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Nutritional Wealth: How a maritime tragedy can remind us to watch how we eat
Golden Ray
The Golden Ray being salvaged off the shore of St. Simon’s Island. Photo by Mike Thompson

On Sept. 8, 2019, I drove with family to Jacksonville to see the Jaguars. We passed by the Port of Brunswick and marveled at the gargantuan car hauling ships. Five miles away we could see one of the floating skyscrapers quietly go about its multi-billion dollar business.

 Coming home to Richmond Hill later that afternoon, we heard the news. The Golden Ray, a ship hauling approximately 4,200 vehicles and 23 souls, had lost its balance and capsized just off the St. Simons Island shoreline.

 How could this catastrophe happen? The ship was loaded wrong. The magnificent Golden Ray with a billion dollars of money-making potential was devastated due to human error. This story points to something much more valuable, with the ability to do so much more. Your body, with its control systems and marvelous mind, continues to amaze scientists. Your brain is irreplaceable. Working together the human body’s systems are engineered at a supremely divine level, giving you the ability to think, plan, create and achieve remarkable feats.

But historically, how to “load” your body was never really studied until the last 30-40 years. This lags behind the science, study and practices creating the industrial age (1800s to 1900s) which led us to the current information age.

The industrial age, not the knowledge age, is responsible for the efficient production of 20th century food. This includes highly processed, packaged high-sugar foods and beverages.

Remember Georgia’s own cola was one of the fastest growing business products of the 20th century. Caloric beverages and processed foods are industrially engineered to taste good, leave you unsatisfied and coming back for more.

The huge downside is that over time consumption of these foods damages your cardiovascular system and all organs.

Heart disease and diabetes are an unintended outgrowth. Your own personal education and food habits were likely not grounded on reliable, evidence based food science, because it didn’t exist when you were young.

According to, 17%, as a result of us are suffering from lifestyle disease in some way and 49% are obese based on how their body has been loaded.

Like we saw with the Golden Ray, proper loading can be the difference in an early life-ending catastrophe or a life sustaining, flourishing existence for you and everyone you influence.

You are special. Hence, you are strongly recommended to take specific time to learn the latest science on how to load (feed and train) yourself, including both your mind and body. Condensed in its most basic forms this means:

 1. Eat minimally processed foods and be a student of nutrition. Learn about and back off foods with added sugar and artificial sweeteners, sodium and unhealthy fats. Try to cook at home a bit more and assure you are getting about 5 servings of veggies and fruits a day.

2. Eat slowly, think about and enjoy your meals (boring but highly effective). This is called mindful eating and proven to help you lose weight if needed. Mindful eating can also help you maintain health and ward off chronic disease according to Today’s Dietician.

3. Outwit today’s sedentary lifestyle by moving a minimum of 20 minutes a day. A smart watch can help you program an easy 5 minutes at a time throughout the day.

4. Load your mind right, too. Just like your body naturally responds positively to whole foods, your mind naturally responds positively to the right input. Be in the top 1% by starving your distraction and feeding your focus. Imagine where your marvelous ship will go with 10-20 more vibrant years. Smoother sailing is waiting for you, if you are loaded correctly.

Mike Thompson writes about nutrition and amazing aging. He lives in Richmond Hill, is certified in exercise nutrition and founder of SelfCare Sustained. Reach him at

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