The hours between meals can be hell for those of us who work from home. Temptation calls.
After writing or editing a couple paragraphs, our mouths begin to water for ice cream, a glass of wine, or cookies as a reward. Snacks can be comforting and are rituals for the majority of us. However, they can be harmful when we choose the wrong ones.
Unhealthy snacks can cause fatigue, increased hunger, weight gain, a decrease in productivity, and even depression.
It can be difficult to exercise and eat healthy when working from home, especially for writers. That is why it is essential to eat the right foods and choose delicious meals and snacks that fuel energy for the mind and body.
Luckily, there are healthy foods to go to as a reward. Choosing snacks to nourish the brain and body can enhance productivity, improve the mood, encourage weight loss, and decrease hunger pains. According to Lifegate, the sun’s energy becomes our energy through the food we eat. Therefore, natural food like vegetables, fruit, and protein are better for the mind and body than junk food.
As a freelancer, I struggled with binging on spicy food, pizza, and cookies and cream ice cream through the day. I have a strong weakness for these foods, but due to my rising weight issues while working from home, I knew I had to find alternatives.
I love Mexican food. Therefore, one of my favorite snacks is carrots dipped in white queso. When my sweet tooth hits, I love eating peanut butter with banana or apple, which curbs the appetite and helps with my alertness.
Below are 10 more delicious fuel foods for writers who want to be emotionally and physically healthy.
Nuts are high in protein and contain a low glycemic index, which is a system that ranks foods on a scale of 1 to 100 based on their effect on blood sugar levels.
Walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 supports the brain and nervous system and prevents cognitive issues such as sleep disorders, depression, and learning problems. It also provides an excellent boost of energy, which can increase alertness and concentration levels in the brain. Writers must have energy, remain alert, and have excellent concentration to do their work.
A co-author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Frank Hu, said following a study, “We found that people who ate nuts every day lived longer, healthier lives than people who didn’t eat nuts.”
Nuts are also simple to eat while sitting at the keyboard. However, it is essential to keep an eye on the serving size because it’s easy to binge too much and add to the calorie intake that leads to weight gain.
Blackcurrants contain vitamin C, which can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin C also helps the brain work properly and repairs nerve cells in the eyes. Writers tend to stay on the computer most of the day, which is a strain on the eyes. Maintaining eye health starts with eating healthy nutrients that contain vitamin C. It is also a great idea to rest the eyes from all those tiny words on the screen at least every 20 minutes.
Famous writer and television host, Martha Stewart loves blackcurrants and has been growing them for many years.
She says on her blog, “I love using them to make jams and jellies, tarts, and pies. They’re also very easy to freeze and store for later use. In addition, currants are among the most nutritious of berries. They’re packed with antioxidants, minerals, and loads of vitamin-C. Currants are multi-stemmed, hardy, fast growing deciduous shrubs that are easy to grow and easy to maintain.”
Blackcurrants can be somewhat sour by themselves. When cooked with a dab of honey and a few slices of fruit, they are quite delicious.
Broccoli does have a bland taste, and many people do not enjoy it. However, other delicious ingredients can spice up this healthy treat that contains vitamin K, which improves cognitive functions for the brain. These functions have to do with memory, problem-solving, and concentration, which are essential to writers for remembering deadlines, solving editing issues, and concentrating on getting work done.
The author of The 4 Pillar Plan and correspondent on the BBC program Doctor in the House, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, stated that the only vegetable people need to eat is broccoli. According to Dr. Chatterjee, gut bacteria begin feeding on the indigestible fiber from the broccoli after it reaches the colon and creates short-chain fatty acids. This leads to healthy gut bacteria and enhanced immune and bowel health. It is best for writers to have a healthy immune system to prevent sickness and digestive issues, as they interfere with deadlines when you have to visit the doctor.
For a tasty reward after hours at the keyboard, try adding a couple of tablespoons of light ranch or queso to steamed broccoli. Steaming broccoli is better than roasting it because roasting soaks out more of the nutrients. Additionally, garlic, chili flakes, olive oil, and other seasonings can add flavor.
Fatty acids support the heart and the rest of the body and must be absorbed through food or as supplements.Tuna, oily fish, sardines, salmon, lobster, crab, and trout all contain fatty acids. Fatty acids and the lean protein in fish are much healthier than high-carb meals. Protein kills the appetite, encourages weight loss, and provides energy and alertness, which are excellent for writers. While working from home, writers want comfort food and often grab something with high carbs like cookies or doughnuts, which leads to fatigue and increased hunger. Protein does the complete opposite.
According to Paul Greenburg, the bestselling author of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, he grew up eating many types of fish and experienced the healthy benefits in return. Omega-3s prevent multiple issues such as depression, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and even cancer. Snacking on these fatty acids with a few crackers or on a bed of lettuce with a light dressing is a high intake of fatty acids.
Everyone craves sweets now and then, especially those who work from home and may not have structured meal times due to meeting deadlines. The healthiest sweet delight to turn to is dark chocolate, and the darker, the better. Cacao is known to contain antioxidants that the brain and body require, but it should only be consumed in small measures. Too much can cause weight gain.
