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Whether you’re a seasoned mom with a minivan and five kids or a first-time parent, we all have one thing in common: feeling like every ounce of energy has been sucked right out of us. Long days and sleepless nights become the norm, and when that happens, it’s tempting to reach for caffeine or your go-to sugary pick-me-up treat. While all of these things seem like satisfying strategies at the moment, they will not successfully sustain your energy for a busy life.
No matter your family size, agenda or the number of diapers to be changed, try these ten foods and tips to gain long-lasting energy—and keep your tank full all day long.
Keeping your blood sugar stable, dark green leafy veggies are a nutrient-packed superfood high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and folate. My top pick of leafy greens includes spinach, kale, broccoli, and arugula. Try adding them to a morning smoothie to kick-start your day!
The importance of adding omegas to your diet can be pivotal. The levels of omegas in salmon help to decrease blood sugar levels, balance and sustain energy and help you feel full longer. Also, research shows that low levels of omegas are linked to fatigue, mood swings as well as depression.
No more low-fat, fat-free foods. We now know those good healthy fats are critical not only for brain health for you and baby but they also help stabilize blood sugar and digestion. When your gas tank is low, reach for an avocado and stuff it with tuna or salmon for a quick boost. Nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and sardines all benefit your body by absorbing the nutrients, naturally keeping your energy up from sunup to sundown.
Oatmeal is one of the easiest and most delicious meals! A personal favorite, this superfood contains the healthy type of carbohydrates that are an excellent source of energy. Providing nutrients like vitamin B, thiamine, folate and niacin, oats help metabolize the energy in your body. Plus, you can customize your oatmeal. Try throwing in whatever ingredients you like—sliced almonds, walnuts, fresh berries—for a high-fiber, nutrient-rich breakfast or snack.
An antioxidant powerhouse, berries are low on the glycemic (sugary) food list. Not only do berries help to boost nutrient absorption and maintain blood sugar levels for sustained energy, there are no sugary highs and lows. A perfect snack when paired with a handful of nuts, yogurt or mid-day green energy smoothie, fresh berries are an easy addition to your daily diet.
It can be a challenge in itself to stay hydrated, so it’s time to ditch dehydration. Water is a powerhouse for the body, and your cells require water to work properly. H2O helps to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates, aiding in the release of toxins in the body. This function supports a boosted immune system and in turn, gives you energy.
A great source of iron and protein, grass-fed meat is higher in antioxidants than traditional meat and is high in carnitine—a driver in mitochondrial, fatty acid transfer. It is also much leaner than it’s traditional counterpart, with grass-fed beef having about 50% more omega-3 fatty acids than standard beef.
Easy to cook and a great source of protein, egg yolks have a lot of Vitamin D which helps boost energy as well as strength—something every mom needs. Make hard-boiled eggs for a grab-and-go snack, as a topping on your favorite salad, or add a fried egg to a burrito bowl for extra protein.
Bone broth is trending, but the benefits far outweigh its popularity. From healing gut issues to supporting a healthy immune system, bone broth is good for muscles, bones, hair, skin, and nails. Nutrient-rich bone broth also provides an outstanding source of fat, protein, and collagen. The process of allowing the bone broth to simmer anywhere from 8-24 hours helps fight fatigue and boost energy naturally. Try a sip!
Keeping blood sugar levels balanced is essential. Skipping meals, fasting or low-calorie diets will not help fuel your body for all the energy motherhood requires. Stay supercharged throughout the day by choosing healthy, nutrient-rich superfoods with a good source of fat and protein.
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.