If adulthood had a slogan, it would be "I'm tired." But ironically, when you ask us tired people to slow down, you see our eyes bulge and facial muscles twitch as we try to resolve the internal conflict between the fact that we're doing too much and the fear that we could be left behind if we pause to breathe.
It is a frustrating conundrum we're trying to navigate, this unsettling soundtrack of our grown-up years we all dance to without rhythm like puppets jiggling on strings.
I could sit here and preach all day about resting. That would be self-righteous though, seeing as I don't take enough breaks. Most of us don't, and the joke is on us. You see, rest is actually the easiest way to get the energy to keep going, chasing dreams and posting #mybestlife updates. It's an advantage that requires almost no effort (isn't that the point?).
But all that is a sermon you may have heard before. The reality is, there are several steps between the busy lives we live and the counter-culture of rest we need. Several steps no one, even if they are willing, can take overnight. We are at different levels of busyness and the journey toward finding a balance is not the same for everyone.
So while we figure out how to design a life of doing less, let's make the much easier moves to be less tired together. Please, follow along closely.
The Herculean Diet
No, this wasn't 'borrowed' from a Greek god neither is it anything like The Rock's insane seven-meals-a-day diet for the title role in the 2014 Hercules movie. It's a roll call of the best natural energy-boosting foods you can get almost anywhere.
Top on the list is the humble banana. This unpretentious and cheap fruit really doesn't get enough credit. Considering that it reportedly delivers as much energy as the average carbohydrate drink athletes guzzle for strength while also packing fiber, vitamins C and B6 as well as a lot of potassium, it deserves your respect and money.
Oats are next, and I can vouch for this one easily - I've had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast nearly every day of the past month. It keeps me full from 7:00 am to well past midday and it's a healthier option (particularly steel-cut or old-fashioned oats) than anything from Kellogg's. Better than having it with milk alone, unlock its full potential this way.
Beans? Yup, beans made it here. It gets bad press for causing gas (this is why) but beans is great and not only as a canvas for plantain. It's highly rated as a source of protein, but there's fiber, folic acid (which helps convert carbohydrate to energy) and quite a lot of healthy carbohydrate in there as well, releasing glucose for several hours. Swing toward the red kind.
Find more foods Hercules would eat here and while you're at it, compare them with these energy-sapping ones.
The factors of our tiredness, natural energy boosters, the bad and the ugly of energy drinks and how to sleep in for energy.
Gives You Wings
Here's the deal with energy drinks: They have no actual nutritional value, contain way too much caffeine, spike your blood sugar level and can be a gateway to obesity and depression among other things. It's a horror show, really, and you don't need me to tell you that the risks far outweigh the supposed benefits.
"But what I do when you need to get energy fast?"
Say hello to spinach, the remarkable leafy green vegetable you may have been eating wrong (as the overcooked main ingredient in a variety of soups).
Raw spinach is a nutritional powerhouse containing folic acid, magnesium and iron (both of which are essential for releasing energy), calcium and antioxidants including Vitamin C.
You can eat it in a salad or make it into a green smoothie:
1. Combine two cups of very green spinach leaves with one cup of water in a blender and blend till all the large bits of spinach are gone.
2. Next, add two frozen slices of pineapple and a frozen banana and blend till smooth. You can also add a few slices of cucumbers, another vitamin-packed vegetable.
- A teaspoon of pure honey doubles as a healthy sweetener and a quick energy booster.
- Dehydration drains the body of energy. Keep your water level topped up throughout the day.
If you're not burnt out, the right kind of music can definitely give you a shot of energy. And South African house artiste Lady Zamar makes that kind of music.
This week's audio recommendation is her award-winning sophomore album, King Zamar, a fourteen-track set of songs with high repeat value.
Stream the album on Spotify or Apple Music.
Get some rest this weekend, please.
I have good news. relea:se now has an independent home at getrelease.co.
This is the first step in the transition from a bimonthly email to a full-fledged lifestyle company, and I am glad you have a front-row seat on this journey.
Please, visit the website to find prescriptions for a good life and share them with the people you care about. Thank you.