We’ve all been there – dragging ourselves through the day, exhausted and barely able to hold our peepers open. You begin to wonder if you’ll even make it to five o’clock, let alone to that after work gym session! But before you give in to that new box set, it’s time to examine what you’re eating between meals or before exercise. We asked top PTs, bloggers and nutritionists for their boosting bite suggestions and recipes that you can easily make at home…
The PT… Cecilia Harris, head PT at Fitness Ladies (fitnessladies.co.uk), has a few go-tos when it comes to energising bites. “I’ll have a handful of almonds, which are high in the mineral magnesium that is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking glucose down into energy. Chia seed pudding is a particularly good choice if you’re in need of a mental boost!” Try Cecilia’s recipe:
1 to 2 tbsp of chia seeds
240ml of almond milk
2 tbsp cacao powder
60ml of agave syrup
1 small banana
Mix the chia seeds, cacao, agave syrup and nut milk in a bowl and pop in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) until it forms a gel. Whisk the mixture once or twice during the standing time to prevent the seeds clumping together. Once it’s set, you can either serve it cold with chopped banana and cacao nibs on top or during winter months, you can heat it gently in a pan, (not to boiling) and serve.
The blogger… It may sound simple, but PT and blogger Zanna Van Dijk (zannavandijk.co.uk) recommends an apple with cinnamon and a tablespoon of peanut butter. “The fruit provides carbohydrates to boost your energy levels, while the peanut butter helps to add healthy fats and protein which keep you feeling full. The spice adds tons of flavour, and current research even suggests that it can regulate blood sugar levels, so dig in!” The fitstagrammer also suggests Greek yoghurt, which supports muscle growth and repair. “You can add flavour by stirring through a dash of honey for carbohydrates and sprinkling on some nuts or seeds for crunch and healthy fats. Delicious!”
The yogi… Yogi and nutritionist Julie Montagu (juliemontagu.com) recommends her cacao snack balls from her latest book Superfoods Superfast (Quadrille, £18.99). These balls use cacao, which, as Julie explains, contain one of the highest concentrations for magnesium, helping with energy levels and combatting fatigue. “This superfood is also considered a natural anti-depressant as it contains dopamine, serotonin and phenylethylamine, which all help with mental support.”
80g walnut halves
5 tbsp raw cacao powder (plus
extra for dusting)
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp chia seeds
Blitz the ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a bowl and use your hands to roll the mixture into 10-12 balls. Dust with cacao powder and refrigerate, ready to grab when you need a boost – watch your energy soar!
The nutritionist… A great source of carbohydrates, sweet potato is considered a superfood for a reason, but have you ever thought about toasting it?
“Sweet potato toast with peanut butter or a little olive oil and some seeds is my new favourite power snack,” says nutritionist Rick Hay (rickhay.co.uk). “I love it as it gives you a healthy energy boost that has a protein element to it, meaning that it helps to keep you satisfied for longer.” Rick’s also a big fan of nutrient density – he advises making a smoothie by blitzing together spinach (known for its energy-boosting magnesium) with a couple of dates (which provide fibre), half a banana, 200ml of rice or almond milk and a teaspoon of cacao powder.