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jamief@drinkcf.com, Author at CF Nutrition
Holiday Order Processing: Orders placed after 4:00pm EST (1:00pm PST) on November 23rd will be fulfilled on November 28th.
Categories
Wellness + Medical Tips

5 Ways to Establish a Winning Work from Home Environment

In today’s world, so many of us have working environments that are no longer at, well, work. If quarantine has you holed up at home, you might find every day presents a challenge (or twenty) when it comes to staying productive, focused, and clear-headed (especially when that dryer won’t stop buzzing). Today, then, we wanted to serve up five game-changing tips for establishing a winning work from home environment. Read on—and get ready to feel that focus and fire once more (yes, even on Monday mornings). 

1. Define your space.

We’re starting here because this one is, by far, the most important tip. Designating a single space as your “office” will help keep things compartmentalized in your mind. You don’t want to work from somewhere where you typically watch movies or play with your kids, because your brain has already learned to associate those spaces with other activities (none of which are work).

By creating a singular space that is meant for work and only work, you’ll be able to switch into “work mode” much quicker—and with far fewer distractions. Keep in mind: this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have an entire spare bedroom to dedicate to your office (though a space with a door is always preferred). Even if you’re in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in New York City, it’s simply about carving out one little nook that’s solely meant for work, where no outside items or distractions are stored. A few tips as you choose your space?

  • Opt for a low-traffic area: Try to select a location where the risk of others walking by and distracting you is low. Avoid rooms or areas near spaces that are used regularly throughout the day (i.e. the kitchen and bathrooms). 
  • Keep things in sight, but at a distance: Your kids playing in the backyard, your husband’s office across the way, that herb garden you’re growing by the window in the hallway—these can all add a little joy to your workday when they’re visible from a distance. Opt for an area where you can still see some outside activity, without being too close to it. 

PRO TIP: Make sure you have everything you need to work within your dedicated office space. This helps minimize the need to wander about the house looking for things, which in turn minimizes your chance of getting distracted. 

2. Set clear boundaries around your work from home environment.

The quickest way to muddy the waters of your work from home environment? Allowing it to operate as a total free-for-all. (We know—we’re no fun today.) Set designated office hours and have a chat with your family members, roommates, or anyone else you share a living space with about your needs. If you have little ones, it’s obviously not feasible to lock them out for hours on end—but you can talk to them about the importance of knocking and “quiet time.” We also love the idea of setting up a sign system—create a tag you can hang on your office door (or, if you don’t have a door, anywhere near the perimeter of your space) that lets others know when you’re on a call, when you’re hard at work and need some silence, and when you’re open to visitors.

3. Invest in items that enhance your comfort. 

If you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, investing in items that enhance your comfort can make a massive difference in your everyday happiness. A few things we recommend?

  • A comfortable chair: Anyone else have a love-affair with lumbar support? Ergonomic chairs can be a bit of an investment, but the comfort they’ll bring you (and the pain they’ll save you) makes them invaluable. 
  • A stand-up desk or stand-up desk topper: From lowering your risk of back pain to improving your energy levels and mood, the benefits of standing desks are pretty indisputable. Even if you don’t want to invest in a brand-new standing desk, you can find a number of affordable options for a standing desk “topper” that you can set on top of your existing desk surface and raise to the proper height.
  • Proper lighting: This one is particularly important for jobs that involve drawing, drafting, writing, or reviewing printed materials. Consider switching out the bulbs in your ceiling fan to something a little more warm, investing in a dimmer system, and/or purchasing a separate, high-quality standing lamp to layer additional lighting in your office space. Straining to see your computer can make you feel fatigued—so adding a task light near or behind your screen is another small switch that makes a major difference.
  • Blue light blockers: If you’re someone who stares at a screen all day (as so many of us do), blue light blocker glasses are a must. They can reduce glare, ease eye strain, and help reduce the amount of melatonin-interference that happens when we’re on our computers late at night. The best part? They’re inexpensive and easy to find online.

4. Include something that makes you smile.

While your work from home environment should be free from distractions, that doesn’t mean it has to be void of personality. Including something that makes you smile, inspires you, or motivates you is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and help soften the blow of a Monday morning. Frame that motivational quote you love and hang it on the wall across from your desk. Send yourself fresh flowers on the first Friday of every month. Diffuse your favorite essential oils in the space. Create a gallery wall that displays all of your child’s artwork. Invest in a great piece of art or pottery that has meaning to you. The options are endless—it’s simply about finding a few items that speak to you and using them to elevate your workspace and your mood.

5. Set yourself up for virtual meeting success.

We can’t stress this one enough—especially if you’ll be taking multiple virtual meetings each week. Create a consistent, designated space where the lighting and background is right for virtual calls, so you don’t have to scramble every time you click on that dreaded Zoom link. A few things to keep in mind?

  • Avoid side-lighting and backlighting: A window at your back will turn you into a shady silhouette—and one by your side will cause your face to be half-shaded by moving shadows. Instead, face a window directly or have a lamp on right in front of you (and right behind your computer screen) for steady, consistent lighting throughout the call.
  • Pull back from the camera: Finding the right perspective is key. You’ll want to position yourself a few feet back from the camera so your features aren’t distorted by the wide-angle lens on webcams and smartphones.
  • Set the camera at eye-level: If you’re working from a laptop on a desk surface that’s lower than your eyes (as many of us do), the camera will be looking right up those nostrils (sorry, boss). Prop your computer up on a few books to avoid this. (Psst…this is a great place to employ that stand-up desk converter you invested in!)

