by Dr. Will Cole
Life of leisure? We wish! These days, most people seem to be busy all the time, constantly on-the-go both physically and mentally, and that can lead to exhaustion. To keep going, most of us reach for more caffeine, or sugar, or anything else to keep us going throughout the day as we pursue our endless to-do lists. But feeling tired all the time is frustrating and honestly, it’s no way to live. Job one, of course, is making sure you get enough sleep, but job two is eating for a more consistent, steady, reliable stream of energy.
Food for Fuel
Your brain controls your energy levels, and it can use two things for fuel: fat or sugar. Most people struggling with fatigue are in sugar-burning mode, shoveling in carbs all day long to keep the engine running, and becoming “hangry” (hungry and angry’s grumpy spawn) if they don’t get their fix. Even healthy, clean eaters can be stuck on this blood sugar roller coaster if they fuel mostly on carb-rich foods, especially simple carbs that burn fast and don’t last, such as sugar and refined grains. There is a better way.
The most sustainable way to be your most energetic self is to switch from being a sugar burner to being primarily a fat burner. Your brain is made up of 60 percent fat. When you don’t have enough healthy fats in your diet, you’re depriving your brain of the very thing it is made of, and needs to work optimally. Considering most people rely on simple carbs like grains and refined sugar, it’s no wonder so many people suffer from concentration issues and brain fog.
Fat burns more like a big log on a slow fire, and sugar burns more like kindling, in a quick intense burst of energy that dies out quickly. (If you want to read more of the cool sciency stuff on why you want your brain to be fat adapted, check out my article on the subject.) Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to switch your body into fat-burning mode. It takes just one day. In three meals and one snack, you can banish those energy crashes. This diet also includes some of my other favorite fatigue-fighting foods. Consider it your 24-hour energy rehab.
Your One-Day Energy Diet
Breakfast: Avocado Lox on Sweet Potato “Toast” with an Iced Adaptogenic Energy Latte
Focusing on a meal loaded with healthy fats in the morning will lay the foundation for fat-burning and steady energy all day long. Featuring wild-caught salmon, eggs, and avocados, this breakfast is filled with the uber-important fats your body needs. Complement your meal with an iced adaptogenic latte for an extra energy boost to start off your day.
Avocado Lox on Sweet Potato “Toast”
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 large eggs
- 1 avocado
- Wild-caught lox (salmon)
- Slice the sweet potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. You’ll be using two slices – reserve the rest for another use (or keep them wrapped in the freezer for future “toast”)
- Place the two sweet potato slices in the toaster on the highest setting. Toast for about 5 minutes or cooked entirely. Toast a couple times if needed.
- While the sweet potato is toasting, cook the eggs to your preference.
- Cut the avocado into slices.
- Top the sweet potato toast with egg, lox, and avocado.
Iced Adaptogenic Energy Latte
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup organic cold-brew coffee
- 1 tablespoon spirulina
- 1 cup raw chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup frozen papaya
- 1 scoop pea protein
- 1 teaspoon chaga powder
- 1 teaspoon ashwagandha powder
Combine ingredients in blender and blend. Serve over ice.
Lunch: Shredded Brussels Sprouts + Sardine Salad
Refuel at lunch with this hearty salad. Not only do the sardines and almonds contain more healthy fats to keep your fat-burning fires stoked, but the Brussels sprouts and kale are essential for methylation, your body’s biochemical superhighway that gets your cells all the energy they need to thrive.
Ingredients for salad
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
- 1 bunch of Tuscan kale (or any kale), chopped into ribbons
- 2 medium apples, cored and sliced
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 2 cans wild-caught sardines
Ingredients for dressing
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Mash, slice, or dice sardines to desired consistency.
- Combine all salad ingredients together.
- Combine all dressing ingredients together and toss with salad. Serve immediately.
Snack: Chocolate Nut-Butter Fat Bombs
When the afternoon lull rolls around, it may be tempting to reach for something sugary. Instead, pop a couple of these fat bombs, delicious little nuggets that pack a punch with energy-filled fats from coconut oil and nut butter. They give you the impression of a sweet treat without the energy crash.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup nut butter of your choice
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or other desired sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Spoon into a silicone mold of choice (you can also use mini-muffin tins with liners).
- Freeze until set and pop out of molds.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Dinner: Grilled Adaptogenic Mushrooms + Onion Steak
Continue to support methylation with the B-vitamins (especially B12), brain-food omega fats, and the energizing bioavailable iron all found in grass-fed meat. Amp up this energy-packed meal with the addition of adaptogenic mushrooms to end the day balanced and strong.
- 12-ounce grass-fed flank steak
- 8 ounces mushrooms (turkey tail or cordyceps are best)
- 1 cup onion, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon of desired cooking oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook the beef until browned on each side to preferred level of doneness. Remove from skillet.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of desired oil in the same skillet. Add in mushrooms and onion and cook until tender. Add in garlic and rosemary and cook for about 1 minute.
- Cut the beef diagonally into thin slices. Place on plate and top with mushroom/onion mixture.
Take it to the next level
If you liked your first day and want to build a sustainable foundation of high energy levels, feel free to repeat, with these recipes or similar ones. If you want to dig deeper on your journey to getting your zest back, check out my articles on chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, and brain fog.
If you want to learn more about your own health case please check out our free health evaluation. We offer in person as well as phone and webcam consultations for people across the country and around the world.