There is a whirlwind of activity at the Anytime Fitness in Clearwater, Fla., and it is easy to see why Rachel Lancaster chooses this location to launch her career as a personal trainer. The thumping beats of the loud pop music and the view of people sweating to the beat on work out machines keeps the energy high inside the gym.


Lancaster, 24, began her fitness journey over a year ago while working at “Simply Gluten Free Magazine.” Since then, she has transformed her passion for living healthy into a way to make a positive impact on the lives of others.


Eating Right to Cure Disease

Growing up, Lancaster struggled with Crohn’s Disease — a painful, incurable intestinal disease that deprives victims of nutrients.  The disease had Lancaster on different combinations of steroids and infusion therapy. While the cause of Crohn’s is unknown, doctors recommend that patients identify the things in their diet that may aggravate the disease.


Lancaster took to the “elimination diet,” determined to find a holistic solution to the illness. She restricted herself to only raw fruits and vegetables for two to three weeks. Then, she slowly introduced food items into her diet that people, particularly those with Crohn’s Disease, often have sensitivities to, such as red meat, dairy, sugar, and gluten.


Today, Lancaster lives gluten-free and free of the harsh medications she used to take to manage her chronic disease. Her loved ones were skeptical and critical in the beginning, but there is no denying the glow and energy Lancaster now possesses, close to the one year mark since removing gluten from her diet.


While there is no one diet that will guarantee relief to patients struggling with Crohn’s Disease, WebMD advises keeping a food journal to determine triggers.


The Opportunity to Be Part of a “Life-Changing Process”

Personal trainer, Rachel Lancaster, in Clearwater, Fla. (Tiffani Purdy/MUIPR)

Personal trainer, Rachel Lancaster, in Clearwater, Fla. (Tiffani Purdy/MUIPR)

The better she felt, the more Lancaster found herself spending her free time at the gym. She decided to pair her passion for fitness with her goal for helping people by becoming a personal trainer. “You have the opportunity to be your own boss and name your own hours,” Lancaster said regarding the benefits of jumping into the entrepreneurial venture. “You get to be part of a life-changing process.”

There are always drawbacks, and Lancaster admitted that it is a stressful start in terms of building a client base. “You really have to sell yourself,” she explained. Most trainers build followings through social media pages and by offering specials and discounts, which fans can then share with all of their friends.




“Living Healthy” is More Than Eating Right and Working Out

When asked what “living healthy” means to her, Lancaster said it is not enough to make smart dietary choices and to exercise regularly. She shared that having a job you love, surrounding yourself with family and friends, and making sure you take time to nourish your own needs by finding hobbies are all important things in living a well-rounded life. To truly be living healthy, Lancaster said that having spiritual happiness is just as crucial as physical well-being.


As she continues on her journey to personal wellness, Lancaster hopes to inspire others to find the path to health and fitness. With her determination and undeniable positivity, there is no doubt that Lancaster is well on her way to achieving her dreams.


What does “living healthy” mean to you? Have you found a diet or exercise regimen that has made you a better, healthier you? Let’s talk health and wellness here in the comments below, or you can find me on Twitter @TiffaniJPurdy. I’ll see you next Saturday on MUIPR for more “Living Healthy!”