We spend our energy constantly, by working, thinking and even sitting. Everything we do consumes our energy so we constantly need to replenish our energy stores in order to function at our best. Think of your body as a car, it needs fuel in order to run. If you pour sands into the fuel tank, not only will it not run but it will also get damaged and it may be ruined for good. In order for that car to run properly, you need to put proper fuel into the tank and nothing else. No extras. From time to time you need to do maintenance check and top up your fluids. Sometimes you need to change parts due to wear and tear. If you take regular care of the car, your car will run smoothly with no issues for many, many years.
Same as that imaginary car, our body needs proper fuel to run properly and feel at its best. At different times of the day, we require different energy boosters to fill up our current energy needs. If we feed our body healthy food that consists of protein, unsaturated fats, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals on regular basis then our body will be healthy for a long time. Unless we are genetically predisposed to certain illness, we should expect our body to stay healthy and strong with proper nutrition.
It may look like daily food requirements are too big when it is suggested that we should aim to get 5-7 fruit portions daily, throw into that portions for other food groups and you may get the impression that all you need to do is eat all day long in order to fulfill those daily requirements.
It’s been long said that we should eat everything in moderation. When we say everything, we mean healthy food, not junk food. Junk food should be avoided at all times. This is easier said than done, and if you really need to have that piece of chocolate cake or potato chips, don’t deprive yourself as you will only crave it more. Take a little bit, in a very small quantity, so you will satisfy your craving.
In order for our body not to crave any other foods but the ones that are necessary for our survival, we need to feed it often with nutritious foods that will satisfy our cravings.
Rise & Shine Boost
When you wake up in the morning, it is suggested to drink a full glass of water on an empty stomach to provide optimum cleanse and to balance your blood pressure. Some people add lemon slice to their water, but it is not necessary, just a glass of plain water is enough. Find time to exercise, do some yoga or meditation before getting ready for work or taking your kids to school. It will spike your energy levels from early morning. Follow by a quick cool shower to get your circulation going and you will be ready to conquer anything that your day has in store for you.
Breakfast has always been considered the most important meal of the day. After long night where our whole body rejuvenates, we need to stock up our energy levels so we have enough to last us the whole day. Start your day with protein foods such as eggs or cheese. Do not skip egg yolk as it is rich in B12 vitamin. Include fruit and whole grains. Eat well, but never overeat. Protein found in eggs and cheese will keep you satiated for a long time.
After Breakfast Boost
If you find yourself hungry again 2-3 hours after breakfast, it is time to have some snack. Not everyone needs snack; we all satisfy our hunger in different ways. However, if you do need a snack, try some plain yogurt or kefir with some freshly ground flax seeds or chia seeds. This will help restore your energy levels. Do not forget to drink water throughout the day, it is important to keep yourself hydrated especially during long summer days or after exercise.
Most people consider noon to be lunch time. Healthy lunch should consist of some protein, like salmon or tuna, along with fruits and vegetables. Do not forget to add healthy fat to your food, such as a tablespoon of olive oil to your vegetables or salad. If possible, get up and move during your lunch time. Go for a walk outside since the fresh air restores our energy quickly. Enjoy sunshine and get vitamin D, to feel more happy and rejuvenated.
After Lunch Boost
After lunch, most people feel tired and drained of energy, especially if they had quick carbohydrates for lunch, such as white pasta or white rice. When people are tired they are looking for a quick fix, which usually turns out to be something to satisfy their sugar craving. However, if you take something sweet at this point, your energy level will crash. Instead, try drinking green tea, or breathe deeply and meditate for at least 5 minutes so you can re-energize quickly. If you feel that you must eat something at this point, try an apple or fistful of almonds, they are both great choices for quick afternoon snack.
End of the workday is when we go home to unwind, enjoy time with our family or by ourselves and enjoy a hearty meal without rushing. Great idea, except, eat about half of what you are able to eat. You will find that that by eating only half of your usual portion that is filled with healthy protein, vegetables, whole grain, dairy and fruit, your energy levels will rise. You will not feel sleepy afterwards but will instead have energy to do some other stuff around the house or even go for a walk. Try not to eat anything else after dinner.
If you really crave something, chamomile tea with a teaspoon of honey may just do the trick to help you unwind and relax. Sip it slowly and mindfully, enjoy every sip, while sitting on the couch, covered in a blanket and watching your favourite show or reading your favourite book.