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Eat Smarter

Welcome to Eat Smarter!

Welcome to Eat Smarter!

The Ripple Effect Program Home Page

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 fresh, 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.

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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 people who are overweight and obese 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.

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? Then eat smarter to help you do that better. Food helps us perform better at sports, academics, business, drama, and music. Eating smarter is how we can experience exponential growth in our lives.

If you didn't have a chance to complete The Wells Performance Questionnaire at the beginning of the Program, please take five minutes to fill it out now. It is entirely up to you, but if you do fill out the audit, we will get back to you with specific recommendations regarding your nutrition.

Today's New Habit: Hydrate!

The easiest way to improve your nutrition is to make sure you’re properly hydrated. To make sure you’re getting enough water, there is an easy formula to follow. You should be drinking half of your weight (in pounds) in ounces of water each day. If you’re 150 pounds, this means 75 oz (or 2.2 litres). If you’re 200 pounds, you need 100 oz (almost 3 litres).

For the next two weeks, try and track how much water you’re drinking each day and see if you can hit your target. We’ll check back in with you next week to see how you’re doing!



The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your 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. 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 The Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Eating Smarter and Your Health

Eating Smarter and Your Health

The Ripple Effect Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. In today's society, we are overfed and undernourished, leading to a number of diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression.

2. Fortunately, proper nutrition can help prevent these diseases, and can take our health, wellness, and performance to the next level. 

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Never before in the history of planet earth have we had access to so much food. Those of us lucky enough can get food anytime we want. We can probably get something to eat within minutes. And we can get any type of food we want. In any quantity we want. And we do.

Despite having almost unlimited access to food, we are not healthy. Many of the foods that we eat are high in calories but very low in nutrients. As a result, no matter how much of the high-calorie, low-nutrient foods you eat, you still feel depleted and hungry.

We are overfed and undernourished.

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Poor nutrition leads to obesity, which is known to cause heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Obesity is also a cause of depression (and vice versa). Additionally, my research team has shown that obesity damages muscle tissue, which in turn causes exercise intolerance. If it is harder to exercise because your muscles are damaged, you’ll become more physically inactive, leading to a greater risk of greater obesity. These relationships end up causing vicious circles that we find ourselves in and make it seem almost impossible to escape from.

The good news is that, while poor nutrition is associated with a number of chronic diseases, good nutrition can do the opposite. Good nutrition has been shown to help decrease the risk of getting chronic diseases such as obesity, certain types of cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and cardiovascular disease. The problem is there is a lot of confusion regarding which foods are good for you, and what the latest fad diet is.

However, if you can overcome the confusion about what is actually good for you, which foods can improve your health, and how to eat to perform better, you can take action and create a diet that will propel you to new heights. So what can you do? The answers are relatively simple. If you follow the seven keys to healthy eating I propose later in this chapter, you'll be well on your way.

Today's Habit: Hydrate!

How did last week’s habit go? Were you able to hit your water target? If not, that’s okay. Hopefully you at least increased your consumption and are aware of how much you normally drink on a daily basis.

We’re going to continue with this habit for another week. Keep tracking how much you’re drinking and try to hit your target of half of your weight (in pounds) in ounces of water each day. Keep in mind that if you’re exercising or if you’re in extreme environmental conditions or stress, you will require more water.

Keep up the good work!



The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your 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. 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 The Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Eat Smarter to Sleep Soundly

Eat Smarter to Sleep Soundly

The Ripple Effect Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Proper nutrition can improve the quality of your sleep by affecting the neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that carry signals in your brain.

2. Eating foods that are high in protein increase the duration of deep, slow-wave sleep, and decrease the number of times you wake up during the night.

3. Choose a high-protein/low-carbohydrate meal or snack more often to improve sleep, except for right before bed when you should choose a meal higher in carbohydrates. 

You know now that sleep is a time when physiological processes are taking place that heal, repair, and regenerate your body and brain. A growing body of evidence shows that the foods you eat can improve your sleep. So how can you use food to optimize your sleep?

The key lies in the science of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are microscopic molecules that carry signals between nerves and muscles. Simply put, they are chemical messengers that carry information around the brain and body. Numerous neurotransmitters have been associated with the sleep–wake cycle. You don’t need to know all those names, but what you should know is that the foods you eat influence the type and amount of neurotransmitters manufactured in your brain and nerve cells.

