On January 1, 2016, Lexi L. made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. This wasn’t the typical resolution to lose a dozen post-holiday pounds. At 25 years old and weighing 485 pounds, Lexi’s body mass index (BMI) was 78—and a BMI of 30 or more is obese. “I was in the morbidly obese category,” she says. Lexi’s resolution came about because her best friend challenged her to 30 days of no eating out, no cheat meals, and no soda or alcohol. “That didn’t sound too difficult,” she says, “until my friend upped the ante by adding in a 30-minute workout five times a week.” Competitive by nature, Lexi couldn’t turn her down. By her own admission, Lexi knew nothing about working out—even less about how to eat healthfully. Grocery shopping also proved daunting. She would spend an hour or more in the store simply comparing nutrition labels, trying to figure out a way to replace her former meals with better options. Then a new store opened in her town: a Fresh Thyme Farmers Market. “Suddenly grocery shopping was so much easier!” Lexi exclaims. “They’re so health-focused, I could shop without constant research on which foods fit my goals.” She adds, “I also learned I could go to Fresh Thyme on my lunch break and get a fast-but-healthy meal. I could grab sushi, the salad bar, or even rotisserie chicken instead of the junk food I had previously bought.” Since then, Lexi has lost about two-thirds of her former weight and has a much healthier BMI of 27—overweight but no longer obese. “For me it’s no longer a diet,” she says. “It’s a lifestyle change—one to make and keep!” David from Newport, Kentucky, asks: “Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Or so they say!” M & K: The old axiom of breakfast being the most important meal of the day was actually stated in 1917 in a health magazine—edited by none other than John Harvey Kellogg, who just happened to have invented flaked cereal a few years before. Regardless of how it started, it seems to be true: Studies since have looked at people who ate breakfast regularly and found that they had a lower overall body mass index. People who eat breakfast also tend to have a lower risk of diabetes, though that may be because they also tend to eat more fruits and vegetables every day. Studies show people who eat a protein-packed breakfast (more than 20 grams) reap the real benefits. They burn more calories at rest compared to people who skip a morning meal or eat a carbohydrate-heavy one. Those who eat breakfast report they are less hungry and perform better at school and work. Eating breakfast also seems to support consuming fewer carbohydrates and calories later in the evening—good news for those who want to lose weight. Keep this in mind: Most Americans don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in a day. If you’re not a fan of typical breakfasts, eat just fruits and veggies instead. You may launch a new routine! VELDA SALAZAR —Front-End Manager Store 511, Waite Park, Minnesota Minnesotans have a reputation for being nice, and Velda Salazar at the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in Waite Park, Minnesota, is no exception. As the Front-End Manager, Velda’s job is to take care of everything— from cashiers at checkout to displays of product near the front door to greeting customers with a friendly smile. It’s that smile that’s so important to “By learning a new way of healthy eating and changing my daily habits, I shed 312 pounds—and I’ve kept it off,” Lexi says. Kerry Clifford, M S , R D , L D N Photo: Al Bracken Lexi L. from Terre Haute, Indiana fresh thyme shopper M e g h a n S e d ivy,RD,LDN Ask the dietitians Have a nutrition question? Comment on our Facebook page (@FreshThymeFarmersMarkets) and your question may be featured next! Velda. “Sometimes someone walks through a door looking a little stressed,” Velda says. “We don’t know what’s going on in their lives, yet we can make it a little better. “That’s why we make it a point for every customer to see a smile the first moment they walk through the door—and the last as they walk out.” It’s this philosophy that helps make shopping at Fresh Thyme special. freshthyme.com | March/April 2019 3 0C2-003 TOC/Q&A/Spotlights_02.11.indd 3 2/11/19 9:34 AM