When the concept of work-life balance was introduced in the U.S. in the late 1980’s, it seemed to imply a 50/50 equal balance between work and home life. In modern times, we know that a 50/50 equal split does not exist. Rather, each person finds their own balance.
An often overlooked part of achieving balance is the impact of our food choices. Imagine this: Breakfast is coffee and an energy bar as you’re dashing out the door in the morning. Lunch consists of a snack from the office vending machine and a piece of your co-worker’s birthday cake. At 3pm, you are falling asleep at your desk and grab a cup of coffee to revive. Dinner is something frozen reheated in the microwave or picked up from a drive-through on your way home.
You may think “time-saving” or “convenient,” but what you may not realize is that these choices are secretly sabotaging your work-life balance. Caffeine, energy drinks, and the sugar in sweets provide energy, but it’s false energy that sets you up to crash later. In addition, convenience foods such as vending machine snacks and fast food meals contain high amounts of salt, fat and sugar — not the vital nutrients your body needs for sustained energy.
To get your energy and concentration levels back on track, supply your body with the high quality nutrition it needs. It doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time.
A fruit smoothie is a great morning option for those on-the-go. Lunch could be as simple as hummus with assorted veggies to dip and a side of whole grain bread, or even a salad of mixed greens with avocado, toasted almonds, dried cranberries and some vinaigrette dressing. The protein and fats in these simple examples provide you with the steady flow of energy you need, plus they satisfy, which keeps you away from the office candy dish.
If changing up your meals seems overwhelming, pick ONE meal (i.e. breakfast, lunch or dinner) to make healthier choices over the next week. Once you’ve got that down, tackle improving another of your daily meals.
By feeding your body foods high in natural energy, vitamins and minerals, you will have more energy to tackle projects at work and home, plus, you may even find you shed a couple pounds! Lasting change takes time but is sooo worth it!
Jennifer Smigelski is the founder of WELLthy Families, a (virtual) wellness center. She combines her unique background as a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC), a former Human Resources executive for top Fortune 500 companies, an executive coach, and a trained life coach to help develop healthy habits that STICK. She is a graduate of Cornell University and resides in the Los Angeles area with her husband, Owen, and their two energetic young boys. For more about WELLthy Families, visit their website at www.wellthyfamilies.com. You can also connect with them on Twitter at twitter.com/wellthyfamilies and Facebook at facebook.com/wellthyfamilies.