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Creative Therapy Adelaide

Fuelling for Your Therapy Sessions

Fuelling for Your Therapy Sessions

Therapy sessions often require a lot of concentration and focus, for both adults and children.  We know how beneficial therapy can be, so we want to make the most out of our therapy sessions by being as present as possible.  Something we can do to help with this, is fuelling our body and mind appropriately for therapy!

What to eat before a session

Fuelling appropriately before a therapy session can help with concentration and energy levels during the session.  Ideally, we want to include a meal or snack that includes the following four main elements:

  • Protein: including a protein source will support stable blood sugar levels, which are important for concentration and focus. Protein also helps to keep you fuller for longer, so your stomach won’t be rumbling during your session!  Food sources of protein include yoghurt, milk, cheese, eggs, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), fish, lean meat, chicken, and tofu.
  • Quality carbohydrate: carbohydrate is our brains preferred fuel source, so including some quality carbohydrate with your pre-therapy meal/snack is key to support energy levels and focus. Food sources of quality carbohydrate include wholegrain breads/wraps, seeded crackers/crisp breads, potato/sweet potato, brown/black rice, quinoa, pearl barley and legumes.
  • Healthy fats: healthy fats play an important role in brain health and also support stable blood sugar levels and managing appetite. Include a serve of healthy fats with your pre-therapy meal/snack such as nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, avocado or oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines).
  • Colour: If a meal/snack doesn’t contain colour, it’s not complete! Colourful fruits and vegetables provide a range of antioxidants which are important for brain health.  They’re also a good source of fibre which supports blood sugar levels and keeping us satisfied.  Aim to include a variety of fruits and vegetables with your pre-therapy snack or meal.  Three colours is an excellent target to aim for!

Examples of a meal or snack before your therapy sessions.

To piece the above together, below are some examples of pre-therapy meals and snacks to enjoy:

  • Wholegrain sandwich or wrap with egg, salad and avocado;
  • Vitaweats with tinned tuna or cottage cheese, tomato and herbs;
  • Hummus dip with colourful veggie sticks and seeded crackers;
  • Snack plate of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chopped fruit, and nuts;
  • Colourful tofu or chicken and veggie stir fry with soba noodles or brown rice;
  • Brown/black rice tuna avocado sushi with edamame beans and a piece of fruit;
  • Yoghurt with granola, mixed berries and passionfruit.

What to avoid before therapy sessions

Ideally, we want to limit ultra-processed foods high in refined sugar/carbohydrate as these spike our blood glucose levels which cause a short energy release then large drop in energy, and can negatively impact concentration, focus and behaviour.  Examples of foods to avoid before your therapy session include soft drink, potato chips/corn chips, lollies, chocolate, biscuits, ice-cream, and baked goods (e.g. cake, slices, pies, sausage rolls).

Want to learn more?

Find more information on Verde Nutrition Co by visiting their website.

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