Just ten years ago, eating enough protein was thought to be the key to optimal energy. Now that has shifted to microbiome, that hidden but vital community of bacteria in your gut that has a big impact on the rest of your body. Good bacteria aid in digestion. They essentially help you retrieve energy from your food in the most efficient way. They also manufacture about 95% of your body's supply of serotonin, a key hormone for boosting energy, as well as hundreds of neurochemicals that get sent to the brain to help with learning, memory and mood.
Here are some easy recipes to give you all-day energy.
Blueberry Chia Oat Smoothie
Blend 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk, ½ cup of soft tofu, rinsed and drained, ½ cup of blueberries, ½ of a banana, ¼ cup of old-fashioned rolled oats and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds until smooth.
Fruit and Wheat
Combine ½ cup of shredded wheat, ½ cup of strawberries, ½ of a banana, 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and 1 tablespoon of walnuts in a bowl. Top with ¾ cup of unsweetened soy milk.
Toss 4 cups of cooked quinoa with 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, 1 cup of cooked corn kernels, 1 cup of grape tomatoes (halved), ¾ cup of cooked edamame, 1 diced red bell pepper, and 1 sliced jalapeno (optional). Whisk together 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 clove of minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon of ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon of coriander and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Toss dressing with quinoa mixture and top with fresh basil. (Serves 6)
Top 1 slice of whole grain bread with ¼ cup of hummus, 2 slices of tomato and ½ of a sliced avocado. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
2 crackers with 2 tablespoons of almond butter, ¼ cup of sliced strawberries and a drizzle of honey
¼ cup of trail mix
3 apricots with ¼ cup of pistachios
Spinach Tofu Stir-Fry
Cook 2 cups of brown rice according to package directions. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook 14oz block of extra firm tofu, cut into squares, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Stir in 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in 10oz of baby spinach and 1 tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce and cook about 2 minutes. Combine with cooked brown rice and top with 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and soy sauce to taste. (Serves 4)
Sesame Peanut Noodles
Prepare 1lb of whole wheat spaghetti according to package directions. Toss with 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips, 2 tablespoons of thinly sliced water chestnuts and 1 carrot cut into matchsticks. Whisk ½ cup of smooth natural peanut butter, ¼ cup of rice vinegar, ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 teaspoons of dark sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of grated ginger and 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss dressing with pasta mixture and top with 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds. (Serves 8)