What a good article! Well done. I especially appreciate the discussion on food intolerances. As a celiac I can really relate!
Shannon Evans www.publishpass.com
Janet came to me early last year. She is a business consultant and frequently travels all across the country for work. Ever since a heavy round of medication for a powerful bacterial infection, she has been suffering from problems in energy, clear-headedness, moods and weight. She picked up every round of flu and cold as it swept through the city and seemed to be consistently battling one "minor" health problem or another. In addition to managing several projects nationwide, she was also preparing for her fall wedding, and was finding it difficult to manage everything on her plate with her failing health. She had goals to resume running marathons and this passion was falling to the wayside as a consequence of her energy levels, low immunity and nagging injuries. Janet is in her mid 30's.
Looking at both her lifestyle demands and her current nutrition, we were able to get Janet back to mental clarity, high energy, better digestion and a workable, injury-free training schedule in just three months' time. She began eating breakfast, cut back on caffeine, found which foods worked for and against her body and consequently was able to enjoy her wedding and work without feeling exhausted and drained for her honeymoon.
Janet is not one woman, but a compilation of many clients I have seen over the years. Many individuals who come my way experience life with less vitality and energy than is necessary. A commonly surprising by-product of our work together is greater clarity of mind and energy to have a more satisfying and enriching professional life. Many people do not realize how ill they have been until they experience wellness beyond their expectations!
Below are the common mistakes entrepreneurs and professional businesspeople at the table that have dramatic effects on the ability to do what they love - their work, their hobbies, or their athleticism:
1) Breakfast - If you don't eat it, start. If you do eat it, evaluate it. Starting the day with coffee and a baked good is quick and easy, but sets you up for a sluggish afternoon. Better breakfast options: green tea, fresh fruit, lean protein, and whole grains. Breakfast at home can be as quick and easy as a trip to the local coffee shop or drive-thru.
2) Inconsistent meals - busy people often fall prey to one of two things - consistent snacking without a meal, or long periods of subsisting on nothing but coffee or air. Habitual snackers often battle weight because they never feel satisfied, those who try and fast of caffeine and air suffer from mood swings, energy troubles, weight gain and difficulty focusing on important tasks or relationships.
3) Caffeine - This is a tough one. Caffeine DOES improve clarity of mind for a period of time, and allows us to get more done because it puts us in a state of artificial fight-or-flight. Habitual users end up suffering from blood sugar instability, chronic fatigue, anxiety and mood swings as it depletes resources in the body and substitutes for more nourishing, sustainable sources of true energy. To wean yourself from caffeine, begin by drinking 16-20 oz. of water for every cup you have. If you have espresso, drink this amount before and after your beverage. Progress to removing caffeine one cup or shot at a time, ultimately reserving it only for emergencies.
4) Food Intolerances - most people have sensitivity to one food or many. The field of food intolerances is just budding; so many intolerances remain undiagnosed and evade recognition by health professionals. Frequent brain fogs, energy dips, weight troubles, chronic digestive problems (heartburn, GI distress, bloating, stomach issues) and even mood disorders can be rooted in food intolerances. Consulting with a nutrition professional can help you determine if this is true for you. You can also keep a food log, and note your responses to daily meals for a week - tracking energy and mood at 30 minutes and 2 hours post-consumption.
This article only addresses nutrition; countless choices in our lifestyle can also negatively impact our energy levels. Part II will address other choices we make that can have profound effects on our ability to pursue our life's work.
Learn more about the author, Aimee Gallo.
We all needed this. Thanks for the advice & encouragement for all of us guilty by association!
Good points and good tips Aimee. People need to understand that while their issues often seem terribly complex and mysterious to them, for a professional things add up rather quickly and it becomes a question of which best solution to try first rather than what solutions would benefit.
Most importantly you make the point that a person's health directly impacts their level of participation in life whether that is work or pleasure.
You clearly have a good grasp of your work.
HI Aimee - Thanks for reminding everyone how very important food choices are in our daily lives. It is SO important to start the day off right and to find out if you do have a food sensitivity. Here's to you in health - Jennifer
Thanks for all the comments!
Shannon - I am curious if/how your energy has shifted on a gluten-free diet. One of the things I find so fascinating is the myriads of symptoms different people manifest!
