JoJo Polk, owner of Core Fitness Studio in Raleigh, is an inspirational powerhouse. Dedicated to empowering people to DIG (Determination, Intensity, and Guts) he founded Core Fitness Studio as a space for people to connect, work hard, and transform their lives through fitness. Making Raleigh healthier one butt-kicking bootcamp at a time requires some serious fuel so JoJo recently stopped by our North Hills location to show us his go-to Create-Your-Own breakfast bowl...the JoJo Bowl.

As an athlete, I know that physical health is key to enhancing performance. You depend on strength, skill, and endurance, whether you’re intercepting the football or making that final push to reach your PR in class. Being your best takes Determination, Intensity, and Guts but that’s not all. Like a car, your body won’t run without the right fuel. I am not a fan of supplements and powders, that is why my meals contain carbs, fats, and enough protein to promote muscle
growth and repair.
— JoJo Polk

The JoJo Bowl

brown rice, scrambled eggs, bacon, red peppers, oven roasted chicken, and feta CHEESE




A proud husband and father to three beautiful children, our good friend and neighbor to our North Hills location Bonner Gaylord dropped in recently to try his hand at putting together his own delicious Create-Your-Own Bowl. As the Managing Director of Operations for Kane Realty, Bonner realizes that to tackle his never ending to-do list he has to fuel his body and brain in the best way possible. Bonner’s go-to order is usually our breakfast scramble so he was excited to change it up and get creative while creating this custom #MYCYO Bowl. See Bonner’s creation below!

“I always appreciate the way I feel when I eat right. When I’m eating Happy + Hale, that feeling is guaranteed!”
— Bonner Gaylord


shredded kale, quinoa, beets, corn, roasted butternut squash, chipotle seared tenderloin, chimichurri pesto, avocado cilantro dressing, topped with cilantro


5 Active Date Ideas to Get Your Heart Pumping this Valentine's Day


Valentine’s Day means a box of chocolates, a cheesy card, and maybe a bouquet of grocery store flowers, right? Not anymore! We believe Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show the people in your life just how much you care about them. At Happy + Hale we show you love by providing tasty and healthy food every single day! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we encourage you to get creative this year and show the people in your life just how much they mean to you by planning an exciting AND good-for-you date. To celebrate, we’ve partnered with Great Outdoor Provision Co. to round up five adventurous date ideas as a reminder that Valentine’s Day doesn’t always mean dinner for two at a fancy restaurant.


Great Outdoor Provision Co. is a specialty outdoor retailer based in North Carolina. Their shops are filled with gear and clothing for life outside; work and play. We linked a few of our favorite products for each activity listed below to highlight their wide variety of merchandise.

Indoor Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is the perfect balance of adventure, trust, breaking comfort zones, and fun! Plus, you won’t have to worry about the weather ruining your date. The Triangle Rock Club (which has three locations in the Triangle), and Climb @ Blue Ridge (only 20 minutes North of Greenville) are both great places to learn the basics and try your hand at this challenging, yet oh so rewarding sport.


Great Outdoor Provision Co. climbing products:




Explore a *New Local Trail

This may seem like an obvious choice, but with so many beautiful trails in the Triangle, we challenge you to explore a hike you’ve never been on before. Sunset smoothies, lake views, chirping birds, and your best friend...sounds exactly like how we want to spend our Valentine’s Day.

Here are a few of our favorite local hikes…


Sycamore Trail in William B. Umstead State Park

Cox Mountain Trail in Eno River State Park

Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail in Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area

Durant Nature Preserve

Great Outdoor Provision Co. hiking products:



Group Exercise Class

With so many great fitness options in the Triangle you can’t go wrong with this active date idea. Kick off your date with a high intensity, sweaty workout class, follow it up with a tasty bowl from H+H, and maybe even a massage--now you’re speaking our love language.

Some of our local favorites include…

FlowCorps, FlyWheel, Midtown Yoga, and Core Fitness


Great Outdoor Provision Co. workout gear:



Indoor Trampoline Park

No, trampoline parks are not just for tweens on a Friday night. Nothing sparks true love more than a little healthy competition, so try your hand at a ninja obstacle course or a few rounds of extreme dodgeball. You’ll be laughing so much you’ll forget you’re actually burning hundreds of calories.


Overnight Backpacking Trip

Perhaps the most adventurous date option on the list, an overnight backpacking trip is the perfect opportunity to disconnect and reconnect! Great Outdoor Provision Co. offers a Get Backpacking! program to teach you back country fundamentals, how to be a better backpacker, and introduces you to beautiful trips to start exploring on your own.

Great Outdoor Provision Co. backpacking gear:



Head over to our Instagram page to enter our Valentine’s Day giveaway to win a gift card to Happy + Hale and Great Outdoor Provision Co. so you have no excuses holding you back from planning an amazing date this Valentine’s Day.

Don’t forget to tag us when you post pictures from your perfect, endorphine-filled date so we can share the Happy + Hale love and inspire others to get out and get active!


