Monday, August 15, 2011

This Is Not A Battery Commercial

This is about energy - renewable, bio-available energy. Everyone seems to want more of it these days and many are complaining of a shortage. Metabolic burnout has become so common, it is the new buzzword for being chronically fatigued and mentally dull. Just this morning I was passing by the pharmacy counter and heard a woman not 12 years my senior asking the pharmacist if he had any thing to improve energy since hers was "in the tank."

The pharmacists didn't appear to be very rich in energy himself as he moved methodically about his business. He paused and peered past his protruding paunch at the woman. "That's a hard one," he replied. "I use coffee."

"Coffee?!," I wanted to scream, "Have you ever tried a green smoothie?" Listen to this commentary on metabolic burnout by Dr. Warren Willey:

"Mitochondria are sometimes described as the power houses of the cell because they generate most the the cell's supply of energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)....Damaged and beat up and not properly cared for, mitochondria account for a lot of the fatigue you may be suffering from. Taking care of these little energy sources should be at the top of your list in the quest for a solution. Continually elevated insulin levels (as seen in insulin resistance) has been shown to damage and prevent the creation of new mitochondria." [my translation: quick pick-me-ups, especially pop, literally make you more tired!]

Dr. Willey continues, "Following a lower glycemic eating plan is the place to start. Eating a large variety of fruits and vegetable, nuts, seeds, and other whole foods also helps due to the abundance of antioxidants."

Let my validate the doc's advice with my own experience: At 48 1/2 years old, I now have an easier time getting out of bed at 5 a.m. than I did when I was 35. My endurance is better (just ask the spin instructor at the gym), and I am not exhausted at the end of the day, though I'm averaging 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep a night. I feel vibrant throughout the day, and I DON'T TAKE NAPS!

What is the difference? Sprouts! And lots of leafy greens. Plenty of fruits. An abundance of vegetables. About a cup of beans and a cup of whole grains per day. Almost no animal products, except for kefir, which I use as a source of vitamin B-12. And a smattering of nuts & seeds daily.

The rules are easy (although counter-intuitive).
  • It takes energy to make energy
  • If you want quick energy, eat slow-release foods
  • If you want endurance, don't endure between meals
Sound like double-speak? Let me explain. You can't make something from nothing. If we want our bodies to be vitalized, we must fuel them with life. How much energy is in a processed hot dog compared to a growing seed? It takes energy to make energy.

Have you ever noticed how an inexperienced athlete tends to drive hard at the beginning of a race only to burnout before it's over. Eating refined flours and sugars gives the bloodstream a hard boost too early in the race, leaving us lethargic later. To be able to sprint at the finish, we must have a constant supply of fuel available to draw from. Fibrous plant foods are the pacing mechanism that allow us to call forth higher output on demand. If you want quick energy, eat slow-release foods.

Somehow, our culture believes that it's better to last without snacking between meals. Therefore, a steak, which leaves you feeling full for 6 hours, is better than a salad that gives you an empty feeling after 2 hours. Never mind how the cholesterol count compares! Fruit, nuts, seeds, and raw vegetables are perfect for snacking on every few hours to energy levels. If you want endurance, don't endure between meals.

To your energy and health and happiness,

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