As the seasons change, so does the way we live our lives. Generally, in the spring / summer months; with longer days and lighter nights, we tend to have more motivation to be active, socialise and get stuff done! Often, when the autumn / winter months hit, hibernation mode kicks in and cosy nights on the sofa feel a lot more appealing. This is us living in tune with the seasons, along with our internal body clock sending us signals for when it is time to be active and time to rest.
There are many ways in which our bodies adapt as the seasons change, and this can impact our motivation, energy levels and our diet too.
So, how can we optimise energy levels into the autumn / winter months?
Of course, what we chose to eat has a huge impact on our energy levels. When we fuel our body with the right combination of nutrients, we have a better chance of balancing our blood sugar levels, preventing blood sugar fluctuations and energy dips. So, planning our meals to include a variety of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats would be a good place to start. Eating seasonally is a great way to maintain energy too, alongside following our bodies intuitive needs. Autumn/ Winter is a great time to welcome those grounding root veggies, seasonal spices and warming soups and stews – these feel much more nourishing to the body than a raw salad which we crave in the summer months. Winter also provides cruciferous vegetables which are warming and help clear respiratory mucus – great support if you’re subject to a winter sniffle.
Other energising foods include:
Complex Carbohydrates / Fibre:
These are our body and brain’s preferred source of fuel, keeping us energised for what the day has in store. Foods include wholegrains and colourful fruits and vegetables. Try the Garden’s Om Love smoothie for a great source of plant fibre.
Magnesium rich foods
Magnesium is a mineral with a variety of benefits, one of which being energy production! Foods include dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds and cacao.
Try The Garden’s Holy Cacao smoothie for an energising magnesium hit.
B vitamins are essential for a healthy nervous system, along with offering an energy boost and cellular support. Foods include eggs, meat, wholegrains, leafy greens, soya, bananas, nuts and seeds. Try The Garden’s Strong smoothie for a variety of B vitamins and their benefits!
Iron carries oxygen around the body, needed to help produce energy! Foods include dark leafy greens, red meat, broccoli, pumpkin seeds and beans and pulses. Try the Garden’s Green Peace smoothie. This also contains vitamin C, and the combination of the two, help to enhance iron absorption.
Matcha / Green Tea
Matcha green tea is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols. It is high in caffeine however provides a more sustained energy boost and slower, more steady release. If you’re in need of a mid-morning pick me up, try everyone’s favourite; our Matcha latte and see if you notice a difference!
Dark mornings and evenings = energy shift and snoozing the alarm / nights on the sofa feel so much more appealing.
It’s good to honour this shift; our bodies were designed to rest and retreat when it goes dark. However, this doesn’t mean folding up the gym leggings until March.
Remember, movement isn’t just for physical health; it supports our mood, mental wellbeing, and our immune function – each of which are known to take a bit of a hit in the winter months.
Could you try a different workout class, wrap up and go for a lunchtime walk, or mix up the time of day you are moving to make it work for you?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) causes mood changes that come and go in a seasonal pattern. One of the causes could be related to lack of sunlight. However, getting out into the narrower daylight window at this time of year could help to reduce the severity of this.
Being in nature works to reduce cortisol levels in the body. The colours and shapes of the leaves can help to calm our nervous system and breathing in oxygen produced by the trees can raise levels of oxygen in our brain, helping to increase our feel-good hormone, serotonin, alongside boost our energy!
Nature can help us if we’re starting to feel rundown, too! Plants and trees give off compounds called Phytoncides; when we breathe in these compounds our bodies produce more immune cells needed to fight infection.
So, what about a Garden juice / cuppa and a walk-in nature for your Autumnal energy boost?