NEED A BOOST? NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS TO INCREASE YOUR ENERGY
As spring kicks off, many people will be tempted to grab a Monster, Red Bull, or Rockstar to get through the day. Energy drinks may give you a quick boost, but the high levels of caffeine and sugar can lead to migraines and increased anxiety. If over-consumed, these drinks can even lead to Type 2 diabetes. To avoid these health hazards, try out a few of these natural energy boosters instead. ASHWAGANDHA Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub found mostly in India. As part of the Ayurveda system, an alternative medicine practice from India, it’s also known as “Indian ginseng.” The Alternative Medicine Review published a study indicating ashwagandha increases the body’s resilience to physical and mental stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol by 28%. Ashwagandha can also help you through long workouts and the 9-to-5 grind because it may also improve brain function, including memory. You can get ashwagandha in pill form at most convenience stores around the world. CREATINE Many people don’t realize creatine is a natural energy booster because they get it mostly in processed, high-sugar energy drinks. However, in doses less than 5 grams, creatine provides impressive
benefits during high-intensity activities, short-duration exercises, and sports, including football, shot put, and weightlifting. This compound is found in red meat, pork, poultry, and fish, and when consumed, it releases phosphates that give your body a quick burst of energy. Ingesting more than 5 grams, though, will leave you feeling bloated with a lot of stomach discomfort. Creatine powder can be found at most wellness stores. BEETROOT POWDER Beetroot powder is made from the roots of the beet plant and is rich in nitrate. Nitrate relaxes blood vessels, creating increased blood flow and oxygen delivery. This enables your body to produce energy more efficiently and maintain energy levels, making beetroot powder a great aid for endurance sports like running, soccer, and biking. In the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, a study reported that athletes could work out for 25% longer when they used beetroot powder. Fatigue didn’t set in until much later in their workout, which improved their training and performance.
This spring, say goodbye to energy drinks and get the boost you need with one of these natural energy supplements.
PESTO CHICKEN WITH BLISTERED TOMATOES
INGREDIENTS • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided • 4 boneless and skinless chicken • Salt and pepper to taste • 1/4 cup whole- wheat panko • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted • 6 tbsp spinach pesto • 2 cups cherry tomatoes • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
DIRECTIONS 1. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium- high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. 2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan from heat. 3. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter. 4. Spread pesto over chicken and top with panko mixture. 5. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned. 6. In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. 7. Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes. 8. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 9. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar. 10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.
“THE PESSIMIST SEES DIFFICULTY IN EVERY OPPORTUNITY. THE OPTIMIST SEES OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY DIFFICULTY.” –WINSTON CHURCHILL
breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness
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