Recipe for real energy
Written by Pam Stone, Naturopath   

Feeling tired, unfit and just not enjoying optimum health and energy.

Mothers are often the last ones to see the signs that a hectic lifestyle is taking its toll!

What are the symptoms to watch for? What are some easy do-it-yourself tips and ideas to help provide your body with a much-needed nutritional boost and on-going management?

Your body will always let you know when your life is out of balance, and it’s important not to ignore the warning signs. For example, feeling frequently fatigued or irritable is not simply just a part of motherhood, it is a signal that your body is lacking in something it needs. It is quite possible that this can be addressed with some simple and manageable changes to your lifestyle.

Constant lack of energy, irritability and impatience, frequent infections or poor quality sleep can all be symptoms of a bigger problem. Likewise, your general appearance will give you a strong indication of your general wellbeing. Dull skin, lack-lustre hair and dark circles under your eyes are as much a health concern as a beauty crisis!

Consider the different areas of your life including physical, nutritional, emotional and mental to assess where your energy is being drained and take these steps to enjoy a better balance.

Recipe for Real Energy

1. Eat Well

Try not to give in to quick fixes like caffeine, sugar and energy drinks as these short-term stimulants fight against your body’s natural desire to rest. They drain your natural energy resources resulting in a short lived ‘high’ followed by a real ‘low’, extending the cycle of fatigue and exhaustion.

Instead munch on natural energy foods like fresh fruits, raw vegetables, nuts and dried fruit. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body throughout the day. Tea and coffee don’t count as part of your water intake.

Iron out fatigue with good food sources of iron. These include red meat, legumes, green leafy vegetables, free-range eggs and chicken.

2. Exercise

It may feel like the last thing you want to do but exercise actually gives you energy. Being physically fit will help you cope during times of increased demand. Exercise also releases feel-good hormones called endorphins which will lift your mood and help give you more energy.

Find an exercise buddy and make a regular commitment to meet. This provides you with added motivation to begin an exercise program and to stick with it. If you can’t find someone to mind the kids then take them with you. Power strollers make it possible to exercise with very young children, and you would be setting a wonderful example for the older ones!

3. Nutritional Supplements

There is an excellent tonic formula that I often recommend to women trying to maintain energy despite having very busy lives. It’s called Blackmores Envital® and I’ve listed the benefits of the key ingredients below.

B vitamins are necessary for enabling the body to convert food into energy. A deficiency of these energy-producing vitamins can lead to fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, lack of motivation and anaemia. B vitamins are water soluble in the body, so they need to be consumed daily to maintain adequate levels.

Siberian ginseng nourishes the nervous system, improving stamina. It is a wonderful tonic, which improves vitality in cases of fatigue and exhaustion.

Damiana is a nervous system tonic that provides relief from stress and mild anxiety.

Oats is a nutritive herb that benefits the nervous system. It is traditionally used as a mood enhancer and nerve tonic for the relief of stress, mild anxiety and fatigue.

Gotu kola improves performance by improving mental alertness. It has a relaxing effect on the nervous system and helps the body cope with stress, which can be the underlying cause of nervous exhaustion and fatigue.

Vitamin C is necessary for the health of the adrenal glands and manufacture of adrenal stress hormones. Depleted in times of stress, vitamin C is also essential for iron absorption, especially plant sources of iron.

Magnesium phosphate is responsible for the conduction of nerve impulses and for normal muscle contraction and is therefore important in energy production. It can become depleted during times of stress, causing symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, cramps, twitches and fatigue.

Potassium phosphate is needed for the maintenance of proper nerve function and impulse and for energy production. A lack of potassium can lead to poor motivation and depleted energy levels.

If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. You can also register with Blackmores and 'ask a naturopath' at www.blackmores.com.au or call the Advisory line 1800 803 760 to talk with a Blackmores naturopath.
 
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