Shape Your Future with Sanjay Raja
Sanjay Raja is an actor and the author of The Food Talk. He has degrees in biology, chemistry, as well as physical science and has worked as a medical consultant educating physicians and surgeons. He is also a nutrition and fitness speaker and works with athletes, families as well as companies implementing healthy eating habits.
In 2012, he founded Team No Excuses Fitness which is a worldwide nutrition and fitness education company aiming to help children and adults achieve their nutrition and fitness goals.
Raja wrote The Food Talk with the aim of saving his children and the next generation from the issues of obesity, social anxiety and poor self-esteem that he had suffered from. He wanted to fight the general misinformation on how to eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The book serves as a hand guide for parents in teaching healthy habits to small children and teens, educating them from a young age on the importance of nutrition and healthy eating.
Here is the full Shape Your Future interview with Sanjay Raja.
You wrote The Food Talk in 2015 in order to help parents educate their children on healthy eating habits and have kids of your own. What would you identify as the main obstacle against this in today’s world?
The most common obstacle in my experience working with children and families in educating them in adopting healthy eating habits would be parents taking the path of least resistance and just following the recommendations of friends&family who have had children before them without doing their own research to design a plan to address the needs of their children. One thing is for sure when it comes to educating kids on healthy eating habits and that is it is very personal and educating children on healthy nutrition habits based on another families’ methods of education will most assuredly end in failure.
You founded Team No Excuses Fitness in 2012 to help both adults and children achieve fitness goals. What was your main motivation behind this?
I founded my company because I always had issues with obesity as a child and I finally got into better shape when I started martial arts training as it gave me the mental and physical discipline to take charge of my health. Thus it inspired me to start a fitness company where I can share the tools I learned in martial arts to coach clients of all ages so that they to can find the mental and physical discipline to reach their health and wellness goals without having to subscribe to fad diets and exercise plans that aren’t sustainable.
What do you think is the importance of food on an individual as well as community level?
Food is our fuel that most people don’t realize affects behaviors and our health. Speaking with clients and at events, I realize that most people on an individual level make food choices based on short term needs meaning they eat what they feel like or what is convenient for them without taking into account the long term effects on their health. On a community level, the importance of food education has never been more important with the rising rate of the global obesity and the associated cost of healthcare increasing year after year which can be curtailed through food education.
When it comes to fitness and nutrition you strive for not short term solutions with short term results but long-lasting ones. How would you apply this to sustainability in regards to the environment?
As mentioned in a previous question most people take the path of least resistance for themselves and their children when it comes to nutrition by eating out and ordering takeout. The percentage of waste by takeout packaging and food waste is increasing steadily year after year which is contributing to the global problem of waste. In addition, the amount of food that is thrown away by restaurants also contributes the global problem of waste that is affecting the environment on a global scale. Learning to cook for oneself and the family is more sustainable and creates less waste.
In relation to our Shape Your Future video series, I would like to ask you one more question, in fact, the one to top them all and to guide all of us:
“How do you shape your future?”