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33 Healthy Veggie Meals in 12 Minutes or Less

33 Healthy Veggie Meals in 12 Minutes or Less

Life moves fast, which is why fast food is so popular. The last thing people want to do after a hectic whirlwind of a day is to spend another hour in the kitchen. Unfortunately, most fast food from the drive through window is an unhealthy option. But, fast food doesn’t need to equate to junk food. Here are 33 fast (and fatigued-cook friendly) healthy vegetarian meals that will tickle your taste buds.

Note: Most of these options can be made completely vegan. Simply sub out the milk for Almond or Soy milk, the cheese for vegan cheese or cashew cheese substitutes, or the sour cream or cream cheese for Toffuti.

1. Raw Avocado Chocolate Pudding

A great healthy dessert! And you won’t even taste the avocado! Blend together meat from 4 ripe Hass avocados, 1/2 cup raw cocoa powder, 1/3 cup raw honey or agave nectar (to taste), 1/4 tsp vanilla, and one pinch of salt until smooth. Let it set in the fridge and enjoy!

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    2. Fruit Smoothies

    This is an amazing way to get living fresh foods in your diet during the day. I have one of these for breakfast just about every day. I’m partial to blending strawberry, banana, papaya, pineapple, mango, and berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries). I then add some spinach or kale, along with ground flax seeds, chia seeds, a splash of honey, almond milk, and ice. It’s a sweet way to wake up!

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      3. Oatmeal Peanut Butter Smoothie

      For another great breakfast smoothie idea that could also pass for a desert, blend together 1 cup oatmeal, 2 cups almond milk, 3-4 Tbsp peanut butter, 3 bananas, 1 cup strawberries (optional), and ice.

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        4. Open-Faced Egg Sandwich

        For those vegetarians that do eggs, this is a very easy, healthy meal. Take a slice of bread (I prefer Ezekiel Sprouted-Grain Breads) and toast it. Fry an egg sunny side up. Take the toasted bread and spread either pesto sauce or mayo on one side. Then, add a few slices of tomato and a sprinkle of chopped onion. Place the egg on top, careful not to break the yoke. Finish off with cheese sprinkles (cheddar, feta, or Parmesan work well) and salt and pepper to taste.

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          5. Stir-Fry Veggies

          Just about any veggie combo will work for this easy dinner idea. Drizzle hot pan with olive oil. Add fresh-cut or frozen broccoli florets, chopped onion and celery, one clove minced garlic, torn kale leaves, mushrooms, and other frozen veggies (I like the corn, peas, squash, and carrot blend). In separate pan, boil water and add instant brown rice per package directions. Add 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce or soy sauce to veggie mix. Sauté veggie blend until tender. Drain rice, plate it, and put veggie mixture on top. Drizzle with sesame oil or soy sauce and serve.

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            6. Avocado Sandwich

            The humble avocado is an amazing super food, containing healthy fats and age-fighting compounds. Toast two pieces of bread, cover one side with pesto and the other with spicy mustard. Fill with avocado slices, thinly-sliced onions and tomato, and salt and pepper.

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              7. Loaded Sweet Potato

              The sweet potato contains so many more benefits than a regular potato. Why not switch it out? In a microwave-safe bowl, place a sweet potato that you have washed and punched holes in with a fork. Microwave on high for 3 min on one side, then flip the potato and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. Depending on the potato size and your microwave strength, it may take a few more or less minutes to cook through. Slice the potato in half and throw on canned black beans, salsa, cheddar cheese, and sour cream for a tasty treat.

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                8. Bean Burrito

                In pan, combine one can black beans, one can refried beans, one can enchilada sauce, diced green chilies, chopped black olives, and grated cheddar cheese. Stir over heat until the cheese melts. Spread mixture over tortilla wrap and fold top ends down over mixture, then roll sides around the rest of the bean mixture to form a burrito. Top with more cheddar cheese and drizzle with enchilada sauce and microwave for 1 min. Add sour cream, salsa, and guacamole to top it off.

                9. Veggie Chilli

                Perfect for rainy cold days! Combine 2 cups of diced tomatoes, 3 cups salsa (I prefer the chunky style), 2 cups of kidney beans, 2 cups of black beans, one 10-ounce package of frozen corn, 1 cup diced green zucchini, 1 tbsp ground cumin, and 1 tbsp chili powder. Bring chili to simmer on medium, then cover and take heat down to low for a few minutes. Top with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.

