Richard Chavarriaga

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Food By Effect

Truth be told, this should be intuitive but when was the last time you connected how your body felt with what you ate (food poisoning excluded).
Did you bother to remember the connection and did you use that information the next time you needed the effect?

We so often focus on teaching people what food is good for you and why. When we do this we are teaching in terms of nutritional value, which has merit but I would like to propose that we also teach FOOD BY EFFECT.

After all we all want to healthy but health is a long-term goal in that it is based around a lifestyle but on a more immediate level you know exactly how you might want to feel or how you might want your body to work for the next 2 to 3 hours.


- This kind of food gives you energy and keeps you awake

- This is brain food, eat this before engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as study or research.

- This food helps build muscle please incorporate when exercising.

- This kind of food makes you sleepy, try it in the last meal of your day.

- or even this kind of food makes you full vs. this might work as a snack to hold you over.

To summarize -

Teach: Eat this _____ When you would like to feel like this _____.

Designers might consider making another "Food Chart" to go along with the traditional Food Pyramid. Images can include a stylized brain, a silhouette of a person running, the Sleeping Z's etc... And under each image are samples of the Food that lead to the Effect.

Thank you for your time and opinions TEDsters.

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    Jan 24 2012: Hi Richard,

    Your idea reminded me of the SAT's and the FCAT. Did you know that many teachers in Miami give chocolate kisses to the kids every morning during testing because it has been shown that chocolate is "brain food"

    Even still, some students fail.

    Maybe the teacher needs to be eating the chocolate each morning while teaching, instead of waiting until testing time to give it to the kids. Just a thought.....LOL :)

    Your idea is interesting. I know that when I eat a breakfast of cottage cheese and fruit I feel more energetic than when having coffee and a toast with jam.

    I hope others contribute to your conversation.

    Saluting you from Hialeah....Mary
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      Jan 25 2012: Hey Mary, thanks for the response.

      I am happy to discover my first commenter lives around the corner, so to speak. I have to agree if your gonna try the 'chocolate trick' you should probably start 2 weeks before the test and yes, the teacher should include him or herself in that process.