Every person I know has said to me at one time or another "I wish I had more energy." It isn't all that hard when you know what "energy" means and where it comes from.
Energy comes from the conversion of food into fuel in your body. It is that simple. The more effectively you feed the fire, the more energy you will have. A slow, steady burning metabolism is achievable no matter what you are born with. Here are the foods to eat and the times to eat them to net you more energy than you have ever had.
1. Sleep well. Six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you need a bedtime snack, make it a high magnesium one which will help your muscles relax. Try oatmeal with two teaspoons of almond butter stirred into it. Resist the urge for brown sugar topping or you will sleep with syrup in your veins that may mean you wake up with a wonky blood sugar level that can leave you groggy and slow and make you crave even more sugar!
2. Breakfast needs to contain protein and fibre to set your blood sugar, and therefore energy level, for the day. Skip this step and expect an energy zapping crash or two that will be hard to recover from. This egg white omelette takes mere seconds and won't ever let you down.
3. Mid-morning snack that is low on the glycemic index but contains glucose to fuel your sluggish brain is crucial! Natural Delights Medjool Dates should always be in your car/desk or bag, they are power fuel that is great any time you feel yourself flagging. Here is a recipe for power date balls that combine just the right amount of good fat, protein, anti-oxidants and carbs to get you through the morning or as a pre-workout power boost.
4. Lunch: Skip the carbs, go for protein and greens like a stir fry without the rice or a salad with fish or chicken. Add a few nuts and a drizzle of dressing for slow burning good fats. Carb-heavy sandwiches or pastas will only drag you down by 3 p.m.
5. Pre-dinner snack: A big glass of water and a handful of almonds. Chances are you haven't been drinking enough and some brain brown-out can be blamed on dehydration. A few almonds will take the edge off so you don't eat a box of crackers while you are making dinner.
6. Dinner: Try to finish eating dinner at least 2-3 hours before bed so it doesn't interfere with your sleep.
Keeping your energy level even means taking a step by step approach incorporating the finest fuel for your body and brain. It also means managing your caffeine intake and keeping it to three cups of coffee or tea ending by about 2 p.m. Try this for a week and then let us know how you did! Did your energy level improve?