Life with kids can be exhausting. Amazingly wonderful, yes, but exhausting.
Especially in the first year it seems impossible to take good care of yourself, in terms of enough sleep, exercise and eating. But there are healthy energy snacks that will help keep your energy on a functional level. Before we dive into those though, here are two other things that help me out enormously:
One of them is a super simple one: Hydrate. When you feel drained (pun intended) and fuzzy, drinking a tall glass of water will do wonders.
The other one is also simple: Breathe. What I love to do is a very effectice yoga breathing exercise. It gives me energy and calmness, in less than one minute. One of my favorite yogi's, Adriene Mishler, gives an awesome demo in this video:
A quick summary of this exercise:
But another very important energy factor is the way you feed yourself (if at all!). The food that you put into your body directly affects how energetic you are. The following twelve ingredients provide any mother’s much needed energy boost:
This dark rice is rich in manganese, a mineral that gets energy from protein and carbohydrates, and helps maintain your energy level evenly through the entire day. Brown rice is a versatile product and can be served as a side dish next to your favorite vegetables and protein.
Here are 3 easy brown rice recipes by Clean & Delicious, which you can make in advance and freeze:
Sweet potato is rich in healthy carbohydrates and packed with vitamin A and vitamin C, so they help you fight an afternoon dip. Bonus: kids love the sweet taste. Make a puree, or cut them into strips and fry with a little oil in the oven as a healthier alternative to fries.
Another awesome recipe video, for your visual pleasure :)
A spoonful of honey is equivalent to a can of energy drink. Low in the glycemic index (the rate at which carbohydrates are digested in the gut), this natural sweetener functions like a boost of energy in the muscles during a workout and helps to strengthen the muscles after exercise.
Add a hefty drop of honey to your breakfast dish. Make sure you do not dissolve honey in hot tea, as a lot of the healthy qualities of honey will be lost.
Because they are almost entirely composed of sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and fiber, bananas are packed full with energy. Add peanut butter or almond butter and you have a rich snack with healthy fats. Or eat it with your cereal in the morning for an energy boost that will last you until lunchtime.
Or just blitz it all in a nice banana peanut butter smoothie. I like to add a dash of tabasco, that definitely wakes me up!
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but not only that - it will also give you a powerful energy boost. Because apples are high in fiber, they take longer to digest and, accordingly, they give a boost longer than other fruit.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, potassium and folic acid. This citrus fruit ensures that you keep your energy level up for an extended period, rather than it just giving you a rapidly disappearing rush. Peel the orange and eat it up entirely, instead of juicing, so you get all the benefits from the nutrients that are hidden under the skin, such as pectin and fiber.
Popeye ate it for a reason. Spinach is an excellent source of iron, and iron lets your energy flow in your body. Eat a spinach salad for lunch and you will not get into a slump.
I love this Spinach smoothie, not just because it's great for detoxing and losing some extra pounds, but it is freaking yummy:
Both packed with proteins and carbohydrates, making them a must for carnivores and vegetarians. Add a handful to a salad or eat them in a burrito.
These protein rich nuts contain manganese, copper, and B2. Almonds are a smart snack to keep in your bag or on your desk. B2 is necessary for the energy of your body and good for your metabolism.
Salmon is known for its high percentage of omega-3 fats, which help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. But you might not know that it is also rich in vitamin B6, niacin and B2; things that help to convert the food you ingest into energy. Serve with a spinach salad or alongside brown rice and vegetables.
It comes in many flavors and is perfect as a healthy snack or breakfast. Yogurt is rich in magnesium and calcium. A great way to get your glycogen level back on track after a strenuous time running with the kids.
These are toppers in the field of protein of which 97% can be absorbed by the body. All the necessary amino acids that your body uses to form muscles are found in eggs.
Just boil a batch and keep them in the fridge for a quick pick-me-up. Or go on an egg recipe adventure with the Brothers Green Eats (hilarious, includes swearing though):
As you can see, you do not have to buy expensive “superfood” to keep you from falling over. Just make sure you avoid false energy givers such as soda drinks, coffee and sugary snacks, and let these nutritious super heroes help you save the day!