Upon making a move to a whole food diet (WFD), you might find your energy levels begin to rise. Despite the fact this diet may inadvertently decrease your caloric intake which ordinarily would diminish energy stores, studies show that people who follow a whole food diet have higher energy levels, are more active, and leaner. These foods are more filling and can help you feel fuller for more extended periods of time.
When you rid your diet of processed junk food and unhealthy carbs, your body does not have to work as hard. This reduction of work helps the body to sustain higher energy levels over time.
Many followers report that they are more productive as a result of this lifestyle swing. They spend less time getting things done than previously when they might have been more tempted to sleep. If you are an athlete, you might especially appreciate that this diet can prove beneficial in the recovery time of your muscles and your overall muscle functionality increases.
What Whole Foods Give You Energy All Day?
You are probably anxious to stock your refrigerator and pantry with a small arsenal of whole foods. We briefly identified a few energy boosting foods that fall under phytonutrients. You will be pleased to know that several plant-based foods can contribute to your energy stores.
Beans are high and fiber and packed with vitamin B. You can add beans to your salad, stews, brown rice, salsa, and chili for a satisfying meal.
Omega-3 Rich Foods
Omega-3 fatty acids work wonders in reducing stress levels and regulating the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Controlling these two hormones can help rid you of feeling fatigue or exhaustion.
Avocados provide a source of vitamin B, healthy fats and energy but proceed with caution if you are looking to lose weight. They are high in calories and can slow your progress towards weight loss. However, feel free to add this fruit to your salad, guacamole, or use it as a spread on wheat toast as a part of your breakfast.
Greens and More Greens…
Leafy green vegetables are a fantastic way to boost your energy levels. Rich in vitamin A, C, K, and B6, leafy green vegetables like collard greens, kale, and spinach can pack a powerhouse of energy if your consumption remains consistent. Not a fan of salads, try adding some of these to your smoothie or try juicing.
Berries are Good Too!
Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are rich in antioxidants. These tiny pieces of fruit not only give us energy but act as a reinforcement to our immune systems, enabling us to ward of knarly colds and the flu along with other ailments.
Nuts and Seeds
If you are a fan of pistachios, almonds, or walnuts, you are in luck. These vitamin-rich morsels contain energy stores that help to keep you active and feeling energized. Do not forget that a handful does go a long way.
Look no further than oats for fiber. This food not only helps to keep hunger at bay, but they may also help improve serotonin levels which contribute to our overall mood.
Broccoli does not always get the respect it deserves. This veggie is loaded with nutritious benefits including vitamin B, vitamin C, fiber, and magnesium. You can add broccoli in any form to breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Whole Food Preparation
It’s important to understand that whole food that you buy at the store, for example, fruit, vegetables, and chicken needs to remain that way as you eat it. This means that any cooking, preparation or manipulating of it you do at home counts too.
So, a grilled chicken breast is whole, but if you cover it in a coating and deep fry it, then it is no longer considered whole. The same goes for fruit (ie fruit juice) and vegetables.
[thrive_icon_box color=’green’ style=’2′ image=’https://practicallongevity.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/logo-healthy-life.jpg’] Minimal processing in your cooking habits is key.[/thrive_icon_box]
Isn’t It Expensive To Eat A Whole Food Diet?
With planning, you can easily buy enough food for a week by establishing a budget and avoid shopping when you are craving food. Initially, aim to put aside $20 to $30 for fruits and veggies each week.
Aim to spend no more than $10-$15 on your legumes, lentils, and nuts. As time passes, you will get a feel for your average grocery bill and adjust from there. You will be surprised by the cost and may find that you are spending less money.
Over the next several weeks, spend time filling your pantry with legumes, lentils, herbs, and spices so that your trip to the grocery store becomes more manageable and serves as more of a replacement visit for fruits, whole grains, and vegetables than that of a massive overhaul each time.
Starting A Plant-Based Diet
If you want to begin to eat more whole food and focus on a plant-based lifestyle, don’t start tossing food from your cabinets and pantry just yet. Experts agree that you should not aspire to jump into a whole food diet with both feet right away.
This lifestyle change is more of a dip your toe in the pool approach before diving into the deep end.
You should start slow, replacing one to three meals per week with a plant-based option. Perhaps you have heard about the Meatless Monday campaign? The Meatless Monday campaign encourages you to dial back your meat intake on Mondays.
You can start here or even as simple as replacing your lunch or dinner with a plant-based meal, or you can start with breakfast by ditching your eggs for a warm bowl of oatmeal. Replace your soda or juice with water (Source).
Another tip you might consider is introducing your plate to one new vegetable and fruit each week. This action will enable you to identify those plants you like best and those you might be able to do without or eat in small quantities.
Next, while you may feel the need to jump right into buying organic fruits and veggies, it’s okay if you take it slow on this front as well. Your goal is simply to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. You can do move to the next level later.
Regardless of whether or not you choose organic or not, it still beats that boxed, pre-packaged meal any day of the week.
Stepping into the plant-based arena can feel overwhelming, and therefore you must permit yourself to start small. The key to success will more than likely require you to plan your meals out in advance.This action will reduce your risk of inadvertently slipping back into old habits or consuming processed snacks that claim to be vegan or plant-based.
Finally, do not be afraid to perform a reality check of your progress six months into following a WFD. It is not uncommon for some people to relapse back into old habits. If you find yourself slipping back into old ways, permit yourself to start again.
Should I Spend My Money On Vegan Products?
You have probably seen boxes upon boxes of frozen vegan meals. However, you do not have to purchase these items. While the meal preparation convenience might be alluring, these processed meals and products may do more harm than good. Be wary and take the time read labels and do your research.
The good news is that shopping for plant-based foods is not such a difficult chore as you might think it to be. The key is to dabble in a bit of variety. Slowly stock up on natural seasonings and do’t be afraid to try new things.
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