5 Tips For More Energy

People ask me all the time about what I eat (since I am Vegan) and what kind of smoothies I drink and why. Most people ask me these questions because they want to loose a few pounds or gain some strength, but in almost all cases I think the real motivation for the question is something deeper.

People are really looking to have more energy to live their lives. I’m not just talking about being able to keep your eyes open during a boring meeting at work. I’m talking about having the energy to perform at a high level both in mental pursuits (working on a hard problem at work or in school) and physical pursuits (like a power yoga class!).

I thought it would be good to share my top 5 tips for energizing your life. These are things that I do on a regular basis – and they work. I think experience is the best teacher – and I have learned well 🙂

  1. Avoid Caffeine. I know I know – sacrilege! Despite the supposed health benefits of drinking coffee (and even tea), the reality is that when you borrow energy you need to pay it back. This might not be what you want to hear, but it is the truth. If you are serious about energizing your body – cut the caffeine. Or (as I do right now), limit it to 1 serving in the morning.
  2. Hydrate. Your body is 75% water. Your body also has 2-3x as much lymph fluid in your body as it does blood. Lymph is the watery substance in between your cells that allows nutrients to flow in and toxins to flow out of your cells. Staying well-hydrated is critical to proper energy transfer into and out of the cells. A great way to stay hydrate is not just to drink water, but to avoid dehydrating your body with caffeine, refined sugars and other highly processed (and dehydrated) foods.
  3. Eat Nutrient Dense Foods. I’ve written a great post about this. In summary, you should focus on eating plenty of fresh fruits and green/bright colored veggies that have high water content and high nutrient contents on a per-calorie basis. Did you know that broccoli has more protein than steak on a per-calorie basis? The truth is sometimes surprising but it is the truth nonetheless.
  4. Eliminate Refined Sugars. If it says “cane sugar,” “brown rice syrup,” “corn syrup,” or any other kind of processed sugar on the package, don’t eat it. This includes most energy bars! Your body will just experience a sugar rush and crash cycle when you consume these things. Instead, eat fresh fruits. The sugar in the fruits is processed differently by the body and they won’t cause the same spike in blood sugar. You’ll also help your body to stay hydrated.
  5. Breath Properly! This is perhaps the single most effective thing you can do. I wrote a long post about the importance of proper breath work. If you are at all committed to having more energy in your days – you should read this post. Essentially, cultivate a practice of consistent and deep nasal breathing – especially under times of stress and while sleeping. It may take some practice but the benefits are well worth it.

Have any other tips to share? Please let me know in the comments!

Your Breath Tells All

When I listen to someone breathing, I know everything I need to know about their mental and emotional condition in that moment. As a yoga teacher, I spent a lot of time listening to people breathe.

Fast and quick breathing is indicative of an unsettled mind. A mind that is still thinking about the workday or the commute to the yoga studio or what they are going to eat for dinner or what they are going to do over the weekend.

An even and steady breath is indicative of a balanced and calm mind. A mind that is at peace with the current moment, and probably is well rested, nourished and present.

If the breath is such a strong indicator of one’s emotional and mental condition, could it not work in reverse? Could one bring about a more balanced and supportive mental and emotional state by simply focusing on the breath alone?

Absolutely.

5 Simple Tips For SuperHuman Endurance

I’ve been fascinated with the study of endurance for years. I am always amazed at people who are able to endure and outlast more than anyone else.

In the case of endurance, the best study is through direct personal experience. In my own experiences of pushing my edge –  whether through racing Ironman Triathlons, cycling 200+ miles in a day or swimming across Puget Sound – I’ve discovered more about my self than through anything else.

By enduring, I’ve also stumbled across a few techniques that anyone – regardless of physical ability – can apply to significantly increase endurance.

Continue reading 5 Simple Tips For SuperHuman Endurance