Good Leaders are Healthy Eaters

Healthy Food!
Healthy Food!

Not too long ago, I shared an article I found at Inc.com with my social media connects. The article “You Lead as Your Eat”, by Adam Bluestein, discusses the importance of business leaders maintaining a healthy well-balanced diet.

I would like to use this post to highlight Bluestein’s findings and how they relate to the restaurant industry. for the full article, click on the link above. Far too often, I believe that restaurant owners forget to see themselves as business leaders and instead see themselves as– well, restaurant owners. DON’T BAMBOOZLE YOURSELF! Restaurant owners are indeed business men and woman and if you want to be a successful business leader you need to start treating your body like a well-tuned machine. Well tuned machine require high grade fuel.

If you are an owner/chef, you are faced with both mentally and physically high demand work day in and day out. To optimize your efficiency, Bluestein suggests:

“At the very least, lots of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates; no processed foods; and minimal white flour and sugar.”

The biggest difference between business owners in the restaurant industry and business owners in other industries, is that former is surrounded by temptation. While I’m not insinuating that all restaurants carry junk food, I am saying that most restaurant carry unhealthy options (i.e fried foods, deserts) and they are all just an arms reach away. It is your responsibility to resist temptation!

Another key element Bluestein writes about, is the importance of hydration. From my 25 years of working in restaurants, I have witnessed an alarm number of individuals who consume soft drinks. Soft drinks are not a suitable for hydration when working in fast pace and mind demanding atmospheres. Soft drinks contain both high levels of sugar and caffeine. Sugar hampers the speed of your brain and learning abilities. Caffeine increase anxiety and stress. We all know that the last thing any restaurant needs is more stress. Coffee drinkers beware as well. The best means of rehydration is water.

I am coming at this from experience. If you read my first blog, you’d know that I grew up in a restaurant. I’m not proud to admit that everyone, myself included, was severely over weight during the years of family ownership(1988-1998). That said, it was a period where the nation in general was much less healthy. I’m proud to say now, that the Cacciatore Family is much healthier! I for one, learned from my mistakes.

We operate in a very competitive marketplace and need every advantage working in our favor. Being healthy and alert is probably the most controllable variable we can use to have a competitive edge. Do not rob yourself of this edge and promote it among your staff! I want to hear from you! How do you encourage healthier options among your work staff and what tricks do you use to avoid unhealthy options?