If you don’t like them, hide them in a fruit/berry smoothie! Great way to get your children to consume their veggies!
I like veggies but I prefer them raw for health reasons and my favorite way to get raw veggies everyday is in a smoothie! But I don’t particularly enjoy veggie-flavored-smoothies, so fruit and berries are in there with added health benefits and yumminess!
I just posted to my online vasculitis support group a couple days ago how much better I feel when I have my daily nutrient-dense-superfoods smoothie! I had gone a few days without and felt run down. Had a smoothie and felt more energetic, less lethargic, had better mental clarity – and so of course I was happier!
It really makes a difference in how you feel! Smoothies are a great way to get your veggies everyday!
Get a good blender if you don’t have one and make it part of your daily routine!
My smoothie today has all organic, all raw: mixed baby super greens, broccoli, mixed berries, banana, pineapple, carrot, acai, watermelon.
I don’t taste the veggies! Sometimes at first I do, but after marinating for a few minutes, all I taste is fruit and berries.
Note: If your smoothie tastes too green, add more pineapple.
I use mostly frozen organics from Trader Joe’s. Convenient, affordable and produces an ice-cold smoothie!
I buy organic bananas and when they get nicely spotted, I peel and slice them and toss them in a container and freeze them. If you buy them already spotted, they are discounted and perfect for smoothies – and spotted bananas have anti-cancer nutrients that unspotted bananas don’t have! Most people don’t care to eat them once they’re spotted but they are wonderful in smoothies!
So are avocados! They make your smoothie smoother! And add health benefits!
Adding chia seeds and other seeds to smoothies is great, too!
Eat your veggies or drink your veggies! Fruit and berries too! You will feel better!
A superfoods smoothie is the healthiest energy drink there is!
But they are pricey away from home. Investing in your own good blender is a great way to have them everyday and not break the bank.
Other great resources for affordable frozen organics are Grocery Outlet (opening soon near me, can’t wait!), Walmart and Costco.
For fresh produce this time of year, support your local farmers market! It just feels good to shop at them!
If you hate oatmeal, this is the recipe for you! Try it!
I used to hate oatmeal! And I still can’t stand traditionally prepared oatmeal.
But I know how nutritious it is so I was determined to make it palatable. I have an issue with textures and traditional oatmeal is over-cooked in my opinion and the texture is unbearable for me! So I experimented until it was not just bearable, but delicious!
Highly recommended for anyone with a chronic inflammatory condition.
All ingredients are anti-inflammatory!
Note: I’ve included some links to some of the ingredients. They were the best deals I found on some of my favorite brands!
All ingredients have a long list of health benefits – superfoods!
Oats (not quick oats) (preferably thick cut)
Coconut oil (a delicious brand such as Nutiva)
Raw local honey
Other healthy toppings/mix ins of your choice
Barely cook the oatmeal in a small amount of water. I cook it for a minute or two tops. If you have excess water, add more oats or pour water off and cook a few more seconds.
Add other ingredients and enjoy!
My brother’s secret is to cook it in chai tea! But pure water is good to keep it simple.
Just a few of heath benefits in addition to being anti-inflammatory:
Oats: lowers cholesterol, heart health, high in fiber
I’m always tweaking recipes to make them healthier. Some of my goals are to make them:
Anti-inflammatory is a goal as inflammation is a global epidemic that causes a myriad of health issues, including the one I battle. The medications to control inflammation often fall short.
Implementing an anti-inflammatory regimen will do wonders for your health.
Simple is a goal as those of us with serious/chronic illnesses need quick, simple, nutritious foods we can prepare because we often lack the energy and stamina to prepare more involved recipes.
The original recipe was called “Runners’ Pancakes” by athletes, as they boost energy for running. The original recipe was just a banana and an egg. My version includes even more delicious energy boosting, anti-inflammatory, super foods!
Great for breakfast or snacks or a pre-workout snack for athletes!
Good hot or cold!
But don’t eat them too late in the day, as they are energy boosters and may make it hard to fall asleep.
A note about coconut oil: it is not all created equal! Some brands are not yummy! Nutiva is yummy!
A note about eggs: free-range organic eggs are actually very good for you! Yolk and all! I will be blogging about the myths and many health benefits of eggs soon! Watch for it!
A note about cocoa: it’s really good for you! I was so excited to learn this as I LOVE chocolate!
A ripe banana
2 free-range eggs
2-3 T cocoa powder
1/4-1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 T chia seeds
Heat enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of your pan, liberally, over medium heat
Mash banana on a plate with a fork
Add cocoa and mix
Whisk eggs in a bowl
Add banana mixture
Add nuts and seeds and whisk or stir
Drop mixture into hot coconut oil, keeping them small: think silver dollar pancakes! I use a cookie dough scoop: 1-2 scoops per cake
Cook 3-4 minutes and carefully flip, I usually use two spatulas as they are more delicate than traditional pancakes.
