You are too busy, not busy enough, eating too much, not motivated to cook, you want to make plans with everyone, you want to stay in bed all day. Feeling drained? Unsettled? Not sure why? With lockdown life a reality for the foreseeable, now is a great time to focus on you, and re-think, re-set and re-start your energy goals with a Health Plan.
RE-THINK Your Energy Levels
It’s amazing how many things affect our energy levels; the foods we eat, how much we eat, the level of stress that we’re experiencing (and many more people are with the current National COVID situation), and whether we’re exercising. It’s especially important to recharge your body in colder seasons, where nature tends to slow down and hibernate, so consider following these energy-inspired top tips which could really help you.
Ready to RE-SET and RE-START?
Ben Brown, Registered Nutritionist and expert Adviser to www.healthydoesit.org, shares his seven steps to awesome energy:
1.Get food inspired!
If you’re lacking motivation to cook and prepared foods, you need set goals. Eat four different coloured fruits and vegetables a day, and four different types of nuts and seeds. Choose a different country for each day of the week to inspire your cooking. Studies show that people who lack motivation to cook can have lower levels of B-vitamins and antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin D. Fuel your body
2.Become a food energy expert
Pack in the nutrients eating foods that have a low glycaemic index which keep you feeling fuller for longer, and give you sustained energy. Think of wholegrain cereals, pastas and breads, fruits like cherries and strawberries. Combine carbs with some fat and protein to increase the nutrients in your snacks. If it’s high fat and high sugar, ditch it.
3.Think fat… the good fats
Nuts, seeds, oily fish are three great food groups to add into your diet. Soak seeds to make them easier to eat. Add them to salads, soups, anywhere you can. Not only will this increase your intakes of omega 6 and 3 oils, it will up your fibre intakes, which will help to keep your gut moving, which will prevent build up in the intestines (constipation), which in itself can make you feel tired and sluggish.
4.Think Local. Shop local
Head down to your local health food store and speak with an in store practitioner about how your digestive system is working. If it’s not as efficient as it can be, you might not be breaking down foods, absorbing nutrients or clearing waste products as quickly from the body. Studies are also highlighting the importance of the gut microbiome for the health of the whole body; producing nutrients, helping to support immune function and even helping us to maintain a healthy weight.
5.Get creative with your eating style
If you’re one of the many people who put on weight during lockdown, and then topped it up a little throughout Christmas, you might be feeling heavy and sluggish, and possibly even a little fed up at the thought that you’ve got some excess weight to shift. Why not get to know what kind of eater you are? A scoffer, grazer, cruncher? What motivates you to eat? Are you an emotional eater? What three strategies are you going to put in place to make positive changes?
1. Diversion tactics to stop your triggers
2. Junk to fresh food switches
3. Get meal planning
6.Become nutrient savvy
In the way that you can’t drive a car without instruction, the same is true for your body. You need to put some time into learning more about the nutrients that will power your body. Thankfully, there are some nutrients that have really solid science behind their role in reduction of tiredness and fatigue; folate, iron, magnesium, vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12, pantothenic acid, and vitamin C. Eating a wide and varied diet, and talking a multinutrient formulation will help safeguard these intakes. A practitioner might recommend single supplements of certain of these nutrients after a consultation, so consider visiting a nutritionist/nutritional therapist to see how they feel your energy levels can be increased. They will also be able to assess whether you might have low levels in the diet, and give you a plan to show you how to get a balance of foods in your diet for best energy.
7. Let’s get physical!
There’s no denying it, you need to keep active if you want to stay healthy. Studies show that if you’re moving, the endorphins produced by exercise can help mood, and shake off lethargy. It’s all about finding the right level of exercise for you – a level that’s positive, but that doesn’t further stress your body – especially if you have health reasons to be feeling tired. Many people have been walking outside during lockdown, which can have positive mental benefits, especially if ‘cabin fever’ leaves you feeling drained.