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Sophia Ernst received her yoga certification directly after high school. After graduating from University in Chicago, and some travel abroad, she returned to live and work in Denver. Sophia has in interest in all things cultural and Denver is full of places to discover the arts. Sophia enjoys exploring the world by car, bike and on foot with her friends and family, her sister and her adorable and fearless dog.

Recap: LiveWell Colorado’s EatWell@School Luncheon

Bruce Randolph Students: Janeth, Jennifer, Ivan, Maria. Johnson and Wales volunteers: Angel and Rebeca (Photo Credit: Sophia Ernst)

Bruce Randolph Students: Janeth, Jennifer, Ivan, Maria. Johnson and Wales volunteers: Angel and Rebeca (Photo Credit: Sophia Ernst)

The Sheraton Downtown was all a buzz December 13th for LiveWell Colorado‘s EatWell@School Luncheon. The afternoon opened with Ana Cabrera from 7News, as well as the President of LiveWell, Maren C. Stewart, JD, and Mayor Michael B. Hancock. Hancock talked about the importance of health for Colorado residents and how we as a state must ensure that all children have free access to recreation centers and nutritional food in schools.

LiveWell Colorado is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the health of Denver residents. They tackle issues that deal with lowering obesity not only for the health of the individual but also for our state as a whole.  According to LiveWell’s statistics if “BMIs were lowered by 5 percent, Colorado could save 7.1 percent in health care costs, which would equate to savings of $10.8 billion by 2030.” Obesity is not just a health issue but an economic issue as well. LiveWell Colorado works to improve healthy living, nutrition and easy access to physical activities for all Coloradoans. After the lunch Robert Katz, Chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, spoke about rising healthcare costs. He stated that fighting obesity is one of the best ways we can help our state be healthier both physically and financially. This is no longer just a conversation about weight, it has also become a conversation about a healthy economy.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock (Photo Credit: Sophia Ernst)

Mayor Michael B. Hancock (Photo Credit: Sophia Ernst)

EatWell@School is a project of LiveWell Colorado that works in schools to teach high school students about cooking and food preparation. The students who participate work directly with volunteers from Johnson and Wales University to learn basic skills and create a menu to present for judging at the end of their nine week program. The winning meal was then served at the luncheon on Thursday. This year’s winner was the Bruce Randolph School serving a BRS Chicken Panini Wrap, Colorful Coleslaw and a Jalapeño Infused Peach Crumble. The meal had to comply with Denver Public School’s national guidelines and cost under a dollar.  They had to use at least one local Colorado ingredient. The students from Bruce Randolph chose to use Colorado honey in their dessert.

LiveWells school programs aim to create a culture of ‘from scratch’ foods in Colorado’s school cafeterias. The organization works with school districts to teach the food preparation staff how to use basic, healthy ingredients to create meals. It’s time we made healthy options a priority and LiveWell Colorado welcomes your help in meeting this challenge head on.

The real stars of the afternoon were the many students and volunteers who worked to make this program a success! Thank you to the students and volunteers of EatWell@School! The program participants hard work can inspire us all to get involved in the LiveWell movement.

(Photo Credit: Sophia Ernst)

Winning Panini Wrap and Coleslaw (Photo Credit: Sophia Ernst)

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