Energy boosting tips for mums
By Franjos Kitchen
Up 5 times last night with your little possum? Trying to squish in some work whilst the kids sleep? Whoops…did you skip breakfast? Running around after a toddler? Working long hours whilst also doing the parent thing? Feeding a 6 month old milk drinking machine?100% uncomfortable all of the time and not sleeping due to a massive tummy and a growing baby inside? Are you always asking for more? More energy?
Well, first things first. Let’s just say there is no magic pill, be sure to take stock of your current situation/s and what you are asking of yourself. Your expectations. Knock off anything not truly necessary in your life, begin to say no to things and remember you can not give from an empty cup. You are number one. If you are tired and not in the best space then you are not going to be able to give to those you love what you truly wish to give.
Remember, there are many reason for fatigue that possibly are not 100% linked to your massive workload as a mother. Other things that may lead to fatigue include:
- Low iron levels
- Hormonal imbalances
- Digestive disturbances
- Unstable blood sugars
- Stress and mood changes
- Body weight imbalance
- Non restful sleep / inadequate amount of hours (that can not be blamed on children!)
If you are happy with all of the above then, awesome! How about you try some of these tips and see how you bounce back.
- Add some protein at each meal. Protein is so important for energy production. It is not all just about carbohydrates. Think seeds (chia, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds), nuts, poached eggs, legumes, natural yoghurt, chia seeds, linseeds, small tin of red salmon, goats cheese, left over meat from dinner, fish, tofu, tempeh
- Are you hooked on sugar? Are you craving something sweet to pick you up? It is time isn’t it? To cut back. Otherise you will just continue on this rollercoaster. Don’t skip meals – this may be why you are grabbing sugar or quick fixes. Consistent meals are the key. Cut back slowly. You may be depleted in such things like B Vitamins, magnesium and chromium. These nutrients regulate blood sugar balance and energy production along with Co Q 10, iron and omega 3 fatty acids. Is it time to check in with your practitioner?
- Always go wholegrain. Steer clear of anything white and get in to the ancient grains. Think spelt, barley, teff, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, basmati rice (way better than regular white rice). All of these foods have lower glycemic indexes and will provide you with longer lasting energy
- Greens. Every single day. Greens and vegetables are going to be your savior. In addition to trying to get at least 5 serves in a day, try some spirulina, chlorella or a green superfood powder. Simply mix with water and down the hatch and your blood and energy system will love you
- Never peel your vegetables. Just give them a good wash! All of the amazing nutrients are just underneath the skin!
- Toilet time. Yep, no stopping me talking about toilet habits. Are you moving your bowels 1-2 times a day? If not, why not? Time to look in to it if you are constipated, bloated or in pain. Having a proper functioning digestive system is one of the keys to unlocking good energy levels
- Limit yourself to 1 coffee a day. This may take a wee while to get down to but work towards it. You can do it. Ask yourself why you are going for your 2nd, or 3rd… ? Again, like sugar, it can be a rollercoaster. It will pick you up for an hour or two and have you buzzing but it will bring you right back down crashing to the ground if you are having it for the wrong reasons
- Water. Your body needs water to carry the energy molecules around your body. Drink at least 1.5-2L a day, more if you are breastfeeding and drinking coffee as both dehydrate you. SIP, don’t skull, warm room temperature, not cold and add plant material – i.e. herbal teas – these three things will aid in the absorption of water rather you weeing it straight out
- Sleep routine. Do you have a routine around sleep? Yes…now it is time to start to think about your own sleep routine.. not your kids! Start getting ready 30 minutes before you think you are ready for sleep. Start winding down and telling your body it is nearly time to rest. No phones, no computers, no TV. Maybe some mediation, take a quick bath, enjoy a cup of tea with your partner in a dimly lit room. Your body may have to learn how to relax in order to regain. You need downtime to replenish and restore your body. If you are able to grab a nap, make sure it is just a nap, anything more than 15minutes could negatively effect your night time sleep
- Exercise. Your body physically needs to expend energy. And I am talking about actual exercise energy, not just the energy you physically expend with your children. Mentally, exercise energy expenditure is so very different to work or children energy expenditure. Just start with a brisk walk around the block, get a mild sweat up where you have to have a shower. This is the type of body movement that your body craves and you will notice a big difference with your sleep quality but also just in general your energy levels. Who doesn’t love those endorphins after a good session?! You may not feel like getting the gear on but trust me, you will be happy you did
- Adrenal glands. Sre they overworked? Quite possibly. Being a mum is one of the most demanding jobs going around. Your adrenal glands regulate your stress response could quite well be tired and wearing thin! There are some amazing herbs and nutrients that assist in helping the adrenal gland bounce back. Key nutrients are again magnesium and b vitamins (see a pattern here?) and key herbs are Withania, Eleutherococcus and Rhodiola
- What energises you? Make it a priority to do the things that serve you. Clear yourself of negativity, people that zap your energy and toxic relationships. Reduce time wasting, get off your phone and stay away from negative media and social media. Instead of cleaning the house 5 times a day – give it a once over in the middle of the day and then at the end and let go of striving for material possessions that in the end will not be the be all and end all.
Now, what do you love to do and what is one thing that pumps you right up?.... go, go on, do it now.
Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.