Thursday, 6 September 2012

Oh dear

Even us nutritional therapists have bad food days but seriously today was so bad I'm too embarrassed to even tell you what I ate! To give you and idea 80 per cent could have been purchased from a vending machine. Yes that bad!

How did this happen? The combination of a very long and busy day, no time to prepare any food for work last night and having eaten up all my healthy desk snacks.

To be fair these are all excuses ... I could have popped out for five minutes to pickup a healthy lunch, but I just didn't feel like eating a proper meal and had cravings for junk food.

Stress does tend to propel us to salty or sweet foods making us more likely to reach for crisps or chocolate. Sodium is used up by the adrenal glands so you get through it a lot quickly. On the flipside you may crave sweet food as an instant source of energy when you can't face eating anything substantial (as the stress of being so busy is suppressing your digestion). Unfortunately very sugary foods may then set you up for an energy slump 1-2hours later, leaving you reaching for another choccie bar.

As a one off day I think I can let myself off, but if you find yourself regularly eating at work in this snacky way it's time to take action and learn from my mistakes.

The first rule is to not eat unless you have time to stop what you're doing, take five deep breaths and eat your food uninterrupted. All my food was eaten today whilst working which means my digestive system would have been impaired and therefore stressed by eating.

You might feel like you can't take a break, but even taking 10 minutes in the coffee room to eat a sandwich for lunch is better than scarfing it at your desk.

If you really can't get away then more easily digestible foods such as smoothies, fruit and natural yoghurt are good options until you have time for a proper meal.

Secondly don't forget your protein - in my whole snackfood diet of today I didn't eat one proper source of protein, but protein is important in regulating blood sugar and therefore stress levels, so having some nuts in my desk to snack on would have been a wise move, as well as taking the time to get a proper lunch.

Thirdly be prepared. If you know you won't have time to go out and buy lunch then pack some lunch from home. Making sandwiches in the evening will take only a couple of minutes, although best if you can make them with wheat free bread sao they don't make you sleepy. Snack wise stock your desk with nuts, seeds and health bars, if I'd had some healthy snacks in my desk today I don't think my diet would have gone so awry!


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