When you are an entrepreneur there is a temptation as I have said before to overwork and to avoid doing the basics as your mind focusses totally on one project or skips from one to another to another.
We have talked about stopping and thinking but nutrition is also important. How many times do we hear the, “Oh I didn’t have time for lunch” mantra. Now here is Spain traditionally lunches have been long, drawn out and quite often boozy affairs accompanied by cigars and lots of coffee. This obviously doesn’t fit with modern entrepreneurial methods either because the temptation to have the famous Spanish siesta later becomes overwhelming.
A mid point is needed and in that mid point it is important to make sure that the fuel being put into your body will serve you well for the rest of the day. So what do you need to make sure you get into your body. As an ex sports therapist and nutritionist I tend to know implicitly but often don’t follow practically.
1) Fruit and Veg: If you can get your 5 a day then great. My target on a normal day are ten different varieties of fruit and vegetables. Here in Spain that is relatively easy if you are eating at home because of the huge variety available at all times of the year. In other countries it may not be so easy. I should imagine that the depths of winter in Russia may have slightly less choice.
2) Proteins: Make sure that your protein intake contains all of the amino acids to get the more complex proteins into your system even if you are vegetarian. Again, in Spain being a veggie is nigh on impossible if you are going to be eating out a lot and want to maintain a balanced diet. In other countries it is easier in this case.
3) Liquids: I don’t mean wines, spirits and beer although everything in moderation… To keep yourself alert and also stave off hunger pangs during the day make sure to always carry a bottle of water round with you, especially if the weather is hot. I go through around 4-5 litres just from bottles of water in the summer just to keep hydrated. Your energy level at the end of the day is much higher when you are well hydrated.
4) Sweets: Avoid if at all possible. When having the infamous Menu of the Day go for the fruit option even when the Cheesecake looks ever so much more appealing. Sweets will generally increase your blood sugar levels greatly then plummet you down in mid afternoon needing to eat again. Avoid this with management of your blood sugar levels. If you need to know more about how to do that just Google “Glycemic Index” or “Glycemic Load” and read about it.
5) Stimulants: Carbonated drinks, caffeinated coffee, large quantities of chocolate… They are addictions which are very difficult to overcome. Try to go cold turkey if you are addicted to Pepsi Max for example. It may have no sugar but the caffeine kick is still there.
So there you have it the basics of a decent way to eat. Obviously things are much more complex on the ground, you eat out and the accompanying vegetable in Spain may well be three chips, but try henever you can to start with the mixed salad. From that you can already get quite a few of your 5 or 10 a day.