Energy Crisis: Has Your Get-up-and-go Got Up and Went?
Betty Davis candidly asserted, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” And now, this septuagenarian writer empathizes – aging indeed requires courage, energy, stamina, mindful self-discipline, and a sense of humor to gracefully grow older on the proverbial vine of life.
We know all too well the further we travel from the boundless energy of youth, the quicker we run out of life force energy as our cells can no longer replicate the vigor of youth. Not sure about you, but if I don’t have my mental work and physical chores achieved by mid-afternoon, I’m out of gas and my energy light dims. Nap time to recharge my batteries!
At day’s end, I delude myself into believing I’ll have more energy tomorrow, however, ala Groundhog Day, it’s a repeating loop. So I explored and observed my world to see what I could do to speed-bump rather than accelerate aging. The conclusion: After we consume food and beverage (and TV), we become what we consume. How we feel at this moment is linked to our last meal. If we snarfed a big ole pile of hard-to-digest biscuits and greasy gravy, fried food, or steak and ‘taters sans vegetables or salad, we’re lethargic from energy-robbing digestion. Sound familiar?
When good folks eat lifeless, chemically processed, microwaved junk foods and shriek in
horror at the thought of eating energy-giving garden produce, they receive zero vitamins, minerals, and fiber experience – thus resulting in energy grid failure and ill health. When we eat food picked, plucked, cooked, wrapped, and bar-coded months ago in a soulless factory, its life force is DOA, and we become less than whole. Can’t maintain our earth suit without proper materials.
On the other hand, when we eat vitamin-packed, energy-dense, green leafy salads with plenty of fresh, colorful vegetables tingling with energy, herbs, nuts and seeds, beans, lean animal protein, or meat alternatives, with a classic vinaigrette olive oil dressing, we’re not so sleepy, more energized, and mentally lucid. Einstein, Hawkins, and Tesla proved literally everything is energy. When we eat, our earth suit assimilates food’s nutrients into our cells to create energy and stamina. However, the quality of fuel dictates the quality of energy. Garbage in, garbage out.
For 16 years, wife Sandi and I serviced NBA In-Flight charters, providing post-game snacks, beverages, and hot meals for millionaire thoroughbreds who just sprinted four quarters. While the game was being played, we were busy in our catering kitchen preparing the repast, then drove onto the tarmac, met stewardesses and stowed the food, as towering, hungry players lumbered into their idling, chartered 747.
We observed NBA teams perennially wallowing in the cellar, consistently ordering fried foods, fatty meats, gravy, sugary goodies, soft drinks, but none of that “green stuff.” Championship winning teams were mindful of what they consumed.
We also serviced private jets of finicky jet-setting celebrities after a successful performance, presidents, secret service, and highfalutin executives revealing their dietary choices. What became clear: pop rock stars, politicians and Hollywood celebrities knew the aliveness of their food affected their energy levels, stamina, and look.
Research suggests seniors who consume more protein are less likely to lose the ability
to dress themselves, get out of bed, climb stairs, and garden. According to the Gerontological Society of America, “Higher protein intake was beneficially associated with maintenance of physical function in middle-aged, high-functioning U.S. adults over the span of two decades. This association was particularly evident in women.”
The Journal of American Geriatrics Society adds, “people who consumed the least amount of protein were almost twice as likely to have difficulty walking or climbing steps as
those who ate the most, after adjusting for health behaviors, chronic conditions and other factors.” Of course, excessive meat consumption is damaging. Research confirms more is not better.
Sleep deprivation is a common cause of lethargy. Be sure to get a minimum of 7 hours. Vitamin D and B12 deficiency, mild dehydration, and thyroid dysfunction can also cause
an energy crisis.
Now, time for a colorful salad then a restorative nap. But I’m no sissy, Betty. Just accepting the truth that I’m unstoppably getting older, more self-compassionate, and perhaps wiser in my choices.
Crock Pot Oatmeal
After a night’s rest, the brain needs glucose to avoid fatigue and “brain fog.” While
sleeping, slow-cook a crock pot of steel cut oats and stow it away for future breakfasts.
1.5 cup steel cut oats. (Not instant)
4 cups filtered water (in the fall try apple cider)
2 cups whole or nut milk
½ tsp. Himalayan salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon.
Place all ingredients into a 3–6-quart crock pot- cook 7-8 hours. Store in the refrigerator or pre-portion for the freezer.
In the morning, warm a portion; mix in pea or hemp seed protein powder, and sweeten
with raw honey, maple syrup, or stevia. Top with seasonal berries, ground flax, hemp, or chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, or walnuts.
Or eat a cup of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt with granola, nuts, hemp, flax, or chia
seeds and seasonal berries.