Dara Barrera, 42, of DeWitt, works for the Michigan State Medical Society, is an AdvoCare Independent Distributor, and manages a Living Healthy Facebook page.
“I started my Living Healthy page because so many of my friends wanted to know what I was making for the week when I meal prep,” she said. “I know that a lot of people really want to be healthy and eat well, but just don’t know where to start. I have found that by sharing recipe ideas, healthy tips, menus, and encouragement I not only keep myself accountable but have helped many others, as well.”
Barrera is a Type 1 Diabetic, something she doesn’t allow to slow her down, but that she must be very aware of at all times. She said there is no cure, and that diabetes is a dangerous disease to live with if not managed properly. “You have to always be conscious of what you eat, how much you are moving, and how you feel,” she said. It can be exhausting and very frustrating.
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“You could eat the same thing and do the same workout every day, but not have the same control. If my blood sugar drops during a workout, I have to stop and have some emergency sugar. I really pay attention to what my body is telling me and do my best to take care of myself. That is the best gift I can give my family: taking care of myself and living a long, healthy, complication-free life.”
Barrera is very active, too. She said she likes High-Intensity Interval Training workouts, walking, running, weightlifting and other activities.
“For many years, while my kids were young, and my husband was at the fire station, I worked out in my basement with DVDs, hand weights, and resistance bands,” she said. “I enjoy working out. I believe that if you find something you enjoy, it isn’t a battle to do it. I know that when I am on a regular workout schedule, I not only feel the difference, but my blood sugar control is better, as well.”
She said her diet is a balanced low carb diet, allowing for an occasional treat. “As a meal prepper, I enjoy taking favorite recipes and finding healthier ways to make them,” she said. “There are many ways to swap out one ingredient for another and make it delicious!”
She has a lot of advice for those looking to live a healthy lifestyle. “Build a routine you can live with and manage with your lifestyle,” she said. “When meal planning and prepping, pick one meal you struggle with and prepare for that! Add in an exercise where you can. Find someone who can help you. If you fall off the wagon, get back up and keep going: you have not ruined anything that can’t be achieved again.”