10 Energizing Foods to Welcome the Light of Spring

by Lindsay Pleskot

Literally, and metaphorically, Spring is when we emerge from the darkness. there’s nothing more revitalizing than fresh air and spending time in nature and the longer days and warmer weather are the perfect catalysts for this.

In light of this gorgeous season upon us, I’m sharing 10 Energizing Foods - many of which you probably already have on your grocery list - to help you make the most of those long spring and summer days! If you’re a fellow Vancouverite, you know how much we live for these stunning seasons, and what better way to make the most of them than fueling our bodies with feel good food.

CACAO NIBS

Simply put, cacao nibs are chocolate in its simplest form. They are dried, fermented bits of cacao beans which is the foundation of the chocolate we buy in stores, before it has been processed. Cacao nibs contain theobromine which can stimulate the nervous system in a similar way to caffeine. I love sprinkling a tablespoon or so onto my morning oatmeal, stirring some into smoothies, or even adding to sweet potato toast for a bit of crunch and extra energy boost. If you’re expecting chocolate, you might find them a bit bitter, but once you get used to them they are game changers!

CITRUS 

Have you noticed that a lot of body scrubs or energizing oil blends contain citrus? The strong scent that’s carried in the oils of the peels is known to invigorate. Plus, it’s packed with Vitamin C, the Queen of immune boosting antioxidants to keep you healthy and energized through all seasons! I like to grate the zest onto pretty much any dish for an instant flavor pick me up, squeeze into warm water  to help rehydrate first thing in the morning, or just straight up as the perfect snack.

PEPPERMINT 

Research has shown that the smell of peppermint alone can increase alertness and decrease fatigue. It also adds a nice natural sweetness so that you don’t need to add additional sugar which can cause energy crashes. I love to add a big handful of mint to my green juices, fruit salads and even green salads for a fresh flavor.  

WATER

Ok, so this one’s a drink. But it’s an important one! The majority of our body is made up of water! So it’s not surprise that when we’re dehydrated we can feel extremely lethargic, groggy, and even inaccurately hungry! If you have troubles remembering to drink up, set an alarm in your phone or create visual reminders like a sticky note on your computer, or a water bottle on your desk.

CINNAMON

Another natural sweetener, cinnamon can also help balance blood sugar levels for more stable energy levels throughout the day. Sprinkle it over oatmeal, add it to muffins, or mix into chia pudding for a taste and smell that can reduce fatigue.

MACA 

Maca is actually a root vegetable that stems from the broccoli family.  Often sold in powdered form, it has a distinct nutty and malty flavor to it. Maca is known as an adaptogen, which can help our bodies adapt to physiological, psychological, or biological stressors and strengthen immune function. Pretty dang energizing if you ask me.  Throw maca in a smoothie, stir fry, or mix with cacao powder and coconut milk for a superfood hot chocolate. I make one of those drinks almost every morning with a scoop of WithinUs TruMarine Collagen for an energizing boost.

DATES

Dates are naturally sweet. They give you that little energy boost that only sugar can deliver sometimes. Because they also contain fiber, they won’t send you for that dreaded sugar crash. Although it is all natural sugar, eating too many in one sitting can still lead to a sugar high. Pair them with nuts or nut butter for a little dose of healthy fat and protein to extend the energy benefits.  

BEANS

Beans are packed with complex carbs and protein for slow digesting energy. They’re also packed with B vitamins, which help our body turn the calories from food into usable energy. There’s not better excuse for a taco night.  Which also gives you another excuse to eat avocado. Speeeaking of which...

AVOCADO 

This gorgeous fruit really doesn’t need convincing. It is packed with healthy fats that will nourish you from the inside out, cause hey, one thing I know is that you guys are all about taking care of your skin! Fat helps stabilize blood sugars which means more energy! Avocados are also high in Vitamin E, a cell protecting antioxidant. Taco night, avocado pudding, avocado toast... like I said, this one speaks for itself.

MUSHROOMS 

Don’t be fooled by their lack of color! Mushrooms are full of nutrition benefits, including the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D! They’re also packed with immune boosting, disease fighting properties which is why I am predicting mushrooms are going to have a major moment in 2018. If you’ve already started hearing the buzz around Chaga, Reishi, and Lion’s Mane this is why.