Energy – cross and delight

The vast majority of people  strive to achieve and maintain a high energy level early in the morning and throughout the day.

However, this is one of the biggest topics I believe no one can understand and it can’t be fully explained: being tired even if you haven’t done much.

This constant fatigue can be utterly overwhelming and frustrating. 

I started to feel different from the early days when I became vegan, eating, for example, nuts, fruits, seeds, pulses, grains, vegetables and mushrooms and avoiding animal products.

My body and mind were so energised and rejuvenated, it was a feeling I’ve never experienced before.

As the disease has accompanied me for over 21 years and the  change in nutrition has been embraced nearly 11 years ago, I have experienced and can certainly testify the radical difference between the first half of the “journey” with MS and the second half, where the pattern has been completely overturned

Having said that, the tiredness associated with chronic conditions can’t be erased completely.

Nevertheless, I strongly believe, and have experienced, that life can massively improve by fighting the tiredness back as I have done, keep implementing and never felt better.  

The energising power of a healthy diet is mostly due to the difficulty our digestive system encounters when metabolising food. Indeed, animal products continue to putrefy in our gastrointestinal tract and release substances (such as, endotoxins and amines). These are extremely toxic for our digestive organs, and also weaken our own healthy bacteria or microbiota as explained in the previous blog post.  

Other molecules that are strictly associated with animal food consumption are saturated fatty acids. These harmful substances cause impairment in the blood system, with difficulties for blood vessels to dilate and constrict due to an increase of the “bad” cholesterol in the circulation (which clogs our bloodstream and causes inflammation). Consequently, the body requires more oxygen, but its transportation to vital organs – as heart and brain – has been limited. These events immediately have negative effects on our mental clarity and body energy level.  

Conversely, a plant based diet has an ample spectrum of nutrients that are beneficial for each and every cell in our body for the production of energy.

Moreover, the majority of plant based food has a high water level, which helps increase the oxygen level.

Key is also the amount of protein that can be found in seeds like quinoa, or legumes or beans like soya and vitamin-rich food such as, mushrooms and spinach, which also contains iron, essential for oxygen-blood transportation. 

It must be pointed out that a vegan diet is not free from saturated fats.

Indeed, eating store-bought, highly processed and/or fried products can easily increase the amount of salt, sugar, and saturated fats in the body with undesired detrimental consequences. 

Honestly, I’m guilty as charged as every now and then I, too, reach for some “quick fixes”. However, it is important to keep these defiance to the minimum and carefully pay attention to the effects that processed foods have on our bodies in order to nourish our system appropriately. 

More recently, I have ditched coffee altogether. This is a weird behaviour change as I’m Italian, and, in the past, I’ve reached a point where I was drinking 8 shots of strong espresso in 6 hours during my first university degree. 

Avoiding caffeine helps with the sleep pattern as the caffeine content is only halved 5 hours after drinking this addictive beverage. Therefore, coffee drinkers still have 25% of caffeine in the body after 10 hours. 

Green tea is a more nutritious alternative to coffee. It contains medicinal antioxidants as well as minerals and has protective qualities for the heart,  liver, and brain, among other organs.

Differently from coffee, green tea is highly hydrating and also contains an amino acid (L-theanine) that, combined with less caffeine, boosts brain functions and provides a steady energy level. 

Therefore, green tea is highly recommended when dealing with chronic conditions and in general.

Another surprising and welcome improvement has been the discovery of the benefit of working out. Indeed, I definitely feel more energised  after (most) daily physical activities. 

It might sound counterintuitive as clearly exercising can only lead to exhaustion, right? Not at all! 

In fact, regular movements increase the oxygen circulation in the body. The oxygen is also used by “energy powerhouses” in every cell of the body (namely, mitochondrias), and the more we exercise, the more mitochondrias are produced in the muscle cells.

Moreover, physical activities índuce the release of the hormones endorphins just after one hour of aerobic, cardio, or moderate-intensity exercises. These neurotransmitters help with pain reduction, reduce stress level, and feeling more energetic

All in all, the more we exercise the more vitality and energy we experience

Moreover, movements throughout the morning and early afternoon facilitate a restorative night sleep that is of paramount importance for a productive and vigorous day ahead. 

An additional note needs to be added for the outstanding uplifting power of chocolate. I’m talking specifically about dark chocolate. 

Although it’s chemically related to coffee, it contains less caffeine and more antioxidants.

Some of these help to increase blood flow, consequently, providing more nutrients and oxygen to the muscle mass.

Another antioxidative nutrient (theobromine) is responsible for the rich bitter taste of dark chocolate and it  stimulates the central nervous system by providing mental clarity and acuity. 

It also contains iron, which helps to create oxygen-rich blood cells. 

As mentioned, the healthiest choice would be dark chocolate – the highest the percentage (that is the amount of cacao mass contained in a chocolate bar), the better.

Personally, I prefer and can testify the energy spike and mental alertness after eating the purest forms of this beam-derived goodness such as, cacao nibs or cacao powder that are naturally 100% raw cacao.

Signing off now to a powerful gym session,


Alex ☺

Published by Coach Alex

Hi! My name is Alex and I’m a health coach and blogger. I’m passionate about nutrition and fitness. For details of my coaching services and testimonials click here or follow me on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter @Wealth and Health Coach Alex. My blog shares my healthy lifestyle tricks and tips while facing a chronic condition. Being diagnosed in my teenage years and changing my lifestyle half-way through provided me with the opportunity to compare the first 10 years and afterwards as well as embrace and implement changes to ameliorate my life and others'. You can read my stories here and follow me on social media platforms. Some background: As a kid, I've always prioritized studying, despite being diagnosed with a chronic condition. Later on in life, I discovered the beauty of prioritizing myself, my physical and mental health, also helping others to put their own well-being first. I now coach beautiful souls facing long-term conditions by helping them to improve their lifestyle, and excel at living life, becoming the healthiest and fittest version of themselves. After a Bachelor and Masters degree in Science, I discovered my passion and commitment to nutrition and have undertaken several certificates in nutrition, understanding ongoing Lifestyle Medicine summits and I'm now a proud member of the UK and International Health Coaching Association. I've spent over a decade being passionate and implementing evidence-based lifestyle wellness practices to help others and myself to become the healthiest versions of our own beings. Using evidence-based lifestyle practices, I help to gradually increase my clients' abilities to improve the health behaviors they want to address, empowering them to become the expert of their own health. I do hope that my blog posts inspire readers with insights, hopes and motivation. In health and wealth, Alex x A bit more about me I am originally from the beautiful southern coast of Italy and I have now lived in the UK for the last 13 years. I love cooking, working out and cycling. I feel at my best when in nature, particularly on the sea side.

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