In my workshop “The Seven Lessons That Any Business Can Learn From the Vancouver Canucks” I address the little things that they do to help their team perform at the highest level. One of the many advantages that they give their players is personal chefs to prepare the right food at the right time to nourish the players bodies before and after games and practices, and even during rehabilitation.
But you don’t need to look after your body like that right? No, you have never slumped in your chair at the end of the day exhausted from a day of tough sales calls, negotiations, management, planning, learning. That doesn’t happen to you ever. Right?
Of course there is and if you ever wonder why you feel worse than a penalty killing, shot blocking hockey player it probably has a lot to do with your diet. I clued into this after engaging the services of a nutritionist, Kristen Bell RRD, last year. Together we have worked on my diet to create easy to make, easy to eat, tasty meal plans that I can look forward to but that also serve my business athlete needs for a (more) consistent energy level throughout a long day. Since then I have lost 12lbs and have a far better level of productivity due to avoiding that dreaded afternoon energy crisis.
What follows is the summary of our work together and as we move into fall and winter I will be asking her to provide some more recipes for us all to enjoy. Thanks Kris.
Energy Management for Business Athletes!
Do you ever wonder why you get sleepy around mid-afternoon and feel less motivated to get your work done? Studies show that having a higher carb breakfast is related to how tired and hungry you will feel throughout the day. As a business owner myself, every hour counts to be as productive as possible, and I can’t afford to have these crashes. I have made permanent changes in my diet to keep my blood sugar levels steady throughout the day (spikes in blood sugar causes low energy and cravings), maximize my energy by eating every 3 hours, and combining any carbs I have with a protein or fat source. This not only keeps me full for a longer period of time, but also keeps me alert and productive. Use these tips below to maximize your energy throughout the day, and prevent those energy crashes.
DON’T leave the house without breakfast –
A complete breakfast should consist of all three: Carbs, fat and protein. Instead of grabbing a bagel and running out the door. Cut the bagel in half, spread some all natural peanut butter on it, and grab a hardboiled egg for some protein. Breakfast should be consumed within 30 minutes of waking up.
Avoid the vending machine after lunch. Your crashes and waistline will only get worse if you give in to your chocolate cravings reaching for the snickers bar at the nearest vending machine. Be proactive, bring your own snack. Try a handful of trail mix with some beef jerky, a ready to drink protein shake, or maybe some of your left over lunch.
If you fail to plan, you will plan to fail. We have all heard this saying before, but couldn’t be truer when it comes to your diet! Avoid eating out of emotion or convenience. Instead plan to bring healthy food so you will not give in to the pressures of unhealthy food around you, but have healthy choices that are comparable so you still feel satisfied. Such choices are things like vegie sticks, some nuts (not too many, don’t be greedy or use the salted type which tempt you to a) stuff yourself and b) go to the bar!)
Try this recipe for a healthy, high protein lunch you can take with you to work!
Thai Lettuce Wraps
· 1 head fresh iceberg lettuce OR prepackaged lettuce for wraps
· 3 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated
· 1 red chili, minced, OR 1/4 to 1/3 tsp. chili flakes
· 2 shallots, sliced finely
· 1 pound ground turkey – extra lean
· 1 carrot, grated or cut into thin strips
· 5-6 mushrooms, thinly sliced
· 1 egg
· 1/2 cup shredded cabbage (any type will work)
· 3 spring onions, sliced
· 2 Tbsp. lime juice
· 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
· 1 Tbsp. Thai sauce
· TOPPINGS: optional
· 1/3 cup fresh basil OR mint, chopped if leaves are large
· 1/3 cup fresh dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
· Fresh bean sprouts
1. Drizzle oil into a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, chili, and shallots. Stir-fry one minute, or until fragrant. Stir-frying tip: add a little water if the wok/pan gets too dry instead of more oil.
2. Add turkey, carrot, mushrooms, cabbage, and spring onions. As you stir-fry, add the lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce (or vegetarian substitutes). Stir-fry about 1 minute.
3. Push ingredients to the side of the wok or pan, and crack in the egg. Stir-fry quickly to break the yolk. Mix in with the other ingredients.
4. Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry briefly to mix (avoid over-looking or it will go limp). Remove from heat and do a taste test for salt, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough.
5. Cut off the stem part of the iceberg lettuce so it’s easier to separate the leaves. Now place the lettuce, stir-fried filling, and the toppings on your table in separate bowls/plates, allowing family or guests to make their own wraps.
6. To assemble, take a whole lettuce leaf and place 1-2 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center. Top with a sprinkling of fresh basil and peanuts plus fresh bean sprouts if desired. Then wrap up and eat! (For those who like it extra spicy, fresh-cut chili can be added as another topping.)
So in summary, treat your body as well as an athlete would. Let’s face it you expect your career will be longer that theirs and you have to set yourself up to succeed – starting with your diet.