When you feel depleted of energy, your body craves anything that will offer a temporary boost. But if you typically reach for a coffee or sweet snack to power through the afternoon, clinical nutritionist William Cole says you're falling into a common trap.
"Your brain, the primary driving force of your energy levels, can use two things for fuel: fat or sugar. Most people struggling with fatigue are in sugar-burning mode: going from one sugar- or grain-based meal to the next, becoming 'hangry' (hungry and angry's grumpy spawn) if they don't get their fix," he writes in an article for MindBodyGreen.
Instead, he says the most effective way to regain energy—and sustain it—is to switch your body "from a sugar burner to a fat burner." Yes, he wants you to eat more good fats. "Fat in terms of energy to your body is like a log on a fire, slow burning and long lasting."
Ditch your lunch plans—this is what he recommends you eat to supercharge your energy and last throughout the day.
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
1 bunch Tuscan kale, chopped into ribbons
2 medium apples, cored and sliced
1 cup sliced almonds
2 cans wild-caught sardines
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Slice sardines to the desired consistency, and combine them with the salad ingredients. In a separate jar, combine all the dressing ingredients together and pour them over the salad.
According to Cole, this simple recipe is packed with energy-boosting ingredients. "Not only do the sardines and almonds contain more healthy fats, the Brussels sprouts and kale are essential for methylation," he writes. "Methylation is your body's biochemical superhighway that gets your cells all the energy they need to thrive."
Access Cole's full one-day energy diet at MindBodyGreen, and tell us if you felt a difference after trying the recipes.