Energy Boosts & Quinoa Tropical Fruit Salad

by Joanne on February 7, 2011

This time of year it’s easy to feel drained and lacking energy.  You can fight this.  Here’s some tips and tricks I found…well, I don’t know where I originally found them because it was a reference I sent to Ted back in 2007 by Kim Brown, MS, RD.  I happened to come across the email when leafing through a book this past weekend. More than you needed to know? Ok …getting on with it.

  • Mistake: Insufficient calories to meet your energy burn. Correct: If you train one hour per day, add 16 to 20 more calories per pound of body weight to your diet per day.
  • Mistake: Improperly balancing carbs, fats, protein.  Correct:  Make sure half your plate is filled with fruit or vegetables. A quarter with potato, brown rice or other whole grain. The other quarter of your plate is a lean protein such as eggs, cottage cheese or fish/chicken. 55%-60% carbs to 15%-20% protein to 20%-25% fats.
  • Mistake:  Restricting certain foods leads to a vitamin and mineral deficiency.  Too little iron, too little calcium, not enough folic acid,  vitamin A, vitamin C, etc. Correct:   Consume 6 servings of a starch, 2 servings fruit, 3 servings veggies, 3 servings dairy or alternative, 6 servings protein, and moderate but do consume healthy fats such as nuts, olives, flax, olive oil, canola oil.  Reference: MYPYRAMID –food pyramid.gov
  • Mistake:  Not enough fluid intake. Correct:  Drink 1/2 your body weight in pounds per day (caffeine and carbonated beverages don’t count).
  • Mistake:  Skipping meals.  Correct:  Eat something healthy in moderation (not a big meal) every 3 hours.  But start the day with a good healthy breakfast. No excuses! Don’t skip that one!
  • Mistake:  Too many carbohydrates in the wrong index.  Correct:  Eat low to moderate glycemic carbs (whole wheat grains, brown rice, beans) during the day and keep the high glycemic carbs (sports drinks, soda, bagels) for after your aerobic exercise. Those high GI carbs cause your energy levels to rise and fall too quickly for normal daily activity.
  • Mistake:  Excessive caffeine (GUILTY AS CHARGED!). Caffeine stimulates insulin and that causes blood sugars to drop.  Correct:  Limit caffeine to about 2 cups per day (300 mg). Personally, I’d probably suffer major melt down, but I’m willing to try.
  • Mistake:  Not eating before a long run or over 60 minutes of exercise.  Correct:  Consume 1/2 gram of carbs per pound of body weight for each hour prior to a long workout. This will keep your glycogen stores constant.
  • ENERGY FOODS:   Figs (fresh), low fat chocolate milk, sweet potatoes, low fat yogurt, whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter, handful of almonds with raisins.
  • ENERGY BOOSTING NUTRIENTS:  B-Vitamins-although these vits. won’t increase energy levels, they are important for the proper absorption of carbs, fat, and protein. L-Carnitine– An amino acid aids in metabolizing fat. Increased fat usage spares glycogen and prolongs time to fatigue.  Bee Pollen (natures most complete food) has a high concentration of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. It is believed to increase energy levels.

So who knows? If your energy level is down, try making some changes. Check the list above and see if you’re guilty of any mistakes.

Get tropical with this healthy salad.

We’re in the middle of winter and I’m feeling tropical.  Plane tickets cost too much. Not sure where I want to go so I’ll satisfy my tropical craving with some good eats.

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Mango and Kiwi take me away!

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Serves 4 – 6 and may be served warm or cold AND… it’s not just a salad. Mix it all up, but instead of adding quinoa, use the fruity mix as a salsa on fish, chicken…. you name it!

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  • 1 mango – peeled and small diced
  • 1 kiwi – peeled and small diced
  • 1/2 an orange – peel and dice the segments
  • 1/2 green bell pepper – diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper –diced
  • 1 green onion, chopped small
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro (fresh would be PERFECT! But use 1 to 2 TBS of fresh)
  • 1 TBS fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1 cup Red Quinoa –cooked according to box directions.

Mix everything together in a bowl.  That’s the recipe!  Enjoy!

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Don’t forget! You can add the fruity mixture to rice if you don’t like quinoa OR, use it as a salsa to top your favorite fish, salmon/tuna burger, chicken dish, etc. The possibilities are endless!

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15 Comments

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    • At 2011.02.07 19:26, the dawn said:

      i am ALWAYS looking for new exciting things to do with quinoa. thanks for the awesome idea!!! can’t wait to try it out 🙂

      • At 2011.02.08 11:24, Joanne said:

        Quinoa is so easy to do SO much with. Enjoy 🙂

        • At 2011.02.07 19:52, Lori said:

          Coffee is my one true vice. I don’t smoke. I rarely drink anymore. I eat healthy the majority of the time. I am just not getting rid of the caffeine LOL!
          Lori´s last blog post ..Running to start the weekMy Profile

          • At 2011.02.08 11:24, Joanne said:

            Me neither Lori. That’s the one thing I have agains running races, I can’t drink my coffee until the race is over 🙁

            • At 2011.02.07 20:47, MichaelRunner said:

              Those are great tips. I’m guilty of drinking a little too much coffee too, but I love it. And that recipe is amazing. I wish I had some right now. Thank you!
              MichaelRunner´s last blog post ..How to Interpret Running Temperatures for MenMy Profile

              • At 2011.02.08 11:25, Joanne said:

                Is coffee a runners “thing”? It sure seems like it.

                • At 2011.02.07 21:37, Bela said:

                  I never thought to do quinoa with fruit, looks delicious, I will have to try that!

                  • At 2011.02.08 11:25, Joanne said:

                    Good luck in the Disney Half Bela! You’ll do great!

                    • At 2011.02.08 00:46, Monet said:

                      What a beautiful quinoa salad! I love the burst of brightness that these tropical fruits add to our winter days. And what a great list of energy boosting tips. I need them! Thank you for sharing your words, your photos and your thoughts. I’m blessed to have you in my day! I hope you have a wonderful week, my friend!

                      • At 2011.02.08 11:26, Joanne said:

                        Thanks Monet. You too.

                        • At 2011.02.08 07:37, Heather said:

                          Love those tips – and I NEVER skip breakfast!! 🙂

                          • At 2011.02.08 11:26, Joanne said:

                            Me neither. IT’s my favorite meal of the day.

                            • At 2011.02.08 09:06, kalli said:

                              funny because i have been feeling drained lately. thank you for sharing the tips!

                              • At 2011.02.08 11:27, Joanne said:

                                Remember, if nothing else: lots of water and eat something rich in iron.

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