Did you know that changing your eating habits can improve your creativity and productivity?

It can.

For many people, the word Sustenance means food. But, the definition is actually MUCH more broad, and is defined by terms such as: support from below; maintain; encourage.

In the spirit of taking a broader look at the term Sustenance and in honor of March being National Nutrition Month®, I’ve put together a list of changes you can make to your eating habits to help get your creative juices flowing, improve productivity, meet that deadline, or push through your writer’s block.

As I’ve previously discussed, making a change is HARD, so you only want to make one small change at a time. Then, link together the changes and suddenly you are on to something!

1) Eat breakfast. “Start your day out right with a healthy breakfast” is more than a catchy phrase, it actually promotes better health. By starting your day with some food, your brain is immediately getting the glucose it needs to start the creative juices flowing.

2) Eat away from your desk. I know this seems like the opposite of productivity, but eating away from your desk gives you time to clear your head so your brain can process what you have been doing, and you return refreshed. I talked about this in my April 2009 Stand Up and Walk Away column. An added benefit: By focusing on your food rather than on the screen, you won’t mindlessly eat until your plate is empty–a boon if you are trying to lose a few pounds.

3) Eat whole foods as snacks. Whole foods provide more consistent and better long-term energy. They also contain fewer chemicals and preservatives and generally provide a higher overall level of nutrition from your average snack food. Try an apple with a couple of slices of gruyere or a few cashews, a couple slices of deli meat, or a caprese salad.

4) Make sure you are getting protein, fat, and carbohydrates at every meal. By ensuring each snack and meal has each of these nutrients, you will maintain a more consistent energy level throughout the day AND be more likely to meet your overall daily nutritional needs (vitamins, minerals, etc) from your food.

5) Variety. Yes, changing things up can make you more creative. Eating different foods, trying new eating locales, or changing up the spices can change the whole eating experience. Suddenly something triggers the memory of previous trip to Greece, and suddenly you have the setting for your next novel, a snippet of dialogue, or some memories to provide a rich sensory experience for what you need to write next.

Food is much more than just the calories that we need to consume to stay alive. Rather, it’s the lifeblood that supports us in many, many different ways.


Jen Waak is a Seattle-based movement coach who uses a system that combines eastern philosophy with western medicine to reprogram the nervous system and get people out of pain, moving better, and feeling younger. jen@movefitfun.com.


Comments are closed.

  1. David King 12 years ago

    Of course I read this while eating at my desk…

    at least it was a healthy snack: plain yogurt, strawberries, almonds and a little honey!

    1 out of two?

  2. Michelle 12 years ago

    but I like to eat at my desk!
    Great post – many truths (OK all truths!)

  3. Author
    Jen Waak 12 years ago

    I know, I know, eating at the desk is just so easy. And, I’m guilty of it myself. I actually don’t think I know anyone who works at a desk that doesn’t.

    But, the fun part about stepping away from your desk for just a few minutes to eat is that it suddenly becomes a treat, and a bit of a guilty pleasure.

    Glad you enjoyed the post!

  4. […] Read my 5 healthy eating tips specifically designed to make you tremendously creative, ridiculously productive, insanely rich, and absolutely irresistible over at Jen’s Gems … for the Healthy Writer. […]


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