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Balancing Family, Health And Wealth with Kelli Calabrese
We are going to talk about a special way to approach your time because a lot of people say, “I’ve got no time to be healthy,” and that’s BS. We’re going to talk about that and we’re going to talk about if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re looking at how you can juggle family, life, health, wealth and all of that. I’m so excited to have Kelli Calabrese with us. She is an entrepreneur, a wellness expert, a networker, a speaker and a number one bestselling author. She’s dedicated many years to helping people to live vibrant, strong, energetic and fulfilled years, enjoying a lifestyle of optimal health and abundance of wealth. She’s appeared as a lifestyle expert on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and in thousands of media outlets including Oxygen Shape, Women’s Day, Healthy Living, Weight Watchers and more. Kelli, welcome to the show.
Thanks so much for having me.
You’re a great example of you really can have it all. People think, “I can’t have a family and I can’t have my own business because that doesn’t work,” or “If I have my own business, then I don’t have the time to make sure that I stay healthy and vibrant and all of those things together.” We want to pick your brain as to how you do it.
Time is such an interesting thing. We’re so ruled by time and money while we’re here on Earth. It does become that urgent thing that we allow to direct our day and ultimately who is in control of our time. I hope that you’re holding up the mirror and saying, “It’s me.” You are the one who gets to choose everything every single day. I want to make the most out of my time here since it is short and I’m only guaranteed now. That’s how I like to design my day in a way that is set up ideally for what my passion, my purpose and my profits get to align itself with. That’s when it gets exciting. There are certain things that I’ve done. I’ve studied personal development for many years and trying to tweak what that looks like every day, knowing that the day and the time is going to be organic as life comes up. If you look at some of what we would call these super achievers, people like Tony Robbins or Richard Branson and some amazing people like Brian Tracy or Jim Rohn, what did they do?
Success leaves clues and some of the things that they do that I’ve adopted is the importance of a morning routine. It truly does set the tone for your day. I’m not sure what time people wake up. I wake up when I open my eyes. I’m fortunate not to have to use an alarm clock, not to have super early morning appointments. I have a morning routine that sets my day up for success. That includes when I wake up, breathing, gratitude, quiet time and prayerful time. Then one of the very first things that I do after going to the gratitude and prayer is I exercise very first thing in the morning. Within minutes of waking up, I’m doing some exercise. It might be stretching, deep breathing, cardio or more aggressive weightlifting. During that time, I’m feeding my brain good stuff. I’m listening to podcasts and I’m listening to sermons. I’m listening to positive and energizing music and good messages. Right away, I’m getting the information that I need to set my mind and my body and my soul off to a good start.
If you ever want to reach a destination and get somewhere and achieve some things, you have to stay laser beam focused. Click To Tweet First of all, not everybody can choose when they get up. That doesn’t mean that they can’t have that morning routine because we choose every day. We choose maybe not every minute of our time or every hour of our time, but we have more choices than we let ourselves believe. That morning routine is a choice.
If you need to get up twenty minutes earlier and get to bed twenty minutes earlier, I promise you, whatever you’re doing in the last twenty minutes of your night is not something you’re going to finish your life wishing you did more of. Typically, it’s watching reality TV, scrolling social media, doing mindless things, distractions or whatever it is. You’re not going to finish your life wishing you did more of whatever you did for the last 30 minutes or so every day.
It also makes it harder to sleep if you’re doing any type of screen time before you go to bed. You can wake up early and you can commit to yourself. The most important thing is to commit to yourself. I forget who it is that said, “You win the day with that morning routine, by starting with that positive energy.” There are a lot of people who talk about their morning routines and what they did. You talked about gratitude, which I also write in my gratitude journal and exercise and what kind of things you’re thinking about in energy. I want to ask you, what don’t you do? People need to take extra care of what not to do in their morning routine is my belief. What is not in your morning routine?
I do not look at email messages. I do not look at social media, other than my kids. If there are messages from them, I’m going to check. I’ve got two late-stage teenagers. Besides my two children, there’s nothing that’s urgent or important to me on that phone because then I’m letting something else and someone else determine my day. Instantly, I’m pulling my head about this meeting or someone needs something or did I follow through on that. No, not technology. I will choose what to put into my brain. I’m not going to let the outside affect what’s going on.
I know the people who are successful don’t do those things in the morning. They start their day proactive, feeding their mind and focusing on the activities and the actions that they’re going to take that are most important to them, not everyone else.
