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The Healthy Home: Nutition Tips to Boost Your Productivity

Photographer Seth Doyle on Unsplash

In case you are wondering, this isn’t a pic of me (I wish it was)! I also wish that I was one of those wonderful people that seems to have an endless steady stream of energy that keeps them going from early in the morning until late at night. Irritatingly Emma is a bit like that and May Simpkin is defifintely 100% like that.

I am one of those people that goes up and down. Sometimes I am full on and can get everything done, bouncing out of bed in the morning (to be fair I usually bounce out of bed) running around in over-drive, doing my bit to make a difference to the world. But other days I totally lack the motivation to do just about anything. Now I know that nutrition, exercise and (dare I say) alcohol have a part to play in this but I thought it would be helpful to ask May for her expert tips. So here you go:

1. Eat Three Meals a Day. It is so easy to skip a meal when you are rushing but it will end in tears. You will grab something less healthy or, starving, suddenly eat more than you need. Take the time, however busy you are, to sit down and savour every meal. Use it as a mini-break throughout your day making healthy choices to give you the energy you need. The timing can suit you. Some people much prefer to eat their first meal a little later, say at 10am, 2pm and 6pm and then just have a hot drink before bed (non-caffeine of course).

2. Keep Lunch Light. A heavy lunch will literally weigh you down, leaving you lethargic in the afternoon, craving a quick nap. Much better to avoid too many heavy carbs and focus on good quality protein and vegetables. If you aren’t at home fill a wrap with protein rich falafal, humous and salad or make a salad box. May has plenty of recipe ideas on her website. Try the Quinoa Lentil Tabbouleh Salad (and for a dairy free alternative, replace the feta with Tofu).

3. Avoid Quick Fix Snacks. This is definitely my downfall – a bit of this and that, just when I need it. But once I start it can be very hard to stop. If possible, it is ideal to avoid snacking completely. Three good meals are much better for you. But if you really need a nibble make sure it is nutritional, such as a small (very small) handfull of nuts and seeds, apple with a teaspoon of nut butter or a protein-rich bliss ball. But actually just a glass of water or a cup of herbal tea can often do the trick, which moves us on to May’s next point.

4. Hydrate. We often confuse thirst with hunger when it is in fact a symptom of mild dehyration. So your first port of call should always be to have a caffeine and sugar-free drink. Try keeping a bottle of water with you all the time throughout the day, or in the winter a thermos of something hot and you should notice a difference to your energy levels.

5. Add in Antioxidants. This is that rainbow of vegetables that everyone refers to these days. We all know that we should do it, but how many of us really do? Planning your menu in advance can make a big difference. Try to have at least a couple of fruit or vegetables at breakfast (such as mushrooms and tomatoes or apples and blueberries) and at least three for lunch and dinner and you will have nailed your 7 a day. Bad news – potatoes don’t count. Good news – beans do.

6. Get enough regular sleep. There is strong evidence to link the amount and quality of your sleep with diet choices and weight gain. Going to bed at a reasonable time, avoiding the computer and mobile devices for half an hour before hand (and keeping them out of your bedroom) are a great way to boost your energy levels and help motivate you to make healthy choices

7. Change the habits that sabotage you (an extra point from me!) We may know what we should do, but it can be quite hard to find the willpower to follow a new approach that is really quite simple. I read this brilliant book when I was away all about how to change habits. I really recommend it to you. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. The principles can be applied to just about everything you do, including diet and work routines.

If you would like to kick-start your new habits when the kids are back at school, May is running a retreat in early September at her chateau in France and offering DecorCafe members a £100 discount. There is more info here so please do give her a call and mention the DecorCafe if you are interested. Click here for more info.

And of course please do get in touch with May if you have any questions may@maysimpkin.com

maysimpkin.com

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