In today’s world of busy schedules and high-stress careers many of us feel as though we just don’t have the energy or mental clarity we need to successfully navigate our day-to-day lives. Some of this likely comes from a lack of quality sleep and eating quick, on the go foods that don’t cover all our nutritional needs.

It’s possible to make some small changes to our day-to-day eating habits to gain energy and start to feel better.

Say yes to snacks

Letting your blood sugar levels drop between meals is a big cause of fluctuating weight gain and low energy levels. Keeping a near steady supply of nutrient dense snacks handy throughout the day will keep your blood sugar level stable, give you the energy you need to get through the day and balance your moods.

Smart snacking foods include: a mixture of nuts and dried fruit; a small bowl of plain yogurt topped with natural granola; air-popped popcorn tossed with a dash of olive oil and a sprinkle nutritional yeast; a few whole grain crackers with some baby carrots and hummus for dipping; fresh berries a handful of walnuts, baked or whole-grain chips with salsa or even an apple sliced and dipped in natural peanut butter.

Drink for energy

Keeping properly hydrated is an easy and efficient way to keep your energy levels high. Our bodies need water, and plenty of it, to function optimally. Keep a fresh bottle if water by you at all times, and try to drink least 1 cup every 2 hours. Take a reusable bottle with you wherever you go.

Supplement your diet

For those of us who are always on the go, taking the time in the morning can be a challenge but with a nutritional supplement and a meal replacement shake, you can gain energy fast without all the mess of a big breakfast. Plus it’s much better for you than a couple of donuts or even nothing at all, which leads to low blood sugar levels and decreased mental acuity later in the day. A new product on the market, Le-Vel reviews has clients raving about their energy levels and the healthier lifestyle choices they are making each morning.

Become the designated driver more often

Alcohol is a depressant, and it can contribute to low energy. Ironically, it is also a stimulant which can disrupt your sleep cycle and cause low energy the next day. If you are one who has a nightly drink or two to help you fall asleep, consider cutting back, and you will soon experience more fitful sleep.

Indulging occasionally is okay, and there are some health benefits, particularly with red wine with its antioxidant content.

Choose power foods

Choosing energy rich foods that are dense in nutrition is the key to maintaining your energy levels throughout the day. Try adding these foods to your daily repertoire for more health benefits.

  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Watercress (or other leafy greens like arugula, kale, collards, spinach, etc.)
  • Quinoa (or other whole grains such as millet, amaranth, and brown rice
  • Flax seeds or oils
  • White beans (or lentils, black beans, garbanzo)
  • Dates and other dried fruit – in moderation because of their high sugar content
  • Blackberries (or strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • Edamame (whole soybeans)