Creativity and Diet: 5 tips

One of my favorite places to be creative and write on this planet is a local Coffee shop here in Redondo Beach, California. Big cozy chairs, lots of collaboration going on around me and best of all is the constant access to treats and refreshments. Coffee, croissants, bagels and cakes. Everything the creative needs to have an efficient and productive day…or is it??

The food we put into our body is vindictive to the way we feel, think and act. High energy coffee paired with quick energy simple carbohydrates gives us the rush we need in the moment while ignoring the incessant demand our creative lifestyle needs to function. The most optimum creative production setting is apparent when harmony exists between mind, body and spirit. These three factors play into our ability to find that muse and derive productivity out of playful creativeness. Those simple sugar pastries and caffeine rich espresso shots do not aid the productive and creative demands needed to master our work day.

While working towards a creative goal we need to ensure that productivity rules the day. In order to ensure that our mind, body and spirit is up to the task at hand, these 5 simple diet tips will ensure that the body is nourished to support the mind and enable the spirit.

Replace Simple with Whole Grains

Sitting at the local Starbucks, hearing my belly grumble is the #1 inhibitor of creative energy. We stop all mental functions to focus on the task at hand, “food!”. We want food with staying power, that will keep us full until that next meal. Many of us reach for the simple starches to satisfy our cravings because that is what most coffee shops offer.

The key to this problem is being prepared for that moment of hunger. Instead of purchasing the croissant or pastry, grab the whole grain bagel. Instead of purchasing the brownie or cookie, pack a healthy granola bar rich in fiber and whole grains.

Whole grains take much longer for the body to process into energy than simple sugars. Therefore, your body will have the needed energy over a period of time rather than just at that moment in time.

Fruits and veggies

One of my favorite food items to skip throughout my day is the fruits and veggies. Wouldn’t we all just be happier with meat and carbs? I know I would be. The issue here is that most of the time when your body is craving food, it’s because your body is craving vitamins and nutrients.

Many of the important day to day nutrition we need come from greens and fruits. The best way to prepare for this demand is to pack accordingly. Most sit down work venues have little to offer in the way of fruits and veggies therefore my daily routine is packing a variety of options for my day to day vitamin intake.

I will keep some tangerines, apple slices, dates, raisins, mini carrots, figs and a light spinach salad in my fridge at home to plan ahead for the week. Anytime that its 3pm and my body is telling me that I am hungry, I reach for an apple or tangerine to satisfy the need for nourishment.

Nuts and Olives

One of the most under-rated snacks while working are nuts and olives. Having the necessary healthy oils in our diet can help our brain function. Cashews, peanuts and almonds are great sources of healthy oils and protein. Olives are amazing sources of healthy oils and vitamins.

Many grocery stores sell the single serving packs of nuts and olives which are wonderful for work time consumption. A lot of work related snacking comes in the form of salty and savory snacks which can be easily replaced by some olives and nuts. Stop reaching for that bag of chips and pack a bag of nuts instead. 

Stay Hydrated, Water is King

You would think that 16 years into the 21st century and humans would have figured out how important water is to the daily routine, many haven’t. Water performs almost every function within your body and ensures that we bend instead of break when pushed to an extreme. Liver, heart, lungs, brain, eyes…. All of these core components to your daily productive routines depend upon water to function.

In today’s age I don’t see very many people arguing about the benefits of water. The issue arises in the habit to intake enough water throughout your day to meet your needed requirement. The best response to an unhealthy water-less habit is to purchase a high quality water bottle and treat it like your new born baby. Bring that thing with you anywhere you go. Coffee shop, client’s office, the gym, your mom’s house and the local drinking well.  Keep it filled and when your body is craving something to drink, enjoy the greatest gift we humans have available to us, H2O.

Protein in the morning

Another nuance that I learned in my early years of working with creatively focused individuals is in how much of the day they would spend pushing their minds to the limit. Most of the time it was from dawn until dusk and carried on throughout their dreams. The best of us never stop being creative and are able to keep a consistent flow of new ideas coming to fruition.

The best way to prepare for a long day of creative labor is to eat a large and healthy meal early in the morning to start your day. Specifically, you should intake a significant amount of your daily value of protein at the start of the day so that your body and mind are well prepared for the long road ahead. Cut out the bowl of cereal in the morning and switch it with eggs, toast and cottage cheese. Stop it with the bagel and cream cheese and eat yogurt, granola and a protein shake.