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Got Energy?

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You might be hooked on that little can of liquid energy, but there are other (and healthier) ways to get the same boost.

energetic woman jumping in the air

JJ Virgin: Red Bull, Screamin' Energy, 5-Hour Energy ... these drinks are now all the buzz, so to speak, to address what appears to be our nation's collective energy crisis. I just discovered that the energy drink market is going to exceed 700 million dollars this year! And while I have never sampled a Red Bull, the drink is forever imprinted in my brain after seeing Jim Carrey in the movie "Yes Man." If you haven't seen it, search for the Red Bull scene on YouTube ... Carrey's wacky depiction of what a brain on Red Bull looks like is highly entertaining. And a bit creepy, too.

I'm not terribly surprised that energy drink sales are racking up -- one of the chief complaints I hear from new clients is chronic fatigue. When we get down to the particulars, though, no one really asks me how to get that huge power surge like you get from gulping a double espresso (or a Red Bull), but people want ideas on how to have sustained high energy that lasts throughout the day. One of the most powerful results I see with my clients is boundless energy from implementing just a few simple lifestyle improvements -- since low or unsteady energy is a certain sign of a lifestyle gone sideways. So listen up! These are my top lifestyle strategies that can help you reclaim your vigor in just a matter of days:

1. Sleep on it. If you aren't getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly, it will zap your energy the next day.

2. Manage your meals. Eat three hormonally balanced meals throughout the day: clean, lean protein, non-starchy veggies, healthy fats, and high-fiber carbs in the right amounts. Don't be afraid of that carb serving, either. Foods like black beans, sweet potatoes, or brown rice provide great slow-release energy for hours.

3. Lock them away. Avoid the energy robbers: sugar/refined carbohydrates, alcohol, herbal stimulants, caffeine, sleeping pills. They may help you in the moment, but will set you up for a big crash later.

4. Make a move. Get some high-intensity movement in daily, ideally in short bursts of full-body exercise, morning and mid-afternoon, to naturally help boost your energy levels.

5. Bake before you baste. Soak up some natural vitamin D in the form of sunshine every day to help regulate your circadian rhythm. Grab at least 15 minutes in the sun before applying your sunscreen, too ... otherwise, you'll block out all the good stuff along with the bad!

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