Energy – we all seem to want more of it, or need more of it! Energy keeps the world moving, keeps our bodies functioning and allows all of nature to do its thing. We receive energy from the sun, the food we eat, the thoughts we think, how we move (or not), the people in our lives, the quality of our sleep and more.
10 years ago, I was brought to my knees with Chronic Fatigue, also known as ME. I know how disruptive that can be to living life with any kind of joy. It’s a zero energy life, getting out of bed is difficult (if not impossible) and that’s before other commitments like work, running your business and attending social engagements (if you even accept them) come into play. Sex lives can take a dive and you can become snappy, irritable and unpleasant to be around. Getting to the end of the day becomes a victory.
Personally, an overhaul to what I was eating to include foods that increased my energy was step 1 to recovery. Healing from a chronic illness can take time, however, it was the first detox retreat I attended that rebooted my energy like nothing else and changed the path of my life from that moment forward. For the first time in a long time I felt like myself again.
Past trauma, lack of boundaries and our emotional lives can be root causes of chronic fatigue and it took me a little while to figure that one out. The great news is that once you start to support your body back to wellness you have the energy to dig deeper.
Life is meant to be lived with inspiration, excitement and loads of energy and it can be, if you’re willing to try some changes. Your energy levels may just need a little boost. Whatever end of the scale, if you’re still reading, here are some pointers to start filling up your energy tank today!
1. Eat more Fresh foods
Having some basics sorted with diet is a tremendous help and the easiest way to do this is to start to include more colourful, unprocessed whole-foods into your day. Most of us know we require protein, carbs and good fats but we also need vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This is so we can digest and use the food we eat to produce the energy we need.
To boost your energy levels and support your immune system, as well as help regulate weight and reduce stress, here are my top recommendations.
- Vitamins E, C and B: nuts, seeds, olive oil, oily fish (salmon and mackerel), whole grains (rice, millet, oats), apricots, citrus fruits, peppers, cabbage, kale, kiwi fruit, strawberries, organic red meat and poultry, organic eggs and green veggies (broccoli, kale, spinach).
- Beta-carotene: carrots, squash, broccoli, peaches, whole grains, tomato, organic butter and egg yolk.
- Selenium: Oats, brown rice, broccoli, Brazil nuts, spinach
- Magical Herbs: If you really need a boost Siberian Ginseng is incredible and well researched for stress support and energy production. As well as making you more alert it also assists with sleep.
High Intensity HIIT exercise has been touted as the best workout for more energy but if you are chronically fatigued it’s unlikely you’ll want to, or be able to smash out a routine. And you shouldn’t. In fact, it could do more damage than good. Start with a gentle walk for as long as you can manage, some Yin Yoga, jumping on a rebounder. What soothes you that moves you?
Colour can impact our energy – green and blue and also fresh air will lift your mood and help energy levels. 20 minutes a day is ideal.
Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night when possible. Get off your phones and computers at least an hour before bed time – they mess with our natural rhythms. You can also experiment with software like f.lux. to reduce the blue light from electronics which helps your body to adjust to night and day. Think about your wind down routine – essential oils, soft lighting, a comfortable temperature. Think of calming things you enjoy.
5. Mindfulness and Meditation
These practices are amazing for stress reduction, reducing fatigue and settling our nervous systems. Done consistently the structure of your brain will change helping you to have more energy and feel more calm over your day. It can be a very personal choice. You could check out insight timer for some inspiration.
Start small, even if it’s just one more colour of food to your plate a week and 5-minutes of mindfulness. They will become helpful habits to add more energy to your life! To help with some easy energy boosting recipes, you can download a copy from my blog.
If nothing else, see what you could integrate into your diet, even if it’s one more colour to your plate each day. Click here to go the health and nutrition information at my website to get your recipe eBook.
If chronic fatigue is ruining your life, please know that you can heal. Detoxes and cleanses are an amazing place to start. More to come at www.katecareynutrition.com.au