Do You Feed Your Muse Well?

winefortwoWriters are typically desperate to find inspiration. They seek creativity like a desert cries for rain. They quest for the perfect undiscovered angle, turning over ideas like a grub-hunter turns over stones.

I know this to be true, because my life is much like that – at least, half the time it is. I’m either overflowing with fantastic ideas and thoughts about everything under the sun, or I’m staring at a blank page thinking my muse went and died on me.

I wasn’t even invited to the funeral.

I try the usual tricks to combat periodic flashes of writer’s block. I go outside to play in the sun. I take a shower, hoping the white noise stirs up THE BIG ONE. I drive my car in wide open spaces listening to the hum of the tires on asphalt.

Lately, I’m trying something new – and it’s working.

I Was a 70s Child

One of my most favorite television commercials from those years was that of Bill Cosby playing with a bunch of little kids. They whole gang drove around in pretend cars like maniacs, making all sorts of noise and giggling their pants off (Cosby included).

Then something terrible happened. Those racecar drivers would sputter, jerk, slow down and then fall to the floor, rolling around in some state of agonized energy meltdown.

Their cars had run out of gas.

Very carefully, very gravely, Cosby would pick himself up off the floor and explain to the kids that their bodies were just like that. Kids needed to fuel up each morning so they could zoom around all day.

This was serious stuff. No one was laughing, and I was riveted to the television.

Too Busy, Too Bored, Too Stupid

Of course, I didn’t pay much attention to Bill. I became a teen, way too cool to eat proper, regular meals. After that came adulthood, and I just became busy. Now I’m a web worker, and I simply forget to eat.

Literally.

Web workers are people with some of the worst eating habits I’ve ever seen. Our perception has changed, and our sense of time is skewed all to hell. Two hours is a whole afternoon, two days feels like two weeks, and if you haven’t heard from someone in a month, they’re probably dead.

Meals? Real, proper, healthy, unprocessed, brainfood meals? Forget it.

Half the people I know are just like me – they forget to eat, skip meals or just don’t have time to grab some food. The other half eat all the time, snacking continually and not on carrot sticks either.

It’s stupid, really – because when we don’t eat or eat the wrong food, we tie up our creativity, inspiration and motivation in chains so tight the circulation gets cut off and we just burn out.

Like Bill Cosby said, we run out of gas.

Your Brain Is All You Have

Tony Lawrence mentioned something important recently in our comment section. Our bodies and brains are amazing machines. They make money for us, entertain us, write ebooks, design sites, mentor clients, get friends to laugh, tell stories, think up fantastic ideas…

Our brains need fuel. Food helps us get inspired, fired up, and sparking with creative ideas.

For seven days, I tested the theory. I grabbed a bowl of granola and milk every morning and ate it whether I felt like it or not. Why granola? Carbs, baby. Creative gasoline.

I didn’t do anything special or change my habits beyond that. I ate at the computer while reading my morning email. Some days I had to put up a sticky note just in case. For web workers, time flies by in the blink of an eye.

And for seven straight days, my brain was on superpower.

Just three weeks in and the results are all systems go. I’m less tired. I write easily. Ideas flow. So do the words. My creative muse wasn’t dead. I’d just been starving her – literally.

Food for thought, no?

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

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  1. That’s a really interesting post. I guess I’ve never really considered how eating regularly helps keep the mind sharp for the task at hand. I especially like the Bill Cosby commercial angle, I remember those well. I guess I’ll try to put a little more in me than 6 cups of coffee when I’m working.

    Raul´s last blog post…Writing Routines

  2. Oh.My.Garsh! The perfect reason to indulge in carbs. Carbs get such a bad rap, and now you’ve given us the reason we love them so. Eternal thanks!

    Betsy Wuebker´s last blog post…REQUIEM FOR RYAN

  3. James,

    Dang. I don’t remember the commercial at all and I thought I remembered everything!

    But yeah. I’m a big believer in fuel for the brain. I don’t forget breakfast, usually, but I’ve been known to forget dinner if the kid isn’t around to remind me. (“Hey, Mama, shouldn’t we eat or something?”) And I can definitely tell the difference in quality of fuel for the muse. If I eat crap for breakfast, it’s hours of why-do-I-feel-fuzzy before I can start spitting out quality work.

    Tony’s comment was awesome. Stuck with me so much I was thinking about it days later. I guess so were you!

