15 Ways to Have More Energy (Part 2)

15 Ways to Have More Energy

Here are three more ways to have more energy (Missed the first three? Find them here.):

4. Eat Well

Food is your body’s fuel. If you’re mostly fueling yourself with donuts, candy bars, and carbonated beverages, that is probably the reason you’re feeling lethargic.

I recently read Energy Explosion (a quick and very practical read, by the way) and I loved the author’s encouragement to start each meal with protein and produce. Fill up on good fresh fruits and veggies and protein first, before eating sugars, fats, and carbs. This will not only give you more energy, but it will probably also help you more easily shed any extra pounds you’re carrying around.

I’ve found it helpful to make raw fruits and veggies really accessible. If I have a big bag of carrot sticks pre-washed and chopped in the fridge, fresh fruit already cut up, and eggs already hard-boiled, I have a lot fewer excuses for not grabbing a healthful snack or for not filling up on good foods at lunchtime instead of reaching for breads or sweets.

It’s completely okay to have some breads and sweets, but make sure that your diet is primarily made up of protein, fruits, and veggies. I find it helpful to track what I eat on SparkPeople to help me make sure I’m eating a balanced diet.

5. Take Vitamins

I used to be one of those people who felt like you could get all the nutrition your body needs from food alone. But my husband encouraged me to start taking a high-quality multi-vitamin and fish oil on a daily basis and I’ve been amazed at the difference that I’ve felt.

I encourage you to try taking a high-quality multi-vitamin for three months and see if you feel any difference. If you don’t, at least you know you’re not hurting anything to be getting some extra vitamins and minerals. :)

In addition, I would recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor to have routine bloodwork done to see if there are other vitamins or nutrients you’re deficient in. It’s very possible that your lack of energy is due to anemia or some other vitamin deficiency you’re experiencing and simply adding some additional vitamins or supplements might make a major difference.

6. Refill Your Tank on a Regular Basis

In Leading on Empty, the author talks about making a list of things that refill your tank and things that deplete your tank. And then he encourages you to look at your week and make sure that you aren’t lop-sided in your activities (i.e. only engaging in activities that deplete you and never taking time for things that energize you).

What will energize you versus deplete will be different for each and every person. Since I tend to be more of an introvert, I’m energized and refueled by quiet: reading a good book, watching a movie with my husband, writing, or even cleaning.

I also find that a change in scenery can do wonders for me. Getting out of the house and going grocery shopping, taking the children to the park, chucking the schedule for an afternoon and playing board games or meeting a friend for a playdate, can often be just the ticket I need to recharge my batteries.

Make a list of things that refill your tank and then make sure you are engaging in those activities on a regular basis. If not, you’re going to run around trying to survive on fumes — and that’s a surefire way to constantly feel zapped of energy.

…To be continued tomorrow.

photo courtesy of BigStock

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Comments

  1. says

    I agree on making raw fruits and veggies really accessible. That has really helped us, too. I often have raw fruit and veggies as a side dish for dinner, too. Easy, simple, and healthy. I also like having nuts, like raw almonds around for snacks.

    I’ll have to give the vitamins a try. It’s really interesting that you actually noticed a difference. And I’ll have to think about the refueling the tank idea. I know a date night always helps me feel refreshed.

    • says

      I’ve found that having raw fruits and veggies readily accessible also means that my children are much more apt to snack on them, too!

  2. Amy says

    Where do you buy good quality vitamins without spending a fortune I have always wanted to take bee alive products but don’t feel like I can afford them. Thanks

    • says

      We usually always buy Vitamins online — either through Amazon or Vitacost. Vitacost has the $10 off $10+ new customer coupon that can help you get a really good deal the first time around to see if vitamins work for you. I’d wait until they have a special shipping offer to make it an even better deal.

