Tuesday, February 19, 2013

When Mom needs Energy

We homeschool our kids. Hence, we are with them ALL day, EVERY day.

We are busy, and honestly, who has time to focus on what WE are eating when we are so busy worrying about getting vegetables down the throat of the kid who refuses to eat anything GREEN, or the kid who will only eat foods that are WHITE or the kid who's idea of a vegetable is KETCHUP?

But I am sure most of you have noticed that most of the time, even if our kids refuse to eat their broccoli, they ALWAYS have this insane amount of energy, from the second they wake up, til the second they crash at the end of the day. And no, I do not give my kids anything with sugar, so apparently their lack of Kale Smoothies is not making much of a dent in their energy department. Healthy kids have this natural abundance of energy, with or without the goodies we wish they would eat, at least at this stage of their lives.

But what about us?

Where can we get more energy from so we can truly make the MOST out of every day?

There are 3 major components to feeling energized throughout the day:
1- Sleep
2- Exercise
3- Eating the right foods that give you Energy

First and foremost, for those of us without infants, a good nights sleep is a MUST. You cannot burn a candle at both ends and by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, giving yourself at least 7-8 hours will instantly help your energy and mood throughout the day.

I am always reading that working out will give you lots of energy, but my idea of working out (at least at this stage in my life) is playing outside with the kids, gardening here and there and cleaning my house every day. Thats about as far is it goes. For those of you who make the time and have the discipline to exercise  I take my hat off to you. 

Aside for the usual cup of coffee, there are so many delicious foods that give us amazing doses of energy, and I am not talking about Kale Spinach smoothies (which I am sure are quite tasty but just not for everyone.)

So based on my personal experience and research, I have compiled a list of super yummy, very common foods that experts across the board agree give you the most energy. 

Now this is not a 'diet'- it is simply a list of foods that if you constantly snack on throughout the day will give you a constant flow of energy. (Just make sure to cut out any junk food and sugar- an instant recipe for instant uppers and downers, and of course weight gain)

Check these foods out, its quite amazing to see the results!

Lets start with my favorite (and yours too I am sure)- dark chocolate. Who can argue with that? Research, shmeesearch, I don't need ANY reason to eat chocolate. But apparently, its a super upper and antioxidant. Woohooo, bring it on!

Next we have these power fruits: pineapple, watermelon, banana's, strawberries, blueberries and apples. They all have their own unique health benefits but what they all have in common is that they give you ENERGY. So keep a bowl of any of the above fruits on the kitchen table to grab throughout the day. Maybe cut up some watermelon, pineapples and strawberries and keep them in the fridge to munch on. Not too hard to do either, right?

Red peppers, carrots and celery are major energy contributors. Dip them in some Chumus and WHAM, major energy boost right there. Cut them up, keep them in some glass Tupperware and you always have it ready to snack on.  

Every Sunday I make six Salads and put them in Mason Jars to keep in the fridge. Put the harder veggies on the bottom, lettuce and greens on the top. Dressing on the bottom if you wish or just keep it on the side. Like this, you have a fresh salad to eat every day. Easy peezy. And greens give you TONS of energy. Get creative, there are lots of yummy salad mixes out there.

While Salmon and Eggs aren't exactly snacking foods, they give you lots of energy. So maybe add eggs to your morning menu. Or make some egg salad to eat with your veggies. Salmon is super easy to make and lasts a day or two in the fridge. Canned salmon also works. Make a salmon salad for lunch. These are so easy and really give you so much energy.

Pureed vegetable soup. You can literally take every vegetable you have in your house, saute them together (the more greens you can throw in there the better) add some salt, pepper, garlic, any other yummy spices and puree it until it is smooth. So yum, so filling and so easy to scarf down for lunch. Instant energy booster.

Many of us cut down on carbs in our diets. But whole grain breads and pastas are amazing sources of energy. A piece of whole grain toast with avocado? Delicious and gives you an amazing amount of energy. Wholegrain pasta with Marinara sauce, wholegrain crackers. There are lots of really good carbs out there filled with energy for us.

First thing in the morning, most of us reach for our dearly beloved cup of Joe.  But wait- have you every tried Green tea? Or Earl Grey tea with a squirt of honey? So yummy and gives you a MAJOR boost of energy. I find it lasts even longer then my coffee does. I will never give up my morning Joe, but my afternoons are now dedicated to my yummy cup of green tea and honey. There are lots of Caffeinated Herbal teas, find a flavor that works for you.
And last but not least, hydration. SO important for energy and mood. Water with a squirt of lemon and coconut water are pretty much your best bet when it comes to being hydrated and energized. Take your pick and drink all day. The second you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Don't let yourself get there, just keep sipping all day.

I will repeat, the above is NOT a diet and many of you I am sure have your own habits of eating. The above is merely a list of foods that give you ENERGY thoughout the day. It works wonders for me, try it out for yourself. 

May you all have a healthy and energetic week!
...coming soon, a bunch of fun hands on activities for learning the Hebrew Letters!

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