Here comes spring — time to kick it into gear, get out, and get going. Not feeling the juice? It’s likely you have at least a few things blocking your energy. Here are 7 ways to set it free:
1. Lighten Up
Of course we need food for fuel, yet digestion takes energy. Try smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day — keep your proteins lean and your fats light and healthy. Try a day or two of only smoothies using fruits, vegetables, low-fat yogurt and/or healthy protein powders such as whey, pea or rice — sweeten with liquid stevia. For the more adventurous, explore juice fasting for 3-7 days.
2. Go Green
Green food contains chlorophyll, which feeds our blood and gives us energy. Try a day or two of “green smoothies,” which are primarily fruit and leafy greens and taste surprisingly good (Google for ideas). Chlorophyll is also available as a minty liquid and in gelcaps.
3. Clean up relationships
Invest in those that are energizing and re-evaluate those that drain. Maybe it’s time to let the latter go. If that’s not realistic, think about how you can limit the drain — clear the air around a conflict, spend less time with those people, or ease the tension with shared group activities.
4. Move it!
Moving your body speeds up your metabolism and lifts your mood and energy. If you’re not an exerciser, start small and realistic. Walk around the block a few times. Park the car further from your destination and pick up your pace on the walk. Move a bit faster up those stairs. Jog in place for 3-5 minutes or do 20 jumping jacks first thing in the morning — repeat mid-day and before dinner. Move your body, and I guarantee you’ll want to move it more and more.
5. Boost your diet
Start with good hydration (clean water, fresh juice), healthy proteins (organic eggs, poultry, lean meats, fish and/or dairy), good fats (olive oil, fish oil, avocado, raw nuts and seeds) and unprocessed carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, sprouted grains). Then explore safe supplements or superfoods that can add some lift to your life: extra B vitamins, CoQ10, D-ribose, green food powders, berry powders, bee pollen, and/or adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola, ginseng, etc.
6. Get your zzz’s
Most of us need 7-9 hours of restful sleep for proper repair and rejuvenation. Last month’s Pilot had a great article on how to get a better night’s sleep by Darcie Ellyne (page 18). Check it out!
7. Balance your hormones
If you still can’t find the spring in your step, look into thyroid, adrenal, and/or sex hormone imbalance with your doctor. These problems are epidemic and often undiagnosed or mis-diagnosed. Deficient or unbalanced hormones can make you feel like you’ve fallen and just cannot get up.
– Lauren Picciani, MA, Health Educator & Coach