Foods to fuel the day
After a relaxing summer vacation, you may need a little help getting back into the swing of things. One way to make sure you have enough energy to make it through the day is by consuming tasty energy-boosting foods. Every meal is an opportunity to add a little something that will give you that extra oomph to fuel you through the day.
In general, you need foods with low glycemic indices that are high in complex carbohydrates, fiber and iron and low in excess fat to effectively power your day. An assortment of fruits, vegetables and whole grains fills the bill. Adding these foods is easier than you think -- and once you do, you'll have no trouble making it through the day.
Eat a high-powered breakfast.
A high-powered day starts with a high-powered breakfast. You've probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's true. Oatmeal, especially steel-cut oats, and whole-grain cereals are excellent choices. Add fresh fruit and almonds to give your breakfast and yourself an extra boost. Another premium breakfast option is a whole-grain bagel with an egg and a small glass of orange juice.
Feed your brain.
Lunchtime is no time to forget smart food choices. This is the halfway point in your day, which means you still have plenty to do. Three to five ounces of lean protein will keep your brain sharp and your hunger satisfied. Try grilled salmon, chicken, shrimp or tofu coupled with vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots and broccoli. If you need an extra dose of fuel, go for leafy greens such as spinach or kale. Limit carbohydrates and fat at lunch to avoid falling into a mid-afternoon slump.
Don't ruin your outstanding lunch selection by drinking a sugary beverage. Stick to water. As a matter of fact, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration drains you of your energy, making you feel tired.
Another way to keep your high-powered day moving smoothly is by smart snacking. Fruits such as cantaloupe, kiwi, oranges, nuts (such as almonds or soy nuts) and seeds -- particularly sunflower and pumpkin -- are rich sources of valuable nutrients and energy. Other fuel-filled snacks include fruit and cheese, peanut butter on whole-grain crackers, and yogurt and fruit. Snack on these when you feel your energy dipping, and you'll bounce back in no time.
The busy back-to-school schedule is no reason to get run down. Incorporate these high-energy foods into your daily routine and you'll be sure to make it through the day with energy to spare.