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Eat Smart to Stay Energized in 2012

January 3, 2012 by Jeremy Ho-on in Eat with 0 Comments

You ever find yourself slugging around the office or craving a nap after lunch, even though you had a full night’s rest? Consider the foods that you eat throughout the day. Do you eat smart? Your diet might be what’s keeping you from performing to your fullest potential. Are you getting the right nutrients? Are you getting any at all?

Some of us work through lunch, claiming that we’re too “busy” to eat. And, this is certainly no good. The tiring effect that skipping a meal can have on us is seen in the fatigued attitude that comes from the lack of nutrients.

When you don’t fuel up with the right foods, your blood sugar level drops. This results in a tired, slow-moving version of you.

A stable blood sugar level is the key to keeping your mind working and your metabolism moving. This can be achieved by eating small, healthy meals every couple of hours instead of gorging on one or two feasts a day.

Foods to Keep you Moving

Your body makes energy with the carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats that it digests. Complex carbs can be found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, cereal, pasta and rice. Some energizing sources of lean protein include salmon, low-fat dairy, egg whites, nuts, beans and tofu.

The fats you consume should be unsaturated and contain no trans fat. Healthy fats are good for your heart, brain and cholesterol. Ingredients containing healthy fats include vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, peanut butter, fish and olives (just to name a few).

Powering Up on a Daily Basis

Exercising goes hand-in-hand with feeling energized. A good way to power up before a workout is to eat a light snack of carbohydrates. For longer lasting energy, add some protein to those carbs.

Keep away from the low-quality simple sugars found in candy and processed foods. That doughnut might help you wake up in the morning, but soon after the sugar high comes the crash. Also avoid fried foods and ultra-high carb entrees. These will leave you lethargic and unproductive.

Get more vegetables in your diet by blending them up in a smoothie. Nutritious and delicious, a smoothie made of raw fruits and veggies contains live enzymes that easily break down and enter your blood stream for instant energy.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated keeps you less fatigued and more productive. Try coconut water. High in natural electrolytes and potassium, this thirst-quenching beverage keeps you hydrated and energized.

Make sure you have healthy snacks nearby so you can always refuel when you need to. Keep them in your purse, briefcase or desk drawers. Try whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese, fresh fruit, nuts and low-fat granola bars with minimal sugar.

No matter how “busy” you think you are, make the effort to eat three well-rounded, light meals a day with light snacks in between. It takes a lot of energy to get you to where you want to go, so play it smart and feed that hungry brain of yours.

Try these brilliant recipes for a nutritional energy boost:

Oatmeal, Carrot and Apple Breakfast Squares
Crispy Salmon Cakes with Herbed Yogurt

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About Jeremy Ho-on

With a degree in creative writing and a passion for mountain biking, Jeremy spends his days as a copy specialist for Destination Rewards and a columnist for Smart Talk Magazine.

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