Do you fancy 5 meals a day?

I’ve been thinking that I need to make a change to my diet, add a bit more energy to my step!  I’ve been looking into what I can add or change in my food to improve my energy and mood! Perhaps you could do with a bit of a mood or energy pick me up too, especially when you have a busy work and personal schedule!

A key change might be to have 5 small healthy meals a day. (some more info on this that might explain the concept!) – Please note that I think this may take some organisation and I think I’m going to try allocating my Sunday afternoons for weekly food prep!

Mood and Energy Ingredients and recipes to try:

  • A sugar-free museli will keep your blood sugar levels even – stop mood swings.
  • Walnuts are great for energising iron and mood stabilising zinc.
Suggested meal no.1: For breakfast try a sugar-free museli and add your own fresh fruit, nuts and yogurt. This one on Pinterest looks good.
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Museli, fruit and yoghurt

  • Nuts are rich in omega-3 fats.These help restore the structure of cells in our brains so they communicate better. Boosts mood and memory.
  • Great quality dark chocolate (70% + cocoa content) in moderation has some great health benefits – such as improving blood flow to the brain and possibly improve brain function. For more great chocolate benefits head here. Dark chocolate is high in magnesium. This calms muscles and reduces anxiety. Also rich in antioxidants which regulate the neurotransmitters associated with mood function – keeping them stable!

Suggested meal no.2: Snack time for me. A little tub of my favorite mixed nuts like almonds, waltnuts and some broken up dark chocolate make a great pick me up between meals.


  • Tomatoes and avocados are rich in B vitamins. Lack of Vitamin B can lead to irritability.6d12a2a00de82307813ca85ea25c08dc
  • Soy Beans (Edamame) have very high tryptophan. Trytophan is converted to serotonin in the body. This is the hormone that makes you feel happy!

Suggested meal no.3: Have a lunchtime salad and not just a boring salad of a load of old leaves! Salads in my book need to be fresh, tasty and filling. This salad from SkinnyTaste that I found via Pinterest looks amazing: Spiralized Raw Zucchini Salad with Avocado and Edamame | Skinnytaste. Last year we had a glut of courgettes/Zucchinis from the allotment and discovered how amazing they are raw very thinly sliced in a salad using a vegetable peeler. I think this is the recipe I used!

 


 

  • Lemon juice on top of carbohydrate based foods can lower their GI. This could reduce any blood sugar swings. “Fat and acid foods (like vinegar, lemon juice or acidic fruit) slow the rate at which the stomach empties and slow the rate of digestion, resulting in a lower GI.” (full info here)

Suggested meal no.4: Small potato salad with a lemon vinaigrette with a small portion of grilled chicken on the side (with a nice sauce). Or maybe try something smaller: pop the dressed chicken in a brown pita bread.

Or perhaps an afternoon snack like a piece of fruit can beat those afternoon sweet cravings! (A twist of lemon in a glass of water can help beat cravings.)


  •  Choose slow-releasing carbs such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and oats- encourage a gradual release of sugar into the blood. This will stabilise your moods.
  • Spinach and Kale contain great vitamins which are great for stabilising the brain.
Suggested meal no.5: Try and combine slow-release carbs where ever you can. This salmon and oatmeal burger looks good and is a different twist to the normal fish dish. Serve with a peppery salad of mixed leaves like rocket, baby spinach leaves and watercress and dress with a squeeze of lemon.
Salmon with oat crust

  • Try not to have too much coffee. Studies show more than 700mg of caffeine (about 5 cups of coffee) is associated with depression and mood swings.

Suggested drink no.1: Whilst working at your office desk it can be easy to get sucked into the cycle of teas and coffees. Next time reach for a green tea. Green tea made with steamed leaves has an amazing array of beneficial properties including “prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain”.

Suggested drink no.2: Warm water with lemon juice in it has many benefits include producing digestive juices! Read more about it here.

 Suggested drink no.3: Have a cup of Chamomile tea before bed. This can help with mild depression, relieve anxiety and sooth you to sleep.

Christmas Gift Ideas – From the Boss to the PA!

When working in retail in the City of London I would often get men and women coming in trying to find a gift for their female PA or office assistant. It’s tricky because you want to get something that will mean something (not just a box of chocolates or voucher) but nothing too personal that breaks away from the working relationship you have.

With Christmas coming up my mind began drifting back to this conundrum again! Depending on how well you know the person, I have put together a few ideas to help you pick something!Christmas Gift Ideas

If you know she loves food or drink – a nice hamper from Fortnum Masons could go down a storm. You can get them at various price points and choices of themes i.e. wine lover, champagne and chocolates etc…
Her tipple of choice in the office might be tea. A lovely bone china teacup and saucer to use at home could be perfect. If she loves a glass of bubbles then select a gorgeous pair of champagne saucers.
Perhaps your PA listens to music on the way into the office or can’t be parted from her phone. A smart phone case or a high quality pair of earphones could be just right.
If you want to keep it a work focused gift – select something of great quality and made in leather. For instance I found this nice red leather document holder from DKNY – stylish and practical!! A leather business card holder or a folding leather jotter might be right for the list writer or networker!
Her love of lipsticks might be a well known office fact. Get her something beautiful to keep her beauty products in. A little lipstick case will keep her prized lippy safe (I picked a red leather one from Aspinal of London £45). Choose a small makeup bag in a colour you know she wears – Aspinal gives you a choice of colours for this small leather bag £75.
Staying stylish and warm on the way to and from work is a great theme for a present! Keep it gorgeous with cashmere. The green scarf (£79) and gloves (£35) I chose is from Bora – they have a wide range of colours to choose from! The red leather gloves I picked are from Dents and they have a lovely cashmere lining. My final suggestion is a Mulberry scarf; a popular well known brand and a classic piece.
Finally, if you want to give something that is personalised to your PA – choose something like correspondence cards or a leather social diary to have her name put on. It is a thoughtful gift but still office appropriate!
Other ideas I’ve thought about are lovely high end candles such as Diptyque or Jo Malone. A lovely selection of shower and body creams could be nice to help her unwind. The problem with these ideas is that you need to know what kind of smells she likes or if she has sensitive skin or not!
What have you received as a Christmas gift from your boss and did you think it was appropriate?

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