Surprisingly, the things that are robbing us of our natural energy are some of the same things that we think are helping us have more energy.  You guessed it, coffee, soda, energy drinks.  These beverages loaded with caffeine and sugar are also chemicalized and filled with additives.  The caffeine that is naturally found in coffee and tea is much different than the synthetic stuff they are putting into energy drinks, and so called Smart water.  These substances actually strip us of our energy, forcing us to live a roller coaster of ups and downs chasing our cravings. 

There is a better way and it might actually really surprise you how simple it might be.

I used to be a complete coffee, Starbucks, and soda addict and thought it was not really affecting me.  I didn’t realize how much it was affecting my sleep, my roller coaster and blood sugar.  I didn’t even realize just how addicted I truly was.  I also didn’t think the alternative of living without these substances would bode very well for me keeping my job, or being able to function normally.  Boy was I surprised.

I made a gradual change of cutting back, substituting black tea initially, and all the while focusing on eating healthy and drinking tons of filtered, fresh water.  As time went on I slowly fit out soda, coffee, Starbucks, and all other processed drinks, except occasional wine and tea.  I replaced it with water, tea of all kinds, water, water and some wine.  I ate lots of vegetables, leafy greens, and healthy meats.  I immediately noticed that I slept better and I was more alert during the day.  My focus and concentration improved and best of all I stopped riding the caffeine/sugar roller coaster all day long.

I start each day off with a half of a lemon squeezed into my cup and filled with hot water.  Then I have breakfast or a smoothie; I drink water, water and more water all day long.  Smoothies are a great way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your morning meal with a lot of fuss.  With protein incorporated into it you can start your day with everything you need to fuel your morning.  The phytonutrients from the fresh plant material, as well as the natural sugars from fruit start your day on a healthy note and tie you over until lunch.

Once you get over your initial cravings for coffee, sugar, or soda your body will thank you for this change and you will not believe how much better you feel.  Try this for 30 days, and notice how your body feels, how your gut feels, how your elimination is working, and overall just pay close attention to what your body is telling you.  After 30 days if you feel you want to go back to coffee, or soda or whatever, I suggest trying it out slowly, and again notice how you feel.  Your body will tell you whether it wants these substances or not, but you have to listen very carefully.

Recognize too, that this may be more of a habit.  If you yearn for a warm beverage in the morning, try the lemon “tea” mentioned above, or a cup of green or herbal tea.  If you make the time for breakfast in the morning, you can enjoy a frittata with eggs and veggies or a simple scramble or omelet. 

Now we do know that our favorite breakfast meats, BACON and sausage are not actually that healthy.  However, I will not be the one telling you to give up BACON, or sausage for that matter.  This is where my “in moderation” theory comes in, and I splurge every once in a while on these yummy breakfast meats – I LOVE BACON!!  If you can even cut back a bit on this you will be doing yourself a great favor, remember progress is better than perfection.  You may have heard me talk before about the 80/20 or the 90/10 rule.  If you are eating healthy and doing the right thing by your body 80-90% of the time, you can do whatever you like the other 10-20%.

Be easy on yourself as you make these changes.  Like I said, my process was methodical and planned out in stages over a long period of time.  If you slip up, just try to do better the next day.  Do not beat yourself up, do not speak poorly of yourself, just move on and do better.  Every day, every meal, is a new opportunity to eat better, live better and be better.

So, what is robbing you of your energy?  Let me know in the comments.  Let me know what you would like to switch up and try on for crowding out one of these vices?