NASA Robotics – Inspired Program Makes Balanced Nutrition Easy

In my travels this month I have spent time with some of the most influential experts in the world of fitness and health, and in that time there was one clear message that was consistent among all of them. Many of them train in different parts of the country and use completely different methods of exercise, but there is one thing that each of them made a number one priority in their training programs. Nutrition! Nutrition! Nutrition!For those that know me personally, they hear me say day in and day out that nutrition is the single most important key to success and there is nothing more powerful than the food journal which can literally provide 50% more success. Frankly, if you are not committed to a healthy nutrition program, the chances of you accomplishing your goals are very unlikely. In 13 years of coaching, I have never seen anyone achieve success who was not committed to a nutrition program to help them get there. In addition, those who committed themselves to keeping a food journal to be reviewed by a coach always achieved the best results.It truly is painful to see so many people around the world work so hard in the gym only to receive nothing in return because they didn’t commit to a complete nutrition program.It is clear that what most people need to achieve success in nutrition is not a diet but realistic balanced nutrition that they can keep up for the rest of their lives and enjoy doing it. It is also clear that people need easy to use solutions, fast, and convenient tools to support their success. Lastly, it is clear that people need a coach or mentor to hold them accountable. Commitment to these key components will change your life.In 2003, NASA Ranger Neutral Buoyancy Vehicle (NBV) lead engineer, Joe Graves, founded Vitabot, the technology that now powers a local nutrition program in Dover, Delaware.The Vitabot technology uses some of the same robotics and computer science concepts that Graves developed for the Ranger NBV-in this case, to offer a product that helps customers determine and maintain their ideal nutrition for long term health and fitness.Graves says. “It’s the exact same style of algorithms that we developed between the robot and the operator.” The result is an easy-to-use online program that allows users to customize and set health goals, like desired weight, and then plan balanced meals using a food database featuring tens of thousands of choices. This program uses NASA technology, providing personal training to customers with an interactive report card that provides the individuals using it with “instant” feedback as to how they’re doing on a daily basis.The interactive nutrition program is so smart that if there are any deficiencies in your diet, not only will the program show that deficiency but it will also tell you immediately how to fix it. This technology far exceeds the service an average human nutrition coach could provide, grading not only how food choices measure up to users’ basic nutritional needs, but also providing an in- depth look at electrolytes, minerals, and vitamins.Users can build complete menus of favorite foods that match their nutritional needs and can then be shared with others. This allows them to make real, individually tailored use of the previously overwhelming quantities of available nutritional data. These menus are safe, accurate, and driven by the Institute Of Medicine Standards.Graves credits Vitabot’s unusual origins for much of its success; most nutritional planning systems do not come out of a space program.

How Do We Determine Nutritional Need?

Today, we must determine how much nourishment we need, how much physical exercise we need, and how best to accomplish those ends. Calorie needs, nutritional needs, physical needs, and education about those needs now is information we should all understand, at least as it applies to our individual self. If you will visit your local doctor, library, or fitness center, there is massive amounts of information available to help educate and to help you make good health choices, no matter what the age group.

Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes.

How do we determine that we are providing the essential nutritional needs? That knowledge comes by educating ourselves about what our individual needs are, the needs of our family, and then taking that knowledge and applying it to the foods we buy, that we prepare, and that our families consume.

Nutrition as it applies to our daily lives means that we take in what we need to maintain our body’s healthy state. Nutrition has become an important word thanks to the involvement of the USDA in our daily food requirements, and the FDA’s involvement in determining what is and is not dangerous for us to consume.

But what is our responsibility in the nutrition game? Do we understand what our nutritional requirements are, how to fulfill those requirements, and how to look for real nutritional value in our foods? I’m not sure that nutrition has been successfully addressed in its own right. We hear nutrition in relation to our vitamin intake, our fortified cereals and milk, and in the context that we need “nutritional value” from our food choices. But what really is nutrition when applied to our daily bodily functions?

Quite often, our vitamin and mineral needs outweigh our caloric needs. In those instances, we turn to manufactured vitamins and minerals to fill the gap. This is a part of our nutritional needs, also.

Nutrition is one of the most complex areas to gain useful knowledge about, because there are so many components, and because each person has their own individual needs. Women needs differ from those of men, and older women’s needs differ from those of a young girl. As we age, our needs constantly change; therefore continual education about nutrition is a fact of life.

The nutritional needs of a cardiac patient are different than those of a healthy, middle-aged hiker. Can you see the complexity of the situation now? What we really need is to develop a scale that determines the nutritional needs of our bodies on a cellular level, so that as we age, as our physical condition changes, or our health changes, we can recalculate our needs, based on cellular changes and content in our body. Individuality is the key to understanding each person’s nutritional needs, and then working to educate ourselves is the key to fulfilling those nutritional needs. Good nutrition should be the ultimate goal of every person alive.