Did you know that nearly 2 out of every 3 Americans rarely wake up energized and rested?
This means 65% of you suffer from brain fog, body aches, poor concentration, low energy and along with that comes a mental strain.
I may be the Ingredientologist and known for supplements BUT one of the main questions I get from everyone is, “how can I increase my energy?”
Everyone wants an A+ level of energy yet if they were to get a report card based on all the factors of their health that they need to take care of in order to increase their energy level, very few would have passing grades in all of them.
This isn’t all that surprising though. Our modern lifestyles are fast-paced and jam-packed with things to do—work, errands, appointments, family obligations, extracurricular activities, home obligations, etc. This leaves little time for your health—exercise, movement breaks, eating healthy, making doctor’s appointments, etc.
But using the excuse in school that we were too busy to do our homework never worked out well for us and neither will saying we’re too busy to make time for our health. If we continue on a path of constant stress, poor eating habits, little movement, and surrounding ourselves with negativity, our energy levels will continue to dip and our health will suffer.
So what should you do?
There are six ingredients, that will give you that A+ energy you seek are: Experiment, Nutrition, Exercise, Routine, Growth, and Your Tribe. I’ll go over each briefly here in this blog but highly recommend that you check out my book, The ENERGY Formula as each one is covered in depth and each chapter also includes surveys that give you a better idea of where you are when it comes to optimizing that ingredient.
Let’s get started.
Experiment is one of the most important ingredients/subjects to improving your health and energy because it plays into all the other ingredients. Each person has their own bioindividuality that requires a bit of trial and error. Your body is going to require different needs than my body based on a variety of factors. Everything from age, diet, stress levels, location, genetics, sex, etc. all play a factor in what nutrition we need, what supplements will work best, to what exercise program will work best.
It’s even important to experiment at different points in our life. What is working for you today may not work for you ten years from now or even just two years from now. Making the experiment ingredient a priority will be a huge benefit in your health journey. The one main piece of advice I do have is that you experiment with one thing at a time to really find what works best. Experimenting with everything all at once won’t help you find out what actually works since everything will be different. It won’t allow you to pinpoint what change made either an increase or decrease in your overall energy.
Where would you rate your current experiment level?
Rate yourself: A, B, C, D, F
I can’t stress enough the importance of a high-quality diet for your overall health and energy. Many forget that I’m also a licensed and registered dietitian so the following advice is backed by both study and experience.
There are many ailments and illnesses that are either caused by a poor diet of processed foods or exacerbated by it.
I had 6 months where I could not get out of bed. I was in pain, inflamed and suffering suicidal thoughts every day. The thought that this is how the rest of my life will be—in bed and in pain—repeated in my head every day.
Everything changed when I stumbled onto information about the ketogenic diet how it was helping people like me who were suffering from autoimmune diseases.
Instead of taking my usual bodybuilding supplements, I started exploring immune supplements along with the ketogenic diet and I slowly was able to get out of bed, back to school, and back to my life.
This is why I often say that I stock my pantry, so I don’t need to stock my medicine cabinet.
If whatever you rate your nutrition isn’t the best, then the very first step can be simply stocking your pantry right. I’m not saying it will fix all health issues, but it will absolutely be the start to fixing many, if not most of them. After that, start researching some simple but fun recipes, then research some other eating plans. Circle back to experiment and give different things a try.
Rate yourself: A, B, C, D, F
I’m going to guess you aren’t surprised that exercise is on the list as important for increasing your energy. Pretty much everything you read about exercise lists one of the benefits as “increases energy.”
The difficult part about it is that exercise can be, well…difficult. But, don’t let that stop you because exercise and movement are needed for so many different functions of your body and health.
Exercise helps you:
When all of those items improve, so does your energy level. Whether you start with walking for 10-15 minutes a day or if you already exercise and you start adding in exercise snacks for five minutes every hour (think stretching for five minutes, or alternating pushups and wall squats for five minutes) to incorporate more movement throughout your day, you’ll find that the more movement you do, the better off you’ll be.
Make sure you check out the Hidden Chapter on Movement after you’ve purchased your copy of The ENERGY Formula. It goes much further in-depth about why movement is so important for your body and your energy as well as gives you some other options for some great exercise snacks.
Rate yourself: A, B, C, D, F
How do you wake up in the morning? What do your first moments of consciousness feel like? Do you awaken refreshed, energetic, and ready for anything? Or do you wake up exhausted, foggy, and feeling stressed before your day has even really begun? If you answered the latter, let me start by saying you are not alone. That used to be me too and I can bet there are a lot more people who answer that way as well. But I am happy to say that it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to start each day feeling refreshed, energetic, and ready for anything by making a few tweaks to your behavior and establishing a routine.
One of the most important routines, at least for me, is the morning routine. Over the last few years, there has already been a lot of focus on morning routines—and for good reason. In his book Tools of Titans, for example, Tim Ferriss, who has interviewed hundreds of world-class performers in all domains to extract their tactics, tools, and routines, says successful people have two things in common: 1. A solid morning routine and 2. They are experimenters (2 of my 6 ingredients). But what does a solid morning routine look like?
