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Matthew McConaughey Tells Teens: Just Keep Livin'

Actor and dad Matthew McConaughey helps at-risk youth get healthy and remembers his dad, who taught him to give back. Plus, his new movie, 'Magic Mike.'
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Matthew McConaughey: Giving Back continued...

He shows up for them, too, frequently surprising "his" kids at all 14 locations when he's not shooting a film. "He'll call me and say, 'I'm going to join the kids for a jog,'" says Shannon Rotenberg, the foundation's executive director. "He's there, working out with them, all the time."

McConaughey also talks and lives the importance of staying positive, which he says he learned from his hard-working parents. (Dad ran an oil pipe supply business; Mom was a substitute schoolteacher.) "One adage we grew up on was: 'You sound like the kid who's gripin' about not having any shoes. But what about the kid with no feet?' What do you say to that?"

Nutrition the J.K. Livin Way

The actor says such life lessons led to "not taking things for granted. I remind myself each day: This day wasn't guaranteed. You woke up. Your kids are healthy. Your woman's good. You got a house. You put meals on the table. I'm not saying I don't need to do more in life. I'm saying you better damn well be gratified, and if you don't shake hands and say thank you -- whether that's to yourself or to God -- it's really gonna stop the circulation and keep other good things from coming into your life."

Staying positive is one thing -- getting and staying healthy is another. Take food, for example. Dietitian Beller, nutritionist on NBC's The Biggest Loser and founder of L.A.'s Beller Nutrition Institute, provides monthly food tips for the j.k. livin program. She develops "budget-friendly, healthy recipes that kids can make at home and share with their families," she says.

"These kids simply need to be shown that a nutritional action plan is a reality for them," Beller says. "They don't see it working within their lives until you make concrete suggestions. I came up with one lesson called Making Fiber Your BFF. Instead of eating a blueberry muffin for breakfast -- which is basically eating cake, costs almost $3, and is roughly 500 calories -- I suggest steel-cut oatmeal. It costs 50 to 70 cents. Add an apple and some cinnamon, and you've got a delicious, nutritious meal that will fuel your morning. Even high-fiber cereal with some milk in a [to-go] cup works, if a kid is pressed for time. It's about making the right choices."

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