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Caffeinate Wisely

The importance of a good cup of joe goes beyond caffeine: "Coffee is almost always the first thing I reach for in the mornings," says Wachtel. "I love the ritual as much as the energy." She's onto something: Getting your body used to certain habits at certain times can help maintain regularity—and energy. (Try these 5 Easy Ways to Start Your Day Stress-Free too.)

And while we all know the powers of caffeine, Deborah Rathz, M.D., Ph.D., a medical ICU and ER physician at the Cleveland Clinic, says that timing matters. "My day begins with a mug of dark roast coffee, whether I start at 7 a.m. or 11 p.m." Feel yourself crashing midday? Try Rahtz's trick and sip something like coconut chai tea—which has less caffeine than coffee. Then skip it later in the day—at least six or so hours before you hit the sack—so that it doesn't mess with your next night's sleep.

If you need something, Wachtel finds that a fresh juice (she makes hers with kale, apple, celery, cucumber, ginger, and lemon) rejuvenates just as much as caffeine.

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Heat Things Up

Coffee has its perks, but April Wachtel, a mixologist and founder/CEO of Swig + Swallow, a cocktail batching and delivery service says that her ideal trick for alertness involves another kind of hot liquid: jumping in the shower first thing in the morning. Brittney, 27, an administrator at a 24/7 call and support center agrees, saying that a hot shower is usually enough to provide a short burst of (much-needed) energy.

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So You Got No Sleep...

Staying up all night doesn't leave anyone feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to go. (Anyone who's pulled an all-nighter knows the next day can leave you feeling like a zombie chasing a caffeine drip.) But for many people—doctors, bartenders, call attendants, or police officers who work night shifts—working all night is a day-to-day reality.

The problem is, shift work doesn't just leave us zonked. The World Health Organization considers it a probable carcinogen—and research suggests that if you spend your nights wide awake, you're more likely to suffer not just from certain kinds of cancer but also diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cognitive impairment. (In fact, it could be the culprit behind your recent weight gain.)

That's why many overnight workers fight back harder, mastering the art of maintaining a healthy diet, an exercise schedule, and a sleep routine despite less-than-ideal circumstances. So next time you find yourself lacking serious Zzzs, consider their tips to find energy and make it through the day like a healthy human.

Photo: Shutterstock

Healthy Valentine's Day Dessert Recipes Made for Two

Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Mango Pops

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Sweet mango and tangy yogurt make a nutritious dessert that still tastes like a treat--and is customizable with your favorite toppings.

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Coconut Cream Eton Mess

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The recipe below serves four. If preparing for two, simply divide the recipe by half and make smaller, 4-inch wide layers.

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Dark Chocolate Yogurt Panna Cotta and Raspberry Coulis

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Dark chocolate and low-fat Greek yogurt make this indulgent dessert lighter and healthier.

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Neapolitan Valentine Parfait

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This cool and creamy dessert is dairy-free and packed with coconut, antioxidant-rich cacao, and raspberries.

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Sweet Scarlett Grapefruit Brulee and Ricotta

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A touch of brown sugar and a little heat makes grapefruit wedges totally dessert-worthy.

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Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

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Silken tofu is the secret to making this vegan mousse thick and creamy.

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Mango Mousse

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This light and refreshing fruity dessert tastes like the tropics.

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Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 package Nasoya Silken Tofu
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecan pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons neutral oil

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a metal bowl over a small pot filled with about 1 inch of water. Let chocolate chips melt for about 3 minutes then stir until all chips are melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine tofu, maple syrup, peanut butter, melted chocolate, vanilla and almond extracts, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of sea salt. Blend until mixture is uniform and creamy. Transfer mousse mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight for a thick consistency.
  3. Prepare the topping: Add sugar, nuts, oil, a pinch of cinnamon and a dash of sea salt to a food processor and pulse 7-10 times, or until well ground. To serve, place a small amount of mousse into a dessert cup or bowl and sprinkle with crunchy toppings.

Note

  • Adapted with permission from Nasoya
  • Photo credit: Nasoya