Ed DeSouza needed hip surgery, but first, his doctor told him, he needed to lose 100 pounds. A restaurant manager who regularly sampled his kitchen's ribs and steaks, DeSouza at first scoffed at the idea, according to the LA Daily News. But once he started to read ingredient labels and incorporate healthy foods into his diet, he managed to lose the weight in only six months.
Surprised by his success, DeSouza felt inspired to retire and become a certified nutritionist. While exercising and volunteering at the YMCA, DeSouza met Jesse Russo, a nutritionist who also wanted to help people learn to make better food choices. Together they decided to open healthFULL foods Cafe to help make healthy fare and nutrition education more accessible to members of the community.
Each day, DeSouza makes breads with house-milled flour and steel-cut oatmeal from scratch without processed sugars or preservatives. Blenders whir softly in the background, mixing smoothies with fresh fruit, non-fat greek yogurt, and lactose-free milk. Whole-wheat pitas wrap ingredients such as oven-roasted turkey breast with housemade cranberry chutney. DeSouza fills the oven with vegan and gluten-free cookies and muffins packed with an organic blend of fibers high in omega threes and sixes. DeSouza and Russo also advance their healthy-eating agenda with healthy-cooking classes and events.
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