Eating for Energy
Get Your Macro and Micronutrients Balanced
Tried and true advice for healthful eating begins with eating balanced. This includes unrefined carbs, protein, fats, with an emphasis on vegetables (rainbow colored) and healthy fat. Different foods are converted to energy at different rates. For example, sugar or caffeine can give you a quick lift, but will fade quickly leaving behind added fatigue, stress hormones, and craving more sweets. On the other hand protein combined with a healthy fat (avocado, coconut oil, raw organic nuts) will supply the reserves you'll need to draw on throughout the day. Avoid crash diets. If weight loss is a goal, do so gradually without starving yourself or the calories needed for energy. Poor nutrition and inadequate caloric intake will quickly contribute to fatigue.
Eat small, frequent meals
If energy is an issue, eating small, frequent meals can help. The full process of digestion takes more energy than any other internal function of the human body. Some experts estimate that digestion takes as much as half or more of your total energy. Digestion is the key that can elevate your wellness to the highest levels, or adversely take you down, by using precious energy that could be used for other processes. Eating foods that detox the body free up energy from digestion, which is the single most important way to redirect large amounts of energy. Further, smaller more frequent meals, help fight that sluggish feeling that often occurs during digestion. Some people begin to feel sluggish after just a few hours without food. It doesn't take much to feed your brain, a balanced healthy snack is enough to balance blood sugar.
Get Your Blood Sugar Balanced
Sorry for what I said when I was hungry, is real. Most of us will benefit from paying attention to our blood sugar because you can experience very quick results in a short amount of time. For many, a few shifts will make a huge difference in energy and mood.
Ditching the sugar and refined carbs(white flour, white bread, white pasta, etc) These send our blood sugar on a rollercoaster. Processed refined carbs cause mood swings, intense cravings, and leave us feeling moody and exhausted. Eating unrefined grains, like quinoa or millet combined with a healthy fat will help keep blood sugar stable. Eating breakfast that contains protein, within one hour of waking up, can have a huge impact on how you feel throughout the day. If you are reaching for sugar all the time, there may be something else going on. Some issues that manifest as sugar cravings are stress/adrenal fatigue, a bacterial imbalance, unbalanced hormones, or a slow thyroid.
Improve Your Digestion
Digestion is so important to energy that it must be considered its own strategy. Lack of energy is common when digestion is weak or inefficient. As we age, stomach acid and and enzymes that our body produces naturally tend to decrease. If we are not digesting and absorbing nutrients, or body will be malnourished and and our energy and mental state will be affected. To aid in digestion, chew food thoroughly, and then some more. Eat food that is easily digested with high nutrient value, like smoothies. Don't eat after 8 pm so the body can finish digesting before sleep. Drink water before or after meals, not during. This will dilute stomach acids and greatly reduces the amount of nutrients we absorb.
Drink half your weight in ounces, at least. Water is the main component of blood and is essential for carrying nutrients to cells and taking away. If your body is dehydrated, one of the first symptoms is fatigue.
Caffeine used in moderation can help with alertness. However, if consumed on an empty stomach it can alert stress hormones. Further, if consumed too late or too much, it can cause a huge crash or worse, insomnia. Try new energizing superfoods like maca root. It comes in powder form and is a great adaptogen that can be easily be added to food. Chia seeds are another amazing food. They are a complete protein, rich in fiber, potassium, calcium, and iron. Just one tablespoon has 5 grams of fiber. The best part is they contain Omega-3 and Omega-6. Which are also important to combat fatigue. Goji-berries are probably my favorite superfoods because they taste good, are a complete protein, contain amino acids, as well as vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, and E. They are also extremely high in antioxidants (higher than blueberries).