Growing a Small Business is Stressful and Can Be Hard on Your Health
I am thrilled to have a guest post today by Nutrition expert and former client, Jill West. As a small business owner, Jill understands the challenges of starting and owning a business and as a Certified Nutritionist, she has a practical and realistic approach to nutrition and health.I invited her to share how business owners and entrepreneurs can stay healthy with all the hard work and stress we endure!
5 Tips & Tricks To Stay Healthy While Growing Your Business
Small business owners are notorious for spending long, exhausting hours working in their businesses and on their businesses. There’s always more work to be done and making it easy for your business to take over your life, leaving barely enough time to eat, let alone work out. As difficult as it is to step away from your work, your business ultimately depends on you taking a break to take care of you and your health. These tricks will help you stay healthy while still growing your business:
1. Fill up your tank. Fuel your body after a long fast with a healthy breakfast. Skipping breakfast has been linked to increased insulin levels, cholesterol and blood pressure, all of which increase the risk of heart disease. This must-have meal gets fuel to the brain and organs, helping to increase energy, focus, concentration and memory – all good things when you’re running your business. Be sure to include at least 3 food groups as part of your breakfast meal to maximize the variety of nutrients you get. Here are a few must-have breakfast ideas:
** Yogurt + berries + nuts
** Eggs on corn tortilla + 8oz. milk
** Oats + banana + pumpkin seeds
** Cottage cheese + pineapple + whole grain toast
2. Make a lunch date — with yourself. It’s ok to throw together something quick, but make sure it’s healthy. How do you know it’s healthy? Visualize what I call “The Healthy Plate”: ½ of the plate Vegetables, ¼ of the plate Protein and ¼ of the plate Grains or Fruit. Getting a balanced meal containing protein, vegetables, and fiber (from grains or fruit) provides the energy and nutrients needed to power through the afternoon and prevents “brain fog”: low blood sugar that makes it difficult to focus or think on your feet. Throw together a baby spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and grated carrots, canned tuna, beans or leftover chicken and a piece of fruit and you’ve got The Healthy Plate. Some grocery stores have salad bars allowing you to whip up this quick, healthy meal in no time. Or make a big batch of vegetable-lentil soup to last the whole week. Quickly heat it in the microwave, combine it with a piece of fruit, and you’ll feel full and focused all afternoon.
3. Grab a Healthy Snack. If you feel those late afternoon cravings setting in, avoid the vending machine or fast food drive thru. When we feel stressed, the hormone cortisol rises, causing cravings for sugar. Instead of reaching for that candy bar or cookies, keep some individual servings of go-to snacks on hand, such as berries, nuts and seeds, yogurt and oatmeal. These foods increase the “feel good” hormone, serotonin, and will help prevent blood sugar swings so you can handle stress more calmly and effectively. If the dinner meal is likely to be late, add a protein choice to your snack to increase your “staying power”. Foods such as hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, Greek yogurt, beef jerky and nuts & seeds are great foods to add to a snack to keep you full and satisfied for several hours.
4. Move More. Speaking of stress, there’s no better stress buster than exercise! Both longer bouts and short segments of activity are beneficial, especially if your work involves sitting most of the day. Schedule walking meetings when possible and pace the room while talking on the phone. Take regular breaks from computer work to stretch, do sit-ups and pushups and walk a few blocks or around the building. The fresh air and short bouts of exercise get the blood pumping and help refocus your attention. For longer bouts of activity, schedule exercise on your calendar like any other appointment, sign up for classes at the gym or community center or commit to exercising with a friend who will help keep you accountable.
5. Work with a Coach. With all of the demands of running a business, the best of intentions can go astray. Setting goals for your health is just as important as setting goals for your business. With the help and support of a health coach, you can have the energy and good health that it takes to build a strong, thriving business.
About The Author:
Jill West, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Health Coach. She helps women separate nutrition facts from fiction so they can make lasting changes in their health, weight and energy. To learn more, visit www.jillwestrd.com