Starting the day right: Eating for more energy and better mood
Start the day right: Eating for more energy and better mood
Hey Everyone! As a person who has suffered from chronic fatigue, I have been researching ways to feel more energized naturally. Did you know that what you eat in the morning will influence how you feel all day? I used to start my day with a bagel or a breakfast sandwich, and although it was filling and delicious at the time, I found myself starving again an hour or two later. Next thing I knew, I am reaching for the next carbo-loaded snack to get me through till lunch. I felt tired all the time, and it was not uncommon for me to walk into walls! Refined carbohydrates turn straight to sugar and act as an opiate for the brain! The problem with this is not only the unwanted extra pounds, but it actually causes us to have a short upward spike in mood and energy, only to be followed by a crash in an hour. This causes us to be not only hungrier, but also contributes to our crappy mood! The opiates in these refined carbs makes this cycle two-fold. Initially they make us feel good, but then followed by lethargy, poor mood, and wanting more carbs to bring us back up! You can see how this can set your day off with a roller-coaster of mood and fatigue. Luckily, there is a way to get off this carnival ride! Starting the day with protein, healthy fats, and fiber will help you to feel satiated and energized. Don't discriminate against healthy fats. It is a myth that they make you fat (I will address this more in future posts). Essential fatty acids such as your omega 3's, actually help your brain to function more optimally, improving your mood, attention, focus, and energy. That is why they are called essential because the we NEED them! Our brains are mostly made of fat so it makes sense that we need to eat fat in order to feed our brains. Protein helps to give us energy, and fiber helps us to feel full. This will keep your blood sugar and your mood stabilized throughout your day. Try changing your breakfast for a day or a week and let me know how you feel. Skipping breakfast is not choice as this is not a way of getting energy or your metabolism boosted for the day. Try these delicious recipes to get you started, and tell me what you think.
Scrambled Eggs with Pesto
Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Plus the yolk contains essential minerals and vitamins as well as healthy fats. Just make sure to look for free-range, organic, or cage-free eggs since they have the highest amounts of omega-3 fats, which support the health of your adrenal glands (more about the importance eating pasture raised animals in future posts). The pesto adds more color, fiber and nutrition to same old scrambled eggs and is something that can be made all year by using seasonal greens, including basil, arugula, kale, or parsley. The walnuts had an extra healthy and yummy omega-3 punch for optimal brain functioning. Tip: make the pesto one day and keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days to make breakfast time easier through the week!
Makes 4 servings
2 cups basil
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 tbsp white or yellow miso paste (if you prefer not to eat soy, you can skip this and add an extra pinch of salt)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. In a food processor, combine basil, walnuts, miso, lemon juice, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. As the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a smooth constancy is reached. Add salt and additional lemon juice to taste.
3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the eggs to the pan along with 1 heaping tablespoon of pesto.
4. Mix the pesto into the eggs as you move the eggs around in the pan continuously.
5. As soon as the eggs are cooked through, remove from heat.
copy right of Susan Blum, The Immune System Recovery Plan
And for you vegan friends out there or just those of you who prefer a breakfast to go, I have something for you too! And again, please tell me what you think!
Blueberry Almond Muffins
These muffins use almond flour instead of wheat or other grain flour, so they are very low in carbohydrates and high in protein, and they are sweetened with honey instead of processed sugar. Chia seeds provide essential fatty acids that our bodies need to reduce inflammation, and they also add a nice crunch. All this makes them a nutritious snack or breakfast. You can change the fruit according to the season, replacing the blueberries with apples in the fall or fresh peaches in the summer.
Makes 12 muffins
Coconut oil (optional for greasing muffin pan, or you can use muffin cup liners)
3 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave syrup
3 eggs or if you do not want to use eggs you can use an egg replacer. 2 tbsp of ground flax seeds soaked in 1/3 a cup of water for 5-10 minutes. This will act as binding agent for the muffins, as well as give you some extra omega 3's! And trust me, no taste is lost.. I've made the recipe both ways and you cannot tell the difference.
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1-2 tbsp chi seeds (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Line a muffin tin with muffin cup liners or grease the muffin pan well with coconut oil.
3. Mix the almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom in a bowl.
4. In another bowl, combine the vanilla, agave, and eggs or egg replacer, and mix well.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined.
6. Add the blueberries and mix until well combined.
7. Divide batter among the muffin cups.
8. Sprinkle some chia seeds over the top of each muffin.
9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are light brown and slightly firm. Rotate the pan halfway through the baking time.
10. Cool the muffins on a rack.
copy right of Susan Blum, The Immune System Recovery Plan
I hope this post will help you to get your started off right and enjoy more energy throughout the day!