Building your empire and breaking all the rules. You know, that everyday working girl superhero life.
But a superhero needs epic energy for even the most mundane tasks.
Sometimes it’s a lot of pressure, and all you want to do is watch Netflix and eat pizza. As a registered dietitian, many women I meet are women going through that same struggle—the constant threat of burn-out.
On the days when you just can’t take time to stop, here are my eight energy-boosting tips to help you get through the day.
Nutrition Rule #1: Always eat breakfast. This will set the tone for the rest of your day. Include protein for sustainable energy, and avoid sugary treats so your blood sugar and energy levels don’t crash later in the day.
It doesn’t have to be something fancy, as long as it’s something healthy!
Quick and easy go-tos include: greek yogurt with nuts and honey, protein smoothies made of unsweetened almond milk, protein powder and fresh berries, healthy energy bars, high fiber cereal with coconut milk and sliced bananas or even pre-prepped hard-boiled eggs from the night before.
Breakfast is your new bae. Never miss your daily date.
No matter how strong you are, you’re statistically likely to be iron-deficient. So many women are lacking in this key nutrient, especially women between the ages of 19 and 50. We need at least 18 milligrams of iron every single day in order to maintain healthy levels and to feel our best.
When your iron is low, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells that makes it possible for those cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
Feeling weak, tired or irritable? You might just have low iron levels.
The solution? Pump iron straight from your fork—to your face!
You can get plenty of iron sans supplements. Indulge in a healthy and high iron energy-boosting power salad for lunch. Think grass-fed beef, chickpeas, lentils, and pumpkin seeds tossed with dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard or romaine lettuce!
Fruit is nature’s candy. Mother Earth gave us these treats to satiate our flavor palate with instant energy in the form of natural sugar.
Eating a wide variety of fruits, including super fruits, increases your nutrient and antioxidant intake.
The higher your antioxidant and nutrient intake, the less run down you will feel.
So incorporate superfoods into your diet for often-immediate effects.
Some of my favorite antioxidant super fruits include acai berries, pomegranates, goji berries, mangosteens and noni fruit.
Throw some on top of greek yogurt or even gluten-free oatmeal for a sweet and filling mid-afternoon treat.
One of my favorite treats of all time is dark chocolate covered goji berries. They taste so good without being bad.
Adding nuts to your diet keeps you from going…nuts!
Low levels of magnesium can cause bad anxiety, heart palpitations and fatigue because your body can’t easily convert sugar into energy.
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I grab a handful of raw nuts like cashews, almonds or hazelnuts for a hit of healthy fat and mellow magnesium.
Nuts are also high in protein and fiber, which makes them a well-rounded snack no matter how you’re feeling.
Keep a bag of mixed nuts or trail mix in your purse or desk drawer to grab any time you need a food fix.
If you’re anything like me and can binge on nuts squirrel-style, pre-pack 100-calorie packs of nuts at home.
OK, I’m looking out for your health, but I’m not trying to deprive you!
Actually, I want you to eat chocolate, especially when you’re feeling that mid-day melancholia.
Dark chocolate has so many of the aforementioned energy-boosting attributes including antioxidants and magnesium. It’s perfect if you’re feeling simultaneously munchie and moody.
It also has a natural stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine that boosts both your energy and your mood!
Max out on go-for-it goodness by eating dark chocolate that is 70% or higher to keep your blood sugar levels low.
Sensitive to all sugar? Shave some raw cacao over a decaf almond milk latte or into your morning oatmeal. Get ready for that natural high!
Our bodies are made up mostly of water, but many women walk around massively dehydrated. Issues like depression, anxiety, fatigue and even hunger can sometimes all come down to dehydration.
If you think about how most women love to consume beverages, it makes sense.
Women love beverages. We’re double-fisting pressed juices and cold-pressed coffee. While all those luxurious beverages have tiny amounts of water (and are honestly better than no hydration at all), we often forget our necessity for the real stuff.
When you start to feel tired (or hungry), remember this hard and fast hydration rule: drink water.
Dehydration causes your body to conserve energy by decreasing blood circulation. This decrease deprives your muscles of oxygenated blood, making you super fatigued. Even mild dehydration can make you feel tired.
Strive for drinking three liters of water a day. It sounds like a lot, but imagine having one glass of water for every waking hour of the day. That’s nothing!
Give yourself a little water break once an hour. It’s a good time to just stretch and take a breather, too.
Research has shown that both information overload and pushing our brains too hard can seriously deplete energy.
Thankfully, the National Institutes of Mental Health found that sometimes all it takes is a 60-minute power nap to reset.
This nap can not only reverse the mind-numbing effects of information overload, but help us to better retain that information.
Working harder is not always working smarter.
Oh, and if you don’t have a whole hour, try for an easy 20 minutes or close your eyes and do a 20-minute guided meditation. Your brain and body will feel refreshed even from a little bit of loving.
Everyone is different, but for most women, exercise doesn’t make you tired—it literally creates energy in your body.
Just like the average she-ro when challenged, the body develops more energy by becoming stronger.
Science says it’s true!
A study by University of Georgia researchers discovered it was mostly inactive people who complained of fatigue. Energy could be easily be increased by at least 20% while fatigue could be decreased 65% by habitual, low-intensity exercise.
Your exercise can be as simple as walking your dog for 30 minutes in the morning, or just going for a post-work stroll to happy hour drinks instead of hitching a ride with a co-worker.
However you get your energy levels up, always remember that the best way to keep your energy in check is to take a break.
Settle in and have a scrolling sesh on your smartphone. May I suggest The Farah Effect for some light but educational reading?
thumbnail photo on previous page: Niki Csanyi