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Simple Dietary Changes for More Energy
In preparation for summer (and to just be healthier) I'm looking for a few simples changes to my diet that I can make immediately to impact my energy levels and help fuel me during intense workouts.
I've just gotten interested in juicing. Are there big gains made here? If so what would you recommend. Also, what are some things I can incorporate into my daily diet that can help me increase my energy levels? (After reading Born to Run I'm thinking about ordering chia seeds)
I'd like to stay away from supplements and take a more natural route. And help would be great. Thanks.
Okay, a few simple changes. I don't really know what you typically eat, so I'm just going to list small changes that make a big difference that I'd recommend to anyone who has a busy work life.
As far as juicing, we do it as well. It's a great way to get fruits and vegetables into your diet when you're in a rush. You can make amazing green juices by just loading up a blender with greens (kale, spinach, chard, bok choy, collard greens), fruit, some ice, and go from there. I don't really use a recipe, but you can find TONS online. I also have a page on green smoothies on my site. I use a vitamix, but a regular blender would work too. I personally don't like juicers because they extract the juice and leave the pulp of the vegetable and I would rather eat the entire fruit/vegetable. Overall, I like the idea of people in a hurry picking up fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables and tossing together a smoothie in the morning for breakfast, and one for dessert when you get home as well.
We love chia seeds. My husband swears they give him more energy when he runs. We also read about them first in Born to Run and jumped right on that bandwagon. They're cheap and when you add them to water it makes a ton of gel that you can store in the fridge for the whole work week. Toss a few tablespoons in your smoothie and you add instant impact.
Do you drink soda or bottled tea/juice/coffee? Probably not, but that's an easy way to make a big jump in nutrition and energy levels. Water is the very best.
Do you eat foods from boxes, cans, or frozen packs? If so, I recommend sticking to real, whole foods. If you cook, you're way ahead of the game. I highly recommend making meals on sundays and packaging them up in containers for the week. Canned, boxed, frozen foods are all highly processed and full of sodium, lacking in nutrients, and won't keep you energized for long. Let me know if you need ideas for quick meals that last all week.
Nuts are another great tip. Every type of nut has different health benefits. While they can seem expensive, you only need a very small handful to get a serving, and it keeps you full longer. Just make sure to get the ones without salt or sugar, and no dry roasted (they're actually deep fried). Plain walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and seeds like flax seeds, chia, sunflower, hemp, etc, are all good for you. They could be afternoon/late morning snacks or you could throw them in your smoothie.
Hope this helps! Enjoy the coming summer months!