It’s 2:00 in the afternoon, you’re sitting at your desk and it feels like someone just attached a vacuum hose to the top of your head and sucked the energy right out of your body. You still have three more hours until quitting time and you can’t seem to get with it! Coffee doesn’t work, neither does candy or soda. Does this sound familiar? It’s 2:00 slump time! Follow my simple two-step plan below and no longer will you be the victim of an unfocused brain, heavy eyes and slouched shoulders. Bring on the energy!
Step One: Move Your Body
When you move your body, your heart pumps more blood more efficiently. One major function of your blood is to deliver oxygen to all parts of your body—most notably your brain! When your brain receives oxygen, you feel more awake, alert and energized! Who couldn’t use that at 2:00?
Try this experiment right before you experience your slump: Stand up, push your chair in and march in place to the count of 20. That’s it! This simple step will literally nourish your brain with oxygen! To experience real results, get in the habit of moving your body like this everyday and you will feel a noticeable spark in your energy level.
Step Two: Feed Your Body
Be sure that your lunch is a well balanced one. One built upon carbohydrates alone will surely make you feel sleepy by 2:00. Although carbohydrates are a necessary piece of the balanced diet puzzle, they digest rather quickly. Healthy carbohydrate-rich foods include: whole grain bread, crackers and pasta, brown rice, popcorn, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and beans (black beans, pinto beans, lentils, etc.) Combining carbohydrate-rich foods with a little bit of lean protein and healthy fat will do wonders for your energy level.
Here’s a quick, healthy, energy-packed lunch that is sure to keep you on your toes until quitting time.
Red, White & Blue Spinach Salad:
3 cups fresh spinach (washed)
3 strawberries, sliced
¼ cup blueberries
¼ cup cannellini beans, drained
1 Tablespoon sliced almonds
¼ cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 ounces water-packed canned light tuna, drained
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
1 small whole wheat pita (4” diameter)
Toss spinach, strawberries, blueberries, beans, and almonds together. Top with mozzarella cheese and tuna. Drizzle salad dressing on top and serve with pita on the side.
Nutrition Facts: Calories-475, Carbohydrates-41 grams, Protein-39 grams, Fat-18 grams, Fiber-10 grams
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