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3 Simple Diet Changes to Boost Your Energy

3 Simple Diet Changes to Boost Your Energy

I bet that  more than once, you’ve wished you had more energy: going about your day-to-day life feeling like a drone without being able to get anything done. Somehow, what you have in your head (if anything at all, thanks to the lack of energy) just doesn’t seem to materialize. Even interesting things become boring somehow, all due to your low energy levels. Does it always have to be this way? Are we destined to be thrown into these energetic dry spells without warning? I say no, and you have the power to do something about it yourself.

Roller coaster

If you’ve experienced this lethargy, you’re most likely suffering from low energy because you are riding the blood sugar roller coaster: when your blood sugar rises too quickly, your body produces a lot of insulin to cope with the sudden rise. Your body will then store the sugar, which means it is out of reach (at least temporarily), so now you suddenly have low blood sugar instead and feel the need to stock up on more, and the roller coaster is accelerating. This is known as sugar craving.

What you want to do is make sure that you have even levels of blood sugar throughout the day—that way your body can use the blood sugar most efficiently and your system can control everything more smoothly. With a few changes in your diet, you can introduce food that help with controlling the blood sugar levels to give you an energy boost overall.

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Superfood?

Every now and then, we hear the talk of a new “superfood”—usually some new berry that no-one has ever heard of, or an exotic fruit you know you will pay way too much for. Usually the hype dies out after a short period of time and is replaced by something new. Although I am not very keen on the term “superfood,” some things almost warrant that label. The funny thing is that there are some ingredients that have been in most homes for a very long time that fall into that category.

A word of caution though: after reading this don’t go overboard with massive dietary changes. Everything in moderation is the ticket, and it’s best to consider how you can (if you can, considering allergies and so on) add a little of this to your diet and reap the benefits without doing big lifestyle changes.

So here is what I’d like you to consider:

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1. Cinnamon
Cinnamon not only tastes excellent, it also has an effect on your blood sugar level. When the food you eat contains cinnamon, your blood sugar level rises slower than without it. You still have to make sure not to eat too much sugar, but cinnamon can be your friend in keeping your blood sugar in check.

My favorite use of cinnamon is on my cottage cheese at breakfast; cinnamon on oatmeal is another great example. In addition, I’d like you to consider trying cinnamon in your dinner recipes—it’s really great with chicken and chili powder.

2. Almonds
Nuts in general are underrated in my opinion, but it often seems that people either eat way too much of them (and often salted) or not all. If you’re allergic to nuts, it’s totally understandable that you’ll avoid them, of course. Almonds are especially interesting as they are easy to find without added flavor or salt,  and they contain healthy levels of good monounsaturated fatty acids and high levels of vitamin E. Vitamin E can be tricky to get through a normal diet, so almonds are a very sensible choice here. At the same time, the fatty acids will help prevent sugar from raising your blood sugar levels too quickly, which is  another tasty way of getting off the blood sugar roller coaster.

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I usually eat almonds for breakfast, and there they provide my healthy fatty acid intake. Normally I eat 3-6 almonds, so we’re not talking about handful after handful. Being a nut lover, I really have to be careful not to overdo it.  Try chopped nuts in a side salad, or mix them in with your favorite fruit or oatmeal.

3. Cauliflower
I bet you didn’t see that one coming! Cauliflower is a great substitute if you are looking to reduce your consumption of rice, pasta, or potatoes: you can eat it fresh, steamed, boiled,  or as a nice mashed potato substitute when blended with a good vegetable stock. Eating cauliflower will allow you to feel full and satisfied with very few calories, and it will provide you with plenty of  fiber: a winning combination.

Cauliflower is my number-one lunch and dinner potato substitute, though the key to making it interesting is to use spices sensibly—It doesn’t have to taste as dull as most people think it does.

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Conclusion
What I propose in this post may take a little bit of time to produce noticeable results in how  you feel, but give it time: this is about simple changes that can have a big impact on your health in the long run. If you’re looking for faster results, you can try some of the great hacks found here. All in all, these three changes are not what you would find on the cover of a magazine, but in my opinion, they are far better: they’re easily implemented, with no magic involved.

So, what do you think? I would love to hear from you.

Featured photo credit:  yoga woman on green park via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on October 24, 2019

25 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

25 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

Have you ever had those moments where you are running out the door and suddenly you realize you forgot to pack a lunch… again!

Let me paint a picture for you, and you can tell me if it sounds familiar or not.

8:45: Oops… forgot to make breakfast! You grab a granola bar and head out.

10:00 You feel a crash coming on. Time for a coffee!

3:00 You lost track of time. You are STARVING! You gorge yourself on the nearest fast food joint you can find. The day begins to trickle by again. You snag a few more coffees, sodas, and a couple candy bars to hold you over as your energy begins to crash and stress takes over.

8:00- Feeling ravenous again!! You gorge yourself on Pizza. A well-deserved treat.

