As a recently anointed entrepreneur & CEO at Qua Nutrition, my team has set about to change the way a person eats. In Latin, Qua means- “In capacity of”. So we set out to help people discover their eating capacities. Changing people’s lives is part of our business, but as an entrepreneur preaching as Nutrition coach was much easier than practising.
After 6 months of starting up, my cholesterol levels shot through the roof and my vitamin D levels plummeted. This happened because of high stress levels and bad eating habits. Workload, time pressures and constant indoor meetings had me thinking and a random blood test woke me up.
I then set about restructuring my work ethic and Wellness ethic. Why and How?
In the process of coping with the stress of attaining success, most entrepreneurs and corporate employees forget to pay heed to their nutrition. When nutrition is not addressed correctly, it leads to a range of health problems which ultimately affects the performance at work.
Entrepreneurs have several situations to deal with within a short duration of time and good nutrition plan should not be cumbersome to follow. With good nutrition comes selection of the right foods and maintaining a reasonable (2 to 3 hours) time gap between meals. By doing this, you ensure that your body has adequate nutrition throughout the day to keep you alert and well focused on your tasks. Small frequent meals also ensure that your metabolism is improved to ensure better utilization of the food you eat.
Here are a few things you that helped me and might help you:
- Small meals at 11 am and 4 pm: Dry fruits and nuts like almonds, figs, dates, walnuts, apricots and raisins and fresh fruits are good snack options between meals. These have a high fibre, vitamin and mineral content which increase satiety and also help replenish your micro-nutrient stores.
- Lunch, Dinner and Snack: Portion size is another area of concern. Contrary to the “eat three large meals a day” idea, it is better to split up these large meals into smaller ones through the day. Controlling your portions for breakfast, lunch and dinner will not be too difficult if you a snacking healthy at regular intervals.
- What foods should you choose? Most entrepreneurs will have a very few opportunities to enjoy a packed meal from home. Choosing to eat a salad with low fat dressing and a brown bread or whole wheat bread sandwich is a much better option than fried, greasy foods from a nearby fast food joint. Curd Rice was a healthy option but the white rice made me sleep in the afternoon. So I split my curd rice at 12 noon and 3 pm, eating a quick 3 mins lunch and getting back to work. Carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals should be featured in all 3 main meals of the day. If you are conscious of this while making food choices, your body will get sufficient nutrition to maintain good health. Grains are a source of carbohydrate, milk products and legumes provide protein and fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Get a Nutritionist to make your schedule. With this knowledge you will for sure practice at least 50% of what she says!
- Fruits like apple, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, strawberry, watermelon, plums, kiwi, papaya, peaches, pears, pomegranate and strawberries are known as negative calorie foods and help in burning some of those extra calories. Likewise, drinking green tea three to four times a day will help speed up your metabolism and burn a few extra calories.
- Exercise is also plays a key role in maintaining good health. Agreed, entrepreneurs are extremely busy individuals and including at least an hour of exercise throughout the day will be extremely beneficial. This can be broken down into smaller exercise slots of 30 minutes twice a day to obtain the same benefits of an hour of exercise.
As a Nutrition Coach my parting thought to all Entrepreneurs- You have to be a FORMULA I Driver of your business. Your body is your race car. You may be able to do some quick laps but without proper fuelling (food strategy), intelligent driving( portion control) and servicing break (Rest & Exercising), you may just not be the best driver for your business causing your entire team to spin off the race course.
About the Author: Ryan Fernando, Performance Nutritionist and Weight Management Expert, Qua Nutrition