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                  10. Taco Salad

                  While the health of some chips may be questionable, I love using healthy organic tortilla corn chips in the recipe. When you top it with healthy veggies, the chips become a crunchy side to the main veggie and bean event. To make this tasty treat, heat up 4 cups of chili beans. Then layer corn chips, chili beans, torn lettuce, kale, or spinach, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, black olives, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

                  11. Veggie Burger

                  Veggie burgers have come a long way in taste and selection. You can now find many different frozen veggie burgers in your grocery aisle. I also make my own and freeze them. But, since this is a fast recipe list, we will stick with the pre-made veggie burgers. Simply grill or pan fry the veggie burger until heated through. Toast a whole-wheat hamburger bun and pile on your favorite toppings. I personally love avocado, sautéed mushrooms and onions, spicy mustard, and spinach leaves.

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                    12. Veggie Frittata

                    This is for those egg lovers out there! Melt one tbsp of butter in frying pan. Add whatever veggies you want. I love mushrooms, bell peppers (red or green), chopped spinach, 2 minced garlic cloves, and onion. Sauté veggies until tender. While they are cooking, whisk 12 eggs and 1/4 cup water together. Pour eggs over the veggie mixture. Cook until the bottom is set, and lift the bottom of the frittata from the pan to allow egg mixture to run under and further cook. When the edges are set, either broil an additional two minutes to set the top, or flip the frittata and cook the top in the pan. Throw on cheese and chopped green onions and dig in.

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                      13. Breakfast Burrito

                      These tasty burritos are an easy and fun-to-assemble treat for the entire family. Mix 1 cup cooked black beans with the juice from 1/2 a lime, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp paprika. Then, whisk 4 eggs together with 2 tbsp of milk and a dash of salt and pepper, and scramble on an oiled skillet. When eggs are cooked, heat up the bean mixture and flour tortillas in the microwave. Layer the bean and egg mixture together on the warm tortilla, then add avocado slices, feta cheese, salsa, and arugula, wrap up and enjoy!

                      14. Veggie Kabobs

                      Veggie kabobs are one of my favorite meals when grilling out with the family. There are many ways to grill veggies. Most recipes call for an overnight marinade, which greatly adds to the flavor of this dish, but also to the time involved to make it. So, for the purpose of efficiently, we will stick with a simpler, yet still delicious approach. You can create a quick marinade with 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, a dash of salt, 1 tsp of honey, and 1 tbsp on olive oil. Mix your marinade up and then toss your veggies in to coat them. My favorite veggies to make into kabobs include baby bella mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, grape tomatoes, tofu, and pineapple. Thread veggies onto metal skewers or pre-soaked wooden skewers and grill for 6 to 10 minutes – depending on your desired degree of doneness. When finished, you can drizzle any remaining marinade on the kabobs.

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                        15. Salads

                        Though many people don’t think of salads as a main dish, I have often made them my complete meal. Most people consider salads as a few iceberg lettuce pieces and two grape tomatoes. Not the salads that I make! My main greens consist of a combination of spinach, kale, and arugula. I then throw in tomatoes, avocado, olives, diced onion, bell pepper, cucumbers, sprouts, broccoli, dried fruit (cranberry is very good), and some type of nut (usually almonds or walnuts). You can also throw on chick peas, boiled egg, or black beans for added protein. I even make my own dressing by blending up 1/2 a cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 tbsp salt, and honey to taste (I usually do about 1/4 cup honey).

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                          16. Fancy Grilled Cheese Fig Sandwich

                          Everyone knows grilled cheese is a favorite fast kid snack. But, adults can enjoy a more fancy version of an old favorite with a few healthy additives. Take two slices of your favorite bread, add about 3 dried figs thinly sliced, a spoonful of chopped walnuts, two spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, two slices of brie, and two slices of mozzarella. Add a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of truffle salt. Top with the other slice of bread and press in a panini press or grill on a skillet until the bread is browned on both sides and the cheese has turned into a gooey mess of goodness.

