The Coca-Cola Balanced Living Workshop in Chicago Next Week

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

As a child, it was a reward to go with my mom to The Multiplex to workout. I loved the energy and noise in the active gym. Even though it was the 80s, I'm not sure if it was normal to have a Jazzercise aerobics birthday party when I was ten. Health and wellness has always been a part of my life. At every age and stage of my life, it is clear to me how much better I feel physically, mentally and emotionally, when I am taking care of my body through different forms of exercise and diets.

During the past few months since my multiple sclerosis diagnosis, I have had to limit the intensity of my workouts, yet, have become much more interested in the food we put into our bodies. After learning I am allergic to dairy, I have noticed the effects dairy has on me and the rest of my family - specifically, my daughter. My 4-year-old has had problems with dairy from day one, which is a major problem because the girl wants to eat mac and cheese three meals a day, every day. As my eating is changing to try to repair the myelin that has been damaged in my brain and on my spinal cord, by default, my family is forced to eat more of what I eat.

This is why when I was invited to attend the Coca-Cola Balanced Living Workshop, I knew I had to go. I am very interested in creating a healthy living environment for my family and myself. I strive to do my best to shield my children from seeing me sick, as well as prevent them from any health issues while they age. Although I have never been much of a soda drinker, my husband and parents enjoy an occasional (or maybe daily) Coke or Diet Coke. I'm looking forward to learning the things Coca-Cola is doing to make Chicago a healthier, more sustainable city. It will be a luxury to shop with registered dietitians to learn more about family nutrition, one-on-one consultation sessions, receiving customized wellness plans and participating in a family-friendly fitness session, while learning practical ways to incorporate fitness at home.

I am most excited about an interactive cooking demonstration with professional chefs. I can't wait to share all of my learnings with you, and let's hope all of our futures are filled with health.

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