Sunday, May 5, 2013

Natural Ways to Get More Energy Right Now!

Energy and inspiration are the two things I want most when I need to write. So, I'm always looking for natural ways to get both. These natural tips are excerpted from a piece I wrote for Woman's Day a few years ago about practices that you can “plug” into in order to boost energy and they're still applicable today. Two of my favorite energy gurus are Jacob Teitelbaum, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic and Jon Gordon, the author of the 10 Minute Energy Solution. I think if you practice the energy habits they recommend and the other tips here, that you'll feel more energetic and alive!   

Energy Source: Sipping small amounts of chilled water every 30 minutes. 

Why it works: Studies show that when you consume small amounts of chilled water every 20-30 minutes during the day, it sends a clear and immediate signal to your brain to increase alertness and energy,” says the inspiring Jon Gordon, author of the 10 Minute Energy Solution and The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness and Life and Work. 

Plug in by: Keeping cold water close at hand. At home keep it in the fridge, on the go, keep water cold in an insulated cup. Or even bring a mini-cooler with you to work.

Energy Source: The smell of peppermint on the morning commute.

Why it works: According to a study in the North American Journal of Psychology drivers had more energy when exposed to this scent. “Peppermint increases alertness and decreases fatigue so we’re better able to direct our attention to driving,” says lead researcher Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia. According to the Department of Transportation, there are over 100,000 highway accidents each year because drivers fall asleep at the wheel or are not attentive enough to their driving.

Plug in by:  Chew a nice strong peppermint gum or peppermint mints on the way to work to decrease fatigue and increase alertness. For a bigger boost you can find an inhaler at

Energy Source: Acupressure on your outer ears   

Why it works: Applying pressure to acupressure points all along the outer ear helps to clear the head, gets rid of dull pain above the neck and charges up your entire energy system. 

Plug in by: “Take your thumb and first finger and go up and down the entire outer ear two or three times and give it a good brisk rubbing,” says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, board-certified internist and the author of From Fatigued to Fantastic and my co-author on Beat Sugar Addiction Now!, in it's 4th printing. “The entire acupressure system ends on your extremities, your hands, feet and your outer ears so it’s easier to get to. Doing so stimulates the energy in your whole body. It charges up the whole system and gets all the energy moving.”  

Energy Source: The hidden stress-reducing benefits of green tea.

Why it works: Green tea is a much better pick-me-up than your regular latte. “It does have some energizing caffeine, but it also contains theanine, an amino acid that has a stress-reducing effect on your brain,” says Dr. Teitelbaum. "It calms you while giving you mental clarity, leaving your mind clear and sharp and alert.” Throughout Asia, a special form of theanine, sun-theanine, is added to coffee, chocolate and sodas for an energy boost. The FDA has just approved it for foods in the U.S. /For now, you can find it in the health food store.  Take 15-200 mg. capsules of sun-theanine says Dr. Teitelbaum. 

Plug in by: Brewing a mug of green tea.

Energy Source: Take a Noise Break

Why it works: Taking a noise break can provide tranquility and renewed energy. 

Plug in by: Using earplugs, noise-reduction headsets, or white noise. Turn on a fan, or try a CD with recordings of the ocean, a waterfall or the rain. Visit or

Energy Source: 4-7-8 Breathing

Why it works: "Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders,” says America's favorite holistic MD, Andrew Weil, MD. "It’s a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind.”

Plug in by: Sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven.

Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths. Do it at least twice a day or as needed.

Energy Source: Dark Chocolate

Why it works: “Although it’s weaker than caffeine, the chemical theobromine in chocolate is a mild stimulant,” says Judy Stone, CN, MSW, author of Take Two Apples and Call Me in the Morning. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, (PEA) which is a feel good mood elevator.

Plug in by: “Choosing high quality, imported dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa content, says Stone. “It has less sugar and its rich flavor will satisfy you with less. Aim for 1 ounce of dark chocolate a few times a week.”

