Texans’ Jimmie Ward shares passion for nutrition at children’s book signing: ‘Eat healthy, it helped change my life’

Texans safety authored a book: ‘Jimmie’s Ward Nutritional ABC’s For Active Kids’

Jimmie Ward (Aaron Wilson, KPRC 2)

HOUSTON – Growing up, Texans veteran safety Jimmie Ward acknowledged he had a lot to learn about the importance of eating healthy.

He would eat candy. He would eat late at night. He lacked energy for his grueling workouts. And he would throw up while trying to train for football.

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Finally, Ward realized it was time to make a dramatic change and adapt his diet to a healthy lifestyle.

Now, he’s sharing his personal success story as the author of a children’s book: “Jimmie Ward’s Nutritional ABC’s For Active Kids.”

Ward held a book signing Friday night at Lifetime Fitness Greenway, interacting with families and giving out T-shirts and healthy drinks and snacks at an event partnered with Collective Realty Co.

“It feels great to spread the word about a happy life, happy nutrition and being able to inform young kids about doing the right thing with your body,” Ward told KPRC 2.”The more you eat it, your body won’t lie. Your body is like a machine. Once you start putting good stuff in it, it’s going to keep telling you that’s what I want to eat, that’s what I want to consume.

“Eat healthy. It helped change my life. It helps me to become a better person. And, if you give it a try, it will for you, too. It definitely puts you in a good mood.”

Emphasizing fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, Ward is an advocate for healthy eating. He sets that example by avoiding sweets, including candy, fried foods, processed foods and alcohol.

“It can basically put you in an overall better mood and help you in the long run. I didn’t know how to eat growing up. I used to eat a lot of bad stuff. I used to eat after 9 p.m.: a bunch of sugar, a bunch of candy. How I used to eat, I couldn’t complete a workout. I used to wake up at 6 a.m. and tried to run and work out and I’m throwing up.

“I didn’t learn how to eat and properly have the right type of amount of foods until I became an adult. When I was age 21 and training for the combine, they taught me about three different colors of fruit, three different colors of vegetables, three meals a day. If you snack, a fruit or vegetable, just something that’s not too heavy on your body.”

Inside the Houston Texans’ cafeteria, Jimmie Ward is a strong proponent of proper nutrition. He’ll educate some of his teammates on how certain types of fruit and vegetables benefit their energy and overall health.

When the team captain is at home, he’s determined to instill the values of good habits to his children, including his daughter.

Emphasizing fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, Ward is an advocate for healthy eating. He sets that example by avoiding sweets, including candy, fried foods, processed foods and alcohol.

Ward wants to help others build a foundation of good health.

“I feel like you should learn at a young age that it’s just like watering a tree,” Ward told KPRC 2. “It’s like growing a tree. You put the right stuff in there: water and have the proper soil and start to water it and it starts to get strong at the bottom and it starts to sprout.

“If it’s not strong at the bottom, what does it do? It tips over and it falls. It’s the same thing with a human eating the right stuff so you have a strong lower body so you can grow taller. That’s the reason why I made this book.”

When it comes to his diet, Ward is more of a reformed convert into the benefits of eating clean.

That involves a diet steeped in lots of different colored fruit and vegetables, brown rice, lean chicken, fish or steak.

“I have kids and I preach to them all the time, like my daughter, about putting the right type of nutrition in her body,” Ward said. “Sometimes, she listens to me. Sometimes, she don’t. I feel like sometimes a kid can hear that from somebody else, a teacher or a friend, or from my sister and they might listen. That’s the reason why I decided to write a book because I can help them and instill that in kids, in their brain and help them eat healthy.”

Ward said his teammates sometimes grow tired of his recurring message about what to eat to maintain their health and energy.

“I need to stop preaching, but I try to be helpful,” he said. “They don’t feel like hearing it all the time. I just can’t help it.”

And his daughter? Well, Ward sometimes has to threaten to take her cell phone away if she doesn’t finish her dinner or eat cupcakes.

From his standpoint, his greatest personal temptation is a plain brownie. Yes, it’s been a long time since he’s had one.

Heading into his 11th season, the former San Francisco 49ers first-round draft pick is a true believer that eating right is a great reason behind his success as a hard-hitting safety who won a game last season over the Denver Broncos when he intercepted Russell Wilson in the end zone to close out a game late in the fourth quarter.

“You build a routine, and you’ll know when you’re off,” Ward said. “It’s probably because you ate the wrong thing or missed this meal or just be in a bad mood. I wake up hungry because I’m not eating after 9 p.m. and I put certain food in me, and I perform and I’m at my peak when it’s time to perform. If I’m off, it’s because I’m eating too much candy or not getting enough protein. My body won’t work how I want it to work.”

Aaron Wilson is a Texans and NFL reporter for KPRC 2 and click2houston.com.

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