Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday Workout: Clean Foods That Give You Energy


When I started clean eating the first two weeks were pretty miz- I was hungry (hangry) all the time and just wanted my regular ole easy processed foods and snacks back! Plus I couldn't figure out how in the WORLD people found energy to exercise without eating energy bars and drinking Diet Coke.

The truth is, our bodies function best when they are getting all the nutrients they are supposed to get, which is a lot of stuff you don't get from microwave meals and Subway sandwiches. Sounds pretty basic, but this is kind of a hard one to plan for when you have lived (what you thought was super healthy) on bread, Diet Coke, zero calorie snacks and frozen entrees for 27 years. Here is my list of power foods - clean foods - that keep me going during day and with enough energy to exercise after work.

One thing to note: I really had to change my mindset when I started eating clean. To me fat, carbs and calories were the enemy- I was probably more scared of those 3 things than getting struck by lightning (my biggest fear which is a story for another day) or giant spiders. I did a lot of reading and found that  there is a right way to do fats, carbs and calories, and now when I'm checking nutrition labels at the store it's to make sure I recognize all the ingredients and NOT to make sure it is low calorie/carb/fat.


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1. Almonds
High in protein, fiber, Vitamin E and magnesium (magnesium helps with blood sugar), these are tiny capsules of energy. Also I read a study that found people who eat almonds daily are more likely to lose weight than those who don't. Of course I can't find it anywhere to post but I promise I read it! Just be careful, these are easy to mindlessly snack on so I portion out about 10 for my snacks
How to incorporate: Overnight oats, breakfast bakes, salad topping, casserole topping, snack




2. Greek Yogurt
High protein, low carbs, low lactose (woo lactards!). What else do you need to know!
How to incorporate: My fav way to eat this is with honey and/or fruit. It works as a substitute for pretty much all things creamy.



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3. Leafy Greens
We all used to watch Popeye immediately bulk up after eating his spinach, and while we won't see THAT extreme of results, we do experience decreased fatigue and more alertness due to the high iron levels. Iron deficiency is especially common in women so it's essential to get plenty of these puppies in the diet.
How to incorporate: Salads, green smoothies, sauteed sides



4. WATER
This is probably the most important factor in energy levels. Our blood is 80% water and helps the blood absorb nutrients and facilitate digestion. Dehydration = brain clouds (the worst), fatigue, and weakness. And it's free.
How to incorporate: I try to drink a cup of water each hour.



5. Carbs via Natural Sources
Carbs get a bad rap but they are where our bodies go for 40% of our energy. There's nothing wrong with getting carbs from natural sources like fruit, starchy veggies and sweet potatoes.
How to incorporate: Snack on fruits and veggies with hummus or fruit dip, smoothies, salads, honey



6. Eggs
Eggs have the highest amount of protein of any other food and supply 30% of our daily protein needs. And they're cheap. And they're easy to cook. Liiiike what else do you need? The protein gives us energy, keeps us full longer, and improves brain functionality.
How to incorporate: Breakfast casseroles, hard boiled, scrambles


6. Healthy Fats
OK READ THIS BEFORE YOU CLICK AWAY- I know when I used to see the words "healthy fats" I was like "yeah nope bye!". However healthy fats are necessary for our bodies functionality- they are good for our hearts, have been found to prevent cancer, and help our bodies absorb fat soluble vitamins (E, D, B, K). The fats we need to stay away from are yucky fats that come from unnatural sources. As with anything, moderation is our BFF, and if you are working on losing weight moderation of these is REALLY our BFF.
How to incorporate: Avocados, egg yolks, nuts, nut butters, fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna), coconut oil, olive oil


One last way I have found more energy was cutting out Diet Coke. This was the hardest for me, but after reading Erin's article on benefits of cutting DC out, I had to do it. I'm not going to lie- the first 10 days were hell. I had killer headaches and would fall asleep on the bus every afternoon. But I've been DC free for a month now and don't even think about it anymore! Ever! No more 2:30 pm crashes and my sweets cravings have gone down.

Question: what foods do you eat to give you energy??

Linking up today at Humpday Blog Hop, WOW Linkup, Weigh In Wednesday

35 comments:

  1. All of my favorite foods! I gave up diet soda about 6 months ago. This first week was hard but now I am so happy and don't miss it at all. Still drinking coffee though.

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    1. I am the same- coffee is a non-negotiable in my book, plus it's natural right?

