The 9 Cup Challenge – an idea sprouted on Earth Day 2012

Hi Wellness Warriors,

It’s Earth Day 2012.  I have an idea.  I want to make the world healthier.  I want my children to outlive me.  I want their friends to outlive me.  I want to help reduce obesity, cancer, diabetes, ADD, autism and MS by helping people see that what we eat changes who we are and how we feel.

Eat healthy, feel great.  Eat poorly, feel normal.  But Normal is not Normal.  Feeling great is Normal.

Normal today means lack of energy, foggy brain, forgetfulness, aches in our bodies, muffin tops, and disease.   Disease is everything from allergies to cancer to autism.  Really, in my opinion, disease is the outcome of poor eating.

I am not a doctor, a dietitian, a nutritionist or a nurse.  I have no medical training.  But I have access to doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, and other well educated people around the globe by using the internet.

What I have learned is that knowledge on what you eat will change what you eat.  The challenge is that when we eat poorly, we have trouble learning due to foggy brain.  We have little energy as our body is starving due to a lack of essential nutrients.   And when you learn more, it is overwhelming.

How do you get healthy?

How do you create new habits?

How do you recover when your intentions do not match your actions?

You have to have a vision of where you want to be.  Not tomorrow, not in a week, but in a year, three years and five years.  Every business that is successful has a plan that looks to a yearly, three year and five year vision.  But they live the plan in 90 day increments.  Why, because 90 days is achievable, it allows you to see the impact of your efforts and allows you to make changes so that get you to your goal for year one.

As a marketer, I understand how we create success through goals and the measurement of results.   I also understand that we start small and build towards the vision – making adjustments along the way.  Some years what we do creates enormous success, and other years it does not.  What is the difference?  It usually comes does to realistic, achievable but challenging goals that cause you to think differently, learn new things and work as a community to meet the goals.  It also takes great leadership to inspire a community to change.

So how does this make the world healthier?

Nine months ago I lost my job due to a corporate restructuring.  I was and continue to be proud of my contribution.  The biggest challenge of looking for your next job is staying upbeat and positive.  Within my job searching networking team, we decided we needed to stay as healthy as possible during our transition.  This meant eating healthy, going to the gym and staying positive.  As we were now going to have less money but more time, it meant we could make changes to our lives.  We cooked more, exercised more, networked with other positive people, and had the opportunity to learn more.

For me, my learning was focused in two areas: health and social media.  I am a very experienced marketer who understands digital marketing and social media strategy but I want to see it in action at the grass roots, experiment and see its impact.  For health – well let’s say I have a lot to learn.

I have an office filled books on marketing, leadership, gardening, health, cooking and food tourism.  I consider myself to be well read but I realized I was ignorant about how my food got to my table.  I had no idea what was in my food, who made it, how it got there or what I could differently.  I know I am not alone in my quest to become healthier.  Millions of people every year turn to diet programs and books to become thin and hopefully healthier yet they return again and again looking for a magic solution or pill to cure them.

What I learned was that people who are healthy eat a clean diet filled with food that is as near to its natural state as possible.  They also exercise daily.  I am not talking going to gym to sweat, but walking, yoga, gardening, playing sports – being physically active – EVERY DAY.  And they are grateful for everything – the people they meet, the opportunity to learn, the food they eat.

I also learned that there is a food revolution happening at the grass roots.  The people who see the difference in a healthy lifestyle have decided that we need to take control of what goes into our mouth at every meal.   But in order to make more people aware of what is going into their mouth, education is needed.   And thankfully the internet is there for us to learn.

This blog is my opportunity to share with you what I have learned.  I find that the more sources we learn from, the more patterns we see in our knowledge quest.  By having multiple sources to draw from, we eliminate the radical farfetched concepts, see consistency for what is working and start to build our own approach.

As I am not a doctor, you should check with your doctor, to see how this approach might improve your health and ask your health professional for suggestions on how you should modify it to work for you.

Here is the recipe:

6 cups of veggies + 3 cups of fruits daily = The 9 cup challenge.

I wish happiness and joy in your journey to wellness.

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