Making the Speaking Business More Customer Focused

Why Working From Home Is a Great Time to Change Your Eating Habits


About Marilyn Tam

Marilyn Tam, Ph.D. is a Speaker, best selling Author, Consultant, Board Certified Executive/Corporate Coach, CEO of Marilyn Tam & Co. and Founder and Executive Director of Us Foundation. She was formerly the CEO of Aveda Corp., President of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group, Vice President of Nike Inc. and also a successful entrepreneur who has built four companies. Inc Magazine ranks her as one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world. She has been selected as one of the Top 10 inspirational business speakers by one of the best professional speakers bureaus.


Many years ago, I lost my father and then my husband within a short period of time. I was devastated. I couldn’t think properly to support my clients in developing their businesses, or even to handle the basics of my own life, like sleeping and eating. It was a struggle to get out of bed and to change out of my PJs. What’s the point? Life was desperately bleak. I lost a massive amount of weight. If I had suspenders, I would have used them to keep my pants up. It seemed that there was nothing I could do to stabilize my health and life.

Finally, after several futile efforts, I found a holistic chiropractor/healer who prescribed a drastic diet for me. It consisted of a short list of things I could eat — a few kinds of fruit, many vegetables, several kinds of beans, grains that were very exotic back then, amaranth, millet and quinoa, olive oil, a small variety of nuts and that was about it. I was skeptical but I was running out of options. I tried the diet she customized for me and amazingly I gradually began to feel better and look less like a hanger wearing clothes.

Over the years I’ve delved into the science and rationale behind the diet to understand why it worked. With great interest and a degree in Foods and Nutrition, I co-led an integrated health clinic, and over the years I’ve developed a well-researched and constantly updated system to maintain vibrant health on a plant-based diet. This system has kept me healthy, fit, well balanced and performing at a high level even under stress and extensive travel.

You don’t need a dramatic life experience to transform your diet. And there’s no need to adopt a severely restricted diet to enjoy the benefits of a plant-based diet. It can be fun, delicious and easy to get this improved wellbeing.

Take your time to explore. You’ll notice rewards quite soon as you make modifications in your eating habits. Gradual modifications are good because you and your body can adjust and learn how to adapt to the changes.

What is a plant-based diet? Eating closer to the source of energy and nutrients. This is the crux of why we and all living creatures eat — to obtain the fuel to power our bodies and minds. Plant-based nourishment is just eating to closer to the wellspring of why we eat. Ultimately all food comes from plants, whether we eat the plants directly or if we eat animals or sea life that eats plants.

How do you start? Easy. Ask yourself the question, how far from a plant is this food? Eat as close to a natural plant as you can. This is because generally the more processed the food, the less available the nutrients are for you. In fact, the further removed and processed the food is, the more different undesirable effects the food may have on your body. For example, eating corn on the cob is closest to the plant, next, cornmeal (ground up corn), then corn starch (processed white endosperm of corn), even further away would be corn syrup (highly processed and treated component of corn) and a pop tart which includes corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup in the list of ingredients. Similarly, beef would be further away from plants since the cow would have to eat and convert hay and corn to produce its flesh.

Begin by shifting to consuming more plants and foods that are closer to actual plants. Start with eating only plant-based food for one meal a day or for one day a week. Experiment and make it fun! Track how you feel. Do you notice the difference in a week? A month? More energy, clearer thinking, happier, weight loss, less puffiness, and better sleep are some of the ones that people notice.

Eat a colorful and large variety of food. If you are concerned whether you are going to get all the needed nutrients on a plant-based diet, choose a large assortment of plant-based food. In any diet, eating a healthy diversity of foods will ensure that you are getting the nutrients and micronutrients available primarily in specific foods. You can get all your essential nutrients on a plant-based diet. One concern some people have is if they get can enough protein on a plant-based diet. A recent documentary film, “The Game Changers” featured a UFC fighter seeking to recover from injury and his eventual embrace of plant-based diet to fuel his return to higher and spectacular performance. The protein and nutrition needs for athletes are very high, and the film documents the plant-based path athletes in many sports took to excel. There are a few micronutrients which are harder to obtain in an exclusive plant-based (vegan) diet. The top two are vitamin B12 and D3, both of which are readily available in supplement form in any grocery or health food store.

Eat a lot. When you eat plant-based meals, you can eat more and still maintain your weight or more probably, lose weight. Plants contain more fiber and water than more processed foods so when you eat such a diet, you are able to enjoy more quantities of food, a great side benefit for people like me to love to eat!

Experiment and adjust accordingly. Determine what works for your body and lifestyle. Do you like breakfast or only coffee or tea in the morning? It’s easy to eat as you wish at home once you stock your pantry. Bring nuts, avocado and/or oatmeal with you to work if you are unsure of your access to plant-based food when you get hungry mid-morning. Many coffee shops and restaurants now cater to the growing plant-based awareness too. Prepare food on weekends so that you have extra for the week. Start your program with friends and colleagues so you can share in the discovery, food preparation, meals and improvements together. You’ll find the process fun, bonding, creative, health inducing and more. You’ll find that you are calmer and have the stamina to work and be more productive too.


To Learn more about Dr. Tam contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]