Times have changed. Our technology-driven lives are fast-paced and stressful. We’re working harder than ever and there’s just not enough time in the day to accomplish everything.
When you’re busy or stressed, you’re more likely to make poor nutritional choices because you feel like there’s not enough time to eat healthy. Making poor nutritional choices can actually make you feel even more stressed. Poor food choices can cause other health related problems as well, creating a vicious cycle of even more stress. The following simple tips will help you eat a healthier diet even if your time is limited and your stress is overwhelming.
1. Eat protein for breakfast: A breakfast of protein helps you stay alert and productive throughout the morning. Rich sources of protein include: yogurt, low fat cheese, eggs, or even something unconventional like chicken soup!
2. Go for whole grain goodness: Choose the right carbohydrates for a steady supply of energy throughout the day. Your body prefers to use carbs as its primary source of energy. Choosing whole grains instead of those made with refined flours or sugar can supply a steady source of glucose for your brain and other vital organs without spiking your blood sugar.
3. Limit caffeine intake: Having that cup of coffee first thing in the morning can give you a burst of energy and help your concentration. Unfortunately, more coffee does not equal more energy or better concentration. Stick with one or two cups and for the rest of the day drink water!
4. Choose “good” brain fats: Did you know that your brain is made up of 60% fat? Feed your brain healthy omega-3 fatty acids that come from foods such as salmon, other types of fatty fish, walnuts, or ground flax seed. Omega-3 fats can enhance brain function, help with mood stability and slow down age-related cognitive decline.
5. Pack Snacks: Keep healthy snacks in your car, office, or where you work to keep your appetite and blood sugar steady all day long. You’ll be less tempted by the vending machines! Prevent mood swings or fatigue by including a healthy mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. Pair up a protein rich food with a nutritious source of carbohydrate. A piece of fresh fruit with a low-fat cheese stick or raw vegetables with hummus provides carbohydrate, fiber and protein.