Recharge, Refresh and Reboot – Eating for Energy and Focus – Alex Jamieson

As promised, I wanted to provide you with information from Alex Jamieson’s presentation at Rally Software company a couple of weeks ago.  Her presentation concentrated on tips in getting through the workday by taking small steps which lead to big results. 

Sugar

Her first visual, which was several beverages easily consumed throughout the day with sugar packets attached.  The recommended maximum daily amount of sugar for women is 5 teaspoons and men is 9 teaspoons.  The following website has similar visual information – http://www.sugarstacks.com/beverages.htm 

Some of the stress felt during the day is related to your gut (kind of like go with your gut feeling, what does your gut tell you), drinking even one vitamin water is only one teaspoon less than the recommended daily intake for a man, 3 teaspoons more than for women and many items eaten throughout the day are made with sugar, so this is an eye-opening visual.

Fiber

What is more disturbing is the amount of fiber the typical American gets during the day.  Recommended amount of fiber is 30g or more/day, most individuals get 14-15g.  Alex suggested beans and peas as a great way to get fiber.  A modest serving provides 1/2 the daily recommendation, many soups have beans and peas, so Alex recommended having a bowl of soup for lunch.  She also mentioned sunflower seeds as another source of fiber, what a great snack!

Breathing

Alex also took us through a really great breathing exercise for times of stress in the office, it’s called 4-7-8 breathing and the method originated with Dr. Andrew Weil, you can find instructions on 4-7-8 breathing at http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html, Dr. Weil’s website.

Cravings

  • Physical – tired causes craving caffeine, alcohol, she suggested getting more sleep by going to bed earlier in the evening
  • Biochemical – lack of magnesium and nitrogen causes craving of chocolate however, nuts and seeds provide magnesium so that might be a better choice.
  • Biochemical – sweet cravings caused by a drop in blood sugar, by eliminating caffeine, the sugar cravings may dissipate.  Some items that have sweet flavor include roasted beets, butternut squash, and dried fruits.  Sugar intake can increase pain sensitivity like cramps and headaches

Breakfast Experiment

The following activity was highlighted by Alex, but adapted from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Nicole DiDio Johnson of the Enlightened Table (www.enlightenedtable.com).  As a way of tuning into your body and learning to listen to its messages, explore eating a different breakfast every day for a week.  Jot down what you eat and how you feel, both right after eating and again two hours later.  Sit quietly after you eat and reflect.  Note how your energy level, moods and your physical symptoms are affected by The food in your body.

  • Day 1:  Eggs and Greens (Choose from spinach, kale, collard, Bok choy, broccoli)
  • Day 2:  Whole grain toast with a nut butter
  • Day 3:  Oatmeal or any whole grain product
  • Day 4:  Boxed breakfast cereal
  • Day 5:  Muffin and coffee
  • Day 6:  Fresh fruit
  • Day 7:  Fresh vegetables

You may discover from this exercise that you are unusually sensitive to certain foods. 

Food and Mood

  • Calm and Centered:  millet, winter squash, root vegetables
  • Energized, organized and decisive – quinoa, fish, lentils, greens
  • Relaxed and inspired – brown rice and sprouts
  • Patient, clear and alert – leafy greens, radish and seaweed

Also Alex recommended getting plants for your office to clean the air.  She recommended a book called “How to Grow Fresh Air:  50 House Plants to Purify the Air” by B. C. Wolverton. 

Some other recommendations included getting a sea salt veggie shaker instead of using processed salt, using nutritional yeast as flavoring instead of cheese, and trying chia seeds for fiber, omega 3 and minerals.  She suggested using EmergenC in water for a fizzy drink instead of soda and she encouraged supplementation with probiotic (dairy free, refrigerated, either Udios or New Chapter Organics). 

NEXT WEEK – my trip to the greenhouse!!!  HERE IS A PREVIEW

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