Four Fresh Produce Professionals Participate in a Clean Eating Challenge with Best-Selling Author and Celebrity, Dr. Ian Smith, according to Viva Fresh Produce Expo

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Four Fresh Produce Professionals Participate in a Clean Eating Challenge with Best-Selling Author and Celebrity, Dr. Ian Smith, according to Viva Fresh Produce Expo Officials

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“As an advocate for clean eating with more plant-based foods, it’s exciting and personally satisfying to be able to work with these industry veterans who provide consumers across the country with healthy fruits and vegetables that are so badly needed to keep our country healthy," said Dr. Smith

New year, new us. That’s what four Texas fruits and vegetable professionals are saying these days, thanks in part to the guidance they’ve been getting from best-selling author, TV personality and physician Dr. Ian Smith. Dr. Smith is heading up the Clean Eating Challenge, a health and wellness campaign sponsored by Texas International Produce Association (TIPA)’s Viva Fresh.

The challenge, which started in November, will continue until the 2020 Viva Fresh Expo on April 30 through May 2 at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort in San Antonio and is sponsored by SunFed, Grow Farm Texas, Coast Tropical, Rio Fresh Inc. and J&D Produce. Dr. Smith will announce the results from the challenge during his keynote speech at the expo.

Health and wellness have been some of the main cornerstones of the Viva Fresh Expo, says Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO of TIPA. “There’s been a global rise in clean eating driving consumers from all age groups to embrace a plant-based diet. But growers are often removed from these trends. That’s why we’re excited about this challenge and intend to use the resulting insight to showcase how fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of an overall healthy diet.”    

So, what is this challenge that has helped four industry professionals lose an average of 24 pounds per person, and counting, in the last two months? Dr. Smith has tailored plans for and is closely monitoring each of them as they change their diets in an effort to create a healthier lifestyle – all based on the principles he teaches in his books, "Clean and Lean: 30 Days," "30 Foods, A New You!," "The Clean 20," and "Blast the Sugar Out," as well as the upcoming, "Mind Over Weight," due to be published in April 2020.

“I’m absolutely amazed by each participant’s commitment and dedication to this program,” stated best-selling author, TV personality and physician, Dr. Ian Smith whose been leading and coaching the group. “As an advocate for clean eating with more plant-based foods, it’s exciting and personally satisfying to be able to work with these industry veterans who provide consumers across the country with healthy fruits and vegetables that are so badly needed to keep our country healthy. Now these four produce professionals are getting a firsthand look at just how powerful fresh food can be!”

The journey to a healthier lifestyle is no easy task but Dr. Smith is helping participants see that it doesn’t have to be as painful as some might think – and his past experience makes him a credible authority. President Obama appointed Dr. Smith to two terms on the prestigious President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. He is currently the medical contributor and co-host of the nationally syndicated television show The Rachael Ray Show. He is a former co-host of the Emmy award-winning syndicated daytime talk show, The Doctors. He also served as the medical/diet expert for six seasons on VH1’s highly-rated Celebrity Fit Club and is the creator and founder of the national health initiatives: The 50 Million Pound Challenge and The Makeover Mile.

Inspired or curious to know more? You can read their testimonies below and follow their progress online by visiting the Viva Fresh website.

Participant Testimonies
“This has been a life-changing journey for me. Becoming a grandfather has inspired me to take my health and wellness seriously. I can’t tell you how much my energy level has changed and how well I’ve been feeling. The food has been satisfying and I’ve lost 24 pounds to date. My lipid panel has improved to the point of I was able to cut my cholesterol medication in half. I’m changing 59 years of bad habits and I’ve never felt better.” – Tommy Wilkins, Director of Sales for Grow Farms Texas

“I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, so I wanted a restart to be able to make healthier choices. Eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables has been really helping to keep my sugar levels stable. I haven’t had a sugar spike since I started the program which is amazing. Now, I’m more than halfway to reaching my goal of losing 40 pounds.” – Michelle Cortez, Sales Manager, Empacadora GAB – Mr. Lucky.

“I’ve battled weight my whole life so it’s time for me to get in control of how to fully live my life. I’m feeling better having a lot more energy especially at the end of the day and my mind is clearer. And I don’t feel like I’m starving. Traveling for work has its challenges but I’m happy to report that I’ve lost 25 pounds to date and am on my way to reaching my goals.” – Ed Bertaud, Director, Retail Sales-IFCO RPC North America.

“I joined the challenge because I felt out of step and a lot older than my 45 years. Now I’m walking eight to ten miles a day and am feeling healthy, strong and lighter. I’m eating healthier but I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing flavor with the use of fresh herbs, spices and fresh salsa. My balance is better, I’m down 24 pounds and am feeling great.” – Jed Murray, Partner, Tenaza Organics.

About the Viva Fresh Produce Expo
The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was established in 2015 by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) in order to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for its members while shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone for healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables available all year long. In just five years, the Viva Fresh Produce Expo has catered to sold out crowds and increased buyer attendance by over 110%.

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Jen Velasquez
Viva Fresh
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