There's a new place in Shelton to stop for a pastry at breakfast or pizza for lunch—and you won't be eating 900 calories in one sitting.
Kim Benson has added an exciting new addition to her weight loss program; the Light Cafe recently opened at 405 Bridgeport Avenue (the former car dealership building next to WalMart) to further help clients dieting under her Xchange Plan and to introduce the general public to good eats made with less junk.
"We've seen the success rate with people really go through the roofs because you need the tools, and the food is the tools to weight loss," Bensen said.
The Weight Loss Center's Xchange Plan offers members unlimited meetings at any time of the week (they're even streamed live online if you can't be there in person!), motivational support and cooking demonstrations. A full-time chef and kitchen staff cook for the newly opened Kim’s Light Café, and there is even a kids program. Guests can purchase pre-packaged foods which are factored for a number of popular weight loss programs, including the old and new Weight Watchers systems.
"It's about so much more than the skinny jeans, although those are nice," Bensen said.
One of her clients, Donna Rees, has lost 108 pounds under the Xchange Plan. After a doctor suggested she start taking cholesterol and blood pressure medication, Rees got motivated to start taking control.
"It was a fear factor for me, I didn't want to be on medication," she said. "This is a complete lifestyle change. I used to be a coach potato and now I'm active every day."
Conveniently, Kim's Light Cafe shares space with also newly-opened HardKore Fitness, owned by professional athlete Lou Santella. The gym has the traditional treadmill and equipment, but they also have a 110’ x 60’ indoor turf where football teams practice and indoor soccer tournaments are held. There’s a rock-climbing wall and an 18-foot high cargo net which is used in not-so-traditional training sessions as well as the ‘biggest-loser style’ tire flipping, keg lifting and rope smacking. Zumba for all levels and spin classes are also quite popular and, to top it off, they host tumbling classes and MMA cage training and tournaments.
"We go well together, it's kind of hand-in-hand," Bensen said of the two businesses. "It's like a glorified support group when you come here."
Kim's Light Cafe is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. During their "Open House" period from now until January 5 guests can enjoy free samples, and anyone that signs up with the program will be given a free bag of bagels!
Editor's note: This article originally was published by Shelton Patch.