VCU RamStrong Well-being blog

Giving VCU employees the wellness resources they need to be healthy both on and off campus

While it may be tempting to relocate your Keurig to your desk—or abandon your desk for a nap—add these foods to your rotation instead.

By Nicole Saporita

Is your 3 p.m. slump starting to feel more like a 9 a.m. to 6 p.m slump? Been there. If you’ve ruled out the obvious culprits like stress, too much QT with your phone, or an underlying medical condition, then the cause may be what you’re eating—or not eating.

Brown Rice

  • Why it helps: Complex carbs provide gradual, sustained energy release to help keep tiredness at bay.
  • Get it fast: Cook a big batch and keep it in your fridge to go with any mains you make all week.
  • Don’t like it? Other complex carbs include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts.


  • Why it helps: Iron in foods like spinach helps your red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. Low oxygen levels = low energy.
  • Get it fast: Stir a container of baby spinach into a pot of hot soup or chili. It may seem like too much at first, but the spinach wilts down dramatically.
  • Don’t like it? Meat, seafood, tofu, beans, and even Cheerios are all good sources of iron.


  • Why it helps: Fortified cereals are the best plant-based source of vitamin B12, which supports your nerve health and energy levels.
  • Get it fast: Pour a bowl—and top with a B12-fortified non-dairy milk too.
  • Don’t like it? If you don’t follow a vegetarian diet, meat, eggs, and dairy are good sources of B12. Otherwise, talk to your doctor about a supplement.

Canned Tuna

  • Why it helps: Fatty fish is one of the few food-based sources of vitamin D, and one small study found a correlation between low vitamin D levels and fatigue**.
  • Get it fast: Drain a can of water-packed white tuna and stir it into your favorite vinaigrette-based pasta salad recipe. (You’ll get those complex carbs too!)
  • Don’t like it? Your body makes its own vitamin D with sun exposure. A walk around the neighborhood fits into every Budget.


  • Why it helps: OK, it’s not technically a food, but drinking plenty of water is—dare we say it—more important than your morning coffee. When you’re dehydrated, your heart works harder, using more energy.
  • Get it fast: Fill up a large bottle once a day to reach that goal.
  • Don’t like it? Infuse your water with your favorite veggies, fruits, and herbs, or sip unsweetened seltzers.

Taken from WW

All benefits-eligible Commonwealth of Virginia employees, spouses, and adult dependents (18+) are eligible for an upfront 50% discounted WW membership. Have your 7-digit State ID number ready when signing up. If you are unable to locate your 7-digit State ID number, please contact your agency HR department.

The Special Monthly Pricing and The Commonwealth of Virginia discount per month is not open to retirees, their spouses and dependents, wage employees or The Local Choice members.

Learn more about the discount on the VCU HR Work Life page.

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