      • says

        Same with my kids! In fact, the more I eat the raw stuff the more they want it as well. I couldn’t believe it when I started eating snap peas and my kids started devouring them with me like pop corn! It sure does make me feel like a good mommy ;)

    • says

      I know you’re not asking me about this, but thought I might share what I’ve found as well. I usually order from Swanson, which is similar to VitaCost. I stay away from the Swanson brands, but have found that their price is great on products from other companies.

      A vitamin that I have learned to love is the OlaLoa powdered vitamins. I don’t have to swallow pills and I feel good on them. There are a few other brands that I’ve tried but I felt so horrible the first 30 minutes after taking them.

      Doing a quick Google search for a certain brand works well at giving you options to choose from.

      • says

        Thanks so much for the further recommendations! Does anyone order vitamins from iHerb.com? I’ve heard good things about them, too.

        • says

          Yes, I’ve ordered from them before.

          Also All-StarHealth.com is another option I check when doing price comparisons.

        • bobcat says

          I use iherb. I love them! It’s slightly more expensive vs. Vitacost (the actual price of some items), but you still save a lot vs. buying at the store. The best part of Iherb is the “freebies” section. You can also buy soaps, health foods, etc at iherb. I like their nondairy chocolate bars. Another advantage of iherb is that the products normally have TONS of reviews.

    • Lana says

      Amy, my natural medicine doc recommends many Nature’s Way brand products. They are very good and very reasonably priced on Vitacost. I tried to look on Vitacost to check for a natire’s Way multivitamin but the site is having problems.

      • says

        I also learned about Nature’s Way’s online reward program from MSM a few months ago and joined that. You log in and enter the codes on your bottles to earn points, which you can redeem for coupons, among other rewards. For 500 points you can get a $6 or $7 coupon. They also have $1 coupons for members, which I just discovered today when I entered my newly purchased vitamin code.

  3. Jennifer says

    What brand vitamin are you taking? Do you consider Centrum a high-quality multivitamin?

    • says

      I’m using Optimum Nutrition right now. My husband has used this brand for quite awhile and researched out the women’s multi and felt it was a good quality one for me to use.

      • says

        I was curious too, about your brand of vitamins. Are they very big? Swallowing pills is a struggle for me. :( I’ve wanted to take a multivitamin for quite a while, but I procrastinate because I’m not sure what to get and because of the whole swallowing them thing!

        • says

          Fish Oil pills are usually pretty large — but you can take it in liquid form, too.

          If you struggle with taking pills, you could look into gummy bear vitamins… I always had to take those when pregnant because of my gag reflex. They actually make some pretty high-quality ones for adults nowadays. And yes, it sounds silly. But hey, if it allows you to take pills and keep them down, that works for me!

          • bobcat says

            Carlson makes some fish oil capsules that are tiny. Most of theirs are large, but I have bought them once or twice where they are tiny, like a Vit E capsule. This is the concentrated DHA only… http://www.carlsonlabs.com/p-248-mini-dha-gems.aspx The ones I bought were actual cod liver oil or fish oil, not the DHA only, so you may want to call the company and ask or check Vitacost. I was looking on iherb and couldn’t tell the size from the pictures.

            If you have trouble swallowing pills, check for multivitamins in *capsules* as opposed to tablets. They do make them, but they are often more expensive or you have to take like 4 to get the same effect (the bottle will tell you how many to take). http://www.iherb.com/search?kw=multivitamin%20capsules%20women

          • Charity Crawford says

            hard pill form vitamins are not good on your body because they are not totally broken down during digestion and only a portion of the nutrients in them is absorbed by your body. I read an article about a lady who had a stomach x-ray and they found a bunch of undigested pills in her stomach. You can get slot of good quality vitamins in liquid form.

    • Brittany says

      I’ve been wondering about what brand to buy as well. I heard that Centrum doesn’t break down or doesn’t get absorbed properly…

      I also read that you can float your vitamins in water and a little vinegar and they should completely dissolve. If junk floats on the top, they use saw dust as a filler (found this with Kroger brand). If junk sits on the bottom, they use sand as a filler (found this with Walmart brand).

