With our busy, busy schedules we need to find energy …. from somewhere! Well guess what? FOOD is energy. It is very important not only what you eat but how you eat it…and drink it for that matter. Let’s start with water. You must hydrate yourself. Exercise (which provides us with energy even though it makes your body use it too), high sodium foods, caffeine, perspiration and some medications are a few things that can dehydrate us. Please use water as your main beverage of choice. Try to replace the high sugar or chemical drinks with water. Add slices of fresh or frozen fruit to your water to increase the flavor and benefit of vitamins. Try to drink about half of your weight in water or at the very least….eight 8-ounce glasses. By eating fruits and vegetables you will be provided with naturally occurring water by “eating” it.
Now that we are drinking water let’s try to incorporate protein and/or fat at each of our meals and snacks. Protein and fat satisfy our appetite because they digest more slowly (than carbohydrates) and provide longer-lasting energy. Healthier protein can be fish, shellfish, lean meat, poultry without skin, low-fat/low-sodium cheese, eggs and tofu. Beans contain protein to a lesser degree and quinoa will provide a complete protein, complete with all the amino acids for building muscle. Healthy fat choices can be avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butters, seed butters and olives. Carbohydrates are our best energy food, however, since they digest more quickly than protein or fat, they provide shorter-lasting energy. They also may tend to make you hungry faster unless you eat denser and higher fiber carbohydrates to slow down the digestion and the release of energy into your body. Carbohydrates are starches, fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt and sweets. The more processed sugar foods you eat, the faster the digestion, the quicker you lose energy and the quicker you want to eat more to replenish lost energy!
Think of eating foods like nuts and popcorn low-fat/low-sodium cheese and high fiber crackers, hummus and celery or carrots or red peppers, Greek yogurt with added fruit and nuts. These are healthy and high energy foods. Give your taste buds a treat. If you aren’t familiar with these foods then give try some of them and you may train your taste buds to enjoy a broader variety of foods! Manja!