Last week, we talked about foods that drain your energy. This week, we have a list of the top foods that will give you energy:
- Vegetables – Especially dark, leafy greens such as kale, collards and chards. Also sprouts, broccoli, asparagus and spinach.
- Cold-water fatty fish – These include wild salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring. They’re an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, energy-boosting B vitamins, complete protein, and more.
- Beans & Lentils – Beans and lentils provide carbohydrates and protein making them a good source of energy.
- Tree nuts & Seeds – Tree nuts and seeds are a great source for quick energy. They provide protein and ‘healthy’ fats.
- Raw Foods – You don’t have to become a Raw Foodist for this. Raw vegetables will provide extra energy through enzymes. Consider salads, carrots, radishes, etc. If you’re having a salad, don’t go for the low-fat dressing. Pick a dressing with ‘good’ fats in it. The fat helps your body assimilate the enzymes, vitamins and minerals in the vegetables.
- Healthy, Whole grains – When eating grains – especially breads – then choose only whole grains. They provide fiber, minerals and vitamins that are removed from processed foods.
- Water – OK, it’s not really a food, but it’s very important to your health. It helps eliminate dehydration,regulate body temperature, and reduce stress. Do all liquids count as water? Not really. Consider that whatever else is in that liquid has to be processed first, then and only then do you get water for hydration. Depending on the liquid, you could be getting little to no hydration.
What’s that you ask? Where’s the caffeine and the sugar? In reality, neither of these will give you lasting energy and in the long run they are energy draining foods.
Photo Courtesy Kreg.Steppe via Flickr
A friend of mine introduced me to this Bald Eagle Cam back in March. It is a web cam of a family of eagles – two adults and 3 young eaglets – living in nest 80-90 feet off the ground in a Loblolly pine at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.
Sometimes, being healthy is about taking mental breaks & relaxing. The Eagle Cam has been my mental break lately. I’ve grown to love that eagle family and have found lessons that can apply to all of us:
- Watch carefully over your children – Adult eagles never sleep soundly and are always alert. When there are eaglets in the nest, one parent is always close by to protect them.
- Protect your kids with your life – from predators and from rain. The mother eagle will cover the young babies, still covered in down, with her wings. Some call it a “Mombrella”.
- Parenting is a joint effort – sometimes mom brings the food, sometimes dad. Sometimes dad feeds the kids, sometimes mom feeds them, and at the best times, mom & dad feed the kids together.
- Don’t poo where you sleep. It’s instinct for even the baby eaglets to back up and point away from the nest when they do their business.
- Give your kids wings and they will learn to fly!
- No boomerang kids allowed – The kids leave the nest a few months after first flight or fledge – July to August. They aren’t welcome back because in the Fall the the parents are planning food their next brood.
- No food goes to waste. “Nestovers” hang around and are eaten as snacks later on.
- Dad is in charge of housekeeping! I love that idea!
- Flying is instinct, not something they learn from their parents. As they become strong enough, they begin an activity that some call “wingercizing”.
- Eagles learn to hunt for food on their own, after they leave the nest. They learn by observing other juvenile eagles and by stealing food. Not all of them are successful hunters, which is one reason that, on average, only 50% of baby eagles make it to adulthood – 5 years old.
- Tragedy is a part of life, but life goes on. On the morning of April 26th, the mama eagle was struck by an airplane and killed. I have to confess that I cried when I learned of her death. The next day, the three eaglets were moved to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV). They will remain at WCV until it is determined that they are old enough to be on their own – probably in August.
Even though the eaglets have moved, there is still a web cam at the WVEC site where you can follow their progress.
The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is our nation’s emblem and is the only eagle unique to North America. According to the American Bald Eagle Information site:
The bald eagle’s scientific name signifies a sea (halo) eagle (aeetos) with a white (leukos) head. At one time, the word “bald” meant “white,” not hairless.
I’ll be watching these eaglets until they leave WCV. I have been fascinated with watching them grow and learn. Amazing how much they grow in such a short period of time. They weighed approximately 2.5 ounces when they hatched. The oldest of the 3 eaglets is 2 months old today and weighed 9.5 pounds on Tuesday!
The decision to remove the eaglets from their nest at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens was made by the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (DGIF). While there were people who felt that man shouldn’t interfere with nature in that manner, the decision was made because it would be in the best interest of the dad and the three eaglets. You can read more about that in this press release (PDF).
Photo Credits: WVEC, WCV, DGIF, & NBG.
As an entrepreneur, you need energy throughout your day in order to stay at the top of your game. There are a number of foods that can actually drain your energy. Here are the top 8 energy draining foods:
- Caffeine – You may not have expected this to be on the list, but in reality it is. Caffeine, over time, will lead to adrenal exhaustion and fatigue. Also, caffeine causes spikes in blood sugar similar to sugar. You may get a burst of energy, but you’ll crash later and need another jolt of caffeine.
