27 April 2015

Eat well and increase the bottom line

Food does not always go directly to your backside. It can go to your head and significantly affect the way you function.

New research shows that eating good food increased productivity in the workplace. Dietary changes alone also led to less anxiety, depression, fatigue – and weight; so good for your bottom line in more ways than one!

What changes made the difference? This week we investigate - and a clue - it was NOT the Paleo Diet.

Then amidst the shocking admission by social entrepreneur and fundraiser Belle Gibson that she lied about ever having the terminal brain cancer she claimed to have overcome, and some very harsh commentary in the social media and press, I share my own thoughts on the matter.

But first, inspired by the passing of a dear friend, Sandy Dean who was a much loved member of the Wednesdays with Ian group

           Thought for the day

      If ever there is a tomorrow when we are not together 
      There is something you must always remember; 
      You are braver than you believe
      Stronger than you seem 
      And smarter than you think. 
      But most importantly, even if we are apart, 
      I will always be with you.

                Christopher Robin reading to Winnie the Pooh

Many years ago, I heard of an American study that showed feeding healthy food to prisoners in jail led to reduced recidivism rates (the rate prisoners return to jail after release).

Now a new study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion reports that an 18-week dietary intervention program in a corporate setting increased employee productivity, while reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

Researchers collaborated with GEICO (The Government Employees Insurance Company - the second largest insurer of vehicles in the USA). Employees who had a BMI of 25 or above or a previous diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, were encouraged to adopt a diet many of you will be familiar with – and benefit from.

So yes, the diet that led to all these constructive changes was a low-fat, low-glycemic, high-fibre, plant-based diet. As well, participants joined in weekly “lunch-and-learn” sessions to ask questions, learn the science behind the diet, and experiment with new recipes.

GEICO supported the research in a very real way. The company stocked its cafeterias with healthful
vegan options, including hummus vegetable sandwiches, leafy green salads, and black bean chili.

In 18 weeks, as well as the improvements in productivity and reductions in symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, and general health problems, study participants lost an average of around 4 kgs and lowered their average LDL cholesterol levels by 13 points. Those who had type 2 diabetes also saw improvements in blood sugar control.

Previous research shows a plant-based diet can improve overall mood even outside the workplace simply by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Obesity currently affects 35 % of U.S. adults and accounts for $73 billion in lost productivity costs every year. Depression affects 9.5 % of the adult U.S. population, accounting for $83 billion in lost productivity each year.

 “Helping employees improve their health through a plant-based dietary intervention is a win-win situation for employees and the company,” says study author Dr Neal Barnard. “Who doesn’t want to feel great, increase energy, and maximize productivity in the process?”

1. Agarwal U, Barnard ND ET AL. A multicenter randomized controlled trial of a nutrition intervention program in a multiethnic adult population in the corporate setting reduces anxiety and improves quality of life: The GEICO Study. Am J Health Promot. 2015; 4:245-254.

2. White BA, Horwath CC, Conner TS. Many apples a day keep the blues away – daily experiences of negative and positive affect and food consumption in young adults. Br J Health Psychol. Published ahead of print January 24, 2013.

CDs and Downloads
Want extra guidance on how to adopt a whole-food, plant-based diet via CD or download?
Eating Well, Being Well has all the information you need, CLICK HERE

You Can Conquer Cancer
has 3 chapters on healthy nutrition and is ideal for prevention as well as
cancer management/recovery.

Eat Well, Be Well is the recommended cook book put together by the staff at the Gawler Foundation - it is terrific and has helped many people convert their good intentions into practice - yummy good food for all the family.

Forgiveness is easy

One has to feel deeply for Belle Gibson who in falsely claiming to have recovered from terminal
cancer has lived out the most extra-ordinary lie.

In doing so she misled many, tainted cancer charities widely, confirmed in at least one instance what lazy sceptics often fall back on generally - that remarkable cancer recoveries are "too good to be true", and let many people down badly.

So condoning what she did? Never. Saying it was OK? Never. Saying she will have major consequences to deal with? Certainly. But forgiveness? Easy!

How sad to get to a point in life where doing such a thing seems OK and actually happens. While it is easy to recognise that what Belle did was abhorrent, we can only feel compassion for her as a person, and hope she is getting the help she needs.
                                                                                                                                                    (Reproduced from my Facebook post of April 23)


Looking for a great meditation course in Melbourne?

What Meditation Really Is is a weekly program designed by Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the spiritual classic The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and delivered by his thoroughly trained students.

The program is offered on Thursday evenings from 7 - 9pm. It is a wonderful course covering both the study and practice of meditation. It brings together over 2,000 years of Buddhist wisdom and experience in a way that is authentic, accessible and completely relevant to modern life.

Whilst the course has started, it has been designed so you can join in at any time. The course will run until mid-November, with breaks during school holidays and on public holidays.

The fees are modest and full details and booking info is available on the Rigpa website - CLICK HERE    



Meditation and the Inner Journey        8th  – 12th  June     Yarra Valley

This retreat brings together 2 powerful experiences - the deep natural peace of meditation, and a gentle process of introspection that will help you reconnect with your own inner wisdom.

For thousands of years, people have removed themselves from the busyness of daily life and entered into a retreat situation to meditate. Come, join like-minded people, be inspired, be renewed. Immerse yourself in meditation. Be guided, be nurtured. Take the opportunity to reconnect with your own inner wisdom and the essence of who you really are.

FULL DETAILS  -  Click here


Ruth and I have committed to  presenting a series of ongoing, regular 5 day follow-up residential cancer programs for the Gawler Foundation. The first of these begins in the Yarra Valley next week, the next will be from 12th - 16th October. We will also present a similar 5 day follow up cancer program in New Zealand for Canlive - 9th - 13th November.

We will also present one comprehensive 8 day program (also in New Zealand for Canlive) CANCER, HEALING and WELLBEING, that will be well suited to anyone who has not done a program with us before. This program is on in mid May - see below.

Australians are welcome in NZ and vice-versa!

Eight day residential program in New Zealand   May 15th  –  22nd , 2015

All welcome; attendance with a partner/ support person is ideal but not essential.

This program will lead you through all the self-healing options:
. Therapeutic nutrition
. Practical positive thinking
. Therapeutic meditation, plus the healing power of imagery and contemplation
. Accelerated healing
. Healthy, healing emotions
. How to get the most out of mainstream treatments and minimize side-effects
. How to be most effective as a support person/carer, and to look after yourself in the process.

I actually lead most of the main sessions, with support from Ruth and 2 exceptional New Zealanders. We live in for the full program so there is plenty of time for questions and personal interaction.

This program is organized and supported by Canlive New Zealand.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Ian, What a beautiful thought for the day, it certainly made mine !

    As always love and gratitude, Linda