These healthy and delicious snacks will increase your energy level and productivity in the salon.
Stylists spend long hours working on their feet—whether it’s behind the chair, teaching classes, giving presentations onstage or styling editorial photo shoots. When we’re constantly busy and on the go, it can seem impossible to plan meals and eat healthily. And when we’re not eating the right foods, we suffer from low energy, which affects our work performance. “The first task is to make sure that your kitchen is stocked with foods that are going to nurture you,” says Christine Denney, executive chef and food services director at The Oaks at Ojai—a wellness retreat in Ojai, CA. “A little planning ahead can help to keep any and all of us on an even keel during a busy work week; feeding and nurturing our bodies throughout the day creates a healthful and productive environment for all.” Here, she shares her top energy-boosting snacks to help you get through the workday.
Veggies - “Have a variety of vegetables cut up and ready to go,” recommends Denney. “The more colors the better, as vegetables of different hues represent a full range of vitamins and minerals, as well as crunch and fiber.” Jicama is packed with soluble fiber, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Persian cucumbers contain large amounts of vitamin A and fiber, and are great for those who are on-the-go and want their blood sugar to stay level. Other recommendations include celery, which is full of fiber, antioxidants and beneficial enzymes; and carrots, which have beta carotene that provides significant amounts of vitamins A, K, C, B-8 and folate, enhances skin quality and has anti-aging properties.
Smoothies - These can be made ahead in a snap, and you can incorporate greens, fruits and vegetables to complete the food rainbow. Fruit balances vegetables and contributes fiber and other nutrients. “At the Oaks at Ojai, we offer a smoothie every afternoon,” says Denney. “The Green Tangerine Dream is a healthful snack that can be made in a blender. Combine half of a celery rib, a three-inch piece of unpeeled Hot House cucumber, half of a small
peeled lemon, a cup of packed spinach, a two-inch piece of fresh ginger root, half a cup of ice, 10 green grapes and one to two tablespoons of fresh mint. The cucumber and grapes contain a lot of water to make blending easy; lemon and ginger boost the immune system; and mint adds a delightful flavor with all the benefits of greens."
Hummus - Whether it’s homemade or store- bought, hummus makes a great pick-me- up. “It’s chock-full of fiber, protein, iron, B vitamins and folate,” explains Denney. “Paired with delicious vegetables, it’s sure to keep you going for another few hours, and helps to stabilize blood sugar.” It also makes a great dip for your veggies!
Nuts - Nuts and nut butters are a simple solution to late morning or afternoon fatigue. They restore energizing magnesium, protein and fiber levels, and provide an antioxidant boost. Add nuts and seeds into rice or quinoa pilaf, sprinkle over salads, or mix into your morning oatmeal (another fiber-boosting food that increases energy levels). “Try stirring in some other ingredients with peanut, almond or cashew butter, which provides creaminess and good fats with the addition of fruit and crunchy seeds, plus also helps to stave off hunger,” suggests Denney. “Some of my favorite combos include cashew butter with raisins and a dash of maple syrup, almond butter with cranberries and pumpkin seeds, and peanut butter with a touch of chocolate chips and a sprinkle of espresso powder with crunched up, dried banana slices. Pair with celery, carrots, crackers or a warm baguette for a nutritionally delicious snack.”
Fresh Squeezed Juices - “At home with my juicer, I always include beets,” remarks Denney. “Besides potassium, calcium, iron and copper, beets are a great flush for the liver and have even been touted to help lower blood pressure. To make my favorite drink, the Beet Dream, toss a green apple, a peeled lemon, half of an unpeeled Hot House cucumber, half of a scrubbed beet, and a handful of greens (chard, kale, spinach and some parsley) into a blender. Mix and enjoy!”
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