7 Simple Foods to Boost Energy
& help purposeful women avoid afternoon slump & burnout
You know it all too well…
That sluggish feeling that creeps up, usually anywhere around 1-4 pm.
I call it the ‘afternoon slump’ … and I suffered from it for years, especially when my kids were babies. With work deadlines to meet, it didn’t matter how tempting it felt to just climb into bed and nap along with my kiddos. Their nap times were designated working hours for me. I had to push through, sometimes literally nodding off at my desk.
Unfortunately, daytime exhaustion can cause:
– sweets cravings (candy bars or chocolate)
– carbs/ starchy food cravings (bread, donuts, cake)
– brain fog
– lack of motivation
– inefficiency in meeting our responsibilities
– feelings of frustration, overwhelm, and stress
– the feeling of need for caffeine
Afternoon coffee was my go-to, but not without consequences… it messes up our nighttime sleep if we indulge in caffeine afternoon, causing a destructive cycle of exhaustion and other problems.
One of my clients was drinking 14 cups of coffee per day!
Her entire sleep/energy rhythm was thrown out of whack.
It affected everything from her ability to meet deadlines at work, motivation to exercise, and horrible irritability with her husband and coworkers.
Through a simple stairstep process, we were able to wean her habit down to just 2-3 cups of coffee per day!
This one small lifestyle shift resulted in…
- better productivity at work
- more energy to invest into her side business
- maintaining a consistent exercise routine
- starting her days with journaling (something she had been wanting to do for a long time but hadn’t been able to drag herself out of bed early enough to have time for it)
- enjoying much more patience with the people she cares about, even when they were being extra difficult
As for me, back in the earlier part of my wellness journey – if I had known then what I know now… things would have been a lot easier for me.
I would not have felt so out-of-control trying to keep up with ‘all the things’ as a work-at-home mom.
I would have felt more confident in my abilities to handle it all, because I would have had the energy to be more efficient with my precious time.
I would not have had such a hard time losing the baby weight (in my desperate need for energy, sweets and carbs went right along with caffeine for me in those days).
Since then, I’ve learned a LOT about nutrition and the better ways to nourish my body so I have the energy I need to feel more calm, focused, and efficient!
So here’s my list of
TOP 7 ENERGY FOODS:
- Fresh spinach
loaded with iron and B vitamins
enjoy in salad, smoothies, or scrambled eggs
(pictured: spinach salad w/ pecans, dried cranberries, diced apples, and a drizzle of Raspberry Vinaigrette)
- Brazil nuts
a little goes a long way with these. I take 2-3 daily, like you would a chewable vitamin pill
high in manganese, which helps convert carbs & fats to energy
serve on oatmeal or plain nonfat Greek yogurt
OR mix into Whole Grain pancake batter
(pictured: Stress-Busting Yogurt, Granola, and Berry Parfait)
- Beans (black, kidney & chickpeas are my favorites)
Wrap them up in a whole grain tortilla w/ spinach, peppers & tomatoes OR
see Southwest Quinoa Bowl recipe below!
- Brown rice
I make the brown rice and quinoa in batches (about 8 servings per batch) to save time. (pictured: Southwest Quinoa Bowl)
These and the beans are carbs foods… but don’t freak out! They are COMPLEX carbs. In small servings (about 1/2 c.) they provide the long-lasting energy & alertness our bodies NEED by stabilizing blood sugars, without packing on pounds
Side note: If you have read my book, Eat to Beat Stress, you already know that brown rice, blueberries, and spinach are super-stress-busting foods also! I call these superfoods because they pack a ton of nutrients & benefits into relatively low calories.
- Shakeology smoothie
I make QUICK, nutrient-packed smoothies using this superfood powder that contains brown rice, quinoa, and spinach, as well as dozens of other superfood ingredients, including these energy-maximizing superstars:maca root (also known as ‘Peruvian ginseng’), ashwagandha (most prominent ayurvedic Rasayana herb), matcha green tea powder (loaded with health benefits in addition to highly efficient energy metabolism).
BONUS: If you’re having a REALLY slow start in the morning, I have one more suggestion for you. Absolutely do not take this in the afternoon or you’ll be up all night! Take 1 tbsp liquid vitamin B complex to give you a boost that will last most of the day!
Need MORE help with high-energy,
meals & snacks?