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20140103 HEB Marcie-Perez AF  5489SHARYLAND—A healthy lifestyle is the New Year’s resolution on most people’s list for 2014, but getting started on a new diet is usually the hardest step.

Across the Rio Grande Valley, H-E-B stores are hoping to make the first few days of the year more accessible to healthy decisions and products in a lower price range.

Marcie Perez, registered dietician for H-E-B, explained between Jan. 1-14 stores would be holding the Start Fresh Fest. Sample stations were set up across the store located on 2409 E Expressway 83, offering customers healthier options for their diet.

Some of the options include new products from H-E-B that are easier on a customer’s piggybank as opposed to pricier healthy items. The store now carries it’s own Greek yogurt, cold soups in four flavors and a new chocolate flavor was added to the store’s brand of milk, Mootopia.

“McAllen is at the top of a list, with nearly 40 percent of adults coming in in the obese range,” Perez said. “In addition, we have one of the highest prevalence rates for diabetes and other chronic diseases. While a lot of that is negative, the plus side is a lot of this can be managed or reversed with proper nutrition.”

Slim Down Showdown Challenge is another program offered by H-E-B where 30 Texans from all over the state participate in a 10-week challenge to get fit. Now customers will be able to access recipes, workouts, summaries, cooking videos and a mobile weight tracker that were created for the competitors on the H-E-B website.

Tips for work out beginners is creating a walking program to build endurance; the program gives timely increments for warming up, fast walking and a cool down. Beginners are also encouraged to make a plan for physical activities, keeping exercises fun and challenging to keep interest peaked.

Perez added the company cares about its customers and would like to showcase their healthy items that are available year round.

“For the two week fest we are going to sampling healthy recipes and food items…we are also going to have a promotion on our healthy living section,” Perez said. “Things like our protein powders, meal replacement shakes and supplements will be 20 percent off from Jan. 11-12.”

Pico de gallo is a favorite dip to community members of the Rio Grande Valley, the website includes a healthy recipe for Nopalito Pico de Gallo. The ingredients include: nopales, onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, a poblano pepper, cilantro, tomato and lime. The ten minute recipe makes eight servings at 25 calories apiece.

The stores will be coming out with their own line of organic foods, which allows customers to purchase the items at a more affordable H-E-B brand price. Perez met with customers to discuss proper eating habits, she spoke with Juanita Guerra who said sometimes it is hard to find healthy foods her children can enjoy.

“We try to overall have a healthy lifestyle…as my children grow it will be very important to them,” Guerra said. “ A healthy diet is important, it offers a better quality of life and people are less likely to want to sit down but be more active.”

Perez said she hopes to instill positive habits in her young children, so they can make better food decisions when they are adults.

Parents and children can also visit their local H-E-B for the promotions on multiple items as well as participate at in-store festivals and fitness demonstrations.

For more information on the Start Fresh Fest and Slim Down Showdown Challenge visit

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