You Can Take the Girl out of Louisiana….
I love food. After all, I’m from South Louisiana and one of our favorite pastimes is eating. Unfortunately, it’s not eating for energy that we’re good at. The richer, saltier, cheesier, spicier the better. If it’s fried, stuffed or battered, I’ll eat it-no questions asked. I also have a huge sweet tooth. I’m totally addicted to chocolate. There have been so many times that I have found myself staring at a few lone brownie crumbs on an empty plate wondering where they all went. With so many things working against me, I’m sure you can imagine how difficult it is for me to eat healthy. I do a pretty good job, but there is definitely room for improvement. One of the things that has helped me the most in my journey of healthy eating is changing the way that I think about food.
Sometime during my last years in college, I became interested in nutrition. The more I learned about how food fuels and heals us while providing us with energy, the more interested in it I became. I became fascinated with the way nutrients work in harmony with our bodies to help us thrive. Although I’ve been interested in the healing power of nutrition for a long time, I recently really started to think about eating for energy.
As an aerialist and personal trainer, I’m super active and have had to figure out a way to eat that is suited to my lifestyle. I’ve battled with finding that perfect meal that keeps me energized and full without making me feel heavy and incredibly uncomfortable when hanging upside down. Recently, during a three day marathon run of show, I figured out just how important it is, as an athlete, to make sure your body is getting what it needs to perform at optimum levels. Although I still can’t say no to a juicy cheeseburger or a slice (or two) of chocolate cake, I try to make sure that the food I’m eating on a regular basis is what my body needs to feel strong and energized.
What I’ve Learned
I know that if I want to be able to get through hours of rigorous activity, I need to eat healthy carbohydrates that will supply my body with energy and not spike my blood sugar, leaving me feeling sluggish. I’ve learned that I have to keep snacks on hand to grab quickly so that I don’t feel shaky during training, and last, but definitely not least, I’ve learned that I have to make sure to give my body the right combination of carbs and protein soon after working out so that my muscles can recover. If you are trying to lose weight, get stronger or make any significant improvements to your fitness level, what you eat can make or break you.
Eating for energy, especially for breakfast and lunch can put you on a faster track to achieving your fitness goals.
Eating for Energy 101
Here is one of my favorite and easy to make snacks that not only satisfies my sweet tooth, but also helps me to stay energized:
Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup chia seas
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 T peanut butter
- Mash bananas well in a large bowl. The more you mash, the better they blend.
- Add remaining ingredients to bowl.
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop heaping tablespoons of mixture onto cookie sheet. (I probably scoop them a little larger than this)
- Bake for about 15 min.
- Store in an airtight container or keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- Makes about 12 (depending on how large you make them)
Do you have a favorite snack that helps keep you feeling satisfied and energized?