      Not sure about all this… but its just what I heard…

      • says

        I use herbalogica’s brand vitamins because they have no soy or fillers in them, they’re all herb based (some are organic), and they’re gluten free. I’m super intolerant to most things in regular brand vitamins so herbalogica has pretty much saved my life. Hope it’ll help ya’ll too.

      • Lana says

        You should really stick with a capsule for vitamins because those hard pressed togother tablets are less effective. They are so much easier to swallow too.

  4. Denise says

    I’m glad to hear you love SparkPeople too! I’ve been using it to help myself learn portion control and learn how to eat a more balanced diet. I’ve always eaten fairly healthy but now I’m better at balancing fat/calories/carbs/protein!

    I especially love that the whole program is free too!

  5. Meredith says

    I just started to stop drinking sodas last week because I have been so tired. My husband said it was my problem. It’s been a problem for a long time. I am at one a day now though!!!!! I also keep a bowl of hard boiled eggs and a lot of fresh fruit available in the fridge. My husband works for a snack food company so it’s easy for me to grab an unhealthy snack instead of something healthy. Great tips!

    • says

      Way to go on stopping drinking sodas — that’s a big step and I’m proud of you! I hope you reap some really amazing benefits from it!

      • Meredith says

        Health and money benefits! We were spending 10 dollars a week on sodas! My water bill actually went down when we started drinking more water. Who knew!

  6. Carrie says

    I agree with checking with your doctor on vitamin deficiencies. I was having a horrible time for months with a lack of energy. I could sleep all night and still wake up exhausted. I had to take naps to even function. At work, I would catch myself nodding off, which wouldn’t be a big deal, but I was the one taking the minutes! After several doctor appointments, my doctor finally listened to me and scheduled all kinds of tests. I had a bad Vitamin D deficiency. What a difference the supplements have made.

    • Sarah says

      Having three kids in four years and nursing them all for a year really did a number on my vitamin and mineral levels. I had a lot of deficiencies and also found that my body was intolerant to wheat so I was not even digesting a lot of my food very well. I have a B complex , iron, vitamin D, magnesium, and when they are all in check my energy levels are much better. So glad that I found our naturopathic doctor too in order to help dig into my energy instead of my regular doctor just saying, “well you do have a lot of young kids.”

    • says

      I’ve heard from so many people that Vitamin D has been so helpful to them. I’m so glad your doctor was able to help you feel more rested!

  7. says

    I’m highly enjoying this series. I need to think about what refreshes me. I love to read but I tend to do that while nursing the baby so it isn’t exactly relaxing. I do know I love going out in the canoe with my husband but the canoe is busted. And hard to do with a 4 month old. :)

    I also know I need to eat better and exercise more consistently. Helps that our garden is started to produce quite a bit. The baby sleeps mostly through the night (8p-4a then a nap until 7:30a). I really shouldn’t be as tired and lethargic as I am.

    • says

      Sitting down and writing out a list of what refreshes me really helped me to think through what *actually* refreshes me — and to realize that I was lop-sided on doing too many things that depleted me. I definitely encourage you to try it!

      And yay for your baby sleeping through the night, mostly!!! If you’ve had months of your baby not sleeping through the night, that could be a reason why you’re tired and lethargic: your body has a lot of lost sleep to make up for. If at all possible, I’d encourage you to try going to bed soon after you put your baby down and then not getting up until at least 6 a.m. or later — do that for at least a few weeks to see if you can help you body catch up on some of the sleep it has lost over the last number of months.

      • says

        Can we do a series on how to get your baby to sleep better. I have a six month old who still wakes 3 times a night! I am a mess!

        • says

          I’ve never had babies who were amazing sleepers, but the book “The No Cry Sleep Solution” was really helpful to me when Silas had spent months waking up 3-4 times a night as a baby.

          {Hugs!} to you and may you soon find a solution that works for you and your baby!

