One Healthy Educator

Introducing Tara Daniels, wonder woman with a brilliant way of combining her expertise in Early Childhood Education with her passion for fitness to create innovative strides (literally.) Read all about how Tara’s company Kiddie Fit is changing the world, one little classroom at a time!

image1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did ‘life as you know it’ come to be?

I am an East Quogue resident and a mother of a wonderful seven year old boy, Cooper. I’ve always had a passion for health and wellness. There is nothing more rewarding than a kick-ass workout and a happy, healthy child to come home to. Having worked in the early childhood field for 20 years, as a teacher, then working my way towards administrator, I always had a strong belief that the playground should be used as an extension of the classroom for physical fitness. My desire to incorporate this belief into the daycare/pre-k world was a challenge. I always went for a short run during my lunch break to clear my mind. Soon enough, others teachers wanted to join me, which prompted me to start a running clinic for teachers during lunch (we invested in lots of baby wipes and baby powder! 😉 It didn’t take long for my coworkers to realize how energized and alert they felt upon their return to the classroom. I then encouraged them to channel that exact feeling towards the children in their class, to have them move with a purpose. This paved the way for Kiddie Fit, which combines both of my passions – a true dream. I believe that introducing young children to various physical activities provides a foundation for them to identify activities that they can enjoy for a lifetime. My goal is to teach young children how much fun excercise can be and lead them to teach or encourage others to be physically active as well; it’s never too early to start living a healthy lifestyle!

image_22. What’s something you overcame in your life and how?

Wow, this one is hard to believe, but I overcame my fear of public speaking!  I have to say I took my father’s advice and whenever I needed to speak in front of a large group, I would start with a joke and picture everyone in their underwear! (Can I say that?) It really worked, and of course, finding my inner strength and confidence helped too! Although parent meetings was not the easiest thing to do, believing in myself caused that aha-moment. When you change your frame of mind and maintain the confidence, anything is possible!

3. What is your favorite food? recipe? workout? weekend activity?

I love, love fresh veggies and Ahi Tuna, but I will never pass on a corner slice of grandma pizza and a glass of red wine! I live for summer months when fresh fruit and veggies are right at our fingertips. My favorite refreshing recipe is watermelon, feta cheese, and fresh mint leaves. Being that I am a certified spin instructor, I will say spinning is my favorite workout. When I am not teaching Kiddie Fit or spin classes at Sportime, my weekends are spent with my son and my amazing boyfriend, Ryan. We bike ride, jog in the neighborhood, walk on the beach, collecting shell and beach glass, and any other fun idea a seven year-old boy may come up with! We even turned our house into an obstacle course during this crazy winter!!!

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Photo: Tara and her son, Cooper, and boyfriend, Ryan, enjoying a limo ride and beach walk on Christmas Eve thanks to Santa!

4. As a woman, business owner, mom, member of the Hamptons community, etc. how do you maintain balance in your life?

I believe that a balanced life is a healthy life. I like to keep an open mind with complete confidence. It is not as easy as it sounds; we all have those moments when life tries to drag you down. In those cases, I always make “me time” for self-reflection.

5. Any great healthy/balance tips for other busy women?

Find something that you enjoy doing, something that makes you say “wow, that was awesome!” Be active, be consistent, and most importantly, have fun with it! Taking time for yourself to pursue your passions, doing things you enjoy, and relaxing will make you happier and healthier!

6. What food items do you always have on hand?

The one food item I always have on hand are my Green Magic, Mamma Chia squeeze..This little pouch provides me with a refreshing little treat and are packed with essential Omega-3s, protein, and fiber. It’s a great way to kick start my work out!

7. What is your favorite indulgence?

My favorite indulgence, well…I have three. We already know about the corner slice of grandma pizza and red wine…my third is dark chocolate. While I would never deprive myself of these favorites, I know that moderation is key to maintaining a healthy diet.

8. How do you make health a priority in your home/life/family?

We’re a pretty active family. My son loves to watch me teach spin and cannot wait until he can take a class! Whether it’s Sportime, Kiddie Fit, or spin class, our bike rides, walks, or little jogs, exercise really is just a part of our everyday life. When it becomes routine, it becomes part of you and you don’t even have to think about it, just do it.

9. What is your FAVORITE thing about the Hamptons?

My favorite thing about living in the Hamptons is definitely the beaches! We really live in an area filled with such beauty – coastal living at its best! Each town has amazing restaurants and that small community vibe I love!

One Healthy Breakdown: Don’t look for happiness, create it! Life is full of choices, do what makes you happy!

*One Healthy Hamptons is proud to partner with KiddieFit for a pre-k program at Sportime this fall, we’ll keep you posted on details soon!

Healthy Communication

Communication is a skill we use every single day. Preparing for my upcoming wedding and attending Precana this past weekend has me thinking a lot about communication, arguably the number one most important factor in a relationship. To me, healthy communication is the ability to clearly express how we feel. While it sounds so easy, when emotions and different opinions are added into the mix, effective communication becomes quite challenging. I know I’ve gotten pretty darn good at the silent treatment, but it really doesn’t get me anywhere near a resolution…so, I’m committing to be less silent and more communicative. Who’s with me?!

Couple Holding Hands With the new season starting, it’s the perfect time to identify some personal goals and things to work on; communication is a great place to start. Whether you’ve been married for 50 years, you’re in a new relationship, or you just want to get along better with friends and family, communication is something we can all strengthen. Here are some tips on healthy communication and constructive arguments (adapted from A Decision to Love by John and Susan Midgley.)

1. Focus on you. We can’t change others, we can only change ourselves. Instead of “you always/never do this,” use “I wish you would/wouldn’t ___ because it makes me feel ____.

2. Focus on your feelings instead of what others are doing wrong. Feelings aren’t debatable, we all feel how we feel and have the right to express them. Understand that arguing should be an opportunity to share and validate your feelings, not to prove right vs. wrong.

3. Deep breaths. Take a breath and a moment to collect yourself in order to remain calm. As soon as we lose our cool and get heated, that’s when things turn for the worst and communication becomes unhealthy and ineffective.

4. Take turns. Instead of a screaming match where nothing is heard because you’re both going at it at once, allow each other to finish the thought and then respond. It’s much cleaner that way.

5. Maintain eye contact throughout the conversation. This will keep your attention and show respect. Looking at the person will also help to remind you that you’re upset about the disagreement, but that your feelings for the other person have not changed.

6. Keep it simple and focused. Argue about what you’re arguing about instead of bringing up past issues or other topics. Being direct can solve the problem at hand instead of leading into a blow-out fight where neither participant even knows why you’re fighting.

7. Remain respectful. Don’t bring up sensitive spots that don’t even relate just to knock the other person down. An argument can only be healthy when there’s a level of mutual respect. Cheap shots don’t get anyone anywhere.

8. Last but definitely not least: LISTEN. Yes, share your part, but really listen to what the other person has to say. They may just tell you something you didn’t know or change your perspective on the issue at hand. If nothing else, they deserve your attention when expressing their feelings and vice versa. Learning occurs through listening.

One Healthy Breakdown: Arguing is healthy, normal, and inevitable. We all do it. But is it constructive or destructive? Healthy or unhealthy?