We all feel a bit low in energy from time to time, particularly if we've been burning the candle at both ends. But when it's every morning, mid-morning, post-lunch or all the time, it could be time to give your dietary habits a bit of a shake-up.
Which of these sounds most like you?
a) I struggle to get out of bed in the morning.
b) I have great energy, thanks to my friend, coffee!
c) I wish nanna-naps were compulsory in the afternoons.
d) All of the above!
What and when you eat can have a profound effect on your energy levels and I'd like to share with you my Top 10 Energy-Boosting Tips:
1. Always eat a quality protein-rich breakfast, such as eggs or a nutrient-dense granola, to help set you up for the day. Avoid fast-releasing, nutrient-lacking foods such as jam on toast.
2. Plan your morning and afternoon snacks; choose from bliss balls, natural yoghurt with fruit, a piece of fruit and some nuts, hummus dips with veggies or even a hard-boiled egg.
3. Try to limit coffee and teas to one a day and replace with clean water or herbal drinks.
4. If you do eat grains, make sure that they are whole-grains as these release their sugars slowly and help give you a steady flow of energy and B-vitamins.
5. Iron-rich foods are a must in your diet; apart from red meat, other sources include spinach, turmeric, silver-beet, basil, cinnamon, shiitake mushrooms, parsley and pumpkin seeds.
6. Be sure to have at least 5 serves of veg and 2 serves of fruit daily as this will boost your antioxidant status which helps protect your body from damage.
7. If you're prone to mid-afternoon energy slumps, ditch the white sandwich, wrap, white rice at lunchtime and fill yourself up on a hearty protein-rich salad.
8. Even if you're on a diet, eating less more often, rather than huge meals will help your body process the food without leaving you feeling in need of that nanna-nap.
9. The B-vitamins play an important role in your energy cycle, so think green veg, whole-grains, avocados, eggs, nuts and seeds. B3 in particular is critical, which is high in seafood.
10. Add fresh herbs, such as parsley to your diet as they are packed full of nutrients with lots of co-factors to help your body feel energised. We'll be looking at cooking with herbs in a couple of weeks' time.
There are of course other factors, but eating healthy foods and avoiding a refined diet are a great place to start.