Diet and lifestyle for working people
Diet and Lifestyle play a huge part in keeping calm and staying alert during working hours. If your diet is nutritionally deficient, chances are you will fuel more of a vacant mind, and anxiety and lose the ability to focus on even the smallest of tasks.
Most of the time people tend to reach for artificial “energy uppers” like colas, coffee, and tea – mainly caffeine. What Corporates need is to supplement natural levels of “serotonin” the neurotransmitter which supports a better mood, combats anxiety, helps with having high energy, fights fatigue, helps increase confidence, enhances concentration, clears confusion, helps make decisions and stays focussed. Coffee, Black tea, and Colas (all regarded as stimulants) drive the artificial serotonin levels, which then produce low energy and it’s a vicious cycle.
What I tend to do with working people is teach them how to also take care of their gut. A major amount of serotonin is made in the gut. Therefore, focusing on your gut is crucial. Adding foods that help maintain gut integrity and prevent a leaky gut. There is a deep connection between the gut and the brain. The term brain inflammation, just as gut inflammation is very real. We also know that the gut is referred to as the second brain (enteric nervous system or ENS). This brain is hidden in the walls of your digestive system. The gut’s main role is controlling digestion, releasing enzymes, nutrient absorption and elimination. However, it communicates back and forth with your brain all the time. A lot of my IBS. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) have issues that stem in their gut, but also the psychosomatic component of the brain is still very much underlying their symptoms. Our 2 brains keep having conversations; hence it is essential to keep them both healthy and one helps the other.
Working professionals spend 8-10 hours a day at the workplace. It’s important to plan, just as you plan your work projects.
How can you eat and support your lifestyle to work more efficiently?
- Stay off sugars, sugary foods, refined carbohydrates; colas, sodas, soft drinks; hidden sugars in packaged foods, and processed foods. This will keep you away from sugar spikes, and contribute to having lesser energy crashes.
- Complex carbohydrates are a good source of sugars and fibre, and also promote the smooth functioning of the digestive tract; ensuring proper waste elimination. Here, I cannot emphasize the necessity of whole grains from brown/red rice to any good millet that aids with the amounts of antioxidants and anti-ageing benefits (brown rice alone has 70 anti-ageing antioxidants). Have you heard of grain gain for your brain? it is very real. Whole grain will supply the right sugars for our brain for 8 hours, and support brain glucose.
- Good quality protein helps you stay satiated, and keep blood sugars stable. Protein also maintains our muscles; your intestinal lining has muscle fibres; this means lean protein if you eat fish and meats and plant-based protein if you are a vegetarian/vegan. Excess protein (animal protein) is not good for you, so balance it with vegetables and greens. We don’t want those body pathways getting blocked we must maintain the quality of blood being clean and not toxic.
- Vegetables, which not only have good quality fibre; especially coloured vegetables that have plenty of beta carotene that converts to Vitamin A to repair skin (of the gut lining). Plus, leafy greens and green vegetables (also in the form of barley grass or wheatgrass), mimic the blood structure and are necessary for cleansing the blood and the much-needed chlorophyll they provide. Chlorophyll in turn also provides magnesium, which calms the muscles and gut lining promoting relaxation in the body.
- Fermented foods, serve a crucial part of any diet plan supplying good amounts of probiotics to nourish our guts. Foods like sauerkraut, quick pickles, non-dairy kefir, and kimchi are highly recommended, anything that brings in lactic acid bacteria fermentation.
- Nuts and seeds bring in the trace minerals, good fats and oils that are needed.
- Fruits again provide a plethora of vitamins and antioxidants to help gut repair.
- Just the right amount of water or liquids as too much will loosen and expand our tissues, a lot of water comes from the foods you eat. An excess of liquids puts pressure on the kidneys, bladder and sweat glands as well; making us tired over time. We need just enough, one way of measuring this is to ask ourselves: are we really thirsty?
- Adding sea vegetables like spirulina helps in detoxification, vitamins, protein, minerals and antioxidants.
- Work out and exercise regularly, and keep your lifestyle in check by establishing regular eating habits, sleep habits and positive thoughts. One asana which will help is Vrkshasana (tree pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose)- these 2 will enhance concentration while shavasana will help in calming you down. A brisk walk always helps or a run. This will help to produce endorphins which will make you feel good.
- Sleep hygiene is also important, by this I mean catching a power nap for 20 minutes in the day, or getting your 8 hours of sleep.
- A new mantra today is meditation. Practice makes you perfect and indulging in it will only increase focus and your capacity to work.
- Plan, plan and then plan some more. Take time off on the weekends to plan your week. Prep for your meals and the small snacks during the day. I do this every morning with my staff.
In conclusion, just as you focus on the largest projects in life to make your career a success. You need to focus on your diet and lifestyle, so that you are a health success.