By Kim Wilson Pollock
It’s 3 pm in the afternoon. Are you feeling highly productive or on the verge of taking a nap at your desk? If you are like most Americans, you feel tired – no, exhausted – and have a difficult time focusing on your work. What you eat for lunch has a big impact on the 3 o’clock blues! I’ve already walked you through how to makeover your morning routine but now it’s time to conquer the middle of the day. I have a formula that you can follow to ensure your afternoon is a delight. I’m talking Energizer Bunny, feeling fantastic, where did the time go, I feel great afternoon.
My Formula: Protein + Dark, Leafy Greens (DLGs) + Healthy Fat = Afternoon Delight
Protein will help you feel fuller, longer. DLGs will provide the fiber and nutrients you need to stay energized and balance blood sugar. Healthy fats will keep you satisfied. Keep it simple. Minimize dairy, processed carbs and sugary beverages. Additionally, I always recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day to improve energy, mental clarity and mood! Your brain is composed of water and fat, so keep it hydrated!
DON’T EAT AT YOUR DESK
Your body will not know that you had something to eat if you are checking email, browsing the internet or looking at Instagram on your phone. Your brain and your colon are connected. And if your brain is busy doing something other than eating, it will not get the message that you had a meal (and you wonder why you are hungry an hour after you ate, right?).
DO EAT OUTSIDE
Leave your desk and eat outside or with friends without any electronic devices. Mindful eating means focusing on food and conversation. And that will ensure that your meal is properly digested and nutrients will be absorbed in your gut and you will have loads of energy in the afternoon.
DON’T SKIP LUNCH
Big, major no-no. This will cause you to over-eat later in the day because your body didn’t get the nutrients it needed during the day
DO MAKE A PLAN
Plan out what you will eat for lunch. Will you bring your lunch? If so, make it the night before. Will you go out for lunch? Plan where and what you will eat according to the above formula. Have some places in mind that you can suggest to your co-workers so you know there will be something healthy you can order.
DON’T CHOOSE YOUR DRINK CAREFULLY
Caffeine can spike your blood sugar and disrupt your sleep. Herbal tea, water with lemon & cayenne or a fresh pressed green juice are a better choice. These drinks will give you energy without depleting nutrients or interfering with your sleep (coffee and Red Bull will).
DON’T EAT SUGAR
I know that cookie is calling your name. But it will only give keep you satisfied for a small amount of time. Plus it will light up the pleasure center in your brain which will trigger an addict-like need for sugar a few hours later (yes, sugar is a legalized drug). Choose a healthy snack with some protein like these.
DO TAKE A BREAK
Try not to stare at your computer for hours. Do take a break from sitting (or standing if that’s what you do all day). Try a quick downward dog or take a brisk walk. Getting outside for just 5 minutes will help oxygenate your blood and provide you with instant energy and improve your mood.
Your morning routine and what you eat for lunch will dictate how you feel in the afternoon. So start there to get to the bottom of your sluggish afternoons. Even choosing just a few of the do’s from the above list and will impact how your afternoon goes.
We’d love to hear…what is your go-to afternoon snack? What do you crave?
Please share with us in the comments below!
Kim Wilson Pollock is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach on a mission to make a jaw-dropping difference in people’s lives. She helps her clients live a more rewarding and happy life by teaching them what to eat, how to eat and why to eat it. Kim’s personal philosophy is that food is medicine. Kim’s mom inspired her to change her lifestyle and now she does the same for her clients!
Get connected on her website, Twitter , Facebook and Instagram!