My Recap of the Coca Cola Balanced Living Workshop

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Have you been eagerly anticipating the recap from my Coca Cola Balanced Living Workshop? Well, here goes!

True to the name of the workshop, Balanced Living, we were presented with ways to balance the different aspects of our lives to make a happier, healthier whole. And by whole, we focused on our whole selves as well as our whole families. Balance was referred to in terms of looking at the big picture.

For instance, twice I heard people use the phrase, There aren’t bad foods, only bad diets. Meaning, that white-bread sandwich you eat isn’t the devil. As long as you strive for whole grains most of the time, and incorporate fruits and veggies into your diet as much as you can, you will be in balance nutritionally. This really struck me when I was in my one-on-one session with my nutritionist, because I realized I am in a major spinach rut. I rely on spinach to be the panacea of my family’s diet, and I forget that I need to branch out with my veggie choices. I’m actually excited to try one new vegetable each week, and have Beckett, my co-shopper, help me pick them out.


Behold the mighty sweet potato.

As for exercise, I learned from my trainer session, and from a workshop we had with Harley Pasternak, that bodyweight work is extremely effective, and super accessible even if you are at home all day. I’ve been brainwashed over the years to focus on cardio as the most important form of exercise, but I am now going to end my exclusive love affair with the treadmill, and throw some new moves into my arsenal.


photo: Coca Cola and Bruce Powell Photography


I think most of us were surprised to learn about all of the things Coca Cola has been doing to help people in the U.S. become more healthy. I had no idea they were investing so much money into programs to teach people to incorporate fitness into their daily lives. They actively award grants to organizations that promote health and wellness in our communities. Nor did I know they had a whole website for professionals in the health and wellness fields. It’s The Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness, and as I’ve poked around I have found a ton of science-based information and studies.

You know what’s other cool thing I found? You can donate your Coke rewards points to your child’s school to help the schools buy equipment and supplies. I’m thinking with the amount of Diet Coke we go through in a year, we’ll be able to build a whole new school. Donate My Coke Rewards Points.

Now, who is going to join me in the veggie-of-the-week club? Or at least offer me suggestions. You can forget about kale, though. I will never learn to love that nasty green.

I was compensated for my participation in Coca-Cola’s Balanced Living Workshop, but my thoughts and views are my own.



  1. 12/21/2012 / 9:13 am

    I see the awesome plank photo here. Two blogs – two posts – quite impressive!

    • 12/22/2012 / 9:29 am

      It was sort of fun to write two posts; I could pretend I was two different people… I was thinking it would be funny to write the two posts as if I had two completely different experiences. Just to confuse my readers who read both blogs.

  2. Kari
    12/21/2012 / 9:43 am

    Your veggie of the week is (said in the Password voice) isssss- the mighty green pepper. I actually ate two entire green peppers the day after we got back. Just for kicks.

    • 12/22/2012 / 9:30 am

      Okay, but. I’m not a giant green pepper fan. Now I need to know if you ate them like apples or within another dish?

  3. 12/22/2012 / 12:38 am

    “There aren’t bad foods, only bad diets.” Was it just me, or did you almost feel like there were some main talking points for all of the presenters to somehow work into their presentations?! Not a bad thing necessarily, but I did notice and find it interesting.

    It is hard for me to focus on anything in this post but your awesome plank picture! As a group fitness instructor, you could be my poster child for having awesome form and a smile on your face to go along with it! Just be glad Marianne wasn’t on the mat behind you, as you may have heard what she does when people hold plank for too long…

    Glad to have shared this experience with you and hope to see you again soon! 🙂

    • 12/22/2012 / 9:38 am

      Yes, it seemed like there were some themes going on, but I really liked that- I think it was effective to tie these ideas together, and helped to tie the whole workshop together for me. Sometimes I think I need that repetition, though; I have the brain of a 6 year old.

      I am finding this hilarious that everyone is commenting on my plank photo! Thanks for the compliment; anytime you want me to come into your class and strike a plank pose, I will be there.

  4. 12/22/2012 / 6:31 am

    Awesome plank. I can’t figure out if you’re happy to be doing it or annoyed that he wouldn’t let us down yet. 🙂

    • 12/22/2012 / 9:43 am

      Here is exactly what was going through my head: I was looking down and focusing on not falling on my face. Then I noticed a giant camera lens 2″ away from my head, and the photographer said, “Look up at Harley.” So I did, but then I was torn between smiling and looking like I was just paying attention to Harley. Do you even see how confusing my life is?!

  5. 12/22/2012 / 2:39 pm

    i agree girl, no food is evil. it’s our approach that needs to be controlled and sometimes improved. also? WooHoo! Hot Mama!

    • 12/22/2012 / 7:39 pm

      Hot mama! Yes! You can comment on my blog posts any time.

  6. 12/22/2012 / 10:21 pm

    One of the best things I learned in my nutrition classes was to look at your weeks menu instead of just your days menu. Falls right in line with your trying a new veggie each week!

    Have you tried the baked kale so it’s crunchy? I haven’t yet. I had a salad a couple of weeks ago that was really good but previously, the recipes, I was right there with you in the yuck dept. lol

    It’s hard to offer up veggie ideas. I was blessed to grow up in a house that grew and ate “weird” vegetables. But I love eggplant. Make eggplant parmigiana, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Also, my family (even the teens) are in love with mashed cauliflower as a substitute to potatoes.

  7. 12/23/2012 / 11:17 am

    Definitely joining you in the veggie of the week club!!! I like how the focus of this was on whole family wellness.

    BTW, for some reason I was reminded of a favorite childhood sandwich I used to make myself… butter and sugar on Wonder bread, yick!

  8. 12/26/2012 / 9:54 pm

    I had no idea Coke was so involved with fitness and healthy living, thanks for sharing! I guess we do learn something new every day!!

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