Lettuce Live Well guides people toward healthy lifestyles by providing free nutritional and fitness education. Regardless of age or budget, anyone can make healthy improvements to their life and everyone should have the knowledge to do so.
In this charity spotlight, I spoke with the President of Lettuce Live Well, Kelly Zielinski.
Today, more than ever, people are constantly blasted with food marketing about what is and isn’t good for you. There are hundreds of fad diets to keep up with, all trying to generalize nutrition. There’s always a new study that seems to contradict some other study, make good foods like bad, or vice-versa. It’s enough to make a person’s head spin. Or just stop paying attention altogether.
In 2014, Kelly had been learning about nutrition. She was studying for the MCAT while working at the Care Free Clinic in Mason. Working with so many individuals, it became clear that people weren’t as educated about health as they could be. If she wanted to make a bigger impact on peoples’ health, it was clear to Kelly that she would have to provide better education at the very least.
After telling her friends, Ashley Corinne Logan and Denise Loveless, about her idea, the trio got to work founding Lettuce Live Well, a nonprofit dedicated to providing free food education.
Lettuce Live Well offers several ways to learn about food, the first being Grocery Store Tours. During the tour, participants learn how to read nutrition labels, compare unit prices, and purchase whole foods. When the tour is complete, students are challenged to shop for a meal for four that includes all five food groups while spending less than $10.
Lettuce also offers free, one-on-one nutritional coaching. Coaches encourage making small changes, usually by adding to a person’s existing diet instead of taking things away. The coaches also help incorporate the changes into work and travel schedules. Emotional support and encouragement are also provided.
Metro Lansing Loses a Million is another big program being lead by Lettuce Live Well. The site allows people to form peer groups and track their weight, physical activity, sleep, food, and more. The goal is to help Lansing residents lose a total of one million pounds together.
The group also has a Little Lettuce League that incorporates games, activities, kid-friendly recipes, and fitness components into a child’s lifestyle. Similarly, Lettuce also offers senior workshops where the focus shifts slightly toward cooking smaller portions of nutrient-dense foods, making tiny lifestyle adjustments, and improving mobility.
Lettuce Live Well has received overwhelming support from corporate sponsors and the Lansing community. Even the City of Lansing is on board! With a mission focusing on health—something everyone can benefit from—it really is important to have widespread support from the community.
The Metro Lansing Loses a Million program has also been immensely successful. It may have been started in 2015, but it already has over 3,000 members who have collectively lost over 13,000 pounds!
Kelly wants Lettuce Live Well to become the unbiased source of food education, not just in Lansing, but across the country. They are already spreading into Saginaw, Michigan and Denise, one of the original board members, is also starting a hub in Utah!
The organization is always striving for growth and support so they can continue to help more and more people.
Before you start a business, make sure you understand why a nonprofit is right for your vision. If you don’t want to put a price tag on the product or service you’re offering, you’re heading down the right path!
When you’re running a nonprofit, be passionate, be persistent, and be open to change. These are all invaluable qualities to ensure your success.
When you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, Kelly suggests trying something that you can’t find anywhere else. Really own what you do and no matter what role you’re filling, consider yourself a leader. Get your hands dirty, work with the public, and be persistent. Accept failure (it happens), learn from it, and always be trying new things.
If you want to learn more about Lettuce Live Well, you can reach them by clicking one of the buttons below.