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Article posted: 4/1/2013 5:05 AM

Teams develop a taste for healthier foods

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When was the last time you had a spinach shake for breakfast? How about raw codfish ceviche for lunch and Brussels sprouts with turmeric for dinner? The Fittest Loser Community participants are using the 12-week challenge to expand their culinary horizons. Several teams have been following through on their goal to explore a new healthy food each week. With the Community Challenge in its ninth week, the team members are starting to discover the health benefits of some increasingly unexpected and exotic recipes.

The reactions are mixed as the participants gamble with new ingredient combinations. Brussels sprouts with turmeric and codfish get a thumbs-up for both taste and nutritional value. The spinach shake? Stephanie DiMaso of the Wood Dale Warriors says it's not so bad if you add a banana.

Other Community Challenge participants are expanding their horizons in a more literal sense. Ed Poczatek of Waist Management Schaumburg went to Colorado to participate in the Nastar National Ski Racing Championships. The team captain of the Bartlett LifeCenter Gang is working off the calories she consumes in the form of pommes frites and coq au vin by climbing the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and "too many church towers to count," while on vacation in France.

Ed Poczatek is racing down the Rocky Mountains a lighter man -- he has lost 12.3 percent of his body weight so far and his team is currently leading the Community Challenge with a total weight loss of 101 pounds, 9.1 percent of their total body weight.

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