One of the most common questions I get as a semi-committed raw foodist is, Aren’t you starving with just fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds? Aren’t you tired all the time? The answer is a resounding no. I have far more energy when I’m eating raw vegan — well, vegan except for honey — and I feel satisfied after my meals, but in a lighter way. I don’t get “food babies” or that post-meal exhaustion from the body’s struggle to digest a heavy meal. The trick is knowing the foods and the combinations of foods that give you the right nutrients to keep you going all day long: greens, berries, citrus, nuts, oats, honey, coconut milk, and bananas are my go-to ingredients.
I also like to have some fancy secret weapons in my energy arsenal like matcha (a green tea powder full of antioxidants), powdered macca root (a superfood known for its energizing qualities), lucuma (another superfood that tastes amazingly like ice cream), and guarana powder (known for its powerful caffeine kick). If you don’t have them on hand, that’s completely fine.
The following recipes are still delicious and energizing without these additional boosts. You probably have ingredients in your kitchen cabinet to give your drink an energy boost, too.For instance, some raw foodies find that a pinch of cayenne or chili powder gives them a lift, warms up the body (especially during the cooler months), and supports the immune system all year round.
It also boosts your metabolism, improves circulation, reduces pain, and is a powerful source of vitamins and minerals. Nothing gets you going like a little kick of cayenne.
As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so every morning I start the day off with a delicious smoothie. They’re so easy to make and clean up after — just pour in a cup, rinse out your blender, and go.
Mulberry, Lavender, and Kale Smoothie
This smoothie features an all-star cast of superfood sensations. Bananas are good sources of fiber, slow-burning carbohydrates to balance energy throughout the day, and heart-healthy sterols. They are surprisingly nutritious, containing vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, biotin, copper and pectins. They also contain fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) which are a source of food for the friendly bacteria in the human digestive system, and a well-functioning system keeps your energy in-balance.
Mulberries are a respectable source of antioxidants and polyphenols, not to mention vitamin A, B6, B12, C, E, K, riboflavin, folate, calcium and other nutrients that keep your body ticking.
Oats are an excellent source of B vitamins and magnesium. And both oats and cashews are loaded with protein and fiber which keeps your energy up and your digestive system in check. Cashews are also good source of antioxidants and dietary trace minerals such as manganese and copper.
Banana, Almond Milk, and Matcha Energizing Smoothie
Romaine is not the boring ingredient many salad naysayers make it out to be. It contains many vitamins and nutrients including folate, which plays a role in energy and mood regulation.
Honey is a source of complex carbohydrates, fructose, glucose, and small amounts of sucrose, vitamins and minerals.
Almonds are highly nutritious, containing vitamins and essential minerals. They are also a rich source of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates, which help to sustain energy throughout the day.
Jessica Reidy is a Pushcart-nominated writer from New Hampshire. he loves making beautiful and healthy creations in the kitchen inspired by her Gypsy and Italian heritage, and her raw vegan streak, especially when there are flowers involved. Follow her on Twitter @JSReidy