Announcer: [00:02] Statements in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
[00:10] Welcome to episode three of “That Supplement Show.” Today, Abigail and Killeen are here to talk about energy. They seem to think it’s something achieved to the right personal rhythms, rather than something we can chase after.
[00:20] From moving meditation, to iron deficiency, to the company we keep, our energy levels are affected by more than you think, or at least more than I thought. Take a listen and see if you agree.
Abigail: [00:31] Hey, Killeen. Killeen, are you there?
Killeen: [00:33] [laughs] Sorry, Abigail.
Abigail: [00:36] Here you are.
Killeen: [00:36] I was just in my own world for a moment, just relishing my morning cup of coffee.
Abigail: [00:40] I just cannot do coffee. I love the way it smells, coffee ice creams great [laughs] , but it makes me a little bit crazy. Get very jittery. I just really don’t do well with it.
Killeen: [00:49] I used to think I couldn’t trust anybody who doesn’t like a good cup of coffee, but I’ve since pulled back on that, and realized to each their own. Where you have a hard time with coffee, I would have a difficult time without it.
Abigail: [01:02] Yeah, that leads to a really great topic that we should discuss today, and it links back to our last episode where we focused on the B vitamins and went really deep with Dr. Erin Stokes on B6 and energy support. I think there’s something there to talk about.
Killeen: [01:14] Yes. Talking about energy is a fun topic, isn’t it? That really was a great chat, and it got me thinking about other ways to support energy levels.
[01:23] While we are talking about this, this coffee for instance, yes, it’s partially the caffeine that’s giving me a kick start, but it’s really all about the routine. That’s what I truly relish.
[01:33] If we are talking about energy, it’s the ritual of sitting here with the cup and just enjoying it and giving myself a moment to think about the day before I really jump into it.
[01:46] On the flip side, if I have this cup of coffee a little too late in the morning, let’s say around 11:30 or so, it starts to have the opposite effect where then I fall into that camp of feeling jittery, and it’s just not working for me anymore. It pushes me forward mentally to start my day with this ritual, but if I keep the ritual going for too long, it drags me down physically.
Abigail: [02:08] I bet that’s true for so many people. It’s that ritual aspect. I think that’s a really important piece. If you’re like me and you can’t have caffeine, you really start to look at other ways and different rituals to support energy throughout the day.
[02:20] I’ve kept that early morning ritual aspect of a cup of coffee, but I’ve replaced it with something that I find really mentally energizing. Any guesses?
Killeen: [02:28] Let’s see. I don’t think that you are an avid gym membership person.
Killeen: [02:38] Maybe yoga? I feel like I could see you doing some yoga classes.
Abigail: [02:41] It’s pretty close. It’s actually meditation, and it’s really easy, just 10 minutes every morning.
Killeen: [02:46] Just 10 minutes helps with your energy levels?
Abigail: [02:48] Yeah. I think, oftentimes, people think of meditation as something really relaxing, or we think of relaxation and energy as opposites on a scale.
[02:57] I think that 10 minutes just focused on nothing, really, that’s the point of meditation, really focused on nothing just sets me up for the day in a really fantastic way.
[03:07] It may not be that stimulating physical energy, but it provides me with a sense of clarity and focus and just gets me excited for the day.
Killeen: [03:16] I like that. It’s interesting to me that only 10 minutes will do the trick, just because the few times I’ve tried meditation, it’s been that hour long class. Honestly, not everybody can fit something like that in to their morning routine, but 10 minutes is completely doable, I think.
Abigail: [03:32] You don’t need to be a mediation whiz. You don’t have to go to a class to meditate every morning.
[03:36] I love an app, and I love guided meditation. Sometimes, if I sit there with my thoughts, I’m not quite sure where to go with them, but guided meditation telling me what to focus on and focusing my breath for 10 minutes a day makes it a really easy way to get started with meditation.
Killeen: [03:51] Nice. Maybe we could include some of your favorite apps or other meditation resources in our show notes.
