A few days ago, I mentioned that I was ready to join the I-hate-running camp. During a five-mile run, my legs started out feeling empty and weak … then progressed to feeling like they were filled with concrete.
I wondered if it was because I had hardly eaten any fruits or vegetables for a few days. Yes, I think diet plays that big a part in how one feels. Call it busy, bad planning or just too freakin’ lazy to go grocery shopping … but there was no produce (fresh or frozen) in my house, so I wasn’t eating any.
I remedied that by a trip to my local farm market and grocery store. I’ve been chopping, dicing, slicing and refueling … making colorful dishes like this one and snacking on apples, bananas or strawberries.
Two days after the I-hate-running run … I ran again. This time my legs didn’t feel like they were filled with lead. They felt normal. Though we’ve been hit with a blast of summer heat and humidity, I had energy for about seven miles. I know this doesn’t qualify as research or an approved study … but it works for me. It’s a Janet-thing.
Fruits and Vegetables = Energy!
Fruit and vegetables are full of minerals, proteins, fiber, complex carbs and many other important nutrients for increasing energy. (btw … in order for you to get energy from them you’ll want to eat them, not let them rot in your fridge drawer)
For energy … eat fruits and vegetables at least five times a day.
- Breakfast: Have a banana or berries. (you don’t need me telling you how important breakfast is, do you?) Oatmeal, yogurt, smoothie, egg, whole grain bagel or bread … whatever it is you are having, add a banana or some berries. Or get creative and make scrambled eggs and/or an omelet with vegetables. .
- Snacks: Do not have that donut or cookie, they are energy-stealers! Instead have an apple or orange. Have celery with peanut butter. Carrots, grape tomatoes or sliced peppers with hummus. Rice cakes with a little peanut butter and an sliced apple or banana. Healthy crackers with an all-vegetable salsa (read labels, some add sugar and crap)
- Salads are energy … for lunch, dinner or snacks. Start with mixed greens, maybe a little cheese, some beans and seeds … then make it as colorful as possible with vegetables and even grapes, apples or pear slices.
- Lunch/Dinner: Whatever you are making, make a side dish of vegetables also. Or add vegetables to the main dish. Diced onions, garlic and peppers sautéed in a little olive oil can be added to many dishes. (with kids, this can be tricky … but you’re smart, figure out how to get it pass them or make your food separate)
Do this and then you’ll be thanking me for all the energy you have.