By Sgt. 1st Class Mark BellNovember 13, 2014
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- As Army Reserve Soldiers filed into a nearby dining facility, they noticed a few changes unique to their two-week annual training.
No desserts on the menu, smaller portions of food and the soda machines were wrapped in plastic.
These were just a few of the modifications for the Army Reserve's Performance Triad pilot program, sponsored by the 200th Military Police Command held Nov. 1-14 here.
"In the dining facility, we are helping our Soldiers eat more healthy by taking away sodas and desserts," said Col. Rene Jacob, a nutrition specialist from San Antonio, Texas who is assigned to the 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support). "The hardest part for some people was transiting from sodas to water."
The Performance Triad is a comprehensive plan to improve readiness and increase resilience through public health initiatives and leadership engagement.
The focus of the Performance Triad is on Sleep, Activity, and Nutrition - key actions that influence health in the "Lifespace" of time that isn't spent with a health-care provider.
"We are doing the performance triad, so what we are focusing on is nutrition that increases their performance and makes them stronger, healthier and working on disease prevention," she said.
The Triad program educates Soldiers about healthy eating habits to enable top-level training, increase energy and endurance, shorten recovery time between activities, improve focus and concentration and help leaders and Soldiers look and feel better.
Jacob said she wants Soldiers to take home the program information to change their lifestyles and develop healthier eating habits.
For several days, Soldiers learned information about eating for performance. From pre-exercise, during and after meals, Jacob said each meal is different and critical to develop a successful program.
"We want Soldiers to know when and why they are eating," she said. "The difference between carbs and fats and what are the better choices of carbs."
Jacob said power drinks are not encouraged. "We want them to look at their lives and cut out the caffeine," she said. "Soldiers need cut out simple sugars and add more complex carbs, more vegetables, more fruits."
The Triad program teaches Soldiers the importance to build an eating strategy that will complement the requirements of their mission.
According to Jacob, nutrition is an individual effort.
"My purpose here is to get each individual person to look at their life and figure out what they need to improve on to go more with the healthy eating style which the performance triad teaches," she said. "For some of them, it will be get rid of the sodas, for others it could be getting rid of the power drinks, others it could be cutting down on alcohol."
At the end of the two weeks, Jacob said she hoped Soldiers took the information and shared it with others.
"The Performance Triad is intended not just for their Soldiers, but their families, as well," she said. "We hope they go back to their units and share this information. They are armed with knowledge that can improve lives of their friends and families."