It’s the time of year when an exciting buzz of activity is gearing up—but if you’re feeling sluggish, rather than vibrantly alive, you may be dreading the extra demands on your time and energy. The good news is that there a few simple, time efficient changes you can make to help your body be its most energetic.

1. You Are What You Eat

You’ve heard this phrase a thousand times, but there’s no denying its truth. Taking a holistic look at what you put in your body and how its processed and utilised is key to getting the most energy out of your food. It’s simple… if you feed yourself junk and overly processed foods, your gut is going to have to do extra work for minimal nutrition.

On the other hand, if you feed yourself clean, whole foods, your gut will have an easier time extracting nutrients. More healthy nutrients mean more fuel for energy.

It does not mean that you have to eat 100% perfect, 100% of the time—but if you’re feeling sluggish, try making a few positive changes to your diet and see if it makes an impact. The first things to go are fast foods, boxed foods and soda, while the foods you should be looking to replace them with are fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains and plenty of water.

2. Give Your Digestive System a Reset

Many people have come to think of a “cleanse” as a bad word, but it doesn’t have to be—meaning you don’t need to be running to the bathroom or going on an extreme fast to do one. A cleanse can help to detoxify your body of what may be zapping your energy (like the 75,000 toxins we’re exposed to in our modern world), as well as hitting reset on your digestive system and enabling it to operate more efficiently.

3. Are You Getting Enough Protein?

The western diet generally includes too much protein, but many people have chosen to cut down on meat or omit it entirely when going vegan or vegetarian.

If you’re not eating meat, or not eating as much of it, alternate protein sources may need to be added to your diet. Why does this matter for energy? While carbs give us quickly usable energy, proteins are in it for the long haul and are essential for your body’s functioning and restoration. Proteins also include essential amino acids (like building blocks for our cells) that you can’t get anywhere else.

What are some good sources of protein? Meat, eggs, milk, soy and quinoa are great complete proteins. If you’re depending on beans/legumes and high-protein veggies (like avocado, mushrooms and spinach), keep in mind that they are incomplete proteins, meaning they don’t have all of the essential amino acids in them. So eating a variety of those things, or pairing up complementary proteins, like rice and beans, will help to ensure you’re getting each and every one of the essential amino acids your body needs to thrive.

4. Get the Most Out of Food

Whether it’s age, diet or how you prepare your food, some of us may not have all of the enzymes necessary to break it down and digest it fully. Why are enzymes necessary? There are over 1,300 digestive enzymes that work across your entire digestive tract to break down what you eat into the nutrients your cells can use. When you don’t get the necessary amount of enzymes in what you eat, it can lead to lower energy and digestive issues.

If you think you may be lacking enzymes needed for digestion, there are natural enzyme supplements that can be taken, ranging from general to food-specific for gluten, lactose, beans or veggies. Check out general enzymes that help to digest carbs, proteins and fats here or specific food intolerance enzymes here. 

5. Have a Gratitude Attitude

To some this may sound silly, but appreciating what’s around you can actually bring a greater sense of happiness and vitality—and there’s numerous scientific studies to back this up. Need that extra boost to get up in the morning? Taking a moment to recognise and be thankful for even the littlest of things can lead to more zeal and excitement for the day. Having a hard day? A brief pause to dwell on gratitude may give you the extra push you need to deal with what’s going on in your world.

Not everyone will start using #blessed on their social posts, but integrating brief pauses of thankfulness into your day may open up extra stores of energy you didn’t know you had. So try these easy changes to experience greater energy and vitality today, minimum effort required. Cheers to making the most out of every day!

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