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Enough With PB&J? 30 Healthy And Tasty Peanut Butter Recipes

Enough With PB&J? 30 Healthy And Tasty Peanut Butter Recipes

Peanut butter is one of the most understated foods. It is packed with a ton of health benefits. First off, it is known for having high amounts of protein. So much so that in times of emergency, it’s recommended to always ensure peanut butter is stocked because it is quite filling and including a good amount of nutrients like potassium and fiber. The high amount of unsaturated fats means that it is a healthy, heart-healthy snack. But peanut butter is usually found in sandwiches, accompanied with jam. But that doesn’t have to always be the case. There is a lot to uncover with the 30 peanut butter recipes we will cover today.

1. Mini Crunch Bars with Peanut Butter Shell Drizzle

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    This recipe is healthy on many fronts. First off, it vegan-friendly and makes use of organic rice cereal in the recipe. In addition, with the use of coconut oil and unsweetened cocoa powder, you’ll find this to be a guilt-free alternative to the store brought Crunch bars.

    Recipe Source.

    2. Peanut Butter and Fleur de Sel Brownies

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      This is a delectable mix of chocolate and peanut butter, with a generous helping of peanut butter icing to make these brownies a hit. Maldon is sprinkled on the top for a finishing touch. This is a rich and tasty deviation from your average homemade brownies.

      Recipe Source.

      3. Peanut Butter Ice Cream

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        Homemade ice cream is always seen as a healthy alternative to store brought. Without the additives that allow store brought ice cream to last longer, you are a smoother and more flavorful ice cream when made at home. This recipe makes use of peanut butter and a butterscotch topping for a mouthwatering experience.

        Recipe Source.

        4. Layered Peanut Butter Brittle Ice Cream

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          You are in for a flavor explosion with this recipe. Making use of peanut butter cups, peanut butter, and peanuts, all of this is layered and made into a pop. This is the perfect recipe just in time for the dog days of summer. However, I’d like to see you not make use of the recipe anytime of the year either.

          Recipe Source.

          5. Mini Butterfinger Cheesecakes

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            No-bake recipes are a favorite for individuals who are short on time and want to create amazing desserts. This recipe makes use of butterfingers and pretzels for a nice base, with your traditional cheesecake recipe as the middle, topped off with a chocolate drizzle.

            Recipe Source.

            6. Grilled Peanut Butter Honey Banana Waffle Sandwiches

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              Like peanut butter, bananas are a food filled with potassium. For a fiber, protein, and potassium filled morning, start with this grilled peanut butter waffle sandwich, with honey. The recipe makes use of whole grain waffles, and it is kid-friendly and flavorful as well.

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              Recipe Source.

              7. Peanut Butter Breakfast Jar Parfait

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                Parfaits are a great way to get started with your morning. They are filled with nutrient rich fruits and yoghurt that not only boost your energy, but have a natural sweetness that makes it tasty. The addition of peanut butter to your morning parfait, as outlined in this recipe, offers more potassium and fiber to get you through the day.

                Recipe Source.

                8. Peanut Butter, Strawberry, and Banana Quesadilla

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                  This breakfast food, or even on-the-go snack, gives you a new twist to the average quesadilla. No need to worry, we aren’t combining cheese and peanut butter here, this is friendly for the lactose intolerant friends out there. That’d be a bit odd either way. You can hack this recipe even more by making use of whole wheat tortillas.

                  Recipe Source.

                  9. Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes

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                    This is the ultimate hack on the peanut butter and jelly we all know. Not only is it transformed from a sandwich to a pancake, it’s quite flavorful while still being healthy. While jarred peanut butter paste isn’t used in this recipe, to ensure the peanut butter flavor is able to be found throughout the batter, it is still a great recipe. Top it off with a banana slice or two, instead of the butter, for added tastiness.

                    Recipe Source.

                    10. Fresh Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Butter Dip

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                      Peanut dips are quite common in Asian cuisine. This is no different with this vegetarian friendly lettuce wrap with the accompanying peanut butter dip made with ginger. The dip is tangy with a bit of spice. If you want to make this a meat dish, you can replace the recipe’s tofu for sautéd chicken.

                      Recipe Source.

                      11. Beef & Cabbage Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

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                        Another great Asian dish, making use of a peanuts, incorporates beef and cabbage with udon noodles for a mouthwatering dish that takes a little over a half an hour to prepare and serve. Packed with potassium and folate, you don’t have to sacrifice your diet for this yummy dish.

                        Recipe Source.

                        12. Chicken And Peanut Butter Lettuce Wrap

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                          Mixing savory and sweet with grapes, apples, and peanut butter, you can get a new twist on the summer friendly chicken salad lettuce wrap. It’s filling enough for a lunch, while not being heavy on you. Plus, it only takes 15 minutes from start to finish!

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                          Recipe Source.

                          13. Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars

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                            Rolled apricots, figs, and nuts held by peanut butter and honey is the combination for a powerful mid-day snack or morning pick-me-up with six grams of protein. The recipe makes 14 bars.

                            Recipe Source.

                            14. Peanut Butter Split Smoothie

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                              This is another potassium filled recipe. The peanut butter split smoothie includes banana, non-fat milk, yoghurt, and of course peanut butter, to make for a breakfast or post-workout friendly treat that you won’t ever have to feel guilty about.

