It’s mid month in January, we all resolved to eat better and exercise, but it seems like the Holidays never officially ended. You’re not alone, and it’s time to really commit. Remember, SMALL changes can have BIG impact! Today I want to give you a few tips to help you use the power of food to keep you energized throughout the days, weeks and months ahead!
- Eat as little processed food as possible- Processed foods are full of chemicals that make us feel tired, even weak. Some contain substances that de-regulate our normal hormones. Strive to eat fresh foods and aim to cook a little more yourself; home made foods not only taste better, they “feel” better!
- Use less sugar- Refined (or added) sugar is difficult to digest, and can certainly wreak havoc on our system, making us wired one second and totally crashed the next. Sugar has been linked to chronic disease, increasing infections and chronic fatigue. Need more energy? Avoid added sugar!
- Eat a variety of foods and organic when possible- To me, the key to health is VARIETY. I personally don’t believe in eliminating a food group all together (well, maybe added sugars and fast food). I could NEVER be paleo, vegan or even vegetarian. I believe for most people without specific sensitivities, starches, proteins, fruits and vegetables all provide key nutrients and help maintain adequate energy levels. Organic foods contain less pesticides, hormones and antibiotics which may affect your energy level and overall well being.
- Protein matters- protein can be called the “endurance nutrient.” It literally supports every cell, supplies power and keeps us satisfied. Eat lean meats, and don’t forget plant-based protein sources (beans, quinoa, lentils, etc).
- Fiber: the “sustainer” nutrient- Fills you up, curbs cravings and cleanses the system. For those of you without sensitivities, include beans, nuts and nut butters, chia seeds and whole grains into your diet. They help keep you energized for longer periods of time. However, it’s prudent to avoid too much fiber right before exercising.
- HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!- Cannot stress this enough! No, hydration, NO energy! Make sure to drink PLENTY of water each day (aim for 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water). Hydration is the “energy potion”; it refreshes, cleanses and renews. Add citrus fruits, mint or basil and some pomegranate seeds to your water for an energy bonus!
- Make a committment to move!- set a time, date and place for your workouts, even if it means walking aorund the block a few times a week. But remember, you are more likely to move your body if it’s fueled with the right stuff, and this means, healthy, whole, real foods. Have an energizing snack 1-2 hours before exercising!
10 Energizing Pre-Workout Snacks (Click for Recipes) by Adam Pegg on SteadyStrength
2. Power Balls
3. Fancy Oats
4. Fruit Leather
5. German Chocolate Protein Shake
6. Eggs on Toast
7. Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Cereal
8. Fruit-licious Oatmeal Shake
9. Cottage Cheese and Pineapple
10. Peanut Butter, Banana, Honey Toast
Good luck and have an Energy-Filled Day!