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Transforming Nutrition and Lives: Karen Baumgartner of THRIVE Health and Wellness Club

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“Our next weight loss challenge starts February 1, 2015,” Karen shared. “These challenges are very popular, effective and looked forward to by our members. I personally love them because I see how it motivates people to reach their goal, especially after they’ve tried everything else. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment when I see a transformation from a size fourteen to a size four. Or helping someone lose more than 100 pounds and be able to enjoy life again.

Health and wellness are on the minds of everyone as the year begins anew and intentions affiliated with fresh New Year’s Resolutions begin. But Karen Baumgartner of THRIVE Health & Wellness of Lodi understands there’s more to healthy nutrition than making a few promises on paper.

Karen and her co-owner/partner Mike Butchko created the nutrition club in 2013 with a commitment to helping people pursue a healthy and active lifestyle. THRIVE’s nutritional products include weight-management programs, healthy meal replacements and nutrition coaching, and allow them to be a “nutrition club that works.” Their offerings also include healthy alternative products for energy, fitness supplements targeted at nutrition, and skin and hair products.

“We are a health and wellness club that offers the best nutrition and weight management products in the world,” Karen revealed. “We endeavor to help people get healthy, and our tagline is ‘Your nutrition is our mission!’ We not only show members how to lose weight fast, but also how to eat healthy, what nutrition is, what healthy foods are and how to make those food choices consistently. We also offer accountability coaching that helps clients learn to develop discipline about daily activities in order to keep them on track. We encourage our members to understand that their decision to work with us will be a long-term lifestyle change, not a short-term diet program.”

No stranger to weight loss struggles and success herself, Karen shared her own personal journey of weight loss and getting healthy. Being interested in living a healthy life was something she admitted to always having a passion for, but unfortunately didn’t always do. After spending years being unhappy and unhealthy, she decided it was time for a change. “I just remember a time years ago when I felt I was living what I called a ‘boxed life,’” she noted. “I lived in a house that was shaped like a box, and every day I would get into my box-shaped car and drive to my job in a building that was shaped like a box. I would then go to my box-shaped office and stare at a computer monitor that was shaped like a box. Then, at the end of the day, I would get into my box-shaped car and drive home to my box-shaped house where I would do it all over again the next day. I felt trapped, empty and unhealthy. I knew it was time to leave the ‘boxed life’ behind.

“I have always been interested in nutrition, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, and I knew that was what I wanted to pursue. I longed to build my own American dream and own it on my own terms. As my healthy journey began to unfold, I had many people come to me and ask for help with their diet and weight loss efforts. One of these people was my business partner and partner in life, Mike. I coached him to his own 100-pound weight loss success and after three years of helping others we decided to start THRIVE in November 2013. This business has been amazing for us and we’ve been thriving ever since.”

Karen revealed that a big part of their success has been the ability to offer “fast food for healthy people or a healthy meal for fast people.” The club’s three-part meal consists of everything members need to feel great along with being packed with the nutrition their body needs. The first ingredient in this healthy lifestyle formula is an Herbal Aloe drink that supports healthy digestive function by soothing the stomach and alleviating occasional indigestion. Also included is their signature Herbal Tea that allows users to feel reinvigorated, experience a natural energy lift and enjoy reduced fatigue affiliated with stress. A refreshing and energizing drink that is served hot or cold, Herbal Tea Concentrate comes in four delectable flavors including original, peach, lemon and raspberry. The final piece of the three-part puzzle is THRIVE’s Healthy Meal Replacement Smoothie. This smoothie is a complete meal replacement; all flavors are fewer than 250 calories, packed with 24 grams of protein, high fiber, 20 vitamins and minerals and deliciously low in sugar. THRIVE’s smoothies are available in forty different flavors to choose from, including crowd-pleasing flavors such as Cookie Dough, Chocolate Elvis, Salted Caramel Mocha and Blueberry Lemonade Cheesecake.

“People don’t realize that losing weight in a healthy way involves 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent physical movement and exercise,” Karen reported. “Our team teaches members about what nutrition really is. We don’t just hand people a meal program and tell them to go home and do it. We build relationships and work to teach proper nutrition, what foods to eat and not to eat, how to shop healthy, portion control, dining out tips and even healthy recipes. THRIVE’s goal is to help bring good health and wellness to everyone. We want people to get healthy for a lifetime, and to have fun doing it.”

To support and encourage their members, the first Saturday of every month is THRIVE’s fun and unique 5K event known as theWalk-n-Squat. This isn’t your ordinary 5K walk; participants are not only challenged to move but exercise, via a workout that is tailored to the experience level of participants. The club also offers a free “abs and booty” class every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.and periodic weight loss challenges that offer a first prize award of $500.

“Our next weight loss challenge starts February 1, 2015,” Karen shared. “These challenges are very popular, effective and looked forward to by our members. I personally love them because I see how it motivates people to reach their goal, especially after they’ve tried everything else. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment when I see a transformation from a size fourteen to a size four. Or helping someone lose more than 100 pounds and be able to enjoy life again.The best part of my job is that I get to help people change their lives and become happier with themselves. This change is not only physical but emotional and spiritual as well. We insist on taking before-and-after pictures during our client’s weight loss because it is so powerful for them to see how far they have come. It’s an amazing feeling to see a smile on a client’s face when they start seeing and feeling results!”

As a mother of a ten-year-old daughter and a baby due in April, Karen fully understands when members are hesitant to begin their new healthy lifestyle due to what they perceive is a lack of time. For those people, Karen says, “Remember to balance your life and never forget your ‘why.’ Don’t forget your reason for doing what you do. Never, EVER give up. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, but I will tell you it is definitely worth it!” Karen also reminds us of the words of motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “If you want to have more, you must become more. For things to change, you must change.”