What Busy Professional Woman doesn’t know the mid-afternoon crash? You’re charging through your coffee-stoked morning, pause briefly for lunch, race back to the afternoon list of to-do’s, all rarin’ to go… you get nicely started…and then suddenly find yourself wondering what happened to all your energy!
You’re sleepy, body-fatigued, brain-fogged, hungry, maybe irritable…as if someone had turned off your light switch.
As a veteran Busy Professional this is a pattern I know, oh, so well! Almost every day around 2 p.m. I felt hungry and tired. I wanted to take a short nap, but with my 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. nursing hours that wasn’t going to happen. I was never a big coffee drinker, so that wasn’t my solution, but instead I would grab a quick pick me up such as a Reese Peanut Butter Cup, or a bag of cookies, pretzels or chips.
Sound familiar? That shot of caffeine, sugar, carbs, or salt may be just the thing you crave to keep you up for the next couple hours at work. And sure, the taste of it, and the energy jolt, might be good, but then you go through the same crash 30 -60 minutes afterwards!
So what exactly causes that jolt and crash?
Most breakfast foods such as cereal, doughnuts and English Muffins or even the so-called healthier choices like bagels, bran muffins and instant oatmeal – all those lovely bready comfort foods – are basically processed simple carbohydrates, which function like sugar in your system. Worse, they may also be high in the added sugars of frostings or fillings or spreads.
When all of this sugar hits your bloodstream, your energy soars…and so your pancreas sends an increase in insulin to balance things out. That insulin then causes a dip in your blood sugar and causes you to be hungry mid-morning…and then you make similar choices at lunch (a sandwich or sub in a fat, freshly-baked roll, maybe chips or cookies for dessert), thus triggering another jot and dip in your energy.
You haven’t popped a single pill, but you’re basically on an upper-downer cycle! So what can you do to stop the rollercoaster? Here’s what I did to free myself… One of the ways you can feel energetic and vibrant during the afternoon is to have a breakfast that is rich in protein, phytonutrients, fat and fiber rather than
high-glycemic simple carbs. This gives you a long-running source of energy that doesn’t trigger your pancreas.
My favorite way to get all four of these things is to drink a smoothie. Why? First, you have endless choices for ingredients, between your liquid, green, fruit, fat/protein, and fiber!
Second, because you are consuming these nutrients in liquid form, your body can assimilate them in next to no time, so you have a quick and long-lasting source of energy.
Who could ask for more?
Here are just a few of the ingredients I like to put in my smoothies…
Liquid – water, coconut water, unsweetened dairy-free milk, or plain kefir
Greens (provide vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium. They also nourish your heart chakra, helping you to open up to love and compassion) – kale, collards, chard, bok choy, arugula, spinach, lettuce
Fruit (contain phytonutrients – natural chemicals that help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs…and can also support your body’s functions and help it ward off disease) – where to begin here? Banana, apple, berries, mango, etc. are just a start!
While you can leave out the fruit if you want to reduce your sugar intake, I like to
select a fruit in the color of the chakra I want to nourish for the day:
- Red fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and apples nourish the root
chakra, which keeps you feeling grounded, safe and secure.
- Orange fruits such as mango and oranges rnliven the sacral chakra enhancing
flow, creativity, play and pleasure.
- Yellow fruits such as bananas and pineapples nourish the solar plexus which
actives your fire, your self-confidence and power.
- Green fruits such as kiwi or honeydew help to support the heart chakra.
- Blue fruits such as blueberries support both your throat chakra and third eye
chakra, which help you to speak your truth and enhance your intuition
- Purple fruits such as grapes support your third eye chakra and crown chakra,
enhancing your intuition and connection to Spirit.
Fat/protein (provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet, as well as being the building blocks for cell membranes and a number of hormones. They’re also carriers for fat-soluble vitamins, and help to assist in their absorption…just to name a few of their benefits!)– hemp seeds, hemp protein, Sunwarrior protein, fresh coconut meat or coconut oil, nuts and nut butters, avocado, coconut oil, flax, or chia
Fiber (helps to control cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as supporting bowel health and function and helping you achieve a healthy weight) – The greens, fruits, flax, hemp and chia seeds are all rich in fiber.
So what are you waiting for? Have a party in your blender….and energy without a crash!
Want to learn more about what foods can give you energy and vitality? Join my free 7 Day Chakra Smoothie Challenge starting July 18.
To register click HERE