As founder and CEO of popular protein and fiber bar brand, thinkThin, and host of Yahoo’s new radio show, Entrepreneur Rockstars, you might think that preparing healthy family dinners falls low on Lizanne Falsetto’s busy to-do list. But, that’s far from true. Here, the Italian-raised single mother-of-two shares her secrets for setting aside time for family, fitness and nutritious food, all while pursuing your personal and professional goals.
Can you tell me a little about your background and why you started thinkThin?
I started off modeling in Tokyo and traveled for about 15 years. I started to notice how hard it was to find heathy food to eat on the go. So I took my grandmothers’ cookie and peanut butter brownie recipes and started pulling out the sugar and gluten. I would take them to all the modeling gigs, and soon all the models were asking me to bring more! When I found that I was cooking more than anything else, I thought, maybe there’s something to this. Eventually, I presented my products to Trader Joes, and they actually took it! It was the only bar on the market that had no sugar but high protein.
Talk to me a little about how you balance your social life, work and fitness schedule all while maintaining your diet. Because it is difficult!
(Laughs). I’m only laughing because we get so creative here. We just moved into a new complex and we got some yoga balls for the employees to use as seats, just so they can incorporate balance and fitness into their day. Try it at your office: you won’t believe how hard it is on your stomach muscles!
Most importantly, keep in mind how you’re fueling your body. Women often don’t realize how important protein really is for how they feel. Since our brand’s mission is to empower women, all our products have high protein – 20 grams or 10 or more – and we also add fiber. It’s a blend that caters to the positive thinking.
And how do you balance work and family?
Balance is about mind and body. It’s not just about one or the other – it’s the combination of both. I would say the most important thing is to be aware of when you’re out of balance: physically and mentally. Pay attention to it. Acknowledge it. Then you can improve it.
It’s really hard! I have a 15-year-old daughter and a son who is 11, and I honestly don’t think there is a special ingredient to keep a work-life balance. I balance my time by making sure that when the kids come home from school, I have that hour to sit down and have a snack with them. All I’m doing then is focusing on them. Then they go and do homework until dinner. Dinner is really important to us – it always has been in my life – so I always make sure we sit down to dinner every night.
What are some ideas for a no-cook or easy-to-cook meal for working moms?
Oh there are so many great recipes. I do a lot of chicken, and a lot of things in the crock pot. Put in some chicken breasts, throw in some tomato sauce, let it cook for the day and you come home and serve it over rice or quinoa pasta for a protein-packed meal.
When I go out for groceries, one thing I try to do is stay to the perimeter of the store where all the fruits, vegetables, meats and diary are. What other tips
can you give us for navigating grocery stores?
Definitely go to the produce first because it sets you on a healthy path for the rest of the trip. I fill half my cart with fruits and vegetables. I like to go to a butcher for most of my meats, but there’s great ways of incorporating things like sliced roast beef, which I sometimes put on top of an arugula salad for something quick with a little oil and vinegar (I’m an oil fanatic!). Then you stay away from so much of the packaged food. I love to dig into labels, and there’s so much at a natural health food store that you can do that’s different from a conventional grocery.
So what’s up next for you?
I’m expanding my focus now with my new website (lizannefalsetto.com) which has great recipes, brand discounts, 10-minute workouts and other wellness tips that you can incorporate into your life. My ultimate goal in ten years is to raise enough money to build a wellness hospital. That’s what I hope my legacy will be –
the second legacy of my life!
Find more great recipes and tips for an active lifestyle at lizannefalsetto.com.