How would it feel to wake up rejuvenated and alive every day, and to have that energy last you through until you wound down for bed? While this is idyllic and unrealistic for most, it should be the norm. Chronic fatigue is a serious issue for Americans, the result of which has been a massive upswing in the energy drink and coffee market. While these products help people get through their workdays, chores, tasks, and social calendars, it doesn’t address the underlying issues of why everyone seems to be so wiped all the time.
Our energy levels are a check engine light for the vitality of our overall systems. It shouldn’t be necessary for us to supplement every time we need an energy boost, as an efficient system should provide us with all the energy we need. By supporting our bodies with the right food and routines, we can tap into massive energy storage and turn around this weak and exhausted rut so many people seem to be in.
Try these tips for abundant energy and vitality.
1. Eat more fat
The west has a big aversion to fat. Fat free and low calorie products abound the aisles, but these aren’t what nourish our energy levels or our brains. Biochemically, your body’s best and slowest-burning form of energy is fat. Furthermore, your brain is 60% fat, so it’s critical to support this organ through nutrition to help you stay alert and focused throughout the day. This means eating foods high in healthy fat like avocados, olive oil, walnuts, flax seeds, fish oil, and small amounts of grass fed beef, and cutting out zero-calorie, zero nutrient pseudo-foods.
2. Micronutrient deficiencies
Certain micronutrients like iron, vitamin B, and vitamin D contribute greatly to your energy levels. Because many of us eat foods for convenience that usually aren’t nutritionally balanced, we miss out on all of the nutrients we need to feel energized and vibrant. This means eating whole foods that are packed with micro and phytonutrients at every meal. Whether it’s an avocado, tomato, spinach, or some broccoli, figure out how to get some real food incorporated into your regimen.
3. Inflammatory foods
There is no neutral food when it comes to your body’s function. This means that whatever we eat has an impact on our overall health and energy levels. Inflammatory foods spike our insulin levels and our stress responses, leaving us feeling depleted and depressed. They also take an enormous amount of digestive activity to break down, so your body ends up using precious energy just trying to metabolize, pull nutrients, and get rid of the waste, instead of using it for your brain and muscles. These include refined sugars and starches, energy drinks, dairy, animal protein, and fried foods. Minimize them as much as possible to stop draining yourself of precious natural energy.
The more energy you use the more you have. Exercise stimulates your brain, gets your blood moving, and helps flush energy-sucking toxins out of your system. With the amount of opportunities to get active that exist today, there are no excuses. Pack your bag and commit to hitting the gym/stairs/sidewalk/hills/yoga studio before or after work at least 3 times a week. You’ll feel better and your body will 100% thank you for it.
5. Your language
Complaining all the time makes you look and feel wimpy. Our language shapes our lives, so when someone asks how you are, don’t feebly respond with an, ‘Oh, I’m alright.’ Be bold! Sulking around is not becoming, and certainly won’t help you feel naturally energized. Smile and tell people you feel great, even if you don’t. It’ll pump you up and you’ll energize your space and others around you.
It’s up to us to reverse the culture of heavy dependence on stimulants to stay alert and focused. Get active, eat whole foods, and use your language to put you into a vibrant and energized place. Your body is capable of producing all the energy you need, it’s time to tap in!
Photo by Brooklyn Morgan