Do you wake up groggy no matter how many hours you sleep?
Do you feel tired in the afternoon and have to have caffeine to boost your energy?
Do you get home hoping to do something productive, like art or writing, but end up in front of the TV feeling like a dump truck ran over you?
There are some simple things you can start to do to change this feeling of dragginess and GET MORE VITALITY into your life.
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Save this checklist and print it out or download to your phone!
Is Your Diet Robbing You of Vitality?
1. Educate yourself about nutrition
Dietary changes are an inexpensive way to quickly notice a difference. Whole foods experts, like Forks Over Knives, their documentary is a great place to start. Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s books are another great resource for getting more vitality. You can read and start to implement a few dietary changes or go to his site and download some recipes and browse his articles.
2. Eat lots of plants every day
Eat more steamed greens and salads and raw plants every day. Eat two or three pieces of fruit every day, preferably organic. Crowd out refined foods with whole foods as much as you can. The reason you want to get more plants in is that the phytonutrient levels are very high compared with meats, dairy and processed foods, which often have most of the nutrients removed.
Dr. Fuhrman has created an index of the highest nutrient foods to help you eat the foods richest in micronutrients first. In reality food is medicine.
3. Use Medicinal foods strategically
- Combine mushrooms, onions, and other foods in the onion family, like garlic or scallions, along with greens and legumes (beans) in your recipes. These special food combinations help destroy the chance of cancers forming in your body. Kale is king of the greens and will not affect thyroid as formerly thought unless you eat a whole truckload of raw veggies. Cooked cruciferous veggies are safe.
- Add berries into your diet daily. You could make a frozen blueberry smoothie for breakfast with hemp protein and banana and a little stevia for sweetness. Or mix them with steel cut oats. Berries are the queen of nutrient-dense foods.
- Add seeds and nuts into your diet but make sure they are fresh. Flax seeds or chia seeds can be ground up in a coffee grinder and sprinkled on salads or oatmeal or soups. Make sure all nuts and seeds are raw and fresh and keep them in the fridge.
4. Cut out devitalizing foods
Reduce foods that tend to depress and inflame the human body: Cut back on meat, sugar, oil, salt, refined products with flour in them. try to limit dairy and processed foods and see if that helps your vitality. Check out my nutrition page for more information.
5. Add quality supplements and herbs to your daily routine
Dr. Fuhrman’s Multivitamins are free of the toxic form of folic acid. He also has D3, and an essential fatty acids supplement. You might want to get your levels for nutrients tested and find out if you are low in anything. Triphala and Ashwagandha are Ayurveda herbs that are very helpful in balancing the system. A naturopathic doctor or herbalist can be helpful in finding out what you need to take.
6. Start your day right
Add a morning visualization or meditation to your daily routine with positive affirmations about your day. Studies have consistently shown that a regular meditation practice increases overall health, happiness and well being.
7. Get your circulation flowing
Get into the habit of exercising in the morning. Even ten minutes of stretching or gently bouncing on a mini trampoline will help. You could take a brisk walk or do a mini yoga class online. There are many online exercise classes you can sign up for if you need motivation and ideas.
8. Let There be Light, full spectrum light!
If you get especially low energy in the winter you might want to look into Seasonal Affective Disorder and if you can’t spend much time outdoors try a light box while you are at your desk during the day.
9. Chuck personal care products with toxic chemicals
Be as vigilant about what you put on your body as you are about what you put in your body. Our personal care products, hair products and makeup in the US are not well regulated so companies are allowed to put whatever they want into their products.
I was shocked to find out that the Food and Drug Administration does not require that cosmetics ingredients or products be approved before they go on the market, and they have no power to recall a product from the market.
Although the European Union has banned nearly 1400 ingredients from cosmetics and personal care products the US has only banned or restricted 30 ingredients from cosmetics and personal care products.
Try Beautycounter for safer skincare and makeup products. I just became a consultant because I was looking for safer skincare and makeup. I had to throw all my old stuff out because I knew toxins can contribute to chronic fatigue and depression. I had been struggling with chronic illness for years. And started to feel better when I cleaned up my diet. There was no way I was going to continue putting toxic chemicals on my body.
Beautycounter has banned 1500 chemicals from their products and created the Never List, for chemicals that are too dangerous to use on your body. Bring it with you when you shop.
10. Get help with forming new habits
If you have trouble getting yourself to change habits pay a lifestyle or health coach to encourage you or start a support group. Life Coach School has an effective podcast for getting a handle on your habits.
11. Make time for art and creativity every day
Even if it is only ten minutes it will make a difference. Do it first. Honor your true self. Check out The Artist’s Way for more ideas.
You can feel better pretty quickly just by starting with your food choices and then start to gradually add other things in as you feel up to it.
I found a course on healing depression and took herbs and supplements because I was really depressed and had chronic fatigue for a long time. I took Rhodiola, Ginko Biloba, and a B complex and that perked me up enough to get going with improving my food choices. Then I got my sleep sorted and was able to add more exercise and meditation.
But everyone is different and what worked for me might not be quite right for your body-mind complex.
The problem with not feeling well is you don’t have the oomph to get yourself out of the hole by yourself. So the Dominate Depression Course was a really helpful first step for me. It laid things out one tiny step at a time.