We had the good fortune of connecting with Gretchen Zelek and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gretchen, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In my fifties I started a fitness products company designed to provide support for the knees, wrists and neck. I presented the topic “Exercise Tools for Baby Boomers” at fitness conferences around the country and met fitness professionals who had clients over 50 who wanted to stay fit and healthy. I was one of them and I imagined aging to be a whole lot different than what my parents and grandparents experienced. It was one thing providing people with the tools to workout, but I wanted to be a real part of how to continue to live a happy, healthy, fun and fulfilled life. I became a Functional Aging Specialist and Certified Group Fitness Instructor and, with a friend who was a personal trainer, we started the website DonutsandPieFitness.com. We share interviews with national fitness, health, wellness and lifestyle experts about innovative ways to age enthusiastically. It has been eye opening, incredibly inspiring and, most of all, really fun.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have interviewed the most amazing people: a woman who started a successful clothing line at 60, a man in his 50s who became synonymous with an award winning wine, a fitness icon still working out in her 90s, and many more people who graciously share innovative and fun ways to age enthusiastically. My business could not be more different from other baby boomer sites because often they focus on the limitations about what the future may present, or they reminisce about the past and are nostalgic while yearning for younger times, but we are, instead, looking forward to our next birthday. Through fitness, health, lifestyle, brain health, nutrition and entertainment, we are poised to offer you the newest, most fun and innovative ways to live your life to the fullest. I am really proud of the caliber of the people I have interviewed. They are nationally recognized experts who really make you think and could change how you decide to navigate the rest of your life. Donuts and Pie Fitness is a work in progress. I would love to share with more followers and subscribers, but it takes time and with each interview I add to an amazing library of aging enthusiastically knowledge. I am fortunate to know a diverse group of people in the world (and especially LA) and I have never have a shortage of ideas or interviewees. I have learned when I ask the people I interview how they plan to age enthusiastically, almost everyone of them mention how being grateful has changed their path. They appreciate all they have, rather than what they desire or don’t have. It is not about stuff but about being mindful and aware and loving what surrounds you. I want people to know that I really am all about aging enthusiastically. I have fun, I make ridiculous mistakes, I learn, I laugh and I make friends along the way. It’s all about the fun filled path you can choose to take. I mean, come on, we are called Donuts and Pie Fitness.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Santa Monica and all its different neighborhoods. I would devour the lemon ricotta pancakes for breakfast at The Fig at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and then we would walk the boardwalk to Venice Beach and back. Lunch would be a Chinese Chicken Salad taken out from California Chicken Cafe and dinner would be Oysters,Lobster Mac N Cheese and a whole Branzino for dinner at Blue Plate Oysterette on Ocean. We might then walk up Montana to Lady Jane Bakery for a piece of cake. Another day we might start at Huckleberry Cafe for Heuvos Rancheros, and then walk down to check out the beach. Lunch could be a Pizza or Polenta and Mushrooms at Elephante. and then we would hike the Santa Monica Mountains. Sunset would include drinks at The Huntley Hotel Penthouse and then dinner down the street at Wallys for a Purple and Blue Salad or a Wally Burger and some Sancerre. Venice is on the itinerary today. We start with a grain bowl at Gjusta and a walk to Muscle Beach. Lunch would be at Firestone Walker Brewing Co-The Propagator for some Fish Tacos and an 805 followed by a bike ride along the coastal bike path and dinner would be at Postscript for a Kale Salad and Portabella Steak followed by some window shopping on Abbot Kinney. Let’s drive not too far out of town and head to Pasadena, one day. For breakfast it’s definitely a breakfast burrito from Hi Life Burgers in South Pasadena. Tour the nearby Norton Simon Museum and The Huntington Gardens and then head to Little Flower Candy Co for a delicious lunch of a Green Goddess Salad and Olive Oil Cake for dessert. We would then check out the Rose Bowl and run a 5K around it.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My business partner Annie Gibbons is the pie of our Donuts and Pie Fitness. She is an amazing functional trainer and makes everything more fun. Dan Ritchie and Cody Sipe of the Functional Aging Institute taught me how crucial functional aging was to over 50 health and wellness. Janice Jaicks at Fitnessfest is an important over 50 fitness mentor and Leslie McClure of 411 Video Info introduces me to the most amazing fitness pros and aging influencers.

Website: https://donutsandpiefitness.com/
Instagram: @donutsandpiefitness
Linkedin: Donuts and Pie Fitness
Twitter: @donutsandpiefit
Facebook: @donutsandpie
Youtube: Donuts and Pie Fitness

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.