Diet and Startups

For the last 10 years or so I’ve been interested in what we eat. I was raised as a pescetarian (vegetarian who eats fish) purely as a result of my parents feelings and research. My parents while being relatively poor were insistent on having a library which contained a whole book-case dedicated to diet. As a kid growing up with this diet you think that it’s normal and everyone else are being the weird ones.

As I ventured out on my own and started to having to buy food for myself, I started questioning what I was eating, where it came from, the nutritional value of things, observed how my body reacted to certain foods, and the impact it had on my moods. In the last two year I have taken it to another level by reading and listening and watching more about what we eat. As a result I have effectively turned into a lazy vegan, I still eat eggs (we have two chooks in the backyard) and need a dash of milk in my coffee, and still occasionally eat some fish when it’s too difficult to be difficult.

I always thought being a vegan was ultra-weird, a step too far, I would rather wear a suit a tie than have dreads and tie-dye shirts. Turns out it’s pretty easy, and there are far more ‘normal’ people on this path than just me. For me it is also became a matter of being more mindful of what I am using, and consuming in the world around me. If I couldn’t or didn’t want to kill it myself why should I have the privilege of eating it?

From my research I came up with some broad rules to eat by. They are:

  • No white stuff – Milk, yoghurt, cheese. Dairy is horrible for you.
  • Bread, pasta and other low quality carbs are all out, I term these lazy carbohydrates, they do nothing but make me feel full, but provide very little nutritional value.
  • Increase intake of high quality carbs through fruit and vegetables.
  • Try and keep clear of processed goods.
  • Increase intake of dried fruit and nuts.

Regardless of the diet, any diet, it takes a certain level of discipline and practise to turn it from a nice idea to starting to it, another level again to take the first leap, and a whole big change to turn it from a diet to a habit and then into a lifestyle and a way of life.

The exact same is true of a startup, any startup be it web-based or brick and mortar. Many people come and talk about ideas, and see the appeal in starting something. Very few actually take the leap and start, or take a further leap and quit the salary to ‘take it seriously’ and very, very few are successful in making it into a lifestyle and a way of life that is balanced both in terms of success, and also time.

Many people tell me they have thought of being vegetarian, or they started it for a few weeks when they were 16, but very few carry through. Much like a business startup.

For me the decisions I make with diet are directly reflected in how I feel and act and behave. It is so true you are what you eat. So eat smart to be smart!