Best Energy Boosting Foods for Busy Mums
Life as a mum is a blessing, but it’s also exhausting. It can be hard to find time for ourselves when we’re so busy looking after our little ones.
But as busy as you are, your health and well-being also need to be a priority.
If your body is running on an empty tank, the sleepless nights and bustling days will only be harder to manage. However, if you fuel your body with healthy and nutritious foods, it will make a world of difference to your energy levels.
Wholesome and filling food provides energy to get you through the day; they will help fight off illness and will help you reach a healthy weight.
Our Top Energy Boosting Foods
There's no denying that oats are one of the all-time superfoods. Comprised of complex carbs, oats provide a slow-burning source of energy. Oats are packed with nutrients and are one of the best foods for breastfeeding mums' milk supply. Enjoy oats in porridge, muffins and smoothies.
Bananas contain helpful nutrients that make the body feel full of energy. Bananas are a low GI fruit. Low GI is a term used to describe carbohydrates that provide a slow-burning source of energy. High GI foods like white bread or cake cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. And the spikes are linked to a range of negative issues like mood swings, fatigue and weight gain.
Avocados are rich in 'healthy fats'. And healthy fats are great at keeping us full and satiated. They also contribute to glowing skin, vision health, and reduce the risk of depression. And they're high in fibre which aids digestion and prevents constipation, an affliction that affects many post-partum women.
Beans and Lentils
There are literally hundreds of varieties of beans and lentils. They come dried or in cans, have a super long shelf-life and are incredibly versatile. Both lentils and beans are high in protein and fibre which helps to keep you feeling full and provide a sustained stream of energy. They are also jam-packed with many essential vitamins and minerals, including folic acid, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Some ideas of how to incorporate beans and lentils into your everyday diet include stews, dahl, salads, curries, pasta sauce, and fritters.
Dates are a fantastic snack for when you need that burst of energy. Try replacing sweet treats like chocolate and lollies with two dates and a little peanut butter. Cut the date down the middle and add a tsp of peanut butter to each. You'll still fulfil your sweet cravings without processed sugar. Keep in mind dates are high in natural sugars, so limit your consumption.
Eggs are a wonderful food that can be eaten in many ways. They are a perfect snack or meal for any time of the day. Eggs are a super-effective way to get your protein intake up. 2 boiled eggs contain 12g of protein. Plus, they contain an amino acid called leucine which stimulates energy production. Eggs on toast, added to salads, by themselves as a snack, in a wrap or toasted sandwich, there are endless ways to consume eggs.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are jam-packed with protein, fibre, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals. Some great ways to incorporate nuts into your diet is in smoothies, salads, or bars and bliss balls. Nuts are high in energy, so again, limit your consumption. A serve is equal to a small handful or around six nuts.
Foods That Drain Your Energy
Our energy levels naturally rise and fall throughout the day. Usually, it's due to tiredness, hunger, or stress, but sometimes it's the foods we eat that can actually drain our energy. Below are foods that strip our energy and should only be consumed in moderation.
White bread, pasta and rice
The difference between brown bread, pasta and rice compared to the white variety is that the brown options have the outer layer of the grain (the bran) intact. And the white options have the bran removed. The grain is digested much faster without the bran, resulting in a quick rise in blood sugar levels. And with every spike comes a drop in energy levels. So, you can see how white bread, pasta and rice consumption can lead to peaks and troughs in energy and mood.
Yes, coffee absolutely has its place in providing energy, but many people don’t know that it can also steal our energy. The stimulating power of coffee works best when the substance is consumed in moderation. But if we drink too much, we can build up a coffee tolerance, therefore reducing the power of its effects.
It’s recommended to limit coffee intake to 1-2 cups per day and have your last one no later than noon to ensure your energy levels and sleep aren’t impacted.
Fried and fast food
Fried and takeaway foods are generally high in unhealthy oil and fats, and are low in fibre. Unhealthy fats combined with lower fibre is a recipe for reduced digestion. And when your digestion slows, you don’t get the same energy boost that you usually would. Fried and fatty foods are low in essential vitamins and minerals or any natural goodness, so limit your consumption.
Start the day with a bang
Our greatest tip is to start the day on the right foot. A balanced and nutritious breakfast is key to setting yourself up for success.
A balanced breakfast incorporating protein, fats and low G.I. carbs is ideal. When you create a balanced meal like this, your blood sugar levels stabilise, resulting in a steady flow of energy. When we don't fuel our body correctly, our blood sugar levels go on a bit of a rollercoaster, which leads to mood swings and can also cause us to make unhealthy food choices.
We understand that whipping up a full English breakfast isn’t realistic for busy mums but some quick and easy energy boosting breakfast options include:
- Sourdough toast with avocado and a boiled egg (tip: boil eggs in bulk and keep them in the fridge for up to three days).
- Dark rye toast with hummus and tomato
- Pre-made sweet or savour breakfast muffins
- Egg cups with vegetables and cheese (tip: make your egg cups in muffin trays. They’re a super quick and easy breakfast option that you can take on the go).
- Smoothie with In Shape Mummy Health Shake mix, oats, and banana (tip: store your fruit and veggies in individual zip-lock bags in the freezer, ready to throw into your smoothie)
Having breakfast within 30-40 minutes after you wake up is ideal, as If you leave it any longer your blood sugar levels will start to drop. For example, have you ever skipped breakfast to find yourself raiding the sweets cupboard at 9:00am in the morning? The trick is to nourish your body before the energy/sugar cravings hit.
How In Shape Mummy Health Shakes Can Help With Energy Production?
In Shape Mummy Health Shakes are a fantastic option for increasing energy levels for busy mums. Like we said earlier, starting the day off on the right foot is vital to what sets you up for success. So, what better way to start the day than a health shake that contains over 25% of your daily essential vitamin and mineral requirements and over 12g of protein in each glass.
Add banana, oats, avocado, nuts, or seeds to your smoothie to experience the full benefits of a balanced, energy-boosting breakfast.
Energy Boosting Breakfast Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana (sliced)
- 2 tbsp rolled oats
- 2 tbsp avocado
- 2 tbsp In Shape Mummy Health Shake mix - vanilla, chocolate or caramel
- 1 cup of your favourite milk (add more milk if you like it less thick)
For extra support, join the In Shape Mummy Breastfeeding Support Group on Facebook.
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