Do you ever have dips in energy during the day? Possibly around 10:30 am or 3:00pm? Maybe you notice that you find yourself hanging out around the water cooler complaining to other colleagues about how you are trying not to fall asleep at your desk. Or perhaps you feel irritable or have a lack of focus or concentration around mid-morning or mid-afternoon. If one of these scenarios reminds you of you then perhaps the solution is connected to your eating habits. Food is fuel so when you skip meals or don’t eat enough, your body runs out of fuel and you experiences low energy. This lack of energy comes from low blood sugar, and a high energy snack during the day is a simple solution. When most people think about blood sugar levels they automatically think about people with diabetes. However each one of us has blood sugar fluctuations throughout the day. For people who have normal blood sugar, no diabetes, we still have fluctuations. Food is fuel so when our blood sugar levels are low we have less energy and we experience hunger, irritability, or lack of concentration. When our blood sugars are high we have plenty of energy for our bodies to use for activities. If you are having low blood sugars between meals, around mid morning or mid afternoon, then it is quite possible that you need to have a high energy snack to give you the fuel that you need to get to your next meal.
What do I mean when I say a high energy snack? I mean a snack that contains protein and/or complex carbohydrates. Proteins and complex carbohydrates stabilize blood sugar levels and give us sustained energy between meals. Examples of proteins are beans, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, eggs, diary, red meat, or white meat. Complex carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Beans, nuts, and seeds actually have a combination of protein and complex carbohydrates so including these in your snacking choices gives you a 2 for 1 bang with your snacks.
Try adding high energy snacks to your low energy times and see if helps improve your energy and mood each day. One handful of trail mix, apples and almond butter, or hummus and olives on a whole grain cracker (gluten free) are some of my favorite snacks! What are some of yours?
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