Thursday, October 31, 2013

Eating for Energy

Check out this video I did for MyYogaWorks about how to eat for better energy, complete with a recipe for a delicious lemon, herb & cherry tomato quinoa salad. And if you're more of a reader than a watcher, tips & recipe can be found below as well!

One of the biggest causes of fatigue is stress. Unfortunately, stress is unavoidable, but it's how we manage it that counts! Yoga and meditation can help combat the side effects of the stress caused by things like work, family and relationships - but did you know that food can put a chemical stress on the body? That being said, here are 6 tips for how to eat for better energy. 

1. What to avoid. The following foods can cause a chemical stress on the body and decrease our energy: 
  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Processed Foods
  • Tobacco
  • Milk
  • Sugar & artificial Sweeteners
  • Trans Fats
  • Too much meat, or not enough meat depending on the person.
Pay special attention to the stimulants on this list (caffeine and sugar) - they're deceptive! It seems like you get a burst of energy after you have them, but they actually deplete our bodies of minerals and nutrients. They also throw you into an addictive cycle of energy burst followed by energy crash. That's not to say that you should never have coffee again, but if you're having trouble with your energy levels you should consider cutting back or eliminating it from your diet temporarily. 

2. Eat clean foods. This means food that hasn't been heavily contaminated by pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, hormones and other chemicals. In addition, organic and local foods tend to have higher nutritional value than conventionally raised or imported food. 

3. Eat living foods. This means food that is alive, often raw, always fresh and will spoil if left out. In short, avoid foods that were made in a lab or factory.

4. Eat whole foods. Whole foods are generally digested more slowly. They also haven't been processed, so all of their original fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are intact. Remember, the more nutrients you get, the more energized you'll feel!

5. Eat superfoods. These are the most nutrient dense foods you can find, and when it comes to energy nutrients are key. It's a fairly general term, but superfoods include things like dark leafy greens, sea veggies, beans, berries, nuts, herbs, spices, cacao, hemp seeds, chia seeds, etc. 

6. Water, sleep & exercise. This tip is not food related, but will make a huge difference in addition to eating well. Dehydration and sleep deprivation can cause fatigue, and small amounts of exercise can boost your energy. 

Lemon, Cherry Tomato & Herb Quinoa Salad
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1 shallot, diced
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt 

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. 


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