    My muse does not generally like glasses of wine by the fire, though I am a big fan, lol. At the first sign of alcohol I may be great to talk to, but all written genius leaves me.

    Regards,

    Kelly

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  4. Soooo true! I really do tend to forget to eat. Having two kids helps though because they usually let me know if I forget to feed them . . . but I still sometimes just give them some food and keep working without eating myself!

  5. Brett Legree says:

    (At the risk of offending someone – but hey, where’s the fun if you can’t offend someone!)

    I’ve never had a problem “feeding my muse”. If I’m hungry, I eat. We have all kinds of martyrs at work who will plow through lunch because they are “busy” – oh, and then they usually make a point of going around and telling people that they were so busy they forgot to eat for two days.

    I have a name for these people.

    LOSERS!

    (That was the offensive part – okay, I understand if it is your passion, but hey, take a break and eat – you’ll be much more effective.)

    But seriously – air, water, food – I need all of those before I need to get just one more thing done.

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  6. Brett,

    For me it’s not a martyrdom thing. It’s a totally-forget thing. Like, really forget. I can ignore a growling stomach easily. Usually at breakfast I get sick in a hour or two if I forget to eat, so that’s a big incentive not to forget. Later in the day, it doesn’t bother me not to eat, so I look up and hours have gone by unnoticed. Or I tell myself as soon as I get home I’ll eat, then I do the four other as soon as I get home things, and “eat” is buried in the pile of to-dos.

    I don’t think it’s a martyrdom thing, anyway…

    Until later,

    Kelly

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  7. @ Brett – I’m with Kelly on this. It’s not an “I’m too busy” thing. It’s not excuses. It’s not trying to show off.

    I fucking forget to eat. Period.

    I’ll be sitting working and then suddenly feel like throwing up (nice, eh?). I look up and it’s 2pm. I haven’t eaten since the night before. I have full intentions to eat, I want to eat, and… I just get distracted and forget.

    @ Genesis – Ha, I do that too!

    @ Kelly – I write well on Shiraz. One glass only. :)

    @ Betsy – It was my pleasure. Pasta, bread, all you can eat!

    @ Raul – You’d be amazed at the difference eating makes for creativity. And like Kelly says, if you experiment, you’ll notice that certain foods don’t work and others do.

  8. Brett Legree says:

    Kelly,

    You’re right – it isn’t always. I chose that specific example because we do see that here (ask Friar, or go read his Soup Martyr post), and I figured it would be a fun jumping off point :)

    I can see forgetting to eat if I’m doing something really really cool. Perhaps work doesn’t do it for me because my current work isn’t my passion?

    Some people really do have work they like so much that they could be buried in it and not eat. Perhaps if I tested fast cars all day long for a living I’d forget to eat, or if I worked at Apple or something.

    Or maybe it’s just me. I can remember folks at university who would be so wound up studying during exams that they wouldn’t eat and sleep. Not me, baby. I never had any trouble with that – perhaps the opposite, I needed coffee to stay awake!

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  9. Brett Legree says:

    James,

    I knew I’d get someone with that! As I sort of said in my reply to Kelly, perhaps if my daytime job were of more interest to me I’d forget to eat too.

    As it is, lunch is often times the highlight of my day :) but I’m in the midst of changing that.

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  10. I know exactly what you are talking about here. As a disabled man I rely on daily medication but the first dose of the day requires a full stomach so I always have a bowl of Weetabix.

    However I almost always skip lunch, though I don’t usually go advertising the fact to anyone Brett :)

    What’s worse is that I also don’t get up (or go to bed) at a regular time, which is seriously screwing with my internal clock! Getting into a regular pattern will boost your physical health as well as mental.

  11. @ Marc – I’m with you on stable sleep patterns, too. I used to go to bed between midnight and 2am. I’d hate mornings and only start to really function in the afternoon.

    Now I go to bed between 9 and 10am and I wake up around 5am every day. I don’t need an alarm clock anymore, I wake up naturally, and I wake up refreshed and energized. I’m not sleeping longer hours – in fact, I’m sleeping LESS than when I went to bed at midnight.

    I’m just sleeping better. Much. And thankful for it, because I get a shitload of stuff done in the mornings. When 4pm or so comes, I’m ready to call it a day. (Not that I do, but I could.)