The author of Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast and registered dietitian nutritionist, Cynthia Sass, savors dark chocolate as a healthy treat. Sass combines it into a variety of fit treats.
“I love to chop dark chocolate squares and whip it into a smoothie,” Sass said. “This adds a healthy dose of good fat, minerals and antioxidants, and tastes amazing paired with any fruit, from frozen cherries to banana to fresh pear. Plus, I love savoring every sip and letting the little bits of dark chocolate melt on my tongue. And the chocolate perfectly complements natural seasonings, such as fresh grated ginger, ground cinnamon or fresh mint.”
Bananas and sweet potatoes contain loads of potassium. Bananas and sweet potatoes provide energy for the brain and sharpen focus because they contain vitamins B6 and C. Potassium especially supports blood pressure and bone strength, which are essential for writers. Stress can cause high blood pressure, and potassium can help with that. Writers need good bone strength for the hands because we spend most of the day typing at the keyboard.
Tiffany Rudd, a blogger with kids who loves to eat healthy through the day, created a recipe for bananas that includes only three ingredients. She combines oats, bananas, and peanut butter to create peanut butter banana bars for snacking. For a quicker snack, slice up a banana with peanut butter in a bowl.
Baking a sweet potato with a bit of light butter and cinnamon sugar sprinkles is good too.
Avocado is well-known for its nutritional value and ability to add extra flavor to multiple dishes. It is primarily known as the main ingredient in guacamole. However, many people eat it the fast, simple way by slicing it into chunks and seasoning it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Many people also add it to salads, corn, quinoa, or broccoli.
Research shows that avocado is connected to decreased chances of muscular degeneration and cataracts. Avocado is known to improve muscle and eye health, which is very important for writers who stare at the screen all day.
Danielle Paige, author of The End of Oz, loves to eat guacamole extra spicy with cilantro.
Olives are extremely rich with antioxidants, can prevent bacterial infections, and decrease oxidative destruction in the body. Olive oil and olives protect cholesterol from oxidation, balance cholesterol, and also help high blood pressure. For writers who are not very physically active throughout the day, it is important to maintain a good cholesterol level because it lowers the risk of heart disease and can prolong a life of writing.
Slice some olives up in a salad, eat them with tuna, eat them in a bowl, or have them with cheese or dried fruit.
Durga Chew-Bose, writer of the essay collection Too Much and Not the Mood, fills bowls with maraschino cherries or olives while writing. According to Chew-Bose, it’s not too messy and does not require her to do anything in between bites.
Kale is an extremely good source of vitamin C and antioxidants. In fact, one cup of raw kale has more vitamin C than an orange.
Vitamin C is best known for preventing sickness. Getting the flu or a cold can place an irritating roadblock on meeting deadlines and going through edits. Additionally, kale is very low-calorie, which is terrific for weight loss.
Kale chips are very popular. To make them, pour a little avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil on some kale, add salt, and bake it in the oven until it’s dry. Many people also add kale to their smoothies as a boost of vitamins and antioxidants.
The book 50 Shades of Kale by Dr. Drew Ramsey and Jennifer Iserloh made kale a popular food for writers in 2013. After the publication of their book, more writers began eating it as a favorite snack.
It is essential to drink plenty of water daily. Long-term dehydration can create trouble with concentration and thinking and cause issues with other bodily functions as well. For example, the skin can become dehydrated and more prone to wrinkles and skin disorders when the body does not have enough water. The kidneys, digestive system, and bowels will also begin not to function well.
Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, stated that it is best to drink water regularly throughout the day. Drinking water throughout the day prevents degenerative diseases such as heart disease, asthma, bulimia, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. In addition, other illnesses can be stopped and sometimes cured.
For writers, snacking between meals is hard to avoid. Food is comforting and rewarding. However, to stay productive and healthy and keep a health-balanced mood, a writer must eat the right foods.
Eating the wrong foods creates a drastic difference. It produces fatigue, crashes, burnout, depression, and weight gain, which leads to low self-esteem. It is simple to plan a snack schedule ahead of time to enhance productivity and health.
Where and how do you begin? Every writer is different. As for me, I started immediately and cleaned out the pantry. Some choose to start small. For example, some may begin by buying a few healthy food snacks like olives, bananas, or nuts without cleaning the pantry, and they gradually ease their way into a complete healthy diet.
To get into the habit of eating healthy, think of a goal you desire most, and work for it. For example, if you desire to be a great success through your writing career, shoot for the goal of fueling your mind to do your best writing each day. Think positively with motivation to be a better, healthier, and more productive you.
Mari Colham is a happily divorced domestic violence survivor and advocate, freelance reporter, and court reporter. She graduated with honors with an Associate's degree in Business Administration. She is a country girl from Louisiana who lives with her spoiled cat, Lil Man, binge watches the ID channel and LMN, reads crime novels, and loves to fish and ride four wheelers.