The First Lady is bringing balance to the White House in her new Let's Move initiative

By Alison Schwartz
Updated August 05, 2010 07:05 PM

If you’re ever lucky enough to be invited to an Obama family potluck, here’s one food you shouldn’t bring: beets.

“I am a believer that there is a beet gene,” Michelle Obama tells Ladies’ Home Journal in its September issue. “People who love beets love them and people who hate beets can’t stand them. Neither the President nor I have the beet gene.”

Other than that root veggie, fruits and vegetables are welcome. The First Lady is pushing for healthier eating habits nationwide – and she’s plugging away at her new nutrition initiative, Let’s Move.

“The overall message of Let’s Move is balance,” she says. “Do we have a vegetable on the plate? Have we incorporated fruit? What’s the portion size? Portion sizes have gotten out of control.”

Still, she’s not afraid to splurge once in a while – especially when it comes to dessert. “What is life without the things you love to eat? For me, it’s pie. So what I tell my girls is, ‘Treats are special,’ ” says the First Lady. “They’re not something you have every day.”

And she doesn’t just maintain her figure by watching her plate. Mrs. Obama wakes up at 4:30 most mornings to hit the gym.

“It makes you feel better about yourself,” she says. “I always think, ‘Don’t think about how you’re feeling during the workout. Think about an hour and a half from now, how good you’re going to feel the rest of the day.'”

Her latest health-conscious move? The First Lady recently went on a vegetable cleanse.

“The cleanses are good for a short period of time,” she says. “It isn’t a way of life because I like food too much. But it is good to break your mindset.”