By Jess Pirnak, Registered Dietitian
Eating 9 to 5 is this year’s theme for nutrition month, and what an important topic. Since most people spend the majority of their day at work, we might as well eat our best while we’re there! Despite how well you’re doing, that 3:00pm slump can still hit hard and our heads think an extra cup of coffee will get us through the afternoon. But coffee doesn’t have to be the answer.
Too much caffeine can make you lose sleep, cause jitters, upset your stomach, and increase your heart rate, so Health Canada recommends that adults have no more than 400 mg of caffeine a day. Two cups (a total of 500 mL) of coffee a day actually puts you right at this amount, and a lot of people drink that for breakfast alone! So, what else can you grab instead of a caffeinated beverage?
Snacks that contain lots of fibre and protein can keep you satisfied, regulate your blood sugar and provide you with some much-needed energy! Try:
· Hummus with added hemp seeds and a variety of crunchy veggies like carrots, celery, cucumber or zucchini;
· Variety of nuts or seeds;
· Dried fruit like figs with peanut butter (sounds weird but it’s delicious);
· Smoothie with almond milk, flax seeds and a banana.
Even perking up your packed lunch with some tasty energizing options can make a difference to your energy levels in the afternoon. Try these quick, simple, and tasty make-and-take lunches from Dietitians of Canada:
· Layer black bean dip, avocado and peppery arugula on a rustic whole-grain baguette for a simple sandwich with big flavor;
· Pack hard-boiled eggs, cheese, fresh veggies, a few olives and whole grain crackers for a super snack-like lunch;
· Mix lentils, roasted sweet potato and red peppers, quinoa and a drizzle of lemony dressing for a protein-packed salad bowl;
· Toss light tuna, snow peas and grape tomatoes with leftover whole grain pasta, basil-filled pesto and a pinch of chili flakes – this dish is great cold or heated.
Not only will these changes get you over that 3:00 hump, but you’ll also have more energy to take the kids to the park after work or hit the gym for some ‘me’ time.
You might also like to read about preparing for the work week through Sunday meal prep.
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