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Episode 158: 11 Ways to Combat Fatigue

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Summary 

One of the most common symptoms women tell me they struggle with day in and day out is low energy. 

And while it may seem relatively harmless - it isn't a disease, it isn't going to kill us, it's just... uncomfortable - fatigue can have a huge impact on our quality of life. 

I remember back in college when my symptoms were at their peak, I could sleep for 12 hours and still be passing out in class. 

I didn't want to go to parties with my friends, I didn't have the energy to be around people very often in general, the thought of doing extracurriculars was exhausting, and it really robbed me of the whole 'college experience'.

You may be able to relate... feeling like you're missing out on life because you just don't have it in you to show up more than is absolutely necessary. 

Well I say, enough is enough. You do not have to live this way. 

And before you say, "This is just what getting older looks like," I say bullshit. That's what getting older looks like when we don't know how to support our body's energy production, which I'm going to teach you how to activate right now...

1. Support your gut.

We get energy from the food we eat, right? Right... except when we aren't able to break down, absorb, and utilize the nutrients we're getting which can happen when our gut is in distress. 

Not to mention, when our gut is in distress long enough and we develop 'leaky gut', food and toxins can escape into our bloodstream causing wide-spread inflammation. When this happens your body's army is constantly fighting, causing you to feel chronically depleted. 

Your gut is also largely tied to the health of your thyroid, and if you've struggled with hypothyroidism or hashimoto's, you know how much your energy tanks when things aren't in order. 

If you want concrete strategies on how to support your gut, click here to listen to the episode '4 Steps to Fix a Broken Gut'!

2. Support your adrenals. 

The adrenal glands are responsible for making stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline as well as hormones that your body needs to make sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. All of these hormones help turn your food into energy and maintain blood sugar levels. So, when your adrenals are depleted from chronic stress, you're going to feel the effects.

Some things you can do to support your adrenals are: reduce stress as much as possible, reduce sugar intake, reduce caffeine, reduced processed junk food, avoid intense workouts, get enough protein, and consider experimenting with adaptogens like ashwaghanda (always checking with your healthcare provider first, of course). 

3. Limit energy-zapping foods. 

Some food like whole-food protein, fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds add to your body, giving it the fuel it needs to function and thrive.

(And by the way, if you struggle with energy and are on a low carb diet... STOP. The reason we get tired as we age is because of the constant injury to our mitochondria which produce most of our energy. The fuel they produce is ATP, which is made form the glucose that was broken down from the carbs you ate. No carbs = no energy).

But there are other foods that actually steal from our reserves disrupt our blood sugar balance, and can cause damage to our gut and hormones.

These foods include processed carbs and sugar, dairy, chemical-and-additive-filled processed foods, GMO foods, and foods covered in pesticides. 

4. Limit energy-zapping people.

Start paying closer attention to how you feel after spending time with different people in your life.

Do you feel energized, rejuvenated, and recharged? Or do you feel drained, depleted, and tired?

If your answer is the latter, it's time to reevaluate the role they play in your world. 

5. Get more sleep.

I don't think this requires any explanation. But if you struggle with sleep, you're going to want to take a look at this episode: 10 Reasons You're Sleeping Like Shit.

6. Quiet your inner critic.

Imagine if someone just followed you around all day calling you fat, stupid, ugly, lazy, unworthy, unsuccessful. You can imagine how that would weigh you down and rob you of all energy and motivation, right?

So why in the world are you doing that to yourself?

Give yourself the grace, the support, the encouragement, and the love you would give to your most cherished friend. You and your energy deserve it. 

7. Get outside. 

Preferably expose yourself to sunlight before 10 am to support and stabilize your circadian rhythm which is responsible for when you feel energized vs when you feel tired. 

Exposure to the sun also helps keep your serotonin levels up which helps elevate your energy, mood, and outlook. 

8. Consider supplementing.

We always want to consult with our healthcare provider before starting any new supplements. But there are definitely some vitamins and minerals you'll want to look into if your feeling zapped of energy these days.

Vitamin B12 along with the other B vitamins help convert your food to energy. It can be found in a variety of animal proteins. 

Iron is needed to carry oxygen throughout the body. When this process is inhibited, you can experience iron deficiency anemia, a primary symptom of which is fatigue. Iron can be found in red meat, fish, beans, and dark leafy greens. 

CoQ10 is an enzyme in the body that declines with age and is used by cells to make energy and protect themselves from oxidative stress. 

Citrulline helps increase nitric oxide in the body which helps dilate your blood vessels. This allows easier transport of oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout your body. You can find citrulline in watermelon and beets have a similar impact on nitric oxide levels. . 

9. Keep your home in order. 

You external environment is a reflection of your internal environment and vice versa.

If you want to avoid unnecessary stress and overwhelm, keep the space you occupy relatively tidy. 

My recommendation: if you're house is currently a mess, break it up into bite size pieces. Maybe you start off with just one room or even just one drawer or closet. Once that space is clean, commit to putting things back in their place once you use them, and commit to a 10-minute tidy up each night before you go to bed so it never feels as daunting as that first go around. 

10. Exercise.

I know this is the last thing you want to do when you're tired, but not only does exercise help move oxygen throughout the body, it also helps your body produce more mitochondria. As we mentioned earlier, mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells so the more we have, the more energy we can produce. 

11. Ask for help.

Too many of us try to take on the world all by ourselves. We live in a hyper-independent society that promotes hustle-culture, ditching lunch to keep working, never showing weakness, and basically sets Wonder Woman as the standard. 

We are not Wonder Woman. We will never be Wonder Woman.

We are put on this earth to help, support, and lean on each other. It is not a weakness, it is one of our biggest strengths when we aren't afraid to use it. 

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The information shared in this blog and podcast are intended for informational purposes only. They are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any health conditions and you should always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.

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