bartlett mitchell owners David, Wendy and Ian getting one of their 5 a day

Recently I went to a great talk by a number of different presenters about what it takes to make a corporate athlete.

Healthy choices

It really made me think: we know everyone would like to eat more healthily and no one wants to be forced into it. But to get into a healthy habit, we need to educate customers and there have to be healthy choices available. There’s no point in telling people how important it is to eat healthily if all they can chose from is chips, burgers and sweets.

We need to engage customers with simple messages so they understand the importance of nutrition. I don’t believe we appreciate that food is a real force of energy and we can use it to get us through the day. It’s simple; what we eat in the morning will affect our performance all day long. What you put in – you get out.

Education about nutrition

Education enables customers to make the right decision; what to look for on the label and what’s good for them. For example eating food that provides slow release energy is healthy and good for you and delivers benefits in the workplace.

Making good food look great

Unfortunately we live in a world with a lot of ‘empty’ calories, super sizing and quick food fixes. When you need to eat on the go, its normally just fast food you can grab. There is not a lot of food available AND healthy – most fast food contains a high amount of carbs – did you known the average Pret item has over 500 calories! We’re not picking on Pret, they are probably one of the good guys.

A question for companies and caterers to think about; are we at risk of being sued if we don’t provide healthy nutritious food in the workplace? Maybe it’s time to get to grips with this.

Creating the corporate athlete

I love the term ‘corporate athlete’– we live in a world of boom, bust and burn out. To be on top of our game we need to be physically, mentally and emotionally fit in order to give the right return to the business. Nutrition is an essential element of that.

To achieve healthy mind management, which is essential in the corporate athlete, you must eat nutritious food to give you energy and achieve the correct work life balance. Tips for this are easy – it’s healthy eating; good fresh food, and making sure we don’t have an upside down diet. You must eat 60– 70% of your calories before 7pm. We all know the saying ‘eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and supper like a peasant’.

Protein provides us with energy; so why all the carbs? 70- 80% of carb calories are not good ones for energy, high GI carbs are ones that convert to sugar quickly and get you to burn out. So choose low GI carbs and eat the right type that provide slow release energy. The corporate athlete drinks 1 – 2 litres of water a day. Next time you are thinking of popping a diet supplement in your mouth, stop! Read the label, see what’s in it and spend the money instead on fresh food. My motto is, ‘If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it’.

Also did you know that 9 out of 10 people have some nutrient deficiency – a balanced diet would overcome that and solve the afternoon slump which is all about blood glucose – and solving the slump means better productivity in the afternoon. Good news for all employers.

How to be a corporate athlete

Some daily simple tips for being a corporate athlete
Graze not gorge – little and often
Choose slow release carbs with protein
Eat 5 pieces of fruit
Drink 1 – 2 litres of water
And eat lunch away from pc, research suggests people who eat in front of their PC feel less full and eat more Eat in your staff restaurant – that’s why we are there.

The answer to being a corporate athlete is on your work doorstep.

Wendy Bartlett
Managing Director

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My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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