My love of food, cooking and nutrition runs deep and is very personal. Few people know the
journey I took to arrive at what I consider my blessed, but hard-earned good health. The bottom line: It was shaped by my awakening about 20 years ago to the power and possibility of food. I learned to cook; I rediscovered exercise; I turned my life around and dropped from almost 200 pounds to where I am now and have never looked back. For me,
success was above all about learning how to feed myself and understanding that
what I had been eating for many years was not really food.

Fast-forward to today and a more recent, but related, epiphany. It’s crazy
to share this with 200,000 readers (as I swore I wasn’t going to tell anyone), but a couple of months ago,
pushed by some people who know me very well, I auditioned for MasterChef (home cooks edition). After
the third “forward” of the open casting call landed in my email inbox—all arriving within hours of each
other and all emphatically saying, “YOU HAVE TO DO THIS!”—I figured the universe was telling me
something. So I went for it.

I have some hilarious stories from the experience. But I want to share the most valuable lesson I learned
from that day, and tell you how I believe it relates to your approach with clients and to the phenomenal
content you’re about to read in this fourth annual bonus print issue of IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips.

Ready? Here’s the big takeaway: If you are serious about helping clients in areas related to food and
nutrition behaviors, you first have to develop your own food and nutrition “POV” (point of view) and be true
to it. You must live it.

For MasterChef, I had to fill out an elaborate application. One of the questions demanded my food point
of view, which made me realize that while I know a lot about food and nutrition, and read and write about them
constantly, I couldn’t articulate my POV in a way that was valuable to me or anyone else. The exercise forced me
to back up, revisit, digest, and distill into one simple sentence what I believe about food and nutrition.

Knowing what you believe in gives you a great platform to open conversations with clients about their food challenges. Once you have a solid philosophy or POV, you can share it with clients as an example and then encourage
them to develop and own their personal take on it. People eat a lot of food, but they don’t necessarily put a lot of
thought into the hows and whys of it. Making it a more purposeful and thoughtful process will make a difference.

With thoughtful and purposeful top of mind, we have done our best to deliver some smart, usable content in this issue.
We hope this special supplement stirs your thinking and creativity on topics ranging from the American snacking habit and
why fiber is so powerful for gut health, to the hacks professionals use to make food more nutritious, to tips for maneuvering around the landmines in restaurant dining. The issue is capped with delicious holiday comfort food makeovers by a celebrity chef who understands flavor and healthy balance. You will want to make some of these dishes for your holiday table!


As part of our ongoing commitment to helping fitness pros and coaches grasp the full spectrum of client success, we are
planning a very special 1-day focus on nutrition, food and behavior change for the 2016 IDEA World Fitness Convention™.
It will open your world to the ideas of top-line nutrition researchers, weight management experts and behavior change
specialists. This carefully planned program will deliver a day of mind-blowing information that promises to shake up what
you know about helping clients to create powerful and lasting change. If you’re ready to shift your thinking about weight
management and health issues through food, and implement a new integrative business paradigm, this event is perfect
for you. It will give you a learning experience that is unheard of elsewhere and that you will crave to experience again.
Perhaps it will even shape your food and nutrition POV! Stay tuned for details.

As ever, please be in touch with your thoughts and great ideas: [email protected]

Yours in health, happiness and great food shared with others!

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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