Food and Nutrition

How Nutrition Became My Foundation

Most youngsters growing up don’t think about getting old or age-related diseases. You simply eat what you get and go on to the next day. Being an athlete all my youth and early adulthood I ate well and never missed a daily multivitamin and mineral (MVM). But I didn’t take it to live longer or prevent poor diet-related disease. Are you kidding? I was immortal at that point in my life. I simply took it to because intuitively it made sense to cover my bases from unavoidable daily lapses in proper amounts of nutrients supplied by diet alone and in doing so maybe I could “play longer” – i.e. recover faster and build a better structure that would make me better at my sport. So my primary goals were not longevity (or health for that matter) but simply strength, muscle, low body fat, and the ability to play longer and win at my sport. And all my lectures were based on achieving body composition & sport/fitness goals.

muscle_back_smallThen I retired from sports at age 41 and my wife was pregnant with our first child. Although she took a MVM, it wasn’t until I heard the doctor tell her to “take a MVM” (a prenatal MVM) that it hit me. Even before you’re born, you can’t rely on food normally consumed to supply what the body needs to properly develop and especially to its full potential, hence the mandatory prenatal MVM. The light went on. That situation never changes until you are on the “backside of life!” My studies, mission and message were altered forever.

Although I still lecture on maximizing sports performance, body composition goals/weight control, etc., my overriding theme is health-span versus lifespan. In other words, how long are you healthy and thriving versus simply alive and weak or sick. This includes “playing-span”; how long you can continue to do the things you love, physical or mental. And clearly, the only way that can happen is to give your body all the things it needs throughout life while it can still use them. If the body has everything it needs it becomes a stronger, longer-lasting structure that doesn’t breakdown over time but instead is active and virtually self-sufficient till the end. Simply put, if you do this during the front side of life, you will grow strong to last longer. Continuing this on the backside of life not only slows the inevitable decline but also maximizes your productive potential till the end. “A strong house with a strong foundation cracks less and last longer than the weaker built house.”

Well, that ah-ha prenatal MVM moment has since reverberated throughout not just our family but has formed our company’s lectures, core message and business mission of “owning the preventative side of health care”.  As a father, I have never let up on my kids continuing to build the strongest structure possible. From the time they were in the womb, their bodies have gotten what they need every day in order to give them the best chance to not breakdown later in life. And our business messaging for all families is to do the same. Now maybe we can start to reverse this disease-care system of ours and truly make it healthcare by taking care of our health when we have it, NOT after preventable disease sets in. After all, two-thirds of all disease is preventable and as I always say, it’s our job is to make the next generation better.


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1 Comment

  1. Brian Fahrenfeld

    August 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    After reading Neal’s blog on the importance of taking a MVM, why would someone choose not to take one. Don’t wait till its too late to make a difference in your health. Take a stand and provide your body with nutritional insurance, without the added calories. It’s a no brainier!

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