We know that your morning routine is crucial to set the tone of your day and that the way you spend your evenings has a huge impact on stress and quality of sleep, but what about those hours in the middle of the day? Noon signals a tricky time when fatigue tends to set in, food cravings spike, and productivity can wane.
Business Insider went in search of advice from the world’s most successful actors, politicians, athletes, and leaders to find out how they fight afternoon brain fog with food. From Madonna’s kelp-rich diet to Mark Zuckerberg’s vegetarian spread, one takeaway is clear: Choosing a nutrient-dense meal at lunchtime will help fuel your body and brain to power you through the rest of the day.
This is what the most productive people actually order for lunch.
The actress and Goop founder told Vogue that she usually opts for a homemade salad for lunch. “My routine is the same every weekday. I drop my kids at school. I do an hour of dance cardio, then I go to work,” she says. “For lunch, I usually have a big salad with grilled chicken, and then for dinner, I’ll have whatever I want.” Protein-rich meals help you feel fuller for longer, so follow Paltrow’s lead if you tend to struggle with afternoon snack cravings.
A devoted follower and partial owner of Weight Watchers, Oprah Winfrey has been following the diet plan for nearly two years. People reports she eats the same thing for lunch every day: soup and salad. “One of her favorite pairings is tomato soup and Tuscan kale and apple salad,” adds Business Insider. According to her personal trainer, Craig Smith, the star eats six meals a day—consisting of three main courses and three lighter snacks—every two to four hours.
Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg embarked on an unusual “personal challenge” in 2011. The business tycoon is mostly vegetarian and only eats meat from animals he has killed himself. “I’m eating a lot healthier foods. And I’ve learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising of animals,” he told Fortune. “It’s easy to take the food we eat for granted when we can eat good things every day.” A typical day of eating consists of vegetable-rich dishes with small portions of game meat when possible.
A study published in British Journal of Health Psychology found that a diet rich in fresh vegetables can impact your productivity and happiness. According to Harvard Business Review, researchers concluded that “the more fruits and vegetables people consumed (up to 7 portions), the happier, more engaged, and more creative they tended to be.”
Credits: PHOTO: Terry Wyatt/Stringer