About 30 years ago I met the person who would inspire me in so many ways, and especially in my understanding of gratitude. He had been graced with a second chance before we met and carried with him a constant appreciation for that and for those who helped him along his sometimes difficult journey. (more…)
Inclusion is an important word in the business community, and one we hear often, particularly in the human resources field. Leaders in every industry are striving to build cultures of inclusion, creating workplaces that value all employees. (more…)
A few years ago, my wife and I sent our oldest abroad to high school. We were all equally nervous. This was a boy for whom we had cared, worried over and fed for 18 years. Yet, suddenly, he was supposed to do it all himself? (more…)
School support services can impact a student’s daily life and enable learning. For a student to access learning and realize their potential, important basic needs must be met. If well-designed, a school’s infrastructure including its curb appeal, classroom design, building safety, dining programs, grounds and facility maintenance all work together to serve students. (more…)
Nearly 20% of all deaths worldwide can be linked to unhealthy eating habits. At the same time, mental illnesses are the biggest cause of disability and illness in the world. Depression alone is one of the top five leading causes of disability across the planet.1 While depression and other mental illnesses are very serious and require professional help, research shows direct links between the food we eat and its effect on mental health.2
Food is power for your brain and body. Your brain works 24/7, even while you’re asleep. We all have our moments of forgetfulness, but if you’re feeling particularly spacey, it might be an indicator that something else is going on. It could be due to a lack of sleep or several other reasons, including genetics, level of physical activity, and environmental factors. However, without a doubt, diet can have a major impact on your brain and its performance.
It may not surprise you that diets high in refined sugars are harmful. Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function—and even worsening of mood disorders, such as depression.3
Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourish the brain and protect it from oxidative stress, which can damage cells.2 Enjoy the food you consume and know nutrient-rich foods can do wonders for your brain, improving your decision-making and problem-solving skills, as well as sharpening your focus and boosting your memory. Some high-powered foods include sardines, walnuts, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, blueberries, blackberries, spinach, kale, avocado, and dark chocolate. Yum!
Food provides powerful macro- and micro- nutrients and vitamins and minerals which help fuel the brain—a few are listed below.
- Carbohydrates, Fats, and Protein
- Vitamins B, C, D, and E
- Minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron
- Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats to protect brain cells. Avocado oil has been shown to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. DYK that avocados have the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit! Their creamy texture makes them a good addition to smoothies and a replacement for fats in baked goods.
- Berries—especially dark ones such as blackberries, blueberries, and cherries—are a rich source of anthocyanins and other flavonoids that may boost memory function, and help to reduce inflammation, a cornerstone of virtually all brain degenerative disorders.
- Citrus fruits contain flavanones and phenols that help neutralize free radicals and strengthen cellular defenses.
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, have powerful antioxidants that boost cellular defenses, plus the vitamin K and choline will help keep your memory sharp.
- Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart. Eating ½ to one ounce a day can deliver a beneficial dose of antioxidants that may slow down the aging process of the brain.
- Eggs are rich in choline, which is needed to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions.
- Kale, a dark, leafy vegetable, is loaded with vitamins C, K, and A, as well as potassium and iron. When it comes to brain power, greens should be on your plate every meal!
- Oily fish, such as sardines and salmon, contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for brain health. Studies have shown that long-term consumption of adequate DHA is linked to improved memory, improved learning ability and reduced rates of cognitive decline.
- Spinach is packed with brain-protective antioxidants along with vitamin K, folate, and lutein.
- Walnuts contain more brain-healthy antioxidants, vitamin E, and folic acid than other nuts, and are the only nut that contains a significant amount of the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Like this blog? Read a blog about a related topic Food and Your Mood: Eat Your Way to a Happier Life.
- Defeudis, F. V. (2008). 2 Effects of Nutrients on Brain Function [Abstract]. Nutrients and Brain Function,9, 568-578. doi:10.1159/000414578
When I first started getting involved with public service, one of the most shocking discoveries for me as I got deep into the work was just how vulnerable so many families are to food insecurity. I had grown up thinking this was a problem elsewhere, not here.
