Improve your overall energy in just 21 days!

October 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Do you know anyone who isn't tired? Seventy-five million people admit to feeling extreme fatigue at work. Dr. Woody Merrell, author of "The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger," says the solutions to all of our exhaustion is easily within reach. He outlines a six-step 21-day plan to help you become an energy creator.

Dr. Merrell's Morning Shake:

  • 1 1/2 Cups mixed frozen berries (or fresh cut pineapple or papaya)
  • 1 Cup pineapple juice (or pomegranate or cherry juice)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk or rice milk (for soy allergies use whey or organic brown rice protein powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or turmeric)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. flax meal
  • 1 tsp. flax oil
  • 1 Tbsp. probiotic powder or liquid
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

There are 5 categories of activities that people can do to boost energy quickly.

1) For stress/overwrought nervous systems:

a) Go to the breath: i) 2 minutes sitting at the edge of the bed and breathing first thing in the AM, and ii) every hour or so during the day, sit up straight, chest out, chest muscles relaxed and take 4 slow deep abdominal breaths: you will feel the tension (and autonomic nervous system) relaxing right away.

b) Keep a stress log: identify thbose things you can change, or at least get control over right away that will free you up from the energy-draining feeling of lack of control over stress

2) Start moving:

a) Do at least some brief movement exercises every AM (even a couple minutes): ie yoga sun salutation, running in place on small bedroom trampoline, etc.

b) During the day, if stuck at the desk, get up and move!! even hopping a few times gets the blood moving.

c) Research shows that exercising 30 minutes 3 times per week can double our ability to generate energy (increases size, number and efficiency of our energy factories---the mitochondria): it's like plugging into the power grid. and the good news for the exercise-averse is that the studies show you only need to take a brisk walk to get there! More is better, but this easy amount is enough. even two 15 minute walks will do it 3 days/week

3) Food changes:

a) Stop sugar and refined carbos. Change to lean protein and complex carbos for breakfast. The Power Shake recipe in my book is a good one---keeps your energy up for 4-5 hrs.

b) Eat every 4 hours, smaller meals, to avoid sugar drops

c) Cut out coffee--or at least after the morning cup (try green tea?) to avoid the yo-yo effect. Most people need fluids (ie water) not caffeine in the PM. The half-life of caffeine can be up to 6 hours for the approx 50% of people who are slow metabolizers---meaning a double latte at 8 AM could leave 1/2 cup in your system by 8 PM---no wonder many people are exhausted but wired in the evening. ($3 billion of energy drinks like red bull are consumed per year!!!)

4) Sleep:

Many studies in the last 2 years prove that 8 hrs/day is necessary to be able to replenish our energy and fully heal the body (repair DNA, regenerate cell energy). 10.2 hrs before Edison---now ave is 6.9. I will compromise with asking you to get twice during the week and once on the weekend 8 hrs. Get to bed by 10 or 11 and sleep until 6 or 7. Many key hormones (ie growth hormone and melatonin) are produced before 2 AM---if you are asleep.

5) Give to others: feel more connected:

a) people, especially in these highly trying times may feel occasional happiness or pleasure, but rarely feel true joy. Giving to others, seeing how even small random acts of kiondness can help strangers lives brings joy that is immensely liberating and energizing.

b) Keep a laugh log---see those things that make you feel better and cultivate them.

For more information and similary quick tips, visit www.woodsonmerrell.com.

Buy the book on Amazon: The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger

About Dr. Woodson Merrell:
Dr. Woodson Merrell, named by New York magazine a "Leader for the New Millennium," is chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center, Manhattan campus of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Since 1985 he has maintained a high-profile private practice in integrative medicine and acupuncture on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Dr. Merrell has chaired and been scientific director for numerous medical and consumer health care conferences, and is featured regularly in the national media for his expertise in integrative medicine.


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