Da Vinci, Picasso, and the soon to be famous John Svedese, these are just a few of the world’s great artists.
One of the biggest problems artists of all stages have isn’t what brush to use or how to get the perfect shade of green, the biggest problem artist have is finding time to eat. Many artists will go a whole day without food, that is unless you count coffee and booze, which I do not. To prove my point, Picasso’s wife once made him his favorite meal, stew of eel, he painted it instead of eating it.
Artists get stuck in this tunnel vision when they are working on something. Times and dates all get mushed into one. Robin Eley is a famous hyper realistic oil painter and is known to work up to 5 weeks on a painting, working 90 hours a week. So how do we fix this? First, we need to remember how much food affects our creativity. When we skip a meal, let’s say breakfast, our glucose levels go down which causes our blood sugar to go down and we become sluggish, irritated, and unable to concentrate. I’m sure we have all had those days when we sit down to work and we just want to lay our heads on the desk and not move, not think, not talk and I bet most of those times you did not eat breakfast.
So, we skipped breakfast and now its noon and we are very hungry. But we have deadlines, we have a million ideas running through our head, we just can’t stop until we finish this one piece. This is when one of two things happen, we either grab a quick snack like let’s say a bag of chips, we eat the whole bag then we start feeling a little more energetic. We are like ok here we go, we got this then 30 min later you crash again. Now your more sluggish, more irritated, more likely to make a mistake. Or you choose option #2. You don’t eat, you push through the old I’ll eat once I finish this one spot, ok after this spot, ok one more. You have now missed two meals, you start having trouble remembering ideas you had. You make mistakes left and right, you are getting very cranky. This is where many artists have to walk away and take a breather. All of this could have been prevented with food.
Let me show you some easy quick recipes that will keep your creativity juices flowing all day and night.
Peanut Butter Protein Shake
To make this healthy protein shake I used only simple pantry ingredients. You probably have them at home. You will need:
- Milk I used oat milk, but you can use whatever milk you prefer and like. Note that coconut milk won’t work well here, because of the flavor.
- Peanut Butter is a star ingredient in this protein shake. I used creamy all-natural peanut butter (the one made without added sugars or oils). Peanut butter is a quite versatile protein-packed spread that is not only super tasty but super healthy too. It’s packed with proteins and healthy fats, as well as fibers. A great addition to smoothies and shakes if you’re looking to give them a little boost.
- Banana is an amazing fruit. It’s sweet and packed with many nutrients, especially gut-friendly fibers. Very filling and great for refueling your body. I used a ripe banana. It gave sweetness so there was no need to use extra sugars.
- Protein powder: No protein shake is complete without protein powder. I like to use unflavored protein powders because they don’t have any added sweeteners. But you’re welcome to use any protein powder you’re normally using. Vanilla flavored is great here.
To give protein shake extra flavor and some more boost, I tossed in some superfoods as well:
- Cinnamon: I’m always using Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true” cinnamon. It’s a highly delicious spice with many health benefits. Cinnamon gave this protein shake a wonderful flavor.
- Flax seeds are an excellent source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fats, fiber, and other unique plant compounds. A great addition to shakes and smoothies, making them more filling and balanced. Grinding flax seeds is the best way to make the most of their health benefits.
Smoothies are a great option for artists. Its quick, it’s easy and it can be made a head of time.
To make these smoothies in advance, cut up all the fruit and veg the night before or even at the beginning of the week put the amount of fruit and veg per smoothie in a Ziplock bag and throw it in the freezer. The day you want to make it pull it out, add it to the blender then add the milk and other ingredients. 5-7 minutes and you are done,
Meal prep is huge right now and for good reason. Take one day a week cook up a batch of chicken, rice, pasta. Then add it to different bowl cover freeze or put in the fridge. When you are ready, take it out, put in oven or pop it in the microwave and bam you have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here are some of my favorites.
Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad with Avocado, Tomato, and Basil
- 2 medium cooked chicken breasts, shredded or chopped (we used rotisserie chicken)
- 2 ripe avocado pitted and diced
- 1 pound cooked rotini pasta or similar
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. To make this healthy chicken pasta salad recipe: In a large bowl, add the salad ingredients, the shredded chicken, avocado, onion, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and basil.
2. In a jar, combine the ingredients for the dressing: vinegar, Italian seasoning, Olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Drizzle your chicken pasta salad with the dressing. Toss gently until all the ingredients are combined. Serve the chicken pasta salad immediately, or chill for later. Enjoy!
CHEESY BROCCOLI, CHICKEN AND RICE BOWLS
MEAL PREP BOWLS INGREDIENTS:
- 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 batch cheddar cheese sauce (see below)
- 3 cups cooked rice or quinoa
- extra shredded cheddar cheese*, for topping
CHEDDAR CHEESE SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup warmed milk
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese*
TO MAKE THE MEAL PREP BOWLS:
- To Make The Chicken: Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is no longer pink on the inside (and registers 165°F with a meat thermometer). Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before dicing into bite-sized pieces.
- To Make The Broccoli: Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same sauté pan. Add the broccoli and season with salt and pepper, tossing to combine. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is cooked and tender, but still slightly crispy. Transfer broccoli to a separate plate, and set aside.
- To Make The Cheddar Cheese Sauce: Heat the butter in the same sauté pan (or a separate saucepan) until melted. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the flour until evenly combined and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally. Gradually add in the stock, whisking to combine. Then add in the milk, pepper and salt, and whisk together until smooth. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer and thickens. Then stir in the shredded cheese, and stir until melted. Remove from heat and use immediately.
- To Assemble: Toss the cooked chicken and broccoli with the cheese sauce until evenly combined. Serve immediately over rice. Or portion the mixture evenly into food storage containers along with the rice, garnishing with an extra sprinkle of shredded cheese and pepper. Refrigerate in sealed containers for up to 4 days.
I hope that you try these out and that they give a boost of creativity. Be sure to check in every week to learn more interesting facts about artist and how to make yummy recipes