“You don’t have true freedom until you allow a diversity of opinion and a diversity of voices.” Journalist Don Lemon’s outlook is highly relevant as an increasingly eclectic student demographic returns to college and university campuses. Once relatively homogenous, today’s students include a mix of first-generation, foreign and older students who bring distinctive cultural backgrounds, needs and experiences that shape their opinions and contribute to a richer, more vibrant dialogue. (more…)
When schools get it right on the first day of school, the entire community wins – students, parents, teachers, administrators, regulators and tax payers. No doubt, administrators aim to have the utopian opening: clean, safe classrooms filled with qualified and motivated teachers and students ready to learn; engaged parents ready to contribute; fully- funded budgets available to invest in resources. (more…)
Back to school can be a hectic time of the year. Regardless, if you pack your kids lunch or send them with lunch money, it is important to think about what they will be eating and ensure it is as healthy as possible as children consume at least a third of their total daily calorie needs at school. (more…)
It’s a message that never gets old; take care of your body and mind and they will take care of you. In the line of business I’m in –improving the Quality of Life for those my team serves – it’s a professional hazard not to care for myself. My brain rationally understands this fact, yet my body gets caught in the everyday currents of travel, team meetings, tackling operational challenges with my Onshore Energy client partners. (more…)
There’s been good news lately coming from the U.S. Bureau of Labor—employers added more jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to a near 18-year low. As the American economy continues to strengthen, I believe big companies need to think broader than simply job creation. We need to be thinking about providing opportunities for employees and the health of their long-term careers.
When we think about adding new jobs, what gets me most excited is the possibility that comes with those jobs. I want our new hires at Sodexo to see their job as the start of great opportunity. You see, we’re not about filling jobs to make a great headline. We’re about creating opportunities for people to reach their career goals. We’re about helping people develop new skills and access resources to help them move on to the next level of their professional journey.
What gets me most excited is the possibility that comes with those jobs
Sodexo delivers on its commitment to invest in our employees. Through our LEADERS program, we offer Sodexo employees enrichment opportunities over the course of six months to actively develop l leadership skills.
In 2003, Murat Bora was hired as a part-time Student Food Service Worker at Troy State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and later participated in our LEADERS program. He learned the skills he needed to now be a successful Resident District Manager at Bentley University. And he continues to grow and acquire new certifications at Sodexo even today.
Through Sodexo’s Spirit of Mentoring program, we offer employees the opportunity to help each other develop through collaboration, goal achievement and problem solving. Through formal and informal mentoring opportunities, employees can find their potential and new opportunities for upward mobility.
Rich Blanchard started with Sodexo in 1995 as a food service worker and credits the mentors he’s had throughout his career for the success he’s achieved. Now as a Senior Marketing Manager for Universities, he says, “I am lucky enough to pass along that same level of interest and leadership to others in hopes that they too will have long and successful careers with Sodexo.”
I’m excited about the new employees coming on board at the start of this school year. I’m excited for them to see that this new job could be just the beginning of a fulfilling career at Sodexo. To all our new hires out there—welcome! I look forward to sharing a long journey at Sodexo with you!
Many things have changed since I started out. Many, many things. Back in the day I would have been using a pen to write this blog.
I digress. I work on college campuses and one of the major differences I see today is what I think is a misunderstanding about entry-level jobs. (more…)
I must confess I am a meal planner! One of the most challenging barriers to a healthy lifestyle is mastering meals that fit your diet, goals and busy schedule. We can all agree our days are jam-packed with everlasting to-do lists, so meals often get put on the backburner. (more…)
Will a design change in the office solve workplace conflicts?
How about more natural light?
How about a plant on every desk?
Or mediation classes and free tea?
The answer may surprise you. A new study shows that when employers experimented with interventions that targeted employee well-being – specifically the emotional intelligence of their workforce – they saw a significant boost in happiness and creativity. (more…)
This is my daughter and brand new grandson. What beautiful creatures. I want them to have joy and love and fulfillment in their lives. And, now that I am old enough to be a grandmother twice over, I especially want them to have health. I know how important – and fleeting – health can be. (more…)
Water is essential to life, but it doesn’t have be boring. Lemons give your water some zing, but you can create more excitement for your taste buds with these boosts. (more…)
It’s been a big year for gender equality ― from the #MeToo movement to the broader recognition of just how far we need to go, to the tangible actions that are (finally) gaining momentum in workplaces.
Before we pat ourselves on the back for recognizing the problem, however, it’s important to understand that now is the time for the hard work of turning the desire to change into actual change.
