Feeling drained? Get Your Mojo Back Naturally

Ville_with_an_oxygen_mask_by_KaroleI love the phrase put your own oxygen mask on first. It sounds great but sometimes we forget to do it. I advocate taking time for yourself and caring for yourself so you have the energy to take care of everyone else.

So here’s my confession: I fell into a rut. I was crazy busy with work and training for my half-marathons. I let myself get sucked up and the only time I was socializing was a business meeting and on my long run Saturday mornings. I consider my running buddies my friends so it was quality time but it wasn’t enough. I made a pact with myself in June to start incorporating time for friends and fun back into my week. Wow, what a difference!

Increasing self-care is one of the best ways to improve your energy level. When you do things that you are passionate about, it fuels your soul. When you allow yourself to take a break and relax, you feel refreshed and have all the energy to take on the world.

Here are some ideas to nourish you soul:

1. Clean, fresh air

2. Exercise/movement

3. Meaningful relationship

4. Fulfilling career

5. Rest and relaxation

6. Spiritual practice

7. Creative hobbies

Create a “nourishment menu” for yourself. When you feel like you need a boost, take the list out and do one of the things that fuels your soul. Some ideas: taking a walk in nature, calling your loved ones, doing yoga or stretching exercises, taking your dog out for a walk, taking a walk with a friend to catch up, or working on a hobby.

Are you feeling like you aren’t paying attention to yourself? Do you feel tired and low on energy? Want to learn how to get your mojo back? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a complimentary coaching session.

Local CSA Haul & Using Up that Zucchini

zucchini with coconut milkIf you read my newsletter you know that I was lucky enough to have a friend’s CSA share while she was on vacation. I had the most amazing vegetables that were grown locally and delivered fresh from the farm. Lettuce, zucchini, rainbow carrots, kale, eggplant, chard, onions, herbs, fennel, cabbage, cucumbers were among the haul.

I had fun making stuffed pattypan squash, various green juices, salads and dish that I made up out of eggplant, zucchini and the onion. After I mentioned to another friend what I had made she asked for the recipe. I didn’t actually have one, I realized that over the years of cooking I had become like my Grandma.

It was a huge moment of connection and I felt really proud. My gram made some of the best dishes but could never tell you the measurements of anything. She cooked by what she thought would go together and how it tasted along the way. More often than not the first works and the second always makes it turn out right.

So for my friend I back tracked what I did and I’m sharing the recipe with all of you as well. The thing is I use what I have on hand and I encourage that for you as well. Don’t like an ingredient, substitute one you prefer.

Zucchini, Eggplant & Lentils in Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

  • 1 c red lentils
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 small eggplant, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook lentils in 2 cups of vegetable broth (about 20 minutes)

In the meantime, saute onion until softened (about 3 – 4 minutes). Add garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add in zucchini & turmeric, saute another 3 – 4 minutes and then add in eggplant and saute another 4 minutes. Add in tomato, coconut milk.and drained lentils into pan and let simmer until heated ( 2 – 3 minutes).

I served mine over brown rice and with a salad.

Are you having energy crashes mid morning and mid afternoon? Are you relying on coffee and sugar to keep yourself going? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a free strategy session. You will get at least 1 – 2 tips that you could immediately start implementing.

Less Sugar, More Energy!

latte2I’m continuing my focus on energy this week and one of the biggest energy zappers is sugar. It’s also one of the first things many of us reach for when we’re low on energy. A lot of us start the day with a combination of sugar and caffeine and the cravings continue the rest of the day. (and if you’re eating a bagel, most cereals or white toast you are still in the sugary breakfast category).

For years my breakfast of choice was a low-fat muffin and coffee. I loved my muffins but I didn’t get much energy or nutrition from them. My big shock was realizing that a muffin had about 500 calories and between 56 – 65 grams of sugar. (65 are what the average non-fat and low-fat muffins contain). It’s no wonder I was constantly tired not to mention overweight!

Avoiding refined sugar is one of the best ways to minimize blood sugar spikes and crashes, which causes a drastic change in energy level. The most effective way to get off sugar is to get to the root cause of your sugar cravings. Here are a few strategies:

1. Eat sweet vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, corn, winter squash, sweet potatoes and onion to satisfy our body’s need for sweet taste (which is normal)

2. Eat meals with low glycemic load to avoid fluctuation in energy and blood sugar level. When we crash, we reach for sugar for quick fixes. Combine whole grains and vegetables (high fiber foods) with a moderate amount of good fats and lean protein.

3. Switch your breakfast from bagels, packaged cold cereals and muffins. Choose from foods such as whole grains, Greek yogurt, nuts and fruit instead. (again combining grains, proteins and good fats).

4. Stay hydrated – thirst is sometimes mistaken as hunger, which leads to cravings.

5. Investigate sugar cravings as a result of nutrient deficiency – e.g. chromium, magnesium and tryptophan.

6. Nourish your soul – some people crave sweets out of boredom or loneliness.

What would happen if you had more energy? What could you accomplish if you didn’t feel tired all of the time? Maybe you would get promotion or new job. Maybe you’d be fully present for your family instead of feeling like you’re sleepwalking through parts of the day. Or maybe you could participate in a race that you’ve read about but have been too tired to try. If you’re ready to have the energy levels that you deserve shoot me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, and we can set up a complimentary consultation.