Abigail: [03:56] Totally. We could go on a whole episode about meditation, [laughs] I think, but we’re going to talk energy.
Killeen: [04:02] You’re completely right, there. I think people that are listening to this are probably like, “Yeah, I got it. Meditation seems like a good idea.”
[04:09] It’s really about exactly what you said, just making it a part of your daily routine. I think each meditative state will probably build on the next to the point where you’re getting your body prepped for something like that.
[04:21] You start to just expect it and even wake up, perhaps, feeling some sense of comfort that, “OK, I know what to expect right now, because I’m going to sit down and meditate.” It’s something that we can control.
Abigail: [04:33] I found when I’ve done it sporadically over the years. I’ve tried meditation a bunch of times and really didn’t think that it was for me. I felt like too much of a busybody.
[04:41] Doing it every single morning, just those 10 minutes but keeping with it and having that consistency, that’s when I saw the payoff on my energy and not just energy, but my whole mental outlook, my excitement for the day, my positivity.
[04:54] I think when you’re in a positive state of mind, you’re just more energized. It’s exhausting to be sad. It’s exhausting to be frustrated or stressed. You promote energy when you promote that mental well being.
Killeen: [05:05] That’s a great point of distinction, supporting mental outlook. It’s not just the physical aspect of energy, but it’s from a mental standpoint. That’s the kind of energy that we might forget about, sometimes.
[05:19] We’re thinking of the physical feelings of being tired. Sometimes, our brains are really tired, and we might not even realize it.
Killeen: [05:26] Think of days when you’ve been really excited about something. You go home with a lot of energy.
[05:30] I’m sure. There’s definitely a link there. I went home the other day, and my husband said he hasn’t seen me that energized after 6:00 PM in a long time, but I had so much positivity and excitement around something that it translated into this abundance of energy.
[05:44] I think we forget about that a lot but it takes a lot of resources to be sad [laughs] or stressed or frustrated.
Abigail: [05:50] Yeah, especially when you’re waiting for some important news or there’s an email that’s going to come into your inbox, that’s got some key info in it. We really are holding on to lots of feelings and maybe not cognizantly holding on to them.
Killeen: [06:05] Absolutely. I know that meditation’s not necessarily going to be for everyone. The 10 Minutes With, an app, makes it really easy but there are other alternatives to get in that good head space, as well.
Abigail: [06:15] This is reminding me of a conversation that I had with our friend, Stephanie. She talks about how she tried that traditional meditation of sitting still. Let’s listen to what she has to say.
[06:28] [sound effect]
Stephanie: [06:29] I never sit still. I’m always moving. I try to maximize every minute I have in a day, and then it occurred to me, specifically while training for Mount Washington, was that cycling, to me, is very meditative.
[06:42] It is meditative just by virtue of the fact that in certain times in training, you have to be so focused on the here and the now and what you’re doing. You can’t think about anything else.
[06:53] I feel like I never realized that there was such a connection between, for me, cycling and meditation. The value of that is while I’m doing it, I’m not thinking about every other thing.
[07:06] I’m not worried about the laundry that I didn’t wash, the bed sheets that I probably haven’t washed in over two weeks, my son’s hair probably should have been cut, I have deadlines and Asana tasks that I need to focus on. For at least one or two hours a day, I know that I can shut off those other things.
[07:26] [sound effect]
Abigail: [07:26] Stephanie makes a really great point about clearing your mind. That’s really what meditation is about. She clears her mind, focuses at the task at hand, and promotes positivity that way. Absolutely relevant way to meditate.
Killeen: [07:38] You’re right. When I heard this from her, I realized that I do actually meditate quite a bit, because I also take a walk every morning. That’s before the cup of coffee. I am making sure that I get out and stretch my legs a little bit. I bring my dog up our hill. I live at the bottom of a very steep hill.
[07:57] Walking up that every day early in the morning, it’s a dead end. There’s no traffic, and it’s really just me and the bird song and looking at all the wildflowers at the current moment, since it’s spring, but I am meditating essentially. I purposefully leave my headphones and my phone behind.
