Scott Nash knows a little about how healthy eating makes you more successful . As the CEO of MOM's Organic Market, he makes it his business to keep people putting the right stuff in their stomachs. Nash started MOM's with $100 out of his mother's garage after failing out of college at the age of 22. Today, with more than a dozen stores, MOM's helps thousands of customers be the healthiest of the healthy. "They have high demands," Nash says."We meet those demands with 14,000 of the most nutritional, least toxic, healthiest products in the grocery industry."

Nash, an active member of the Young Presidents' Organization(YPO), doesn't just focus on wellness for his customers. He recently revamped his entire company culture by establishing new core values centered on total mindfulness, including the preservation of body. Nash believes that mentally and physically healthy people with a strong work-life balance make for a happier and more successful company.

Nash explains, "I believe we cannot compartmentalize. After all, you are alive when you're at work, and you are the same person there as you are outside of work. So here at MOM's, we not only train for job specific tasks, we train holistically. We try to practice being accepting and grateful, balancing the ego and having a purpose and passion, and we teach that we rise by lifting others."

With holiday food orgies a daily occurrence right now, everyone could benefit from Nash's best tips on how healthy eating will improve both your mood and your productivity.

1. Eat your calories, don't drink them.

According to studies, a bottle of wine a week provides roughly 10 theoretical pounds worth of calories a year. Add in two glasses of one percent milk and a glass of orange juice a day, and you're just under 150,000 calories or just over 40 theoretical pounds. And because these calories are fairly nutrient-deficient, there is little benefit that couldn't be found in a multi-vitamin. Listen to Nash when he says, "Water is the perfect thirst quencher."

2. Choose whole grains.

"Whole grain breads, pasta, (even pizza crusts) have more nutrition and will make you feel more full for longer." Nash suggests this is an easy change to make these days. "I've found that some sushi places even offer brown rice on request." In addition to keeping you from snacking, whole grain carbs also break down slowly, giving you long boosts of energy rather than the spike and crash from simple carbohydrates which break down into sugars much faster.

3. Combine breakfast and lunch.

"I've found that eating a good-sized healthy meal when I'm hungry at around 11 AM each day fills me up right until dinnertime. I usually have a large kale salad or sometimes a big bowl of steamed veggies with whole grain pilaf. I'm lucky that we have Naked Lunch organic kitchen in the MOM's store underneath our offices, but you can find healthy meals at places like Chipotle and salad places like Chopt. Or, bring your own from home."

4. When eating holiday meals, use smaller plates/bowls.

"You'll be amazed at how this little tip will prevent you from eating beyond the point of no longer being hungry," Nash says. According to Cornell University, larger plates can make a serving of food appear smaller, and smaller plates can lead us to think that very same quantity of food is much larger. They suggest that fresh vegetables and other healthy foods should be served on large plates to encourage eating more, while unhealthy foods should be served from smaller plates to trick our bad habits into being satisfied with less.

5. Batch your healthy food for the week.

"I will sometimes make a large pot of a healthy soup or a big lasagna with whole wheat noodles and veggies to keep it very convenient for me to eat healthy all week long. When I make salads, I make enough for the whole family to eat for two to three days. This makes for more efficient time in the kitchen, too."

6. Don't put it in the cart.

Resist putting unhealthy food in your shopping cart just because you've run out at home. "I find that my kids -- and yes, their parents -- often lack the will power to resist decadent foods in the house," Nash reveals. "For example, I will grab two to three containers of coconut milk ice cream, and they'll be gone in a day and half. It's like a feeding frenzy in my house! We don't tend to pace and I assume it'll get immediately gobbled up, so I bring it home only once per week."

7. Don't eat after a designated time at night.

When you eat late at night, your metabolism keeps working -- you are telling your body, "Here's some fuel to keep going." While you're sleeping, your metabolism keeps working, putting your body into starvation mode. This means you wake up ravenous and any food you eat next will be stored as fat. Beyond packing on the pounds, your body is not burning energy efficiently when you do this. Follow Nash's advice: "I find rules are easier to follow if they're black and white, so I tell myself that I'm not allowed to eat after 8 PM unless I'm out at a social event where food is being served. I find that if I don't do this, I will unthinkingly nibble on stuff just because it's there."

8. Visualize your success.

According to Psychology Today, mental practices are almost as effective as physical practices, and doing both is more effective than either alone. Listen to Nash when he says, "Close your eyes for a minute a day and visualize yourself eating well, looking good, and feeling healthy. This changes your thinking from, 'This is a chore,' to 'I want to do this because I'm going to feel great!'

9. Read the label.

"When reading labels, check fiber and fat content per serving. I used to eat whole boxes of what I thought were non-fried healthy almond crackers. I checked the label, and they contained zero fiber and as much fat as a half pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream!"

Each week Kevin explores exclusive stories inside the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), the world's premiere peer-to-peer organization for chief executives, eligible at age 45 or younger.

Published on: Dec 4, 2015
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