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All foods are a source of energy, it is true, but our consumption levels have grown to over-indulgence, and in the past few weeks, food has become the one-stop all-fixer. For more of us, snacking is becoming unhealthy. All those good eating habits that were started, the New Year resolutions that survived past January, gone - eating our emotions have become the norm.
I tried to see that if eating healthy, specific energy-boosting would make a difference in my mood, my energy levels, and motivation. And it did! Or maybe it is just that by replacing the grand majority of my snacks with healthy ones I was less sluggish and uninterested.
Here are the foods that I researched AND tried:
The best form of energy-boost better than coffee. It is clean and natural and along with many other benefits it gives an energy boost for the day. I replaced my coffee with Green Tea a long time ago and I feel better because of it. For me, coffee is a quick-fix with a drop in energy after it wears off, whereas Green Tea can take me right through the morning, with another cup after lunch to keep me going. It is a natural source of caffeine so don’t drink it too late or else you won’t sleep! I would advise 5 PM to be the latest to drink a cup of Green Tea.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are full of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and good fats. It is not recommended to constantly snack on these foods unless you are physically active as one needs to use the energy provided so the fat doesn’t get stored. Often people who are going on a hike will have a baggy of nuts and seeds with them to provide a sustained energy release. At home, a handful every day for your morning snack will have you up and about being active.
Fruits that are dried often contain a higher concentration of sugar than their original, ripe form. Like nuts and seeds, they should be consumed in small quantities. You can add them to your morning breakfast if you like a sweet breakfast, or include them in your afternoon snack. Kids love dried fruits too - they are like candy for them! Same consistency as candy and afterward a natural and healthy energy boost.
These yellow fruits are full of potassium - but what exactly does that mean? Potassium helps with the optimal functioning of body muscles (and other benefits). When we lack potassium our muscles are weaker, therefore our body is fatigued. I ate a banana anyway, without feeling tired, and it did make my body more eager to move. I am not talking about jumping up out of my seat and doing 20 jumping jacks, but having it in my mind to do some home exercise anyway the banana definitely helped with my stamina.
Now we’re talking. Dark chocolate is ALWAYS better than milk or white chocolate. Cocoa is a natural antioxidant and it helps the blood flow, encouraging oxygen to travel to our brain and muscles. This will improve your mood and your energy levels (nobody is energetic if they are feeling low). So instead of reserving your piece of dark chocolate for your evening while you watch TV take it with your afternoon snack or before your workout to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
If you are working out protein is your best friend to help you build muscle. Not only that though, if you don’t eat enough protein throughout the day you can actually feel fatigued. There are many foods containing protein so here are my top selections for snacking:
Eggs - nothing wrong with a boiled egg to snack on! Ensure that your eggs are free-ranged and try to find a local farmer who sells them!
Tofu - simply fry cubed tofu in a skillet and eat them as a snack (seasoned to your own taste). You can buy tofu locally, and organic.
Low-fat yogurt - yogurts are a great breakfast addition, or snack anytime throughout the day. Buy the natural version and add your seeds or dried fruit to spruce it up a bit.
Not too hard to source and quite tasty to snack on! It was difficult but I pushed the cookies to the back of the cupboard and placed my dried fruit and nuts and seeds mix upfront. I boil my eggs in the morning so when I do go to the fridge they are there ready to eat (I also write motivational messages on my eggs - Go, Donna! You Can Do It! Eat Me Instead).
While shopping, do not do it while hungry and resist the temptations.
I hope these help you as they have helped me.
Keep Health, Keep Happy