Eating for Energy

When eating for sustained energy, thoughtfulness, planning and balance is essential and often tricky.  Misty Amarena, Moscow Food Co-op’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, shared some great tips and tricks.

1.     Balance:  The key equation to a healthy and energy packed snack or meal is

Fruit or vegetable + complex carb + lean protein + plant based fat = balanced, healthful energy

2.     Drink water:  Drinking ½ cup to 1 cup of water every couple hours maintains hydration and gets you to the recommended amount by the end of the day.

3.     Get enough (and the right kinds of) calories:  Skimping on calories decreases the body’s metabolic rate as the body tries to conserve energy.  Skipping meals can also lead to poor food choices—suddenly cookies or some other quick fix can sound like the perfect solution when really a few almonds and some dried fruit will give you the energy you really need to make it through the afternoon. 

4.     Not all carbohydrates are created equal:  While carbohydrates provide vital fuel for the body ultimately in the form of glucose and are an excellent energy source for the brain and central nervous system, whole grains and complex carbohydrates are the recommended way to go.

5.     Plan for success:  Pinpoint your “Hunger Zone” with a food log, then plan to have a snack about 20-30 minutes before that Hunger Danger Zone hits. 

Foods to remember:

The Sweet Potato:  High in carbohydrates and loaded with beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C.  Sweet potatoes can help fight off midday fatigue.  Try them mashed or cut into strips, tossed with some olive oil and a favorite seasoning(s) for a yummy baked snack.

Honey:  A spoonful of honey is nature’s equivalent of an energy drink.  Low on the glycemic index, this natural sweetener acts as a time-released muscle fuel during exercise and helps replenish muscles post-workout.

Almonds:  Packed with protein, manganese, copper and riboflavin, almonds are a handy snack to keep at your desk or in your bag.

Fruit:  Provides a shot of glucose that your body can easily metabolize into energy.  Most fruits can be digested in under half an hour.  Bananas, apples, and oranges are great options for fruit on the go.  Apples and oranges are higher in fiber, can offer a slightly longer energy boost. 

Energy-Sustaining Snack Ideas:

·      Any mix of nuts (1/2 ounce) and dried fruit (1/2 ounce)

·      6 ounces of soy or dairy yogurt topped with 2 tablespoons natural granola

·      1 serving fresh fruit dipped in 2 tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter

·      3 cups air-popped popcorn tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil (or coconut oil, soy sauce, and sriracha)

·      5 whole grain crackers with ¼ hummus

·      Half of a sandwich—whole grain bread, avocado, hummus, turkey

·      ½ cup berries and 1 ounce walnuts

·      Smoothie—frozen fruit, flaxseeds and milk (soy, cow, rice or hemp)

·      1 ounce natural chips with ¼ cup tomato salsa

·      Apples and cheese (string or sliced)

April Topics

Household Cleaners, Misty Amarena, Moscow Food Co-op

Monday, April 6, 2015, 9:30-11am

Child Literacy (and Book Exchange!), Jessica DeHart, Book People of Moscow

Plus:  Book Exchange!  Freshen up your library by trading books with other families!

Monday, April 13, 2015, 9:30-11am

Gardening with Kids!, Carlie Wickenhagen

Monday, April 20, 2015, 9:30-11am

Open Discussion. Family Check-in.

Bring questions/topics that you would like to discuss

Monday, April 27, 2015, 9:30-11am


Where:  Uma Center (414 S Jefferson St, Moscow—corner of 5th and Jefferson)

Who:  YOU!  All interested participants are encouraged to attend! 


Each Mamas and Papas Group Meeting features a speaker on a topic that is relevant to expectant parents or parents of children up to two years of age.  Childcare assistance will be provided by Co-op volunteers during the meeting.  The Co-op Outreach Team will be there with refreshments and samples.  We hope to see you in April!