Top 5 Energy Zappers with Fibromyalgia
When you have fibromyalgia, you figure out quickly what the difference is between being miserable or thriving in life lies and managing your energy. Contrary to what you may have heard, you do have a great measure of control over your energy and the lifestyle choices you make will be key.
Fibro is not a bolt of lightning sent down from above to punish us and we are not helpless victims. The flip side is that if you keep doing what you have always done, in terms of how you eat, move and get along in the world, you will keep on suffering.
You have to want to feel better enough that you will put it in the work to assess and change what is not working for you. There’s no magic pill and there’s no magic diet that will cure it. However nutrition is definitely part of the equation and can make a huge difference and is where my client generally need the most support to change.
So in the spirit of being the unstoppable, feisty, fibro fighter that I know you can be, I’m going to share with you five energy zappers to avoid.
#1. Food Additives & Artificial Sweeteners
Certain food additives, such as MSG and artificial sweeteners, are known to aggravate the already hypersensitive nervous system and increased pain level in fibromyalgia. So avoiding these additives will help lessen pain.
Once your body has absorbed nutrients from food, it must transform that fuel into energy for yourself, but it does this very inefficiently and fibromyalgia. Due to the effects of chronic stress response in the body in fibromyalgia, energy production is impaired. When the brain cells aren’t able to make enough energy to keep up with the body’s demand, we experience pain and fatigue.
When the muscle cells aren’t able to make enough it results in muscle pain and weakness. So improving the ability to produce energy from nutrients is the key factor in restoring balance, reducing fatigue and muscle pain.
Consuming lots of pre-packaged convenience foods are void of any nutrition due to inferior ingredients, reheating them in the microwave, and preservatives added to the foo These foods are loaded with chemicals, preservatives, sodium, GMOs, often added sugar, and unhealthy fats. Even though in the short-term these can be convenient, they usually deprive yourself of the vital nutrients that your body needs and therefore you’re starving yourself as the energy that you need.
#2. Not Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables
We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, right? I think we can all agree that most of us are probably not eating enough fruits and vegetables. And believe it or not, when we’re not getting enough fruits and vegetables, We’re contributing to our lack of energy.
Essentially these foods make you feel better, are nutrient dense and provide your body with what it needs to produce energy. The goal is to eat more foods that help us feel better and less that make us feel worse.
I think with all of the fad diets that are out there right now, fruit has gotten a bad rap. If I had a dollar for every time somebody told me they don’t eat a banana because it has too many sugars in it, I’d be a rich lady.
Bananas are so amazing! They are vitamins and nutrients like potassium that our body needs. They give us natural energy. You do not need to fear bananas or any other fruit. In fact, you should be eating MORE of them!!!!
Did you know??? An apple will over more energy offer more of a pick me up than a cup of coffee? So if you are feeling tired in the afternoon, eat an apple!
We should be eating 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Half of that should be from fruit. So if you are struggling with a lack of energy, focus on adding in more fruits and vegetables.
#3. Skimping on the healthy fats and protein
To get better energy production, we need to increase protein and certain healthy fat. To restore balance to energy production we need to use high quality fuel in the form of nutrition that will improve the mileage of yourselves engine.
Basically protein helps produce a steady level of energy and helps us avoid low blood sugar crash What are body functions best with stable blood sugar level, so don’t skip meals and eat drink with high protein snacks. Protein fuel for adrenal gland to better regulate blood sugar levels. So eating more protein helps keep steady blood sugar levels, and our brain functions best when given a study amount of sugar at all times. The best way to do this is to eat some protein every few hours.
So in the past, fat got a bad rap. If you eat fat you get that. That’s not true. It’s all about the quality of the fats you eat.
Fats are high energy food sources made up of fatty acids. Some fatty acids our body cannot make on its own. These are called essential fatty acids and they come in two types omega-3 and omega-6. Foods that are rich in Omega threes are absolute favorite food for increasing energy in the body.
Our body uses fat as a building block for certain hormones, enabling us to process certain vitamins, and support immune and nervous system help. Bats are all so yummy and give us a feeling of satiety or feeling full. That can be found in foods like butter, avocado, olive oil, cheese, eggs, meats, and fish.
When we’re not consuming enough healthy fats, our body starts to burn muscle to use as fuel. That’s not a good thing. And it’s going to drain us of our energy.
So we can help our bodies produce more energy by giving them healthy fats. We want to be eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like avocados, egg yolks, and wild caught fish like salmon… You want to cook with high-quality oils like coconut and olive oil. We want to eat more healthy fats in order to have more energy.
#4. Avoiding All Grains
So if you have followed me for any length of time you know that I am completely anti-diet… for several reasons. One reason I loath the diet industry is because they have started to shame those of us with chronic illness telling us that by not following a prescribed diet is the reason behind our chronic illness. Not true.
Most of these fad diets right now that people are recommending are actually far from healthy for people with fibromyalgia and autoimmune issues. One of the reasons being that they want you to avoid all grains.
Avoiding all grains is not realistic for those of us with fibromyalgia, especially when we have chronic fatigue to go along with it. They are too low carb, which can cause mood swings and anxiety.
Yes, gluten can be a cause of inflammation if you have Celiac or a true intolerance to it, but other grains usually don’t fit into this category. Our body uses whole grains as a source of fiber and nutrients such as B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. All of which are shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and obesity. Not only that, your body actually needs these nutrients to produce energy!
Most people with fibromyalgia and other autoimmune are often deficient in B vitamins which causes an imbalance with your adrenals which leads to chronic fatigue. But also they are deficient in zinc and magnesium which is also associated with not only a lack of energy, but chronic pain.
It’s always best that we are getting as many of these nutrients as possible from food sources and not synthetic supplements. So cutting out whole food groups, especially whole grains, we are depriving yourself of the nutrients our body needs to produce enough energy for us to get through the day.
#5. Stress/Adrenal Fatigue
This one has nothing to do with food but is a major cause of low energy: Stress and the result of adrenal fatigue. I was one of those crazy type A people who thought this dressed up with a bunch of hooey. That thinking read me two years of pain and suffering. Once I understood the Mind Body Connection and adapted strategies to call my mind and body, I found relief, and so can you. Start with the practice of gratitude and learn to meditate, you can just 10 minutes a day can do wonders for relieving stress.
Have you ever noticed that certain foods or behaviors zap your energy? What do you do to avoid these? Please share with all of us by leaving a comment here.
And if you’d like help with your nutritional needs so that you can increase your energy and decrease your pain and other fibro symptoms, let’s chat. You can schedule a complementary Fibro Breakthrough Session with me and we’ll talk about what your body needs.