[08:16] I would like to listen to a podcast, for example, as I was completing that walk, and like to think that’s a good way to multitask, but honestly it’s nice to be peaceful and to let my thoughts come and go.
[08:29] I really am meditating by moving, and I think moving meditation is something that people could consider, given that not everybody does want to sit still or maybe they feel that they sit still all day long, if they’re at a desk job, or whatnot.
[08:43] It’s a good way to still have that meditation practice but to be moving while you’re doing it.
Abigail: [08:48] Just turn off that phone. [laughs]
Killeen: [08:49] Yes. We try to turn off our phones as much as possible whenever we’re mindfully living at home.
Abigail: [08:55] That reminds me or makes me think about physical exercise. Do you find after that walk in the morning that you have more energy than when you left the house?
Killeen: [09:02] Yeah. Actually, I love to run but I found that prepping for a run took a lot more time out of my morning. With having a schedule that I have to share with my husband as far as there always needs to be somebody home I have small children I would interrupt his routine if I was going for a run because I was gone for longer.
[09:25] I found instead of having that one morning a week where I’d say, “Hey, hope it’s OK if you go into the office a little bit late so I can squeeze this run in,” I found instead, if I started just walking every morning, it didn’t take me as long to get ready because I could pretty much get dressed and go out the door.
[09:42] Each day I felt more refreshed versus that one run that felt awesome but I only got to do it once a week. Not having that ritual or that routine left me at a loss on the days when I couldn’t get out.
Abigail: [09:53] You get the moving meditation plus the energizing aspect of the physical exertion.
Killeen: [09:59] Yeah. Actually, because it’s a hill, it’s hard going up, but then coming down it’s just that, coming down, nice and peaceful.
Abigail: [10:06] When we think of energy and physical activity as something you do for a purpose like lose weight, be healthy but mental health is such an important aspect of physical exercise.
[10:17] They say if you’re feeling anxiety or even sadness, getting out for a walk outside is [laughs] really important, but you don’t have to kill yourself.
[10:25] You don’t have to run sprints up that hill. You can slowly walk the dog and take in everything around you. Just by getting your heart pumping, you really help promote that energy as well.
Killeen: [10:35] Naturally, I think we all push ourselves too hard sometimes with liking to run. I found that I raised the bar pretty quickly. I went from running a mile to two to four, and as my mileage increased, then I felt like if I was only getting out for a shorter run that I wasn’t hitting my true potential and that I wasn’t getting enough out of it.
[10:56] We need to be careful about where we set that bar and realize that sometimes maybe that bar is meant to be exceeded and maybe sometimes it’s not. Having that balance there, too, is really important to consider.
Abigail: [11:08] Goals are important but so is taking time to enjoy things around you. It’s a really important piece.
Killeen: [11:14] Yeah. With all of the technology that’s in our face all the time, we don’t always take that time. There’s always so many distractions.
Abigail: [11:22] There’s so many different directions we could go in talking about energy. There’s so many different things to decode.
Killeen: [11:27] Yeah. Let’s wind on for a little bit more, but only after a quick word from our sponsor.
[11:31] [background music]
Announcer: [11:32] Today’s episode is sponsored by Daily Energy Booster Powder. This ultra blendable powdered dietary supplement contains eleuthero, ashwagandha and bacopa, herbs revered throughout history for supporting your body’s ability to perform and manage through times of stress.
[11:45] Additionally, chromium and green tea help to enhance mental alertness, focus, and a healthy metabolism.
[11:48] Daily Energy is mindfully crafted to support a healthy and active lifestyle. After all this talk about energy today, I think I may want to learn more. If you feel the same way, visit megafood.com/boosters to see the full collection of booster powders.
[12:03] [sound effect]
Abigail: [12:03] I think we should switch gears a little bit and talk about another major way we get energy, and that’s from the foods that we eat.
Killeen: [12:09] We use the analogy of food as fuel, so clearly we can’t cover the energy topic without exploring diet and nutrition a little bit.