        • says

          I have no idea how I got so blessed. She’s been sleeping mostly through the night since she was 2 month old. She hardly naps though so I guess she makes up for it.

          Hope your baby starts to sleep better soon!

        • Emily says

          “The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer” (and/or “On Becoming Babywise”) for getting babies to sleep through the night. Both my babies slept through the night by 3 months.

  8. Marie says

    What kind of fish oil do you take? Is it a pill or liquid and does it make you burp? I’ve also heard fish oil pill are large. any input would be great.

      • Julia says

        I’ve also heard that taking fish oil at night helps and then you don’t burp all day.

        • Amy says

          I store my fish oil in the freezer and take it frozen. This get rid of the fish burps. One of my friend’s Dr told her to do this.

          • Casey B says

            Ditto!! Highly recommend. Freeze your fish oil and take right before you eat food. This helps reduce the fish burps! :)

    • says

      There are two types of fish oil pills by Nature Made at Walmart. One has a special coating so that you don’t burp fish oil. I think they now even say “burp less” on them!

  9. says

    I agree with everything you said Crystal. We truly are what we eat! If we constantly eat junk, we will feel like junk. Here are some of my tips:

    *Stress & Tension can be harmful! Especially if you are the over achiever-everything-must-be-perfect-person. I like to breathe deeply if I feel stress and tension arise. Just even sitting for a bit to breathe deeply can really help chase away stress & tension.

    * Positivity vs. Negativity.Thinking positive thoughts and not surmising situations can make a difference in how we feel as well. Looking for the “good” in situations and forgiving others than holding a grudge.We can’t feel well if we are so negative. It’s been proven that many people who have or had cancer, heart attack’s, etc had a lot of negativity, stress, or tension in their lives. I don’t believe this can apply to every situation, but it is something to think about.

    Thanks for all you do Crystal~ I know your tips will help a lot of people out. We need more help than hindrance in our lives. Hope you have a sweet summer day! Mrs.Clark

    • Andrea says

      I agree that your thinking really affects your energy levels. Since I’ve been able to retrain my thinking patterns away from anxiety and self pity I have felt a ton more energy. Optimism and gratitude will do wonders for your energy levels. A cheerful heart is a continual feast.:)

    • Rachael says

      I tend to get really stressed at work, so I’ve started going to a Pilates class twice a week at lunch time. This really helps me stay calm on my most stressful days. The class is offered through my employer, so it’s very inexpensive, too!

  10. says

    Enjoying this series! I have a 7 mo. who just got over having whooping cough and now only 2 weeks later has a nasty cold and isn’t sleeping well again. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do to boost my energy level and these ideas of yours, while not totally new, are just what I need. A good kick in the pants if you know what I mean. :)

    And thanks for sharing what brand of vitamin you are using. I was wondering too. I always feel overwhelmed when it comes to all the different brands. I worked in a pharmacy for 10 yrs. and the pharmacists used to say that all vitamins are equal. However, I’ve come to believe differently.

    Blessings!

  11. Natalie S says

    Thank you so much for this series!! All of these tips have been great reminders and inspiration to get back on track. I have felt like I was dragging lately with the kids out of school, and these suggestions are a great help. I had put off exercising regularly because I said I was too busy with the kids, but I made it one of my priorities the last 2 days and already feel better. Thanks again!

    • says

      You are so welcome! Thanks for your kind encouragement — I hope you can continue on with your exercise plan! Way to go!

  12. christie says

    Endorphins, baby! The world around us can bring us so much anxiety and stress. This can put your body in a “fight or flight” mode. We can release some endorphins ,which counteract the “fight or flight” stress mode. Your body starts to release endorphins after 20 min of exercise. You must be moving at a good pace. I did some research ( Love Google) and found that I needed to walk at a pace of 1 mile in 15 minutes to have the proper heart rate. I try to do this for 20 – 30 minutes. I want to get a Tshirt to wear to the gym that says, ” I’m just here for the endorphins”. I use my walking time as a quiet time in my head. I say positive affirmations. It is enjoyable. It doesn’t feel like a “chore” to exercise. I don’t think about weight loss or anything like that. I just clear my head, have some quiet time and get my free feel good endorphins!