    Kind of sounds like a pretty normal life, eh? :)

  12. Hey Mr. James!

    I know that when I am inspired (in spirit) I am completely focused. Time passes, the world revolves – I notice these things not. I am in a space I’m supposed to be. When it is over, I shall be exhausted. I shall eat. I shall sleep.

    Those are special days.

    On the others, I do try and keep balance in me life. I’ll get up from the danged computer and get some air, get a bite, perhaps indulge in a frosty beverage.

    Point well taken – feed the machine and the machine will make sure you’re fed.

    Cheers

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post…60mph billboard blog post

  13. (*Okay, I’m going to join Brett here, and be a sh*t distuber…).

    But Wow! ….Eating regularly! (What a concept!)

    Maybe next post, we can discuss the merits of getting enough sleep. And then have an open forum on getting fresh air and excericse.

    Oh, and don’t forget: breathing oxygen.

    (That’s good, too!) ;-)

    Friar´s last blog post…Walking to Work at Minus 37 Celsius

  14. Friar,

    You are trouble. I’ll bet you sit at a new painting and forget all about food some days.

    Anyone who does work as beautiful as yours has to have times when they’re wrapped up in it to the exclusion of all else.

    Later,

    Kelly

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  15. Psst… love the avatar.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  16. @Kelly
    Oh, I dunno. I still like to eat.

    Yes, I get in the “Zone”. But I can only work so many hours on my artwork, before my brain shuts down for the day and says that’s enough. Typically my bursts of creativity are in spurts of 2-3 hours. Mabye twice a day.

    That still leaves plenty of opportunities to go forage for food.

    PS. Yayyy! Someone FINALLY commented on my new avatar. :-D (Do you recognize Junior Bear?)

    Friar´s last blog post…Walking to Work at Minus 37 Celsius

  17. Friar,

    Well, it’s kinda totally OT, so I waited until I couldn’t resist. :)

    Of course I recognize Junior. He’s an exact twin to my daughter’s Winnie. That’s how I know you’re a good dude.

    Later…

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  18. Brett Legree says:

    To add some positive thoughts to this – and I did read Tony’s comment, which was good – I know some guys here at work who are programmers, so as you can guess they sit all day and type.

    I pointed one of them to a little program called WorkRave http://www.workrave.org/welcome/

    While it says it is to prevent RSI, you can adjust the timers in the program and you could set it up to suggest that you take a break every couple of hours, to go eat a banana or something.

    (I like bananas – keep 3 or 4 on your desk and apply as necessary.)

    Of course, it depends on what you’re doing. If you’re trying to achieve “flow” a program like that isn’t probably the best idea – best to go hungry :) but if you’re just doing regular old work, maybe it might be handy.

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  19. I’m lucky. I would rather just sit and go hungry. Honestly, I don’t even think about it, but my wife won’t have it and brings me healthy snacks at regular intervals. On days when she’s not home, I’m probably closer to worthless.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post…Lobster Racing Part Duex

  20. Eating regularly is never really a problem for me. I wouldn’t say that time NEVER gets away from me when I’m on the computer, but I’m enough of a creature of habit that I break for meals when I’m supposed to. And I eat breakfast as soon as I wake up in the morning, before I turn on the computer, before feeding the dog … a bowl of Old-Fashioned Oatmeal, first thing. (I can’t leave the house without eating breakfast, either.)

    Now, if I could only remember to stop once in a while to give my eyes a break … they’re in their 40s now and don’t bounce back the way they used to!

    –Deb´s last blog post…Blogapalooza

  21. @Brett

    Hey..now THERE’s a good idea.

    We develop computer “Feeding Stations” for obsessive programmers and free-lancers.

    Every 30,000 keystrokes, the machine dispenses a banana pellet on the keyboard. So that nobody ever goes hungry.

    (Hmmm….I see great business opportunities here….)

    It would probably work good for chimps, too. (Right, Kelly?) :-D

    Friar´s last blog post…Walking to Work at Minus 37 Celsius

  22. Gmail has a setting that locks you out of your computer to force you to take a break. I think.

    Why are y’all hitting my spam so badly today? What’d you do to it?

  23. Brett Legree says:

    @Friar,

    Don’t laugh – well, the program won’t give you banana pellets, but you can set them to lock you out.

    @James,

    That’s right, it does. (It also has a beer goggles thing, unrelated to that but really funny.)

    Maybe when Friar & I were talking about 20-foot inflatable gorillas with big bananas over at Kelly’s place we caused a disturbance in the Force or something :)

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  24. Great post!

