Functional Favorites Email for March: 10 ways to increase your energy!
Join the newsletter here: https://www.littleblackbagmedicine.com/functional-favorites
This month is all about ENERGY
But that doesn't mean let's just blame adrenal fatigue.....
What are the root causes for your exhaustion and how can you support your health?
Are you eating enough food?
Most women I talk to skip breakfast or eat breakfast around 11am or 2pm, binge all evening, wake up sick and start all over again.
Hear me now when I say you need to eat food to have energy! Your body is running on fumes and you are destroying your hormones and your brain. It takes at least 6 weeks for your brain to trust you again when you start eating calories and in the right timing.
Start by tracking your calories and making sure you are getting ENOUGH! Then adjust your day and your food so you can have breakfast within one hour of waking up. Keep it simple with a protein shake if you have to, but please eat breakfast!
Are you eating the right food?
Some basic food rules:
Never eat fruit alone, always pair with a protein or fat (no apples alone for breakfast)
Add veggies to every meal!
Add protein to every meal!
Check out the blood type diet for specific diet styles that will fit your body best.
Don't be afraid to experiment with your foods to see which ones your body prefers.
Are you drinking enough water?
The general rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces. If you weight 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces.
My trick is to use my 40oz water bottle and make sure I drink at least 2 bottles. That way I'm not refilling constantly and forgetting which bottle I am on.
Coffee DOES NOT COUNT and will actually dehydrate you. I know, I know.....
Your Morning Routine
This is the most important one for everyone and probably the most difficult to do.
1. Do not hit snooze! When you wake up and your adrenals and brain are ready to go, snoozing and sleeping more will turn off that signal making it harder and harder to wake up.
2. Get out of bed and *ideally* look out the window and get some sunlight on your eyes. This will help your brain start creating the right hormones at the right time to help increase your energy and your mood.
3. Get your bathroom needs taken care of and then do 3-5 minutes of brisk activity: jumping jacks, pushups, squats. Something that gets your heart rate up just a little. This will also help start up your adrenals in a healthy way to keep you going.
4. Breakfast time. Don't skip it! And don't forget your water.
5. Can you skip the coffee and tea? Trust me, the further away you get from caffeine the more energy you will have because your blood sugar will be balanced and happy. Try it for one week!
Move your body
My friend says "exercise is a lot like sex, you don't want to do it but afterward you are glad you did and then you want to do it again!"
(If you feel this way and your libido is down the tubes, call me)
But she is right! The more you move your body the better your body will feel. You are increasing your neurotransmitters, moving your lymph and your blood, and improving your digestion.
You can get to the gym and do your thing or start small and focus just on movement.
Can you do a walking meeting on the phone at work? Can you do 10 minutes of pushups and squats 3 times a day? How can you fit small bursts of movement into your day?
The more you move your body, the more energy you will have, and the more you will crave movement.
Message me if you want the links to the programs I use at the gym too :)
How long can we make this list with systems and issues that can affect your energy.....
Thyroid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Iron, LDH, white blood cells, liver enzymes are all great to test in blood.
Plus a saliva test for adrenal function, cortisol, and melatonin
Plus a stool test for parasites, candida, and bacteria
Plus a nutrition evaluation for everything else!
Don't just blame your thyroid, let's get to underlying cause!
Are you taking the right supplements?
First, testing will help you determine what you are missing and what you should be taking for additional nutritional support.
BUT if you are taking random supplements (especially adrenal supplements) they may be making you feel worse. We assume that if you are fatigued you have adrenal fatigue, but the truth is that the first stages of adrenal dysfunction are an INCREASE in function, but the symptoms look the same. Licorice can harm your adrenals depending on what stage of exhaustion you are in.
If you have a genetic anomaly like MTHFR then taking the wrong B vitamin can cause damage to your cells so we have to make sure you are taking the right supplements.
Plus chemical based supplements will deplete your energy as they reduce your mineral and vitamin storage in your bones and muscles. Focus on whole food vitamins like Life Long Vitality from doTERRA!
Are you getting enough sleep or the right type of sleep?
I know you aren't. Please, please please, kick the dog out of your room, turn on your CPAP, and go to bed early.
Stop scrolling social media at least one hour before bed, social media has been proven to mess with your cortisol and dopamine and will affect your sleep. This doesn't include the blue light that affects your melatonin and sleep.
Try the app Sleep Cycle to track your sleep and how much you are moving at night.
You know the rules to good sleep, we just have to follow them:
1. eat during the day to keep your blood sugar consistent
2. Turn off the TV and phone a few hours before bed
3. Go to bed on time to get enough sleep
4. Keep the room dark and cool
5. Limit alcohol and snacks at night
Sit back and focus on your posture right now. Are your shoulders up into your ears and is your back hunched over?
Take some time in your day to sit up straight, stretch your neck and shoulders, move your head around. Take a few deep breaths in. Your body loves oxygen and so does your brain! Place a hand on your belly and feel your breath go down and your belly raise. Flood your cells with fresh air and take a break from stress.
Are you looking forward to your day, your environment, your relationships, your work or purpose?
Or are you dragging yourself through the day?
Can you reframe how you feel about your day and the difference you are making in the world?
A study was done on hospital janitors and their life satisfaction. Those that went to work, did their job, got their paycheck, and went back home were not very satisfied with their life. Those who took the time to interact with patients, doctors, and nurses, and viewed their job as essential to a clean and healthy hospital, and as an essential piece of creating a healing environment for patients had a much higher level of life satisfaction.
No matter your job, your work, or your situation how can you view your day as a passion or a way that you are contributing to the world and others around you?