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Eating Right Keeps You Focused

Thursday, January 11, 2018 | by Rachel Trainum

This month's book blog is going to have a different take to it. Instead of focusing on a subject specific to your work I'm going to focus on you and the food changes you can make to be better at work.

It has been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it keeps you motivated throughout the day, helps with weight loss etc. etc. But that shouldn't mean that the other meals shouldn't be as important.

This month we're going to take a look into Giada De Laurentii's cookbook Giada's Feel Good Food, as well as a Harvard Business Review article What You Eat Affects Your Productivity by Ron Friedman.

Staying productive at work helps the day go quicker, impresses your boss, shows your hard work ethic and maybe could get you a promotion. But often productivity can lack and start to slow and you may find yourself staring at your computer screen.

Eating enough food and the right amount of foods gives you the energy needed to make it through any busy schedule says Giada. She recommends choosing Low-GI foods because they are absorbed more slowly making your energy goes longer. High sugar foods like white bread will give you ups and downs of energy throughout the day so be mindful of what you intake.

In What You Eat Affects Your Productivity by Ron Friedman, believes food factors into workplace performance. Like De Laurentiis, he also believes that Low-GI foods are a better option for more productivity. Friedman describes some food as being mentally draining and only giving you short bursts of energy. These foods could be anything from pasta to cheeseburgers. Different types of food can make your digestive system work harder, giving your brain less oxygen therefore making you feel groggy. Cost of meals often affects what one chooses for lunch while at work. Friedman suggests thinking about your meal beforehand.

He says it's easier to resist unhealthier options when you think about what to eat in the morning instead of ordering in the moment. Plan how much you're willing to spend on healthy meals and look to see what's available in your area where you work.

Both De Laurentiis and Friedman agree not to wait to be hungry for lunch but instead snack throughout the day to keep energy levels and productivity higher. De Laurentiis recommends five smaller meals rather than three big. This helps balance out energy levels in your day.

For someone hoping to thrive throughout the day and not hit the mid-afternoon slump should reconsider their meal choices. Making small changes to what you put in your body could drastically change your work life.

I know healthy eating can sound like boring food, but what and how you make it determines that. Giada offers lots of recipes in her cookbook that are better alternatives to fast food or processed sugary foods. Friedman says eat foods like fruit and vegetables that contain nutrients that help curiosity, motivation and engagement.

On Giada's website she offers a variety of meals you can prepare and have as meals or save for snacks at a later time. Click to find a recipe for lunch or a snack that provides the energy you need to get through the workday. Take the time to plan out a few meals and see what differences they make for you at work.

Tero's Take

Being a research-based company, we like to pull information around what makes individuals and organizations operate at peak performance levels. Here are a handful of other bullets to consider around nutrition and optimizing energy levels that we use in Tero's workshops:

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