A season change is the perfect time for a quick self-assessment and recharge.
I love new beginnings and schedule changes. They allow for a mental shift. A reset. An excuse to make some positive changes.
As I’ve been chatting with friends and colleagues lately, the conversation seems to circle back to fatigue, a feelingof neverfeelingrested, sufferingfrom afternoon slumps, feeling drained.
Do you need more energy?
If you're nodding your head, you are not alone.
There are several strategies that can help you intentionally address the sourcesof your energy drain and regain more energy, and they are listed below in this email. They are not extreme and they really make a difference.
5 Foundational Elements of Nutrition - The Balanced Base
Our bodies run best on a foundation of balanced meals - a balanced meal is built on 5 foundational elements of nutrition.
Healthy Fats such as nuts, seeds, coconut oil, fish, avocado, olive oil which provide long-term satiety and fullness.
Protein including beans, legumes, chicken, beef, fish, nuts, and seeds (chia and hemp) which are the building blocks of every cell in our bodies especially our muscles.
Flavor, Fiber + Fermented Foods: These aren’t macronutrients as nutritional science teaches. BUT these are essential components, in my opinion, for enjoyment, variety, and optimal digestion. Flavor bombs include garlic, onion, sauces, seasonings, condiments, and umami enhancements (mushroom powder is one of my favs).
Non-starchy complex, low-glycemic carbohydrates (vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cauliflower, etc) which break down more slowly for a sustained release of energy throughout the day. The key here is to Eat the Rainbow!
Starchy, simple carbs (grains, fruits, potatoes, peas, legumes, bread, pasta) can spike blood sugar, giving bursts of energy followed by dramatic dips that cause inflammation and oxidation, leading to fatigue and stress. But our body needs these too! We just need to eat them in moderation on a BALANCED PLATE.
This is where ENERGY comes in… to skip this cycle of energy boost and crash, be sure every meal is by design… based on these foundational elements as your BALANCED BASE.
Carbs are not the enemy!
Your body needs a steady supply of glucose to support your brain, red blood cells, kidneys, and more. The primary way that your body gets glucose is via carbohydrate consumption.
Carbs are not the enemy! High quality carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy, especially if they come from clean whole foods (Clean whole food sources of carbs are non-starchy vegetables as well as potatoes and whole grains)
The Balanced Base - Balance your Meals with Protein, Fat, Carbs and the F-Factors
Including Fat and Protein with Carbohydrates (and ideally more complex carbs) in every meal and snack will help to better control blood sugar and hormones, leading to improved metabolism and overall health.
Fiber is also a key in this equation, especially for gut health.
When you overload with too many carbs (even quality ones) in one meal your body can’t burn the fuel efficiently. And, it stores the unburned fuel as fat. Nutrient-dense low-glycemic foods are more efficiently used by the body to regulate blood sugar for a sustained release of energy.
5 Ways To Boost Your Energy
Here are five basic strategies:
#1: Hydrate - Drink plenty of water or herbal tea; and eat high-water-content raw fruits and vegetables such as cucumber, celery, tomatoes, melons, berries, grapefruit, lemons, and limes to keep the body hydrated and to flush out toxins.
#2: Get Moving - Movement, even in short bursts can help get your blood flowing and provide an energy boost. A quick walk around the block, 10 push ups or squats, running in place or a few yoga poses can shift your energy level. This also enhances digestion, circulation and heart health.
#3: Eat Your Greens - Seize every opportunity to include leafy greens such as spinach, kale, chard, sprouts, micro-greens, arugula, and collard greens in your diet to increase your consumption of alkalizing minerals and antioxidants to combat free radicals. Use leafy greens in your smoothies, eggs, salads, soups and stews.
#4: Fermented Foods - For gut health and immunity, consume prebiotic- and probiotic-rich foods on a regular basis. Take a supplement, drink kombucha, eat unsweetened natural yogurt, or add a couple tablespoons of fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles) to you meals.
#5: 10 Minutes of Rest - Think power nap, but if you don’t have the space for a nap, just lying flat on your back with your legs up on a chair or sofa at a 90 degree angle for rest or meditation also works. Or consider closing your eyes and taking 10 deep breaths to reset your system.
#6: Get Organized- Sometimes clutter or lack of organization in your schedule can drain you. It can overwhelm the senses. Just focus on the task in front of you, utilize a good planner, or try up one small area at a time.
It's hard to feel your best if you're drained all the time. Prioritize this in your daily habits. Being well helps you be your best self and take care of your responsibilities and loved ones better.
Be Intentionally Well 💚
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