Snacks to Help Boost Energy

Snacks to Help Boost Energy

Question:

I’m a snacker, consistently snacking throughout the day. What are some snacks that would help boost my energy and that are actually good for me?

– Anjelica V.

Answer:

Snacking and grazing are suitable ways to consume your daily intake, providing the choices are good ones and you compensate with smaller meals. I’d suggest snacks in the 100-200 calorie range based on whole foods, with an occasional small energy/protein bar as backup. Good energy-boosting snack choices are:

  • hummus, whole wheat pita bread, carrots
  • hard cooked egg topped chopped salad in a jar
  • tuna, whole grain crackers, celery
  • a cup of hearty soup (less than 10 g fat, at least 5 g protein)
  • edamame
  • high fiber cereal, milk, kiwi
  • plain Greek yogurt, berries, coconut flakes
  • chia seed pudding, hazelnuts, dark chocolate shavings
  • pizza roll: string cheese, wheat tortilla, spoonful marinara
  • cinnamon popcorn, dried apples, and pecans
  • crisp pear and peanut butter
  • banana and almond butter
  • watermelon, cucumber, feta cheese & mint skewers
  • energy/protein bar (at least 8 g protein, total sugar less than half total carbohydrate)

Leftovers of any balanced meal can serve as a good snack, too! Remember to keep portions in check and keep your total day’s intake in mind for variety and nutrient adequacy.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

8 + 13 =


Recommended Reading - Q+A

What’s the DASH Diet?

What’s the DASH Diet?

Question:

I am a male, 46 years old, 192 lbs., 5 11″. I exercise regularly and I’m looking for a healthy diet to help keep in good shape and keep my cholesterol, sugar levels, blood pressure, and other levels in check. What would you recommend for me?

– Jorge M.

Answer:

Great job exercising daily and being proactive to keep chronic disease markers in check! A Mediterranean or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan seems suitable for your goals. Really, a blend of these is ideal.

The Mediterranean style diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, nuts, and healthy fats as core foods. Fish and seafood are eaten twice weekly while dairy foods, eggs, and poultry are eaten moderate portions. Red meat and sweets are rarely eaten.

The American Heart Association’s DASH diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy to provide potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It is high in fiber, moderate in sodium, and low in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sugar with little red meat. See table below.

LA Fitness, LA Fitness Living Healthy, Living Healthy, Ask Our Dietitian, nutrition, nutritional advice, healthy diets, best diet, diet plans, DASH diet

Your anthropometrics and activity level suggests an estimated daily energy need of 2,700 calories. Combining the two plans, you should base meals on a foundation of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruit, and nuts. Fish, seafood, low-fat dairy and healthy plant fats (e.g. olive oil, avocado) should round-out your diet. Also, spread your food intake throughout the day to support energy levels, proper digestion, and metabolism.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

7 + 5 =


Recommended Reading - Q+A

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos from The Wild Cow

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos from The Wild Cow

“It’s important for food to be satisfying as well as good for our health. This recipe features whole foods packed with essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, along with bold flavors and contrasting textures that make food exciting. Everyone loves tacos, and whether you’re an omnivore, a vegetarian, a vegan or anything in between, it’s clear that eating less meat in favor of more plant-based, locally sourced, and minimally processed foods [have] many health benefits and is more environmentally conscious. Plus, cooking more meals at home is a great way to make sure you’re eating quality ingredients, and it’s a great way to spend time with family and friends. Next time you’re in Nashville, come by The Wild Cow and try some more of our vegan food!”

Chef Ryan Toll

Chef and General Manager, The Wild Cow


The Wild Cow is located at 1896 Eastland Ave in Nashville, TN 37206. Open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 9:00pm, excluding Tuesdays, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm. The Wild Cow is closed on Tuesdays. For the menu and additional details, please visit thewildcow.com.


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos from The Wild Cow

Photography provided by The Wild Cow

Ingredients

For the Dish

  • 8 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

For the Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 sweet potatoes, sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance or another vegan butter substitute
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Black Beans

  • 2 cans black beans, not drained
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Lime Slaw

  • 1/2 a head of green cabbage, thinly shredded and tossed in 1 T salt to wilt
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, thick stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced

For the Jerk Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup Bragg’s aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
  • 1/2 a white onion, minced
  • 1 medium-sized ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Method

Step 1:

  • Fill a large pot with water, cover, and set on medium high until it’s at a rolling boil.
  • Add the diced sweet potatoes and replace the cover. Boil until tender but not mushy (10-12 minutes).

