Category: Holistic Productivity

Organic Veggies Wood BackgroundWhen you think of all the things that contribute to you getting things done you probably think of technology–the tools and apps you use. Regular processes and maybe even systems come to mind. Not once do you think about food. One primary reason for this is that we’ve been taught to view food as something other than it is. We’ve been taught that when you feel hungry you should eat. Typically, we aren’t taught to eat to live; to sustain our bodies. That is the purpose for eating. Food is a favorite past time, but people are consuming garbage and not consciously eating.

Food impacts you greater than you may think. It has a direct impact on cognitive performance, so if you aren’t making conscious choices about what you’re eating, a poor choice for lunch can derail the rest of your day. Fueling your body is much different than fueling up your car. Some foods will support you and get your through a good few hours cognitively and physically, while others will take your energy and ability to think away from you. For instance, eating meals with high-fat content divert the blood supply to the digestive tract and away from the brain. That’s what causes the sluggishness and fatigue that might be the norm for your afternoons. You lose energy and the ability to be effective during the course of your day when the food that you’re consuming isn’t fueling your body, because what’s being eaten isn’t full of the nutritional value your body needs.

Not all foods are processed by the body at the same rate. Some foods give you a burst of energy followed by a crash and burn because they release glucose quickly and others can provide more sustained energy than the aforementioned foods, but they require your digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain which makes you groggy.

There are other reasons for poor eating habits like most people being at their lowest point in both energy and self-control when making the choice about what to eat. Fast foods can tend to be more appetizing when you’re mentally drained. The unhealthy options tend to be more affordable than the healthy ones and in the middle of a busy day, the not so wise choices are more appealing.

Properly fuel your productivity with a plan and shop according to your menu. Determine what you’re cutting out and what to add. Include nuts and seeds have vitamin E and antioxidants; whole grains for fiber, vitamins and magnesium; dark leafy greens loaded with vitamins and minerals like iron which brings more oxygen to the body and the brain. All of these support cognitive function. Add to that plenty of fruit and other vegetables and plant based protein to fuel your body and keep your physical energy up. Snack throughout the day to avoid spikes and drops in blood sugar, which are bad for productivity and bad for the brain. This is the plan that will fuel your productivity so that you can get it done.


Me First!

SunriseYou may not think it is, but it’s important and I’m going to show you just how important it is. Think about your morning routine. Are you jumping up out of bed in a rush trying to get showered, eat, get children ready and making haste the entire time or is your morning more calm and structured?

The first scene I described is not the way to function on a daily basis. The energy alone of that scenario makes for a stressful, unproductive day and that can lead to other undesirable things.

It’s all about approach and perspective. The way you start your day sets the tone for it. So if you’re in a rush, pushing to get things done, stressed and frustrated, that’s the energy you bring into your day. You welcome it with open arms and you don’t even know that you’re inviting it in. That’s the energy that you are allowing to be present while you do your thing. It just doesn’t work. Days that start like that, continue to move like that and they don’t stop. When they finally do, you’re absolutely drained, probably frustrated and, things have gotten in the way of you getting ‘er done. That’s why it’s so important to be conscious of how you start your day. Consciously create and set the tone for your day.

Bringing that conscious creation into your day means that you have to develop a morning ritual. What procedural or habitual things do you want to incorporate into your morning? Just to give you an example, my morning ritual starts pretty early. I start with a large glass of water to get my body systems moving and then I meditate and focus on the affirmations or other spiritual work that I’m doing at the time. Then it’s about getting in a good hard workout, having a good vegan breakfast and after that getting ready for my day. That’s the energy that sets the tone for my day so when I step into my office, I’m focused and I have the energy and capacity to deal with what’s on my plate in an orderly fashion. When I get to my office, I have a ritual that I get into before I start working on anything. It further sets the tone for my work day.

What you would change about your mornings? What things do you want to incorporate into your start of the day? Purposely create you morning ritual. There are a number of things that you can choose to do in the morning that will set a great tone and energy for your day. You just have to create it. It doesn’t have to be something that fits for someone else, but instead what fits and will work and support you.

If you want to talk about creating your morning ritual or for that matter your entire day, check this out.


Nourishment & ProductivityEveryone has days where there energy seems to be nonexistent. When your energy is low, it impacts productivity. Some people will rely on caffeine or the highly popular, not so healthy energy drinks to get them through the day, which is never a good way to go. If you’re looking for ways to increase your productivity, you not only want to look at what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, who you’re being and identify the missing pieces, you want to take a holistic approach. That includes looking at what you’re eating.

You may notice that you lose concentration around the mid-morning, or maybe your energy drops off right after you eat lunch. These are just indicators of a larger problem: poor diet. Did you know that you can boost your productivity by changing your diet? Well, you can and it makes a big difference. Improving your nutrition can raise your productivity level by as much as 20%! Let’s talk about why your energy drops off at certain points in the day and right after you eat a meal or a particular thing.

What you eat impacts everything actually, not only productivity. Now-a-days people are still eating fast food, which I call fake food. It’s full of chemicals, hormones that were given to the animals and it doesn’t decay or breakdown when left for months or longer. A lot of people aren’t even consuming food anymore. People don’t cook meals and many who do are cooking from a box or a can, not from scratch. Life is moving fast, so people seek to have their food move just as fast so that they can keep up with the pace and while they’re not looking it’s costing them more than their productivity. It’s costing them their health.

Overall, people have forgotten why we eat. We don’t eat for pleasure, the purpose of consuming food is to sustain the body; to sustain life. It’s a beautiful thing when the food looks and tastes good and it’s possible to make that happen, but that’s not the point. We aren’t taught that we eat to sustain life, we learn that when we’re hungry it’s time to eat and most don’t learn what to eat to properly fuel the body.

The reasons why energy levels drop off after you eat lunch, or eat particular things is because: 1) You’re consuming high-fat or large meals that divert the blood supply to the digestive tract and away from the brain, which causes sluggishness and fatigue; and 2) The food that you’re consuming isn’t fueling your body, because what’s being eaten isn’t full of the nutritional value that is needed to fuel the body.

Eating sugary foods can make you feel like you’re spaced out, weak confused or even nervous. So let go of that stuff. Heavy foods like burgers, fries, and other fried foods slow you down and make you sleepy, so they slow you down when it comes to work. Not getting the right nutrients, the fuel that you need can make you process information more slowly, take longer to react and will cause you to have trouble remembering sequences. Needless to say, their consumption doesn’t enhance your productivity. If you want to stop your energy level from dropping off after lunch, and avoid that brain fog that you might be experiencing during the day, fuel your body properly!

Food impacts how clearly you think and concentrate, your intelligence level, memory and reaction time, and even how quickly your brain ages. You may not know it but your brain is hungry tissue and even burns fuel even while you sleep, so eating breakfast is the best way to restock fuel stores and prevent a mental fog later in the day. If you don’t eat breakfast, add it to your daily routine.

Feed your brain and your body what they need. Nuts and seeds have vitamin E and antioxidants; whole grains give you fiber, vitamins and magnesium; dark leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals like iron which brings more oxygen to the body and the brain. All of these support cognitive function. Get plenty of fruits and veggies along with plant based protein to fuel your body and keep your physical energy up. Don’t believe hype. The human body doesn’t need animal based protein.

Oh, and for you chocolate lovers, dark chocolate contains antioxidant properties that increase the production of endorphins, enhance focus and concentration. It also slows down cognitive decline, but of course, you want to consume it in moderation.

Take the holistic approach to increasing your productivity. Start by looking at what you’re eating and making some adjustments. You really are what you eat.


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