My Morning Routine (And Why I Feel Like I Have Boundless Energy)
I’m often asked, “Kristi, how do you have so much energy?” I shared a couple of days ago about how having a wheelchair-bound husband with M.S. means that literally anything that happens in this house is my responsibility. He can’t help me with anything. Cooking, cleaning, organizing, taking care of our pets, sorting through mail, taking out the trash, taking care of Matt — that’s all on me. And that’s in addition to the DIY and remodeling projects I do on the house. And now, I also host and cook a meal for anywhere from 8 to 17 people once a week.
It’s a lot. And all of that requires a lot of energy. But energy is something I’ve felt was in very short supply over the last two years. In 2020, when the world spun out of control, I was like a whole lot of other people I know. I lived in constant stress. And I don’t mean normal, everyday stress. I mean “the world is going to end” kind of stress that a lot of people were feeling. I mean, let’s face it. 2020 was a stressful kind of year for just about the whole world, right?
And what do I do in response to stress? I eat. And eat. And eat some more. During 2020 alone, I gained 40 pounds, and I’ve been carrying around that extra 40 pounds (in addition to the weight that I already needed to lose) ever since then.
You don’t gain 40 pounds in a year by overeating broccoli and salads. You gain it by eating junk — lots of sugar and processed carbs. And when you gai 40 pounds by eating a steady stream of processed carbs, your energy completely tanks. And that is pretty much how I’ve felt ever since. I’ve been living in a constant state of exhaustion to the point that if I ever sat down for any length of time (to watch a TV show, to work at my computer, etc.), I would fall asleep. Just sheer exhaustion 24/7.
Well, this isn’t some sort of “and this is how I’ve lost 50 pounds” kind of post. Maybe later this year I’ll be able to share that. Hopefully. Not yet, though.
But I did want to share what I’ve been doing every morning, because it has made a HUGE difference in my energy!
Yesterday, I was in the home gym working and sanding trim. I got all of the wood filler/nail holes sanded, and I’m hoping to get the caulking done today so that I can get the trim painted this weekend. Here’s how it looks as of this morning…
But while I was working, I thought to myself, “I can’t believe I have so much energy!” And this has been a constant thought that I’ve had almost every day for about the last two weeks. And in the last two weeks, I’ve changed two things: (1) the food I’m eating, and (2) the vitamins and supplements I’m taking.
I honestly can’t tell you if it’s just one of these things giving me tons of energy lately, or if it’s all of these things working synergistically that makes the magic happen. All I can tell you is that over the last week-and-a-half, I feel like I’m running on jet fuel. I mean, I have boundless energy to the point that when it’s time to start closing up and night to get ready for bed (usually around 11:00pm), I’m disappointed because I feel so good that I don’t want to stop. I honestly can’t believe the difference.
So back to those two things that I’ve changed. First, my diet. I’m not following any kind of strict diet right now, but I am making a conscious effort to cut out the sugar, processed carbs, and seed oils. I think we’re all smart enough to know that a steady diet of Sonic, McDonald’s, chips, cake, and cookies is probably not doing us any favors, right? So I won’t belabor that point.
But then there’s my morning routine, which I think has made a HUGE difference. Every morning, our alarm goes off at 7:50, and we get up around 8:00. I get Cooper a snack, and put him outside in his yard, and then I get Matt out of bed and put him on his Theracycle. That’s about a 20-minute process. But once he’s on his Theracycle, that frees me up for an hour and 39 minutes.
Those 99 minutes are when I edit pictures, write my blog post, and if there’s time, I take a few minutes to quickly scroll Facebook and Twitter to see what’s going on in the world.
But before I sit down to edit pictures and write my blog post, I spend a few minutes in the kitchen taking vitamins and supplements, and I’m pretty sure that this is where the magic is happening lately. Here’s everything I’ve been taking consistently over the last two weeks. (This isn’t sponsored. None of these companies know I even exist. But since I do purchase a couple of them on Amazon, I’ve provided my Amazon affiliate links for them.)
