Diet and energy are so intricately related that one small change for the better (or worse) can make all the difference. Your diet needs enough calories, but it also needs high-quality foods that support your adrenal glands, heart, and blood sugar. Your digestion is also something to consider when it comes to what you choose to eat and the energy it gives you. A diet rich in dairy, red meat, and even hard-to-digest, high doses of beans can all cause slower digestion and make you tired because a good bit of your blood and energy is reverted to your stomach for digestion. Plant-based foods like vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and legumes, are all great choices, though adapting your meals to make them easier to digest can be a great way to also improve your energy.
Remove the Energy Thieves from Your Diet
Removing caffeine is also something to consider when it comes to your energy. Though it offers up a quick solution to the problem, it also comes with a price later on in the day. Caffeine also weakens the adrenal glands in especially high doses and many people find themselves tired, when really, their body is just exhausted from the workload that’s put on their organs. A diet high in processed foods is also hard on your body, even if they’re easier to digest than some whole, plant-based foods. Even naturally sugary foods may spike your energy at first, but send it plummeting hours later when your blood sugar falls again. Generally speaking, a diet rich in clean, plant-based whole foods won’t steer you wrong, yet it still helps to know some things you can do to improve things further.
What a Energizing Day Looks Like, Meal by Meal
For breakfast, be sure to include something that will stay with you a long time and that goes down easily. Ideas include higher-fiber, nutrient dense foods like rolled or steel-cut oats (not instant), protein-packed green smoothies, chia pudding, quinoa, almonds, pumpkin seeds, or even a tofu scramble if that’s more your thing. These foods help you stay energized and full for longer amounts of time without taxing your digestion in the meantime. If you have to have coffee, keep it to one cup and leave the sugar out. Like caffeine, sugar is hard on your adrenal glands and also disruptive to your blood sugar. A better solution to coffee is green tea, so if you can swing it, go that route instead.
Lunches should include whole food-based proteins like brown rice, quinoa, millet, tofu, tempeh, edamame, chickpeas, or whole-food based veggie burgers. These are healthy, will keep you full, and are fairly easy on your body. They also contain amino acids, fiber, and other nutrients to power up your day. But don’t leave out the veggies either! Your body needs the clean, pure vitamins and minerals from fresh food to feel its best. If you like, also include some fruit with your meals instead of sugary snacks for dessert.
Dinner should be simple, but also healthy because though you’re going to bed, what you eat at night affects your sleep and your energy in the morning. Choose something such as a large kale salad with a baked sweet potato, some mushrooms, and perhaps some legumes or some tofu. Or, just keep it to veggies, some grains, and some healthy fat like tahini for another good option. If you enjoy smoothies, you can even turn your smoothie into a smoothie bowl and make it more filling by adding some oats for a creamy, filling and healthy dinner in a cinch. The cleaner your meals at night, the better you’ll sleep and the better you’ll feel the next morning. Just be sure not to eat right before bed and allow your body time to digest your meal before hitting the hay.
Other considerations include perhaps exploring superfoods that have been shown to improve energy. These boosters really do work and are high in nutrients your body will enjoy. Try maca, coconut, goji, acai, cacao, and spirulina, along with matcha green tea, which all increase energy and help your body adapt to stress.
Lifestyle Tips for Upping Your Energy
Remember to also get enough movement throughout the day since moving keeps your metabolism stoked and can even improve your mood and focus. It also affects your overall energy and sitting can cause you to become more tired when you may actually not be. Exercise is also key, as long as you’re allowing your body quality sleep each night to recover and don’t forget that stress management (though it sounds like an oxymoron) is also essential for improving energy daily.
Now, get moving and conquer your day!
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