Do you ever feel like you just need a jolt of energy and then you’d be able to do anything you set your mind to? Maybe you need power foods! In this article I will profile ten quick and simple foods that you can grab on the run, for lunchtime in their full portion, or as a snack in a half-size. To qualify for the list, they must be packed with what you need to push on with your day, your sport, and your life!
Remember the basic elements of foods? Protein, carbs and fat? New research is proving that if you COMBINE TOGETHER a low-fat protein source with your complex carbohydrates at a meal, and always include a little ‘good’ source of essential fatty acids, your energy level will remain higher for longer. You just might avoid that mid-afternoon or after lunch crash that makes you fall asleep in Math class!
Sounds obvious? Look at the “typical” snack: chips (carbs and fat), chocolate bar (carbs and fat), toast with butter and jam (carbs and fat), a muffin…you get the picture. Or even an apple, carrot sticks or melba toast (carbs only). Not the best choices, on their own because they are not ‘complete’.
“So what should I eat?” Brainstorm it-you can make these up yourself. There are pre-packaged bars that have a good balance of carb/protein/fat, but that’s cheating!! Think of protein first if you’re planning your own meal or snack: low fat cheese or cottage cheese, low fat hot dog or veggie dog, low fat chicken or turkey slices, or a hard boiled egg. COMBINE it with a complex carb (this means no white flour or white rice!): a piece of fruit, a seven grain bun, a whole wheat bagel, salad or veggie sticks or stir fry. Quick nutrition. What about fat? The cheese and eggs have their own fat. The dog and the fowl need a bit of mayo or low fat cheese salsa. Or eat a few almonds-one of the best
In this way, almost any food can become a power food-it all depends on the combinations.
Protein + Carb + Fat = POWER FOOD
TEN POWER FOODS THAT WILL MAKE YOUR DAY!
The following snacks are close to being perfect and powerful, but easy to grab on the run:
2. Apple with a chunk of cheddar cheese
3. Trail Mix (nuts and dried fruit)
4. Macaroni and cheese (low fat, please!)
5. Meal replacement bar!
6. Veggie dog with bun
7. Boiled egg
8. Sunflower seeds
9. Granola bar
10. Carton of Milk (or Soy milk)
One warning, however. We need to watch the total amount of protein we take in. Too much protein can overload and harm the kidneys. As a rough guide, it’s not good to eat a piece of protein-rich food larger than the palm of your hand at any one meal, or half that size for a snack. If you stick to three meals and two snacks, plus eight cups of clean water to drink, per day, you’re on your way to high energy. It’s that simple. Have fun and be healthy!
This article is for general interest and is not meant to take the place of the personal advice of a qualified nutritionist or physician, especially if you have any underlying medical condition or food allergies. People with kidney or liver problems may need to count their protein intake under medical supervision.