The Productivity Diet: Dos and Don’ts in the Kitchen
Written for Ladera Ranch Magazine by Kelly Lam, Founder of The Whole Purpose
When it comes to productivity, the food that you put in your body is one of the most important contributing factors.
Our brains make up 2% of our body mass but use up to 20% of the calories we consume in a day, so it is vital to our performance to make healthy decisions when it comes to snacks and meals. Here is a list of the dos and don’ts when it comes to performing at your optimal level:
- Do: Eat Healthy All Day Long After completing a day of perfect healthy eating, it is tempting to reward yourself with sweets or highly processed snacks. However, in a study by the Health Research Organization, employees who eat healthily all day long were 25% more likely to have higher job performance and were 27% less likely to skip work. If you are craving something sweet, try dark chocolate. It contains antioxidants and will produce endorphins enhancing your focus.
- Don’t: Skip Meals It is easy to believe that skipping meals and excessively exercising is better for your body than eating three meals a day. But research shows that under-eating, over-exercising and regularly skipping meals decreases your brain function and causes you to process information more slowly.
- Do: Eat Leafy Greens, Fruits and Vegetables By eating these healthy foods, we supply our brains with a steady supply of energy that won’t crash. Spinach, for example, is full of antioxidant power and can significantly improve learning capacity and motor skills. Research shows that employees who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables at least four times per week are 20% more likely to be more productive.
- Don’t: Eat Foods That Spike Glucose Levels Our bodies process sweets, breads and pasta much more quickly than fruits, vegetables and whole grains, causing a spike in glucose. This spike is stressful on the digestion process and is followed by a dip in blood sugar leaving you tired and still hungry.
- Do: Pack Healthy Snacks to Sustain You Through the Day Making conscious decisions about the food you eat before you are actually hungry can control what and how much you eat throughout the day. Snacks like walnuts, cashews and carrots will give you a steady increase in glucose, help your body remove waste, improve brain function and open up blood vessels in your body.
- Don’t: Rely on Energy Drinks, Soda or Candy Energy drinks, soda and candy are high in sugar that, much like white breads and pastas will circulate through your body too quickly and cause your energy to plummet. Consuming saturated fats causes you to be more susceptible to cognitive deficits and cause damage to the hippocampus, the part of your brain controlling memory formation.
Kelly Lam is the founder of The Whole Purpose, a company that custom designs wellness programs for individuals and corporations based on Mindful Wellness and Purposeful Communication.
She is a certified yoga teacher with over 15 years of experience, including a YogaWorks 500-Hour Certification. With many years in the wellness and nutrition sector, Kelly is also an experienced consultant and teacher of nutrition.
Kelly is also the host of “ActiveMe,” a television series produced by the City of Newport Beach and co-host of TuneIn Radio’s “Healthy Happy Hour,” a weekly podcast featuring celebrities and corporate leaders who discuss their secrets to healthy lifestyles.
The Whole Purpose