We all know that running a successful business can take time and energy. Aside from that, there are so many things in a given week we cram in our schedules. In addition to work, on that list we often have time with family, friends, and pets, getting enough zzz’s, exercise and last but not least, eating well. All too often though, healthy eating takes the back burner in a busy life. ‘I’ll start eating better on Monday.’ Sound familiar? I hear this a lot. Us modern day women can juggle many things, but we need to start making healthy eating more of a priority, not just for ourselves, but for the sake of our business success too. This new year, instead of a diet overhaul, consider trying to improve one or two eating habits.
Consider the following:
- Drink more fluids. During a busy day it can be difficult I know, to take breaks, let alone consciously drink more fluids and head to the bathroom again and again. Drinking more fluids throughout the day is something we all need to do more of though. Most women I counsel don’t drink close to what is required for them. On average, we need eight to nine cups of fluid a day. Anything but alcohol counts. So why is this important for work? Dehydration can affect mental and physical performance causing you to be sluggish or even tired at work. If that isn’t enough of a motivator, then consider that drinking those eight to nine glasses of fluid each day can also keep weight in check, as often we confuse hunger for thirst.
- Eat more ‘balanced’ meals and snacks. Have three to four food groups for a meal and two food groups for a snack. This helps to ensure a proper mix of carbohydrate, protein and fat for your body to work efficiently. Carbohydrate is the main fuel for our brains, but in saying that, eating too many refined carbs (sweets and treats) can leave us down right tired, moody or craving more. Although a quick snack like a double double and danish will give a quick but oh-so temporary energy burst, it will leave you tired and hungry an hour or two later. On the other hand, a ‘balanced’ (two food group) snack consisting of a slice of whole grain toast and peanut butter, will keep you full longer and provide a steady stream of blood sugar (brain fuel) to keep us energized, all while being waistline friendly.
- Exercise 30 minutes five times a week. Obviously this helps with weight, and prevention of diseases well known to NL such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, but what’s really good about exercise is that it can be an excellent stress reliever, and it releases endorphins. Endorphins are ‘feel-good’ chemicals naturally released by your body which can create similar mood enhancing effects as many anti-depressant medications. When work is stressful, a bit of exercise is the answer to get you energized and re-focused.
The above are tips for small changes that can make significant improvements to your health and ultimately the performance you deliver to your business.
Amanda Burton, MSc, RD is a registered dietitian with Recipe for Health, a nutrition counselling and consulting practice in St. John’s. For more information on the services we provide visit www.recipeforhealth.ca. Registered dietitian services are frequently covered through private healthcare insurances.