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    How to increase your energy levels

    How to increase your energy levels

    Whether you’re a full-time worker or a uni student putting in long hours for study, we all start to feel tired and worn down mentally and physically sometimes.

    When your 6am alarm goes off and you just want to hit snooze, close your eyes and roll back over, we have all been there.

    In this blog post we will be sharing some tips and strategies you may want to try for yourself.

     

    5 tips to boost your energy levels

    1. Improve sleep quality – this is so important and can effect the way we feel drastically. If you spend majority of your nights tossing and turning there’s a good chance you will wake up feeling lethargic and exhausted. There are ways to help improve your sleeping patterns;
    • Avoiding stimulants before bed is recommended – these include caffeine found in coffee, preworkout’s etc.
    • Be consistent with your bedtime schedule – getting to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning will help regulate your internal body clock.
    • Relax – it’s hard to fall asleep when your mind is spiraling out of control so it’s important we try and relax. Have a warm cup of chamomile tea 1-2 hours before bed, chamomile is known for its calming properties.

     

    1. Stay Hydrated – staying hydrated with water and electrolytes is very important. When you are dehydrated you will start to feel tired and exhausted. A lot of us don’t drink enough water without even knowing, it is recommended women should consume around two liters of water per day to prevent dehydration and even more if we are really active and working out, pregnant, nursing or sick. After a big workout we need to replenish with electrolytes;
    • Avoid sports drinks like Powerade, Gatorade and energy drinks like Redbull, they are filled with a ton of sugar.
    • Try unflavoured coconut water – it is loaded with electrolytes and surprisingly rehydrating
    • Naturally sweetening your water with honey and lemon
    • BCAA’s – Branched Chain Amino Acids are great to consume during or after a workout to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes. Try to find BCAA’s that do not contain artificial colours or flavours.

     

    1. Vitamin B12- Vitamin B12 is involved in the production of red blood cells in our bodies. We need it for overall health including cognitive brain function
    • Our bodies cannot sythensise vitamin B12 therefore we rely on foods and supplements for it. Vitamin B12 rich foods include most animal products – meat, dairy, eggs etc. If you are vegetarian or vegan vitamin B12 can be found in fortified cereals and grains as well as nutritional yeast.
    • If you are still concerned you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency see your GP and request to have a blood test or visit your local chemist and pick up some vitamin B12 supplements.   
    • If you are vitamin B12 deficient the first signs you notice can be feeling tired, lethargic and exhausted, you may even have trouble concentrating and remembering things.

     

    1. Daily Exercise – a big workout may make you feel exhausted or tired however incorporating daily exercise into your routine can increase your overall energy levels.
    • You don’t need to be doing high intensity exercise every day, even just 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise can help improve your energy levels and it’s good for you!

         5. Diet – this one can often have a significant impact on the way we feel and           our energy levels.

    • Cut the crap – that’s it! Basically removing all processed foods from your diet will be a godsend, you will have more energy, feel better and when you feel good you are more motivated to get things done. 
    • Consuming foods as close to their natural form as possible and preparing meals yourself is a great idea – this way you know exactly what has gone into them.
    • Replacing processed foods that are high in sugar and fat does not mean consuming no sugar or fat – there are plenty of foods with natural sugars and healthy fats. For example; if you have a sweet craving reach for fruit instead of lollies or chocolate.
    • Cutting processed foods doesn’t only have benefits on your inner health, it can have amazing effects on your skin.

     

    If any of this applies to you try implementing some of the above steps – we hope they help.

     

    MISSFITCO xx

    Choc PB Protein Smoothie Bowl

    Choc PB Protein Smoothie Bowl

    Ingredients

    1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (of your choice)
    6 pitted dates (soak in warm water for 10 mins)
    1 banana (frozen work best)
    1 scoop of powdered peanut butter (macro mike is great, alternatively a natural peanut butter is fine)
    100mls of almond milk
    1 handful of ice

     

    Toppings

    Banana
    Macro Mike powdered peanut butter
    Cacao nibs
    Shredded coconut
    Chia seeds
    1 square of Lindt dark chocolate

     

    Method

    Place protein powder, dates, frozen banana, peanut butter, almond milk and ice all together in blender.
    Blend until smooth.
    Pour contents into a bowl.
    Slice banana and place one row on top of the smoothie bowl.
    Place one line of chia seeds alongside the row of banana.
    Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of shredded coconut in one corner of the smoothie bowl.
    Sprinkle cacao nibs across entire smoothie bowl.
    Mix powdered peanut butter with two tablespoons of water until a thick sauce consistency.
    Drizzle peanut butter sauce over the smoothie bowl.
    Place one square of dark chocolate in the corner of the smoothie bowl.

