Start at the Beginning
LOW ENERGY DOES NOT FEEL GOOD
We’ve all been there – pressing the snooze button enough times to make you late, fighting to stay awake mid-afternoon, maybe even arriving at a destination and thinking “wow, I barely remember driving here.”
I know I’m not alone in this. Low energy is a modern epidemic.
My energy used to be so low I couldn’t even imagine myself exercising. I felt trapped in a loop of dis-ease, not getting healthier because I didn’t exercise, and not exercising because I wasn’t very healthy. I was falling into a depression, feeling worthless because I didn’t have the energy to accomplish what I wanted to with my life.
So I decided to make some changes.
What if I told you there was a different way to go through your day that was easily accessible and wouldn’t cost you any more than you’re paying for food now? A way that would give you the energy you need to meet the challenges of each day without another coffee or a quick sugar fix? A way that I have tried and succeeded with?
It would put YOU in charge of your life. YOU would decide when you rest and when you’re active. YOU would decide when to get things done. YOU could schedule your day your way, without being ruled by your energy highs and lows.
It sounds like magic, and maybe it is, but it’s accomplished simply by making more healthy choices than unhealthy choices on most days every week (except vacation, anything goes on vacation). These “healthy choices” I’m talking about look like this:
- Drink enough water
Eat food that nourishes your body
Move your body
Sleep long enough, well enough, and at the right time on a regular basis
Cultivate relationships that allow you to love and feel loved
So simple, right? You might be thinking that you already do all these things and still don’t have the energy or feel good in any way. Assuming you are not suffering from an illness, chronic medical condition, or mood disorder, I challenge you to take the time to become aware of the choices you are making every single day. Track how much caffeine-free, artificial-sweetener-free, sugar-free water you’re drinking. Write down what and when you eat and drink. Notice how much fun you’re having on a regular basis. Every morning write down how well and long you slept the night before. Pay attention to how your personal relationships are doing.
But if you’re thinking “Okay! Let’s do it! Show me how to make these wonderful healthy choices every day!” read on….
FIRST THINGS FIRST
When I was a kid, I loved to hear that snap, crackle, and pop every morning. Somebody showed me that I could sprinkle sugar on top of my bowl of cereal and, wow, was I ever hooked! I don’t remember it affecting me in any negative way. I don’t remember feeling droopy, and I always did well in school.
Today, if I eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast I will, without a doubt, end up with the shakiness, hunger, and distraction of low blood sugar by 10am, even though I am neither hypoglycemic nor prediabetic. Forget productivity, forget feeling confident. All I can think of in those moments is “why did I do that to myself and what is nearby that I can eat NOW??”
The moms of the world are right – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you choose a breakfast that nourishes your body properly, you are setting yourself up for a good day. Think about it: your body has been fasting for the last however-many hours while you watched TV, washed up, and slept through the night (or surfed the internet, or facebook – whatever). It NEEDS some nutrients that it can use to build fresh cells and get the engines up and running. If your car was on empty you wouldn’t expect it to run properly on coffee alone, would you?
Give yourself a meal at breakfast time. Not a snack. Not a dessert. A meal. Protein. Fiber. Produce. Maybe a complex carbohydrate.
Great breakfast ideas are all over the internet. You could spend hours on Pinterest looking only at healthy breakfasts. I’ve included some of my favorites for you here, in case the sheer volume of information out there is overwhelming.
Avocado toast with eggs
Scrambled, boiled, poached…I © eggs. Modern studies show that eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, offering not only a decent protein hit, but varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals. And forget what you’ve heard about them being a problem for your heart – numerous studies show that cholesterol from food sources has little effect on levels in your blood.
Avocados are delicious and creamy and…delicious. They also happen to be rich in monosaturated fats and contain lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
So put a quarter of an avocado on a piece of toasted multi-grain bread (without high fructose corn syrup), top it with an egg prepared to your liking, sit down and savor one of the healthiest breakfasts you’ve ever had.
Dinner for breakfast
It seems like everywhere we look there are sweets being offered for breakfast. Pancakes, muffins, sweetened oatmeal, fruit smoothies, sweet cream lattes…you get the picture. When did we decide that breakfast has to be sweet? Save the sweet for your morning tea and have a little bit of dinner for breakfast. Remember, your body is looking for FUEL first thing in the morning. Give it something satisfying.
The quickest, easiest way to handle this option is to literally put aside a serving of dinner the night before to heat up for breakfast. My son, in particular, loves anything for breakfast that he can put soy sauce on. I like salsa in the morning – on eggs, rice and beans, vegetables, whatever. This is one of my favorites:
Sprinkle a serving of that grilled chicken (turkey/steak/pork/fish/tofu) from last night with water and heat it up in the microwave. Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Heat those up too. Grab a taco, hard or soft, insert beans and protein. Top with your favorite salsa and a piece of avocado or spoonful of guacamole. Enjoy! I bet you won’t feel hungry for a while.
Sweet tofu topping
When my kids were little, my son was allergic to dairy, eggs, and nuts. I stressed about getting enough calcium and protein into his little body since most of the foods that little kids will usually eat were off limits to him. I came up with this recipe to give his body some important nutrients first thing in the morning.
1 block of firm or extra firm tofu, drained and cut into half-inch cubes
2 T. coconut oil (or preferred margarine or butter)
1 large banana, sliced
¼ cup raisins
Maple syrup to taste
Cinnamon to taste
Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu cubes and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the maple syrup, then bananas and raisins. Allow to cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serves 2-4, depending on appetites.
The result will be a delicious topping for pancakes or waffles that has been kid-tested and parent-approved. And it can be prepared in the time it takes to heat up toaster waffles. Swap out the banana or raisins for berries, peach slices, or even diced apples. Add a spoonful of nuts or chia seeds. Make it your own!
Written By: Orielan Harrington, Holistic Health Coach, You can find her Bio under our Team.
Give a big welcome to an amazing friend who is not only a gifted and talented healer but also a Holistic Nutritionist. I wanted to incorporate a bit of Nutrition into Real Beauty: Uncovered because I was getting a lot of questions about overall health and how to help with the epidemic of eating disorders we find ourselves in right now. And so food, naturally on its own, found it's way into the RBU beat. Orielan Condeelis Harringtons approach to the blog is to simplify and not overwhelm. I know that you are going to enjoy her blogging as much as I enjoy it!