Why do a Challenge if it drives you wild?

By: Quinton de Bruin

Why would you take on a challenge when challenges drive you wild? Well in the true sense of the word, being challenged I have no problem. What I do get annoyed by is broad, general and sweeping statements that are misleading and disempowers people to be able to make informed choices about their health, diet and lifestyle. I believe in many cases this happens as no mistake.

I think back to my days as a student (yes it was a fair while ago now) and I clearly remember this margarine company who needed to differentiate itself from the competition. It's new advertising hook became, "now high in polyunsaturated fats!" Wow product improvement, talk about first mover advantage… or was it? Turns out all the competitors also had these fats in their margarine, they just didn't state it – smart marketing – it would hardly be good for another to come out with "also high in blah blah blah". And just how does this example link to our scenario? Glad you asked! Having always had an interest in the health and fitness space, I have kept my eye on food and nutrition. What started out as confusing, now with some additional research, has turned to frustration.

Take a step back for a minute and watch the health food industry, almost daily we are hit by the next big thing. Something that will make you leaner, stronger, healthier, eliminate your chances of disease and so the list goes on! Anyone know what a healthy level of sugar is in a muesli bar?

With all these products come marketing messages, while easy to forget, are there to sell the product, not inform or educate us! Boy, are some of them good, they use images to motivate us to act, outrageous claims that stun us and excite us.

While these messages aim to entice us to buy certain products, how do we the consumer, know what is really good food for us? Remind me which is the best breakfast to start the day with? I know, Google knows it all, here's what turns up:

2.Greek Yoghurt
3.Wheat germ
7.Almond Butter
14.Cantaloupe (melon)
16.Orange Juice
17.Cranberry Juice
20.Whole-wheat Bread

This was ranking at the top http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20676415,00.html

That sounds like a reasonable list at first glance, right? I have a simple approach to most things and choosing food is no different really – I start with the end in mind, simply meaning what is the outcome I want? Am I eating for the experience of enjoying it (tastes good, eat heaps), feasting with friends or am I purely eating to fuel my body? Or is the meal to lose weight, build muscle or provide energy for an endurance event.

No doubt if one of those is your objective or the reason behind your meal choice, some of the things on this list will not get you there. For other objectives, those you would reject in the previous case are now just what you require.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I will be taking on a lifestyle around eating clean, (in many cases) raw vegetables, some fruits, nuts, meats, fish and poultry. Compare that to the list above and there are some options, but having seen the meal plans there is a large portion of what will make up my breakfasts, that didn't make it onto the Top 20 list! Will I be losing sleep over that? No, I am not surprised in the least. I'll give you a sneak peek shortly!

Tomorrow I will share more on what I have discovered about the foods we eat and what they do to and for us and a story I heard about Kellogg's. Slowly but surely, I am starting to feel like a real-life experiment!
The small print: now is probably a good time to encourage you to have a discussion about your personal situation with your doctor, a nutritionist and the Body and Motion trainers to work out how best to achieve any challenges you have in mind. The thoughts in these blogs are my own personal opinion and shouldn't be taken as direct advice. Some of the choices around what I consume or what activity I partake in may not be endorsed by Body and Motion. However, the team will always be keen enablers of your fitness goals! Talk to us today.


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