Most of us know about healthy eating and what we should and shouldn’t consume. But what are the best foods to eat at work? How can we stay more focused, less sluggish and be super alert and proactive? Better yet how can we do this on the go with little time? -It might be simpler than you think…
Try to get some protein in the morning. It doesn’t have to be meat. If you’re vegetarian or vegan then eggs or nuts or yogurt all contain protein. Meat-free meat (Quorn/Linda McCartney Foods) has fewer calories than meat itself. An average meat sausage has 301 calories. It’s Quorn counterpart has 61 calories.
Pulses are also a great source of protein, they can be plain but mix them with something you do like and you won’t notice the difference, which leads us on to the next point*…
It’s said we should be consuming more calories in the morning and fewer in the evening. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper, as they say. Often we grab pastries and toast in the morning because, ahhhh bread -who doesn’t love the smell of bread and coffee. Your energy levels don’t. While carbs are a quick-fix, they’ll leave you in a slump an hour or so after eating and more peckish later in the day. This can contribute to a vicious cycle of reaching for yet more carbs again at lunch.
Carbs are important in our diets but complex carbs are best: peas, beans*, whole grains and vegetables are much better for you in the long term, for weight control and energy levels.
If you don’t like the former options on breakfast, grab an avo instead. A healthier ‘fatty’ carb than a croissant.
This doesn’t mean idle mindless snacking, hands in the biscuit tin at work. Those sugary devils will do you no favours. Eat little and often. A protein based breakfast and some nuts around 11am will see you right through to lunch. The rule of thumb with nuts is in the thumb itself. They’re packed with protein but can be fattening, so no more than the length of your thumb’s worth of nuts. This may seem like a little but nuts are mighty and just a few will be enough.
Mid-afternoon, between lunch and dinner, an apple or a banana is a great option. Apples keep us more alert than coffee.
If you’re having five smaller meals throughout the day and drinking water then you shouldn’t feel hungry and this will lead to a more balanced lifestyle, with balanced weight and physical and mental states too. Banish hunger and tiredness and enjoy your day!
Dehydration can be serious but many are battling with minor dehydration and don’t realise it. Symptoms of such can include, muscle pain, lethargy, headaches and confused thoughts. Keeping a bottle of water on your desk and taking a sip every few minutes can easily level you up to the daily two liters, recommended for adults.
It’s also said if you’re struggling to lose weight and you’re eating well and exercising then dehydration could be a factor.
Challenge yourself to drink two liters of water per day for a week (if you don’t already) and see how much more alert you are and how much better you feel.
Pack for the Day
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. So packed lunches, who has time for that? It’s not as difficult as you’d think. Breakfast: could be an avocado, that’s easily thrown in a bag and cut up in the staff kitchen on arrival at the office. Mid-morning snack: A few nuts in a sandwich bag requires no prep what so ever. Lunch: Probably the only thing you might need to prep. A salad. With salad bags in the supermarket these days, you needn’t even cut it up. Emptying a few leaves and some cherry tomatoes, pulses, sweetcorn…whatever you fancy, into a Tupperware is hardly “cooking”. In colder months we like soup or veggies as a lunch. Afternoon snack: Fruit is ready to go. Bananas don’t even need washing, they’re already in their own packet (skin)!