Afternoon Energy Boost

Do you find that you want to take a nap in the afternoon?

I know how you feel!

Sometimes the LAST thing you want to do is get back to your ‘to do’ list at work or where ever you find yourself. Here are some tips to keep you going like the Energizer bunny.

Balancing Act in Your Lunch Bag

Your BEST bet for an energized afternoon is in your lunch bag. A healthy mix of protein, fat and carbs will keep your eyes wide open and your mind sharp. If your lunch bag is full of carbohydrates alone, your body will get a blood sugar rush, then a dump of insulin. Ever feel sleepy after a big meal? This is insulin doing it’s job shuttling excess sugar, as well, no fat burning can take place in the presence of insulin.

Carbs have been demonized lately, but our brain needs carbohydrates to think. Choose complex carbs that digest slowly. Adding protein and healthy fat will further help slow down the digestive process so that you moderate the amount of insulin your body produces.

Here are a few examples of my lunches I’ve been enjoying lately:

  • Open faced tuna with dill pickles, tsp mayo on romaine lettuce leaves or sprouted grain bread (not everyone is gluten intolerant and sprouted grain bread is probably your best bread choice), Granny Smith apple
  • Leafy green salad with various veggies, a protein source (like chicken or shrimp), balsamic vinegar, olive oil (I’ve been using infused balsamic vinegar and oils lately), fresh blueberries
  • Cottage cheese (1% milk fat), cherry tomatoes, half avocado, salt and pepper, orange
  • Scrambled eggs (1-2 full eggs, 2 egg whites), various veggies, sprouted grain toast

*I try to have a balance of carbs, healthy fat and protein at each meal. The fruits I choose, if I have any, will be low glycemic fruit. This satisfies my sweet tooth while providing some carbs, flavor and fiber.

NO Energy in Energy Bars/Drinks

Don’t listen when commercials tell you to buy ‘energy’ bars or drinks. These products are filled with chemicals and sugar. They will give you an initial boost and then a crash. Energy drinks are highly caffeinated so they will dehydrate you, tax your adrenal glands and possibly interfere with your sleep cycle. Coffee is not your afternoon answer either.

Get a Little Fresh Air

If possible, eat lunch, put down your fork and put on your shoes. Going for a brisk 10 minute walk will perk you up and give you the added bonus of not overeating. Sometimes, I feel like a little something sweet or an extra serving at lunch. When I stop eating and take this walk, it gives my belly time to tell my brain that it’s satisfied. By the time I return, I feel satisfied and I can easily turn down more food.

Fill Up Your Water Bottle

Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus, concentrate better and be more alert. It naturally raises your metabolism, is a natural appetite suppressant and will help you digest your lunch. Need I say more?

For more tips, tricks and support from a group of awesome women, just like you, head to my closed group on Facebook called ‘Healthy Secrets for Women 40+‘.