5 keys to maximum energy and vitality!

A life full of vigour is within your reach; all you need is a little conviction

Man in joy near the beach

“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body; the more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.”
Tony Robbins

Have you ever felt that it was simply impossible to be healthy, fit and full of energy every day of your life? And that there is just no time at all left in the day for you to take care of YOU? How many times have you promised yourself that you would eat healthier foods, only to realise that it was far more time-consuming, and involved a lot more preparation, than you had expected? Or have you promised yourself that this is the year that you will exercise regularly, paid a good chunk of change for a gym membership, an exercise or a yoga class, or a season of ballroom dance classes, and then never got back there after the first couple of workouts or sessions?

What determines our levels of energy and vitality?

Being truly healthy, fit and vibrantly energised is the sum total of all that we do, each and every day—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your daily habits must nourish your body, mind, heart and soul. For example, when your body and mind are relaxed, and you are at peace, and in a state of pleasure, your metabolism and digestion function at their peak efficiency.

We’ve all heard the expression: You are what you eat! Well, yes, and no…

Yes, we do need nutrient-dense foods, packed with all of the essential nutrients necessary for optimum efficiency of the thousands of metabolic functions going on simultaneously, 24/7, throughout our bodies. However, there’s much more to it than eating right.

The perfect diet—and they still died!

To exemplify what I mean by this, let me just ask you a simple question. Have you ever known someone who has eaten a seemingly perfect diet? A diet that included lots of raw, organic fruits and vegetables, meats that are hormone and antibiotic-free, wild omega-3 dense fish and other healthy fatty acid sources, 100 per cent whole grain products, lots of water, no fast foods, and a minimum of sweets and processed oils? Plus, they exercised regularly, and even attended yoga classes [although usually for the wrong reasons: for exercise and weight loss rather than for breathing, relaxation and meditation!]. Suddenly this person is diagnosed with cancer, or some other major illness, and shortly after that, they’re dead. And you’re mystified. How could this happen? They did everything perfectly—and still died!

Well, it’s not that simple. It’s so much more than just what we eat. And here’s a surprising fact: not all exercise is created equal either. What’s more, if we are continually stressed out with work, or life—especially if it’s work we dislike, or a challenging relationship we’re immersed in—and we lie awake night after night, worrying about our job, kids, marriage, unpaid bills, how do you think all of those negative thoughts and sleepless nights are going to affect our health?

What’s all the fuss about taking time out to be still?

Man working continuously without a break
Being continually stressed out with work, or life—especially if it’s work you dislike, adversely affects your health

Let’s face the facts here! If we don’t take time out to just be still and breathe deeply, we will develop a lack of oxygen flow. And oxygen is essential for the maximum utilisation of all of those nutrients in our healthy diet. Without oxygen, there is simply no life! Furthermore, if we don’t take time out to relax, our bodies will be in a constant state of tension. And this chronic tension creates constriction of our blood flow, our airflow, our cellular uptake of water and nutrients, and eventually our bodies will no longer efficiently eliminate toxins and other metabolic waste by-products. Whew! No wonder we have no energy!

Remember, be here now…

Many years ago, during my very early 20s, after several years of yoga training in Toronto Canada, I decided to hitch-hike around the world until I arrived in India, where I planned to fully explore the field of yoga in the country of its origin. After all, I am a product of the 60s! And of the stressed-out, tired-out, shallow-breathing, North American culture, where keeping up with the Jones was more important than inner reflection, healthy self-care, harmony, peace and balance.

The Beatles, our revolutionary rock band in the 60s and 70s, had sojourned to India on many occasions. And they, single-handedly, ignited in the youth of the era the desire for a new way of ‘being’ versus always ‘doing’. They opened the doorway for many of us to explore our innermost authentic selves, to reflect on our deepest held values, and to explore our individual and unique purpose for being here now. And today, science has proven that living a purpose-driven, authentic life, with passion and compassion, while embracing each moment fully, is one of the keys to unlimited energy and vitality.

If we don’t take time out to just be still and breathe deeply, we will develop a lack of oxygen flow

In fact, many of us had even read the heart- and soul-expanding book, “Remember, Be Here Now,” by Ram Dass. It was such an amazing walk down memory lane a few evenings ago when I had the opportunity to listen to an interview with Ram Dass—he had survived a massive stroke a few years ago. He reflected on how the stroke had shifted him from an ego-driven lifestyle to a much deeper experience of love for humanity and the Universe. And this, in turn, had given him the energy and strength to continue despite this horrific experience. It was such a profound reminder of the ego-driven slogans of the 60s and 70s: “I have to find myself,” or “I am going to ______ [fill in the blank with where] to find myself.” As if we were somewhere other than where we were in that moment! It took me a very long time to realise the truth that wherever I am, there I am. There was just no way to get away from myself. But that’s the subject for another article…

So, what did yoga teach me anyway?

