With the holiday season right around the corner I am starting to get lots of questions about how to squeeze a few more activities into the day. My number one answer is to remind those inquiring minds that I am not the dietitian with a magic wand. I do however share advice on keeping one’s energy up, making wise food choices and striving for a healthy lifestyle. All three of these advisories will go a long way toward feeling good and energized when days are hectic.
One of the best choices for boosting energy is to consider healthy beverages such as vegetable juices, or vegetable-fruit smoothies. I’m not suggesting that you go on an all liquid diet, but look to vegetable juices or smoothies to increase your vegetable intake.
You can combine several vegetables in one drink. The beauty of these beverages is that in addition to the vegetable or fruit, you can also add a protein based ingredient such as Greek-style yogurt, protein powder or nuts. By adding a protein based ingredient you’ve created a drink that can be a light meal replacement or snack.
Green smoothies are the current trend for vegetable beverages. Typical ingredients for blending the beverage may include kale, spinach, rainbow or Swiss chard, mint, parsley and collard greens. You can use cleaned fresh raw or frozen vegetables. Frozen veggies will produce a thicker more “shake-like” texture. Smoothies are high in fiber which helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels; they’re easily absorbed by the body and contribute to feeling full for a longer period of time. They also help regulate the body’s cleansing process. Depending on the vegetables you choose, they’ll include nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, folate and potassium.
Staying hydrated is important— we need about eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Low energy and feeling tired can be cue that you are not drinking enough water and staying hydrated. Don’t skip over water simply because you’ve added vegetable or fruit smoothies to your diet.
Last but not least get an ample amount of rest. The amount of sleep needed can vary among individuals. If you’re not getting enough sleep, consider including a nap in your daily routine. The 30-minute nap can boost energy, increase alertness and improve mood—all aids to successfully managing busy days.
Take Away: Wise choices for healthy eating, staying hydrated and rested are easy ways to combat activity overload. Following these guidelines will help keep you feeling good and energized year ‘round.
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