In our fast-paced world, it’s common to feel tired and sluggish, especially during busy days. It’s common to rely on coffee, energy drinks, and supplements to give us a boost and keep us going; however, these quick fixes can often do more harm than good in the long run, leading to energy crashes and other health problems. Fortunately, there are natural ways to boost your energy levels without resorting to these solutions.
Here are 10 tips to boost energy naturally, without taking supplements:
Get Enough Sleep
One of the most important things you can do to boost your energy levels is to get enough sleep. Sleep is crucial for repairing and rejuvenating your body, and lack of sleep can leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night to recharge your body and mind. Also, try to establish a consistent sleep schedule.
Dehydration can cause fatigue and decreased cognitive function. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated. The recommended daily water intake is around 8 glasses, but this may vary depending on your age, gender, and activity level.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods provides your body with the energy it needs to keep going. Processed food can cause spikes in your blood sugar levels and leads to energy crashes. Make sure to Incorporate a variety of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Regular exercise is an excellent way to boost your energy levels naturally. It increases blood flow and oxygen to your brain and muscles, which can improve alertness and focus. Find an activity you enjoy and aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
Stress can cause fatigue and drain your energy levels. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or spending time in nature.
Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing exercises can help increase oxygen levels in your body and promote relaxation. Take a few deep breaths throughout the day to help reduce stress and increase energy levels.
Taking regular breaks throughout the day can help you stay energized and focused, it also prevents burnout and fatigue. Set a timer to remind yourself to take a five to ten-minute break every hour to stretch, walk, or simply step away from your work.
Spending time in natural sunlight can help boost your mood and energy levels. Try to get outside for at least 15 to 20 minutes each day, even if it’s just for a quick walk around the block.
Social connections are essential for our mental and emotional well-being. Stay connected with friends and family, whether it’s through phone calls, video chats, or in-person interactions.
Gratitude can boost your energy levels by helping you focus on the positive aspects of your life. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for, whether it’s a supportive friend, a beautiful sunset, or a tasty meal.
Did you ever stop and think why we call it a “cheat” meal? How about we call it a “treat” meal instead? Because that’s what we’re basically doing, we’re treating ourselves to a meal that we deserve to have after a hard week’s work. The term “cheat” gives it a negative overtone that makes us feel like we’re doing something bad, which we’re not. Knowing you have a treat meal coming up will make it easier for you to stay on track.
You eat well from Monday to Friday, you restrict yourself from eating any “extra” food, everything is perfect, you got this. You look forward to the weekend, knowing that you will finally have your treat meal, and eat what you’ve been craving most for the longest time! The day has arrived, and all the accumulated anxiety from the restrictions will finally be released. Sweet sweet serenity!
A smarter strategy, with all the benefits of a recharge, would be a refeed, which consists of days where you increase your consumption of calories, to give you just that little boost of energy.
Some general tips:
- Save the majority of your daily calories for the much anticipated treat meals, so, for example, do that by fasting in the morning.
- Have fasted training before your treat meal. It frees up room for the calories that will be consumed later. It might be crucial, so you can apply it if needed.
- Slow down while eating. Take your time and savor every bite!
- Don’t confuse “treat meals” with binging. You don’t want to have excessive amounts of calories in one day, it could really set you back.
- Fast and make sure you get back on track the very next day, this is the most important strategy.
- Be mindful of what you’re eating. Pay attention to your body’s hunger cues and eat when you’re hungry, but stop when you’re full or satisfied.
- Plan ahead for when you treat yourself, know what you intend to eat.
For Pizza or hamburger:
- Avoid the options that are overloaded with cheese and choose skimmed cheese options instead.
- Order the smallest size and reject anything with the word “double” in it (such as double cheese).
- Ask if they have the option of whole wheat for the bread or the crust (ask for the thinner option as well).
- Choose lean meats or veggies or high protein options for the toppings.
- Try out a vegetarian option.
