About the Teaching Garden

Why did you become involved in the Teaching Garden?
I was invited by my friend Kelly Meyer. Anytime I have the opportunity to do something that is a natural fit that seems important I do it. The great thing about the Teaching Garden is there is a great long term plan and great partners like Growing Great involved to really help it have an impact. They have all really thought it out; the paying it forward and such. I always say my part is the easiest part; show up, jump around, and remind the kids to play, move, and have fun.

Did the kids seem interested in gardening? What was some of the feedback from the kids about gardening and eating healthy foods?
This goes back to something fundamental for us humans the process of growing food, trees etc. The children seemed to connect with it right away not to mention they get to play in dirt and shoot their friends with a hose. One important fact about this particular school is their entire school is concrete so for them to get to play in the earth has a little more significance to them.

What’s next for the Teaching Garden? Across the country? Reality TV show?
The goal for the teaching Garden communicated by Kelly is to get 1,000 of these in schools as quickly as they can. Peggy from Growing Great said “its crunch time and everyone needs to get involved,” it’s as simple as that. Let’s not get overwhelmed with the idea but take one step at a time. Let’s just do a little bit at a time. Another important message is that the learning goes from the kids back to the parents. The children can teach their parents what they have learned about nutrition and fitness and hopefully have an impact.

Do your kids like to garden and eat their veggies?
My kids get to live in Hawaii and CA, they play out in the dirt all the time. One of their favorite things to do each morning when we are in Hawaii is to pick fruit from the trees; lemons, avocados, papayas. My 2 year old likes lettuce and my 6 year old well it’s a constant negotiation, broccoli seems to be the winner so far.

After your appearance on The Biggest Loser beginning May 17th, you will be doing a 14 day ‘Take Control of Your Health Challenge.” Please tell us all about this.
The whole idea is to encourage people to set miny goals so they have a start point to be able to make lifestyle changes. The goals are short enough that they are achievable. It‘s not a challenge to have the goal be to lose 40 pounds but it it’s to encourage people to learn how to systematically change lifestyle habits. These challenges are defined opportunities to do that. We also have them working out 6 days a week and tell them what workouts to do to make the process easier. We are using my fitness system Train 360 which is not only meant to make you work but it’s also an educational tool to teach people how to exercise correctly through video demonstrations.