Abigail: [12:16] I think the easiest way to start is taking a look at the foods that we eat for each meal, especially the two times a day that people reach for energy support early morning and that afternoon slump.
[12:29] Reaching for food as fuel, for energy, is a really great substitution to make, especially if it comes down to ritual. If every day at 3:00, you get out of a meeting and you’re tired and you reach for that cup of coffee, what can you replace that with? What foods can you choose to energize you, get you through that slump?
Killeen: [12:46] It’s funny that we’re talking about this right now, because I’m thinking two things. One is that through this conversation, I’ve realized just how routine I am because yet another morning routine is my oatmeal. I found that oatmeal works so well for me as far as a food to get started with in the beginning of the day.
[13:04] I find if I stray from it, I’m thrown out of whack again. On the weekends, I might treat myself to a little bit more of what we would call a weekend breakfast but during the week, it’s always my jar of oatmeal.
[13:17] The other thing I was thinking is that right now I’m overdue for my afternoon smoothie.
Killeen: [13:26] I make a smoothie every day at three o’clock. We work together. You probably have seen me down in the kitchen pulling out the Vitamix. I’m overdue. Hopefully I can get through the rest of this podcast recording, because, again, another ritual that I’ve clearly kicked to the side today.
Abigail: [13:42] Whoops. I believe in you. You’ll make it.
Killeen: [13:44] I think I’ll be OK.
Abigail: [13:46] You reach every day for that 3:00 PM smoothie, which is the point of what we’re talking about today choosing healthy options to fuel you through those slumps. We have a coworker named James who coined this term chemical hugs, which I really love.
Killeen: [13:58] That’s really cute.
Abigail: [13:59] Isn’t that great? Those sugary things that we reach for the bagels, the sugary drinks, the candies. Now he and I, if we see the other one grabbing a piece of candy, we call them out and say, “You’re going for a chemical hug.”
[14:10] Those are the things that we’re reaching for when we need energy. Replacing those habits keeping that ritual, replacing it with a 3:00 PM smoothie, maybe you’ll make them for all of us here in the office. [laughs]
Killeen: [14:20] Yeah. That’s definitely a possibility. For me, when it comes to chemical hugs, I’m completely guilty of going for those, but I’m realizing something here, that is that I won’t ever reach for those types of foods if it’s on the fly.
[14:36] If I’m in the middle of something or I’m at my computer or I’m multitasking, I don’t really enjoy foods like that that are those pleasure foods that might be things that are solely a craving in our mind but not at all what our body needs those candies or some rich bagel covered in cream cheese or something.
[14:56] I am going to want to sit with that and fully embrace the chemical hug. I want to feel every bit of that, and I don’t want to be distracted by my work while I’m trying to enjoy that. I do think that that probably helps me stay away from those things.
[15:10] If we’ve got candy in the office, I’m really not interested because I don’t have the time to sit there and enjoy it. It goes back to relishing that morning cup of coffee. I need a moment to sit and enjoy that.
[15:21] Even if I’m driving, commuting, I still can fully enjoy that as I’m going along my commute but when it comes to those rich foods, I want to put all my focus on them.
[15:32] That could be a good mindset for some people that might want to reach but realize, “Well, I’m not going to enjoy that now. Maybe I’ll wait until I have some time to put my full attention on this.” By that point, you might not even want that thing anymore.
Abigail: [15:44] That’s a great example of mindfulness, being aware. We talked earlier, before we started recording, about how I tried fried Oreos this weekend for the first time.
Killeen: [15:54] Which was a shocker to me, but we all need to have those moments from time to time. If it’s something that fits into, there’s no dietary restriction around it and it’s not something where you have a food allergy. Yeah, we’re all going to all try those fried Oreo ish things once in a while.
Abigail: [16:09] It reminds me of something that I know we want to talk about in a future podcast, but I had no remorse about that because I did exactly what you did. I sat. I enjoyed it. No food guilt, which is what I want to talk about on [laughs] a later podcast, our relationship with food, but I was in that moment.