12:00- The hunger begins to strike again. You try to muster up the willpower to keep you from running to the fridge.

Look, if that scenario at all hit home, then you are not in good company. Working as a fitness professional has really taught me quite a few things: one of them being just how bent our modern culture is towards an unhealthy lifestyle. Convenience is key in our society. While that can produce a productive and fullfililng life in some instances, I have also seen some side effects. I see the people who feel like they are dragging through each day, hoping to find the balance between a successful career, thriving relationships, and abundant health!

Here is the good news: there is an answer. If you are one of those people struggling to make a change in their life, then it’s time to blend convenience with health!

I have found some of the best quick and healthy meals for you to life your busy life and feel amazingly healthy at the same time! Here are my top 25 meals that you can bring to work!

1. Hummus Collard Wraps

    I absolutely love collard wraps! And for good reason. For one, they are so fresh and satisfying that you will feel like the healthiest person alive. Second, they are extremely easy to make and pack. Third, they taste delicious!

    Trust me, if you really want to get a health kick started strong, a collard wrap is the way to do it!

    Check out the recipe here.

    2. Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

      Even the word mediterranean peaks my cravings for a healthy meal! This quinoa bowl is nutrient dense and will leave you satiated with it’s high amounts of fiber. You can meal prep these for the week and have a week’s worth of lunches in about 30 minutes.

      Check out the recipe here.

      3. Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies Bowl

        Sheet pan meals are an absolute favorite of mine! It’s as simple as a pop in the oven and you’re all set. These meal prep bowls are going to be a definite favorite for you. You’ll feel like you’re eating a gourmet meal without spending hours in the kitchen.

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        Check out the recipe here.

        4. Keto Proscuitto Egg Cups

          Are you jumping on the keto bandwagon? Then these egg cups are definitely for you! The high protein and satiating fats will keep your cravings at bay. You’ll forget how healthy you are even eating with this keeper of a recipe.

          Check out the recipe here.

          5. Low-Carb Pad Thai

            Have you tried Shiritake noodles yet? If not, you definitely should! These impressive noodles are made primarily of a specific type of yam soaked in water. The end product is a delicious 0-calorie noodle.

            Pad Thai has long been a favorite of mine, and these noodles make it possible to keep my blood sugar balanced while enjoying an old time favorite. Definitely give it a shot!

            Check out the recipe here.

            6. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

              These chicken enchilada stuffed peppers pack a good serving of nutrients and protein while making meal prep simple. The great thing is, packing it is simple and reheating the meal is not a problem. Definitely add this amazing meal to your meal prep list.

              Check out the recipe here.

              7. Poke Bowl

                Have you jumped on the Poke Bowl bandwagon? If not, you are about to discover a new favorite! Picture sushi in a bowl. This incredible is perfect for a day of relaxing.

                Check out the recipe here.

                8. Chicken Hummus Sushirrito

                  If you are wondering what on earth a sushirrito is, then let me help you out, it’s a blend between a burrito and sushi. Of course, this one takes on a bit of a twist.

                  To make meal preps super easy, it is loaded with sprouts, chicken, hummus, and veggies. The preparation literally takes minutes, and it’s a fun new twist if you find yourself getting bored of salads.

                  Check out the recipe here.

                  9. Skillet Pizza

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                    Guess what? Pizza isn’t completely off the menu! This Pizza has tortillas used as the base, meaning you cut the carb while still curbing that craving. Not only that, but it is extremely simple to make. Meal prep or cheat meal? I’d say it’s the best of both combined!

                    Check out the recipe here.

                    10. Bento Boxes

                      These lunches were originally invented in Japan and are basically the equivallent of an American lunch bag. Since then, it has become an American favorite and can be filled with just about any filler you crave. From Mediteranean to American, these boxes are sure to be a favorite, especially for meals on the go!

                      Check out the recipe here.

                      11. Salad in a Jar

                        Salad in a Jar is nothing new, but it’s a classic that we all should come back to when we get stuck in a health rut. These salads are extremely easy to prep, and even easier to pack.

                        Grab a variety of veggies and toppings, stack them in a jar, and create varied editions of veggie-packed meals for every day of the week. You’ll be feeling fresh and ready for a new lifestyle!

                        Check out the recipe here.

                        12. Chicken and Avocado Burritos

                          Who doesn’t love a good burrito? With this delicious lunch, you get all the pros without the cons of feeling heavy and bloated all day. Easy to pack? Yep. Delicious? You betcha! Filling? Definitely! Looks like we found ourselves a winner!

                          Check out the recipe here.

                          13. Chia Pudding

                            This meal has a rap for being a breakfast food, but it happens to make an incredible lunch as well. This meal is perfect for those with a sweet tooth! Another pro? It’s unbelievably easy to throw together. All it takes is 5 minutes the day before, and you’re set for a healthy lunch tomorrow.

                            Check out the recipe here.

