If you’re looking to create the best possible life for yourself, where optimum performance in your personal and professional life is the norm, you must take your nutrition seriously. Nutrition is foundational to good health. Maslow, in his pyramid depicting the five-tier model of human needs, has nutrition listed at the base. Along with proper rest, food and water are the most basic needs for physical survival. As Saul McLeod of simplypsychology.com said in his write up of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs “If these needs are not satisfied the human body cannot function optimally. Maslow considered physiological needs the most important as all the other needs become secondary until these needs are met.”
These basic needs are critical, yet often downplayed by business leaders. In my work, I have found that the majority of leaders show little attention to their physical health. This important foundation is often neglected, while we work on the upper levels of the pyramid toward self-actualization.
If your nutrition has room for improvement, try a fix given to me straight from an ISSA certified fitness and nutrition coach: form habits. Habits themselves are quite powerful. Think of it like this, the way you apply yourself to create healthy habits and routines for your productivity at work should be used to create habits for good sustainable health.
When the nutritionist’s clients come to her wanting to lose weight, she shows them how to incorporate healthy nutritional habits into their lives. The truth is, we can only avoid bad food habits with willpower for so long. Eventually, in a weak moment, we will give in. You can wipe out one hour of exercise in five minutes with a bad food choice. However, if you create a healthy habit that becomes a ritual each day, it will be much more effective. You want the habit to be as automatic as brushing your teeth – so you don’t even think about it.
Good healthy food is paramount to our well-being, to feel full of energy, and operating at our best. If you’re looking to get your nutrition back on track, here are 3 simple habits that I’ve had success with:
- Have a colorful plate at every meal. Typically, if we have a bland color palate we tend to be missing foods from some of the food groups. “Color” is usually reflected in the various bright vegetables and fruit that we add to our plates. Some of my favorites that give a lot of “bang for the buck” are blueberries, beets, colorful peppers, broccoli, and varied mixed greens.
- Limit yourself to one carbohydrate per meal. Carbohydrates tend to be my weak spot (I love delicious homemade bread and pasta) so I pick just one. If I am having bread I skip the rice.
- Have a handful of nuts. Healthy nuts such as almonds and walnuts are a great source of protein and oils. I will add nuts to my salad and keep small packages in my car for a quick snack.
Give these a try! I have no doubt that they will help.