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Mind Over Meal: What Are Energy Drinks Doing to Your Brain?

Mind Over Meal: What Are Energy Drinks Doing to Your Brain?

Whether it’s in locker rooms, classrooms, or board meetings, it seems that wherever you find people striving to do their best mentally and physically, you will also find an energy drink. But with all this information around energy drinks, a key question remains: What are energy drinks doing to your brain?

When you break down energy drinks from a neuropsychological perspective, you find that they work mainly by exposing your brain to caffeine — a very common stimulant drug most of us experience in coffee or chocolate. Your brain treats caffeine like other stimulants, which include cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, and methylphenidate (the active ingredient in drugs created to help people with ADD, including Concerta and Ritalin). In smaller doses, as with a cup of coffee, caffeine in energy drinks stimulates your brain to release chemicals that increase attention, focus, memory storage, and reaction time for brief periods of time. In the short run, these low doses of caffeine can help you get through boring, difficult, or tedious tasks, be it a lecture, calculating tax returns, or an important team meeting.

While a little caffeine goes a long way, many energy drinks contain much larger doses of caffeine, which can lead to serious problems over time. The high levels of caffeine in multiple servings of energy drinks give you more than just wings — they can also lead to many difficulties in brain function, including seizures, panic attacks, racing thoughts, reduced attention, and ineffective memory. For some people who have symptoms of bipolar depression, high doses of caffeine found in energy drinks have led to episodes of mania in the form of reckless spending, life-endangering behaviors, poor attention, and loss of emotional control. Long-term use of energy drinks can throw your brain into daily periods of painful headaches, anxiety, and cold sweats, and may even increase your likelihood of becoming addicted to stronger stimulants (cocaine and methamphetamine) as your brain seeks out ever stronger buzzes just to get through your day.

So while energy drinks may market increased energy and focus, it’s important to be mindful of what that extra serving of Red Bull can do to your brain.

Mind Over Munchies: Mindful Eating 101

Tired of restrictive diets (which fail most of the time), but equally tired of your less-than-optimal eating habits? Mindful eating may help you make peace with food.

Mindful eating a brain-to-plate approach based on mindfulness — which is all about being fully present in the moment.

Remember the last time you took a bite of some mouthwatering chocolate or a big, juicy burger? And it just dominated your brain for the entire time it was inside your face? And your friends laughed because of the quasi-orgasmic noises you made?

Mindful eating is a way of capturing that vibe and using it to form a different relationship with food.

Share on Pinterest Studio Firma/Stocksy United

So, how exactly do you nail mindful eating?

While it sounds like it would come naturally, you may actually have to work at it for a while — especially if you have a lifetime of distracted, emotional, and/or boredom eating to overcome.

As a society, we commonly multi-task and engage in “mindless” eating, while we work at the same time, scroll through social media, watch a show, etc. You’re def not alone in this habit. Most of us could be a little more mindful when it comes to mealtimes.

First, you gotta Marie Kondo your mealtimes. This means:

    and distractions. . .
  • Sit down at the table (or whatever space you’ve designated for eating).
  • Try to avoid eating while driving.

Next, choose the foods you WANT to eat. Mindful eating isn’t a diet, so you don’t have to skip the bread — or the butter, for that matter.

Continuing the Marie Kondo theme, you have complete and unconditional permission to fill your plate with foods that “spark joy.”

  • Chew slowly and thoroughly.
  • Put your fork down between bites.
  • Really savor your food.

By stopping to smell the roses (or bacon), you may be surprised to realize how often you eat without ever really stopping to enjoy it.

Listening to your body

Picking up on hunger and fullness cues can be really tough, especially when we’re used to eating in response to external cues (like boredom or stress) and often noshing so quickly that our brains can’t keep up.

Sometimes external cues — like the actual clock and designated mealtimes, like lunch at work — might get in the way of truly listening to what your body needs, and when.

Learning your body’s hunger and fullness cues are key to beefing up that mindfulness muscle.

