Energy Food

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By: Christine King Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers

Daily, we’re asked the “food question.” It typically sounds similar to: “What can I eat during my day to keep my energy level elevated but not gain weight?”

The answer is very similar regardless of whether or not you’re a mom running after the kids all day, a busy executive, or a professional who works from home. The differences lie in your ambition to create the “meals” and selecting items you can eat on the run or seated at your desk.

Another variant is quantity. If your day is hectic and there’s no chance of a break, the volume of snacks is more substantial than if you’re seated at a desk all day. The following guidelines determine the meter on the amount:

-NEVER be hungry during the day

-NEVER be too full during the day

You’ll understand the appropriate quantity after the first week.

Here’s the nitty-gritty. There’s a reason why the line at your favorite coffee joint around 3:00 p.m. is insanely long. Included in the plethora of energy seekers, some haven’t eaten all day.  Some haven’t drunk any water since leaving the house early that day, some may have choked down a little breakfast and maybe even lunch, but most didn’t make stellar choices.

The natural response is to seek more stimulants to make it through the day. Many don’t even understand the role food plays in energy and how the intake of stimulants entirely works against metabolism.

All of the subjects listed above need to eat very similarly. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and snack. Food intake needs to occur about every three hours. Answering the question of what to eat varies depending on daily activities and workout schedule. Also, it’s necessary to reframe the definitions of breakfast, launch, and dinner. They merely transform into mini-meals, similar to the way we view snacks.

The more active the person, the volume of food for all meals needs to be elevated.  Also, the focus on the balance of the meals is critical. Simple carbohydrates offer a quick energy spike followed by a significant tanker. However, a mix of lean protein and complex carbs does the trick every time!

Regardless of whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, nut free, or other, there’s always a method to manipulate “recipes” to suit your palate and dietary needs.  Here are some examples:

BEACH BUM LENTIL TRAIL MIX  (https://yourbestfit.com/beach-bum-lentil-trail-mix/)

Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free Lentils add a healthy dose of protein and fiber to this beach inspired healthy trail mix. Easy to prepare, easy to eat and can be flexible with ingredients. With lower activity, stick to the recommendations on the website. For higher activity days bring a second serving with you as it’s likely you’ll be hungry enough to consume!

PEACHES N’ CREAM OVERNIGHT OATS (https://yourbestfit.com/peaches-n-cream/)

This creamy and delicious sugar-free oats recipe is sweetened with mashed banana, and a pinch of stevia (or other sweeteners like agave, manuka honey, or similar). Not only is it Vegan but also free from Gluten, Dairy, Sugar, Yeast, and Corn. It’s simple to assemble and makes itself overnight in the fridge. You can eat in the morning or bring to work and eat as a snack or lunch. If your workplace doesn’t have a fridge, the soft-pack lunch boxes are a breeze. Throw in a couple of gel freezer coolers, and you’re ready to go!

NO-BAKE APPLE BARS (https://yourbestfit.com/no-bake-apple-bars/)

This blend of whole grain cereal, nuts, raisins and oats mix up into a tasty grab-and-go breakfast. It also makes for a great snack or dessert.

TURKEY ROLLUPS (https://yourbestfit.com/turkey-rollups/)

Satisfy your salty, crunchy and savory cravings in one punch with this quick snack. Transform to gluten-free by using gluten-free breadsticks or pretzel sticks.

There are many more selections on our website www.YourBestFit.com/Nutrition.

The key is to shift the mindset of “I can’t have that,” or “I’m on a “DIEt” to “I’m refueling my body throughout the day to improve my energy level, avoid brain fog, and detox off of some afternoon stimulants.”

It’s that simple! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all, especially if a recipe needs to be adjusted to your particular health concerns.

Happy Eating!

Christine King is a Medical Exercise Specialist, Fitness Expert, and Founder of YourBestFit. The health and wellness company has helped thousands of clients recover from injuries, look and feel better and improve their overall well-being.  www.YourBestFit.com