Creating Healthy Eating Habits

Article by:
Will Burke, EO San Francisco
Will Burke
EO San Francisco

Will is the Founder and CEO of Brand Engine, an internationally recognized strategic branding and design consultancy firm dedicated to designing successful and sustainable consumer brands that deliver positive business results. Will can be reached at [email protected]

“You want us to take a holiday where?”

I was on the phone with my wife, Carissa, when I asked her to repeat herself. I was in the car, heading home from yet another long and stressful day, and I was looking forward to our lazy, gluttonous vacation.

She repeated what she had said, and it sounded just as strange the second time she said it. Her vacation proposal was to attend The Optimum Health Institute (OHI), a retreat in San Diego, California, USA, that focuses on improving your overall well-being through purifying and detoxifying the body, meditation and study. Exciting stuff.

In the beginning, the idea of “detoxifying” didn’t sound too appealing. I was hoping for margaritas, sand and surf. But after giving it a shot, I found myself enjoying all aspects of the retreat, and I began to treat my body and mind with more respect. The biggest eyeopener was how I approached food and eating. Here are some of the valuable lessons I learned regarding what, when and how to eat:

The retreat with my wife changed the way I approach my life. Since I learned how to eat right, I feel remarkably healthier, and I have increased stamina and energy. I’ve been told that I look healthier, thinner and younger! More importantly, I’ve learned to adjust my lifestyle for the long term and integrate healthy habits into all aspects of my life, including work.

Creating healthy eating habits has helped me become more focused on my business, which in turn, made me a better boss. I find I am less stressed, filled with more energy and able to power through more projects. There’s no substitute for your health, and when you’re running a business, staying on top of your game equals success.

  • Think Positively
    You can eat the healthiest of foods, but if done in a bad state of mind, the food won’t be productive or provide you with energy. Likewise, you can counteract some effects of not-so-healthy food by thinking positively about it.

  • Eat REAL foods
    It’s good to go back to the basics and focus on natural, raw foods in their purest state. I was amazed how many raw alternatives there were out there that tasted great! I found I wasn’t sacrificing much on taste by making this shift.

  • Comb Your Combinations
    If you combine the wrong foods, your body spends the majority of its time on processing those foods, not translating the food’s nutritional components into energy. Incorrect combinations include heavy meats with heavy starches, acidic fruits with sweet fruits, etc.

  • Consume in Moderation
    This was a tough one for me, because I love to eat. However, by practicing restraint when eating, I was able to occasionally indulge without overdoing it.

  • Fully Chew Your Food
    This may sound like a strange lesson (after all, you don’t swallow an entire pie in one bite), but it’s worth remembering. When you eat slowly, you will be more aware of the brain’s signals that you are getting full.

  • Water, Water, Water
    It’s nature’s cure-all. Period.

  • Find the Perfect Plan
    Nobody is perfect, and any eating plan has to fit within your life. You don’t need to follow the program 100 percent to achieve results and succeed. I’ve learned to adjust to the rules, and now I enjoy my food and eat healthy.


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