                            14. Avocado Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                              Lettuce Wraps have been a long time favorite of mine. They leave you feeling so fresh, satiated, and balanced.

                              With all that protein packed into one meal, you don’t have to worry about getting a carb crash a couple hours after. Plus, it will keep you full throughout the day. Add this one to your lunch list. You will be glad you did!

                              Check out the recipe here.

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                              15. Vietnamese Spring Rolls

                                If you have ever been to a Vietnamese restaurant, then you have likely seen these on the menu.

                                While Spring Rolls taste fresh and light, they somehow pack a deliciously satisfying punch. With this peanut sauce paired with fresh rolls, you won’t second guess trying out this “healthy living thing”. You’ll feel more cultured than ever!

                                Check out the recipe here.

                                16. Egg Roll In a Bowl

                                  If you love Egg Rolls, you will love these egg rolls in a bowl. Perfect for a meal on the go, this lunch will satisfy you with an ethnic twist!

                                  Check out the recipe here.

                                  17. Fajita Burrito Bowl

                                    If you have ever been to Chipotle, then you probably know what I’m talking about here! Burrito bowls are basically just that… a burrito in a bowl! You’ll get the amazing flavors of a burrito but without the mess. It’s easier to pack. Easier to eat. And all out delicious! I’d say it’s a pretty easy meal with plenty of health benefits! Give it a shot and I think you’ll find you enjoy it!

                                    Check out the recipe here.

                                    18. Basil Capri Salad

                                      This Salad is definitely one to add to your list. The fiber will keep you full while the basil leaves a fresh sensation for you. It’s a meal that is zesty, fresh, and fun!

                                      Check out the recipe here.

                                      19. Mediterranean Buddha Bowl

                                        Something about this zesty blend of food makes my taste buds water. This Buddha bowl combines the flavorful tang of hummus with a hearty blend of roasted vegetables.

                                        Check out the recipe here.

                                        20. Chicken Sushi Bowl

                                          If you’re not one for raw fish, then a chicken sushi bowl might be just the option for you.

                                          Unlike Poke Bowls, this lunch is made from chicken that still packs a powerful flavor. It could save you an extra trip to the grocery store and give you the same satisfying flavor. Plus, the rice in this meal can be subbed out for cauliflower rice making it an instant Keto and Paleo favorite!

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                                          Check out the recipe here.

                                          21. Black Bean Quinoa Burritos

                                            This meal is amazing for a quick, throw-in-the-fridge type of meal. These are a great option for vegetarians who want a meal on the go. Not only are these burritos easy to make, but they are incredibly easy to store as well. Just toss them in the freezer and grab them before you leave for the day!

                                            Check out the recipe here.

                                            22. Garlic Butter Shrimp Zuchinni Noodles

                                              If you haven’t heard about veggie noodles yet, then it’s time you learn! Veggie noodles are an incredibly fun and delicious way to transform regular vegetables into your favorite pasta dish. These garlic butter shrimp pasta might just have you drooling before you even take your first bite.

                                              Check out the recipe here.

                                              23. Zucchini Lasagna

                                                I know, first turning zucchini into pasta and now lasagna? Where does it all end? I know it sounds crazy, but this dish is definitely one to try. In fact, I tried making one a while back and my husband loved it, even better than the original one I made for him. As it turns out, you don’t need high starch noodles to create incredible Italian dishes! These substitutes will do the job just fine.

                                                Check out the recipe here.

                                                24. Vegan Curry- Spiced Sweet Potato Burgers

                                                  If you are planning on going more plant based, then I applaud you! Adding extra plant-based foods to your diet is an excellent way to feel amazing and boost your nutrients!

                                                  Of course, there’s no need to stick to a salad-only diet. If you get a little creative, you will find all sorts of amazing recipes to try. These Sweet Potato Burgers will help you along your journey by keeping lunch fun and delicious!

                                                  Check out the recipe here.

                                                  25. Vegetarian Fajitas

                                                    Here’s another great recipe for those transitioning to plant-based. Fajitas are easy to make, easy to pack, and delicious to eat. All you need to do is bring your lunch, heat it in the microwave, and enjoy a delicious meal!

                                                    Check out the recipe here.

                                                    Bonus Tips to Make Lunches Easier

                                                    1. Find one day to meal prep. It makes life so much easier if you can have all of your food ready in one day. Occasionally, when I’m feeling more spontaneous, I’ll meal prep just the ingredients to make easy meals the day of![1]
                                                    2. Find a few good staples that fit your lifestyle in the best way possible.
                                                    3. Try some of the below meals for a quick and easy lunch:
                                                      • One pan recipes
                                                      • Wraps
                                                      • Sandwiches
                                                      • Soups
                                                      • Casseroles
                                                      • Pastas
                                                      • Salads
                                                      • Rice bowls
                                                      • Lettuce wraps

                                                    More Healthy Recipes

                                                    Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

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