Photos by Cole Gillespie


Ashley Liu Kirkman is a ROCK STAR. Yes, we said it. ALK is a fitness instructor, full-time lawyer, mom to two beautiful daughters and Co-Founder of Raleigh Group Fitness. Wow - inspiring much? How does she keep going? Healthy fuel of course. Ashely Liu stopped by our North Hills location to show us her favorite Create-Your-Own Bowl, aptly named…the ALK Bowl. What’s in it? Read below.

“Food is our fuel and when I’m nutritionally off, I can’t do what I do.  Don’t overcomplicate healthy eating - LISTEN to your body - it will tell you what you need to feel your best. Eat things you love often and the good stuff will inevitably prevail.”
— Ashley Liu Kirkman
Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 2.06.24 PM.png
shredded chicken breast

shredded chicken breast

The ALK Bowl:
Shredded kale, cauliflower rice, cucumbers, butternut squash, bacon, avocado mash, shredded chicken breast, honey sriracha dressing, topped with crispy pita.
Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 2.06.06 PM.png

Bida Bowl Collaboration Raises Almost $5700 (14,200 meals) for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle!

HH Bida Bowl Check Present to interfaith.jpg

Last year we partnered with our friends at Bida Manda to bring you the Bida Bowl - a delicious collaboration of red coconut curry, sliced chicken breast, Laotian herbs and spices, on a bed of shredded kale and jasmine rice, topped with purple cabbage kimchi. Thanks to YOU and your support we were able to raise almost $5700 for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle!!! That’s more than 14,200 meals for those in need in Wake County! We are so incredibly excited and grateful for your support and for the entire team at Bida Manda for graciously lending their Laotian cuisine and namesake to such a wonderful cause. THANK YOU! Leave us a comment below and let us know who we should collaborate with next!

Van and Vanvisa Nolintha, Owners

Van and Vanvisa Nolintha, Owners

Vanvisa Nolintha

Vanvisa Nolintha

Van Nolintha

Van Nolintha

Happy + Hale Book Club



Welcome to the Happy + Hale Book Club! We started reading books as a Senior Leadership Team in early 2017 as a way to connect and continue learning together as we grow. No genre is off-limits and we’ve read everything from business to self-improvement to best-selling fiction. This month we’re reading Shoe Dog - a rare and revealing glimpse at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of what we’ve read so far. We hope you find something that inspires you!


The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

The Four Agreements are:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Word

  • Don’t Take Anything Personally

  • Don’t Make Assumptions

  • Always Do Your Best


Setting The Table

Danny Meyer

Famed restaurateur Danny Meyer shares the lessons he’s learned developing the dynamic philosophy he calls Enlightened Hospitality. The tenets of that philosophy, which emphasize strong in-house relationships as well as customer satisfaction, are applicable to anyone who works in any business. Danny’s story and philosophy will help you become more effective and productive, while deepening your understanding and appreciation of a job well done.


Daring Greatly

Brené Brown

Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena


Who Says You Can’t? You do

Daniel Chidiac

With practical exercises and interactive tools, this book challenges you to ask hard questions and make life-changing decisions -and ultimately guides you to the fulfillment you have been seeking. Get ready to be intrigued, fascinated, and amazed. Not by this book, but by your own power.


The Celestine Prophecy

James Redfield

Drawing on ancient wisdom, it tells you how to make connections among the events happening in your life right now and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come. The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystallize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life and to direct your steps with a new energy and optimism as you head into tomorrow.


Who Moved My Cheese?

Spencer Johnson

Exploring a simple way to take the fear and anxiety out of managing the future, Who Moved My Cheese? can help you discover how to anticipate, acknowledge, and accept change in order to have a positive impact on your job, your relationships, and every aspect of your life.


The Energy Bus

Jon Gordon

Everyone faces challenges. And every person, organization, company, and team has to overcome negativity and adversity to define themselves and create their success. No one goes through life untested and the answer to these tests is positive energy—the kind of positive energy that consists of the vision, trust, optimism, enthusiasm, purpose, and spirit that defines great leaders and their dreams.


The No Complaining Rule

Jon Gordon

An enlightening story that demonstrates how you can conquer negativity and inspire others to adopt a positive attitude." Based on one company’s successful No Complaining Rule, the powerful principles and actionable plan are practical and easy-to-follow, making this book an ideal read for managers, team leaders and anyone interested in generating positive energy.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen R. Covery

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a self-improvement book. It is written on Covey's belief that the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.


The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho

This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.


Farewell Bida Bowl

The Bida Bowl, in all of it’s coconut curry laden glory

The Bida Bowl, in all of it’s coconut curry laden glory

It has been an honor to partner with our friends at Bida Manda to bring you this incredible dish benefitting the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. What was supposed to be a 3 month run turned into almost a year because of you and your enthusiasm for the collaboration. While we're sad to see it go, we have a feeling it may be back one day. The Bida Bowl's last day at Happy + Hale is Wednesday (12/5) and at Happy + Hale on Thursday, 12/13. Come get it while you can!

Van and Vanvisa Nolintha, brother and sister duo behind Bida Manda.

Van and Vanvisa Nolintha, brother and sister duo behind Bida Manda.

Photo shoot (and curry devouring) in progress!

Photo shoot (and curry devouring) in progress!

Vanvisa Nolintha

Vanvisa Nolintha

Vansana (Van) Nolintha

Vansana (Van) Nolintha