Cook 2-3 minutes more
Top with additional coconut oil, sliced bananas, nuts, and seeds. For a decadent treat/dessert, top with Nutiva Hazelnut Spread and raspberries – or top your own favorite toppers!
Just ‘Some’ of the Health Benefits:
Bananas: energy booster, potassium, magnesium
Cocoa: energy booster, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, blood vessel health
Coconut oil: long list of health benefits including anti-inflammatory and increased energy
Walnuts: energy booster, omega-3, anti-inflammatory
Chia Seeds: energy booster, anti-iinflammatory
Eggs: protein, omega-3’s, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, increased energy
The average North American drinks 599 cups of coffee per year.
Coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, and energy drinks, are multi-billion dollar industries because most everyone struggles with energy and reaches for a caffeinated pick-me-up.
As a society, we suffer from a lack of energy.
This is an issue for so many, no matter what their level of health is.
But if you have health issues and/or take prescription medications, they deplete you of vitamins and minerals, often causing crushing fatigue and severely reduced energy.
If you’re not a fan of supplementation, it is very possible to overcome energy issues with some smart food choices and a few other tricks!
If you have health issues and/or take medication, I highly recommend trying everything you can that’s suggested here, including the supplements. Those of us with health issues and medications need the extra nourishment from both food and supplements.
Let’s first talk about what’s causing your lack of energy and/or fatigue.
Emotions such as anger, regret, resentment, and jealousy. Negative emotions make our minds and bodies tense. When we experience these negative emotions, we exert a lot of energy, which can be exhausting and draining. Negative people can drain energy as well.
Heavy Meals and Junk Food
Large meals require our bodies to expend more energy breaking down all that food, which is why most people feel lethargic after a big meal. Junk food, usually in the form of empty calories, simple carbs, and chemicals, causes a quick spike in blood sugar, which makes us feel energized initially, followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, a letdown, which makes us feel drained.
Staying up too late
Energy Drink Warning
Energy drinks can be risky. It is important that you understand what is actually in these products because their labels typically don’t tell you! Energy drinks are cited as a possible cause of thousands of emergency room visits each year, and there are reports of at least ten deaths among people who drank 5-Hour Energy. And five deaths have been associated with the use of Monster energy drinks.
An Ohio State University study compared the glycemic index of typical energy bars with other sources of carbohydrates. The power bars were no better than a candy bar at providing sustained energy.
And now for the good news! Most of these strategies are used by me and they work! I have chronic health issues and I have overcome the extreme fatigue and lack of energy associated with chronic illnesses.
Energy Boosters and Fatigue Busters
1. Stay Hydrated – Drink water and coconut water.
2. Sunshine – in moderation, the sun has health benefits, including increased energy, but an overdose has the opposite effect.
3. Negative ions – available in nature. Go outside, get your nature fix! Open the windows (previous blog topic). Authentic Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps increase negative ions in your home and workplace (buyer beware of fakes).
4. Aromatherapy – diffusing these oils helps combat fatigue and boost energy:
When you’re feeling angry or upset, try deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and positive imagery. Focus on the positive aspects rather than the negative aspects of a situation. In psychology, this is called reframing, which means changing negative feelings or thoughts into positive ones. It takes practice, but it makes a big difference in your level of energy if you do it.
6. Avoid Negative People
7. Use Caffeine to Your Advantage
“As a stimulant, caffeine can increase or decrease your energy level, depending on when and how much of it you consume. Caffeine does help increase alertness, so having a cup of coffee before going to a meeting or starting on a project can help sharpen your mind. But to get the energizing effects of caffeine, you have to use it judiciously. It can cause insomnia, especially when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m. (or noon if you’re caffeine sensitive).” – Harvard University
I’ve always said, “use caffeine medicinally!” and I’ve always advised to not consume too much and not after 2pm! I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to see my advice backed by Harvard!
8. Power Naps and Longer Naps
If you’re in good health, power naps during your lunch break are very beneficial, 10-20 minutes and you’re rejuvenated!
If you have health issues, you’re more than likely going to need longer naps and sometimes more than one. Your immune system and body heal when you sleep so take those naps.
During flares I need one-to-three long naps per day. During times my health issues are ‘quiet,’ I can get away with a power nap or no nap – providing I’m eating and supplementing right!
Cut out junk food/drinks that drain you of energy because they lack nutrients and contain ingredients our bodies don’t recognize and can’t use – and our bodies use a great deal of our energy to try to dispose of. Eat your vegetables! And if you don’t like them, hide them in a smoothie with fruit and berries! Eat more plant based foods and high quality proteins and healthy fats, such as coconut oil and olive oil. Try to eat organic. Specific energy producing foods listed below.
