Spring marks the beginning of a new growing season.
Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and the weather is perfect for being outside. The greenbelt is full of new growth, beautiful flowing water and hikers enjoying all that the hill country has to offer for walking, running or cycling. Zilker Park is packed with pickup games of soccer, frisbee golf matches, dogs chasing toys and picnics galore! Spring has sprung and it is glorious!
But what if your energy levels don’t match the weather? Do you need a pick-me-up? Do you want to put the spring back in your step?
How you feed your body is one of the most essential ways to gain energy. Foods packed with essential vitamins and minerals are the quickest way to a natural energy lift. To find the perfect meals that fit your needs, look at some of my favorites!
Let’s start with breakfast!
Morning hike or long run? I like to make sure I have plenty of high-quality carbohydrates, clean fats and some long-lasting protein to fuel the movement.
Oatmeal is a slow-digesting carbohydrate that provides 5 to 8 grams of protein per half-cup. Almond butter provides a great fat source to help with energy levels through the workout as well as 6 to 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. Blueberries are not only a fantastic antioxidant, but they also provide that touch of sweetness to your breakfast. All three of these foods are also anti-inflammatory, which will help with recovery after your adventures!
Avocado is a fat that is incredibly easy to digest and keeps the home fires burning during your movement. Sprouted grain toast has a great number of vitamins and minerals while being gluten-free and high in fiber. Sprouts provide great green energy with protein and vitamins. Egg, especially when eaten with yolk, is a great source of B vitamins (all energy inducing) as well as protein and healthy fat! These ingredients also make up pieces of the anti-inflammatory food group that help heal after a workout.
Moving onto lunchtime!
Midday workouts, especially as the weather warms are the best! Spending time around Lady Bird Lake, checking out Mount Bonnell or cruising the bike paths in Circle C all give a great opportunity to picnic! Taking nutritious foods with you will keep you playing outside all afternoon!
Grab a cassava flour tortilla and lay out some hummus layering turkey, spinach, bell pepper strips and tomato slices. You will have a flavor-packed wrap that is gluten-free, full of great fats from the hummus, provides clean protein from the turkey and has a fresh crunch with the added vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. Wash and cut some fresh strawberries for an antioxidant-sweet treat. Then, keep plenty of snacks available with carrot and celery sticks dipped in tzatziki! The well-rounded flavors with the incredible boosts of nutritious foods will put some pep in your step!
Fish is a fantastic source of lean protein, omega fatty acids and energy-rich vitamins like B6! Using rice crackers will provide a nice quick-release carbohydrate source that is easy to digest. Dark cherries provide tons of vitamin C and are an anti-inflammatory fruit making them the perfect snack for the outdoors. This picnic lunch will have you feeling great with sustained energy to play and explore!
Some of the top energy-inducing foods include oatmeal, sweet potato, spinach, eggs, nuts, fruit, seeds, green tea, fish and yogurt. Last but not least of essential nutritional requirement for energy is water! Make sure as the weather warms up you are keeping hydrated!
If you are looking to put the spring in your step, look no further than your nutrition! Bring in great carbohydrates like grains, fruits and vegetables to keep you out longer. Add healthy fats from nuts, seeds, beans or avocado to maintain your energy duration. Lastly, look to clean protein sources that will help fuel your adventures and keep your muscle tissue performing at its best.
Spring has sprung and there is nothing more exciting than being able to adventure out to all the great options Austin has to offer. Whether you are paddling the lake, hiking a trail or playing fetch with your pup, take an energy-packed snack and your water to enjoy a full day of fun!
About the Author
Coach Kati Epps is the founder of MyBody GX with a background in chemistry from Colorado State University, an ACE certified personal trainer, health coach and nutrition specialist.