Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Top 10 Tips for Abundant Energy!

Today's post is from Sophie at Igennus, who gives us her top 10 tips for getting back that energy we all remember from our youth.

At this time of year, we may want nothing more than to feel healthy, vibrant and full of beans. Sadly, the reality, for many of us, is a bit more sluggish than we’d like, with that abundant energy we remember from our youth seemingly gone forever.

This needn’t be the case!

A few simple changes can make a tremendous difference to our energy levels and sense of wellbeing. Once you start feeling better you’ll be able to do more, move more and enjoy more and so you’ll feel even better - a huge, positive snowball effect.

Here are my top 10 tips on how to regain vibrant energy and feel like your younger self again.

1. Eat a rainbow foods diet
Too often we look for a quick pick me up to overcome slumps and dips in energy, but this can be extremely detrimental as the quick burst of energy is short-lived and we soon feel that slump again. Eating a rainbow of fresh, seasonal and organic veggies, with bright berries and citrus fruits is a sure-fire way to boost energy levels and help support those very biological processes that turn our foods into energy. By providing lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you’ll be turbo-charging your cells and supporting natural cleansing processes.


2. Indulge in a green blitzed boost
Sometimes life gets in the way of our healthiest intentions. Green smoothies and juices are a super addition to the day to top up on nutrients and provide you with a fresh energy injection. Smoothies rather than juices are better when possible and make sure the ingredients are predominantly vegetables, not fruit. ‘Greens in a bottle’ are now widely available and you can even buy green powders in sachets to add to water if you need a super-portable option. Try making your own by blending up any/all of the following: any green vegetables (as much as you like, but a minimum of 1-2 fistfuls) plus apple, water, ginger, lemon/lime juice, avocado. Add herbs such as mint and parsley to give it some delicious flavour and an extra cleansing freshness.

3. Have your caffeine with protein or fat and never on an empty stomach
When we drink coffee, or tea, the caffeine sends out a stress signal readying us for action, which is why we feel awake and alert after drinking it. In response to these signals we liberate our energy stores in the form of glucose and so our blood sugar levels rise. Consuming caffeine on an empty stomach, or with even more carbohydrates such as pastries, toast and most cereal, causes a fast drop in blood sugar levels after the initial rise, leaving you feeling tired and hungry again. Cue more coffee and pastries, ad nauseum! Protein helps to prevent the release of caffeine and dampen the blood sugar effects so you feel awake and alert for longer.

4. Stay hydrated
Dehydration is too often a factor in low energy and really should never be. Keep a glass of water next to the bed and drink as much as you want first thing upon rising, and certainly before your first cup of coffee or tea. Try to drink lots of different (mainly water-based) fluids throughout the day, and always have a glass of water if you start to feel tired and sluggish before you reach for the caffeine
and snacks.

Whilst thirst is generally a good indicator of our fluid needs, when we are busy, stressed and drinking lots of caffeine we may not realise we are thirsty. Try to track what goes in and comes out, and note its colour - light straw with little smell is perfect! If you find you need the loo all the time, try reducing your intake just a little as you are likely drinking too much. Also try adding lemon/lime juice and a pinch of sea salt to water to help your body to process the fluid and not just pass it straight out. Herbal teas and dilute fruit juice are also helpful to increase fluid intake throughout the day.

5. Look after your digestive health
If you aren’t digesting the food you eat, you won’t be getting the nutrients you need to support all of your body’s energy-producing pathways. If you have symptoms that resemble IBS, have recently been on antibiotics, medication or travelled abroad and now suffer with stomach issues or low energy, you are likely not digesting fully and may even have some gut issues causing added stress on your system.  Investing in a good probiotic, eating a range of fibres from plants and whole grains such as oats and quinoa, eliminating foods that you know make you feel unwell or trigger symptoms and reading this article will go a long way to help you keep your digestive health in tip top shape.

