Power-Packed Breakfasts to POWER through your working day

Guest Post by Karen Aroney (ANutr, ASN)

Karen is holding a talk on Motherhood and Nutrition at Woolf Works on the 11th March at 10am. More info and tickets details available here.

 

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Even if you are not a breakfast eater, ensuring you have even a small, balanced meal in your stomach before you head out for work is beneficial for the following reasons:

Brain Power

The brain requires between 100–150 g of glucose (blood sugar) daily. Once we wake up from our sleep are cells are in ‘fasting’ mode, waiting for the next hit of glucose (known as carbohydrate). If we don’t fuel ourselves with a nutritious breakfast of protein and carbohydrate, then what how do we expect to perform in that meeting? that presentation? Fuel for your brain is essential for high performance.

Weight Control

Lower rates of obesity have been found for people who ate breakfast regularly, versus those that skipped breakfast, partly due to breakfast eaters not over-consuming high energy snacks or meals at the later part of the day (where you are less likely to expend most of your energy)(1). Moreover, people who skipped breakfast also have a higher affinity for high-calorie foods and again over-eating with these foods, than people who eat a regular breakfast(2). Worth considering next time you reach for the ‘hidden chocolate’ in the desk draw or find yourself in front of the vending machine!

Increased Energy and Better Quality of Life

Research indicates that there is a direct effect of morning eating patterns on physical activity levels throughout the day, with people who ate breakfast displaying higher energy and overall physical activity levels(3). Further studies have found that breakfast eaters (versus those that skipped breakfast), had a more positive score for overall quality of life, vitality, social functioning , and emotional and mental health(1).

The easiest and tastiest way to enjoy a stress-free POWER-PACKED nutritious breakfast is to literally jar it! Here are 2 recipes to get you started:

Blueberry Coconut Overnight Oats

Pour 1/2 cup rolled oats, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon flaxseed, and 1 cup of coconut milk into a mason jar and stir to combine. Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and mash them in the pudding for a thicker consistency or you may leave the blueberries whole for a topping. Add honey to sweeten. Store in fridge overnight. Then before serving, top with shredded coconut, almonds and pumpkin seeds!

Almond Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats pure2

Pour 1/2 cup gluten free steel cut oats (use rolled oats for a smoother oatmeal), 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 tsp flaxseed, 2 tsp cacao powder , 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 chopped medjool date or 2 tsp maple syrup, 1/2 cup almond milk. Throw everything in a mason jar, mix well and store in the fridge overnight to eat. If you like yours thinner, just add a bit more milk.

(Recipe credit: www.nutritionstripped.com, www.mywholefoodlife.com)

All these factors combined make you more POWERFUL and PRODUCTIVE, so start the day on the right track and make it happen!

References:

  1. Huang CJ, Hu HT, Fan YC, Liao YM, Tsai PS. Associations of breakfast skipping with obesity and health-related quality of life: evidence from a national survey in Taiwan. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Apr;34(4):720-5. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.285. Epub 2010 Jan 12.
  2. Farshchi HR, Taylor MA, Macdonald IA. Deleterious effects of omitting breakfast on insulin sensitivity and fasting lipid profiles in healthy lean women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;81(2):388-96.
  3. Betts JA1, Richardson JD1, Chowdhury EA1, Holman GD1, Tsintzas K1, Thompson D1. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug;100(2):539-47. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.083402. Epub 2014 Jun 4. The causal role of breakfast in energy balance and health: a randomized controlled trial in lean adults.

pure3PureVitality Nutrition Concepts Pte Ltd is run by Karen, an accredited Nutritionist (ANutr, ASN) and Wellness Coach. She is also mum of twins, passionate about travel, sport, family health, and food!

PureVitality Nutrition Services provide nutritional advice and awareness through individual, child, family, and corporate coaching programs, and health talks to maximize health and well being. The key is to effectively empower individuals to develop healthy eating habits that support their goals in all areas of health, family planning and fitness for life. We help individuals and families create a healthy balance between food and life. Our mantra – “Welcome to Today. Another day, Another chance. Feel free to CHANGE!”

