Rastelli Foods’ Product Director Spends Her Days Taste-Testing and Doing Morning Workouts
Brittany Rastelli, director of QVC product merchandising at Rastelli Foods, is a mother of two and a fitness enthusiast.
Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one area resident to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email [email protected].
Who I am: Brittany Rastelli (@Brittanyrastelli), 37
Where I live: Mullica Hill, New Jersey
What I do: First and foremost, I am a mother to two beautiful children, Raymond (5) and Milania (2), and a wife to my husband, Ray. I am also the director of QVC product merchandising at Rastelli Foods and I am the on-air guest host for Egg Harbor Seafood. Normally, I am live on TV at the QVC studios in West Chester, selling our beloved seafood brand; however, COVID-19 has changed everything, so I now call in or Skype from the comfort of my home or the office.
What role healthy living plays in my life: The choice that I make to wake up early and start my day with a workout four to five times per week (while my family is still asleep) is the most important and impactful decision I make daily. It sets a positive tone for my food choices and makes me feel accomplished — a mood I then take with me throughout the day. The rest of my day is then completely devoted to my children, my work, and my husband. Finding a healthy, balanced lifestyle was not easy, but once I found it by quitting fad diets and making small significant changes to my daily eating and workout habits, I eliminated any feelings of guilt I used to have.
Health memberships (and what they cost): Legion Swedesboro — $105 per month
4:40 a.m. — Good morning! My alarm goes off and it’s time to get out of bed, brush my teeth, put on my workout clothes, and drink my usual ProMix Nutrition pre-workout lemonade.
5 a.m. — My workout today is an upper body live-streamed class with Legion Swedesboro. I try to NEVER miss a Monday, as it sets the tone for my entire week. I like to do my workouts in the morning because everyone is still asleep, so I can really focus and get through class uninterrupted. We do some weights, cardio, and body strength exercises.
5:45 a.m. — I am feeling accomplished and it’s time for breakfast. I toast a slice of Ezekiel bread and top it with a quick fried egg, adding red pepper flakes, a slice of tomato, and avocado for a nice quiet meal! I catch up on some news and then it’s time to feed the dog and get ready for work. This is also when I like to take out and prep for whatever I am cooking for dinner in the evening. This morning, I choose Faraoe Island salmon from none other than Rastelli Foods Group! Our proteins come individually packaged and are blast-frozen, making them easy to prep for dinner on busy days.
6:30 a.m. — I shower and get dressed for work. My son wakes up and wants to lay in our bed for a little while. No problem!
7:45 a.m. — My husband has already left for work and it’s just the kids and me. Since I am already ready to go with time to spare, I get in some extra snuggle time with them until the babysitter comes.
7:46 a.m. — And then our babysitter calls out sick. This stuff happens, right? I call three other babysitters for a last minute favor, and no one is available. Now Mommy has to call out, too.
8:15 a.m. — I make breakfast for the kids and take this time to rearrange my day and reschedule the Zoom meetings I had planned for today.
9:30 a.m. — I get everyone dressed and ready. I want them to go outside and play before the temperature gets too hot!
10:30 a.m. — It’s snack time for the kids, and I also grab some Crispy Green dried apples for myself. As they settle into a workbook exercise, I take a fast Zoom meeting…and get interrupted three times in 15 minutes. C’est la vie!
11 a.m. — I make a scavenger hunt for the kids while I answer emails. Multi-tasking at it’s finest!
12 p.m. — It’s lunchtime for all of us. I have mashed chickpeas with garlic salt over Boston bibb lettuce with balsamic glaze. After lunch we each take a turn choosing a song to dance to. (I wish I could do this at the office!)
1:15 p.m. — I read Milania a story and then it’s naptime for her.
1:30 p.m. — I work while I let RayRay, my five-year-old, watch a movie.
3:30 p.m. — Milania is up and it’s time for the pool! We hang outside until dinnertime. I wanted to grill, but it’s so hot that we decide to move the party inside.
