What would happen if we based all of our decisions in life on what would give us the most energy? What people we surrounded ourselves with, what we put in our bodies, what we do for work, etc. After all, when we’re energized, we’re more passionate about life, we’re clearer on our purpose, and we have more to give to those around us.
To me, energy is the epitome of health. As a diabetic health coach, yoga instructor, and wellness speaker, I’m no stranger to fatigue and exhaustion, especially given that I have my hands in so many different projects, from teaching yoga workshops to traveling for speaking events to running my own business on top of making time to spend with my family and friends.
After my fair share of breakdowns from being overwhelmed and having my gas tank on empty, I started to become fascinated by what tools I could implement to not only "make it through the day" but actually thrive.
So much of my job—correction: so much of all of our jobs—requires a lot of energy, whether it be mental, physical, or even emotional. Regardless of our differences in lifestyle from day to day, I want to share with you the top five things I now do every day for kick-ass energy, from the supplements I take to the sleep schedule I keep.
1. High fiber + low glycemic = an energy-boosting breakfast.
I like my breakfast to be low-glycemic, free of artificial sugars/ingredients, and packed with veggies. When you eat this way, you’re not going to see a huge spike and then crash with your blood sugars; instead, you’ll stay full throughout the morning, and your food will be easily digestible, which takes less energy away from your digestive system and gives more energy back to you.
My go-to is usually a green juice (spinach, collard greens, lemon, ginger, parsley, apple) along with eggs and mushrooms, or cooked quinoa in almond milk with berries.
2. Prioritize morning + midafternoon movement.
The quickest way to get yourself pumped up is through movement. Try it right now: Jump up and down just five times and you’ll instantly feel more energized! I like to start my morning with some kind of movement—be it power yoga, a HIIT workout, a boxing class, or sometimes just a dance party in my kitchen. Then, in the afternoon right around 3 p.m., I typically do five sun salutations and maybe a few handstands to get my blood pumping and remind my body of the kick-ass Energizer Bunny I am.
3. Get your iron and B vitamins in.
I recently discovered Floradix, a liquid iron supplement that’s also rich in B vitamins. After hearing that so many women, athletes, and vegetarians are deficient in iron (it’s estimated that up to 25 percent of women between ages 15 and 45 are iron deficient!) and learning that iron is an essential mineral for energy and healthy cell function, I realized I’d better start supplementing.
Never before have I taken a supplement that allowed me to notice such a marked difference in my body so quickly. As soon as I started taking Floradix, I noticed a major improvement. Whether it works so well because of the combo of iron + B vitamins or the fact that it’s in liquid versus capsule form, or both, I highly recommend it. In fact, I noticed that I absorb this liquid version so much better than the iron capsules I used to take, which were also a lot harder on my digestive tract.
Since starting my Floradix regimen, I have improved energy levels, optimized mental clarity, and afternoon slumps are no more. I take it 2x/day (once before breakfast and once before dinner), and I actually feel like a total superwoman conquering the day. Need to reply to 75 emails, grocery shop, and fit in a workout in the next two hours? Let’s do this.
4. Don't underestimate a regular sleep pattern.
Not only aiming for eight hours of sleep per night but also getting on a sleep schedule has been huge for me. We all alternate between REM and NREM sleep cycles throughout the night that are largely regulated by our internal biological clock, or circadian rhythm. If we have an irregular sleep pattern (i.e., one night go to bed at 10 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m., another night head to bed at 12 a.m. and wake up at 9 a.m.), it throws off our natural clock.
So, why does this matter? The body naturally moves into REM before waking up, but if you’re not on a schedule, your body could be woken up by your alarm during the NREM phase, which will lead to greater grogginess throughout that whole day. Needless to say, it’s crucial to schedule your sleep times like you do the rest of your day!
*Pro tip: Keep lavender essential oils near your bed to help you wind down at the right time.
5. Try a nightly technology detox.
Remember the days when you came home from school and ran around with your friends outside after you did your homework? As we grow up, this playtime gets replaced with more laptop, TV, and iPhone time. Social media and technology are the wave of the future, but we need to give ourselves time away from it.
Like Seneca the philosopher once said, "The mind must be given relaxation; it will rise improved and sharper after a good break." I do my best to stop the technologic stimulation after 9 p.m. This way, I have an hour before bed to read or meditate and let my mind quiet—totally free of screen time. This helps me wake up bounding with energy, totally ready to take on my day!