Are You Protecting Your Strongest Asset as a Freelancer?

BUZZ!! Time to make the doughnuts! (And if you don’t remember that commercial - Google it.) What’s the first thing you do?

Reach for your coffee? I reached for my Mountain Dew. It was my fix. Not a fan of hot drinks, it’s been the first thing in my hand ever since I was old enough to drive. I’d hit the convenience store every morning before school.

But today, that’s changed.

Thanks to a report by AlterNet, I’ve become painfully aware that Mountain Dew has been killing my writing - well, killing my memory, which is killing my writing. NOTE: By the time of this posting, it’s now my second day without a Dew and I feel cleaner, clearer and more focused!

The Culprit

As freelancers, we’re busy. We work hard 24/7. The last thing we want to do is spend time making lists, shopping, prepping and cooking the Positive Food Energy we need. So we chug sweetened coffee to stay awake. Eat candy bars, chips, anything within reach so we can fill our bellies without wasting time.

You’ve been there before. You had Mac N Cheese for lunch, then felt the pangs of hunger an hour later. So you scarfed down a bag of cookies to try to satisfy that hunger. You did all this nibbling while sitting at your desk, wondering “What was I doing again?” or “Damn writer’s block! Augh!”

Did it ever occur to you that your insulin levels were the culprit behind your blank screen? (Click to Tweet, please- Thanks!!)

It didn’t occur to me.

But it’s possible - even probable - if you consume lots of sugary or starchy snacks, foods and drinks, like I did, that insulin resistance is causing your inability to think clearly.

Thanks to my overconsumption of sugary crap, my memory has been flying south for a while now. I used to blame it on Mommy Brain. But studies show that it may not be that.

See, taking in too much sugar builds an insulin resistance in the body. And insulin is what regulates neurotransmitters that are essential to learning and memory, as well as function and growth of blood vessels. Those blood vessels are what carry oxygen and blood to your brain. And when your brain can’t get them, how you think is directly effected (in other words, you can’t think clearly; you can’t remember as much.)

And a lifetime of this is what they think may contribute to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Technically, our diets are killing our brains and our ability to think, causing disease and faster aging.

The American Diet

The old American diet promotes processed and starchy foods, sugary treats and sodas. When you envision the meal of your dreams, is it chicken and broccoli or is it pizza and soda? Do you snack on fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds? Or do you snack on Doritos and Oreos?

We’ve let our marketing industry dictate our food choices. The commercials focusing on family times around the table full of pasta or pancakes make us long for the connection those foods obviously bring. While we know that magic doesn’t come from jar.

The poor choices we’ve been making are leading us to obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

And as a freelancer, that diet is going to eventually impact your business.

Choose a new diet.

Choose Wisely

Choosing a diet that’s low in starches and sugars can help clear your mind again. The New American Diet by Men’s Health shed new light on old food habits and introduces the new way of eating. Jonathan Bailor’s Smarter Science of Slim diet or the Paleo diet are two other great alternatives.

I’m not here to tell you NOT to eat breads and pastas, but to limit them. Personally, I’m all about the Mediterranean ways of eating and bread's always around, but by eating 1/2 a loaf of pita instead of 2 loaves, I’m preventing my body from shooting up the sugar levels that will, in turn, shoot up my insulin levels; keeping me clearer and more focused.

When you’re working on major projects all day, you can’t afford to make poor food choices. The proof shows up in your products. Content that doesn’t compel is content that doesn’t get shared; content that isn’t shared doesn’t bring back repeat customers.

As a freelancer, you owe it to your health, your business, and your clients to stay focused and aimed directly at creating great work. Without that clarity, your bottom line is going to dwindle.

So make your food choices to reflect your goals. (Click to Tweet, please:) Thanks!)

Easy Meal Ideas

After a little research, I’ve come up with three menu ideas that will help you clear out the gunk in your system to help you function and formulate awesome work that will boost your freelance business profits. **Disclaimer: I'm not a nutritionist, please use common sense and consult a physician before making any dietary changes. :)

Day 1: Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, strawberries, and goat’s milk or cheese Lunch: Salmon, spinach, and green tea Dinner: Chicken, Salad with cucumbers dressed in olive oil and lemon juice, and watermelon for desert Snacks: Walnuts, fruit, veggies

Day 2: Breakfast: Oatmeal (NOT the fast cook kind), blueberries, pecans Lunch: Tuna on a bed of kale with avocados, dark chocolate for desert Dinner: Lentils and spinach soup with tomato, onion and garlic salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil Snacks: Sunflower seeds, fruits, veggies

Day 3: Breakfast: Green Smoothie, whole wheat toast (or not if you’re anti-grain) Lunch: Goat’s cheese and chicken parm, edamame, and green tea Dinner: Lean sirloin steak salad Snacks: Nuts/seeds and fruits/veggies or Greek yogurt

Note: You may need to adjust according to your nutrition needs. And you’ll need to drink your designated amounts of water each day.

There you go: A clean, filling three-day menu that will help you focus on your work again!

If you’re a big brain food foodie, let us know in the comments what your faves are!

Thanks for reading and have an awesome week! Tania

PS If you want your freelance life and your family life to sing in unison, sign up for updates and get a FREE Focus Book to help you conduct your symphony! (The little box is at the top of the page:) )