                              Recipe Source.

                              15. Chicken Salad with Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette

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                                The star of this recipe is the peanut-lime vinaigrette. Made with beef broth, soy sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, and hot sauce for a nice kick. You can substitute beef broth for vegetable stock, and chicken for tofu for a vegan friendly alternative vinaigrette.

                                Recipe Source.

                                16. Memphis Banana Bites

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                                  This is a simple recipe that takes less than an hour to get into your mouth. Making use of three simple ingredients, banana, peanut butter, and chocolate, you can create mouthwatering dessert bites that can be in the form of mini sandwiches or in balls.

                                  Recipe Source.

                                  17. Nutty Sweet Potato Soup

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                                    This unique sweet potato soup makes use of melted peanut butter to give it a nice, nutty finish when you enjoy it. This gives it 14 grams of protein and five grams of fiber. This is truly a nutrient rich, healthy appetizer or quick lunch that is ready in a half hour.

                                    Recipe Source.

                                    18. Peanut Butter and Green Apple Toast

                                     

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                                      This kid-friendly recipe can be great once school starts, or when they are off for a day at their summer camp. With a recipe including whole grain bread, a half a green apple, and peanut butter, you can add a finish touching of honey to add more sweetness naturally given out from the apples. This nice, quick lunch or snack option is just over 200 calories.

                                      Recipe Source.

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                                      19. Dark Chocolate and Oat Clusters

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                                        It is a known fact that chocolate is healthy for you. The less additives and sweeteners, the more it is beneficial to you. This is the reason why dark chocolate is considered some of the healthiest of any chocolate variety. This dark chocolate and oat cluster recipe is a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting a blast of antioxidants.

                                        Recipe Source.

                                        20. Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

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                                          Who said pie had to be unhealthy? This 259 calorie per slice pie is sue to quell such a misconception. The shaved milk chocolate may make you rethink if the pie is truly fat-free. No need to worry, it is! Enjoy this wonderful dessert after savoring beef and cabbage stir-fry with peanut sauce.

                                          Recipe Source.

                                          21. Chocolate Bonbon Bombes

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                                            This may seem like a complicated dessert to make, but it truly isn’t. There are only three ingredients, one of which you can make using the peanut butter ice cream recipe mentioned above. Just top it with chocolate, dash some nuts on top, and put in the freezer. The only thing easier than making them is popping them in your mouth.

                                            Recipe Source.

                                            22. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies

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                                              Thinking back to my childhood, and especially to this day, I loved cookies and my favorite lunch time meal were PB&Js. Having them all in one is a bit too much of a good thing for me to handle! This recipe isn’t simply spreading peanut butter and jelly on pre-made cookies. You are able to make them from scratch, all in under 10 minutes.

                                              Recipe Source.

                                              23. Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats

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                                                This healthy alternative to store brought rice crispy treats replace white rice with brown rice and honey instead of corn syrup. Peanut butter is thrown in for added nutrients, and dried cherries for added taste.

                                                Recipe Source.

                                                24. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

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                                                  Oatmeal cherry cookies with the required addition of peanut butter make for a smooth, chewy cookie that comes with a surprise of dried sour cherries. For 132 calories per cookie, these are health-friendly both in caloric intake and nutrients.

                                                  Recipe Source.

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                                                  25. Peanut Butter – Milk Chocolate Puddings

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                                                    Not only are you able to make your own pudding with this recipe, you can even learn how to make peanut butter pudding. This, while great alone, is an excellent paring with the milk chocolate pudding recipe also included.For a nice finisher, top it all off with a whipped topping.

                                                    Recipe Source.

                                                    26. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

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                                                      A peanut butter cake, layered with chocolate, and topped with cream cheese and a butterfingers finishing seems like only a dream. However, with this recipe it is a reality. Another great point about the recipe is that the filling, cake, and frosting instructions are all separated. So if you feel like you just want to make a peanut butter cake another day, the recipe can point you in that direction.

                                                      Recipe Source.

                                                      27. Peanut Butter Cream Tart

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                                                        Made with a chocolate wafer cookie crust, this Peanut Butter cream tart is technically a cheese cake. It has a nice chocolate drizzle finish while still remembering to have a peanut butter and cream cheese base. This will be a crowd favorite for your next dinner party, while still being easy enough to fix during the week.

                                                        Recipe Source.

                                                        28. Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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                                                          This recipe is another twist on the classic PB&J. In the form of bars, they are convenient and good to eat on the go. They are sweet while still being a tad bit savory with the peanut butter. The recipe below makes 16.

                                                          Recipe Source.

                                                          29. Banana S’more Nut Bars

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                                                            The Banana S’more Nut Bar is a very contemporary take on not only s’mores, but also energy bars. While including various types of nuts, chocolate, and honey, you will also find marshmallow to complete the s’mores inspiration.

                                                            Recipe Source.

                                                            30. Sweet-and-Salty Peanut Butter Sauce

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                                                              Peanut sauce, as mentioned earlier in the article, can be used as a great dipping sauce for various Asian dishes. Now you can make some of your own with this sweet and salty peanut better sauce. Some have even found it to be a great topping for various dishes and desserts they make.

                                                              Recipe Source.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Marillow via cdn.shopify.com

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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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