VEG OUT SA! City, Mayor’s Fitness Council Call on San Antonio to Veg Out!

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Fun New Campaign Entices Kids and Families to Eat More Veggies

by Deborah Charnes

I’ve been a vegetarian for four decades. I juice regularly, and I refrain from eating pretty much anything white, except for coconut, cauliflower and mushrooms. I drastically limit my carbs, fats and sugars. But even with all of that, I know that I could eat more vegetables.

Thanks to the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council, we’ll all soon have fun community reminders to eat more veggies. A new Veg Out SA! campaign, sponsored by BlueCross and BlueShield of Texas, with support from H-E-B, aims to make typically boring vegetables like kale, guacamole, broccoli and cauliflower F-U-N! (See examples on page 17.) Posters and promotional ads created for the campaign will soon scatter throughout the community, and each one includes nutritional and educational information about the vegetable depicted.

We All Need More

Why focus on eating more vegetables (and fruits)? For one, the Centers for Disease Control, in a 2012 survey, confirmed that San Antonians are not getting enough of nature’s best. More than one in four local residents reported consuming less than one serving of vegetables daily, and 64 percent of adults said they eat less than one serving of fruit each day.

Those statistics aren’t good. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, there is compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

“We’re fighting a host of diseases,” says Mayor Ivy Taylor. However, people can make a difference, “…by choosing to eat an apple a day – a smoothie, a salad – it’s easy and affordable,” she says.

Changing Habits

Most people understand that eating fresh fruits and veggies is important. Too often, though, it’s easy to swing by the drive-thru and order a burger or full meal deal, or just have a pizza delivered. The result is lots of carbs, sugars and salts and minimal nutrition.

There are lots of ways to make vegetables and fruits fun and tasty. The new Veg Out SA! campaign hopes to get kids and families talking and exploring different options. A great resource is the FitCitySA.com website, where you’ll find a variety of resources, like www.eatright.org, a wonderful website for both kids and parents that’s packed with nutritional information and recipes.

Resolve to eat better and improve your health – be sure to Veg Out! And encourage your friends and family members to do the same.

Deborah CharnesDeborah Charnes is a yoga therapist and offers workshops on blood sugar and weight management. For more information visit www.TheNamasteCounsel.com/ blog. The new Veg Out SA! posters and fliers can be downloaded for free at www.fitcitysa.com.

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