One extremely common issue that I hear from clients and friends is that they are lacking energy. For many of us this is all too familiar as we lead busy lives juggling work, social and family commitments. Maybe you are dragging yourself out of bed in the morning; or you wake up feeling good but at some point during the day, you suddenly crash and lack any get up and go?
The question you might ask is, is it possible to wake up feeling energised and sustain that energy to allow you to get the most out of life? The answer is yes, it is possible if we invest some time in our wellbeing and think about nourishing and supporting our bodies on a holistic level. For me there are 5 keys areas to think about when trying to increase your energy levels and achieve the vitality you desire:
- Is your diet detrimental to your energy levels? Are you eating too many refined carbohydrates and relying on sugar and caffeine to get you through the day? Switching to a wholefood diet rich in complex carbohydrates, good sources of protein and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is the best way to achieve sustained energy. Adequate hydration is also vital for combating fatigue, so keep an eye on your water intake, especially in the summer months.
- Taking control of stress is crucial otherwise low energy can turn into a chronic case of fatigue. From a nutritional point of view, stress will put a halt on digestion meaning that you may not be gaining the optimal amount of nutrients from the foods you are eating which will impact energy levels.
- Getting regular consistent exercise is also important to increase vitality. Something as simple as taking a 10 minute walk around the block after lunch can be extremely beneficial.
- It might sound obvious but ask yourself if you are getting enough quality sleep. Most of us get much less that the optimal 8 hours a night. Try for one early night at least one night a week and make it a relaxing evening, whatever that means for you.
- A sluggish digestive system in general can seriously affect energy levels; if you feel this could be something that affects you, it could be useful to work with a nutritional therapist to help improve your digestive health.
I wanted to share one of my top energy sustaining recipes with you for the weekend, my Quinoa Supersalad. I always keep quinoa in the cupboard and with the addition of a few fresh herbs and some seasonings this is a quick nourishing meal to have in your repertoire. It keeps brilliantly in the fridge for a day or two, makes a great packed lunch and is fantastic made in bigger quantities to feed a crowd. To this base recipe I can recommend complementing it with some crumbled feta cheese to really ramp up the Mediterranean summer vibe.
If you enjoy this recipe and want to know more, you might be interested in my culinary nutrition workshop ‘Summer Radiance’ which is happening on Saturday the 18th of August in London. I’ll be talking in more depth about achieving optimal energy and demonstrating a whole range of vitality inducing foods. Find out more here.
1 cup quinoa
1 450 tin of chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 large bunch of parsley, chopped
1 small bunch of mint, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Dressing: mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the juice of one lemon, one crushed garlic clove and a pinch of salt
Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions and allow to cool. Once the quinoa is cool mix in the rest of the ingredients and the dressing and season to taste.