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High-protein/low-carbohydrate meals increase the duration of deep, slow-wave sleep and decrease the number of times you wake up during the night. So if you need to improve your over- all sleep quality, try eating meals with more protein. The ultimate goal is to increase the amount of available tryptophan, which is taken into the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) and used to create serotonin and melatonin, two neurotransmitters that help improve sleep quality. 

One time to avoid a high-protein meal is right before bed. Adding carbohydrates to your pre-bed snack changes the game, because when carbohydrates enter the blood, they stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas, and insulin increases the uptake of large amino acids into skeletal muscle. This frees up tryptophan to move into the brain, where it can be used to manufacture serotonin and melatonin.

The bottom line is that you can improve your sleep quality by eating smarter. Experiment with different options and see what works for you.

Today's New Habit: Eat Slowly

For the next two weeks, I’d like you to try to eat slowly. When you’re doing this, don’t watch TV, put away your phones and other devices, and just focus on your meal. As you’re eating, actually notice how the food tastes and pay attention to when you feel satisfied.

You might not be able to do this at every meal and that’s okay. Pick one meal each day to try this out. Enjoy!



The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your 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. 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 The Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Eat Smarter to Move More

Eat Smarter to Move More

The Ripple Effect Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. The timing and composition of your nutrition can make huge differences to your athletic performance, whether you are an elite athlete or if you just want to be healthy enough to run around with your kids. 

2. Using appropriate nutritional strategies could not only help fuel you for your next workout, but could also help your immune system keep you healthy and improve your overall wellbeing.

3. Using the recommendations below for what you should be eating pre-, during-, and post-workout, play around with what works best for you to meet your individual needs.  

Sports nutrition is one of the most debated and contested fields in science right now. With the traditional high-carbohydrate approach under siege from the low-carb/high-fat proponents, there has never been more confusion. I think that’s a good thing, because sports nutrition needs an overhaul; the traditional approaches have resulted in several products and recommendations that have been damaging to health (such as sports drinks and chocolate milk), rather than helping people perform better.

My approach is based on the principle that high performance is possible only if we are as healthy as possible. I’ve broken down my approach into three steps, based on what you can eat before, during, and after your workouts to perform great in your movement practice, and to improve your health at the same time. It’s a simple approach that works if you stick to it over the long term.

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Here's sports nutrition at a glance: 

Daily

  • Eat whole foods, avoiding processed and packaged foods full of refined sugars.

  • Include lots of vegetables of different varieties and colours.

  • Aim for 6 to 12 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight, spread out in meals throughout the day.

  • Include 1.2 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight throughout the day. Aim for about 20 grams in each meal. Having 0.5 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight before bed could help offset protein breakdown.

  • Choose healthy fats and incorporate about 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.

Pre-workout

  • Eat a meal high in carbohydrate 1 to 2 hours before your workout.

  • Have a mixed carbohydrate beverage or snack + BCAA solution less than an hour before your workout.

During workout

  • For exercise lasting 30 to 75 minutes, a mouthwash of carbohydrate solution may be sufficient for nervous-system benefits.

  • For 60 minutes to 2 hours of training, aim for 30 grams of carbohydrate per hour.

  • For 2 to 3 hours, increase to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour.

  • For long sessions (>2.5 hours), you will require 80-90 grams of carbohydrate per hour (a mixture of glucose and fructose will help with absorption). 

  • Avoid routine use of commercial sports drinks. Instead, consider watermelon juice, coconut water, or simple homemade natural sports drinks.

  • Consider adding a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) solution to any of these options.

Post-workout

  • If there are fewer than 8 hours between sessions, consume 1.2 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per per hour for the first few hours and a total of 8-9 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram over the course of 24 hours.

  • For more than 8 hours between sessions, refuel according to timing that is comfortable and accessible, as long as you consume adequate energy and carbohydrate.

  • Consume 16-20 grams of protein as soon after your workout as you can and a further 20 grams every 3 hours for the next 12 hours.

  • Include anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger, turmeric, and omega-3s as well as lots of vegetables to reduce the inflammation associated with exercise.

If you’d like to learn more about sports nutrition check out this booklet on nutritional strategies for high performance athletes.

Today's Habit: Eat Slowly

This week we’re going to continue with the same habit as last week: eating slowly. Try to pick one meal each day to do this. Maybe it works better for you in the morning, or maybe it’s better for you to do it in the evening when you can relax after a long day.