Step 2: 

  • Strain out the water and transfer the sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Add the Earth Balance or vegan butter substitute, brown sugar, and salt. Mash until mixed but still chunky.
  • Add the black beans to a pot with the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
  • Add the shredded cabbage to a large bowl and mix with the cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt to taste.

Step 3:

  • Blend all the ingredients for the jerk sauce in a blender until smooth.
  • Toss the pumpkin seeds in a little olive oil and salt and toast in a pan until slightly browned.

Step 4: 

  • Warm your tortillas on a pan or over a flame and keep warm until your ready to assemble the tacos. When ready, add sweet potatoes, black beans, lime slaw, jerk sauce, and toasted pumpkin seeds and serve.

Step 5:

  • Enjoy!

Featured Recipes

What to Eat for a 6-Pack

What to Eat for a 6-Pack

Question:

I am in the process of cutting down my body fat, but nothing seems to work. My metabolism is not very good, but I’m doing cardio 3 times a week. I also not eating as many calories to cut down. What and how many times should I eat if I want a six-pack?

– Arib C.

Answer:

First and foremost, I hope you’re incorporating some resistance training into your workout routine! Cardio is great for reducing body fat around the belly, but six-pack abs are made from strength training to develop those abdominal muscles. See a ProResults® trainer for assistance and listen to one’s advice for best ab machines on our Ask a Trainer series.

That said, you should eat three to six times per day, schedule and appetite permitting. If you choose to eat more frequent meals and snacks, pay attention to portions so you’re redistributing the calories you eat, not adding more. Meals and snacks should be based on vegetables – lots of them!, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates with fresh fruit and low-fat dairy to complement. Avoiding alcohol and added sugars is essential if you aren’t getting results.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

11 + 4 =


Recommended Reading - Q+A

Work Out Day Meal Recommendations

Work Out Day Meal Recommendations

Question:

I am a 60-year-old male in fairly good shape. I’m lean with 16 to 17% body fat. I am in the gym three times a week, usually after work for about two hours each day. I start with 15 min. of cardio and I do abs every day between sets. I have a GNC protein shake for breakfast every day, oatmeal at 10am, salad for lunch, and on work out days I use a C4 pre-workout and a GNC Performix Shake post-workout. I then have a salad with lots of vegetables for dinner. I try very hard to limit sugar, carbs, and red meat.

I see improvements in my workout strength. I see definition improvements (no bulking) but the last little fat around the tummy remains. I started at 210 lbs. 6 years ago. I have been running around 170 to 175 lbs. for about 4 years now. The body fat number is staying around 17%.

What should I eat for lunch before working out? And what should I eat for dinner after I work out? And what should I eat on non-workout days?

– Larry B.

Answer:

Kudos on your consistent power workouts! I would recommend that on your workout days your lunch salad include a legume, lean protein and healthy fat in addition to the greens since you have several hours to fuel before exercise. For example, choose one* from each column:

Greens

Legume

Lean Protein

Healthy Fat

Other Veggies x2

Spinach

Edamame

Chicken Breast

Avocado

Tomato, Carrot

Kale

Chickpeas

Shrimp

Olives

Artichoke, Broccoli

Mesclun

Black Beans

Tuna

Diced Walnuts

Cucumber, Radish

Leaf Lettuce

Kidney Beans

Turkey Breast

Sliced Almonds

Celery, Red Onion

Cabbage

Cannellini Beans

Salmon

Pepitas

Bell Pepper, Beet

At dinner, I’d suggest including a starchy vegetable such as corn, yam or butternut squash and tofu or low-fat cheese to prop up your evening salad after exercise. You can maintain your normal eating regimen on non-workout days through a solid breakfast to replace the protein shake is advised. Just keep to the same calorie level.

Here are four options:

  1. a nonfat plain Greek yogurt with berries
  2. nonfat cottage cheese with pineapple
  3. egg whites with mushrooms, spinach, and salsa
  4. soy sausage patties with melon.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

6 + 15 =


Recommended Reading - Q+A

SUBSCRIBE TO

LIVING HEALTHY

Be the first to know about exclusive

content, deals and promotions

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest