This article was last updated on January 22, 2016
Do you find yourself in a firm routine of reaching for the caffeine every morning? Your alarm goes off (far too early), you hesitantly roll out of bed, bleary eyed you get yourself ready and reach for a cup of coffee. Coffee is the lifeline, it wakes us up and makes us feel at least half alive for the day ahead. You’ll probably stop off at Starbucks on the way to work as well just for that extra blast of caffeine before you enter the office ready for a potentially stressful day.
But instead of relying on caffeine, why not try adjusting your diet to a more energy-friendly routine? Although caffeine will give you a temporary high and energy boost you’ll soon go back to feeling sluggish, and reaching for your next fix. Banish the caffeine headaches and cravings by adding foods into your diet that will naturally supply you with energy, for a more motivated and efficient day.
The next time you head to the supermarket, check out these healthy and energy boosting foods for a productive day at the office :
The trendiest vegetable of them all! Kale has become quite a phenomenon on social media over the past couple of years and it’s definitely not one to ignore. Kale is jam packed with minerals and vitamins including potassium, copper and iron to name a few. Iron is important for energy levels, and those that find their diet lacks iron substantially can risk becoming anaemic. Kale is also quite versatile and be consumed in various different ways. If you particularly dislike the taste then whizz it up in a green smoothie, it makes for a great base and you’ll hardly taste it once you’ve added your extra fruit and veg in. Baked kale chips are a great idea, simply drizzle oil over a handful of kale, sprinkle with sea salt and cook in the oven et voila! A healthy, tasty snack. Here is how to be productive at a office once you’ve had your dose of greens.
If you find yourself clock watching at 11am, counting down until when is acceptable to eat lunch then you should probably stock up on a few healthy snacks to fill the gap. Not only are almonds super healthy, they’re also filling too and will tide over your lunchtime hunger just nicely. Packed with vitamin B and magnesium, almonds have the ability to slowly release energy, as opposed to sugary snacks that give you an instant spike followed by a quick comedown and further cravings. The only issue with nuts is they can be fairly high in fat, so stick to a small handful.
Pumpkins are for life, not just for Halloween! These little sources of protein can actually pack quite a punch. I know, seeds don’t sound like the most appetising snack but there are lots of ways you can consume them with barely noticing. Try sprinkling them into a morning smoothie, they can actually give your smoothie a lovely creamy texture. Or sprinkle them over salads and even soup! They’ll provide much more energy and fullness than a chocolate bar, you just have to resist temptation!
Ahh finally something sweet and fruity! Who doesn’t love coconut, it can take you away to far away shores, sand and sun when reality you’re sitting at your desk in the overcrowded city. But here’s to dreaming. Due to their medium chain triglycerides coconuts are very efficient at converting fat into energy rather than storing it. It’s also super tasty and fits nicely into a fruit salad or diced up on its own as a mid-morning snack. If you’re feeling like taking your lunch to the next level, why not knock up a coconut curry? Your fellow colleagues will be mega jels.
Who would have thought it? It’s a misconception that Quinoa is a grain when it’s actually a seed and packed with protein. It’s a great addition to make for a healthy balanced diet and can be eaten in many different ways. You can use it as a substitute for porridge (yes really), or use as a base for a salad and a replacement for rice. There are lots of options! As well as being high in protein, it’s also bursting with minerals that can sometimes be absent from our daily meals. Quinoa has the ability to release energy slowly so it’s a great lunchtime option to see you through the rest of your afternoon.
Bananas are a super popular snack of choice for pre and post workouts due to their ability to promote sustained energy and muscle function. They’re an easy on-the-go snack and there are tonnes of uses for them, fruit salads and smoothies to name a couple. Their level of fibre and protein makes for the perfect energy boosting food, try and start your day off with a banana, chop it up over your cereal or grab one for the commute.
Yes, really! Chocolate isn’t all bad, well the dark stuff isn’t anyway. And when we say ‘dark’ we mean the 70% minimum cacao type here. Good news for those of you with a sweet tooth (also guilty here) but the key is moderation. A few squares can provide with an energy supply due to the iron and magnesium it possesses. As well as this it should also help to keep those pesky sugar cravings at bay. Just try not to eat half the bar, because let’s face it, it happens.
Fish is a super healthy addition to any diet but salmon is particularly good at converting from a food into an energy. Also, because of its high omega-3 content, it also has the ability to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol. The office *might* hate you for stinking out the office with fish, but if you can handle the death stares then serve up with a side of quinoa (instead of rice) and some green veggies for a totally healthy, energy boosting meal.
By adding a variety of these fabulous naturally energising foods into your diet, you should soon start to see your motivation and productivity levels increase, without the need for caffeine! You might find you suffer a few caffeine withdrawals in the long run but it will be totally worth it, not only for increased energy but a healthier all round diet too! Here are other foods and ways of starting your day right and ensuring production at the work place.
Photo credit: Breville USA via flickr