Viva Fresh Expo Launches Clean Eating Challenge 2.0
MISSION, TX - The heat is on as the Texas International Produce Association's (TIPA) Viva Fresh Clean Eating Challenge 2.0 has kicked off and participants are working their way to a healthier lifestyle. Starting on October 1, contestants began their journey through the challenge, which will wrap up at the 2021 Viva Fresh Expos in Dallas, Texas, March 26–27, 2021.
“As a past participant, I am truly honored to help lead this great group of people looking to take charge of not just their weight but their overall health and wellness,” said Michelle Cortez, Chairwoman of the 2021 Clean Eating Challenge. “A year ago, as we were going through this challenge ourselves, we didn’t truly realize we were changing our lives for the better, day by day, pound by pound, inch by inch. I know I speak for all the mentors when I say this is what we want for this group, but this is also what we want for our entire industry as we learn to value the power of fresh produce to change our health.”
Last year, the event, which started as an educational and promotional opportunity, led to the success of all participants in ways that were never fathomed. According to a press release, the industry professionals guided by Dr. Ian Smith, best-selling author, TV personality, and physician, changed their diets and habits as they worked toward healthier lifestyles. The end result was that the group lost over 160 pounds combined, reduced cholesterol, regulated blood sugar, and some were even able to lower medication usage.
Participants last year included Ed Bertaud (IFCO), Michelle Cortez (River Fresh Farms), Jed Murray (Tenaza Organics), and Tommy Wilkins (Grow Farms Texas).
This year, those who saw such great success in the inaugural event have become mentors to the new contestants. In the second annual Clean Eating Challenge, 40 participants from across the industry have stepped up to make healthy changes. Those partaking in the challenge come from eight states and two Canadian provinces and range between 30 and 67, showing that it’s never too late to make a change or take on a new challenge.
Due to the large number of industry members participating, TIPA has recruited James Bassetti (Little Bear Produce) and TJ Flowers (Lone Star Citrus Growers) to lead two of the five groups taking part in the challenge.
To encourage accountability, shared experience, and provide moral support, 12 of the 40 industry members have volunteered to be Featured Participants, and share their progress through blogs and vlogs which can be found on the new Viva Fresh Clean Eating Challenge website.
Featured participants include:
- Ashley Porter, HEB
- Blake LaGrange, Val Verde Vegetable Co.
- Bret Erickson, Little Bear Produce
- Chris Diaz, Sunkist Growers
- Jen Velasquez, Full Tilt Marketing
- John Toner V, United Fresh Produce Association
- Kimberly Avendaño
- Lance A. Peterson, Super Starr International
- Marcia Green, AA Organic
- Roxanne Martinez, Frontera Produce
- Tim Hodges, Union Standard Insurance Group
- Amy Sowder, The Packer
As the challenge has already taken off, participants have reported over 300 pounds lost between all contestants in the first five weeks alone, showing that this year’s challenge has already yielded positive results. What other beneficial changes will come from this life-changing challenge? Keep reading AndNowUKnow as we continue to report on the latest.