Skinny Fit collagen — I’ve actually been taking this for a few months now. I had originally ordered Vital Proteins collagen, but it’s unflavored, and it seems to work better with hot drinks or smoothies. But I don’t drink hot drinks or smoothies. Every once in a while, I’d remember to add it to my food if I were eating soup or a stir fry or something else that it could easily be mixed into, but most often, I’d just forget.
So when I saw this Skinny Fit advertised, and saw that it came in some yummy flavors (the tropical fruit is my favorite) that could be mixed in water, I decided to try it. And it’s so good! It’s like my little morning treat that I look forward to, so I never forget it. They have 50% off sales quite often, and that’s the only time I’ll buy it.
It took about two months before I started noticing any differences, but I’ve definitely noticed differences since taking it. First, my joint pain is gone. I mean, you can’t gain 40 pounds in a year by eating junk and not expect that to affect your joints, right? So I had been experiencing joint pain for a while. After about two months of taking this, that pain went away.
I also noticed that the fine vertical lines above my top lip (those lines that lipstick always creeps into) are gone. And my hair is noticeably different. It looks and feels a whole lot thicker to the point that my mom even noticed and asked me what I was doing to my hair to make it looks thicker. Obviously, two months isn’t enough time for additional hair to grow in and grow as long as the rest of my hair, so all I can think of is that the collagen has actually changed the texture of my hair. I don’t know. I can’t explain it. I can just pass along what I’ve experienced.
Anyway, I love this collagen, and because it’s so tasty, I never forget it. It’s my morning treat that I look forward to, and I sit here and sip on it while I edit pictures and write my blog post each morning.
I don’t have much to say about the rest, except that every one of these is part of my morning routine:
Mary Ruth’s liquid morning multivitamin. This showed up at our house from Amazon one day. Either Matt or I bought it, but neither of us remembers buying it. 😀 It was in our Amazon account, though, so one of us clicked that “Buy Now” button, obviously by accident. I’m glad, though! I’m going to keep on buying it.
Skinny Fit Skinny Gummies — These are apple cider vinegar gummies from the same company that makes the collagen. They’re an additional morning treat. I was expecting them to make me skinny, but so far, that hasn’t happened. 😀 (Just kidding, of course.) But apple cider vinegar is good for many things.
D3 — I don’t think I need to explain what Vitamin D is, or its benefits. Over 50% of adults in the U.S. are Vitamin D deficient, so most of us should probably be taking D3 to benefit our immune systems. (Note: Yes, too much Vitamin D can lead to toxicity. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Taking 60,000 international units (IU) a day of vitamin D for several months has been shown to cause toxicity.” And yes, it makes perfect sense to take Vitamin K2 with Vitamin D3 since that helps to keep calcium in your bones. I’m not a doctor, and I’m not prescribing these things to you. You need to do your own research and consult with your own doctor. I’m simply sharing what I’m taking, which has led to me feeling incredibly energetic lately.)
Mary Ruth’s Lymphatic Support — This is an herbal mixture that I started taking in hopes that it would help with inflammation. (Of course, getting rid of my fast food diet goes a long way to help that as well.) It definitely helps and makes me feel better, but this amazing woman also helps. If you want to learn more about your lymphatic system, reducing inflammation, dry brushing, etc., you should definitely follow her!
Vitamin B Complex Gummies — Matt bought these for himself, and then decided he didn’t want to take gummies because of the sugar. Ugh! I wasn’t going to throw away money, so I’m taking them. Once these are gone, I’ll probably switch over to a B complex capsule. B12 and B6 are known for giving an energy boost.
Green Tea Extract — A few years ago, I was getting so much done and always felt like I had a ton of energy, and all I was taking at that time was green tea extract. I haven’t been taking this for the full two weeks (it was a later addition just a couple of days ago), and I was already feeling full of energy when I added it. So I can’t attribute all of my energy to this, but I’m certain it will help based on my past experience.
So that’s everything I’m taking right now, and I wanted to pass those along to you in case you’re feeling like you could use an energy boost. I wish I could pinpoint one or two of them to which I could attribute my “running on jet fuel” feeling, but since I started this whole morning routine (minus the green tea extract) two weeks ago, and didn’t add them in one at time, I can’t pinpoint anything in particular.
