Jennie Burton doesn't believe in what most women call "dieting."
As the founder of Jennie Burton Wellness, which provides individual and group coaching on eating healthy, she instead stresses the importance of making a "forever lifestyle change."
"The typical American life is busy and people stay so stressed that taking care of themselves is put on the backburner ... Our society has made unhealthy food quick, easy and cheap. They even sell junk food in Old Navy and Best Buy," she said, admitting that in her early 20s she was one of those unhealthy people.
However, when she and husband Jason had their son, Case, something clicked. "I really began to be aware of what we were putting in his little body," she said. "Then Jason was diagnosed with a progressive form of Rheumatoid Arthritis and my quest to live life healthy escalated."
For Burton, living life healthy means making small changes that render big results. When she is going to be away from home for a long period of time she prepares food to take with her so she is not "tempted to grab something on the go."
"I have a small cooler that goes in the truck with me. I even pack our son's as well," she said preparing basics like cut veggies, hummus, fruit and chicken breast.
She also plans for restaurant outings and encourages others to be mindful and educated about what is going into their bodies. "If someone orders a grilled chicken salad, yet it comes out with cheese, croutons, candied pecans and creamy dressing - you might as well have ordered a burger and fries," she explained. "A lot of people think they are doing good, when in reality you are not. That is part of what I teach people."
Jennie Burton Wellness was cultivated through her love of health and fitness, prayers and encouragement from Life Coach Amber Hurdle. "She nudged, OK, pushed me, to do my first group coaching and it was a huge success. A lot of weight was lost, but better yet there were some significant healthy lifestyle changes made. There was no 'dieting,' just truly learning about food," Burton said. "It is so hard to explain how exhilarating it is when I know I have made a difference in someone's life forever."
When she isn't working, a.k.a. "doing what I love and loving what I do," she can be found enjoying workouts at Sports Village Fitness, traveling or simply cooking at home. "One of my favorite things to do is be with my family on a Saturday night hanging on the patio grilling."
Burton and her husband have been married for 18 years. Both graduated from Lebanon High School in 1993, but did not meet each other until the following fall at a Travis Tritt concert at Starwood. "Jason told his mother the next morning that he found the girl he was going to marry," she remembered.
Women who Burton admires are the late author Maya Angelou, her mother, her friend Nancy Throckmorton, and her aunts Barbara and Nancy. "I look up to so many women for one reason or another. I admire anyone who truly lives in the present, never looks back and doesn't get caught up in the future."
For more tips on healthy living and recipes, like Jennie Burton Wellness on Facebook.