Love a good list that ranks your favorite cities? I do! Yesterday, I was in San Francisco to celebrate the City by the Bay being named the SMARTest City by SELF Magazine and Smartfood and announce an amazing contest that gives you the opportunity to win $10,000 and be featured in SELF magazine this fall! Read on for details, to see if your city made the top 10, and learn how you can win $100 Visa and Smartfood gift basket for just leaving a comment below!

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I was invited by Smartfood to be a guest and share my experience and celebrate the city with the people who make it the SMARTest. I wasn’t allowed to say where I was going or why until the big reveal on Thursday. The judging was based on what it means to live smart including regular physical activity, education, a balanced diet and caring about the environment. They created an acronym for the criteria, S for savvy, M for motivated, A for accomplished, R for responsible, T for thoughtful. Celebrity Brooke Burke-Charvet and SELF fitness editor, Marissa Stephenson were on hand to celebrate and help give away some awesome prizes including kindles, $250 gift cards and a SMART car to the people of SF.

Based on the SMART criteria, the following top ten SMARTest cities have β€œsmart in the bag” as ranked by Smartfood and SELF magazine:

  • 1 San Francisco, CA
  • 2 Seattle, WA
  • 3 Washington, DC
  • 4 Austin, TX
  • 5 Minneapolis, MN
  • 6 Portland, OR
  • 7 Denver, CO
  • 8 Boston, MA
  • 9 Honolulu, Hi
  • 10 San Jose, CA
SF has 25 farmers markets, many open year round, they have the second most female college graduates, they are one of the top ten fittest cities in the US, the bay area has 7 of the top 10 visited websites headquartered near by and are a green and philanthropic community.

Yay! Boston came in 8th. I will admit, we’ve got nothing on SF when it comes to the healthy restaurant offerings. I love San Francisco so I was excited to be involved. The day started out with a giant bag of Smartfood quizzing residents with challenging questions like the age of the oldest female to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. Winners were given prizes as mentioned above. It seemed like kindles were given out every 10 correct answers. Other cool prizes included a solar phone charging case and $250 in Visa Gift cards. Anyone could play! You just had to be in Union Square Park between 10 am and 3 pm. I tried to tweet and Instagram to let you guys all know. Sarah Fit and PBFingers reader Divya made it!

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At noon, there was a rubix cube contest. The winner was gifted a Smart car! The winner was able to complete the puzzle in under 26 seconds. Crazy.

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Afterwards, there was a fun round table that I was able to be a part of with the rest of the bloggers invited on the trip, including Julie, Sarah, Louise and Kelly. While many of you probably recognize Julie, Sarah writes for the Bold Italic (a SF online magazine), Louise is a mommy blogger at MomSpot and Kelly writes for MakobiScribe.

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We were able to ask Marissa and Brooke questions which I took video of, as you can see me above with my camera in hand. Marissa is similar to me when it comes to fitness, intervals and planks are her favorites. Brooke spoke a lot about being a mom of 4 and making time herself. Both ladies were great and I’m excited to edit the video I shot.

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I was also able to take a quick 10 minute Will Power and Grace demo. I’ve never tried it and had a nice little 10 minute workout in the middle of Union Square Park. I was glad we weren’t in Boston for this one!

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From now until July 7, the Smarfood brand is conducting a nationwide SMART Search to reward someone who has “smart in the bag” – someone who is savvy, motivated, accomplished, responsible and thoughtful. For official rules and to nominate someone you know or yourself, please visit One one nomination per person. The winner will be featured in a SELF magazine advertorial and win $10,000 in prize money! For every entry, you also get a “Buy one, get one free” coupon for Smartfood Select products.

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Meeting Marissa and hanging out in SF with a great group of women, was the highlight of my trip. Brooke Burke-Charvet was also super cute in person but I wasn’t able to chat with her except in the round table. Marissa and I are both bigs fans of Michelle Lovitt and the TIU gals.

