Lots of mothers complain of feeling tired, lethargic, getting hat mid-afternoon slump, in need of caffeine, cake or needing to creep back to mattress... Sound familiar? Continue Reading for top energy-boosting Strategies and Easy diet fixes to put a spring back in any tired mother's step!
1. Never skip Morning
Meal Missing breakfast raises the likelihood of carb-cravings and over-eating later that day, which may trigger a drop in blood glucose levels making you drowsy. Even when you're short of time or not hungry at breakfast, a bit of fruit and a couple of raw nuts or yogurt can really make a difference. In case you have eggs make a fantastic energy-boosting morning meal.
2. Your body ultimately needs certain vitamins and minerals to create energy
Magnesium – great sources include dark green leafy veg, pumpkin seeds, fresh coriander and basil, sesame seeds (tahini, Hummus), cashew nuts, halibut, Pollock, coconut almonds and water.
B vitamins – good sources include eggs, sunflower seeds, chicken, peas, romaine lettuce, salmon, broccoli, peppers, black beans, yoghurt, spinach, avocado, corn, sweet potato, almonds, lentils, tuna, turkey, cod and sesame seeds.
Iron - is needed to carry oxygen to cells – many women are iron-deficient so speak to your GP if you think you may be. Good food sources include red meat, lentils, spinach, sesame seeds, tofu, dried apricots, olives and lima beans.
Amino acids – these are the building blocks of protein and a number of different amino acids are needed for optimal energy production. Eating some animal-based food daily, such as fish, meat, eggs or dairy, will provide you with all amino acids. If you’re not a meat or fish eater it’s important to eat a variety of vegetable-based proteins such as beans, lentils and nuts to make sure you’re taking in all the amino acids you need to keep energized.
3. Keep hydrated!
Dehydration causes tiredness and too many of us fill up on caffeine drinks across the day, which are dehydrating, instead of water. If you struggle to drink water then try squeezing some fresh lemon or lime in to make it more palatable.
4. Step away from the cookie jar!
Yes, I’m afraid no matter how tasty and energizing that chocolate, cookie or cake seems, it will cause your blood sugar levels to drop, leaving you sleepy. Instead reach for hummus, fruit & nuts, yoghurt, falafel, a crunchy carrot, olives, avocado, miso soup or even a glass of water to fill the gap between meals.
5. Always have protein at lunch
Having too many carbs (even if they are whole grain) and too little protein at lunch is a typical reason for the mid-afternoon slump. Try to balance your lunch by including some chicken, eggs, fish, meat, nuts and seeds or choosing lentils or beans instead of bread or pasta. Here are some meal and snack ideas packed with energy-boosting nutrients: Poached eggs on spinach – Pesto-topped salmon, cod or halibut with broccoli – Baked sweet potato with a rocket, olive and avocado salad – Tofu, spinach, red pepper and broccoli stir-fry with fresh coriander and cashew nuts – Almond nut butter on wholegrain toast – Hummus with pepper strips – Fish pie made with salmon and Pollock, topped with mashed sweet potato, served with peas – Grilled steak with Romaine lettuce salad and sweet potato chips – Chicken curry with spinach and lentil dhal and a spoonful of yoghurt on top.
And in case you are pregnant do not miss those Amazing tips for Healthy eating in pregnancy. The recommendations above don't replace professional medical therapy.