[16:23] We’re talking energy today, but I’m getting the sense that mindfulness is really our overarching theme in supporting energy.
Killeen: [16:30] I think so. I think it’s checking in with ourselves and being aware of what we’re doing and making sure it’s what we really want.
Abigail: [16:37] Another way to be mindful, if you follow that vein, is we want to pick healthy foods but there’s certain nutrients like B6 that we talked about last time that support energy production. If we’re mindful about the different nutrients we’re taking in through the foods that we eat, we can support energy that way as well.
[16:55] It’s maybe a great opportunity for us to get some expert advice on what nutrients to look for when it comes to supporting our energy.
Killeen: [17:02] That’s a great idea. By that I’m assuming that you mean we should call our friend, Dr. Erin Stokes.
Abigail: [17:07] I think we call the doctor.
Killeen: [17:08] All right. Let’s call the doctor.
[17:09] [phone rings]
Dr. Erin Stokes: [17:13] Hi, this is Dr. Erin Stokes.
Killeen: [17:14] Hi, Erin. It’s Killeen and Abigail calling. How are you?
Dr. Stokes: [17:17] Hi, Killeen and Abigail. I’m doing great. Thanks. How are you?
Killeen: [17:21] We’re good. Thanks. We were just sitting here, having a chat about energy, and of course you came to mind.
Dr. Stokes: [17:27] Good topic.
Killeen: [17:28] We’ve been talking about how energy relates to our lifestyle, and we’ve been going back and forth on some different ideas. We wanted to get into the topic from a health practitioner perspective.
[17:38] Before we dive too deep into the medical side of things, we’d love to know what comes to mind for you, personally, when you think about energy.
Dr. Stokes: [17:45] When I think about energy, I think about a bank account because it’s such a tangible way for people to understand this, is that we can think about the energy of our cell phone or our computer, and you think about how you’re constantly looking to charge it up to make sure it’s charged, plugged in at night.
[18:07] We need to do the same thing for ourselves.
[18:10] In our modern lives, we are often making withdrawals from our energy bank account. We’ve got to think about how we can make some deposits. There’s some things that may feel obvious, but they really warrant being reiterated again.
[18:29] One of the top that comes to mind is sleep. When we look at the history of sleep for humans, we are getting a lot less sleep than our ancestors did. We have this idea, since everything can run 24/7, our TVs, computers, electricity that we can run 24/7. The power or restorative sleep is not to be underestimated.
[18:54] Killeen, I really oftentimes start with basics like, “How much sleep are you getting per night? Not just how many hours are you sleeping, but how is the sleep? Is it restorative? Do you wake up well rested?”
[19:07] I look at energy with exercise. Some forms of exercise can be actually draining for some people if they’re in a really depleted state. Generally, exercise, particularly walking and swimming actually helps to balance people’s energy.
[19:25] We want to look at things like sleep. We want to look at exercise. We want to look at food. That’s another important thing.
[19:32] So many folks I know run out the door in the morning with a cup of coffee, which gives you a little temporary energy, but no fuel, no protein. If you have protein in the morning, that helps stabilize your blood glucose levels, which helps stabilize your energy.
Killeen: [19:47] That’s great validation for the conversation that Abigail and I just had before we called. In episode two of this podcast, we talked about B vitamins and the big role that they play in supporting energy levels.
[20:00] That’s just one little vitamin now. What other supplements might help in this department, do you think?
Dr. Stokes: [20:05] Yes, you got it. The B vitamins, you’re right. That episode two was a good one because we really looked at B vitamins and different forms of B vitamins that they work together as a family and are very important for optimal mood support and energy support.
[20:23] Going further and looking at energy as a whole, there are so many different reasons why you may be low on energy that could have to do with a nutrient deficiency. One of the most common that comes to mind is iron.
[20:41] We know that iron is still the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide. There are certain populations that are especially susceptible to iron deficiency. Namely, we’re going to be talking about women who are menstruating. With that monthly cycle, you’re going to be losing iron on a monthly basis.