 

 

How to Inject More Excitement Into Your Business!

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(image via www.womenunlimitedworldwide.com)

We all want our businesses to be thought of as exciting, fresh and appealing. Unfortunately for small businesses, especially those with just one main person working behind the scenes, public image can become boring with repetitive marketing campaigns that lack sparkle and innovation.

Here’s a few ways to bring something new to your business:

 

1. Try different media

Video is the new black. If you haven’t started thinking about video content for your blog or social media, get thinking now!

Here’s a great article from The Guardian about video content for small business.

Check out the Will it Blend videos’s from Blendtec – a blender company created a viral marketing campaign starting in 2006, of very low production-cost videos in which they blend household objects. Cheap, creative and out of the box and this video has 11 million views!

 

2. Connect with communities out of your usual comfort zone

Ditch the networking evenings and join a dragon-boating group, an art class or a heritage walk. Connecting to new communities can not only help you reach new customers it also opens your mind to new opportunities, partnerships and ideas.

 

3.  Find people that excite and interest you

Mentors, influencers, inspirations: follow their blog, read their books, watch their speeches. Surrounding yourself with positivity and success stories keeps your mind open and engaged on your own journey. We need role models at all ages – this article from Psychology Today talks about the influence of role models on creating ethical leaders.

 

4. Go back to your WHY

Why did you start this business? Why do you love it? What’s your story?

Storytelling is a big buzz word these days, for good reason. People connect to stories and authenticity, they want to engage, hear more. They want to support someone they feel close to, especially over a cold, persona-less company.

 

5. Push your limits

Do something different, try new things, meet new people!. Switch up your schedule, work somewhere new, take a day off to go walking and thinking. Take a meditation class, have a massage, cook a new recipe. Invite someone you admire out for a coffee, swim in the ocean at 6am.

Check out this great article on Lifehacker about breaking out of your comfort zone:

“The point of stepping out of your comfort zone is to embrace new experiences and to get to that state of optimal anxiety in a controlled, managed way, not to stress yourself out. Take time to reflect on your experiences so you can reap the benefits and apply them to your day to day activities.”

 

 

It just takes a little bit of mixing things up, trying something new, to start changing thought patterns.

Schedule it into your week if you have to – just do it!

 

 

Switch off this Holiday Season

The holiday season is the perfect excuse to press the pause button on work and make time for the people who matter and for personal pursuits. It’s time to refocus, reflect and make resolutions to make work and life better next year.

Plus, switching off is good for your health! Taking a break from your laptop, forgetting about your inbox and concentrating on the people and things around you that matter the most is good for your brain (you’ll sleep better) and great for your relationships.

There are a few things you can do to help you switch off this holiday season:

Automate

Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you let work pile up or gather dust. You can set things on the right schedule to carry on just as if you were there:

  • Schedule blog posts: Automate your blog articles and posts for social media.
  • Fix up your auto responders: Compose your automatic email replies so people who try to get in touch with you through email will know why you aren’t answering back. You can also direct them to links that they need or where they can find the information they want.
  • Activate your online payment channels: Paying for your bills? There’s no need to line up in person at the bank if you activate your online payment portals to settle credit cards, life insurance payments, etc.

Catch Up on Old and New Hobbies

The gift of time is what the holidays bring, and this is the perfect opportunity for some catching up on simple pursuits:

  • Read (and finish) a book: Last month The Guardian released their awesome annual list of author-recommended reads for the year. Some great finds and offbeat recommendations here.
  • Listen to a Podcast: Podcasts are like a return to the days of radio shows. Great for road trips or long plane or train rides, it’s like having a bedtime story read to you! This American Life  is a fantastic podcast series that blends storytelling and documentary. Their new spin-off called Serial was recently released to rave reviews – it’s a true life crime series and is very addictive.

