Boost your energy for the summer!
Summer is finally here and life is about to get busier. As the weather gets warmer, we tend to be more active and do more, so it’s important to keep ourselves feeling energized. As you prepare for summer barbeques, camping trips, picnics, and the many more fun activities that come along with warm weather, you may want to think about choosing foods that maximize your strength and support a sustained flow of energy so that you can really make the most of the summer fun!
It’s so easy and tempting to grab a cup of coffee and a sugary snack to get your boost of energy, but the problem is these foods will only get you so far. They will give you an instant oomph, but will soon send you crashing. To minimize these spikes and crashes, you want to make sure your nutritional intake supports a sustained flow of energy by limiting fluctuation in blood sugar levels. An even blood sugar level can also help you improve your focus and concentration, and help you prevent mood swings and exhaustion.
The answer is simple… choose foods that support a sustained flow of energy. Here are 4 tips to keep you feeling energized all day long:
1. Eat ‘Real’ Foods. By focusing on eating real foods you will naturally reduce processed and packaged foods, which are loaded with chemicals and sugar. Real foods are those closer to their natural form, such as choosing whole grains instead of boxed crackers or chips, and eating whole fruit instead of fruit juice or fruit bars. A great way to add more real foods is to make small changes: add some quinoa, brown rice or a handful of nuts to your salad, pack some cut up (or whole) fruits and veggies to munch on at the beach, dip in humus or almond butter instead of ranch dressing, snack on nuts and seeds instead of candy and chips. With some planning, slowly but surely, you can make the shift to eating more real foods that will energize your body instead of the energy zapping processed foods.
2. Eat just the right amount and type of protein for your body – keep a food journal to see how much protein works best for you. Salmon, chicken, beef are all great choices for summer cookouts and picnics. Add some plain full fat yogurt, nuts, hard boiled eggs, try my Trail-mix cookies. These are packed with protein and fat that will fuel you and keep you full till your next meal… the best part is they are so good you can have them anytime of the day!
3. Drink more water – dehydration often causes fatigue and headaches. Start your day with a big glass of water then continue staying hydrated. Did you know that thirst is sometimes mistaken as hunger? By simply drinking more water, you may notice that you become less hungry and naturally end up drinking fewer high-calorie, sugary drinks... You can flavor your water with natural ingredients, such as lemon, lime, orange, cucumber, mint leaves, strawberry slices, berries or pineapple chunks. I love using these fun ingredients in ice cubes for a fast fun way to quench your thirst! I have a Pinterest Board with some wonderful ideas!
4. Keep caffeine to a minimum. It is tempting to grab a cup of iced coffee to get an afternoon energy boost, but keep in mind that the “energy” caffeine provides is a temporary fix, and eventually it will lead to a slump in your energy. To ensure you are getting the energizing effects of caffeine, you have to use it wisely; be aware of when and how much you are consuming.
There you have it – four tips to keep you healthy and energized all summer long… What tips do you have for an energy boost? Let us know in the comments below.