This post is sponsored by Kicao Energy Bars
Just like most people nowadays, I live a full and busy life. Which honestly sometimes can be a little too busy. For example? I teach group fitness classes at Gold’s Gym 3 days a week. Three days a week I also teach classes at Yoga Nook, and this year I’m also a part of the yoga teacher training faculty which I am thoroughly enjoying. Then, throughout the week I run my personal training business, training private clients, in-home and online. Add onto all that a husband, a house, a dog, my own workouts/yoga, further education, a blog, friends and family, etc… and things can get kinda crazy around here.
5 keys to staying energized all day
Due to all this craziness I don’t have a ‘set schedule’. Literally every day is different. Yet I manage to keep track of everything thanks to my planner and Google Calendar. Understandably though my days need to run like a fine tuned machine, and keeping myself motivated, and energized is key. So I thought I’d share my top 5 tips for staying energized throughout the day.
Get some Z’s
It goes without saying that sleep deprivation is not good for your energy levels throughout the day. Last year I was working some weird hours. Two days a week I’d finish my work day at 10pm and drive 30 minutes home, go to bed around 11pm, then at 5am I’d have to get up to train clients. You don’t want to know how I felt around 2pm in the afternoon. I think the word ‘Zombie’ is appropriate. If you’ve ever been up all night with a sick kid (or pet) and you know what I’m talking about. Sleep is important yo! Make sure you’re getting in quality 7-9 hours a night.
Food is fuel
When you’re busy it’s tempting to save time by succumbing to fast food, or skipping meals altogether. It sounds crazy but it’s during these times that you need good healthy food, like fresh fruits and vegetables even more. Most Americans struggle to get in all their vitamins and minerals as it is. Throw a crazy schedule into the mix and before you know it you’ve eaten meals in the car twice in one day and are currently starving hungry, sluggish and really wanting a nap. This is the time that you need your food prep and menu planning more than ever. It’s also a great time to invest in pre-washed and cut veggies from the supermarket and a crockpot or electric pressure cooker! Micronutrients are super important and while you could supplement whole food versions are much better for you.
It might seem counterintuitive but activity can increase your energy. Often we find our energy beginning to slump because we’ve been sitting too long. Instead of sinking further into the couch, get up and get moving. If you work from home part-time like I do, this can be super important. Us bloggers tend to sit and write for hours, which can lead to temptation of a mid-afternoon snooze. Instead get up, and do some jumping jacks, or take the dog for a quick 20 minute walk. Not only will this boost your energy, but also your mood and your focus. Plus it’s good for your overall health anyway.
Anyone who sees me in person knows that I carry a water bottle with me everywhere, because I know the effects of dehydration. Just like being hungry can change your mood and energy levels, so can being dehydrated. Common side effects of even mild dehydration include headaches, fatigue, and lack of concentration. In studies women have shown to be more susceptible to the effects of dehydration than men, so ladies DRINK YOUR WATER!
Try An Energy Bar, Like Kicao
Instead of snacking on something that’s just going to give you empty calories instead how about snacking on something that is going to give you calories, energy, nutrients and tastes great too. I have this little zippered compartment at the top of my gym bag that holds important items: phone, keys and snacks. What I consider the essentials for a busy day. The folks at Kicao sponsored this post and sent me some of their Kicao energy bars to try.
Kicao is made with 3-4 all natural ingredients, including energy boosting cacao. Not to be confused with coffee or chocolate, cacao is amazing at boosting energy levels. How? Cacao is high in magnesium which is an essential nutrient for the body. In fact it’s responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and honestly deserves a blog post all on it’s own. Suffice to say that the benefits of magnesium include boosting energy levels. assisting in better sleep, and improving athletic performance. Along with magnesium cacao is also high in Phenylethylamine which increases energy, alertness and focus (and can also act as an aphrodisiac too by the way, bow chica wow wow).
I’m sure you’ve heard that dark chocolate is good for you right? Good news, it’s true! However, what you want is the natural cacao, as found in Kicao bars, because it comes without all the added sweeteners. No added sugars, no corn syrup, and no artificial sweeteners. With Kicao you get pure cacoa with dried fruit and nuts. That’s it. The bars are available in three flavors: Almond, coconut and peanut; and are available exclusively in the US in Natural Grocers stores.
So how did they taste? As a dark chocolate fan I loved it. The addition of the dried fruit counters the bitterness in the cacao. With the addition of nuts for some texture the are was definitely tasty. Again note the ingredients in this Almond Kicao bar: Cacao, almonds, raisins, natural vanilla. Boom! Talk about eating clean!
The whole bar has 229 calories, 16g fat, 17g carbs, and 5g protein. The high fat and carbs might scare some people but this fat is from REAL FOOD (the almonds) and not oils, so shouldn’t scare anyone. This bar contains 33% of your RDA of magnesium, and 12% of iron. Damn! But, did it boost my energy? Yes! I’ve felt the effects of this bar about 30-45 minutes after eating it. Similar to a caffeine buzz, heightened alertness and increased energy, but without the crazy jitters (I am caffeine sensitive and I don’t drink coffee). So yes the Kicao bars definitely worked for me, and I’d recommend them as an alternative to any energy bar full of added sugars, oils, and artificial ingredients.
Have you tried cacao?
Which flavor Kicao bar would you like to try?
What’s your top tip for staying energized?