Staying active means your body is using a lot of energy. How do you refuel? Here are some simple ideas to consider when making food choices.
1. Eat nutritious foods. Your foods should be high in fiber, protein and calcium. We need to also make sure that our foods contain the essential vitamins, minerals, iron and complex carbohydrates to maintain peak physical conditioning.
2. Eat a Healthy Breakfast. It’s not just an “Old Wives Tale” that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After sleeping for 8 hours, your body is starving for the essential nutrients and energy necessary to function during the day. A healthy breakfast to consider might be:
- An 8oz glass of Orange Juice– which is an excellent source of Vitamin A and Potassium.
- Heart Healthy Oatmeal– which has the necessary grains for your body to turn into energy.
- Blueberries– which contain antioxidants that reduce the oxidation damage caused to cells during periods of physical activity. Blueberries also support healthy blood pressure and are rich in vitamin C and fiber.
- You can substitute Blackberries and Strawberries for Blueberries.
3. Never Skip Lunch. The schedules that we keep are incredibly busy ones; however, it is important to never skip lunch. After a busy or physically exerting morning, lunch refuels the body to create the necessary energy to help you get through the rest of your day. Some healthy lunch suggestions could be:
- a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat bread,
- a side salad of mixed greens
- a piece of fruit, such as an apple, banana or an orange.
4. Eat an Appropriately Sized Dinner. Eating an appropriately sized dinner helps the body get the necessary nutrients needed to recover from the exercise performed that day, as well as the daily routine. An example of a healthy dinner meal might be:
- a baked or grilled piece of white fish,
- a side of sweet potato (without the butter)
- a mixed greens salad.
- Trading a boneless, skinless chicken breast for the fish would also provide the protein for necessary for muscle building and recovery.
5. Healthy Snacking. Eating healthy snacks in between meals (three a day) helps to keep your body from ever reaching the starvation point. One idea is to combine your snacks so that you are receiving a healthy amount of fat, carbohydrates and protein. Snacking with this combination in mind supports energy, concentration and information retention.
Some ideas for healthy snacks are:
- string cheese
- whole grain crackers
- low-fat cheddar cheese
- vegetables & hummus
- greek yogurt
- Provide Gold 1 shot
- trail mix
6. Practice Moderation. Your snack should not be the size of a meal and your meal should not feed a small army. Snacking is simply to prevent you from getting so hungry that you make poor meal choices, or overeat. When it comes to eating out, most restaurant meals are are grossly over proportioned. Most of the time you can get two meals out of one when eating at your typical chain restaurant. Consider sharing a meal with a friend, or ask for a take home box when your meal comes. Put half of your meal in the box. Out of sight, out of mind.
7. Drink Fluids. Fluids provide the body with the necessary energy to help all of your muscles. In addition, staying hydrated helps the body digest the protein you have consumed during the day. Protein is hard for the body to break down, and even harder when your body is dehydrated. It is recommended that you should drink water at every meal, as well as before, after and during physical activity. Water is the very best choice, however, sports drinks and diet drinks are better than no fluid at all.
What are some things you do to make healthy choices when it comes to food?