or sauce. We’ve gotten everything from cucumbers that we’ve pickled to giant bags of tomatoes that have turned into amazing pasta sauce to big bags of blood oranges that made the best fresh-squeezed juice. 

Cold brew or matcha? Matcha. I prefer to make it at home so I’m never surprised with powdery chunks (the worst), and I usually upgrade it with some adaptogens or mushrooms, like maca and lion’s mane.

Sweet or savory? Savory. I love a salty treat, like salt and pepper potato chips. 

Podcasts or Spotify? (And your favorite one/station) Podcasts! It’s hard to choose a favorite because I listen to so many, but I really love Second Life. They interview great female guests across all industries who’ve switched careers, and I always take some nugget of wisdom away. 

Top 3 Vestige picks? 

  1. Amy Chaplin’s Whole Food Cooking Every Day. This book is such a great resource if you are trying to incorporate more plant-forward food into your life with ease. 
  2. All things Lauren Manoogian are lust-worthy in my opinion, but winter weather has me daydreaming about this cozy double face coat. 
  3. Sheshin Korean Scrub Mitt. My skin gets really dry in the winter, so a mitt like this serves as a great reminder to exfoliate often. 

Photo by Taylor Saya