Archive for the tag - energy

Healthy Energy Bar [Recipe]

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 9.42.45 AMI just got back from a visit to Kalani on the Big Island of Hawaii, and they were nice enough to share their healthy Honu Energy Bar recipe with all of you! I’m absolutely addicted and I think you will be, too.

Check out the video below!

Are Energy Chews Good for You?

In my Christmas stocking, I received a bunch of energy chews, energy gels and even an energy waffle.

The products all claim to give you a burst of energy without any caffeine – and many even position themselves as organic. The packaging makes the products appear healthy, even going so far as to feature a biker racing uphill.

To the average health-conscious consumer, these energy foods look like they’d be good for you. But are they really healthy?

Much like Gatorade and sports drinks, energy chews and gels have their place. They’re for individuals who are engaged in sustained physical activity for a prolonged period of time. These energy products can give endurance athletes a powerful boost when it’s needed most.

The boost comes from simple carbohydrates (i.e., the bad carbs), often in the form of sugar. For instance, the first three ingredients in the ‘Clif Shot Bloks’ are all sugar – but cleverly disguised as organic brown rice syrup, organic dried cane syrup and organic brown rice syrup solids. Consumers might glance at the ingredients and see words like ‘organic’ and ‘brown rice’ and assume that the product is healthy for everyday consumption.

They’re not.

The truth is, most consumers aren’t running marathons or biking the Tour de France. When these energy chews and gels are consumed as snacks, you’re really just loading your body with simple, unhealthy carbs. It’s akin to eating candy. Excuse me, organic candy.

The lesson in all of this is not just the importance of reading a label, but understanding what the ingredients really mean. In the ‘Honey Stinger Waffle’, for instance, the first ingredient is organic wheat flour. While whole wheat flour is a complex carb, wheat flour is not. Wheat flour is just a sneaky and misleading way for saying white flour. You must do your homework.

Read the label – and know what it means. And don’t judge a product by its cover.

Low Glycemic Index Foods: 3 Reasons to Love ‘Em?

Because foods that are low on the glycemic index cause you to feel full longer and help control energy levels, they've become a popular choice for people looking to lose weight or improve general health.

You’ve probably heard a thing or two about the “glycemic index” in the last year or two. Diets rich in foods that score low on the glycemic index (GI) have become increasingly popular – and there is some mounting (but mixed) evidence to support their effectiveness.

According the the Mayo Clinic:

The glycemic index classifies carbohydrate-containing foods according to their potential to raise your blood sugar level. Foods are scored on a scale of 0 to 100.

According to supporters, eating low GI foods has three benefits:

  1. Increased energy. Since low GI foods don’t cause a sharp rise in your blood sugar levels, they result in steady energy levels over a longer period of time. You won’t crash in the same way that you might after eating candy or drinking soda.
  2. Feel full longer. For people looking to lose weight, low GI foods have the advantage of causing you to feel full longer. Moreover, many low GI foods are rich in fiber. Since fiber is digested slowly, it also helps curb hunger.
  3. Improves focus. Since the sugars in low GI foods are released slowly, the brain is given a constant source of energy. Many believe this results in better attention and focus.

There’s still lots to learn about the glycemic index, but a low GI diet may be worthwhile if you’re open to changing the foods you eat but unwilling to count calories or carbs. Since low GI foods are fairly diverse, it’s a diet plan that is sustainable longer term.

For general guidance, below is a list of the GI scores for many common foods. Low is a score of 55 or below; medium is a score of 56 to 69; high is a score of 70 or above.

Have you ever tried a low GI diet? Did you experience results?

Best Time of Day to Exercise.

Dear Davey,

What time of the day is best for working out? Is it better to do it first thing in the morning, around lunch time or in the evening or night?

Confused,
John

Dear John,

I get this question a lot. And it’s no wonder: The research on exercise time is divided and contradictory. Body performance (i.e., lung capacity, hormone levels, body rhythms, temperature, etc.) peaks around 6pm for most people. On the other hand, research on habits formation points to early morning workouts. It’s easier to create a routine and avoid distractions in the AM.

I like to take a different approach. In my opinion, the best time for you to exercise is when you have the most energy.

I’m a morning person. At 6AM, I’m ready to go. But by 6PM, I’m thinking about dinner and pajamas. In spite of whatever the research might say about body performance, I’d probably fall asleep on the treadmill.

Know yourself. Are you a morning person? A night owl? When do you feel like your energy levels peak? Whatever your answer is – that’s probably the best time for you to exercise. You’ll be able to give your routine a 100% commitment.

And really, when all is said and done, any time is a great time to hit the gym.

Love,
Davey Wavey