Women

3.    The day it's a colleague's birthday and you don't want to be The Wowser saying 'no' to 10am cake.

Beware: Chasing cake with a cafe-style cheese toastie, unless you want to the blood destined for your noggin to take a five-hour stopover at your stomach.

This is probably the hardest scenario to avoid especially if you work in a large office where birthdays seem as common as Mondays. The plus side is that often there is not only birthday cake, but other celebratory goodies, which means you can gloss over dissin' the gateaux and move on to crackers with cheese. If you do want cake (and don't fear that a slice will turn you into the Cakey Monster), Bingley - Pullin recommends that you "choose a small piece of cake and make yourself a tea or coffee so you can be seen as sociable without being a Wowser". On the day, she says, try to choose a lighter lunch option. "Maybe a salad with a smaller protein portion to limit the calories you are consuming for the day."

Chasing cake with a cafe-style cheese toastie, unless you want to the blood destined for your noggin to take a five-hour stopover at your stomach.

Chasing cake with a cafe-style cheese toastie, unless you want to the blood destined for your noggin to take a five-hour stopover at your stomach.

4.    The day you're finally going to go for a run at lunchtime (and need to eat a pre-run snack that won't weigh you down).

Beware: High fat snacks, which can leave you with more heartburn than in an aged care home.

Ideally, try to eat something light before you go on your lunchtime run. Some people have a low carb protein shake about 45 minutes to an hour before lunchtime exercise. If this is too heavy on your stomach before a run, Bingley-Pullin suggests a handful of raw nuts with an apple as a lighter option. "You should also plan to have something small to eat about an hour after a light sandwich or wrap with some grilled chicken, tuna or salmon "to provide protein for your muscle recovery". It's also important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration after exercise.

5.    The day of your performance review you need focus.

Beware: Stimulants like coffee and cola, which will give your grey matter the sugar equivalent of the DTs.

Stimulants like coffee and cola, which will give your grey matter the sugar equivalent of the DTs.

Stimulants like coffee and cola, which will give your grey matter the sugar equivalent of the DTs.

Performance reviews can cause major stress and play havoc with stress hormone cortisol and, consequently, send blood sugar dipping and diving. A brain that can't get its mitts on glucose is like a car without petrol. Staying calm will keep your cognition up to speed. The chill pill? Camomile or lavender tea. Dr. Harwin also suggests increasing your intake of foods rich in Vitamin B, Omega-3s and magnesium in the days leading up to your review think sunflower seeds, and nuts and fish, which will help to reduce stress, improve brain function, and get you to chill the frig out. Of course even if food is the last time you feel like, it's important to load up on quality fuel for optimum focus. Bingley - Pullin recommends starting with a small portion of complex carbohydrates to help give your body a steady stream of sugar for the day. "For breakfast, try some yoghurt with low fat muesli with some blue berries or strawberries." For lunch, go a sandwich on brown or wholegrain bread with plenty of leafy greens and lean protein. For the rest of the day, Dr Harwin issues this directive: "Eat regularly." And you're not going to like it, but she puts refined foods and stimulants like coffee and cola, which are dehydrating, on a blacklist. Try water instead. "You don't want to go into your review with your brain like a dried sponge."

6.    The day you'll have your head down and bum up from 9 to 5 (step count: pitiful).

Beware: Working through lunch. Repeat: 'I am not the prime minister' (and we're sure she stops for lunch).

In this type of day you may not be burning much energy physically, but mentally you need to stay focused. Your brain uses a lot of glucose so it's important to maintain adequate blood sugar levels. Naturopath and IsoWhey educator Dannielle Newham recommends that your breakfast contains berries, fruit, and yoghurt, with a quarter cup low fat muesli to sustain your energy. "Making sure you eat regularly is key; you should snack on dried fruit, apples or bananas to make sure you maintain your focus." You may feel as though you've got as much to do as Julia Gillard on election day, but try to take 10 to 15-minute breaks to help re-oxygenate your body. "You will be surprised how much more work you get completed," Newham says. Dr Harwin also warns that the changes in your blood sugars from not moving around at regular intervals will affect your work and increase cravings and the risk             "This of eating something unhealthy, can further result in an energy crash in the near future, followed by the food cravings and the cycle continues."

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