Signs of real hunger include an empty or growling stomach and a lack of energy. We tend to tie boredom, stress, or anger to hunger, but these emotional triggers don’t fit the bill as physical symptoms of being hungry (although, being hangry is definitely a real thing).

When you’re really hungry, you may also have a headache and feel light-headed or shaky. But it’s always best to eat before you reach this point.

You usually don’t feel full right after eating — your brain may take a little while to send those signals. By the time they arrive, a fast or distracted eating style might mean you’ve already completely cleared the plate and gone back for seconds.

As a result, frequently eating too quickly may lead to overeating and undesired weight gain.

And while research on the impact of mindful eating is in its earlier stages, studies have suggested that eating slowly has links to a decreased risk of weight gain.

For this reason, eating slooooooowly enough for your brain to keep up is another key to mindful eating success.

10 Drinks You Should Never Have After Dinner, And Why

Photo Credit: Flickr / Steve Snodgrass / CC BY 4.0

Avoid these late at night and you'll sleep like a baby

Thankfully, many drink myths have been put to rest, and consumers are getting better at knowing which beverages are healthy. Whether it be your favorite store-bought fruit juice or a tasty can of cola, research has shown that many drinks are best avoided.

It's been concluded that if you're not drinking water or another completely natural liquid, you're not doing your body any favors. Believe it or not, even though it's never good to drink something unhealthy, there's one time of the day that's the absolute worst time to do so: after dinner.

Sometimes, putting your feet up and sipping on a nice, cold beverage after an evening meal sounds utterly appetizing. But have you ever thought of how drinking a sugary drink will affect you before bed? Unfortunately, there are a lot of liquids that will damage your body and widen your waistline literally overnight.

Take a look at our roundup of drinks that we believe you should never drink after dinner.

Bottled or Canned Tea

Photo Credit: Flickr / Cissurz / CC BY 4.0

There's plenty of hype over the health benefits of tea, and drinking "sleepy tea" before you go to bed has been said to help you unwind. So you would assume you're getting the same benefits from bottled tea, right? Not so much -- those Arizona Teas are doing the exact opposite. A presentation at the 2010 American Chemical Society meeting showed that even though bottled teas have fewer chemicals than home-brewed tea, because of mass production, they're stripped of all of that natural goodness that makes tea healthy in the first place.

Plus, eight ounces of AriZona Iced Tea has a whopping 24 grams of sugar. Your body will have a hard time burning all of that off while you're sleeping.

Coffee with Creamer

Photo Credit: Flickr / Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon / CC BY 4.0

Coffee can be relaxing on a cold day, and it goes perfectly with dessert. If your body can handle the amount of caffeine in your cup without experiencing sleeplessness, then sip away. The main thing to avoid when having a late-night cup of coffee is the creamer.

For example, Coffee-Mate powdered creamer, or "whitener," contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and corn syrup. These ingredients recreate the texture of cream, but they're harmful to your health. Corn syrup is a source of sugar that's hard for your body to metabolize, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil contains trans fats. If you're not careful, your body may latch onto these unhealthy ingredients during the night.

Photo Credit: Flickr / frankieleon / CC BY 4.0

Anything with "diet" in the name may be interpreted as healthy, but don't let the labels fool you. If you're trying to lose weight, would you ever down an entire bag of candy before you go to bed? Dr. Chris Tolcher, pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, refers to soft drinks and diet soda as "liquid candy." If a doctor won't touch it, you may want to reconsider. The artificial sugar in Diet Coke can do a lot of damage to your waistline -- especially if you're drinking it right before you take a snooze.

Energy Drinks

Photo Credit: Flickr / reynermedia / CC BY 4.0

If you are looking to stay awake after dinner, stay away from energy drinks. An eight-ounce Rockstar Energy Drink will set you back 140 calories and contains a hefty 31 grams of sugar. You'll need all the energy you get from the caffeine just to work off that sugar. Need to stay awake for a long night of cramming? Stick to a more natural beverage, like tea.

