Three tops tips for the time poor corporate: Increasing vegetable intake to boost health, longevity and work performance

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Back to back intense meetings, extended work hours, skipping meals whilst adding copious amounts of caffeine – sound familiar? What if nutrition could be quick, tasty and practical to make everything easier? Well it CAN and not only will this reduce your risk of chronic health disease such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, but also help improve body function and increase energy.

The stats: Lettuce tell you

Did you know that in 2014-15 that only 7% of Australian adults met the guidelines for recommended intake vegetables?

Similarly, in a recent survey conducted in a leading Australian bank by our business Body Fusion, 85.5% of employees were not meeting their recommended serving.

Fact: Healthy employees have been found to be three times as productive than unhealthy employees!

So what are these “guidelines” ?

Taken from the Australian Healthy Food Guide Portion Sizing Poster

Taken from the Australian Healthy Food Guide Portion Sizing Poster

The implications: Lettuce tell you more

 Not meeting your brightly coloured intake of rainbow veggies means:

·      Less fibre, negatively influencing digestion and increasing risk of colon cancer

·      Decreased satiety = hungry worker = impacted mood and interaction with team plus reduced  ability to concentrate

·      Insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals, which support body function. For example vegetables are an excellent source of potassium which aids in electrolyte balance, regulation of blood pressure and supports nerve and muscle function (including the heart!)

·      Compromised immunity, which influences energy, enjoyment of work and sick days needed

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Help me solve this creatively and simply: Now!

1.    Be organised

This means from the get go on a Monday and yes a shop is crucial over the weekend! We suggest bringing healthy snacks to work that include vegetables: veggie sticks (carrot, cucumber, red capsicum) and hummus, savoury muffins or a small snap lock bag of cherry tomatoes.

2.    ALWAYS make sure there are vegetables in your lunch

What’s the easiest way to do this? Take food from home that has been cooked in advance. A huge vegetable frittata, vegetable lasagna or spinach and ricotta pie at home will make multiple serves. Salads are also always a winner!

Like to purchase on the run? Alternatively look to add veggies to your lunch in other quick ways. How about you match a veggie-based juice (carrot, celery, beetroot, ginger and apple) with your grainy ham and cheese toastie?

3.    Use tools and cues as reminders to eat

When things get busy, eating goes to the end of the priority list. Putting your snacks or lunch near your keyboard, setting a phone alarm or having another healthy buddy in the office to keep accountable will all work.

Another option is the new amazing App VegEze app by Hort Innovation https://horticulture.com.au/ which gives your hot tips and reminders to encourage you to get to your goal of 5 serves in the day.

So there you have it: Get started today by doing a big healthy grocery shop or better yet check in with a Dietitian to help guide you on your own personalised journey!

Ash, Vegetable and life enthusiast

Work doesn't have to be a struggle! Three top tips to increase work energy and productivity

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The daily corporate grind: sometimes with the inclusion of early mornings, late nights, necessary transit, back-to-back meetings and client functions. We get it – keeping on top of your nutrition isn’t always easy – especially with a busy schedule! But what if you could just focus on three small things to keep you smooth sailing and make what you were doing more effective so you could leave work earlier? Well now you’re listening!

1)  Always have a balanced breakfast: Good quality protein, low glycaemic index carbohydrates and either some fruit or veggies to up your fibre intake.

Why?

Protein, a sustaining carbohydrate and dietary fibre is going to fill you up and keep your blood sugars stable.

Example

½ cup of traditional oats (low GI and high in fibre), 1xcup of milk (excellent source of protein and added bonus of calcium), 1xserve of fruit (high in fibre and antioxidants) + sprinkle of your favourite nuts/seeds for some extra crunch. Oh and we don't mind a drizzle of honey if you've got a little extra sweet tooth ;) (We said a drizzle! = 1 tsp)

2) Time your meals SMARTLY

Why?

Because skipping meals or snacks can result in wrong food choices or overeating. This consequently influences cognition, memory, attention and productivity.

How?

Aim to eat 3 main meals and 2 snacks throughout your day. Eating every 3-4 hours will help you achieve this.

3) Drink water

Why?

Because all the beautiful neural connections which transmit information in your brain need water to function at optimal firing rates.

How to increase or maintain an adequate intake?

Include a glass of water with every meal

Drink tea throughout the day: Black or herbal!

Drink soda water to make things interesting

Make a bright attractive drink bottle part of your desk scenery

And there you have it. Just keep it simple! And remember if you want your work team to learn more about Corporate Nutrition we offer engaging workshops. Otherwise you can drop in and book an individual consultation to focus especially on YOU and your goals!

Yours in health,

Kat, Ash and Michelle :)