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  2. THANK YOU so much for this post! I just posted last week about needing energy and I know it all starts with food... I'm going to keep referring people back to this page, good stuff! And thanks for the link back to my diet coke post... I'm SO proud of you for cutting it out of your diet and so glad you see the benefits! The 2:30 crash, low energy, and sugar cravings are all VERY real things and they're killer... water water water for the win! :)

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  3. I am still getting over my fear of fat! I avoided it for so long that it's taking me a while to break myself of being afraid. I love almonds/raw almond butter. Also, I am obsessed with Multi-Green Kombucha. I am going to make my own soon.

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    1. had to google kombucha but whaaaa let me know how it comes out!

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  4. Great post.
    I had a struggle and fall yesterday. And I'm not sure why.
    I know all of the above. I know about the better you eat.. the better you feel...
    I just can't seem to stop... and when I fall off the wagon.. I really do...

    Come over, check out my confessions, and give a girl some advice.

    PUH-LEASE?!?!

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    1. I've been having a lot of those days lately..>UGH!

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  5. thanks girl!!! You are my GO TO for all things clean eating!!! Please keep posting things like this!!

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  6. One hard boiled egg, one ounce of cashews, one ounce of cheese. Weekday breakfast of champions!!! :)

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  7. I haven't noticed the effects of #3. How much or how long does it take to start feeling decreased fatigue and more alertness?

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    1. we need 18 mg/day and a half cup of spinach has 2.3- I've had to be really aware of how much iron I'm getting and take vitamins too. Hope this is helpful!

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    2. I've been taking a multivitamin, eating at least a cup of spinach almost every day (in a salad or smoothie) for two months. No change for me yet. I'm on the borderline for anemia but taking iron supplements doesn't change it enough for my Drs to have me continue. Just another thing to add to the weird things about my body list LOL

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    3. Ahh how frustrating!! I definitely can't pin point which food exactly helped me feel so much better but I just had SO much more energy when I started eating clean

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    4. hi there take blackstrap molasses iron levels will increase and its cheap.

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  8. I eat all of these foods, but it is a great reminder to stay on track!!!

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  9. Great post Lindsay and I am absolutely hear to say, Almonds work WONDERS! In December when I was moving, I was freaking dead exhausted. I ate a handful of almonds and it really suppressed my appetite and gave me the energy to keep going.

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  10. yes to alllll of these .. except greek yoghurt. i dont know why i cant jump on that band wagon, but im not a fan. everything else though, yum.
    diet coke, my enemy and savior. i just love it so much. i dont drink coffee, so soda is my treat.. but i treat myself way too much. its on my 30 before 30 list to give it up for good!

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  11. I don't drink coffee either, so my Diet Dr. Pepper is what gets me going in the morning. I only drink about a can a day. The rest of the day is water.

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2014/05/weigh-in-wednesday-52814-week-7.html

    Colletta

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  12. Salmon and Chicken put FUEL IN MY FIRE!! :) Loveee!

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  13. Great post!
    http://saltskinned.blogspot.com.au

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  14. I always have almonds on me just in case I need a little energy boost. It took me a while to realize carbs and fats are not the devil, but once I found out that I could eat every macro nutrient as long as I kept them in balance I saw massive results in my body and also my energy. #Wowlinkup

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  15. Great job eating clean! I'm sure it's hard but sooo rewarding! You're totally right too, it's a whole new mindset, calories, fat and carbs aren't really the enemy, they're essential! :) I never drink coke or any kind of soda anymore. I stopped liking it while I was pregnant, strangely enough! :)

    aintnodramamama.blogspot.com

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  16. Love all these foods and the reminder to shift to thinking searching out good nutritious food vs. avoiding calories. Thanks for sharing this with our #wowlinkup readers!

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  17. great post! I actually eat all of these foods with the exception of avocado...i just don't like them, crazy I know. I get my healthy fats from nuts and salmon!

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  18. I eat those 100 calorie almond packs and I drink water to give me that BOOST! I have to eat eggs as a lean version of protein after workouts now otherwise I am ravenous!! I love fresh fruit salad (I cut up fruit every morning) and chomp on that. It gives me excellent energy. Great list. #wowlinkup

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  19. The only one I don't like is the Greek yogurt, I just can't LOL. The almonds I have to buy in small bags because that can get out of hand. Visiting from the #wowlinkup.

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  20. I'm looking for a good resource for getting started on clean eating. i really need to cute out bad food like lunch meat and diet coke.

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  21. Most of these foods are already in my diet! Thanks so much for this post Visiting from #wowlinkup

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  22. 3 Studies SHOW How Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    This means that you literally burn fat by eating Coconut Fats (in addition to coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medicinal journals are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!

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