Make sure that you’re staying present in your meal, and that you’re avoiding TV, your phone, and other distractions. Pay close attention to your hunger and satiety before, during, and after the meal - and stop eating when you feel satisfied.



The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your 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. 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 The Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Eat Smarter to Think Clearly

Eat Smarter to Think Clearly

The Ripple Effect Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Good nutrition is critical for your brain to function optimally.

2. Slow-digesting complex carbohydrates fuel your brain for thinking, solving problems, being creative, and instilling memories.

3. High-quality fats build the structures in your nerves and speeds communication between neurons.

4. Healthy proteins provide the precursors for the neurotransmitters used to communicate between nerve cells.

5. Vitamins and minerals enable the nerves to function and prolong the survival of individual nerve fibres.

Food has a tremendous impact on your brain and how it functions. The individual cells in your brain are called neurons and you have about 80-100 billion of them. Each neuron has about 2000 connections with other neurons, which creates trillions of links (called synapses) between brain cells. These connections are what enables you to think, learn, create, solve problems, and build memories. 

Those links are gaps between neurons called synapses, and that’s where the action in your brain takes place – thinking, learning, creativity, problem solving, and memory building. When the neurons of a particular part of the brain are activated, a given synapse can fire up to 200 times per second! That’s a whole lot of energy getting consumed.

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With all that activity, quality food is critical to achieve optimal brain function. To perform at your absolute best mentally – and to be uber healthy so that you can go after your passion and purpose – you need to eat as well as you can.

  • You need slow-digesting complex carbohydrates to provide a steady source of glucose, which is the fuel your brain uses for thinking, solving problems, being creative, and instilling memories.

  • You need high-quality fats, because fats are used to build the structures in your nerves like cell membranes and the myelin sheath that protects the nerve and speeds communication between neurons.

  • You need healthy proteins to provide the amino acids that are the precursors for the neurotransmitters used to communicate between nerve cells.

  • You need vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables for the intracellular processes that enable the nerves to function and even prolong the survival of individual nerve fibres.

Guess what you should be eating to fuel your thinking, creativity, problem solving and memory? That’s right – whole, fresh, unprocessed foods. Cold-water fatty wild fish. Fruits and veggies. Raw nuts and seeds. Olive oil. Coffee, green tea and black tea are all good options.

Get cooking!

Today's New Habit: Prep your snacks!

When we get to the point where we’re really hungry, that’s when we make poor food choices. When we get to that point, it’s hard to say no to fast food or to the vending machine snack that’s right there. However, if we plan ahead and bring healthy snacks to work or when you’re traveling, you can avoid that extreme hunger situation.

This week, brainstorm some healthy foods that you think you could take to work with you every day. Some good examples are nuts, veggies and hummus, fresh fruit, or a homemade smoothie.

Try and come up with a list of foods you would like to eat, that are easy to transport, and that you will be able to buy on a regular basis. Then try it out! Buy some of these foods and take them with you to work. Have fun!



The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your 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. 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 The Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Eating Smarter Keys 1-4

Eating Smarter Keys 1-4

The Ripple Effect Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll outline the 7 keys to Eating Smarter. Here are the first 4 keys.

2. Key 1: Hydrate. Water consumption is the easiest way to improve your health. It helps boosts energy production in the body, prevents headaches, improves elimination of toxins, and supports the skin, bowels, eyes, and brain.

3. Key 2: Eat Mostly Plants. Plants have vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that have important anti-oxidant properties (oxidative stress affects the structure and function of important biomolecules, such as a fatty acids, DNA, or proteins). 

4. Key 3: Consume More Nutrients, Fewer Calories. Health = Nutrients per Calorie consumed (H=N/C). Choose nutrient-dense foods as apposed to calorie-dense foods.

5. Key 4: Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods. Poor nutrition causes chronic inflammation, which leads to abdominal bloating, arthritic joints, heartburn, heart disease, and oxidative stress. Five groups of food that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects are spices, fruits and vegetables, small cold-water fish, probiotic foods, and raw nuts and seeds.

Eating smarter can help us in all aspects of our life. The solution lies in each of us building a lifestyle that helps us to be healthy, happy, and to be our best. The foundation needs to be built on great foods that help us be better. We just need to eat the right foods at the right time, and we can have amazing health and perform at any level we need to any time we need to. If we add good sleep and exercise to the mix, we can amplify our health and potential. Here are the first 4 keys to eating smarter.

