Of all the things that people in my meal plan subscription come to me saying they’re looking for, how to increase your energy tops the list.
I can tell you from experience that when you start eating whole foods and balanced meals three times a day, your natural energy will increase.
The better you eat, the better you feel.
The better you feel, the more you want to do.
The more you do, the better you feel, the more you want to eat clean. It’s a cycle, but it’s not rocket science. (Okay, it is kind of science, just not the rocket kind.)
The moment I decide to eat something not on my weekly plan (or not from a restaurant I’ve chosen for its food quality), I can see downward spiral starting.
My body feels sluggish.
My head is fuzzy.
My migraines come back.
I don’t have the energy to keep eating well and that’s just the excuse I need to keep eating convenience foods.
I’m looking to manage my pain and temporarily feel better. You can see the pattern, right?
That’s why I work my hardest to increase my energy and keep it high in these three ways.
Increase Your Energy in
Three Easy Ways
Eat well-balanced meals
It’s very easy to slip into convenience foods, which is why I try really hard to make sure that even the convenience foods I’m eating are well-balanced meals.
You might be asking what a well-balanced meal is.
A well-balanced meal is a plate that has the right proportions of veggies, protein, grains or starchy veggies, and a healthy fat.
It’s pretty easy to put this into practice when you’re eating meals made up of those individual components. Of your plate, ½ should be veggies, ¼ should be lean protein, and ¼ should be grains or starchy veggies. The healthy fat you can fit in on one of those sections.
(Check out the pic below for better illustration and then check out the Canada Food Guide for more details on this.)
Plan out your meals for maximum balance AND flavour
I know that eating three “square” meals a day of protein, grains, and veggies can get a little bit boring. Just making sure everything gets on the plate isn’t enough, you have to want to eat it.
That’s why you make lots of delicious meals that combine these things together like curries, stir-fries, and nourish bowls.
That can sometimes make it hard to see exactly how much of everything to put it, which is where planning and prep come in.
Let’s break it down.
Say you’re making a nourish bowl.
You start with a serving of grains. It’s a good idea to look at the package of whatever grains you’re choosing to make sure you have the portion sizes correct for that type of grain. For this example, let’s say it’s ½ a cup of quinoa or ½.a sweet potato.
Then you would add a serving of a lean protein. Again, it’s a good idea to check out what an actual serving size is for your protein choice. For this example, let’s say it’s 4 oz of fish or chicken, or one cup of beans or lentils.
Next you would add 2 servings of veggies. Since they’re veggies, it’s pretty hard to eat too many of them, but generally you have two times the amount of your protein or grains. Feel free to go crazy here, but for this example, we’ll say to add 2 cups of kale, spinach, or broccoli slaw.
Finally, you add the healthy fat in the form of a dressing or topping. Check your dressings and toppings to make sure you’re adding the right serving amount. In this example, you could use a ¼ of an avocado, 2 tbsp of nuts or seeds, or 1 tbsp of any homemade salad dressing.
Add a ½.a cup of fruit on the side and your meal is complete! (And so, so tasty.)
Measurement is Key
I know I sound like a broken record when it comes to checking serving sizes and measuring your food.
The portion sizes given to us in restaurants and pre-prepared boxed meals are often far too large to be healthy. As a result, we have no idea how much we’re really supposed to eat!
Grab a food scale and the Epicure Perfect Portions scoops that will save you lots of time when prepping and cooking.
When you start cooking for yourself and eating clean, you’ll discover very quickly that you don’t need nearly as much as you thought to feel full and your energy will be twice as high as when you ate twice as much.
Give this a try and see how your energy grows!! I would love to know what your biggest challenge has been when it comes to balancing your meals. Pop over to my Instagram and tell me!
If you liked this post, you’ll love these…
I’m Kandice-Lee! I am passionate about the impact food can have on your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I help people lead bigger, bolder, and better lives through teaching meal planning, meal preparation, and clean eating.