Today’s Solutions: October 19, 2021

If you want to feel more energized, sleep is crucial—however, it’s not the only factor that contributes to our energy levels. Certified holistic nutritionist Kristin Dahl shares nine ways to fuel our systems every day that have nothing to do with sleep.

Support the lymph system

We can’t necessarily see or feel our lymphatic system—it’s a complex network of fluid-filled nodes, vessels, glands, and organs that go through the entire body. It cleanses us of harmful toxins by carrying toxins away from the tissues and into the bloodstream, where either the liver or kidneys filter them out.

Proper hydration, regular exercise, dry brushing, rebounding, getting massages, and practicing breathwork techniques or breath-focused forms of yoga are all great ways of supporting your lymphatic system to stay energized.

Eat more protein

For steady energy levels throughout the day, start your morning with healthy fats and proteins, include protein in every meal, and don’t go more than four hours without eating, especially if you suffer from any blood sugar imbalances.

Balance out your snacks by combining protein-rich foods like hummus, pesto, guacamole, and hard-boiled eggs with crisp veggies. Also try to eat more complete proteins like quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, spinach, tempeh, hemp seeds, goji berries, and chia seeds. Some combinations that make complete proteins include beans and rice, nuts and grains, nuts and beans, and lentils and rice.

Drink more water

Hydration is essential for regulating all your body systems so that they don’t have to work harder than they need to, meaning you save more energy for yourself.

Proper hydration also allows extra salt to be expelled through your urine and will help stop uncomfortable swelling and bloating, both of which can leave you feeling drained.

Reduce caffeine intake

This may seem counter-intuitive, but caffeine highly stimulates the nervous system, so consuming too much of it will increase cortisol and adrenalin production.

Eliminating or reducing your caffeine intake will help ease general pain, menstrual cramps, as well as reduce internal stress and body tension.

Increase fiber

Your body needs fiber to effectively eliminate excess hormones from your intestines and liver. Cruciferous veggies (also called Brassica veggies) like arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, support liver detoxification and are chock-full of protein and B vitamins.

Cut processed sugar

Our bodies crave sugar when we’re tired and stressed out, but reaching for cookies and processed foods will only end in a blood sugar crash. Instead, choose to munch on natural sources of sugar such as sweet potatoes, avocados, and bananas. These foods are high in antioxidants, fiber, and potassium, which will keep your blood sugar stable (as well as your mood).

Reduce processed salt

Bloating, fatigue, and increased fluid retention are what you have waiting for you if you consume too much processed salt. Avoid processed foods that are high in sodium such as canned soups and packaged snacks, and when seasoning your food, opt for low-sodium, mineral-rich Himalayan salt.

Use herbal supports

Reduce energy-draining inflammation with turmeric.

Drink chamomile tea to relieve muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, and overall tension, and red raspberry leaf to re-mineralize the body. Milk thistle and dandelion tea can also help cleanse your liver, enhance digestion, and support blood-sugar regulation.

Increase your mineral intake

Magnesium is key for preventing mood swings, irritability, poor sleep, headaches, bloating, and fluid retention, so make sure you incorporate magnesium-rich foods in your diet such as pumpkin seeds, dark leafy greens, figs, and bananas.

Iron-rich foods before and during menstruation are especially important to replace the iron that is lost and avoid anemia. Iron-rich foods include beetroot, spinach, sesame seeds, lentils, chickpeas, and olives.

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