PR Picnic – You Are What You Eat
About 300 years ago, René Descartes put forward the idea of “mind-body dualism”. In a nutshell, he suggested that our minds and bodies are distinct entities – ones that require “feeding” in different ways to perform their best.
Translated into simple equations, it would look something like this:
Books = Brains Fruits = Fitness
Books ≠ Fitness Fruits ≠ Brains
Plausible, but we have since ditched Descartes on this one.
Because not too many moons later, medical science (and my mum) started telling us that we are – in actual fact – what we eat.
And, unlike Descartes, they didn’t mean that just our bodies suffer when we eat poorly – but that our minds do too.
Diet And Mental Health
A recent mental health study illustrates this point quite neatly.
The team behind the research discovered that, of the respondents who reported no mental health problems, nearly two-thirds of them were eating fresh fruit every day.
Compare this to respondents who did report mental health problems – and it was found that less than half of them were eating fresh fruit, daily.
A strikingly similar pattern was found for fresh vegetables and salad.
You Are How You Eat
This is just one of many studies available within short clicking distance online.
And it’s certainly a topic worthy of serious discussion – not least when considering the rising number of mental and dietary health concerns being reported across the UK – particularly amongst young people.
But yes – I agree with you – this kind of thinking is hardly revolutionary stuff – in fact, those of us who do practise healthy eating know this almost instinctively.
So “what are you getting at?” I hear you ask…
Well, perhaps we could take it one step further?
Maybe the way we eat has an equally as significant impact on our mental performance – particularly when we’re at work…
Do another “click sprint” ‘round the internet and you’ll find plenty of experts commenting on how a “little and often” eating style is the new “three square meals”.
Ask any gym-enthusiast and they will tell you the same: “keep that metabolism burning”.
Surely, then, this applies to our minds as well?
Because if a healthy diet promotes a healthy mind, and a healthy diet consists of little and often, then surely how you eat really is as important as what…
Food For Thought
I’ve been working at Claremont for a grand total of 4.5 days – so forgive me if my observations seem a little premature.
But already I’ve seen (and experienced) how juggling several requirements in a fast-paced environment can present plenty of challenges.
Not least to healthy eating.
One of the key tricks I’ve picked up from the team to deal with these challenges has been to adopt eating habits that allow me to focus on the real challenges of agency life.
Put simply: if you want a sharp (PR-ready) mind, one with a durable stress-management mechanism, nurture your “mind metabolism”.
Frequent visits to the fruit bowl, a handful of nuts and raisins, a nibble on a rice cake… habits like these keep our engine running smoothly, and the group GPS navigating the best routes for success.
Your (Healthy) Take-Away
- Keep a brimming fruit and nut bowl in the office – it is as important as any piece of tech.
- It’s not just about cramming in a massive plate of salad mid-way through the day – you need to be on the ball constantly – not an hour.
- Hungry = grumpy.
- “Little and often” is tailor-made for agency life – not much time needn’t mean not much nutrition.
- Bloated body = bloated mind.
- Starving body = starving mind.
And, of course:
Books ± Fruit = Fitness ± Brains
So yeah – eat that, Descartes.