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Glancer Magazine

COVER STORY | Marvelous Mom of Many: Cara Knutson of Downers Grove


DOWNERS GROVE–Cara’s passion for healthy living started in middle school during an aerobics unit in P.E. She lost a few pounds and felt amazing, and it ignited a drive to begin running after school which carried into high school and college. About 8 years ago, she began heavier weightlifting at Midwest Fit Club (MFC) which transformed her from skinny into a stronger, athletic build. Her routine now consists of walk and talk therapy with friends and attending classes at Orange Theory twice a week, weightlifting at MFC once a week, and yoga at Power Yoga on Main in Downers Grove.

As an elementary music teacher and the mother of three active kids, Mia (20), Josh (17), and Max (14) who is currently seeking an Assistant Principal role, Cara is a big believer in organization and time management.

“I plan my family meals out for the week over the weekend,” she says. “I look at the weather, what is on sale, what food we have at home, everyone’s schedule, and plan accordingly. This really helps the week run smoothly for everyone! Other tricks of the trade: making double of everything as teenage boys will eat you out of house and home, making a favorite dish of one child with a favorite side of another, keeping items separate and letting kids add what they want.”

Healthy dinner favorites include grilled veggie kabobs with chicken, steak, or shrimp added; and staple go-to healthy snacks consist of string cheese, cashews, Pure Protein bars, apples with peanut butter, and Greek Yogurt.

When the kids seem cranky, she is known for her most famous saying “Have you had any protein today?”

Food aside, as a family they enjoy walking the dog, going to the driving range, biking in Denburn Woods and enjoying eating out at Egg Harbor in Downers Grove.

Cara lives by the words of Jim Rohn, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.”