I think this may be the beginning of many "zen and the art of....." topics. Eating as a philosophy is about joining your mental state of mind with fresh food sources to create a balance. I'm paraphrasing a little but that's the idea. Today I want to get your nutrition wheels turning and discuss food as energy. As a morning person, I get some reaction when asked what time I get up to teach or even do my own workout. Ready for it? 3:35 a.m! Yep, it's early but I love feeling like I'm the first and only one to begin the day. It's an odd number because I'm human and love to hit a snooze button a couple times. I'm trying to break this habit because there are some sleep facts to consider but again, another subject. Today is about fatigue, and smart simple fuel choices you can make to bring energy into your system daily.
What’s the deal with being too tired to eat? Is this really a thing? I’ve been hearing grumblings lately, and these words uttered more frequently. "I was too tired, so I skipped dinner." That being said I decided to delve in deeper to the facts since I've surprisingly noticed a running theme among my fitness clients, as well as my Food Athletes I am coaching. What do you mean you're too tired? Like you physically your tired and weak and can’t stick a piece of toast in the toaster and lift a knife to spread almond butter on it? Or you feel like your so lethargic that you can't use your jaw to chew? Or you've been fighting a cold and feel so depleted of energy that the thought of food makes you sick to your stomach? I hear a lot of these reasons and a good percentage of the time I consider them excuses. If that sounds judgy sorry. But eating is fun and delicious and not eating makes you cranky so why does it sound like it's a task when I hear this "too tired to eat" song. It's true that fatigue can send signals to your brain telling your taste buds that food is not yummy, or be so hungry that you're too confused to make a decision about what to eat, which then leads to some not so healthy choices. It's a cause and effect syndrome because when you don't eat eventually you'll be hungry and that's when the "too hungry to sleep" record starts playing. This is a merry-go-round you may want to exit, fast. I'm looking for solutions over at The Food Athlete and I've made it my mission to teach and educate the importance of supplying your precious one and only body with daily fuel so you can live a vibrant, happy, energetic life. Will you ever catch a cold or flu? Yes. Will those irritating little bugs take over your immune system causing you to take to your bed for a few days? Perhaps. Will you ever load up on pizza and beer watching a football game and feel a bit out of it the next day? Sure. Will you eat a slice of cake on your birthday? Duh. I didn't create this site to tell people what to, and not to eat, but rather to open up real conversations and discuss smart options and help instill healthy lifestyle behaviors. My question to you Food Athletes is, what are you doing in your life that serves your body and what are some habits you could let go of?
Consider some of these following scenarios when you're feeling so sleepy that you can’t seem to manage to feed yourself.
No. 1: Are you drinking enough water? Being dehydrated can, and will without a doubt, affect your energy. When you're depriving yourself of liquids, than your body has to work harder to function. Technically speaking there's plenty of activity going on internally in our bodies, so we probably take for granted that things should just be running itself, but it is not that cut and dry. Cells and organs need blood and being dehydrated causes blood to change consistency, therefore, forcing the heart to pump harder and that can result in you being fatigued. Whew, I got tired just explaining that. The bottom line is if you are not drinking your H2O you are not only will you be thirsty but you may also be tired. So get your 8 glasses a day, maybe more depending on your body type/weight.
No. 2: Is coffee your go-to energy source? Sometimes overdoing it on the caffeine can cause your body to go the opposite of up up up and bring you down down down. Try a kinder gentler antioxidant rich caffeine like green tea instead of hourly coffee perks. It gives you a little boost without drowning out all the vital minerals, at the same time fighting those free radicals.
No. 3: Feed a cold, feed a fever. Ya, doesn’t sound like you remember, does it? Well, one of my favorite things to do is bust a myth. So, feeding the cold makes sense since you need the energy to fight that sucker, and beat the toxins and also generate heat when your body is under attack. The super fun fact I have found about fevers is that your metabolism actually increases which, as you, athletes may already know burns calories!! Whoa! No way! Burn calories when I’m sick? O.k. before you get nuts, this means that you need to replenish and refuel. When you have a fever, sick, cold, whatever, it just goes to show that smart eating strategies shouldn’t cease but rather push on.
No 4: Grabbing for calorie-dense snacks? This genre of food will make you sleepy. Fact. This is why dad is usually sleeping on the couch in front of the t.v. with pizza slice hanging out of his mouth while holding on to his bottle of beer. Alright so I’m generalizing and maybe not even that general but I’m reminiscing my childhood. I’m also talking simple carbohydrates like sugar in processed foods, sodas, cake. I don’t think you’ll see the same situation after dad’s just had a big bowl of quinoa with veggies. Wow, that quinoa was quite filling think I need a nap. Nope, not gonna happen. The scientific facts behind being physically ready for bed after carbs is that they are easily absorbed in your body causing the spike in sugar levels which in turn causes the big drop, basically, what comes up must come down.
No. 5: Skipping out on breakfast? I've saved the best for last. EAT BREAKFAST! Why? Because it's the most important meal of the day. I want this to be the last bit of info you read and remember about today's blog post. I know what it's like to avoid this meal because I did it most of my life and let us just say I was always grumpy and tired going to school. I was dragging ass. I was quite a stubborn girl (o.k. maybe a little as an adult so shhh) so even though my mom begged me to eat I just refused. I spent my whole life into my 30's deleting this meal from my day so it took some practice to reinstate it. Now, no matter what time I have to wake up, I always, always, eat breakfast. It's the intention setter of my day. How I want to feel today and how far do I need my body to take me will be dependant on what fuel I consume. Pour in the nutrients friends! If you expect to travel throughout the day on an empty or even half full vehicle you're sniffing fumes. Get with the program, eat up, take charge of your day.
I'm happy we had this little chat today sleepy heads. I tell my Food Athletes that we have very few things that we can actually control in life. Food is one element that is in our power. Take control of what makes you your best self. Sure, it may take some figuring out, trial and error, but you can do it! I believe in you! How exciting indeed that you have the potential to make your day good, very good, amazing or more amazing simply by choosing what you eat.
Happy Nourishing Friends! May the Zen Food Force be with you!
Be Happy, Be Healthy, Love Your Body,
xx Jessi (your Food Athlete) xx