    Taking care of your health is a sound business decision. In fact, it might be one of the most important business decisions you can make.

    That being said – I can ashamedly admit, “guilty as charged.” I’ve skipped meals or made do on less healthy fare in the past. Now that I’ve been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, I simply can’t do that to myself any more.

    A few weeks ago my DH gave me an article (I wish I had a link) on a kid somewhere (I think it was Korea) who sat in front a computer so long (several days) that he died. He was gaming, not working. The principles the same, though.

    Laura Spencer´s last blog post…Book Review: The Unlimited Freelancer

  25. OMG…lookit all these Soup Martyrs.

    I’m beginning to think those of us who like to EAT are the minority!

    Friar´s last blog post…Walking to Work at Minus 37 Celsius

  26. @Friar: We probably are. If it’s one thing I *don’t* forget to do, it’s eating.

  27. Brett Legree says:

    Woo hoo Harry! :)

    (But like I said, give me a job testing fast cars all day and I might also forget to eat…)

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  28. @Yayyy Harry!!!

    (so at least we’re not the only ones, eh?)

    @Brett

    If I tested fast cars, I’d just leave the track, go through Drive-thru, and then come back.

    And do laps at 200 mph with a Big Mac in one hand, and a Large Coke in my lap!

    Friar´s last blog post…Walking to Work at Minus 37 Celsius

  29. Forgetting to eat? But that’s the best part of the day!

    I have this programmer friend who *always* forgets to eat. He keeps Google chat up all day so that I can remind him to run and get lunch.

    As for me, I never forget :D If the heartburn doesn’t remind me, the homicidal thoughts will.

    A good way to get into the habit of eating is for every cup of coffee you drink, grab something healthy to eat. You’re already distracted by needing caffeine, so eating won’t infringe on your day. Plus, it help stave off the 8th-cup heart palpitations ;)

  30. Food for thought.
    Is beer a food?
    I’m not thinking morning here.
    Like maybe just one at cocktail time.
    Just because it tastes so good and it is inspirational.
    Just my opinion. :)

  31. Proper nutrition is so important. If I eat fast food I feel sluggish. I don’t feel like doing anything. But when I ear properly I’m energetic and I feel good. I try to eat well. Fast food is garbage. I eat it once in a blue. I need to stop eating it period.

  32. I’m not thinking morning here.

    Mark,

    In my (Irish) family we say, “it’s noon somewhere.”

    And of course it’s a food. Just don’t ask about nutrition.

    Later,

    Kelly

    Kelly´s last blog post…Inspiration Points: Crunched for Time?

  33. Ack. My blockquote is buggered. *sigh*

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  34. test

  35. Oh hell.

    What happened to blockquotes?

  36. This is shameless promotion and can tie-in with part of James’s post if he wants – “Your Brain Is All You Have.” I wrote a short piece on “Brain Food – Food For The Writer’s Mind – Blueberry Bonanza.” Hope this is allowed. Hope you don’t shoot me guys. It’s related. And I hope I did this in good taste.

    If anyone is interested great if not thanks anyways. I like to help out when I can. MWP and other blogs have helped me through my writing journey.

    Michelle Kafka´s last blog post…Happy New Year!

  37. @ Omar – Treats are fine in moderation.

    @ Mark – Beer is fine in moderation.

    @ Kelly – Liquor before noon is fine in moderation.

    @ RLD – That’s actually a great idea! “Want coffee? Here’s the deal.” I’m going to try that, definitely. GREAT idea.

    @ Laura – Hypoglycemic? A friend of mine had that. Explain more – something you get or something you always had? (My friend said she’s always had it).

    This also explains why you picked up on my 2pm slump, eh? EH? Can’t fool me!

    @ Deb – *chuckles* You can’t be a web worker. You don’t fit the profile.

    @ Writer Dad – Can I hire your wife?

    @ Brett – Yeah! Bananas! Hate ‘em unless they’re green, but tons of folic acid and all kinds of good stuff in those.

    @ Friar – “…Wow! ….Eating regularly! (What a concept!)” Oh va donc chier LOL Tu sais ben j’ai raison.

  38. This is what happens when you let Harry out, James. Things go funky.

    “Back in bowl,” Harry.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  39. @ Michelle – I actually spent a bit of time looking for relevant articles and stuff on brain food. Came up muchos empty, which is odd, so yeah, thanks for the link.

