Why Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine Matters to Us

By Professor David Russell in Partnership with Charlotte Harbour. The Russell Partnership

Kale chips, “Buddha Bowls” and mindful eating are concepts no longer constrained to the realms of wellness blogs and mountain retreats. Over the past five years in particular, there has been a significant surge in health and wellness related behaviours throughout westernised societies. We are seeing these positive shifts in thought patterns within paradigms such as nutrition, lifestyle and health – all of which are having positive impacts on the longevity and wellbeing of the adopters.

It is natural to question why these concepts would be of relevance in our industry. Do we need to be aware that there is a rise in plant-based diets, adaptogenic herbs and gut health? Is it valuable to take time researching health related information that isn’t traditionally linked to food and beverage consulting?

We say yes – and here’s why: Having a wider perspective of global health trends ameliorates our understanding of how we deliver valuable advice and support to our clients. It provides a rich understanding of the zeitgeist of our time, facilitating a knowledge base that aids us identify customer group profiles and demographic demand analyses. Understanding deeper aspects of the industry also allows us to roll out innovations and services aligned with the times – fulfilling gaps in the market and balancing any instances of oversaturation with concept origination and implementation.

So, now we know why – let’s talk about how. As food and beverage consultants, nutrition is a key paradigm that drives the direction of our strategies. Within the Russell Partnership Collection, we have a collection of qualified Nutritionists and Nutritional Therapists that support the team by building infographics and guidance packs that the strategic team then utilise for report development. Let’s hear from one of them now:

“Adequate nutrition provides energy, sustenance and vitality – balanced meals deliver optimised experience outcomes for guests visiting hotels, conferences and events through sustained energy release, satiety and cognitive nourishment. In addition, we know that health and wellness are huge global movements – so we are fulfilling demand and perhaps fuelling others to follow suit by providing delicious options. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, studies are beginning to establish just how important nutrition and lifestyle medicine is for physical longevity and even positive mental health outcomes. Indeed, a study has revealed that high levels of “good” bacteria in the gut are correlated with less anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. Another demonstrated that individuals with low levels of vitamin B12 have more brain inflammation and higher rates of depression and dementia.”

Through menu development, we deliver multiple opportunities for healthy eating and increased vitality. In the long run, we may even be increasingly the longevity and positively effectively mental health outcomes – according to the studies. This is especially true for recurrent visitors or workforce diners, who eat in the same place on a daily basis. This is an example of catalysing change in the wider community, delivering long lasting benefits that will provide increased opportunities for vibrancy.

Some of our own practical examples of wider-community influence in relation to nutrition and lifestyle medicine consist of:

  • Ensuring nutrition, sustainable food procurement and plant-based options are key components for the 25 million visits projected at Expo 2020 Dubai
  • Development of an online allergen and nutrition courses for major Emirati caterers, catalysing a national movement towards informed menu design and increased awareness of allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease
  • Delivery of key note speeches on the importance of the microbiome (gut health), bio-individuality and positive mental health at international conferences
  • Developing menu guidance for GLH hotels that is nutritionally viable, offering guests wider opportunities for health and wellbeing
  • Connection and collaboration with thought leaders in the industry

As food and beverage consultants, we are responsible for delivering guidance and recommendations that affect positive change or drive specific aspirations. In general, our recommendations are part of wider strategic objectives that encompass macroeconomic factors such as social education or community development. This gives way to strategies that have the power to catalyse change in areas much broader than one business operator or client. We have tangible opportunities every single day to monitor global food and health trends, innovations and developing research to ensure we take every opportunity to make a positive difference in our work – both for the client and their community. So, let’s absorb all the information we can to enable positive development in as many areas possible… 

We’d love to hear your practical examples of positive change – let’s chat @RP_Consultants