Top 5 Energy Boosters

by Kevin on July 16, 2014

With so many ads about which super foods are best, it can be confusing to decipher what’s a scam and what’s the truth. That’s why I compiled a list of the top five energy boosting foods that will give you true, lasting energy to keep you hopping all day!

Oatmeal

Oats contain the energizing and stress-lowering B vitamin family, which helps transform carbs into usable energy. Oats are also low on the glycemic index because they have a lot of fiber. That means that your body gets a steady stream of energy, as opposed to a short-term spike, because the carbohydrates gradually flow into your bloodstream.

The key here is to look for high-fiber oatmeal, like oat bran. For the best nutrition kick, avoid instant oatmeal and stick with more natural varieties, then add your own sweetness.

Lentils

Beans are a great source of fiber, which translates to a slow release of glucose, as well as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and copper. Lentils provide both carbohydrates and protein, making them a great addition to any meal. Lentils help reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure, and they’re low in fat and calories to boot.

Bananas

Bananas provide a lot of potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function. Unlike some nutrients, the body doesn’t store potassium for long periods of time. This means that your potassium level can drop during times of stress or during strenuous exercise when the nutrient is lost through excessive sweating. The sugar in bananas is an easily digested form of carbohydrate.

Other fruits such as apples, grapes, peaches and pineapples also make great energizing and refreshing snacks. We all know we need to be eating more fruits in our diet!

Chocolate

Studies show that chocolate can elevate your energy levels by way of certain bioactive compounds such as tyramine and phenylethylamine. Chocolate has also been claimed to improve anemia, awaken the appetite, aid in digestion, and improve longevity. Chocolate contains sugar and caffeine along with fat and calories so consume in moderation. When possible, opt for dark chocolate or raw cacao for the highest source of antioxidants.

Almonds

These little guys are great if you’re looking to improve your focus and mental clarity. Monounsaturated fats such as almonds provide essential fatty acids, known as omega-3s and omega-6s that produce an alert mental state.

Healthy Fats

Other healthy fats to include in your diet are avocados, seeds, nuts, olive oil, and fish oil. Of course, you’ll want to check with your health practitioner before making drastic changes to your diet.

Incorporating these foods into your daily menu takes some planning, so here are some ideas you can use to ensure you’ll have all the energy you need every day.

Breakfast

• Smoothies: For breakfast, a banana fruit smoothie is a quick and easy way to get the potassium your body requires for normal function. In a blender, combine a small banana, some frozen berries of your choice, ice, 1/2 cup low fat milk, and a teaspoon of vanilla. You can also add a tablespoon of peanut butter or some raw cacao powder as well.

• Oatmeal: If you need a quick breakfast, you may not always think of oatmeal, or you may think of instant oatmeal, which isn’t as nutritious. Some companies are making instant oatmeal healthier by not adding as much sugar and artificial flavoring, but you’ll always want to compare the sugar and fiber amounts across a few different brands to find the most nourishing oatmeal.

• Cereals: Another great alternative to a bowl of hot oatmeal is bran and muesli cereals. They contain a lot of the energy boosting nutrients of oatmeal, and often contain healthy nuts and dried fruits as well.

Snacks

• Almonds: These nuts are perfect as a mid afternoon snack. Grab a handful and take them to work with you in a snack cup or baggie.

• Dark Chocolate: When you’re feeling sluggish, a small dark chocolate bar is all you need for a great pick me up that will last longer than an hour or two.

Dinner Side Dishes

• Beans: Lentils are a great side dish to enhance many dinner entrees such as tacos and burgers. You can also make lentils a main dish by combining several types into one dish as a bean soup or bean casserole served with cornbread. Another way to eat lentils is to add some pepper and melted shredded cheese as part of a healthy lunch.

Working these naturally energizing foods into your daily routine doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little imagination and effort, you can have all the energy you need to stay awake and alert throughout the entire day!

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Life is constantly changing around us, in us, through us, and about us. It’s inevitable that there are going to be changes throughout life. Some will be good, some bad, and some indifferent. Some you like, some you hate, and some just don’t matter.

Obviously the changes you like are easy to deal with and you might even look forward to it! What about the changes in life that aren’t so peachy? How do you handle those?

Let’s explore some of these common changes and the best ways to cope with them.

Job Loss

Job loss is on the forefront of almost every American’s mind right now as the economy declines more and more each day. This type of change can be very stressful, if you allow it to be. However, by looking at the situation differently, job loss doesn’t have to be stressful.

When you’re faced with job loss, try to think of it as a new opportunity to try something new or something you’ve always wanted to do.

Some ideas are:

• Take some evening classes to learn a new skill or trade.
• Make arts, crafts, or jewelry and sell it online or at craft fairs.
• Teach others what you know through tutoring or consulting.
• Start an online business.

The point is to take a step out of your comfort zone and see the many opportunities that lie before you.

Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t easy though, is it? It does take effort and courage. When you’re stuck in your comfort zone, well, you’re just that – stuck. Who wants to be stuck? I don’t and I would venture to say that neither do you!

To get unstuck, take a step out of your comfort zone and look at other possibilities, instead of stressing over the changes that lie ahead.

Moving

How about moving or transferring to another area? That can be a pretty big change that could cause a lot of stress.

The best way to cope with this situation is to look at it as a time to refresh and renew. I know this can be difficult sometimes, especially when you love the area you live in now. And, of course, you’ll miss all your friends, family, and familiar sites.

Moving away from people you love can be very stressful and difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! You can look at the big move as an opportunity to stretch your horizons and meet new people.

Your friends and family will still be there, and you’ll still be able to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. But you’ll also grow roots in other places, and you just might build even stronger friendships and relationships than you’ve ever imagined!

Focus on the New Opportunities

There are always positive ways to look at things and when you train your minds to look at change as opportunity, instead of stressing out about it, you’ll be happier and healthier.

Here are a couple of other common life changes that tend to be stressful, but can be seen as an exciting, new opportunity:

• Unexpected Pregnancy – An unexpected pregnancy obviously can cause stress financially, emotionally, physically and mentally. However, it’s a wonderful opportunity! An opportunity to love a child and to give life. A new opportunity to make some lifestyle changes or to give life to someone who can’t have children of their own through adoption, and so much more!

• Children Growing Up – A child going off to college or moving away from home is a huge change that many find difficult to deal with. Once again, look at the opportunities available not only to you, but for your son or daughter as well. Maybe you’ll be able to downsize your home, saving you hundreds of dollars each month. Or perhaps your bond with your partner and friends will grow and strengthen during this time. Not to mention the growth and experience your child is going to gain as they grow and mature out in the world on their own.

How you choose to handle a situation will determine how much stress you’re going to allow on yourself. You can either look at it as a new opportunity or a dreadful scenario. The choice is yours. But the sooner you begin to look at life changes as new opportunities, the sooner you’ll enjoy a less-stressed life!

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