When developing my morning routine, I looked at many of these dialed-in morning routines and found a lot of similarities among them. These included gratitude journals, deep breathing, cold showers, blue light devices, meditation, exercise, and more. What wasn’t included in their routines was checking their phones, getting on social media, answering emails, hitting the snooze button 50 times then causing them to be late. Instead, each item in their routines was calming tasks that allowed them to set their mind and body on the right path for a successful day.
I encourage you to take a long and hard look at the routines (or lack thereof) in your life. What are you doing that is setting you up for more stress, more exhaustion, and an overall lack of energy? Then make a list of items that you would like to try incorporating into a routine. I do advise you to add one item at a time to find out what you enjoy and what helps you feel the best. Not every item you try is going to be for you. Once you find a routine that fits your individual rhythm, I can promise you that you will find a significant improvement in your daily life and the energy you need to fulfill your dreams.
In addition to a good morning routine, a good evening routine is also equally important. This routine sets you up to get the rest you need so your mind and body can recover and you are working at your best the next day. Quality of sleep determines quality of life. You can’t be fully awake or alert when you haven’t gotten the rest your body needs. But sleep is more than just the number of hours you get each night. The quality of your sleep makes a HUGE difference in how you feel.
When I talk about routine, many misinterpret doing the same things every night with having a good routine. Just because you do the same activity every evening does not mean that it is beneficial to you. Watching an intense drama or action show from your bed right before trying to sleep is not winding your mind and body down for sleep.
Your sleep hygiene begins with how you prepare for sleep. There are psychosomatic connections between sleep and these preparation activities, a rhythm to how we wind down. What kind of messages are you sending your body right before you go to sleep? How can you begin to wind down instead?
The first thing I recommend you do is to take an honest and critical survey of your nightly routine. Do you have a consistent routine that isn’t disruptive and is giving your body cues to start preparing itself to rest? Or are you doing things like scrolling social media while lying in bed?
Rate your morning routine: A, B, C, D, F
Rate your evening routine: A, B, C, D, F
Have you ever felt stuck?
I know I have and I think most of us can admit to feeling like the hamster running on the wheel that just never goes anywhere. But I hate that feeling. I don’t want to stay stagnant in my life. I want to continue growing and changing and reaching new heights. It’s probably safe to say that most of us feel that way.
Growing isn’t easy though. There are pains in every journey which is why working to develop a growth mindset is so important. A growth mindset is a belief that a person can develop skills and abilities through practice, perseverance, and experimentation. You are malleable and able to continue learning new things to reach the top of the next mountain.
How do you cultivate a growth mindset though?
The first step is recognizing that growth is a never-ending process—one that I’ve noticed many people try to do from the outside in. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve the outside, at some point, we must turn inward.
In my book, The ENERGY Formula, I talk about coming back to self-love as the foundation of growth. Trust me, the last conclusion I ever thought I would come to is that self-love is the ultimate “biohack.” And yet, here we are. I always say that if other people talked to you the way you talk to yourself, you would never be their friend. So why do you let yourself do it?
If you want to develop a growth mindset, you can’t hate yourself into it. The negative talk is a huge reason why you may be feeling stuck. It’s cultivating a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset. It’s limiting you.
You must love yourself. And from there, gently and lovingly peel back the layers to become who you were meant to be.
Remember, the great thing about growth and personal development is that it is a life-long journey. You will never arrive. You will only continue to grow but you must do the internal work to get there. Start with daily affirmations or journaling and see what changes occur. I guarantee you’ll start to see some as you change the dialog you feed yourself.
Rate Yourself: A, B, C, D, F
Your vibe attracts your tribe.
I found that when I was at a lower vibration when I was hurting, sad and empty inside that I was attracting narcissists, people that used me, manipulated me, addicts, and people that were hurting pretty badly. It was bringing me down and adding to my declining mental health.
Through therapy, biohacking, lifestyle changes and plant medicine, I’ve been able to do the inner work to help myself.
The more inner work that I’ve done, and the more time spent on self-care and understanding myself, I raised my vibration, and when you’re vibrating at the higher level, you attract people with higher vibrations.
Doing so, I’m now surrounded by people that are very talented, giving, loving and inspiring.
They inspire me, I inspire them.
They challenge me, I challenge them.
They grow, I grow.
We thrive together.
A quote that I love, that’s actually in my book is…
“Align yourself with people you can learn from, people who want more out of life, people who are stretching and searching and seeking some higher ground in life.” – Les Brown
If you have found that your tribe has dwindled over the years and your support isn’t what you need, that will absolutely have an effect on your health and your energy. None of these ingredients for health and energy are easy to work on changing and for some people, your tribe may be the hardest because it means putting yourself out there and reaching out to others. But I can tell you that the connection you get and the support you receive when you do find your tribe will be worth it.
Rate Yourself: A, B, C, D, F
If you’re looking to increase your energy, check out The ENERGY Formula and The ENERGY Formula Facebook group. There is a lot more content in both that can help you on this journey and remember that it is a journey that will constantly be changing. Just keep experimenting and keep surveying how you feel to see what you might need.