[21:01] While certainly not every woman who is menstruating is iron deficient, it’s definitely something important to check with your healthcare practitioner and get testing done because it can be easily missed.
[21:16] I know many women who have had iron deficiency that wasn’t detected and were wondering for months or years why they were so low in energy.
[21:26] A quick note is that iron’s an important component of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin helps bring oxygen to all of your tissues. You can imagine, if you’re not supporting that oxygenation of your tissues, you’re going to feel fatigued both physically and mentally.
Killeen: [21:46] Clarify this for me. If I’m tested for iron deficiency and the results come back in the clear, then do I still need the iron support during my monthly cycle?
[21:55] It’s a time that I really feel like I could use a bit of extra energy. [laughs] Abigail’s nodding her head in agreement over here.
Dr. Stokes: [22:02] Yes, Killeen, it really depends on the extent of the testing that was done. There are a few different parameters that we look at when we look at iron deficiency. One important one that is not always investigated but is vital to look at is ferritin.
[22:22] You can think of ferritin as essentially your iron storage. I remember some biochemistry [laughs] class, this image of a bus with the iron sitting in the seats and basically your storage vehicle for your iron.
[22:39] If women are really low in ferritin, which is not always tested, they’re just on the verge oftentimes of becoming frankly iron deficient. It’s a proactive way to look at this.
[22:53] Also, it’s widely understood that iron is an important component of a women’s multivitamin for women who are menstruating. Now once women have moved through menopause, they’re generally not recommended to supplement with iron, unless, of course, they have an individual need that they’re working on with their healthcare practitioner.
[23:15] We’re talking in broad, general terms for the general population. A women’s multivitamin will definitely have iron for women who are menstruating. This is really important not just iron, but it brings me to the point of the importance of a foundational multivitamin.
[23:35] The fact is we know that no matter how well we eat, there are still gaps in our diet. We know this because we actually have research that validates this.
[23:46] There’s some very compelling research that came from the Center for Disease Control, also known as the CDC. It shows that millions of Americans have deficiencies in vitamin D, in vitamin B12, vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin C.
[24:06] We have data that shows that we’re not getting all of the nutrients we need from diet alone. As much as I hear as a naturopathic doctor that would be ideal, and food is always first, but I am a big believer in a daily multivitamin to the point where I take it myself.
[24:22] My 10 year old son takes his multi. My husband…I send it to my parents. The people that are closest to me, I pretty much insist upon it because I know how important it is.
Killeen: [24:34] Gosh, it really helps to understand the why, why it’s important to take a multi to fill those tiny gaps, even just knowing that those gaps exist in the first place.
Dr. Stokes: [24:44] There’s some. When you think about a multivitamin, it’s a great point. You’re going to have your full range of B vitamins in your multi. You’re going to have chromium in there which is important for the blood sugar balance in addition to getting adequate amounts of protein throughout the day which is something that you can do from a nutrition perspective.
[25:04] Chromium’s also an important mineral to help stabilize blood glucose. You’re going to get your iron, as I mentioned, if you’re a menstruating woman.
[25:11] If you’re taking a men’s multi, you’re not going to get iron. There’s those subtle differences but there’s so many different nutrients, zinc for example, that’s important for a healthy immune system.
[25:22] These are found in a comprehensive multivitamin. It’s almost like an insurance policy for me that I’m covering my gaps. Not just any multi because the thing that I find that’s really challenging for people, Killeen, is to take their multi consistently and daily.
[25:42] I really love the nutrients delivered with whole food that can be taken any time of day, even on an empty stomach. One, because they’re gentle, and two, because what I see is that people are a lot more consistent actually taking the multi because if they remember at 9:30 in the morning or 2:30 in the afternoon or six o’clock at night, it doesn’t really matter.
[26:07] They can take it any time. That’s makes it easy. We like to make it easy.
Killeen: [26:12] To wrap this up and to go back to your initial analogy of the energy bank account, it sounds like a multi is a daily deposit that’s really high in value.
Dr. Stokes: [26:20] Absolutely. It really is. Good quality sleep, nutrition, taking your daily multi, getting some exercise, these are all deposits into your daily bank account.