    Which basically says, yes! Promote if it’s relevant! But don’t spam! (which you didn’t. Just sayin’ in case someone else gets the bright idea.) And no! Porn and drugs aren’t relevant! (not that you tried that. Just sayin’)

  40. Ahh! Did always I have it?

    Perhaps. Probably. I don’t know. Once, in college, I participated in a Fast for World Hunger (48 hours of fasting, I think) . . . and passed out. I couldn’t even make it through the first day.

    On the other hand, I had really terrible eating habits (and went on a lot of fad diets) in my teens and twenties – so perhaps this is something that I’ve brought upon myself.

    At any rate, my diagnosis is only a couple of years old – so it’s new(ish) to me.

    If you think you might have it, I’d talk with a doctor. There are tests that they can run.

    Laura Spencer´s last blog post…Book Review: The Unlimited Freelancer

  41. Kelly,

    LOL. I have Irish friends and I have heard this before so thanks for the reminder. So now we have James behind the bar. We must be bringing out his ‘motherly’ instincts – moderation. I just remembered I need to put more beer in the refrigerator.

    Mark

  42. Brett Legree says:

    @James,

    Funny – I like bananas green too. Sort of crunchy.

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  43. Brett, James, yes. Nearly green, slightly crunchy bananas.

    Wrecks the beer, though. Try them with cognac. In a pan. Flambéed.

    Ahhh….

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  44. Hi James: What we eat definitely has an impact on our brain’s ability to function properly. There are all sorts of “brain foods” that will improve your brain functions–including creativity–such as omega 3 fatty acids, blueberries, and avocados. Drinking water is also very important. As a major component of blood, water is vital for transporting oxygen to the brain. Drinking water throughout the day improves concentration and focus.

    Marelisa´s last blog post…5 Imaginative Ways to Generate Ideas

  45. @ Marelisa – Drinking water is something I completely screw up. That’s actually something I should try out – just keep water by my desk and absently drink from it, at the very least.

    Blueberries… mmmm… avocados… only in that really good dip stuff with lemon juice and all that. With chips. Does that count?

  46. blockquote test

  47. @James: Hey that one worked!

  48. YAY!! I see them now!!!

  49. I think James is really cool. Such a nice guy to talk to, and so full of insight on the Zen of Pooh Bear and good jazz like that. Speaking of jazz, he loves it. And can play it. Hell, anyone can play jazz. Just smoke a cig and look cool while acting like you know what you’re doing.

    Sorry. Had to test a full paragraph.

  50. Are you guys kidding? You see them?

    On my screen there is NOTHING. Blank. Only in my email do I know what you’re doing.

    Somebody better have a look on Safari.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  51. Whoa. I take it back. Maybe I had to refresh. Now they’re grey. Sorry for the fright.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  52. But can you play the blues? Something like Clapton’s From the Cradle would be nice. Put up an audio file sometime. And Winnie totally rocks.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  53. Wow, you got outline all the way around your comment. And I can play Lonely Stranger… will that do?

  54. WTF. Your blockquotes hate me!

    Blues Before Sunrise…. Motherless Child… have some nice blues guitar in them. Lonely Stranger’s nice though.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  55. @James and Kelly

    For crying out loud, will you two get your ACT together, already? :-)

    @James

    P.S.

    Hé, c’est la premiere fois qu’un Bloggeur m’a dit d’aller chier!

    Friar´s last blog post…Walking to Work at Minus 37 Celsius

  56. @ Friar – Y’a un début à tout, non? ;)

  57. I’m going to kill these blockquotes.

  58. Heheh, now nothing works on my end. Back to the drawing board…

  59. As long as you’re both declaring your undying love for me, okay. Because Babelfish nearly croaked when I tried to translate that one earlier.

    Okay, as I scroll up, now some blockquotes are a new ugly and some are invisible again.

    Get our act together?

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  60. This announcement is being brought to you by a person who doesn’t currently know what he’s doing. Things will be back to normal soon. Or possibly never.

  61. I know how to get your comments section going.

    Bust your CSS.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  62. This announcement is to notify all readers that James Chartrand is not responsible for any other Pen Man’s actions, thoughts, behaviours or illegitimate children. Or legitimate ones, for that matter. Or cats. Just in case.

  63. I don’t know when I’ve laughed so much with the Pen Men. P.S., we’re talking about my dear Canadian Man at MCE. Are your ears burning, O Irresponsible One?

