Energy, Energy, Where Art Thou?
I found myself before teaching a yoga class thinking, “I might need some more energy to really lead this class and motivate and be in tune with my students.” Coffee was the first thing I thought of: “Maybe I need an extra cup this morning”.
I caught myself in that trap, looking to some-thing to give me energy, like there was no other way to get it. Which felt a little helpless, as if I couldn’t find some of this “energy” on my own or anywhere else.
Energy: It feels like the never-ending search for more of it, at different times of day, in different forms: I need to drink this, I need to eat that….in order to “get” energy.
The strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.
Where do we get energy?
We get energy not only from the foods we eat (a calorie is a unit of energy supplied by food) but also from the things we do, the people we communicate with, the sleep we get and the daily habits and patterns that take us through each day. We have an ebb and flow that is unique to each of us that we often try to ignore. Like, “why am I so tired at 2pm every day? I’ll just ignore it and go to Starbucks.” This leads to the “coffee cycle”.
What’s the Coffee Cycle?
In moderation, coffee is fine, and despite all the news and reports, you are the expert on you and what makes you tick, what makes you balanced. When you drink coffee, a signal is sent to your adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, to release the hormone cortisol, which initiates the “fight or flight response” in our nervous system. When cortisol is continually being released by drinking an excess of coffee to keep you going, this can lead to adrenal fatigue. This stressed out state that our body is in makes other functions, like digestion, a lower priority, which can lead to inflammation and weight gain. Refined carbohydrates, something else we often reach for to fuel us through the day, also stresses out the adrenal glands.
What is draining you in the first place?
Is it your job, relationship, friendships, routine? If you feel like you are in some sort of rut, the typical go to fixes of food and drink is not going to fix your situation. They are really like a band-aid, like a leaky faucet that never really gets fixed, just patched up for the moment. Go deeper, write it down, think it out. This is actually your "Primary Food" -things you don't eat but feed you or drain you.
Seek Out Non-Food Energy
Think of the last time you were naturally energized. It may have been when you were nervous about a work presentation, when you started something new-first day on a job, first time stepping into a yoga studio or exercise class that felt way out of your league. Can you try something new today to stimulate your mind? Talk to someone new (or even an old friend) or strike up a conversation that motivates you, pet your dog, play with your kids, take a walk outside, try a new food or restaurant, take a different route than you usually do. Stepping away from your routine can be a little uncomfortable, but it can ignite other parts of your mind that are relying on a boost.
Contrary to our culture, one of the best ways to get more energy is to take breaks, to pause during the day, do yoga, meditate and take deep breaths. Your sleep from the previous night will also affect how you feel during the day. I often hear people “humble bragging” about how little sleep they get and how much coffee they drink, but not so often do people boast about how many breaks or naps they take during the day. Hmmm…
Foods for Energy
There are plenty of options of foods that give your body the fuel it needs. This list is essentially a list of whole foods that can keep you going through the day.
Fatty Fish: Salmon & Tuna
Nuts & Nut butters
The list goes on. Find what works for you and seek a balance of good sleep, breaks between productivity and work, hanging out with your friends, loving your job, engaging in activities that fuel your soul and yes, absolutely enjoy your cup of coffee!
Plan for the New Year Now….
Are you curious about how to harmonize your health goals? How to fit wellness into your busy schedule? The New Year is a great place to start fresh.
DETOX DAY- Reset with Ayurveda, Saturday, January 11th, 2-5pm @ The Vastu Yoga, Verona, NJ
w/ Jill Rodriguez & Kanan Kapila
In this 3 hour mini-retreat, you will:
Learn the essentials of Ayurveda
Discover your unique energy type or Doshas, unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental qualities.
Energy Type Meditations, simple and effective for balancing the ups and downs of every day life
Specific Yoga for each energy type
Weight Management, eat right foods at right times
5 Day Ayurvedic Meal Plan for Seasonal Detox with recipes, grocery list and hands on meal prep
Food Demo with Tasting and Refreshment
Ayurvedic Spice Kits - Create your Own
Click the link below to sign up or go to www.vastuyoga.com/workshops
I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.