Whenever we feel low on energy in the afternoon or middle of the morning and we slump and feel unproductive, we need a quick fix to get us back to our high-functioning selves a burst of energy from some delicious food.
The trouble is that in the usual office environment or break room this tends to mean a strong cup of coffee and a biscuit or two…or three if it is a particularly stressful Monday!
Traditional snacks do not work, they are a temporary high with minimal rewards and a lot of regret. What we need instead are high energy foods for women that can transform the way we eat during the day and eliminate those crashes.
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We should always start the day with a good breakfast to reduce the risk of mid-morning snacks – one that doesn’t contain too much sugar.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and there are lots of different options for a beneficial start to the morning – cereals, fruits, yogurt and even a traditional cooked breakfast. It is easy for women to turn their nose up at a full English, they are the greasy feasts of men and seen as the unhealthy option. Many of those aspects are, however, there for a reason.
There is the healthy fruit and veg of the mushrooms and tomatoes, the slow release energy from the carbs of the toast or hash browns and the range of wonderful proteins from the bacon, eggs and beans. Eggs are incredibly rich in protein and a brilliant way of providing energy for the morning and the beauty of choosing this high energy food stuff for breakfast is the versatility – you can avoid the fried egg and have it scrambled or as an omelette instead.
The main thing to avoid here is sugar because it initially makes you feel good but only offers a short term burst of energy before you crash back down and feel worse than when you started. Also, ongoing snacking of sugary treats is bad for your health and waistline.
It is almost second nature to add sugar to food to sweeten it, a spoonful of the granulated white stuff to liven up your morning cereal and push you out the door, but a small drizzle of honey can do the job just as well and releases energy much slower to stop you crashing by the coffee machine by 10 am.
Breakfast is a good start but a healthy, high energy lunch with the right proteins and carbohydrates is crucial to get you through the rest of the day.
A solution to the problem of finding the right snacks is to avoid the desire to snack altogether and this can be achieved by having a lunch full of the right nutrients for a slow energy release for long periods. One of the main ingredients to consider here is the form of carbohydrates you are eating.
A great choice for a healthy, filling lunch is to try some brown rice with some nice vegetables or your favorite Oriental or Indian flavors. Brown rice is high in manganese which brings out the energy in protein and carbohydrates so you can eat a delicious lunch and work straight through to the end of the day without craving any sweets or caffeine. Also, going for something a little hotter like an Indian flavorr has its added benefits because the spices can give an extra burst.
We sometimes think of protein as purely coming from meat, which isn’t all that helpful for any vegetarian girls trying to re-plan their meals, but there is also a high source to be found in certain vegetables and leafy greens.
When the creators of Popeye fed him cans of spinach for those big bursts of energy they were not doing so because it looked funny, well not just for that reason anyway. Spinach is high in protein and also a source of iron which helps to maintain energy production within the body even further.
Beans are also great if you can add them to a healthy salad and salmon is the perfect high energy fish to add to a rice dish or other option because it also has those additional fish oils for improving productivity.
If snacking has become a hard habit to break, try starting with some high energy food substitutions to get more from them.
Ditching the snacks entirely for an energy-rich lunch is ideal but can be difficult if you are used to continual snacking – you don’t want to go cold turkey if you can ease yourself onto this new food regime instead.
There are lots of cereal bars and related products out there that claim to be the ideal snack to see you to your next meal, usually because of the carb levels and added goodness like yogurt and fruit pieces, but what they fail to mention is the high sugar content and fat levels. Check the nutritional information on any store-bought product and opt for natural mixes of grains, nuts, fruit and other treats instead.
The joy of fruit is that there is so much out there to choose from, all so healthy and nutritious, that you are not stuck with the same thing day after day. Plums on Monday, banana on Tuesday, apple segments on Wednesday, orange on Thursday and celebrate the end of the week with a nice mix of tropical goodness.
This variety is great but there are some experts that would advocate the banana over other fruits because of the levels of natural sugars and the fibre that is included. Again, this is a brilliant aid in slow energy release and beating snacking because it can be used at anytime. You can stay traditional and eat one whole on a break or you could add slices to your morning cereal.
With the right foodstuffs and a new approach to snacking, you can feel more energized for longer.
There are plenty of high energy foods for women to enjoy and plenty of opportunities to change your eating habits in order to get the most out of them. Start with some simple, healthy snack substitutions to reduce the likelihood of a mid-afternoon crash, look at some slow release carbs and proteins to add to your lunch to give you plenty of fuel until dinner and take another look at some of the ingredients that could improve your breakfast to give you energy all morning.