Energy Booster: Eat Smart
"A" is for apple, and action, baby! Find out how the right fuel can keep you revved up.
We know that: Eating five or six small meals a day can help your blood-sugar level and give you the constant fuel you need. After Pamela Alexander, a 36-year-old massage therapist in Portland, Oregon, went to a nutritionist for energy advice, she began eating more-regular meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two small snacks) to give her body the right mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. “There were no highs or lows anymore,” she says. “I felt balanced.”
This style of eating might seem contrary to all the dieting strategies youve probably heard and tried. But noshing on minimeals can actually be a good thing if you limit your calories (for many women, 1,800 a day will maintain weight; 1,300 a day will help drop about a pound a week). Be careful with those snacks, though: A slice of low-fat cheese and a few whole grain crackers or a handful of almonds and an apple are just enough.
But did you know: Taking vitamin B can give you a boost. Many of the eight Bs help convert the food you eat into energy, says Cindy Moore, MS, RD, the Cleveland Clinics director of nutrition therapy. “Its like oil in a car. If your body doesnt have the oilthe B vitamins that do the con-versionsit doesnt run well.” Get your Bs from lean beef, pork, poultry, or fish, as well as from bananas, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. In a pinch, use a multivitamin with Bs, which, while they help with energy conversion, lack the disease-fighting antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids found in so many foods.
Instant-energy blast: Eat an apple, pear, or orange. These fruits (as well as veggies like beans or peas) are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And they give you a dose of fiber, which keeps you regular and at a healthy, less-taxing-to-your-body weight.