Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eating for Energy

Take a moment for yourself. Take three deep breaths, in and out. Now, consider this question... Do you have enough energy? Is your body ready and raring to go? Could you jump up from your chair and be a little ball of power?

If so, congratulations! If not, you're not alone. The dictionary defines energy as "the capacity for vigorous activity; available power." For our bodies, it means we have the juice to get up and go and do our daily activities without feeling worn down and tired. Many people suffer from energy slumps which can be caused by stress (emotional, chemical, mental or physical) and by what we eat.

Since energy slumps can be caused by our food, it is also true that energy abundance can be created by our food. This is excellent news! Making better food choices can help you regain the energy you need. Let's learn how!

Energy Zappers
There are several food items that cause energy depletion including:
  • Caffeine (more on that below)
  • Soft drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Too much meat or not enough meat
  • Processed, chemical "fake" foods
  • Sugar and fake sugars (see below on this one, too).
  • Trans fats
To clarify the caffiene and sugar items: Yes, it is true that a jolt of caffiene or a dose of sugar can give you an energy boost. The boost is temporary, however, and puts your body into a depletion-craving cycle where it asks for more after it processes through what you've already given it. And more and more and so on. This vicious circle is not good for our bodies and over time, can cause harm.

Energy Suppliers
More healthy food sources of energy include:
  • Whole, raw fruits
  • Leafy greens (like kale, collards, chard and arugula)
  • Whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, wild rice)
  • Beans
  • Green algae and seaweeds
As your probably noticed, the energy suppliers are whole, natural and unprocessed foods. These foods are whole and complete organisms and therefore can give your body whole and complete nutrition. The nutrients, fiber and vitamins all work together with your body to fill up its fuel tank so you have the energy you need to get the job done.

Another great tip for instant energy is a quick round of exercise. Stand up and do 20 jumping jacks. Or talk a walk outside for 10 minutes. Anything really that gets your blood pumping and body moving will help you feel more perky.

So, if you'd like to have more energy in your body and in your life. Consider what on the list of energy zappers you can zap from your diet. Consider what energy suppliers you can rely upon instead. And, when you feel a slump coming on don't resort to the caffiene or sugar trap, get up and get moving!

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