Image source: Suzette Pauwels/Flickr
For a long while, I would wake up in the morning and just want to go back to bed. I was getting enough sleep and I wasn’t particularly stressed out during the day, so I wasn’t sure what else could be the matter.
For starters, I began paying more attention to what I was eating. Once I took a closer look, I saw that what I was feeding my body on a daily basis was slowly it down and doing no good in helping me get out of bed in the morning and feeling energized throughout the day. By shifting my diet to one comprised of more fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, I found that I had much more energy, and even felt more chipper as a result.
While there are number of factors that might weigh us down in the energy department each day, if we take care to be cognizant of what we’re putting into our bodies then we might find a simple solution that will help improve our energy levels and moods.
To kick-start your day with a new burst of energy, whip up any of these five delicious recipes, with plenty of nutrient-rich foods like blueberries, chia seeds, garlic, kale, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes that will serve you well throughout your busy day at home, work or school.
Start your day out right with this energizing chia lucuma coconut smoothie. The chia seeds serve as great sources of protein, fiber and Omega fats while the lucuma powder offers a nice boost of antioxidants and B vitamins. If you like a little more heft to your breakfast in the morning, pair a cup of this smoothie with some granola or fruit pudding.
By lunchtime, your energy levels will still probably be on the high side, as compared with the rest of the day. Keep your spirits going strong with this delicious soup made with roasted garlic, miso and greens. The garlic gives your body a shot of a fiber called inulin, which helps you feel fuller longer and increases the absorbency of iron, helping to prevent fatigue. If you choose kale as your “greens of choice” you’ll get the added bonus of vitamins A, C and K.
If you’re interested in staying healthy and energetic throughout the day, then make sure to stock up on a nutritious snack. Nutritious isn’t code for boring or bland, especially if you choose to whip up this fresh pumpkin and kale hummus. The beans pack a protein and fiber punch while the pumpkin gives you a dose of vitamin A and antioxidant beta-carotene. The kale leaves top the dish off with B vitamins, magnesium and iron. Serve this hummus on top of crackers or flatbread or dip your raw veggies in it for a great mid-day snack.
Ever ran track or cross-country? If not, perhaps you’ve heard of “pasta parties,” where athletes get together and share pasta-rich dishes to gather energy for the upcoming race. While you certainly don’t need as many carbohydrates in your diet as someone who’s training, you can still reap the benefits from an energizing pasta. Take this rigatoni with roasted garlic butternut squash sauce, for instance. It will get you the healthy energy you need when you feel your levels waning. Garlic adds manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C to your diet and the butternut squash gives you a batch of vitamins A and E.
This dessert shows that chocolate can be super healthy! With the right balance of other ingredients, of course. Since this chocolate pudding is nearly fat free you won’t find yourself weighed down by butters, milks, or creams. Instead, you’ll feel refreshed finishing off your last spoonful. There is an interesting mix of ingredients called for here, which might not seem to all go together, but this recipe makes it work with good blend of nutrient-packed foods like zucchini, almond milk, dates, cocoa, and Japanese sweet potatoes. Zucchini will arm you with fiber, protein, and vitamin B6 while the dates will give you potassium and iron. Sweet potatoes pack a mean amount of vitamins A and C too.