Keep Your Health Goals Stress-Free Even When Your Life Isn’t

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Healthy living isn’t always easy, but Carolyn Brown sure knows how to help! If you aren’t caught up on our exclusive three-part column with this superwoman nutritionist, get to reading ladies; you can learn how to keep bad health habits at bay while you have a bae AND learn how to keep your health and your social life balanced!

As a quick refresher, Carolyn Brown is a registered dietitian at Foodtrainers and also the voice of the refreshed blog. She has worked with a variety of clients to help them reach their weight and overall health goals, but she does it by implementing healthy changes into your lifestyle, rather than sacrificing your lifestyle for healthy changes… because after all, “you can live a healthy lifestyle without losing a social life.”

But, what if work is the one the stealing away your social life? We’ve all had those weeks where we are stressed to the max and working crazy hours, and unfortunately, that can take a huge toll on our health habits. Luckily, Carolyn has some health hacks for when the metaphorical “chill pill” just won’t cut it.

the void: first off, do you think choosing a healthier life can bring you a better work day?

Carolyn Brown:
Oh yes, in all the ways! A healthier life can make you calmer (more responsive rather than reactive), less moody (you have sugar and caffeine to thank for that!), better sleep, more creativity, and you are overall more clear-headed and energetic. Sign me up!

the void: are there any products or nutritional practices that can actually help with managing stress at work?

magnesium! I swear by this natural calm supplement when our stress and cortisol levels spike, our magnesium gets depleted--that’s why magnesium is called the “chill out mineral.” I also suggest a little meal time/snacktime structure: There should be no more than 3-4 hours between meals and snacks, and no less than 2 hours between a meal and a snack, if you find yourself grazing all day. Lastly, if your office has unhealthy snacks, BYO and put all that candy crap we are bombarded with on your “no!” list.

The void: Speaking of snacks and meals, any delish ideas for the days when you just can't get away from the junk in the office?

My basic salad template is greens, 2-3 veggies, a protein (such as chicken, fish or hard boiled eggs), and then two “extras” (that would be cheese, avocado, chickpeas, nuts, seeds),  2 “extras” (cheese, avo, chickpeas, nuts, seeds). Dress it all with olive oil and lemon. I also love Siete wraps or coconut wraps filled with chicken salad or fish to make a sort of taco situation.

I believe lunch is the meal to power you through the remainder of the work day, so don’t skimp on it! No sad salads or sad desk lunches--you can order a more entrée-style meal like salmon plus two veggies at nearby restaurants (think Dig Inn!) or even a poke bowl over veggies. For snacks, we actually have a small snack shop at foodtrainers and we can courier or ship you healthy snacks!

The void: How can daily rituals help with time management, stress and balance at work?

I swear by daily rituals, an AM and a PM one! In addition to adding something healthy into your day (like whether it be supplements, water or tea), rituals will organize and structure you which, in turn, will help you so much with stress and time management.

The void: What types of daily rituals do you personally partake in?

Every morning, the first thing I do is have a glass of water, pre-coffee. Ideally, I’ll have it with lemon or apple cider vinegar, but either way, water first thing in the morning is a rule because we wake up dehydrated. Then, I also take supplements (a probiotic, omega 3, vitamin d, etc.) At the end of the day, I take natural calm magnesium supplement, which chills you out for bedtime without knocking you out.

As someone who’s day is pretty flexible and unscheduled, having these simple routines has made me feel so much more sane. Now I rely on them and look forward to them! Plus, you’ve already done something great for yourself before you even leave the house in the morning.

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