Energy Source:  Letting Go of Worry     

Why it Works: “It’s like putting down a big boulder that you’re carrying,” says Dr. Teitelbaum. “You’re going to feel charged up. Most of the things you’re worrying about never happen.” 

Plug in by: Asking yourself “Am I in imminent danger?” says Dr. Teitelbaum. “This will put your worries and obsession in perspective and goes a long way to settle your adrenal glands down.” Sun-Theanine is a nice quick way to calm and relax you. Take 200 mg. for anxiety and worry during the day.  It heightens energy and leaves you with a clear mind.

Energy Source: Eucalyptus or spearmint essential oil

Why it works: “The only part of your brain that extends to the outer environment is your sense of smell so it’s very charged,” says Dr. Teitelbaum. “Volatile oils such as eucalyptus or spearmint stimulate a part of your brain that triggers alertness.” 

Plug in by: For a natural pick-me-up place a few drops of eucalyptus or spearmint essential oil on a tissue and inhale deeply.

Try These 10 Quick Energy Breaks

1.    Replace a cup of coffee with green tea. Contains antioxidants that fight cancer and help prevent heart disease.
2.    Replace soda with water. Water is the fuel your body needs to stay energized and hydrated.
3.    Read a book instead of watching television. Books are alive with the energy of words.
4.   Switch your candy bowl for a fruit bowl. Fruit is nature’s candy and contains the natural sugar we crave.
5.   Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Moving more increases metabolism and energy.
6.   Replace chips or candy bars with nuts n’ raisons. Whole food snacks sustain energy.
7.   Let the sun be your alarm clock. Sleep with the blinds open so the sun will wake you up in the morning.
8.   Kick desk and car clutter.  Create more energy flow in your life.
9.   Talk less and listen more. Ask questions. You’ll conserve your energy and others will find you charming.
10.  Sit up straight instead of slouching forward. By improving your posture, you increase your oxygen intake by up to 30 percent. -- Jon Gordon, The 10-Minute Energy Solution. 

You'll find more aromatherapy tips to help boost energy and well being in my new book  

Willow McQuade, naturopathic doctor, along with her hunky ex-cop boyfriend Jackson Spade, attend a party for a psychic TV show that is filming on Long Island’s idyllic East End. However, Willow is much more interested in visiting the estate’s lavender farm, seeking inspiration for the new aromatherapy workshops she'll be holding at her store, Nature’s Way Market & CafĂ©.   

Before the party is over, Roger Bixby one of the producers is dead and the police suspect murder. Roger was working on the show, MJ’s Mind, with Carly Bixby, his ex-wife and the new girlfriend of Willow's ex from L.A., TV writer/producer Simon Lewis.   

After Willow leaves the party, she gets a frantic text from Simon asking for her help. Since Simon had a fight with Roger earlier in the evening, and because of his death is now the primary shareholder in Galaxy films, Willow's ex becomes the prime suspect. Simon begs her to crack the case and clear him of the murder. MJ McClellan, the psychic and star of the show also asks Willow for help. She hires Willow to provide natural remedies, including aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture and yoga to soothe the agitated crew of her show. 

To find the killer, Willow has to deal with ghosts in a haunted mansion, a truly dysfunctional family, death threats and “accidents,” while trying to untangle a homicide identical to one committed during prohibition. Thankfully, Jackson has been hired to provide security and is there to watch her back and help Willow solve this spooky mystery.

As a bonus, you’ll find dozens of natural aromatherapy cures throughout the book that can improve your health. 

I'm the author of SCENT TO KILL, (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster) the second in the NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY series, DEATH DROPS: A Natural Remedies Mystery, the non-fiction title THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL REMEDIES (Alpha, 2009), co-author of BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW!COOKBOOK (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and THE COUNTRY ALMANAC OF HOME REMEDIES (Fairwinds, 2011) and this is my rescue doxie Wallander! My magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Natural Health, Vegetarian Times, Better Homes & Gardens and Remedy. Visit

1 comment:

Betty Hechtman said...

Great tips! Who doesn't want to know how to have more energy.