Eating a diet that is rich in protein and nutrients can be hard in a modern environment soaked in saturated fats and sugars. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, while allowing the occasional indulgence, can be a difficult juggling act for many Australians, particularly time-poor, overworked executives.

Fiona Caddies, nutritionist and founder of health website WhiteZebra, says it’s important to start the day on the right note. “The problem with cereal or fast-processing carbohydrates like toast and jam is that when you eat them, you feel immediately great. Your blood sugar spikes, leaving you full of beans and ready to go. But before long, all of that bouncy energy fades away and you crash. You’ll be hungry by 10 am and reaching for a syrup-boosted latte and white-chocolate-and-raspberry muffin to perk you back up! And then the energy rollercoaster starts all over again.

“Apart from the ill effect of high, sustained blood sugar and the risk of diabetes, the effect on the brain is just as bad, if not worse. Carbohydrates stimulate serotonin production, the feel-good, happy neurotransmitter, which is why we reach for biscuits, chips, and chocolate when we need comfort food. This boost in the brain is highly addictive and leaves you thinking about your next sugar hit almost instantly.

“So start the day with some good, sustaining protein and fat and it will set you up with motivation and focus and help shape your food choices throughout the day, preventing the stimulant-based rollercoaster of sugar and caffeine.”

“Start the day with some good, sustaining protein and fat and it will set you up with motivation and focus and help shape your food choices throughout the day.” – Fiona Caddies

According to Fiona, it’s as simple as eating healthily and in proportion most of the time. “I believe in sticking to real foods most of the time. Eat as many plants as possible—more vegetables than fruits. Eat organic protein and fats. Drink lots of water! But who hasn’t heard this before? So, as a busy CEO, how can you actually make this a reality for your lifestyle?