The 10 daily health practices that have transformed my energy

Coriander seeds on a wooden spoon

First, a caveat. I LOVE yoga and I credit it for transforming my life in so many ways, and particularly when it comes to my energy levels.

As my posture has come into better alignment and I have got stronger through yoga, my energy levels have significantly increased. I’ve also seen my backache disappear, migraines significantly reduce, and many many more symptoms improve thanks to yoga.

But I also know that physical exercise is only one piece of the puzzle. There are many other health practices that have impacted my energy levels and helped me feel better in my body, and so I’m sharing my top 10 here.

Some of these are related to nutrition, and as I am not a nutritionist, I hesitated about whether to post. Ultimately, I’m saying that these choices have had a positive impact on my life, but of course you should speak to your own healthcare providers about your individual situation before you apply these to your life.

But first, why care about everyday health practices?

One of Gretchen Rubin’s ‘Secrets of Adulthood’ is: “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”

This is particularly true when it comes to yoga. Yoga practice can help your body get stronger, more mobile, and more balanced. But, if you spend the other 23 hours per day sedentary, you may not see the changes you want to in your body.

Equally, the practices you see listed here are not going to be very effective if you only do them occasionally. Your diet is the perfect example – taking your vitamins today won’t make much difference if you only eat take-out food for the rest of the week!

1. Coriander Seed Water

This was recommended to me by an Ayurvedic practitioner, and I’ve seen a positive impact on my mood and energy levels since I started drinking it regularly.

Bizarrely, most of the time I like the dig into the scientific research before I implement a change, but in this case, I simply went off the recommendation. When it comes to traditional medicine like Ayurveda, often modern science has not caught up with the knowledge that has been established over hundreds of years.

The night before, I take 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds and grind them in a pestle and mortar. (This only takes around 30 seconds, they squish very easily!) Then, I put them in a jug with 200ml of water, and cover it over. The next morning, I pour through a tea strainer (but any kind of sieve works!) and drink!

2. Eat plant-based foods

I have followed a vegan diet for the past 7 years now, and it totally transformed my health. Before eating plant based, I would easily gain weight and was always feeling tired. I remember going to the gym the week after I went plant based, and I felt more energised than EVER in a cardio class. I was blown away!

I believe this was due to restricting carbs before I went vegan, which meant my body wasn’t getting the energy it needed for that type of high energy class. When I started eating vegan, my body had more fuel. I am also careful to incorporate plant-based protein into almost every meal, so that I eat a variety and am able to support my muscles too.

Eating a vegan diet also aligns with the teachings of yoga. In the Yoga Sutras, the first tenet is ahimsa, which means non-violence. Most interpret ahimsa to mean non-violence toward all beings, not only toward humans.

3. CBD Oil

CBD oil is a non-psychoactive oil that you take daily. It can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and help you to feel calm. If you want to find out more about the benefits of CBD oil, there’s a great article here.

Personally, I like the Trip brand, which has both the oils which I drop onto my tongue, and the soft drinks. I order a stack of the soft drinks on Amazon and drink them with my meals.

I also once spoke to a specialist who told me that you responsiveness to CBD increases over time. So she recommended starting with a small dose and increasing over time to avoid wasting it! It seems to have worked for me.

4. Eat savoury snacks, keep sweet for dessert

For this I have to credit The Glucose Goddess, Jessie Inchauspe. I have seen her get a lot of criticism online, but her hacks on how to manage your energy by reducing glucose spikes are incredible!

The biggest change I have implemented since reading Jessie’s work is to keep my snacks savoury and keep sugary foods for dessert. I have noticed few cravings during the day and better energy since I made this simple change, and I can still eat the same sweet foods that I enjoy (still in moderation, of course!)

5. Take your vitamins

For years I thought vitamins were really a waste of time. I would buy them, see no difference to my health, and then give up taking them.

It turns out, some vitamins are better than others!

I’m obsessed, actually OBSESSED with Shreddy drinks! Their Daily Dose drink in Pink Lemonade or Peach Iced Tea flavours tastes nicer than squash or soda drinks. I drink it mid-afternoon, and I always notice a boost in my energy for the rest of the day. It truly beats the mid-afternoon slump!

It has helped my skin and hair, and it’s so delicious I wish I could drink more each day.

I’m also a fan of Known gummies, since these are extra vitamins that taste like sweets and they have plenty of vegan options. However, since I started with Invisalign I’ve found it too much of a hassle, but I will order some more once my aligners are all done!

6. Consistent, regular, daily movement

As I said at the beginning, practicing yoga or working out for long sessions isn’t going to make a huge impact if you spend the other 23 hours of your day sedentary!

The key measure is NEAT, which is an important contributor to your overall fitness levels. What is NEAT? It stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, and it means the activity you do outside of exercise, apart from resting or sleeping. When you increase your NEAT, i.e .your activity level throughout the day, you also increase your calorie burn and improve your metabolism.

Increasing your NEAT also can help your posture. When you stay in a single position all day, such as sitting at a desk, your body adapts to that position and so reinforces that sitting posture. Instead, by moving regularly, you can prevent that postural deterioration.

One of my favourite ways to make sure I move during the day is to take a walk on my lunch break. I wrote a whole post on the benefits of implementing this change here.

7. Set up your morning for energy

I’m not personally a big fan of a morning routine, as I find they can be too rigid. Instead, I like to have a set of activities that I try to incorporate into my morning before I start work.

This includes meditation or breathwork, exercise such as doing yoga or walking my dog (or sometimes both!), taking time for a slow breakfast and writing in my journal.

I do not do these activities every morning, but I try to do most of these things most days. And, of course, there are days when I wake up tired and do none of them!

I also aim to delay my caffeine intake to 90 minutes after I wake up – you can read more about why here.

8. Do one restful activity away from a screen each day

This is a new goal I have set myself recently. I noticed a lot of the activity I do in my down time involves screens, which means I spend most of my day on screens!

So, I’ve tried to find some new activities that help me wind down without watching tv, scrolling on my phone or sitting at my computer!

My favourites are colouring and dot-to-do books, reading, and taking a bath. Your yoga practice can count too!

9. Try an Acupressure mat

I was gifted the Yogi Bare acupressure mat for my birthday by my partner a couple of years ago and I absolutely love it! It feels so relaxing and helps me to decompress.

I tend to lie on it on my back at night before I go to bed, and I stand on it too (feet are more sensitive than your back!)

It looks like a bed of nails but actually feels so soothing.

10. Breathwork

I plan to write a longer piece about breathwork once I’ve processed this a little more.

In short, I have struggled with breathwork in the past. I noticed it brought up some fears, such as fear of being unable to breathe, which I think has come from some trauma I experienced as a child with asthma.

I’ve started to work through this and as I have increased the breathing exercises I do, I have seen more and more benefits.

In particular, breathwork really helps to energise me, and I sometimes like to do it at the end of a work day. This helps me relax and enjoy my evening more, instead of being tempted to just crawl over to the sofa to snooze in front of the tv!

Monitoring changes

When you implement any change to your routine, the best way I have found to help it stick is to track it. As the saying goes: “What gets measured gets managed”! (This is commonly attributed to Peter Drucker, but apparently he never said it…!)

When you download my free meditation guide here, not only will you get the audio file to save to your phone and the PDF guide with FAQs about meditation, but you will also get a printable habit tracker you can use to monitor your meditation practice.

You can also use the printable habit tracker for any of the daily changes you might want to try to implement! It’s flexible, and you can have more than one on the go at any given time

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