Eat to Excel: Diets for Innovation and Happiness

By: Olympia Auset

What you eat directly affects your mind. The more balance our internal state, the more juice we can devote to creative ingenuity. We all know what it’s like to eat so much we feel sleepy, or how hard it is to concentrate when something upsets the stomach, but how do our everyday diets impacts our performance? Here are some tips that will help you fine tune your diet to tap into your genius.

Understanding Digestion

The body’s hardest job is digesting food everyday so eat foods which are lightly digested, but full of energy! In a lifetime, digestion consumes so much energy! Eating easily digested foods can add years to your life.

Grains, animal products, and processed foods require a lot of energy to break down, but do little to build you back up.

Raw fruits and vegetables give us the most nutrients, and require the least amount of digestion. Start your day with smoothies, juices, and light meals to increase your energy.

Photo by: Brenda Godinez Source: https://unsplash.com/search/chia?photo=MsTOg6rhRVk

Photo by: Brenda Godinez

Source: https://unsplash.com/search/chia?photo=MsTOg6rhRVk

Which Foods Do What?

FOCUS

  • Cinnamon Cinnamon has long been used in incense to increase the sense of focus in a room, and eating it can have similar effects. Combining herbs like clove and peppermint in smoothies and teas is a great way to stay alert.
  • Spirulina, Chlorella, and Blue Green Algae these powders are ancient single cell organisms which have been around since water first appeared on the planet. How’s that for a super food? Adding these to salads, bars, and smoothies gives an incredible boost to your mind: spirulina is great brain food, chlorella brings oxygen to your cells, and Blue Green Algae is an incredible mood booster.

ENERGY

  • Chia seeds are a great way to boost your energy. It is said that ancient Incan warriors on long journeys would derive more than 24 hours of strength from eating just a handful of chia seeds. In Born To Run author Christopher McDougall notes, “In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone.” You can add chia seeds to energy bars, make delicious puddings, blend them into juices and smoothies, or drink them in water. Leave chia seeds with water in a glass jar overnight, then enjoy the next day.
  • Ginger is awesome way to keep your mental and digestive fires going. Great ways to enjoy ginger are in fresh ginger teas, by steeping fresh mashed ginger in hot water, in fresh pressed juice, or in stews. Juice Served Here makes an amazing apple lemon ginger blend.
  • Juicing is a great way give your body plenty of energy. Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead (excuse the dramatic title) offers great insights into why this works and is also inspirational for anyone looking to live out their best health.

CALM

  • Unwinding is just as big a key to productivity as energizing yourself. In our times of rest and relaxation, we build up the energy needed to evaluate our day, rejuvenate our cells, begin fresh and strong the next day.
  • Chamomile Chamomile has been used for centuries as a sleep aid, it helps to calm the body and mind at the end of the day. German Chamomile is very soothing. You can drink it alone in a tea or combine it with other herbs. You can get loose organic chamomile and other herbs is in the bulk section at a co-op store.
  • Lavender is also a mood lifter, being known for anti-depressant qualities. Adding fresh lavender to your surroundings, blending dried lavender into teas and smoothies, and placing lavender oil into energy bars and other recipes brightens the taste of dishes beautifully
Photo by: Jessica Ruscello Source: https://unsplash.com/search/lavender?photo=sTp4hghr4F4

Photo by: Jessica Ruscello

Source: https://unsplash.com/search/lavender?photo=sTp4hghr4F4

Is Organic Important?

For the best results, it’s important to keep ingredient quality in mind. In applying lifestyle advice, we sometimes sell ourselves short. Fresh conventional ginger, for example, is notoriously known to pack less of a punch and might not produce the desired effects when used.  

A 343 study review by The British Journal of Nutrition confirmed that organic foods are more nutritious than conventional foods. The best way to understand this concept however, is to learn through experience, taking careful note of how you feel when using organic vs. conventional foods.

How do you eat to stay innovative? Do these ideas seem easy to integrate in your daily routine? Let us know if you already use some of these ideas, and whether they work for you!