Lastly, I have a $100 visa gift card and basket of Smartfood to give one of you guys! To enter, let me know down below which SMART characteristic you most embody and why? I will pick a winner on Tuesday morning 6/25 at 8 am. Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win the 2013 SMART Search for a chance to win $10,000 and be featured in SELF!

This post is sponsored by Smartfood. While I was compensated for my participation in the event, all thoughts and opinions are my own and you guys get the opportunity to win a wicked cool prize… 10K anyone? Nominate yourself or a friend today. Contest closes on July 7th.

San Francisco named the SMARTest City & $100 VISA Giveaway

About The Author


  • Lisa

    I would say that I am thoughtful! I take pride in having relationships with others and I consider myself a really caring person. I love to make people smile!

  • Nate

    I think that being motivated is my number one characteristic. I always find a will and a way to get up/out and stay active, whether it’s running after work, playing lacrosse on the weekend, or just simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work.

  • Kris Olsen

    Being raised by parents who thought of others, has given me those qualties. Running gives me that chance to be thoughtful by dedicating many of my races to causes. I will say that is the best thing a runner can do. Bring awareness to others!
    Kris Olsen
    No Limits Running

  • Kim

    I am very thoughtful and always looking for alternative ideas! I never rest unsettled and I try to use my savvy ideas to make changes in my everyday life πŸ™‚ Think outside of the box!!

  • Sarah

    I’d say I’m pretty savvy. I have twin one-year-old boys and in order to even leave the house some days it takes planning, organization, and resourcefulness. If I want to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I have to creatively fit it in — get off a T stop early, wake up well before my kids to do a video and shower, and find lots of ways to sneak veggies into everything I (and my boys!) eat.

    ^ Hmm I guess I’m motivated and responsible too πŸ˜‰

  • Sara

    I am motivated! After struggling with my weight for my entire life, I finally found my inner drive. About five and a half years ago, I started running and taking fitness classes. I eventually changed my eating habits. Today, I am the fittest I have ever been, I’ve run 6 half-marathons, I write my own health blog, I am a certified group fitness instructor and, most importantly, I feel more confident than ever!

  • Mami2jcn

    I think I’m pretty motivated. I’m from an immigrant family and I was the first person in my family to obtain a Master’s Degree (my mom is also very motivated and earned her Bachelor’s Degree the same year I graduated from high school).

  • Raechelle

    I would say I am motivated! I’m proud of everything I’ve already accomplished in my life, but I’m always setting new goals and looking to conquer them. I like to always be working towards something. πŸ™‚

  • Brianna

    I would say I am most thoughtful of all the characteristics. I thrive off of thinking of ways to help others.

  • Liza @ Views From the 'Ville

    I would have to say T for thoughtful not just because I do try and think of others first, but I also try and live thoughtfully: not rushing into things, thinking about what I’m going to do before I make a choice (do I really need that cupcake?), and being thoughtful in how I’m raising my daughter.


  • Lesley

    I would say that I am responsible in all areas -- work, lifestyle, finances. Just an all around responsible person πŸ™‚

  • Marissa @ Barefoot Colorado

    Yay for Denver being #7!!

    I would say that I embody the “M” in SMART. I consider myself to be a very motivated person. Whether it be through exercise- running, CrossFit and wakeboarding–or my personal life- working towards my degree, freelancing and working with Headbands of Hope– I know that my motivation will take me from start to finish.

    Without motivation, no task would ever get done. Let’s do this!

  • Rachael G

    I would say I’m both motivated and responsible. After giving birth to my son 18 months ago, those two words have meant even more to me. I’ve always been an active, health conscious person, but now I have to think about those things for two! (Three if you count the hubby;)) I try to make health and wellness a prominent theme of our day, whether that means taking my son for a run in the jogger, using my TRX at home, bringing him to the gym with me or eating healthy meals each day, I think it’s important that he be a part of making the healthy lifestyle choices early on so that he will also grow up to be motivated to make responsible decisions about his health and wellness!

  • Emily

    Motivated. I think I’m motivated in all aspects of my life- school, work, running, health. Although all of the aspects are important, without motivation you can’t really accomplish anything!

