Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: What food (or foods!) do you turn to when you need a burst of productive, feel-good energy? What brings clarity, enthusiasm, and an overall sense of wellbeing?
Lisa J. Jackson: When I need a burst of energy or productivity it’s generally in the afternoon and I find I gravitate toward something cold – usually iced water. (My addiction to iced coffee is relegated to mornings since I’m affected by the caffeine for hours.) And now that fall is here, apples are a-plenty, so a cold apple really refreshes me. In other months, it’s some type of fruit that I’ve refrigerated.
Jamie Wallace: I’m going to try not to sound like an infomercial, but I recently started something of a food/health experiment and I’m pretty excited about it. My mom and dad have been drinking fruit & veggie smoothies since the beginning of the year. They own a twenty year-old Vitamix blender that moved with them from the east coast to the west coast, out to Hawaii, and back again. In the old days, they used it to make healthy oatmeal cookies (with carrots in them!) and other treats, but ever since my dad discovered the smoothie thing, that’s become the venerable, old machine’s sole purpose. Dad’s been trying to talk me into doing smoothies, but it wasn’t until I came across the online “intensive juicing clinic” offered by Farnoosh Brock that I decided to give it a go. I wasted a few weeks agonizing over which juicer or blender to buy, and finally purchased the latest model Vitamix on a whim after seeing it in action at a Costco demo. We’ve only just started, but I’m already loving this new habit. I’m starting my day with a tall glass of fresh, chilled yum. This morning’s recipe has strawberries, yogurt, honey, blueberries, pineapple, a banana, and almost two cups of spinach. I start my day feeling energized, healthy, and clear-headed. I usually have some left over, so I put it aside for an afternoon pick-me-up. Perfect. Best of all, my eight year-old daughter is getting in on the act. The fact that I can load her up with fresh produce first thing in the morning still hasn’t quite sunk in. ANYway … so … my answer to the question above is FRUIT & VEGGIE SMOOTHIES! (Oh, and – happily – Farnoosh is coming out with a smoothie recipe book soon. Can’t wait to try the new concoctions!)
Diane MacKinnon: Yikes, I’m going to sound like a junk food junkie after you read Lisa and Jamie’s favorite foods for energy! I don’t really have a go-to snack, although I’ve had some great green smoothies and plan to buy a Vitamix blender as soon as I get out of debt (working on it!) My only rule about food is I try to eat carbs, protein, and fat together, so I will eat cheese and (buttery Ritz) crackers, or a Greek yogurt, or a Go Lean protein bar. I find eating simple carbs, even with a good cup of tea, makes me feel sluggish, so I try to wait until I’m hungry enough to eat a real snack and choose something a little more substantial than a cookie or a banana. I also drink a lot of water, and find that sparkling water feels like a real treat after drinking plain water all day long.
Wendy Thomas – I’ve got to go with fruit. Summer fruit is a treat and Lisa’s got it right about the apples (clearly one of the best things about living in New Hampshire.) I’m not one for sweet drinks (sorry, if you put sugar in my coffee, I can’t drink it) but I do like cool (not cold due to sensitive teeth) water with flavor essence (again not sweet.) When I’m working, I try to stay away from heavy foods which tend to weigh me down. Breakfast is usually toast and coffee, lunch is a salad or bowl of soup – oh and I *never* have alcohol when I’m writing. I know, I know, some of the greatest writers were drunk all the time, but as much as I adore a cold beer, if I have one during the day, I might as well pack up my computer and go home, it just allows too much relaxation to sneak in and then nothing gets done.