What would giving yourself a boost in energy and mental clarity without coffee or sugar look like? There are lots of different types of foods and herbs that help to promote energy production in the body without sugar. What types of foods cultivate sustainable mental focus, energy and clarity during your day to help you in your workouts, weight loss or lifestyle goals? Coffee and Sugar are very common stimulants used by most people to give them a boost in energy but the downfall is the drop! --- Food is not just a tool, foods are our allies. And some alliances are better than others. But that is completely dependent on who you are are a person based on your genetics, physiology, life circumstance, activity, emotions. Food for an individual should be as diverse as a fingerprint. We are all different and that what makes us beautiful. How can we nurture ourselves with food and allow it guide and assist us on our journey? Something we can begin to understand is that food is not just about sustenance, it has spirit and is energetic. And what I mean by that is food contains energy with the ability to either heal or distress our body. WHAT FEELS RIGHT? - There is a perfection of our cells and our body to know what our bodies need and want. The problem is of what is keeping many people bound in a cycle of unhappiness and poor health is not only what they are eating but what they are “thinking”. Not just about food either --- it’s about how we think about anything and everything. Which will put ourselves into resistance to us truly listening to our inner guidance. This blocks communication between cells and source. There is a better way to go about this. Our bodies know --- ask ourselves WHAT FEELS GOOD? Start noticing the emotional factor when you are around people, places, food etc. Can we stop the worry, can we stop the lists --- maybe we breathe out and wait in a pool of happiness and peacefulness. It’s all good You can’t find it when you’re worried or mad. Lighten UP. When we are sitting there making a salad and we are cutting vegetables angry or mad or sad or frustrated what do you think happens to digestion no matter what it is your cooking. You won’t absorb it. You are only digesting the energy you used to create it. Make with love, consume with love. There is no rush in this. Find space to listen to the body, can we quiet the mind just a little bit. Nature’s imperative is always towards wholeness and wellness. If we don’t thwart our food instincts, they will truthfully tell us what we need to eat to be healthy. What we do to our body’s on a physical level, affects our mental state, emotions and energetic state. This is what holism is all about. Holistic Nutrition is the understanding that living beings are multifaceted and connected. We exist and thrive not only on a physical level, but on a mental, emotional and spiritual level as well. When one of these systems are out of balance, all other systems are in turn affected. For example, on scientific level, recent studies have shown how the health of our gut is directly related and impacts our emotions and mental state and vice versa. Most of our brains nervous systems, actually 95% of all the Serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter), is actually produced in the gut and 70% of the immune system actually resides in the gut. Neural pathways connect your enteric nervous system and your brain, and each affects the other — think of butterflies in your stomach when you're nervous, or having to use the bathroom when you’re anxious, even though you just went. Additionally, flare-ups of IBS in your gut can be caused by stress or anxiety from your brain. The mind, emotions and our bodies are linked! Today we are going to focus on my top 10 SUPERFOODS I go to, to cultivate energy and focus. Some of these you may know, others you may not. So what makes something a superfood? A superfood is typically considered a food that is highly nutrient dense, but in my opinion it has to do more with how your feeling after it's consumed from minutes to hours. A superfood to me is something that has the ability to pick you up, protect your body from stress and then doesn't drop you. Pay attention to how you feel after consuming certain foods. Do you feel Energetic? Sluggish? Content? Bloated? Can you begin to see or feel a distinct difference and/or connection between when you eat a banana and how your workout goes in the gym? Or if you consume protein after a workout and how it affects your muscle recovery. When we combine certain foods is their lasting energy and/or clearer thinking? Remember this will be unique to all of us, it's about finding the foods that work for you. 1. Chlorophyll-Rich Foods - Chlorophyll is the green blood of plants. Nearly identical to our own blood, chlorophyll delivers an oxygenating energy transfusion into our bloodstream, providing our cells with long-lasting vitality. This of course optimizes our brain function. The darker the leafy green, the more chlorophyll within. Green up your life with a fresh salad or juice on a daily basis. Kale, Swiss chard, and arugula make fine components as do parsley, cilantro, and sprouts. At the next level, we have the nutrient-dense algaes such as: blue-green algae, spirulina, and chlorella, which are all conveniently available in powder form to spruce up your power smoothie. Wheatgrass is also one of the best sources of chlorophyll available.
2. Cacao is chocolate in its raw bean form before fats, sugars, and other sweeteners are added during processing. This Amazonian wonder is packed with magnesium (which increases brain power) and phenylethylamine compounds (PEA), which play an important role in increasing focus and alertness. The flavonols present in cacao also increase blood flow to the brain. Cacao is available in many raw forms including powder, nibs, whole beans, and butter.
