Leading With Love: Eating Healthy

By Greg Cini

We learned at an early stage in our family that what we put in our bodies can really impact our health. Throughout the years, we have had up to four generations living in our home. Everyone in the family has health problems that they need to overcome. Together, we have learned how to pay attention to what we are feeding our bodies and the importance of eating healthy. 

How it all started

Our path towards healthy eating started with my daughter. When she was a small child, she was always getting sick and struggled to eat. It seemed as though every time she ate, she felt worse. After a lot of hospital visits, the only diagnosis was Failure to Thrive, but no antidote.  Frustrated, we were told by a close friend we should take her to a wholistic doctor he knew to  have her tested for allergies and other immune deficiencies.  We soon learned my daughter had extreme allergies to certain foods she was eating including sugars, dyes, and artificial ingredients. In order for my daughter to thrive, we simply had to change what she was eating. Her diet went from the kind that you would find in any average home to a mostly all-natural, paleo, and gluten-free diet. Both my wife and I had active professional careers and worried about being able to give our daughter the level of care she deserved. We spoke with Grandma and Grandpa and asked them, if we bought them a home in Columbus, would they be willing to move near us to help raise our kids.  Gramps said, “Absolutely!” with no hesitation and moved in with us to help keep my daughter on point with her new diet.  Gramps had two years until retirement so he stayed in Canton and they saw each other on weekends for two straight years.  As a family, we began to eat healthier and more natural foods together. It was a demand of us to make sure our daughter was healthy. 

If that wasn’t enough, some years later, we learned that my son had numerous food allergies as well. His allergies include egg, gluten, and dairy (wait, can you really eat after that?). As a result, his diet also had to change to paleo and gluten-free. At this point, the whole family made the switch over to more paleo and gluten-free eating. I definitely cheat on the gluten-free part of the family diet. I love my breads and my morning cereal. But when we eat together, we eat for each other. With all of our family under one roof, we all shared in this new healthy eating from great-grandmother to my two children. 

A Habit Worth Keeping

As our diets changed, our kids weren’t the only ones who had positive results. Grandma and Gramps, Great-Grandma, and my wife and I all started to feel better and healthier. I could see Grandma and Gramps had more energy and less health issues. When Great-Grandma, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,  moved in, she had more good days with us. She could be a part of conversations and be present far more often. Great-Grandma was able to be with the family rather than constantly fight the fog of Dementia. It became vitally important to our family that we keep treating our bodies the right way in order to be our best selves.

The Philosophy of Kemper House Worthington 

To be honest, that’s what eating healthy is all about for me. It’s about being the best Greg Cini I can be every day. Building a business and a culture that takes care of seniors is a tough task. Eating healthy helps me get through each day a little bit stronger. Eating right keeps my body and mind ready to do what I have to for our residents and our culture at Kemper House Worthington.

I strongly believe in the idea that you do what’s important to you.

Little did I know how much eating healthy and living healthy life habits would affect building our business and our culture. We emphasize healthy eating and lifestyles for our residents and our staff. Our residents deserve the best meals that do good for their bodies. We want them to be as strong and capable as they can be. Our staff needs to be at their best to provide the standard of care that Kemper House Worthington expects. Living in the US, there are plenty of excuses to not eat healthy. But when you make it a priority, it becomes much easier to accomplish. I believe strongly in the idea that you do what’s important to you. For me, that’s eating healthy and providing healthy meals for the residents of Kemper House Worthington. 

I have seen first hand the effects that healthy eating can have on the body and mind. My entire family is better off for the changes we made almost 20 years ago. I want to use that philosophy at Kemper House Worthington and pass on the benefits to each and every one of our residents and care team. I believe that our facility and community is built with love. We can show that love every day by ensuring that each resident in our care receives the nutritious meals that promote healthy living every day.