Today we welcome back guestblogger, Ashley Acornley, RD, LDN to Write from the Inside Out. Ashley blogs at Fresh From the Farm, which is packed with useful information about finding nutritious and tasty farm fresh foods in your area.  Please check it out! Enjoy as Ashley shares how writers can stay healthy while balancing long hours and deadlines.

Are you a successful author or poet who has an upcoming book tour? Do you often need to pull an all-nighter in order to meet your next deadline? Do you find yourself working long hours in order to break through your writer’s block? If these situations sound familiar and are all too common in your career, it is time to break the plateau and incorporate a healthier diet into your life. Believe it or not, optimal nutrition has to the power to increase your energy, immunity, and productivity in the workplace!

A well-balanced, fulfilling diet is crucial for a writer who has a busy, stressful schedule. Similar to college students, writers work long hours, are up late at night, and may find themselves eating under stressful or emotional conditions. It is important to choose healthy foods in order to avoid that late-night sugar crash or bout of hunger that occurs just before your deadline is due. In addition, a diet that consists of high fat and high calorie foods with little nutritional value allows you to gain weight over time, while impairing focus, energy, motivation, sleep, and overall health and wellness. On the other hand, a diet that consists of energy dense, whole foods packed with antioxidants can make a huge difference in a writer’s mood and focus. Therefore, it is important to decrease the overall consumption of sugar laden, fat-filled junk foods, and increase the amount of “superfoods” in your diet, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants! Here are some tips to increase your superfood consumption, in order to remain healthy, energized, and creative as a writer!

Opting for whole grains, heart-healthy fats and complex carbohydrates will provide higher energy and a feeling of fullness for a longer period of time. Whole grains also contain fiber, which can aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients. Here are a few examples of some “high energy” superfoods to incorporate into your daily diet:

1. Whole wheat bread, cereal, and pasta

2. Peanut butter (or any other nut butter)

3. Extra virgin olive oil

4. Fruits (especially Vitamin C and Potassium rich foods such as oranges, bananas, kiwi and strawberries)

5. Beans/lentils

6. Low-fat milk

7. Oatmeal/oat bran

8. Vegetable Juice (V8)

9. Water (gotta stay hydrated!)

10. Lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish)

In addition to energy, your body needs some “brain food” to stay focused, awake, alert, and pleasant during those stressful work hours. Foods that benefit the brain contain adequate omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Here are some examples of nutrient-rich superfoods that can combat fatigue, depression, anxiety and memory loss.

1. Blueberries

2. Cranberries

3. Tuna/Salmon

4. Eggs

5. Walnuts/Almonds

6. Tomatoes

7. Avocados

8. Sunflower/sesame seeds

9. Flaxseed

10. Sweet potatoes

Of course, these “superfoods” are not listed in their entirety. There is a multitude of delicious and nutritious whole foods available that contain similar nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Your Turn:

Do you have any specific foods that your rely on under stressful conditions? If so, post them here!

Find Out More About

Ashley Acornley, RD, LDN

Ashley is originally from Philadelphia, PA and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Kinesiology from Penn State University in August 2008. She completed her Dietetic Internship at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC in May 2010 and is currently working on completing her Master’s Degree in Nutrition. Ashley is also an AFAA certified personal trainer and has been training clients for the past four years. She enjoys staying active by participating in 5Ks, triathlons, and other competitive events. She also practices boxing, yoga, and strength training at her local gym. Besides physical activity, Ashley has found a new interest for cooking, baking, and visiting the local farmer’s markets in Raleigh. Ashley is especially interested in wellness and sports dietetics and enjoys teaching her clients how to stay healthy, motivated, and physically active!

Ashley’s blog, “Fresh From the Farm,” can be found here