Overcoming the temptation to eat everything in sight can be one of the biggest challenges when working from home. When your kitchen becomes your new break room and your pantry and fridge are only a few steps away, suddenly last night’s lasagna and a handful of cookies can look like a pretty solid choice for a mid-morning snack. Instead of stuffing your body with carbs, sugar, and caffeine, why not use this unlimited access to food as an opportunity to boost your immune system? Here are a few ways you can sneak some good-for-you vitamins and minerals into your daily routine, improve your overall mental and physical well-being, and sustain your productivity.
Morning Coffee or Tea: The next time you brew your morning pick-me-up, consider adding a sprinkle of powdered ginger on top. Ginger is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects, and can help keep your body’s immune system in check!
Breakfast: Make it a habit to incorporate some vitamins and minerals into your breakfast. It can be tempting to reach for a sugary doughnut or big bowl of neon colored cereal, but choosing complex carbohydrates and protein will help support your energy levels instead of causing you to crash. For a quick and easy breakfast that ticks all the boxes, try a roasted sweet potato topped with steamed spinach, a soft-boiled egg, half an avocado, and a sprinkle of your favorite BBQ seasoning blend. Sweet potatoes and spinach are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and the antioxidant powerhouse beta carotene. The egg provides protein, which helps your immune system with the production of antibodies to help fight infection. The healthy fat in the avocado acts as a wing-man to help your body convert and absorb all the good nutrients. You’ll feel full and satisfied, and ready to teleconference like a boss. (Snag the recipe on GlutenlessBuffalo.com, here.)
Mid-Morning Snack and Hydration: When your mind starts to wander and you’re ready for a snack, grab an orange, tangerine, half a grapefruit, or some pineapple. These fruits are chock full of Vitamin C and will help build and reinforce your immune system. They are also loaded with water, which will help you stay hydrated. Speaking of water, make sure you’re drinking lots of it. If water isn’t really your thing, try adding muddled fresh berries, sliced lemon and fresh basil, or sliced lime and fresh mint to give it a fun flavor and encourage yourself to keep the water flowing. Hydration is vital to maintaining your body’s ability to function optimally.
Fresh Air: It can be hard to distinguish between work and break times when you’re contained to the same environment, so be sure to notice the clock and allow yourself a few minutes of midday reprieve from your computer and phone. Go for a short walk to get some fresh air, enjoy a few minutes to yourself, and keep your cardiovascular system pumping. Moderate exercise releases endorphins and serotonin which improves your mood and cognitive function, and physical activity strengthens your immune system. Plus, a quick 20 minute walk can add up to 60-100 calories burned, which you can cash in for a guilt-free glass of wine or cookie later!
Lunch: Tempted to work through lunch? Skipping it can mean a crash in your glucose levels, increased sluggishness and moodiness, and a decline in productivity. Instead, gas your body up on something flavorful and nutritious. Leftovers calling your name? Great! Just make sure that if it’s something calorie and carb-heavy like chicken Alfredo, or pizza, you balance it with some food that provides vitamins and minerals too. If you’re dining on Alfredo, allocate yourself a small bowl of mostly chicken instead of pasta, and eat it with a side car of steamed veggies to fill you up with vitamins and minerals instead of carbs that will have you asleep on the couch in an hour. If cold pizza is pulling at your heat, eat one slice instead of 3, and pair it with a side salad or some veggie sticks and hummus. If you aren’t lucky in the leftovers department and have lots of odds and ends in your fridge but no lettuce, chop it up, toss it with some vinaigrette, scoop it up with crackers or tortilla chips, and you’ve got yourself a salad salsa. The more colorful you can make your meal, the better, as this increases your chances of filling yourself with a variety of vitamins and minerals you body needs to continue improving your immune system throughout the afternoon.
Afternoon Snack: For an afternoon snack, try a handful of almonds or some almond butter spread on sliced pears, apples, or pretzels. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E, which can help fight off bacteria and viruses. Other Vitamin E co-stars include avocado (guacamole, anyone?) and sunflower seeds. While you’re up, make yourself a cup of green tea, which is packed with flavonoids that contribute to germ-fighting. Bonus points if you sprinkle in some turmeric, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice.
The Virtual Happy Hour: Most experts agree that alcohol consumption, especially when done in excess, will only weaken your immune system. The good news is that most of those same experts will also agree that social interaction is vital to your mental health and well-being. So make yourself a cocktail, pour a glass of wine, and catch up with your comrades!
Andrea A. Tarshus, Esq. founded Tarshus Law Firm in 2015 to provide efficient, accessible, and fair General Counsel legal services to businesses and business owners.Tarshus Law Firm represents Western New York and Buffalo based businesses as well as large international and publicly traded corporations in industries such as: audio video ("AV"), products distribution, transportation and logistics, medical marijuana, marketing, social media, healthcare, and other sectors.
Andrea’s engagement with businesses regularly includes negotiating and executing favorable contracts, legal research and writing, project management, administering internal legal and operational controls, problem-solving, and strategizing.She enjoys working with business owners, C-suite executives, and company managers to create a comprehensive legal and business framework that supports operational efficiencies and strategies for growth.
This article is intended to be informational in nature, should not be relied upon by the reader without consultation with an attorney, and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and reader.