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December 27, 2007

Eat Your Way to Energy

The number-one reason Americans altered their eating habits last year was to get more energy. Four women — and the experts — weigh in on which changes really work.

woman eating strawberries

Photo Credit: Vika Vatter/iStock

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"I eat five times a day"


"I'd wake up, work for two hours, and then eat breakfast between 8 or 9. Come lunchtime — anywhere between 1 and 4 — I'd be so exhausted I couldn't keep my head up. Inevitably, I'd have a big dinner. I was always dragging."

"I got a free consultation with a nutritionist, who told me my weight was perfect but that I had to start eating more often to keep my energy up. Now I eat five times a day, starting with a big breakfast of eggs with a small piece of bread and lox cream cheese, or a sandwich with half lox cream cheese and half caviar. I also drink green tea with honey. I have dried cranberries or apricots midmorning and a turkey or beef-salami sandwich and cucumbers and tomatoes for lunch, or sushi rolls if I'm out. I have chocolate with cheese or nuts as a snack and a not-insane dinner of halibut, veal, or chicken. It sounds like I'm always eating, but I haven't gained weight. I try to eat my last meal before 8:30, although that never works when I go out. I'm productive all day — important for an entrepreneur."

She's smart to keep her blood sugar stable by eating more often, says Joy Bauer, R.D., nutritionist and author of Food Cures. But Pamela could do better: Caviar is high in cholesterol and salt; lox, with its nitrates, isn't the way to get omega-3s; and the cream cheese is high in saturated fat.

Instead, she should top whole-wheat bread with nonfat cream cheese, baked salmon, and tomato. Or, she could eat omega-3-fortified eggs and lose the lox. Subbing an apple and 12 almonds for the cranberries gives her lots of energy-sustaining protein for few calories. The salami has to go: It's 70 percent fat. Better: low-fat turkey bologna.

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