GIVE YOURSELF AN ENERGY BOOST
Here’s the secret – you don’t need coffee for energy - just like you don't need RockStar or Red Bull either. Not only does coffee interfere with the absorption of many vitamins and minerals (such as calcium and iron), but it could be doing you more harm than good.
Among other things, coffee can cause:
- excess nervousness, irritability, insomnia, dizziness and subsequent fatigue
- anxiety (including panic attacks)
- loss of vitamins and minerals
- adrenal exhaustion, stress, fatigue
It’s time to ditch the coffee and chemical-laden energy drinks and start naturally boosting energy! Here’s how:
- Stay hydrated. Approximately 70% of our body is water. Water is essential for life. Respiration, metabolism and digestion all require water to function optimally. Drinking pure water and eating water-rich foods (ex. lettuce, celery, grapefruit) will help you stay hydrated; remove toxins and waste from your body; enable you to burn calories more efficiently; and, will increase your energy levels naturally. Green smoothies are a perfect way for you to enjoy nutrient-dense whole food nutrition and provide you with a boost of energy and hydration.
- Give your immune system a boost. About 80% of our immune system is actually in our gut (intestines). If immunity is low, energy is low. The best way to boost the immune system is to support our intestinal micro flora and promote the spread of beneficial bacteria. This is mainly done through the use of probiotics (kefir, yogurt, probiotic supplements).
Fermented foods can also aid in spreading good bacteria within the gut. Fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi (fermented cabbage), miso, chutneys, kefir and yogurt. Fermented foods fill your body with healing probiotics, enzymes and key nutrients for good health. They help heal your digestive system, optimize digestion so you can digest foods better, eliminate cravings for sugar, help cleanse your body and increase your energy. Of course, foods high in antioxidants (blueberries, goji berries, etc.) also significantly support immunity.
- Make sure you are getting enough nutrients. You can eat as healthy as you want, but unless your digestive system is working at 100%, you’re probably not absorbing very much nutrients. Refined sugar, alcohol, and coffee all deplete nutrients and are best consumed in small quantities or eliminated altogether. Taking a good quality vitamin supplement doesn’t hurt.
- Reduce stress. High stress levels drain your energy and compromise your good health. Reducing your stress will strengthen your immune system and help your emotional wellbeing. No matter how busy we are, we must always remember to take time for ourselves to relax or enjoy a hobby. Exercise regularly. Find a positive in every difficult situation. Practice yoga. If all else fails, step back, close your eyes and just breathe!
- Exercise. There are so many benefits to exercising regularly. Exercise improves your mood (endorphins), keeps you physically fit, boosts your energy, builds muscle and strong bones, strengthens your immune system, lowers the risk of disease and relieves stress.
- Improve your sleep. Proper sleeping is super important. It’s how we charge our body’s battery for the next day’s adventures. Sleep has a direct effect on our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Getting enough sleep can help keep our energy levels high during the day and our immune system strong. Before going to bed, turn off all electrical devices like the TV, computer and cell phones. Buy dark curtains or an eye mask to block out light. Don’t eat or drink right before going to bed. Avoid exercising before bedtime (gets you pumped up). And of course, avoid caffeine, alcohol or other stimulants before going to bed.
- Avoid toxins. An excess of toxins in the form of heavy metals (lead, aluminum, mercury, nickel, cadmium) usually from environmental factors can contribute to fatigue and deplete nutrients. It’s always best to eat whole foods and choose organic when possible. As some of these toxins can be leached into City water, drinking pure water is highly encouraged.
NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO COFFEE
- Matcha (green tea powder). One cup of matcha is equivalent to approximately 10 cups of green tea.
- Maca. Ancient vegetable root that invigorates and energizes naturally. Bought in tea and powder form.
- Yerba mate tea. South American tea that provides energy and antioxidants.
(From The Juice Bar, by Sara Lewis)
- ¼ cup goji berries
- 1 small banana, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 oranges, juice squeezed
- small handful of crushed ice (optional)
- chilled water, to taste
- Put the goji berries in a blender and blend until finely ground.
- Add the banana, raspberries, and orange juice, and blend again.
- Add the crushed iced (if using) and blend again, until smooth. Add water to taste, pour into a glass, and serve immediately.