Science is just beginning to understand the magnitude of Mother Nature’s brilliance - specifically, in the form of plants and whole foods and how incorporating these powerful elixirs into a daily eating routine has an immediate and lasting positive impact on everyone who welcomes them into their bellies. 

Science is also just beginning to understand the magnitude of jeopardy our planet’s health is in. It’s beginning to concede that if we remain slaves to our poor, pleasure-based eating habits - our combined fates are grim.

That said…countless hours of painstaking research in Riverbank Social Club’s kitchen, tasting delicious plant-based creations - and on the dance floor, giving folks permission to dance like nobody's watching - has allowed me to assemble FOUR HELPFUL TIPS to help give each of us a fighting chance at being happy today.

#1 VEG OUT:  Vegetables are magical in more ways than we fully understand. If you don’t eat them every day, you need to. If you don’t eat them everyday, it’s not part of your eating habits. Habits can change. Tastes can change. Attitudes can also change. Change them all, starting now! You’re life depends on it.

Start training yourself to treat vegetables like prescriptions from a doctor. Know that by eating them today you are doing your body good tomorrow. Identify any veggies you like (save potatoes, corn, wheat & rice, of course...) then, go to the store, buy them and then keep your fridge stocked with them.

#2 DOWN-SIZE: Generally speaking, we all eat too much of everything. Bad stuff and good stuff. And, in order to feel “full” with “less” we simply take a couple weeks to train our bellies and shift our attitudes. If we slowly allow ourselves to appreciate the subtle, hidden joy of an empty stomach (ie. empty stomach = body burning stored fuel = weight reduction) then the moment we get hungry - instead of filling it up again immediately - we might have the strength wait it out. And, who knows, the urge or opportunity to eat something might just pass.

Also, start understanding that an empty stomach doesn’t always mean you need food. Chances are high you have more than enough food working it’s way along its 48-hour journey through your lower intestines. :-)

#3 PAY IT FORWARD: The time & effort invested in connecting with cooking for yourself and bonding with your own kitchen is worth it. The money you invest in high-quality whole foods at your grocery store each week to fuel your body is worth it. The love and dedication you invest in your belly's health and happiness is worth it. 

The time & effort invested in connecting with the dynamic list of benefits associated with social dancing is worth it, too. Each little positive thing you do today to invest in your health & happiness contributes to your overall future good health.     

#4 GO FOR THE BRONZE: Our culture pressures us into feeling as though we have to give 100% and be the best at everything - all the time...or you are nothing. You’re either a winner or loser. This, of course, is preposterous!

Any organism in nature that pushes itself to 100% performance capacity exhausts its energy stores. Organisms forced to continue performing at an escalated rate over an extended period of time burn out. Do your best as often as you can. There is absolutely NO PRESSURE to be the best when it comes to taking charge of your own health and happiness.

Focus on the stuff that really matters. 


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Ben will be cooking with RACHEL MANEK on FOX11's GOOD DAY WISCONSIN again on THURSDAY MORNING, MAY 21st! Tune in and watch if you can. :-)

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