Key #1: Hydrate

There is not a single cell in your body that does not rely on water. Water helps transport the carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your cells need to make energy. When your body works, functions, or moves it does so because water helped transport the necessary fuel or energy-building components. Think of your veins and arteries as your city’s roads and highways. These roads are used to bring goods into the city but also to transport unwanted materials out. If this transportation is slowed, the result is a city that is starving for goods and overflowing with garbage.

One of the most fascinating things about water is its effect on the brain. 60 percent of your body weight is made up of water but incredibly it makes up almost 90 percent of your brain. Water lubricates and cushions the brain. It also helps you to think, concentrate, problem solve, and remember. With water those important cognitive functions… well, they function. Without water they stop functioning properly, or worse. With a fluid loss of only 2% (3lbs in a 150lb adult), concentration and thinking will become impaired. This 2% loss is incredibly common in a typical day at the office with back-to-back meetings.

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Key #2: Eat Mostly Plants

The primary benefit of eating a diet based mostly on plants is to increase the amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your diet. These have anti-oxidant properties that help to keep you healthy. In technical terms anti-oxidant are substances that prevent the oxidation of important biomolecules, such as a fatty acids, DNA, or proteins. Excessive oxidation of molecules in the body can affect their structure and function (oxidative stress). Anti-oxidants slow and minimize this process in our bodies.

Plant-based foods are our best defence against oxidative stress in our bodies. Fruits, vegetables, teas, coffee, spices, and herbs are all great sources of anti-oxidants, and all of these have been related to lower risk of most chronic diseases and a lower risk of mortality. Research has shown a clear inverse relationship between increasing your fruit and vegetable intake and lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma, COPD, dementia, osteoporosis, certain eye diseases, and weight gain. If you want to live a long, healthy life, eat mostly plants.

Interested in eating more plant-based meals? Check out Rich Roll’s cookbook The PlantPower Way for some terrific recipes.

Another go-to cookbook in our family is Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon.

Key #3: Consume More Nutrients, Fewer Calories

I want to give you an easy-to-follow criteria for choosing foods that will give you the most health and performance benefit while helping you avoid the various preservatives, pesticides, genetically-modified ingredients, and nutrient-poor crops out there. To get the biggest bang for your calorie buck, you need to optimize your nutrient-to-calorie ratio.

Consider this formula: H=N/C, which means that health = nutrients per calorie consumed. 

To speed you on your way to eating more in line with the H=N/C principle I want you to add Superfoods to your diet wherever possible. Superfoods are foods with very high vitamin, mineral, nutrient, and anti-oxidant levels that are also low in calories (think vegetables), or if not low in calories then powerfully health enhancing (such as fruit, nuts, avocado, and coconut). Examples of Superfoods include leafy greens, small fatty fish, legumes, berries, root vegetables, sprouts, chia seeds, spirulina, pomegranate seeds, and turmeric.  

Key #4: Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Whether it’s abdominal bloating, arthritic joints, heartburn, or heart disease, inflammation causes wear and tear and interferes with you being the best version of yourself. Researchers are now discovering that chronic inflammation is a result of the diet that we eat in the west, along with our inactive lifestyle. It is extremely damaging to our health and our ability to take part in the activities that will lead us to achieving our dreams.

Chronic inflammation also appears to cause problems in the cells that line your endothelia, the lining of your blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and other tissues in your body. These problems result in your blood vessels becoming stiff when they need to remain flexible to function. Problems with endothelial cells also lead to oxidative stress.

Five groups of foods that have shown promising anti-inflammatory effects in research settings are spices, fruits and vegetables, small cold-water fish, probiotic foods, and raw nuts and seeds.

When you have a diet full of healthy whole foods and lots of vegetables and other anti-inflammatory foods, you will take in a high density of nutrients that could help reduce your inflammation to help you feel more clear headed and keep your memory sharp.

Today's Habit: Prep your snacks!

Hopefully last week you made a list of healthy snack foods to bring to work with you. Did you try some of them out?

This week, we’re going to continue with the same habit so if you didn’t get around to it last week you can try it this week.

Remember, if you prevent yourself from getting to the point of extreme hunger, you will be less likely to reach for that unhealthy snack. Make sure you pack healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates to help get you through the day. If you need some advice on what you can bring, don’t hesitate to contact us. Keep up the good work!