    Enjoy xx

    Prawn Prosciutto and Rockmelon Summer Salad

    Prawn Prosciutto and Rockmelon Summer Salad

     

    Ingredients

    1 x spinach and rocket salad mix

    75g of cherry tomatoes (or 8 cherry tomatoes)

    100g peeled prawns

    30g prosciutto

    1 cup of rockmelon

    2 lemon wedges

    2 tablespoons of lemon juice

    1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

     

    Method

    Heat two pans to a medium heat and lightly oil both with extra virgin olive oil.

    Place the peeled prawns in one pan and the prosciutto in the other pan.

    Cook for 4-5mins each side.

    Whilst waiting for the prawns and prosciutto to cook, place your spinach and rocket salad mix on a plate.

    Dice 1 cup of rockmelon and place on top of the salad mix.

    Add cherry tomatoes to the salad mix.

    Take the two pans off the heat, once cooked place the prawns and prosciutto on top of the salad mix.

    For the dressing place 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a bowl and mix (feel free to use herbed olive oils if you wish).

    Drizzle dressing over the top of the salad.

    Lightly season with salt and pepper.

    Place two lemon wedges on the side to garnish.

     

    Nutritional Information

    Serving Size: 1

    Calories: 317

    Carbs: 14.5g

    Fat: 13.8g

    Protein: 34.6g

    Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent Fasting

     

    Intermittent fasting is a popular health and fitness trend at the moment. It may not be for everybody however it is an effective method for losing weight and getting lean and is said to have many health benefits for you and your body. Intermittent fasting has been known to boost energy levels, increase stamina and motivation, increase cognitive function and aid in weight loss – pretty good if you ask me.

      

    What is intermittent fasting?

    Intermittent fasting is a term used for eating patterns that cycle between periods of fasting and eating meaning you consume your calories during a specific window of time (eating window) and you choose not to consume food for a larger window of time (your fasting window)

     

    How to start intermittent fasting

    Intermittent fasting means you go a certain period of time without eating, generally between 12 to 24 hours sometimes 36-48 hours. During this time you can only consume liquids such as water, herbal teas and coffee if you need to – as long as there is no added milk or sweetener.

     

    Below are the most popular methods;

     

    • Crescendo Method – This method is one of the best and easiest ways to ease into intermittent fasting without shocking your body. It only involves fasting for a few days spaced throughout the week. For example an easy way to apply this method would be to fast Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
      Fasting window: 12-16 hours
      Eating window: 8-12 hours

     

    • 16/8 Method – Also known as the “leangains method” this method of intermittent fasting is used specifically to target body fat and help with lean muscle mass.
      Fasting window: 16 hours
      Eating window: 8 hours

     

    • 24 Hour Protocol – This method involves skipping two meals a day and not eating for 24 hours. For example you eat your dinner at 7pm as usual but you don’t consume another meal until the same time the following day (7pm dinner).
      Fasting window: 24 hours

     

    • 5:2 Diet – This method involves restricting calories two days of the week, allowing you to consume 500 calories a day (two 250 calorie meals) and eating normally for the other 5 days of the week. For example you may choose your calorie restricted days as Monday and Tuesday meaning Wednesday-Sunday you consume your regular calorie intake with no restrictions. This method contains no fasting window just a calorie restriction so it may be an effective way to ease into fasting.

      

    What to consider before trying intermittent fasting
    As mentioned earlier fasting is not for everyone, regardless of the method you choose. If you have existing health conditions, please consult your doctor before undertaking in any intermittent fasting.

