Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Practical Advice About Eating Before You Teach

Food and drink are fuel for your body, so be mindful about what you eat in the time leading up to your teaching.  We want to be as sharp as possible mentally, and physiologically, so we can give this our best!  

Here are some my recommendations and guidelines. 
  • Drink clear liquids.  Drink plenty of water to be hydrated. Stay clear of milk in the hour before you teach; milk leaves your throat feeling "coated" and does affect your speaking voice.  
  • Eat in moderation.  Too much, you'll feel lethargic.  (It takes a lot of energy to digest food.)  Too little, you might be hungry enough to be distracted.  And stomach growls while you're teaching are pretty embarrassing!
  • Watch out for the blood sugar "crash" -- this is particularly a problem for people with normally low blood sugar levels like me.  You eat something sugary, or high in carbs before you teach, like that tempting muffin snack Mrs. Smith brought to church.  Yum!  But in about 35-45 minutes, your blood sugar drops down again, and oh my.  If that "crash" happens before you're done teaching, you just made it more difficult to end well.
  • Understand how caffeine affects you.  Most teachers are little nervous teaching.  For many people, caffeine can make that nervousness worse.  If you are used to caffeine, but concerned about it, try consuming half of what you usually do.  
  • Test out warm and cold liquids to see how they affect your speaking voice.  There's a lot of variation in how people respond.  Understand your situation and you'll know what to avoid.
  • Try to avoid eating something you've never eaten before in the 24 hours leading up to your teaching time.  This is particularly important if you're traveling.  The majority of food-related "blah" and "yuck" problems are with unfamiliar foods.  
These are my recommendations.  Pay attention to what works for you.

Keep on teaching to change lives!

1 comment:

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