What did I learn during my yoga experience in India? Far more than I can share here, that’s for sure! However, a set of five key universal principles for maximum health and longevity provided the foundation for the extensive teachings I underwent while there—and those five universal principles have remained the cornerstone of most of my personal life, and pretty much all of my work with my patients and clients, since those early years. When I personally veer away from these principles, the price I pay is very high. When I fully embrace and live these five principles, incorporating them into my daily life, I am filled with energy, vitality, joy, and a love of, and for, all life on the planet and in the Universe. What’s more—my patients and clients express the same outcomes!

Okay, I can hear you now… enough already! What the heck are the five key universal principles?

The fact is, they are so simple, that anyone can understand them. The challenge for many is incorporating them into their daily lives. You see, the way they were taught to me, and the way they are taught by many yoga practitioners today, involves a lot of time and effort, and complicated practices.

When I fully embrace and live these five principles, incorporating them into my daily life, I am filled with energy, vitality, joy

The energy code

So over the years I’ve adapted them into simpler, quicker, easier to implement, 5-minute strategies that anyone, anywhere can consistently incorporate into their lives and maintain on a daily basis. And the best part is that the word ENERGY is the acronym for the five key universal principles, so all you have to do is practise E.N.E.R.G.Y.™ everyday and you’ll be set to create and experience energy and vitality in your life easily, [almost] effortlessly and instantly everyday. No accidents or coincidences with this acronym… after all, the word ENERGY has such an energetically positive vibrational frequency, you can feel it when you say it. It’s vibrant, alive and colourful. So E.N.E.R.G.Y.™ just plain works! Try it and you’ll see for yourself.

Before I go into ENERGY as the acronym for 5-Key system, let’s first look at the five age-old principles that have guided yoga practitioners for thousands of years. These principles incorporate the health of the whole person, not just the physical, or the emotional, or the mental, or the spiritual part—but the whole mind-body-spirit concept. There is true health only when all parts of you are functioning synergistically in balance —and in harmony—with each other.

The 5 key universal principles

From the day you are born until the day you leave this magnificent planet, the five key principles for optimum health, unlimited energy and vitality are the same:

  • collage of healthy eating, exercises and relaxation
    The recipe is simple: Take some nutritious food, add a bit of regular exercise, and mix it with deep, relaxed breathing. Now heat it with an attitude of gratitude and you’ve got a deliciously energised YOU!

    Deep, Slow, Rhythmic Breathing

  • Healthy, Natural, Whole Food Nutrition
  • Regular, Cell-Regenerating Exercise
  • Relaxation, Rejuvenation and Meditation [Daily restorative relaxation and communication with God, your Higher Power, or your Higher Self]
  • Attitude of Gratitude [Optimistic, self-empowered thinking and meditation]

Let’s expand on thought patterns that will support you in developing and maintaining your daily practice of the five essential key principles.

» Deep, slow, rhythmic breathing

Think: Oxygen for protection of your body against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, premature ageing.

» Healthy, natural, whole food nutrition

Think: Orchestral symphony, and synergy, of the thousands of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, enzymes, and probiotics working together, for maximum efficiency of all your body’s thousands of metabolic functions.

» Regular, cell-regenerating exercise

Think: Development of strong, healthy, invigorated, vital cells [Remember: “vital” health begins at the cellular level!], leading to strong healthy tissues, ligaments, organs, and strong, firm muscles for support, nourishment and development of strong bones.

» Daily restorative relaxation, rejuvenation, and meditation… includes prayer

Think: Time out for nervous system regeneration, tension and stress release, total body balance and harmony, and inner peace and calm.

» Optimistic thinking and [more] meditation… includes an attitude of gratitude

brunette woman meditating
Meditation helps regenerate the nervous system, relieves stress, creates balance and harmony in the body, and instils inner peace and calm

Think: Self-acceptance, self-love, self determination, self esteem and the power of your words, thoughts and intentions in the creation and realisation of your deepest desires and visions for your life.

We’ve all heard that a change is better than a rest…well, there’s a lot of truth to that statement. Think about how tired and fed-up you felt just before a vacation. All you could think about was vegging out on the beach, or luxuriating in a comfy bed until late in the morning. But is that what happened? Very likely, not! Right? Just being in a different place, seeing and doing different things, created within you an energy surge that you hadn’t previously thought possible.

So, change what you’re doing, make it a healthy change, do it for a few minutes—and watch out! The fabulous results you experience may just amaze you. You’ll be jumping out of your skin with renewed energy and vitality!

Save your naps for when you hit the pillow at night. You’ll sleep a whole lot better at night if you don’t nap during the day

ENERGY as an acronym for making those vital changes

Wait! We’re not done yet! Do you remember that the word ENERGY is the acronym for what I learned so long ago, and that it’s the very foundation of everything I teach my clients today? Well, here it is! Such a simple tool to remind you each and every day what you can do to instantly create energy in your life!

E – Exhale first [You have to exhale fully first to then fully inhale!]

N – Nutrition excellence daily [Whole, unprocessed, natural food everyday!]

