Did you know that April is ‘Stress Awareness Month’? Stress is what you feel when you have more to handle than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. Your body speeds up your heart, makes you breathe faster, and gives you a burst of energy (the fight-or-flight response). Continue reading “Don’t STRESS out!”
The most effective ways to avoid your own energy crisis are to get plenty of sleep, drink enough water, eat a wholesome, balanced diet, exercise and try your best to avoid stress.
Now, with that being said and in an attempt to be realistic in this overworked, under-hydrated, time-crunched and stressed out culture we are all trying to live in, let’s look at some easy ways to try to achieve the balance that will help us fight fatigue.
The guidelines set by the National Sleep Foundation suggest 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults ages 18-64. Following a regular sleep cycle—same bedtime, same wake time is the best way to get in good sleep.
Avoid stressors in the hour before you go to bed, such as the news, the internet or serious discussions. Light producing electronics, even most alarm clocks emit enough light to interrupt peaceful sleep. A bath, book and quiet time to just “be” are nice ways to unwind. Keep a pad and pen by your bed to jot down the OMG thoughts like “I forgot to pay that bill” or “Remember to get a gift for Sue” will help to put your mind at ease.
We all know that we need to drink plenty of water, but truth be told, knowing and doing are two separate things. Even mild dehydration can sap your energy and cause a sense of fatigue.
Putting lemon in your water will not only make it more palatable but has an uplifting effect. It produces a clean energy that caffeinated beverages do not. NaturalHealth365.com and Livestrong.com are great websites to learn more about the cleansing and energy producing effects of lemon water.
Eat a Wholesome and Balanced Diet
Eating well usually won’t happen from a bag, box or a drive through. Eat the apple rather than the apple flavored toaster pastry. Become a label reader and be aware of the ingredients in your food choices.
Choose whole grains, real whole fruits and vegetables—again, eat the potato rather than the chip—healthy fats and lean proteins. The best sources of healthy fats are vegetable oils (olive oil!) nuts, seeds and fish. Whole energy producing foods are kale, blueberries, oatmeal, and salmon just name a few.
Move that body! My motto has always been “any movement is better than no movement”. Walk to your mailbox instead of driving to it. Even that can help create a lift. The American Heart Association recommends thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day, five days a week. You can even break up that thirty minutes into two or three 15 or 10 minute sessions.
Find what works for you. I have found I seem to like exercises that have a “K” in them…walking, hiking, biking and kayaking are my favorites. Even running around the backyard with the kids helps. And remember to seek your doctor’s advice before beginning any exercise program.
Now that’s a stressful statement. Right?! Life is full of unavoidable stress; work, bad drivers, death of a loved one, just to name a few. So wherever you can, choose your commitments carefully and wisely.
Schedule times to de-stress because often if it’s not on the calendar, something stressful will be. I met with my good friend, Michelle, to brainstorm ideas for this blog and in the process we talked and laughed—relaxation at its best! Meditation, prayer, listening to birds, being still and thankful are great ways to de-stress.
Now I know all these suggestions are probably things most of you already knew and many of you already try to do but always can’t achieve. So when time is tight and sleep and good food are eluding you, try this great energy boosting smoothie. Michelle found it on the internet for me at sallysbakingaddiction.com. The TropiKale Green Smoothie is only four ingredients, quick and easy to make, tastes amazing and will give a quick, proper energy boost.
TropiKale Green Smoothie
- ¾ Cup Almond Milk
- 2 Medium Frozen Bananas, peeled & sliced
- 2 Cups Fresh Pineapple Chunks
- 2 Heaping Cups Kale
- Blend all the ingredients on high for 3 minutes or until smooth, adding more milk if it’s too thick.
- Serve and enjoy.
Because I have just completed the most stressful and energy zapping move of my life and have no idea where my blender is, my friend Mel and her daughter Chloe tested this recipe for me. Chloe is six and will be using it for her 4H demo because she says it’s a winner!
I would like to thank Michelle, Natural Foods Manager at the Coborn’s on Cooper Avenue in St. Cloud, MN for helping me figure out this subject in a sensible way. As well as Melanie and Chloe, kitchen enthusiasts, who knew where their blender was.
Coborn’s Natural Foods Manager
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