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Things to look for when snacking for energy.....
-a little bit of healthy fat
-whole grain carbs
If your goal is more energy, it is essential to get proper rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation, an adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. It's hard to get that much sleep. Our lives have us so busy & stressed, that you actually have to make time to take care of yourself. You have to remember though that sleep is not selfish. It actually makes you recharged and refreshed, so you can feel and be your best self for you & everyone around you. I don't know about you but I get pretty cranky if I don't eat or don't sleep. It is also important to stay hydrated. You should always have a drink nearby. It is also important to snack on small "meals" throughout the day. You should have breakfast, a mid-day snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and a bedtime snack (if you are going to stay up late and you are still hungry). These snacks shouldn't be heavy though. A small 200 calorie healthy snack is perfect.
My favorite energy snacks:
-luna, lara, or kashi bars
-fruit & cheese
-corn chips with guacamole
-organic chocolate milk with graham crackers
-apple & peanut butter
-greek yogurt with honey
-a small whole wheat bagel with peanut butter (actually I like this for breakfast with coffee, followed by a banana for a mid-day snack)
-raw almonds & dried fruit (and dark chocolate!)
-frozen yogurt with fruit & granola
-a healthy (low sugar, low fat, add things like fruit-nuts-oatmeal-flax) homemade cookie with low fat organic milk
-spicy hummus with veggie sticks
Fruits & veggies are awesome snacks, but combining them with protein, carbs, and a little healthy fat will make you feel full for longer. This is all stuff I am learning along the way, so please feel free to correct me if I am wrong about something. I just know that if I try to follow a plan like this, I have a lot more energy throughout the day. I also think it helps a lot to add 20-30 minutes of exercise a day. It's like a natural anti-depressant. Even just going out for a walk does the trick....it's amazing how your body responds to those feel good endorphins. I hope these healthy food images inspire you to "eat well to feel well". I think that diet is so important when it comes to our overall health. It's so easy to manipulate how our body feels/responds with food (like dieting/getting drunk/overeating or eating all junk food). Being truly healthy takes effort. I like to think of it as taking as much care of yourself as you would your children. You wouldn't let your kids eat too much sugar or caffeine or grease right? So why should you? You would make them go to bed on time & floss their teeth & go outside and play to balance out screen time, so why shouldn't you? It's nice being a grown up and doing whatever we want, but at some point you have to realize that you have to take care of yourself. I think it's all about balance.
What do you think? And what are some of your favorite high energy snacks?