When we think about the sacrifices entrepreneurs make to be successful, many of us think about time, sleep, and health. How often do we hear stories of people downing six energy drinks every night while they build their product? Then when you ask them why they don't exercise or eat well, the typical answer is that they don't have time. This is an excuse that leads to health problems down the road. This is proven by the fact that 69 percent of people in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese.
Chef Jason Roberts has made it his mission to stop the unhealthy eating problem that is damaging so many lives. In his book Good Food--Fast!, Jason offers recipes for healthy, gluten-free meals that busy people can still cook. I had a chance to talk with Jason about his advice on eating well, and the effects health has on being a great entrepreneur. Here are some of my takeaways from our conversation:
1. Focus on Conscious Living
The focus you have on your business should also apply to the way you treat your body. Instead of being conscious of just one aspect of your life, simply expand the concentration to other things, like health. A common mistake entrepreneurs make is separating what they eat from how they perform. In reality, Jason says, focusing on what we eat actually will help us build our businesses. Better food provides better fuel, which will increase our productivity and concentration. It's amazing to see how much the food we eat affects all other parts of our lives. Concentration, energy, and attitude are just a few examples. Before you start trying to take care of yourself, you first have to acknowledge the importance of eating right.
If that's not enough to convince you to eat healthy, consider this: Experts say that 75 percent of weight loss comes down to the food you eat, not the exercise. With that said, Jason says it's all about balance. One of the few chefs who's in great shape, Jason incorporates healthy meals and exercise into his life every day. It's not that he's superhuman, he just realizes that being healthier makes him a better entrepreneur.
2. Make Four Better Choices Per Day
Understanding the importance of eating right is a great step, but that alone does nothing unless you start making changes. This is where most people slip up. They know what they need to do and how to do it, but they just can't make the change. This is not surprising, as changing habits is hard to do. Jason's advice is to try and focus on making four better choices a day.
An example would be someone who wakes up every morning and skips breakfast. A great option would be to have a healthy breakfast every morning. Even small things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator add up. A big problem that causes people to give up on eating healthy is when they try to go to the extreme too fast. When you overload yourself, you burn out. Instead, start on four small adjustments every day and you'll make much better changes over time.
3. Beware of Processed Foods
One of the most surprising parts of my conversation with Jason was learning how much food is processed in the grocery store. People complain about how expensive unprocessed or organic food is, but then they eat out as the alternative. Not only is food at restaurants more expensive, you also have no idea what's going into that food. Many places cut costs by using processed ingredients that we never know about. So even a dish that appears to be healthy can be loaded with toxins and lack nutrients.
To solve this, Jason says, turn to cooking healthy meals for yourself and your family. Read the label at the grocery store and, when you can, buy local. Another tip is to try and eat gluten-free. It's amazing how many people have lost belly fat and have increased energy from removing gluten from their diet. One point that Jason made was how healthy, natural foods look like human organs. Walnuts look like a brain, celery mirrors bones, and sweet potatoes look like a pancreas. Use this as a guide to eat natural and simple foods, and you'll feel much better in your personal and professional life.