By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Feeling tired, worn out, or simply having a bad day?
A visit to Kickin’ Nutrition might be just the break you need.
“People don’t realize, if they’re constantly getting colds or feeling run down, their body is crying out for nutrition,” said Kickin’ Nutrition co-owner Jane Speckel
Speckel and Anne Linden opened the nutrition club (located in the True Valu strip mall on Highway 12 in Delano) March 28, and so far, business is off to a “healthy” start.
People who step through the door are greeted by upbeat music, vibrant colors, and a warm “hello.”
The first thing a customer does is fill out a short order form while enjoying a clear aloe extract drink.
“It’s actually a first-aid kit for the inside of your body,” Linden said.
Next, the customer receives a hot or cold herbal tea, available in a variety of flavors.
“We call it our happy tea,” Linden said.
The next course is a smoothie that provides 24 grams of protein and all the vitamins and minerals needed for an entire meal. They come in 35 appetizing flavors such as “rocky road,” “pumpkin pie,” and “cookies n’ cream.”
“It tastes like a dessert,” Linden said. “It’s hard to believe it’s good for you.”
People who are trying to lose weight are often advised to substitute the smoothies for some of their meals, but the focus is more on overall cellular health, versus diet or weight loss.
The last treat customers receive is a wellness evaluation. They’ll fill out a questionnaire about lifestyle choices, goals, allergies, and other health information, and create a personalized nutrition program.
The evaluation includes nutritional counseling, weigh-ins (if desired), and personalized health guidance.
“It’s a way of really helping people,” Linden said. “We want to change the Delano/Wright County area, one person at a time.”
How it started
Three years ago, Linden’s daughter went to Los Angeles to become an actress, where she discovered a popular nutrition, weight-management, and personal care company.
For two months, Linden’s daughter encouraged her mom to try it out, but Linden was reluctant.
“I never thought I needed more nutrition,” Linden said.
Then, April Fools’ Day of 2008, Linden was in a severe auto accident resulting in multiple injuries such as cracked ribs, back problems, knee pain, and neck stiffness.
“I was really a mess,” she said.
So, when her daughter came home nine days later, Linden was ready to give the nutritional supplements a try.
“I doubled my energy,” Linden said. “You don’t know what you’re missing. The best part was, within 60 days, all my pain was gone.”
Now, Linden said the added nutrition helps her feel more vibrant throughout her day.
“I’m getting younger each year,” she said. “I’m 51, and I’m able to run five miles. That’s something I couldn’t do at age 16.”
In an effort to improve the health of others, Linden became an independent distributor of the products, and also began hosting weight-loss challenges.
“I got into a weight-loss challenge, and that’s how I met Anne,” Speckel said. “I learned better nutrition methods and how to eat healthier.”
As a result, Speckel has lost 30 pounds so far, and her weight is still going down.
A new Delano business
Last summer, Linden and Speckel started talking about opening a nutrition club together.
“We were looking for the right fit for our location, and we thought, why not do it in our hometown?” Speckel said.
The women had help renovating 1005 Crossings Drive, Suite 140 from Linden’s husband, Doug, who is a plumbing contractor, and Speckel’s husband, Mike, who is a carpenter.
Linden’s 14-year-old son, Zachary, is also involved in the business, serving customers at the shop.
Linden said it is great to have a central place to help people reach their health goals. She plans to have sampling days, happy hours, bingo games, speakers, and monthly customer appreciation dances.
Kickin’ Nutrition will also deliver shakes to sports teams, businesses, and other organizations.
The meal-replacement shakes at Kickin’ Nutrition can be a quick and convenient way for people to lose weight while consuming adequate nutrition.
Kickin’ Nutrition employee Sue Buelke of Montrose lost nearly 40 pounds, her husband lost 15 pounds, and their son, Jacob, lost nearly 50 pounds. The supplemental nutrition also cleared up Jacob’s acne, Buelke added.
Linden said she is excited to teach more people about healthy lifestyle choices.
“We want to brighten people’s spirits,” she said.
Kickin’ Nutrition is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and evenings and weekends by appointment. For more information, call (612) 242-7561.