Presentation or important business meeting – what should your diet be?
Diet and Lifestyle plays a huge part in keeping calm and staying alert during a presentation or an important business meeting. If your diet is nutritionally deficient, chances are you will fuel more anxiety, and also the ability to stay alert, increase concentration and focus, whilst keeping your memory fresh to face the challenge.
Most of the one would reach for “energy uppers” like colas, coffee, tea, sugary foods and things which will stimulate their energy artificially. What one needs is to supplement natural levels of “serotonin” the neurotransmitter which supports a better mood, combats anxiety, helps with having high energy, fights fatigue, helps increase self esteem, enhances concentration, clears confusion, helps make decisions & helps with cravings. Coffee, Black tea, Colas (all regarded as stimulants) drives the artificial serotonin levels, which then produces a low and it’s a viscous cycle.
A nutritionally efficient diet before exams (implemented at best 3 weeks before) will help in better performance at the examination time. Also providing you with sustained sugars obtained through diet and natural levels of serotonin.
- Stick to a diet rich in whole grain (40% of daily volume consumption [DVC] such as brown rice, millet, nachni, jowar, and here are many others available) accompanied with beans (15% of DVC these include all dals whole & split, including whole beans), vegetables (30% of DVC emphasize all kinds), Soups (10% of DVC). Include brown rice at least once a day in your diet. These are considered to be “brain foods”. Stimulate your brain with grain!.
- Stay vegetarian if possible, this helps in lesser energy used up in digestion and more energy available to study.
- Avoid all soft drinks, colas, aeriated beverages, coffees & Indian black teas. These deplete energy. Stick to herbal or green teas if possible.
- Avoid sugar, commercial desserts and too much sweet. Again, these will cause you to get excessively wired as opposed to staying calm.
- Keep some nuts handy like walnuts & almonds when studying to munch on providing you with an instant burst of energy.
- Stay hydrated with water and liquids.
- Don’t stay awake late hours (preparing), instead sleep on time and wake up on time. Get 8 hours of sleep as this will enhance performance and keep energy levels up.
- Get some exercise, even if it is for 20 minutes. One asana which will help is Vrkshasana (tree pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose)- these 2 will enhance concentration while Shavasana will help in calming you down. A brisk walk always helps or a run. This will help to produce endorphins which will make you feel good the morning of your important day.
- Take breaks and just stare (candle-gaze), meditate, deep breathe or shut your eyes from time-to-time, to rest your mind before you sleep.
Here is a recipe for a morning breakfast
(1) Millet Upma: Serves 4
- 1 cup creamed barnyard/kodo/foxtail millet.
- ½ cup ghee or coconut cold pressed oil.
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds.
- 1 pinch hing (preferably organic).
- 5 curry leaves, fresh or dried.
- 1 small green chilli, chopped fine.
- 1 small onion, chopped fine.
- ½ tsp rock or sea salt.
- 3 cups water.
- Coconut and cilantro leaves for garnish (get either curry leaves or coconut).
- Roast the wheat or millet in a dry pan over medium heat till slightly brown, set aside in a bowl to cool. Boil in water 1 cup to 1 ½ cup water – keep ready.
- Heat a saucepan on medium heat and add oil or ghee, then the mustard and cumin seeds. When the seeds pop, add the other spices except the salt.
- Stir in the onions, cilantro, and chilli and cook till onion is browned.
- Add the salt and water, and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the roasted wheat or millet, and let it boil for 2 minutes while stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
- Turn down the heat and cover. Cook for 3-5 minutes for the wheat and 5-7 minutes for the millet.
- Garnish with grated coconut and cilantro.