Over the last week, I’ve been adopting a new diet, created for me by Colette Heneghan from Optimum Living. It’s about eating well and fueling my body and my brain for maximum productivity.
The first week has been a bit of a rollercoaster, proving that whilst there might be a science to eating well, it doesn’t automatically translate to feeling immediately wonderful.
My new diet cuts out all sugars. I think so much of our diet is ‘hidden sugars’: the sugars in white pasta and rice, the sugars in baked beans, cornflakes and a whole heap of processed foods that masquerade as vaguely healthy and the more obvious sugars we put in cups of tea or in biscuits, which we think of as ‘one little treat’ rather than as part of a huge mountain of sugar. So it’s no wonder that suddenly depriving my body of this sent me a bit shaky and gave me a horrible dull headache for the day.
Bad Food Withdrawal 1 Productivity 0.
Tuesday was an OK day. Nothing special. Like a nil-nil draw or an abandoned game. Nothing to report. I didn’t feel terrible but didn’t feel great, even despite the smugness of being two days into an amazing diet plan! But then Wednesday and Thursday I started to feel much better. So I’d say for those three days, two of them felt like great energy days: I was working reasonably long hours and feeling really energised all the way through.
Productivity 2 Food 1! Yay!
And then Friday. I don’t know if it was the summer heat, or whether it’s to do with the move away from such a carb-based diet to one more mixed with protein and carbs, or the fact that my lunch basically consisted of carrots and hummus, but all of a sudden on Friday afternoon I noticed I’d become ridiculously irritable. I couldn’t focus. I was stressed. I was also getting frustrated that my new diet was so restrictive that I was having to spend more time in the kitchen! It was a horrible and unproductive end to the week. So whilst I feel better for it…
Food 2 Productivity 2. A score draw.
Let’s see what the rest of the month brings. Not quite the instant results I was expecting, but I think I need to give it a few more days and review the situation from there. That said, it’s been great to review my diet. I’ve always thought of myself as fairly healthy and I eat pretty well, but I was still surprised at how much there was for me to work on and how different my diet over the last week has been.
A typical day…
Breakfast: Porridge, topped with sunflower seeds, raspberries, chia seeds. cup of ginger or lemon tea.
Mid-morning: An apple or banana
Lunch: A large salad – generally spinach, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, carrots, hummus, plus a tin of tuna or feta cheese. 1 “Brain Fuel” shake
Mid-afternoon: Nak’d bar, tea.
Dinner: White fish, sweet potato, steamed vegetables.