Want to boost your energy?


Boost your energy needs with high energy foods! Next time you take a trip with your family or heck, next time you go to work; pack some healthy snacks instead of going to the snack bar/machine.  I don’t know about you, but I am one of those people who eat at least six times a day.  I mean we all get hungry between meals right?!  As long as you keep snacks small, healthy, and within your guidelines everything is good.

Many of my patients get three meals and three snacks a day because like you, they get hungry throughout the day. But what do you consider “snack” time, 10am, 2pm, midnight?  Let’s take a look at some of the most common “snack” times:

  • When you’re tired or need a quick pick me up
  • Before a test or meeting
  • Before working out
  • After leaving school or work
  • While watching TV/a movie or playing a computer/video game
  • While you’re sitting in a vehicle
  • Before bedtime
  • When you’re crash dieting
Healthy Snacking

Healthy Snacking

Now that you are nodding your head and agreeing with me, how do you control your “snacking” without gaining 10 pounds?  Try to snack smart!

  • Choose smart carbs (high in fiber), which means staying away from those sweets (i.e. donuts)!  Try whole grains, bran cereals, and/or brown rice instead.
  • Eat well balanced and frequent meals.
  • Snack on nuts!  Almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews are high in protein and magnesium (which converts sugar into energy).
  • Incorporate lean meats and fish into your diet.
  • Incorporate leafy greens or rabbit food as some of you may call it into your diet.
  • Eat a square or two of dark chocolate (yes, I said chocolate).
  • Drink water!
  • Eat plenty of fresh (or naturally dried) fruits and veggies.
  • Drink a cup of coffee or tea.
  • Exercise!

Now of course you are like “well duh, but could you give me an example or two?”  This is the same question many dietitians here day in and day out.  Most patients are actually genuinely concerned and want to make sure they are snacking right, where the other 5-10% are just too lazy to think about or come up with their own ideas from the foods they love.  So here are some healthy snacking ideas!  Remember, many times we mistake hungry for thirst so try drinking a glass of water or tea (which provides energy especially if you add a small amount of honey) first and see if that helps!

  • An apple or banana with nut butter
  • Whole wheat crackers with hummus or nut butter
  • A healthy/homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruits
  • Yogurt with fresh fruit and/or granola
  • ½ of a healthy made sandwich
  • Fresh veggies with hummus
  • Ants on a log (you’re never too old)
  • Add honey!

I hope I haven’t made anyone too hungry!  Making changes to smart snacking will not happen overnight.  Like any other dietary change it takes time and starting with small steps is okay!  Whether it is cutting out the soda and exchanging it for a glass of water twice a week, throwing your bag of Doritos out and replacing them with a healthy trail mix, or maybe just adding in a piece of fruit with nut butter each day.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will a new habit.  Stay positive and focus on your end goal.  Plus, now you won’t be too tired, since you have a few tricks and ideas!

Where is my energy going?


Do you ever think people are making up excuses just so they don’t have to do something?  Well, I do.  I always hear “well I would but I’m just so exhausted when I get home at night.”  Please tell me why you have enough energy to pour five glasses of wine but you don’t have enough energy to rinse some fresh fruits and/or veggies for work tomorrow.  Both of which could be energy boosting foods!  Yes, we are all humans but there is a difference between excuses and really being exhausted.

I know everyone at some point in their life wonders why they are “dog tired” three to four hours after you get up?!  Or maybe after a relaxing day getting your hair and nails done?!  There are some common energy stealers that may be to blame.  These little suckers seem to get us all from time to time.  Some of these culprits you may have never even thought about, but you will now.  The most common energy stealers I see are:

  • Crash dieting
  • Being a couch potato
  • Energy suckers
  • Over exercising
  • A breakfast high in sugar
  • Cabin fever

I know you are looking at some of these and thinking “agh now it all makes sense but why?”

  • Crash dieting: is among the top reasons for low energy levels seen among dietitians.  A lot of patients come in and say “well, I only eat 800 calories a day at home because….”  This is neither safe nor does it provide your body with the amount of energy it needs to properly function.  It may be a quick way to lose weight (most of which will come back when lost in such a quick manner), but you are also making yourself more tired.
Crash Diet

Crash Diet

  • Being a couch potato: I mean who doesn’t love to just sit on the couch and watch TV every now and then? I know I sure do!  However, your body associates sitting/laying in the same position for longer periods with sleep.  Therefore, it steals your energy.
  • Energy suckers: what in the world is an energy sucker you may ask?  Energy suckers are people who lower your energy levels when you are a mission to pursue a dream.  For example trying to start a new business, this is not only stressful but very tiring.
  • Over exercising: ha, who does that?  More people than you may think.  Now, we all know that exercising is good for you but too much exercise or too much high intensity exercise each day may not be good for your energy levels.  Take a break every once in a while.
  • A breakfast high in sugar: may give you a burst of energy but it will go back down and you will crash when your energy runs out.  Hints the getting “dog-tired” a few hours after getting up and having breakfast.
  • Cabin fever: is a major cause of tiredness.  Are you a stay at home mom/dad or do you work from home?  Staying inside daily results in a lack of light and fresh air which has been shown to lower your energy levels.

Now that I shared some of these energy stealing culprits, you may be wondering how you can boost your energy without drinking an energy drink that is full of sugar.  Look for my next blog “want to boost your energy?” to find out!

**some tiredness/fatigue may be caused by unknown or known medical conditions, please consult your physician if you feel like there is something more behind your fatigue than mentioned above**