Meet the Live Healthy Iowa Wellness Challenge Bloggers (Part 1)

By Michelle Chalkey

The Live Healthy Iowa 10-Week Wellness Challenge is well underway, and the motivation for a healthier lifestyle is strong among the competition! The Iowa Food & Family Project has teamed up with a group of Iowans who love a challenge and love writing about it. From family-farm living to grocery list planning, the Food, Family and Fitness team of Iowa bloggers has plenty of insights to share about their experiences in this year’s wellness challenge!

When making healthy lifestyle changes, every bit of support helps. Take some tips from the bloggers as they share their triumphs and struggles in their wellness journeys. Follow along for strategies to overcome common struggles, plan healthier meals and move more, and check out their recipes for some tasty ways to incorporate Iowa’s homegrown food into your healthy lifestyle.

Meet the 2017 Team Members for the Live Healthy Iowa 10-Week Wellness Challenge

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Kelli Kennon-Lane

Blog: The Sustainable Couple

Kelli and her husband John are an Iowa born-and-raised couple focused on developing a thriving urban farm. Their blog contains a recipe index full of meals they have made from foods grown right in their front and backyard. The Sustainable Couple totes healthy eating on a budget and the importance of meal planning. For a good heart-healthy meal, try these Feta Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Mushrooms and Onions.

Did you know? Just 3 ounces of beef provides 10 essential nutrients including protein, iron, zinc and Vitamin B12!

Katy Flint

Blog: Learning As I Go

Katy shares simple, realistic tips for achieving your wellness goals on Learning As I Go. She admits to struggling with healthy eating with the luring temptation of winter’s comfort foods, but this Beef and Barley Soup is proving to be a healthy solution. Katy loves finding ways to up her activity level. Learn how she’s getting her activity minutes in and how meal planning is helping her achieve her nutrition goals.

Alison Rost

Blog: Veggies by Candlelight

Alison has created a series of posts dedicated to her journey through the Live Healthy Iowa challenge, detailing the obstacles in her way along with her favorite workouts. Veggies by Candlelight is full of healthy lifestyle optimization strategies, like ways to add flavor to recipes and apps for tracking meals, workouts and healthy habits. Alison says Greek yogurt is always in her grocery cart. The healthy dairy product finds its way into many of her recipes, like these Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pancakes, which are pictured below.

Did you know? Yogurt provides nine essential nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D, B5 and B12, riboflavin and niacin.

Shari Hagen

Blog: Inked and Educated Mom

“Being tattooed, educating on everything health and wellness, and living everyday life is the motto behind Shari’s lifestyle blog. Shari incorporates health and wellness into her life as much as possible and helps to educate others on how to do the same. For a quick and easy recipe packed with protein and vital nutrients, try out Shari’s Instant Pot-Beef Stew.

Mary Lovstad

Blog: Farm Girl Cook’n

With a love for food, cooking and collecting cookbooks, Mary has always lived by the farm-to-table style of cooking. Along with recipes and resources for homegrown foods, Mary provides honest reflections of her experience in the wellness challenge. She has made specific exercise goals and has found the benefit it partnering up to keep herself accountable. While the mid-afternoon hunger craving has been an obstacle, Mary focuses on recognizing her good efforts rather than feeling guilty. For a delicious meal to perk up those winter blues, try this recipe for Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar Chicken Salad (pictured).

You don’t have to go it alone on your path to wellness. Whether you want to learn more ways to incorporate Iowa’s nutritious homegrown food into your diet or you’re looking for more tips to stay active, keep up with the Iowa bloggers and learn what’s working for them. Lean on their unique experiences and recipes for extra support in your journey.

The Iowa Food & Family Project is a proud sponsor of Live Healthy Iowa. Live Healthy Iowa brings together friends, families, businesses and communities in team-based wellness challenges designed to promote positive lifestyle change. These challenges are proven to change the culture of a company or community, one team at a time! Learn more at