Eight-year-old Kaylee-Anne Francis doesn’t get high-sugar granola chock-a-block full of chocolate and marshmallows in her lunch anymore. The surprising part is, she doesn’t miss them.
“She never used to eat peppers, but now she asks for them as her lunch snack,” said mom Shauna Johnson.
It’s a sign of success. Johnson applied for the Be Your Best This Summer program – a partnership between Panorama Recreation and the Peninsula News Review – to learn an overall healthy lifestyle, one she could pass on to her daughter.
“I’m really enjoying it,” the Tsawout mom said of the program that includes a few set workout sessions a week, plus nutritional guidance from Panorama’s Michelle Bourgeois. “In my house I’ve pretty much eliminated a lot of the junk food that she would normally have and we’re exploring some of the options.”
Kaylee-Anne was a fan of the sugary fruit snacks. Now, mom and daughter hit the grocery store together and learn by reading labels.
“We’ve been buying things that are similar, but have more fruit content,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to teach her about different choices that are healthier for her.”
When her daughter wanted to earn her food badge in Brownies, it just provided another opportunity to expand the food horizons.
“To earn a food badge she had to identify five different fruits that she didn’t know, and try three of them,” Johnson said. “She’s finding a lot of fruits she likes, like mangos – she loves those – and strawberries are always in the house now.”
They sit down and learn together about nutrients and the importance of water versus pop.
“I’m definitely getting more education into her than before,” Johnson said. “She’s learning about what’s going into her body.”
Be Your Best This Summer is a 12-week workout plan that wraps at the end of June. Johnson’ is seeing her other goals come to fruition as well.
“I’m losing weight, I’m getting in better shape, I’m not craving all those high-sugar foods and I’m feeling better. I love the clean eating principles, it’s a lifestyle not a diet,” she said.
As part of the program, Johnson works out twice a week with fellow participants Monique Huber, Melanie Kerr, Christy Day, Michael Hall, Jennifer Verscheure, Colleen Baines and Debbie Taylor in hopes of being their best this summer.
Huber, a Sidney mom with two kids at home, is also sharing her healthy ways, like sending the kids to school with healthy snacks.
“We talk a lot about food and eating healthy, clean eating,” Huber said. “With the family it’s become something that I try to bring into the household.”
Tips from a trainer
Trainer Michelle Bourgeois points out a couple of variables that contribute to good health:
• Exercise consistently. Your heart and lungs get stronger from cardiovascular training. Strength training increases muscle mass, which gives you a stronger body which is less likely to be injured.
• Drink water. Your skin, kidneys, and brain thank you for this because they are really affected by insufficient water intake.