Food for Thought: What to Eat Before a Creative Project

Vintage fruit and vegetables

Sometimes you just can’t get into your creative flow no matter how strongly you wish it. If you’ve tried all the writing or artistic tricks in your toolkit yet still find yourself staring at a blank page or empty canvas, perhaps you should look to your diet. To create anything your brain needs a steady flow of glucose and vital nutrients, the most brilliant of which are contained herein.

Most people are aware of how being hungry can hamper with concentration but may not be so mindful of how important eating well is for all your thinking processes, including writing and being creative.

To be able to focus on tasks, have cognitive clarity and create with ease, you have to eat healthily. Because creativity is enhanced by good nutrition, here are a few nutritional gems that keep your energy levels consistent and help your brain and body sing, effectively satiating both you and your muse.

You’re probably familiar with feeling dizzy or unable to concentrate if you haven’t eaten, but a lack of nutrition has far more profound effects when it comes to your brain’s function. Low-fat diets for weight loss for instance, can have major repercussions for the brain. Optimum cogitative function includes feeling alert and able to complete tasks, as well as being able to think creatively and imaginatively too.

Skipping breakfast in favour of a coffee may give you a lovely buzz but swiftly leaves you with a plummet in blood sugar levels, resulting in tiredness, food cravings and a brain that just isn’t as smart or zippy as it could be, making your creativity suffer.

The nutrient that is thought to be most effective for cognition is choline, which is a member of the B group of vitamins. However, nearly all the B vitamins play a role in brain chemistry and can enhance cognitive function, so including fish, chicken, oatmeal, wholegrains, and a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit may help enhance your performance. Eating plenty of complex carbohydrates will also ensure a consistent supply of glucose and antioxidants to protect your brain. Here are the best foods to eat before a creative project.

Food for Thought

  • B complex vitamins – essential for brain health – though it’s always best to obtain nutrients from your diet, to ensure you consume enough, take B complex every day.
  • Choline – required to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, critical for memory – found in eggs, caviar, cabbage and lentils.
  • Essential fatty acids (EFAs) – potentially increase the speed at which neurotransmitters function – good sources include oily fish and pumpkin seeds (a diet high in saturated fat blocks the absorption of EFAs).
  • Always eat breakfast – Countless studies have shown that people who eat breakfast perform better mentally and concentrate better than those who don’t. It kick-starts your metabolism and provides instant fuel for your brain to function throughout the day.
  • Keep blood sugar levels consistent – have a bag of mixed nuts and seeds handy for emergencies and healthy snacks.
  • Eat a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit and complex carbohydrates – to ensure a consistent supply of glucose and antioxidants to protect your brain.




    • inspireportal says

      Thank you Meghan, delighted to read that you enjoy my new site. It’ll take a little time to pull everything together but hoping it grows organically of itself, covering a range of topics for writers and artists to nurture their creativity by healing body, mind and soul.

  1. says

    Great advice! I tend to forget how much what I eat affects my creativity and stamina for the creative process…until I crash from low blood sugar! Thanks for the info on choline/B vitamins–that’s one I need to add to my vitamins.

    • inspireportal says

      Thanks Cheryl, it’s easily done, especially when immersed in writing or glued to the screen! The B-vits can make such a difference. Jarrow do a great B-complex if you’re looking to supplement, and also make a choline sup too. So happy you enjoyed it!

  2. says

    I’m nearly finished with my book project after 3 years of stopping & starting bcoz I’ve had various health problems. Refusing to just give up on the project I’ve finally found a process that works ‘!! I’m also taking anxiety meds and I’ve noticed that my creativity is stifled. I’m going to add the BComplex vitamins and hopefully that solves the problem. If anyone has any other suggestions on how to combat the issue of medication vs. creativity PLEASE LET ME KNOW !


  1. […] Virginia Woolf however — being a touch more mindful and wise — said that: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Beyond coffee, sugar and martinis — and for something a little more nourishing — here’s what to eat to stay calm when things are stressful. You may also enjoy Food for Thought: What to Eat Before a Creative Project. […]

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