#1: Do not wake up to a stimulant! Most of us need our caffeine/sugar kick first thing in the morning. These stimulants give you that unmistakable rush for a short while but in the long run, you get dependent on them and they wreck havoc on your digestive system. I’m not saying give it up; just swap it with something that will provide you with nutrient-dense calories like fruit or 6-8 almonds. You can always have your cup of java after you stomach lining is protected with real food.
#2: Just 1 tbsp of healthy fat: If you are in a big rush every morning, don't have the time or patience to eat fruit and nuts and are looking to burn fat, gulp down a table spoon of pasteurized butter or virgin coconut oil first thing in the morning. It’s not only quick and easy, but will ensure a stable insulin level, which helps with clarity of thought, allows our body to get in the fat adapted zone (rather than burning carbohydrates for energy) and it’s also one of the best things you can do to reset your hormones (especially if you suffer from polycystic overian syndrome (PCOS), diabetes or any other metabolic syndromes).
#3 Grab a quick breakfast: Skipping breakfast will only make you want to over eat the wrong stuff at lunch. If you have that tablespoon of healthy fat and black coffee, like I recommended, you will feel full for a while and can grab a quick breakfast like 2-3 whole boiled or cooked eggs, 2-3 slices of lean ham or turkey with cheese or even some oats cooked in coconut milk. All of these are either ready to eat or can be cooked the previous day and refrigerated.
#4: Watch what’s on your desk: Most of us have the space to store some pick-me-ups. If your desk has biscuits, cereal bars and salted peanuts within easy reach, it will have a negative effect on your waistline and energy levels. Swap these with unsalted almonds; throw in some dried figs, dates or 70% dark chocolate. If you are looking to lose weight, order some gluten-free protein cookies or keep a whey protein shake on your desk, which you can drink at some point during the day.
#5: Say no to bad carbs at lunch: Whole wheat bread, pasta and processed wraps all seem really easy to carry, but their negative effects on your health outweigh the convenience they offer. Swap these carbs for good wholesome carbs like quinoa, farro, rice, sweet potato and root vegetables. Seeds like quinoa or grains like farro can be cooked in bulk in advance and used for three days in a row.
#6: Invest in a steamer: Buying a good food steamer with compartments will save you a lot of time. You can throw in some sprouts, veggies, sweet potatoes et al and steam them all at once. Drizzle on some olive oil with balsamic vinegar and you have a quick and easy meal, ready to carry to work for lunch.
#7: Don't forget to supplement: Busy women are always at risk of not getting enough nutrients. We’re either skipping meals or eating the wrong stuff due to lack of time, which in fact drains us of our current nutrient reserve. The added work pressure and stressful deadlines make this situation worse. Vitamin D, Vitamin C, B complex and Omega 3 are four essential supplements for any working woman. Keep them at your desk and have all of them post lunch. This way your chances of being irregular with them are slim.
#8: Do not eat a fruit post lunch: Snacking on fruit or juices might seem like a healthy option, but it’s not effective if you are battling with weight issues or hormonal problems like PCOS or insulin resistance. Avocados, walnuts, protein bars and yogurt are your best bet, when it comes to post-lunch snacking. Eating a fruit or drinking a fruit juice will raise your sugar levels very quickly. Once they drop you’ll feel tired and exhausted and have a desperate need to eat something high in carbs for a mood lift.
#9: Fix a workout time and stick to it: Most of us hate getting out of our comfort zones and exercise forces us to do just that. If you don't set time aside to work out and abide by it, you’ll never experience its benefits. Sticking to a regime will feel like a rather boring chore, initially; but walking around the office when you take a break, taking the stairs over the elevator and being generally active around the office will not make you physically or mentally fit. Once your new workout regime becomes part of your schedule, you'll start to see the positive effect it has on your mood and how it can make you more productive at work than you already are.
#10: Avoid toxic people, just like you would junk food: Any work environment always has some people who are grateful for their jobs and others who have made it a habit to whine and complain about everything they have. Choose the people you hang out with wisely. You spend almost half or more of your precious awake time at work, if you spend the rest with people who bring you down, that's almost half your life wasted on information and conversation that does not serve you. Hanging out with happy people and you’ll maintain the best possible attitude about yourself and everything around you.