  • Cellabella

    I think I’m pretty responsible, I tend to be the one in charge of making sure things go correctly πŸ˜‰

  • Kelly

    I think I am responsible and that that is the only characteristic that kind of encompasses all of them. I think there are many different types of responsibility, including taking care of myself and maintaining a self-motivation to be accomplished and savvy in all the various areas of my life (my physical, emotional, and mental health; my fledgling professional career). I think it also entails a responsibility toward others. I tend to be very empathetic and pay attention to the feelings of those around me. I used to think intelligence was reflected in one’s academic and professional achievements, but becoming more thoughtful has opened my eyes and helped me to realize that “smart” really means a lot of different things to different people, and no single idea really captures it all.

  • Lisa

    I would say that being motivated is my best characteristic. When I want to do something, nothing can stand in my way! I think this is such a useful quality to have and it helps me manage my job, family, house, and responsibilities.

  • Shannon

    I would say thoughtful. I remember details about people and their stories -- those things matter and it makes me feel connected to my community.

  • Iris

    Thoughtful! Sometimes to a fault. πŸ™‚ I’m always thinking about how my actions will result in different consequences for myself and for others.

  • Nicole

    I’d have to say thoughtful -- I try my best to be considerate of others and their needs, and I definitely have invested a lot of time thinking about ways to prove me health!

  • Celina Tovar

    I most embody “thoughtful.” I am attentive to my friends’ and family’s needs & I consider their feelings in any situation.

  • Katie

    I’d have to say motivated. I definitely make goals and stick to them and have the ability to motivate myself even when things get tough. I think it has to do with how my parents raised me to not compare myself to others but to look within to find what makes me truly happen and use that as inspiration. Great giveaway!

  • AmyC

    Welllll, according to my son I am smart because I picked the right person (to marry) so that I could have perfect, kids a perfect job and a perfect life πŸ˜‰

  • Laura

    Thoughtful! As a teacher, I’m constantly thinking about my students -- what to do to help them learn better and be happier, even now that it’s summer vacation!

  • Amelia

    I am very thoughtful! Not only when it comes to myself do I try to do what is right, and think things through, I’m also the first to be there for a person in need. Even if I do not know the person, I will do what I can to cheer someone up, give them advice, make a donation, or even feed my hungry co-workers who didn’t have a nice paycheck! I love giving and making sure others are happy, or at least okay!

    I’ve also thought about becoming a teacher so I can help kids learn the things they should know, and how to be a good person! Not only is education important in school, but so is manners and treating others like you want to be treated!

  • Nelly

    I am VERY motivated to accomplish any goal I set out. Especially since becoming a mother, I dont have the time to “mess around” so I am more likely to get things done ASAP or I know they wont ever get done! Hope I win πŸ™‚

  • Lindsey F

    I would say I embody the “M” by being a mentor. Not only am I an educator, constantly teaching my students mathematical concepts but also life lessons. Eating healthy, incorporating daily physical activity and teaching students to most importantly be kind and polite.

  • Veronica

    I would say I am smart in my choices for healthy living. I feed my body with nutritional foods and I exercise to keep fit and active.

  • Vangie

    I think the characteristic I see most in myself is motivation. I’m only thirteen, but I strive for a healthy, active lifestyle. Sometimes it’s lonely working out alone, but I have kept pushing because I love doing it. And…. a result of being motivated and dedicated, is my dad has started running with me!!!! Motivation, and all of the SMART qualities bring rewards and an inner joy that nothing else can supply:)

  • Vanessa

    I am definitley “M”otivated!! I am going into my senior year of college. I know it will be a stressful year of classes, job searching, and (hopefully)….interviews! Balancing it all with regular exercise, eating right, and reading health blogs keeps me motivated and I’ve never been more ready to take on the upcoming school year….after summer of course:)

    <3 Vanessa

  • Tonya

    I would like to say I’m thoughtful. I try to be environmentally friendly and polite. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt ( if they are grumpy, maybe they are having a bad day), I let other drivers over in traffic, and I try to always have a smile on my face. It makes me feel better and maybe it will brighten someone’s day.

