That's probably the number one question I'm asked by clients and members of my //www.foodconfidence.com/fearlesscooking" target="_blank">Food Confidence community.
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This is such an especially important topic for working women (and especially working moms). We are often told we can “have it all” and we certainly can, but sometimes it comes with a cost. We tend to overlook our own self-care, and live life in “busy” mode. This might feel productive in the moment, but do this for too long and it’ll catch up with you––not in a good way. For many successful women, trying to have it all can lead to increased stress, adrenal fatigue, and sometimes depression.
That’s why I recommend increasing your energy level each day by making a few minor lifestyle upgrades. A few barely noticeable tweaks to your day might be all you need to yield big energy gains! Here are my top six life upgrades.
1. Upgrade Your Supplementation
If you’re relying on that over-the-counter multivitamin for your daily energy boost, it might be time to specialize. Omega-3 fish oil, magnesium, and Vitamin D all help boost your energy level and
your mood. Omega 3 contains the fatty acids EPA and DHA, both of which help reduce inflammation in the brain and alleviate depression, especially in menopausal women. Magnesium is a mineral that helps break down glucose into energy, so even a slight deficiency can result in decreased energy levels. Vitamin D is also a major player in keeping fatigue at bay by boosting energy from within your cells. Try single doses of these important nutrients for a more targeted fatigue fighting effect.
2. Trade In Late Night TV for Sleep
Are you the last person to hit the sack at your house because you’re indulging in late-night channel surfing? If this sounds like you, that little habit is doing you more harm than good. Not getting a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night can lead to problems no woman wants to deal with. Weight gain, for one, and most of us are not interested in that!
There’s also the whole decreased brain power problem. A lack of sleep messes with your attention, alertness, even how well you concentrate, reason, and problem solve. This can happen with just a few days of sleep deprivation. Sleep is restorative; getting a consistent good night’s sleep will do wonders for your energy level the next day!
3. Instead of Raiding the Candy Bowl, Just Breathe
We all do it, reach for sugar to get a quick boost of energy. The problem with this strategy is that it’s short-lived and causes unsavory side effects. Sugar cravings, weight gain, tooth decay, and blood sugar problems––just to name a few. Instead of using sugar, why not use your very own breath? The practice of inhaling and exhaling completely is a quick and easy way to increase oxygen flow to your brain and your muscles. It relaxes you, while at the same time providing an energizing pick-me-up.
4. Standing Instead of Sitting
There are days that I’m totally in my zone, being super productive and getting tasks complete. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, I’ll feel myself getting so sleepy I can’t even concentrate. This is when I realize that I haven’t moved my bottom from the chair for a couple of hours. My blood vessels are constricted and I’m losing steam; I feel drained. Standing up as soon as I feel this way immediately wakes up my body by sending oxygen-filled blood back to my brain and muscles. I’ll continue to work for a bit standing at my desk, and I immediately feel energized!
5. Start Your Day Off Green
Green smoothies are the new energy drink! They are an infusion of nutrient-rich plant power. If your breakfast is less than stellar (or if you skip breakfast, yikes!), a green smoothie might be the answer to your energy-seeking prayers. Most people choose to skip their morning cup of coffee when they start the day with a green smoothie. Smoothies are simple and quick to whip up in the morning. Just combine two to four large leaves of kale with a big handful of spinach, one apple (cored), a handful of frozen berries, 1/3 cup hemp seeds (for some protein), a few sprigs of mint, juice from half a lemon, and your liquid of choice (like unsweetened coconut or almond milk, coconut water or milk). Blend and there you’ll have a healthy energy-boosting alternative to coffee!
6. Swap Soda for Green Tea
You know that soda isn’t good for you, right? Even so, there are still a few ladies out there curing the afternoon slump time with a soda fix. I get it, the caffeine offers a quick boost of energy to get you through the afternoon. But here’s the thing, you can do better than that! Swap out your soda for some nutrient-rich green tea. You’ll get your afternoon lift along with some notable benefits. Green tea contains a compound called //healthyeating.sfgate.com/egcg-green-tea-8453.html" target="_blank">EGCG, which is a catechin that aids in weight loss and helps reduce stress. Stress is a total drain on your energy level, making green tea the perfect way to beat fatigue.
And there you have it! Six quick changes that'll be sure to help you boost your energy-level. Are there healthy energy-boosting alternatives that have worked for you?