Today’s nutrition message is ‘dump the junk; eat real food’. I heard the call to eat healthy and enjoy life and acted on it. Have you?
Obesity, heart disease and strokes are prevalent. It’s clear that many people aren’t either wise or moderate when it comes to the variety of foods and quantities they consume. So it’s no surprise the nutrition pendulum has swung back toward eating unaltered food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it.
Get snacking but do it right
Foods or drinks eaten between meals are referred to as snacks. When your energy level is flagging it’s time to fuel your body with a nutritious snack, rather than processed food products or junk foods that lead to health issues. Avoid intake of sugars for quick energy boosts as sugar highs lead to crashing.
Any activity can become a meditation. … So when the world beyond your kitchen is in chaos, you can create a healing happiness-filled oasis, where chaos does not reign. In the kitchen, we can create harmony, order, wellness, the antithesis of everything in our lives that stresses and exhausts us. — How to find the Healing Happiness in Cooking
Selecting healthy energizing snack foods and eating the correct amounts to restore your energy balance is a life preserving habit. it’s important to choose high quality nutrient-dense carbohydrates and add healthy fats and lean protein to your ‘energy snack’ to give you long-lasting energy. Everyone ought to learn how to do that in childhood, but it’s never too late to learn how to snack right by energizing your body with real foods.
Food Cravings, Sensitivities and Allergies
It’s common knowledge that food cravings associated with sensitivities and allergies can incline one to over eat. But did you know that underweight people with food sensitivities and allergies find the opposite is true ie. they find it difficult to gain weight?
I have always been a slender person, who has never had a strong appetite. I’m a light eater and have never eaten large portions of meat or fish. I’m not a sugar junkie and have no interest in commercial drinks. Eating three large meals each day has never been my preference. Instead, I prefer to snack frequently throughout the day.
Maintaining optimum weight and health is a challenge because my low to no-appetite level is complicated by arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia symptoms, and food cravings associated with sensitivities and allergies. There are seven food groups fibromyalgia sufferers may want to consider avoiding. Educating myself about how my body reacts to those food groups helped me uncover which foods are likely to trigger allergy reactions and/or pain, so I can avoid eating them.
The good news is that both overweight and underweight people can meet and keep up their ideal weight and enjoy optimum health, when they choose to take a few lessons from the experts and go on to make the right diet and lifestyle changes. Below are my 7 favorite energizing snack foods for maintaining my ideal weight and optimum health.
7 Energizing Snack Foods for Optimum Health
1. Fruits loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber are healthy energizing snack food choices. I have an avocado, apple, banana, peach, pear, apricot, orange or a cup of berries when my energy level drops.
2. Vegetables and sprouts loaded with nutrients, vitamins, carbs and fiber are another healthy energy boosting snack choice. I nibble raw veggies (eg. carrots, celery, peas, beans, zucchini, etc.) and a fat-free dip or protein-rich humus made with olive oil to restore my energy level.
3. Juicing fruits and vegetables together and making smoothies help me make drinks that kick my energy level up a notch. I combine 80% organic vegetables (eg. carrots, celery, cucumber, ginger root) and 20% fruits (eg. lemon, lime, apple, honeydew melon, watermelon, etc.) in my energy boosting drinks.
4. Greek style non-fat yogurt is protein rich and has minimal sugar. It’s an excellent energy booster and combining it with fresh berries in a parfait will kick my energy level up a notch in short order.
5. Dairy products contain protein, carbohydrates and fat, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Many people with fibromyalgia find dairy products trigger their flare-ups. Thankfully, I am not among them. I add dairy products like milk and cream to soups and smoothies. I also eat low-fat cottage cheese, cream cheese and other cheeses with salt-free crackers or rusks to energize me and help me keep up my ideal weight.
6. Seeds and nuts in small servings are high fiber foods, a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. I often choose to energize my body with a raw and unsalted seeds and nuts snacks (eg. flax, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, etc.) when I’m feeling low. If I combine the seeds and nuts with dates, figs or raisins then I decrease the portion size.
7. Eggs are another of my favorite energy boosters. A single large egg (soft boiled, hard boiled, coddled or poached) has only 78 calories (62% fat, 3% carbohydrates, 35% protein). I hard boil eggs and I keep a few refrigerated and ready to eat when I need a quick energy fix. I also add a raw egg to my energy drinks when I feel the need for more protein.
Optimum Health and Ideal Weight
For optimum health we ought to drink plenty of water, eat balanced meals and exercise. A balanced diet will include complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats. Exercising daily is a must for achieving and maintaining our ideal weight. The longer the time between meals and exercise, the more we can eat, but watching what we snack on to boost our energy level is key to establishing and maintaining optimum health.
What are your favorite energizing snack choices?