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Energy: Who needs more?
by Dave Foreman
This is the third time I have covered the topic of energy in my newsletter. The last time was almost a year ago, and I received an amazing response. I thought I would revisit the subject again this year with some new twists to an old topic. Our crazy, hectic, stressful lifestyle has burned us out to the core. I am preaching to you from experience on this one too. I may not always come across as someone who is fatigued, stressed, and tired, but trust me, I have walked that road before. It was only through my fatigue and suffering that I came to realize the practical and foundational way out of feeling like garbage. Remember, there is nothing worse than a hypocrite, and I don’t want to be one to you. So I will share the steps that I took to get back to myself, but before I do, let me share some personal and even embarrassing things with you about my life. ** It seems like this newsletter contains a few articles with me “coming clean”, but I want to show you that I am not perfect, struggle (at times) with living a healthy lifestyle and have overcome my shortcomings with persistence and creative techniques. In the past seven years I have had a very (to say the least) stressful life. I have also had some pretty serious health issues. Check out my reality:
• Got separated and then divorced
I am not proud to admit any of these things to you. A few of my friends and family members even commented that I should never share this type of information with everyone. My belief is that in order to help you get to the best health possible, I need to be “real” to you and show you that my philosophy and beliefs work for real people. I am definitely a real person, and have gone through many of the same or similar situations that you have. The “lifestyle” that I had was conducive to completely draining my energy levels. Here is what I did to get out from underneath my rock and get back the energy and vitality that had left me years ago:
The number one thing that I hear from people that have used a “total-body” type of cleanse is the dramatic increase in energy they experienced. Think about it: all the systems in your body are probably bogged down with “sludge.” Not just your colon, but your liver, blood, kidneys and more. By removing the toxins (I suggest a four-week cleansing period) you will give your body the freedom to redirect the energy it had been using on handling toxins for other activities. Your local Vitamin Shoppe carries a wide range of total body cleansing systems. If you like how you feel after using a cleanse, you may wish to cleanse daily. I use Flor*Essence tea, but there are other detox teas as well as the new Daily Multi Detox from Renew Life. In addition to general internal cleansing, I like to focus in on supporting my liver. Using a liver cleanse every four months is another great way to get your body back on track. I learned years ago that stress is stored in the liver. Getting rid of toxins, and supporting the general health of my liver, has been a critical component in the improvement of my health. I usually use Liver Cleanse and follow it with a month or so of a liver support product like: Liver Blend SP-13 or even just something like standardized milk thistle.
My “Family Health” article on the cover of this newsletter goes into more detail, but let me just stress and confess that using all four areas of my supplement foundation was critical for getting me back on my feet. Remember that foundational supplements are not necessarily going to dramatically change how you feel overnight, but over extended periods of time your body will reap the benefits.
You should keep in mind that rebuilding your energy stores is a long-term project. In order to help re-build your energy stores, we need to look at a few key nutrients; B-5 (also known as pantothenic acid), phosphatidylserine, licorice, melatonin, and B-complex. This may sound like a ton of supplements, but if you really wish to get your energy back to full strength, using this arsenal of supplements may be necessary.
Vitamin B-5: Taking a closer look at each of these nutrients will better explain why they are all needed to get you back on the road to more energy. Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) helps to activate the adrenal glands. A prolonged depletion of B-5 can lead to headaches, fatigue and sleep disturbances. It also plays an important role in the production of energy within your cells. Phosphatidylserine (PS) provides serine, a precursor to the formation of many neurotransmitters. By providing the tools the nervous system needs, you are more likely to stay emotionally in balance and suffer less from fatigue. B-complex is recommended because most of the B vitamins provide either direct or indirect effects on nourishing the adrenals or helping with neurotransmitter supplies. Don’t forget, I always suggest taking a magnesium supplement along with your B-complex. They work together and are needed for each to do its job in the body. 200- 250mg per day may be all you need.
Licorice Root: For centuries, licorice root has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Licorice root is known to stimulate and nourish the adrenal glands. It has also been used for more serious conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (Licorice root can lead to increases in blood pressure and contribute to fluid retention.)
Melatonin: Melatonin, known as the sleep hormone, is naturally occurring in the body and can improve circadian rhythm and help you fall asleep faster. This improved rest will help the body to recharge so you can feel more energetic each morning.
