Power Through Your Day With a High-Energy Lunch

High-Energy Lunch photo

Last week we discussed high-energy breakfast foods that will start your day out right. Pairing complex carbs with protein and healthy fat will keep your energy levels stable for the rest of your day.  Now let’s look at some suggestions for lunch that will keep that breakfast punch going!

Hummus Wraps

Hummus is having its day. Gaining in popularity, hummus comes in many varieties, such as olive oil, spices, tahini, etc. Add your own touch, jalapenos, chiles, vegetables, beans, etc., and you’ve made your own recipe! Hummus is also a great alternative to dressings or mayo.

Green Goddess Sandwiches

This is basically a salad on bread – with avocado, sprouts, tomatoes, cheese, and some aioli added, these sandwiches are tangy, cool and healthy.  Blend some mayo, garlic, lemon, basil, tarragon, chives, parsley, etc. (your choice) for a spread. Spread on sourdough bread and top with lettuce, slices of cucumber, avocado, sprouts and add some mozzarella and onions and you have a healthy, energy-packed lunch.

Coffee / Tea

A bit of caffeine won’t hurt you and will help you get past that mid-day slump, but be careful that you don’t drink beverages that are sugary and high-caloric. The best drink to have with your lunch is water, but some coffee and/or tea is fine, too.

Salads

Vegetables will give you your vitamin and mineral quota and adding some lean protein will help keep your energy levels up and stable. Some good suggestions for your salad are greens like spinach and leafy vegetables, chicken breast, lean beef, shrimp, beans, or hard-boiled eggs. Just keep an eye out on the types and amounts of dressings you use.

Burrito with Black Beans and Cheese

The beans and cheese in this burrito provide your protein while the vegetables – tomatoes, onions, etc. – provide your vitamins and minerals. Cilantro and salsa give a zesty flavor and the tortilla provides your carbohydrate. You want to aim for around 500 calories for lunch and this recipe fits in perfectly.

Chicken and Rice

Grilled chicken with brown rice and a vegetable like spinach or broccoli provides fiber and lean protein, making it a perfect power lunch.

Soup

Steer clear of the creamy and noodle soups – these are processed and can actually zap your energy. Best choices are lentil, bean, minestrone or chili. Combine with a salad and you have a complete, energy-boosting lunch.

Protein Suggestions

High quality protein fills you and and provides an energy boost. Choose from:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Cold Beef
  • Eggs
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Nuts

Complex Carbs Suggestions

Complex carbs convert to glucose in your body, giving your body and your mind the fuel needed. Try:

  • Beans
  • Brown Rice
  • Grainy Bread
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chickpeas

A Word on Energy Bars

Walk down the grocery store aisle and you’ll see all the claims made by energy bars – they’re energy-boosting, muscle-building little miracle bars. What they’re not bragging about is their sugar content. According to Harvard Medical School, many energy bars actually have a glycemic index NO BETTER than candy bars! Save your money, spare your body the sugar, and stick with healthier options.

 

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Post by Andrea Rogers