The four-week energy diet
Julie Wood’s holistic approach harnesses the healing power of foods, relaxation exercises and rebalancing techniques, enabling you to nourish your body and soul and even shed some kilos naturally.
So many people suffer from a lack of energy. Chronic stress, poor diets, busy lifestyles and endless to-do lists sap us of our energy and have a terrible impact on the way we look and feel — as well as our physical health.
In an effort to eleviate fatigue, naturpath and nutritionist Julie Maree Wood has written a new book titled 4 Week Energy Diet: From Exhausted to Energised the Natural Way. It's described as "a simple plan to help you recharge your batteries and transform yourself into the energetic, vital person you want to be, in just four short weeks."
Wood’s holistic approach harnesses the healing power of foods, relaxation exercises and rebalancing techniques, enabling you to nourish your body and soul and even shed some kilos naturally. Because you already have enough to do, the meal plans and routines are all worked out for you, from sunrise to sunset, every day for the duration of the diet.
With little energy in reserve, everyday life can feel dreary and rather overwhelming. It can grind you down. But you don’t need to feel like this.
Here's an extract from the book (including the week 1 menu plan, and a recipe for healthy Mediterranean Stuffed Capsicums):
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It’s 6:30am and you’re woken by your blaring alarm. You fumble for the snooze button. Just another 10 minutes . . . Finally, you drag yourself out of bed and into the shower, where you stand under the water trying to wake up for another 5 minutes. Still no sign of life. Out you get, dress and turn on your life support ... the ever-reliable, much-loved coffee machine. That familiar whir and buzz makes you feel better. Well, a little better . . . You down a double espresso and finally begin to feel that you can tackle the day.
Sound familiar? Feeling a little ‘sluggish’? That’s the most heard word in my clinic. ‘I’m tired, I’m busy, I’m stressed — I just feel sluggish.’
Regardless of what people are coming to see me about, feeling sluggish is always part of their picture. Many have to drag themselves out of bed each morning, at around 3pm they could happily toddle off for a ‘Nanna nap’ . . . and they fall asleep in front of the TV any time after eight each night. Life has become a chore, dwindling energy colours their day and they’re just too tired to get excited about anything or to even think of doing something out of the ordinary.
With little energy in reserve, everyday life can feel dreary and rather overwhelming. It can grind you down.
You don’t need to feel like this.
Energy is renewable. Your body loves to recharge. It is a wonderful part of your design that no matter how hard you treat yourself, when you tend to your needs and nurture your body it will respond. It wants to feel good, given the chance.
This means that for the next four weeks, if you pay attention to your needs, body, mind and spirit, you will feel better. You’ll start to get back that spark you’re missing, you’ll start to wake up before the alarm goes off, want to take the kids to the park, even magically find the time to learn that language, instrument or skill that you’ve always wanted.
With lots of energy the world is a different place, time becomes a commodity you spend, not lose, and everyday problems become molehills not mountains. It just takes some time and dedication and you can feel like your old self again.
Meal plan: Week 1
• Fresh detox juice every morning before breakfast.
• Drink 2 litres of water a day.
• Eat your fruit before your lunch for better digestion.
• Prepare and pack your lunch for the next day while you are making dinner.
• Any snack from the snack chapter.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Grilled Fruit Salad with Agave Yoghurt
Piece of fresh fruit and Cleansing Soup
Detox Salad and Vegie Curry
Crunchy Fruit Salad with low-fat Greek yoghurt
Piece of fresh fruit and Cleansing Soup
Detox Salad/ Italian Bean Stew with Brown Rice (cook extra rice to use for tomorrow’s dinner)
High-fibre Apple and Cinnamon Porridge
Piece of fresh fruit/ Ginger Broth with Tofu/ Boiled egg
Detox Salad/ Mediterranean Stuffed Capsicums with Brainiac Salad
Stewed Apples with muesli and low-fat Greek yoghurt
Piece of fresh fruit/ Vegetable Soup/ Tamari seeds
Detox Salad/ Four-bean Bolognese with Brown Rice
High-fibre Apple and Cinnamon Porridge with sliced banana and strawberries
Piece of fresh fruit/ Jacket Sweet Potato with Guacamole and Green Salad
Detox Salad/ Lemon Fish Parcel with carrots and Lemony Greens/ Minted Pineapple Salad
Baked Beans with steamed baby English spinach
Piece of fresh fruit and Vegetable Soup
Detox Salad/ Gado Gado
Scrambled Eggs with Greens and diced red capsicum
Piece of fresh fruit and Bean Burrito
Detox Salad/ Salad Niçoise/ Cook Frittata for lunch Monday and Tuesday
Recipe: Mediterranean Stuffed Capsicums
Baked capsicum is sweet and works very nicely with this tuna, rice and herb mixture. Capsicum is one of the best vegetable sources of vitamin C. The actions of vitamin C are enhanced by bioflavinoids and these are abundant in the white flesh or membrane of the capsicum, so don’t discard them.
Takes: 15 minutes to prep, 40 minutes to cook. Serves: 4
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tomatoes, diced
2 large field mushrooms, peeled and grated
11⁄2 tablespoons low-salt tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried or
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried or
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
425g tin tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
2 cups (370g) cooked Brown Rice
80g goat’s feta cheese
4 red capsicums, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs
1⁄2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• Set the oven to 180°C.
• Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the onion just starts to soften. Stir in the tomato, mushroom, tomato paste, herbs, tuna and rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4–5 minutes. Crumble in the feta, stir through and turn off the heat.
• Spoon the tuna mixture into the capsicum halves. Sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.
• Place the capsicums on a baking tray and bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the capsicums are soft.
This is an edited extract from 4 Week Energy Diet: From Exhausted to Energised the Natural Way by Julie Maree Wood (ABC Books, $29.99).