Summer's just around the corner, and you don't want your diet to keep you from enjoying the great outdoors. Sure, sunny days will lift your spirits, but you also want to be eating foods that boost your energy levels and have you feeling (and looking) your best over the season. With that in mind, be sure to fill your days with healthy meals that will have you skipping the siestas and attending more fiestas this summer.
Breakfast: Eggs and Quinoa
Don't wait 'til the afternoon to seize the summer day! Enjoy a healthy breakfast of eggs and quinoa, but skip caffeinated drinks that can heighten your stress levels. Eggs are great for your mental health because of their choline content, a nutrient essential to healthy brain functioning. Pair this brain-booster with quinoa, a naturally gluten-free and cholesterol-free grain that's high in protein. You can also add spinach, mushrooms and goat cheese for some extra flavor. Start your day with this high-energy combination or enjoy it as a pre- or post-workout snack.
Lunch: Avocado Salad
Avocado is one of the healthiest fats around. It's also a slow-digesting fruit that will keep you energized for the rest of the afternoon. Packed with nutrients, a single avocado can give you your fair share of dietary fiber and vitamins C and K. Make yourself an avocado salad with the greens of your choice, like kale or spinach, and consider adding a lean protein like grilled chicken breast. Throw in some fresh strawberries to help boost your endorphins and reduce stress levels.
Snack: Oatmeal With Peanut Butter and Banana
Looking for a post-workout snack that will hold you over until your next meal? Consider the healthy equivalent of a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Make yourself some oatmeal, preferably using steel-cut organic oats, and add sliced banana and one or two tablespoons of organic peanut butter to act as a healthy, energizing sweetener. Oatmeal is a low carb food that will keep you energized for a long period of time, while the natural sugar in bananas fuels your brain without having a detrimental effect on your blood sugar.
Dinner: Salmon with Turmeric
We all know we need to eat fresh fish like salmon to enjoy the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids; what we might not realize is that more fish in our diet can also help us battle depression and anxiety. A magical combo is salmon prepared with turmeric—a slightly pungent, colorful root usually found in curry powder. Turmeric is often called a "wonder spice" because of its many medical uses. Plus, it contains curcumin, which can serve as a mood enhancer.
Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
How can chocolate chip cookie dough be healthy? Here's how. Combine stevia, brown sugar, butter, flour, salt, vanilla, milk and dark chocolate chips. Dark chocolate reduces levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body, and it's hard to deny how good you feel after indulging in a spoonful of cookie dough.
Eating healthy, energy-boosting foods like these will give your entire summer a boost, both in the way you feel and the way you look.
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