The other day I met a friend at the V&A Waterfront and he was practically falling asleep on his feet as we were walking around. After checking that it wasn’t due to a lack of entertaining conversation or because of some late night socialising, I asked him when last he had eaten something. He said he had a sandwich at 12 o’clock. By then it was 4pm.
I had to remind him, again, that the idea behind eating is to get some energy, use it up, and then eat again when you need some more, usually 3 to 4 hours later. It’s so easy to forget this when we’re caught up in the day’s happenings, and so when the energy slump hits it becomes tempting to go for something sweet and convenient just to get a boost. It’s much better to go for something a bit more balanced, and so I explained all this to my friend while marching him over to Kauai and ordering him a Gem Smoothie. Ten minutes later, all was well, and a lovely afternoon was had. The lesson: when you feel that energy slump, it’s your body telling you that it needs some food!
What else can you do to keep your energy levels going?
• Eat breakfast – even if it’s just an apple
• Eat regularly throughout the day. Whether this is 3 big meals, or 3 meals and 2 snacks or 6 smallish meals will depend on you and your schedule
• Eat slowly
• Rely on proper food to give you energy mid-morning and mid-afternoon. If you still want something sweet, have a small piece afterwards.
• Besides smoothies, some good things to try are plain low fat yoghurt and a fruit, crackers with cottage cheese, a peanut butter sandwich, a handful of nuts and a fruit, leftovers from lunch if the portion was too large, a bran muffin with some cheese, or rice cakes with hummus and tomato.