As a yoga teacher and fitness instructor, I spend a lot of time on my feet moving everyday. I also have a nutrition coaching practice and co-manage a superfood protein drink mix company. I have learned how to rely on 6 supplements to keep my energy going steadily throughout the day and avoid the dangers of a dietary routine that creates blood sugar highs and lows. Give these a try!
Note: I used 5 out of the 6 supplements every day and matcha, my #6, only 3 to 4 times a week and never on an empty stomach (so after breakfast) since matcha has caffeine and I want to prevent the blood sugar roller coaster ride.
Rich in iron, protein and B-12, spirulina is now praised by athletes to fuel endurance race and yoga teachers for boosting immune systems and aiding in detoxification. I like to supplement with 12 tablets a day when I do not consume it in a powder form in a smoothie and these tablets have been my sustenance during my 3-day water fast. Spirulina powder also tastes nice mixed in fresh pressed orange or grapefruit juice. Recommendations: Now Foods Spirulina.
Also called Indian ginseng, this herb has been a central part of Ayurveda medicine for thousands of years. It’s an adaptogen, meaning that this herb naturally restores imbalances and health. This herb’s inflammatory-reducing super power is attributed to its high concentration of withanolides – naturally occuring steroids that combat stress and boost strength. I use 1 tsp in my morning smoothie but you can also add it to a homemade coco or take it in pill forms. I first started to use it when I was trying to heal Graves Disease, an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid 11 years ago. It’s my go-to anti stress herb. Recommendations: Organic India capsules or Organic Aura root powder.
The turmeric root is really a godsend for a whole range of conditions because it is has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. I use it for three main reasons: 1/ pain management (arthritis in my spine and joints), 2/ digestion, and 3/ treating/preventing recurrence of my auto-immune disorders, I cook with it and also take a 600mg pill in the morning and a second one in the evening. It’s also very easy to travel with. I have seen several clients cure their acid reflux with taking a pill at the end of every meal. Recommendations: New Chapter Fermented Turmeric Booster Powder or Now Foods Turmeric (or Turmeric and Bromelain) pills.
4. PLANT PROTEIN & GREENS
Plant protein such as pea or rice protein provides adequate amounts of protein for the body to recover after a workout and supply B vitamins. Add leafy greens to the equation and you suddenly expanded the nutrition profile of your protein. Greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. I eat 4-6 servings a day and also add a plant based protein and greens powder to my morning smoothie. I am biased to my own product Zenberry mix because I formulated it as a time when my health was failing me to recover. But whatever brand or form you choose, eat your plant protein and greens! As an athlete and yoga teacher, I found them particularly helpful for energy, mental clarity, circulation, flexibility in my joints and soft tissues, and detoxification.
Matcha green tea is rich in catechins, a class of plant compounds in tea that act as natural antioxidants and which is why a cup a day is associated to vast array of health benefits such a fighting cancer, weight loss, boosting brain function, promote heart health, etc. Matcha tea contains caffeine. I am sensitive to caffeine and it tends to upset my system but matcha tea works for me. It also give me energy and boosts my focus. I would recommend, because of its caffeine content to only consume it with food, not on an empty stomach to manage your blood sugar levels (caffeine increases cortisol levels which raises blood sugar levels). Recommendations: Sunfoods Matcha or Ceremonial Grade Match by Green Foods. Keep it in the freezer for freshness.
6. DARK CHOCOLATE (Raw Cacao is best)
You’ll be happy about to hear about this supplement! Science says many good things about the cacao bean. Raw cacao is one of nature’s most powerful superfoods with one of the highest levels of antioxidants on earth! More than blue berries, acai, pomegranates or goji berries combined! Specific antioxidants like polyphenols, catechins and epicatechins help to fight off free radicals, giving you a healthy, complete superfood. In addition, flavonols help the body produce Nitric Oxide, a compound essential for proper heart function. Cacao offers a powerful boost of phenylethylamine (PEA) and anandamide, which both enhance positive feelings (Love). It is also the #1 source of magnesium of any food as well as high levels of iron, zinc, manganese, copper, tryptophan, and serotonin.
I consume mine in its raw form eating at least 1 TBSP of raw cacao nibs a day, generally in the morning, sprinkled on top of fresh berries, oatmeal, or in my Zenberry Greens and Holy Frappe smoothies (which contain raw organic cacao powder). Recommendations: Whole Foods will carry several brands of raw cacao nibs. I like Sunfoods. Hu chocolate bars are also delicious and healthy.