At Colibri Digital Marketing, we believe that staying healthy is one of the best ways to grow your business. Written by Brooke Wilson, founder, Summer Thyme Kitchen, this guest post explores how to use food to increase productivity at work. If you’d like to learn more about how changing your diet can improve your work–and change your life–schedule a complimentary 30-minute Take Back Your Health nutrition consultation with Brooke.
What you eat not only affects your body, it affects your mind, which directly influences your ability to be productive at work. When you fuel yourself with the right foods you will have better focus, increased concentration, more energy and sustained mental alertness.
However, if you choose foods and drinks that are highly processed and contain sugar, caffeine and refined carbs, they will cause an immediate spike in energy followed by a crash, leaving you tired and unable to focus. Choosing these kinds of foods will inevitably lead to a struggle to be productive and generate your best quality work. It doesn’t have to be that way! Read on to find out how to use food to increase productivity at work.
Top Five Food Tips to Keep You Focused and Productive
- Eat a breakfast that will sustain you. Get your day started with a balanced, hearty meal that includes protein and healthy fats. Resist that urge to grab a doughnut and coffee after rolling out of bed. Protein and good fats will keep your blood sugar balanced and sustain your energy level throughout the morning. Good examples of breakfasts that will bolster your performance all morning include eggs over roasted veggies, whole milk yogurt with granola and hemp seeds, a smoothie made with nut butter, or it can even be as easy as last night’s leftovers!
- Pack a lunch. Packing a lunch saves you money and keeps your food choices on track for maintaining work productivity. Make sure to pack a moderate lunch, because eating a very heavy lunch will often cause sleepiness in the afternoon. Fuel yourself with fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Vegetables should make up 75% of your meal, with proteins and grains being more akin to “side” dishes. Try cooking for your weekly lunches on Sundays to save you the daily stress of putting together tomorrow’s lunch the night before. Good lunch ideas include salmon over quinoa with a baked sweet potato, chicken vegetable stir-fry, or lentil vegetable soup.
- Plan your daily snacks. Don’t wait until you are hungry at mid-morning or mid-afternoon to figure out what to eat. Without healthy snack options on-hand you are more likely to grab something processed from a vending machine or at the corner store. These kinds of foods will lead to a post-snack energy crash, which will cause your productivity to nose-dive as well. Pack snacks just like you would plan and pack for your lunch. Good food options to have with you for when hunger hits are nuts, nut butters, whole fruits such as apples, bananas, or oranges, yogurt, homemade jerky, hard boiled eggs, or smoothies.
- Set up a snack-friendly workspace. Having a stocked “work pantry,” a.k.a. your desk, is a great way to set yourself up for healthy foods success. In addition to having the above-mentioned snack foods with you for your day, also plan on having some food prep staples stowed away at your desk. These could consist of a small cutting board, a knife, a small bottle of olive oil, napkins, a plate, bowl, and cup, sea salt, pepper, spices and anything else you feel makes your lunches and snacks more enjoyable. You can look forward to eating and nourishing yourself, especially when you have everything on hand you need.
- Sip green tea. Coffee can be a hard habit to break, but continuous coffee drinking throughout the day can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue. Caffeine doesn’t “create” more energy for you. In fact, it actually instigates a stress response by causing your adrenal glands to release “fight or flight” hormones, which propels that initial surge of energy. Once these hormones wear off, you are eventually left more tired than you were before you drank the coffee. Over time this can contribute to lowered immunity, fatigue, and can also disrupt your natural ability to fall asleep at night, particularly if you partake in afternoon coffee breaks. Without enough sleep it is even harder to stay focused and productive at work each day. Instead of reaching for coffee, try sipping on a cup of green tea. Green tea contains caffeine, but in much lower amounts compared to coffee. As a healthy bonus, it also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that nourish you while giving you that subtle lift in energy.
Avocado Apple Smoothie with Green Tea
Smoothies are a terrific grab-and-go snack and this one can be made ahead of time. Most of us think of smoothies as cold, refreshing drinks, but I like to think of smoothies as nourishing meals that can either be room temp or even warm. It might take some getting used to, but try it out and see what you think. A smoothie warmed with freshly brewed tea can warm your body on a cold morning.
- 1 small avocado
- 1 medium apple, cored
- 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup green jasmine tea (cooled or warm)
- 1 cup filtered water
Optional: A handful of ice if you like your smoothies cold
Procedure: Blend well and enjoy!
Yield: 2 servings
Enjoy this delicious recipe brought to you by Summer Thyme Kitchen
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