All-Day Energy Eating
Our bodies need calories to create the energy we need to experience that vim, zip, and get-up-and-go. But it matters how those calories are packaged—whether they're bundled with protein, fiber, and healthy fats or delivered as refined carbs and sugars. Refined, simple carbs, found in many snacks, cause a spike in blood sugar followed by the notorious crash. Complex foods mediate blood sugar levels, yielding a steady supply of energy. They also keep you feeling fuller longer. When it comes to eating on an ordinary day (as opposed to, say, fueling up on a long bike ride), you want foods that burn slow, not fast. Here we've identified eight energy-boosting sources and incorporated them into balanced recipes designed to keep energy levels steady. We focused on breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for buzz-worthy eating that's fit for the whole family.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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Boost your mental game at lunch.Our Salmon Salad on Arugula is filled with omega-3-rich salmon and iron-packed dark greens. Studies show that too little of either may cause signs of fatigue. Salmon is a top source of omega-3 fats, packing a day's worth in just 4 ounces. Here it's drizzled with citrus, whose vitamin C will boost your body's ability to absorb iron from the greens. Greek yogurt adds a gram of protein to the dressing and has 85% fewer calories than mayo.
Jump-start your day with a dose of whole grains, citrus, and protein-packed yogurt.Breakfast is the time of day to fire up both mental and physical engines. Choose foods filled with fiber and protein for a quick boost that has a lasting effect. We thicken this Citrusy Banana-Oat Smoothie with whole-grain oats (all forms are whole: rolled, steel-cut, even instant), full of complex carbohydrates that the body absorbs more slowly than refined carbs so you feel fuller longer. Just the scent of citrus in this smoothie can increase your alertness and may boost feel-good serotonin levels. Greek yogurt packs full protein punch: One cup has 20g to keep you full for hours—along with 20% of your daily calcium needs. Added bonus: Our recipe has about half the sugar of those from a smoothie shop.
Pack a snack with protein and fiber, not sugar.When nuts meet dried fruit, chocolate, and crunchy whole grains, you get a hearty snack with 5g protein and 3g fiber. We sweeten the Cranberry-Pistachio Energy Bars with honey or agave because these sources have a lower glycemic index to better control blood sugar spikes. Dark chocolate provides a natural caffeine buzz that's mild enough to prevent the subsequent crash (and often excessive sugar) you get with highly caffeinated beverages.
Variation: Cherry-Almond Energy BarsSubstitute coarsely chopped tart dried cherries for the cranberries, and chopped salted, dry-roasted almonds for the pistachios. Substitute honey for the agave nectar.SERVES 16 (serving size: 1 bar)CALORIES 205; FAT 10.6g (sat 2.1g, mono 5.1g, poly 2.6g); PROTEIN 5g; CARB 25g; FIBER 3g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 54mg; CALC 47mgVariation: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Energy BarsSubstitute golden raisins for the cranberries and chopped salted, dry-roasted peanuts for the pistachios. Omit the coconut and chocolate. Add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon to the oat mixture in step 2. Substitute creamy peanut butter for the almond butter and honey for the agave nectar.SERVES 16 (serving size: 1 bar)CALORIES 179; FAT 8.6g (sat 1.2g, mono 2.8g, poly 2g); PROTEIN 6g; CARB 23g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 94mg; CALC 18mg
Build a salad with more than just greens.Dark greens are packed with iron, which transports oxygen to your brain and muscles, where it is then used to produce energy, keeping you both mentally and physically alert. But a salad can leave you hungry if you stick to greens alone. Our Spicy Bean and Quinoa Salad with "Mole" Vinaigrette one pulls in quinoa, black beans, pumpkin seeds, and a bright, citrus-based vinaigrette—all winners in the energy category. Whole-grain quinoa is one of the rare plant-based sources to contain all nine essential protein-building amino acids. Black beans pack in more than 7g fiber per ½ cup, a filling choice for the afternoon stretch. Nuts are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral needed for more than 300 reactions in the body. An ounce of pumpkin seeds has nearly half of your daily needs (which, according to Harvard, 48% of us don't meet). A vinaigrette infused with citrus and cocoa adds a refreshing and gentle dose of caffeine.