We have to have boundaries. Otherwise, you’re letting the world dictate you. You’re like a ship in the sea being tossed around by the waves. You are on a cruise to nowhere. If you ever want to reach a destination and get somewhere and achieve some things, you have to stay laser beam focused. That’s never been more important than now where the world is moving so much faster than it ever has. We get more information in a week than people did it in a lifetime at the beginning of the 1900s and especially in the 1800s. We have to put those boundaries up or we will never be productive and get to the things that are the tipping point and the difference makers.
You’re going to talk about your nutrition because this is important. In your answer, I’d like you to address people who say, “I don’t have the time to be healthy.” They think that it takes so much time and effort to be healthy that they’ll grab for that Snickers or eat that heavy fatty food and fast food type stuff. Tell us about your nutrition and where you get that level of vitality from and how easy it is.
It takes less time and effort to be healthy than it does to be sick. I thankfully have never been sick, but I have friends who have and I’ve taken them to doctor appointments. They sit around the doctor’s office for hours waiting and dealing with insurance, appointments, test and the decisions. That sucks the energy. I would rather get up and exercise for 30 minutes and make myself a healthy shake. It’s a choice and it’s a decision. Most people eat a maximum of thirteen different foods. They eat two or three different breakfasts, usually once during the week and one on the weekends. They may have three up to four different lunches and four to a maximum of five different dinners. You’re looking at making over twelve or so meals. Make a better choice than what you might be eating now if it’s not excellent. If you’re having a bagel or donut or Danish, how can you make that a little bit better? How about some oats or how about adding some fruits? If you’re doing pizza, how about if you got in some lean protein and vegetables?
Start with one meal at a time. Start to make it over so that you’re ultra-nourishing your body with superfoods. I personally am not a cook. My job was to do good in school. I finished three college degrees by the time I was 22 all in the science fields. I had high honors, 3.98 GPA and I never learned to cook. I got married very quickly after I graduated and my husband was a cook. I never had to cook but I don’t miss any meals and I figure out a way to make it convenient and affordable. For me, I use protein shakes. I do use bars. I get a lot of things that are premade but healthy. Most of the grocery stores now have a market where you can get salmon and chicken and roasted vegetables and superfood salads. They do make it simple and for me, the two or three hours I would have spent cooking something, I’d rather spend a few extra dollars and have it done for me. I’ll spend that time doing what I love and what I’m good at, which is coaching people or spending time with my kids and it’s worth it.
As a family, Sunday is our day. We all decide what we want to eat. We figure out our schedule and everyone gets to pick. Even when the kids were little, we’d let them have choices. You need a lean protein, you need a vegetable, you need a fudge. Kids can figure that out even at three and four years old. You can give them choices and they feel empowered. As a family, you can go to the store, you shop, you come home and you prep the food together. Even little kids can wash string beans and they can help to peel oranges and prep things. You include the family in the decision-making and you let them make the best possible choices and then you prep for the week. Make it simple. That way, you’re never scrambling. You’re never calling for that pizza delivery. Even with things like HelloFresh, if you do like to cook, that makes it a couple of steps easier. All the ingredients are there or some of those others that are available. There are many options.
It takes less time and effort to be healthy than it does to be sick. Click To Tweet There’s no excuse not to eat healthily. Even airports have healthier options now. Restaurants are having healthier choices. Typically, I would go to a restaurant and maybe have one thing on the menu that I could eat and that might need to be modified. Now, there are restaurants where there are eight, nine, ten things and I’m like, “That looks good.” You might need to choose a better restaurant. You might need to beef up your cooking skills. I use a protein shake one meal a day so that makes it easy. I only need to come up with two other meals. One of them is usually salad-based with a lean protein so that’s simple. The other is a meal that has salmon or chicken and it could be beef or fish with some vegetables at the start. It’s not that challenging. Most of my snacks are fruits or vegetables. I will use a protein bar occasionally. I make sure that I pace my protein throughout the day. You need to have some plan because when we wait until you’re hungry and then it’s too late, that’s what we make the less excellent choice.
The most important point, and you mentioned it a couple of times, is preparation. You can prep for the whole week so that you have the types of foods easily accessible that you want. It’s so true. If we wait until the last minute and we don’t have a plan, our impulses are not what we should be trusted upon. We’re going to not always make the best choice because it’s not always the easiest choice. That’s the same with our time. Food is a perfect example, but that goes across everywhere in our life. That’s why they have a thing called a date night. If you don’t plan to get time with your spouse, then time is gone. You haven’t made time to purposefully connect with each other. The same with your kids, with all the activities that everybody’s on. We need to plan the time that we’re together. It’s across everything that we do how important planning is.
People will spend their time and money where they see value. If you’re valuing soap operas, reality TV, video games, social media, that’s where you’re going to spend your time. If you value your spouse and you value your children, then you will pour into that and I hope you do because it’s so important. That’s why I wrote the book Mom & Dadpreneurs. It’s because it is about family first and then we tend to do business and other things that we have passions about, places we would like to serve or things we’d like to grow and develop.
