In today’s fast paced world, everyone is looking for more energy to help them get through the day. Before you pour another cup of coffee or gulp down an energy drink, stop and take a good long look at your lunch. The key to getting the boost you need to be your best can be found by making some changes to what you are using to fill your plate.
Try these 7 great locally grown energy boosting options.
1. Lean Meat
Everyone knows that energy comes from protein and if you are looking for a way to keep your energy up all day, swapping out your morning bagel or lunchtime burger for a lean cut of locally raised pork or beef may be just what you need. These meats are good sources of both protein and iron which give you a boost that lasts much longer than caffeine or sugar. Try Zesty Papa Protein Scramble for breakfast or Asian Lettuce Wraps for lunch.
There is a reason that Popeye was strong to the finish! Spinach provides several energy boosting nutrients like folate, calcium and vitamins A, C, E, and K. For an energy packed lunch, try Lemon Spinach and a grilled chicken breast.
Dotting your day with dairy products like cheese, yogurt and milk helps maintain your energy level over the course of the day. If you aren’t riding the energy rollercoaster, it is easier to avoid high sugar, high fat quick fixes. Try a slice of Arizona Quiche for breakfast or a bowl of Comforting Corn Chowder for lunch.
One of the best things about broccoli is that it helps our bodies turn food into energy. Packed with vitamins A, B and C, broccoli is great raw, steamed, or as part of a salad filled with dark leafy greens and other energy boosting produce.
Pecans, like other nuts, are jam-packed with 19 essential vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Nuts are also a good source of healthy fats. When you feel yourself starting to settle into the 3PM slump, grab a handful of pecans rather than a candy bar full of empty calories to give you the energy you need to finish out your day.
Green leafy lettuces like leaf lettuce and romaine lettuce give your body a good dose of vitamin C, beta-carotene, chromium, folic acid and dietary fiber. For the best energy boost, fill up your plate with salads like the Green Salad and Join the Party Salad made with raw lettuce.
Whether you are looking for a sweet treat at breakfast or a refreshing afternoon snack, cantaloupe is the answer. This juicy melon is filled with beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, and potassium and goes great at any meal and even as a healthy, energy boosting snack. Eat it all by itself or with other fabulous Arizona fruit in Melon Cucumber Salad.