Life has gotten so busy over the last 6 months or so, as I’ve been working to start a business from my home. I wake up, and by 8:30, I want something sweet for breakfast, like a doughnut or pumpkin cookies. I wash it down with a Coke, but I take my supplements faithfully!
By 10:30, I’m really hungry, so I have another Coke. At noon, I’m hungry again, but I’m in the middle of work, so I just grab a mug of Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup, because it’s warm and I love to eat all the noodles at the bottom of the cup.
In the afternoon, I get hyper-focused on what I’m doing on the computer, so I munch on Chex Party Mix, and I don’t usually eat much supper. I just forget about it because I’m so busy, then I don’t feel like making anything.
I know these are terrible habits, and I’m hoping you can help me. I have a wheat grinder, and I know what nutritious food is. I used to eat so much better. I’ve just been so busy!
Okay, dear friend, let me help you break out of this mold.
Plan Your Breakfast Before Going to Bed
Simply choosing what you’re going to eat tomorrow morning, and making sure you actually have it in the house, will get your brain in the right frame of mind. (You have to boss yourself around sometimes.)
If you don’t have much appetite in the morning, or you’re only wanting sweets, you’re going to have to really be insistent with Ol’ Self. “Self,” you’ll have to say, “I know you want something sweet, but you’re going to have to eat some protein first! Now, no fussing. Open up…”
Then be ready with some protein, like an easy scrambled egg, a fancier omelette with some veggies (cut up the night before), or a yummy smoothie.
Be Picky about Your Caffeine
According to the late Dr. John Lowe, expert researcher on fibromyalgia and thyroid, caffeine is a healthy option that can make you feel a lot better. (I know, sounds crazy… but he’s got the research to back it up!)
However, not all sources of caffeine are created equal. That Coke you’re serving up for yourself contains a lot more than caffeine — poisons that actually cause brain damage, which can explain that foggy feeling you’re fighting all day.
If you need some caffeine, choose some top-quality coffee or tea. (You can read more about how I brew a delicious cup of coffee by clicking here.)
A Chicken in Every Pot
Chicken soup, made at home and bubbling on the back of your stove all morning, will entice you to eat better around noontime. Once in awhile, make a batch of homemade chicken stock. (It’s super easy, and you can find my recipe here.) Store it in jars in your freezer.
At breakfast time, pull a jar out of the freezer and place it in a bowl of warm water to defrost. When you take your 10:30 break from working, start making a batch of chicken soup (or whatever kind is your favorite.) It’s easy:
- Quickly chop an onion and cook in a little butter for a few minutes while you chop up some additional veggies for your soup (carrots, zucchini, celery, potatoes, etc.).
- Add your chicken stock and some salt to taste, along with the chopped veggies.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer on low while you get back to work.
- Right before it’s time for lunch, throw a handful of egg noodles in the pot, then slice a piece of cheese and butter up some bread and honey.
There! Lunch is served.
The Boy Scout’s Motto: Be Prepared for the Snack Attack!
When you’re working online, you do get hungry! (Isn’t it amazing how much energy is expended by your brain?)
Be prepared. Once a week, make some delicious but nutritious snacks, and store them in your kitchen “for such a time as this.”
My favorite snack ideas come from these three books:
Take Frequent Breaks
As I explain in my book, Time Management for Tired Women, an inability to stop working is a sign of being in extreme exhaustion. For instance, I explain that working too hard can cause the following problems:
- You probably have trouble getting physically started on tasks, even when you are inwardly motivated.
- You probably have trouble stopping tasks, even when you’re exhausted.
- You probably have trouble thinking clearly when trying to plan.
- You probably have trouble expressing your thoughts to others, even when you can hear them clearly in your own mind.
- You probably have trouble digesting your food, controlling your emotions, maintaining a consistent body temperature or blood pressure, resisting infections, responding to highly stressful circumstances, and many more things that are dependent upon the proper release and timing of hormones in your body (especially cortisol).
So what should you do? Well, I go into a lot more detail in my book, but here are some ways you can start to break this vicious cycle of fatigue:
- Choose restful, relaxing activities after dark.
- Choose a bedtime that allows you to be in bed no later than 10:30 p.m.
- Choose a wake-up time that is realistic for your stage of fatigue.
- Choose mealtimes that will take advantage of your daily cortisol production.
- Choose to eat snacks, even if you have to stop what you’re doing to take care of your body. Don’t forget your bedtime snack!
- Choose a variety of activities, so that you can alternate between periods of work and rest, physical and mental work, etc.
- Choose to rest for one full day out of each seven, keeping in mind your natural circaseptan (7-day) rhythms. Specific activities you should choose to avoid on your “sabbath” include cooking, hard labor, shopping, and creative pursuits that use a lot of your “energy points.” Spending time with and for others, especially in volunteer and caring roles, is especially refreshing after six days of concentrating on your own pursuits and agenda.
In a nutshell, you should plan to change your activity at least 10 minutes out of every hour. Set a timer so you don’t forget, then get up and talk a walk, dance around the room, play with the dog, clean the toilet, or chop up some veggies for tomorrow’s soup.
What ideas do you have to help my friend?
I look forward to reading your comments!