    • bobcat says

      Yes, I exercise to clear my head too. I actually feel the best when I do it alone, as opposed to with a friend. I can’t handle listening to people’s negative thought patterns while trying to clear MY head! So I kindly decline exercise invitations with friends. And no cell phones! I try to focus on the blue sky, the green of the trees, the smell of the wind. It REALLY relaxes me.

      It’s better to look at a brisk walk or run as “me time” than “to loose weight.” Because the former is treating yourself, the latter is moreso stress-inducing and focuses on what you don’t like about yourself.

  13. says

    Eating well really helps me to feel better and have more energy. We try to have an assortment of raw and cooked veggies each day, along with some fruit. We also try to keep a good balance of activities and rest time which makes a big difference with my kids.
    It really does make a difference in how we feel.

  14. Christy says

    Only thing I’d be cautious of is vitamins. Because of them being man made there are more and more reports on how they can do damage to your body and not help.When you eat food that has natural Vitamin E or something in it there is more to it than they can put in a vitamin and you need all the components of that vitamin for it to work properly in your body. Plus I’ve heard doctors even say if you are not deficient and prescribed a certain vitamin stay away. I’m not an expert, but I’ve learned quite a bit through some experiences so definitely do some major research and just be careful. I would agree to definitely look at better brands, not something from walmart.

    • Andrea says

      That’s a very good point. I’m iron deficient. The first thing the doctor recommended was pills, instead of looking at my diet to see what I could be doing better. I’d much rather eat more spinach, broccoli and dark-meat chicken than rely on a pill that upsets my stomach.

      • lyss says

        Yes, they say that most iron in supplements is not absorbed. Blackstrap molasses is a really good source, too. Mixing a spoonful in a bit of milk is actualy pretty good. And if you’re really deficient, you may want to look into herbal sources in addition to foods, if you haven’t already. I know dandelion is super good for anemia.

    • says

      I totally agree! And they can be dangerous in large quantities. I read Vitamin A taken by pregnant women in large quantities in pill form can be dangerous to the baby.

  15. Melissa says

    The book mentioned, Energy Explosion, is free from then Amazon Lending Library if you own a Kindle and have Amazon Prime.

  16. Andrea says

    B-12 is totally necessary for me. I feel so tired that I am constantly taking naps all day if I don’t. I am going to the doctor soon to see if I really need B-12 shots instead of just pills. But I know B-12 helps me function like a “normal” person.

  17. bobcat says

    I took a Prenatal Vitamin that I had sitting around the other night, and 4 hours later, I noticed I had more energy (and I had even forgotten I took the vitamin… had to look back like, “what happened, why do I feel better???”)! Of course it was inconvienent because I took it in the evening though. Will have to change that! But there was nothing stimulating in there, it is just nutrients!!!! So yes, they can work. The brand I used was RAINBOW LIGHT. I highly recommend them. I also like Carlson Fish Oil. It helps my anxiety and gives me a sense of calmness.

  18. says

    I would research the fish oil supplement. In recent studies I found in popular magazines, the fish oil was basically destroyed through the digestive tract, so that when the control group and experimental group were tested – the scientists found no difference. This is true though for a lot of vitamins. Nutrition is still in its infancy in a way. We are still discovering that certain foods need to be combined or cooked to optimize their nutritional potential. Cooking many vegetables in boiling water will cause vitamins that are water soluble to leach into the water and out of the food. Calcium is best absorbed when combined with magnesium. There is a lot more… but that is some of it. I do think multivitamins can be a good thing – but to actually use them to their full potential still may need to be explored.

    • says

      I do take vitamin D! A recent study found that the experimental group who took Vitamin D at the 1000 iu level (currently USDA only says you need 400, but many people disagree) actually got sick significantly less than the control group.