How to Eat Your Way to Creativity

What’s the best fuel for a writer? For the 2021 Summer Olympics in Japan, 59-year-old Yoko Nishimura created a healthy salad to keep athletes in top form and combat the heat. She boiled edamame beans, added protein-rich noodles, fresh fruit, herbs, and vegetables.

Like athletes, authors need energy to win. Fruit and vegetable consumption increases creativity, keeps you healthy for the long term, and makes you happier. By now, you know indie publishing is a long game. Staving off depression and increasing productivity with healthy snacks is a triple win.

Can the snacks you choose help you meet your word-count goals? It might sound like a stretch, but a 2014 study suggests that healthy snacks light up different areas of your brain than high-calorie snacks. Eating more fruits and vegetables could prime your brain to be more reflective and future-focused about external rewards of all kinds. High-calorie snacks may make your impulsive side stronger.

Finishing a draft and running the indie publishing marathon require delayed gratification. What if your snack choice strengthened your ability to stay the course?

Let’s say you’re willing. Save your precious willpower for words by preparing healthy snacks ahead of time. Pomegranates definitely need advanced prep. Unless you want your keyboard to look like a murder weapon. 

As a general guide, you need two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day. Try thin slices of fruit (to feel like a cookie or a chip). Or any vegetable that strikes your fancy, washed and cut into writer-friendly shapes. 

Cupcake papers or tiny bright-colored bowls with a ½ cup serving size make snacks fun and clean-up quick. Pamper your inner child to fill your creative well: the variety of colors and shapes can overflow into your stories. A vampire that munches garlic or Jerusalem artichokes? Here are a few ideas:

  • Cocktail tomatoes, snap peas, snacking cucumbers or peppers, tiny carrots, or mild radishes are tasty and convenient. Blueberries or other berries for anti-oxidant superpowers. 
  • Almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, preferably unsalted.
  • Air-popped popcorn.
  • Water reduces fatigue and wakes you up.

Once your snacks are packed, consider intervals. Try a timed-sprint to get words, followed by a snack break. Your subconscious will have a chance to work with you. 

What makes you light up and feel good for the long term? Experiment for yourself. Then stock up on your favorites, and go for the gold!

Picture of Laurel Decher

Laurel Decher

There might be no frigate like a book, but publishing can feel like a voyage on the H.M.S. Surprise. There’s always a twist and there’s never a moment to lose. Laurel’s mission is to help you make the most of today’s opportunities. She’s a strategic problem-solver, tool collector, and co-inventor of the “you never know” theory of publishing. As an epidemiologist, she studied factors that help babies and toddlers thrive. Now she writes books for children ages nine to twelve about finding more magic in life. She’s a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), has various advanced degrees, and a tendency to smuggle vegetables into storylines.

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