- Ask for grilled meat instead of fried.
- Choose sugar-free drinks, such as water (best choice!), unsweetened tea, coffee, or diet soda (worst case scenario, ofcourse).
- When you see a little pool of floating oil on top of your cheese, take a napkin and wipe that extra fat off. You’ll save about 50 calories.
- Go with lean meat bbq and cut the fat part out.
- Use herb or citrus seasoned vegetables for flavor.
- Steam food in tin foil to get more flavor with less sauce.
- Make your own healthy barbecue sauce.
- Eat meat without the buns, biscuits, or bread.
- Take the skin off the meat you eat, and make sure to trim off the fattier bits.
- Drink a lot of water so you feel fuller.
Benefits of Treat Meals:
There are many benefits to including a treat meal, once a week, in your diet. These benefits range from helping your mindset to helping your metabolism! The benefits of healthy cheating include:
- Less obsessing over favorite foods you aren’t eating.
- Satisfying cravings
- Improving your mindset towards food and enjoying it to stay on track.
- Helping your metabolism keep from plateauing.
- Giving your body more energy to work with if you’re going to work out right before or after.
Keep in mind, perfection is an uncommon road to success; real progress will be seen when you apply consistency towards your goals. Stay on track for most of your days, so that when you do “cheat”, you know you’ve earned it.
MYLK is a term used for a white substance extracted from plant sources, such as almonds, cashews, soya, coconuts, etc.
Despite the considerable advantages with the consumption of cow milk, there are various disadvantages associated with it. To start off, the presence of various pathogens in milk has been associated to cause widespread disease outbreaks around the world. Also, cow milk allergy is one the most common allergies among infants and children.
Other issues widely associated with the consumption of cow milk, in both males and females, are lactose intolerance, and cancer. The main source of the lactose carbohydrate in our body is human and cow milk. The intolerance is due to the absence of the enzyme, lactase, in the digestive tract.
Therefore, other factors, like the presence of cholesterol and vegetarianism, have pushed people and the food industry to look for healthier alternatives.
The food industry has addressed these demands by introducing various milk beverages which are promoted as alternatives coming from plant sources. These alternatives, also called ‘non-dairy alternatives,’ mainly include soy, almond, rice, cashew and coconut milk. Some other sources have also been used to produce these milks, but in minor quantities, like hemp, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, flax, and oats.
Plant based alternative milks
Almond milk: Almond beverages have been consumed for a long time due to their flavor and taste. Recently, almond milk has become one of the most popular plant based alternative milks. The various health benefits involved in the consumption of almonds, are also one of the major factors that helped boost the consumer demand for it. Almonds have a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), that are helpful in weight loss and weight management. Almonds also act as a vital source of various nutrients including proteins, fiber, vitamin E and manganese.
Soy milk: Soy is a unique dietary source which is very rich in proteins and fat. These seeds contain up to 35–45% protein and 20% fat, acting as an important source of protein especially for vegetarians. Soy milk is also widely consumed for its health benefits, primarily attributed to the presence of isoflavones, which are linked to exhibit anti-cancer properties.
Coconut milk: It has a unique nutritional composition. Various researchers have found undeniable evidence that the consumption of coconut milk can increase the HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels, which help in reducing the harmful LDL (low-density lipoprotein).
The incline of plant-based milk alternatives and decline of bovine milk is concerning from a public health perspective, yet, individuals and families could be using plant-based milk alternatives as total and complete nutritional replacements to bovine milk, with no other modification to their diet to make up for nutritional losses.
Have you come across this topic before? Will you believe it if we told you that we consume antinutrients on a daily basis, neglecting the fact that they may be harmful to our own health?
Antinutrients are natural or artificial compounds most commonly found in grains, beans, legumes and nuts. They mainly interfere with the absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in our body. They can even get in the way of our digestive enzymes, which are crucial for proper absorption. Antinutrients can also be found in vegetables, leaves, plant roots, and fruits, although these usually have benefits as opposed to detriments.
