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I'm a mom to three very busy boys and wife to a former pro-athlete. My husband played for the Lakers. During that time they hired an amazing doctor and nutritionist, who revamped the entire team’s nutrition and worked closely with the families to implement these changes at home. I was able to see first hand the power of nutrition in transforming our energy, vitality and health.

At the time I was suffering from various chronic illnesses, but this experience showed me how powerful nutrition and holistic healing as a whole was. Instead of focusing on my symptoms, I began to focus on the foundations of my health like proper sleep, stress management, nutrition and inflammation control.

After that I was hooked and went back to school to become certified in nutrition. I am now the founder of my Integrative Nutrition practice, KB Wellness, and the creator of the KB Code which features my signature methodology.  

As an Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach I’ve dedicated my practice to helping women all over the world lay the foundations for lasting health using root cause solutions (no Band Aids here) so they can live the life they deserve and THRIVE every single day. No more feeling tired. No more feeling anxious. No more bloat. No more symptoms. Just true, lasting health.

 

What is energy and where does it come from?

What is energy? At its purest level, energy is Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy currency of all living things on the planet. 

We need energy to function in every single way. Keeping your body temperature regulated, walking up and down stairs, breathing and utilizing oxygen, digesting food...all require your body to utilize  energy.

ATP is made by your mitochondria and relies on the proper functioning of certain processes in your body.  This is where the choices we make, like what to eat, how much to sleep, and what toxins we allow into our lives, can greatly impact the amount of energy we’re able to have and bring to our daily lives. 


Root causes of low energy and what you can do about them:

 

Inflammation

Inflammation, a response triggered by damage to living tissues,  disrupts many cellular processes in the bodyincluding ATP productionand can completely tank your energy.  

What you can do: 

  • Avoid inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, sugar, and processed foods. Anything with chemicals in it should be avoided!

  • Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet such as: 

    • Fatty fish rich in Omega 3’s like salmon, anchovies, and sardines

    • Turmeric, a popular spice used in Indian cuisine, whose active ingredient is curcumin. Black pepper helps make the curcumin more bioavailable to the body

    • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kale. 

  • Incorporate CBD into your daily life. Many studies have shown that CBD has amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. A great CBD brand is Soul CBD that sells everything from oil drops to bath bombs to gummies and more.

 

Nutrient Deficiencies 

  • The truth about over-farming and mono-cropping is they have stripped nutrients from our soil, making it even harder to get enough of them from our food (think: magnesium, selenium, and folate). 

  • Processed foods have become a big part of the average American’s diet but offer minimal nutrition. Too many health-less food choices pass as meals.

  • Even if you do manage to consume the right amount of nutrients, many medications can rob the body of nutrition (for example the birth control pill lowers the amount of folate and B6 and magnesium in the body).

  • Medical conditions like celiac disease or SIBO impair the absorption of nutrients you take in as well. 

What you can do:

  • The best way to find produce with high-quality nutrients is to find a farmer that uses good farming practices (like crop rotation, plot resting, and composting and fertilizing) that increase the nutrient content of the soil. Farmers markets are a great choice for this reason!  If you want to go the extra mile and have the room, grow your own produce in composted soil.

  • Keep processed foods to a minimum and focus on eating all of the colors of the rainbow to ensure you’re getting ALL of the nutrients you need, like folate, magnesium, selenium, iron, thiamin and more. 

  • As for medications or medical conditions that may keep you from proper nutrient absorption, talk to your doctor about taking vitamins and supplements. 

 

Poor Sleep 

Whether you are waking up frequently, can’t stay asleep, or are not getting enough deep sleep, poor sleep tanks your energy, brain power and can lead to poor nutritional choices. Lack of sleep has been found to lower cognitive function, increase caloric intake, and increase fatigue as well. When it comes to getting proper shut-eye, quantity and quality are equally important. 

What you can do:

  • Avoid the sleep offenders: alcohol, artificial light (phones, tvs, computers), too much caffeine, poor nutrition, and intense exercise before bed. 

  • Focus on sleep hygiene. This includes your sleeping environment (should be cold, quiet, and dark), 

  • Create consistent pre-bed routines l (try to have the same routine every night like taking a bath, deep breathing, or journaling) 

  • Stick to a sleep schedule (The more consistent you are with your sleep times and wake times the better) 


Blood Sugar Imbalances

Keeping your blood sugar balanced is a huge key to maintaining stable energy. Blood sugar that’s constantly rising and falling will make you feel like you’re on an energy roller coaster.  

To have balanced blood sugar you need to make sure your carbohydrate load isn’t too high at any given meal or snack, and make sure you always have protein and fat onboard as well! If you have a meal that’s pure carbs (think giant bowl of oatmeal with bananas, or donuts or bagels) without any fat or protein to slow that absorption, it’s going to spike your blood sugar really high, which will cause it to eventually crash really low. 

What you can do:

Pair the right foods together. Make sure that every meal you eat has a balanced amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. All three should be present every time you eat. This is going to give you maximum stable energy throughout the day.

An example of this would be scrambled eggs with cheese (aka protein and fat) and blueberries (aka carbs) for breakfast, or a big salad with olives and avocados (fat) and grilled chicken (protein) and a side of fresh fruit (carbs). Make sure each meal is well rounded and your blood sugar, and therefore your energy, will be much more balanced. 

 

Toxins


Toxins are found in our water, makeup, skin care, cleaning supplies, food, and air, and can all impair our cellular function, leading to poor energy. Toxins are easily absorbed into our bodies and bloodstreams from face masks, body washes, lotions, etc., and can be ingested through unfiltered tap water, polluted air, and home products like non-stick pans and air fresheners.

What you can do:

  • For personal care: A GREAT website to check the health and safety of your products is the Skin Deep Database on the Environmental Working Group’s website. 

  • For makeup & skincare: Seek out clean beauty products (There are tons of lists  out there to help you navigate.)

    • For water: Do a little research and find out the state of your local tap water.  (Pipes are not the only thing that can contaminate water; our water supply is full of pharmaceutical residue, arsenic, heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides from farming runoff, and so much more.) To find out more about the tap water in your area simply plug your zip code into the Environmental Working Group database HERE

    • For  your air: Chances are, your air is more polluted than you think it is, outside and in. According to the EPA, Americans spend 90% of their time indoors and some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher inside than typical outdoor concentrations. Consider getting an air cleaner for your home that will filter out toxins and chemicals from the air. The EPA has great guidelines HERE. 

      

    In Closing...

    If you feel like your energy is low, there are many natural solutions to getting it back up. With a conscious, healthy diet, the right supplements, good sleep, and an awareness about the products you use and consume, you can make active choices that will keep you feeling energized and ready to take on the world.

    For more information about Kristen Blake, please visit her website or instagram

     

     

    Sources: 

    [2] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987. The total exposure assessment methodology (TEAM) study: Summary and analysis. EPA/600/6-87/002a. Washington, DC. 

     https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality#note2

    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-07/documents/guide_to_air_cleaners_in_the_home_2nd_edition.pdf

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12031-017-1006-x

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/

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