I've Worked Hard For This....
I’ve Worked Hard For This….









A little planning will go a long way to not wasting time or money at the grocery store. Some of the tips I incorporate myself, like not shopping when I’m hungry, but others I plan to begin right away because my refrigerator is bare, and the kids are hungry.


  1. Before making a grocery list, write down the meals you’d like to make for the week. For example, if contemplating Spaghetti on Tuesday, make a small list of the ingredients needed for the dish.
  2. Look in the freezer, cabinets, and pantry to see if the required items for the dinner are already in the house. If you’re like me, you may have the tomato sauce, but not the hamburger.
  3. Create a spreadsheet, or use the forms provided on chosemyplate.com to record what items, if any, are already stocked in the house.
  4. Once the meals have been determined, check for recipes that will allow substitutions. For example, ground turkey can be substituted for hamburger. Ms. Dash for salt etc.
  5. Make the grocery list, while taking note of what your schedule may be like on the night you’ve chosen to make spaghetti. Is it a school night, will you be working late, will you have the time to make the meal? The greatest mistake in meal planning is not accounting for time. Burger King makes a alternative for Soccer Moms low on time.
  6. Coupons, coupons, coupons. All Sunday papers have great time and money saving coupons that can be utilized for the planned meals. Wal-Mart, and Meijer as well as other major retailers will price match sales prices and coupons if requested.

Healthier meals don’t have to be expensive, but they do take a little organization, and foresight to understand that our “go to” for meals, will be more expensive in regards to caloric and fat content intake.

I teach the Beachbody Turbo Kick program at Kruger’s ATA in Danville, Illinois. Identifying the ideal workout routine for anyone seeking to begin an exercise regimen is the key to success in the exercise world. The greatest barrier to any workout program is choosing one that best fits one’s time, talent, and lifestyle. For example, I would never counsel an 80-year-old grandmother to begin a class such as mine, inasmuch as I would not counsel an 18 year old to stick with just water aerobics (although it is a good program). Any program chosen should be one that’s challenging, but “doable”. When I started working out, it took several programs until I found one that fit my needs and personality, therefore, I encourage trying several different workouts until one is found that is safe, healthy and fun. With that said:


  1. If you have never ran a day in your life, do not start with the Color Run. You are just setting yourself up for failure. As amazing as the ideal may be, your body isn’t ready for the perils of running. Start slow with a treadmill or an exercise program with mild to moderate cardio then work your way up to the Color Run. It’s an amazing experience, and one that I’d recommend. Just not for those who’ve not mastered the skill of stretching first.
  2. Nutrition is important. Teaching the body to submit is hard enough without having it do it empty. I’ve taught classes both ways, with nutrition and without nutrition and you would be surprised at just how much farther and longer you can go with the proper fueling. Protein bars, electrolyte-balancing water, carbohydrates….all necessary to keep the body working to its maximum.
  3. Workouts are like buffets. Start out small, and then as you acclimate, add more to your plate. Fitness goals have been ruined by sore, stiff, PULLED muscles. I always tell people that nothing worth having happens overnight. Fitness is a process, not the lottery.
  4. Regarding Nutrition, a brilliant method health is to identifying what we can substitute to reduce caloric intake. For example, by switching to diet Cherry Pepsi (which I will never do), I can save 1,800-2,500 calories a week. When we consider that we must burn 3500 calories to lose 1lb, a savings of 2,500 calories a week could equate to 2lbs a month. Be aware of what you put into your body. Some foods are for consistent fueling (like Protein) and others do nothing to enhance the workout. Just knowing and understanding what the body is expected to process is 90% of the battle.


I applaud anyone wanting to improve his or her lifestyle and gain a healthier attitude. After all, if I could do it, I promise you, anyone can do it. The greatest barrier is time. Time to organize the menu, time to attend the workouts, time to stretch after the workout, time to eat right, but good time management is the key to success for a healthy lifestyle. www.chosemyplate.com has all the forms, ideas, and suggestions one needs to actively make and change attitudes. I was able to factor in my time exercising with the meals I make and consume. When it’s sitting right there in front of you, it has to compel change. It did in me and while I haven’t cut out the Pepsi’s, I have learned to either compensate more, or indulge less. Good Luck.