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                            17. Fruit Parfait

                            Easy and healthy. What’s not to love? Take 3 cups vanilla yogurt (I always use yogurt with probiotics included to help with digestive health), one cup fresh or defrosted strawberries in juice, and 1 pint of fresh blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries, and granola, and alternate layers in your parfait cup. You assemble the cups by starting with yogurt at the base, the fruit next, and the granola last. Then begin the layering again until the parfait cup is full. Enjoy immediately to keep the granola crunchy. You can even treat yourself to some whip cream on top – if you dare!

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                              18. Toast Pizza

                              If you love pizza but don’t have the time to create a large Italian masterpiece, you can do a faster version by using toasts in just mere minutes. Just cut your bread diagonally and brown one side. Then, spread the non-toasted side with tomato puree, a dash of minced garlic, and mozzarella and feta cheese. You can also add veggie toppings like mushroom, onion, bell pepper, basil, spinach and pineapple. Stick the toast back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbly and enjoy.

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                                19. Vegan Crepes

                                I love berry crepes, and these are so easy to make! To make the crepes, simply combine 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp brown sugar and wisk together in a bowl. Then, add 1 cup almond or soy milk and whisk together until smooth. Heat up a pan and spray with cooking spray. When it’s hot, pour in about 1/4 of the mixture into the center. Make sure to rotate and angle the pan so you cover the entire area to make the crepes thin. You can tell when the crepe is done when you can easily move it around the pan. At this point, you can flip it to cook the other side. You want both sides lightly browned. While the crepes are cooking, combine fresh berries (I love blueberries, strawberries, and black berries) in a bowl and crush with a masher. Add 1 tbsp of maple syrup to the mixture and continue to crush until they are mashed together well. When the crepes are done, simply add the berry filling and roll the crepes together. You should be able to make four with this recipe. Take any left over berry mixture, drizzle over the top of the crepes, and serve.

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                                  20. Tahini With Veggies

                                  You can find tahini in most grocery stores. It consists of ground up sesame seeds and olive oil. I often add honey to tahini and use it as a nutritious veggie dip. You can dip carrots, bell pepper slices or okra for a very nutritious snack or side. It’s a fun way to give raw veggies a kick.

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                                    21. Guacamole Salad

                                    You can never go wrong with guacamole. However, here’s a twist on turning the traditional dip into a more hearty salad. Mix up 1 pint of halved grape tomatoes, 1 15-oz can of black beans, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 minced jalapeño pepper (seeds removed), 1/2 tsp freshly grated lime zest, one tsp salt, fresh ground black pepper, 1 diced yellow bell pepper (seeds removed), 1/2 cup diced red onion, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp minced garlic, and 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper. When you are ready to serve, peel and remove the seeds 2 two ripe Hass avocados, dice them up, and fold them into your salad.

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                                      22. Pita Sandwich

                                      If you use whole wheat pita bread, this is a very nutritious meal. Hummus, made from chick peas, is very healthy. You can buy both easily from most grocery chains and eat them together in a more simple version, or make pita sandwiches. I spread hummus generously inside the pita pocket, then throw in spinach greens, olives, onions, tomato slices, salt and pepper, avocado slices, and alfalfa sprouts. It’s an easy way to eat your veggies in a tasty package.

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                                        23. White Bean Sandwich

                                        I like to heat up 1 cup of cannelloni beans with 1 red bell pepper (seeded and cut into strips), 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil in a pan for about 8 minutes. Then, take a ciabatta loaf, cut into fourths, and make a small divot in the bottom half of the loaf and put 1/4 cup of the bean and pepper mixture in the divot. Then, add some sliced mozzarella, arugula and basil leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Easy to make and so filling!

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                                          24. Portobello Burger

                                          Mushroom burgers are some of my favorite veggie variations on the classic hamburger. Simply take a greased cookie sheet and place a large portobello mushroom cap rubbed in olive oil on the oiled surface. Cut the stem off, and add garlic salt and pepper to both sides to taste. Bake eight minutes. Then, remove from the oven, add shredded cheese of your choice, and pop it back in for a few more minutes until the cheese melts. Throw it on a hamburger bun with all your favorite hamburger toppings (I like Ranch dressing on mine), and dig in!

