If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a doer. I don’t enjoy being unproductive; I like to be busy, whether it’s creating something, spending time with others or working towards a goal.
But it’s extremely hard to be productive when you’re energy is drained for no reason and you constantly feel like you need a nap.
I usually have a packed schedule… go to school in the morning until early afternoon, go to work, then either hangout with friends or work out (occasionally.. ha). And normally I have no problem going, going, going (until I absolutely need a day of rest). But what I’m getting at is that I’m young and it’s typically not hard on my body to be busy.
But a couple months back I began noticing that I was so mentally and physically exhausted by mid-morning when I still faced a list of to-dos for the remainder of the day. At first I thought that it could be normal, and I was just over-exerting myself, but after I continually felt like I was a zombie, I decided it was not normal. I would literally go to bed around 11, wake up around 7, feel fine in the morning while I got ready, then I would get to school and my energy would literally crash around 10:30 everyday. And I don’t mean just the type of tired where you yawn once and then five minutes later you feel fine. I mean the type of tired where it’s almost painful to keep yourself awake, but then imagine that feeling lasting for a couple of hours sometimes. So obviously trying to be a focused student or good worker is difficult when you feel like death 24/7. I started to get frustrated that I didn’t have enough energy, and then not having any energy would put me in a bad mood. It was a terrible cycle.
I finally reached my tipping point when I went to lunch with my family one day, after going to school for a half-day. I met them at the restaurant, and not five minutes into our “hellos” and conversation, my mom said to me, “Mads, are you okay? You seem so out of it.” At that moment I realized how badly my energy was affecting my life, and I’m happy she pointed it out to me, because that was the first time someone else reassured me that I wasn’t myself and that I wasn’t crazy for thinking I had to fix this problem.
I decided to meet with a nutritionist who recommended ways in which I can improve my diet to boost my energy levels. Here is what she said…
Start your morning with an adrenal gland tonic. Supposedly, your adrenal glands play a large role in the amount of energy you have, so this morning drink is meant to kickstart your day and naturally fuel the body. Plus, the mollasses has a large quantity of iron which is perfect for me since I’m anemic.
1 Tbsp. Blackstrap Mollasses
Juice of a whole lemon (or 1/2 the juice depending on preference)
1/8 tsp. himalayan salt
Simply dilute all ingredients in hot water, and then top it off with about 12-16 ounces of cold water, which should make for a room temperature beverage. I drink this with my breakfast, and continue sipping on it throughout the morning until it’s gone. There’s no need for it to be drank fast, and my nutritionist recommended having it in a large quantity of water. I would say start with a small amount of salt, and build yourself up to more, and if it’s too sour with using a whole lemon, simply add as much as you’d like.
Before trying this drink, I was skeptical of the taste, but now that I drink it every morning, it has really grown on me and I don’t mind it at all. Not to mention, blackstrap mollasses has other great health benefits, such as healthy hair, skin and nails.
The nutritionist also emphasized incorporating more protein into my diet and having a higher healthy fat consumption, since your body burns fats at a slower rate than carbs, and will keep you energized for a longer amount of time. She told me that a large contributor to my energy crashes could have been from eating a lot of natural sugar early in the day, which elevates your blood-sugar, and then causes a drop during mid-morning.
I started implementing this by starting my day off with a high-protein, high-fat meal that has low sugar. For example, I’ve been cooking a lot of sausage/veggie stir-frys topped with about half an avocado and trying not to eat as much fruit in the morning.
I have been cooking at home a lot more often, which is good because I can incorporate healthy fats, such as coconut oil, into every meal and control exactly what I’m eating. This differs from eating out at restaurants where they could sneak in less healthy additives and ingredients.
Throughout the day I have been trying to choose snacks that will keep me full and satisfied for longer, such as coconut cream, or coconut manna, by the spoonfull. I am also doing my best to eat three balanced meals a day, which all include protein, at relatively normal times throughout the day.
Other tips include:
I do my best to drink as close to a gallon of water as possible when I remember. I no longer drink coffee, and the only times I drink anything caffeinated is green tea or matcha. I consistently take my favorite gelatin collagen which I have raved about 1000 times now. I opt for healthy, whole-food snacks, which satisfy my hunger and my cravings. Look out for an exciting upcoming blog post where I share my favorite healthy snacks.
With just these small dietary changes I have noticed a world of difference. I have been eating this way for about a week and a half, and only found myself to have low energy once. I am ecstatic with the results, and I can’t get over how rewarding it is to see the direct connection between eating a clean, specialized diet and the overall improvement of my health. It’s so obvious that food can completely alter your state of mind and physical performance. How amazing.
Thanks for reading. Do you have any life-changing tips on how to stay energized naturally (through food or miracle products)? I’d love to hear about them, or your experience if you’ve ever felt how I was feeling when I had low energy. xoxo
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