3. Maca Root - A root cultivated and grown in the Peruvian Andes of South America for nearly 2,600 years. This super root has been used medicinally for centuries. Once harvested, it is then dried, powdered and eaten in a variety of ways. Maca is an amazing adaptogen and provides an abundance of energetic properties. Taken daily, it decreases stress levels, enhances strength and stamina, and boosts your libido. Our team enjoys about 1 tablespoon of this nutritious and nutty flavored root powder in smoothies, teas, nut milks, oatmeal and the occasional coffee.
4. Bee Pollen - High in B vitamins and all twenty-two amino acids, bee pollen is sure to pack you full with energy and ward off that fatigue. If you really want to get amped. Bee pollen is also found to increase the number of red blood cells in humans. More red blood cells=more oxygen=more energy
5. MCT Oil and Essential Fatty Acids - Medium Chain Triglycerides are fast fuel for the body. Coconut or Palm Oil based, sending quick energy to the body without the blood sugar drop. Also, omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in brain function. There are three types of omega-3 acids: ALA, EPA, and DHA, each of which has their own benefits. DHA is our highlight here, which is found in fatty fish such as wild salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and trout. DHA is critical for brain memory and brain nutrition. Since we do not produce DHA in our bodies, we need to eat natural sources of it or take it in the form of supplements. Flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and walnuts are teeming with ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), a healthy plant-based omega-3 that helps keep our brains sharp and vital. Try topping your daily salad with any of these healthy nuts and seeds to boost your brain power.
6. Moringa - Moringa Oleifera is an energizing product that helps with healing and medical prevention as well. It is used for many reasons, skin disorder treatment, diabetes, sleep improvement, relief for anxiety and depression. It can give you a huge boost in energy, it has the ability to even out your blood sugar levels, and it can even help you recover more quickly after a workout. This product is great for people who need a boost in their nutrition. As an example, carrots only have 25% of the Vitamin A that you can get in the same amount of Moringa Oleifera. Shocked? It also has four times as much calcium as you get from milk, three times the amount of potassium as you get from bananas. In one serving of Moringa Oleifera leaves, you can find: 22% daily value of Vitamin C, 41% daily value of Potassium, 61% daily value of Magnesium, 71% daily value of Iron,125% daily value of Calcium, 92 Nutrients, 18 Amino Acids, 9 Essential Amino Acids
7. Goji Berry - Used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Some legends report that goji berries were eaten by monks in the Himalayan Mountains thousands of years ago and steeped in hot water to help aid meditation and obtain greater health, vitality, longevity, energy and stamina. Causes increase in energy levels, athletic performance, quality of sleep, ease of awakening, ability to focus on activities, mental acuity, calmness, feelings of health, contentment, and happiness and significantly reduced fatigue and stress.
8. Acai Berry - From South America has been touted by many sources as the number one super-food. As you can see by its ORAC value, 18000 it is 3 times greater than the nearest fruit (prunes) and 10 times greater than the nearest vegetable (kale). It has high levels of anthocyanins (type of antioxidant that helps to reduce free radical damage important in preventing heart disease and aging. Free-Radical Damage - Damage on our cells from exposure to oxygen/UV or imbalanced causing aging. ORAC - Oxygen-Radical Absorbance Capacity
9. Chia Seeds - Little seeds packed with calcium, protein soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are great for digestion, getting enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids without the consumption of fish. It has an amazing texture when added to liquids and is a fast and easy way to make a breakfast with enough energy to keep you going for the morning. Add some coconut milk and honey to it, let it set at room temperature and you’re all set.
10. Hemp Seeds - Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are the seeds of the hemp plant, or Cannabis Sativa. Although marijuana comes from the same plant, hemp seeds only contain a trace amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and they will not get you high. In fact, hemp seeds are safe and very healthy to eat. Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) is a necessary building block for some prostaglandins — hormone-like chemicals in the body that help smooth muscles, control inflammation and body temperature, and are vital to other body functions. Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant and can help you feel full longer and reduce sugar cravings.
Cacao-Hemp Avocado Pudding 1 ripe avocado (mashed) - (optional ripe banana) 2 teaspoons of ground Cacao 4 tablespoons Hemp Seeds
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil ½ tsp Cinnamon Powder / ¼ tsp Moringa 2 tablespoons Unpasteurized Honey w/ Bee Pollen 1 teaspoon of Maca Root Powder
Sprinkle in Himalayan Sea Salt Directions: Combine all ingredients and mash together.
Top with Goji Berries/bananas/berries/shredded coconut or nuts of choice