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Local Business

A recipe for success – Sterling business owner has the ingredients for healthier living: food, fitness and you

STERLING – It takes three ingredients to whip up a healthier lifestyle: food, fitness and you.

And by no small coincidence, that’s also the name of a growing business that’s committed to giving customers that recipe for success.

Food Fitness You opened its doors in February 2017 and so far, business has been pretty healthy.

Owner Christine Interone-Cutter, 48, of Sterling has added new classes at the food and fitness shop, and she recently hired another trainer to keep up with the growing demand.

The approach sounds simple, but there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes.

First there’s the Food.

Interone-Cutter provides healthy, plant-based lunches, with ingredients prepared by herself and her son, Justin Cutter.

“We do plant-based meal prep here every Sunday,” she said.“We take registrations before Saturday, and lately, we’ve been having an average of 14 to 15 people,” she said. The ingredients are then gathered into containers by the clients, giving them five meals to take home.

“There’s no animal byproducts in the kitchen, not even honey,” Interone-Cutter said.

“It’s just a way to educate and teach people that you can eat vegetables,” she said. “The reason I don’t add meat is because you can add meat at home if you want. ... You can stir-fry your own meat at home and add it to any of the dishes."

Interone-Cutter said she took all of last year learning from people, their patterns and what they're looking for.

"Basically, I just found out that the general public is not getting enough vegetables or fruits – which we need," she said.

Then there’s the Fitness

“We have fitness classes every day of the week except for Friday evenings and weekends. I also do an online 21-day challenge every month where I give everyone ... a task or challenge on what to work on or try to influence more of, and I do a workout.”

She recently hired another trainer, Erica Meyer-Hanlon, to help her out. Doing more than a dozen classes a week – each with about 16 clients – was getting a little difficult, she said.

Classes range from beginners to more advanced, and all ages are welcome. Interone-Cutter said she has clients ranging in age from 35 to 73.

This month, she started a twice-a-week Young-At-Heart class for when the snowbirds come home.The class is "for the people who just want to keep moving, but not a strenuous workout,” she said.

Her classes offer a variety ofexercises. “We do boot camp, high-intensity training. I do a burst class that is close to high-intensity,” she said.

There’s also piloxing,a combination of pilates and boxing, and Meyer-Hanlon leads a pilates class.

Last, but not least, there’s You.

Interone-Cutter said one of the keys to customers’ success is their buy-in.

“It’s a lifestyle change because all three areas need consistent work, no matter what life throws at you,” she said.Her role is to try and not throw too much at her clients; she tries to make that lifestyle change easier.

With the meals, “I try to keep things simple,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be difficult, because I think that’s where a lot of people are challenged when it’s a little too hard, and it’s not actually," she said.

As for the fitness regimens, everyone is encouraged to proceed at their own pace.

“My fitness classes are small groups because I want to give them the personal touches,” Interone-Cutter said. “Nobody is in the back row, so if they need help on their technique or form, I’m right there."

The road to success wasn’t always smooth. In fact, getting her business open proved to be something of a workout in itself. Interone-Cutter had to get the building in shape before she could get her customers in shape.

“We opened this up in February and I got thrown every curveball possible last year, but we got through it,” she said. “And my ladies stayed with me, and I’m really thankful for them, so we kept on doing the challenges.”

“I was doing this at people’s houses at first – the health coaching part,” Interone-Cutter said. “And then we started having classes and my husband [Matt Cutter] started scouting around for places or property because we needed a little bit bigger space and … a kitchen … and he found this place.”

It was a mixed blessing.

“It was not a pretty place,” she said. “He showed it to me and I’m like, ‘Oh honey, wow, that’s a lot of work,' because it was literally a jungle – trees growing between the cement. You could barely see the building."

But the couple decided to take a look at it.

With the help ofbusiness partner Jim Loves, who uses the back of the building, they worked a miracle, which included pouring a new floor and renovating the building, and now they have a spacious location to suit all their needs.

But just like with the people who Interone-Cutter helps, the hard work was worth it, she said.

“That’s how it all got started here, and it’s been a fun venture to get it going."


Food Fitness You

1802 Griswold Ave., Sterling

815-605-1019 and on Facebook


Bronze: $55 monthly access to group sessions

Silver: $150 for 3 months, includes locker rental and access to group sessions

Gold: $210 for 3 months, includes locker rental, access to group sessions and 3 months of 21-Day Challenge

Platinum: $375 for 3 months includes 12 private sessions, 3 months of 21-Day Challenges, access to group sessions and locker rental

21-Day Challenge: $30 per month

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