Power up at breakfast with these foods

Ever hear the phrase “you are what you eat?” Studies have shown that certain foods affect the human body, including cognitive functions, in exceptional ways. Try starting out breakfast with one or a combination of the foods listed below to optimize energy, brain function and memory.

Foods rich in omega-3 can provide the brain with the essentials to help with cognitive abilities. Studies have suggested that a deficiency of omega-3 can impair learning and memory, and have other adverse effects linked to depression and attention-deficit disorder. Omega-3 can also come in a simpler form called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is commonly used to fortify other foods that do not naturally produce omega-3. Below are some of the omega-3 rich foods that should accompany any grocery list:

  1. Peanut butter
  2. Fish (tuna, trout, oysters, salmon, halibut)
  3. Edamame (also a great source of fiber!)
  4. Flaxseed oil
  5. Walnuts
  6. Eggs (ALA fortified)
  7. Soy milk/dairy milk (ALA fortified)
  8. Yogurt (ALA fortified)

Other studies have shown that flavonols (molecules that are found in skin and leaves of plants, fruits and vegetables) also affect learning and memory, and could aid in the start to a better day. Flavonols, which are associated with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, are contained in foods and drinks such as onions, leeks, broccoli, kale, berries, grapes, cocoa, green and black tea, and even red wine!

Why not jump-start your day with an antioxidant food that is part of the flavonoid family and has incredible health benefits: apples. Studies have shown that apples can help improve lung functions and provide enough energy to get the body through an hour-long workout. Apples are also linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Oats in the form of oatmeal and oat bran have been long-known as a healthy snack. Studies have shown that eating oats reduces cholesterol levels, improves endothelial functions, and reduces blood pressure. They’re also are a great source of fiber, protein and fat, and are not as starchy as other grains.

Of course, a morning isn’t complete without a cup of coffee. While there is an understanding that caffeine intake in great quantities can potentially be harmful, coffee has some health benefits that are worth noting. In a study done of Dutch men and women, those who drank at least 7 cups of coffee daily had a significantly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Other studies done have suggested that long-term coffee intake could help maintain normal glucose tolerance.

Making a healthy breakfast a habit can help you approach every day feeling sharp, rejuvenated and motivated. What do you have to lose?

Mastering the Art of Email

Professional email can be murky ground. It’s a necessary form of communication that lives in a vacuum void of body language, verbal cues, voice, and tone. Email requires a careful mix of personality and professionalism that does not come easy. The whole thing relies on just plain words. For so many of us, words are difficult!

So how can you fire off better emails with confidence that you are catching positive attention from the prospect, client, associate, or colleague on the other side of the screen?

Try these tips:

  1. Proper greetings and sign-offs are one of the most important things your email can have. When sending an email to your family and friends, it might be acceptable to start off or end with something quirky, but not in a professional setting. Address the person to whom you are speaking with a formality you would give if you were actually speaking with them in person. A simple “Hello, Ms. Johnson,” works just fine — it is polite, professional and personal enough to show that you care about your contact.
  2. Never assume a contact is OK with being addressed informally by their first name or a nickname. Everyone should be addressed formally (Ms. Johnson, Dr. Smith, Mr. Anderson) unless otherwise given permission to be informal.
  3. Do not end your email directly with your pre-established signature/credentials. Ending with your signature disconnects the personal bond you are attempting to establish and instead closes with an abrupt “snap!” It’s better to end with “Thank you,” “Best,” or “Cheers,” followed by your signature line.
  4. PROOFREAD! You do not have to be an English grammar guru, but you must take the time to proofread your entire message as if it were being published. There’s no faster way to inadvertently say “I don’t care about you or this email,” than to skip the proofreading step.
  5. A good rule of thumb is to nicely point out attachments. Include a quick sentence that tells them what they’ll find in the atachment when they open it, like “I’ve attached the report about XYZ that we discussed.” Double and triple check that you have actually attached the document! There are few things less embarrassing than having to send a follow-up email apologizing for the missing document in the previous email.
  6. Hint: Always type the body of the message first, double check for attachments second, and then add the email recipient LAST before you push send. Making this order a habit will ensure no email ever gets sent into cyberspace before it is complete.

  7. Be exceptionally careful of the “reply all” button! This can lead to embarrassment and some serious damage control if something is sent to the wrong person.

Above all, remember that your emails are being read by a multitude of important people. By being courteous and polite, as well as refining and revising all communication skills, you demonstrate successful business etiquette, which just might lead to the “next big thing.”

P.S. If you find the typo in this blog, contact me and I will give you a free Client Follow-Up, valued at $25.