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                                            25. Kale and Cauliflower Pasta

                                            Kale is the king of greens! I always try to find ways to work it into recipes, as it is a powerhouse of nutrition. For this easy meal, cook any penne pasta according to package directions. Chop up 3 or 4 pieces of kale and slice up 3/4 of a cup of cauliflower. Sauté the cauliflower for 5 minutes with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Then, add the kale with an extra tbsp of oil, and cook for a few minutes until it’s slightly wilted. Then, add pasta and 1/4 cups of grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

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                                              26. Avocado Pasta

                                              This recipe is very healthy as the sauce doesn’t need to be cooked, and you get all the fresh micronutrients from your food. Simply cook 6 oz of your choice of spaghetti or angel hair pasta according to the package directions. Then, make the sauce in a food processor. Remove the skin and throw in the meat from one pitted Avocado, juice from half a lemon, 1 to 3 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves. Process until your sauce is creamy, then toss in the al dente pasta and serve immediately.

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                                                27. Veggie Fried Rice

                                                This is a staple in our home. Cook brown rice according to the package directions. Then, stir fry your favorite veggies in olive oil. I often use broccoli, squash, carrots, peas, corn, onion, mushroom, and kale (put kale at last after everything is cooked). Season with garlic salt, wasabi powder, and soy sauce to taste. While cooking, I move my veggies to the outside of my pan and scramble an egg in the center for added protein. Finally, pour your cooked brown rice in with your veggies and fry together a bit longer, stirring frequently. Add soy sauce, and enjoy.

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                                                  28. Southwestern Veggie Pizza

                                                  Mexican and Italian meld together in this little gem. Preheat the oven to 450F. Take a pre-baked Italian bread shell (Boboli has a nice version) or use pita bread, spread 1/2 cup sour cream over the shell, then top with 3/4 cup chunky salsa, 1/2 cups black beans rinsed and drained, 1/4 cup green onions, and 4 oz of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses mixed together. Place pizza in oven until the cheese is melted, and serve with additional salsa or sour cream if desired.

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                                                    29. Veggie Curry

                                                    Who doesn’t love a good curry? This veggie version is fast with many spices to tempt the taste buds. First, take 20 fennel seeds, 1/2 stick of cinnamon, and a few cardamon seeds and place them in 1/2 cup boiling water to soak and get flavor into the water. Then, set aside. In a large pot boil about 4 cups water, throw in 1 peeled and cubed medium-sized turnip and boil for 5 minutes covered. Throw in 1/2 large cauliflower chopped into florets for 3 minutes more. Then, add chopped up green pepper (seeds removed) and cook for 1 minute. Next, put in 1 cup of frozen peas for an additional minute. Drain away the boiling water until you have about 1 cup of water left in the mixture. Move the vegetables to one side of the pot and add all the spices into the water (1 tbsp each of garam masala, ginger powder, and cumin powder; 1 tsp of paprika, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, and 1/2 tsp chili powder). Then, put in 1 small tub or 1/2 large tub of hummus (about 1 cup), add 1/2 cup tomato puree, and 1/4 cup of garlic puree. Finally, take 1/2 cup of the soaked 20 fennel seeds, 1/2 stick of cinnamon, and a few cardamon seeds that you set aside at the beginning and pour into the mix. You can take out the cinnamon stick if you wish. Put mixture on low heat for 2 minutes and mix together. Finally, add 1/4 cup fresh-chopped coriander stems and a few pieces of stem ginger for garnish. It’s an amazingly flavorful way to end your day!

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                                                      30. Avocado Variations

                                                      There are few things as simple and fulfilling as an avocado. It’s packed with great heart-healthy fats and nutrients. You can slice this fruit in half, pop out the seed, and fill it with several variations. I sometimes drizzle either soy sauce or sunflower seeds on top of the fruit. You can also put an egg inside the hole the pit left (you may need to scoop out a bit more avocado flesh to widen the hole) and bake the avocado and egg at 425F for 12 to 15 minutes (depending on egg size). Then, take it out from the oven and season with pepper, chives, and salt.

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                                                        31. Broccoli and Parmesan Soup

                                                        Broccoli has so many benefits, from cancer fighting antioxidants to high calcium content. It’s easy to see why researchers call this vegetable a super food. Here’s an easy recipe to make sure you get more broccoli in your diet. Bring two cups of water to a boil, and add two heads of broccoli (chopped up), a small piece of Parmesan rind, one tbsp of soy sauce, and one tbsp of lemon juice. Cover and simmer for eight minutes until the broccoli is tender. Puree in blender until smooth. Garnish with extra Parmesan savings, salt and pepper.

