We've all been there. Mid-afternoon hits and we are ready to hit the sack. That post-lunch laziness sets in but there are still hours of work left. Many folks reach for a cuppa Joe, and that caffeine kick does the trick. The rest of the day is manageable thanks to that much-needed pep. But what if coffee isn't your thing? Slug it down, or find something that tempts your taste buds as it provides that energy surge to get your engine running? The latter seems logical, so here are some coffee alternatives that will get you over that mid-day slump, leaving you super-sharp and alert.

Coconut Water

paleodojo.com

Refreshing and slightly sweet, nature's coconut water is a pleasing pick-me-up that is natural and light. One reason you may feel tired mid-day can be due to dehydration. According to WebMD, coconut water is, "super-hydrating, with more potassium than four bananas." It is low in sugar, so you will not suffer that spike and crash like you might with super-sugary sodas and juice drinks.

Trueself recommends drinking coconut water straight up or making a tasty coconut water-based smoothie. "Mix 1 cup of coconut water with 1 cup of berries and ½ banana. Top with coconut flakes." Make one at home before work and keep it in the office fridge for when you feel that slump surfacing. A few sips and you're good to go 'till closing time.

Matcha

thepioneerwoman.com

With matcha, mid-day slumps have met their match. Go for the green stuff and you'll be on "go" until it's time to go home. According to Dr. Axe, "Matcha is an excellent alternative to coffee. A two-gram serving contains enough caffeine to give you an energy boost and is delivered slowly to your body over a period of 6-8 hours." No jitters, only steady and reliable energy to make every workday moment count. Sip some throughout the day and you will never be sidelined by a sudden slump.

What makes matcha so magical? As Trueself explains, "Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that stimulates alpha brain waves, and the EGCg content revs up your metabolism."

Maca

nourisheveryday.com

Maca is amazing when it comes to giving you a boost without the buzz. Livestrong explains that maca root offsets the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which "causes the adrenal glands to slow down and function at a less than optimal rate, causing extreme tiredness and a general feeling of malaise. Maca can be found as a whole food, powder, liquid, tablet, or capsule." It is versatile and proven effective.

As per Trueself, maca tastes buttery and nutty, making it a nice addition to a simple smoothie. Whip one up in the morning and let maca's magic keep you energized and on-the-ball from sunrise to sunset. Check out this easy-to-make maca milkshake recipe courtesy of Trueself, made with milk, fruit, cashew butter, and maca powder. An energy-boosting blend.

Apples

unsplash.com

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know it keeps Mr. Sandman at bay too? According to Shape, "A simple apple is a great energy-boosting, mid-afternoon snack. Full of vitamin C, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, an apple can deliver a boost of energy and stabilize blood sugar."

As Stemilt simply explains, "You don't need expensive supplements or drinks for energy. It you're perpetually dragging, get more sleep and eat healthy, fresh food." The crisp and juicy snack is portable and delicious. And remember to stick to the whole fruit rather than juice which can have lots of added sugar that will bring you down as fast as you spiked.

Dark Chocolate

pixabay.com

Chocolate, you had us at hello. But aside from dark chocolate's decadent taste, it can be a nice mid-day slump stumper too. As long as you keep your portion size in check, you will avoid over-indulging yet get the pick me up you are after.

According to The Hearty Soul, "It contains antioxidants that will give you energy. Make sure that it's dark chocolate, as milk chocolate contains added sugars which may give you an initial feeling of more energy, but will result in a crash in all likelihood, with a net result of feeling more depleted than before you ate it."

For even more snacks with a caffeine kick, check out five recommended by Topdust. From peanut butter to popcorn, these caffeine-infused treats are unique and energizing.

When you're not crazy for coffee, energize with an alternative.

PayPath
Follow Us on

Afghan women

NBC

Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

Keep reading Show less

Stacker

Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.