Tracie Simon: Founder, Fit&Feast

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With over a decade of experience in hospitality, and a lifelong pursuit of wellness, Tracie Simon created Fit&Feast as a means to combine two of her greatest passions: fine dining and fitness. Born and raised outside of Washington D.C., her love for entertaining began early on. She channeled her innate gift for hosting into a degree in Public Relations at Hofstra University, and then moved to New York City to work alongside the brightest talents in the world of food. Throughout her career, Tracie has always turned to dance and to her yoga mat to find balance. As she deepened her practice and became a certified HIIT instructor, she sought communities that blend active living with delicious – and sometimes indulgent – food. She wanted an experience that brought together the healthy glow of going on a wellness retreat with the fun and pleasure of a fantastic meal. So she created Fit&Feast, bringing the best in foodie culture to balance with the benefits of wellbeing.  

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What do I do best?

I always strive to make sure everyone around me is happy and having fun, myself included.  Whether it be through giving back to my community, planning events for my profession or family and friends, or simply lending an extra hand, it is important to me that those around me are enjoying the moment.  

What makes me the best version of myself?

I am open minded. In both my personal and professional life, I always do my best to see all sides of an opportunity or problem. I strive to never judge a book by its cover and to understand (and appreciate) the diversity in perspective of others. I believe when you can begin to recognize this, you begin to make better decisions.

What are my aspirations?

In my personal life, I am very excited to start a family and embrace the change that will bring.  In business, I am one year into entrepreneurship and I aspire to continue to learn everything I possibly can about running a business and managing my own time in my constantly changing industry.  My current goal is to double the number of FIT&FEAST events I host in 2018 by the end of 2019.

My Biggest Success?

My biggest success thus far was taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and following my heart to start my own business.  I do feel that this path will lead to many more great accomplishments and I am excited to see how it unfolds.

My Most Challenging Moment?

In my mid-twenties I found myself over-worked and burnt out, which led me to being hospitalized with service stomach pains.  I’ll never forget the doctor telling me that it was very unlikely that he was going to find something wrong given how much goes through the stomach.  Test after test, he was right.  Nothing was “wrong,” however I realized that what was wrong was how I was living my life and the stress my current lifestyle was giving me.  That was the moment where I began to find more balance in my life and truly define what balance means.  It took almost a decade to get to where I am now but that night in the hospital was a turning point for me to find a way to change my life for the better.

My Motto?

For as long as I can remember I have always told myself to have fun.  It seems simple and it doesn’t necessarily mean be spontaneous and adventurous, and sometimes it isn’t easy, however in everything I do, if I am not having a good time, I either try to change the atmosphere in the moment or recognize it’s time to move on.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

I tend to lean towards positive people.  If you are positive, you can often spread positivity.  Oprah is someone I have been drawn to since I was young.  She is inspirational, smart, driven and from what we (the public) see, she always tries to find the best in a situation.  

Someone more recent in my life is Paige Chenault, the founder of The Birthday Party Project, an organization I am very involved in.  Paige left her event planning business 6 years ago to start an organization that brought joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays.  I know her days are not easy, but she does her best every day to put smiles on kids’ faces and grow a rapidly expanding non-profit.  When I have my down days, I often look to her and to the project to keep going.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

San Sebastián, Spain.  The laid-back environment and rich culture was love at first site.  The beaches are beautiful, the food is exceptional, and the people are delightful.  

The water calms me so in general I am happiest at the beach.  

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I don’t go many places without my hydroflask.  Being a hot yoga practitioner and someone that is constantly on the move I’m still amazed how my water can still be ice cold after a few hours.

I’m also a fan of Adidas track jackets.  I have many styles and colors.  They are super comfortable and can be dressed up or down.  It’s a must in my closet.

My Current Passions?

Yoga is my thing.  It excites me, it calms me, and most importantly, it challenges me often in subconscious ways.  I was a dancer all through my childhood and college years and that brought all the joy I could imagine.  As I grew up and needed other sources of exercise, yoga clicked for me.  It’s a practice that can be done anywhere and it constantly pushes my boundaries.