We would all love an extra hour in the day, but leading nutritionist Susie Burrell shows us five ways to get more energy with the foods you eat.

1. Make sure your breakfast contains enough protein

Carb-rich breakfasts of cereal, plain toast or yoghurt are great for an energy hit but they are unlikely to sustain you through the morning. Add an egg, some baked beans or even protein powder to your breakie for optimal blood glucose regulation throughout the morning.

2. Count your coffees

A little caffeine to kick start the day is not a bad idea, but loading up on more than 300mg or 3 cups of strong coffee is going to leave you vulnerable to fluctuating blood glucose levels and fatigue throughout the day. Ensure you always enjoy your coffee as a meal or snack and aim for no more than 2-3 strong cups each day.

3. Get your lunch

Fatigue is common, particularly mid-afternoon when your lunch does not contain the right mix of low GI carbs, protein as well as plenty of salad or vegetables. A plain tuna salad may seem to be the healthy option, but without the carbs you need you will be left feeling low on energy at about 3pm – try adding some beans, sweet potato or grain bread to your healthy salad to help regulate glucose levels throughout the afternoon.

4. Top up on protein mid-afternoon

After a long day it is all too easy to grab some potato chips, muesli bar or chocolate to help you make it through till dinner, but the simple act of planning to include a protein rich snack of roasted chic-peas, nuts or cottage cheese on wholegrain cracker biscuits at around 4pm will help you power on until dinnertime without the post sugar crash late afternoon.

5. Get out into the sunlight

For many of us, cramming as much as we can into the working day is crucial to get all of our work done, but sitting indoors all day, without any natural light is one of the worst things we can do for our energy systems. Make it a priority to get out into the natural light for at least 20 minutes every day for a much needed Vitamin D and ultimately energising hit of fresh air and sunlight.

Vegetable Stack

Serves: 4


1 large eggplant

2 medium zucchinis

1 red capsicum

1 medium sweet potato

2 medium tomatoes

4 slices haloumi

4 large mushrooms

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil


Heat oven to 180ºC. Slice sweet potato and zucchini into fine strips lengthways, brush with olive oil and place on baking tray in oven. Cook until tender.

Cut eggplant, tomato, capsicum and tomato in to slices. Once sweet potato and zucchini are tender, brush remaining vegetables with olive oil and place on baking tray until all vegetables are char grilled.

Lightly fry haloumi cheese in pan using spray olive oil.

Remove vegetables from oven and stack together into 4 stacks. Place head of mushroom on top of stack. Sprinkle garlic on top of mushroom heads.

Place stacks back in oven and bake until mushroom is warm.

This is fantastic side dishes to lean lamb, chicken breast or fish and contains at least a cup of vegetables!

Visit Susie Burrell’s website for more great articles on healthy eating.