The priority of putting your family first and devoting the time into that is important because when you don’t, it will come back to rear its head. It will be ugly later when you didn’t pour it into a child, loving them and teaching them all of the great characters and qualities you want them to have. That eventually will come out and it would be way harder to deal with being sick. When you have a marriage or family that’s going sideways, that will take all of your attention in a negative way versus enjoying your family and enjoying a healthy body. They go together. What’s better than you have a healthy family, you can all go out and enjoy life.
You said you spend your time and money where you see value. I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here and I’m going to say I don’t believe that we always do that. We spend it where it gives us immediate pleasure. Sometimes it can be avoidance. Even though I hear people say they value their health and that they value their family, but yet they’re not necessarily spending the time and energy that they want to, but it’s because they’re impulsively looking for a short-term distraction to other stresses.
By nature, people are lazy. By nature, people get into habits and habits can be challenging to break, but it takes a decision and people can do it. I was listening to Joyce Meyer talk about her cigarette habits. She was highly addicted to cigarettes. She knew it wasn’t good for her. She wanted to quit, but she was physically addicted to that habit. She struggled and it was hard. She prays to take that desire away from her. Eventually, she had to wean herself off. For some people, it does happen in a moment where they make a decision and they never pick up cigarettes. There’s this transtheoretical model of change where some people are at one end of the ditch where they say, “I don’t need to change. I don’t need to stop smoking, drinking lots of alcohol and being obese are good for me.”
That’s denial and ridiculous. They’re not valuing their health and being honest. There’s a progression that happens where people start to consider, “I know I need to make this change.” They start to investigate like, “If I was going to lose some weight or cut back on drinking or stop smoking, what’s the best way to go about that?” Then there’s some moment where you do make a decision and you get the gym membership or you stopped buying the cigarettes or you get an accountability partner or a coach. You use something. Then there’s this period of time that could be short or long where it gets you into maintenance where now, it’s more of the habit. It’s a new habit, it’s a better habit and it’s a progressive habit. Then at some point it becomes a life cycle like everyone brushes their teeth every day. It’s not something that takes a lot of effort. It’s normal and routine. If someone says, “I value my health,” but they’re doing things in the opposite of that in terms of thinking and action and habits, then they’re really not.
What could you advise them? For somebody who knows that they’re stuck in a self-sabotaging habit and they value something else, what would you suggest is the first thing that they could do?
It starts with belief. First, you need to believe in yourself. You need to start trusting yourself. If you can’t trust yourself, then you don’t trust others either. Getting into a coach or an accountability partner or a book or any information isn’t going to be helpful. You start by changing your belief, which changes your thinking and then eventually your action and eventually your habits. I like to write things down. I’m also a knowledge person. It helps me to understand why. Why do I want to do an intermittent fasting day? Why do I want to have a cleanse day? Why do I want to drink a protein shake? I’m a knowledge person. It helps me to understand and know why. Some people are more emotional, writing things down and sharing it with someone and making that commitment. That’s why AA works for some people because there are those twelve steps.
There’s accountability to it to make that change. Some people go for decades, even though they’d been cleaned for decades because they still want and need that accountability. It starts with a decision, which means to cut off other possibilities to really decide and take a small step. It doesn’t have to be giant, but maybe you’re going to walk after dinner for ten minutes, three days this week. Whatever you decide that you feel is realistic that you can do then awesome. For example, one of my clients is an accountant and she knows during tax season she has to dial way back on her exercise for 40 days leading up to April 15th. She’s honest with herself about that. She could trust herself to do twenty minutes for three days a week, but she can’t get in an hour for five days a week.
People will spend their time and money where they see value. Click To Tweet You need to be realistic in those expectations. You need to have forward progress too. Having that accountability partner is powerful and I’ve seen it from some people. Some people need to commit with their wallet because if they make a financial commitment to go to kickboxing or CrossFit or whatever it might be where they hire that coach, then they’re going to show up. There are many tools and people are motivated in different ways. Some people can get an app and they can lose 100 pounds with an app. I’ve seen it happen. They’re a numbers person and they see those numbers and they count their calories. Other people don’t want anything to do with counting calories. They’re more visual.
I want to hear about the Mom & Dadpreneurs. You have a bestselling book out that talks about how you can put your family in the forefront and focus on them and still be that entrepreneur at the same time. Tell us about the book and tell us about one or two tips that you could share for people who either aspire to be a mom or dadpreneur or already are one.
