I'm a busy mom of five beautiful little boys. I'm a personal trainer, runner, group fitness instructor, college professor and passionate fitness enthusiast.
A death of a loved one, my story began
Several years ago my brother, mentor and friend died after a sudden and unexpected heart attack. This changed me. My brother’s tragic death was a great hardship and loss to me personally and was also like an ugly glimpse into a possible future for my own little family. My husband’s father died very young of heart disease and I knew it was a great possibility for my husband to have the same type of problems. I also knew that I had several little boys with heart disease in their DNA from both sides of the family tree which was a scary risk factor.
The mom dynamic
I knew mostly what I had to do but I couldn't figure out how as a mom to do it. I began to study. I began to dig deep. I wanted a real fix, I wanted the truth. I wanted some kind of structured system that would be long term and not too hard or too expensive to follow. I searched the literature and what I found surprised me.
I had a Master's in Public Health Degree from a reputable school. I had studied chronic disease prevention in depth but I had always strongly believed that exercise took the front role in the fight for health. I discovered instead that I needed to switch my focus to "fit eating". Eating was what would determine the future health of me, my husband and children.
A need for a family based plan
I tried different plans all with the same questions in mind: Is this sustainable? Effective? Fit for a family and fit for our finances?
I struggled to find a plan that fit my family's needs. I would often receive meal plans and advice from trainers who didn't have to feed a family apart from themselves. Even the women trainers were usually single with little distraction from their fitness careers. Their lifestyles were very different from mine. I had 4 children under 6 at the time, a busy husband, a stay at home mom career, as well as teaching college and fitness classes on the side and other roles like coach, chauffeur, doctor, cook, maid, judge and teacher.
These wonderful but clueless trainers often stammered and looked at me curiously when I asked how to keep my calories accurate while trying to feed a family of 6 (soon to be 7) and how to work it in with my lifestyle without compromising my important role as a mother. I couldn't help but remember the days when I was single and it was easier to cook for one and eat healthy but to cook for an army and not eat like one was a whole different story. The trainers knew the optimal way of eating but couldn't describe how to tweak it for a busy mom with a bunch of picky eaters to feed.
I had a similar problem when I tried using cook books on the subject. There was an array of books on healthy eating and a mountain of books on family meals but very few that connected the two. It seemed like most books on healthy eating were made with a single individual in mind with culinary art experience and not for financially strapped American families. They called for ingredients like sword fish, bison and spices that can only be purchased at specialty stores. They were made by chefs in gourmet kitchens with hours of cooking preparation. I wanted to be able to go to the local grocery store to purchase my ingredients and spend less than my budgeted income.
Most of all I wanted the meals to really work. I wanted the appropriate calories already mapped out with balanced macro-nutrients that would bring me success. I had learned that the ratio of protein verses carbohydrates and healthy fats were important but the recipes built for families did not often take this into account or even include nutritional statistics and the recipes built for weight loss or healthy living did not take the family or even a busy lifestyle into account.
After searching far and wide I developed my own kind of plan for what I was looking for. I figured out an eating system which is similar to the one that I share freely on this site. We all felt better. My husband lost 30 pounds. I gained muscle and lost fat and after having my fourth child I had a six pack for the first time ever. I looked better than I ever had and my children were much healthier.
If you have a family and are searching for a plan that will include your family then you have come to the right place. If you are single and searching for a plan just for you that will make you fit and your wallet fat you have come to the right place. This plan will work for both needs whether you feed one or an army like I do. I made sure of it.