Tired and unable to concentrate? Try real food.

You can head off a variety of ills simply by eating well. After all, the quality of the fuel is directly linked to your energy, focus and even the nature of your sleep. Just ask my colleague, nutritionist Frances Holmes. She and I share the philosophy that a mindful, holistic approach to nutrition is the foundation for a healthier, happier life.

That’s why I’m hosting a special, no-cost nutrition workshop this month at my San Rafael office. Frances will share why and how you can boost your health with delicious, super-nutritious foods. I invite and encourage you to join us on the evening of Tuesday, April 26. (details below) As a preview to the workshop, Frances offers a few tips for combating low energy, lack of focus and sleep disruptions:

1. Breakfast is for winners. Eating in the morning gives you a two-fer, a boost in both energy and focus. For best results, make sure you get enough protein, such as:

  • Eggs

  • Good quality protein powder in a smoothie

  • Leftovers from the night before (doesn’t have to be breakfast food)

  • Nut butter on toast with sliced apple and cinnamon

  • Handful of raw nuts and a small pear or apple

  • Cottage cheese and fruit (yogurt has too little protein and too much sugar)

2. Slay the afternoon slump.

Energy and focus plummets around 4:00 in the afternoon. To ward off the blahs, first we need a metabolically balanced lunch. If you lean more toward carbs without protein or fat, you send blood sugar crashing like a surfer’s wave. When your energy starts the afternoon spiral, think of satisfying, non-sugared snacks:

  • Half an avocado sprinkled with sea salt

  • Rice cake with a slice of turkey and avocado

  • Mini shake with coconut milk and protein powder

  • Hummus and raw veggies

  • Nut butter on an apple

Consider that many times we feel hungry when we’re actually dehydrated, which triggers an inability to focus. By all means, drink a cup of water or herbal tea with your snack. 3. Pull the plug and eat more protein for better sleep. Blue light from an electronic screen affects the pineal gland and decreases melatonin production, the hormone you need for restful sleep. So if you’re texting, watching TV or checking emails right up until you crawl into bed, chances are good you’re not getting the required seven to nine hours of high-quality sleep. Instead, unplug and start slowing down to get in a quiet, comfortable mode an hour before bedtime. Read a book or have a cup of non-caffeinated tea to gently give your body the signal that it’s time to rest. Aim to be asleep by 11:00, so you’ll be in rejuvenating REM sleep by one a.m. Because your brain keeps working overnight, eat a well-balanced dinner with plenty of protein to prevent a blood sugar dip that might awaken you. We’re looking forward to seeing you and answering your questions at the workshop. Here’s more about the event and how to RSVP Workshop: Energy and focus through healthy foods About Certified Nutrition Consultant Frances Holmes About Holistic Chiropractor Dr. Dan Smith

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