This is a guest post from Christina Grenga, Founder of Grenga Health.
Instead of feeling tired all the time, wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to increase your energy?
My best friend used to complain all the time about how she didn’t have enough energy to do the things she loved doing. Her favorite hobbies—exercising, cooking, going out with friends—seemed like too much work. Too exhausting and too overwhelming to even try.
The BFF depended on coffee and sugar to boost her energy throughout the days, and she often blamed her low energy levels on her thyroid. Don’t get me wrong—our thyroid and other organs can definitely affect how we feel. No question.
But, instead of immediately blaming our bodies for letting us down, how about considering how the food we eat (healthy and unhealthy) and the thoughts we have (positive and negative) could be affecting our bodies.
Should we be blaming ourselves, not our bodies, for our low energy levels? Maybe.
Here’s my list of top 5 ways to increase your energy. As you read through the list, be honest with yourself: which ones are you doing well, and which ones do you really need to improve?
1. Increase whole foods (and decrease processed ones)
A poor diet will zap your energy in no time! Good food is fuel for the body.
You don’t need to overhaul your diet overnight (that’s impossible and unsustainable). Start with small changes. Swap your afternoon coffee for a green smoothie. Trade in your white bread for 100% whole grain. Cut back on processed foods likes luncheon meats, breakfast cereals, and potato chips.
If you don’t know which processed foods to purge first, check out this list of best and worst foods to get you started.
Also consider these 3 options to incorporate more whole foods into your diet:
- If you eat out regularly and never cook, consider a meal-prep delivery service to help you get started preparing your meals at home.
- If you already cook, but rarely use fresh fruits and vegetables, join your local Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA), which connects you to farmers in your area and provide and allows you buy fresh weekly produce directly from the grower.
- If committing to a meal or food delivery service seems too much at this stage, make one recipe a week with one or two fresh vegetables that you don’t normally buy or eat. Check out the recipes on my blog to get you started!
2. Watch your mouth
If you wouldn’t say it to a friend don’t say it to yourself. We are our greatest critics and biggest bullies. There’s scientific proof that negative thoughts harm your health, so you owe it to yourself to start cultivating positive thoughts. It’s a matter of life or death. Seriously.
3. Get enough sleep
Stop bragging about how little sleep you need to survive, and start celebrating how much sleep you need to thrive! Sleep is the most undervalued and underutilized health aid there is. We simply don’t give sleep the credit it deserves!
While you sleep, your body’s cells renew overnight. Adequate rest provides your body the opportunity to reset its digestive system and brain so that they’re ready to go in the morning. Sleep deprivation can cause many physical and mental problems, including poor concentration, digestive issues, depression, and accelerated aging…not to mention draining you of energy!
For tips on sleeping better, check out this article by self-described sleep zealot Arianna Huffington.
4. Drink more water
The human body is at least 50% water, and our brains are made of 75% water. Our bodies and our brains don’t function properly unless we drink enough water.
Even slight dehydration causes fatigue and brain fog that can be cured by drinking a glass of water!
I recommend starting your day with one 6-8 oz glass of warm or room temperature water mixed with 1/2 of a fresh lemon. Lemon water boosts energy levels without the caffeine crash, and has lots of other nutritional benefits, too.
Throughout the day, aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water to help avoid fatigue and keep you full in between meals. I carry a water bottle with me everywhere to make sure I’m drinking enough.
Our faith in God affects how we feel, and spending time in prayer improves our health.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Spending time in daily prayer connects us to God and keeps us grounded in many ways. This time—as little as 5 minutes a day—should not be taken for granted. It provides us the opportunity to give praise and thanks, ask for forgiveness, and pray for others we love. Once you hand over your thoughts to God, listen to what He has to say. Then follow God’s guidance to take action and go after what you want!
Ready to increase YOUR energy?
I practice what I preach, and I encourage my clients to take responsibility for their own health, too. Shortly after beginning one of my programs, Joanna said:
I am feeling GREAT! Last time I weighed myself I had lost 10 pounds, but I haven’t weighed myself lately because honestly, it’s not about the weight anymore. I feel and look lighter; it’s truly about how I feel…
I’m practicing self-love and trying to stay present and grateful. I am watching how I talk to myself and about myself. I recite a little prayer in the am that has been good for me…
Mostly I feel really good emotionally. I find myself thinking about doing so much more lately. Wanting to go places and looking forward to things.”
Awesome, right? All this coming from someone who had very little energy and rarely felt like doing much outside of home and work. By incorporating the 5 energizing tips above, Joanna has drastically changed the way she feels and lives.
She is proof that how we think about ourselves affects that way be feel. That what we put in our bodies affects our energy. That the way we approach life affects how we live it.
How would you rate your energy level on a scale from 1-10? What’s one thing from my list that you can do better to increase your energy? Share below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Christina Grenga, Founder of Grenga Health
Christina Grenga is the Founder of Grenga Health and the 8 Week Program, Food Freedom & Faith™. Christina is a Certified International Health Coach through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and believes that true results come from creating habits that will last, deepening your reliance on the Lord, and truly understanding how to listen to your own body. You can find Christina at www.grengahealth.com or www.facebook.com/grengahealth/
Post header photo from 123rf.com.