The Importance of Variety

If I told you to eat chocolate for a week how would you feel? Bloody excited about it right? Well what if you couldn’t eat anything else – just chocolate? Not only would you start craving something else but I’m pretty sure your insides (and possibly even your outsides) would be hating you!  Our bodies are designed for variety. Not only do we crave different foods to ensure we are getting a full range of nutrients, but our brains also crave different tasks in order to keep us engaged and to utilise different areas of the brain (for those of you that don’t know there is no specific area of the brain for carrying out thought etc but depending on the thought or process we will utilise different areas to retrieve memories, process information, consolidate learning, arithmetic and creativity etc).

The importance of structuring our lives in order to incorporate variety is important.  Research has found that people will be more motivated in their work roles if they rate their autonomy, ability to identify with their work role, feedback resources and task variety as being high.

So how do we get this variety in our jobs?  It’s all about up-skilling and developing new tools and ideas.

–       The first step is making sure you enjoy your job (as much as work can be fun) so you can invest in it

–       Once you have decided it is worth the investment, do a bit of research on what your organisation needs (e.g. go and do a short course in getting creative with a new computer program, app development, marketing, business management, coffee making, candle making – ok the last one probably wouldn’t help at work but if it did….fun!)

–       Get creative and make a few suggestions to your manager

–       If there is a new project coming up ask to get on board, even as an observer

–       Focus on your development – this means thinking long-term

–       Don’t be afraid to take a risk!

Some creative pasta sauces to ‘up-skill’ your quick dinner making skills

Base noodles: zucchini or carrot spirals/ribbons, kelp noodles, gluten free pasta, gnocchi made with non-wheat flour etc.

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Basil and Pine Nut Pesto (serves 2)
Ingredients:
– 1 handful of fresh basil
-1 handful of baby spinach
-1 clove garlic
-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1/4C pinenuts (toasted is delicious)
Method:
Blend or pulse in your blender or food processor until chunky

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Raw Parsley Walnut Pesto (serves 2)
Ingredients:
-1 handful of fresh flat Italian parsley
-1 handful of activated walnuts
– half a handful of spinach
-half a handful of wild rocket
-3 broccoli florets
– juice of half a lemon
– 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 clove of garlic

Method:
Blend or pulse in your blender or food processor until chunky

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Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto (serves 2)
Ingredients:
-1 handful of fresh basil
-5 sundried tomatoes
-1/4C pinenuts (toasted is yummy)

-1 clove garlic
-1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
NOTE: you can make an olive pesto by substituting the sundried tomatoes for 10 olives (pitted)

Method:
Blend or pulse in your blender or food processor until chunky

 

Pumpkin & Sage Pesto
Ingredients:
-1 tbs of sage
-1 C roast pumpkin
-1/4C cashews or pinenuts
-3 tbs chicken stock (or nut milk/water)
-1 clove of garlic
– optional: ¼ of a sautéed brown onion

Method:
Blend or pulse in your blender or food processor until chunky

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Raw Mango, Basil & Tomato Sauce (80/10/10)
Ingredients:
-1 mango
-1 small handful of cherry tomatoes/1 small tomato
-1 handful of fresh basil
-Optional: 1 clove garlic

Method:
Blend or pulse in your blender or food processor until chunky

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