  • Carrie

    I am “M” for motivated! I am going into my junior year of college as a math major and, let me tell ya, it is not easy! I am very physically active and dedicated to my overall health. I also just got certified as an ACE GFI. My love for life and my dreams keep me motivated.

  • Elizabeth

    Love the acronym! As far as the quality I most embody of the five I’d have to go with thoughful (and I credit both of my parents for that trait!) I genuinely care about others and am conscious of how my behaviors affect those around me. Because I appreciate small gestures like receving a compliment or card for no special occasion, I try to do nice things for others.

    Thanks for this post! Sounds like the events in SF were fun!

  • Wainy

    Shout out to my hometown of DC for being 3rd!!!! Savvy describes me. I try to be smart by taking sat mornings to menu plan my meals for for the week. I look at grocery store circulators to see whats on sale and in season. It inspires me to be creative and takes the guessing work every night. I’ve found this to be economical, time saving, and stress free!

  • Christina R

    I would say me being motivated describes me the most. When I put my mind to something I do everything in my power to achieve my goals. I was motivated to lose over 70 lbs and then train for a half marathon!

  • Katie

    I’m mostly Motivated! I’ve just graduated college and am heading to grad school in a few weeks, so I have no problem with motivation.

  • Holly

    Out of SMART I definitely embody M, motivated, the most. I just graduated from college and staying on top of school, work, and extracurriculars was not easy. You and many other bloggers, including Julie from PB Fingers, really help me stay motivated to take care of my body via health and fitness even when there are a million other things going on in my life. Thanks Sarah!

  • Marin

    I’m motivated! This is a year of big changes for me, and I’m excited that I’m making them happen, from reaching new fitness goals to being extra-proactive with my finances.

  • Katrina

    Thoughtful! I’m always thinking about how I can help and motivate my family, friends, and coworkers in being more physically active and making lifestyle choices. I try to lead by example— my siblings used to look at me crazy when I left for 20-mile training runs, and they went from not running to finishing an ultramarathon with me! AWESOME. I just want to get as many people I can to know that exercise is THE best medicine.

  • karlena

    I would say thoughtful, simply because I tend to be overly aware of what is occurring around me on both an immediate and global scale. For example, I’ve been working the ski slopes this season, and both at the hostels & bins at work I relocate certain items to the recycling. Sustainability is something I’ve always been passionate about but it’s even more important when your line of work is dependent on mother nature! Thanks for the opportunity Sarah. Happy to see some of my favourite bloggers meeting up!

  • Melissa

    The characteristic that I embody is being savvy. I surf the internet, read books, and listen to the radio to stay “in the know” on everything from fitness and healthy eating, to finances and fashion. Whenever I hear about something that I think might benefit someone else, I share it. My family and friends consider me to be rather resourceful because I’m constantly sharing information. Knowledge truly is power and I am grateful to blogs like this one which helps me learn something new everyday.

  • Katie M

    The “M”, motivated, is the SMART characteristic that currently fits me best. I am strongly motivated to PR (and hopefully BQ) at my fall marathon!

  • Kristy

    I embody the “Motivated” characteristic the most because in my day-to-day life I consciously make efforts to remain healthy, strong, and positive so that my enjoyment for life and happiness levels will remain on the high side! To do this I exercise, eat healthy, relax and stay open-hearted and thoughtful to myself and those around me.

  • Janelle

    Savvy! Mostly because I originally read the “S” as standing for”sassy,” but also because I’ve learned how to become extremely creative and savvy about squeezing in workouts on the go. I love incorporating short workouts that require little to no equipment into the middle of my day--especially ones like your YouTube videos!

  • Shelly

    That’s a tough one- I’d say “r” for responsible. (I was the 10-year-old that made sure my friends had their seatbelts on in every car ride, and I haven’t changed much since)

  • Christine

    I really hope it’s thoughtful! I try my hardest to keep others in mind. My mom is so considerate for others, and I want to be as compassionate and caring as she is.