12. Eat Breakfast – suggestions below.
13. Energy Boosting Foods:
Lemon water. Adding lemon to water transforms regular H20 into a natural energy drink that is packed with electrolytes, which are critical for cells to produce energy. (Wash your lemons first).
Fresh fruit and berries. The natural sugar in fruit provides a quick pick-me-up when you’re dragging and helps keep blood sugar levels steady because it’s packed with fiber. They help turn fat into energy. Plus many other health benefits.
Nuts. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts, are high in magnesium, which plays a key role in converting sugar to energy. They’re also filled with fiber to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and protein to stave off hunger. They also contain healthy fats which increase energy. Keep a bag of mixed nuts or trail mix in your purse, backpack, car, or desk drawer to stay energetic all day. Bonus: they are anti-inflammatory!
Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are nutrient dense and pack a punch of energy boosting power. Aztec warriors ate chia seeds for high energy and endurance. They claimed that just 1 spoonful of chia seeds would sustain them for 24 hours. Warriors would consume chia seeds as fuel for battle and running long distances. Chia seed benefits also include promoting healthy skin, heart and digestive system health, building stronger bones and muscles, and more. They have even recently been linked to healing diabetes. Add to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, soups, etc.
Dark chocolate. A little dark chocolate is good for you. It contains the natural stimulant theobromine, similar to caffeine, which boosts your energy and your mood. Lots of other health benefits as well. Must be at least 70% dark chocolate.
Breakfast. Organic oatmeal or Organic whole-grain toast or pancakes, eggs, etc, and fruit/berries/superfoods smoothie. Stay away from GMO grains! They cause health issues while organic grains improve health in most cases. Complex carbohydrates provide 60% of the energy that your body requires, and whole grains are packed with complex carbs (the good kind!), which are full of vitamins and minerals. Eating whole grains can prevent a surge in blood sugar after your next meal, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, which means fewer energy crashes than when you eat refined carbohydrates in sugary or heavily processed snacks. Start your day with organic complex carbs and fruit. Snack on organic whole-grain crackers or granola bars, etc, and fruit for an afternoon boost.
Cardamom. In Asia, this spice is valued for its ability to increase energy and promote blood flow by expanding small blood vessels. So enjoy some chai tea.
Asparagus. This green veggie is high in B vitamins, which naturally support healthy energy levels by turning food into fuel, and it contains plenty of blood sugar-steadying fiber. When it’s in season, add asparagus to your salad at lunch to help get you through the afternoon.
Broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens. Like asparagus, boosts energy. Packed with nutrients that combat fatigue.
Nutrient dense super food smoothies. They can taste purple but can be green or purple! I have recipes! Or just use the fruits and veggies listed above! Veggies can easily be hidden, undetectable in a berry/fruit smoothie, if you prefer. Great way to get kids to consume veggies!
Yerba Maté. A tea-type beverage made from the nourishing leaves of the South American holly tree. Contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, abundant antioxidants. The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society in 1964 concluded “it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Maté in nutritional value” and that yerba mate contains “practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.” It has the strength of coffee, health benefits of tea, euphoria of chocolate. Boosts energy, busts fatigue and it’s good for keeping bones strong and other health benefits. Don’t drink after 2pm. It contains a mild caffeine that does not cause jitters. I prefer the unsweetened options.
Fermented Foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and other fermented foods, help boost and maintain energy levels. The fermentation creates probiotics, which helps you digest food more efficiently. Since the body has to work less to digest, you’re left with more energy.
Added benefits of fermented foods:
Gut Heath! Improved gut health equals improved overall health! Many diseases and health issues are linked to gut health so heal the gut with fermented foods!
Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar improves gut health and ph balance, and so many other health benefits. 1-3 T day can really help overcome fatigue as well as many other health issues! No matter what your level of health is, it’s beneficial.
How to consume raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg’s:
1-3 T/day, diluted in water, juice or Emergen-C. Add raw local honey if needed. I usually add 3 T to several ounces of water and sip throughout the day. But mixing with Emergen-C is the most palatable, IMHO, and it will give you quick energy without a letdown!
14. High Quality Energy-Producing Supplements (organic is best)
High Potency B Complex Vitamins
Vit B-12 in addition to B Complex
Emergen-C: effervescent packed with vitamins, enters your system faster than pill form vitamins for a quicker response in energy. Used by athletes for pregame performance. Also great when fighting a cold! I first learned of it from a woman who had overcome chronic fatigue syndrome using only this supplement when medications failed!
ZipFizz: much like Emergen-C but also contains caffeine.
Before taking any supplements, please use this online drug-supplement interaction checker. I use it all the time. Great resource: