There’s nothing quite as invigorating as the start of a brand new day. You’re full of energy, motivation, and spark, and you just can’t wait to charge out into the world and make life happen. But, even for the best for us, that energy can wear off as the day chugs along. Before you know it, you’re dragging from one task to the next and desperate for a midday nap.
Lucky for you, we’ve devised a short list of some great foods and recipes to keep your energy sustained throughout the day. Check them out below and give the recipes a try.
Plain white rice and breads can cause blood-sugar crashes that can leave you feeling drained halfway through your day and needing to eat. Choose quinoa instead. It’s a gluten-free, low-glycemic grain that breaks down more slowly to give you a steadier dose of energy.
And quinoa is very versatile. Just take a look at all these great recipes involving this super grain.
Lentils may be tiny, but when it comes to steady energy, they are mighty. Their high fiber content slows your body’s process of turning carbohydrates into the glucose for fuel. This means they’ll give you a slow, but steadier, supply of energy for much longer than other carb-loaded foods.
Bananas that are still somewhat green are a lower-glycemic source of carbohydrates and natural sugars called fructose. Both fuel your body and brain to give you energy. Bananas also contain tyrosine, an amino acid that—according to recent studies—can promote energy, alertness, and motivation.
Best of all, bananas are easy to carry wherever you go. They literally come with their own natural, protective packaging. So stash a few in your purse or backpack and you’re good to go.
4. Fatty Fish
It’s clear as water that fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are great sources of protein and omega-3s. But they also provide vitamin B12, which works with folic acid to produce red and white blood cells. Maintaining optimal levels of red blood cells in your body supports healthy energy metabolism.
To check out some healthy salmon recipes, click here.
5. Sweet Potatoes
One medium-sized sweet potato contains up to 23 grams of carbohydrates and 3.8 grams of fiber. This dynamic duo provides you with a steady supply of energy. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of manganese, which helps your body produce energy.
This eggscelent source of protein and iron can also help keep your body running all day. Protein itself gives you a steadier source of energy without causing spikes in blood sugar or insulin. Eggs also contain choline, a B-vitamin to help with energy production.
It’s clearly not a food, but water is the building block of life. Not drinking enough water or getting enough through foods can lead to dehydration—slowing down your body functions, making you feel weak and lethargic. Practice healthy hydration by making sure you drink plenty of water.
Now you know the ideal foods to help you through that infamous midday slump. But if you want a little more info on what foods to avoid, just ask the scientists.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “eat pretty” recently. It’s the popular idea that nutrition is a key factor of inner and outer beauty, both feeling and looking good through the foods we eat. As we’ve written about before, there are many ways to promote healthy-looking skin, and food is certainly a factor. Today, I want to share some recipes with you that incorporate foods that may promote healthy skin and general health, including a delicious dessert using cocoa.
That’s right: dark chocolate is on the approved list. So go grab a piece and let’s get to it.
I’m a big fan of baking instead of frying when possible, and this low-grease recipe is a skin superstar with omega-3-rich salmon. Plus, less grease, along with reducing added sugars, could promote that coveted glowing skin.*
2 lb. salmon
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
3 large lemons
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Add olive oil to a small mixing bowl.
Chop the fresh herbs and add to the olive oil.
Zest two of the lemons into the olive oil herb mixture.
Add the minced garlic.
Squeeze in the juice of two lemons and whisk well.
Place the salmon skin side down in a shallow baking dish.
Top with the lemon herb mixture.
Thinly slice the additional lemon and place on top of each piece of salmon.
Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator for an hour to marinate.
Remove from the refrigerator and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant compound that protects against oxidative damage.* This tomato sauce recipe will stay good for five days, meaning you can make it over the weekend and enjoy it during the week with pastas, fish, or grilled chicken.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. dry red wine
½ tsp. dried basil, crumbled
½ medium red onion, minced
14 oz. diced tomatoes in juice
½ tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
Coarse salt, to taste
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic.
Cook, stirring frequently until softened (about 7 minutes).
Stir in tomatoes and juice, wine, oregano, and basil.
Simmer 8 minutes or until lightly thickened.
Season with salt to taste.
Lemon Avocado Toast with Eggs
My breakfast seven days a week. Kick off your morning with a high-protein, high-fat (the good kind) meal that will you give you plenty of sustained energy and antioxidants. As my friend Rich mentions in his blog post, eggs contain proline, which is used for collagen production and help normal skin cell regeneration.* Bet you didn’t think trying to eat pretty could taste this good.
1 slice whole-wheat bread
Olive or avocado oil
Feta cheese (optional)
Cook eggs to taste in medium skillet using oil (I prefer fried eggs for this recipe). Add feta halfway through cooking to melt.
Toast whole-wheat bread while eggs cook.
Spread/mash avocado over toast and apply lemon juice liberally.
This salad combines lots of fresh ingredients like kale, which contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, and other phytonutrients. Carrots aren’t my favorite, but they blend in well with the great variety of other ingredients. Sometimes the best way to eat something you don’t like is to trick your taste buds!
For the salad:
2 cups mixed greens (spinach, kale, rocket, chard, romaine lettuce), roughly chopped
2 peaches, stone removed, cut into thin slices
2 carrots, cut into thin ribbons
1 small onion, finely diced
5–7 small mint leaves
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into small chunks
½ cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia)
For the dressing:
½ lime, juice only
½ lemon, juice only
2 tsp. organic mustard
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1. Toss all the salad ingredients in a large bowl to combine.
2. Add the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend to a creamy sauce.
3. Pour dressing over the salad and mix to combine.
Dark chocolate fans, rejoice: these brownies are more fudge than cake and will satisfy your sweet tooth without the added sugars. Have your cake and eat pretty, too.
¾ cup white whole-wheat flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ tsp. vanilla stevia (adjusted to taste)
¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¾ cup nonfat milk
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, vanilla, and vanilla stevia.
Stir in the Greek yogurt, mixing until no large lumps remain. Stir in the milk. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
Spread the batter onto the prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 13–16 minutes.
Cool completely to room temperature in the pan, and let the brownies sit for at least six hours at room temperature for the fudgiest texture before serving.
Beauty from the Inside
Essential beauty means different things to different people. To “eat pretty” is to look at beauty from the inside as it expands to the outside. To me, it’s that good feeling after eating a healthy meal, knowing that I’ve contributed to healthy-looking skin down the road.
My go-to recipe is the one I make every day, the lemon avocado toast (paired with generous amounts of coffee, another rich source of antioxidants). What are your favorite foods and recipes that follow the Eat Pretty mantra? Leave a comment below.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
It’s the start of the New Year and many people are striving to make healthy food choices and adopt a healthier lifestyle. But we can easily fall short due to time restraints, hectic schedules and lack of planning. As health professionals, we want to share some strategies including preparing fast healthy meals. All this will help you eat clean.
The Quick Prep Solution for Cleaning Eating
If you are willing to set aside a couple hours per week for preparation, you can have a fridge, freezer and pantry stocked with quick, ready-to-assemble meals for your entire family.
Shop once a week, prep twice!
Choose two cook days per week, such as Sunday and Wednesday evenings.
Step 1: Cook two to four protein sources you can use in meals over the next few days.
Amounts prepared will depend on family size. Store in airtight containers and place in the fridge for quick meals. Some great choices are fish, chicken breasts, extra lean ground beef or turkey, tofu, beans, and lentils. Store in airtight containers and place in the fridge for upcoming quick prep mix and match meals.
Step 2: Chop or slice fresh, cleaned vegetables. Place in airtight containers. Also consider preparing a large fresh salad. Try spinach and a variety of mixed greens. (Greens remain fresh and crisp if you add vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini just before serving).
You are now ready to assemble healthy meals for the week.
Fridge & Freezer Prep
Your fridge is now stocked with ready to use vegetables, healthy proteins and condiments. Complete your fridge prep by having an assortment of fruit, dairy products, eggs, healthy oils (flaxseed oil), and home-made or commercial condiments.
Your freezer should contain bags of frozen fruit and vegetables, good quality protein sources, and ice for your Nutrimeal or My Smart Shake Smoothies.
Your pantry should only be stocked with items that are low-glycemic, such as dried or canned legumes, slow cook oats, canned fish, salsas, tomato sauce and healthier condiments ( see additional sheet I sent) I have a complete label reading handout but perhaps we should save that for another blog. If your pantry has left over “goodies” from the holidays, this is the time to start fresh and remove temptation!
For more information on the Quick Prep Method, Recipes and Tips for an on-going healthy lifestyle, go to the resources page at lowgimeals.com
Here is how simple your next meal can be!
Quick Prep Spicy Pineapple Chicken
Hawaiian Aloha Shake Recipe
East Coast Life Solutions start date on the 5 Day RESET is January 14th, if you are interested in participating, we have a time limited offer if you purchase a RESET Kit this week, you will receive a FREE Blender Bottle. Just click the link SHOP the RESET Special.