The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your 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. 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 The Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Eat Smarter Keys 5-7

Eat Smarter Keys 5-7

The Ripple Effect Program Home Page

Key Points:

1. Here are the final 3 keys to Eating Smarter.

2. Key 5: Eat Healthy Fats. A low-fat diet does not = healthy eating. However, the type of fat you eat has a major effect on your overall health. Add healthy fats to your diet, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconuts.

3. Key 6: Eat Healthy Carbohydrates. Just like fats, there are good and bad carbohydrates. In general, healthy carbohydrates are complex carbohydrates that are high in fibre and slow digesting (low glycemic), while unhealthy carbohydrates are simple and high glycemic. 

4. Key 7: Eat Healthy Protein. Neurotransmitters are signalling proteins in the brain that create thoughts, memories, and critical thinking. What you eat significantly affects these neurotransmitters and therefore how your brain functions. 

Here are the final 3 keys to Eating Smarter.

Key #5: Eat Healthy Fats

It is time to end the low-fat = healthy eating myth. That concept has not served us well. Food manufacturers simply removed fats and replaced them with sugars and refined grains and the negative impact on our health has been frightening. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the percentage of fats in your diet, whether high or low, does not determine your risk of disease.

What matters is the type of fat that you have in your diet. Harmful fats are the saturated fats that come from animal sources (grain-fed meats, poultry, and full-fat dairy from grain fed cows) and the trans fats from hydrogenated vegetable oils. A good way to tell if your fat source is healthy is to see whether it is solid at room temperature. For example, butter is solid at room temperature (not healthy), whereas olive oil remains liquid (healthy). Healthy sources of fat include olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring, flax, avocado, coconut, nuts, and seeds.

The takeaway here is not that you should be afraid of fats and of adding healthy fats to your diet, but that you should avoid unhealthy fats that can damage your health and metabolism.

Key #6: Eat Healthy Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates (commonly referred to as “carbs”) have gotten a very bad rap lately as well. However just like fats, there are good and bad carbohydrates. In general, complex carbohydrates that are high in fibre and are slow digesting (low-glycemic index carbohydrates) can be quite healthful, while foods that are high in simple carbohydrates that are high glycemic can be problematic.

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The rapid rise in sugar and fructose consumption in the 1980’s mirrored a steep increase in obesity in the UK, Canada, and the US. More recent data suggest that the types of foods that we eat – especially foods that have a high glycemic index (e.g. white bread, white rice, cereals, juice, and pop) – can cause changes in our internal gut micro-flora (bacteria) that can increase inflammation in our bodies. High-simple sugar diets can also impact our immune systems. Some of the problems that happen in the body when we eat too much sugar include a depression of the immune system (the same system that fights off cancer), kidney damage, atherosclerosis, oxidative stress, and cancer.

Stick to healthy carbohydrates as much as possible such as quinoa, whole grains, vegetables (such as sweet potato), fruits (especially berries), beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Try to avoid simple carbohydrates, often found in refined and processed foods like breakfast cereals, white bread, pastries (such as cakes, cupcakes, muffins), candy, sweet drinks (including fruit juices), sugars, and syrups.

Key #7: Eat Healthy Protein

Neurotransmitters are small bundles of protein that work in the brain to carry signals from one nerve to another. This creates thoughts, memories, and basically controls the way the brain functions. Tyrosine is an amino acid that is an essential precursor (a building block) to neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which have stimulatory effects on the body and brain. Basically they wake you up and help you concentrate. Higher levels of tyrosine help you feel good, they improve your mood, and can also improve concentration and mental performance. Sources of tyrosine include protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, beans, tofu, and lentils.

You are not likely to choose every meal based on amino-acid composition. That makes life just a little too complicated. But if you need to be alert – to perform at a work event or for an exam – go for a protein-rich, low simple carb meal. If you need to wind down and get to sleep at night, enjoy a higher carbohydrate meal such as bowl of yogurt with a handful of sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. Use your food to help you perform better. The outcome will be that you’ll be healthier too. Here are a few ideas for you: 

o    Add eggs to your toast
o    Be generous with your nut/seed butters on crackers, wraps, or bread
o    Bring along a can of tuna fish to add to your meal
o    Add hemp hearts to just about anything!
o    Choose quinoa instead of rice
o    Add nuts/seeds or legumes (lentils, chick peas, or beans) to salads
o    Have hummus with veggies instead of ranch dressing
o    Choose poultry, fish, or meat for a blast of complete protein
 
High quality, nutrient-dense foods are the optimal fuel for our brains and bodies and help to deal with stress. In addition to eating healthy carbs and healthy fats, healthy proteins are critical because they have such a powerful influence on our brain neurotransmitters, which can help us concentrate, focus, and problem solve.

