Experts offer practical advice on how to stay healthy and calm

April 29th, 2020

Members of the restaurant and foodservice community are among those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They, like others in the most severely affected industries as well as the general population, are seeking out practical information to maintain their physical and mental well-being.

To address this need, the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York hosted a webinar featuring Physician and Chef Rob Graham, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of FRESH Medicine, and Peggy Neu, President of The Monday Campaigns. They presented practical advice and easy-to-implement tips on how to eat better, manage stress, and get a restful night’s sleep during these challenging times.

In addition to general health information and recommendations, both experts described the value of a “Monday refresh” or “fresh start” to encourage consistent healthy activity. The Monday Campaigns’ philosophy is grounded in the idea of using Monday as a weekly cue to either adopt new habits or recommit to healthy behaviors that you may have put on pause. To get you started, the webinar outlines simple practices that you can do from the comfort of your home such as performing a mindful meditation, following a deep breathing cycle, or cooking a vegetable-friendly meal with your family.

Dr. Graham, a Harvard-trained physician and chef who received his culinary certificate from Natural Gourmet Institute, speaks to the connection between food and disease and explains how eating a higher proportion of plants can reduce your risk developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Dr. Graham subscribes to the idea of using Monday as the day to try cooking a new plant-based recipe to set you up for healthier eating through the rest of the week. A diet rooted in fruits, vegetables, and legumes can provide you with the energy and drive necessary to engage in additional healthy behaviors.

Ms. Neu, a board member and graduate of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 15 years. With over 25 years of marketing in the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors, she believes in using tried-and-true marketing practices to influence and encourage the adoption of healthy behaviors. Using this insight, Ms. Neu recommends small steps and celebrating successes along the way. Low-impact movements such as bed yoga or a Monday Mile paired with a deep breathing exercise can be both rejuvenating and cleansing. Implementing these sorts of practices can help remind you to stay focused on calm.

Regardless of your fitness routine, diet, or methods of relaxation, recommitting to healthy habits on Monday is a proven way to get the week started right.