Michelle - I don't believe in guilt! All of us fall off the bandwagon now and then. Guilt often serves no positive purpose; the best thing to do is learn from the experience and keep trying!
Dennis, you bring up a very good point. To many people, the messages the body communicates are mysterious or unheard. One of the things that makes a permanent impact is learning how to hear those messages and properly respond. We all have the ability to have a positive interactive relationship with our bodies when we stop and listen. Our physical body can be our greatest teacher!
Jennifer - glad you know about the food sensitivities! Thank you for your comment; I look forward to future meetings and connection via social media! ;)
Thanks for the reminder.
I often think i am down because my sales are down. Perhaps it is the other way around.
I find changing old behavior sooooo hard. I have been addressing some other unhelpful habits and my eating habits have suffered. 1 step back, 2 steps forward.
Food intolerances are an article for themselves. Perhaps your next article.
I'd love a better way to avoid eggs than avoiding eggs.
I find a definite correlation between my level of self-care and my ability to attract clients. Changing old behaviors can be very difficult! And frustrating! Keep focusing on those two steps forward...the direction you are headed is the most important thing.
Food intolerances are absolutely a topic suitable for a separate article...or book! I don't know that this particular platform would be a place to address it, but I may do so in the upcoming "Groups" option. I do talk about food intolerances in my monthly newsletter (go to my promotion on my profile to subscribe) and my blog (www.vibrancenutrition.com/blog) if you are interested in learning more. Feel free to PM me about eggs and we can continue that topic.
My former career was in international business, and I often wondered why I had days when I just wasn't feeling up to snuff. I had always blamed it on "mood" and that I had no control over it. Boy, I'm very sorry I did not have Aimee's article then. Since then, I have learned about nutrition and its utmost importance in professional performance. This article is probably as valuable to someone than any on here. Thanks for this and I look forward to more on the topic of nutrition.
So true....so true. I often find myself having gone 4 hours without a sip of water and then wonder why I feel cruddy. Take care of yourself -- and you can then take care of what you need to.
Aimee -- on the nutrition front, what are the three things we should carry with us for those 'on the go' snacks? What's the best bang for the buck that won't rot in our bags?
There are individual differences between us all, but in general, here are great choices for nutrition on-the-go that won't melt, rot, or get crushed in your briefcase or car:
1) Lara Bars - fruit and nut based bars that are gluten, soy, and dairy-free.
2) Dried fruit and raw nuts - make your own trail mix from the bulk bins or pick up a pre-made one at Trader Joe's.
3) Organic beef or salmon jerky, or vegetarian Jerky (Stonewall's or Primal Strips Vegan Jerky are great choices)
As a personal trainer, I TOTALLY appreciate the importance of nutrition with myself and others. And you've managed to simplify it and amp it wonderfully up into clear action items. WOW! Thanks, and great job for sure.
Thanks Aimee for a GREAT article!
I generally find that if I'm having an unproductive day or am in a fussy mood, I don't need to look any further than what I've eaten - or haven't eaten - in the last several hours.
This in an important topic, eating for succes. Thanks for calling our attention to it and giving some useful tips.
Ps - I'm SO much happier and have steadier energy since getting off my coffee addiction! I still have coffee/caffeine occasionally, but I don't drink it daily. I feel better, and as an added bonus, I don't get foggy or headach-y in the mornings if I don't get my "fix."
Nice article. I've got an interesting--out of the ordinary--case study for your case study analysis:
I've been building up to this lifestyle for almost 15 years. I am so energetic and my immune system has never been stronger. For example: I've missed 2 nasty colds this winter which my family suffered. Since fasting regularly, my immune system has gotten a great boost. I didn't spend a dime on any magic pill. I just gave my digestive system a break.
Excellent article. When I started drinking a protein smoothie for breakfast a few years back at the suggestion of a nutritionist, it made a big difference in my energy and health. While I don't believe in a "one size fits all" approach, I have to agree that what you offer here is a great way to go for most people and that they should at least give it a try.
Great article,as I have been told,Energy is the essence of life,everyday you decide how youre going to use it ,by knowing what you want a what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus .
Good reminder, the importance of these things are often forgotten in our society.