Meet a Mom: Getting Healthy with Terri Hartman | Chicago North Shore Moms

Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new Chicago North Shore Moms spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law.

Terri Hartman carved a career in marketing of 20 years before leaving her corporate job to have more time with her two kids, and to follow her passions in fitness and food. Working a more flexible schedule, one that didn’t require her to travel all over the globe, gave her time to be more involved in the kids’ lives –  from school volunteering to being a scout mom and camping on the weekends. Today Terri is an avid traveler, a Crossfit Coach at Feast Fitness and Nutrition in Ravenswood, Chicago, as well as a Nutrition Coach at Beyond the Box Nutrition and a Personal Trainer. Terri is a prime example of a driven human being who takes life by the reigns, steering in the direction that she wants to go. Get to know Terri, great travel gear advice, an awesome trip itinerary to Joshua Tree, CA and favorite local spots. Welcome, Terri.

Hi Terri! Please introduce yourself. 

Hi. I’m Terri Hartman. I am a Chicago native – born in the southwest suburbs. My husband, Ahren, and I have two boys, 14 and 11. The 14 year old plays trumpet in both Symphonic Band and Jazz Band at the high school, and also in the All-City Jazz Band. He enjoys CrossFit as his sport right now, and is also in Scouting. The 11 year old plays guitar, is always drawing or painting something, loves the Ninja gym, and is also in Scouting. Both boys love camping and exploring the outdoors and nature.



What are one or two fun facts to know about you?

Two fun facts: Post college while I was working full-time in marketing, I decided to go back to school and earned my Professional Baking & Pastry Certificate from Kendall College.

I was a music major in college. I played the clarinet.


What are your favorite North Shore & city places, spaces and eats to frequent?

Most of my favorite spots are in my neighborhood, or close to it these days!

The best bagel breakfast sandwich is at Spoken Cafe on Montrose (under the Brown line). They have all kinds of great breakfast and lunch sandwiches, coffee, and other treats. It’s the perfect stop after a Saturday morning workout at the gym.

Left Coast Cafe on Lincoln Ave. is my favorite spot for healthy salads. So many delicious options!


What is your mantra?

“She believed she could, so she did.” – R.S. Grey


What was your last travel destination and what is your next travel destination?

My last trip was to McCall, Idaho for 3 days of hiking with friends. This was my second hiking trip to this area and it is incredible!

My next trip is for a family wedding in Stillwater, Oklahoma. But after that, I am planning to take a trip to Palm Springs for some hiking, exploring more of Joshua Tree National Park, and visiting friends.



You left a 20+ year career in marketing to follow your passion in fitness and food. Tell us about your line of work today.

After our second child was born, I wanted to be more accessible to both of our kids and a corporate marketing job didn’t allow that. With the support of my husband, I left my job of 20 years. About a year before, I had started CrossFit and was loving everything about it – the community, the support, the challenge (both mental and physical). My friend and coach at the gym suggested I might like coaching, so I decided to get my CrossFit L1 certification and began coaching. A couple years into coaching, I was offered an opportunity to become a Nutrition Coach too. I have always loved food, cooking & baking. Today, I am a CrossFit coach, Nutrition Coach and Certified Personal Trainer.


You love to hike and travel. Congratulations on making a living out of this! So this makes you a travel and hiking guru. We need the goods. What are must pack travel/hiking items and why?

I’m not sure I would call myself a hiking guru, but I do love it. Some of the items I would consider as “essentials” are:

  • A sturdy, lightweight daypack – so many options, but I like Osprey packs
  • A water bladder – I use the Osprey Hydraulics 3L Reservoir
  • Hat & sunglasses – Gearhead Outfitters always has some cool Patagonia, Kuhl, Feyettechill (and more) hats to choose from
  • Good hiking socks with cushioning – I love Smartwool Crew Hiking Socks
  • Good hiking boots – I wear Danner Boots (I own both a pair of lightweight low pair for easy hikes and a sturdier over-the-ankle pair that works in all tough terrains) – Women’s Danner Trail 2650 Hiking Shoes & Women’s Mountain 600 Full Grain Boots by Danner.
  • And trail snacks!


Where is your favorite place to shop?

My favorite place to buy gear is Gearhead Outfitters. They have locations in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Evanston and Highland Park. They have all of the essentials and knowledgeable staff to guide you through your purchase and answer your questions. Plus, I love supporting local and family-owned businesses!


My family and I are visiting Joshua Tree for 24 hours over winter break as we head from Vegas to LA. What should we do with this limited time? And where/how can we view the beautiful night sky?

If you have limited time at Joshua Tree, my family with two boys, just loved climbing! And with that being said, there’s no restaurants, lodging, gas, or grocery stores within the park, so you 100% need to prepare ahead! We packed a picnic lunch and lots of water. Also, check the weather – it can be quite cold in the morning there and warmer in the afternoons. I know you can do guided tours there, but we chose to drive around at our own pace.

As for night sky viewing… some spots to consider are:

  • Skull Rock: This famous rock formation is right near the road, and there are good roadside pullouts available to park your car in.
  • Cap Rock: There’s plenty of parking and a short, well-maintained trail to the rock formations at Cap Rock, as well as Joshua Trees all around and it is close to the most popular entrance to the park.
  • The Ocotillo Patch: Located on Pinto Basin Road within the park, this is one of the darker areas for stargazing. There is no trail or seating, so if you plan to stay for a while, be sure to bring your own camp chairs.

It gets really dark, so the park suggests you don’t go very far from your car.



What’s on the horizon for you and your fitness and nutrition coaching career?

Feast Fitness is my home gym, and aside from continuing to coach CrossFit classes there, I would like to continue to grow my Personal Training clients. Working with people and seeing them accomplish things they never thought they could do really fires me up! There is nothing better than helping people grow more confident (even outside of the gym) when they conquer physical goals.


Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

Lastly, don’t wait for “the right time” to plan a trip or join a gym or start eating healthier. There will always be other obligations in life – whether it is work, family, or other. The right time is now, so don’t be hesitant – jump right in!

Yes! We love Gearhead. They used to be Uncle Dan’s but the name changed. Chicago North Shore Moms is hosting a VIP holiday shopping night at Gearhead in Highland Park on Wednesday, November 29th from 5-7pm. Attendees during that time will receive 20%* plus complimentary snacks and beverages.


About our Meet of Mom Sponsor

A very heartfelt thank you to CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm (wills and trusts). Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities! Learn more about Mary by visiting her Meet a Mom spotlight here! Contact Mary directly here: [email protected].

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