There are a few other supplements that often get overlooked, but play a HUGE role in fighting fatigue. Here is the list of what you need to look for: Cordyceps: Cordyceps is a mushroom-based supplement that helps with stress and rejuvenating your adrenals. I have added cordyceps to my supplement program for a few months now and can honestly say that using it has played a major role in why I feel so great.
Carnipure (L-Carnitine): The body uses L-Carnitine to help produce energy. I added Carnipure to my supplement program back in February of this year as part of my training supplement regimen. Carnipure is often looked at as the supplement to aid with weight loss, cardiovascular health and workout performance, but often gets overlooked when it comes to energy. I believe that Carnipure’s best benefit comes from its ability to help our body produce MORE energy. Its mechanism of action enhances energy production without the typical stimulating effects that some supplements can have. Initially, I didn’t feel the effects, but over the past several months, I won’t do without taking my 1000mg of Carnipure each day. I do this whether or not I exercise on a daily basis.
Reishi: I have known about reishi mushroom supplements for years, but never really considered using them. Only recently did I learn how powerful this medicinal mushroom can be at helping my body get back into balance. Talk about a supplement that helps me feel more relaxed, get better sleep and wake up feeling rejuvenated…wow…what a shocker. I learned from a friend that using cordyceps (another kind of mushroom mentioned earlier) in the morning and mid-afternoon helps support energy production during the day, but then adding Reishi late afternoon and at bedtime does the trick.
Rhodiola: Helps with stress and rejuvenating your adrenals. I used this occasionally for periods of great stress and as part of my cardio training to run the half-marathon.
Keep in mind that YES I did use all of these supplements either at one point or on a continuing basis. The effects in some cases are gradual and others immediate. It will depend on how badly your energy levels are and any other health issues you may be dealing with. Be patient and consistent…I FEEL GREAT.
4 Pillars of Great Health
I would be remiss if I didn’t shed some more light on the non-supplement side of how I got my energy back. I am a follower of my 4 Pillars of Great Health (not just a preacher). My Family Health article will explain more. Just keep in mind that certain lifestyle choices will make your situation worse or delay the progress of getting your energy levels up to something you find acceptable.
My 4 Pillars of Health should be followed without error to get your energy back. Beginning with diet, eliminating caffeine, tobacco, refined foods (sugar, white foods, etc.) and getting checked for food sensitivities is a great start. (Yep, certain food sensitivities can cause you to feel tired all of the time) At the same time, it will be beneficial to add more greens to your diet. In this case, a supplement form of greens is the way to go. You get a concentrated amount all in one serving. Greens act to purify the body and promote increases in energy and well-being. It is a win-win!
Exercise may seem like a silly thing to recommend to someone who is tired, but believe it or not, increased activity will decrease fatigue and increase your energy. Exercise will help reduce stress, which in turn will allow your body to recover from the every day rigors of life. Just try it; what do you have to lose? A few pounds? Fatigue? Stress? Lower blood pressure? I recommend 30 minutes of brisk walking (fast enough that you will be almost short of breath) per day.
Spirituality plays a huge role in fatigue. It can help with stress reduction and assist your body in resting better at night. I use prayer and reading my bible to help in this area. In addition, if you have problems sleeping, try my A-Z method of sleeping. For each letter of the alphabet, think of something you are thankful for. (e.g. A- Adam and Amanda-my children, B-Birds of prey (my favorite type of bird)) You get the idea; prayer and rest go hand in hand. Most nights, both my wife and I fall asleep while praying. Spirituality will bring you inner peace—something we can all use more of. Just ask someone who is spiritually connected and follows my other three Pillars if they are tired.
A final thought; most of us suffering from the “energy crisis” seem to look for a short-term solution. Perhaps a stop at your favorite coffee shop or at the local vending machine has been your answer. Remember that your energy depletion didn’t happen over night and fixing it won’t happen immediately either. This is a lifestyle choice. By taking the proper supplements along with the other three Pillars of health, you will be well on your way to being the energetic you from the past. By the way, my wife and I ran our first halfmarathon together in April. I felt amazing after it was over—no fatigue at all; just the sore muscles that are to be expected. My program works.