Food is our life fuel. All too often, we get wrapped up in the ins and outs of eating - whether we dine in or out, whether a meal is healthy enough, how much it is going to cost us etc. But if we strip back all the excesses that come with food, we get back to the primary reason why we consume it - for energy. In today's modern world, so many people regularly feel 'slumped' and as though they are lacking in vital energy to simply help them get through the day. Usually, this is down to environmental factors: staring at a screen all day, or rushing around after your children 24/7. Food, too, can play part as well. It is becoming the norm to reach for quick and easy convenience food for a short burst of energy, especially when it is the only thing we can fit into our hectic schedule. But as well as the obvious health risks associated with fast food, these kinds of products can often make you feel worse just a short time after. After all, how many times have you packed away a takeout pizza - then about half an hour later felt sluggish and tired? There is, of course, nothing wrong with enjoying these types of treats every once in a while. But if you truly want to nourish and energize your body, you need to be fuelling it with the right things.
We seem to live in a society where carbs are regarded as public enemy number one. This is partially due to a number of fad diets we now see on the market, and the numerous bloggers and Instagram stars who promote their way of life to millions of followers. While cutting down on carbs could be something to think about if you do honestly eat too many of them, they are certainly not something to be avoided full-stop. Why? Because carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy and long-lasting energy at that. If you really want to supply your body with enough fuel to see you through the day, make sure you are consuming some whole grain carbohydrates. White carbs, in moderation, won't harm you - but wholegrain carbs such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, and brown bread - are always a much healthier option.
Fruit and vegetables
Most of us are told from a young age that we need to eat our greens. Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, all of which give you an immediate energy boost. However if you didn't develop a taste for fruit and veg as a child (and let's face it, what child doesn't go through a phase of rejecting anything remotely healthy?), it is fairly likely that you will continue to reject it as an adult too. This is a bad route to go down though, and an equally bad example to set to your children. If munching on an apple or eating spinach sounds like a bit too much for you, why not try using one of the top centrifugal juicers? Juicing your fruit and vegetables (yes, even your vegetables!) is a great way to get those essential vitamins into your diet. A classic green smoothie can even be a great option for breakfast - just don't be put off by the color!
If you keep up with the world of fitness blogging in any way at all, you will know all about the importance of lean protein. As so many of us are now dedicating gym goers and weight-lifters, protein has become more essential than ever. If you are exercising frequently but not taking in enough protein, you probably spend much of your time feeling lethargic. You may even find that you really have to push through your gym sessions, due to feeling so tired in your muscles. This is a direct response to not having enough protein in your body. Every cell in the human body contains protein, and we need to make sure our own supplies are stocked up to ensure our muscles repair themselves after a workout. Lean proteins are not hard to come by either - simply add more lean meats such as turkey and chicken into your diet. Paired with some steamed vegetables and whole grain rice, this is the perfect post-workout meal. Don't fear if you are vegetarian or a vegan - there are still plenty of ways you can up your protein intake. You may choose to do this by eating artificial meats such as Quorn, or by increasing your consumption of beans and pulses.