BACK TO ‘WORK’ FOODS
People generally fall into two camps when it comes to the summer. They either take full advantage of the warm weather and the gorgeous fruit, and become super healthy, or they embrace their time off to relax and eat what they want to their hearts content. Honestly, whatever makes you the happiest, is fine with me!
But, after a long stint of time off, suddenly commuting and working long days again can take a toll on your body. It is so important, to find a way to kickstart eating well again to keep your body healthy and energised as the new school year approaches or back to work time looms. Especially as the warm weather starts winding down and our bodies need to be ready to fight the cold.
So, to help us get back into the groove of long working days, I thought I’d put together a few of my favourite immunity enhancing and energy boosting foods to support you and your body.
Lemons are high in Vitamin C – did you know that two lemons equate to 100% of your recommended daily intake! Vitamin C is a powerful immune boosting antioxidant which helps to fight against free radicals that enter the body. It also has wonderful cleansing and detoxifying properties, helping you to flush out any unwanted materials stored around the body. This helps your body function at its best, giving you far more energy and clarity, as well as better digestion and clear skin.
Try starting your day with a hot lemon water – just slice up some lemon and pop it into a mug of boiling water when you first wake up. It’s such an alkaline, cleansing way to start your day! Or, why not prepare some lemon water to take with you on the go by squeezing lemon juice or adding slices to your bottle, keeping you hydrated all day long.
The superfood so popular that suppliers are running out! Kale is a potent source of antioxidants, which also makes kale an incredibly anti-inflammatory food. This can help protect your body against diseases such as strokes, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.
Kale has loads of incredible health benefits that are enhanced by eating it raw. I know raw kale seems like it would be pretty horrible, but when you make it well, it is so delicious! My secret tip for a tender and tantalising salad is to massage in a delicious dressing until the kale wilts…. and voila! Watch my video for the perfect kale salad here.
Quinoa is raved about among healthistas for being an amazing source of plant protein, and an essential part of a vegan/vegetarian diet. Quinoa is in fact the only grain that contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. And, just like everything in today’s article, it’s a great immunity booster, and can help give you energy to stay fighting fit throughout the day. It’s so delicious and versatile, but, just like pasta, it needs dressing up! Try my beautifully simple and delicious lemon quinoa with an avocado-basil cream for lunch or dinner. You’ll glow from the inside out! http://www.naturallysassy.co.uk/recipes/lemon-quinoa-with-an-avocado-basil-cream
Avocados are one of the most amazing foods as they contain 25 powerful nutrients including Vitamin A,B,C,E, & K, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and iron. Avocados are an extremely concentrated source of energy and health enhancing nutrients. They are bursting with healthy fats which promote the growth of strong, lean muscles. They’re also loaded with electrolytes, potassium and magnesium, which are essential for muscle recovery and vital for athletes. They’ll keep you energized and satisfied for far longer than any candy bar which is why I’m constantly snacking on them! I love them on Avocado Toast, diced in salads, spread on Nairn’s Oatcakes or simply sliced open and filled with a dollop of hummus and a little black pepper!
When we start running around from meeting to meeting, or sit at our desk with piles of work to do, it’s very easy to forget to drink enough liquids. Water is absolutely key for sustained energy levels and a clear, sharp mind – but somehow, even the healthiest of us struggle to drink enough. We are lucky enough that water can be found pretty much everywhere in our society, so there really are no excuses on that one! However one of my favourite things to carry with me incase I suddenly feel a little light headed and dehydrated is coconut water. Coconut water is a natural isotonic drink that provides many of the same benefits as formulated sports drinks, including the electrolytes calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium, but in their natural form. It’s incredibly hydrating, and in my opinion pretty darn delicious too!
The final food I love to keep me energised and healthy are Medjool Dates. I often find when my work load heightens and I start to feel a little tired, I crave sweetness. For many (including myself up until a few years ago) this would be the perfect excuse to indulge in a sugar laden chocolate bar. Whilst this seems like it may give you some initial energy, it just makes your blood sugar levels rocket, leaving you even more fatigued after the sugar rush has worn off! So now, when I crave sweetness I instead look to medjool dates. They’re incredibly sweet with an immense caramel tone that combines to make something very tasty. I love adding a spoonful of nut butter on top for a 60 second snack that is completely out of this world. The protein from the nut butter also helps to slow down the release of the fructose in your body leaving you feeling fuller and energised for longer.