Do you ever have days where your energy is dragging and you aren’t sure why? I find myself running into this issue a lot and whether it’s due to lack of sleep from the baby waking up in the middle of the nigh or from a crazy hard workout, I try to re-evaluate the last 24 hours so that I can figure out why my energy is low.
The first thing I usually think about was the last time I ate. I usually don’t last more than 3 hours, and if I do, it’s probably because I overate at my last meal. Sometimes your body craves seconds, right?
So before I keep rambling I wanted to share some tips with you on how I keep my energy up. Hopefully my advice can help you stay away from that 2pm slump and steer clear of those sugar cravings or pick me ups.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR ENERGY UP:
- Control stress. Lets face it, whether we like it or not we all are faced with stressful situations. I personally think it’s how you manage your stress that helps you overcome any problem in life. When I’m less stressed I definitely have more energy. Choose an activity; yoga, workouts, meditation, whatever it is that can help keep your stress under control.
- Don’t overwork your body. That means mentally or physically. I’ve done them both on several occasions and man does it wipe me out. I’ve learned what my body can handle, both physically and mentally, and I take breaks when I know I’ve done too much.
- Exercise. I don’t know what I would do without exercise, I might just go crazy. It’s my outlet for everything. If I’m stressed I workout, if I have energy I workout and when I need a mood boost, I workout. Basically it’s an important part of my life and I can’t live without it. Oh yeah and when I’m tired, I workout. Is that a shocker? I find on the days I’m exhausted in the morning, a quick workout gets my energy pumping. If you are questioning it, give it a try and let me know how you feel after!!
- Sleep. Wow I didn’t realize how much my body needed sleep until I had kids. I need 6+ hours total to function, but I find I’m at my best on 7 hours. Anything less then 6 and my energy is at rock bottom. That’s why I make sleep a priority. Rather then staying up late watching tv and wasting time on Facebook, I go to bed.
- Eat nutritious foods for energy. I really think the cleaner you eat the better you feel. Your body needs a steady amount of nutrients to function properly, we all know how we feel when we skip a meal. I even see it with my daughter, she gets HANGRY. It’s so important to keep blood sugar stable so we don’t crave the bad stuff or overeat at meals. I try to stick with 5-6 small meals every 3 hours. I’m not perfect, but when I stay close to that timeframe, I feel my best.
- Water, Water, Water!!! That’s all I drink, besides coffee and you know wine. But seriously, water is so necessary and most people don’t drink enough. Did you know that when you are low on water one of your body’s first signs is FATIGUE?
These tips sound easy to keep up with right? The most important way that I personally can keep my energy running high all day long is by eating nutritious foods. To do this, I make sure to:
- Take inventory about what I have in my fridge so I don’t run out of healthy options (prepared cooked meats, yogurts, string cheese, hand fruits, cut veggies, etc)
- Meal prep foods on the weekend so you have foods you can easily grab and go with no excuses!
- Keep healthy foods handy at all times (in your purse, car, diaper bag, gym bag, etc) My diaper bag/purse essentials are a protein bar, protein shake packet, nuts, and granola bars.
I usually meal prep on Sundays. I don’t go overboard because I don’t have a ton of free time with the kids around 24/7 but I do what works for me. I know that if I have my protein sources prepared, my weekly lunches will be easier. I usually prepare a ton of either grilled chicken or pulled chicken. I will have this every day for lunch in salads, sandwiches or rice bowls. It makes my life SO much easier.I swear by it.
I keep a lot of hand fruit available (apples, bananas, peaches, grapes) and veggies that are easy to grab and go (sliced cucumbers & peppers, and baby carrots.) For healthy fats, string cheeses and nuts are my go to and my favorite of all time is large heaping scoops of peanut butter
On a different food related note, I hear this question a lot: What’s your favorite pre/post workout snack?
To be honest, I almost always have a protein shake AFTER my workout. It’s easy and it’s portable. I bring them with me so I can have it right after a workout. It helps keep my energy up and it also helps me with post workout fatigue. When I skip my shake I almost always feel super tired after, but if I drink one, I never feel like that!
My pre workout snack varies because most of the time I workout after breakfast or after dinner because of my work schedule. If I workout in the morning, I eat a breakfast consisting of eggs, healthy fats (coconut oil, avocado or cheese) some sort of veggie (spinach and broccoli are my favorites) and potatoes or toast. I always have CARBS at breakfast and a good amount of protein. My workouts usually follow about 1 hour after my breakfast.
Some days I’m in a rush and if my workout is later in the morning or in the afternoon I will have a protein bar or something similar so I can get an energy boost before or after a workout. Some of my favorites are RXBAR, Quest, Oatmega and I can’t wait to try the new macro vegan protein bar.
Check back for a review on the MACRO VEGAN PROTEIN BAR soon. You can find them at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or at GoMacro.com