Flavored Water

Photo Credit: Flickr / kobakou / CC BY 4.0

Drinking water any time of the day has been proven to help your health in many ways. However, flavored water is a different story. Take vitamin water, for example. The average 20-ounce bottle of Vitamin Water contains about 30 grams of sugar and 120 calories. If you're drinking water before you go to bed, stick to the original.

What Do Yogis Eat? And How You Can Eat Like A Yogi Too

A yoga practice goes hand in hand with profound philosophical thought. 'Mind over matter' is one spiritual teaching that all Yogis resonate with. When it comes to the question of what we feed our bodies, does it matter how we eat or what we eat? Over many years of this holy practice, many disciplines have dictated dietary aspects of this practice. Sattvic food is what is prescribed till date by yoga gurus. Simply put, Sattvic Food is a food group that is light to process, nourishing and easy for the body to break down and digest. The practice of Yoga has evolved over the years to incorporate many modern lifestyles. The question is, has it evolved to suit modern diets and eating styles?

If I have learnt anything through my practice, it is that yoga teaches you freedom, and it also teaches you the truth. The freedom of choice to transform your life through yoga, the way you see fit. The metaphor of a table laden with food comes to mind, not very different from what we're trying to explain here. How a dinner guest would serve the self depends on their personal diet preferences, health restrictions, body and health goals and multiple other factors that weigh in when they reach for the spoon.

Similarly, how you eat depends on how you view food. Are you trying to lose weight and view certain food as oily or heavy? Should you eat it? Absolutely not. Do you practice Hot Yoga and think you need to add carbohydrates to your diet? Go for it.

The practice of Yoga has evolved over the years to incorporate many modern lifestyles

Responsible exercising gives you the freedom to chose what you eat. That being said, the truth is that your body is an intelligent being. The body asks for the salts, sugars, fats and nutrients it needs to meet the demands of your lifestyle. Abstaining and starving the body of essentials has never made a happy ending. Many yogis believe and live by the vegetarian diet, but there are naturally occurring medical conditions and autoimmune diseases that require you to eat fish and meat, like the AIP diet. Say, if you had such a condition, does it make you less of a yogi?

What I mean to say here is that there is no hard and fast rules.

Trying to direct the diet of 'a yogi' is very much like trying to dictate the diet of any person. The average healthy person should eat towards his goals. Towards, gaining or putting on muscle, providing brain food for clarity and better function, eat accordingly if you want a clearer skin or better hair. Sometimes it's better to listen to your OWN body's whisper than an online blog.

Responsible exercising gives you the freedom to chose what you eat

But, here are 5 guidelines you may opt for if your overall goal is to eat clean and give your body the best option to lead a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Try and eat fresh, the fresher the food the more nutritious it is.
  2. Find that fine balance in the food table. Keep it balanced, just like in yoga.
  3. Find Non-GMO chemical free, organically produced food.
  4. Practice intermittent fasting with your doctor's advice. Intermittent fasting does great things for the body and mind.
  5. Eat to support your digestive function and avoid eating meals post 8 pm.

More importantly, make sure you know what you eat, are aware that you are getting all forms of energy required for the body and practice conscious eating. Be in conversation with your plate, and how you eat. Make sure you are aware about how you chew, make eating as enjoyable as possible. Eating in itself is an activity which demands our attention. When we bring our awareness to eating and grant ourselves the freedom of a healthy state of mind, that is truly a Yogi's diet.

Sarvesh Shashi is the founder of Zorba - India's Happiest Chain of Yoga studios. Sarvesh wants to capture the 500+ million people in India under the age of 30 years, with a mission to make yoga - which is the unification of mind, body, and spirit, an essential part of everyone's daily life. He is currently working towards his mission to connect seven billion breaths through yoga.

17 Vegan Matcha Recipes You’ll Lose Your Mind Over

The nation is still in full-swing matcha madness, with the grassy green drink popping up in Instagram posts and cafés everywhere thanks to its vibrant taste and myriad health benefits. Everyone&rsquos drinking it, but what exactly is matcha, and how can you use it? VegNews has the answers.

