Meet Our Team of Experts + Some Great Tips To Share!


Another week behind us! The past week was pretty busy, being the last week before Spring break. Since I work in the school system, I think I may have been even more excited than the kids for the upcoming break! Due to deadlines at my job, that had to be met before going on break, my work day grew longer. This meant the kids’ days grew longer. Which meant time at home before bedtime got shorter. This meant free time for meal prep and exercise got shorter. Can you guess where this is going? I don’t think it will have been our best week overall during this challenge! That’s okay though, every week is not going to be great, with every goal met.

We’ve been getting some great tips and ideas from our awesome team of experts. Tara Branton, MD with Wedding ton Family Medicine and our dietician Kelsey Knasel RN, LDN with CMC –Pineville, met with us right before we started the challenge and have been checking in with us each week to support and guide us. Tara gave us a great family fitness idea! She recommended “commercial calisthenics”. When watching TV, you just pick an exercise. Whenever a commercial comes on, do that exercise. We let the kids take turns choosing something different to do each commercial break. Such a great way to fit in a little extra fitness! Kelsey gave us a great recipe idea – turkey bowls! You just brown some ground turkey and serve it in a tortilla bowl. We added salad mix, beans, corn, tomatoes, plain yogurt, shredded cheese and salsa. So easy and so good! Kids loved the tortilla bowl! To make those, we just balled up some tinfoil, draped the tortilla over it to form a bowl, and baked for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees. All four kids asked for seconds! Turkey bowls will definitely be a repeat dinner for us!

Chris Bryan, our fitness expert, has been great! He stresses the need to eat breakfast every day. Chuck and I do pretty well making sure the kids eat before school but we would typically just have a cup of coffee before heading out for work. Chris gave us some great ideas for a quick breakfast you can make ahead of time and just grab to take with you as you head out the door. My favorite is a yogurt parfait. I just put frozen berries in a little Tupperware container, add some vanilla Chobani yogurt, and a sprinkle of granola. Once I get to work, the berries are defrosted but have kept the yogurt chilled. It’s delicious! Chris also sends us emails every couple days with positive messages and great exercise tips. You can sign up to get his daily email too! Just go to his site at to be added to his Family Strong Fitness newsletter.

We are meeting tomorrow with Kim Jacobs, our Life Balace expert. We look forward to getting some helpful tips from her to share.

Now for our highlights from the past week:

Chuck– I did better on packing lunches and choosing healthier options if I did need to eat out. I got three runs in this week.

Kathleen (Me) – I did not grab dinner out for the kids on our busy nights. We did have a “cereal for dinner” one night, but we didn’t eat out. I ran a half marathon on Saturday. Only goal was to finish and have fun – I accomplished both.

Kelleen– Instead of getting dessert at lunch I got a side salad. I ran a practice 5k with Girls on the Run.

Breanna-I used whole grain bread instead of white bread for my sandwich at lunch. I played outside more.

Regan– Turkey bowls! (The recipe from Kelsey recommended for us. We will definitely be making that again). Soccer!! I love soccer and running around and playing outside.

Neave– Healthy pancakes! (We used Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain pancake mix- it was a hit!) Take a look at this picture for her second highlight…four goals in her soccer game!
Neave soccer

Have a great week!! For all of those on Spring break- have fun!