All I know is that I have more energy than I’ve had in two years, and definitely more than I should while carrying around all of this extra weight. And my hope is that if I continue eating healthy, home cooked food, and stay away from the processed junk, this extra energy and movement throughout the day will lead to that extra weight coming off.
And, of course, our home gym will help with that! Which is why I need to focus a great deal of this energy into finishing that room ASAP.
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
It’s tough breaking bad routines our brains are “hardwired” to find ways to conserve energy.
Did you stop doing the keto/meat diet completely? I remember you saying that really helped and you felt better.
I stopped doing everything that was healthy in 2020, and completely went rogue. It was an awful year for so many, and it was an awful year for me personally, mostly due to my poor personal choices like that. I’ve tried to go back to keto many times since the beginning of 2021, but I just have such a hard time giving up sugar. I’m addicted to sugar. But two weeks ago, Matt and I decided to give it another go and stop eating the junk. He’s back on carnivore (and it’s definitely helping him), and I’m back on low carb. I’m not calling it keto because I’m not counting macros, or making sure I stay under 20g of carbs per day. I’m just trying to be conscientious about what I’m eating, cut out the sugar and process stuff, eat as low carb as I can, while giving myself a little leeway (just a little, though) every Wednesday when I have friends over for a meal.
Dear Kristi, I am so sorry that you had this rough two years of the wrong food and lack of energy. But, I am so very, very glad you have found a way to help with it. Even though you are not sure what specifically changed for you, you found an answer. The gym is absolutely beautiful. You are so, so talented and so faithful in your efforts. Pat yourself on the back. Sending lots of love and prayers for your days . Mona in Pearland
I needed this. THANK YOU!
I wondered if you were still doing keto. I guess everyone ends up quitting that eventually.
I wouldn’t say that’s true. There are plenty of people who maintain a low carb/keto lifestyle. The problem is that most of the population of the U.S. (and now other countries, because we’re exporting our awful food to other countries now) is addicted to junk food, sugar, processed carbs, etc. And all of that junk is so readily available AND it’s much cheaper than healthy food, which is a huge factor with the economy the way it is right now. But I know that I personally always go back to keto/low carb because it’s the only thing that makes me feel good, gets rid of all of my inflammation, and gets the excess weight off. Any time I stray from keto/low carb and back to the junk, I will always put the weight back on.
I thought you still ate a carnivore diet all the time! I learned something today! Good job on taking care of yourself!
Unfortunately, no. Matt is back on carnivore, though. He does great with it, and it helps him so much. I do much better on keto/low carb for the long haul.
Would you be able to take a moment to tell us more about his meals through a week? Thank you.
Matt’s meals are about as simple as they get. His diet is ribeye steak, butter, salt and water. That’s it. 🙂 Every day, he eats 1 pound of ribeye steak, cooked with salt and lots of butter. Then I cut it up really small, put it in a bowl while it’s still hot, put another dollop of butter on top, add a squirt or two of MCT oil, and then mix it all up. That’s it. It’s generally more than he can eat in one sitting, so he divides it into two meals.
Some additional things that are really great are turmeric (for inflamation and general body recovery from a hard day’s work), and magnesium (for water regulation in your body, helps to stave off cramps and shin splints to a great degree, and also helps distribute all the other nutrients you consume). Please check with blood work on how much Vitamin D3 you should take (too much can give you very dangerous side effects) and it looked like the one you were taking is a very high dosage. Also, the B12 is the energy boost, also a mood boost, love it! I also take sawpalmetto and biotin for hair, makes a huge difference!
I’ve also read where you need to be careful with the amount of biotin. Taking over a certain amount can cause a false low reading on a test to detect a heart attack.
I’m all for eating healthier and taking supplements, because there’s so much processed crap out there, and not everyone can grow their own foods, but one has to carefully investigate, and calculate how much of everything that’s in each supplement they consume.
I had really, really low Vitamin D, and my doctor advised me to take 5,000 mg. a day. I can’t find it in that amount, so I take 4,000 by taking two 2,000 mg. daily. He said I could up that to three pills, but it’s expensive, so I’m staying where I’m at!
