When our goal is becoming the best version of ourselves and living each day at peak performance, it’s helpful to reframe how we think about food in our daily lives. Food is a drug delivery system for our brain. The food we eat is processed into energy and chemicals that our body including our brain runs on. Just as we wouldn’t willy-nilly take any drug we find without consideration of our health and adverse side effects, we shouldn’t eat any food just because it tastes good or is quick and available. We need to apply the happiness lesson we learned about mindfulness in how we approach our food. Food is essentially a powerful drug delivery system that affects our mood, cognitive ability and energy levels each day.

When one skips lunch your energy levels in your body decreases. Additionally, one’s concentration decreases and eventually so does our productivity. This is because the glucose levels in the bloodstream have decreased. Eating a balanced meal for lunch provides glucose for the body to maintain productivity for the rest of the day.

Watch your portion sizes. Eating too much food for lunch is associated with increased drowsiness in the afternoon. So the goal is to eat enough to nourish yourself but not too much so you don’t unnecessarily tire yourself out.

Balance your plate. Be sure to include protein and fiber in each meal such as well as non-starchy green and fresh vegetables like Kale, Romaine lettuce, organic tomatoes, and fruit like apples, cranberries, blueberries, and ripe bananas. A serving size of protein like fish such as salmon, herring, lake trout and mackerel are high in Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the brain. Organic chicken or beef are good sources of protein as well and portions of them should fit in the palm of one’s hand and not exceed that size.

Drinking soda should be avoided at lunch or anytime for that matter as essentially, it’s sugar water. Sugar is a toxic substance to the human body in all but the smallest quantities, and it’s found in almost every food sold today.  Drinking soda or eating a candy bar (essentially the same thing) might create a short term increase in energy but it leads to a quick “crash” of energy and feeling of fatigue and should be avoided. Diet soda’s are not much better as they use artificial sweeteners that are not digested and processed for energy in a healthy way by our body unless you find something sweetened with a natural plant based sweetener like Stevia.

Eat mindfully! And just as with breakfast do not sit in front of a television or phone watching the negative news of the day while you eat your lunch.  Either have a positive video playing or sit in silence and focus mindfully on each bite enjoying your food fully.  In fact it’s a great exercise to put your fork down after each bite so you can mindfully enjoy each and every bite of food and give your body the time it needs to experience satiation which is the sense of being full.

Experiencing huger or satiation takes time. This often takes fifteen minutes from the time we eat until the time our brain registers the reality that we are no longer hungry. Doing so you’ll find you get full sooner and tend to overeat less often, consequently you’ll have more energy and less fatigue!