Phytic acid, leptins and saponins are antinutrients found in many different types of seeds. The reason these compounds bind to vitamins and minerals, making them indigestible, is generally as a defense mechanism. Their antinutrients help repel pests, bugs and other predators so the seeds are able to live on and reproduce (so fascinating, no?!).
Don’t get your heart racing yet, because not all antinutrients are bad. Polyphenols, for example, are a type of antinutrient that can actually be good for you (in moderate dosages, ofcourse). This is the same case as with flavonoids, another group of antinutrients found in “healthy” sources, including tea, coffee, and wine. On the other hand, some of the aforementioned antinutrients can inhibit mineral absorption to a certain extent, but are relatively harmless as long as you don’t over consume them.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not discouraging you to eat any of the previously mentioned foods, not at all, but a good and healthy diet, is a balanced one. In other words, we, at ‘Colour My Plate’, are able to assign each one of you the adequate amount of antinutrients per meal, per day, because you know, it’s what we’re here for.
The consumption of sweeteners has been increasing at a steady rate, and the potential health consequences of this practice have been under considerable debate. Artificial sweeteners can provide a sweet taste with zero calories. However, how safe they are has been a big question mark. They have shown positive associations with type 2 diabetes and obesity. Keep in mind that the use of these sweeteners means ingesting processed and refined compounds to our bodies.
If you are still unfamiliar with the side effects and consequences of sweeteners, then look no further, and read the information below:
- Hinder your fat loss;
- Induce a potential depression;
- Long term use causes toxic and carcinogenic effects;
- Aspartame and saccharin have acute side effects, such as headache, dry mouth, dizziness, and mood swings;
- Negatively impacts your gut and dental health;
- Negatively retrain your taste buds.
If your goal is to cut down calories and lose weight, artificial sweeteners are not the way to go. If you are diabetic and want to reduce your blood sugar, artificial sweeteners won’t help you accomplish that.
The aforementioned information increased the demand for a better and safer substitution. What is more reliable than a natural form of sweetness?!
Maple syrup: it is made from evaporated maple tree sap. It’s rich in magnesium, zinc and other minerals and helps maintain optimal immune system function.
Raw Honey: it is pure, unfiltered, unpasteurized, and is rich in minerals. It is high in bioactive compounds, and has a great antioxidant ability, which helps with seasonal allergies.
Coconut sugar: also known as palm sugar, is made from the sap of coconut palm flower blossoms. It is a great source of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin C, B vitamins and even contains amino acids.
Date paste: It is a delicious, all-natural sweetener made from nature’s candy (DATES). It’s approved, vegan and a paleo-friendly sugar substitute. It is a good source of fiber, rich in antioxidants, and contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and other minerals that promote bone health.
Rapadura: It is a whole, unrefined cane sugar that is made by crushing the cane, extracting the juice, and dehydrating it into granules. It’s considerably healthier than conventional cane sugar, because it retains the natural molasses and trace nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamins.
Molasses: it is another liquid sweetener that is rich in minerals and flavor. It adds depth to recipes with spices like cinnamon, clove and cacao.
Stevia: it is an herb that is considered to be up to 200 times sweeter than sugar. It doesn’t raise blood sugar levels like regular sugar does. Many modern forms of stevia are highly processed so stick to stevia in herb form or pure extract.
Carob molasses: also called carob syrup, is widely consumed as an energy boost, especially during the cold. They mainly contain high amounts of natural sugars, some minerals (iron, phosphorus, calcium and potassium), as well as organic acids.
Many berry fruits are consumed because of their attractive colour and exquisite taste. Not only that, but they are also considered one of the richest sources of natural antioxidants! Their consumption has been linked to the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases.
Remember, small berries represent a very diverse group of fruits, and the term ‘berry fruits’ primarily encloses strawberries, currants, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries.
