My tips on how to stay energised at your desk without piling on the calories…
Staying motivated, focused and calm during a busy working day, whether you’re at home or in an office environment can be challenging to say the least without trying to stay healthy at the same time, when all you really want to do is to reach for the choccy biscuits and drink copious amounts of coffee.
I always find this particularly hard when sat next to someone who consistently tucks in, remains glued to their seat the entire day and yet doesn’t appear to put on an ounce. Well over the years I have worked out a few things that work for me so I thought I would share my tips and hope they can help you too.
Foods to nibble on:
- Almonds – natural and unsalted are a tasty and nutritious snack. Loaded with minerals, they are one the healthiest of tree nuts. Not too many mind – around 20 (approx. 160 calories) will give you many key nutrients and are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They are a good source of fibre but low in sugar. And yes they do stem hunger so not bad for the waist line with the added benefit of promoting heart health.
- Dark Chocolate – oh yes we all need something sweet from time to time and the odd square or bite of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) is good for us. It contains chromium which stabilises blood sugar and stems appetite, theobromine called ‘the good-mood brain chemical’ and antioxidants which apparently cause the walls of our blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. The best bit of course is the eating, it feels indulgent and the endorphins it releases gives us a natural high. Though it does leave us craving for more remember you don’t need the whole bar to get the benefits.
Drinks to refresh:
- Rooibos – I actually don’t drink anything with caffeine or like anything decaffeinated so my tipple of choice as far as a hot drink goes is Rooibos tea. Completely pure and natural with no additives, caffeine, calories (if you don’t add milk), preservatives or colourings it is refreshing and hydrating. It also contains trace elements such as iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium and sodium. Because it’s caffeine free it keeps the stress hormone cortisol at bay so you stay calm
- Coconut water – this is something I have recently been introduced to and love it. Hydrating, tasty and containing electrolytes calcium, magnesium, phosphors, sodium and potassium it’s great for boosting energy levels (used by many after a work-out) yet low in calories, it also suppresses the appetite and aids digestion due to its relatively high fibre content particularly good when you are sitting most of the day.
- Sparkling water – not that I have anything against good old tap or still water but I find with sparkling water it not only quenches my thirst but it is something a little more interesting. I also find it lessens my need to snack and is of course good for keeping me on track with my fluid intake.
Some days are just desk days but movement is so important whatever form that takes for circulation, mental stimulus, flexibility and burning calories. For me these are my top tips.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Go outside at least once or twice during the day and breathe fresh air. It’s refreshing, calming and a gives a feel good factor.
- Stretching – not just for at home or in a class but something you can do while waiting for the kettle to boil or even at your desk – it can be as simple of taking your arms above your head or touching your toes but this will increase blood flow relieving the tension that causes aching, sore muscles and stiffness.
Exercise, particularly flexibility exercises like stretching have powerful stress-busting abilities. Spending just a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) stretching or exercising each day can help calm the mind, providing a mental break and giving your body a chance to recharge.
My dear friend Liz Earle is the definitive guru on all things connected to health and wellbeing – her passion and in-depth knowledge has led her to write many books and more recently launch Liz Earle Wellbeing a magazine and website that is refreshing, educational and full of inspiring information from experts to provide balanced advice and ideas on living well. From delicious, nutritious recipes to the best beauty advice, wellness updates, seasonal health specials, sustainability and environmental concerns, I encourage you to join up today.
Have a good week.
Editor: Tracy Hastain