Written by the Iron Vegan Education Team
‘Tis the season for fa-la-la-la long errand lists, no matter what your holiday traditions. Between the shopping, cooking, and cleaning, it’s likely your eating habits run the gamut from frequently over-indulging in food and drink to forgetting to eat altogether. Neither option is particularly good for your energy or mood at a time when you need both to be at their peak.
Feed your energy
The key to sustainable energy is to maintain balanced blood glucose by reducing your intake of refined carbs and bumping up healthy fats and protein while maintaining a scheduled eating pattern. Focus your intake on complex carbohydrates from fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes and veggie trays. If the dip sitting alongside the veggies happens to be guacamole, take a generous scoop. Guacamole is an excellent source of essential fats that fuel your metabolism and help you to feel full longer, so you don’t over-fill your plate. Include healthy fats from avocado, nuts and seeds or fish with every meal and snack.
Last but not least, be sure you get adequate protein. Women are notoriously deficient in protein, with results we can feel in our moods and energy. Proteins are constructed with amino acids, and several of these are critical in maintaining healthy mood. The neurotransmitter dopamine (pleasure and reward) is made from the amino acid tyrosine, while serotonin (feel good) requires the amino acid tryptophan. Deficiency in either of these neurotransmitters is associated with low mood. Because protein takes longer to digest, it also helps to slow digestion so you can avoid the energy roller coaster.
Part of the explanation for protein’s dietary shortfall might be the common perception that meat is the only source (and, really, how much more turkey can you eat right now?) At 57% of daily intake, however, plant-based foods are the leading source of protein world-wide. Grain-like seeds such as amaranth and quinoa provide all nine essential amino acids. Other plant foods may be deficient in an amino acid but combine with other foods over the day to provide all the necessary protein building blocks. Nutrient-dense almond, cashew, flax, peanut, pumpkin and sesame seeds, for example, are good sources of the amino acid leucine that is critical for muscle protein synthesis.
While raw plant foods are good, sprouting amplifies the benefits. The germination process triggers the break down of starches, which makes it easier for you to digest and absorb nutrients. Sprouting also increases antioxidant activity and reduces anti-nutrients like phytic acid that can inhibit absorption of dietary minerals. Finally, sprouting generates a significant boost in amino acids. Compared to raw, for example, sprouted quinoa has a 30% increase in antioxidants and high concentrations of the neurotransmitter γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA).Germinated brown rice also contains higher levels of glutamic acid, alanine, and glycine versus the raw grain.
Gift yourself: Iron Vegan Sprouted Protein
Of course, sprouting your own plant foods takes time, which is in short supply right now. For a simple solution to boost protein intake, start your day with a delicious drink made with Iron Vegan Sprouted Protein. Each serving provides all nine essential amino acids in 18 grams of plant-based protein derived from certified organic, non-GMO sprouted brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet and pumpkin seeds. Iron Vegan Sprouted Protein helps to build lean muscle and fuels your lifestyle so you can keep going longer, which makes it a perfect addition to your holiday routine that you’ll want to continue long after the decorations go back in storage. Try delicious chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, and an unflavoured version you can add it to your morning smoothie.
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