Benjamin Franklin said that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes but I think Ben may have missed something. Change is an item we should add to the list. (more…)
Just like a beautifully executed football play of a dancer in a ballet, performance nutrition is the synergy and symphony of the science, the presentation and the application to help athlete and performance artists meet their goals. (more…)
There is a supervisor at my company who works hard all day and then leaves to voluntarily oversee a soup kitchen, serving hundreds of people. On top of that, she hosts a weekly lunch for seniors so they have a venue to eat together and socialize. (more…)
With the summer start of June 21st around the corner, we all start to think about firing up our grills. Coincidently, Father’s Day falls in June and so does Men’s Health Month. (more…)
Student breakfast or lunch charges left unpaid, accruing over time, can impact a school’s financial budget, becoming “delinquent debt” as defined by state or local policies. (more…)
Athletes need to eat on the go- between classes, workouts, and competition but they also need to eat on the bus, or the road, at the venue, in the hotel as part of their travel season. (more…)
“I’m not afraid of an army of lions led by sheep. I’m afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” It’s a quote about leadership that is famously attributed to Alexander the Great. The quote vividly describes a charismatic leader who empowers those who follow, while also inspiring in them courage. (more…)
This week I had the privilege of speaking to graduates of Florida State University. (No, not as a sports commentator, but I had a great time acting like one.) As a commencement speaker. I’m an odd choice for a commencement speaker for many reasons, including that I don’t like to sit through commencement speeches. (more…)
Could it be true that our happiness is dependent on what lies at the tip of our forks? It is true that our daily food choices can affect our mood and overall mental health. (more…)
At every stage of life, good nutrition plays an integral role in women’s health. It’s a common belief in some circles that a healthy diet is unaffordable or too difficult. Social norms and culture play a role too. (more…)
A few years ago, I overheard my daughter talking to a friend about work-life balance. She marveled that even as her mother worked a corporate job, she had been to every one of her volleyball games. (more…)
Since 1996, Sodexo has provided housing services to more than 1,000 students living on two campuses at University of Greenwich on the outskirts of London. The program has been so successful that it became the model for our global Student Living offer, shaping the way we look at the student journey around the world. (more…)
Two years ago, my husband and I took a vacation to Northern Italy and we very nearly didn’t come back. No, we weren’t in a life-threatening situation, quite the opposite – the food was too amazing to believe. (more…)
The ability to accept change and its concomitant challenges and opportunities is an uncommon strength. University administrators develop complex strategic plans to grapple with economic, technological and demographic challenges and increasing competition as their students struggle with a multitude of changes and challenges. (more…)
Gaithersburg, MD, April 26, 2018 – Sodexo, world leader of quality of life services, today released its 2018 Global Workplace Trends report, featuring fresh insights to global workforce leaders and decision makers. The report highlights the most critical factors affecting the future of work and demonstrates how an improved workplace experience is key to increasing companies’ performance and leads ultimately to better employee engagement. (more…)
Programs like Uber, Grubhub and FaceTime can keep residents out of senior living. So how do we compete?
Years ago, as a community sales manager, I could scan a brochure and find a service or amenity that would make the difference in the daily life of a resident.
About a year ago, Nurse Robin Carmichael was balancing a high-stress, full-time job with a 2.5 hour commute that required her to wake up each morning at 4 a.m. She was mentally drained, overweight, and wasn’t getting much sleep. (more…)
If your refrigerator is anything like mine, it could use a little bit of sprucing up. (more…)
Quality of Life is foundational to human well-being, affecting every aspect of life at every stage of life.
Starting college is a milestone for students, beset with excitement, anticipation—and anxiety. (more…)
Written by Steve Baragona – Voice of America News
WASHINGTON — Chef Rob Morasco didn’t set out to make a planet-friendly burger.
But the 25 percent mushroom burger he created at food service company Sodexo not only has a lower carbon footprint, it’s also lower in calories, fat and salt. (more…)
My belief is that leadership is all about giving back. By giving, I am granted the gifts of life that nothing else ever could. In the last 10 years of my career, I have mentored over 30 people and currently mentor three colleagues. (more…)
As we celebrate Women’s History month and the recent International Women’s Day—with my company, Sodexo, making the courageous decision to celebrate every day as International Women’s Day—I’ve thought a lot about the role and responsibilities men have in advancing gender equality. (more…)
Stress is an inescapable part of our every day lives; a normal mental and physical reaction to the many demands on our time, energy and capacity. Stress comes in many forms and in various amounts. (more…)
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Are you doing what you thought you would be doing when you started college? If so, you’re among the few.