E – Exercise for cell rejuvenation [Works rhythmically with your body fluids.]

R – Relax, rejuvenate [and meditate] for Your Soul

G – Gratitude attitude [What you focus on expands!]

Y – Your five keys to INSTANT E.N.E.R.G.Y.™ [You do what works for YOU!]

So, are you ready for some of that instant energy? Get ready! Get set! Go!

10 quick tips to take you from energy deficit to energiser bunny

To give you an energy and vitality boosting jumpstart, here are 10 of my favourite quick and easy tips and strategies that you can do right now. Each takes only a few minutes, and will instantly create a delicious feeling of energy—right at the moment you thought the only solution was to take a nap [Napping, by the way, is a cop out]. It leaves you feeling sluggish and bleary-eyed just when you need to feel alert and full of life. Save your naps for when you hit the pillow at night. You’ll sleep a whole lot better if you don’t nap during the day. Instead, do something that will invigorate you and get your blood and oxygen flowing.

  1. Chug the jug of water: Obvious, but worth reminding. Drink at least eight large glasses of water each and every day! More if you’re an athlete. Water is essential for every metabolic function in your body. Avoid the sugary, and/or caffeine dense, beverages.
  2. Get off your seat and on your feet: When you feel yourself dragging, take a walk around the block, swim a few laps, or go for a short bike ride. Or bounce away on a mini-trampoline for five minutes… Detoxes your lymphatic system at the same time! You’ll be amazed at the energy boost you get without any artificial stimulants.
  3. Feel that whole food rush: Nothing beats whole, unprocessed, natural, organic, non-GMO foods for nutrient-dense, life-energising nutrition. Rule of thumb: avoid foods with labels. But if they have labels, and if you can’t read it, don’t eat it! 80/20 Rule: 80 – 90 per cent healthy foods, 10 – 20 per cent fun foods.
  4. Get the ZZZ’s to maintain the peazzz: According to The Better Sleep Council the less sleep, the more moody, less alert and less energetic you’ll be! [FYI: Peazzz = Peace!]. So get 7 – 8 hours per night.
  5. Cast a spell with self-talk: Magically transform your energy deficit to an energy blast with positive self-talk. Stick inspirational quotes and affirmations everywhere: fridge door, bathroom mirror, office walls, desk, in your car… you name it. Repeat often: “I am the master and creator of my own destiny!”
  6. Take 5 now to save 5 later: That’s take FIVE MINUTES now to save FIVE YEARS later! Whenever you feel any level of stress, stop everything, put your feet up, relax, exhale first, and then just breathe deeply in and out for five minutes.
  7. Cop an attitude of gratitude: What we focus on expands, so why not focus on the things we’re grateful for, so that we get more to be grateful for? Just makes sense, right? So, write five gratitudes a day into a dedicated Gratitude Journal. And everyday, tell someone something about them that you appreciate.
  8. Stop ‘should’ing on yourself: Write down all of your ‘shoulds’ on a piece of paper, then crumple it up, and burn it! You’re never going to do them anyway, so why keep ‘should’ing on yourself? Just let them go!
  9. Man laughing out loud
    Next time you need a burst of energy, just laugh until you fall off your chair–or out of your bed

    Laugh until you cry: Next time you need a burst of energy, just laugh until you fall off your chair—or out of your bed. Watch a hilarious old comedy [Lucille Ball always works for me!], read a joke book or a comic, or head on over to YouTube and search for “hilarious videos” and stand-up comedy clips.

  10. Buzz around instant energisers: Some foods that create a “buzz in your bod” include the following brain-boosting, high-protein, low-fat foods:
    • Beans, peas, lentils
    • Low-fat cottage cheese
    • Chicken breast, skinless
    • Low-fat veggie cutlets
    • Eggs, free-range or fertilized
    • Non-fat plain yoghurt
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Fish, fresh or canned in water

Here’s the deal! You’re about to open your own parachute—and fly through the rest of your life. Are you ready to take flight? You see, the five universal keys are your “energy and vitality” parachute. And as the saying goes, “It’s no good [the parachute] unless it’s open!” So read and implement the above strategies [to open up your parachute] and soar higher than you’ve ever soared before… with eternal grace, ease, and flow.

You may also like: Top 10 energy foods

Adapted from Dr. Joyce’s widely sought after book, INSTANT E.N.E.R.G.Y.™

A version of this was first published in the June 2013 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

Marilyn Joyce
Dr Marilyn Joyce, PhD, is an international radio and TV personality and one of the world’s leading authorities on nutrition and lifestyle for the prevention and overcoming of cancer and other degenerative illnesses. She is the Master of 5-Minute healthy strategies for instantly creating energy and vitality. Joyce is the author of the best selling books 5 Minutes to Health, I Can’t Believe Its Tofu! and, INSTANT E.N.E.R.G.Y.™: The 5 Keys to Unlimited Energy & Vitality. Check out: Kick Cancer in the Can


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