- Foods with Sugar – You may get a burst of energy from eating sugar, but later you’ll crash and your blood sugar will be lower than before you ate the sugar. It’s a vicious cycle that ultimately drains your energy.
- Fatty & Fried foods – Foods that are high in fat will take a while to digest. Eating them caused much of your blood supply to be diverted to digestion, leaving you with little energy.
- Processed Foods – White bread, white pasta, etc; really any flour product that is not 100% whole grain, will drain your energy levels. They consist mostly of starch as the fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals have been removed. Hence, they cause blood sugar spikes followed by crashes; similar to eating foods with sugar in them.
- Alcohol – Alcohol is a sedative that slows down your nervous system. Red wine is especially bad since it also contains melatonin.
- Low Iron Foods – Anemia (iron deficiency) is a frequent cause of fatigue. Foods low in iron include chicken, broccoli, pork & peanut butter. If you eat these at lunch time, combine with vegetables high in iron such as spinach, greens,green peas, green beans; or nuts, seeds or legumes.
- MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) – One effect that MSG has on the body is to cause an energy drain. MSG is in more than just Chinese food. In fact, it’s found in many processed foods, where it’s used as a flavor enhancer and to make you feel like you’ve eaten more than you actually have.
- Skipping meals – Well, not exactly a food. But if you skip meals, you’ll likely find you lack energy. Not eating can cause low blood sugar and fatigue. You’re metabolism slows down causing you to have less energy.
If you want to know what to eat that will combat fatigue, see this post on high energy foods.
Thanks for stopping by! This blog posts gets a TON of visits. That tells me that a lot of folks are running on little to no energy. Does that include you?
Feel free to contact us if you’re looking to make some changes to improve your energy!
Photo courtesy abardwell via Flickr.
This is a light pizza dish that can be served as a main dish or as an appetizer. I make my own pizza crust, but you can also buy pre-made crusts at the grocery. Also, some restaurants actually sell their dough balls.
Spinach, Tomato & Olive Pizza
- 2 oz grated mozzarella cheese (~1/2 cup)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1½ cups grape tomatoes
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, drained
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 large basil leaves, chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- Prepared, pre-baked pizza crust
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise.
- Cut olives crosswise.
- Combine tomatoes, olives, olive oil, vinegar, garlic & pepper. For added flavor, allow the mixture to marinate overnight.
- Stir in the spinach and basil
- Spread tomato mixture on pre-baked pizza crust.
- Combine cheeses and spread evenly over pizza.
- Bake until hot & bubbly and cheese has melted – about 15 minutes.
We’re all under stress, it’s part of modern life. Here I’ve listed the top ten ways to reduce your stress.
- Release Endorphins – Endorphins are nature’s pain relievers and can also induce feelings of euphoria. Do something every day that releases endorphins – exercise, dark chocolate, chili peppers, even chewing.
- Cut Back on Processed Foods – All those highly refined carbohydrates such as white sugar and white flour are adding to internal stress.
- Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of anti-oxidants that can help counteract the free radicals produced by the stress response. But go for the real thing – most commercial juices are highly processed. Processed juices are mostly the sugars from the fruit. Many of the vitamins and most of the fiber is lost.
- Reduce or Eliminate Coffee, Alcohol and Tobacco – These all contribute to adrenal fatigue and stress.
- Start a Gratitude Journal – Each night, just before you go to bed, write down 5 things that you are thankful for. OR five things that went really well for you that day. Or some combination of the 2. Let those be your last thoughts before you go to sleep.
- Take Time for Yourself – Every day, find some time that is just for you. Even if it’s only 15 minutes. Maybe you’ll spend it reading or soaking in a bubble bath. Whatever helps you relax and unwind. Turn off the phones (really, it’s ok if you do) and escape for a while.
- Take up Yoga or Pilates – This is especially good (although difficult) if you’re a Type A personality. Yoga and Pilates require that you slow down and concentrate only on them. It’s a great way to get your mind off everything else.
- Meditation – This doesn’t have to be formal meditation. Simply find a quiet spot and think back to a place or time that you really enjoyed. Imagine you are back there and let your senses take you back.
- Herbal Tea – Drink some chamomile or peppermint tea.
- Seek Positive People – Stay away from negative emotions and pessimistic people. Don’t get sucked into the “How Stressed I Am” game. There’s nothing to be gained from this.
- Laugh (BONUS!) – Every day include some fun, humor and play in your life. It’s another good way to release endorphins.
Photo courtesy BLW Photography via Flickr.