Thank you for this post!
what I want to know is how much is too much? Does anyone know how many vitamins, gummies per day is too much? Already taking Melatonin and Vit C but so confused is there too much of good thing?
I think working with a health professional to figure that out would be the safest bet. They can do blood tests and whatever else is needed to determine exactly what you need.
Chemist/Biologist here. There definitely IS too much of a good thing, and you can get sick from an excess of vitamins. I have no idea about melatonin, but I do know that vitamin C is the most harmless of vitamins, in regards to overdose, so if that’s the only vitamin you are taking, you are ok. But vitamins are supposed to have a daily dosage written on them in Europe, I can’t imagine that not being the case in the US, that would be ridiculous!
The important thing is to eat properly, but that is difficult to do even if you know how, and from what I’m reading, it seems that most people over there don’t know how anyway (no wonder all the fad diets originate there). I also have zero understanding of why healthy food is more expensive than junk food; raw materials are much cheaper than cooked food here (I’m not doubting it, mind you, as everyone says the same thing, I just don’t really understand it).
But one thing you can (and must) definitely do is to be careful with your sources of information. There are WAY too many people on the internet selling their ideas and products, mixing bits of science into their claims, and then twisting it into ridiculous conclusions. People with fancy webpages, books and followers. Social media, too; I once saw a video from a big YouTube channel with a professional kitchen setup (their studio was amazing) that recommended ridiculous things, like cooking rice and keeping it in the fridge for the entire week (food poisoning anyone?) You also shouldn’t be asking your friends; nor here, for that matter. Find a nutritionist/dietician and consult with them, at least once, to get some guidelines. Not a “coach” or whatever other stuff. Not your doctor either, they will only tell you the basics, they will be able to write tests to do, to find if you are lacking something, but putting together a proper diet for you, knowing which food contains what and how much, that’s a dietician’s job; there’s a reason this is an entirely different degree. (I can’t believe I just defended the dieticians, I usually mock them to their face)…
The Skinny Fit Collagen sounds really great. Maybe I’ve overlooked it, but after checking it out on Amazon and the companies own website, I don’t see anything where the product is third party tested.
Ever since those fatalities with the impurity of the supplements with L-tryptophan, caused from a change of the way they fermented the ingredients in a Japanese facility back in 1990, I’m really hesitant about the processing of supplements.
Did I miss somewhere where they state their authenticity?
I don’t trust any vitamins or even skin care off Amazon. Some of it is repackaged (read reviews!) some is sellout and may be old, and if it’s not seny by the producing company, I won’t buy it!
I buy the Skinny Fit directly from the company website. I buy other supplements from Amazon, though, and have never had a problem with them. The Mary Ruth’s vitamins and supplements have great reviews on Amazon.
I didn’t even think to check anything like that. 😀 I can only speak from my personal experience.
If you are taking D3, check into K2. D3 can take the calcium from our bones and deposit it into other places in our bodies (arteries, organs, etc.). K2 keeps the calcium in our bones. Some people cannot take K2, so please research for yourself. Congratulations on your energy and your determination!! I get so much inspiration from you!
I keep seeing that fantastic rower in that room, and think that I would love to hop on that for a few minutes every day! How can you not use it??? I know what you’ve been through these past few years, they have played a big part of my mental and physical health too. I gained 15 lbs., but worse is that I sit in a chair most of the day, on the computer or watching tv. And I can’t bring myself to change, at least while it’s freezing cold! My joints ache, my muscles and tendons hurt and sometimes cramp up, but still……I sit. This week I have started backing off the sitting, and just doing housework more often, cleaning out stuff I don’t want and so on. I don’t get the collagen trend, why all of a sudden is it so special? I take D3 for bone health, but besides my prescription meds, I don’t like taking things unless I check with my doctor, as I have health issues that can be affected. Glad what you are doing is working so well for you!
I don’t think collagen is a trend. It’s just changed forms so that now powders are available. But people have been making, drinking, and cooking with bone broth for…well, I don’t know how long, but I’d guess centuries, at the least. One of the main benefits to bone broth is the collagen and the health benefits specifically due to collagen.
