Food has many purposes. Foods can calm you, can power you, and can make you tired or angry. Food is medicine.
This week I want to focus on food that will help you sustain and support your energy: The dos and don’ts of energy.
- Eat protein for breakfast not sugar, preferably veggie protein
- Make your lunch supportive
- Have snacks available that are good for you
- Make dinner work for you
- Eat when you are hungry and not at specific times
- Be a grazer if that works for you and your workday
- Don’t feel you have to eat breakfast if you are not hungry in the morning, it’s only the most important meal of the day for people who need to eat then
- Don’t get pressured into heavy pasta lunches that have to be followed by espressos to make it through the afternoon
- Don’t drink alcohol with lunch, it does not serve your afternoon plans
- Don’t eat three meals per day because you feel you must
- Don’t think eating late is bad for everyone, some people really need to eat right before bed
- Don’t think because someone else can eat something, that it makes it good for you
If you are going to eat breakfast, then eat an easily digestible protein. Plant based is always best but egg whites can work too. What if you don’t have time to make breakfast, then what? Try whole grain toast with nut butter, not peanut butter because of the fungus and bacteria on peanuts. Plan ahead, make something the night before, or buy something you would like to eat for breakfast that fits those criteria. Eating veggies, grains, and beans for breakfast is not conventional breakfast but good for powering you.
Lunch decides your energy for the afternoon, so eat like it matters! Make good choices. Filling but easily digestible is a great rule. Make sure you keep snacks at your desk, in your car, in your house that will give you energy. Veggie sticks especially celery, dips for the veggies if you want, nuts and seeds with dried fruit if that works for you, protein bars but watch the sugar content, fruit, non-wheat crackers or multi grain chips. There are lots of healthy, yummy choices – it’s up to you to make them.
Eat when you are hungry. Big one. That may mean once per day or every couple of hours. This is not a taste bud decision but a body decision. Different body types need to eat differently. Thin types can and should eat often. Medium body types can eat smaller portions 3-4 times per day and heavier body types need to drink more water, tea, etc and eat less. Heavier types should also totally avoid their “favorite,” which is sweets.
Remember; don’t let people pressure you into eating when you are not hungry. Don’t eat because others are. It will zap your energy. It takes a lot of energy to digest food. Meat takes the most energy to digest followed by non-whole grain carbohydrates. Things that put the most weight on are: processed foods and sugars. Things that keep us healthiest are: alkaline foods (more will follow regarding these in a later post).
If you want energy to think and react quickly, eat foods that digest easily and quickly. These are not the truly filling foods but they are the power foods. They will keep you empowered. Fruits, veggies, nuts, and alkaline grains such as quinoa (also a complete protein), and beans. The key is eating to live. Not living to eat because it tastes so good that you feel you just can’t stop. That means your body is not registering it as food. I did an experiment on those little fish crackers. I used to love them but had stopped eating them ages ago. I was at a lake house and they had a Costco size bag of the little fishes so I decide to eat until I had my fill. I never reached a point of feeling full and trust me; I ate a lot of the little guys. No food value. Not powering the machine. Your machine needs power foods. Go green! You can’t miss, unless it is green food coloring. Greens are the best power tools for your body and brain.
I ________________________________________ will choose three things I will incorporate in my life this month to help me connect and improve my eating habits so that I can attain more energy from the food choice I make.
My three choices are:
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