Writer's Survival Guide 6: Produce for Productivity
Ambiguous title or what? I've been focusing on my health lately, and obviously, eating right plays a big part. Exercising, for me, is the easy portion of the health equation, while phasing out baked goods and replacing them with carrot sticks is harder.
I like fruit. I like vegetables.
But I'm lazy. And I'm a creature of habit. I routinely choose the path of least resistance food-wise.
Is it easier to open a bag of chips or shine an apple? I can't imagine either is considered difficult, yet, I choose the chips every time!
Last week I read The Biggest Loser: Simple Swaps 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle. What a great book! Very motivational with plenty of input from past contestants, the book emphasizes eat less, move more, and eat a wide variety of foods, limiting the processed, empty calorie ones.
When I finished it, one thing stuck out in my brain: we have to plan our health. We have to schedule exercise and actually think about our food choices before the day even starts. One of my goals this week is to schedule what fruits and vegetables I'm going to eat each day and how much and what type of exercise I will do. I'm putting the schedule on the fridge.
One way to add more fruits and vegetables is to make them grabbable. As soon as I unload the groceries, I chop celery into sticks and toss them in a Ziploc bag. I also rely on bagged salads, baby carrots, and sliced mushrooms. My family loves smoothies, so once or twice a week, I'll whip up a strawberry-banana smoothie for us.
Jill's Recipe for Strawberry-Banana Smoothie:
1 quart of strawberries with tops taken off
1 medium banana peeled
2 cups ice
1 cup milk (you could also use Soy milk or Almond milk)
1 small container yogurt, approximately 1/2 cup (I like vanilla flavored Greek yogurt, but I'll use whatever we have)
2 scoops protein powder (you can omit this, but if you have protein powder, throw some in for extra vitamins and energy)
Put everything in a blender and blend until no chunks remain. This makes a big batch and should serve 3-4 people. I don't have nutrition stats because it depends on what type of milk, yogurt, and protein powder you use, but it's a great source of fruit and calcium. Also, feel free to substitute other fruits in. We use blueberries, peaches, or more bananas. It's fun to experiment!
If you have children who turn their nose up at the idea of fruit smoothies, keep having them try it. My kids didn't jump up and down the first few times I had them try it, but they love them now. Sometimes we just have to make healthy food accessible and normal for them.
Adding more produce to our diets increases our productivity.
How? My unscientific explanation is below.
I've already been munching on more celery sticks and strawberries, and you know what? They're really good. After I eat them, I feel better about myself because I know I'm doing something positive for my health.
When I feel better about myself, I get a surge of energy. I might use this toward my work-in-progress, and since I'm feeling great, I get more done. Or I may capitalize on the energy burst by exercising. If I walk outdoors, ideas pummel me. Again, this is fantastic for my writing.
Every drop of increased energy adds to the feeling we are capable. Capable people, or those who feel that they are for whatever reason, are more willing to take chances to get what they want.
In other words, each step we take toward improving our health adds to our confidence.
So there you have it. Eat your produce to improve your productivity!
What is your favorite healthy snack?
Have a lovely Monday!