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  64. This particular Pen Man would like James to know that both my cat and my illegitimate child are really upset by his last comment.

  65. Looks like they’re working

    I’m just gonna see if I can fool them, these damn blockquotes!

    Who you calling damn blockquotes!?!

  66. If an amused, but disinterested party throws up a little blockquote, sometimes, chaos ensues.

    What happens if you aren’t an admin? Story in 3… 2…

    Kelly´s last blog post…Blockbuster Self-Promotion Tips—& Try It Today in the Comments!

  67. Brett Legree says:

    Bloody block quotes.

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  68. If a block quote falls in the forest, and there’s no one around, does it make a sound?

  69. ok, why are all the borders around the comment luvs red? or is my computer banding with the block quotes in some kind of techno-conspiracy?

  70. *sigh* it’s obviously a conspiracy. they’re black again

  71. Ha! Just sorted the CommentLuv/Avatar overlap as well.

    *snaps knuckles and sits back with a beer and slice of pizza*

  72. @Charlie: you’re a god ;)

  73. High-fives Charlie, grabs a beer and-

    Hey. You didn’t leave me any pizza.

  74. Okay. So MY blockquote got two lines. Does that mean I’m extra special?

  75. @James: you’re special alright ;)

  76. High-fives Charlie,
    Carbs get such a bad rap, and now you’ve given us the reason we love them so. Excellent one!

  77. Next MWP Post:

    How to kill a comment discussion, while trying to fix your Block Quotes. :-D

    Friar´s last blog post…Walking to Work at Minus 37 Celsius

  78. OMG. Charlie, the red is back. Yowee.

    Friar,

    It was fun. Pfft.

    Plus there was a good discussion of feeding the muse here, which you didn’t like anyway, y’ol sourpuss.

    Sesame bagel with hummus to feed my muse today, while Brett tells me he forgot breakfast (LOL!) until reading my post this morning.

    I guess lobstah was a good enough reminder.

    Later,

    Kelly

    Kelly´s last blog post…Tip of the Week: Have a Lobstah

  79. Brett Legree says:

    Kelly,

    My excuse was that I was watching the latest Battlestar Galactica episode and chatting with you – both fun and interesting things :)

    Oh, and you inspired me with the hummus, I had hummus and pita for lunch!

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  80. Ouch, holy f*** my eyes…

    Today’s breakfast was a toasted bagel sandwich with ham and cheese. And chocolate cake.

  81. Brett,

    See—The Factory’s good for you. It reminds you to eat. Otherwise, you might get caught up in your passions and forget to feed the muse.

    Which reminds me, I haven’t had lunch yet.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Tip of the Week: Have a Lobstah

  82. Cake? Was it someone’s birthday a week ago and you just brought out the goodies today?

    *ahem*

    Kelly´s last blog post…Tip of the Week: Have a Lobstah

  83. ACK! How’d that happen? I’ll go have a look

  84. There. I’m a hero. Your eyes have been spared.

  85. Brett Legree says:

    Kelly,

    That’s right – The Factory reminds me to eat, but at the same time, the sub-zero temperatures in my office give me pneumonia so my appetite goes away.

    Good for my waistline I guess!

    Brett Legree´s last blog post…ultimate self-help tool – free for a limited time!

  86. If I fed Ellie (my muse), she might slap me. Hm.

    Matthew Dryden´s last blog post…I Am

  87. @James

    I did a big ski workout today, so I had a good ol’ cardiac breakfast this morning (3 eggs, ham, bacon, toast).

    (Wish I had some chocolate cake, though!)

    @Kelly

    A sourpuss?

    Qui….MOI? :-o

    @Matt

    Regarding is feeding our Muse. I think it should be the other way around.

    I think we should be able to tell our Muses to get up, and go make US some sammitches. :-)

    Friar´s last blog post…Yes, we have NO Breakfast.

  88. Oui, mon chéri. Vous.

    L-O-L.

    Kelly´s last blog post…Tip of the Week: Have a Lobstah

  89. @Kelly

    Oh, et puis Tabarouette, alors! :-)

    Friar´s last blog post…Yes, we have NO Breakfast.

  90. I would strongly recommend that whatever yoiu decide to eat, that you give your self a few minutes at a table or someplace away from your desk. You’ll end up feeling that much better.

