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How to avoid that afternoon slump

I hope you've had a truly relaxing and indulgent festive season! and that 2016 brings you much joy, light and brightness.

Your holiday break however may have broken some of your daily routines and you’ve slipped into some not-so healthy habits that are affecting your energy and focus. So I’m here to remind you how to keep energised and productive and get the most out of your entire day!

Begin as you mean to go on, which means starting the day with a nutritionally satisfying breakfast. The standard coffee and a muffin are no more than a cupcake and supercharged milkshake, setting you up for a day of caffeine/sugar roller coaster of false highs and energy crashes.

Taking the time to prepare and enjoy a breakfast with quality protein and a healthy fat is one of life’s little energy secrets. It is also a great time for a green vegetable juice. Add back some pulp for fibre to slow the glucose release and stabilise blood sugars.

Make your coffee part of a meal and never drink it on its own. Caffeine not only gives a false sense of energy, it suppresses appetite only to come back with vengeance later in the day and leads to overeating.

Have a complex carbohydrate with your lunch. Many people, women especially, opt for a "light lunch" of chicken or tuna with a salad. Skipping a slow release carbohydrate like brown rice, lentils, bean soup or sweet potato can leave you feeling a flat and hungry mid afternoon. This is when you go snooping for afternoon snacks, which is fine if it was a bowl of steam greens lightly tossed in butter and salt …. more often, it’s more muffins, a coffee or chocolate bar.

For many, thirst manifests as mild hunger, so before you go checking out the cookie jar drink a full glass of water, wait for about ten minutes, and then see if you are still hungry. Sipping warm water throughout the day is an excellent hydrator.

When you feel sluggish but can’t take a nap, take a quick walk instead. Take a lap around the building, up and down the stairs a few times, or spend a few minutes stretching outside in the sun or in a meeting room. Deep breathing and blood circulating gives you a natural, wake up.

Mid afternoon is actually a great time for a scheduled break and a snack. Have healthy options to hand - stock a bowl of fresh fruit, a selection of nuts&seeds, veggie sticks with guacamole or hummus.

We are very visual beings, so keeping junk food and sweet treats out of sight and out of mind by keeping them out of site and out of arms reach!

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