[26:32] If you think about your day today, if you’re just starting your day, maybe think about yesterday. You’re getting towards the end of your day. Think about your day to day. Think about the withdrawals that you’ve made and the deposits that you’ve made into your own personal energy bank account.
[26:54] Hopefully, we’re not overdrawing our account. Hopefully, we’re not going below zero. It’s an analogy that’s worked for a lot of people and has given them pause of, “Wait of minute. What did I do to deposit into my personal energy bank account today?”
Killeen: [27:07] It seems like we have a lot of options, which is a good reminder that being low on energy isn’t likely due to just one reason. There are many different factors, and thus many different ways to increase our accounts.
[27:19] Abigail and I better wrap this up, but this has been really helpful. Thanks so much for giving us your insight. I am sure we’ll be talking soon.
Dr. Stokes: [27:26] It was my pleasure. Call me back any time, and we’ll chat more.
Killeen: [27:29] [laughs] You bet. Thank you, Erin.
Dr. Stokes: [27:31] Thank you.
Abigail: [27:32] That was awesome information from Dr. Stokes. She really provided us with some great insights and things to consider when supporting energy.
[27:38] I think we should switch gears a little bit and talk about another way to sustain energy that’s really individual and coming down to really just our basic personalities. That’s introversion and extroversion.
Killeen: [27:48] Yeah, this is a topic that people really seem to like. They like to identify with, “I’m an extrovert,” or, “I’m an introvert.” I feel like I’m constantly seeing on social media people posting these articles like, “10 things you didn’t know about an introvert.”
[28:06] I always laugh because I’m like, “Well, that’s like a lot of people.”
Abigail: [28:09] Absolutely. [laughs]
Killeen: [28:09] A lot of us probably do know this. All joking aside, it is insightful sometimes to look at those characteristics, depending on what source you’re checking, of course, but it is really think about what those words mean.
Abigail: [28:23] It reminds me of, and I’m guilty of this myself, I used to think that an introvert meant you didn’t like people. You don’t want to be around them. An extrovert, you loved people. It has nothing to do with that at all.
[28:35] Certainly, introverts tend to do better in smaller groups than maybe an extrovert like myself. Put me in a room of 100 people, and I can hear myself talk [laughs] all afternoon. I’m great, but I get energy from that.
[28:46] I go and do a talk, and I’m energized for the rest of the day. It’s like I had [laughs] three cups of coffee. I’m bouncing off the walls but that’s because I’m an extrovert. It really comes down to what energizes you.
[28:57] If I had to guess, I’d say you lean towards introvert, Killeen?
Killeen: [29:02] I do, but what’s funny is people always mistook me for someone who was extroverted because I do jump into conversation when I feel really passionately about something. I’m not going to hold back.
[29:15] If you put me in a room full of people, let’s say I’m in a position of authority or people are looking to me to say something, I don’t mind that at all.
[29:24] If it’s a free for all, I have absolutely no idea where to go or what to do. That’s when the true introverted nature of me comes out saying, “I really want to withdraw into myself.”
[29:35] I’m OK with that. It’s too many options if there’s so many people around. I’d much rather be doing this kind of thing and talking one on one.
Abigail: [29:44] That brings me exactly to my point that an extrovert isn’t someone who just loves people. It’s someone who gets energized by being in those social situations.
[29:52] Ask yourself, “Do I feel energy? What energizes me? What’s my safe place? Do I look towards other people for my energy or outside sources, or do I get energized by staying at home and reading a book?”
[30:05] Certainly, we all fall on a scale. There’s going to be days where staying home and reading is going to make me feel like a million bucks, but really where does your primary source of energy come from?
[30:13] That’s what really differentiates between an introvert and an extrovert. I get the sense, home time, quiet time, time to reflect, that morning walk for you, that’s a perfect way for an introvert to energize.
Killeen: [30:26] Yes, that’s when I feel like I have all my big ideas, and I can conquer the world because I’ve had time to sit with myself and think of all of these creative things that I’m now longing to do.
