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Viva Fresh Wellness Reveal a success

vivafreshWhen the Viva Fresh Expo was launched in 2015 by the Texas International Produce Association, one of the objectives of event organizers was to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.

One aspect of that work came clearly to the fore on May 20, when Viva Fresh presented the “Clean Eating Challenge Wellness Reveal.” Craig Slate, the chairman of the Texas association, moderated the event, which was shared through Zoom and Facebook.Ed-Bertaud-IFCOTexas-based Ed Bertaud of Retail IFCO RPC North America, lost 34 pounds in the Viva Fresh Clean Eating Challenge.

This celebration was originally scheduled to take place in early May at the Viva Fresh Expo in San Antonio. That event was canceled due to Coronavirus concerns. It will be held again in Dallas, March 25-27, 2021.

Groundwork for the Clean Eating Challenge was laid in 2019, with four Texas produce industry members committing to lose weight and improve their health through a program outlined by Dr. Ian Smith, who is a doctor and health author. The centerpiece of the challenge was Smith’s book, “Clean and Lean.”Michelle-Cortez-Mr-LuckyMichelle Cortez a saleswoman for Empacadora GAB - Mr. Lucky – in Pharr, TX, lost more than 50 pounds since joining the Viva Fresh Clean Eating Challenge last November.

The quartet of challengers were Tommy Wilkins, director of sales and marketing for Grow Farms Texas, Michelle Cortez of Empacadora GAB - Mr. Lucky, Ed Bertaud of IFCO RPC North America and Jed Murray of Tenaza Organics.

Wilkins said his motivation to become healthier was motivated in large part by becoming a first time grandfather. He wanted to live to see the grandson grow up. He also wanted to move away from many prescription drugs related to being overweight. He noted he has a great deal more energy since his weight dropped from 263 last November to 235 now. His cholesterol meds have been reduced. His blood pressure medicine, and another medicine, have been cut in half.Tommy-WilkinsPhotos from the May 20 “Clean Eating Challenge Wellness Reveal” show Tommy Wilkins with his new grandson on Oct. 3, 2019, and again this May. The grandson grew but Wilkins dropped 28 pounds and a lot of prescription medicines.

Cortez said she learned she was diabetic only after she joined the Viva Fresh Challenge. After losing more than 50 pounds since November, now her blood sugar is stable, and she is off diabetes meds. She walks between 10,000 and 12,000 steps a day and exercises between 30 and 60 minutes a day.

Bertaud dropped from 245 to 201 in six months. His pant size dropped from 38 to 34. And his shirt size went from XXL to L. He averages walking 12,035 steps a day.

Murray, who was unavailable for the Viva Fresh broadcast, dropped almost 40 pounds, including five inches on his waist size.

Viva Fresh has invited others to join the Clean Eating Challenge Part 2

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