You may feel like you can’t summon up the energy to get up and go, you feel tired and lethargic all the time, or you don’t feel like you can face the world. If so, this revitalising plan is for you. In as few as three days, you can reinvigorate your body, improve your energy levels and bring back that enthusiasm that seemed lost.
The energy process
Energy is created in the body from food. When we eat, our bodies break down ingested food into glucose, which is the main sugar that we use for fuel. It can do this from any food: cakes, rare steaks, spinach. Healthy or unhealthy, the body can use food as energy. However, its favourite sources are carbohydrate foods like fruit, vegetables, bread pastas and rice, because these foods can be broken down, it is combined with oxygen. This ‘burns’ the sugar and turns it into a unit of energy called adenosine triphosphate, which the cells then use store and use when they need it.
In a healthy, fatigue-free body, this process works without any problems and, as a result, we spend each day fully functioning and raring to go. Sometimes this energy process breaks down, however, and this is when we start to feel tired.
What goes wrong?
Many things can interfere with the energy process, but these are the four main problems:
1. You don’t have enough nutrients to trigger energy conversion.
2. You don’t have enough blood-sugar to produce energy quickly and cleanly.
3. You don’t have enough oxygen in the system.
4. You don’t have enough mitochondria – the constituents of cells that turn glucose into fuel
The solution – high energy plan
By following the energising plan you will boost your body and feel reinvigorated. Although it is given here as a daily plan, you should follow the plan for at least three days. Doing this will double up your energy levels in a long weekend, however one week is the optimum time to follow the programme
If you do not enjoy waking up early, try using a daylight alarm. This will at least wake your body up more gently. The level of light is slowly raised in the room, waking you up slowly and calmly.
Take Supplements one multivitamin supplement (Earthsource Wholefood multiple formula), one probiotic supplement (Advanced acidophilus) and one capsule of fish oil (Fish Oil Concentrate) (or if your vegetarian one evening primrose oil) with a large glass of water. This is the first of eight glasses of water you will drink over the entire day – aim roughly for one glass an hour. The supplements will not only provide nutrients but will also aid your digestion, maximising what you can absorb from food. Leave half an hour between these and eating.
Gentle stretching can be done outside or at least facing a window, which adds to your energy banks because sunlight stops production of the sleep- inducing hormone melatonin
Body-Brush Using a natural-bristled brush with medium-hard bristles, brush each are of your body with long, firm (but not hard) strokes. Always start with the soles of your feet, because stimulating these actually starts the lymph flowing. Brush smoothly 4-5 times, always in the direction of the heart, moving around the whole body part. Do this around your calves, then your thighs and hips. Now do your arms, chest, torso and back. Finally, brush your stomach. Once you’ve finished, shower or at least rinse yourself well. As well as obviously cleaning the skin, the repeated motion of brushing or scrubbing the body causes the speed of the circulation to increase (helping flush toxins out of the system faster), and this is also believed to promote lymph flow.
Get your breakfast B vitamins B Vitamins are vital to the energy levels of your body, and breakfast foods are an excellent source. For best results, choose a bowl of organic wholegrain cereal with oat/rice/soya/dairy milk. Alternatively rye toast or spelt with sugar free fruit jam or honey. Enjoy fruit of your choice with these. If you’re used to having a coffee in the morning skipping it will make you more tired. Try a natural dandelion coffee or another type of natural substitute found in your health food store
‘De-Junk’ your day. Energy is not just sapped physically form our bodies, it is also sapped mentally by stress, worry and feelings of being overwhelmed. Whether you work in an office or are busy at home, clearing out physical and mental clutter should be your first job. Tidy your desk, sort out any bills, or any other necessary paperwork that you really don’t want to do. When this is finished it will feel like a weight has been lifted fro you and your energy will start to soar.
Time for a healthy snack Not only does eating little and often keep the blood-sugar levels in the body stable, but it also boosts energy in other ways. Digesting foods uses energy, and meals that are too large can fatigue the body. Healthy snacks, such as fruit, take the edge off your appetite and stop you overeating at meals.
Eat a good lunch This meal should boost your oxygen and fluid levels in the body, giving you energy to face the afternoon when energy levels dip. Good oxygen-boosting foods are watercress, spinach, dark cabbage, lettuce and sprouts. Also fill up on fluid-heavy foods like celery, cucumber, fennel, apples, pears, watermelon, grapefruit and grapes. Finally include some asparagus, since this (along with alfalfa) helps neutralise the natural toxin ammonia produced within our body, a common cause of fatigue.
Take one Earthsource wholefood (Solgar) multivitamin and mineral formula to enhance your energy levels and cleansing for the rest of the day.
Head outside By now, the air in your office, or even at home, is likely to be low in oxygen, boosting your feelings of fatigue. Go for a quick walk, or stretching in fresh air.
Be active – walk or do some exercise. Toxins have the ability to sap our energy by acting negatively on the mitochondria within the body. If you build up muscle through exercise, you also increase the number of mitochondria. Take 30 mins every other day on this plan to do some kind of aerobic or strength training, and ideally do it between 4 pm and pm.
Eat your evening meal Overnight the body regenerates and naturally detoxes, so the focus on your evening meal should be to provide an ample supply of detoxifying foods to boost this process. You should combine these with carbohydrates; while these are primarily energy givers, in doses of more than 75g (3 oz) at one time they can calm the body and promote sleep.
Blend yourself a bedtime bath Bathing stimulates the natural cooling process the body uses to trigger sleep hormones. Add some of the essential oil marjoram, which has a sedative effect, but also fortifying to the body, helping create strength for the next day. Add 3 drops of marjoram and 3 drops of calming mandarin to your bath, lie back and relax.
Go to bed Getting a good night’s sleep is essential as it is how the body repairs and recharges.
Suggested lunch menu
A glass of “high energy juice”!
Put each of the following through the juicer, then mix together and shake well. Drink immediately…..
6 slices of pineapple
6 fresh strawberries
1 handful of wheatgrass
PLUS…..choose a 50g (2oz) portion of one (or a mix) of the following:
Salmon, anchovies, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, sunflower seeds, walnuts,or cashews. These protein foods create a slowly burned form of energy and provide high levels of essential fatty acids.
ADD…. protein to one of the following energising vegetable bases, using as much of each vegetables as you like.
• Fluid fuel:
Cucumber, lettuce, celery, chopped apple and a few slices of pear.
• Quick cleanse:
Asparagus, cherry tomatoes and yellow peppers on a bed of alfalfa.
• Steamed and simple:
Steamed cabbage, carrot, mushrooms, asparagus and mangetout.
• Sunshine salad:
Watercress, carrot, beetroot and pink grapefruit.
Suggested evening meal menu
• A cup of fresh vegetable soup
• A 75g (3 oz) serving of one of the following to your chosen vegetable base: brown rice, jacket potato, new potatoes, spelt/brown rice or wholegrain pasta. Sweet potato, quinoa, rye or pumpernickel bread.
PLUS…..one of these four vegetable bases, each using as much of each vegetable as you like.
• Detox salad:
watercress, celery, cucumber, cherry tomato, and artichoke hearts.
• Cleansing coleslaw:
white cabbage, onion, grated carrot, sliced beetroot.
• Roast energy:
grilled or oven-baked slices of red or yellow pepper, aubergine, onion and mushrooms.
• Steamed and simple:
steamed carrot, mangetout, cauliflower, spinach and asparagus.