Food is one of the constants in our lives. For many of us, food brings great joy, connection, and pleasure. For others, food can be a dreaded, negative thing. Regardless of our emotional relationship to food, one thing that is often misunderstood is that food can be our medicine or venom. Food is meant to nourish us, fill us, give us energy, and support our bodies and brains so that we can lead productive, vital lives. Unfortunately in our busy lives, especially the lives of busy Executives, Leaders, and Managers, food quality and healthy food choices are one of the first things to get sacrificed on the list of priorities (exercise is next on the list of sacrifices). The majority of leaders I work with simply eat to survive the day. They aren’t making choices that are nourishing to their bodies or brains, and they aren’t making choices to support long-term health, resilience, and productivity. I do have to say there are a handful of leaders that I work with that have already made huge changes in the way they eat, and their physical health—if this is you, keep doing it. We need more of you to lead the way!
I will write a lot about food, and using food as medicine here on the blog. To get us going, here are a few things you can do to start using Food As Medicine:
- Start tracking what you put in your mouth. Track your food, drinks, snacks, supplements, everything. As you track what you eat start to notice how you feel, what your level of energy is, what’s your mood, do you have any sensations or symptoms after eating certain foods. What you will find may surprise you. I discovered a dairy intolerance this way, and clients of mine have discovered food allergies and sensitivities. You can track this the old-fashioned, pen and paper way, or use mobile apps.
- More Water. Drink a glass of water when you wake up. Drink a glass 1-hour before bed. We often mistake hunger for thirst, so if you think you are hungry, drink a glass of water first. Of course, drink water all day long. Wherever you are now with your water intake, try to double it. For an added bonus, drink lemon water in the morning before you drink your coffee or eat.
- Add Green-Decrease White. Add in more green veggies, and decrease the amount of white stuff you are consuming (bread, sugar, pastries, pasta, dairy, etc.).
- Decrease sugar. Sugar is one of our nations silent killers, and a source of addiction for millions of people. Sugar is costly to your immune system, your brain, your digestive system, and of course your waist line.
- Assess your belief systems and rituals around food. What does food mean to you. Where and when did this belief system take place? What are you ready to get rid of or change? In your relationship with food, ask yourself,
- “What can I KEEP Doing that supports my overall health?
- “What one thing can I STOP doing to support my overall health?” And,
- “What one thing can I START doing to support my overall health.”
We can train you, your team and your leaders on how to use Food as Medicine to perform better.