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                                                          32. Spinach and Strawberry Salad

                                                          This is a sweet summer salad loaded with iron from the spinach and phytonutrients from the strawberries. Simply wash a bag of spinach and hull and quarter a pint of washed strawberries. Toss in 1/3 cup sliced almonds, sliced cucumber, and avocado. Make the dressing in a bowl or blender by combining 1/2 lemon (juiced), two tbsp white wine vinegar, one tbsp olive oil, one tsp poppy seeds, and 1/3 cup sugar. Blend or whisk together and drizzle over your salad. Toss to coat and serve.

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                                                            33. Veggie and Goat Cheese Roti

                                                            Roti is one of my favorite Indian foods, and this version is fast to prepare and enjoy. Mist and heat whole wheat roti per package directions. Spread goat cheese over the bottom of each roti. In a separate pan, stir fry red peppers, canned chick peas (about half a cup), red onion, zucchini, mushrooms, and eggplant (cut into bite-size pieces) until tender. Spread veggie mixture on roti, keeping the sides clear for easy roll up. Season with garlic salt and pepper to taste. Roll up the roti and secure with toothpicks. Cut each roll in half along the diagonal line and serve.

                                                            Veggie Roti

                                                              As you can see, fast food can also be fit, healthy food. Give these quick meals a try to create the highly nutritious and succulent meals your family will love!

                                                              More by this author

                                                              Sarah Hansen

                                                              A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

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                                                              Published on November 14, 2018

                                                              Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                                              Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                                              With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                                                              For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                                                              In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                                                              Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                                                              Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                                                              It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                                                              For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                                                              Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                                                              Symptoms of Fatigue

                                                              Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                                                              • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                                                              • mental blocks
                                                              • lack of motivation
                                                              • headache
                                                              • dizziness
                                                              • muscle weakness
                                                              • slowed reflexes and responses
                                                              • impaired decision-making and judgement
                                                              • moodiness, such as irritability
                                                              • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                                                              • reduced immune system function
                                                              • blurry vision
                                                              • short-term memory problems
                                                              • poor concentration
                                                              • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                                                              Causes of Fatigue

                                                              The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                                                              • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                                                              • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                                                              • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                                                              • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                                                              Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                                                              Medical Causes of Fatigue

                                                              If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                                                              Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                                                              Anemia

                                                              Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                                                              Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                                                              There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                                                              Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                                                              Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                                                              This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                                                              Diabetes

                                                              Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                                                              Sleep Apnea

                                                              Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                                                              Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                                                              Thyroid disease

                                                              An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                                                              Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                                                              • Lack of sleep
                                                              • Too much sleep 
                                                              • Alcohol and drugs 
                                                              • Sleep disturbances 
                                                              • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                                                              • Poor diet 

                                                              Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                                                              • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                                                              • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                                                              • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                                                              • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                                                              Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                                                              Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                                                              • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                                                              • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                                                              • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                                                              How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                                                              Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                                                              1. Tell The Truth

                                                              Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                                                              To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                                                              Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                                                              The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                                                              One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                                                              • How you feel
                                                              • What time of day it is
                                                              • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                                                              • How your mind and body reacts

                                                              This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                                                              2. Reduce Your Commitments

                                                              When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                                                              If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                                                              When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                                                              Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                                                              3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                                                              If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                                                              Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                                                              If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                                                              Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                                                              Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                                                              4. Express More Gratitude

                                                              Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                                                              It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                                                              Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                                                              5. Focus On Yourself

                                                              Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                                                              There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                                                              But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                                                              We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                                                              6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                                                              Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                                                              Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                                                              The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                                                              Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                                                              7. Take a Power Nap

                                                              When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                                                              Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                                                              This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                                                              8. Take More Exercise

                                                              The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                                                              Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                                                              The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                                                              You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                                                              9. Get More Quality Sleep

                                                              To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                                                              Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                                                              My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                                                              10. Improve Your Diet

                                                              Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                                                              Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                                                              On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                                                              To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                                                              Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                                                              Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                                                              11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                                                              Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                                                              When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                                                              Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                                                              My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                                                              12. Get Hydrated

                                                              Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                                                              Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                                                              If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                                                              The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                                                              The Bottom Line

                                                              These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                                                              If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                                                              Reference

                                                              [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                                                              [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                                                              [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                                                              [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                                                              [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                                                              [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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