NO CAFFEINE NEEDED
How to Beat Your Afternoon Slump
We all know the feeling: Sometime after lunch, you become sluggish, spacy, and unproductive. Many of us instinctively turn to caffeine to power through the rest of the day, but that can cause another crash, not to mention sleep problems. But don’t worry — you aren’t doomed to an aimless afternoon. We’ve compiled expert tips to perk up and carry on with your busy day. Plan your work. All of our bodies have internal rhythms, and by now, you probably know yours. Typically, people peak mid-morning or in the late afternoon. But whenever your productive heights are, plan around them. Complete the detailed, creative, or difficult work during the times when your energy is at its best, and save your “busy work” or repetitive tasks for the lulls when you feel less motivated. You’ll feel better and get more done. Consume healthy foods and lots of water. Maybe you don’t have complete control of your schedule. That's where a healthy snack comes in. We tend to crash in the afternoon when our blood sugar drops, usually due to consuming carbohydrates. Eating vegetables, fruit, and protein or fiber- rich foods will help pick up your energy without incurring a future dip. While you're snacking, drink some water. A 2018 study out of Yale found that even mild dehydration can negatively affect our brains’ ability to function, so don’t let your water bottle sit untouched.
Get up and move. You’re not going to get over that slump by sitting in your chair. If you want to beat back fatigue, go for a walk, climb some stairs, stretch, or do some jumping jacks. Researchers have proven that exercise wakes up both your body and your mind. In fact, science says it will do a better job of rousing you than caffeine will. Best of all, it will help, not hurt, your ability to sleep at night. Finally, set yourself up for success by going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting your necessary 7–9 hours of sleep. Our attention ebbs and flows naturally, so none of us can be our best 100% of the time. But along with these other tips, staying well-rested can help you pick up the pace.
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Skewers
TAKE A BREAK!
Inspired by RecipeRunner.com
FOR THE MARINADE • 1 tbsp olive oil • 2 tbsp soy sauce • 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce • 2 tbsp rice vinegar • 3 tbsp honey • Juice of 1 lime • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika • 1/2 tsp salt FOR THE SKEWERS • 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite-size cubes • 1 small pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes
1. In a bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients. 2. In a reusable freezer bag, combine cubed chicken and all but 1/4 cup of the marinade. 3. Seal bag and massage marinade into the chicken. Chill in the fridge overnight. 4. The following day, preheat the grill to 400 F. Thread chicken and pineapple onto skewers, adding two cubes of chicken for each cube of pineapple. 5. Grill the skewers for 3–4 minutes per side, brushing with the reserved marinade in the final minutes. 6. Serve over rice or with your favorite barbecue sides!
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