A fresh start – isn’t that what everyone wants at the beginning of a New Year? People crave a chance to wipe the slate clean and begin anew with no reminders or guilt about the past. Having an opportunity to start over again is a wonderful gift don’t squander it. This year, I urge service professionals to kick start their goal-setting and rational thinking potential by making more positive snack food choices. Yes, that’s right snack food. Monitor your sugar intake during the course of your workday. Lots of sugar may give you a quick energy boost, but the effect soon wears off leaving you more tired, irritable, anxious or depressed.
The US Food and Drug Administration Dietary Guidelines recommend choosing foods and beverages with little added sugars. Added sugars are sugars and syrups added to foods and beverages in processing or preparation, not the naturally occurring sugars in fruits. Major sources of added sugars in the American diet include regular soft drinks, candy, cake, cookies, pies, and fruit drinks. Sugars such as fructose, sucrose, honey or corn syrup–are metabolized in the same way. Likewise, the sugar found in a banana and that in a can of soda are both digested similarly but the banana contains added benefits. The main difference is that most soda and candy are nutritionally empty, whereas the banana contains fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Bananas are handy, easy to carry (about the same size as a candy bar) and they have tremendous health benefits. But wait – it gets even better. A banana also contains an essential amino acid called Tryptophan which our body converts into serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate a person’s feelings and it enables a person to make rational decisions. Service professionals who make rational decisions are more likely to experience heightened self-esteem and career advancement – all that from a banana. Improved mental health is the required catalyst which can set your goal setting activities into motion.
Do not procrastinate when it comes to your physical and mental health. So the next time you reach for that thick caramel or cream filled candy bar, pause and consider the implications. This year, choose healthier snack foods and reap the rational thinking and health benefits which will help you achieve your goals. Happy New Year!