Yes folks, by now you are well aware that March is national Nutrition Month. I have been featuring Dietitians of Canada’s theme: eating well at work ‘Eating 9 to 5!’ This week’s focus is that afternoon fading ebb – the midday slump. Humanoids can only handle so much work, stress and screen time. It helps to plan ways to dump that midday slump, so read on!
1. Midday slump setting in? No need for caffeine! Get back up with energy-boosting habits.
Try these three healthy habits to help yourself skip the slump:
- Move it! Stand up during phone calls, walk to deliver messages instead of emailing, or do a few stretches at your desk.
- Grab a small snack. If you’re hungry, have a snack with carbs to fuel your brain and protein for longer-lasting energy. Dip carrot sticks in nut butter, or enjoy cottage cheese with fruit.
- Drink water. Staying hydrated helps you avoid that sleepy feeling. Add cucumber, lemon and mint to perk up your cup. Replenish often so you can keep on sipping before a slump sets in.
- Thirsty? Some sweet drinks are more like dessert. Swap your sip!
2. Did you know? There’s a big difference between a snack and a treat. Snack smart!
Snacking is on the rise in Canada. We’re typically twice-a-day snackers, with more than 34% of Canadians reaching for afternoon snacks to bridge the hunger gap.
Snacking can be healthy if you’re hungry between meals; however, there’s a difference between a treat and a snack. Treats, such as cookies, chips or chocolate, are low in nutrients and best saved for occasional enjoyment.
Dietitians recommend smart snacking! Choose small portions of nutrient-rich foods to stay energized and satisfied. Nutritious snacks include a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, whole grain crackers with cheese, yogurt with granola, or veggies with hummus.
3. Give your brain a boost with dietitians’ top 10 smart snacks to pack in your lunch bag.
Smart snacks are rich in nutrients, with carbohydrates to fuel your brain, fibre to fill you up and protein to help energy last longer. Pack these top 10 dietitian-recommended snacks in your lunch bag:
1. Whole grain crackers with a hard-boiled egg
2. Handful of grapes with a chunk of cheese
3. Veggie sticks with hummus
4. Apple slices with almond butter
5. Fresh fruit added to yogurt
6. Handful of nuts with dried fruit
7. Edamame and mint-infused water
8. Snap peas with black bean dip
9. Banana with peanut butter
10. Crunchy roasted lentils and green tea
4. Here’s the bitter truth about the sugar content of popular sweet drinks:
- A large (473 mL) specialty coffee with syrup and whipped cream has the equivalent of 17 sugar cubes.
- A large (541 mL) fast-food smoothie made with juice concentrate has as much sugar as 20 cream-filled chocolate cookies.
- A big (500 mL) sweetened bubble tea has the same amount of sugar as two cans of pop.
- A large (563 mL) coffee shop “double-double” has the same calories and more sugar than a chocolate glazed donut.
Swap your sweet sips for water, small smoothies made with fruit or plain lattes, tea or coffee.
Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.nutritionmonth2015.ca.