Who knew that food made such a difference in all areas of your life? From emotions to exhaustion the right foods can be the difference between a good day or a bad one. This becomes even truer when you’re already under a lot of stress and in a busy season of life. Since reading Kelly LeVeque’s book Body Love, I’ve been a big fan of the fat, fiber, protein combo. It’s not just her either, every nutritionist I’ve come across acknowledges the importance of these macronutrients and their ability to help us stay full longer, have more energy, and even lose weight. If you read my last post on the 4-foundations to health, you know that macronutrients are one of them. That’s why when choosing snacks, the nutrients, not the calories, are what make all the difference.
Set Yourself Up For Success With A Healthy Breakfast
Start your day off right by giving your body the nutrients it needs to be successful in whatever adventure you have planned. Our house loves the Fab Four smoothies (although I add a bit more fruit or honey to give it some more flavor). It takes those macronutrients to heart by including a fat, fiber, protein, and greens in every recipe. If you have the time, mixing it up with eggs or protein pancakes (pre-made to save time, of course) might just brighten up your day. Eggs and bacon for breakfast is the perfect breakfast to achieve loading up on fat and protein. Chop up some spinach for fiber and add some avocado for extra fat and you’ll really feel full and ready to take on the world. Having a foundation of good food in your stomach will make all the difference for the rest of your day, and it will help keep you full longer so you don’t feel the need to constantly snack. If you’re rushing out the door, stick with the smoothie, you can even make it the night before, but don’t skip out on breakfast.
Fats have not been feeling the love in our modern culture, with labels like “good” and “bad” cholesterol. It’s true there is such a thing as good fats, but maybe not in the way you’ve thought. A McDonald’s cheeseburger is the “bad” kind of fat, filled with Trans-fat which is manmade. Avocado is the “good” kind high in both saturated and unsaturated fats (both of which are needed in a healthy diet on a 1:4 ratio) Bringing an avocado, peanut butter (Justin’s Nutbutter packs are my go-to), or chia seeds mixed in your trail mix of nuts and dried fruit are all great sources of fat. You also can’t go wrong with grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef jerky which counts as both a protein and fat.
We are big fans of protein powder in this household, it goes in our morning smoothie every day (Trader Joe’s Organic Pea Protein powder gives you the most bang for your buck). Protein powder can also be mixed into muffins, pancakes, or other baked goods if you have time to pre-make those. Otherwise, beef jerky, hard-boiled eggs with salt, nut butter, cheese, and Greek yogurt (if you can handle dairy), and hempseed are all excellent sources of protein. Hempseed is super easy to sprinkle on everything (sandwich, yogurt, trail mix, peanut butter on celery or apples, etc.) and is high in protein, plus it’s a superfood!
Sugar Snacks (Emergencies Only)
Sugar is a funny thing. We crave it the most, but what our bodies are actually craving is protein because we know that will sustain us longer, however sugar works faster. When you feel like you are crashing and you really need a burst of energy, I suggest eating something with protein and also eating a bit of sugar. You’ll get the quick fix you need while taking care of yourself for later. Dark chocolate is a great sugar option loaded with other health benefits (especially if you get cacao chocolate). Fruit is another great option because it’s packed with fiber too. This helps you to not only feel full and have a great poop, but it helps release the sugar slowly into your blood so that you don’t get blood sugar spikes. Mixing things like peanut butter and fruit or pretzels is the ideal way to get your quick sugar fix while still getting a fat and protein plus the fiber of apples. Another good sugary option is store-bought trail mix. Start paying attention to your body. Hanger and exhaustion can be avoided when you are paying attention to how you feel and what you need. While you may be craving sugar, keep it to a minimum and instead seek out fat and protein. The key to having a great adventure or a good day, in general, is trying to keep your sugar levels the same all day long. When you do that, your body sends the love back to you and gives you the energy you need to get through your hectic schedule. If you’re looking for more on-the-go health tips download my free on-the-go guide here.