We talked with Brian Ching, the retired all-time scoring leader for Houston Dynamo and current Managing Director for the NWSL Dash, following his gracious appearance as emcee at the official VegOut! launch breakfast at Canopy in late February. From the podium, he showed his enthusiasm for the VegOut! campaign by holding up a basket placed before the podium, Ching cleverly challenged those in attendance to learn the names of all the vegetables in the leafy-greens centerpiece by the end of the month-long veggie-eating challenge.
“We are all creatures of habit, so this is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and find more vegetables that you enjoy eating,” said Ching.
Ching also highlighted the work of the Recipe for Success Foundation and how those lessons translate into adult life. Ching had recently toured a school garden and classroom at Rodriguez Elementary with Recipe for Success Founder Gracie Cavnar.
“As a professional athlete, you always want to better yourself and one of the key ways to do that is to eat healthy,” said Ching. “And I think Recipe for Success puts out a great message, because it truly educates people about the positive attributes of eating healthy.”
“Going to the school and seeing the kids pick the vegetables, clean the vegetables and cook them – you see it really makes an impact when you know where your food comes from, how it gets to you and how to prepare it,” said Ching. “Educating kids at a young age (the earlier the better), which Recipe for Success does, that makes them so much more aware of what they are putting in their bodies.”
Ching said he definitely plans to VegOut!, and is especially motivated after recently building his own raised garden bed and reading up on plants to grow in Houston at this time of year.
“People are creatures of habit, and I realized I was eating the same vegetables over and over, so I see this as a perfect opportunity to grow my knowledge and my tastes, to try new things and expand the vegetables in my diet,” said Ching.
In addition to doing the VegOut! Challenge with his wife Liz, he said he plans to encourage members of the Dynamo and Dash teams to jump onboard with VegOut! “I imagine, being professional athletes, that many of them will go for it.”
Ching explained it’s important to realize that when it comes to weight loss, gain or maintenance, that, while exercise is important, 80 percent of the effort is being aware of what makes up your diet. “If you’re mindful about what you eat, you definitely lose weight,” he said. “When you make a good habit of what you eat, that becomes even easier than going to the gym every day.”
Ching insists that making conscious choices and about food makes all the difference. “Eating healthy just requires thinking about,” said Ching. “When you plan ahead, you make smart choices, but when you don’t think ahead, you are faced with a lot of bad choices. Pack your apple or banana every day and eat those things, rather than going to a vending machine to buy a candy bar or chips.”
“And that’s a lot of what Recipe for Success does,” said Ching. “They teach kids to think and plan ahead about what they eat and to develop good habits.”
Recipe for Success’ VegOut! campaign is a fun, flavor-filled opportunity for everyone to build a habit of eating plenty of vegetables, and in turn be good role models for others – both kids and adults. Take the VegOut! Challenge: Eat 30 veggies during March. Sign up online and track your veggies throughout the month.