Wanting more energy was actually the start of this wonderful journey into health and happiness for me. Sitting on the edge of a bed a few years ago, feeling bone weary and tired way beyond my years, I’d finally had enough. I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. I wanted energy. I wanted to feel vibrant and alive with vitality.
Tiredness and fatigue are curses of our times and I know everyone wants to know what they should eat in order to have more energy. It’s not as simple as all that – there’s no one silver bullet that’s going to fire you up – but it’s also not complicated.
Over the past week, I’ve posted on Facebook 10 tips on boosting energy. Concentrate on one of these a day for the next 10 days, adding one in at a time, and I’m sure you’ll see a difference.
- Drink more water. Especially in the first part of the day. Most of us walk around chronically dehydrated, so topping up your water tanks earlier in the day will help you make it through the afternoon. I drink two glasses first up in the morning, one with lemon and/or apple cider vinegar. Don’t drink at meals though as the liquid dilutes your digestive acids and interferes with digestion.
- Drop your caffeine consumption. This works every time. I had a client who couldn’t understand her 3pm slump. She wasn’t drinking a lot of coffee, but she forgot to mention the several cups of tea she was having during the day. She stopped those, switched to herbal and decaf, and the 3pm slump disappeared straight away.
- Increase greens. Green leafy vegetables that is. Start adding them in to every meal you eat. They are loaded with nutrients your body needs the most, and are a sure fire way to increase your vitality. Start with green smoothies and add some kale or spinach to your eggs, soups, stir fries and salads. Whatever you’re having, add a green.
- Trade sugar for fat. Seriously, eat more healthy fats. Your body runs on two energy sources – glucose and fat. Add a healthy fat to every meal. Not only will you eat less and feel fuller for longer, but you will have a more sustained energy supply. Think coconut products, nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil and avocados. Sugar and processed refined carbs (this includes bread) will make you tired because when you eat them your blood sugar (glucose) levels spike and crash. Avoid them and you’ll avoid the crash.
- Walk, in fresh air. A quick walk around the block, around the garden, around anything, outside in some fresh air will give you a lift. Even five or 10 minutes will energise you. Breathe in deeply as you go. Exercise is important for energy, but if you struggle with the idea of exercise, look at it from the point of view of movement. Aim to move a little more every day.
- Get in the raw. Not the naked kind, although that might energise you too! Add more raw foods to your diet. Aim for half of your plate to be raw – veggies, fruits, fermented foods – as these foods are still living and contain the energy and life-giving enzymes your body will thrive on.
- Breathe and stretch. When fatigue hits, take five minutes (or longer) to do some deep breathing and gentle stretching. It will help flood your body with oxygen and revitalise you. If you can do it outside, then all the better. Concentrate on breathing deep into your tummy for the best results.
- Slow down. Rushing and over-committing will wear you out, so slow down. Drive slower, walk slower, breathe slower, talk slower, eat slower. Rushing about, or even the perception of being in a hurry, raises your levels of stress and the associated hormones (cortisol and adrenalin) and that fatigues your body.
- Release, let go. Worrying about things will wear you out even if everything you eat and drink is on track. If there’s something you can do to relieve your worries or the cause of anxiety, then do that. If there’s nothing in your control, it’s time to release and let go. When your worries come up, mindfully move on from them.
- Evaluate relationships. If you have a friendship or relationship, or even an association, that causes you grief of any kind, re-evaluate your connection to that person. If they don’t bring joy to your life, it’s time to move on. Also consider your role in all your relationships – are you giving all the time and failing to look after you? If you’re trying to do too much for everyone else, of course you’ll feel tired. Have a think about what you do in your relationships (that includes with your children) and be realistic about whether you’re trying too hard.
Which of these changes do you think will make the biggest difference to you? Do me a favour and let me know in the comments.