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Do find yourself feeling a little sluggish in the afternoon? Or chugging iced coffee to get through your day? The culprit behind your low energy levels may not be lack of sleep but a lack of the right kinds of food on your plate.

Food, after all, is your fuel. “What you eat has a big impact on how you feel,” says Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., a dietitian in New York City. Ever notice, for instance, how you’re starving (and sleepy) an hour after downing a doughnut, but you can go for hours after noshing eggs and whole wheat toast?

That’s because the latter has a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and fat, which is crucial for blood sugar management, a driving force behind your energy levels. “With this combination, your digestion is slower, which leads to more stable blood sugar and longer-lasting satiety and energy,” says Cording. The doughnut, meanwhile, causes your blood sugar to surge and plummet quickly, leaving you sluggish.

So how can you achieve the ideal balance of nutrients and pump up your energy? Try this simple one-week meal plan, developed by Cording. Each meal provides the three macronutrients essential for lasting energy, and delivers the Mindful Mix of 50 percent fruits and veggies, 25 percent wholesome carbohydrates, 25 percent lean protein, plus a small amount of healthy fat. The best part? It’s not only easy to follow, it’s delicious!

Eat for More Energy Meal Plan

Each meal in this plan delivers the essential macronutrients your body needs for lasting energy, along with a healthful Mindful Mix. While this plan offers a breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack option for each of the seven days, feel free to mix and match your favorites, or enjoy any Mindful meal being served in your café.

 
BREAKFAST
LUNCH
SNACK
DINNER

Day 1
Breakfast

Veggie Omelet:

  • made with 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites and 1 cup cooked mixed veggies
  • side of 1 small orange
Snack

1 medium apple with 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Dinner

Couscous Marinara with Shrimp and Kale:

  • Half a cup cooked whole wheat couscous tossed in low-sodium
  • low-sugar tomato sauce, topped with 3 ounces of grilled shrimp
  • side of 1 cup cooked kale

Day 2
Lunch

Grilled Chicken Sandwich:

  • with 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 3 ounces grilled chicken
  • lettuce, tomato
  • 1 tablespoon hummus
  • side of 1 cup steamed broccoli
Dinner

Taco Salad:

  • made with 3 cups chopped lettuce
  • 3 ounces ground turkey cooked in taco seasoning
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 1 cup cooked peppers and onions
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 tablespoon each plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese and low-sodium salsa

Day 3
Breakfast

Greek Yogurt with Berries and Nuts:

  • 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt with cinnamon
  • ¾ cup berries
  • 2 tablespoons nuts
  • 1 teaspoon honey
Lunch

Mediterranean Salad:

  • made with 2 cups mixed greens
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • 3 ounces cooked chicken
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon each oil and vinegar
Snack

1 ounce cheese and ½ cup grapes

Day 4
Lunch

Chicken Stuffed Pita:

  • ½ a large or 1 small whole wheat pita stuffed with 1 cup greens
  • 3 ounces cooked chicken
  • ½ cup mix of chopped tomato and cucumber, and 1 tablespoon feta cheese
  • 1 medium apple on the side
Snack

3 cups air-popped popcorn, shaken with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

Dinner

London Broil with Peppers and Onions:

  • 3 ounces grilled London broil
  • 1 cup grilled peppers and onions
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice

Day 5
Breakfast

Avocado and Egg Toast:

  • 1 slice whole grain toast topped with ¼ of an avocado
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
Lunch

Smoked Salmon Salad:

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • ½ cup green lentils
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon goat cheese, tossed with 1 teaspoon each oil and vinegar

Day 6
Breakfast

Yogurt with Cocoa and Raspberries:

  • 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • topped with ¾ cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey
Snack

½ cup edamame

Dinner

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli:

  • 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 chicken sausage
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • chili flakes and garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan

Day 7
Lunch

Minestrone Soup and Salad:

  • 1½ cups minestrone soup
  • side salad of 1 cup mixed greens
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon each oil and vinegar
  • sliced apple

Snack

1 medium banana

Dinner

Baked Chicken with Veggies and Beans:

  • 3 ounces baked chicken breast
  • 1 cup grilled mixed veggies
  • ½ cup baked beans

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