It's time to get Amped Up about better nutrition and healthier lifestyles with a Macon woman affectionately called "the Salad Queen."
Marvin James explains why she took a big risk opening a restaurant in an East Macon neighborhood known for soul food, not health food.
"I didn't have a doubt in my mind. A lot of people told me, 'You're not going to make it a year, you're not going to make it in this area,' but I've proved them wrong," says Williams.
That was nearly two years ago, and Tasha Williams is still going.
Her idea, Salads 2 Go, challenged the traditional definition of "fast food" in an area of Macon that doesn't offer many healthy options.
"You don't want to pay $6- $7 for a salad, but I don't get it, to save your life?," Williams says.
Just a few months before the woman known as the Salad Queen decided to open for business, confirmation of the need for healthy living came to her twofold.
Williams lost her mother to heart disease as she herself recovered from a stroke.
She finally had enough.
"Since I opened up back in November 2014, I've lost 38 pounds just from eating better, you know. Sunday is my cheat day. I eat whatever I want to eat on Sunday, but during the week, I eat in moderation," Williams says.
Williams' quest for a healthier lifestyle extends to her customers.
Brenda Sutton lost 60 pounds after gastric sleeve surgery. She struggles with training her mind to eat healthier, but says options like these in her neighborhood help.
Sutton says, 'So I looked forward to go to different places to have different fried foods, and eat things that were bad for you, but I don't have to do that. I can come over here and get something quick that sustains me, and healthy."
Williams says, "It's very hard, especially when you grew up that's all you know. My mom seasoned everything with pork, even a can of corn. Then I followed her steps and I was doing the same thing."
Williams serves customers the salads with a side of advice, encouraging them to exercise, too.
One healthy plate at a time, she believes she's creating a change.
"At first, it was just ladies coming in getting salads, but now it's more men and it's like half and half. They want to live. I don't think it's a fad. I think it's a smart investment, getting healthy," says Williams.
The Salad Queen plans to expand, but will always keep her roots in east Macon.
She's says it's not the usual kind of "green" calling into growing, it's the knowledge of what a bowl of greens can do for the body.
The Salad Queen says that expansion is in the works as she scouts out a second location.
She also says she continuously updates her menu with a variety of different greens and vegetables so she keeps on encouraging herself and customers to keep trying new things.
November marks her second anniversary.