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Ready for more goodness? Browse the rest of the CF Nutrition blog for empowering health, wellness, and lifestyle tips. And don’t forget to bring your A-game to your work from home environment every day by hydrating with the clean, clinical replenishment of CF(Rehyrdate)® and nourishing with the powerful plant-based protein in CF(protein)®, our fan-favorite immunonutrition drink.

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Categories
Presurgery Nutrition Wellness + Medical Tips

Complete Liquid Diet Meal Plan

Whether you’re gearing up for a weight loss surgery or recovering from a dental procedure, odds are that at some point, you’ll be asked to follow a liquid diet meal plan. If the thought alone of consuming nothing but liquified foods makes you feel anxious (& hungry!), you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re sharing a complete liquid diet meal plan with easy liquid meal recipes to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until you’re able to return to eating solid foods. Each liquid meal is healthy, balanced, and tasty so that the only thing you’ll be missing is the snap, crackle, crunch factor of your typical diet.

Breakfast

Option 1:

Banana Nut Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe banana, peeled
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup plain 2-percent-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions

  1. In a blender, combine ingredients and puree until smooth.

Option 2:

Peanut Butter & Jelly Yogurt Bowl

For the Berry Jam:

  • 1/4 c. blackberries
  • 1/4 c. blueberries
  • 1/4 c. raspberries
  • 1/4 c. strawberries, hulled and halved 
  • 1 tbsp. orange juice 
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

For the Peanut Butter Yogurt:

  • 1-1 1/2 c. Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp powdered peanut butter

Directions:

  1. First, make berry jam: In a small pot over medium heat, combine berries, orange juice, and honey with a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and continue to boil until strawberries are broken down and liquid thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. There should be ½ cup of berry mixture. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool. 
  2. Next, combine the Greek yogurt with the powdered peanut butter (you may add sweetener of choice if using plain Greek yogurt).
  3. Finally, layer the yogurt mixture & the berry jam, alternating one layer of each.

Lunch

Creamy Carrot, Peanut, & Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves | about 1 heaped tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (no sugar added)

Directions

  1. In a large cooking pot, melt the coconut oil on a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sautée for about five minutes to soften. Add the chopped garlic, garam masala & turmeric. Sautée for another minute until garlic is fragrant.
  2. Add chopped sweet potato & carrots. Stir ingredients together to coat. Add the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat down to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes + carrots are fork tender. Stir in the peanut butter until melted.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat. Use an immersion blender to process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. If you don’t own an immersion blender you can blend up the soup in batches using a blender. Just make sure to be careful when removing the blender lid  and open away from your body.

Dinner:

Creamy Vegan White Bean & Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked white beans of choice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or other quality vegetable oil
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and chopped, roughly 3-4 cups
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 398ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp honey, or any plant-based sweetener such as agave
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 2 cups minced green kale

Directions

  1. Drain the beans and rinse with cold water. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. To prepare the veggies, simply rinse and cut the leek in half. Separate the layers roughly with your hands and chop the leek pieces horizontally into pieces. To clean the pieces, place them in a large bowl and cover them with water, putting your hands in the bowl to agitate the layers and loosen any dirt that may be stuck in the leek. Skim the leek pieces out of the water and place into a colander. Repeat this again until the rinse water no longer shows signs of dirt.
  3. Prepare the carrots & when the two veggies are ready, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrots & all the salt and cook for about 5 -8 minutes, until the moisture from the leeks starts to escape. Add the minced garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the mixture is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
  4. Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water & dill and mix until the paste is fully dissolved. Cover the pot and turn the heat up to bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and allow the veggies to cook about 15 minutes until just soft.
  5. Next, add the honey, kale & cooked beans and mix all to incorporate. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the kale is wilted. For a creamy soup, puree about 2/3 of the mixture in a blender or in a separate pot with a hand blender, leaving 1/3 of the mixture chunky. If blended well, this soup will be silky & creamy dreamy. Combine the two back together and continue to heat on low to allow all the flavours to mingle for a final few minutes. Serve warm.

Dessert

Option 1:

Tropical Nice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh mangoes (2 to 3 medium), peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 heaping cups)
  • 2 medium banana, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened nut milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup Mango Peach CF(Protein)

Directions

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the mango and banana on prepared sheet in a single layer. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
  2. Transfer the fruit to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the salt. Process until the fruit is crumbly, about 30 seconds. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. With the motor running, pour in the milk and blend continuously for 1 minute. The bottom portion of the mixture will start to become smooth, while the top is still crumbly. Stop the processor, scrape down the sides, and stir. Process until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Serve immediately for a soft-serve consistency, or transfer to a lidded airtight container or a loaf pan and freeze until solid, approximately 2 hours. 

Option 2:

Chocolate Banana Tofu Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, broken into chunks
  • 1 (12 ounce) package soft silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk 
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

Directions

Place the banana, tofu, sugar, cocoa powder, soy milk, and cinnamon into a blender. Cover, and puree until smooth. Pour into individual serving dishes, and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Snack Ideas:

CF(Protein) Mango Peach

1 1/2 Cups Kefir blended with fruit of choice 

Beef, chicken, or turkey bone broth

If you or a loved one is preparing for or recovering from a procedure that has you following a liquid diet meal plan, fear not! These healthy liquid meals are packed with protein and the nutrients to leave you feeling satisfied and energized, which is a rare feat when it comes to your typical slurpable fair. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids while sticking to a liquid diet meal plan, particularly focusing on electrolytes. These important minerals can fluctuate with a reduced carbohydrate intake that tends to coincide with a liquid diet meal plan. We recommend choosing a beverage that offers an advanced dose of electrolytes to ensure you stay feeling as best as possible. We hope you enjoy these tasty, chew-free liquid meals as much as we do!

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