In our current fast-paced world we multi-task and over-extend ourselves constantly and, after a while, running around stressed becomes the norm without considering what your body's “gas tank” needs to perform and stay energized.
If you, like me, work, plan, organize, strategize, travel, design and live life to its fullest, we MUST remember those simple things that keep us “fueled”. Daily I’m asked by readers and patients about how to add more “zest” to their lives
because their get-up-and-go got-up-and- went…where to, no one knows!...click to continue reading...
Our bodies are not unlike houseplants, they need plenty of water and nutrition to rejuvenate.
- Morning Start-up – Morning IS Important! According to Gregory Dodell, M.D., a New York
endocrinologist, “We’ve been essentially in a starvation state all night. At the same time we experience spikes in cortisol and testosterone – important hormones for energy that help us with morning energy.” When you wake up, open
draperies/windows for natural light and fresh air – light helps optimize the body’s wake-up mechanism. If it’s still dark outside, turn on some lights – hopefully, not fluorescent! If you do have to use fluorescent, use compact bulbs labeled “cool white” or “daylight” – they’re environmentally better and their color temperatures emit a white light closer to outdoor light than the yellowish incandescent variety. Do 5-minutes of gentle stretching and eat breakfast – the most important meal of the day. Do NOT hit the snooze button when alarm goes off – doing so and falling asleep again interrupts your hormone cycle, making it harder to get up and get moving.
- If you begin your day in a frantic rush (emotionally or physically) you’re exhausted before your “real” day even begins and the rest of the day has little chance of rolling on to a “normal” pace.
Additionally, avoid dealing with emails, text messages, and phone calls until you can first clear your mind and prepare for the day. I personally make it a point to get up earlier than most (between 4: and 5: am) and allow myself a relaxing hour to have my organic coffee, watch a quick update on world news and slowly emerge into what is usually a very hectic and long day for me. If I
begin my day harried, the whole day goes that way and by the end of the day my
stress is off the charts.
- Move, Move, Move in the morning. If you are not keen on morning exercising you might
want to reconsider getting into a routine at least three times a week. A University of Georgia study showed that people who did a low-intensity aerobicactivity like a leisurely walk three times a week had a significant lower rate of fatigue than even those who did higher intensity workouts for the same time…Walk, Walk, Walk. Additionally, the same study showed increased energy levels by animpressing 20%.
- Eat Breakfast – farmers know the importance of a hardy healthy breakfast but most people do not follow the same practice. If we have our coffee for quick energy and then a bagel loaded with carbs, it’s a recipe for a big crash later in the day. What would be a quick healthy breakfast? How about a protein shake with added fruit, fiber and omega oils? OR, a scrambled egg with a bit of cheese and/or spinach on a rice or corn tortilla, OR gluten-free oatmeal or quinoa topped with nuts, some fresh fruit, and sprinkled with cinnamon?
- Sitting at the desk/computer for hours on end is NOT healthy for anyone, I know. Your body needs movement to change the flow of oxygen both physically and mentally. Studies show most of us can only stay really focused from 45 - 60 minutes. Set your alarm, get up, move, go outside for some fresh air and gently stretch, including eye exercises.
- Okay, here’s a reality check for us all – if your energy level dips between 2: and 4: in the afternoon, it’s official – You’re Human. Why this happens is important to understand. The same hormones that spike in the morning to get us up and out can now do the opposite as their levels dwindle later in the day. If you have a big lunch and then return to a task where you’re not moving, you’re going to be in a slump. The Solution – eat strategically, have your largest meal in the morning and a light lunch and evening meal and move every 45 to 60 minutes
- I experimented with what kind and when to take supplements that provide a natural energy boost for that extra get-up-and-go. Consider taking a B-100 complex at noon with your lunch. The B’s help reduce stress hormones and provide extra energy. However, be careful not to take them after about 2: pm or they will most likely affect your sleep. I personally take a B-100 with my medical food protein shake in the morning then another B-100 at noon, as do most of my clients with great results. If you weigh less than 130 you should take a B-50 twice a day rather than the 100 mg.
- Many people fear carbs and, therefore, wonder why they have no energy or energy reserves when needed for that extra project that must be done. No carbs= No Quick Energy. That big green salad is nice but be sure to add a protein like chicken or fish or even maybe some black beans or quinoa and a small amount of fruit for that extra energy.
- Avoid rich foods, especially at lunch and dinner. According to Donald Hensrud, M.D. and a specialist in preventive medicine and nutrition at Mayo Clinic, “When blood samples are analyzed after people eat heavy meals, they almost look creamy, and the fat in this blood may displace oxygen.” SO, everything in moderation. Yes, have that piece of cheese and the occasional burger but be sure it’s earlier in the day so you can move that fat around in your blood and make sure the burger is quality meat, not fast-food.
Stay-tuned, in my next blog I’ll continue to provide you with healthy
tips for achieving energy and maintaining it, Naturally.