It’s often unreasonable to expect 18-year-olds to know exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives—but that’s precisely what the current model demands. (more…)
Sodexo North America
A few weeks ago, after a long week of meetings, presentations, various hotels and ensuring that I had no liquids in my backpack, I had the pleasure of meeting a young mother named Donya with her darling son, River. (more…)
Let’s get back to basics. Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Growing up, we’ve all heard this adage one time or another and seen many commercials with our favorite hero on a box of cereal encouraging us to eat breakfast. (more…)
In honor of #InternationalWomen’sDay on March 8, I’d like to share the question I get most often as a female leader. (more…)
Comprehensive Sodexo Study Finds Gender-Balanced Management Teams Perform Better on Key Business Objectives (more…)
I remember when Novak Djokovic first became a household name for me, back in 2011. He was already a famous tennis star, but that year he became nearly unbeatable and ascended to no. 1 in the world. (more…)
The current cohort of Gen Z students has many expectations regarding their campus experience, as illustrated by the Sodexo International Student Lifestyle Survey. One of the most important – and most positive for our society – is their deep commitment to multiculturalism, equal opportunity and respect for individuality as cultural imperatives. (more…)
This week, I used an iPhone app to summon a car. The driver arrived a few minutes later and greeted me by name. He delivered a friendly, comfortable ride to my destination. (more…)
Recently I watched the movie “Hidden Figures” for the second time, and was again impressed by the achievements of the extraordinary African- American women featured in the film. Through a combination of brilliance and determination, these women overcame seemingly insurmountable odds and enabled the success of the NASA space program. (more…)
Almost exactly five years ago I learned a leadership lesson I never wanted to learn. But as I look back on this anniversary and one that makes Valentine’s Day bittersweet, I appreciate that I grew personally and professionally in a way I might never have otherwise. (more…)
I wouldn’t call myself a HUGE Bon Jovi fan, but when thinking about February, a.k.a. heart health month, and public opinion, all that comes to mind is “You give FATS a bad name!” I am a child from the 1980’s and love some good Rock n’ Roll. (more…)
Global Chief Diversity Officer
“Making Every Day a Better Day through Diversity and Inclusion” is Sodexo’s award-winning initiative. What is unique about this initiative and the work Sodexo is doing in diversity and inclusion?
This initiative was a systemic culture change initiative in North America, focused on the development and success of women, people of color, and other historically excluded groups. (more…)
Disruption – disaster or opportunity? The 2008 global recession was a milestone, profoundly affecting every aspect of the economy, with repercussions extending to the present. The military term “VUCA” sums up the situation: “volatile, uncertain, complicated, and ambiguous.” (more…)
Global Chief Diversity Officer
What are some of the main responsibilities of your role?
The role of anyone leading global diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts and strategy is to impact culture change. (more…)
This past year, I did the unthinkable and followed through on a resolution. And, by following through, my CrossFit journey didn’t just help me find my abs; it also gave me a crash course in business endurance and career success.
The start was all mental obstacles. My career had forced me to ruthlessly prioritize my time. I fit in exercise, but it was more of a squeeze-in than a priority. (more…)
Making a significant difference requires courage, commitment and drive. It is those same principles that are inspiring the next generation of students at University of Detroit Mercy, a Catholic university founded in the Mercy and Jesuit traditions of community service and social justice. (more…)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of America’s greatest leaders.
Dr. King’s leadership was fundamental to the United States civil rights movement’s success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the U.S. (more…)
It may sound cliché but we all want to get off on the right foot.
We make resolutions for the New Year to be better versions of ourselves; in some fashion or another. Many of us, however, end up feeling disappointed upon the realization of not fulfilling the resolution. Research shows, half of adults make New Year’s resolutions. However, fewer than 10% manage to keep them for more than a few months. Well, I propose, how about this year, making non-resolutions or dare I say, give up on resolutions from the get-go! I can hear you all cheering now! (more…)