The first three months have passed since New Year´s Eve and by now most of our new year´s resolutions have vanished into thin air. Bringing a healthier lifestyle to the workplace, for example. But, keep it up! The ´healthy meeting´ trend is bound to continue this year. How can you that? These are our 10 tips on how to hold healthy meetings in 2017.
1. Brain food: fuel for the brain
It´s all in the name; brain food improves your concentration, alertness, and your memory. Helpful during long meetings or conferences of several days that make you long for extra energy. Which foods make up the best fuel for your brain? Think of green leafy vegetables, raw chocolate, nuts, and seeds. Fish like herring, mackerel, and trout are full of good fats and Omega-3, which slow down the deterioration of brain cells and stimulate the production of new cells and serotine. The latter giving your mood a positive boost!
2. Water, the perfect thirst-quencher
There is nothing wrong with a nice cup of cappuccino once in a while, but we tend to sip away buckets of coffee a day. And even though research has shown that coffee – preferably organic – has a positive effect on our functioning, a surplus of caffeine can never be good. That is why you should make sure that there is enough water on the conference table because water is the perfect thirst-quencher. Many hotels and conference centers offer posh bottles of mineral water, but tap water is a lot more eco-friendly and tastes just as good – especially in Holland.
3. Organic and sustainable lunches
Are you having a lunch meeting? Instead of a lavish buffet – usually resulting in a disproportional amount of leftovers- you can also opt for a plated lunch with various small and light dishes: tapas style. The shared dining phenomenon – where you share dishes – also pops up in 2017. Hold back with alcohol; fruit juices are a great alternative. Choose organic products and use plates and cutlery made of sustainable materials, like the beautiful disposables of Natural Table Ware
4. Less meat, more vegetables
Nowadays, many people choose to skip meat every once in a while or even choose a veggie lifestyle. And why not? The days that (part time) vegetarians at a business dinner were bored with the ever filled sweet peppers or grilled goat´s cheese are long gone. Even more so, in many top rated restaurants vegetables are actually at the center of things. You can do everything with vegetables; there are so many variations and ways of preparing them that you really won´t miss that piece of fish or meat. On top of that, green vegetables like broccoli and spinach keep your iron at a healthy level and are bursting with vitamins.
5. Healthy snacks are not boring
Surely you are familiar with it, you are in a meeting for hours and suddenly you are overwhelmed by a terrible need to yawn. You can hardly keep your eyes open. Beware: your blood sugar level has dropped to a minimum, your body is crying out for sugar. Instead of opening that can of coke or taking a grab from the celebrations box, you´re better off choosing a healthy food bar (there are many variations on the market), a handful of nuts, a piece of pure chocolate, or a banana. Bananas contain tryptophan, a substance that makes you feel better. Combine a bowl of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and sweet pepper with a smooth dip like hummus.
6. Surprising fruits
At any conference venue on you´ll find a bowl of fruit somewhere, filled with bananas and apples. That´s nice, but also a bit boring. A good alternative is the pomegranate. Pomegranates are full of antioxidants that will make your stress level drop – at some meetings that can be just what you need. There are also many exotic fruits that don´t only taste great, they also look great, like the dragon fruit or the ramboetan (looks like a hairy lychee).
7. Move it!
During meetings we tend to sit still a lot, which can have a negative impact on our body. It´s important to frequently introduce short breaks to loosen up the body. It will help you concentrate better afterwards. A long day with meetings or brainstorm sessions? Go for a walk together, take a short yoga class, or take part in a meditation session. It will stimulate creativity and improve the group atmosphere. On top of that, it will help you take a new perspective on things.
8. Stand-up meeting: more effective and healthier
You have probably done it before: a stand-up meeting. And that is for a reason because meetings without chairs are not only more effective, they are also healthier. Research has pointed out that a stand-up meeting is as much as 34% faster. That is because it´s difficult for our brain to remain active while our body is being passive. When you´re sitting you will be more inclined to doze off or quickly check your mail. Also, a stand-up meeting is healthier because you use the muscles in your legs!
9. Not a marathon, but a walkathon
A marathon of 42 kilometers is not for everybody. But, an organised walkathon is a good alternative. Walking is good for the heart and the lungs, and it improves your memory. On top of that, it also has a positive effect on your mood.
10. Conscious = healthy
Pause the meeting for a social or sustainable team building activity. There are more social and sustainability initiatives near to you than you might expect. Check out your local area and ask around in your network.