Ancient preparation
Made from grinding green tea leaves into powder, this ceremonial drink is infused into boiled water with a wide, stubby bamboo whisk and served frothy and hot in a stone bowl, savored on its own without milk or sweetener. Enjoying the drink straight from the ceremonial bowl helps keep drinkers alert, nutrient-enriched, and feeling well, but this versatile wonder powder is making an appearance in recipes and packaged foods across the nation.

Adding matcha to a morning smoothie provides an energy boost and imparts a vibrant emerald color sure to make health-conscious onlookers green with envy. Here are a few other ways to get your sippable matcha fix.
Secret Ingredient Matcha Smoothie/Shake
Vanilla Matcha &lsquoMilk&rsquoshake
Matcha Coconut Latté
Matcha Mojito

Matcha is also edible and makes a great addition to baked goods. Depending on the amount, you can whip up something earthy and mellow or bright and intense.
White Chocolate Vanilla Matcha Cheesecake
Vegan Matcha Green Tea DonutsGreen Tea Pancakes
Matcha Granola with Blueberries

With a deep, earthy flavor and slight vegetal notes, this green stuff is ideal for flavoring savory dishes. Here are a few of our favorites:
Miso Eggplant with Green Tea Rice
Romanesco and Cauliflower Green Tea Quiche
Creamy Greens Matcha Soup with Tofu Croutons
Matcha Sea Salt French Fries with Sriracha Ketchup

Matcha is 10 times more full of antioxidants such as EGCG, chlorophyll, and vitamins than traditional green teas, which means you&rsquoll feel practically guilt-free when you eat it as ice cream, enrobe it in chocolate, or have it as pudding. Remember&mdashbalance is key.
Green Tea Chia Pudding with Berries
Green Tea Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Matcha Dark Chocolate Truffles
Mango Green Tea Pops
Chocolate Matcha Butter Cups

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Mind Over Milkshake: How Your Thoughts Fool Your Stomach

It was late, almost 9 at night, when Justin Holden pulled the icy pizza box from the refrigerator at the Brookville Supermarket in Washington, D.C.

He stood in front of the open door, scanning the nutrition facts label.

A close relative had recently had a heart attack, and in the back of his mind there was this idea stalking him: If he put too much salt in his body, it would eventually kill him.

For this reason the information in the label wasn't exactly soothing: 1,110 milligrams of sodium seemed like a lot.

But there was even worse-sounding stuff at the bottom of the label.

Words like "diglyceride," with a string of letters that clearly had no business sitting next to each other. It suggested that something deeply unnatural was sitting inside the box.

"Obviously it's not good for me," the 20ish Holden said. "But, hopefully, I can let it slide in."

He tucked the pizza under his arm, and headed one aisle over for a sports drink.

A Label Is More Than A Label

Who among us has not had a moment like this? That intimate tete-a-tete with the nutrition label, searching out salt, sugar, fat, trying to discern: How will you affect me? Are you good? Or are you bad?

Here's the thing you probably haven't stopped to consider: how the label itself is affecting you.

"Labels are not just labels they evoke a set of beliefs," says Alia Crum, a clinical psychologist who does research at the Columbia Business School in New York.

A couple of years ago, Crum found herself considering what seems like a pretty strange question. She wanted to know whether the information conveyed by a nutritional label could physically change what happens to you — "whether these labels get under the skin literally," she says, "and actually affect the body's physiological processing of the nutrients that are consumed."

Who among us has not had a moment like this? That intimate tete-a-tete with the nutrition label, searching out salt, sugar, fat, trying to discern: How will you affect me? Are you good? Or are you bad?

As a student, Crum had spent years studying the placebo effect — how a sugar pill can physically alter a body if the person taking the pill believes it will. She figured food labels might work the same way. So she came up with an experiment.

Crum created a huge batch of French vanilla milkshake, then divided it into two batches that were labeled in two very different ways.