5 p.m. — I turn my oven on (I know, hot!), coat my salmon with some Dijon mustard, and dip the filet in gluten free herbed bread crumbs for a nice crust, and let it bake for 20 minutes. While that cooks, I make some garlic Parmesan rice, boil some corn, and prepare the kids some easy-peasy chicken tenders.
5:45 p.m. — It’s time to eat and Daddy makes it home! Even if my husband isn’t finished with his day, he makes a tremendous effort to get home in time so we can eat as a family.
5:55 p.m. — We have a small meltdown from RayRay, because I asked him to try a piece of corn. It didn’t go so well.
6:45 p.m. — Bath and jammie time for the kids.
7:30 p.m. — The kids start to wind down and relax with quiet play-time. Although, tonight it gets a little loud with whoopee cushions that they won at an arcade over the weekend LOL! I wouldn’t change it for the world.
7:45 p.m. — I sneak downstairs for a scoop of chocolate protein powder mixed into nonfat Greek yogurt. I’m not that hungry, but I’m craving something sweet.
8:30 p.m. — Milania’s bedtime. We read Mermaid and Me by Soosh, and may have cried the first time I read it. It’s a beautiful story and now my two-year-old likes to pick up trash, so there is a lesson to be learned from it, as well.
9 p.m. — RayRay’s bedtime. He reads What would Danny Do by Ganit and Adir Levy. This story always helps him make the “right” choices when he faced with an option.
9:30 p.m. — I am exhausted! It’s officially my bedtime.
Daily total: $0
4:40 a.m. — Time to get out of bed, brush my teeth, put on my workout clothes, and have a pre-work out drink. Same as yesterday!
5 a.m. — I start a lower body live-streamed workout with Legion Swedesboro. Today, the team coaches us along with body strength and cardio using minimal weights.
5:45 a.m. — I am extremely sweaty and it’s time for breakfast. I toast my slice of Ezekiel bread and then make two fried eggs with hot sauce. As usual, I catch up on some news and now it’s time to feed the dog and get ready for work. I don’t take a dinner protein out of the fridge because we are going to have the Wagyu burgers from Raselli’s tonight on the grill, and they cook from frozen.
6:30 a.m. — I shower and get dressed for work.
7:30 a.m. — It’s time to get the kids ready for their day at Camp Sam, and we leave by 8 a.m.
8:10 a.m. — I stop at Starbucks and get a grande green tea latte iced with almond milk and two cake pops for the kids ($9.26).
8:30 a.m. — I drop the kiddies off at Camp Sam. They offer all of the fun, traditional camp activities like swimming and rock climbing. Their caring counselors create a nurturing environment where my children feel safe and supported to challenge themselves. They make tons of new friends and learn the values of courage, integrity, and community. I can focus the rest of my day knowing the kids are safe and having fun…and knowing they will be exhausted when they get home LOL!
9 a.m. — My work day begins at the office in Swedesboro. Lots of emails, calls, and Zoom meetings.
12 p.m. — I decide to order out today for lunch from Tokyo Mandarin. I get one spicy tuna roll, one salmon avocado roll, a container of miso soup, and a green salad with ginger dressing ($11.95).
12:30 p.m. — More calls, emails and Zooms for the afternoon. Fun!
4 p.m. — I leave work and get home to meet the kids, who were picked up by our sitter. I change everyone into swimsuits and we get in the pool for some family fun time. It feels really nice to swim after sitting in the office all day.
5:30 p.m. — Ray’s home and in his bathing suit! He knew we would be taking advantage of the heat wave and rushed home to be with us. We all practice some cannon balls off the diving board, then I get out of the pool to prep dinner.
5:45 p.m. — Ray offers to grill, so he does that while I bake some fries for the kids, as well as make a nice big salad.
6:15 p.m. — Dinner is served outside, and we all eat in our bathing suits. Ah, summertime.
7 p.m. — Bath and jammie time for the kids.
7:45 p.m. — All four of us watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the request of Milania.
8:30 p.m. — Story and bedtime for Milania. Tonight, we read Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.
