Brain food for business executives

Nutritional therapist Alli Godbold has made it her mission to educate people about food and how it affects their bodies — brains included! She compiled the following list of “Brain food for business executives” for students like you. What follows is an excerpt of the Top 10 brain foods and a link to the full article.

Brain food for business executives

As a busy executive, you’ll know the importance of making the most of each hour of the day. But when you add studying for an Executive MBA to the mix of work and family commitments, there’s an even greater need to make every hour count.While studying for an Executive MBA is an exciting time of your professional career, it can also be stressful. There are the challenges of meeting deadlines, organizing time into an already busy schedule for group projects, and for many students, the requirements of travel as part of the Executive MBA program. Looking after your health and well-being is therefore paramount. Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will ensure your body – and mind – are in good shape to cope with the challenges of the Executive MBA. QS Top Executive gets top tips from nutritional therapist Alli Godbold on the best foods for busy executives.

1. The power of protein

Eat good quality protein foods at every meal. Ideally eat eggs for breakfast and chicken or fish for lunch and supper. Protein helps to keep blood sugar levels balanced which sustains energy.

2. Grab a healthy snack

Snack on raw nuts and seeds instead of biscuits and crisps. Nuts and seeds provide important nutrients, essential fats, protein and fibre – a far more nutritious alternative.

3. Avoid the caffeine

Drink herbal teas and water rather than caffeinated drinks. Tea, coffee and cola drinks cause energy levels to yo-yo up and down.

4. Keep hydrated

Drinking lots of water (including that in herbal teas) helps you to stay hydrated which is essential for good focus.

5. An egg a day

Eggs provide good levels of the nutrient choline. This is needed for the manufacture of acetyl-choline which is the neurotransmitter in the brain involved in memory.

Continue reading the rest of the article here.

3 ways to balance MBA coursework with work and family

It often feels like 24 hours isn’t enough time in a day to get your job done and your home organized, especially when you’re also trying to raise children, energize your marriage or exercise and eat properly.

So how could you possibly fit in an MBA program on top of all that and expect to remain sane?

Kelly Glassburn and Penny Miller, who both graduated from Stetson University’s Executive MBA program in May 2011, managed to juggle the demands of school and a rigorous career, and Lofton Barnes and Shariq Khan, two current students, are getting into the groove of the balancing act. This foursome has a few pointers for balancing everything at once.

1. Establish a Support System

Studying requires dedication not only of the student but also of the student's family members and colleagues.

“The key component is family support,” said Shariq Khan, “or there just is no balance.” Khan was promoted to director of product yield management at Wyndham Vacation Ownership in Orlando only a few months after joining the program.

“It’s been tough,” said Khan. “Learning a new job takes a lot more hours. But I’ve got a great infrastructure — a supportive family and understanding bosses — and I’m very fortunate that I do.”

Khan’s classmate, Lofton Barnes, echoed his sentiment. “Your family must support you,” said Barnes, a father of two. “My wife has been phenomenal in taking on chores that I can’t dedicate myself to right now. It’s been a great experience because of that so far.”

Recent Stetson Executive MBA graduate Kelly Glassburn asked for the support upfront as well. “My first exercise in establishing balance was to get a firm commitment from everyone who would be affected by my decision: My husband was 110% supportive, even though he knew that he was likely going to be a single parent for the next 19 months. My leaders at work were equally supportive, and although no work moved off of my plate, their commitment to my success helped to alleviate any stress going into the program.

2. Stick to a Schedule

“I live on my calendar,” continued Barnes, who not only works as the assistant director of human resources for Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort but also owns Ladybird Academy in Winter Springs/Oviedo.

“I am forced to be very organized,” he explained, “because I have a lot of demands at work, school, business and home. I ensure that I get home by a certain time every night so I can spend time with my wife and kids and spend the rest of the evening focusing on schoolwork.”

“I dedicate my weekends to schoolwork,” said Khan, also a father of two. “I carve out time every day to interact with my wife and children, and I steal a couple of hours during weekdays to study if I can.”

