Monday, September 13, 2010

What Simon Doesn't Say

Most will remember playing Simon Says during our growing up years. Seemingly a simple game to entertain and occupy children, it is actually a wonderful practice in living in the present and listening. I suspect there is a market for corporate training programs to re-teach the concept, but that is not why we're here today. 

There are plenty of studies that say we emulate the behavior of those around us. Such concepts have even gone so far as to say we can lose weight by hanging out with thin people because we're more likely to make more healthful food choices in their presence. Therein lies another business idea.... Companies can hire fit, happy looking people to hang out in the corporate cafeteria and eat vegetables. And, also not why we're here.

We're here to discuss the abysmal record Americans have when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables. A study published a few days ago shows us the news. Only 32.5% of people get the recommended daily servings of fruits (2 servings) and a mere 26% had the recommended servings of vegetables (3 servings). We know they are good for us. We know they taste good. We know our bodies feel better after eating well instead of eating poorly. And yet... Yet we don't make it happen. Why? Complex answer which is some combination of access, cost, education and convenience. Last I checked there were no corner quick-service restaurants focused on fruit and vegetables (another business idea though challenging to be successful).

Our challenge is clear. Each and every one of us can increase our own consumption of fruits and vegetables. We can plan our Eat. menu each day with more servings than we are getting now. Add one serving of a vegetable and a fruit each day until you get to the daily recommended servings. And then keeping adding. The USDA recommendations are too low for optimal health. How far should you go? Depends on what works best for you. Personally, I consume 5 servings of fruits and 8-10 servings of vegetables on a daily basis. Add servings, give yourself some time to adapt to less junk and more fresh and then see how you feel. 

Getting more is most important. Getting plenty is the best thing you can do for your long term health and wellness. If the people around you aren't doing so, start the trend. Do what Simon doesn't say. 

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