Snack ideas and recipes to boost the brain power and motivation of limited company contractors working independently from home.
When you're a limited company contractor working independently at home, there isn't necessarily that same buzz that you might have been familiar with previously when working in an office environment.
Of course, you can put on the radio so you're not working in complete silence and take regular breaks to rest your eyes from the screen, stretch your legs and keep yourself feeling motivated. On those breaks, it can be tempting to raid the fridge, but if you've got a largely sedentary job, this might not be the best option for your long-term health.
Putting some thought into the kind of snacks you're going to have to hand during your working day is important not just to keep your health in check, but to make sure you're feeling motivated throughout the day too.
Here's a few ideas for the type of snacks you need in your fridge or by your desk to keep your brain power boosted:
Nutty pumpkin seed snack bars
Nuts are one of the best snacks for boosting your brain health and power. They're rich in natural oils and omega-3 fatty acids, which countless studies have proven to be effective at keeping the brain healthy and potentially even protected against illnesses like dementia.
All of this means that nuts are a great, nutritious way to kick off your working day, and they'll taste lovely in some homemade breakfast bars, chopped up with a few pumpkin seeds, which are also known to keep your brain healthy.
Mix your nuts and pumpkin seeds with oats for nutritious filling power and some honey. Research has shown that honey helps the body to absorb calcium, which is essential for keeping your brain in good working order, and ready to tackle whatever the working day throws at you.
Pour your mixture into a baking tray and bake until golden. You can make a big batch all at once, giving you breakfast for a few days, as well as snacks for those mid-afternoon slumps. Remember them from your nine-to-five days? They're just as common for contractors too.
Blueberry, walnut and banana muffins
Of all the different types of nut, walnuts are one of the best for brain power, thanks to their extremely high omega-3 fatty acid content. Keeping some walnuts handy in your desk drawer to snack on is a healthy way to get you through the day.
If you have a little time to bake though, you could incorporate them in some tasty muffins that will make a good breakfast or motivating snack. If you don't think you'd be able to find any time to bake because your evenings are usually taken up with limited company admin, remember that PayStream's limited company service, My PSC can support you with this, leaving you with more free time to spend doing the things you love.
To make the muffins, start by mashing two bananas; these are naturally high in potassium, which helps your body to deliver oxygen to your brain, keeping it ticking over nicely. Crack two eggs - also believed to be good for brain power and maintaining a sharp memory, which is vital when you're juggling several assignments all at once - into your bowl and add your chopped walnuts.
You then need to add around 250 grams of sifted wholemeal flour, which is much more filling and nutritious than white flour, before stirring everything together and finishing the mix with a handful of blueberries. These are a superfood and University of Reading research from 2017 even found that children who ate them before exams ended up performing better, thanks to their brain function boosting powers. So imagine what it could do for you!
Pour your mixture into muffin cases and bake for around 20 minutes, or until you can insert a skewer into the cakes and it comes out clean.
Brain-boosting avocado on toast
Avocado on toast has earnt itself a reputation as a trendy breakfast, but it's actually a really nutritious desk snack, and it could help to keep you feeling motivated through the afternoon if you have it for lunch.
Avocados are naturally high in monounsaturated fats, which are known for their brain cell-protecting properties, so if you know you've got a busy week ahead and can't afford to be lacking motivation or feeling under the weather, mashed avocado on wholemeal toast would make an ideal Monday morning breakfast.
Have a poached egg on top for extra brain power and yumminess.
Tuna and vegetable fritters
Oily fish like tuna and salmon are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your brain and to help keep you feeling motivated. However, tucking into a tin of fish at your desk probably isn't the most practical snack to give you a boost while you're working.
Instead, spend an evening making some fritters out of tuna or salmon. Simply mix a tin of oily fish with an egg and some chopped vegetables; sweetcorn, peas, spring onions or even chopped peppers would all work well. Add any seasoning you like and divide the mixture into portions to be fried until you've got a little patty.
These will make a great snack to grab when your energy and motivation starts to dip midway through your working day, and you can even take them on the school run with you or eat them while you nip to the shop to make sure you're feeling refreshed and full of new motivation when you return to your assignments.