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Michelle Weinstein

Healthy lifestyle inspires FITzee leader

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Whenever FITzee President Michelle Weinstein gets an idea, she jots it down on a notebook.

She will share goals with her team at the San Diego-based company, which specializes in fresh, ready-to-eat meals, and offers nutrition and fitness workshops to participants.

Weinstein said employees can even create FITzee dishes, as a way of teambuilding. "It's 'we,' not 'me,'" she added.

Weinstein said she consults with mentors. "I listen with two ears wide open," she said. "Good feedback and validation from (others) is a motivation."

It's interesting to hear from clients who offer ideas from a different perspective, Weinstein added.

FITzee's food items have won raves from notable names such as Will Venable, outfielder for the San Diego Padres; Gerald McCoy, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive tackle; and Brianna Glenn, a national champion track and field athlete.

Andrea Krakower, wellness manager for Scripps Health – which carries FITzee items for employees – describes Weinstein as a good person and an inspiration.

"She is driven and has a lot of integrity, which is a gift," Krakower said.

A Minnesota native who grew up in Phoenix and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree in finance, Weinstein worked as an analyst for three years, but realized that sitting in a cubicle was not her forte.

She also worked in the real estate business and at Nordstrom's, which bolstered her sales and customer service acumen.

A part-time fitness instructor, Weinstein started FITzee Foods in 2006, as an online delivery business.

The first store opened up last May in Liberty Station; its products will be sold in Whole Foods.

"Seventy to 80 percent of how you look and feel is based on nutrition," Weinstein said.

Weinstein said eating well has always been important to her – but not all the preparation and cooking.

Along with raising capital to take FITzee to the next level and starting a store, Weinstein said one of her other biggest challenges was finding the right team, and feels "like we have that now."

But, she added, those challenges were also the most rewarding.

Weinstein said providing an opportunity to employees "to create something new every day" motivates her.

"We're providing (products) that are good for you and change your life," Weinstein added. "People are coming to us because they're interested in healthy food that tastes good."

She and two other colleagues recently started the Live Well project, which concentrates on teaching young people physical fitness.

In her spare time, Weinstein enjoys watching NBA games and football, takes mini-vacations and tries to spend an hour or two working out.

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