By Alison Kanaby
Looking to make major changes in nutrition and exercise in your life? Then I have two words for you: FIT FARM! This is a life-changing place to help transform anyone- from the person who has no gym experience, to NFL players looking to be stronger both mentally, physically and nutritionally! This picturesque farm is a place where you learn more about your body than you ever have before- including your metabolic rate, eating healthy, how to translate that into the real world when you leave and the importance of food as an energy source rather than something that we take in just for pleasure. I was able to spend several hours at the farm with Owner Kris Intress and General Manager Tari Barker.
I started by asking Kris what made her decide to start Fit Farm. “We all have moments in our life that makes us wonder- are we just going through the movements or are we alive? When my mother, my best friend, passed, I had to ask this hard question of myself. I resigned as CEO of a public company and looked in the mirror. How do I reset my life and challenge who and what I want in the future? How could I help others who knew it was time to come alive? Fit Farm is the paradigm shift, created to do just that for everyone, to reflect and take back control of their lives.”
Fit Farm offers several different programs: one or more weeks living at the farm, Weekend Warrior (Thursday through Sunday), and even Saturday programs- which is a great way to try the program out. There are multiple levels of intensity- from complete beginners to athletes who are ready to take their fitness to the next level and everything in between. One of the biggest things that you learn from the program is that it is a combination of both mental, physical and nutritional health that compound to make you the healthiest version of you possible.
During the course of your stay at Fit Farm, you will attend classes on nutrition. It includes information that you will be able to use in your day-to-day life. You’ll also attend fitness classes that are taught by incredible trainers. The first step of the process is to find out your RMR (resting metabolic rate)- which then helps determine the amount of calories that you will take in daily. This is different for every person. They have chefs on staff who prepare a variety of meals (three a day) on a fourteen-day rotation for you, along with two snacks a day. They accommodate almost any diet to include the average American diet, vegetarian and gluten-free! There are even trips to the supermarket to help you learn how to navigate them after you leave the farm to be able to continue to make healthy choices. These classes and trips off the farm also help to teach parents how to reflect their healthy living and activities to their children when they leave. Teaching our future generation is of the utmost importance and something that Kris strives for. We need to continue to pave the road for our future by showing them how to be active, stay active and make healthy food choices.
Not only is Fit Farm for the individual, but they host corporate events as well. It’s incredible to be able to do team-building events at such a beautiful place. There is a yoga platform, a permanent obstacle course, conference rooms and areas for snacks to be set up. By taking your team members here, you will be able to create more of a sense of community between them in the classes offered by Fit Farm and still have the ability to get work done.
It is so hard to describe the passion and encouragement that all of the people at Fit Farm have to make their residents succeed in their journey. Everyone comes there with a different story, yet everyone is made to feel welcome. Getting through the “why” is one of the most important first steps when you are starting your journey at Fit Farm. This is a life choice; a choice to change our lives for the better. Some residents are there for four days, some for four weeks or more. The housing that is offered includes single rooms, a room with a double bed and then a shared room. And in each housing area there is a common room with washer/dryer, TV, couch and comfort items to make you feel at home.
During my visit, I got to hear Tari Barker’s story of joining Fit Farm. She currently works at Fit Farm as the general manager but spent two weeks going through the program before she even considered becoming an employee. After her stay at Fit Farm, Kris and Tari realized that Tari needed to be part of the Fit Farm family. All employees at the farm are required to attend at least one week of training through the program so that they understand the ins and outs required of the residents. “The most rewarding job I’ve ever had is being a mom and a wife,” shared Tari. “But at one point, when I looked in the mirror, I saw a different person than I wanted to be. I had lost myself and needed more so I could be the mom I felt my family deserved. Deciding to go to Fit Farm was exactly the jump start I needed to be a better version of myself- both emotionally and physically. Now, our family time is so different! We have family challenges to see who can run farther, do more burpees and hold the longest plank (P.S. - I’m still chasing them but catching up fast).”
I was lucky enough to engage in one class while I visited. It was called “Core and More.” Well, I’m going to tell you a little secret: the “more” is cardio! The class was incredible. The trainer was so supportive to everyone, encouraging everyone to keep going. Even the participants in the class were encouraging one another! We had a ladder of activities to perform- repeating the activities a set number of times, increasing in number and then down again. The class had music pumping and everyone was sweating, getting in a great workout! I only spent one hour there; can you imagine the energy level that exists all day long?
I left the farm feeling invigorated and wanted to continue my journey of fitness and eating healthy. It’s hard to describe the beauty of the farm. You truly need to experience it yourself. You can feel the passion of everyone that works there and their drive to help you accomplish your goals to help you succeed! In the dining room, there is even a stone wall where you can find slips of paper sticking out. Everyone that goes through the program writes an encouraging word or sentence to future residents who will attend the program. Fit Farm shows you how to combine fitness and nutrition and how to continue to use them in our everyday world. Life can be crazy, but with the knowledge that you learn at Fit Farm, you will be empowered to live your best and healthiest life for YOU!