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vegan diet

Latinas shift to vegan diet, improving focus and productivity at work

It’s no secret that what we eat impacts how we perform. The types of food we consume contributes to our mood, energy levels, and productivity. As part of World Vegan Month this November, we are diving into the benefits of a vegan diet. 

In general, plant-based eating can improve one’s health, it’s typically more affordable, and much more eco-friendly. In fact, a vegan diet uses much fewer resources, requiring five times less water than producing animal-based foods. 

For the Latinx population specifically, it has been found that diet-related health issues common within the community can be reduced through plant-based eating. 

Latinx and Hispanic individuals are more prone to health risks such as high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Statistically, Latinos are also more likely to suffer from heart disease

Transitioning to a vegan diet, or simply incorporating more plant-based meals into one’s existing diet, can significantly help to reduce these health risks. Affordability also makes veganism an attractive alternative, especially for middle- to lower- income communities. 

“It’s much more cost-effective to prepare plant-based dishes using rice, beans, and vegetables than it is to feed one’s family using animal products,” said holistic nutritionist and bilingual foodie writer, Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, in an article with VegNews

Currently, about 3 percent of Latinos in the U.S. are vegetarian or vegan, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group. This number is close to the national average for adults: 3.5 percent for females and 3.2 percent for males. 

In fact, for many Mexican-Americans, a vegan diet is not far off from what their ancestors once ate in pre-Columbian times, according to NPR. Many traditional dishes by indigenous natives were plant-based. The meats we think of today as traditional to Latinx dishes–beef, bork, chicken, lamb–were brought over by the Spaniards. 

Boosting your productivity at work through plant-based eating 

In a study conducted by City Pantry on healthy eating habits, experts weighed in on how foods affect our levels of productivity and focus. 

According Dr Uma Naidoo – board-certified psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School and nutrition specialist – reducing inflammation is key to keeping energy and productivity levels up during the workday. 

“Low-grade inflammation flips off a metabolic switch in the chemical pathway that produces energy,” she said. “When inflammation is present in the body, less energy is available to the brain, so it’s important to eat anti-inflammatory foods to ensure workers wake up in a good mood and stay energized and focused through the entire morning.”

Foods to avoid are those high in artificial sweeteners, added and refined sugars, trans fats, and processed meats and cheeses. 

Plant-based foods are associated with lower levels of inflammation, which means incorporating more vegan options into your diet can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. 

You might be interested: 10 Snacks to boost productivity and get you through the work day

There is no one way to approach veganism and many often transition into the diet slowly. Others may choose to only eat plant-based on certain days, such as the Instagram account Meatless Mondays, which encourages people to swap out meat at least one day a week and provides a variety of fun and fresh meatless meals to try.

To start incorporating some vegan meal choices into your diet to boost your productivity, Dr. Naidoo recommends focusing on foods with natural fats such as nuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil.

 “Fat is a key component for mental health. Your brain is made up of 60 percent fat and in order to perform at its best, it requires a constant supply of omega-3-fatty acids,” Dr. Naidoo explained.

As busy women and entrepreneurs, staying focused and energized is so important. If you’re feeling low on energy, it might be time to reevaluate your food choices and shake things up! And what better month to try out plant-based eating than World Vegan Month? 

Latinas in Business Intern Fe-Licitty Branch contributed to this article. 

5 hearty autumnal vegan meals to try this month

November is World Vegan Month, a time when plant-based eaters from across the globe come together to celebrate their lifestyle, educate, and share recipes. 

A vegan, or plant-based lifestyle, has many health benefits, especially for Latinos who are prone to suffer from health issues such as high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Statistically, Latinos are also more likely to suffer from heart disease. On average,  Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than non-Hispanics, according to data from Go Red for Women.

Incorporating more plant-based dishes into one’s diet can help reduce these risks over time by reducing the consumption of meat and dairy, often found in many traditional Hispanic recipes. 

As the colder months approach here in the Northern hemisphere, we’re all looking for some warm, hearty comfort foods to get us through the autumn and winter. Below are a few autumnal vegan meals to try out this month from The Vegans Club on Instagram. 

You might be interested: 10 Snacks to boost productivity and get you through the work day

Leek, Chestnut and Apple Stuffing

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this vegan stuffing recipe will make a great addition to the traditional holiday meal. 

 

Carrot Soup 

Stay warm throughout the winter with this delicious carrot soup. It’s perfect for a quiet evening meal or prepare ahead for a quick lunch on the go. 

 

“Ricotta” Stuffed Delicata Squash

This colorful dish will brighten up your day! Stuffed with flavor, this vegan dish promises to leave you full and satisfied. 

 

Creamy Curry Pasta

In the mood for a creamy, pasta sauce? This curry pasta dish will do just the trick, and without any dairy! 

 

Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup

Finally, this flavorful Tuscan kale and white bean soup is exactly what you’ll need once the snow starts coming down. Prepare this for the whole family and bask in the tasty warmth of this vegan dish. 

 

productivity at work

How to fuel your brain and triple your productivity at work

Did you know that food can help improve your focus and productivity at work? Food truly is fuel, but not just for your biceps, but for your brain too!

productivity at work

When we make poor choices in our nutrition it affects how we think, how we react to stress and how we function overall. How often do we just “grab” something that is fast and convenient so we can get back to our desk to meet an important deadline or be present for a very pressing meeting? Or how often do we just “skip” a meal so we can keep tackling our never ending “to do” list?

It’s time to start viewing the food you put into your body as necessary fuel that should be clean and nutritious so you can perform at your best and ensure your “brain tank” is not running on empty!

The following list of foods are brain fuel that will give you a boost to keep you focused and alert and increase your productivity at work –far more than a double espresso from Starbucks or your favorite bag of chips!

productivity at work1) Oats are one of the best breakfasts you can choose to fuel the brain. Make them with water or milk and a little honey, some berries and crushed seeds like chia to also sneak in some extra fiber and keep you fuller longer.
2) Eggs are a powerhouse of amino acids, good fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Go that extra mile and buy free range – and organic if possible. Eat boiled, poached or scrambled, but forget the fried. One of my fave brands is Eggsland Best!
3) Seeds are high in the minerals magnesium, potassium, zinc and selenium; all essential for good concentration, memory and keeping us calm. Pumpkin seeds have been shown to support the area of our brains responsible for maintaining sensory function in tact.
productivity at work4) Healthy fats like avocado (omega 3 fatty acids) are absolutely essential for optimum brain power, keeping stress and depression at bay. You want to be also sure to keep your intake of saturated fat low.
5) Eat oily fish regularly like salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, herring, anchovies and fresh tuna. Aim for three portions per week and remember wild caught is best.
6) Chocolate for chocoholics, pay attention….in order to fuel your brain effectively you need to stick to dark chocolate with a minimum 70% cocoa solids. Cocoa (from the cocoa bean) contains theobromine which contains tryptophan (the basis for serotonin), which elevates the mood.
7) Blueberries have been shown to protect our brains from short-term memory loss.

You might be interested: Erica Torres Pagano from corporate America to Total Fitness Evolution

Incorporating these foods into your diet plan is sure to improve your productivity in the workplace and in all areas of your life! Trust me…your BRAIN will thank you for it!!!

And here’s a TOP TIP…

Eating protein and complex carbohydrates together slows the release of sugar into the blood. Grab an apple with a handful of seeds to help balance blood sugar more, sustain your brain boost and increase your productivity in the workplace!

productivity at work