Many of us lead busy lives, often feeling as though we don’t have time for everything. We make choices, sometimes settling on less nutritious eating decisions and making due with less than enough sleep. It leaves us feeling fatigued and creating more caffeine-aholics… However, without enough energy we can’t perform at 100%. We give things less than are best, and we feel awful doing so.
It’s time to make a change. Of course, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and getting exercise can all play a role in energy levels. However, so can the food you eat.
The best option for a high energy snack is a balanced one that consists of complex carbohydrates and protein. Our bodies get energy from fats, proteins and carbohydrates. However, the simple carbohydrates are a fast acting and short lived energy option. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, they don’t spike blood sugars. Plus, they provide a more stabilized and long lived energy boost. Mix those complex carbohydrates with a protein and you’ll have the perfect energy snack.
However, it’s not just what you eat, but when. Be sure to refuel in the morning, after your night’s fast, and eat a breakfast. Otherwise you’ll be driving on empty. Also, take time to eat an afternoon lunch. Try to reach for the standard three meals a day. Plus, snack in between if you need a boost; just make your meals a little smaller if you do. When it comes to eating right, it’s all about balance and choosing what your body and brain need.
Try starting your morning with some oatmeal, cottage cheese, an egg, or a piece of whole grain toast and peanut butter. Pack a snack that includes a hard-boiled egg, nuts, or a yogurt (choose one that isn’t packed with sugar). Supper could contain a high protein food like chicken or fish, paired with a whole grain roll and a starchy vegetable. Enjoy a well balanced diet and get energized!
By Ashley Horst
Foods that harm, foods that heal: An A-Z guide to safe and healthy eating. (2004). Pleasantville, N.Y.: Reader’s Digest Association.
Yeager, S., & Emmaus, P. (2010). The doctors book of food remedies: The latest findings on the power of food to treat and prevent health problems, from aging and diabetes to ulcers and yeast infections (Rev. and updated, special sales ed.). Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale.
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