It’s a new year and if fresh job aspirations and work goals are at the forefront of your mind, what you eat could become a defining factor between getting there or not.

The fuel we consume not only sparks our vitality but also drives our mental capacity. Without adequate nutrition, it’s not possible to be firing on all cylinders or achieving our best!

It’s important to realise that what you have for breakfast and pack for lunch may contribute to how well you manage to stay ‘switched on’ throughout a long day at work. ‘Brain powering’ fuel won’t suddenly make you a genius, but by consuming an appropriate diet you will remain alert and satisfied throughout the day. There is nothing worse than feeling hungry or sleepy while trying to focus on learning something new or write a complex paper.

Carbs = brain fuel

The preferred source of fuel for our brain is carbohydrates. When the body consumes wholegrain bread and cereals the body breaks these down to glucose for the body and brain to use. Packed with fibre, wholegrains and carb-rich vegetables are the way to go as they are absorbed slowly and ensure a steady stream of energy is provided across the course of the day. Enjoy oats for breakfast, a wholegrain sandwich for lunch and perhaps some sweet potato mash for dinner and you are on the right track.

Eggs = memory boosting

Eggs contain choline, a nutrient beneficial for brain development and memory. They are also a really satisfying breakfast choice that will keep you fuller for longer. A great source of protein and packed full of nutrition, eggs are a great choice any time of the day. Served softly boiled at breakfast with some wholegrain toast and grilled tomato, or hard-boiled for a snack or sandwich; eggs are a definite pleaser. For those unable to eat eggs, yoghurt, tofu and buckwheat are also great sources of choline for brain development.

Omega 3s = brain development

Omega 3 fatty acids go to the top of the class for brain and eye development, as well as stabilising mood. Found in foods like walnuts, linseeds, eggs and salmon, there are loads of different ways to maximise your intake of these high performing fatty acids. Tuck some salmon and salad into a soy and linseed pita pocket for lunch or create a ‘brain-power’ trail mix of dried fruit, walnuts, blueberries and yoghurt bites for a delicious desk snack.

Along with these suggestions, consume loads of fresh fruit and vegetables so your brain will be switched on and powered up for the day. Think minimally processed foods when you are preparing all meals.

A ‘clever’ day on a plate:

Breakfast: 2 soft boiled eggs with a slice of soy and linseed bread and some grilled tomato/baby spinach/mushrooms.

Morning tea: a small yoghurt with ¼ cup blueberries.

Lunch: a wholegrain pita pocket with salmon and salad.

Afternoon tea: Fresh and dried fruit with walnuts and yoghurt bites.

Dinner: grilled steak with sweet potato mash and mixed greens.

Eating well not only keeps you in great shape but helps keep your brain sharp! So power up your brain the right way… and as always, eat close to nature!