Ring in International Yoga Day with a few poses for your practice.
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Whether you’re a seasoned mom with a minivan and five kids or a first-time parent, we all have one thing in common: feeling like every ounce of energy has been sucked right out of us. Long days and sleepless nights become the norm, and when that happens, it’s tempting to reach for caffeine or your go-to sugary pick-me-up treat. While all of these things seem like satisfying strategies at the moment, they will not successfully sustain your energy for a busy life.
No matter your family size, agenda or the number of diapers to be changed, try these ten foods and tips to gain long-lasting energy—and keep your tank full all day long.
Keeping your blood sugar stable, dark green leafy veggies are a nutrient-packed superfood high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and folate. My top pick of leafy greens includes spinach, kale, broccoli, and arugula. Try adding them to a morning smoothie to kick-start your day!
The importance of adding omegas to your diet can be pivotal. The levels of omegas in salmon help to decrease blood sugar levels, balance and sustain energy and help you feel full longer. Also, research shows that low levels of omegas are linked to fatigue, mood swings as well as depression.
No more low-fat, fat-free foods. We now know those good healthy fats are critical not only for brain health for you and baby but they also help stabilize blood sugar and digestion. When your gas tank is low, reach for an avocado and stuff it with tuna or salmon for a quick boost. Nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and sardines all benefit your body by absorbing the nutrients, naturally keeping your energy up from sunup to sundown.
Oatmeal is one of the easiest and most delicious meals! A personal favorite, this superfood contains the healthy type of carbohydrates that are an excellent source of energy. Providing nutrients like vitamin B, thiamine, folate and niacin, oats help metabolize the energy in your body. Plus, you can customize your oatmeal. Try throwing in whatever ingredients you like—sliced almonds, walnuts, fresh berries—for a high-fiber, nutrient-rich breakfast or snack.
An antioxidant powerhouse, berries are low on the glycemic (sugary) food list. Not only do berries help to boost nutrient absorption and maintain blood sugar levels for sustained energy, there are no sugary highs and lows. A perfect snack when paired with a handful of nuts, yogurt or mid-day green energy smoothie, fresh berries are an easy addition to your daily diet.
It can be a challenge in itself to stay hydrated, so it’s time to ditch dehydration. Water is a powerhouse for the body, and your cells require water to work properly. H2O helps to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates, aiding in the release of toxins in the body. This function supports a boosted immune system and in turn, gives you energy.
A great source of iron and protein, grass-fed meat is higher in antioxidants than traditional meat and is high in carnitine—a driver in mitochondrial, fatty acid transfer. It is also much leaner than it’s traditional counterpart, with grass-fed beef having about 50% more omega-3 fatty acids than standard beef.
Easy to cook and a great source of protein, egg yolks have a lot of Vitamin D which helps boost energy as well as strength—something every mom needs. Make hard-boiled eggs for a grab-and-go snack, as a topping on your favorite salad, or add a fried egg to a burrito bowl for extra protein.
Bone broth is trending, but the benefits far outweigh its popularity. From healing gut issues to supporting a healthy immune system, bone broth is good for muscles, bones, hair, skin, and nails. Nutrient-rich bone broth also provides an outstanding source of fat, protein, and collagen. The process of allowing the bone broth to simmer anywhere from 8-24 hours helps fight fatigue and boost energy naturally. Try a sip!
Keeping blood sugar levels balanced is essential. Skipping meals, fasting or low-calorie diets will not help fuel your body for all the energy motherhood requires. Stay supercharged throughout the day by choosing healthy, nutrient-rich superfoods with a good source of fat and protein.
Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years.
Why is this?
While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer.
So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:
“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.
More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time.
Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.
Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.
With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better.
“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest.
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all.
I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.
One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.
So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury.