Viva Fresh's Clean Eating Challenge Participants Reveal Results
MISSION, TX - With a bunch as passionate, hard-working, and resilient as Tommy Wilkins, Ed Bertaud, Michelle Cortez, and Jed Murray, it’s no surprise that the first-ever Viva Fresh Clean Eating Challenge went off without a hitch, and with positive results to boot. This year’s four participants achieved a cumulative 160 pounds of weight lost over six months, which the four celebrated at the Viva Fresh Clean Eating Challenge Reveal, presented by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA), on May 20.
“Our Viva Fresh committee established a clear goal in terms of highlighting the health benefits of fruits and vegetables since day one, and this challenge put those ideas into action,” said Dante Galeazzi, CEO of TIPA. “I can’t wait for Viva Fresh 2021 in Dallas next March, and to see a room full of industry members who have committed to changing their health and lives with this challenge.”
145 registered attendees and produce pals tuned into the live event to celebrate with the participants. During the 60-minute event, best-selling author and TV host Dr. Ian Smith chatted with each participant to highlight their goals and challenges and hear the stories that accompanied their before-and-after pictures, health stats, and more. This included the following successes:
- Grow Farms Texas’ Tommy Wilkins – 28 lbs lost; reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure medications
- IFCO’s Ed Bertaud – 44 lbs lost, increased energy, and improved sleep
- Mr. Lucky’s Michelle Cortez – 53 lbs lost, blood sugar stable, and off diabetic medications
- Tenaza Organics’ Jed Murray – 36 lbs and 12 inches lost; decreases in cholesterol and blood pressure
“This challenge was life changing for me and I did not know how good I could feel…I don’t want to change what I’m doing, I want to keep going. I haven’t felt this good in decades,” shared Bertaud.
Following the event, Kim Flores, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Pro Citrus Network, remarked in a press release on the participants’ accomplishments.
“So many of us, myself included, can identify with the struggles of managing our health as life and stress take center stage, but I was impressed by these participants’ personal and honest stories about hard work and the obstacles they overcame to achieve impressive results. These participants and TIPA should be congratulated for creating this challenge and finding a genuine and effective way to show us all we can do a better job of putting our words into action by practicing what we preach,” she said.
But this was not just a show and tell event. Throughout the event, attendees were able to submit questions for the participants and Dr. Smith.
Attendees also engaged in online polling that asked about fruit and vegetable consumption, challenges to eating healthy, and reasons to make health changes.
“I made the change to more plant-based eating several years ago, so I know firsthand about the power that fruits and vegetables have to change lives and these participants just reinforced that,” event moderator and President and CEO of SunFed, Craig Slate, added in light of the event. “The online event polls provided a powerful snapshot of where our industry members are falling short in consumption with over 35 percent of individuals reporting less than 1-3 servings of fruits and vegetables per day and barely 10 percent of those polled are consuming more than 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables per day. If these are the results in our own industry, we have a long ways to go to improve our consumption and challenge our own behaviors before we can expect consumers to change.”
And this won't be the last time you hear about the Clean Eating Challenge. For industry members who are inspired by this year's success, there will be an opportunity for everyone to get involved and start “walking the talk” with a new challenge in the works. Although the details have not been finalized, those interested in learning more or even following the journey of new participants can click here and sign up for more information.
For industry members who missed the live event, visit the TIPA Facebook page and watch a replay of the live-streamed event.
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