6. Reduce stress
High stress levels are a major factor contributing to our modern energy issues, but stress comes in all shapes and sizes. The best way to help your body deal with stress is to take time out, away from all sources of stimulation – including artificial light and technology. This means truly getting away from it all, getting out to enjoy nature, no props, no technology. Spend as much time as possible outside and literally watch the world go by, listen to the birds or meditate if you can. Taking some time to relax significantly contributes to wellbeing, reduces stress and helps to boost energy. Daily walks, weekends spent in the garden or further afield all add up to making us feel calm and happy. When possible make sure you spend some of this time in direct sunlight as we literally draw energy from the sun.

7. Get the blood and body moving
Any form of movement will help to keep your blood circulating, delivering oxygen and nutrients to your cells. A brisk or gentle stroll, simple stretching, even deep breathing or whatever form of movement you can manage will help keep vital nutrients pumping around the body whilst helping to carry potential toxins away. Try to stand as often as possible and walk at every opportunity. For those who are less mobile, try to get someone to help with movement; even just raising your arms and legs, with support, can be enough to help circulation and freshen the blood supply. A massage or applying cold water to the skin can also boost circulation and energy in the same way.

8. Keep blood sugars stable
As with caffeine intake, the foods we choose when we are tired can worsen the situation as we tend to crave foods that boost energy quickly, like cakes, sweets and carbohydrate-dense meals such as pizza, pasta and potatoes. Whilst we feel better in the short term, our bodies digest and absorb carbohydrates quickly, meaning the boost is short-lived and we soon feel tired and crave another quick energy snack. This can lead to dramatic blood sugar peaks and troughs and make us more susceptible to over eating, obesity, fatigue and even mental health issues. To help stabilise blood sugars, reduce cravings and feel happy, bright and refreshed throughout the day, make sure to consume lots of healthy proteins and fats from a range of plant and animal sources that make you feel good (and avoid any you know don’t!) e.g. nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, coconut, eggs, full fat dairy and grass fed/wild meat and fish.

9. Supplement for added support
No matter how saintly your diet might be there are certain nutrients, vital for energy production, that are lacking in our modern diets. If you are stressed, unwell, take medications or struggle with eating and digesting foods, then it is more than likely you are not getting the high levels of nutrients your body needs. Certain nutrients are extremely important for energy production; these include fatty acids such as EPA, DHA and GLA, vitamin C, zinc and magnesium, B vitamins – especially B12 - and ubiquinol. Products such as those made by Igennus and other good clinical nutrition companies are best to try as they will contain the best, most biologically active forms of the nutrients, at doses and delivery systems known to be most beneficial to your health. If you are really concerned about your diet or are quite unwell then it might be worth seeking advice from a qualified nutrition specialist who can make sure you are eating according to your unique needs. Here is a list of the great people we work with.

10. SLEEP!
Perhaps the most important of all - when we don’t sleep well we feel awful and everything becomes a struggle. There are all sorts of reasons why you might not be sleeping well and if this is a severe or ongoing problem please seek help from a complementary health practitioner. For many of us, however, a few changes to our pre-bedtime habits might just be enough to help promote a restful night’s sleep. So, an hour before bed turn off all phones, computers, tablets, TVs and shiny screens, dim the lights and start getting ready for bed. Get into bed and write up your day into a journal, try to focus on reporting, not analysing, but do make sure to write down any thoughts, feelings, ideas or to do lists that you want to remember. Choose something engaging but not stressful to read, or listen to the radio or an audio book for twenty minutes once you get into bed to calm the mind and switch off from the day whilst drinking a cup of relaxing herbal tea such as Pukka’s night-time tea or camomile and lavender.  If you feel achy at night try rubbing lavender or magnesium oil into the skin to relax and soothe. If you still feel you need a little more help with sleep, take a good vitamin B6 (as P5P), zinc and magnesium supplement to help promote relaxation and calming, restful brain chemical production.

If you would like to know more about any of the above, please feel free to call Nina, Sophie or Kyla, all of whom will be very happy to answer your questions.

They can be reached at 0845 1300424 (not a premium rate number) or you can email them at You can also find out more on the Igennus website.

Don’t forget all Yes to Life blog readers are entitled to 15% discount with Igennus and for every purchase made using the coupon code ‘YesToLife’. Igennus will donate a portion back to Yes To Life to help fund our ongoing support for you.

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