Such berries contain micronutrients. For example, they contain a high level of vitamins C and B which are essential for overall health. A handful of berries can provide the recommended daily dose. So, we can consider berries as an obvious dietary source for people who are in need of vitamin C.
On a positive note, berries provide various health benefits due to the active substances containing unsaturated fatty acids, flavanoids, and anthocyanin. They aid in the treatment of the urinary tract, inflammation, sugar levels in the blood, and cardiovascular health.
It has been proven that consuming berries on a daily basis inhibits the growth and proliferation of cancer cells, causing cell death. Moreover, consuming 330 ml of berry juice per day, over the course of 2 weeks, is reported to boost our immune system functions.
As a conclusion, we can safely say that berries are super useful fruits, full of nutrients and building blocks, such as antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavonoids, carotenoids, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. These components of berries are known to be beneficial to our health, and are most often used as an anti-inflammatory.
You already know what exercise does to your body, but that’s not the only benefit to exercising though; did you know it can also boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help you deal with depression, anxiety, and stress?
Exercise is not just about muscle size or aerobic capacity. Sure, it can improve your physical health, help you shed a few pounds, and even prolong your existence on Earth for a little longer, but that’s not the main reason people commit to exercising.
People who exercise on a weekly basis tend to do so because it gives them a huge sense of satisfaction. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more positive about themselves and their lives. Just a little boost to their self-esteem, you know? More importantly, it’s also a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges.
Regular exercise can have a very positive impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It also relieves stress and uplifts your overall mood. Research indicates that even small amounts of exercise can make an actual difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to deal with any mental health problems.
Exercise and Depression. Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication, but of course, without the side-effects. It is a powerful depression fighter for many reasons, and a few examples are, promoting all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reducing inflammation and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calmness and well-being. It also releases endorphins, which make us very, very happy.
Exercise and Anxiety. Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins. Anything that gets you moving can help.
Exercise and Stress. Have you noticed how your body feels tense when you’re under stress? Most commonly in your face, neck, and shoulders? You may feel tightness in your chest, a pounding pulse, or muscle cramps. That’s where exercise plays one of its most important roles. Physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better so will your mind.
Exercise and ADHD. Exercising regularly is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD. It also improves concentration, motivation, memory, and mood. Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. In this way, exercise works in much the same way as ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Adderall. Imagine that!
Why are we rooting for sourdough bread you ask? Well, get ready to find out why with some really insightful information!
How is sourdough prepared? During the bread-making process, the starter, which is the mix of wild yeast, lactic acid bacteria, flour and water used to make sourdough, ferments the sugars in the dough, helping the bread rise and acquire its characteristic taste. Sourdough bread takes much longer to ferment and rise than other types of bread, which is what creates its particular texture.
Many of the registered dieticians recommend sourdough as a ‘gentler alternative’ to white bread, because of the many benefits it pertains:
- High nutrition value: Whole grain flour is rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, and a variety of minerals and antioxidants, yet they are removed when the flour is purified. Therefore, the advantage of sourdough is that the slow fermentation process improves the availability of these important nutrients, which increases their concentration and makes them easier for the body to absorb.
- Gluten-friendly: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and which some people find difficult to digest, leading to digestive issues. The advantage of sourdough bread for anyone with a sensitivity to gluten, is that the fermentation process pre-digests the gluten, (how cool is that!?) breaking down some of the indigestible proteins and making the bread easier on the stomach. Sourdough bread contains prebiotic- and probiotic-like properties which may help improve digestion.
- Fills up your belly: The longer your dough is fermented, the greater the amount of soluble fibers are present. Sourdough is also high in resistant starch, (very similar to fibers) which is usually undigested. This combination of soluble fibers and resistant starch generates a feeling of fullness, which keeps you satisfied for longer. Prolonged fermentation processes also increase the levels of organic acids in the bread, which slow down the breakdown of the carbohydrate in the body, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and promote energy.<//li>
Many people face health issues due to malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and other diet-related diseases. Pulses are a nutrient-rich food that, as part of a healthy diet, can help fight malnutrition. Diet is fundamental to our health, we can’t stress on this enough!
Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family, that consist of a variety of peas, lentils, and beans. They provide protein and fiber, which means they are slowly digested, and are a significant source of iron, zinc, folate, and magnesium.
When you think pulses, think versatility, healthy, safe, and surprisingly cheap! Besides all that, their iron content helps transport oxygen throughout the body, which eventually boosts energy production and metabolism. Consuming half a cup of pulses per day, can enhance diet quality, AND help in losing weight!
We have three fun facts about pulses that we’d like to share with you. First, when we say think versatility, we mean that pulses aren’t only used to make meals, but can be added to protein shakes, dips and even desserts as well. Second, they are cheaper on your pocket! How come? Well, they are sold in bigger quantities, can be used as a substitute for meat, and can be used to make several dishes. Third, they have a low carbon footprint and use significantly less water than other foods. Moral of the story, eat more pulses and save the planet!
Ohh, we forgot to mention one last little detail that we find pretty interesting. For our benefit, pulse flours have been successfully used to formulate gluten-free crackers, batters and bread, snacks, and pizza dough. It was recently proved that using pulses instead of commonly used gluten-free flours and starches, can boost the protein, fiber, vitamin and mineral content of our foods.
Finally, we can confidently sum it up and say that pulses are excellent for managing digestive health issues and regulating energy levels. They have a long shelf life, are naturally gluten free, and are low in fat and sodium. Additionally, pulses contain none of the potential allergens that are required by law to be labeled.
Many of us hope and strive to live a healthy and fulfilling life. In order to reach that goal, we often implement diet, exercise routines, and other lifestyle changes. However, setbacks, such as noticing a lack of weight loss, can happen and will cause discouragement. As a result, many health and wellness goals are dropped before enough progress is made.
Good nutrition (of course), is one of the keys to a healthier you. Yet, the path to improve yourself will not be easy, especially if you have to change your eating habits, but with the right advice and guidance (that’s where we come in), nothing will stand in your way. Shall we begin?
First and foremost, find the strengths and weaknesses in your current diet. Do you eat fruits and veggies every day? Get enough calcium? Eat whole grain, and high-fiber foods? If the answer is yes, BRAVO! You’re on the right track, keep it up! If not, add more of these foods to your daily dose of nutrition, you won’t regret it.
Even though this isn’t for everyone, try to keep track of your food intake by writing down what you eat and drink every day. This record will help you assess your diet. You’ll see if you need to eat more or less from certain food groups.
Bake, grill, or b(r)oil your protein instead of frying it (ain’t nothin better than some fried chicken though, but no). Ohh, and peel the skin off before cooking your chicken or turkey. Finally, include fish in your meals at least once a week (we’re not talking about sushi, FYI).
Read the nutrition label on the different types of foods before you buy them. It can help you exclude or exchange a lot of products you used to buy.
When you eat out, be aware of hidden fats and larger portion sizes. Focus more on healthier options. Eating out is considered a change of lifestyle; it’s very important to know what you’re consuming (very very important).
The importance of staying hydrated is almost equal to breathing in oxygen. Drink zero- or low-calorie beverages, such as water or tea. Eliminate sweetened drinks that add lots of sugar and calories to your diet.
Good nutrition does not and will not come in the form of a pill. As convincing and persuasive as it may seem, it is NEVER a good idea to consume any form of dietary pills. Rather, try eating a variety of foods instead. Your body benefits most from healthy whole foods.
Reaching your health and wellness goals don’t have to be stressful, overwhelming, or seemingly impossible life decisions (we kid you not!). Take one day at a time, do your best to stay consistent, and follow a proper, but not too restrictive, diet and workout plan to allow yourself to reach your goals!