9 p.m. — Story and bedtime for RayRay. Ray reads him The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.
9:15 p.m. — Fast shower, pajamas, and bedtime for me.
Daily total: $21.21
4:40 a.m. — My alarm goes off and I still feel exhausted; my body is telling me to rest. I take one day off from working out during the weekday and one day off during the weekend, so I allow myself to go back to sleep today. I think my body needs it.
6:10 a.m. — I wake up and feel so much better than my earlier wake up call. It’s so important to listen to your body! I go downstairs, let the dog out, feed him, and drink my pre-workout drink, even though I’m not working out because I appreciate the energy it provides me.
6:30 a.m. — I shower and get ready for work.
7:30 a.m. — I get the kids ready for another day at camp and feed them pancakes with bananas and squeeze yogurt for breakfast.
8 a.m. — We leave for another day at Camp Sam!
8:10 a.m. — We make a quick stop at Dunkin. The kids convinced me and quite frankly, I am hungry too! I get turkey sausage and egg on an English muffin, a medium unsweetened iced tea and six munchkins for my munchkins in the back seat ($8.08).
8:30 a.m. — I drop them off at Camp Sam. Big smiles today!
9 a.m. — I am back to work. Today is a big tasting day for our brands on QVC. Throughout the morning, I spend some time with Tony Luke, Jr. perfecting and tasting his oven-ready cheesesteaks. I try both the beef and the chicken, which are delish.
11 a.m. — As the morning goes on, the team has tried stuffed chicken breasts, lobster meat, pierogis, blintz’s, seafood mac and cheese, scallop scampi, and a few others! I’ve cooked some of the items and then our in-house chef, Chef Rick, makes the rest. We are all definitely full! I drink plenty of water and look forward to getting the items that passed the test to the next level.
2 p.m. — I answer some emails and get ready to leave by 3 p.m. in order to pick up the kids from camp.
3:30 p.m. — Pick-up time! I am so excited to see these two!
4 p.m. — We head over to my mom’s house. This is our usual Wednesday night routine, as my daughter has cheer at 5 o’clock and it’s easier to stop here with RayRay rather than bring him back home.
5 p.m. — It’s time for Milania’s cheer practice at Rastelli Kid’s Complex. Even though she is only two, she loves to learn and be active. Plus, after the quarantine she has experienced, this is a wonderful, safe environment for her to have some fun and be around other children.
6 p.m. — We head back to Grandmom’s house! My mom prepared us turkey meatloaf for dinner. She uses my recipe, which consists of ground turkey meat, various seasonings, garlic, ketchup, mustard, eggs, a little bit of cheese, and some gluten free breadcrumbs. She also makes a fresh cucumber and tomato salad and buttered noodles. Thanks, Mom!
6:45 p.m. — My mom helps me bathe the kids at her house; she has everything we need. I honestly wouldn’t be able to do everything I do without my mom — she is such a huge help to our family. We get in the car and head home while Ray is still at work!
7:30 p.m. — The kids are in their jammies watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory….again. While they watch, I pack for the shore (we’re headed there for the weekend), do a load of wash, repack their camp bags, and pack their lunches.
8:30 p.m. — Ray gets home. Milania gets to see him briefly while he helps brush her teeth before bed. She then reads The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems. I honestly don’t know if she likes the story or the way I exaggerate it more but I’ll take the snuggle giggles any night. They make my whole day.
9 p.m. — Ray puts RayRay to bed.
9:30 p.m. — I watch a little bit of Below Deck and drift off to sleep.
Daily total: $8.08
4:40 a.m. — Wake up and get ready to crush my daily live-streamed Legion workout.
5 a.m. — Workout with the team! It’s nice to feel connected with everyone even though we can’t all be in the same place right now. Class is focused on upper body with a mix cardio, body weight, and weight training.
5:45 a.m. — I stretch, take a stroll around my pool, and feed the dog.
