Author Topic: An article by Dr. Mao:  (Read 300 times)

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An article by Dr. Mao:
« on: June 02, 2009, 07:47:09 AM »

Lunch is a happily anticipated break in most people's workday. But how often after lunch do you feel over-stuffed and ready for a nap—anything but work? Whether you are packing lunch, grabbing it on the go, or eating out, you can make smart choices that will cut back on calories and bring you energy for the rest of your day. Best of all, many of these tips can decrease costs, too!

1. Soup up your lunch
Soup is a simple lunch that won't weigh you down; in fact, studies have found that people who eat a serving of soup daily lose more weight than those who eat the same amount of calories but don't eat soup. Nutritious low-salt soups will nourish you as they flush waste from your body; best of all, soup is easy for your body to assimilate and you will return to lunch with renewed energy and untroubled digestion. Go for homemade soup whenever possible to steer clear of the salt and chemicals in canned soups.

2. Brown foods bring energy
If you struggle to stay awake in the afternoon, you're not alone. Many people feel suddenly drowsy a few hours after lunch. This is usually because lunch consists largely of carbohydrates, which burn very quickly, leaving you without enough energy to make it until dinner. For more energy, switch from "white" foods to "brown" foods. Unlike white rice, white bread, and white pasta, brown rice is packed with magnesium, an essential mineral that your cell's mitochondria use for energy production.

Also, many of these brown whole grains are low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measurement of how quickly the food you eat converts to glucose, the substance your body needs for energy. Low glycemic index foods give you steady, sustainable energy; on the other hand, foods with a high glycemic index (HGI) give you a quick rush, followed by a quick crash when your blood sugar drops. Choose barley, bulgur, quinoa, amaranth, and brown rice for an energy-packed lunch accompaniment.

3. Pick protein for steady energy
Proteins are low on the glycemic index, so they burn slowly and give you steady fuel that will last two to four hours. A piece of chicken, turkey, or fish with a salad is an excellent lunch. Choose a light lunch that includes about 4 ounces of protein, the size of a deck of cards. Skip starchy foods and sweets at lunchtime—after the initial stimulation, fatigue soon follows.

4.. Got greens?
Fatigue can come from a deficiency of B vitamins. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, and dandelion greens will bring you energy throughout your day. The B complex is important because it provides co-enzymes that aid in carbohydrate metabolism-and carbohydrates give your body energy. You can also get your Bs from eggs, fish, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and orange juice, among other dietary sources.

5. Lunch tips you can bring to work
Bring food that can be enjoyed cold. Or if available, warm up your food over a stove or in a toaster oven. Use the microwave as a last option; though convenient, it has been found that microwave cooking destroys some important nutrients in your food. If you choose to use the microwave, try to avoid plastic containers or plastic wrap because studies have shown that when these are microwaved, they can leach dioxins, phthalates, or nonylphenol. Instead, microwave your food in glassware, Corning Ware, ceramic, or lead-free terra cotta bowls.

Here are some meals to bring or pick up:

    * Greens with steamed beets sprinkled with pine nuts, walnuts, and shredded chicken
    * Avocado and turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread.
    * Whole grain pasta with organic meat sauce.
    * Brown rice or quinoa with sautéed veggies.
    * Veggie stir-fry or boiled dumplings.

6. Get smart about eating out
When you eat out, choose restaurants that are nutrition-oriented. Avoid fast food or the typical diner serving fried, fatty foods. On the menu, the vegetarian fare is usually a healthy option, provided it is not fried.

The offered portions are often more than we need. Remember, your body can only make use of a certain amount of nutrients at a given time. Try choosing an appetizer, soup, or salad for lunch, instead of an entrée. A couple of these small dishes can fill you up and give you some variety—without leaving you overstuffed and lethargic.

If you do order an entrée, ask for a box when the entrée arrives and box up half of it before you start eating. That way you won't try to finish the whole plate.

Eating with a close co-worker friend? Offer to split the entrée order. You'll save money and your waistline at the same time.

7. Energy-packed snacks
A healthy snack at mid-morning and another one at mid-afternoon can bring you a burst of energy and cut back on the kind of cravings that lead to a fast food frenzy at your next break.

    * A cup of green or herbal tea can boost your energy and bring you long-term health benefits. Try specially formulated Ancient Treasures tea for balance at the workplace or Internal Cleanse tea to clear toxins..
    * Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, goji berries, and cherries: rich in antioxidants, berries can also help remove toxic residue from the system, which is sometimes the cause of low energy.
    * A handful of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit is a grab-and-go treat that will ward off your energy slump. Seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds are full of magnesium; so are nuts, especially almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews.
    * Instead of a bagel with cream cheese, have a slice of wheat toast with hummus. Beans like hummus can help you sustain your energy and prevent low blood sugar from setting in.
    * An apple is a heart-healthy instant snack that will feed your metabolism without overloading you with calories.

 

 

 
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