I have the same problem, if I could just tear myself away from this screen. I would benefit greatly from an internet outage. The internet makes boredom tolerable,
You have inspired me, which you always do. Blessing to you and Matt on you beautiful journey.
I’m glad you’re feeling energetic but I’d be careful with the vitamin D3. It’s oil not water soluble so your body doesn’t excrete it and it can build to toxic levels. Unchecked hypervitaminosis D leads to hypercalcemia and kidney damage and taking K2 as someone suggested isn’t going to prevent that. My oncologist runs a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test on me every 3 months to make sure it stays in the high normal range and I only take 2000 iu/day, not 10,800 iu. As to the remainder, if you are eating a well balance diet, all excess water soluble supplements and any unneeded proteins are just being excreted. Sorry to be a downer, it’s just the facts.
I remember being a teenager & going to my family members house & seeing a ton of supplements & thinking it was weird. I get it now. I felt so adult when a doctor asked me if I was taking calcium & I could honestly say I am.
I don’t think anyone likes taking pills, & I think some people see it as a sign of weakness, but I know I feel better when I’m taking them.
I think everyone can benefit from taking a good multi vitamin. It’s important for women to get enough calcium. I added fish oil for heart health because heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Biotin for skin & hair. Probiotics because gut health effects everything in your body. I take vitamin D because I never go in the sun & it helps your body absorb calcium, along with a whole lot of other things. That may seem like a lot but I break it up into AM/PM.
I know other people have mentioned this, but the amount of vitamin D you’re taking, 10,800, is quite high. The only people I know that have taken that amount is people that had blood work & came up real low, & then it’s lowered it once they reach correct levels. I take 5000 iu & get another 1400 iu from my multi, so 6400 iu total & my doctor considers that to be on the high end. But I’ve been bed ridden for 14 months & literally do not go outside.
I’m glad you are feeling more energetic. Considering all you are busy doing I would have never guessed you were having low energy levels. Kudos for doing all the things in spite of not feeling 100%.
Woah, 10 800??? I missed that – that’s crazy much!!! My vitamin D was nearly non-existent, and the doctor told me to take 5000/day as an extreme measure and only 6 days a week so as to not shoot my liver. AND I had trouble finding that, as most vitamins went up to 4000!
I was wondering how you were doing with your food choices. During our “imposed quiet time” I reverted to a lot of comfort food , baked goods in particular. Once I start eating high sugar/carbs, that is all I want to eat, it may as well be Heroin. I gained 60 pounds.
But now I’m also working on less carbs and more protein. I’ve come to the conclusion food prices can vary greatly from state to state (even city to city) Any form of protein where I am is ridiculously high. beef, chicken, pork, fish and eggs really cut into the budget.
You post inspires me to just get on with it!
Do you think it would be prudent to visit your doctor and get your blood work up results before taking these things? I hope this isn’t too personal, but do you have a yearly check up? If so, let him or her know what you are taking.
No, I don’t think a doctor needs to sign off on me taking collagen, green tea, apple cider vinegar, a multivitamin, an herbal mixture, etc. Medical doctors know about pharmaceuticals. They are less than useless when it comes to anything outside of that.
A few blood workups ago had showed my B6 was too high, especially compared to lab results just prior to starting supplements, which I had been taking several different ones for at least 4 months. My bones started getting really achy, so I started doing my late homework on how much of each vitamin was too much, and had some blood work done. After the high B6 lab results I cut down on the intake, and the issue resolved.
I started keeping a log/chart of the amounts of each I was taking, how much was actually recommended (not that I trust the FDA on much), and taking into consideration all the added ingredients in the supplements, like roots and such. It all adds up, and sometimes it can be too much.
