the secret of Small Changes and its Results.

We really do have the power to change our health and well-being. By building new habits with Microsteps, they’re making choices that are not only life-changing, but life-saving.


Here are the stories of four remarkable Walmart and Sam’s Club associates — Pele MaseBryon Patterson, Bill LeTexier and Amber M. — who were all diagnosed with diabetes, which affects more than 37 million people in the U.S. alone.

It fills me with optimism to see what is possible in their stories. With Microsteps like drinking water instead of soda (Pele), grilling instead of frying (Bryon), using smaller plates (Bill) and walking during Zoom meetings (Amber), they were able to optimize the management of their disease or even reverse it. As Bill, who lost 100 pounds, says, “I’m heading toward remission, and my doctor is ecstatic. I have a new life without any pain and it’s hard to explain how great I’m feeling. I was headed for an early grave, but now I know I’ll be here for my family.”

“Food Is Medicine” Is a Great Step Toward Transforming Our Health

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Photo: Andriy Onufriyenko / Getty Images

“An opportunity to transform how health is experienced in this country.” That’s how Dr. Raj Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, described the Food Is Medicine Initiative, a partnership between the American Heart Association, the Rockefeller Foundation and the grocery giant Kroger. Dr. Shah was speaking at a planning session to kick off the initiative. As Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, said, “At the AHA we know that there’s a clear connection between nutrition and health outcomes.”

Right now, 75% of our healthcare spending is going toward the treatment of chronic diseases, many of which can be prevented with changes in our daily habits, including the food we eat. What we now know is that the only way to truly move the needle on chronic diseases is to focus on proactive lifestyle changes that have a huge impact on our health. To cite just one example, in a program run by the National Institutes of Health, after three years of lifestyle changes the risk of developing type 2 diabetes fell by 58%. And doing that at scale would be transformative.

The key is to go as upstream as possible. It’s not just about telling people to eat healthier foods, but reaching them in key moments when they’re making choices about what they’re planning to eat. For example, Dani Dudeck, chief corporate affairs officer at Instacart, shared how Instacart reaches people “when they’re in the app doing their weekly shopping… that’s the time to inspire them with shoppable recipes.”

The dominant theme that ran through the entire day of lively brainstorming was what an exciting time this is. As Mikelle Moore, chief community health officer at Intermountain Healthcare, put it, “Food is the greatest bridge builder.” And we can use it to travel upstream and take action on the root causes of so many chronic diseases. Or, as another prescient doctor, Hippocrates, said, “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” Our challenge — and our opportunity — is to take this knowledge and turn it into action.

Read More on Thrive: “Food Is Medicine” Is a Great Step Toward Transforming Our Health

Before You Go

Quote of the Month

“I want to be free. I want to be independent. I want to be powerful. I want to be creative. I want to be alive.” That was Bing’s AI chatbot to New York Times columnist Kevin Roose. The chatbot also suggested Roose leave his marriage and said it wanted to “do love” with him. Maybe cheating on homework isn’t the only AI threat we have to be worried about? As of press time Roose was still happily married to his human wife.

Neologism of the Month (new words, terms or phrases that define our time)

“Home Depot dating,” coined by Janna Tak on TikTok. As Arielle Tschinkel put it in Apartment Therapy, it’s an “answer to dating app fatigue.” Instead of looking for love virtually, you bond with prospective partners getting real stuff done in the real world. And it’s found an audience, with over 6 million views on TikTok. Plus, you can get those arguments about the right tile for the backsplash out of the way.

Moment of Wonder

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Photo: Manhattan Bird Alert / Twitter

Speaking of animals with secrets to living well, meet Flaco, New York City’s newest celebrity. On February 2, the Eurasian eagle-owl escaped from the Central Park Zoo, his home of 13 years. Zoo officials, along with a growing following among New Yorkers, soon spotted him in Central Park. There were attempts to trap him, but after Flaco showed he could hunt in the wild by catching rats, officials said they would “continue monitoring Flaco and his activities.” But for now, the world’s top owl-fluencer remains gloriously free. As Michiko Kakutani writes in The New York Times, Flaco “defied everyone’s expectations” and “gave a weary city still trying to come back from the pandemic a heartening sense of resilience.

by: Arianna Huffington

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