Last fall I came across a movement called “Look Up”. The point of this movement is to get people to look away or “up” from their all consuming screens and pay attention to the world around them. No doubt this movement was started by an irritated pedestrian who was run over by a texting commuter wearing headphones. Besides the obvious message that we all are spending way too much time looking at screens instead of at each other, I would like to suggest that the message is also about paying attention to ourselves.
I believe many of today’s ills are the result of people not paying attention to what they eat. Our focus is so diverted these days that eating has become just one more thing to get done. You know where this is going, I suggest taking the idea of “Look Up” and using it to look down at your plate. For 2015 pay attention to your food.
I started the New Year by giving a talk about the changes in nutrition in Shanghai/China in the past 20 years. It was interesting to chart how the increase in chronic disease in China mirrors the emergence of big box stores ( ie. Carrefour/Metro), the jump in car ownership/scooters and the explosion of the digital world into our personal lives. Basically we have had a marriage of decreased physical activity and increased availability of cheap processed foods resulting in an epidemic of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Yikes!
All is not lost, as I have mentioned before we do have choices in our eating habits and our health. Food is for enjoying and eating. Take time to savor really good food. Shanghai is the perfect place to put eating well in to practice. Every type of cuisine exists in this city and can exist in your own kitchen if you want it to. In 2015 make time to eat well, your body and your brain will thank you.
My advice for 2015?
- Look Up!
- Reduce the processed food in your life. Eat outside the box.
- Cook at home 2-3 times a week.
- Try one new recipe a week.
- Take your lunch to work, 2-3 times a week.
- Take a 30 minute walk everyday.
- Get up from your screen every hour.
- Go to an outdoor market.
- Drink a glass of red wine 2-3 times a week.
Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!