Are you tired all the time?
Life in the 21st century seems to be geared towards never-ending fatigue. Always in the fast lane, performing at our highest level, sprinting to keep up with the seemingly countless demands on our time, eating in a hurry or on the run, getting by on minimum sleep – there can be little opportunity to actually slow down, take a deep breath and focus on Number One and how this VIP is living his/her life! And let’s face it, the past twelve months have ensured that while we are all spending an awful lot of time at home, this has not meant that we have relaxed, regenerated and rejuvenated.......
There are many reasons why we may feel tired an awful lot of the time – stress of course along with actual adrenal exhaustion, toxicity and a sluggish liver, carrying too much weight, poor sleep patterns and quality, an under-active thyroid are all fairly obvious ones, but food sensitivities are also common culprits, as are blood sugar imbalances, a disrupted immune system, and simply pushing yourself too hard. Changes in lifestyle can make a huge difference – think movement, mindfulness, pacing yourself, relaxation and slowing down, eight hours’ sleep every night – but in my experience, it is diet, what you eat on a day to day basis, which can turn things around faster and more easily than any other adjustment you might make to your daily life. Of course this kind of advice is very predictable, coming from a nutritional consultant, but I am not just talking about my practice with my clients, both corporate and private. Past phases in my own life have forced me to look for solutions to that sinking feeling that I simply cannot drag myself out of bed this morning or tomorrow morning or any future morning.
These are some very basic eating rules to start turning things around. We are all different, as are our personal dietary requirements, but this is a good beginning.
· Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, alcohol, sugar, milk chocolate which will certainly give you a short-term energy boost but which will be followed by a big crash
· Avoid processed foods and simple carbohydrates which will absolutely zap your energy – they are energy robbers due not only to their own lack of nutrients but also the fact that they actually deplete the body of other key nutrients - so keep well away from pizzas, biscuits, cakes, crisps, salty deep-fried snacks, croissants, Danish pastries, all that kind of thing!
· Avoid fizzy drinks, colas, juices
· Gluten can be iffy so experiment with it to find out whether it is affecting your energy levels
· Eat fresh, natural, unadulterated foods, particularly fresh fruit and vegetables which are true high energy foods
· Wholegrain foods like brown rice, porridge, quinoa and millet are rich in B vitamins to support the nervous system
· Make sure you eat breakfast – I find a fruit and vegetable smoothie works wonders for me and provides real get-up-and-go, but a bowl of porridge with plant milk, nuts and blueberries may work better for you, as might a poached egg perhaps, or even a salmon fillet
· Eat healthy fats daily, they are crucial building blocks for a healthy brain and healthy cells – think extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil and fatty fish in particular, and cook with virgin coconut oil
· Include protein at each main meal – it is the basic material of all living cells but focus more on plant-based protein like pulses and nuts rather than meat
· Balance your blood sugar levels – you may find that eating small regular meals suits you better than two or three big ones
Fatigue is not natural or normal and it does NOT have to be part of your life, so don’t tolerate it and take steps immediately to claw back your energy.