Through the holiday season, we tend to eat on the run because of our busy schedules and added holiday festivities. Instead of feeling dragged down, how would you like to feel full of energy?
Holiday shopping, dinners out, parties to attend and family members traveling can add up to eating less than healthy food every day. The result may be feeling sluggish and lethargic. How can you keep up with all of the festivities when all you want to do is climb into your nice comfy bed and sleep?
- Instead of sweets and simple processed carbs, focus on whole grains like whole wheat, millet, quinoa and brown rice. Save the sweets for occasional treats and slowly savor them. Sweets and refined carbs spike your blood sugar and then cause it to plummet, leave you feeling wiped out. Complex carbs are absorbed more slowly, keeping your blood sugar stable and keeping your energy up.
- Protein found in lean cuts of beef, pork tenderloin, skinless chicken or turkey provide your body the essential amino acids and vitamin B12. Protein also helps transport nutrients in your body and maintain your electrolyte levels.
- Salmon and other fatty fish, nuts and leafy, dark green veggies provide omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3s improve blood flow in the brain.
- Water is absolutely essential. Even very mild dehydration slows down metabolism, causes headaches and zaps your energy. If you dislike plain water, add citrus slices or cucumber slices.
- Fiber foods like veggies, fruits and beans keep your blood sugar stable and your energy up. Pairing protein and fiber is the perfect union.
- Skipping meals or going too long between meals drops your blood sugar and energy. Eat small meals more frequently and energy-packed snacks in between meals like peanut butter on whole grain crackers, Greek yogurt and fruit or veggies and hummus.
- Eat dark chocolate. Yes, it’s healthy! especially 70% cocoa. It boosts your energy due to the caffeine and theobromine, another stimulant, but keep it to 1 oz. per day.