  91. Told you so :-)

    Tony Lawrence´s last blog post…Micro businesses in a recession

  92. You’re a granola fuelled machine James!

    All too true – I always tell clients that they have to prioritise their own nourishment because it’s their responsibility to make sure they’re okay.

    I agree that we’re vastly complex organisms, and I think 3 things need nourishing – your head, your heart and your body.

    Unless you keep those 3 things topped up you won’t be at your best.

    Steve Errey – The Confidence Guy´s last blog post…7 Ways to Win in 2009 #5: Mind Your Head

  93. Hey James,

    There’s a program you might want to look up.

    It’s called Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan. Until I got a hold of this I never consider the fact that our body has a rhythm it cycles on.

    Food/water, relief and distraction allow this rhythm to help you instead of hurt you.

    The priceless gem I use everyday from this program is called the 50-50-30 plan.

    I don’t know about you but for me sometimes when I’ve been sitting and working on a project too long my ass starts hurting and the little voice in my head starts urging me to check email, check the news, anything other than what I’m working on at the time.

    This is part of why I hated working in an office setting where you were rationed 3 breaks for the day. I would break whenever I felt like it and therefore I was seen as a bad boy.

    While working from home, we can break whenever we damn well please and with the 50-50-30 (50 minutes, 50 minutes, 30 minutes) your mind stays fresh. Here’s how it works.

    First get yourself one of those digital timers. Then you push in 50 minutes. During this 50 minutes you focus on one project either to completion or till the timer runs out. When the timer hits 50, you stop what you’re doing and do something totally different for 10 minutes.

    Walk, stretch, lay on the couch and meditate. Anything but what you were doing before.

    Then when your ten minutes is up, set the timer for 50 minutes and dive back into focusing on one single project til completion or until the timer beeps.

    After this second 50 it’s time to eat. Preferably something light and nutritious. I favor almonds, chicken or turkey and brown rice, or broccoli. They key here is to not gorge. You want to walk away satisfied but not bloated ready for a snooze in 45 minutes.

    Eating during this 30 minutes makes sure your blood sugar doesn’t tank causing your focus to turn to shit. If you eat garbage (coco puffs, candy bars, pizza) you’re fueling your body with the lowest grade fuel.

    This cannot help you. I promise.

    If you prepare your food before you’ll have a nice 20 minutes to lightly snooze or watch stand up comedy or read a tabloid magazine. Anything but work.

    Following this process has totally reigned in my ADD. I’m always productive during my 50’s. And I always relax guilt free knowing I’m re-charging my muse during this time.

    I have explained process poorly compared to how Eben does in his program but what’s here will get the job done.

    If you want to know more buy his program.

    If you don’t want to take the leap to buy his program, get my notes on it by going to mynotetakingnerd.com

    Try this out James. You just might fall in love with it like I did.

    Note Taking Nerd #2´s last blog post…If I Could Hear The Questions You Ask Yourself Would I Think I Was In The Presence of a Leader Or a Victim?

  94. It truly is amazing how much better a human functions when taking care of themselves. Here’s to breakfast – and feeding the muse!

    *smiles*
    Michele

    Michele´s last blog post…Health Sites I Love

  95. One more thing:

    I mentioned nuts and peanuts (technically legumes) in that other comment.

    It’s amazing how often you’ll read that some phytochemical has been found to be oh-so important for good health and if you go look, you’ll find that peanuts are packed with it.

    I mix unsalted peanuts with salted nut mix (to cut back on the salt content) and also add unsalted walnuts (because they never put enough walnuts in). It’s very inexpensive per calorie and I think the health benefits are high.

    It is high calorie food, but it doesn’t seem to pack on weight – there’s some recent research that says that’s more than anecdotal.

    And one final thing: if you drink soda, you aren’t doing your body any favors. Water, juice, milk: Healthy. Soda: crap.

    Tony Lawrence´s last blog post…You’ve Got (very little) Mail

  96. @ Tony – I eat nuts all the time – they’re extremely healthy (and crunchy and tasty), albeit a little pricey. Very filling, too, so it doesn’t take much to have a good snack. Best way is to put a bowl handy near the computer and munch away.

    I NEVER eat salt. EVER. Unless it’s on my food and I can’t wipe it off. All meals are saltless. (Which means when I eat out, I spend the rest of the night drinking water like a horse.)

    Soda is supercrap in a bottle.

  97. “albeit a little pricey”

    Multiply servings per container by calories per serving. Divide by cost of container.

