We’ve been counting calories and measuring portions and avoiding fat and doing this, that, and the other diet thing for decades and for all that trouble, Americans are sicker than ever:
- One out of 2.3 people in the United States will get a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime
- Two out of 3 of us is overweight or obese
- More than one in 4 of us suffer from heart disease
- More than half of us suffer from one or more chronic diseases
This substantially impacts the lives of individual employees and it impacts overall company health care costs.
Yet, according to the CDC, “chronic diseases and conditions – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.” 1
Preventable because they are mostly rooted in nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxicities.
Almost every chronic illness gets started because the nutrients – the basic building blocks – the body needs to do its many jobs correctly aren’t in place. We’ve made nutrition soooo complicated that many people are confused or think they don’t have time to make healthy food – and by the way, what would that be?
This is where I come in.
During Lunch & Learn sessions, we will sometimes fix food, and sometimes use a PowerPoint presentation. We will always talk about what to eat, and most importantly, why to eat it. Programs that focus on calories, portions, prepared boxed food are great for that business owners’ revenue, but not so great for the recipient – your employee. Sophisticated sounding programs typically don’t last long because they are unsustainable.
Think about it – 150 years ago, before chronic diseases were the number one cause of mortality, people didn’t count calories, obsess over individual nutrients, nuke microwavable boxes, or eat from drive-through windows. We’ve since traded health and self-reliance for a perception of convenience and health insurance plans that pay for disease management.
So what does success look like? An informed, self-reliant individual who knows how to eat healthy for life. He or she knows how to navigate the supermarket and the farmers’ markets, discern the marketing hype from the reality, read labels, and make good choices.
Mary’s Apple offers a series of either 6 or 10 Lunch & Learns. The end goal:
Empower each individual with the knowledge to eat well and create long-lasting changes that can head off that diagnosis of cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.
You need to know not just what to eat – but why. Here’s some of what we typically cover:
- Fat: How to do the right thing with fats and why even the federal government is reversing its position after 50 years. The old dogma that eating fat makes you fat is finally, and very deservedly, going away. In fact, eating the right kinds of fat is key to losing weight.
- The Carb Conundrum: Vegetables are carbohydrates, but so is cereal. Not all carbs are equal. What is there to eat for breakfast if not cereal, waffles, orange juice and toast? What about coffee? What about fruit? And what’s the fuss about gluten?
- Sugar: It feeds cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s – just about every chronic disease, so let’s understand how it does that, where it lurks in our food, and why it has likely sabotaged most attempts at dieting.
- Reading labels: Is the amount of fats and calories as important as the amount of sugar? What do some of these words mean? What’s lurking inside a product that is not listed on the label? Is organic worth it?
- Calories and exercise: If it were really as simple as eating less and exercising more, we would not have twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Why is sitting called the new smoking? How do we make smart choices with our time and money?
- Genetics and Epigenetics: Gene testing is all the rage, but the epigenome and the gut biome are now understood to be much more important and both are heavily influenced by our diet and lifestyle choices. How do we invite our genes to express in ways that keep us healthy?
The program can be tailored to fit your company’s individual needs.
We eat at least 3 times a day. We are constantly putting fuel in our bodies. Is it high octane or something a whole lot less? Making the right food choices is an important key to the prevention of chronic diseases and health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
To make lasting, positive change, we need to learn where we went wrong on the urban dietary highway and how to get back to those country roads that bring us to simple, unprocessed, nourishing food. When people are empowered with knowledge, the stage is set for real and lasting changes for better health.