Half the stuff was put into bottles labeled as a low-calorie drink called Sensishake — advertised as having zero percent fat, zero added sugar and only 140 calories.

The other half was put into bottles that were labeled as containing an incredibly rich treat called Indulgence. According to the label, Indulgence had all kinds of things that wouldn't benefit your upper thighs — including enough sugar and fat to account for 620 calories. In truth, the shakes had 300 calories each.

Both before and after the people in the study drank their shakes, nurses measured their levels of a hormone called ghrelin.

Ghrelin is a hormone secreted in the gut. People in the medical profession call it the hunger hormone. When ghrelin levels in the stomach rise, that signals the brain that it's time to seek out food.

"It also slows metabolism," Crum says, "just in case you might not find that food."

But after your ghrelin rises, and you have a big meal (say a cheeseburger and a side of fries), then your ghrelin levels drop. That signals the mind, Crum says, that "you've had enough here, and I'm going to start revving up the metabolism so we can burn the calories we've just ingested."

On the other hand, if you only have a small salad, your ghrelin levels don't drop that much, and metabolism doesn't get triggered in the same way.

For a long time scientists thought ghrelin levels fluctuated in response to nutrients that the ghrelin met in the stomach. So put in a big meal, ghrelin responds one way put in a small snack and it responds another way.

But that's not what Crum found in her milkshake study.

If you believed you were drinking the indulgent shake, she says, your body responded as if you had consumed much more.

I don't think we've given enough credit to the role of our beliefs in determining our physiology, our reality.

"The ghrelin levels dropped about three times more when people were consuming the indulgent shake (or thought they were consuming the indulgent shake)," she says, compared to the people who drank the sensible shake (or thought that's what they were drinking).

Does that mean the facts don't matter, that it's what we think of the facts that matters?

"I don't think I would go that far yet," Crum says. More tests need to be done, she says, to figure out exactly how much influence comes from food and mindset.

But she does think the usual metabolic model — calories in and calories out — might need some rethinking, because it doesn't account in any way for our beliefs about our food.

"Our beliefs matter in virtually every domain, in everything we do," Crum says. "How much is a mystery, but I don't think we've given enough credit to the role of our beliefs in determining our physiology, our reality. We have this very simple metabolic science: calories in, calories out."

People don't want to think that our beliefs have influence, too, she says. "But they do!"

Meanwhile, Back At The Brookville Supermarket

As for Holden, after he retrieved his sports drink, he picked up a salad, then carried his items to the cashier and put them down on the conveyor belt.

The liquid of his sports drink almost glowed under the lights of the store as the cashier rang him up.

Holden told the man he didn't want a bag. He carried his pizza out into the night.

Within an hour, the pizza and drink would be in his stomach, mingling there with a set of beliefs that he got from the back of a box.

Mind Over Muscle: The Real Secret To Amazing Strength Gains Is All Mental.

You don't need a complicated plan to get strong. You need simple, classic movements performed in a way that maximizes tension and strength. Try the Mind over Muscle plan!

Hard man Jeff Martone was doing a demo of his 'hand-to-hand kettlebell drills' at our booth at the Arnold Fitness Expo when the Austrian Oak himself stopped to watch. Not as huge as in his heyday, Arnold nevertheless exuded the quiet strength of a man with whom, as Russians say, "you would go on a recon mission."

You cannot fake that look. It must be earned by facing a great challenge and living up to it. A challenge like the ex-Mr. Olympia's 700-pound deadlifts. They made him sweat blood and made him a better man for it. Heavy lifting forged Schwarzenegger's physique to the point where it looked more like a Moon rock than a carbon based life form.

More importantly, it built the champion's inner strength. Subtle, yet irresistible like gravity, Arnold's force field made everyone turn his way even though there were plenty of bigger arms around. The presence of strength &hellip

Focus Your Mind To Transform Your Body

Contrary to the gym mythology, true strength training is not about your muscles but about your mind. In any endeavor mental focus delivers more than any physical transformation, a concept clearly understood by martial arts masters.

