It is important to maintain focus throughout the day as a delegate, as you want to ensure you get everything out of the conference. This can be highly affected by the food that you eat, and the amount of rest you have.
As we welcomed in the new decade, we saw people start their resolutions by cutting out chocolate, cakes, fizzy drinks and alcohol, as well as a range of other items to become fitter and healthier, including the ever-popular Veganuary.
As this comes to an end, it presents us with an opportunity to continue the vegan lifestyle switch by removing animal products from diets. Adopting a plant-based diet is becoming increasingly popular, as it’s more sustainable for the environment, as well as helping individuals lead a healthier lifestyle overall. Now since everyone has settled back into work, we question how you maintain a healthy lifestyle when attending a conference or event?
Historically, conferences and exhibitions were viewed as long and intense days, where many people chose to indulge in unhealthy options such as burgers, cakes and sausage rolls. These products are quick to receive and easy to eat in short break times. Due to the negative effects of ‘junk’ food, namely the loss of motivation and sugar crashes, healthier alternatives such as salads, wraps and smoothies have become much more popular, as we all are more conscious about what we are eating and its long term benefits.
With over 76% of workers choosing to buy lunch on a regular basis, instead of bringing lunch into work from home, an increasing amount of people are looking for ways to make their work diets more nutritional and healthier. We’ve seen many workers buying from local fresh food stores as an alternative to buying a supermarket meal deal or visiting the fast-food establishment across the street. Also, there are many more people choosing to take on vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian diets in order to become more sustainable and reduce their meat and animal produce intake.
Food affects the brain throughout the day, which is why it’s important to keep the body well energised. This can be done by eating the correct food in order to stay alert and maintain focus. Eating unhealthy foods can give your body energy for a short period of time, but can cause you to become fatigued and less focussed.
A great example of high energy foods is superfoods such as quinoa, nuts and pulses. Superfoods contain good fats that help you to feel fuller for longer. Swapping your carbohydrates from the usual white bread and pasta to lighter carbs such as brown rice and couscous has proven to be beneficial. Pasta, white rice and white bread are high in sugar, but only give you a short burst of energy rather than a longer release of energy over time.
Substituting out chocolate and cakes for fruits and vegetables gives you natural sugars as opposed to consuming an abundance of processed sugars. Natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables help keep you energised for a sustained period of time. But, be aware that these sugars, although natural, can still harm your body if eaten excessively, so best to still eat proportionate amounts.
Eating healthily doesn’t mean you need to cut out meat completely – choose a leaner, protein-rich meat such as chicken (without the skin), turkey and only having select red meats, like steak, without the fat. These meats are relatively low in fat content and digest well, perfect for a lunchtime meal. There are a variety of fish options that are great for your lunch as well. Fish can be high in oily fats, however, salmon and mackerel are high in omega 3 which has been proven to be great for increasing concentration.
Attending conferences and exhibitions can be strenuous on your body and mind when you are trying to stay focused all day. You should take breaks where possible. Health experts recommend breaking up sedentary time every 30 minutes for at least 1 to 2 minutes. Going for a walk to stretch your legs can be advantageous to stopping any stiffness or pains, especially in the lower back. There are also some simple stretches you can do whilst sitting to help your back and neck, when seated for a long period of time, without interrupting the conference.
At The Mermaid London, our on-site catering team, KUDOS, provide a variety of fresh, healthy alternatives, made daily for your conference and exhibition lunches.
KUDOS are dedicated to creating exceptional food experiences that help you follow a healthier lifestyle. As well as the food, The Mermaid London has nine stunning event spaces to choose from, perfect for your next conference or event.