When I found out that I would be going to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival with Coca-Cola, my whole life lit up. See, I have this thing for travel. A passion. A constant desire to get away. I want to do and see everything that there is on earth during my lifetime. Visiting the Big Easy with Coke was a fun reminder to live for the moment, enjoying life and all it has to offer.
We stayed in the gorgeous Roosevelt Hotel and walked the streets of the famed French Quarter, hung out at the Essence Coca-Cola booth in the Convention Center, ate some amazing southern food at Cafe Reconcile, met with Coca-Cola VP’s, marketing, and public affairs team members, danced the night away at The Essence Festival concert (hello… Maxwell, Jill Scott, Blackstreet, LL Cool J), participated in the Black Girls Run 3k along the Mississippi River, and enjoyed the amazing culture in the city with great company. Phew!
NOTE: When you visit New Orleans, you will here the Wobble song everywhere. Seriously. I suggest you brush up on your dancing skills.
Making good choices is a huge part of living a fulfilling life, these can come in the form of behavior, major purchases, language, and nourishment. Doing the things you want to do are what make you the happiest, am I right? On the food side, most of us know what we should, and should not be eating. Fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and whole grains are essential. The truth of the matter is, I might just want to eat that cupcake, fry some chicken, have some dark chocolate, or enjoy a Diet Coke. I think it’s ok to indulge in the foods you want, moderation is the key.
Coca-Cola has taken a step in the right direction, not to say, “hey, drink our soda, it’s great for you!“, but more of a realistic approach. They know people are going to drink caffeinated beverages. They also know that their brands, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Barq’s, Minute Maid, Simply, Odwalla, Fuse, Vitamin Water and more, contain calories and are taking responsibility to recognize it. Coke has launched many global initiatives surrounding healthy and active lifestyles, making a commitment to help families make the most informed decisions. I am very honored to have been able to visit with Coca-Cola and share with you all.
Coca-Cola’s global commitment to health
Innovate – Coca-Cola has used science, nutrition research and innovation to come up with great new products that are a bit healthier. Also, many of their beverages are a available is smaller serving sizes, so you can still enjoy your favorite soda, just less of it.
Educate – All calorie information is clearly labeled on Coca-Cola packaging, so people are able to make informed decisions. They have also partnered with many organizations, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the American Academy of Pediatrics, to initiate programs supporting nutrition education and physical activity.
Act – Coke has made many decisions to take action. In addition to the educational partnerships above, they make sure not to market directly to children and offer many low to no calorie drink options world wide. They have also removed many of the caloric beverages from schools, offering low or no calorie options for kids while at school. This is important to me, I can remember guzzling a soda every day from middle school through high school. I do NOT want my kids to have the freedom to do the same.
You’ll “Be Ok” with a little physical activity…
Learn some simple and fun ways to burn off 140 calories in this cute Coca-Cola commercial
All in all, Coca-Cola has done an amazing job and has set an example for large corporations to take responsibility for those who keep them in business: consumers! This event in New Orleans was one of the best i’ve seen, everything was pulled off excellently and the Essence Festival as the venue was the perfect idea! Coca-Cola is taking a stand against obesity and promoting health and wellness, continue the conversation and learn more at Coca-Cola’s Coming Together site.
Live well, enjoy, and be sure to share if you care!
Disclosure: I went on a press trip with Coca-Cola where expenses for travel, food, lodging and activities were covered. I received no additional compensation and I had no obligation to write anything about my experience, I do indulge in Coca-Cola products from time to time. Honestly, if a huge soda company cares this much about their consumers, they are definitely doing something right.