"Focus is the ability to control the muscles of the body in a coordinated effort and then contract them to their maximum degree &hellip " explains Jack Hibbard, a Green Beret vet and a breaking expert. "The deeper the concentration, the tenser the contraction of the muscle and the tenser the contraction, the stronger the muscle grows."

Like I said before, it all boils down to tension. Effective "mind over muscle" strength training can be summed up as honing your skill to contract your muscles harder. In Russian sports science there is even a term, skill-strength.

Some bodybuilders are quick to argue: "But it's all technique!" So what if it is? "The most important aspect one can learn to improve strength is to learn proper technique," bench press champion George Halbert says to set the record straight.

"There is a mode of thinking out there that I describe as 'He's not strong, he's just got good technique.' This is just confused thinking &hellip Have you ever heard anyone say 'he is not a good shooter, he just has good technique' or 'he's not really fast, he just has good technique'?"

An important point to drive home: "Technique" does not refer just to the groove of a particular exercise!

There are two generalized strength skills that apply to and fortify all displays of strength:

"Keep every body part tight during the entire movement." This is one of Ernie Frantz's famous Commandments of Powerlifting. Frantz, whose book had the rare honor of being translated into Russian, is a legend of powerlifting and a successful bodybuilder with a rugged physique along the lines of Franco Columbu's. He swears that practicing tightening up his entire body throughout the day has helped his strength. Practice. That loaded word again.

I have addressed power breathing in many of my writings please review Muscle Media's back issues or my books.

In a nutshell, if you compare your brain to a CD player and your muscles to its speakers, your abdominal cavity is the amplifier-the volume control. The greater the pressure inside your belly, the greater your strength in any effort. Unless you have health restrictions, practice high-pressure breathing. In the context of bodybuilding exercises and by itself, you will get stronger in every lift.

Practice Makes Perfect

Then, of course, there is specific practice of your pet lifts. But all strength practice follows the same laws that govern the practice of any skill. How do you improve your tennis serve?

Do you hit the court once a week and keep on serving until your balls could not knock out a sick mosquito and you can barely lift your arm? No, you come to the court as often as possible, ideally more than once per day, and slam those little yellow balls until you feel that your serves are about to slow down.

Why not do the same for your iron games? It worked for old-timer Arthur Saxon, who put up 400 pounds overhead with one arm.

The basic tenet of motor learning is specificity. Applied to strength, it means heavy weights. But not super heavy! As they say, practice does not make perfect perfect practice does.

An ugly, shaky, max is not perfect a 70 percent to 80 percent 1RM controlled lift is. Never train to failure for the same reason, always leave a rep or two in the bank.

Heavy weights imply low reps. The perfect reps for strength are one to six. A narrower four to six range is even better, fives build muscle in addition to strength. Get plenty of rest between your sets and exercises. Long breaks will enable you to keep lifting "perfect" heavy poundages. No pump and burn here!

Here is another axiom of motor learning is: frequent brief practices are superior to infrequent long ones. Russian researchers discovered that breaking up a strength workout into smaller units is very effective.

In other words, one set of five every day is better than five sets of five every five days. Very counterculture in the bodybuilding community, but I presume that you are more interested in making gains than in fitting in.

With all of the above in mind, here is the program.

The 5x5x5 Mind Over Muscle Program

  1. Select five basic exercises for your whole body.
  2. Perform all of them five days a week, Monday through Friday.
  3. Do only one work set of five per exercise, leaving a couple of reps in the bank.
  4. Focus on staying tight, power breathing and the perfect groove.
  5. After five weeks, test your maxes and switch to a different type of routine.

Select five basic exercises for your whole body, for instance, the three powerlifts, pull-ups, and dumbell side bends. Or try clean-and-presses, deadlifts, dips, barbell curls and Janda situps. You get the idea.

Perform all of them five days per week, Monday through Friday. Do only one work set of five per exercise. It will feel very odd to wrap up a workout when you still feel so good, but that is the way neural training is. Steve Justa, a supremely strong and muscular man, once said, "You should feel stronger at the end of every workout."

