Massage therapists are on their feet all day long—working on clients, changing sheets, filling lotion bottles, answering phones, and cleaning. It can be a demanding occupation if you aren’t equipped with personal health and balance. If you consistently find yourself collapsing after a day of work, you may be suffering from a poor diet. Ask yourself the following questions:
Am I eating enough green food?
Look. We all like fruit and, well, cake. But the reality is green vegetables give you nutrients no other food can. With minerals and vitamins and agents believed to help prevent diabetes and even cancer, it’s amazing people avoid these natural energy boosters.
Here are just a few veggies you should be eating or adding to your diet:
1) Spinach – This can be incorporated into many yummy dishes, both cooked and uncooked. My personal favorite! Eat a spinach salad with feta cheese, avocado, sliced almonds, shaved carrots, a drop of olive oil, and light pepper. Add chicken and you have yourself a complete meal!
2) Kale – I’m a little new to this one, oddly enough. And, turns out, it’s is a super food! Cook it into your soup or mix it into your salads. Presently, I’m eating a handful like potato chips. It takes some getting used to, but if you stop dousing all of your healthy food in heavy dressings, you begin to appreciate the natural flavor of the veggie.
3) Broccoli – Who doesn’t love broccoli? If you accidentally overcook this veggie, make some “broccamole.” Throw it in the food processor with some lemon or lime juice and avocado. Stir in salsa and you have a tasty, healthier, dip.
4) Turnip Greens – buy turnips but don’t throw away their tops! They’re filled with vitamins.
5) Cabbage – In the belated spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll throw this onto your shopping list. You can easily add this common veggie into your meals.
In general, greens are the best, but you should eat a rainbow of food. Apples, carrots, bananas or squash, broccoli, blueberries, and eggplant will give you red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple!
What is something I can do without?
Can I just answer this question for you and say soda? If you drink soda, that carbonated sugar devil of a drink, you’re going to feel it. Or rather, if you stop drinking soda, you’re going to feel it. In a good way. Just. Stop. Drinking. Soda. Try carbonated water, flavored with 100% fruit juice.
Figure out what treats you find yourself consuming even though you don’t necessarily care for them. If you don’t love brownies but you eat them when someone’s left them on a dish in the break room, try to skip it. Save your calories for treats you truly love instead of piling on sugar for the sake of eating.
What’s in my food?
Read labels. For example: bread shouldn’t have high-fructose corn syrup or a mega list of things you can’t pronounce. Have you ever made your own bread? It’s a basic compilation of yeast, flour, sugar, eggs, warm water, and butter. Store bought bread shouldn’t be too much more complicated. If you know how to make something, then you should know what the ingredients should look like. Try to avoid food with a ton of added garbage.
How much water did I have today?
Answer: Not enough. Have more. Moving on…
Did I take my multivitamins?
Do a little research and figure out which multivitamin would be best for you, based on age and gender. This, in addition to a healthy diet, will make you feel more alert and active.
Where’s the meat? Or beans?
Eat plenty of protein to feed your muscles. They will thank you! Hard boil some eggs to store in the fridge at work and eat one in between clients. If eggs make you too terribly gassy, though, you may want to find a different quick protein substitute. I’m not wholly convinced that protein shakes are incredibly healthy. I think they can tend to fall under the I-have-no-idea-what’s-in-my-food-and-that-can’t-be-healthy category but I’m sure there’s a natural formula out there. You can probably make one at home, freeze it, and drink it once it’s melted by lunchtime.
Your body will thank you for feeding it wonderful food. A happy body will put you in a better mode and help you perform better at work. Even your clients and your bank account will be happier, to boot!