How to get your mojo back

It’s natural on occasion to feel tired, lethargic and as though your get up and go has simply got up and gone.

Woman with energy jumping against the backdrop of a sunsetBut if you’re feeling like this all the time, your diet and what you’re eating – or not eating – could play a part.

It’s always a good idea to rule anything else out though, so check with your GP to make sure you don’t have any underlying medical issues.

Once that box has been ticked, here are my top tips for balancing your diet to see if you can get your mojo back:

Have breakfast every single day. Wholegrain breakfasts like porridge, shredded wheat and bran flakes, poached egg on wholemeal toast or a vitamin-packed fruit smoothie all get you off to a good start.

Eat regularly. That means three meals a day with two snacks such as fruit, yoghurt, or nuts, so you get a regular release of energy and no energy drops or surges.

Selection of fresh fruit and vegEat more fruit and veg. They can be fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced to count and they are all part of your 5-a-day.  The fibre in these gems will keep you feeling fuller for longer and balance out your blood sugar levels.

Be carb savvy. Slow-burning carbohydrates give sustained energy throughout the day. Aim for wholemeal pasta, rice and bread, rather than the white processed versions.

Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. It gives you a rush of energy that can then leave you feeling tired and irritable.

You can check the amount of sugar in products by scrutinising the labels – you’ll be surprised which foods contain high amounts of it, too. Anything with more than 22.5g of sugar per 100g is classed as high sugar, anything with less than 5% is classed as low.

Avoid sugary, fizzy drinks, and try to prepare your meals from scratch. And if you fancy a bit of chocolate, that’s fine – just stick to the dark variety.

Eat lots of iron rich foods to reduce tiredness. This includes things like sardines, lentils, cashew nuts, pine nuts, baked beans, red meat, fortified cereals, dried apricots and cooked spinach.

Stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water or drinking too much alcohol can make you feel tired. This means aiming for around two litres of water a day, more if you’re playing sports or it’s extra hot. Keep a large water bottle handy so you can take sips throughout the day.

Food with unsaturated fats: avocado, salmon and nutsManage your stress levels. You can do this by eating foods that boost your serotonin and balance your adrenaline and cortisol levels. Just three Brazil nuts a day will do the trick.

Try to up your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids – in fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel – and enjoy a fruit-and-veg-rich diet packed with things like spinach and avocado.

Get some sleep. A good night’s sleep helps the body to recharge and process what’s happened in the day.  Make sure your bedroom is nice and dark and cooler than other rooms in the house.

Simple tips, but all good advice. Once you feel more energised, you’ll be ready to take on the world…

Susan Hart

About Susan Hart

I am a Nottingham-based nutritional coach, advising clients about the benefits of healthy eating. This is delivered on an individual, group or organisational wide basis. For clients wishing to stay healthy and possibly lose weight I offer vegan and vegetarian cookery classes. I also deliver wellbeing workshops at Maggie’s Cancer Support Centre at the City Hospital in Nottingham. As a vegetarian chef I also write a monthly restaurant review for the Nottingham Post, and regularly write for the West Bridgford Wire. I just love talking about and eating food! Visit my website www.nutrition-coach.co.uk to find out more.