6 a.m. — I have a quick bowl of oatmeal with chocolate protein powder topped with blackberries. I take a moment to enjoy the quiet.
6:30 a.m. — I shower, get ready for work, and get the kids ready for camp.
7:30 a.m. — A mover comes over to scope out our home and give us a quote. Oh yeah, in the middle of everything else, we are moving! Always something going on over here!
8 a.m. — I get the kids in the car and off to camp. Before I head into the office, I get a quick facial at Dr. Brenza’s in Sewell. She has a ton of new safety protocols, so I feel safe while my skin gets some much-needed love.
9:30 a.m. — My workday begins. My husband’s assistant, Erin, is going on maternity leave soon, so she shows me a few important things that need to get done in her absence. This should be an interesting three months!
10 a.m. — I grab some Crispy Green dried strawberries for a no-sugar-added snack. I really love them.
12 p.m. — For lunch, I packed a Caesar salad topped with some Daring plant-based chicken.
12:45 p.m. — Back to work! More Zooms and emails.
4 p.m. — I pick up the kiddies and we head to the shore! Both my husband’s parents and my own have a shore house, so we try to spend as much time together on the weekends as possible. I actually have a meeting at the shore tomorrow, which works out perfectly.
5:30 p.m. — Arrive in Longport with the kids.
6 p.m. — Dinner at Shuckers in Margate. I have bacon-wrapped scallops and fresh oysters. I can’t help but love fresh seafood! I treat us all to the meal ($110).
7 p.m. — I mini golf with my son while my mother-in-law walks my daughter around for some ice cream!
8 p.m. — Bath time for kids.
9 p.m. — Bedtime for the kids and a nice glass of wine for me!
9:45 p.m. — I easily fall asleep.
Daily total: $110
6 a.m. — Wake up time. I guess this counts as sleeping in. I get dressed in my workout clothes and surprise…have my pre-work out drink.
6:30 a.m. — This morning I decide to do my Live Legion workout outside. They noticed I wasn’t in my usual spot! Today’s class is lower body focused and a mix of squats, lunges, jumps, glute bridges, and leg lifts. Really feeling the burn!
7:30 a.m. — I make breakfast for the kids, then make two fried eggs, some Eziekel toast with a few slices of Jersey tomatoes, and some blackberries and bananas for myself.
8:30 a.m. — I get everyone dressed, including myself. We have a huge important tasting ahead of us today.
9:30 a.m. — I hand off the kids to my mother-in-law and start prepping 20 items for the team to taste today. 20 items!! It’s going to be a day of eating!
12 p.m. — The tasting begins! We try various seafood options by Egg Harbor, plus different types of ham, steak, roasts, and ready-made items by Rastelli’s, along with some fun heat-and-eat options, which are great for busy families.
2 p.m. — I work on the pricing for all of the 20 items. I am really full. Because so much of my week consists of trying so many new food items, I try to drink as much water as I can on a daily basis to stay hydrated!
3 p.m. — All done and ready for the weekend. Time to watch the kids swim. What a life they have!
3:30 p.m. — There is a huge thunderstorm rolling through, so it’s time to get out of the pool and head inside. Hopefully this will break the heat wave!
4:30 p.m. — Some more of the family arrives and it’s cocktail time. I opt for a Crook and Marker. We make the kids Rastelli’s breaded chicken tenders, broccoli, and buttered noodles for dinner.
6:30 p.m. — Dinner for the adults which is Rastelli’s chicken breast made into a stir fry with fresh veggies and brown rice. We spend a lot of time around the table as a family laughing and catching up on our weeks.
7:30 p.m. — The kids start a movie while the adults are still hanging around the dinner table! I truly love getting to spend this time with our family.
8:30 p.m. — Bedtime for kids.
9:30 p.m. — Ray and I catch up on our busy week and settle down with a movie. It’s finally time to relax together before we fall asleep. I am definitely looking forward to a fun weekend ahead.
Daily total: $0
Money spent: $139.29
Workouts completed: Four
Foods taste-tested: Let’s just say my appetite is satiated!