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Festival Foods

Living Healthy in 2013



These are just a few of the many phrases that pop up online when searching for healthy living and weight loss tips. Although anyone who works a 40+ hour work week would probably agree the above slogans sound like a dream come true and quicker alternative than going to the gym after a 10 hour day, any type of diet that promises to bring very quick results without changing eating habits and exercising probably won’t last long term. Anyone who has changed their lifestyle by eating healthier and exercising each week would likely tell you they have more energy, sleep better at night, and have lost weight and toned their body due to the changes they have made.

Knowing that people who try to eat healthy and make exercise part of their daily or weekly routine tend to stay healthier, Festival employees are given multiple opportunities each year to do just that. Each year, starting in January, Festival employees can participate in the “Live Healthy America Challenge.” It is a 10 week commitment that involves tracking and recording any exercise (walking, running, swimming, aerobics classes, etc.) and weight loss. Employees are split into teams and have competitions to see which team can lose the most weight by percentage, which team has the most activity minutes, and which team has the most up-to-date information recorded. Throughout the Live Healthy America Challenge, employees are asked to share their stories about the success they have had, the changes they have made, and why they want to live a healthier life. Here are a few of the stories submitted this year:

I started my quest to lose weight Jan 5, 2013. I just woke up that morning and decided that was the day. Even though the Live Healthy challenge hadn’t officially started, I didn’t have to wait till then to start. With the help of Visalus, I have lost almost 20 lbs. choosing better foods, along with my new addiction to Zumba, I am on my way to a healthier new me. I exercise 5 times a week and allow myself to cheat every now and then. You can’t just stop eating sweets all together. Instead of eating a whole bag of Oreos, I allow myself 2-3 cookies and that truly is enough to satisfy me. I really do enjoy the Live Healthy Challenge because it helps keep me motivated and holds me accountable. Knowing that I need to record my progress and activity as well as helping “my team” achieve a goal is rewarding.



My process started a little bit before this program, but Live Healthy was another push for me to try harder. The main things I’ve strived to maintain is, portion control and healthy choices. I haven’t been to a “fast food joint” or restaurant for almost 4 months, I also cut out sodas and heavy sugar beverages. Every once and a while I will enjoy something I like, a candy bar, a piece of pizza, but I never over indulge. My main choices for food are, chicken breasts, turkey, any white fish, for a side I will do any kind of veggie and/or whole grain rice. For snacks ill have any kind of fruit, and almonds as well.



Note: He has lost 19 pounds since the challenge started and is still losing weight today!


To stay healthy, I have been fighting my soda addiction by replacing it with water and green tea. I used to drink about 3 cans of regular Mountain Dew per day, and as of January 1st, I have only treated myself about 4 times total to a can of soda, since the beginning of the year. Although I can feel the difference without having caffeine, I have been working out more often and getting more sleep to keep my energy level up. I’ve taken a tip from Ms. Jessica Dix (associate who has lost 100 + pounds!) and have started drinking naturally flavored water using a fruit infuser water bottle and fresh fruit!  It is much healthier than cans filled with high fructose corn syrup.


I have also avoided trips to the hot bar, and instead I’ve been taking advantage of our 10% employee discount on the salad bar! I began shopping our weekly ad more often to encourage myself to cook rather than eating out all the time. Overall I feel much healthier each day by making these small changes.




I am participating in Live Healthy this year because I want to be more active and I work better at being active when I have a team behind me and with me. I don’t want to let anyone down and so I am more motivated to do these things.



I have started to get back into Obstacle Course Races like the Rock Man Challenge, Rugged Maniac and Tough Mudder.  As a goal I try to run a half mile more every other time I run.




Participating in the Live Healthy Program as a Festival Foods Associate has allowed me to lose 16 pounds to date (March 19, 2013).  I can attribute my weight lose to a handful of simple changes in my (“diet”) food/beverage intake.  I started eating Greek yogurt which I never had before thinking I didn’t deserve a yogurt that is a bit more expensive but have had a change in my mind set that I am certainly worthy.  With the suggestion from Barbie (Natural Foods Manager) I started putting organic chi seed in with my yogurt and really enjoy it.  Granola bars instead of a candy bar, veggie sticks instead of cheese and crackers are a few other choices I’ve switched to.  And WATER, WATER WATER – I drink lots of it!  I tell myself “never pass up a water dispenser or drinking fountain without stopping to get a drink”.  Walking and shoveling snow have been the physically activity I’ve added.  Lastly my job as the Hot Bar Gal has me on the move from the minute I punch in until I punch out.  It’s physically demanding for which I can attribute several new muscles and more toned areas and weight loss.  Frankly I’m surprised when I hop on the scale after a week and see 5 or more pounds gone.  Thank you Festival Foods for offering the Live Healthy program to its associates.


– Jean


In addition to the Live Healthy Challenge, Festival encourages employees to join a gym or any other type of fitness/health club. Any employee who is a member at a gym or fitness/health club for a minimum of six months, and who attends at least twice a week, can apply for a fitness reimbursement twice a year! This includes everything from Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig to places like Gold’s Gym, the YMCA, and Planet Fitness. Employees who take advantage of this opportunity find it keeps them motivated to go to the gym or their meetings frequently because they need to be regular attendees in order to be reimbursed. After several months it becomes a routine part of their weekly schedule, and as a result leads to healthier employees.


More than 50 associates and family members participated in the Packers 5K!

Last, but not least, every year Festival sponsors multiple races throughout Wisconsin. Employees are encouraged to register for these races, along with other family members, at a discounted price. You will notice there are multiple events, ranging from marathons to 5k Run/Walks to Children’s races. This allows people of various physical abilities to register, and even make a family day or weekend out of it! Registration is still open, and some of these upcoming races include:

  • La Crosse Fitness Festival – La Crosse (May 3-4, 2013) – Includes Grandad Half Marathon, Three River 5k Run/Walk, Grandad Half Marathon Relay, and more
  • Eau Claire Marathon – Eau Claire (May 5, 2013) – Also includes Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, and 2-mile Fun Run
  • Cellcom Marathon – Green Bay (May 18-19, 2013) – Also includes 5k, Kid’s Power Run, Half Marathon, & Marathon Relay
  • Bellin Run – Green Bay (June 8, 2013) – Includes Children’s Run & 10k
  • Eau Claire Triathlon – Eau Claire (June 9, 2013) – Includes Sprint Triathlon & Kid’s Triathlon

As many of you know, Festival Foods tries to stay actively involved in community events and give back to the community as well. By providing all of these resources to our employees, we are happy to have found a balance between encouraging employees to stay healthy and active while making a positive impact and promoting a healthy lifestyle in various Wisconsin communities.



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