By Michael Angelo S. Murillo

IN THIS AGE of fast and processed food, picking up the lifestyle habits of eating a healthy diet and having a fitness routine are no doubt a challenge. But for healthy food chain SaladStop!, such can be achieved if one makes a conscious effort.

In line with its mantra of “eating wide awake,” SaladStop! recently launched its “Eat Wide Awake Movement” campaign with the mission of “helping individuals maintain a healthy diet and encourage a devotion to fitness.”

SaladStop! is known for high-quality fresh salads, wraps, and hearty snacks.

For the whole month of September, which SaladStop! refers to as “Salad Month,” the food chain will hold promos and activities all geared at its end-game of reinforcing the value of conscious eating and keeping a well-balanced lifestyle.

To help it in its campaign, SaladStop! has enlisted the help of fit and strong “movers” whom it considers to embody what the whole thrust is about because of the choices they have made to stay fit and strong.

The Eat Wide Awake movers are actress Coleen Garcia, celebrity hosts Raymond Gutierrez and Kim Atienza, volleyball player Michele Gumabao, and celebrity trainer Arnold Aninion, and they are tasked to inspire others with their respective fitness journeys and choices.

“The mantra of SaladStop! is ‘eating wide awake’ which is about the relationship between us people and the food we take. It’s more of being conscious of what kind of nutrition we put in our body and the effects of which it has. The movement is about the totality of well-being,” said Steven R. Sarmenta, executive vice-president and general manager of Specialty Foods Retailers, Inc., the company which handles SaladStop!, in an interview with BusinessWorld during the Eat Wide Awake Movement campaign launch last week.

While he underscored that, based on their experience with SaladStop!, Filipinos are more familiar with vegetables and know their importance in being healthy and fit. Still, the company hopes that through the campaign, that conversation would be sustained and, in turn, propel the healthy lifestyle and fitness movement.

“The Filipinos have become more informed on healthy living. They know their vegetables now. They create their own salads and it speaks of the maturity of the Filipinos. Hopefully this campaign of SaladStop! further enhances that and continue to instigate conversation on it,” said Mr. Sarmenta.

The campaign kicks off on Sept. 9 with a series of interactive and fitness activities at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater, to be highlighted by a live DJ ride cycling party care of Electric Studio.

On Sept. 16, there will be having an exclusive Hybrid Density Training class led by Mr. Aninion.

Also this month, the healthy food chain will be releasing two new featured items, namely the Ting Tong (Crazy) salad and wrap, and Yeobo Yeobo (Darling) warm grain bowl.

Ting Tong is a mix of romaine lettuce, Cajun shrimp, vermicelli, ripe mango, pomelo, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, shredded coconut, roasted peanuts and Thai Peanut Turmeric dressing. The Yeobo Yeobo warm grain bowl, meanwhile, is made with baby spinach, quinoa, roasted chicken, eggs, sweet corn, alfalfa sprouts, edamame, and Korean chili vinaigrette.

“Campaigns like this by SaladStop! are very important, especially nowadays where it seems everything is processed and made fast. You really have to choose to live healthy, invest in your heath, not only for now but for the future as well. It’s hard and challenging but it’s all worth it,” said Ms. Gumabao in an interview.

SaladStop! has branches at Central Square in BGC, Power Plant Mall, OPL Building in Legaspi Village, Greenhills, Glorietta 2, Ayala Tower One, Burgos Circle, Alabang Town Center, Salcedo Village, and Ayala Center Cebu.