Truth time. Over the past several months, I’ve been dragging. I had incredibly low energy. My motivation was lacking. And it was work to get myself moving.
I used to live for my afternoon walks with Bruno, but even they felt like a chore.
If you’ve been reading I’m Busy Being Awesome for a while now, you know that this is unusual. Normally, I love to get active, and this lack of energy was concerning. I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
Over the last month, however, I did a major overhaul. I cut out the junk from my diet, I got serious about my sleep, and I brought in some extra nutrients to fuel my body.
And you know what? I feel incredible.
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but good health was one of those things that I took for granted until it was missing. Now that my energy has returned, however, I know better. And I am so grateful.
Inspired by the positive effects of this lifestyle shift, I’m excited to start sharing some of my discoveries with you. Several of you busy-awesome readers have mentioned your own battles with exhaustion, and I hope that these simple changes will help you rediscover your energy as well.
Today I’m kicking off this exploration by looking at how to increase energy with healthy eating.
Now admittedly, healthy eating is an incredibly contested area, and I’m certainly not a nutritionist. Nevertheless, I want to share my story with you.
Exhaustion and extreme fatigue are no joke, and if my experience can help just one person, then it’s worth sharing.
So if you’re ready to rediscover your energy and feel like yourself again, then keep reading. Today we’re exploring how to increase energy with healthy eating.
Let’s do this.
How to Increase Energy with Healthy Eating
Clean Up Your Eating: An Adventure into the Ketogenic Diet
Throughout my adult life, I’ve always been a healthy eater. I choose lean cuts of meat, I avoid high-fat and fried foods, and I am generally mindful of my eating habits.
In February, this awareness increased even further.
I read a book called Why We Get Fat (it’s quite fascinating), and Taubes’s compelling research inspired me to switch to a low carb, Keto diet. After going through the initial stages of the Keto flu, I was feeling pretty good. I saw progress in my weight lifting classes, I was building muscle, and (amazingly) many of my stomach issues subsided.
Unfortunately, despite these great benefits, my energy had taken a major nosedive, and it didn’t improve after the initial “transition period” to a low carb lifestyle. In fact, my energy continued moving in a downward spiral throughout the summer.
My cardio classes grew increasingly difficult. Everyday household tasks like cleaning and mowing the lawn felt like serious work. And walking Bruno turned into a chore. Exhaustion was setting in, and I was struggling.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever battled this kind of sheer physical exhaustion? If so, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s hard.
Toward the end of August, I decided to move away from the Keto lifestyle. While it works wonders for some people, it wasn’t for me. Not for the long term anyway. So I listened to my body, and I moved toward a less restrictive approach to eating.
Enter the Mediterranean Lifestyle
While I loved the benefits of the ketogenic diet, my body was missing the healthy carbohydrates it needed for energy. By adopting a Mediterranean diet, however, I got the best of both worlds.
Let me explain.
What is a Mediterranean diet?
It’s safe to say that when people hear the word “diet,” many think of a temporary, restrictive food plan that leaves one feeling hungry and deprived.
In fact, it’s for that very reason that I try to avoid the word “diet” when describing the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Based on the food staples of people living in Greece, Croatia, and Italy, the Mediterranean way of eating is a heart-healthy meal plan filled with high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and legumes; lean proteins; quality fats; and a glass of red wine every now and then. And best of all, it’s sustainable. It’s a way of life.
Sounds pretty good already, doesn’t it?
The Mediterranean Lifestyle and Increased Energy
One of the main benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle is that it’s low in processed foods and sugar. As studies continue to show, it’s these exact foods – typical staples of the American diet – that are the primary culprits for poor energy levels. When we fill up with simple carbs and sugar, our energy levels surge before crashing shortly after.
By fueling our bodies with lean proteins, healthy fats, and fiber-rich veggies and legumes, however, we regulate our blood sugar levels and maintain steady energy.
And the benefits don’t stop there, either. In addition to increased energy levels, a Mediterranean lifestyle also:
- Offers a realistic and enjoyable long-term way of eating
- Improves heart health
- Reduces chronic diseases
- Enhances brain health
- Improves mood
- Won’t break the bank
What Do I Eat on a Mediterranean Meal Plan?
Are you thinking about making the switch to the Mediterranean way of eating? Great! As a general rule of thumb, aim to follow these guidelines:
- Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, herbs, spices, fish, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Eat in moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
- Only eat rarely: Red meat
- Don’t eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils, and other highly processed foods.
Simple, right? Just follow these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle filled with increased energy.
Want a more detailed food plan? You got it! Download a free weekly shopping list and meal planner and switch to a Mediterranean lifestyle with ease.
It’s no secret that I love my coffee in the morning. And truth be told, I have no intention of giving it up. There’s just something about that delicious aroma and smooth taste that gets me out of bed in the morning.
Coffee in the afternoon, however, is another story.
I don’t know about you, but I often hit an afternoon slump around 3:00 p.m. I struggle to keep my eyes open, and unless I’m moving around or consuming another cup of coffee, I find myself nodding off while sitting at my desk.
Of course, when I’m trying to write a lecture or finish grading 50 student papers, a “quick snooze” simply isn’t an option. And unfortunately, neither is a 3:00 cup of coffee… not if I want to sleep that night anyway.
Fortunately, I found the solution in a supplement, which boosts my energy naturally with essential minerals.
Caffeine free and filled with ingredients like elderberry and blueberry juice, this daily dose of liquid heaven supports metabolism, enhances energy, and encourages hydration. Simply mix one packet in with a glass of water and enjoy a berry-flavored treat for your mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
I’m telling you, friends. This simple supplement has been a game changer; it single-handedly powers me through my afternoon slump.
p.s. Want to plow through your afternoon slump, too? Give this supplement a try. Use this link and get $10 off your order! You can thank me later. 😉
And there you have it, friends, those are my secrets to increase energy with healthy eating.
Don’t forget to snag your free menu planner & shopping list filled with Mediterranean food choices and take it on your next grocery run. Then, grab my #1 favorite supplement, which naturally revitalizes your energy and helps you power through your busy afternoon. Use the code 5145749 at checkout for $10 off; yes, please!
Let’s do this!
How do you boost your energy? Do you take any supplements? How do you handle physical or mental exhaustion? Have you ever followed a Mediterranean diet? Let me know below!