Do you find that your energy levels drop throughout the day or do you find it hard to get out of bed in a morning?
Living an on the go lifestyle often results in burnout or recovering from an illness can greatly impact your energy which is very true for me at the moment.
A lot of people reach for pick-me-up snacks or energy drinks and wonder why the effects don’t last for a long period of time.
There is so many things you can do to improve or hep maintain your energy.
Some of the main causes of low energy are………..
Poor Dietary Choices
Our bodies are not designed to consume a lot of the processed foods we eat today in the Western Diet. This also includes fizzy drinks, alcohol and extra caffeine. A lot of these foods also contain high amounts of sugar. Eating lots of white foods such as white bread and pasta can create ongoing stress for the pancreas causing it to release high levels of insulin which is required to lower the blood sugar levels by pushing sugar out into the cells. This is what creates the high/low energy crash cycle. This can lead onto you craving more sweet foods.
Another diet related energy problem is candida , this is a fungus that belongs to the yeast family. When your body is healthy, it will maintain small amounts of the fungus in the digestive tract. Poor dietary choices can lead to a candida growth to spiral out of control. When this happens it can be a major cause of fatigue.
Most people deal with some sort of stress on a daily basis. In today’s busy lifestyle many people are multi-tasking and struggle to find time to have relaxed mealtimes and stop working while they are eating. This will continue to deplete our energy.
What Can You Do to Nourish Your Body??
First of all do not skip breakfast. Having a good breakfast is key for balancing blood sugar. Try to avoid sugary cereals especially ones that change the colour of your milk.
Try to ensure that all your meals and snacks include some good quality protein. Don’t forget this can include nuts and seeds.
Consume plenty of green vegetables and most non-starchy vegetables give nourishment without causing blood sugar spikes. Non-starchy vegetables include asparagus, bean sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and celery.
Eating some raw foods will also help in a great way as these are bursting with energy and enzymes which are normally destroyed during cooking. By eating raw foods means that your body doesn’t have to use a lot of energy to produce enzymes for the digestive process, reducing in more energy available for daily activities. If you don’t fancy eating raw foods you could try them in a juice first. Add in chlorella or spirulina for an extra protein boost.
Drinking water is so important, if you make one change today drink more water. Try to have two litres per day this does not mean two litres of coffee. If you struggle drinking cold water include herbal teas or add some fruit to your water. I start the day with a cup of boiled water. I am not saying completely stop other drinks just be aware of how many you are having. It is all about balance I have one coffee mid morning then change to herbal teas or boiled water.
Our bodies are designed to move all day long. Eventually lack of exercise will impair multiple physical functions necessary for health. Think of your body as a car that requires fuel from food and water and plenty of exercise to keep the engine running at optimum level.
It is important to get regular exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to join a gym. I personally don’t like gyms. I enjoy yoga, cycling, walking and hula hooping. Finding a form of exercise that you enjoy is really important then it doesn’t feel like a chore. I do 10 minutes of yoga or hula hooping in a morning and it makes me feel so much better after I have done it. I won’t lie some mornings it can feel like a lot of effort, but it is definitely worth it. If you haven’t done any exercise for a while then build it up slowly. I haven’t been able to exercise properly for a few months and it has made a huge difference to my fitness levels. Set yourself small achievable goals.
Time For You
Mindfulness is good for stress, if that’s not for you do ensure that you take some time out just for you. Have a brew in peace on your own, read a magazine, phone a friend for a chat or go for walk. Even if you only have 10 minutes to remove yourself do it, it will make a difference if you are feeling stressed.
Try to make small changes don’t do everything at once or you are setting yourself up to fail. Change one thing a week and see how you get on. Before you eat something stop and think how will I feel after I have eaten it. Also I am not saying stop eating chocolate or your favourite foods, its about moderation. I eat chocolate and enjoy it, but I don’t have it every day.
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Fruit and vegetables are key to a healthier lifestyle. They taste great and add variety to any meal. Your 5 a day should consist of as many different coloured varieties as possible.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will give you plenty of vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetables are also a good source of fibre and antioxidants. All these nutrients are important for your health.
Fruit and vegetables are generally low fat, low calories food, so eating them instead of foods high in fat and added sugars gets you on your way to keeping healthy and losing weight.
Remember fresh, frozen, canned, chilled, pulses, 100% unsweetened juice and dried fruit and vegetables all count towards your 5 a day.
Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season, this means that they are not only cheaper, but tastier too.
A portion counts as 80g which is roughly a handful.
A few examples of what counts as a portion.
1 medium apple
3 celery sticks
3 heaped tbsp of canned sweetcorn
7 cherry tomatoes
1 handful of carrot sticks
1 medium banana
3 heaped tbsp of fresh or frozen peas
1/2 and avocado
3 heaped tbsp of cooked kidney beans
2 broccoli florets
2 medium plums
8 brussels sprouts
1/2 a large courgette
1 medium onion
12 chunks of pineapple
3 whole dried apricots
Here are some ideas on how to increase your 5 a day.
Have 100% unsweetened fruit juice (150ml) with your breakfast.
Snack on fruit, dried fruit or vegetable sticks mid morning or mid afternoon.
Add a side salad to your lunch.
Add an extra serving of vegetables with your evening meal.
Add tinned tomatoes to a homemade casserole.
Make homemade soup.
Make your own tomato sauce for pasta dishes, you can hide plenty of vegetables in it if you blend it.
Make your own smoothie or juice drink – just remember they count as a maximum of 2 of your 5 a day.