The Dos & Don'ts Of Eating For Energy
Energy starts with food that's both nourishing and natural. One of the greatest mistakes we make when it comes to acquiring energy is in what we decide to use as fuel. Real, nutrient-dense and living food ignites our five senses and adds to our natural energy, but unfortunately, what most of us use to obtain energy is far from real food.
The greatest source of energy is joy: the kind of energy that arises within you when you hear great news, receive a compliment or achieve a goal. Perhaps the greatest combination is when we pair joy with eating. When we combine the nutritive components of fresh, organic foods with the pleasure of deliciousness, we harness energy to produce power in our mind, emotions and physiology.
How You Get Energy From Food
Your body needs fuel. Extracting energy from our fuel source is just as important as what that fuel source is. You wouldn't put water in the gas tank of your car if you wanted to take a road trip, just like you wouldn't want to put energy-empty "non-foods" into your body to fuel your day.
The term "junk food" is incorrect; there is truly only food and then junk. Processed foods have no real energy in them. These sugar- and chemical-rich substances provide false energy. Foods that brings true fulfillment should add vibrancy, excitement and joy to your life.
When it comes to eating for energy, here are a few guidelines:
- Eat to feel energized, not stimulated.
- Eat less when you're inactive and more when you're active.
- Stop eating when you're 80% full so you're satisfied but not stuffed.
- Chose light, easily-digested foods. Fresh, lightly cooked, raw or fermented veggies, low-glycemic fruits, sprouted nuts/seeds and organic pasture-raised animal products.
- Avoid heavy animal-based fats in excess.
- Avoid refined sugar and other processed foods.
- Make your plate as colorful as possible with a variety of fresh vegetables.
- Satisfy as many of the senses as possible using spices and texture varieties.
- Eat until you're stuffed.
- Snack. Instead, eat balanced meals. If you must snack, keep it light.
- Go for energy-boosting foods like energy drinks, caffeine or energy bars. Opt for matcha tea, yerba mate or bulletproof coffee.
- Eat sugar (especially refined sugar). This includes alcohol or excessive fruit consumption.
- Choose the same foods daily, without any nutrition variety. There are thousands of different types of produce.
- Neglect the visual aspect of your food. The healing aspect of food goes beyond nutrients. If you rush to eat by throwing a bunch of food together on a plate, even the healthiest of foods will lose vibrational energy. Beautify your dishes and put love into everything you make!
Before you sit down to experiment with your new "eating for energy" protocol, ask yourself these questions to increase your metabolic efficiency and receive the most energy from your food:
- Am I in a pleasant mood?
- Is this meal going to be a positive experience?
- Is this food attractive and beautiful to me?
- Can I be fully present while eating and enjoy myself?
If you can answer all of these questions with an authentic "yes," then you'll be extracting the most from your food. Energy starts with our mood, and a poor one won't be fixed by food.
If you answered "no" to any of these, try lifting your mood before you eat. Go for a walk, read something uplifting or have a good laugh.
Don't think of eating for energy as another form of dietary deprivation. These are simple tips to help bring mindfulness into your life. Instead of deprivation, think of it as adding energy to your food story.
Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.