I love to work. I love what I do. I have such a passion and desire in me and my background is in fitness, nutrition and wellness. I owned and operated a chain of health clubs. I was managing corporate fitness centers. I was running a school. I was connected to it. That was my identity. We came up with a family. Seven years into our marriage, my son was born and right away I got pregnant with my daughter. They’re fourteen months apart. I knew it wasn’t the kind of mom I wanted to be with the hours that were required to run the business that I had. Health clubs start at 5:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night, hundreds of employees, thousands of members, multiple locations. That wasn’t the mom that I wanted to be. I took that jump of faith.
It truly was a jump and I had my partner buy me out and I came home. This is back in 2000 when the internet was just getting going and not a whole lot was being done online with fitness, exercise, weight loss or any of those. It was new. I decided I was going to figure it out. Through my own journey of designing how can that happen? How can I still contribute to my industry on a high level and do what I’d love and to be here to raise these babies because I knew I was supposed to be. For many years, I have been figuring that out and certainly, I did not do it perfectly at all. I made mistakes but I didn’t want it to be just my story.
In the Mom & Dadpreneur book, there are about 30 different stories and some are traditional families like mine was. Some are single parents, some are adopted, blended. I wanted to show everyone that anyone can do this. Some of them are immigrants, some of them are accountants who had worked their way up eight years of college with a corner office. They have a lot to lose, but they made that decision that they didn’t want to miss out on a dance recital. This book is designed to give people hope by reading the stories of an immigrant who come over from Russia and leave corporate America Wall Street and become a millionaire with a home-based business that anyone can do. It is a compilation of some amazing people who overcame great things. It’s never perfect and never easy.
The success is not linear. There were ups and downs. What I love about it is they’re raw and they give you examples of what’s possible. I hope that it inspires people because we all have a dream inside of us. We all have a purpose and a plan and a passion in our life that you can come home and raise your family. It’s going to look different for everyone but still give back in a way that contributes to society or industry, but also provides for your family and the benefits to your kids are amazing. To see a mom and dad who are taking risks, who are growing. In my business, I was always out of my house and my kids got to meet cool people and we had meetings here and people stay. They got to travel with me and see mom speak and be a part of what I do.
I love when kids can see that entrepreneurial mom and dad because they’re watching and they’re gleaning off of that. My kids’ friends would come over and go, “What does your dad do?” They just shrug and go, “I don’t know. He puts on a suit and he leaves.” My kids are engaged in my business. They can get it on Amazon, Mom & Dadpreneur. It is a best-selling book. I hope people pick up a copy and share it. Whether you’re in it or you aspire to be there or you know someone, definitely get a copy of that book. It has helped so many people. With nutrition too, if it saves them time. I would love to share my nutrition system. I’ve coached over 12,000 people on it and everyone from high school, college students, through executives and through seniors. It’s an amazing nourishing program to give you energy in life. It’s simple, convenient, affordable and proven it works.
Thank you so much for sharing all of that. We covered a lot of ground. I feel it was productive. When they put these principles into practice, that’s what’s going to take back time. Thank you, Kelli, for being here and sharing your wisdom and all that you bring.
It is my pleasure, Penny. Thank you. If they want to find me in social media, it’s my name, Kelli Calabrese. My website is KelliCalabrese.com and my email is Kelli@KelliCalabrese. It’s easy to find me.
Thank you so much and thank you all because you are walking away with a lot of great insights and tips and things that you can put into place. It’s about believing in yourself and understanding that you have a choice in each of these areas that we talked about. Go and make good choices so that you can take back time. I’ll see you in the next episode.
- Kelli Calabrese
- Mom & Dadpreneurs
About Kelli Calabrese
As an entrepreneur, wellness expert, networker, speaker and #1 best selling author, Kelli has dedicated the past 32 years to helping people live vibrant, strong, energetic fulfilled years enjoying a lifestyle of optimal health and an abundance of wealth.
Kelli appeared as a lifestyle expert on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and in thousands of media outlets including Oxygen, Shape, Women’s Day, Health Living, Weight Watchers and more. She did a keynote presentation in place of Michelle Obama for Blue Cross & Blue Shield, was interviewed by NBC for the coach on the Biggest Loser, was the lead fitness expert for Montel Williams and have spoken on topics related to health, wealth and abundant living.
She is fully committed to helping people achieve their goals for weight loss/cleansing/ fat burning, energy, athletic performance and youthful aging. She is also committed to helping people get out of debt and into prosperity by personally partnering with those who have a burning desire to build residual income helping others get healthy.
As a coach, mentor, author, influencer, top achiever and wellness mompreneur, She is equipped to take you from where you are to where you want to be with your goals for your health and wealth.