Today's New Habit: Pick your new revolutionary habit

Small changes done consistently over time always win when it comes to the human body. If you start small, you will eventually make big changes.

This week, identify 2-3 small changes that you can make to your nutrition that you think you can do consistently over time. Maybe it’s to replace your morning juice with a piece of fruit. Maybe it’s to switch from white to whole grain brain. Whatever you pick, make sure that these are changes you think you can easily incorporate into your life so you stick to it.

Then pick one and go for it! Next week we’ll check in on how you’re doing.



The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your 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. 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 The Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.

Eat Smarter Wrap-Up

Eat Smarter Wrap-Up

The Ripple Effect Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. We need to start looking at food as medicine - good nutrition maintains health and prevents disease.

2. Make small, 1% changes to improve your diet and overall health. Eventually eating healthy will become habit. 

3. You don't have to be perfect. But if you make a concerted effort to be healthy the majority of the time, you don't have to worry about those days when healthy food isn't available, or when you have to grab a quick meal on the road.

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Why worry about what we eat? Because food is the most powerful drug we put in our bodies. Food can help prevent and cure disease, and it maintains our health. However food can also damage us, make us more susceptible to disease, and undermine our mental and physical health and wellbeing.

I’m guessing that there are times you may feel overwhelmed when you read these posts. I know from personal experience that the barrage of recipes, superfoods, spices, recommendations, and advice about what to eat and when to eat it can be a lot to take in. So I thought today would be a good day to review the 7 keys to improving your eating habits 1% at a time:

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1. Hydrate. Make drinking water part of your daily routine. Get a water bottle and keep it with you, and fill it up a few times every day. Water is just as important at work as it is in the gym. Stay hydrated and stay healthy.

2. Eat Mostly Plants. Eating plants will not only help you prevent chronic illnesses, but will also help you power up your immune system, which fights off viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other invaders.

3. Consume More Nutrients, Fewer Calories. Remember the formula Health = Nutrients per Calorie consumed (H=N/C). Choose nutrient-dense foods as apposed to calorie-dense foods. For example, skip the muffins and bagels and choose protein and vegetables.

4. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods. Poor nutrition causes chronic inflammation. Eating a large quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables can help optimize your anti-inflammatory and antioxidant status.

5. Eat Healthy Fats. To decrease your intake of unhealthy fat, reduce or eliminate saturated animal fats, trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and processed foods. Add healthy fats to your diet, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconuts.

6. Eat Healthy Carbohydrates. When we eat a lot of simple carbohydrates, this can lead to a depression of the immune system, kidney damage, atherosclerosis, oxidative stress, and cancer. Incorporate healthy carbohydrates into your diet such as quinoa, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

7. Eat Healthy Protein. The amino acid tyrosine is a building block for the neurotransmitters that wake you up, help you concentrate, focus, and problem solve. Go for protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, beans, tofu, and lentils when you need to concentrate, problem solve, or deal with stress.

Remember that habits form slowly through deliberate effort and 1% changes. No person can revolutionize their eating overnight. It’s all about starting somewhere and then building on that momentum. And once you are eating well, it’s easy to keep the habits going and include other interesting options.

And nobody needs perfection. One of the worst mindsets we can adopt while trying to build new habits is that we have to be perfect. Nonsense! Our goal is to make small, incremental changes so that we arrive at a place where a good majority of our food intake is high-quality.

Today’s Habit: Pick your new revolutionary habit

How did last week go? Did you try out one of your new habits? Do you think you could maintain it over time? If so that’s great! Try it out again this week.

If you found it difficult then that’s okay. That might be a habit that you don’t worry about for now. Pick something else on your list and try that!

If you start small, you will eventually make big changes. Eating well happens on meal at a time.

Start, Stop, Continue

Now that you’ve completed the module, is there a habit or routine that you would like to start? Is there a habit or routine that you would like to stop? Is there a habit that you would like to continue?



The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist you with improving your performance, as well as your 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. 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 The Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.