     

    Tips for starting your first intermittent fast

     

    • Stay hydrated – It is important to stay well hydrated throughout your fasting periods
    • Listen to your body – your body will most likely need some time to adjust, don’t just jump straight into a 24 hour fast, that may shock your body, start with smaller fasting windows
    • Fast overnight – Fasting overnight is the easiest way to fast, if you’re getting 7-8 hours sleep you’re not thinking about eating during that time
    • Workout – intermittent fasting in conjunction with exercise will help you get better results faster.
    • Keep busy – most of us can admit we snack when we aren’t really hungry just “bored” or having a lazy day. Keeping busy will make the whole process easier as you’ll be focusing on other things

     

     

    MISSFITCO xx

    Foods to eat PRE and POST workout

    Foods to eat PRE and POST workout

     

    What to eat before a workout?

     

    Fuelling your body with the right nutrients prior to exercise will help you with your performance and endurance throughout your workout.

     

    Carbs equal energy, when we eat them our body breaks them down into glucose and they enter our muscle cells giving us the fuel and energy we need. Eating simple carbs prior to your workout is ideal, as they digest faster and provide a quick release of energy.

     

    In addition to carbs it is recommended to consume a bit of protein prior to working out, especially if you’re weight training. Reach for sources of protein that are easily digestible and don’t consume too much as this can often upset your stomach. Eating 30 minutes prior to your workout will ensure you have the energy to push through and don’t feel lethargic.

     

    Below are some examples of good foods to consume PRE workout;

     

    • Banana

    Bananas are rich in easily digestible carbohydrates and potassium, they also contain sugar and starch which are primary sources of energy for your body. The potassium found in bananas also aids in maintaining muscle and nerve function.

    • Rice cakes with natural peanut butter

    If you’re gluten free or just not a fan of bread then rice cakes are a great option for you, they are low in calories averaging 25-30 calories per rice cake. Topping them with natural peanut butter which contains protein will give you an extra energy boost.

     

    • Greek yoghurt
      Greek yoghurt is packed with protein, almost double the amount normal yoghurt contains and generally low in sugar. Try pairing your greek yoghurt with some dried fruit and nuts this will provide that quick energy boost your body needs – remember to control your portion sizes.

     

    • Oats
      Oats are full of fiber, meaning they contain a steady release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream and will keep energy levels consistent throughout your workout. As they provide a slow release of energy they will satisfy your hunger for longer also making them a great breakfast food.

     

     

    What to eat after a workout?

     

    It is essential you eat after a workout, when we are working out, our muscles use up glycogen stores as fuel, you need to replenish the glycogen that has been depleted during your workout and replace the calories you used up. It is also very important for muscle recovery and decreasing muscle protein breakdown. Carbs and protein help with recovery and it is recommended that we consume our post workout within 45 minutes after exercise.

     

    Below are some examples of good foods to consume POST workout; 

     

    • Pineapple – the tropical fruit will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but eating pineapple after a heavy workout can help with muscle recovery as the fruit is rich in carbohydrates, it provides fiber to lower cholesterol levels and contains vitamin B6 which can help the formation of red blood cells. Oh and it’s all NATURAL.

     

    • Watermelon – another fruit with amazing health benefits. Each bite of watermelon contains roughly 92% water, not only will it help with rehydration but will replenish glycogen levels. Watermelon also contains a non-essential amino acid called  L-citrulline which is then converted into L-arginine after absorption and can help with a faster recovery time and less muscle pain.

     

    • Eggs – Eggs are an excellent source of protein post training. With one egg containing roughly 6g of protein, they also contain lots of important vitamins and minerals your body needs. Although whole eggs do not contain many calories they do contain quite a bit of fat and cholesterol, however this problem can easily be solved by removing the yolks and trying egg whites.

     

    • Chicken – chicken is packed with lean protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and iron. Protein is important when it comes to repairing and maintaining muscle tissue. B vitamins found in chicken are good for metabolism, nerve function and maintaining healthy red blood cells. Pairing your chicken with some steamed greens is a great idea for a post workout meal.

     

     

    There are many other great foods to consume pre and post workout, these are just a few healthy snack/food ideas.

     

     

    MISSFITCO xx