Recharge your batteries now

We love Dr. Frank Lipman’s words of wisdom, so we are reprising one our favourite interviews. If you are feeling at tired or run down, don’t miss a word.

If you crawl out of bed every day exhausted instead of refreshed; if you’re dragging on caffeine and carbs, praying for the day to end and promising yourself that you’ll feel better tomorrow, then perhaps you are SPENT! 
 
When we first published this original interview – without the new tips – we had a tremendous response from readers. So if you are SPENT (or even halfway SPENT) do not miss a word.
 
In his book Spent: End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again, the founder and director of Eleven Eleven Wellness Centre in New York gives 42 ways to jump-start yourself.The book includes daily advice, plans, and recipes to get your body and your life back on track and running well. If you are spent – or just halfway to empty, don’t miss a word of his wise advice. He is also a contributor to the www.huffingtonpost.com.
 
Dr. Frank LipmanHere are just a few of Dr. Lipman’s easy and economical tips to tune up and recharge for summer.
   
·        Drink an avocado smoothie for an energy boost. They’re easy on your digestive system and loaded with good fats and phytonutrients, which are efficient ways to stay energized all day long.
 
·        Instead of a pricey massage, use simple tennis balls for the ultimate foot massage. One major complaint of being Spent is an achy body, full of tension and pain.  Release the tension with a simple exercise that can be done anytime, anywhere. 
 
·        Instead of hiring a personal trainer, begin a restorative exercise program. We know that being too sedentary is unhealthy, but being too active can be exhausting and harmful too.  Avoid never-ending cardio sessions and practice restorative exercise, which resembles interval training.
 
·        Laugh. In addition to providing perspective, laughter helps you breathe deeply, use your core muscles, massage your inner organs, boosts your immune system and releases endorphins.
 
DD: Can you explain the title Spent?
FL:I call it Spent, because that is how you feel. You are overwhelmed, exhausted, your body aches, you feel older than your years. You are running on empty. Your energy account is tapped out. 
 
DD:  Do you find that exhaustion sneaks up on many of your clients, before they realize how tired they have become?
FL: Yes, that is exactly what often happens. Most people think it is just part of aging and don’t think it is abnormal. All their friends are exhausted, so they feel they are no different. In fact, many patients come in complaining of other problems and only when I delve further into their history, do they realize they are Spent.
 
DD: What makes the spent approach unique?
FL: It is unique in terms of my underlying philosophy. We have outpaced our biology and we need to bring the body back into rhythm. We evolved as people who lived in harmony with the day and night and the seasons.  As a result, cycles and rhythms became imprinted in our genes, which today are still almost identical to our ancient ancestors. So in our genes and biology, we are still our ancient ancestors, but we are living at a pace and rhythm that are completely foreign to them. Our modern lives have thrown these rhythms off. It’s like swimming upstream. We forget that rhythms are part of every aspect of our body’s inner workings and govern most of our physiological processes. When we are out of sync with these rhythms, hormone production and body functions in general become imbalanced.
 
We even have “body clocks” set precisely to the rhythms and cycles of nature, which try to harmonize themselves with nature. But we insist on giving them the wrong cues and eventually we feel SPENT.
 
For instance:
 
•        Not enough sunlight during the day
•        Artificial lights during the day and night
•        Eating at the wrong times
•        Eating food that upsets the rhythm of our genes
•        Exercising way too fast (or not at all)
•        Rarely experiencing nature’s rhythms
 
When prompted correctly, our genetic clocks can reset themselves. We need to work with our bodies’ rhythms. The program in the book is all about getting back into rhythm.
 
DD: Can fatigue mask more serious health problems?
FL: Although fatigue is one of five top complaints to doctors, extremely few of those with fatigue are found to have a more serious health problem. So I don’t think it necessarily masks more serious health problems, but it is always worthwhile to do a workup and rule out any serious health issue anyway. Having said that, it is important to understand that symptoms like fatigue are pointers to some imbalance in the system. If you look at fatigue that way – or any symptom for that matter – you are always going to look for the underlying cause. In western medicine we tend to suppress symptoms with drugs and not look for the underlying causes. For instance with fatigue, we resort to legal “drugs”, such as coffee, sugar, and energy drinks, doctor-prescribed drugs such as amphetamines or alertness drugs, sleeping pills, etc. In my opinion, it is suppressing symptoms and not looking for the underlying imbalances can mask a serious health problem.
 
DD:  Can diet dramatically affect stress and energy levels?
FL: There’s no question that by removing certain foods and adding others, diet has a huge effect on energy levels. I encourage the removal of what I call food substances as much as possible. Food substances are food products that have been created and processed in factories. And I encourage eating foods as close to nature as possible – fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, grass-fed meats and wild game.
I think eating nutrient-dense foods and focusing on the quality of calories rather than the quantity of them is helpful. In Spent, I list the important foods to eat – and to avoid.
 
DD:  How important is sleep to health? Do you feel most adults sleep enough?
FL: Sleeping is crucial because amongst other things, it is when your body recuperates, repairs, and regenerates. That is why in the book, there is a sleep beat every night as part of the program, to help give the reader tips in improving their sleep. Most of us don’t sleep enough. No one knows for sure what enough is – probably between seven and nine hours. I think it varies from person to person.
 
DD: Do you believe that most of us have become voluntarily “over stimulated” by our lifestyles – and that this detrimental to health?
FL: Yes, most of us spend too much time on the computer or some electronic gadget. I remember when I used to get up and do some yoga or meditate. Now the first thing I do in the morning is go to the computer and read my e-mail. I know I am not alone. And yes, I do think over time it is detrimental to our health. That’s why so many of the daily tips I give in my book address this over-stimulation, and advise people to slow down. For instance, some of my recommendations include taking “breathing” breaks, restorative yoga, spending time in nature, and hanging out with friends. They’re all ways to slow down. I also encourage an electronic sundown – switching off all gadgets, TVs, computers, etc. by 10 pm to deal with the over stimulation.
 
DD:  How important is exercise to recovery on the Spent program? Is there any type of exercise you find more beneficial and why?
FL: Yes, when you are Spent you need to exercise in a way that does not make you more Spent. A lot of exercise is stressful to the body because it pushes it too much. The type of aerobic exercise I teach my Spent patients to do is what I call Restorative Exercise. It is a variation of interval training. It’s a way to teach the body to recover while exercising. You push the body for a minute or so, and then rest and recover, then push it for another minute, then recover, and so on. In addition to this I encourage my Spent patients to incorporate types of exercises that restore the body. The book and website, www.spentmd.com have wonderful photographs illustrating these.
 
 
 
Share