Not a fan of coffee?
So, what if you aren’t a coffee drinking but you’re human and a sleepy mom and need more energy? If you missed part 1, go back and review it here. Here are more tips to help with natural energy:
Start by drinking tea. Find a tea that’s yummy for you. Black tea will have the most caffeine. Try matcha! It’s very earthy tasting and a concentrated form of green tea. It’s likely that if you don’t like green tea, you won’t like matcha without adding some type of sweetener like sugar or honey; unfortunately, that is going to defeat the purpose of limiting sugar intake, but it still might be worth you considering.
You will need to begin with removing foods that cause inflammation. The common culprits include: gluten, dairy, and soy (which are all hidden in almost all processed foods). Within hours of consuming these triggers you will feel things like fatigue, sore joints, bloating, upset stomach, etc. For instance, if you’re always tired in the afternoon and are eating yogurt in the morning, try not eating yogurt for a few weeks. This topic is covered in depth inside the 131Method.
The majority of your diet should be healthy fats, protein, and plants. Carbs should not make up the majority of what you eat. So, decrease the amount of carbs that you are consuming. But carbs give us energy right? Yes, and it’s a vicious cycle. We are tired, so we eat carbs… but we eat carbs and it makes us tired. You can’t win. I know. It’s exhausting trying to figure it all out. So, here’s what I recommend: skip the crackers, chips, breads, and pastas all together. Choose veggies whenever you can. Stop picking “carby” snacks. What about those sugary treats? Save that splurge for special occasions. I bet you will be amazed at how your energy picks up when you stop running off carbs & sugar. This will also help your body learn how to be more efficient when sticking to healthier fats, protein, and plants.
Drink 8+ glasses of water a day. Ideally, you should drink plain water, but you can add things like lemon or fruit. Sparkling water is inflammatory for some people (also filled with a lot of junk fillers and artificial sugars/flavors). Consider removing it for a couple weeks and trying plain water if you see symptoms arise.
If you aren’t pregnant or nursing, consider some intermittent fasting. Watch ingredients closely. Canola oil, soy, gums, sugars, artificial colors, and so much more is snuck into your food all the time. These things can impact your energy greatly. You may also want to consider having some vitamins and health testing done to assess proper supplement needs. Iron, thyroid, vitamin D, B-vitamins, glutathione, hormone testing, etc. I recently completed a DUTCH test and am on a journey with new supplements based on that eye-opening test.
We can’t forget to talk about the thing we will spend thousands of hours doing in our lifetime: sleep. The quality of sleep matters so much more than the quantity. If you’re nursing or have a little one at home who is up at night (like I do!), you are kinda SOL on this one…. But, if this isn’t you, consider magnesium to help you with sleeping. Remove all blue light items before bed (cell phone, tablets). Avoid alcohol before bed. If you are going to drink, do it two hours before bedtime for better sleep.
10. Ask for help
Another way we can cut back on stress, which will hopefully make sleep come more easily to you, is asking for help. I know, it’s much easier said than done; but, we have to take care of ourselves and getting some assistance is a start. One thing I did was tell my husband that I need more help around the house. He stepped up, but we also decided to invest in a cleaning lady. We found her on Care.com and she comes 2-3 times a week for one hour each time. She does things like: fold the laundry, put dishes away, vacuum, wash the floor, and tidy up. Can you imagine how much you can get done around the house in an hour when you don’t have little ones at your feet? In one hour she gets more done than I could do in two or more hours! Not to mention, I don’t enjoy cleaning, and it takes time away from my family. So worth it.
If you’re a nursing mama, it is especially important for you to keep your caffeine intake to less than 300 mg a day. If little one is fussy, not sleeping, irritable - try cutting caffeine for a week or two and see if that helps them. Nursing and pumping mamas need to hydrate SOOOO much more throughout the day. If possible, ask your spouse to refill your water bottle any time they see it empty. It’s likely you will also find yourself snacking more during the day than eating actual meals. Of course snacking is easier (who has time to make a full meal when taking care of a baby?!). However, you should try to eat more substantial, well-rounded meals as much as you can. If you are snacking, pick higher fat and nutritious snacks.
Let’s face it, there’s never going to be an award for Best Mom or Most Energized Mommy. So, stop being so hard on yourself. My daughters are now toddlers and I still have days where I am so drained I don’t know if I can keep my eyes open… and it’s only 9am! All of the things I have mentioned above have been saving graces for me and my energy levels. And, it doesn’t hurt to keep this in the back of your mind: you can sleep when you’re dead (hahah). ;)
35 healthy snack ideas with REAL foods!
3 quick & easy freezer meals!
Tips for pulling this all together!
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