The weight is ideal if you have managed it with a couple of reps to spare. To establish that perfect poundage start every workout with a couple of lighter singles.

For instance, yesterday you squatted 300x5 and felt that you could have done 300x7. Today squat 225x1, 255x1 and 275x1. The feel of 275 should tell you whether you should stay with 300, go up, or go down. And don't sweat it too hard if you do not hit it right, occasional easier and harder sets will do you good by introducing more variety.

The usual 5x5x5 pattern is a very strong start on Monday, a PR on Tuesday, Wednesday could go either way. Thursday and Friday are downhill as fatigue builds up. By Monday you will be rested and ready to smash new records.

After five weeks, test your maxes and switch to a different type of routine. You will be strong, confident, and raring to pump and burn. You may never admit it in public, but you know that the number one reason you are bodybuilding is to improve your self-esteem. Face the music: no amount of meat will give you true confidence.

The following Internet post caught my eye: "I've found something remarkable about my [strength] training. I'm a lot more confident than I was as [just] a bodybuilder. When all I cared about was getting my muscles bigger and bigger, I still had horrible self-esteem problems. With strength training I feel myself getting stronger, and it's had a profound impact on how I see myself." Strength gives confidence that does not go away when your muscles shrink after a missed meal.

Mind Over Matter

Basically Mother Nature’s version of Adderall. This triple mushroom blend naturally reduces anxiety, brain fog, and overall stress. Stay cognitively sharp all day everyday, and keep your Mind Over Matter.

Mind Over Matter is a mix of non-psychedelic mushrooms that support better brain health and cognitive function. This super mushroom blend improves concentration and naturally treats anxiety, brain fog, and overall stress. It's not caffeinated and is a great blend to add to your favorite drink or combine with other blends.

Thanks to its triple mushroom composition of Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Chaga, Mind Over Matter is your newest (and natural) energy boost. Lion’s Mane naturally boosts energy and increases cognitive function, while Chaga is filled with antioxidants to ward off viruses and reduce inflammation. Otherwise known as the mushroom of immortality, Reishi contains anti-inflammatory properties that supports overall immune health.

This mushroom-forward blend has a naturally earthy and savory flavor. It incorporates seamlessly into coffee. In a latte sans coffee, a touch of sweetener can balance the savory flavor.

Coffee, maple syrup and chai spices.

Chill The F* Out, Seal The Deal or Cordyceps.

Brain Boosting Elixir: Add 1 tsp to plant-based milk or to your tea, for a boost in cognitive function and concentration. Optional: 1 tsp of sweetener.

Brain Boosting Smoothie: Add 1-2 tsp into your blender with 1 cup of blueberries, ½ cup of strawberries, 1 frozen banana, a handful of greens, and a cup of almond milk. Blend and get focused.

Top 10 energy foods

With a proliferation of processed and junk foods, it has become common to feel deprived of energy in spite of having regular meals. Much of the so-called modern diet is loaded with toxic preservatives, excess sugar/salt and a variety of other stuff that harm more than help. Here we list 10 energy foods that, if included in your regular diet, will help you stay full of vitality.

1. Oats

Half a cup of oats provides 15g of carbohydrates. Being complex carbohydrates, oats break down into glucose gradually releasing energy over time. Oats are also a good source of fibre [approximately 4g per half cup serving].

Fibre creates bulk in your stomach, which helps keep you satiated and full. Cook 30g raw oats in approximately 200ml fat-free or low fat milk for a power-packed start to your day.

2. Lentils

This group includes all dals [moong, masoor, toor] and beans [rajma, chole, black-eyed peas]. Lentils are a good combination of carbohydrates, which provide energy for your brain, and protein, needed to build muscles. Approximately one cup [200g] provides almost 40 per cent daily recommended intake of iron.

Lentils also are high in fibre that keeps you feeling full and does not allow blood sugar levels to spike to high levels. Give your lunch salad a boost by adding a cup of cooked red kidney beans [rajma] or garbanzo beans [chole] to it!

