This is the one question most people ask when they’re getting to know a company, a brand, and deciding whether they can trust it. After all, trust is the most important of all human character traits – it’s the bedrock and very foundation of most of what exists in the civilized world that us humans have created – especially when it comes to something crucial to our daily life as what we put in our mouth. And, it is one of those elements that is personal, so let’s get personal. I’ll go first.
Although the balance of my career was in healthcare to align with my mission of impacting health, ever since my minor degree in college, in Personal Training, I’ve known no greater feeling than the moment when a person, who’s trusted me to make them healthier, meets the goal and result that up until that point, was a distant vision in their mind. A hope. Or, something maybe they felt hopeless of achieving. Promising themselves “one day” they’d get to it. Maybe they had tried, and tried, and fell victim to a “diet”, like the anecdotal 95% of people who fail at diets or short-term programs, only to become worse off than when they started. Or, maybe it was a fleeting goal that popped in their mind as a “New Year, New You” resolution. Whatever the cause or inspiration of the goal, my job was to understand that person, not just the physical parts, but the underlying motivations, emotions, and history. To help them see their body as a temple, which needs to be cleaned, swept, maintained, renovated, to let the windows and doors open and the breeze come through, to complete the analogy.
When they reached that goal, the reward for me was written all over their face and presence – they were fulfilled, physically, mentally, spiritually, and all the sudden the tension in their lives and shoulders would melt – relationships with their significant other, kids, friends, co-workers, even random strangers became better. They argued less, loved more, and enjoyed the rare gift we all have of being humans in this day in age.
With my career, I was mission-oriented from the age of 22 – my mentor had informed me that 2/3 of the U.S. Adult population was unhealthy, and headed for a life of pain, disease, and suffering. This rocked my world. It made me sad. I love this country, and I know most people don’t want to live the life of discomfort that lay ahead of them. So, I worked in the Healthcare System. I deeply love and respect 100% of the people who make America’s hospital and health system the best in the world – if you’re sick, there’s no better place to get care than right here.
But, we spend $3 trillion (yes, trillion) per year in our system now, and that rate of unhealthiness is now even higher (says the CDC). It’s gone up, not down. And we spend $68 billion (yes, billion) on Diet and Weight Loss. Nothing is working - a new way is necessary.
Yet, every person who studies the human body, knows that nutrition is the key to our health. Food is medicine, but we have to remember it is a slow medicine. Change that happens quickly goes away quickly. Sustainable lifestyle eating, that lasts not 3 months, but more like 30 years, is the real goal.
I’m not saying MealShare is the holy grail. Nothing is. But, MealShare is a tool. And it’s a really simple tool for self-accountability, in it's most basic form. We have a lot of Pros, ones you can trust. So, you can use the app to connect with just your Pro. Or, you can use the app to connect with friends, build your own community, social accountability, and reach your health goals that way.
Just remember, food is slow medicine, so have fun. That’s what makes the journey enjoyable and not a chore. Oh, and don’t make any one else feel bad. This is a no shaming, non-judgmental environment. It’s a safe place, so if anyone is being mean, they’ll be asked to clean up their act or get the boot.
We love feedback, we love making people healthier, happier, and better. We’re not perfect. We need you, as our friends, family, community, to help us make MealShare what it needs to be. Thanks for being a part of this movement with us, impacting health through healthy eating. Not just for us, but for the countless generations to come.
In health and with love,
Another popular question that we get a lot. The simple answer is – building a network we can trust. There are a lot of smart Nutritionists, maybe even some of the best Nutritionists out there are not Dietitians. But, Dietitians are amazing – they are the largest definable group of consistently credible nutrition experts we have in the U.S., and I’ll debate that with anyone. A Dietitian gets a Bachelor or a Master’s degree (soon, always a Master’s), they do 1,200 hours of internship in the field of Nutrition, much of that hands-on with people of all kinds (for reference, most yoga teachers and personal trainers get 100-200 hours, and they’re both smart groups), and Dietitians pass a rigorous exam, like the Medical Board equivalent for Nutrition. They’re effectively the Doctors of Nutrition in our society – we don’t have a “Doctor of Nutrition”, but if we had to choose, most people would point to Dietitians.
So, no matter what, we know someone who has earned the right to be a Dietitian is generally someone who can be trusted to steer you the right way. Not all Dietitians are the same, and none of them are perfect, but you’re in good hands with a Dietitian. And, there are 89,000 of them – so we know that we’re not going to run out of them anytime soon.
But, probably more than most, they truly and genuinely care about helping people eat healthier. It’s not the most lucrative profession – nobody who says, “I want to make a lot of money in my life” becomes a Dietitian. Sure, some have successful private practices and they deserve that success. Many want a private practice, because of the freedom, and because they get to help people. That’s why Dietitians. They, as a whole, are in it for the right reasons.
Why an app?
Well, it seems there’s an app for everything these days. Apps for apps, that require more apps. They’re everywhere.
The reason why MealShare is an app is nothing new. We’ll be the first to say that. Simply put, we use our phones like limbs these days, and apps are just tools – tools anyone with a phone can use. We see that 93% of people we’ve reached are on their mobile phone, not their desktop, not a tablet.
And, as much as we’re religious believers in the power of handwriting to help with self-reflection and accountability, good luck trying to get anyone to write on paper what they ate every meal of every day. And these phones now let us take pictures, which is so much easier than writing and like our elders teach us, and most Pros (Dietitians, Nutritionists, Trainers) know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Especially if in the hands of a skilled Pro or Master.
We know that taking photos of what you eat, just that, will help you eat healthier. Every Pro we know sees that. This study shows that. But, add on top of that the accountability and expertise of a Pro, and an app becomes more than just an app – it becomes a resource, one you can use remotely, wherever you are. It becomes a Dietitian and healthy eating community, in your pocket.