4 Easy Ways to Beat Fatigue… Naturally!
Although summer weather is still in full force (in California anyway), for many, this balmy season has come to an end. Students have done their back to school shopping, calendars are already jam-packed, and all those fun and lazy summer days have been documented and tucked away on Instagram.
For many, fall is an exciting time. The air starts to get crisp, the leaves turn beautiful shades of fiery orange and all those delicious (and healthy) pumpkin recipes start to fill the house with smells of cinnamony goodness. Don’t worry, I’ll be posting recipes soon! The downside of this time of year is that a staggering number of people get overwhelmed with the responsibilities that autumn and the following holiday season bring. We’re back to school, work projects and deadlines start to accumulate, the stress of the upcoming holidays start to nag at you and we are constantly on the go. A steady state “busyness” is the norm, and we’re always running from one responsibility to the next – literally! So, it’s no wonder that physical fatigue is such a common complaint. The good news is that there are some really simple (and natural) ways to increase your energy so you can keep up with your busy life.
Get off the blood sugar roller coaster
One of the simplest ways we can boost our energy is to stabilize blood sugar. When we don’t eat enough food throughout the day or when we eat foods that are higher in sugar, our energy levels bottom out.
You can balance your blood sugar, and boost your energy naturally by:
- Eating every 3-4 hours gives your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to keep your blood sugar – and energy levels steady. Dedicate one day per week to shop and prep healthy snack bags and lunches. You can easily prep for the whole week in a few hours. Promise! Hint: Pull out the slow cooker and make a crock pot recipe while you simultaneously bake/roast stuff in the oven and prep veggies/create dressings etc. on the counter. Bonus – the rest of your week flows and you have healthy food on hand when you’re tired and cranky (and more likely to make a poor nutritional choice). Need a little help? Pinterest is a great tool for looking up meal prep and healthy recipes. No time for research? CLICK HERE for my condensed guide to Healthy Meals & Snacks (no email required). The recipes are simple and the guide includes a Pantry Stocking list. If this is still too much work, I recommend a sugar-free, healthy, organic, non-GMO nutritional shake for when you’re running out the door or just need a pick me up in the middle of the day. THIS ONE has clean protein for the prefect meal replacement (never skip breakfast again!). This one is my favorite GREEN DRINK for an energy boost and nourishment.
- Consuming foods that are low on the glycemic index (think fruits and veggies, whole grains and healthy fats) instead of the higher sugar white breads, pastas and prepackaged snacks.
- Eating protein with every meal to slow down the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream. Protein is broken down and released slower so you’re less likely to have a blood sugar spike and subsequent crash. This is my absolute favorite protein supplement that keeps me full (and tones muscle) throughout the day. You can take it between meals to keep your hunger in check or in addition to a healthy salad, green juice or lighter meal.
You like to move it, move it!
When you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise. However, as hard as it can be to get your butt off the couch, it’s one of the best things you can do to fight fatigue. And, it turns out that you don’t even have to commit to a long workout! A California State University study concluded that even a brisk 10-minute walk can increase your energy for up to 2 hours. So when you feel that afternoon slump coming on, skip the coffee and lace up your walking shoes instead. It feels good to get some of that crisp autumn air in your lungs and you can allow your mind to wander for those few minutes you’re out. A purposeful walk outdoors has a way of helping to clear the mind and in many cases, solve problems. I think the change of scenery, quiet time alone and getting the blood pumping all works together to help release stress and make you feel refreshed. Plus – doesn’t it feel good to just get away from it all even for just 10-15 minutes?
Up your sleep game
It may seem obvious that lack of sleep causes fatigue. However did you know that the quality of your sleep can have an even bigger impact on your daily energy? Even slight disturbances in our sleep can affect how rested we feel the next day.
Here are a couple of tips for a more restful sleep:
- Avoid tech in the bedroom, or within 1-2 hours of bedtime. Even the small amount of light, especially the blue light emitted from devices, interrupts your body’s circadian rhythm. Your brain still thinks it’s daytime and won’t wind down.
- Avoid caffeine late in the day – or avoid all together if this is a problem for you
- Try to create a regular sleep/wake schedule to help your body develop a sleep routine = good sleep hygiene.
- If you have to get up in the middle of the night, don’t turn on the lights
- Dab a bit of calming lavender essential oil on your temples before bed or put a few drops on your pillow. Breathe in the calm.
- Need supplemental help? This healthy, organic, non-GMO Sleep Pack with have you dreaming tonight. I use and love it but even more impressive, I’ve heard feedback from graveyard shift nurses who swear by it!
Before you reach for that coffee or energy drink to perk you up, consider switching to plain old water. While caffeine is usually the first choice for busting out of an energy slump, it can be dehydrating. And then there’s dehydration. You know our bodies are mostly water – right?Even mild dehydration impairs our concentration, decreases our mood and zaps our energy.
How do you know if you may be dehydrated? Check the color of your urine. If it’s the color of straw, you’re good to go. If it’s a darker yellow (or worse – orange) color, it’s time to drink up. Remember, the quality of our water is important too. Shoot for spring water when you can and at the very least, make sure your water is filtered. The water we consume significantly effects our ability to achieve optimal health on all levels!
If you’re still craving a caffeine hit, try the Energizing Matcha Smoothie recipe below. Matcha gives a longer lasting energy boost than coffee. It doesn’t hit you hard and then cause you to crash. Plus the recipe really is delicious! PS: If you use the recommended protein powder, you may not need the frozen banana as the fabulously healthy protein is naturally sweetened with Monk Fruit.
Energizing Vanilla Matcha Smoothie
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (your choice, no added sugar but this one’s the best!)
- 1-2 tsp matcha green tea powder (start w/less if you’re new to matcha – it packs a kick! Find a less expensive version on Amazon.com)
- ½ frozen banana
- Ice cubes (optional)
- 1 large handful of spinach or kale (optional, but recommended)
Directions: Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until desired smoothness is achieved. Sip and enjoy!
Tip: Keep sandwich baggies with chopped banana & spinach in the freezer to prepare this simple latte even faster! You can also make almond milk ice cubes!
PS: If you choose to try any of the products linked in this post, you will not only receive a generous discount of $50 or 25% off (whichever is higher) the entire order, you are helping me support my family and my business. Thank you so much!