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Eating Yourself Happy: Dreamers & Doers Talk Eating Hacks

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Balancing our health with a busy schedule can be tedious to say the least. Free time is scarce, so we often find ourselves filling every spare second with hitting snooze or cramming chocolate into our mouths (sigh). But what if we could change this reflex into going for a morning run or eating a banana?

Guess what . . . WE CAN!

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According to a study done by the US National Library of Medicine, how we fuel our bodies can have a major effect on our creativity and our productivity (two things we all value immensely). 

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Participants were asked to record each night what they ate, their moods, and their behaviors for 13 days.  At the end of the study, scientists concluded that the more fruits and vegetables participants ate on a day-to-day basis, the more happiness and creativity they brought into their day . 

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Why is the super cool part. Fruits and vegetables help make dopamine—a neurotransmitter that boosts our curiosity and motivation. So what we eat can literally make us more creative. How amazing is that?  

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That being said, how can we make eating healthy easier? We asked some really impressive women  from the Dreamers & Doers community for their advice . . . and couldn't help but share that information with you! Here are some tips, services, and articles brought to you by the Dreamers // Doers Community.

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Tips + Tricks from Your Fellow Dreamers & Doers


 

1. Plan Ahead:

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"For cooking hacks, I block out huge chunks of my Sundays to make meals and snacks for the week. It is a LIFESAVER. I prep as much as I can but even the little bit helps. In particular I love making smoothie bags and freezing them, then in the morning popping one bag in my blender, adding a liquid, and bam—breakfast."

Megan Frantz, Senior Produce on the Shorty Awards 

"Flax seeds soaked in Hempmilk over night in the fridge. The next morning I add banana voilà, I think it's healthy but definitely economical!"

Felicia Ringelnatz, founder of Claire

"I wash and cut my veggies the night before so I can grab them as needed"

MaryRose Nguyen, Chair of SG IEEE 

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2. Take your food journey public:

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"I have an unnamed Instagram (mindful.mouthful) that shares my nutritional journey. It's a food diary I keep and put out there to keep myself accountable."

Liva Judic, founder of Merrybubbles Communications

 

At Dreamers // Doers, we also like the YouFood app—a platform for taking pictures & tracking what you eat, as well as seeing what other people eat.

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3. Spice it Up:

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"Meats: season with salt, peppercorn, garlic, olive oil and pan sear. Fish: season with salt, peppercorn, herbs (tarragon & thyme are my faves) olive oil and bake. Both are super easy and quick. Add a side veg - easiest is to steam and drizzle w/ a bit of lemon juice and salt/pepper to taste. I eat a variation of this meal 4-5 nights a week."

Yehua Yang, co-founder of Pivotte

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4. Order Snacks from Amazon:

"I have go to healthy snacks I swear by and get from Amazon which include single-size hummus, almond butter, freeze-dried edamame, yummm."

Gesche Haas, CEO of Dreamers // Doers

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5. Go Unhealthy:

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"Take your favorite potato salad recipe and use mashed chickpeas instead (I use lemon juice and pickle brine instead of mayo). Eat with crunchy veggies. Fast, high protein, vegan, nearly 0 fat."

Jovena Whatmoor, co-founder of Clutch Talent & founder of New York Women in Tech

 

 "Skip normal pancake batter and cream two eggs and one banana together. I like to add: walnuts, pecans, coconut, chia seeds, blueberries, or any combination of these things. Cook them like normal pancakes, then top them off with some honey. Sugar-free, bread-free, & delicious— I love these even more than real pancakes!"

Kells McPhillips, Special Ops at Dreamers // Doers

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6. Make Gourmet Simple:

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"I love making a veggie lentil and brown rice/farro or other grain pot with stock - economical and covers the food groups."

Diana Murakhovskaya, co-founder of Monarq

 

"Trader Joe's Grilled Chicken Strips ($4.99 for 12 oz.), with some fresh mozzarella, avocado, and their Balsamic Glaze (or a sweet Balsamic Vinegar, if you're gluten-free, like me)."

Chaya Cooper, founder of Click2fit

 

"I make salad, or grab a whole avocado/tomato/apple for my lunch.  Often times I just bake skinless chicken thighs with some root veggies, salt and pepper and olive oil. "

Anya Eydman, Anya Eydman Career and Personal Coaching

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7. Join a Food Coop

"I just joined the Park Slope Food Coop myself to get back into organic foods. In the past, I could really feel the difference in my energy levels when eating this way."

Dawn Quaker, COO of Dreamers // Doers

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8. Practice Mindful Eating

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"The single best thing I've started doing recently is connecting my stress with emotional eating. In the last few years, I began relying heavily on a sugar boost for comfort when I was stressed, in the form of cake/cookies but also bagels, rice, pasta. So now not only am I tracking those feelings of discomfort but I'm also breathing through them. Asking myself what's going on and if there's something better I can do for my body & mind instead. I havent had refined sugar in over 2 weeks"

—Karen Young, founder of Ouishave

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:::9. Skip processed foods

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"I try to eat and buy as much fresh food (not out of a bag, box, can) as much as possible when grocery shopping. This is an easy rule to follow for me and has made my habits much healthier"

Mitali Rakhit, founder of Vilasify  

 

Services To Make Healthy Easy For You


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1. NatureBox: healthy snacks delivered right to your door (including, "dark cocoa nom noms")

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 2. Hungryroot: veggie noodles and delicious sauces delivered to you! (including "turnip noodles with toasted walnut pesto")

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  •  "Even my meat-loving boyfriend said he could have Hungryroot for dinner everyday. Best part is I can make them in under 10 minutes!"

    — Nancy Pantalones, currently looking for ops/analytical roles at international retailers

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3. Kitchensurfing: personal chefs come to prepare food in your kitchen (BONUS: everything happens in less than 30 minutes)

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  • Nicole Aguirre, founder of Worn, says, "I order kitchen surfing a couple of nights a week so my fiance and I can have more time together without cooking or looking for somewhere to eat."

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4. CookUnity: Homemade meals with home delivery (with gluten-free & vegetarian options)

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5. Vegan Snack Packs: a healthy, vegan snacks delivered to your front door every month (also GMO & gluten-free)

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  • "No need to spend time driving to the store, going up and down aisle to find healthy, tasty snacks. Nobody has anytime for that! We need that extra time to work off our daily stress at the gym/yoga not add to it." 

    —Founded by Naomi Mariano, a member of the Dreamers // Doers Community!

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Articles to Help You Eat Yourself Happy


  • How Your Productivity is Determined by What You Eat

    • If you're hungry, you are wasting valuable, productive brain time. If you are too full, you are sleepy and also unproductive. Find middle ground: eat off a small plate.

    • Organize the food in your cupboard so that the healthy snacks are in the front. You are more likely to eat the first thing you see than the fifth thing you see.

    • Brain-loving foods for your workers: dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, blueberries, carrots, avocados 

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"Plants have developed mechanisms to deal with stresses in the environment. Because of sunlight, smog, and temperature they have developed antioxidant or anti inflammatory capabilities. When we ingest them they are protective in our bodies as well."

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  • How Does Not Eating Affect the Brain?

    • Being hungry can negatively affect the way your brain functions, which negatively impacts your concentration, memory, motor movements, & sleep patterns. 

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HAPPY EATING EVERYONE!

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 What was the most useful tip? Any awesome eating hacks of your own?

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