We’ve all been advised to eat more fruits and vegetables at least once in our life. However, is it just me or does this statement seem vague, unachievable and not to mention unappealing? Additionally, can fruits and vegetables realistically make my life that much better than say... tastier options? If so, how? And lastly, how can I realistically implement more fruits and vegetables into my diet, when it feels like I don't have the time or budget?
Nutritionist Nimisha Gandhi addresses all these questions in this article, and she gives you easily implementable diet tips and tricks, that you and your colleagues can use to improve the happiness and productivity of your workplace, and in turn your life!
According to certified FitPro nutritionist Nimisha Gandhi, "every bite is not just an opportunity to nourish yourself, it is also your chance to determine your mood, alertness, and productivity."
When all of your nutrient needs are met, your body is functioning optimally. Blood is flowing freely and oxygen is circulating efficiently. Subsequently, you experience clear thinking, sustainable energy boosts, and a stabilized mood. However, when you are not receiving the nutrients you need, your body will become fatigued, craving obsessed, yawn prone and you will have low concentration levels.
The long term benefits of a fruit and vegetable rich diet are due to the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are within them. Note: Phytonutrients are compounds that are unique to plant based foods. These long term benefits include but are not limited to; boosting the immune system, preventing cancer, repairing damaged cells and as an added bonus, slowing down the aging process. However, just as quickly as a good diet (full of vegetables and fruits) can have positive long term effects on your body, a bad diet can have negative long term/serious implications. If your body is not receiving the nutrients it needs it will go into subtle stress mode. Subtle stress can and will present itself as; depression, anxiety, anger, irritability and/or worse!
What does this have to do with you and your workplace? I am glad you asked...
People spend more than half of their day at work, and it is in this time that they eat at least one meal and multiple snacks. If you and your colleagues are struggling to stay awake, alert, calm, engaged and/or seem to have a negative relationship with work, it could be diet related. Therefore it is imperative that you eat foods that combat your stress, increase your energy, reduce your anxiety and improve your day-to-day effectively.
Want to know what these foods are and how to implement them into your day? Check out Nimisha's Food Suggestions and Tips:
7 Tips to Incorporate More Mood and Energy Friendly Foods Into Your Workday
1. Start your morning right. Some ways to do so include adding vegetables and fruit to your breakfast, for example; add avocados, spinach, and/or berries into your smoothie routine, have sautéed vegetables or sauerkraut with your eggs or have bread made with grain-free flours such as zucchini and/or pumpkin.
2. Snack Smart. Keep plenty of nutrient rich snacks on hand. A perfect snack to prevent insulin spikes and crashes, always has healthy fats, proteins, and antioxidants. To-go snacks that include all of these are; avocado and cucumber slices wrapped in nori sheets or apple slices with almond butter.
3. Have an antioxidant rich day. A meat-free or low-carb day at work is the easiest way to ensure you are getting enough antioxidant rich foods. Note: The combos of fruits and veggies you eat does matter. Your snack options should be vegetable heavy and fruits should only be used as a 'sweet' supplement. Make sure you also choose a variety of vegetables (a good way to ensure you are getting multiple different vitamins and nutrients, is to have an eclectic collection of colors in each snack). Some color diverse options are, heirloom tomatoes, purple carrots, watermelon radishes, and blood oranges.
4. Stay hydrated. Keep a full water jug, filled with herbs and fruit close by. Doing so will kill two birds with one stone. The first bird being hydration. It is imperative that you stay hydrated throughout the day, because if you don't your bodily functions will slow down leaving you feeling sluggish and tired. Secondly, sneaking foods into your water will not only make it seem more appealing but also help you ingest more of your daily nutrient needs. Some crowd favorites are, cucumber, orange, lemon, berry, parsley or mint infused waters.
5. Eat the right kinds of carbs. Carbohydrates make up most of our daily calories, yet carbohydrates are also responsible for making you sleepy because after eating them your blood sugars rise and then fall rapidly, which makes you susceptible to low energy and irritability. To reduce carbs having a negative impact on your you simply need to eat less 'refined' carbs such as; crackers, chips, tortillas, and bread, and more 'whole carbs.' 'Whole' carb snack options are; bright bell peppers with hummus, snow peas with sea salt flakes, or grilled padrone peppers with lime juice. Additionally, kale chips, apple chips, and coconut chips are also good 'whole carb' snacks.
6. Combat lulls effectively. When feeling fatigued or in a slump, reach for a freshly pressed bright green juice instead of coffee or a sweet treat. Make sure the juice is low on fruits and full of energizing vegetables like; celery, cucumber, spinach, and/or lemon. The concentration of minerals and vitamins will give your brain a flood of nourishment and oxygen.
7. Eat enough. Though the amount and types of fruits and vegetables a person eats is entirely dependent on their body composition, a good rule of thumb is to try and intake at least six to nine cups of vegetables per day. Utilizing the above techniques will allow you to sneak them in so you ensure you get an adequate amount.
A little care and attention to your workplace's diet goes a long way. Simply if you and your colleagues address and implement the above information into your day-to-day, you all can expect to feel generally better, more productive and more energized. However, as you can imagine one size does not fit all because every persons body composition is different. Therefore the serving size and types of food you ingest should be calculated and determined by a specialist. If this is feasible, Nimisha is available to speak to individuals and/or groups about what combinations of macro and micronutrients will in optimize their life most effectively.
About Nimisha Gandhi, Moon Cycle Nutrition
Nimisha Gandhi is a functional medicine nutritionist, Ayurvedic counselor, Yoga Nidra/meditation teacher, and former tech founder. She holds a B.S. in pre-med Psychobiology from UCLA and has years of additional training in her field. Nimisha combines clinical nutrition with ancient Ayurvedic principles, to help her clients find personalized eating plans that help them feel amazing and to say it simply-- make their life better.
Nimisha serves as a board member of several health and wellness companies and organizations. She speaks regularly at conferences, workplaces, retreats, and private events. You can also find Nimisha teaching workshops and classes throughout SF and beyond. Her work is research-based, intuitive, and from the soul. You can learn more about Nimisha by visiting her website.
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