For this month’s blog post on Nutrition we’ve invited the 1 change Nutrition expert Umahro Cadogan, also known as “The Danish Food Doctor”, to offer his insights on why nutrition is a key to resilience and how to feed your mind to perform.
At 1 change the goal is for our clients to have all the essential tools and skills necessary to perform at their best when they need to the most. The foundation for optimum performance is a physical health – it’s hard to be at your best if you can’t get out of bed. The core tenets of physical health and vitality are extremely simple: eat, drink, move, rest.
But simple does not mean easy. We all know that a good diet, proper exercise, and sufficient recovery are indispensable keys to our short and long term health, yet so many of us still struggle to put these ideas into practice. We’ll explore all of these aspects of physical resilience in future posts. For now let’s focus on the importance of nutrition.
We can all agree that what you eat and drink has a significant effect on your health from the neck down. But nutrition and hydration are just as important for your brain to function and therefore have a significant impact on mental and cognitive performance as well as mood and emotional intelligence. Your mind depends as much on proper food as your body does!
The brain and central nervous system account for less than 2% of total bodyweight, but they consume approximately 20% of the oxygen and available energy sources. Your brain uses more oxygen and calories per cell than the muscles in your heart. We all know if you do not take care of your health your heart will suffer both here and now and in the long term. This applies even more so to your brain.
So if you truly want to access your full potential and consistently perform at your best, you owe it to yourself to examine your eating (and drinking) patterns. While every body is different, we have come to identify a few basic guidelines that seem to be a good starting point for anyone who is looking to maintain an overall healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle:
- Eat 3 solid meals per day, and use our T-Plate model to guide your food choices
- T-Plate: 50% vegetables (or fruit), 25% lean protein, 25% unrefined carbohydrates that are released slowly
- Eat 2 healthy snacks between meals to maintain optimal energy levels
- Drink enough water to keep your body and brain well-hydrated! Aim for ¾-1 L of fluids per 25 kg of bodyweight from what you drink as well as vegetables, berries and fruits.
If you have specific needs, restrictions, or goals with your diet, or for some reason those guidelines don’t work for you, we invite you to contact us so we can help you get set up with a personal nutrition plan that we can custom design and co-create to fit your unique circumstances.
We have designed a unique Nutrition Test to help you identify the areas where you can gain the most benefit from making small but important changes, by spotting what dietary behaviors are the least conducive to physical and neurological peak performance.
Try the test and find out what your first step is towards feeding your mind to perform.
1 change Nutrition Expert Umahro Cadogan is a former adjunct professor of Nutrition and Functional Medicine (University of Western States), author, chef, lecturer, and nutritional therapist.
Umahro has always been in love with food. Before having teeth, he started demanding the food his parents ate; he started experimenting in the kitchen at an early age and lived in the Far East as a teenager. At the age of 18, he came down with Crohn’s colitis and every single described follow-on symptom (joint inflammation, neurological inflammation, hepatic inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, excitotoxicity and fatigue). By the age of 24, he had put the disease into full remission using a Functional Medicine approach. He changed his diet radically, changed his exercise habits, chose to get more sleep and used both nutrient supplementation and prescription medication.
Since then, he has pursued further education in Functional Medicine and works with Functional Medicine and what could be termed Orthomolecular gastronomy. He has written several best-selling cookbooks and books about health, runs a successful clinic, lectures extensively, educates health personnel, helps large corporations and organizations become healthier and also helps world-class athletes optimize health, performance and recovery using Functional Medicine. Most recently, he has started delving into genetically based personalized medicine and training.
For further inspiration from Umahro you can sign up for his newsletter (www.umahro.com), connect with him on Facebook (www.facebook.com/umahrocadogan) and visit his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/Umahro).