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Obtaining Energy From Your Foods

Food and nutrition are very controversial topics. It is often difficult to assess what the best foods to eat are for your desired effect. Since tomorrow starts a new work week (for most), let’s explore what foods can help us get through a work day.

Monday mornings. Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze button, again and again. Why are Monday’s so difficult? Perhaps it is due to the fact that you are coming off of a relaxing past 2 days in which you slept in. Perhaps it is due to the fact that you have 5 whole days ahead of you before your next day off. Or, it may just be because you need that well-balanced diet to help you get that jump start. No I am not talking about coffee of five hour energy shots. I’m talking about wholesome foods that provide nutrients such as protein that help keep your growling stomach at bay, or micronutrients that boost your energy levels.

Breakfast: What to eat for breakfast? While a doughnut sounds delicious, it is certainly NOT the best choice for a sustained energy level at work. I guess that is an obvious answer. The best foods for breakfast are typically eggs. Eggs provide a good source of protein which can derail that mid-morning hunger pain that often contributes to unhealthy habits and snacking. Eggs are also an excellent source of vitamin D which is crucial for bone health, vitamin B12 (DNA synthesis), phosphorous (another bone health mineral) and leucine an amino acid important for protein synthesis.

Lunch: Something smells fishy… . That’s right. Fish is a versatile enough food that it can easily be used for dinner or lunch. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce inflammation. Further, it has a substantial amount of protein, which can help in the same manner eggs do for breakfast, by curbing hunger pains mid-afternoon. Some common lunch ideas include: fish sandwich, salmon Caesar salad, and tuna salad.

Snack: Don’t go too nuts on snacks! Nuts are unfortunately high in Calories, so it is important to stick to serving guidelines. However, nuts provide a whole array of nutrition including: vitamin E (may help decrease plaque build-up in your arteries), fiber (helps keep you full), omega-3 fatty acids, and l-arginine (an amino acid that may help make your artery walls more flexible and less susceptible to blood clots).

Dinner: Which came first, the egg or the chicken? I guess in this case, the egg came first, because it is what I recommend for breakfast. Chicken is a versatile food that is an excellent option for dinner. Chicken as compared to red meats like beef or pork, is much lower in saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends consuming less red meats in order to decrease heart disease risk. Further, chicken  is high in protein, and provides a source of B vitamins (important for energy). Chicken can easily be served plain with spices sprinkled on top (such as salt, pepper and garlic), or it can be served in conjunction with other ingredients (chicken tacos, white chicken chili, etc.)

So now that you have your day planned out for the most beneficial, healthful foods, your Monday will be rocking! But first, enjoy your Sunday :).

Check out my previous post on pulled chicken sandwiches and homemade baked fries, for your Monday dinner OR lunch!

 

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