It’s easy to glow with good health on summer holidays, but when you return to work, it’s hard to avoid slipping into old habits. The Beauty Chef’, Carla Oates’* top tips to staying well in the workplace.
Spending Sunday afternoons planning, shopping and prepping your meals for the week means you’re much more likely to eat well all week. Organise smoothie ingredients into zip lock freezer bags, make a batch of overnight bircher oats or granola, pre-chop your dinner veggies and pack salad jars for lunch the night before. Being prepared by making healthy breakfasts and lunches will eliminate that trip to the local café where you may be tempted with not so healthy options.
2. Break the fast
A good breakfast comprises of good fats, protein and plant based carbohydrates. Try a smoothie at home and then take your second course (for example a boiled egg, bircher muesli or homemade granola dressed with yoghurt and berries) in a jar to the office. That way you should really feel nourished all the way through to lunch.
3. Keep healthy desk draw snacks
Avoid an afternoon energy crash, by making yourself a batch of The Beauty Chef’s Glow Raw Energy Bars or Chocolate Balls of Bliss. You can keep them in an airtight container in the freezer ready to grab one as you need it each day.
Upgrade your desk drawer snacks with a mix of herbal tea bags, such as:
Green tea for mental clarity and antioxidants
Peppermint to assist digestion after lunch
Chamomile to soothe frazzled nerves
Keep our protein powder on hand to mix with water or your preferred milk or some activated nuts and seeds for protein as protein helps regulate blood sugar and helps to avoid energy crashes.
4. Keep moving
Our bodies are simply not meant to sit for long periods. Sitting causes triple flexion, which is when our knees, hips and backs are flexed at the same time. Over time, exercise physiologist Damien Kelly says some muscles become tight and others weak, often resulting in a sore back. “The best and easiest partial remedy is doing 20-30 cobras in the morning and again at night,” he says. “This takes the spine into healthy extension and assists to rebalance and re-nourish the discs.”
Invest in a movement tracker to make sure you meet your daily movement targets. Aim for 10,000 steps a day for good health and 14,000 steps a day for weight loss. “It’s important that you don’t sit all day at work and then leave all steps to the end of day,” says Kelly. “It’s about changing habits. Move when you otherwise wouldn’t. Be on your feet. Feel the buzz of being active.”
Weave incidental exercise into your day wherever possible because it all adds up to better health. Simple acts like:
Taking the stairs rather than the elevator
Getting off the train one stop earlier and walking that little bit extra to work
Using your lunch break to take a walk or even a yoga session
5. Slip away for meditation
A 10 minute meditation session can help to recharge your mind mid-afternoon when your concentration may be starting to flag. Pop into an empty conference room or the local park for some Zen time. Studies show that meditation in the office can increase productivity and lower stress levels. Bring your positive vibes back into the office and spread that good energy around.
Staying hydrated not only helps keep you focused, but is essential for good health and glowing skin. Steep a pot of your favourite herbal tea overnight in the fridge and then pour it into your water bottle for a delicious iced tea to sip at your desk. If you have a wide-necked bottle (that’s easy to clean) add a tablespoon of chia seeds (for fibre, antioxidants and Omega 3 essential fatty acids). Or add a shot of The Beauty Chef’s Hydration Inner Beauty Boost which contains organic coconut water, aloe vera and lemon myrtle to help combat dry skin that comes from office air conditioning. Hydration Inner Beauty Boost also contains prebiotics and probiotics to improve gut health and boost your immune system.
7. Step outside
Founder of The Stillness Project Tom Cronin recommends spending your lunch hour away from computers, phones, air conditioning and fluorescent lighting. “If possible get into a park or amongst trees somewhere to rebalance,” he says. Studies reveal that your brain will actually get more of a break if you surround yourself in a nature filled space rather than an urbanised setting. Green environments are found to be a powerful stress-reliever and a great way to refresh the attention span.
8. Find your balance
To enhance your creative potential and productivity at work, try going for a dip in the ocean or breathing in sea air during the week. This will give you a dose of of negative ions, which help to increase levels of the happy hormone serotonin, relieve stress and boost energy. Cronin says, “Finding this balance between hard work, rest and health is the formula for a successful life.”
* Carla Oates has been researching, writing and teaching about organic beauty and health for the last 15 years; an avid beauty chef and formulator creating beauty products from foods in her kitchen and herbs from her garden. The Beauty Chef is an Australian business manufacturing inner health and beauty products.