I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t struggle with maintaining energy throughout the day. Some people are superhuman and can survive on four hours of sleep and a steady stream of caffeine, but I like sleep and coffee is a slippery slope for me. Suddenly I’m at five cups a day and it’s still not enough. Then I get a migraine.
When I started back into an office job two months ago (after several years of creating my own schedule), I was intent on figuring out how to keep my energy levels up throughout the day as naturally as possible. I knew that being prepared was key (it always is!) and I was willing to be my own energy guinea pig.
Before my first day, like a good schoolgirl I wrote out all the energy solutions I would try and got my mind in an intentional mode. I was already doing a lot of pro-active, raw vegan-y actions. Still, almost every day at 3pm I wanted to curl up into fetal position, which I was sure my new boss wouldn’t be impressed with. I needed to step things up a gear.
Most of my energy solutions have come through trial and error. I eat a big lunch and feel like going into hibernation. I say yes to one more 30 Rock at 11:30 pm and sleepwalk through the next day. I learn not to do that again.
Some things have definitely worked. For example, maca powder! That Peruvian superfood is a wonder-worker. I’m such an evangelist for the stuff I should become a door-to-door maca saleswoman. I’ll take a little in the morning and, if necessary, a little after lunch. The powder version really packs a punch – I make my own variation of Linda Wagner’s bad boy energy smoothie shared below and I’m good to go. (I learned this the hard way: don’t drink too late at night or your sleep will go out the window.)
I’m always up for new energy solutions, but so far these are the keys that seem to be working for me:
- Wake up and put the kettle on. Squeeze a whole lemon, chop an inch of ginger, and throw in some cayenne pepper to boiled water. Drink on the way to work!
- Yes, I do drink some coffee. I love coffee! But instead of vats of it, I start with a 16oz half-caf drip and let that take me through the day.
- Glowing Green Smoothie by Kimberly Snyder. This is my breakfast and I love it. I’ll make a big batch at night, pour it into mason jars and I’m good for a few days.
- Light lunch. Eating a boatload at lunch is comforting, but it’s also a lullaby. I eat lots of greens, quinoa and steamed, roasted, and raw veg. Also, I find certain dressings put me to sleep (usually the delicious ones), so I try to listen to my body.
- Chocolate Cherry bomb smoothie. This is a game-changer. I customize this recipe by adding almond extract and play around with the ingredients.
- Pre-packaged raw almonds from Trader Joe’s! Great snack. So are Lara bars.
- Sleep. I’m such a night owl this is hard. I make it a game to be in bed 30 minutes before I want to be asleep and think about how great I’ll feel tomorrow.
- Maca maca maca
- Stress is a huge energy suck. When it starts to creep in I stop and take three deep breaths or go on a quick walk to the kitchen to reset.
These solutions have made a huge difference for me, and though I’m not completely immune to sluggishness, most of the time I do feel great.
Linda Wagner’s Chocolate Cherry Superfood Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 2/3 cup frozen cherries
- 2 Tbs Cacao powder
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1 tsp acai powder
- 1 tsp colostrum powder
- 1-2 dropperfuls vanilla stevia to taste
- 1/2 – 1 cup water or almond milk (adjust as needed for desired consistency)
Blend and enjoy!
What do you do to beat the energy slump?