Waking up each day with vibrance and energy–like every day is your own disco party–would be awesome, wouldn’t it? No late afternoon dips, no struggling to wake up in the mornings. So many of us struggle to find enough energy. The good news is there are ways to increase your energy, naturally and easily.
Many factors contribute to our sense of energy and vitality ~ those that zap us and those that invigorate. The foods we eat, the people we meet, how we move our feet. These things can either increase our energy or decrease it.
The culprits for depleting us are stress-related. Think four types:
- Chemical – Food or Drug
The main foods and substances that decrease our energy are:
- Caffeine, coffee, diet sodas, alcohol, too much meat or not enough, processed/chemical laden foods, tobacco, milk/dairy, sugar and artificial sweeteners and trans fats/fried junk!! It is important to note that certain prescription drugs also zing our energy including anti-depressants.
Foods that increase our energy:
- Foods that are alive have life force. Food that goes bad is good food. Unprocessed, whole foods: grains, vegetables and beans. These foods have all the components of their original, natural state: fiber, vitamins and minerals. Processing removes these elements. A great rule of thumb I like is: If microorganisms cannot thrive on it, what makes you think you can? Does it come in a box and has a “shelf life?” Then it should be pushed aside.
Everything that we take in is food for our body, mind and spirit.
Here are 10 ways to increase your energy:
1) Ease up on the java and “energy” drinks.
- The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar ups and downs, making mood swings more frequent. Stimulants like caffeine and sugar may seem to give an initial energy boost, but they actually cause a dip in our energy and blood sugar levels. Green tea is an excellent substitute.
- Drink more juice. Juicing daily, you provide your body with a high dose of naturally-derived nutrients that boosts your health, support your body’s natural cleansing processes and helps keep you well-protected against toxins and disease. A fresh juice stands in a league of its own. It is simply the best energy drink on the market! Take that, Red Bull.
2) Water water everywhere! Lots of it.
- Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Before you go to sugar or caffeine, have a glass of water with lemon and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
- Many times you think you are hungry when really it’s your body asking for water!
- Drink 32 oz of water as soon as you wake up. Have nothing else until that is consumed.
3) Eat your greens.
- Think: Green is spring, the time of renewal and refreshing, vital energy.
- Greens are full of vitamins and nutrients especially CALCIUM and great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system.
- You can always DRINK YOUR GREENS TOO.
4) DON’T BE SWEET ON SWEETS.
- Sugar is just plain bad. It promotes disease. Sugar causes mood swings, depression and fatigue. And the more you eat, the more you want!
- Avoid sugar and chemical-filled artificial sweeteners. NEVER, EVER NUTRASWEET.
- Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar and stevia (they have lower glycemic loads).
5) Animal Protein. Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Fried foods are still a definite NO.
- Eating too much meat, dairy, chicken and eggs can lead to low energy. So can eating too little! Grass-fed, pastured and wild are always good determinants when choosing your meat and fish.
- It is always a good idea to cut back on dairy. (Acidic, mucous forming, bloating, yuck). Spinach, kale, collards, broccoli are all excellent sources of calcium.
- Beans are always a great choice for protein. We do NOT need as much as conventional wisdom states.
- Fried foods zap your energy. Stay away from them.
6) Chill out. Go to bed!
- When you are tired or stressed, your body craves energy. Instead of answering the call of the late night snack, get to bed earlier and see what happens. Turn off the lights and TV. Without proper sleep, your body cannot properly detox, heal and repair itself.
- Magnesium is a great supplement to aid in relaxation. I love “Calm” magnesium tea. It really works.
- Believe it or not, daily breathing techniques can help. Six deep breaths morning and night can really take the edge off and help with emotional and physical stress.
7) SHAKE THAT.
- Physical activity is key. Start with simple, walk with 15 minutes a day or take a yoga class and increase from there. It really does energize you! Even when you don’t feel good, moving will make you feel better. It is a proven fact!
8) Love yourself.
- Find activities that restore your energy, such as a walk, a bath, visit the DMA, a movie or whatever you enjoy. Schedule a weekly date with yourself to do these things! This is incredibly vital to your internal energy source.
9) Get in touch with your spirituality.
- We are spiritual beings in a physical world. All facets of your life need attention for your whole body to feel good.
- Find ways to get in touch with your spiritual side, be it meditating, dancing, drawing, going to church or temple or being outside in nature.
10) NO ENERGY VAMPIRES. Get rid of relationships that drain you.
- People can suck the life force out of you. It doesn’t mean that they are bad, but it is good to notice who drains you and why.
- See if you can change those relationships by communicating and setting boundaries or, end them.
If all else fails, call a friend, meet at The GEM, and drink your juice! We will atleast have the disco music.