Tex-Mex Meal Makeovers for the San Antonio Firefighters

By S. Kirk Walsh, "Firehouse Makeover," January/February 2012

The hidden killer in the San Antonio fire department was heart disease. Here’s how they fought it and how you can too.

Back at Station 16 a half hour later, the crew returns with reports of sparking, exposed wires and a faulty ceiling fan. They grab plates and pile servings of pork with raspberry serrano sauce, sweet potatoes and asparagus from the informal buffet arranged on the kitchen counter. Thanks to Worley’s guidance, Laskowski’s health-conscious dinner offers a real contrast to the station meals of yesteryear.

To date, nearly three-quarters of the San Antonio fire department has undergone physicals and patterns have emerged: elevated cholesterol, insulin resistance, obesity and high blood pressure. According to Betsy Dose, Special Projects Manager for the San Antonio Wellness Center, “Some people are full-blown diabetics and didn’t know.” Depending on an individual’s results, an appointment is set up with Worley so she can give them guidance. “It’s about working together to help them make changes that fit into their lives,” says Worley. “They’re in a high-stress job. They’re busy and that often means eating on the run.”

Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner