Understandably, one has to “get” energized before we can “remain” energized, so with that being said, we will start the fundamental nutrition building blocks.
Understandably, one has to get energized before we can remain energized, so with that being said, we will start the fundamental nutrition building blocks.
There can be multiple causes of low or no energy, but the two categories of energy fall under mental and physical. Being mentally worn out can cause lack of physical energy and, by the same token, being physically worn out for long term can easily cause mental fatigue.
A “MUST” diet for energy does include some no-nos. These foods should at best be eliminated and, at the very least, gradually lessened: Organ meats (liver, kidney, brains, tongue, hot dogs, etc.); skin of fowl; saturated fats (hard cheeses and other fatty dairy products); and red meats, but no more than once weekly if you can’t give them up (also research suggests the more rare you can cook these, the better, as animal proteins cooked fully are much harder on the digestive system than otherwise).
Avoid food additives as much as possible — remember, anything that is not specifically a food, vitamin/mineral or purposefully designed for consumption with an improved health condition as the objective can do damage.
Fried foods should be avoided, including fast food, sweets (the refined sugar-type), smoked meats and foods high in cholesterol.
Foods that create energy and optimize bodily functions include:
- Clean fish or fowl (not fried).
- Brown rice, vegetable pastas and noodles.
- Raw veggies for snacks.
- Plain yogurt with innovations: fruit juices, spices, granola, raisins, etc.
- Grains such as healthy breads/cereals, minimize nuts/seeds as they are highly caloric.
- 8-10 glasses of clean water per day. Save your water from cooking your veggies as this makes for a nutritious liquid snack. My favorites are asparagus juice and juice from cooking sweet potatoes.
- Beans/lentils; it’s easy to get creative cooking with them.
- Fresh fruits/vegetables are the best; next, frozen veggies and, lastly, the canned type. Make sure you eat your vegetables of all colors in order to glean the best health benefits.
This new menu would probably be a tall transition for most of us, but not only does adhering to this contribute to more and sustained energy, but you will see an improvement in your heart, autoimmune function, your blood pressure should get better as well as many types of cancer can be prevented.
The second part of the “energy recipe” has to do with regular body movements called exercise. For those of us that are able, walking is, by far, the best. However we can manage to get it done, whether it is on a treadmill, a walk in our neighborhood, in the mall early in the morning or inside the football stadium “loop” — it doesn’t matter as long as we get it done every day or at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes a shot.
Exercise releases endorphins, which are “happy hormones.” Endorphins, coupled with the fat that we are trimming, should make us very proud and thus predisposing us to more physical energy derived, in part, from a positive mental attitude.
We won’t leave out our folks in wheelchairs, either — you can participate in some form of exercise even if it is just with your hands, arms and shoulders. You can even burn calories from keeping your mind active. We all deserve the delivery of happy hormones. In other words, don’t give up on exercise altogether because it can’t be done exactly as you choose or the way you used to be able to do it.
Jody Johnson follows the salutogenic model for better health and is a columnist for The Carthage Press.