Need more energy? 5 Quick fixes
Who doesn’t need more energy? Wether you’re a working mom, a stay at home mom, or not a mom at all, chances are you could benefit from a little extra boost to get you through the day. The bad news is that I can’t stretch the day to give you a few etra hours of sleep, trust me, if I would because I need it too. The good news is that you can feel like you got an extra hour or two of sleep just by following these tips.
1. Ditch the Caffeine. It may sound counterintuitive to ditch the thing you think keeps you from falling asleep but it’s actually making you sleepier. When you drink caffeine you stimulate your central nervous system and overwork your glandular system which can wreak long term havoc on your body. Caffeine can also deplete your body of vitamins B, C, magnesium as well as microminerals. Vitamin depletion will cause you to feel even more slugglish and can lead to disease over time. If you can ditch your caffeine cold turkey you should, otherwise try getting rid of one caffinated (or sugary!) drink a day by replacing it with a cup of water and aim to have no more than one a day. If you’re a soda and coffee drinker and can’t imagine life without them try to get down to one of each a day. I’ll let you soda drinkers off the hook right now and leave all the scary health dangers of soda for another day.
2. Eat your greens.Green leafy vegetables (as well as the algae spirulina and chlorella) are a great source of energy because of their chlorophyl content. Chlorophyll acts as a blood detoxifier which in turn helps increase circulation to your ograns and creates an increase in energy. Chlorophyl also supplies us with magnesium which is an essential nutrient to helping increase energy. Eating fresh, leafy green veggies and algae is your best bet but if you don’t think you’re getting enough, add a superfood drink to your diet such as Amazing Grass Green Superfood. It comes in different flavors and you can add it to a smoothie or drink it on its own mixed with juice or water.
3. Eat Smarter. Eat protein rich snacks and meals. I know carbohydrate rich snacks are portable and easy to store but they can weigh you down and make you tired. Getting some protein throughout the day will give you energy and help you feel more alert. Lara bars and nuts are my favorite portable snacks since you can keep them in your purse or desk drawer. Adding some nut butters or cheese to a slice of fruit is also a great snack and so are pumpkin protein brownies. Eliminate white flour and sugar as much as possible, they will cause peaks and valleys in your blood sugar which will lead to low energy. Choose meals with protein and complex carbs (think veggies!).
4. Eat with the seasons. Since produce is available year round it’s hard to tell what is in season when. A quick way to figure out what’s in season is to start shopping at your local farmers market. When you prepare foods think about the weather. If it’s hot your body will do better with lighter, more raw foods. Try cold soups and plenty of salads and fruits. If you eat too many hot foods when it’s hot your body will have to work harder to cool you down. In the colder months you should ditch the salad and opt for cooked veggies instead. Warmer, heartier meals in the wintertime (think stews, roasting and baking) will help keep your body warm and your energy levels up. Not only will eating with the seasons give you more energy but it can also boost your immune system. Eat cooling foods (watermelon) in the summer and warmning foods (stew) in the winter.
Want to pick your own produce? Check out www.pickyourown.org to find picking farms near you. To find local food and CSA’s near you visit www.localharvet.org Find local farms and markets at www.farmersmarket.com
5. Start your day off right. Skipping breakfast will set you up for failure and eating refined carbs will cause an afternoon blood sugar crash. You’ll be hungry, and tired, and grumpy so you’ll look to sugar or caffeine to wake you up and carb rich foods to fill you up. Once that sugar and caffeine rush dies off the cycle will start all over again. I’m a big believer that breakfast will set the tone for the rest of your day. Add some nuts and greek yogurt to your oatmeal or scramble up some eggs to start the day. A fruit, yogurt and nut parfait is a great summer time breakfast.