While it’s tempting to reach for a carb-laden, sugary snack or a creamy latte for a quick shot of energy as you hit a lull in your day, it’s really only setting you up to fail in the long run. These temporary energy sources send your blood sugar wildly soaring only to crash just as rapidly as it rose. The key to keeping your energy stable throughout the day is to fuel your body with nourishing foods that help keep your blood sugar stable.
Here are 10 easy ways to stay nourished so you can enjoy your active lifestyle:
- Stabilize Blood Sugar — You can do this by eating the right combination of healthy foods (vegetable or fruit + whole grain + lean protein + healthy fat + spices) and eating frequently. Don’t skip meals.
- Focus on Whole Foods — Forego packaged and processed foods in favor of fresh, whole foods that your body can easily identify and assimilate for energy.
- Eat Healthy Fats — Increasing your intake of such healthy fats as avocado, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, and nuts help you achieve a “slow burn” that gives you sustained energy throughout the day.
- Eat Low-GI Foods — You digest and metabolize low-glycemic-index foods slowly, which means you receive a steady amount of energy from these foods. (See “Related Links” for a list of low GI foods.)
- Eat Iron-Rich Foods — Getting enough iron can be an issue that many women struggle with. When you are iron deficient, fatigue is a side effect. Increasing your intake of iron can help ward this off. Great plant sources include spinach, lentils, beans, and sesame seeds. Combining these foods with vitamin C-rich foods can boost absorption.
- Stay Hydrated! — Dehydration and fatigue are closely tied. When you feel sluggish, drink more water. Adding a lemon wedge will have an alkalizing effect and make you feel even more refreshed.
- Drink Apple Cider Vinegar — Exercise (and sometimes extreme stress) cause lactic acid to build up in the body, causing fatigue. The amino acids contained in apple cider vinegar can combat this. What’s more, apple cider vinegar is alkalizing and contains potassium and enzymes that may help boost your energy levels.
- Resist Sugar and Caffeine — Sugary foods and caffeinated beverages give you a temporary artificial boost of energy, but it’s not something that’s sustainable. Do all you can to avoid them lest you succumb to a rollercoaster ride.
- Keep a Food Journal — Being mindful of what you eat and monitoring how it effects your energy levels can go a long way towards helping you establish a blueprint for what works for your body.
- Set a Positive Intention — According to Ayurvedic tradition, setting a positive intention when preparing and consuming your food can help you receive more energy from what you eat. If nothing else, it lets you stop and give gratitude at mealtimes for the miracle that is your body. And that is certainly nourishing.
Glycemic Index Ratings