Like Khan, Glassburn was promoted soon after starting the program. “That turned my work balance on its head! The only way I survived the transition period in my new role was in keeping with the rigid schedule I had set for myself.”

Glassburn abided by a rigid study schedule, which included work time first, then family time, then study time each night. “That often meant that studying happened from 9 to 11 p.m.,” she said, “but committing to a set schedule made it easier for me to get the work done and still maintain my family and work priorities without being too disruptive. I also set aside a specific area for studying, which helped me to focus on the work I needed to get done.”

3. Lean on Your Classmates

Members of the Stetson Executive MBA Class of '11 relied on teamwork to get them through trying times.

Penny Miller, a human resources business partner at The Walt Disney Co., said her cohort of 18 executives came to an agreement on the first weekend of class. “We committed that we wouldn’t leave anybody behind, knowing that at some point, each of us would be the one down.

“We discovered areas of strength and weakness among the team and used those to manage the ebb and flow throughout the program,” explained Miller.

“Regardless of where you are in your life, there is never enough time to get everything done,” lamented Glassburn, who was in the same cohort as Miller. “But for me, the single most important recipe for success in balancing a busy family, an overwhelming professional career, an accelerated Executive MBA program and my sanity was by tapping into the strength of the cohort. No matter how difficult life was, my cohort stuck with our mantra from the first class, ‘No one quits and no one gets left behind!’

“The cohort support was invaluable to maintaining a healthy sense of balance throughout the program,” continued Glassburn, “and in the end, I achieved my goal of completing the program and made some lifelong friends and business partners.”

Cohort 8 shapes up for South Africa trip

Larry Flory is Cohort 8's "Biggest Loser," and he has $160 to show for it.

What are some of the benefits of the Stetson Executive MBA program? Many of the students would follow the list of academic and networking advantages with some glowing commentary on the catered lunches and the breakroom that’s stocked with every imaginable savory and sweet treat.

As students in Cohort 8 embarked on their Executive MBA journey, they were bound and determined not to gain the “Freshman 15,” and they used the upcoming South Africa international trip as the catalyst to get in shape. The original goal was looking their best in the wetsuit they planned to wear when going on the optional shark dive in Cape Town during the South Africa adventure this month.

In the style of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, the students weighed themselves at the beginning of the program, dieted and exercised over a period of months, and measured their weight loss on a percentage basis. With 11 participants putting in $20 each, the person who came in third place would get his or her $20 back, second place would get $40, and the winner would get $160.

Through seven weigh-ins over the course of four months, the top 3 “losers” lost a combined 35 pounds, or 15.47% of their body weight. Just before the students went on their trip, they had their final weigh-in, and the winner of the competition was Larry Flory.

“My plan worked,” said Flory, who is a vice president at Disney’s Partners Federal Credit Union. “I casually mentioned to my classmates a ‘study’ that suggested that eating a pint of ice cream just before bed would actually speed up one’s metabolism and cause net weight loss. Apparently some believed it and went that route. I just can’t remember where I heard about that ‘study,’” Flory said with a smirk.

Flory was especially diligent in his weight loss efforts and took on the challenge with great competitive spirit. He regularly exercised before work and school, skipped dessert, and even weighed in on the final day in a lightweight running outfit to ensure the best possible results.

Flory lost 13.20 pounds of 6.19%. In second place was Ghaleb Abulola, an Orlando resident from Jeddah, who lost 12 pounds, or 4.74% of his body weight. And Raul Herrera, general manager at Disney’s Jiko restaurant, lost 9.80 pounds, or 4.54% of his body weight.

All 11 participants either lost weight or maintained their original “fighting weight.” It is a common Cohort 8 joke now about who can reach the third floor study group room the fastest by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

In fact, a few of the students have signed up for the new Tinkerbell Half-Marathon at Disney World in winter 2012, committing to a healthier lifestyle long-term. The breakroom still has the sweet and savory snacks, but it now also contains Slim-Fast drinks, Special K bars, and Detour bars, as requested by the executive MBA students. Cohort 8 is determined to be smarter, stronger and healthier.

Congratulations on your weight loss, team, and good luck getting into those shark dive wetsuits!