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Key Points:

1. Overweight and obesity are on the rise, increasing the risk of associated diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and mental health challenges.

2. Learning how to eat smarter not only decreases your risk of getting these diseases, but also dramatically improves your health and performance - in all areas of your life.

3. Find out what matters most to you (in regards to health and performance) and use this as motivation to Eat Smarter.  

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” – Thomas Edison

Recently, I went on an expedition to the northwest corner of India – the Thar Desert – with my good friend Ray Zahab and his organization impossible2Possible. This expedition took us into various towns and villages along our journey through the desert. One morning I went with our medical team to explore the local communities and I saw something that blew my mind. There were two food stalls that were side by side that could not have captured the cause of the world’s health problems more clearly. In one stall was a gentleman who had all the traditional, local foods laid out which included a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit. All healthy options that prevent disease. But right next to him was a stall filled with bags of chips, chocolate bars and sugary snacks. This stall was new, and the owner was doing a brisk business selling the foods that cause the grand epidemics.

Even though we were far from North America in a rural area, I saw that the diseases of the West were showing up there as well. Unlike in North America and Europe where overweight and obese people comprise up to 68% of the population, there are fewer people in the rural parts of the developing world who have chronic illnesses. But the numbers are climbing. And with this comes other problems such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and mental health challenges.

Despite the global scale of the challenge and the complexity of the problem, there are solutions available to us today that are powerful if applied consistently over time. Eating healthy, great tasting food is possible - even necessary – and doing so will dramatically improve your life and the lives of those around you. Let’s set the stage for making that happen for you and for the rest of the world.

When I do presentations on nutrition, I've discovered something very interesting. When I start talking about nutrition and health people politely listen. I can tell that they're not super interested and that there's a lot of the “I’ve heard this so many times before” attitude going around the room. So at another talk I changed things up. I talked about how nutrition can help you to perform better. The talk was at a school so I made reference to foods that can improve exam performance. Suddenly everyone was taking notes and asking questions. I tried it again at a business where I was talking about how to eat to concentrate better in the afternoon. Once again people paid attention and emailed me asking for my nutrition protocols. The best part about this whole discovery was that I was talking about the same foods that I had previously discussed in the healthy eating talk. Focusing on performance made all the difference. For some people, specific aspects of work performance mattered the most. For others, lifestyle or relationships or little things like being more active with their kids hit home.

The message is that we have to link eating smarter to what we care about. So what do you care about most? What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning and take on the world? Do you want to be more mentally sharp at work? Have better relations with your coworkers or family members? Improve your game as a parent? Have the energy to finally achieve your most treasured personal goal? 

You can eat smarter to help you do any of those things better. Food helps us perform better and be healthier in every part of our lives. 

Today's POWER-UP: Resources to help get you started.

If you’re looking for a food guide that is actually based on research check out the Harvard Medical School’s Healthy Eating Plate, or even better Brazil’s Healthy Eating Recommendations.

Eat Smarter Infographic.jpg

Dive Deeper

My friend and colleague Dr. John Berardi has put together 25 tips on how to eat well on the go. Its a great post with an infographic that you can print out or save to your mobile device. I refer to it often for anyone that I work with that travels. You can check it out here.

 

The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist Sky Regional employees with improving their general health. It is not intended and should not be used in place of advice from your own physician or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. Sky Regional is not responsible for the content of this program which has been specially developed and is being provided to you by the Wells Group Inc., in consultation with Sky Regional. By participating in this program you acknowledge that undertaking any new health, diet and/or exercise regime involves certain inherent risks, that you assume such risks, and that you release Sky Regional and the Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.