When Chris and Heidi* first started using ICA after Chris lost his job, they weren’t thinking about their health or healthy food – they were simply trying to get enough food to feed their family.
Over time, they realized that they were starting to make different choices: trying new fruits and vegetables, switching out whole milk for almond milk, and experimenting with new-to-them premium products (donated by ICA’s food rescue partners) that had never been in their budget. Then Chris and Heidi started learning: how to read labels and ingredient lists to avoid added sugar; which foods were more nutrient dense; and how to incorporate these foods into their diet. Chris’s favorite: mixing up a green smoothie every day, incorporating kale, spinach, bananas, almond milk, and other food shelf finds.
Over the last year, Chris and Heidi have each lost over 100 pounds, which they attribute to visiting ICA. Even better, Chris now has the energy to go for long walks, and his doctor is pleased with the changes in his blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Chris has even been able to stop taking some of his diabetes prescriptions due to his increased health.
Chris and Heidi’s kids have experienced the change as well. Everyone now eats more fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. And though his kids are young and healthy, adding these foods now will set them up for better health later in life.
Chris expressed how grateful he is for ICA:
“If it wasn’t for you guys, we wouldn’t be here. ICA has really helped a family desperately in need.”
Thanks Chris and Heidi for sharing your family's story with us!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.
Chris’s Tips for Healthy Eating at ICA:
1. Wilted greens like kale and spinach will perk right up when you wash them in cold water.
2. Visit ICA’s “Bread and More” bonus section between appointments for extra vegetables and fruit.
3. Chris blanches extra veggies and freezes for later use.