I wanted to share with you some feedback we received on Facebook earlier this week related to nutrition and a Restaurant Cheat Sheet we are giving away free. (There’s a link at the bottom if you’re still interested after this post 😉 – but only if you don’t feel like the gentleman below, who clearly wasn’t very excited about our information):

nutrition elitism reply on Facebook

At first I was actually pretty upset. You never want to feel like what you’re putting out isn’t valuable.  Or worse – as accused here – a “scam”. Or of course that I “clearly” don’t actually live here, according to the Virginia transplant…

However after reading it a few times I realized it was actually a great opportunity to share our philosophy in responding to what I call this “nutritional elitism.”

That is the belief that one’s nutritional philosophy is the only way; it’s an absolute. I’m assuming you too can pick up on that in reading this post??

And let me be the first to say there is nothing wrong with what is being shared here by this concerned citizen. Of course it’s fantastic to eat mostly local, responsibly farmed produce and to focus on eating the best foods possible. However where I take issue is the fact that this person’s choice of non-dairy and non-meat is positioned as the ONLY way to eat healthy, when in fact it is simply their choice based on a personal philosophy.


Nutrition – Good, Better, Best

My second and bigger issue is this – the vast majority of our clients (and people across the US and western society in general – have you seen the obesity statistics lately??) are trying to make changes from a traditional SAD (Standard American Diet) to something better to meet their health, fitness and body transformation goals.

And that word is the absolute key in all of this – “better”.

In case you were wondering, here is how I replied:


Reply re: nutrition elitism

We want to meet our clients where they’re at. And a dogmatic, exclusionary, punitive, “can’t ever eat that” approach to nutrition just flat out does not work in the long-term for the vast majority of people.

As I stated in my reply to this gentleman, “we designed this guide (and approach nutrition) for the majority of people who need incremental improvements in their nutrition that is sustainable in terms of habit change, as well as when on the road or headed to your traditional favorite spots.”

At APK we subscribe to a philosophy of “good, better, best.”  We hold to the approach that our clients need a steady, achievable approach to habit change that follows nutrition and habit science.  This increases the likelihood of sustaining these new healthier changes over the long haul.


Real People Need to Eat Too!

And a final point if I may… This Restaurant Cheat Sheet / Healthy Eating Guide was marketed literally as that – a way to make the best decisions you can at a variety of restaurants that we know “real people” frequent.  You know, those that work full time, have 3 kids in different sports all across the island, a spouse with off-set hours from yours and all of the myriad other responsibilities on your plate.

Oh hey, that kind of sounds like me too! And you’re darn right I’ve frequented nearly all of these restaurants in my various travels. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned here but I used to travel quite a bit in my “former” life of 15 years in business development and leadership in the electronics manufacturing services industry (global account manager, regional sales, etc).  I WISH I knew then what I know now about how simple swaps and a “better than” approach can make such a huge difference.

So if this is you, please know that you are not alone. That all of those “holier than thou” quasi-nutrition zealots out there telling you what you “must do” to be healthy are NOT the only way for you to improve your health to change how you look and feel.

Let’s be real, if you are a “real person” as we described above, chances are at some point you are going to find yourself in a Burger King drive through.  Or grabbing whatever you can as you’re sprinting through the LAX airport trying to get your connecting flight to Atlanta or DFW to get to Louisville (completely fictional tale of course and in no way reflects the authors’ own experience)…

At this point you will need to follow the “good, better, best” approach mentioned above. So yes, while clearly you can’t make the “best” decision, such as what is outlined by the gentleman above, in terms of locally grown and sourced from your own garden, you can still make a good choice in this scenario relative to what other options are before you in the moment.



And the same goes for your favorite coffee shop – if a daily stop at Starbucks or Coffee Bean is part of your morning ritual then make some incrementally better decisions and you can avoid those extra 500 calories doing nothing more than adding an extra pound a week to your waistline. Yes at 500 calories per day on 7 days per week you are consuming 3,500 calories just in your “coffee”; 3,500 calories is one pound. #mathforthewin

I realized a while back that I can’t please everyone all the time (which is REALLY hard for me because that is in my personality type), and that it actually hurts our message and ability to help people by pretty much not saying anything for fear of offending someone.

What I’ve learned is that if no one is taking offense to our message then we are not really taking a stand. And in this case I knew it was time to take a stand.

Dang it, I guess I can’t be part of the “nutritionally elite” crowd, so I guess I’ll stick with the “commoners” and keep changing lives one incrementally better decision at a time…

Time to sign off, gotta head to [insert restaurant here]… where I will make the best decision I can given the options before me. Good thing I have this awesome Cheat Sheet to help! 😉


On a serious note, if this resonated with you, and you found yourself nodding your head throughout and thinking I must have somehow tapped into your head through the interwebz, then do me a favor and shoot me a message at [email protected], or call me at 808-634-0466. I would be honored to have the opportunity to talk about how we might be able to help you bring about incremental, sustainable change to get to your extraordinary life.


Press on,


P.S. Shameless plug 🙂 If you really do want a “Cheat Sheet” for nearly 30 of the national restaurant chains you are bound to come across in your travels, along with 10 local restaurants here on Kaua’i (from a variety of styles and budgets), then please do grab our free Restaurant Cheat Sheet by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2uxejTN