When the clock hits 3pm in the afternoon, do you go searching for a caffeinated pick-me-up? A cup of coffee, a spot of tea, or a chocolate bar? Perhaps it’s time for something different – filling your meals with plant-based foods that will give you a natural, non-caffeinated source of energy. With that in mind, we’ve pulled together the top tips and suggestions from our Meal Planner for getting energy from plant-based foods.
Tip One: Embrace Color
Different foods provide different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients – each which work together to provide your body with fuel as well as maximizing the absorption and release of energy. Eating a range of colorful fruit and veggies will ensure that your body has just what it needs. Our colorful “Ensalada de la Casa” is loaded with nutrients such as vitamin B6, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin K!
Tip Two: Start with Carbs
Carbohydrates get a bad rap – but really they are what your body uses for energy. Start your day off with complex carbohydrates (not the simple carbs found in white flour and sugar) found in whole grains, fruit, and vegetables to give your body long-term energy, rather than the ups and downs associated with simple carbohydrates. A bowl of our hearty "Overnight Oats – Berries ‘N Cream" will do the trick!
Tip Three: Fruit, not Coffee
If you feel a lack of energy and want to reach for a cup of coffee, grab a piece of fruit instead. The natural sugars will give you a bit of a boost, but will also provide essential vitamins (such as vitamin C) that will help you sustain your energy levels for longer. To keep sugar low, opt for low-sugar fruits like apples, berries or dragon fruit.
Tip Four: Shop Organic
Food grown in organic soil, without the use of harsh fertilizers or pesticides, have a richer nutrient profile than non-organic alternatives. With the range of organic food available at even local grocery stores, there’s no reason not to add some organic plant-based foods to your plate in order to boost your energy levels.
Tip Five: Find Fiber
High fiber diets help to improve energy, by slowing down digestion. When your digestion is slowed, your body receives more consistent energy. This leads to level blood sugar levels, rather than the ups and downs associated with low-fiber diets. Beans, whole grains, brown rice, nuts, and green veggies are great sources of fiber, try to include at least one with every meal. This Costa Rican inspired “Veggie Casado” has an outstanding amount of 35 grams of dietary fiber!!
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Tip Six: Smoothies!
When you’re in a hurry but need a nutritious pick-me-up, a plant-based smoothie can do the trick. Smoothies are fantastic to keep your energy levels up! Just one glass of our delicious "Berry Mango Mint Smoothie", and you’ll drink up an abundance of healthy foods!
Enjoy your energy-filled day full of healthy, plant-based foods! Sign up for our Meal Planner today!