Boost Your Energy and Feel Calm

greenteaSo I basically did all the things I never do last night and this morning. I went out, had some sangria, didn’t eat much nor did I have enough water. When I got home I made sure to drink a lot of water but I still felt a little dehydrated this morning. I had a breakfast meeting and the only beverage available for the first 40 minutes was coffee.

Too much coffee makes me jittery and nervous. Coffee on an empty stomach makes me jittery, chatty, shaky and full of nervous energy. You know: the feeling when you are rushing around like a lunatic and then hope that you did things correctly. It’s not a feeling I enjoy and it was my own fault that I felt that way.

There is a better way to have energy and feel more awake. Taking care of your nervous system can help you restore and replenish your energy, stay focused without the caffeine jitters, and feel calm and relaxed so that you can get the rest you need when you need it.

Here are 5 approaches to help care for your nervous system for increased energy:

1. Strengthen the nervous system with herbs such as burdock, dandelion, gingko, nettle, oaks and Siberian ginseng.

2. Encourage calm and relaxation with chamomile, valerian, lemon balm and oats.

3. Explore coffee alternatives such as Yerba Mate, green tea, black tea, or Rooibos (African Red Bush) to avoid the caffeine jitter.

4. Calcium has a soothing effect on the nervous system. Eat calcium-rich food for dinner (e.g. leafy greens, bone broth). If you take a calcium supplement, take it with dinner.

5. Add magnesium into your diet, it is essential for building energy and it plays an active role in the transport of calcium and potassium. It maintains nervous system balance by acting as an anti-depressant. Magnesium is found in many foods including leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, summer squash, legumes and nuts. If you choose to take a supplement take it with dinner.

To learn more about what foods can support you and give you energy please visit my website www.empoweredplate.com.

Got Stress? Here are the top 20 Foods to Fight It

stress (1)Feeling overwhelmed, tired and/or cranky? It’s tempting to reach for some comfort foods. Foods that remind us of happier times when we felt safe. Unfortunately most of those of foods are fatty and sugary and tend to worsen our symptoms by causing sugar crashes and by increasing our cortisol levels.

Cortisol causes food cravings, and in women those cravings tend to be strongest for carbs, especially sweet foods, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. The more of them we eat, the worse our mood gets. To make matters worse it triggers an enzyme in our fat cells (it converts cortisone to more cortisol). And the fat cells that are generally activated are ones around our middles, on our thighs and butts. As if you weren’t stressed enough!

So what can you do? Make sure you are getting enough B vitamins, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids can help ward off depression. Magnesium helps muscles relax; stimulates production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that eases anxiety and nervousness; and helps you fall asleep. And antioxidants help fight the damage that cortisol does to brain cells and memory.

B6 vitamins produce serotonin which calms our nervous system. Choose: legumes, tuna, chickpeas, avocados and baked potatoes with the skin

B12 vitamins help create GABA, which calms us. Choose: Greek yogurt, clams, chicken, salmon and sardines.

Folate creates dopamine to relax you and create feelings of pleasure. Choose: asparagus, Brazil nuts, oatmeal, lentils, avocados and leafy greens

Magnesium helps create dopamine to relax you. Choose: almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, amaranth and tofu

Vitamin C boosts your immune system & fights stress causing free radicals. Choose: berries, oranges, broccoli, brussels sprouts and green and red peppers

Omega 3 Fatty Acids help regulate dopamine and serotonin: salmon, sardines, walnuts, flax-seed, flax oil, and chia seeds and edamame.

A meal of chicken, leafy greens or broccoli and a baked potato could actually be your new comfort food that makes you feel good. Bonus: top it off with a square or two of dark chocolate which has stress fighting antioxidants too!

You’ll feel better without the sugar crash and sluggish feelings.

Want to learn more on how to balance stress and your moods? Contact me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to set up a complimentary strategy session.

Frustrated by Diets? How to Change your Story

weightlossblogI was watching Rachel Ray the other morning and there was a woman on who had a goal of fitting back into her wedding dress. She had gained 40 pounds over the years, was a mom to four kids and never had a moment to herself. She also didn’t feel she knew how to eat properly or how to start exercising.

I felt her pain and I wished I could meet her because she is my ideal client. She’s motivated, has a goal and doesn’t know where to start. Do you know what it’s like to think you’re doing the right things only to keep gaining weight? Or to be frustrated because you’ve started yet another diet and it just hasn’t worked?

I know what it’s like to feel uncomfortable in your own skin, to feel invisible to others and to hide behind extra weight. Maybe it’s from comforting feelings with food, maybe it’s from eating on the go or just not really having a clue what a balanced meal looks like. What ever the reason the pounds just keep creeping on until you just really don’t know what to do anymore.

It’s possible to eat more food and consume fewer calories without actually counting every calorie. It’s possible to eat delicious meals that don’t take hours to prepare or pack on the pounds. Yes, there is some work involved and yes there are better choices to make. But it can be done sanely, safely and while having fun.

You deserve to feel great and be happy in your own body. You deserve to feel and look your best. And losing weight should not feel like you have another full-time job.

If this resonates with you, send me an email. I’d love to really listen to you and your concerns and help you find one thing that you can start doing immediately to get on track. You can reach me at: janinemchale@empoweredplate.com