When 2 o’clock rolls around, do you often find yourself fighting to stay awake or stay focused? There are many reasons why you may feel sluggish, from lack of sleep to extra stress, to low blood sugar. But if you suspect your diet is the culprit (hello, coffee and donuts!), having nutritious snacks on hand can be all you need to re-energize and power yourself through the afternoon. Prepare these simple snacks in advance and pack them with your lunch so that you’ll always be ready to fight the mid-afternoon slump.
Autumn Snack Clusters
Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito started making his own energy bars when he realized the supermarket variety wasn’t good for his wallet or his health. In his new book,Cook Your Butt Off!, DiSpirito shares his snack clusters. They may be small, but they pack a naturally sweet punch from dried cinnamon-apple slices, parsnips, and beets, which are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and dietary fiber that can improve concentration.
Carrot Cake Granola
Instead of reaching for a sugary snack, make the healthier switch to carrot cake granola and use it as an oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt topping. This granola recipe from Healthy Delicious is high in iron, which can help pump up your energy levels if you’re anemic or have an iron deficiency. By using it as a topping for creamy Greek yogurt you’ll have a tasty parfait with the benefit of added protein, which helps boost brain cells that fight fatigue.
Pumpkin Energy Balls
Fiber-rich pumpkin and pumpkin seeds can improve your energy by reducing depression-related tiredness, especially if you’re dealing with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the winter. The Lean Green Bean’s pumpkin energy balls also include sunflower seeds, which are high in vitamin B6, a key nutrient that converts food to energy.
Rise and Shine Smoothie
Instead of pouring yourself a cup of coffee, blend up Blogging Over Thyme’s Rise and Shine smoothie for an afternoon pick-me-up. The almond milk base, loaded with energizing vitamins A and E, plus bananas rich in vitamin B6 makes for a super-energizing smoothie that’ll give you the kick you need without the caffeine crash.