Embrace the bean, a plant-based, fiber-packed protein.Beans are a starchy mix of protein and fiber—a powerful combination that triggers satiety early and keeps you from overeating into a slump. Just ½ cup edamame has more than 4g fiber and 8g protein. Blend with refreshing citrus, Greek yogurt, and heart-healthy-fat-filled nuts for a deliciously versatile Nutty Edamame Spread.
Clean Eating 101: 60 Superfood Recipes for Every Meal
Fuelling yourself with the right foods is key to feeling good mentally and physically throughout the day. If you’re not yet acquainted with superfoods, get ready to take this all in. Eating superfood recipes every day ensures your body reaps plenty of amazing health benefits from lowering inflammation to decreasing your risk of illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. Keep in mind, these foods are not a cure for health ailments, but eating them along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, is sure to make you feel your best!
3 Clean Eating Breakfast Recipes For All-Day Energy
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Slice the apple, peach, strawberries, and banana.
Combine all the fruit in a big serving bowl.
Sprinkle the chia seeds on top.
Jamie Koonce, DACM, L.Ac, Dipl.OM
Jamie Koonce, DACM, L.Ac, Dipl.OM is the Digital Content Manager at Mastering Diabetes. She holds a Doctorate degree in Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology & Anthropology from Hendrix College, and Certification in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell. Jamie has been enjoying a plant-based lifestyle since 1999. In addition to writing at Mastering Diabetes, she teaches continuing education courses to other health professionals on the science behind a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food lifestyle for specific medical conditions.
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Dr. Oz's 7-Day High-Energy Meal Plan
Breakfast: Powered-Up Purple Smoothie: Blend 4 oz. each fat-free milk and nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 2/3 c. kale, 1 c. blueberries, ½ banana, 1 tsp. ground flax, and 1 tsp. honey.
Lunch: Smoked-Salmon Sandwich: Mash ¼ avocado with 1 tsp. lemon juice. Spread on half of a toasted Thomas' Whole Wheat Bagel Thin. Top with 2 oz. smoked salmon 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced 2 thin tomato slices several sprigs watercress 1 slice red onion and other bagel half.
Breakfast: Quick Cereal: Have 1 c. Nature's Path Organic Optimum Slim Low-Fat Vanilla Cereal (or 1 c. Wheat Chex) ½ c. strawberries, sliced and 6 oz. fat-free milk.
Lunch: Curried Chicken Salad: Combine 1½ Tbsp. nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp. light mayonnaise, and 1 tsp. curry powder. Add ¾ c. cubed chicken breast ¼ apple, diced ¼ stalk celery, diced 1 Tbsp. raisins and 1 Tbsp. almonds, chopped. Serve over lettuce with 3 Triscuits.
Breakfast: Tropical Paradise Parfait: Layer mixture of 8 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt and 2 tsp. chopped crystallized ginger with 2 Tbsp. Wheat Chex, ¾ c. pineapple chunks, and 8 almonds.
Lunch: Snappy Roast Beef Sandwich: Spread half of a toasted whole wheat bagel thin with 1 Tbsp. light mayo and 2 tsp. horseradish. Layer on 3 oz. deli-sliced roast beef (no nitrites or nitrates added), 1 slice roasted red pepper, and ¼ cucumber, sliced. Serve with 20 grapes.
Breakfast: Overnight Muesli: Mix 1/3 c. old-fashioned oats with 2 dried apricots, diced 4 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt ¼ c. fat-free milk and 2 tsp. chopped nuts. Refrigerate in A.M., add ½ c. berries.
Lunch: Black Bean Salad: Combine ½ c. cooked brown rice, ½ c. reduced-sodium black beans, ¼ c. corn kernels, 2 Tbsp. salsa, 1 Tbsp. crumbled feta, 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, and ½ tsp. olive oil. Serve with 2/3 c. pineapple chunks
Breakfast: Cherry-Nut Granola Square: Serve with 1 c. fat-free milk and 1 kiwi fruit or medium tangerine.
Lunch: Soup & Sandwich: On a 100% whole wheat wrap, spread 3 Tbsp. hummus. Add 4 olives, chopped 2 oz. turkey (no nitrites or nitrates added) and ½ roasted red pepper. Side: 1 c. Pacific Foods Light Sodium Tomato Soup.
