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While it may feel lovely to drift off to sleep in the evening after a busy and fulfilled day, it is not so great if you are struggling to keep your eyes open at 3pm at your work desk.  

In some countries, a siesta, or afternoon nap is quite acceptable, but generally speaking, most of us need to be working through that afternoon slump.  

If you are noticing that your energy levels are all over the place; up one minute, down the next, then it is more than likely linked to your diet and what you’re putting into your body.  

Exercise is also a contributor to how your energy levels feel throughout the day.  The more you exercise, the more oxygen you have in your blood, which in turn tends to make you feel lively and alert.  The opposite, no, or little exercise leaves you feeling sluggish and tired.  Your whole body is more productive if there is more oxygen in your system.  

So, what can you do to help with the common late afternoon slump?

Leanne and Fitness Tips Say:

Look beyond the label

So called ‘low fat’ foods and health bars, may sound like the right way to go when snacking or eating meals, but the fact of the matter is that these products are often packed with high sugar content.  So called health foods may contain a carbohydrate level required only by athletes or those working in strenuous and high physical activity fields.  

The key to feeling bright all day is to find and consume foods that have a low glycemic index, which measures carbohydrate content.  Check the label to see if the food you are choosing is as healthy as you think it is!  Some examples of Low GI foods are;

  • Apples
  • Yoghurt
  • Pears
  • Tomato Soup
  • Chickpeas
  • Cherries
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Lentils
  • Peaches

Eat early, Eat often

Do not go more than five hours without having something to eat.  Our metabolism is designed to be constantly grazing.  The important thing to remember is to make certain you are snacking on the right types of foods. Although many people believe that nuts are bad for you because they are high in fat, they are actually full of nutrients that help to assimilate fat in your body.  A small handful is good.  Root vegetables and grains can also give you an even supply of energy that is needed throughout the day.  Leaving these types of foods out of your daily diet can contribute to those feelings of tiredness and leave you erratic and moody.  

Get some lemon aid 

Did you know that smell is a powerful stimulant?  Certain smells can alter our emotional state within just three seconds!  The most stimulating scent of all is lemon.  This fresh smell of lemon has been found to awaken the mind and is helpful in fighting lethargy.  Combine this with peppermint and you get an overall feeling of cleansing and uplifting.  

If all else fails and you are still feeling tired and craving sleep, then maybe that is exactly what your body is telling you to do.  You may have been burning the candle at both ends.  Refresh your mind and body with nourishment, exercise and rest over a weekend and start a new week refreshed!!!

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