Build Good Habits for the New Year

There’s time to laze around but there’s also time to (slowly) make good and lasting habits that will allow you to face the New Year with more energy and alertness. And that is a great gift you can give yourself.

  • Hit the gym or go for a run: Don’t wait until after the New Year to make your noble attempts at fitness. If you start now, you’ll simply be continuing a new habit when the New Year rolls in.
  • Focus on nutrition: A couple of days of too much wine and food is normal (expected even!) but a couple of weeks of it and the New Year begins slower and heavier. Kickstart the year with a diet of whole foods, good fats and lots of protein.

Taking a break from daily routines and from the stress of your inbox these holidays will definitely help you to focus on what is important – your mental, physical, emotional and social well being and your relationships with your loved ones. By the time the year comes to a close, you’ll be recharged and re-energized to welcome a productive year ahead!

Apps That Make Great To-Do Lists

If you’re a to-do list kind of person but would like to keep things light while on the go, then a to-do list app might work for you. Looking for the right one just might be too overwhelming since there are many to-do-lists apps to choose from. Lucky for you, we did the hunting and testing to come up with the definitive rundown of the best ones out there.

Any.Do

This free to-do list app won us over with its clean interface and ability to add new tasks easily. Bonus points go to little extras such as being able to sync to-do lists created on Any.Do with its browser extension and a reminder function. Compatible with: iOS, Android and Google Chrome  Any.Do

Task 

At $0.99, Task is value for money and a great choice for its sophisticated aesthetics. Tasks are consolidated on the screen in one go, and it also has a reminder function and the ability to add specific dates and times to tasks if you need to. This is proof that sophistication need not come with a hefty price tag – even if it is just an app. Compatible with: iPhone and iPad task

Carrot 

This $1.99 to-do list app keeps task accomplishment entertaining, what with it being able to turn things into a game. As it puts fun back into functionality, it is therefore ideal for individuals who need motivation to get their tasks done! Compatible with: iPhone and iPad carrot

Calvetica 

Calvetica ($2.99) may technically be a calendar app, but tinkering with it yielded the realization that it works just as well (or even better) as a to-do list app. The calendar layout is perfect for visual people who like an at-a-glance summary of what the week brings, as well as determine which days are heavy on the schedule and which ones have more potential for leisurely pursuits. It’s as if you walk around with a personal assistant right in your pocket. Compatible with: iPhone and iPad calvetica

Pocket Lists

At $4.99, Pocket List may be a couple of dollars and cents more than the apps previously mentioned, but it also boasts of a few useful extras that you may find indispensable. Think: list syncing, flagging location reminders, making to-do lists out of photos, and so much more. Compatible with: iPhone and iPadpocketlists-ios-cover

Wunderlis

The first “freemium” app (free or $4.99) on the list, Wunderlist nonetheless turned out to be a top contender not just by looks alone. Be warned, though – behind its stylish layout comes a bevy of functionalities to please your inner O.C. self: adding notes, setting repeated events, assigning to-do tasks to your collaborators, and adding sub-tasks are just at the tip of the iceberg. Compatible with: iPhone and iPad, Android, Kindle devices, Windows and Webwunderlist

Todo 7

Todo 7 is a no-nonsense to-do list app for those who prefer a more business-y look to their task maker app. The price tag starts at $4.99 and has an already impressive feature set; upgrade it to the $14.99 version and that feature set grows an extra mile long. Not for the faint-hearted: this app means business – and lots of it. Compatible with: iPhone, iPad and Mac todo72Do

Need something more “heavy duty”? 2Do ($9.99 or $39.99) just might be for you, then. It’s practically a project management tool in itself, with the ability to consolidate your collection of to-do lists from individual projects into one streamlined system. Good news for you multitasking, multi-hyphenated folk: tags are present for an easier time sorting out your never-ending list of to-dos. Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Android 2do

These apps will definitely help you organize things to be done, whether they are business related or simply household tasks. Have we covered your favourite to-do app? What do you use for your to-do lists? We’d love to hear about it!