Breakfast: Greek Scramble: In small bowl, beat one egg + one egg white with 2 soft sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), minced a pinch of oregano and freshly ground black pepper. In nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté 1 c. baby spinach leaves until just wilted. Add egg mixture and stir gently until eggs are cooked through. Remove from heat and fold in 1 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese. Serve with ½ Thomas' 100% Whole Grain English Muffin, toasted, topped with ½ tsp. whipped butter and 6 oz. orange juice.
Breakfast: Cheesy Banana-Walnut Wrap: Spread a mixture of ¼ c. part-skim ricotta, 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts, ½ tsp. honey, and 1/8 tsp. cinnamon in the middle of a 100-calorie 100% whole grain wrap. Top with ½ banana, sliced, and fold. Place on a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 20&ndash30 seconds or until wrap is warm.
The Best Foods for All-Day Energy
Recently, we&aposve been focused on methods to help foster good sleep hygiene and a healthy sleep environment. But what happens after the nap? Diving back into your day after a healthful, restorative nap can be a challenge. And an afternoon caffeine boost might interfere with later sleep. Instead, we rounded up the most energy-boosting snacks that could help you transition back into your day. Or start it-it&aposs no coincidence that many of these items are frequently found on breakfast tables across America.
Of course, all food is for energy. But that doesn&apost mean all foods are created equal when it comes to their enhancing powers. Energy-boosting foods are also metabolism-boosting foods: foods that support our bodies&apos abilities to convert food into energy. B-complex vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids are some of the most energy-boosting nutrients available, but many other nutrients and flavors are associated with increased wakefulness and alertness.
Read on and tell us in the comments: what do you eat to boost your energy levels?
1. Salmon. This oily fish is a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, which are used by the body as building blocks for muscle and other tissues, and for energy.
2. Citrus. Chock full of immune-boosting Vitamin C, these fruits help enhance energy and improve alertness just from their scent, according to Marie Claire.
3. Eggs. Thanks to their richness in choline, an essential nutrient in the B vitamin family, eggs contribute to energy in several ways. For example, choline is involved in metabolism and also helps the central nervous system to function.
RELATED: Eggs are the breakfast, lunch, and dinner of champions! Check out these tasty and easy ways to cook the high-protein, low-cal superfood.
4. Beans. B vitamin-rich beans also pack a punch when it comes to protein and complex carbohydrates, offering sustained energy throughout the day.
5. Walnuts. Walnuts have the most omega-3 concentration of any nut, making them a great energy builder.
6. Leafy greens. Kale, chard, watercress, and other nutrient-packed greens help promote energy with high levels of brain-boosting Folate, Vitamins C and K and calcium and beta-carotene.
7. Bran cereal. Thanks to a healthy dose of B-complex vitamins and complex carbohydrates with the sustaining effect of fiber, bran cereal is a food for lasting energy.
8. Dark chocolate. We&aposre talking really dark here. If you&aposre eating chocolate for energy, you want the highest cacao concentration possible. That&aposs because cacao has nutrients that fight stress and boost energy and focus. Dark chocolate also contains a kick of caffeine, which helps to boost energy levels quickly.
RELATED: What&aposs on your plate can dictate how healthy your skin is! Avoid these six food offenders if you want a glowing, dewy complexion.
9. Coffee. Speaking of caffeine: coffee is an obvious pick-me-up. While we don&apost recommend drinking it in the late afternoon, when it can interfere with bedtime, a cup of joe can certainly help with alertness and focus. Long-term studies show that java is a good thing for overall health, reducing risk of dementia, heart failure, and even some cancers.
10. Water. We believe in the power of drinking water for many reasons, but energy is chief among them. If you&aposre feeling sluggish, it could be from dehydration, of which fatigue is a very common symptom. So a good first step in the fight for greater wakefulness is to drink some H20.
Both carbs and fats are your body's source of energy, so include good food sources of these nutrients at your breakfast meal. A high-energy breakfast might include a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and chopped walnuts plus a container of low-fat yogurt. Or toast a whole wheat English muffin, top it with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and serve it up with a glass of orange juice. As a source of carbs and fat, nuts and nut butters offer a sustained source of energy.