  • Jill

    Persistence. Hope. Faith. Gratitude. Compassion. Questioning. Dreamer.

    This would be a lovely gift to give to my mom who very much deserves it and I wish I could give her something for once.

  • Amy

    Thanks for sharing your San Francisco travels! It’s one of my favorite cities and there are so many AWESOME restaurants there. And it’s really fun to ride the cable cars, even if it’s totally touristy.

    Out of the SMART characteristics, I most embody responsible. My friends often say I’m the “mom” of our group, but that’s okay with me. I think it’s important to always be prepared for any situation and take care of others. It probably comes from being a girl scout when I was young and having an amazing mom as a strong, responsible role model.

  • Amanda

    I think Motivated would describe me best. I started living a healthy lifestyle and fitness regime over a year ago, and I am still going strong! I’ve lost 35 pounds and counting and a ton of inches in that time too. πŸ™‚

  • Brooklyn

    I am always striving to set out and accomplish new goals. I am smart about them though because I make attainable small goals, so I won’t give up or be let down by unattainable ones. I love their outlook!

  • Julia

    S for savvy, M for motivated, A for accomplished, R for responsible, T for thoughtful

    I think I most embody “S” for Savvy for being in “the know” on local happenings. I’m usually to go-to person amongst my circles of friends on the go to places in the different metro=boston areas for eating, fitness, and beyond!

  • Natalie P.

    I would have to pick R for responsible, I always do what I say I am going to do, no matter what! Thanks for this giveaway πŸ™‚

  • Jennyh

    Hope you had a wonderful time in San Fran! The SMART characteristic I most embody is “multitasker”
    I wear many hats, as a mom of 2 year old twins, wife, endorphin junkie, full time nurse practioner and homemaker…..I love every multitasking hat I wear!

  • Tuija Hansen

    I love the SMART acronym! I like to think that I embody each and every word in some way shape or form, but motivation definitely speaks to who I am on every level! I know how much motivation ( and responsibility) it takes to work on a university degree, own and operate a small artisan boutique, create my own clothing line, waitress at night, make time to cook lean and clean healthy meals and prioritize working out every day! Love this post Sarah!!!

  • Diane

    I would probably say responsible. People tend to come to me because they know that I will get things done. Thanks for the giveway!

  • BAH16

    I embody being thoughtful! I don’t know how else to explain it other than my mind and heart just feels like it is constantly thinking of other people and ways that I can help them or things I can do that I think would make their life or even just a task for them easier. I open doors for strangers, I try to be cool and nice to everyone -because you never know their situation and I try to spread happiness everywhere. I think being thoughtful is not only satisfying personally, but also it’s amazing to see another persons reaction when I’ve done something small, but thoughtful that makes their day!

  • Brooke

    The characteristic I identify with is motivation. Even when I get off track or there are setbacks, I can always bring myself back to accomplishing my goals.

  • KylieGrace

    Thoughtful. It is defiantly not always to my advantage. Ever since I was really little, I remember my mind always working. I over-think about a lot of things. It is one thing I would like to work on.

  • Sarah

    M for Motivated! I’m in the middle of getting my Ph.D. while fitting workouts in 5-6 days a week to stay fit. It is not easy!

  • Erin E.

    I am very motivated. I just had my 3rd child and I have never been more motivated to get back into shape and stay healthy for my family!

  • Jamie

    I would say motivated -- or at least that’s what my fiends say, I’ve been told a time to two that people watch my facebook feed for their own personal motivation and that I’ve kicked a few of them off the couch and into something healthy more than once!

  • SCS

    I try to be responsible when it comes to having a healthy balance of eating, drinking and exercising…everything in moderation!

  • Betsy Barnes

    I would say I’m savvy. I am able to get creative in staying healthy through my different times in my life. When my son was younger, I worked out after I dropped him at school. When my hubby got laid off, I found coupons to help save money on healthy foods πŸ™‚

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