Guest post by Lauren Yarbrough, CHHC
If the sound of your alarm clock going off makes you want to pound it into the nightstand… you might need a diet makeover.
If you drag yourself out of bed every day only to find ugly, dark circles under your eyes… you might need a diet makeover.
If you’ve ever come close to falling asleep at your desk in the afternoon… you (yes, YOU!) might need a diet makeover.
Now, I don't know your circumstances. Maybe you have kids. Maybe you have a demanding job. Maybe you are dealing with a tough relationship at work or at home. All these things can zap your energy faster than the hot city sidewalk on a 90 degree day.
But what I DO know is that you can support yourself naturally. Diet changes everything. You wouldn't pour a can of Coke into your car's gas tank and expect it to run like it's supposed to, would you? So then I must ask the question - why do you expect so much from your body when you don't give it the tools it needs to work properly?
Like Julie, I'm a pretty busy lady. At the risk of sounding completely crazy - I get up at 4:45 am most days and probably do more before 9 o’clock than most people do by closing time; yet, I fuel it all with one cup of coffee or (gasp!) NO cups of coffee at all. I've discovered a pretty epic energy cocktail, and today, I'd like to share it with you in hopes that you too can channel your inner Energizer bunny. You deserve to feel good EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
That’s why I’m going to let you in on a little secret - 4 easy ways to supercharge your day through diet alone...
Whether you make your own at home or grab it on the go (hello, juice cart man!), a day started with a green juice is sure to be a good day indeed. In fact, I passed a woman on the street the other day who was complaining to her friend that the one week she skipped her daily green juice, was the same week she came down with a nasty cold. It was no coincidence! Greens keep your immune system strong and your energy levels up. They give your body the building blocks it needs to function properly and when you're pumped full of nutrients, you automatically feel like you can take on the world (or at least that presentation at work!).
If you can't get your hands on a fresh juice, I highly recommend keeping a tub of Barlean's Organic Greens in your fridge. It comes in powder form and all you have to do is mix a spoonful into a glass of water and drink it down. Barlean's has a laundry list of healthy ingredients, including various greens, berries, herbs, seeds, probiotics and even seaweed! You can find it at your local health food store or at your local Whole Foods, and I promise it doesn't taste like seaweed! (Read my review of it here)
Did you know that your physical, mental and emotional health is directly connected to the state of your gut? Yes, your stomach! But even the most health-conscious eaters aren't perfect all the time, so in my opinion, it's crucial to supplement with a good probiotic. Probiotics are, in essence, good bacteria. The kind of bacteria that keeps your body functioning properly AND the kind of bacteria you lose when you abuse your body through the food you eat (or even through the "out-of-your-control" environmental factors you're exposed to - like air quality or common chemicals). Probiotics come in capsule or liquid form. I suggest enlisting a knowledgeable salesperson at your local health food store to assist you in deciphering all the labels and finding the one right for you! And if you'd rather load up on probiotics in their natural form - from the food you eat - read about what you should start chowing down on here!
Good news, guys! This one is free!!! The Ayurvedic tradition of India encourages the practice of drinking warm water throughout the day. This may seem silly, but there's science to back it up! As the warm water is absorbed by your circulatory system, it reaches every part of your body, dissolving toxins along the way and flushing them out. Toxins can make you feel ill, heavy, tired, or grouchy. Although I love a good cup of coffee in the morning, I find that, for me, having a cup of coffee is more about the act of drinking something warm and comforting rather than the taste of the coffee. You'll be surprised how you'll grow to love a warm cup of plain old water (my clients even back me up on this!). To supercharge your warm water, add a slice of lemon. Lemon is another one of nature's natural detoxifiers. Read about all it can do for you here!
Now I'm pulling out the big guns - chia seeds. This is going to sound a bit nutty, but chia seeds have literally changed my life. These little guys come from South America and were a staple of the Mayan and Aztec diets. The foot messengers would carry a pouch of chia with them as they ran, eating them along the way for a quick surge of energy. They were the natural, ancient equivalent of a Red Bull. I recommend drinking a spoonful of chia seeds in a glass of water in the morning or incorporating them into your breakfast. The key to energy is hydration and chia seeds have amazing water-absorption qualities. They can literally absorb 9 times their weight in water! Chia also contains ALL the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Protein helps you stay full throughout the day, while also supplying your body with the building blocks it needs to grow and flourish.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Do me a favor... switch up your routine. Give these four recommendations a test run and see how you feel after a few weeks! I guarantee that you'll greet the day a bit differently!
Here’s to your health!
About the Author: Lauren Yarbrough, Certified Holistic Health Couselor
Lauren Yarbrough is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, specializing in women’s issues and immune system support. She works with women diagnosed with HPV and cervical dysplasia to teach them how to heal and support their bodies through diet, lifestyle and stress management. She also runs the blog Strictly Nutritious where she shares her favorite recipes, exercise tips, inspirational stories and snapshots of her life in New York City! To learn more about her services, visit her website at www.strictlynutritious.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest
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