Glimmers of Joy from Outagamie County Extension (posted monthly)

From Karen Dickerell:

Jump Start Your Energy in January  2022!
Jumper cables
I have memories of the cold weather and an older model car my first year of teaching -- I think it was a 1972 AMC Ambassador, I remember the days of living in an apartment without a garage and I'd need to plug in my car battery to keep it warm so that it would charge up and start in the dead of winter.  I also always carried jumper cables with me.  The plugging in and the jumper cables worked for my car...and really the analogy works in our lives as well. 
Thinking about eating for energy -- think about including more vegetables in your diet.  Roasting vegetable is a great way to let the deep rich flavors of vegies shine through.  Starches start to convert to sugar around 375 F, releasing a nutty sweetness.  Roast peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, carrots all work well for roasting.  Making vegetable stir-fry with onions, garlic and fresh ginger will jazz it up.  You can "smuggle" pureed vegetables into recipes too!  Try cauliflower rice, pasta, pizza, all adding nutrients.  Soups are wonderful in the winter months, and you can be creative in what you mix and match.  Chopping up those vegetables can also be a source of stress release! Smaller more frequent meals and snacks are a good idea as well.  It doesn't take too much to fee your brain -- a piece of fruit or a few nuts is adequate.  Eating smaller lunches also prevent that afternoon slump.
With the new year comes some ideas flying of "crash" diets.  The best way to lose weight gradually.  Eat regularly during the day, your brain needs a steady supply of glucose from food.  When the brain's glucose is low, people begin to feel hungry, and fatigue may set in.
Be careful with how much caffeine you are drinking.  Caffeine can give you a boost, but it can also decrease your energy level.  Too much caffeine late in the day can cause insomnia.
If you are going to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.  Avoid at lunch or too much in the evening if you want to do a lot of activities.
Drink water!  Water enhances performance for most activities.  If you are feeling tired, drink water.  Five to eight cups of fluids are generally recommended per day.
Exercise gives an energy boost.  So even if it is a walk around the house, going outside to get the mail, take advantage of that fresh air and movement. Get enough sleep!  Make it a priority.  If you exercise, avoid smoking, curb the caffeine, and establish routine bedtime activities it will help you in the long run.
If you find you can't sleep, get up and do something calming like read a book, listen to music.
Control the stress as much as possible.  Breathing exercises may come in handy.  Ask for help!  Reach out to others.
Take advantage of the beauty of nature -- even in the bitter cold.  Watch nature and the birds and all that is transpiring out your window.  Take time to breath!  Biophilia is where humans have an innate connection to natural workings.  Connections with nature can benefit your health according to Harvard Biologist Edward O. Wilson.
And finally, keep a focus on your goals.  Some people set resolutions for the year, while they may be a good start, the intentions often fall flat after a couple of weeks.   Determine what your priorities are for 2022 and strive to break those priorities down into manageable pieces.  Determine what stimulates and energizes you so you can channel your energy into the activities that matter the most to you!
Wishing you well as you jump start your energy into 2022!
We need to take care of ourselves and our bodies!
Life may have been a little more hectic the past couple of months and you may be ready to turn the page in your journal -- or post that shiny new calendar for 2022.
Key points in my talk this month include:     Eat for energy     Exercise regularly     Get a good night's rest     Control your stress     Use nature's energy to get you charged up     Keep your focus on your goals



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