    Nuts are one of the least expensive foods you can buy. Highly recommended for struggling actors, poets and other writers, budding freelancers.. :-)

    Tony Lawrence´s last blog post…You’ve Got (very little) Mail

  98. Yeah, salt is a problem. I can’t find unsalted mixed nuts so I cut the mix down with the unsalted peanuts and walnuts and shake it well – most of the salt gets knocked to the bottom of the jar and I decant the top layers.

    Food processors and restaurants always add way too much salt and way too much sugar. It’s no wonder people are unhealthy and unhappy: stressful jobs, not enough sleep, crap food.. but they get used to it and think it’s how they are supposed to live.

    Sometimes I get a kick out of watching the person ahead of me when food shopping. The unhealthy crap that comes out of their baskets.. and of course piles of soda.. and then I look at them, often overweight, sometimes gray-skinned from smoking, and think “You feel awful but the worst part is you don’t even know that you shouldn’t feel like this – you THINK you feel great! You need good food, exercise, more sleep, less stress.. but that’s not going to happen..”

    Such simple things can change all that..

    Tony Lawrence´s last blog post…Programming Principles and Practice Using C++

  99. Well, I guess I have to change my habit, I seldom drink milk, I used to drink 3 or 4 glass of coffee. More healthy life and better writing and more ideas.

  100. Very true. I’m just getting back to eating a proper breakfast after two years of calling my first coffee of the day breakfast! It really doesn’t work and it’s very noticeable when a person does eat a proper breakfast.

    I personally prefer protein to carbs in the morning, a 2-3 egg cheese omelette is the BEST start to the day!

  101. Hiya

    As I sip my morning shake (today it’s soy milk, banana, peaches) and enjoy your post a few things come to mind.

    That eating brekkie thing is critical. Don’t know where I was in the 70’s, lost in space or something, ’cause I don’t remember the Cosby thing. However, now I’m in my 60’s and finally a few years ago started eating breakfast regularly after a lifetime of believing I didn’t need it. Wow! What a change. And now that my body has become used to it, does it ever tell me the occasional time I forget. Cranky, headaches, unable to focus, lightheaded. Definitely not prime ‘creative’ territory!

    I initially clicked on your link because of the ‘Feed the Muse’ title. Wasn’t thinking that it would be so literal a take on the topic. I offer a 2-week retreat in The Algarve, Portugal called ‘Feeding the Muse’. It is an exploration of personal creativity where I use a series of guided meditations on the chakras to help people discover their innate creativity or to expand their existing creativity through painting (whether they’ve ever picked up a brush before or not). But that’s not the point of my comment. My point is that we need to ‘feed’ our muse in many different ways.

    Certainly it starts with sustained good nutrition which is rather like building a solid foundation for the house called You to rest on. If the foundation weakens and starts to crumble, you can bet that the house is going to have more than its fair share of problems.

    And we need to feed other aspects of our Muse as well. We have to expose it to great new thoughts via reading, traveling, conversations, and engagement with the outside world. And we have to challenge it to press its boundaries through personal growth work. As a Life Transition Coach I have years of experience working with highly talented and creative people who limit their access to the potential and possibility they carry because they remain stuck in the same habituated paradigms about who they are and how the world works that they adopted very early in life. Now this is not a commercial for my services, rather an encouragement to find a blog, find a book, find a mentor or coach who will invite you to become more than you ever thought possible.

    Don’t let your investment in a good diet, in building a strong foundation for yourself go to waste by playing a small game in life. Pretty much all of us, sadly, know how to use only a fraction of the potential that we can become. Take your Muse out for a wild ride and discover how much more awaits you! …and don’t forget to pack a lunch! :)

    Gwen McCauley

  102. The most important meal of the day is the breakfast because it gives us the nutrients we need to go through the day. Not eating regularly is not good at all because it can affect our thinking and in time it can destroy our stomach. I know lots of people who are drinking coffee and smoking instead of breakfast. I don’t think I need to say how unhealthy is this. Another thing very important which makes our bodies to work better is exercise. I go to the gym 4-5 times a week and if I not take my vitamins in the morning I feel very fainted all day. Even if I am working I am trying to eat regularly. Healthy food, 5 meals a day, vitamins and minerals are a must if we want our brain to work at 100%.

  103. I always have breakfast, even if I’m late for a meeting. I regret for the rest of the morning if I don’t.
    .-= BB Kent´s last blog ..Deal =-.

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