Who wants or feels like they could use more energy? We can’t get more hours in the day, but maybe we can make better use of even 1 or 2 of those hours to help us have better control of our time.
But….. It’s not totally about getting more done. Rather, maybe doing tasks more efficiently and with more direct energized action so that we have more free time to add in the self-care items that often gets left out at the end of the day. It’s like “get your chores done, so you have time to play”. Play can help increase energy as well. Win!
So, how do we get more energy to start with? Energy is created or taken in. How and where we use that energy is helpful to get the most out of our day.
Thinking about it with foods that we consume, some foods DONATE energy, and some STEAL energy.
Digestion takes a huge amount of energy to complete, and it is also the main way we take in energy. So, we can get double bonus if we choose foods that are easy to digest (less energy used for that function), and if those are also foods that great energy donators. We require foods to be broken down and absorbed in order to make use of nutrients and energy, so if digestion is not working well, that is the place to start and there are past blogs written to help find what may be helpful for you if your digestion is not working great.
The list below contains energizing foods to consider. Again, see how you feel with any food. Each of us if different and some foods work well for some of us, but not for others. This can change as seasons and digestion changes, so check back with foods every few months to see if you can tolerate them better. Do not re-try foods that cause severe allergic reactions.
Foods that come with their own enzymes to donate - such as raw fruits and veggies. Note hard raw veggies can be hard to digest, so key to chew really well or cook if digestion is weak.
Foods that stimulate digestion - Apple Cider Vinegar, lemon, and fermented foods. A few teaspoons of ACV or lemon in small glass of water or a small amount of sauerkraut 15 minutes before meals can help to strengthen digestion for your meals.
Foods that are already somewhat broken down and add enzymes and an explosion of nutrients - spouted/soaked grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. These contain activated enzymes and nutrients so that these foods are already a few steps into the ready to digest process. Donates and saves digestive energy.
Water and foods that contain a good amount of water (fruits and veggies) - we need water to help biochemical reactions and movement of nutrients as well as wastes. Water is critical for energy. When you feel a 3pm slump, reach for a big glass of water, with fresh squeezed lemon for electrolytes (think electrical energy!), and see how you feel. Aim for half your weight (in lbs) in ounces of water consumption throughout the day at minimum.
Try a blended green smoothie one morning this week, and see if you notice an increase in energy that day. Imagine if that one change allowed you to have a bit of extra energy, and thus time, at the end of the day to do one or 2 of those things on your “want to do” list that you just couldn’t seem to get to before? Win!
Non-food related energy boosts include activities such as getting outside in the sun, even for 15 minutes, breathing deeply a few times a day, and a 5 to 15 minute burst of exercise to help stimulate energy production by your mitochondria, as mentioned last week. Combine those 3 items in a 15 minute break from work and reap the rewards!
In summary, see what foods you eat that cause you to feel tired after you’ve eaten. Try replacing or reducing some of those energy depleting foods by adding or increasing the energy and enzyme donating foods and see how that feels for you. Your food choices are best when based on how the foods you eat make you feel. A food/mood journal can help you track what is and isn't working for you and track your energy to find what works best. Go with your gut!
Have a great week, Lisa.