Since last year, I have adopted a new "lifestyle" change - not diet. This new lifestyle change includes a consistent workout schedule and a change in the way I eat. Being from the South, I wouldn't dare say 'no' to some collard greens and hammocks, Jiffy cornbread, fried chicken, oxtails, and mac-n-cheese. Hell I’m reminiscing on the good ol’ days and smacking my lips now as I type this.
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I decided to make a change with my eating once I realized that my metabolism wasn’t moving any faster, random weight gain started showing up, and my energy level was embarrassing low. In addition, the foods that I ate made me feel so sluggish and affected my thought process and productivity. Having the itis 24/7 isn’t fun or efficient for your time especially when you have something important going on like work or a job interview.
For most people, unless you are health conscious with your eating, you are probably eating the wrong foods - especially before your interview. When you have an important event like an interview, it is important that you are fully prepared. You should print multiple copies of your resume, research the company, and religiously practice your elevator speech. You may want to even buy a new suit and pair of shoes so that you can not only sound bomb but you can look bomb as well.
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I think that the most overlooked, pre-interview item is our choice of food. When you are rushing to your interview, it is easy to scarf down those sinful sausage and biscuits from McDonald’s or a bagel with cream cheese. However, your body and mind is one, so it is important that you not only feed your mind with knowledge prior to the interview, but also your body with the right fuel so that you can perform at your best. Even though we all love getting our favorite donuts and kolaches, studies show that eating unhealthy food like this can make you feel exhausted and can affect your thought process and memory. So long Donut Fridays!
In order to ensure that you have a good interview performance and have your optimal level of energy and focus, eating well is a crucial part in your interview preparation process.
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Here are some foods you should eat before an interview (and the kind of foods you should avoid).
Food and drinks to consume:
Oatmeal and other cereals that are high in fiber reduces stress and will trigger the release of serotonin, a chemical that makes you calmer. Having a bowl of oats will make you feel full (but not in a uncomfortable way) and it will give you the calm before the storm that you need.
#MealTip: I like to cook my oatmeal in unsweetened Vanilla almond milk and it makes it super creamy and delicious!
Avocados contain Vitamin B which makes you naturally more alert and helps your brain transmit and comprehend information. The best thing about avocados are that they are also really filling and they taste amazing with everything.
#MealTip: Slice up an avocado and eat with an egg white omelet. You can also chop it up and mix it with berries - trust me it so good. Lastly, get a ripe avocado and mix it with chopped tomatoes, lime juice, sea salt, pepper, and cilantro for some good ole guacamole. Eat it with a lean meat like chicken or on the side with eggs.
Studies show that the protein in Greek yogurt increases certain transmitters in your brain that will boost your mood. When you are in a good mood, you are more positive, so what better way to impress the interviewer with your high energy and positivity.
#MealTip: Use nonfat greek yogurt as a base for your smoothies or eat it with dried oats and top it with berries. Yum!
Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and fresh collards are packed with nutrients that are said to help your brain focus. If you don’t have time to cook anything with leafy greens, you can probably find a salad from your local food stores or even Target that has one or some of the greens packed in one bowl.
#MealTip: I love to make salads with kale and spinach, and I love to cook kale greens with collard greens (minus the hammocks). If you don’t feel like bringing out your pot to cook the greens, blend any of these greens with your favorite smoothie by adding berries, ginger, and a drop of honey.
Coffee or Tea with Caffeine (but not too much)
Coffee and teas with caffeine will keep you awake and make you more alert. However, drinking too much of it will make you crash or will make you super jittery.
#MealTip: I am not a coffee drinker, but I love a cup of hot tea. I love drinking green tea and organic peach cobbler black tea by Tazo. You can buy it from Target or Walmart for an inexpensive price.
Salmon, eggs, and anything with flaxseeds
Foods like this can improve mood, memory, and focus. If you don't know where to buy flaxseeds, check out convenient stores like Walmart or Target.
#MealTip: Add a tablespoon of flaxseeds to your oatmeal or smoothies for the extra boost of greatness. If you like boiled eggs, I recommend boiling a few for the week, and eating them on the go for a quick meal. For the salmon, find it in the stores smoked style and try it with scrambled eggs and spinach.
Foods and drinks to avoid:
Water (only when it is too much)
Water is a necessity and is an obvious healthy beverage. It has no carbs, calories, or fats. However, drinking too much water can trigger an unexpected need for the ladies (or men's) room. Or worse, you may have a nervous wiggle in your seat as you are answering important questions.
Too many beans can make you feel uncomfortably full and bloated. Beans also has the potential of making you accidentally let go of some stinky steam (if you know what I mean). Try to limit your bean intake before an interview to avoid accidental smells.
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I love spicy foods but sometimes it make your stomach growl loudly over and over after you eat. Control your spicy cravings when you eat foods before an interview.
Too many carbs
I love potatoes in any form and cooked any way. From herb-roasted potatoes, fried potatoes, and of course mashed potatoes, potatoes definitely have a special place in my heart. However, as good as they are, whenever I eat them, my itis level is on a 1000. Eating heavy foods like potatoes, bread, and pasta will make you feel tired, less alert, and unfocused.
Soda, candy, and any other food or drink that is high in sugars
Anything that has bad sugars like soda and candy will make you crash. It is important that you are alert in an interview and not feeling wired and then drained because you couldn’t say no to the Snickers bar or Coke.
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What kind of power meals do you consume before an important day? Drop a comment below and let us know!
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