Tasty Catering recently talked with Anese Cavanaugh, a leadership guru and professional when it comes to energizing yourself through what you eat. She helped us to learn a few things about increasing productivity at your meetings.
Foods to Love and Incorporate into Your Meetings
In general, here are the main food types Anese says to include in your plans when you want to have a productive day:
- Fresh fruits. Try to go organic here to protect the fruit from pesticides, especially with berries and other fruits that don’t have a skin or peel.
- Fresh vegetables. They are gorgeous!
- Healthy fats. These can include avocado, olive oil, grass-fed butter, almond butter, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc.
- Proteins. Be sure to include plenty of grass-fed or organic meats and cage-free eggs.
Foods to Think Twice About Incorporating into Your Meetings
There are some things Anese says you should generally try to avoid when eating to have a productive day at work, including:
- Gluten. Breads and pastas are loaded with gluten, and while it’s great to fill you up, sometimes it’s not the best to eat when you want to feel your best. When processed in the body, gluten makes you feel heavy and sluggish.
- Fake sugars and excess sugar. They pick you up for a moment or two, but then they make you crash.
- Anything you cannot pronounce. This usually means that it is processed and not great for you.
- Donuts, muffins, pastries, etc. If you are planning all day meetings, this will create fatigue later on.
The Best Breakfast Foods for a Powerful Corporate Meeting
Eggs! Eggs are great for building up your brain power. Anese’s favorite breakfast eggs include additions of various portions of spinach, asparagus, avocado, salsa and olive oil. You can find similar egg dishes in the breakfast portion of our Corporate Menu, such as the farmer’s or the veggie scrambled eggs.
Incorporating grains is also good for longer bursts of energy, so oatmeal would also be a nice, energetic choice.
The Best Lunch Foods for a Powerful Corporate Meeting
Serve plenty of healthy proteins—chicken being one of the best. If you have vegetarians to serve as well, beans are a great substitute for meat-based protein.
Also always serve salad and vegetables and incorporate healthy fats somewhere in your meal—remember, those can include avocado, olive oil, many types of nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts…) and a ton more!
Anese’s favorite lunch typically includes a salad with chicken or beef, walnuts or almonds, vegetables and an olive oil lemon dressing. She also highly recommends chicken or beef with vegetables and a sweet potato.
The Best All-Day Meeting Snacks and Foods
When you have long days full of meetings, conferences and workshops, getting a really healthy, powerful meal is important. However, what you serve as snacks in between meals is just as crucial to maintaining the energy required for a productive day.
Anese recommends serving these snacks for your next meeting:
- Vegetable plates
- Fruit trays
- Dark chocolate
These are packed with good energy to boost brain power!
Other Tips for Productive Meetings
Eating the right food plays a vital part in determining how you will feel each day. There are other factors, though, that are important to consider when planning for such a long day of meetings and conferences.
- Consider the environment. Dark conferences rooms and areas with no natural light will suck energy out of a room and don’t allow for optimal productivity. If you simply have to use a space that is poorly lit, do what you can to lighten it up, such as displaying golden flowers, adding light-colored décor and linens, providing a clean and elegant food table setup, etc. The little touches will make the biggest differences.
- Take breaks. At the very least, you group needs to take a break every 90-120 minutes. 10 minutes is an optimal amount of break time.
- Do something with music. Especially during your breaks, you will find that the music will uplift and reenergize the meeting attendees. Even just half a song will be enough to stir the room.