10. Choosing Iron-Rich Foods
Like many women, I have ongoing problems with extremely low iron, which causes overwhelming fatigue for me, among other unwelcome side effects. Incorporating good-quality red meat once a week into my meals, as well as plenty of dark leafy greens (squeezed with lemon, as the vitamin C helps with iron uptake), flaxseed, chia seeds, beans and whole grains is what works best for me. A texturally appealing kale salad with a vibrant dressing (like this recipe) is one of my go-tos to ensure I’m on my way to getting enough iron for the day (here are 15 tasty ways to boost your iron intake).
Try one or more of my tips out if you’re looking for sustained or boosted energy levels throughout the day, or share what works for you. Even one or two minor changes can make a big difference – I’m a baby-steps-approach-to-wellness devotee.
The 15 Things Brooke Burke Eats All Day For Constant Energy
When you're a busy mom who's running around after the kids, clocking long days at work, and then taking care of business at the house, it's crazy tough to stay energized enough to actually do all those things. But thankfully, the food you dig into can be a major help. So we caught up with Brooke Burke-Charvet, whose new cooking show Breaking Bread with Brooke Burke airs on Feeln this fall, to find out what exactly she stocks up on, so we can too.
If we opened up your fridge, what are three things we're guaranteed to find? A lot of color, first of all, because I like to keep things fresh and teach my kids to eat the color of the rainbow. You'd also find almond milk, a lot of produce, lunch meat&mdashI love Hillshire Farm Naturals because it's preservative-free and has no artificial ingredients, and I don't have to go to a gourmet store to get it&mdashand cheese. I'm not afraid of good fats!
What about the most surprising snack in your kitchen? I make Harissa a lot, which is a Middle Eastern chili paste. It's amazing on sandwiches and fish, and gives it a little kick because I love spicy food.
I also love to have cereal at night. I'm not afraid to eat at night, and I don't believe in the "don't eat after 5p.m." rule. So I'll have a bowl with almond milk, and my kids and husband will too and it becomes a family activity, where we're hanging out on the couch together, watching TV and eating our favorite cereals. I love Smart Start, my husband loves Life, and my kids love Honey Nut Cheerios.
You're a busy mom of four. Do you feel more energized eating three square meals a day, or do you prefer to snack throughout your day?I'm in between. Random munching is not a good thing, but three meals a day is not enough. So I try to eat every three to four hours, and make sure I have something with me at all times, like a packet of almonds or some vegetables. It helps a lot because it keeps you from being so hungry that you're gorging by the time you sit down to have a meal.
Lunch can be such a critical meal, energy-wise. Are you a switch it up every day kind of girl, or have the same thing each time? I like to eat the same thing when I'm on set because it's one less thing to think about. I have grilled salmon as much as I can, or I'll get a great green salad with vegetables, avocado, and chicken or fish. I also like lunch to be my biggest meal, so I'll eat several things at lunch time.
What do you dig into to avoid the 3p.m. energy slump? Snacks! I would have whole wheat toast with some avocado and maybe even a few pieces of provolone cheese or turkey on there. If I'm on the go, I'll have an apple and handful of almonds. Or if I'm really busy and by a coffee shop, I'll sometimes have an almond milk latte. But that's rare&mdashI don't eat a lot of dairy, and for those snacks I try to keep it to some kind of fruit or something crunchy.
How about drinks&ndashwhat do you like to sip on? I start every morning with a shake. Right now I'm really loving pears, so I'll use frozen pear, almond milk, a bit of cumin, cinnamon, green powders, and sometimes I'll sneak in a little kale (I promise you can't taste it). I don't use protein powder anymore because I think I get enough of it in the almond milk, so I just blend that all up and can take it anywhere, whether I have it before I work out or in the car when I'm driving the kids to school. It sets me up for the entire day. Then I drink a ton of water and a lot of green tea throughout the day, and I'll enjoy a cocktail at night&mdashusually a dirty martini&mdashbecause I earned it!
ACV All Day Long
These recipes are proof that it’s easier than you think to sneak apple cider vinegar into your day.
Enjoy the health-boosting benefits of these recipes, which include something for even the finickiest of eaters.
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Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.