5 ways to boost wellbeing through the office day
It’s easy to get into a rut when making choices about what to eat at work. We’re all massively time-short and, frankly, the fewer decision in a day the better, even if it means sticking to crayfish mayonnaise at lunchtime. But by giving some thought to your eating habits, you can improve your mood and performance at work. Herewith, five easy steps to boost wellbeing through the office day:
Breakfast Like a King
Despite received wisdom that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it can seem low priority during the working week. But if you skip the morning meal, you may miss out on valuable vitamins and nutrients, not to mention the fact you’ll probably feel an urge to grab a sugary snack mid-morning. Scientific studies have shown habitual breakfasters are leaner than those who miss out, so feel good about making time for a bowl of slow-release porridge, or toast with almond butter, which provides a valuable source of protein and good fats. Above all, a good breakfast provides energy for the activities of the morning, and will make you feel better able to cope with the day.
Little and Often
Whoever said snacking is bad was clearly bananas. If you have a super-busy schedule, snacking is a great way to keep energy levels high without taking a long time-out. It’s what you’re snacking on that counts. High-scoring fruits include antioxidant-rich berries and bananas, with their low-glycaemic index and cocktail of vitamins and minerals. Nuts are also friends to the grazer as they are full of fibre, high in protein, and crammed with essential fats. So ditch the chocolate bars and instead fill your desk drawer with low-sugar snacks and fresh fruit.
If you are familiar with the urge to curl up on the softest chair in the office and have forty winks after forking up your last rigatoni, read on. The National Sleep Foundation explains that ‘carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, which is why carbohydrate-heavy meals can make you drowsy’. So stick to a lunch that contains proteins such as lean meat, tofu, eggs or cheese as well as plenty of vegetables and fruits, saving that big bowl of pasta or rice for the weekend when you can have a postprandial snooze.
Drink More Water
The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink just over one-and-a-half litres of water per day and that men should drink two litres, which translates to about eight and ten cups. All drinks – including, tea, coffee and juice – count in reaching the target amount of fluid but water is healthiest and will help keep you on top of your game. Feeling headachy or light-headed can be a sign that you’re dehydrated so take a break to sip a glass of something thirst-quenching.
La Vie en France
Remember those long afternoons on holiday waiting for a town to come back to life after the long lunch break? Many European countries still break for lunch, and we’re talking at least a couple of hours, never mind your snatched thirty minutes gobbling a takeaway sandwich. Remember that food should be pleasurable, even when at work, and that eating with colleagues is a chance to get to know them better, making for a more harmonious workplace environment. So challenge your boss to give you and your co-workers a proper lunch at the office with the argument that this is both mood improving and performance enhancing.
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