This is dedicated to all the women and men in business, who are paving their own entrepreneurial path. Being dedicated to a successful business can sometimes push you off track when it comes to your health, body and nutrition. However, it is important not to neglect a massive aspect of your life, which will lead to long-term benefit.
A healthy mind and body will help lead your company to success so here are a few essential ingredients:
Empower your breakfasts. Some may claim lack of time, others simply don’t prioritise their meals but breakfast is the perfect way to face a busy day. That first meal of the day will help boost your concentration and focus throughout the day and prevent fatigue. Aim to get the right combination of nutrients by adding complex carbohydrates plus a good source of protein as well as healthy fats. A few power breakfast examples:
- Mashed avocado on wholegrain or spelt toast with crumbled feta and pumpkin seeds
- Overnight jar of oats with natural yoghurt or soy yoghurt, chia seeds and berries
- Sliced boiled egg with cottage cheese and vegetables, all wrapped up in a wholewheat wrap
Keep it convenient. If you don’t have time to hit the shops then choose online grocery stores that deliver to your house or office. Make sure you keep healthy snack options around your desk or at the office. Lack of time is no longer an excuse so planning ahead to create a convenient atmosphere conducive to good eating is key. Easiest snacks to have around include: fruit, chopped vegetables, nuts, dried fruit and healthy snack bars that contain no more than 10g of fat and 15g of sugar per 100g.
Keep a healthy plate division in mind wherever you wine and dine. One thing that I ask all my clients to do is to visualise the healthy plate distribution wherever they are: 1/2 your plate to include a variety of vegetables, 1/4 protein and the other 1/4, a healthy choice of carbohydrates. This is one of the easiest methods to make sure you are getting the right ratio of nutrients at meal time.
Make sure you get enough iron and magnesium. When your body’s iron stores are low, fatigue & headaches are the common symptoms. Iron is needed to carry oxygen in the blood to all your body’s tissues and organs. Good sources of iron include: meat, liver, fish, poultry, dried fruit, raisins, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, wholegrains & legumes (beans, peas, lentils…). Some studies have also suggested that low levels of magnesium cause fatigue as it is required to metabolise food and aid in regulating blood sugar levels. Good sources of magnesium include: wholegrains, fish (salmon), nuts, pumpkin seeds, spinach, black beans and navy beans.
Schedule your workouts just like any other meeting. Dedicating time to exercise is essential to keep you fit and avoid the expanding waistline due to long hours at the desk. Taking a break and going for a walk is also a great way to increase your incidental activity and recharge your mind. If you’re away traveling on business, make use of the hotel gym (if you do have access to one) with a quick workout first thing in the morning or a post meeting workout in the evening to unwind and destress.
Avoid drinking your calories. Business dinners and after-work drinks can be frequent where you can definitely load up on unnecessary calories from alcohol. I usually suggest an allowance of no more than 4-5 standard drinks per week and avoiding high calorie drinks such as beer, soft drinks and juices as mixers. Energy drinks are a “no-no” on an entrepreneurial diet as they simply provide your body with nothing but a mix of caffeine, stimulants and sugars that your body can do without. The promising boost of energy is short lived hence the over indulgence; you end up drinking more. The high caffeine concentration of energy drinks can also lead to side effects such as nervousness, insomnia, rapid heart beat and increased blood pressure.
A well-nourished body and mind is key to a successful entrepreneurial journey where you are well-fuelled to tackle the hardships that will definitely cross your path.