3. Bananas

A great post-workout recovery food, banana is a simple carbohydrate—an instant source of energy. Bananas are also a good source of potassium—low levels of potassium in the body have shown to cause fatigue. Keep an elaichi banana in your gym bag to help replenish the energy stores in your muscles that you burn during exercise.

4. Dried figs [Anjeer]

Dynamite comes in small packages they say. It holds true for these little rings of dried fruit. Dried anjeer packs in a whole lot of energy. It is an excellent source of simple carbohydrates and therefore provides an immediate source of energy.

It is also a good source of iron—anjeer absorbs this from the iron plates on which it is dried. Dried anjeer is also a good source of fibre. Keep a jar of dried anjeer on your desk and the next time you feel that mid-morning energy crash, reach for two pieces of it instead of that third cup of coffee.

5. Beets

The corner sandwich-stall guy has it right when he adds slices of bright purple beetroot to the grilled sandwich we snack on. Beets are a rich source of iron, vitamin C, and potassium—the powerhouse triad of vitamins and minerals. Try adding 2 – 3 slices of beetroot to your raita to give the yogurt an extra dose of oomph!

6. Green vegetables

Spinach, methi, chauli, green beans, broad beans, lady fingers [bhindi]—load up on this vitamin and mineral-packed food group. Make roasted methi parathas for breakfast, add spinach leaves to your salads, and pack your sambars and kadhi with beans and bhindi.

7. Almonds

The six soaked almonds your mother would give you every morning during exam time should continue even today. Almonds are a good source of magnesium, a mineral that plays a major role in energy production in body cells.

About 30g almonds contain approximately 77mg of magnesium, which is 25 per cent of Recommended Daily Allowance [RDA] of magnesium. About 30g almonds provide 10 per cent of the RDA for both potassium and iron. Add some chopped, roasted almonds to your brown rice for a crunchy burst of energy.

8. Brown rice

Though brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein, several vitamins and minerals get lost in the polishing process of white rice, making brown rice a better source of vitamin B3 [niacin] and iron.

Vitamin B3 plays an important role in the conversion of food to energy. Although some of these vitamins and minerals are added back to white rice, magnesium is not. A cup [195g] of cooked brown rice contains 84mg of magnesium whereas one cup of white rice contains only 19mg.

9. Honey

Pass on the sugar and honey to your tea. Though both sugar and honey are simple carbohydrates, sugar contains no nutritional value other than calories. Honey contains iron and vitamin C as well as several other vitamins. Join the sugar-free movement and switch to a teaspoon of honey for that little bit of sweetness we all need in life.

10. Water

Your body should consistently be 75 per cent water. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and lack of concentration. Keep a bottle of water on your desk and bedside table at all times. Drink enough water your urine should be pale yellow—not clear or dark yellow, but pale yellow. Stick to this refreshing, thirst-quenching beverage even when you go out to eat.

Keep these foods handy and be healthy, happy, and get through the day without that 4 o’clock energy slump!

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What can I do to curb hunger pangs and feel full again? Help!

I just started my weight loss journey about 3 weeks ago. I've lost almost 8 pounds so far, some of that being water weight I know. I've been on a calorie deficit, more walking (I currently walk 10k steps PLUS additional 45 minute walks with my pup) and it's working.. HOWEVER, I am not feeling full, I'm getting hunger pangs and the urge to binge is real. I start off my day with protein pancakes and not even an hour later, I get a headache and my stomach is growling for more. This happens throughout the day, but it's worse in the morning and at night. I'll be honest, I loved going out to eat 2x a day and before this, I was taking on maybe 2000-2500 calories a day (lol don't judge me), so I know this is a HUGE adjustment for my body. I'm eating around 1450-1550 calories a day.

So Reddit, what can I do? Is it normal to feel this hungry? Maybe it's my body adjusting? Progress is outweighing my urge to binge, but I am trying to find a sustainable way to eat without feeling like I'm starving. Thank you!