by emma sloley | July 19, 2012 | People
Avis Richards and Amanda Russell develop a web series for healthy Hamptonites
Fitness, philanthropy, and fabulous food—that’s the tantalizing recipe for a new four-part online series about the Hamptons hosted by Avis Richards and Amanda Russell, called What’s Hot and Healthy in the Hamptons This Summer. Hailing from very different worlds—Richards is a New York mother of two whose Birds Nest Foundation provides high-quality media for non-profits, while Russell is a former professional runner turned fitness expert with her own fast-growing YouTube channel called Amanda Russell TV. These passionate health crusaders are on a mission to change the world, one enlightening episode at a time.
Their first meeting was not so much serendipitous as inevitable. With a host of mutual friends, the two women finally tracked each other down last summer at a party in Southampton. “Avis was hosting a gala. I went in, she was surrounded by people, and I just said, ‘Excuse me! Do you mind if I meet you?’” Russell says with a laugh. They have recently joined forces on “Dylan’s Lunchbox,” a spin-off of Richards’ Emmy Award–nominated series on nutrition, Lunch NYC. Dylan, a wise-beyond-his-years teenage restaurant critic and Richards’ son, will exercise with the telegenic Russell each episode this fall.
Combining their talents, they decided to develop a web series. “We both saw the power of online content,” says Richards. “More and more people are watching content online, so we both felt it is important to highlight our work with this medium.”
Setting a show in the Hamptons seemed the perfect fit. “It’s an area that is so magical to so many people, so legendary, and yet kind of unknown,” says Russell. “There’s that element of mystique.”
Adds Richards, “I thought, if we can do something out in the Hamptons and make it fun, then maybe we can engage more people to be involved.”
The four-episode series—which starts airing this weekend on Maker Studios’ website and Amanda Russell TV—will follow a travel show-style format, with glamorous hosts Richards and Russell introducing viewers to Hamptons living. Each will include a workout component, hand-picked, under-the-radar healthy food stops like farm stands and locavore-friendly restaurants, and an element of philanthropy. The fitness portion will include riding bikes out to places like Montauk Point Lighthouse. They also will visit local charities that work with Richards’ Birds Nest Foundation.
“In the Hamptons, I get up early in the morning, take a great class down near the beach, go to the farmer’s markets, and buy fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Richards. “Most people who are here all summer, that’s their routine. It’s really a healthy lifestyle.”
photography by eric striffler