Friday, October 19th, 2012 by Christa Cassilis-Hayburn
Energy: You either Have it or Want More of it
Law enforcement officers need the proper nutrition and hydration to give them the energy required to handle the tough challenges of police work.
Police Officers are juggling many different jobs. If you are a cop then you are an enforcer, defender, protector, social worker, friend, mother/father, sister/brother, aunt/uncle, grandmother/grandfather, daughter/son, student, chef, chauffeur, sports coach, business owner, accountant, personal secretary and landscaper. I am sure that I missed a few of our everyday duties but this is what consisted of a day in the Life of a Philadelphia Police Officer when I was on the force not so long ago.
So where do you get the Energy to be able to… accomplish all of these daunting tasks without feeling like you are going to fall on your face?
On the street, I was pushing a car and my shifts rotated from 5 days on with 1 day off and then 6 days on with 1 day off and all 12-hour days. That did not include going to court, being a parent and trying to be a wife all in the little time that I had to offer any one else other than the job. I turned to some pretty bad habits to get sources of Energy or what I believed was Energy. These included:
• Eating mid-afternoon sugary snacks such as a candy bar
• Energy drinks
• Energy pills: “Rhodiola”
Does any of this sound familiar with you? What is your method to increase your Energy Level?
Here is how lack of Energy can show up in your life. How many can you check off for yourself?
• Anxiety or depression
• Lack of concentration
• Lack of Focus
• Unable to get out of bed even after having sufficient sleep
• Lack of sex drive
Let’s step back for a minute and see what factors and symptoms, which cause a reduction in Energy. There are 4 Main Factors that impact our desire for more energy.
• Chemical Stress (can be FOOD)
• Emotional Stress
• Mental Stress
• Physical Stress
I am going to talk about the Chemical Stressors, although all four stressors do tie in together when you want to achieve the maximum amount of Energy from FOOD!
The foods that we eat daily can either increase to decrease our Energy levels. Foods that decrease our energy levels almost immediately are:
• Caffeine- coffee or soda (these may give you an Energy Boost but they will actually deplete and draw out nutrients and minerals and are HIGHLY Addictive)
• Eating too much Red Meat or Not enough
• Processed Foods- fast food or microwavable foods
• Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
• Trans Fats
Here are my 5 top tips to start to increase your Energy:
1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine: Caffeine has a dehydrating effect on our bodies making mood swings more frequent.
2. Drink more water: Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. What I recommend is to have a Full glass of water before you decide to go to the Sugar or Caffeine.
3. Add in Dark Leafy Greens into your diet: Dark greens are full of vital energy. They are full of vitamins and nutrients, which are great for improving circulation, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system.
4. Use gentle sweets: Use sweeteners such as maple syrup, brown rice syrup or light agave nectar.
5. Physical Activity: You don’t have to rush out and join a gym. Start with the simple exercise of walking, 10 minutes a day adding time on each week.
If you continue to find yourself struggling from a lack of energy and need support around this issue, I invite you to come over to ConnectingTheDotsSoulutions.com and signup for a “Peak Performance” strategy session and discover ways to increase your energy, loss weight and find balance in all areas of your life.
Christa Cassilis-Hayburn is the CEO of Connecting the Dots Solutions that offers pro-active health and wellness solutions to law enforcement officers and families. Christa was a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department for 11 years. She worked in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city of “Brotherly Love”.
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