[30:36] On the flip side of that, it doesn’t mean that I’m just content to just be alone all of the time. Actually, I will find myself sometimes seeking out somebody to go talk with or to have some of that one on one time with or be in a small group, because after being alone too much, I don’t have anybody to bounce those ideas off of.
[30:56] Perhaps I’m in that borderline where certain parts of our personality fit on one side of the line and certain parts fit on the other.
Abigail: [31:06] We’re certainly multifaceted, but I think spending some time sitting with yourself and realizing where do I fall on this scale, where does my biggest source of energy come from, goes a long way.
[31:15] Say, I’m feeling really fatigued or I’m sitting in my office and I can’t focus anymore, actually going out and having a conversation, especially if it’s something about imagination or something exciting, having that conversation with somebody is going to totally energize me, whereas you may feel energized by saying I’m going to go walk around the building.
[31:35] Knowing where you fall on that scale can really help you promote energy without reaching for chemical hugs or coffee or even a smoothie. A smoothie’s a great thing, but knowing where you fall there can be really helpful.
Killeen: [31:47] Yeah. Adversely, if somebody is in a big group of people and suddenly feeling like their energy is zapped from it, go walk away or find those little cues of like, “OK, I’m not headed in the right direction right now,” and see if there’s some small change you can make.
[32:03] It’s true, sometimes just a walk around the building will be enough to go back to that, clearing the mind and being ready to then deal with the fact that you are stuck with a bunch of people for the rest of the day.
Abigail: [32:13] It goes back to mindfulness again knowing yourself and what charges you.
Killeen: [32:17] Yeah, it does. I think, too, that when we’re in those situations where we are around people all day, whether we get energy from it or not, it’s making sure that we look at what the next phase of the day is and saying, “Can I prepare myself any better for this?”
[32:35] If you know that suddenly, you’re going to either be alone or be with people and that might not be where you get your energy from. Just be mindful and think about that ahead of time so you don’t find yourself disappointed just as you probably would expect you would be.
Abigail: [32:50] Maybe our whole energy crisis, and I say that tongue in cheek, [laughs] because we certainly have an energy crisis when it comes to the people in this country having enough energy to get through the day. Maybe it really comes down to knowing yourself, being mindful and realizing what do I really need. Is it mental energy? Is it physical energy? Will that cup of coffee always fix it?
Killeen: [33:11] It’s true, but it’s the routine that you’ve built into your life that could probably do a lot of that fixing, or at least the feeling of, “All right, I feel better right now.”
[33:21] It’s a process. We’re constantly repairing things. We’re not always necessarily going to find the perfect fix, but we can find ways to remedy a situation.
Abigail: [33:30] It sounds to me like it does come down to mindfulness. That’s not where I thought today was going to lead, talking about energy, but Dr. Low Dog, I think, actually agrees with us, and we have a great clip. Maybe we can end on that today.
Killeen: [33:42] I think that’s a perfect ending to this really great conversation. I know I’m going to spend the rest of my day maybe being a little extra mindful. This was really great.
[33:50] I look forward to our next chat where I think we’re going to take the mindfulness into a little bit of a different direction, talking about relationships and specifically relationships with food and how food and ourselves interact.
Abigail: [34:05] Lots to unpack there.
Killeen: [34:06] Yeah, for sure. Let’s listen to Dr. Tieraona Low Dog talking on energy.
[34:11] [sound effect]
Dr. Tieraona Low Dog: [34:11] More than ever we’re going to probably have to be thoughtful about when we’re feeling low energy.
[34:19] Is it a low physical energy? Is it a low mental energy? Are we feeling depressed? Is it that we’re not sleeping well? Are we overloading on sugars and carbs and so we’re doing this rollercoaster with our blood sugar?
[34:34] You have to look at it carefully. When you say, “I don’t have any energy,” be more specific about what that really feels like to you so that you can begin to unravel where you want to put your investment in feeling stronger and better.
[34:53] [background music]
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