We are busier than ever these days, so how can you keep your energy levels high to meet the demands of your personal and work life? Do you feel like you have no energy to make a healthy meal or do some beneficial exercise? It’s a bit of a catch 22 though because things that can give us energy also require energy to do! I hear it all too often from my clients that they don’t have energy and feel tired all the time. Many tell me that if they had more energy they may be motivated to cook and exercise more. But they just don’t have the energy to do it.
I encourage you to evaluate your habits and see where you can make new habits to stimulate more energy.
Here are 10 tips to try to incorporate into your lifestyle that can give you more energy:
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine.
For many people this is counter-intuitive because they feel that caffeine gives them energy. But it is quite the opposite. Instead, the ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar ups and downs, making mood swings more frequent. Caffeine is not giving you energy but rather taking it from you!
- Drink more water.
Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Before you go to a sugar or caffeine beverage, have a glass of water, and wait a few minutes to see what happens. Your body will thank you for pure water. Sure, it’s nice to have an herbal tea or a sparkling water occasionally, but to truly satisfy your body’s hydration needs, pure water is key. For a typical day, strive for at least half your body weight in ounces of water (example: a 200 pound person should try to drink at least 100 ounces of water/day). Soft drinks are now America’s number one source of added sugar; they add no value to your health and do not give you the energy you need to thrive!
- Eat dark leafy green vegetables.
Green is associated with spring, the time of renewal and refreshing, and vital energy. Greens are full of vitamins and nutrients and great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood, and strengthening the immune system. Broccoli, collards, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, arugula, and dandelion greens are some of the many greens to choose from. Check out an earlier blog for many glorious greens options!
- Use gentle sweets.
Avoid sugar and chemical artificial sweeteners. Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, or my favorite – fresh dates! Eat sweet vegetables such as yams, carrots, and beets.
- Get physical activity.
Start with simple activities, like walking or yoga – start with 10 minutes a day and increase. I know it takes energy to do these tasks and the first few times may be a real struggle. But hang in there – try to do 10 minutes of walking! Do whatever you can, but just MOVE! You can gradually increase the activity level and time.
- Get more sleep and rest and relaxation.
When you are tired or stressed, your body will crave energy. These cravings are often a result of being sleep-deprived, going to bed late, and waking up early for months and years on end. A few tips for better sleep include not eating for 3 hours before going to bed, shutting down all technology a couple of hours before going to bed, and trying to create a quiet and dark space.
- Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat and eat the right proteins.
Protein from animal foods are the weakest proteins for your body. Try eating more plant-based sources of proteins – you don’t need any animal products for sufficient protein! Check out a previous Blog I wrote about protein!
- Take time for yourself.
Find activities that restore your energy, such as a taking a walk, having a bath, reading a book, going to a movie, planting flowers, or whatever you enjoy and schedule a weekly date with yourself to do these things!
- Get in touch with your spirituality.
We are spiritual beings in a physical world. Find ways to get in touch with your spiritual side, be it meditating, dancing, drawing, going to church or temple, or being in nature.
- Get rid of relationships that drain you.
People can drain you of your energy. It doesn’t mean that they are bad, but it is good to notice who drains you and why. See if you can transform those relationships by communicating and setting boundaries or end the relationship.
Consider adopting one of these lifestyle adjustments each week and adding a new one each week or two. Notice the changes in your energy and perhaps other positive changes!
Leave me some comments about how these changes made you feel or which changes have helped you the most.
Thanks for veggin’ out with me, The Happy Vegan!