I am constantly asked by professionals how they can improve their performance. The answer, I tell them, is simple. Follow the 7 Peak Performance Essentials, which are the key to achieving optimum performance and you will find your energy, productivity, and performance increases.
The number one key for optimum performance is oxygen – it is the key to energy and fat burning. Number two is water. You can’t drink enough pure water especially for your cognitive functioning your brainpower. Distilled water is the purest source, and you should definitely stay away from tap water, as it is high in chlorine, pesticides and herbicides.
The 3 rd Essential is Clean, Balanced Fuel, and this is the one that I want to focus on for the moment. Notice I did not say “food”. When I say “food” what most people think of is “mouth entertainment”. Not that healthy food can’t be enjoyable. But, clean, balanced fuel, rather than “food”, is the key to optimum performance. The equation for optimum performance is 75 + 20 + 5. Translation: 75% of your performance is attributed to nutrition, 20% is exercise, and the last 5% is supplementation. In order to achieve peak performance you need to be ‘in training’ 75% of the time. That gives you 25% of the time to indulge in mouth entertainment.
Here is a fundamental question: Do you want to set yourself up for success, or, do you want to set yourself up for failure? If you want to achieve optimum performance both short and long term, start by keeping your house clean. If you want to be lean, healthy, and have high energy, it does not make good sense to have your most tempting junk food snacks right there in your house. Fact of life: if it’s in your home, you will eat it. When you want to have a “cheat” meal 2 or 3 times a week go out to a restaurant and eat anything you want guilt free. But do not bring the doggie bag home. This way, when you are home, or at the office, you are “in training” and eating clean.
Nutrition is very simple. There are only 3 macronutrients: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Therefore, if you want to eat the best you possibly can, you want to put high quality protein, good fat, and unprocessed carbohydrates in approximately equal amounts into your body 4 to 6 times a day. High quality protein is lean, meaning that 20% or less of the calories come from fat. Red meat, even “lean” red meat is NOT high quality protein. A typical steak is over 70% fat and pork is NOT “the other white meat.” Good Proteins include: white meat of chicken, turkey, fish, and egg whites with the best being high quality whey protein powder.
Bad Fat. There are 3 categories of fat you should avoid: fats that come from animals (meaning red meats, cheese, butter, and whole fat dairy), processed fats like peanut butter (with hydrogenated fats being the most toxic), and fried fats (heat makes any fat toxic, with french fries being one of the worst). Good Fat. The criteria for good fat is that it be raw and come from plants. The richest sources of omega 3 and 6 essential fats are raw flax, sunflower and sesame seeds and raw flax, sunflower and sesame oil.
Use the oil in energy shakes and blended with balsamic vinegar and lemon juice on vegetables and salads. It is a delicious accompaniment to any meal and an extremely healthy alternative to store bought dressings. Other sources of good fat include raw nuts (particularly almonds), raw seeds (especially sunflower and sesame seeds), raw nut butters, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil (but NEVER cook with it HEAT MAKES FAT TOXIC). Your best possible snacks are raw nuts and raw seeds.
For your good carbohydrates choose only “foods-as-grown” carbohydrates. Avoid white sugar, white flour and all other processed carbohydrates. Alcohol is the most highly processed of all carbohydrates and is extremely neurotoxic i.e. destructive to your brain. The best carbohydrates include all vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), yams and sweet potatoes, whole grains (like raw organic oatmeal and brown rice) and whole fresh fruit.
The Ultimate Clean Balanced Fuel is the Energy Shake. If you want to achieve the best results, this is the ticket. Here is a recipe for the perfect meal for a peak performance breakfast, before sales meetings, or any time you need to perform at your peak. It will increase your energy levels and keep you mentally switched on.
- 16 ounces of pure water (but never juice because all fruit juice is pure sugar)
- 2-3 scoops of whey protein powder
- 1-2 tablespoons raw seed blend (a flaxseed oil blend is best)
- 1 piece of whole fresh fruit or a cup of frozen, unsweetened fruit
Blend for 30 to 45 seconds on high and enjoy.
This recipe will make one 32-oz shake, which should provide you with enough energy to keep you going for 3-4 hours. Fuel up 4 to 6 times a day for optimum performance, and good luck.
Lisa Anne Leslie is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and popular professional speaker, energizing professional teams at conferences and meetings across the nation. The lifestyle program she teaches provides the keys to optimum health and performance, disease prevention, and anti-aging.