Top Five Foods for Focus and Energy – Fuel your body to move from chaos to clarity.

Wendy with veggiesWendy Battles-Plasse, Health Coach, Author and Speaker joined us last week for our June PWP call.  We agreed that before you can do any of the things in life that matter, or live with impact and contribution, you NEED energy and focus to make it happen. A great way to do this is through how you fuel your body!  Wendy shared awesome ideas about her go-to foods for doing just that.

The call recording with all of the juicy details is here  ===> Foods for Focus and Energy

What I love about Wendy’s approach is not only does she share ideas with her audiences (via book, blog, tv, and individual and corporate clients) about WHAT you should eat…but also the all so important HOW you can integrate the foods into your life. And in ways that make sense and are pretty simple to do. With a little planning of course.  So, here are some of the top foods Wendy likes for focus and energy.  Be sure to listen to the recording for the details.

1)  Berries –  Berries are super-rich in flavonoids which act as an anti-inflammatory.  We need to do whatever we can do reduce inflammation in the body and brain – that is the beginning of dis-ease and cellular break down.  Inflammation occurs with lack of exercise, stress and all of the toxins in our environment, so adding berries to the plan works as an anti-oxidant.  Blueberries have been said to help with short-term memory. Feel free to eat by the fistful- they are low in sugar compared to other fruits.

2)  Nuts –  Nuts are full of vitamin E – which helps prevent cognitive decline.  Most are high-calorie, so watch portion sizes, but they are very satisfying as a snack, so it is not like you need a ton.  They also have an anti-inflammatory effect and promote good blow flow to oxygenate the brain.  They have magnesium in them that does this.  Some great go-to nuts are almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.  Nuts have healthy fats in them and that is what helps fill you up as well.

3)  Avocados –  Another incredibly healthy, good-fat and versatile food is the avocado.   They are rich in vitamin E, potassium and B-Vitamins – also good for the brain. They also help you absorb other nutrients that are in the foods you eat with them – like alpha and beta carotene and lutein. (Wendy, I did some research:)…You can use them in more than guacamole – they are great in shakes on salads, and just plain.  They are a great thickener for smoothies too.  Wendy passed us this great link for detox smoothies from Prevention magazine.

4)  Spinach and Other Greens (Kale, Collard Greens) – The greens are highly cleansing, and Kale is the super-star of the bunch.  Full of great nutrients and fiber.  I got a kale plant and potted it, and I am plucking leaves for smoothies or salad whenever I want. It keeps growing back, it is awesome.  The greens – anything with chlorophyll is energizing and boosts bloodflow to the brain. Spinach is high in magnesium, and again, boosts the bloodflow to the brain…and it has vitamins A, C, E, K, iron and potassium.

5)  Fish – Classic brain food due to the Omega 3 fats in it- great for the cells and protective layers around the cells in the brain.  Wild salmon, sardines (low on the food chain so less toxins and chemicals), and other oily fish are great for you.

The bonus food:  Chocolate!  In this case, Wendy is really referring to raw cacao, not the processed chocolate in chips or bars.  You can get cacao nibs or powder at the store or online (Navitas Naturals is a good one).

Check out the recording ==>  Foods for Focus and Energy , for more tips and here’s to your beautiful brain, you smart purpose-seeker!!

Share a tip, question, favorite smoothie recipe or any other brain and focus habit that you enjoy, below!!

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. jberquist says:

    Wendy. I meant to ask you on the call – What about helping our brain or our focus with things like green tea or coffee? Are either one good for our energy or focus….are the effects temporary? I like both, but have been doing more tea. So much out there on these two, can you shed some light? Thanks!!

  2. Hi Jill,

    You pose a great question regarding tea and coffee and their impact on our brains. Some studies show that a does of caffeine can increase one’s ability to focus and feel mentally sharp. I’m not a big caffeine drinker but on days when I feel unusually tired in the morning, if I have a cup of coffee, I often will feel more focused. I find the effects to last for a few hours but haven’t found it to be a long term solution.

    That said, I think we can also achieve the same results when we eat a consistently clean diet. I’ve noticed that this week as I’ve been doing a raw food cleanse. An all veggie diet this week with ample fruits and vegetables and no meat, dairy or sugar has helped me increase my focus and feel lighter in my body — and no mid-afternoon slump!

    As for tea or coffee, I encourage green tea for the antioxidants benefits you can reap although who doesn’t love a really good cup of coffee every now and then?

    Hope that’s helpful,
    Wendy

    • jberquist says:

      Awesome Wendy! And I am glad you mentioned the cleansing. I have not done one yet, but some day will. I have heard from others that they feel really focused and clear doing that. I also love your balanced approach of not getting too extreme about good and bad foods. I think it makes it easier for any of us to consider changes…and not feel like we have to deprive ourselves.

  3. Hi Jill and Wendy:

    Loved the discussion and agree with all the tips for energy. I’m especially fond of avocados as an energy food as well as a healthy fat that keeps me full for hours and eliminates unhealthy snacking.
    Eating the right foods have such a positive impact on overall health, which then results in a better mood and overall outlook on life. With this comes the energy to exercise, to engage in healthy relationships , and increased productivity. As the saying goes, you are what you eat! To your good health, Linda

  4. jberquist says:

    Thought I would add this link that I received in a newsletter I get. It speaks to Whey Protein being good for brain energy, in addition to its other benefits. Anyone hear about this one before or can attest to it?
    http://www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/whey_protein_for_brain_energy/

  5. What doe Wendy think about replacing milk based dairy products with almond or rice milk since diary has been found not to be healthy? Can doing this help “focus”?

    • jberquist says:

      Greg,
      Thanks for chiming in, I will ask Wendy to post. Funny enough I just received my order of Daily Protein powder from the link I shared in the last post. After avoiding whey proteins and using only pea and rice blends (just trying to eliminate some dairy), I had read where this guy referred to whey as good brain food. Trying his blend, and I have to say – it is really better tasting, better dissolving and not sticky at all compared to others I have tried. No additives or sweeteners of any kind. I cannot speak for brain effects yet:)

    • Hi Greg,
      Great question you ask about dairy product alternatives. I think that rice and almond milk are both good options. I use almond milk a good deal and really like it, especially since my main reason for avoiding dairy is that I’m lactose intolerant. I sometimes even make my own fresh almond milk which tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the market.

      As for the ability to have rice or almond milk help us focus, these would definitely not be the things I’d reach for. They can’t hurt our ability to focus but I don’t think either is a powerhouse in this arena. I think it’s better to go straight for the nuts for focus and opposed to depending on nut milk – you definitely lose some of the helpful nutrients through the process of making the milk.

      Hope that’s helpful,
      Wendy

  6. As we continue this discussion of food to help us focus, I thought you might enjoy this article from Mind Body Green about Six Foods to Help You Focus. Contains many of the items we talked about on the call, an interesting, quick read. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/1-10063-6/6-foods-to-help-you-focus.html