Viva Fresh Challenge – March 2021
As the Viva Fresh Expo date approaches, I reflect back on the journey and mental changes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I’ve been concerned with my weight, sedentary career, and limited regular exercise the past 15 years. My wife and I played soccer and stayed active with our sons for many years. As that time closed I added several unwanted pounds.
When invited to participate in the Viva Fresh Eating Challenge, sponsored by the Texas International Produce Association, I had new focus to improve my health. The Challenge seemed simple, choose fresh food options, drink more water, and add a little regular exercise.
Selecting fresh food options did not intend to restrict all “non-fresh” foods but strived to greatly reduce processed foods. Yes, fresh foods primarily focused on regional seasonal fruits and vegetables but could include international fresh seasonal produce, fresh frozen vegetables, meats and dairy products. Local farmer’s markets and global distribution makes it easy to find many great food options year round. I was able to buy cantaloupe, in December, grown in Central America. During the winter months I especially became partial to Texas Rio Grande Valley grapefruit.
Over the past 6 months I now find myself 25 pounds lighter and my doctor recently praised my improvement. Total Cholesterol is 115, the best in 20 years.
I’m especially grateful to TJ Flowers and Jen Velasquez for mentoring to our group by providing healthy tips, recipes, and workouts. It was great to hear and see the successes of my team members.
The Viva Fresh Challenge will always be on my mind and I plan to continue what we’ve started. Thanks again to TIPA for the great idea to offer the program.