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Healthy Living

By Sheryl Kraft

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Do you feel it? I do, from time to time … that all-out sensation of gravity pulling my body downward to a place I don't want it to go. It's energy drain. I'm dealing with it today, and I'm assigning blame to the cloudy, rainy weather. I felt it yesterday at around 2 p.m., then realized I'd been so busy I hadn't eaten my lunch yet. Whatever the reason for that low-grade energy lapse, here are some helpful—and simple—solutions. (Alert: Read all the way through for a special giveaway "hidden" within this post!)

  1. Drink Water. Pour yourself a tall cool glass of water. You might already know that sometimes we think we're hungry when the culprit is thirst. But thirst can cause fatigue, too. If water is not your thing, eat fruits or veggies high in water content—these include watermelon (my fave!), iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and celery.
  2. Get Up and Move. Sitting—aside from being really bad for your health—can make you so fatigued that you'll be fighting to keep from sliding off your chair. Get up and move—it's an instant energizer. Even five minutes can invigorate you. March in place, do some Rockette-style kicks, run up and down the stairs, grab a hula hoop, jump up and down—you get the idea.
  3. Eat Complex Carbs. Carbohydrates provide your body with energy, especially your brain and nervous system. Avoid highly processed carbs, though, which provide very little nutrition. Instead, increase your consumption of complex carbs by reaching for whole-grain rice, breads and cereals, as well as legumes (beans, lentils, dried peas). Get your natural sugars from fruits and veggies rather than refined sugars.
  4. Deal With Stress. Being anxious, worried or angry takes a lot of energy and can leave you feeling like you just ran a marathon or took a six-hour exam. Just as much—or more—energy goes into holding in those feelings. So, acknowledge them and move on. Easier said than done, I know. Read some great resiliency boosters here.
  5. Meditate. Lots of studies have pointed to the fatigue-fighting benefits of meditation. Try a simple mini-meditation of about three minutes. It can restore your energy and can be done just about anywhere. For a quickie pick-me-up, close your eyes and begin to relax your body. If thoughts intrude, picture a relaxing scene—clouds floating in the sky or perhaps a beach at sunset. Breathe deeply and evenly.
  6. Eat a Fruition Bar. PROBAR, a natural foods and snack company, just came out with this "superfood snack," its first certified gluten-free product. These 160-calorie, chewy, dense snacks are 100 percent vegan, organic and non-GMO. They're filled with healthy treats like dates, oats, chia seeds and cashews. The peach was my favorite, but you can't go wrong with the other flavors like cherry, lemon, blueberry, chocolate orange and cran-raspberry, either.
  7. Enter a Giveaway. There's nothing more energizing than a little competition and hope. The PROBAR folks are generously offering my readers access to their new bars by giving away one box of mixed flavors (12 bars in all) to one lucky winner. But if you don't win, there's still hope: you can enter this code and get a 40 percent discount on the bars you order: just go to http://theprobar.com/shop and enter the code "BLOGGER" at checkout.


Here's the scoop: Make sure to comment. I'll select a name at random this Saturday, May 19, and notify you by 4 p.m. EST on Monday, May 21. You'll have 24 hours to respond (and I'm trusting you will!), otherwise a new name will be chosen. And good news: this giveaway is open to anyone, near and far. Good luck and happy snacking!

You might also want to read:
Going Gluten-Free
Meditation's Health Benefits

Comments

Nice ideas. We all need a little pick-me-up to get us through the day! Sometimes just changing what I am working on gives me enough of an energy boost to keep going.

I was thinking along the same lines this week and succumbed to advertising, Costco was offering $5 off a new line of protein bars. They were half peanut butter, and half chocolate, and supposedly healthy. I thought, that's just what I need to have on the ready for summer. But Probar sounds even better.

It is interesting that you DON'T include drinking a cup of coffee on this list. Not healthy, huh?

I like all these ideas except I fear the energy bar you write about here is exactly the kind of over processed plastic wrapped stuff we need to stay away from, even if it's marketed as "healthy."

A rose by any other name...

a good range of suggestions, Sheryl. thank you. I'd even extend the idea of moving around -- sometimes I get my best ideas while out taking a walk. sort of combines what you've said and what Brette Sember suggested in her comment about changing focus.

Agreed, Kerry. I also get my best ideas when I'm out walking or exercising at the gym.

Very helpful tips! I also agree with Brette that switching tasks can be restorative. And as you suggest, it's important to get up and move around if you've been sitting for a while. Working in a home office, sometimes I wait to make the bed, throw in a load of laundry or do the dishes in the sink until I need a break from what I've been working on.

I like your way of thinking, Joan...think I'll try leaving the bed unmade until I need to take a break and do something!

These are good reminders to get energy back. Those energy drinks are just terrible. I get so drained in the afternoon that my husband talked me into trying one. I chose one without sugar, but with caffeine. The only thing it accomplished was giving me a headache! I find if I get up and move some, my energy will return.

I steer clear of those energy drinks; sorry to hear that you had such a bad reaction, LL!

I like the Nature's Promise (Stop and Shop) and Kind nut bars, as well as the Kashi. They're great pick-me-ups for me halfway through a tennis game.

Thanks for those tips, Nancy!

I find that sometimes it's best to just give in to fatigue by taking a half hour or so off. I lie down, instead of sitting.

Can't say that giving and laying down is a bad idea, Ruth... need to give in and do that once in a while.

Great tips, as always, especially the one on getting up out of your chair to move. And, I know that I need to add mediation to my daily practices but I have a very hard time stopping my mind from going 90 miles an hour.

I'd love to try the new PROBAR items. While processed food isn't the best, I don't see any harm in grabbing one of these bars for energy on an ocasional basis, especially because they are gluten free, organic and contain no GMOs.

Hope these tips are good reminders for us all! And yes, I agree that if you're going to eat foods like this, it's best to go for those with wholesome ingredients. They're delicious - just had one today!

I needed this today. The Probars sound like my kind of snack. Before big workouts I like Luna bars Nutz Over Chocolate but Kashis are good too. Sometimes to recharge I like to listen to music. Loudly. It helps.

I agree with the suggestion that the BEST item for OUR bodies for energy is MORE energy; so if your in the midst of exercising or mid-day slump,Maybe, adding one these PROBARS is the Key; Myself have tried Kashi,Luna & others, on occasion is great, But PLEASE add cool Water~

Excellent tips. If I can just get myself moving (get up, Jane, walk down the driveway and get the mail), that always seems to infuse some energy into me.

The first two, in particular, are so perfectly simple and in that, so doable. I've found both to be extremely valuable. The water drinking is essential. It really helps!

I'm printing out this list for next time my energy starts to sag! Thanks!

I love the tips. Great well written article. Never really thought about the last one. But the giveaway makes sense to get your blood flowing!

http://www.drperrone.com

All great advice! I also find that sometimes I'm tired for a good reason and really just need to sleep.

I've been on some tight deadlines lately and doing way more sitting than I like. I make myself get up every hour or so, but I'm definitely NOT getting out into the garden like I usually do.

Sleep is underrated and often overlooked as an energy booster. So is rest of the relaxation kind. Downtime, helps you reboot for when you need to be up and on and firing on all cylinders.

Love it. Drinking water is very very important.

Marielaina Perrone DDS
Henderson Cosmetic Dentist

The most effective one is to drink a lot of water. And then meditation and exercise in the enrolled nurse course
morning proves to be a highly energizing component of our daily life. Try doing this every day and you will be more fit than you can ever imagine.

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