5 Easy Foods to Eat When You're So -- Yawn! -- Tired

exhausted woman slumped over table

Tired. Soooooo tired. And although you can keep clutching that cup of coffee (and pouring its contents down your throat at regular intervals), it's not going to help, sister.


What you need is a nap. But let's be realistic here and move on to Plan B.

"A nice mix of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein, and low fat is a great way to help boost your energy when you're feeling sluggish," says Colleen Francioli, a certified nutritionist consultant, author of The Everything Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook, and founder of FODMAPLife.com and Boncalme.com. "Protein helps to slow the digestion, which means a steady flow of energy."

With that in mind, try one of these foods the next time you're feeling -- yawn! -- exhausted.

1. Green Juice. When your life is full of stress, not as much exercise as you like, and more chips and soda than you're ever going to admit, "a green juice can go a long way to help revive your red blood cells and detox your body," reassures Francioli.

You can pay $5+ for a fresh, store-made blend or simply make your own at home in a juicer. Francioli's suggestion: 1 stalk of broccoli, 2 carrots, 1 apple, 1 celery stalk, 2 sprigs of parsley, and a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil.

2. Spirulina. "Sometimes, when you feel fatigued, your body might be trying to fend off outside pathogens," Francioli points out. "That's why I like to use foods that help to improve my immune system, like spirulina."

In case you're not familiar, spirulina's a blue-green algae powder. "It's high in chlorophyll, which helps remove toxins from the blood," says Francioli. (It's also high in protein, as well as a whole host of vitamins and minerals.)

So how to eat it? Glad you asked. Try mixing the following in your blender: ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup frozen mango, ½ cup kale, 1½ tablespoons of shredded unsweetened coconut, and 2 teaspoons spirulina. Your body will thank you.

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3. Turkey Sandwich. Remember what we said about protein and carbs and a little fat to lift your exhaustion? Here's the perfect combo to do that. And you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now. Turkey. Whole-wheat Bread. Mayo. Done.

You can make it even healthier, Francioli suggests, by also adding shredded carrots and spinach.

4. Oatmeal. The soluble fiber found in a bowl of oatmeal can boost your energy, notes Francioli, "and will keep your blood sugar level." In other words, that fatigue won't keep crashing back in 30 minutes, à la a candy bar.

"You can even add in a little more [good] fat and protein with crushed walnuts or a half-tablespoon of nut butter, as well as ground flax or chia seeds," Francioli notes.

5. PB, Without the J. Who knew the secret to your lethargy was in your kid's lunch box this whole time? Just like a turkey sandwich, this food combo gets rid of your slumping energy post-haste.

No need to glob on the peanut butter. All you need is ½ tablespoon on a slice of whole-wheat bread. (And go ahead and add sliced strawberries on top.)

You get a tasty snack. Your body gets "heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins E, B-6 and C, potassium, magnesium, and carbohydrates," says Francioli.

In other words, the energy you so badly need

what to eat when tired

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