Eating for Energy

23 steps to better energy levels. Low energy can happen on many different levels in the body, ranging from lack of nutritional energy to various types of burdens we carry. Majority of the methods here discuss natural dietary remedies to tiredness and fatigue, but links are also provided to further lifestyle and nutritional remedies to increase your vitality.

eating for energy and vitality
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Raw food diet is known world-wide as the high energy diet. The increased energy levels reported are one of the many benefits people experience, and the energy experienced often goes much beyond what the person was used to previously. Similarly, many report feeling 'like a child again'.

One of the main, common causes of tiredness is: underactive thyroid. Get checked by a doctor AND a holistic practitioner to rule this out.

After my initial 18-day test run on 100% raw foods I found out, however, that I did not experience the energy rush so many other raw foodists described. Perhaps 18-days was not enough to complete the detox phase.

I knew of some vegans who turned to raw foods and quickly experienced high energy levels (within days) and thought perhaps that was because their bodies were 'cleaner' to start off with. On the other hand, I thought, perhaps there was a nutritional deficiency or an imbalance or some sort, so I went on to try various diets and nutritionist analyses. These are my findings so far:

1) I got my blood tests done on the NHS and although the doctor reported that the tests were normal, I demanded a copy of the results and soon found out that my blood ferritin levels were far from ideal. They were officially within the normal range but very low (26ug/L). According to my research anything less than 50-70 is going to cause tiredness and less than optimal energy levels. I started taking an iron supplement (Floravital) and noticed a clear increase in my energy levels within a couple of days. I will continue to take this vegan, non-raw supplement throughout my trial but gradually moving to ensuring enough iron from raw, natural whole foods.

2) I occasionally sleep with ear plugs on when my boyfriend is staying up later and/ or if there is a lot of noise from traffic or the nearby church/ venue (Sunday mornings!). Sometimes this seems to give me a very deep, good night's sleep.

3a) Ensuring enough calories per day can be important especially to raw foodists to maintain high energy levels. It can be challenging on raw foods to get enough calories to keep the energy levels up.

3b) Ensure enough food. Earlier I tried to follow Tonya Zavasta's advice and sometimes skipped dinner but I should have respected the fact that her techniques are meant for very advanced raw foodists who have already thoroughly cleansed their bodies through raw foods and fasting. At an earlier stage it is extremely important to eat enough to keep the body's energies up especially when it is going through detoxification. An exception might be juice fasting for those whose body is in good health and able to take it.1

4) I have heard from quite a few people recently that when they became sugar free and eliminated all processed carbs and sugar, as well as reducing the amount of starches from potatoes, rice, etc., the result was brilliant energy levels. I am currently experimenting with this myself.

5) Daily exercise and movement in general is important to increase the movement of the lymph fluids and speed the cleansing of toxins. Exercise also ensures the delivery of more oxygen into the cells and oxygen is one of our main energy sources. Start with moderate exercise first and increase gradually, to ensure your body doesn't get too tired after the exercise. Sitting down jobs are some of the most tiring - try to get up often and go for a walk outside during the lunch break. A Chinese Doctor I have been visiting highlights the importance of movement to the flow of energies and thus good energy levels and moods as well.

6) Eat at least 1 but ideally 2 bunches of dark, leafy greens every day. Easily done through juicing. Large, live and fresh green juices drunken daily, have especially been reported by many people to increase energy very effective.

7a) Ensure strong digestive juices by gradually increasing your fibre intake (e.g. green smoothies) and making sure you get enough Vitamin C (e.g. lemons). Generally almost no-one's digestion is functioning optimally and this can cause nutritional deficiencies through malabsorption.

7b) Ensure healthy gut and gut flora. As pointed out above, nutrients getting into the cells is key to high energy levels. Strong, good quality probiotics and/or live fermented foods, as well as cutting out sugar, gluten, starchy and processed foods, are important for gut health. Note that some fermented foods in stores are pasteurized after fermentation, which eliminates the good bacteria.

8) Rule out any food allergies/ food sensitivities by visiting a nutritionist or by following the above link to get instructions on how to test these by counting your pulse at home. This is much more important than most people think.

9) David Wolfe says that deep breathing is more important for high energy levels than the food you eat. Do breathing exercises in as fresh as possible air for 1-3x 10min per day. Experiment with different kinds of breathing exercises to find out one that you like. Running will help to oxygenate and increase energy levels as well.

10) Our bodies are fuelled by good quality (raw) fats, protein, and carbohydrates. All of these should be derived from as organic and unprocessed food sources as possible. The lower quality foods are harder to break down in the body and can cause fatigue as well as other problems. In addition to these calorie sources, our bodies are also fuelled by micronutrients, water and air. Eating nutrient-dense foods will provide more energy per calorie than eating nutrient-poor foods.

11) Eat copious amounts of chlorophyll-rich foods and sprouts as well as sea vegetables in moderation. Chlorophyll transports oxygen to the cells which is vital for energy and health generally. All these foods are also full of micronutrients.

12) Quit caffeine and other stimulants. The net gain from these is more tiredness over all. Wean yourself off gently over a long time. It took me two years to completely kick the coffee and green tea habits but I felt I did it in a quite comfortable way in the end. I definitely feel much more energetic in the morning without caffeine. Also, your mouth feels fresher and cleaner throughout the day if the only thing you drink is water.

13) Don't eat foods with no fibre, which release sugar quickly. These are processed carbohydrates and foods including processed sugar.

14) Ensure you are not dehydrated. Hydration is crucial for cell health, moods, and the functioning of every part of your body. Live spring water is ideal.

15) Stay Alkaline. Record the pH every day and ensure that you are not too acidic. I have noticed this to have quite a impact on my energy levels. Start by adding the juice of one lemon to your water every morning and when you feel tired. It's not an instant kick but will help.

16a) Go to bed early and kick the alcohol habit. You might have exhaustion from a longer time and your body might need to recoup for a couple of months or even a year. Regaining energies after long periods of stress and lack of sleep can take a lot longer than most people would like to think. It is worth letting yourself catch up on sleep even if it means taking a longer period of time off work. Although often this recovery can be accomplished by staying at work and just being very antisocial and inactive for a few months and dedicating lots of time for yourself - to sleep.

16b) Ensure a good sleeping environment to rest well and to reap the benefits enjoy high energy through the day. I use a silk eye mask to cover up the urban light coming through our windows and curtains. We sleep with windows open to ensure fresh air, even through the winter (but with very warm covers). I also noticed that sometimes I get a better sleep on a mattress on the floor, if my boyfriend sleeps restlessly. I think I am quite a light sleeper but had not realized this for a long time. Try it, you might be surprised. It is ok to sometimes have your own beds and use the double-bed for romantic time and chilling out only!

17) Breathe fresh air, swim in the sea (to quickly remineralise your body!), purchase a negative ioniser, spend time in sunshine (without sunscreen, important!), walk bare-footed on the ground (to balance your body's electrical charge, to 'ground' yourself)...

18) Work through any underlying trauma that might be wearing you down subconsciously (we all have them!) for example by doing David Berceli's trauma release exercises.

19) Make sure you do things that interest and excite you, ideally on a daily basis. There is nothing more tiring than being bored or stuck in a rut.

20) Take the spit test or hair mineral analysis to ensure you don't have adrenal fatigue. (A very common problem these days.)

21) If you can have regular sleep times it will make it easier to maintain high energy levels.

22) Read also: How to Beat Tiredness

23) Read also: How to Sleep Less

Update: Vitamin B12

I have now noticed that a specific kind of vitamin B12 supplement helps increase my energy levels quite efficiently: B12 Energy Vitamin.

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