As a massage therapist, you are on your feet and in motion all day long—so keep your body going by feeding it optimum fuel. The best fuel for your workday comes from a diet balanced in lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
During busy days, snacking keeps your energy up and your metabolism working at peak performance. Each snack should have at least 10 grams of protein, which will ward off blood sugar spikes and drowsiness you can experience from rapidly falling blood sugar.
Here are some snack suggestions for maximizing your workday energy. All contain between 10 and 20 grams of protein and are the best way to combat what I refer to as the metabolic dysfunction factor, a condition that makes weight easy to gain and difficult to lose.
- one 5-ounce plain or vanilla low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup nuts. Nuts are high in fat, so limit this snack choice to twice per week
- 2-3 slices of lean, low-sodium deli meat
- 1 slice (1 ounce) smoked salmon, spread with 1-2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese and rolled up
- 1 ounce reduced-fat cheese and 7 slices turkey pepperoni
- 10-15 grams of whey or rice protein powder mixed with 8 ounces of water and a dash of cinnamon or fresh nutmeg
- 2 light string cheese sticks
- ½ cup skim-milk ricotta cheese, with cinnamon and stevia to taste; or cocoa powder and stevia to taste; or ¼ cup canned pumpkin and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1.5 ounces turkey, chicken, salmon or bison jerky
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter with celery
- ½ cup fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese sprinkled with cinnamon
- 3 hard-boiled egg whites with salt, pepper and paprika to taste
- 1 tablespoon hummus with thinly sliced cucumbers, squash or zucchini sticks
- 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, spread over 2 low-carb crackers
- ½ cup chicken salad made with low-fat mayo and lemon pepper
- ½ low-carbohydrate protein bar
- ¼ cup of dry roasted edamame
It is essential that you eat every two to three hours in order to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Consuming lean protein in regular intervals throughout the day will allow your metabolism to regroup and retrain your system to burn fat.
About the Author
Caroline Cederquist, M.D., developed the nutritional foundation for the weight loss program BistroMD (www.bistromd.com), which focuses on the correct balance of macronutrients in the diet: protein, the right carbohydrates, and healthy fats and fiber. She is also the author of The MD Factor Diet, set to be released this fall.
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