• healthy food

Death to the graveyard slot

Sara Perry suggests energising training course lunches

Whether you’re a trainer or a delegate I’m sure you’ll know the feeling. It’s the first session after lunch and all you want to do is slump down into a chair, close your eyes and have a quick forty winks.

As a trainer I’ve come up with a thousand and one ways to stop my audience from succumbing and as a delegate I’ve witnessed as many tactics at play.

But what if there was a better way? What if the lunch that you provided for your training course actually boosted the brain power and energy of attendees rather than sapping it?

Let’s face it, the majority of buffet lunches provided for training courses are made up of sandwiches, sausage rolls and crisps or similar. If you’re really lucky, there might be a bowl of fruit thrown in but that’s generally the only nod to a nutritious energy providing meal you’ll see.

As a nutritional advisor who specialises in helping people to use food to boost their energy, resilience and motivation and lessen stress I find this REALLY frustrating.

Providing foods for training courses that will help, not hinder, the energy in the room is not rocket science, so here are my top tips for a lunch that will pack a punch in the afternoon sessions of your next workshop:

• Water all the way. Juices may look lovely and taste great, but, because of the pure sugar content, they’re going to provide a huge spike in energy that can only be followed by a slump. To liven things up, offer fresh crushed berries for delegates to add to the water (sparkling or still). Not only will the water look & taste great, you’ll also be providing delegates with antioxidant rich fruit to boost their brain power.

• Kebabs are king. No, not your greasy doner , rather skewers laced with fresh oily fish like salmon to boost brain power (try marinated tofu for a veggy option) and delicious fresh veg like peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots etc to add essential vitamins & minerals to the menu. Oh, and don’t forget tomatoes – their lycopene content is great for eradicating free radicals that batter brain power.

• Avoid bread. Your brown or white sliced loaf will provide a quick peak of energy as it quickly releases sugar into your bloodstream, but that peak is usually followed by a trough which is exactly what you need to avoid.

Can’t avoid it? Then make sure it’s granary bread or even better dark rye. These breads have a lower impact on the blood sugar levels in the body and so will provide a more sustained energy source.

And on the bread, oily fish, lean meat & eggs are all great sources of protein that, coupled with dark green salad vegetables like spinach & watercress will help to maintain energy levels.

• Sweet treats. Traditional buffet desserts like cakes, muffins and biscuits are guaranteed to send the audience to sleep within an hour or so due to the fact they (like bread) provide a quick energy spike.

For a fab tasting healthier option we turn once again to the humble kebab. Alternate sliced banana with strawberries & kiwi fruit slices then drizzle with melted dark chocolate. Guaranteed to satisfy a sweet tooth and provide great brain friendly foods (yes, even the dark chocolate is brain friendly, providing antioxidants & boosting brain function) that’ll make that post lunch session a success rather than a snooze fest.

About Sara

Sara is the Owner of Corporate Fit, a no nonsense Workplace Wellbeing Consultancy committed to delivering wellness interventions that actually work.

If you’d like more information about energy boosting, brain friendly food options for your workplace please give Sara a call on 07515 702500 or email hello@corporatefit.co.uk.