I agree with that. I have a DC friend who was an expert for a physician grade supplement co, and I trust her knowledge above and beyond my own GP. I take a few things myself and I do have my dr do blood work once a year to check my D levels along with my thyroid levels (I’m on meds for) but other than that, I don’t ask him for much else. I went thru 15 Drs in less than 10 years to figure out my thyroid nearly died all while they were telling me “it’s all in your head”, “your numbers show you as in the perimeters” as to why I was not feeling well. I begged for help while going thru this. I finally found a Dr to listen to me and not just read numbers on a piece of paper. He was stunned that others were all blowing me off. I need a Dr but I don’t like most of them. They weren’t helpful when I really needed them. I’ve found one now though, so rant over 😂
I used to go to the Dr at least every 6 months for blood work, used to be on high blood pressure medication. But since taking supplements, cleaning up my eating habits, I was able to discontinue that medication, the last of several since a bad car accident in 2020.
It’s frustrating that some Drs offices don’t seem to update a patients medication file, even though they gather the information at your visit. And if you currently take prescribed medication, informing them of any supplements you start taking is a good thing, or would be if they update their files. And if you don’t take any meds, it’s good to let them know about your supplement intake if they prescribe you some new medication.
To get their attention on anything I will use the online MyChart kind of thing, and notify them of any changes, and you can also request lab work.
Kristi. You know I went with Noom last year to try and get an handle after the stressful COVID years, and a car accident that did some damage all around. I like some of the articles, and I got used to logging in, which really does help. BUT, it got overwhelming after a while, and I then had a fall and my knee is still in a brace and I’m not supposed to even be walking a lot…so there went some exercise that is easy to do. Long story short, after the holidays I started being really strict with the “harmful” things…sugar, etc. I also use a protein drink for my small meals. I have lost some weight, but what I really notice is I feel SO much better, and am wondering why…I think you are right on it…eliminating those foods makes your body feel more energy. Last week I was falling asleep at my computer…not this week! I wish you and Matt lots of success breaking this awful habit/addiction to sugar, etc., and getting back to a weight that makes you happy. For sure, we are not alone with this, especially after the last few years. Good Luck – that gym is REALLY going to come in handy! PS) A doctor assistant told me the BEST thing to use for great exercise is the row machine.
FYI ……Collagen produce is on sale today through the company.
Hi Kristi! So glad that you’re feeling more energetic these days. I think of you as a fireball anyway, with the ambitious projects you undertake and all the other responsibilities you have. I was going to weigh in on the whole supplements issue but find that Phoebe down in the comments, an actual chemist/biologist, has already done so. Would back her ideas up 100%. Your increased energy is from eating a better diet, not supplements, which are often over-hyped and can even be dangerous. As she and others said, don’t buy into (literally and metaphorically) the hype. I say all this as someone who’s highly sensitive to sugar, a borderline diabetic, and the difference I feel from cutting out even a low level of sugar consumption (such as over the holidays) mirrors yours almost exactly. The film “Vitamania” is EXCELLENT–https://www.vitamaniathemovie.com/?utm_source=genepool&utm_medium=youtube&utm_campaign=teaser. Also very funny in parts.
I can only speak from my personal experience. There have been several times over the last two years that I’ve cleaned up my diet, cut out the sugar, processed carbs, etc., for a span of time, and never during those times did my energy level increase like it has now. The difference? This time, I changed my diet in addition to adding supplements.
And honestly, I don’t understand why people argue AGAINST some of these things. Collagen? Really? The health benefits of collagen are very well known! If I had said that I was adding bone broth to my daily diet, people wouldn’t have batted an eye. People probably would have said, “Oh, that’s great! That collagen is so good for you!” But I take it in a powdered form, and people tell me it’s a waste of money? Even though I can LITERALLY SEE and feel the differences that it’s made in the five months I’ve been taking it? I mean, all of my joint pain went away after about two months of taking it (and that was the only change I made), even though I was still eating a crappy, fast food diet during the last two months (before the second week of January when I cleaned up my diet). The only thing that could have been attributed to was the collagen I added. I mean, I just don’t get it.
And stuff like apple cider vinegar and green tea? Again, if I were drinking apple cider vinegar and green tea, no one would bat an eye. The benefits of apple cider vinegar are widely known as well. It’s probably better to take the real stuff, but I just can’t stomach the taste.
I can only speak from my own experience, but no one can convince me that this stuff isn’t helping me. It’s absolutely not just from my diet, as my collagen + fast food diet = no joint pain experiment shows.