Simple Food for Big Energy

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Post  aldousbailey on Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:09 pm

Now that the holiday season is over, you may just now be feeling the effects of how stressful that wonderful (and sometimes frightful) time can be. Awkward family relationships, getting everything just right for everyone else, pressures of finances, all can play a part. So far, the whole 21st century has turned out to be pretty stressful, with all the craziness that's gone on, so the world around you isn't helping. Of course, just the struggles of daily life, like getting the kids to do their homework and keeping the snow swept away can provide their own stress.

Alongside all that, as a professional business person, developer of people and busy mom or dad, it's key to have enough energy to lead a business, manage a household and family, and have some left for taking care of yourself - your health and your personal relationships. After 40 years in sales and sales management, as well as having been a corporate executive with some well-known companies, I am very aware of how frazzled you might be -- at least occasionally.

One of the simplest ways to have the energy you need (and give it to your family) is to be sure to eat right - ensuring all the right nutrients are in the meals you prepare and consume. That can often be a challenge for two reasons:

-knowing what's 'right' is tough with all the confusing information available
i-t's tough to 'prepare' everything when you and your family are constantly on the go, so perhaps a good many meals are prepared by someone else - and while you know that's not the best approach, until you are confident you know what's 'right,' it seems to make more sense.

Good news! There IS a way...

You know the value of focus in your business. By taking that same approach, having a single focus on just one meal a day - arguably the most important one - you can make a significant difference in your energy level for the entire day.

You probably figured out I'm referring to breakfast. What's it look like for you? A diet soft drink and a banana? A sausage-biscuit and cup of coffee? Let's take a minute to see how you can easily upgrade that very important meal to increase energy (and consequently, performance, such as your kids' grades! and your business results!).

To provide energy that will last through to midday, a breakfast should include some protein and low glycemic carbohydrates such as whole grains and fruits/veggies, for sustainable energy.

A simple example of that is a bowl of oatmeal (not instant) with sliced almonds and a banana. To make it even simpler, cook the oatmeal in the slo-cooker the night before, and it's ready when you wake up, so no extra time is involved before a busy day! The almonds provide protein and heart-healthy fat, the oats provide protein and whole grains/complex carbs and the fruit kicks in some fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Just add a teaspoon of maple syrup and cinnamon (a wonderful anti-inflammatory!) and you are there!

So the next time you shop for breakfast items, put some old-fashioned oats in your cart and start those cold mornings with a warm bowl of big energy! If you're up for a hearty alternative to oats, try this Quinoa (pronounced 'kee-nwah') Breakfast Pudding recipe:

Quinoa is a mild yet flavorful, gluten-free seed that is a complete protein. Of South American origin, it is delicious as a hot cereal, in salads, side dishes, and when served like rice. Related to buckwheat and amaranth, quinoa is a round seed the size of a sesame seed. Increasingly popular because it is high in complete protein, quinoa has a quick cooking time and mild flavor.

1 cup Organic Quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave
2 cups almond milk (I use almond milk, but any such 'milk' works fine)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/2 cup pecans or almonds, chopped

Place the quinoa, water, sea salt and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the almond milk and maple syrup. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Turn off the flame and mix in the berries and vanilla. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes to thicken. Place in serving bowls and garnish with the chopped nuts.


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