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You’ve probably experienced what it’s like to be around someone who is “hangry.” In fact, they might even tell you that they are feeling that way as an excuse for their behavior and you might experience it too. More than being hangry, work-at-home moms need to think about how their diet affects their energy levels and therefore their productivity. And if your child is eating the same foods as you (which I highly recommend for productivity), your child’s behavior could suffer due to the foods you’re both eating.
Work-at-home moms and carbs
If you’ve made it a habit to start your day with empty carbs like a bagel, pancakes or other heavy carbs, your productivity might suffer. Learn more about the glycemic index and how it affects the value of the carb.
The glycemic index provides an indicator as to the carbs’ effects on your glucose. Some carb types spike your glucose and then make it drop off drastically shortly thereafter. When that drop happens, you might find yourself feeling sluggish and unproductive.
When selecting foods rich in carbohydrates, look for those carbs to also be fiber-rich or high in fat or acid. Fiber, fat and acid all help your body slow the process of absorbing the carbs, which helps you avoid that drastic drop-off.
Caffeine vs. water for productivity
Work-at-home moms who start to feel fatigued as the day wears on might turn to another cup of coffee. I know I do. But water might be more effective in helping you find a jolt of energy. The human body consists of 60 percent water. To function properly, it needs a good balance of water and nutrients. When you ignore this need, your body starts shutting down and making you tired or sluggish.
So before you brew that pot of coffee, drink an eight-ounce cup of water or more. Give it about 30 minutes to take effect. Sometimes the idea of coffee just sounds good in the afternoon. But before I pour another cup, I always count how much water I’ve had. If it isn’t at least one of my 32-ounce bottles, I bypass the afternoon coffee. And if I worked out already that day, I have to have had more than the 32-ounce bottle.
When protein is missing from your diet
Your body needs three types of nutrients to keep you energized and going: fats, protein and carbs. Some people even find they need negligible carbs in their diet to feel there best (if you’re one of those, check out the keto diet).
Many breakfast foods, such as cereal or toast, lack the protein your body needs to start the day off right. So instead of reaching for those easy foods, make some eggs to load up on protein. Eggs or Greek yogurt are my go-to breakfast foods, and my son loves them too! I make up a dozen scrambled eggs on the weekends or on Monday and then only have to clean one pan and enjoy the benefits all week long.
I’m so guilty of mindless snacking. My favorite afternoon snack is tortilla chips with shredded cheese on top. But what my body probably needs more are fruits and vegetables because I generally finish the day with only two servings.
I do a good job planning out our breakfasts and lunches, but I’m not always great at planning out our snacks. On the days that I do, we get our nutrients that help us feel energetic all day long.
Snacks that actually promote energy include:
- Spinach (see my recipe for a green smoothie you and your child will love)
- Dates (I posted a recipe for how to make healthy granola bars using dates and my toddler loved them!)
- Chia seeds (sprinkle your Greek yogurt with these)
- Avocado (gotta love those healthy fats!)
Designing your work-at-home mom (and child’s) diet for productivity
The key to productivity could be in your diet and your child’s diet. To help get more healthy fruits and veggies in my son’s diet, we recently tried a Yumi subscription.
Yumi offers organic baby and toddler foods that teach your child to enjoy eating well. The small-batch baby food delivers a high-fiber meal or snack and no added sugar. The goal is to teach children from a young age to eat healthy foods without the hidden sugars that are in many baby foods.
The subscription introduces your child’s pallet to a wide variety of fruits, veggies and nutrients. And as your child grows, so do the foods that Yumi sends. It’s all curated and sent directly to you at intervals of your choosing.
In fact, some of my personal favorites from the subscription were the finger foods and snacks. I’m waiting for Yumi to start bagging and selling their beet puffs for adults. These little puffs are positively delicious and offer more nutrients and a healthy option than potato chips. But they’re just as easy to open and serve.
Having the right foods and snacks in the house for both you and your child will help you make good choices. Avoid junk foods and foods you know don’t help you be a productive work-at-home mom.
Your diet is probably not the number one thing you think of when you worry about your productivity, but it could be a huge aid in getting more done in a limited timeframe.