I often start my workplace wellness seminars off with a question, followed by an apology.
The question: "What is your body made of?"
The apology: "I'm sorry the fitness industry has made this so confusing."
The answer I'm looking for is cells. Your body is made up of millions of cells, they form organs and tissues. Your cells die regularly. Before they do, they reproduce themselves. That reproduction hinges on a few materials being present. Micro nutrients (Vitamins and minerals), Macro nutrients (protein, fats, carbs), and hormones.
I apologize for the fact that the fitness industry has made diet about weight loss and weight gain. We made it about being fat and skinny. We have people avoiding certain foods because of the result it has on the scale. We stopped making it about prevention of cancer, health, and the basics of being alive.
Everything you need is found in whole foods. If you are just starting your health journey, don't worry about vegan, organic, hormone free, GMO/Non-GMO, free range or anything else. Start by going into your closest grocery store and buying fruit, vegetables, and fresh protein (Beef, Chicken, Pork, Fish). It's not a fancy diet, and we won't put a label on it. This is simply undoing the past 20 to 30 years of vilifying food.
Food doesn't make you skinny or fat, it simply ensures your cells and your body have energy and the basic building blocks to reproduce.
It's come to my attention that a lot of people out there are short on time. Fast Food has become a way of life. I've been trying to get people to prep food, and take it to work or eat at home as much as possible. It's tough, and I understand.
Let's not forget why we do this, and who we are feeding. It's our children, our future, the health of the next generation. Our choices on food, where we shop, and the restaurants we frequent directly affect our youth. A youth that is steadily getting more unhealthy. It's far past time that we change that.
Lets ask ourselves four questions.
How do we get back to healthy?
How do we undo over 50 per cent of the population being overweight and obese to the point of it contributing to disease?
How do we reteach nutrition so our workforce isn't in a food comma after lunch?
How do we change the current trend and actually outlive our parents?
What needs to happen is a very distinct change in the fast food culture. As a population, we need to demand real food. Once that food is available, and it is right now, we need to choose it. Our bodies react to what we put in them. Chemicals, fillers, preservatives and low grade products can't be digested by the body. They cause inflammation, and provide zero fuel for our bodies.
The second thing that needs to change is our desire for the quick fix. Again, we made food about becoming fat or skinny. Our media drives home the fact that we should look a certain way. Those two factors influence our choices in an unhealthy way. We take stimulants to lose weight, we cut out energizing foods to cut weight, and we beat ourselves up for fat on our body.
One of my favorite things to do for my health is to fast, or do a juice cleanse. I do it "semi regularly". Meaning, when I feel the need. Some promote it weekly, others, monthly. For my personal preference, I do it when I feel myself getting "bogged down". Your digestive system needs a rest once in a while. We came from hunters and gatherers. They didn't have food every single day, the certainly didn't have it available on every street corner in overly large serving sizes.
The terrible thing about telling people your fasting or doing a juice cleanse is that they immediately assume you are trying to lose weight. That's how we have been conditioned. Nothing we do is about health.
I went for a walk today -- Are you trying to lose weight?
No thanks, I don't want dessert -- Are you on a diet to lose weight?
I'm doing a juice cleanse -- How much weight do you lose on one of those?
I went for a walk to relax, don't want dessert because I'm full, and I'm giving my digestive system a much needed rest. That's the way our discussions need to change. How can I be more healthy?
My thoughts and sentiments were echoed this week by Matthew Corrin. I had the opportunity to speak with the Founder of Freshii, they just opened a store in my home town of Winnipeg. I had never heard of the company before this week. After my conversation with Matthew, my excitement couldn't be higher. He wrote an open letter to McDonald's. That, combined with creating a chain of restaurants that is already 160+ and growing, Matthew and Freshii will do for vegetables and healthy food what typical fast food has done for the burger and junk food.
We call it junk food and we still eat it -- that's strange to me.
Things are changing, people are tired of being out of energy in the afternoons, sick, worried about loved ones health, and confused about health, fitness, and the wellness world. The messaging will get clear. Healthy food will take it's rightful place as the lead selling product in the fast food industry. All because people are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Eat real food, move as often as you can, play, laugh, and enjoy life. That is exactly what health is.
If you have a Freshii in your neighbourhood, go have a Pangoa Bowl and tell them Jordan sent you. If you're curious about the ins and outs of a juice cleanse, email email@example.com and a nutritionist will get back to you. I heard back in 11 minutes, and they happily answered my questions.
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