FOOD: The Fabulous Energizer

Energy Plan Program by Nisha Jackson, PhD, MS, WHCNP, HHP
Energy PLAN

FOOD –The Fabulous Energizer

It’s time to stop moping around with low energy levels and start to pump up your mojo with these Food ENERGY boosters that research has clearly shown to work. I have used these in my practice for years now and they have proven effective with thousands of patients. Start today!

FOOD – the Fabulous Energizer

  1. Get pumped up with PROTEIN first thing!
    • Carb loading is really over-rated! Unless you are planning on running 15 miles in the morning, it is doubtful that you need big carbs. Instead wake up your brain and muscles and achieve high levels of alertness with protein! Protein contains tyrosine, an amino acid that elevates the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine – which turns on your brain and wakes you up! These important aminos increase your satiety, which will help you to feel full and say NO to the breads and sweets that induce rollercoaster highs and lows with your energy! Eat lean proteins or plant proteins throughout the day – an egg(s) or high protein/high fiber cereal or slow cooked oatmeal with berries for breakfast, 10 almonds for snack, salad with chicken for lunch, cup of Greek yogurt for afternoon snack, and fish/veggies for dinner. You will feel great eating like this and will drop the belly fat fast!
    • Always begin your day with a POWER Breakfast – this will give you what you need to say NO to cravings and fatigue later in the day. The kick off meal of the day must be balanced in order for you to not hit the wall in the afternoon.
    • Studies show that people who eat breakfast report better moods throughout the day, higher levels of energy, and on average 400 less calories consumed each day. Studies also reveal that missing meals throughout the day or eating meals high in carbohydrate will leave you with a greater feeling of fatigue throughout the day.
  2. Cut Back on Sugar – eating too much sugar in your diet is the fastest way to burn out your energy. Sugar or breads will send your glucose and insulin levels up and will continue to do so throughout the day if you eat or drink foods with added sugar – Sending levels of insulin and glucose up – creates more waves of fatigue, cravings, depression and a nice fat tire around your mid-section. 4 grams of sugar = 1 tsp. of sugar – this means that a mocha and a muffin contain about 30 tsp. of sugar in them. Now just imagine eating 30 tsp. of sugar in the morning for breakfast… is it any wonder why you are wiped out. Sugar is a depressant –end of story.
  3. Eat HIGH ENERGY foods. Colorful veggies – and lots of them – limited fruit, lean proteins, legumes, nuts, seeds, good fats, and high fiber foods. See my diet program for best results!
  4. Stop eating ENERGY SUCKING foods. These are foods that are high glycemic carbohydrates (see www.glycemicindex.com) this will help you find foods that are zapping your energy. The high glycemic foods measure the speed at which a food you eat turns to sugar in your mouth. This in turn creates high insulin levels, which wipes you out and makes you fat. You get an initial boost (actually some people do not even get a boost), but then you hit a trough that is lower than your energy was before you ate the high glycemic sugar/bread type food. These foods include all WHITE foods (I call them the WICKED WHITES) potatoes, white rice, foods made from flour, i.e. crackers, cereals, cookies, starches, etc. These foods must be eaten with extreme caution. Worst of all, the energy that isn’t burned (if you carb load and don’t ride your bike 20 miles afterwards) it gets stored as fat.
  5. Eat five or six small meals a day – this keeps your metabolism up and your energy evenly distributed thorough out the day. Eat small meals – eat slowly and take your time! Pair complex carbs that are high in fiber (beans, peas, veggies) with unsaturated fats, (avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, olives). Add protein, such as lean meats, nuts, fish, and edamame, as part of your dish for added brain function and energy.
  6. WATER – your best friend! Stay hydrated throughout the day. If you are to the point where you’re feeling thirsty, you are already on the verge of dehydration. A drop of 2.5% in hydration is one of the most efficient energy suckers. In fact if you feel thirsty and tired, drinking a full glass of water will most likely wake you up instantly. If you are dragging around and feeling foggy in the brain – please grab a glass of water –BEFORE you grab an energy drink! Those that stay hydrated on average eat 10% less calories per day. Water increases the metabolism and creates a feeling of fullness. Aim for 1 gallon of water per day – and flush out the toxins in your body that also are contributing to your fatigue.
  7. Skip the Night Cap – while alcohol may help you go to sleep, it will interfere with your deep sleep and make you feel wiped out when its time to wake up in the morning.

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