In today’s society, you can pretty much buy yourself a hefty dose of energy from anything and everything. From energy drinks to extra shots of espresso, late-afternoon lattes to stimulating treats, energy has quickly become the latest “hot commodity.”
Why? We’re all seeking more energy! We want it. We crave it. We need it. And therefore we look for ways–even if it means falling for the latest marketing gimmick–to get more of it.
Fortunately, you don’t need to pay the big bucks (or rely on chemicals, cans and packaged food) to get your energy fix; that is, if you do it the natural way. Here are 10 healthy habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle to bring you from zero to 60 in a snap!
1. Hydrate Naturally
First and foremost, be sure to guzzle your H2O! While it may sound mundane, the fact of the matter is most of us aren’t drinking enough water. Try starting your day with a glass of lemon water before breakfast (and your morning latte) to kick the day off on the right foot. Then fill up a reusable water bottle and keep on hand throughout the day.
Other natural beverages include unsweetened coconut water, green tea, and a variety of herbal teas. On that note, you may want to consider checking in with your caffeine levels. While a cup o’ jo in the morning is fine, relying on it (or soda, or energy drinks, etc) all day long for energy is not fine. Be honest with yourself and note where an “energy-booster” is becoming an energy drainer.
I know, I know, we say it enough on here! But when all is said and done, fitness really does do more than keep your heart healthy and your pants from getting too tight. Having a healthy exercise routine actually keeps energy levels heightened while providing you with those feel-good endorphins. Now, who doesn’t want some of that?
3. Load Up on Leafy Greens:
Dark leafy greens are packed with vitamins and nutrients that help boost the immune system and purify the blood, all while providing natural feel-good energy. There couldn’t be a better time to stock up on these green miracle veggies, as most are coming into season this spring! Try a variety of options depending on your personal taste preference. Some of my favorites include kale, spinach, collard greens, arugula and bok choy. Choose what works for you!
4. Use Natural Sweeteners:
Nix the artificial sweeteners and sugar-laden treats and aim for gentle, natural sweeteners. Some trust-worthy options include raw honey, agave, pure maple syrup and coconut sugar but know that a little bit goes a long way; these items still contain sugar and too much of anything is no good as we know! Stevia, a plant-based sweetener, has also been gaining popularity lately for a healthy, natural sugar-free alternative. When it comes down to it? Eat your food as is, and relish in its natural sweetness. There’s nothing like fresh fruits and veggies after all! Carrots, beets and sweet potatoes; I’m talking to you! If you’ve got a sweet tooth you simply can’t tame, cinnamon, cardamom, and licorice have all been known to reduce sugar cravings.
5. Clean Out Your Pantry:
Speaking of artificial sweeteners, try to reduce or even eliminate packaged foods altogether! These “fake” foods often lack nutritional value, therefore depleting our energy while failing to fill us up. Not too appealing, huh? Anything that has a never-ending shelf life or more ingredients than you can pronounce best belongs back on the shelf. Think: refined bread, chips, pretzels, most canned food and microwavable meals.
6. Step Outside:
Sometimes all we need is a breath of fresh air to reframe our mind and rev up that natural, feel-good energy. Get outside and spend some time in the garden, go for a long walk, take a stroll in the park, or head out for an adventurous hike. Even spending some time simply soaking up the sun can make you feel like a brand new you!
7. Go for the Grains:
Grains are wonderful for long-lasting, stable energy but not just any grain…I’m talking WHOLE GRAINS. Go for the real deal with grains like brown rice, whole rolled oats, amaranth, buckwheat and couscous. Also, look for “whole grain____” as the first ingredient in breads, wraps, and snacks.
8: Be a Little Nutty:
No, I’m not saying to act a little nutty, though that’s encouraged too! But for the purpose of today’s post, I’m taking about going nuts – literally! Munch on nuts like raw almonds, walnuts, cashews, all high in protein and healthy fats. As always, keep your portions mindful or mix in with fruits and grains to create your own healthy trail mix.
9: Bag Energy Drainers
Toss out the emotional drainers in your life, as they’re doing nothing but working against your energy levels! Perhaps this means working to mend a relationship with a loved one, letting go of a “toxic” friend who’s hurting you, or taking a deeper look at yourself and your own life. What’s currently draining you or holding you back?
10: Seek Out Superfoods:
Superfoods are a powerhouse of energy, if you couldn’t already tell by the name! Plus they boost our mood and overall health & wellness to boot. Some of my favorites are gogi berries (packed with antioxidants, B & E Vitamins), Cacao powder i.e. raw chocolate (loaded with energizing magnesium, iron and antioxidants galore), Maca Powder (known for enhancing stamina, endurance and long-lasting energy, great in smoothies!) and even raw honey (which is rich in digestive enzymes with natural antibiotic properties). Incorporate superfoods into smoothies, trail mixes and baked goods to reap all the many benefits!
How could YOU boost your energy the natural way? What’s draining your energy? What are some areas you’d like to work on?