Work, Travel, and Eat Well: 4 Foods to Boost your Productivity
It can be easy to get into a routine as a remote worker of working and spending the lion’s share of their time at home. You work there, eat there, and probably Netflix and chill there. At the same time, it’s hard to truly escape the grind if you have only ten days paid off, like most Americans. Well, it’s not surprising that there has been a rise in workations – have you heard about it? The name comes from the combination of “vacation” and “work” because people on workations continue their remote work schedule while in a different destination other than their home.
The latest study Why Workations Are All The Rave conducted by the Passport-Photo.Online revealed that food is the lion’s part of the budget of workationers. Indeed, in a survey of 1,000+ Americans, 82% of respondents reported food and drinks as their biggest workation expenses! It’s even more than housing (66%), entertainment (64%), and sightseeing (24%).
Let’s use that money wisely! In this post, I’d like to share 4 foods that improve brain power and concentration and, as a result, can help to boost work performance. This way, you’ll get the most out of your work & travel experience. For every food, I’ll explain how it influences your cognitive functions. Also, I’ll share some tasty recipes or tips on how to include them in your daily diet so that you can just buy them, go to your kitchen and benefit immediately.
Something crunchy: Walnuts
I like to say that it’s not a coincidence that walnuts look like tiny brains. In fact, they are the best nuts for brainpower because their omega-3 fatty acid content is higher than in other nuts, such as pistachio, almonds, or peanuts. Why does it matter? Omega-3 is a set of essential fatty acids our body doesn’t produce endogenously. At the same time, those fats fight brain inflammation and are critical to neuronal growth, synapse formation, and neurotransmitter function. In other words, it keeps your brain in good shape.
Walnuts are ideal for work snacks, especially if they’re chopped and paired with cinnamon-sprinkled apple slices. Apart from that, you can make a tasty meal from them. Just follow those two simple steps:
- blend two gars of roasted nuts (roasting makes them softer) with a cup of fresh basil and two garlic cloves
- add lemon, salt, and pepper to taste; you can also add a teaspoon of honey if you like sweet and salty combinations.
This pesto is a perfect addition to pasta for lunch or sandwich spread. To boost the flavor, add some parmesan cheese to the topping.
Something fruity: Blueberries
Berries are a natural power elixir for the brain – with their nutritional properties, they break down other fruits and vegetables. Blueberries are among their most effective representatives. The list of blueberries’ strengths includes:
- folate – a vitamin that allows neurotransmitters to work correctly, so cognitive chemical messengers within our brain work well
- fiber- it decreases inflammation in the gut and the brain as well since they are connected
- flavonoids – according to a 2021 study, the long-term flavonoid diet may result in a 20% lower risk of cognitive decline.
Smoothy Millet Pudding
Blueberries are tasty themselves, but they can also shine as the star of your sweet breakfast. For your smoothy millet pudding:
- prepare 100 grams (about half a cup) of millet groats, an apple, and two glasses of milk or plant milk
- heat the milk with the apple, and when it starts to boil, add the porridge and cook for 10-15 minutes until it is soft
- blend. Add a little water if it’s too dense
- sprinkle the dessert with blueberries.
You should have enough for two or three servings, so you’ll be able to treat your colleagues!
By cooking the porridge with the apple, your pudding will take on a light, smoothie consistency. Add dried lavender to the blending to turn this dessert into a mild, calming supper. Also, you can add a few dates for better sweetness and some vanilla flavor. Without any doubt, vanilla with blueberries is the perfect combination.
Something protein: Eggs
In many cultures, eggs symbolize the source of a new life, the genesis of gods, and health. Maybe our ancestors had a good intuition because eggs provide many essential nutrients.
It’s challenging to find food more packed with choline, which supports cognitive function. Besides choline, eggs are the source of vitamin B12, maintaining the central nervous system, and yolks contain lutein, which leads to better academic performance in children.
My suggestion for taking advantage of the health benefits of eggs? Taste the Orient. In other words: make shakshuka!
- prepare two ripe, juicy tomatoes, half an onion, a few cloves of garlic, lemon, and, if you want – hot peppers, ginger, and fresh herbs
- fry the chopped onion (preferably with salt to soften faster), garlic (be careful! It’s bitter if you burn it), and the other ingredients you chose
- add the chopped tomatoes and salt and heat until they evaporate. It should look like a dense pulp, not like a soup.
- crack in two eggs and mash the yolks a bit. Cover with a lid and heat for about 5 minutes until they set.
- transfer to a plate or leave it on the pan – it’s challenging to transfer the dish to a plate without ruining the appearance!
- season with freshly ground pepper and lemon juice and sprinkle with herbs – preferably cilantro or parsley. Honestly, I don’t think this dish is complete without cilantro, but some say it tastes like soap. Well, everyone has different tastes.
Eat with your favorite kind of bread and enjoy this wide variety of flavors.
Something green: Spinach
What should be one food to eat every day if you would like to preserve cognitive function and reduce memory loss? Leafy vegetables! A 2018 study on a leafy diet proved that eating one serving a day resulted in significant improvements. Green veggies, such as spinach, collards, kale, and broccoli, also include antioxidant B vitamins and vitamin K that help brain cells proliferate and correlate with cognitive performance. So, it’s not a healthcare marketing invention – spinach makes your cells younger, more vital, and high-performing.
Simple Spinach Salad
I know people say that spinach tastes like grass, but don’t listen to them; it’s just a common misconception. Spinach doesn’t have a specific taste, but thanks to it, it fits every meal. I bet on a salad recipe from all possibilities because it doesn’t require specific kitchen equipment. And it’s easy to prepare it in a place you rent for workations, such as Anyplace Select.
In salads, the secret lies in the dressing, which adds flavor to the greens. So, for a perfect salad dressing:
- pour into a glass three tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of honey, two teaspoons of lemon juice
- add some salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs
- mix thoroughly. If you have a small jar, you can pour everything into it and shake it properly
- roast a tablespoon of sunflower seeds in a pan and add to this mixture
- dilute if it comes out too thick.
Done! Once you have the dressing, prepare the salad ingredients. In addition to spinach, include tomatoes and other vegetables you like. Don’t forget to add the source of protein – grilled chicken, tofu, or feta.
This simple dressing goes well with all salads, as it combines different flavors – salty, sweet, and sour – that complement each other. It also contains olive oil, which is not only a source of omega-3 but also fat that conducts flavors very well.
The delicious journey has just begun
The four ingredients I described for you are enough to get you started on your cognitive-boost journey. However, there are more brainpower stars in the foodies’ world – fatty fish and their omega-3 acids, turmeric that supports memory, and cocoa powder with flavonoids that slow age-related mental decline. So, your journey has just begun! From now on, you can discover many new flavors during your workations. What could be better than tasty food to increase your productivity?
And if you’re looking for a quiet place to focus, search for rental properties that support working from home on Anyplace.
So, where to next? Find flexible-term apartments with equipped home offices on Anyplace.
Karolina Zając is a writer and travel enthusiast. When it comes to writing, she loves bringing dry facts to life. When it comes to traveling, she just loves bikes.